Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Millennium -- Two Resurrections

What happens when the wicked die at the second coming?

*NOTE: unless otherwise mentioned, all biblical text comes from the New King James Version (NKJV)*

It is well known that when Jesus comes, those who are dead and alive in Christ will rise up and meet him in the sky.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

But what happens to those who are left? Those who did not choose to believe in the God of the Bible?
2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:2,3

The above verse is talking about the coming of the Lord. It mentions that when Jesus returns, sudden destruction comes upon those who were not saved. It ends with “and they shall not escape”. But this verse doesn’t say anything about them dying. However, let’s see what Jesus has to say about His own coming:

26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:26 -30

So what happened in the days of Noah? When Noah and his family entered the ark, those who did not believe died immediately at the flood. What happened in the days of Lot? When Lot finally left Sodom and Gomorrah, fire and brimstone destroyed those cities instantly. Jesus finishes that so it will be like this the day when the Son of man returns.

So we know that those who believed in God are saved when Jesus returns and those who did not believe do not escape from the sudden destruction. Other texts make it clear that when Jesus returns, those left behind will be destroyed, not given another chance during some hypothetical “seven-year Tribulation” (which, by the way, is nowhere specifically referred to in the Bible). Here are just a few texts describing the global desolation that follows Jesus’ return.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 - When Jesus returns in flaming fire, the lost will be destroyed.
Revelation 16:17-18 – At Armageddon, cities crumble around the world.
Revelation 6:14; 16:20 - Every island sinks, and all the mountains disappear.
Jeremiah 4:23-26 - Planet Earth is totally devastated, with “no man” left alive.
Jeremiah 25:30-33 - Those slain by the Lord lie dead, unburied, all around the world.
Revelation 19:17-18, 21 - The birds eat the flesh of every human being worldwide.

These verses teach that those not “caught up” when Christ returns will be destroyed, and the destruction will encompass all the earth, as it did during Noah’s flood. Jesus Himself taught this. “The flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the son of man be” (Matthew 24:39). So to conclude, when the true believers are resurrected, the rest of those who are unjust literally die.

It is at this point that we introduce the Millennium. This is mentioned in the book of Revelations. There is massive confusion about the “Millennium” in Christian churches. Some teach it is entirely symbolic, some teach that it is not worth fretting over. Some say that this period is now. Most prophetic teacher contend that this apocalyptic period is still future and will follow the Second Coming of Jesus and will be a universal peace on earth as Jesus governs all nations from Jerusalem.

To discover the answer, we must carefully examine the only authoritative source where it’s taught, the Bible, especially chapter 20 in the book of Revelation. Let’s see what Revelation 20 actually says, and doesn’t say.

Revelation 20
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Now here’s a brief summary of each verse (we will soon take a closer look at these events):

vs. 1 - An angel descends from heaven with a key and a chain.
vs. 2 - He binds Satan for 1000 years.
vs. 3 - During the 1000 years Satan cannot deceive the nations any more.
vs. 4 - Martyrs are resurrected to reign with Jesus Christ for 1000 years.
vs. 5a - The rest of the dead will be raised at the end of the 1000 years.
vs. 6 - Those in the first resurrection will reign with Jesus for 1000 years.
vs. 7 - Satan will be loosed at the end of the 1000 years.
vs. 8 – After the rest of the dead are raised, Satan deceives them again. There will be billions - like the sand of the sea. They are called Gog and Magog. Satan gathers them for a final battle.
vs. 9 - Satan and this host surround God's City. Fire comes down and devours them.
vs. 10 - Satan, the Beast, and the False Prophet end up in this lake of fire.
vs. 11 - Before this fire falls, a final judgment occurs.
vs. 12 - All the resurrected lost are judged.
vs. 13 - Another description of the resurrected lost being judged.
vs. 14 - Death and Hell [Hades-Grave] are cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death.
vs. 15 - All the resurrected lost are cast into the lake of fire.

Remember earlier how I mentioned that there was a resurrection for the living and one for the lost? To break down Revelation 20 further, there is a ‘good resurrection’ (called “the first resurrection”) at the beginning of the 1000 years (vs. 4-6), whereas “the rest of the dead” are resurrected at the end of the 1000 years (vs. 5a). Satan is bound during the 1000 years (vs. 3), but is loosed “when the thousand years are expired” and “the rest of the dead” are raised (compare verses 5a and 7). Satan gathers the lost for a final battle against God's City (vs. 8). A final judgment occurs, and then the lost are punished in the lake of fire (verses 9, 14-15). Then the old earth passes, and the new earth comes (Revelation 21:1).

The above points are undeniable, for this is exactly what Revelation 20 says. Two significant facts should be noted:

Revelation 20 doesn’t say there will be peace on earth during the 1000 years.
Revelation 20 doesn’t say Jesus Christ will rule during the 1000 years from the present city of Jerusalem

These common doctrines are being taught worldwide but are not found in Revelation 20, the only place in God’s Word that specifically mentions the 1000-year period. Now let’s go deeper.

Now, let’s discuss these two resurrections. Jesus did teach two resurrections. 

28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. John 5:28-29

Paul also taught two resurrections:

15 I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. Acts 24:15

So we see that both Jesus and Paul teach about two resurrections, one for the living (just) and one of condemnation (unjust). Revelation 20 revolves around these two resurrections. We know from Rev 20:4-6 that the first resurrection takes place before the 1000 years and the other resurrection takes place at the end of the 1000 years. It reads:

Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. Rev 20:6

But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. Rev 20:5a

It is plain that there are two resurrections. One at the beginning of the Millennium, where true believers in Christ are raised to eternal life and one at the opposite end of the Millennium, where the “unjust” awake to something else entirely.

Before we figure out what the “unjust” awake to at their resurrection, what happens after those who are true believers are caught up to meet with Jesus?

The last sentence in Revelation 19 describes birds feasting upon “the flesh of all men” (vs. 21). Immediately following is Revelation 20, which depicts the binding of Satan so that he can “deceive the nations no more” during the 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-3). Why not? The answer’s easy--there’s nobody left alive on earth to deceive. Those in the first resurrection were “caught up” to be with Jesus, and the rest, those left behind, were slain.

This helps explain what follows (Read carefully): “that he [Satan] should deceive the nations no more until the thousand years should be fulfilled” (Revelation 20:3). Notice these three words “no more until.” What do they tell us? They teach that those “nations” are entirely Satan’s nations. Satan is deceiving them now, but can’t continue deceiving them during the Millennium, “until” a certain time.

What time is that? When the 1000 years are over, obviously. Now put two and two together. At the end of the Millennium, “the rest of the dead” (who missed “the first resurrection”) are raised back to life. Then Satan deceives them again. Look again, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise:

Verse 5a - “The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished”
Verse 7 - “When the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison”

At the end of the 1000 years, “the rest of the dead” are raised, and Satan is “loosed.” Therefore the raising of the “rest of the dead” is what “looses” the devil. Satan then swoops into these resurrected nations (now alive in the four corners of the earth), deceives them again, and then gathers them for the grand finale (verses 8-9).

What does all this mean? The answer will come shortly after we examine a few more crucial points.

What is crucial to understand about the Millennium is the first texts of Revelation 20:1,2. These verses read:

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years

According to the text, Satan is bound by a great chain and thrown into a bottomless pit. The expression, “a great chain,” doesn’t mean a literal chain. Even today, all of “the angels that sinned” with Lucifer are described as being in “chains of darkness” (2 Peter 2:4). These words do not refer to actual clinking and clanging metal, but to circumstances of darkness that these angels find themselves in after having been booted out of heaven.

During the 1000 years, Satan is bound with a chain because of his new circumstances that prevent him from deceiving the nations. What are these new circumstances? Everyone left on earth is dead.
Now, what is this “bottomless pit?” The Old Testament defines the word “pit” as a grave, cemetery, or to the place of the dead. Here are some texts:

Psalms 55:23 - Evil men will go “down into the pit of destruction.
Numbers 16:32-33 - “the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up ... into the pit.
Ezekiel 32:22-23 - “his graves are about him ... in the sides of the pit ... all of them slain.
Psalms 28:1 - David prayed not to “become like them that go down to the pit.
Psalms 69:15 - “Let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.

Isaiah 14 contains one of the clearest prophecies about Satan. It reads:

12 “ How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:

‘ I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.
16 “ Those who see you will gaze at you,
And consider you, saying:

‘ Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
Who shook kingdoms,
17 Who made the world as a wilderness
And destroyed its cities,
Who did not open the house of his prisoners?’
18 “ All the kings of the nations,
All of them, sleep in glory,
Everyone in his own house;
19 But you are cast out of your grave
Like an abominable branch,
Like the garment of those who are slain,
Thrust through with a sword,
Who go down to the stones of the pit,
Like a corpse trodden underfoot.
20 You will not be joined with them in burial,
Because you have destroyed your land
And slain your people.
The brood of evildoers shall never be named.
21 Prepare slaughter for his children
Because of the iniquity of their fathers,
Lest they rise up and possess the land,
And fill the face of the world with cities.”

He was cast out of heaven (vs.12) for exalting himself (vs.13). He is to be brought down “to sheol”(sheol means grave, pit) (vs.15). And interestingly enough, Isaiah 14:18-21 parallels perfectly the prophecy in Revelation 20:1-3. 

When Revelation 20:1-3 describes Satan as bound with a chain for 1000 years, this means that a chain of circumstances will prevent him from deceiving the nations. The major circumstance is the return of Jesus Christ in “flaming fire” (2 Thessalonians 2:8), the “sudden destruction” of sinners (1 Thessalonians 5:3), the largest earthquake in history (Revelation 16:18), the global crumbling of cities (Revelation 16:19), the disappearing of mountains and islands (Revelation 16:20), and the total depopulation of planet Earth just like “it was in the days of Noah” (Matthew 24:37-39). This “great day of the Lord” will come “as a destruction from the Almighty” (Joel 1:15). “And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be as dung upon the ground” (Jeremiah 25:33).

Earth will be like one gigantic bottomless pit, a huge cemetery. Jeremiah predicted: 

23 I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void;
And the heavens, they had no light.
24 I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled,
And all the hills moved back and forth.
25 I beheld, and indeed there was no man,
And all the birds of the heavens had fled.
26 I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness,
And all its cities were broken down
At the presence of the LORD,
By His fierce anger.
Jeremiah 4:23-26

Satan and his angels can only wander about the earth and contemplate with trembling, the finals events to occur at the end of the 1000 years.

Far from a time of glory when Jesus reigns in Jerusalem, the Millennium is a time when the earth lies in waste, in desolate ruins, a prison house for Satan and his angels.


The Millennium is not some idyllic era of peace and goodness, but a time of utter devastation and judgment. Now what about God’s people during this 1000 year period? Those who were part of the first resurrection?
Jesus stated in John 14:1-2 that he would be preparing mansions for us and that when He returns will he take us to Him so that where He is, we may be with Him also (vs.3). John beheld God’s saints in heaven:

1 After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! 2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” Revelation 19:1-2

Now, according to Revelation 20:4,6 the saints will “reign” with Jesus for 1000 years. This does not say they will reign on earth with Jesus. Why would Jesus and his people rule over a devastated and ruined world anyways? The Bible says we will soar upward when Christ returns (1 Thessalonians 4:17), that He will take us to the New Jerusalem (John 14:1-3), and that we will then be in heaven praising God (Revelation 19:1-2).
Some might ask, How can we “reign” for 1000 years if we’re in heaven? Don’t we have to be on earth to “reign” over others during this time? Not necessarily. The Bible also says the saints will “reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5). Thus this “reign” idea implies we will be in some position of authority, just as Adam originally exercised dominion over the earth, that’s all.

Now, if the earth is desolate with no survivors, aside from Satan and his angels, and the saints are in heaven, what is the purpose of the 1000 years? There are a few possibilities that exist.

      1) It gives the loyal universe an opportunity to behold the terrible results of Satan’s rule;
2) It gives the saints in heaven an opportunity to go through heaven’s records and to have all their questions answered about why some of their loved ones are there and some are not;
3) It provides a period of time when Jesus and the saints together can make decisions about the just punishments to be carried out upon the lost at the end of the 1000 years (see 1 Corinthians 6:2-3);
4) It also gives the saints a period of time to prepare mentally for the events at the end of the 1000 years, at which time many of their loved ones will be resurrected, judged, and sentenced to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:5a, 11-15).

We don’t truly know what will happen during this reign, but the above is what is told to us through the Bible. My thinking is that the saints will go through all these “records” and will see all the times God tried to show his love to the “unjust”, all the chances he gave them to turn from their ways, as well as all the times He was rejected, was told to go away, all the times people denied and never wanted to believe. I think it will be a time where we will agree with God about the judgment of the unjust, those loved ones who turned away from God, the saints will agree with God’s judgment that he was fair, just, graceful, merciful and did his best to try and get as many of the unjust as possible into heaven. But of course, he doesn’t force anyone to decide and I would think that we would see that it was the “unjust’s” choice not to be a part of God’s kingdom. This is my interpretation and further thinking about the 4 possibilities that were mentioned above.

When really thinking about it, it is in harmony with the whole Bible itself. Where God says we have free will, and that He stands at the door and knocks at our hearts, hoping that we will freely welcome Him in to transform us to become just.

Okay, we have seen that at the Second Coming, Jesus returns, the saved (both the resurrected dead and those alive at His return) are taken to heaven where they “reign” for a thousand years, the earth is destroyed--and Satan remains captive there for the allotted thousand years. What then happens at the end of the thousand years?

Revelation 20 states two clear events that will happen at the end of the Millennium. The first is that the rest of the dead are raised to life (vs.5a) and that Satan is loosed (verses 3,7). Both of these events happen at the same time. When the lost are resurrected, Satan now has people he can once again deceive. He will “go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea” (verse 8). The “sand of the sea” is all the people from the time of Adam to those who died at the sudden destruction. This is every unjust person who has ever lived on the earth from its beginnings.

Once the lost are resurrected, Satan gathers them together for battle. So who will this terrible army attempt to fight? The Bible makes it perfectly clear who they will engage in battle: “They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city.” Revelation 20:9. This is the New Jerusalem, the home of the saved (Revelation 3:12; 21:10), which descends from heaven to the earth (Revelation 3:12; 21:2) right before the second resurrection. Then Satan and his macabre army surround the “camp of the saints” in a last-ditch effort to conquer God's fortress.

This is Satan's last stand, his final opportunity to conquer Jesus Christ, His New Jerusalem, and the redeemed of all ages. But he can never defeat the King of the Universe. He failed miserably when Jesus was a lowly carpenter in human flesh. What chance does he have against Him now as King of the New Jerusalem? None whatsoever!

After Satan’s army surrounds God’s city to make war against it, what will happen next?

8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. Revelation 20:8,9

The fate of this army is what is mentioned in verse 9, “fire came down from God out of Heave and devoured them.” Before the fire falls, however, a vast judgment unfolds:

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Revelation 20:11-13

This judgment occurs while Satan and his army are gathered around the city. It only concerns the unjust, who are judged according to their works. As the books are opened above them, they are allowed to see the complete record of their lives. They are shown why they are lost, why they are outside of God’s city, why they have forfeited eternal life with Jesus. As the book of life is opened, they will see their names are not in it. Then Jesus will undoubtedly show them how much he loved them, how much he tried to save them, and yet by their own persistent efforts, they resisted his tender appeals. Yes, they will see that Jesus died for them, that he paid the penalty of death for them, that they could have been inside the city with the saints; but they choose their master and are with that master outside of the city. They will see that, though Jesus willingly took upon Himself the punishment that was theirs, they spurned Him, and now they are forced to stand before His holy majesty in the shame of their spiritual nakedness, with every wrong thought, every wrong word, and every wrong deed bearing down upon their consciences to condemn them, and there is no longer any Mediator to represent them and intercede for them.

After sentence is pronounced, the fire of God brings final retribution upon the lost. By this time, all the unsaved understand why they are lost. This destruction is an act of justice, not cruelty. The book of Revelation is very clear about God’s uprightness. “Just and true are your ways, O King of the saints” (Revelation 15:3); “You are righteous, O Lord ... Because you have judged these things” (Revelation 16:5); and “For true and righteous are His judgments” (Revelation 19:2).

The judgment at the close of the Millennium will be perfectly just, without any taint of imperfection chargeable upon God. By rejecting His love and mercy, and by a life of continued sinning, the lost have earned their just reward. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, holy angels, and the saints will all weep over the unsaved. But nothing more can be done. Now it’s too late.

Revelation 20:8 says the lost will march across “the four quarters of the earth” right before the fire falls upon them. Thus we conclude that God’s fire will descend all over planet Earth. This unquenchable downpour will become a “lake of fire” (14-15) boiling everywhere. Malachi 4:1, 3 says that entire fateful day will “burn as an oven.” 2 Peter 3:10 adds “...the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” Thus God will totally purify and cleanse our sin-polluted earth with flames. In fact, 2 Peter 3 parallels the destruction of the world by water in Noah's day with the purification of the earth by fire at the end of the 1000 years (2 Peter 3:5-7). In Noah's day, the whole earth was under ‘a lake of water’; at the end of the 1000 years, this planet will be wrapped in “a lake of fire.” In Noah's day, God's people floated in the midst of the water but were protected inside the ark; at the end of the Millennium, when a lake of fire envelops our planet, God's saved “saints” will be right there, riding the storm safely inside the New Jerusalem.

Revelation 20 concludes with these solemn words, “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). Fortunately, that’s not the end of the story. The next verse reads: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Revelation 21:1).

There is a new heaven! A new earth! What happened to the old ones? We just saw, a lake of fire consumed them. After God’s fire completely purifies this planet and its atmosphere, He will recreate the earth and sky-- a new heaven and a new earth. This cleansing fire will disappear as it purifies the earth of every trace of sin, sinners, Satan, and his angels. Everything will be made new again!

13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13

Revelation 21 also adds: 

4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:4-5

As Noah and his family finally walked out of the ark onto a cleansed world, so will God's faithful saints finally step out of the New Jerusalem into a brand new world.

To conclude, contrary to popular belief, the Biblical Millennium is a time of desolation and ruin, followed by more rebellion, then judgment, and finally a re-creation of the heavens and the earth. There are two resurrections as clearly indicated by the Bible itself, with a lot of support. Scriptures are in harmony with one another. One must always remember to pray for understanding and clarification. That the will of their heart be dissolved and that the will of God be pronounced. 

The most important issue, however, isn’t so much our knowledge of millennial details but our knowledge of the God who has revealed the truth about it. What this entire post, paper, message, whatever you want to call it, has shown is that there is no second chance; there is no middle ground, no neutrality. This is a great war between Christ and Satan, and we happen to be caught in the middle of it. The outcome has been decided. All we can do is decide: are we for Jesus and are on his side? Or are we against Jesus and thus with Satan? There is no middle ground. The unjust will cease to exist at the end of the Millennium judgment and the saints will live forever.

Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you. Be blessed and glory and honor and power forever! Perfect are your ways, oh Lord. For the beginning of wisdom is knowledge and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Three Angels' Message

Revelation 14:6-12 reads

6And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

7Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

8And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

9And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

10The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Revelation 14:6,7 First Angel's Message.

This first angel symbolizes God's remnant carrying an everlasting gospel to the world. This remnant will bring a full and final restoration of the gospel of truth. These three messages comprise God's answers to the overwhelming Satanic deception that sweeps this world. The remnant do not present a didn't gospel, rather, in view of the judgement they reaffirm that the everlasting gospel that sinners can be justified by faith and receive Christ's righteousness. This angel's message calls out to the word to repent. It summons all to "fear" or reverence, God and give honor or glory to Him. We are created for this purpose.

In Revelation 14:7, the word judgement translates the Greek krisis, the act of judging, not the sentence of the judgement (krima). It refers to the entire process of judgement; this includes the arraignment of people, the investigation of life records, the verdict of acquittal or conviction, and the bestowal of eternal life or the sentence of death. The judgement-hour also proclaims God's judgement on all apostasy.

This first message also calls upon all to worship the Creator. This call to worship must be seen in contrast to the summons to worship the beast and his image. There will come a time when everyone will have to make a choice between true and false worship -- between worshiping God on His terms (righteousness by faith) or on our terms (righteousness by works). This message calls attention to the fourth commandment "and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of water" (Rev. 14:7; cf Ex 20:11). It leads people into true worship of the Creator, an experience that involves honoring his memorial of Creation -- the seventh-day Sabbath of the Lord. God instituted this at the time of Creation and affirmed it in the Ten Commandments.

The first angel's message calls for a restoration of true worship by presenting before the world Christ the Creator and Lord of the Bible Sabbath -- a sign neglected bu the vast majority of His created beings. Only when true worship is restored and believers live the principles of God's kingdom, can God be glorified.

Revelation 14:8 Second Angel's Message

And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

From early history, the city of Babylon symbolized defiance of God. Lucifer was its invisible king (Isa. 14:4, 12-14) and it appears that he wanted to make Babylon the agency of his master plan for ruling the human race. Throughout the Bible the struggle between God's city Jerusalem, and Satan's city, Babylon, illustrates the conflict between good and evil.

In Revelation, Babylon refers to the wicked woman, the mother of harlots, and her impure daughters (Rev 17:5). It symbolizes all apostate religious organizations and their leadership, though it refers especially to the great apostate religious alliance between the beast and his image that will bring about the final crisis described in Revelation 13:15-17.

The second angel's message brings out the universal nature of Babylonian apostasy and her coercive power, saying that "she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." The "wine" of Babylon represents her heretical teachings. Babylon will pressure the powers of state to enforce universally her false religious teachings and decrees.

The "Fornication" mentioned represents the illicit relationship between Babylon and the nations -- between the apostate church and civil powers. The church is supposed to be married to her Lord; in seeking instead the support of the state, she leaves her spouse and commits spiritual fornication (cf. Eze. 16:15; James 4:4)

This illicit relationship results in tragedy. John sees the inhabitants of the earth "drunk" with false teachings and Babylon herself "drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, "who refuse to accept her un-scriptual doctrines and submit to her authority" (Rev. 17:2, 6)

Babylon falls because she rejects the first angel's message, the gospel of righteousness by faith in the Creator. The second angel's message will have increasing relevance as the end draws near. It will meet its complete fulfillment with the alliance of the carious religious organizations that have rejected the first angel's message. In Rev 18:2-4, this message of the fall of Babylon is repeated as it announces the complete downfall of Babylon and calls on those of God's people who are still in the various religious bodies comprising of Babylon to separate from them "Come out of her , my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues."

Revelation 14:9-12 Third Angel's Message

The first angel's message calls us to worship God; the second angel warns against self worship; and the third angel appeals for us to make a choice. The third message proclaims God's most solemn warning against worshiping the beast and his image -- which all who reject the gospel of righteousness by faith ultimately will do.

The beast described in Revelation 13:1-10 is the church-state union that dominated the Christain world for many centuries and was described by Paul as the "man of sin" (2 Thess. 2:2-4) and by Daniel as the "little horn" (Dan 7:8, 20-25; 8:9-12) The image of the beast represents that form of apostate religion that will be developed when churches, having lost the true spirit of the Reformation, shall unite with the state to enforce their teachings on others. In uniting church and state they will have become a perfect image to the beast -- the apostate church that persecuted for 1260 years. Hence the name image of the beast.

The third angel's message also proclaims the most solemn and fearful warning in the Bible. It reveals that those who submit to human authority in the earth's final crisis will worship the beast and his image rather than God. During this final conflict two distinct classes will develop. One class will advocate a gospel of human devisings and will worship the beast and his image, bringing upon themselves the most grievous judgments. The other class, in marked contrast, will live by the true gospel and "keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (Rev 14:9, 12). The final issue involves true and false worship. the true and false gospel/ When this issue is clearly brought before the world, those who reject God's memorial of creator-ship -- the Bible Sabbath -- choosing to worship and honor Sunday in the full knowledge that it is not God's appointed day of worship. will receive the mark of the beast./ This mark is a mark of rebellion; the beast claims its change of the day of worship shows its authority even over God's law.

This message brings to the world's attention the consequences of refusing to accept the everlasting gospel and God's message of the restoration of true worship. The choice is not an easy one, for whatever one chooses will involve suffering. Those who obey God will experience the wrath of the dragon (Rev 12:17) and eventually be threatened with death (Rev 13:15), while those who choose to worship the beast and his image will incur the seven last plagues and finally "the lake of fire" (Rev 15, 16; 20:14, 15)

But while both choices involve suffering, their outcomes differ. The worshipers of the Creator will escape the deadly wrath of the dragon and will stand together with the Lamb on Mount Zion (Rev. 14:1; 7:2, 4) The worshipers of the beast and his image, on the other hand, receive the full wrath of God and die in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb (Rev 14:9, 10; 20:14)

Every person will have to choose whom to worship. Either one's choice of righteousness by faith will be revealed as one participates in a form of worship God has endorsed, or one's effectual choice of righteousness by works will be revealed as one participates in a form of worship God has forbidden but which the beast and his image command, a man-made worship. God cannot accept this latter form of worship, because it gives priorities to the commandments of men and not to those of God. it seeks justification through the works of man and not by faith that comes through a total surrender to God as Creator, Redeemer, and Re-creator. In this sense, the message of the third angel is the message of justification by faith.


God has His children in all churches; but through the remnant church He proclaims a message that is to restore His true worship by calling His people out of the apostasy and preparing them for Christ's return. Recognizing that many of God's people have yet to join them, the remnant sense their inadequacies and weaknesses when they try to fulfill this solemn mission. They realize that it is only through God's grace that they can accomplish their momentous task.

In the light of the soon coming of Christ and the need to prepare to meet Him, God's urgent, compassionate call comes home to each of us: "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities." (Rev 18:4,5)

Taken from Seventh-day Adventist Believe. A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental Doctrines.
I do not claim to write this, while some is paraphrased, most comes from the book mentioned.

Friday, May 27, 2011

God's Family is Our Family

(This all began with a text message to my friend. So the first part does begin like a text message. I still need to write a new beginning for this.)

Exactly! These are our gifts and talents. Jenn, it really doesn't bother me to give you money for your gas. :). In me doing that, you can focus on your duties to others. If more people did that, helped others, then things would get better. That is being selfless. God is trying to show us through love, through His Son, that selfless love is what brings glory and honor to His name. Sin is selfish love, it worries about one's self, the will and advancement of power. It doesn't care about others, whether they are hurt or not. It is of Satan. If it doesn't bring glory to God, one prays for guidance. Because we know God, then we also know what is of Him.

Sadly there is no way presently or in the future can humanly allow and change us to be better. On the contrary, its just going to get worse. Its God's grace holding together everything that is affected by sin, our sins, what we know is wrong to do, willingly... I bet it saddens our Lord deeply to have to only help us when we call on Him from the depths of our hearts, our emotions, that is what makes us different from the rest of this world.

We are not a product of evoution, but you have to think about this great controversy in the bigger picture, and a better way to do this is to think about a parent and a child relationship. God is our Father, He cared for us, we are made in His image, His image of love, of grace, happiness, TRUE freedom, no worries, no pain, one does not know pain, the pain of the world. This is the newborn stage. Innocence it is. Our knowledge of the world is very little. The parent cares for the child, protects them, loves them, blesses them, disciples them, cherishes them, prepares that newborn to become an adult who can one day do the same for others.

Then one day a choice was made. Because of our free will we decided a taste of something different. Although being told to stay away, we are curious, then convinced to try, and we disobey. Because God cannot live with sin, the free will He has given us has to separate us from Him. He is more saddened by this than He is mad. Its like a parent who looses a child, the parent whose child is willingly choosing the wrong path. The parent hurts inside, they can't do anything to help, the free will of choice he abides by.

Yet, like a parent, God still continues to show His love, that parent's selfless love. Of faith, which is trust. And hope that one day things will be restored to a place of no pain, no hurt, just love and TRUE honor. God needed to send His Son to do this. We needed to be shown selfless love. It was more than following rules and ideas, and traditions. It is a selfless love of that once happiness that we had as a child, knowing nothing about the world, of hurt and pain. Jesus was teaching us what it was, of what we needed to do. We are to take care of this world.

But instead, the selfish love of sin is destroying this world and us. We presently can see this happening in this world. Sin is death, our world is dying. Sin is killing it, the wrong choices we make are destroying this world. We ourselves die because of sin. Jesus came to live the 10 Commandments to us. It wasn't a life of bondage and cruelty of punishment. We don’t fully understand what our parents really mean until we experience. We have to experience the Commandments and Jesus summed it up as this: Love the Lord your God with all of your soul, all of your strength and spirit. And love one another as God loves you. Show selfless love to others, honor Him. He gave you life. That is our soul. It is the breath of life. If not for that soul, that breath of life, not one heart would beat.

A day is coming when God won't be able to hold back the tides. Judgement time will end, the time where God is giving everyone a chance no matter who you are or where you come from, or what you've done, what terrible things were done. He just wants truthfulness, your love back. But He doesn't force Himself. He will never force Himself on anyone. Judgement isn't about us. We are the evidence for God's trial. God is on trial, Satan accusses God of not being fair. So Satan does everything he can do to prove God is not fair. So we are caught in the middle. That is the Great Controversy of the universe. And because we are the evidence, all of the heavens are watching intently.

All is not lost. We already know the outcome. We just need to chose the right side, the everlasting life. It's also our free will to chose. That is why God is waiting for the very last millisecond to try and show the truth of Him to all His children. We are living in the judgement time. This is the time we need to decide, we need to make a choice, get off the fence, its ultimately black and white, no in between. You either choose to be with God, who is of love, of patience, our Father, the perfect Father, perhaps the one we never had, or wish we could have had. He wants all of His children, His sons and daughters to come home, to once again live with Him, as Adam and Eve once did before sin. Or, you can choose Satan, who once was an angel of God. But selfishness entered his heart, he wanted to be like God, to be God. He lost a battle in heaven; he took one-third of the angels too; who also freely chose to be convinced by Satan. And they were hurrled down to earth.

Satan then hurt God, what God cared most about. His creation, man. We are the sons and daughters of God, we are part of His family, He is our Father. The separation from Him and ourselves is like a parent loosing their child, the tear at the heart, the deep pain, the parent cries. The parent wants nothing more than for his child to come back home. The prodigal son. Despite all the bad choices the son made, his father loved him the same and did not care about what was done. The father is just happy and joyous that his son freely chose to come home.

God wants us to cone home. God could have destroyed us at the first sign of sin. But He didn't. He has so much love for everyone. And wants us to choose to come home. When judgement is over, God's presence will leave the earth, the grace holding every little inch together, will have to show what truly living in sin brings. Father will turn against son, brother against brother. Those who do not choose not to be with God will become ruthless to the believer of the true God. The tribulation, the persecution will be devastating to God's children. Jesus went through this at the Cross. When God had to turn away because of the sin that covered Jesus and bore for us, this was His words, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Jesus was not angry in saying this. Jesus felt God all His life on Earth, His Spirit. And now, that closeness He had with His Father was gone. That is what will happen for believers in God.

But the tribulation won't last forever. It is not the end. God has a plan. All the sacrifices in the Old Testament point to Jesus, He is bridging the separation between us and the Father. Jesus has promised that He will return to bring God's children home to their Father. Once He brings them home, there will be 1000 years of destitution on the earth. No one will be alive. Satan and his angels will roam the earth. No one to tempt, no one to cause pain to. During this time, the believers will be shown why their loved ones are not there with them. They will be shown all the times God offered a way out, a safe place. They will also be shown their lived one's free will choice to turn away from God. The believers will freely agree that God is just and loving, they will also freely agree to the punishment of the wicked. At the end of the 1000 years, the wicked will be brought back to life, to which Satan will make one last effort to overcome God. But before Satan, his angels, the wicked reach the City gates of Jerusalem, God will reveal the judgement of the wicked. The wicked will see all the chances they had to choose God, they will also see their free will decision to turn away. The wicked will also freely agree to their judgment: The ultimate separation from God.

Now is the time. Now is the time to choose God and change our lives around and live the 10 Commandments, to live and show selfless love. The Father wants all His children to come home. Because of free will of choice and the Great Controversy, He can't just save us. He can only help us when we earnestly call out to Him, repent if our sins, confessing them openly to Him, asking for forgiveness, and living for our Father and showing His selfless love to others. He can also intervene when we pray on behalf of others. He is a gentle Father. He won't force Himself on anyone, only when He is asked to, just like a parent who helps their child, when their child asks for help for themselves or for another.

Creation is aware of these spiritual events. Its screaming out to us. Just look. Tornados, hurricanes, wild fires, changes in natural habitats. The things we seem to be braver and braver to attempt for selfish gain of power. The harder and harder ability to live without worrying whether you'll make it to be financially stable instead of living day to day. The diseases and cancer eating us physically. The wars plaguing us emotionally.

Jesus is going to come soon. It is very soon. Creation is calling out. Wake up! We really need to throw it out all one the line for God . We need to wake up His children who do not see His light to bring them forth from the dark. This whole thing all mankind has gone through, this thing known as sin. It's death. It's life we want isn't it? So why do we continue to do things that are there to cause death? We need to wake up and realize how serious this free will choice is to our future. Remember we are the evidence, the evidence that, yes, YES, living the 10 Commandments can be done, and it does bring happiness and joy, peace beyond all understanding. We all want this, a place where we all get along, there is harmony, love, care, truth, we doing all the right things, there is no death, no worries of any kind. We are already hoping for a life like that. Money is the root of all evil. We seem bondaged to it and don't even realize it. If you live by money, it brings nothing but trouble. But God has a way he can help us out. This can be done by looking at our families. They are a representation of God's relationship he wants for us, in a place with no sin.

Our families are in trouble. There is moral decay; lack of respect, our society is really bad. We really need to start living for God within our homes. This is where it needs to help others. If we see a family struggling, we need to use our talents and gifts to help them out and not worry about how it will affect us. It is showing selfless love. And God will bless abundantly those who show selfless love in anyway.

The choice, ultimately, is to decide all this. Everything is at stake. Life is at stake.