September 23, 2007 – September 29, 2007
“The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.” Psalm 37:29.
Study Help: The Great Controversy, 662-678.
“At the close of the thousand years, Christ again returns to the earth. He is accompanied by the host of the redeemed and attended by a retinue of angels. As He descends in terrific majesty He bids the wicked dead arise to receive their doom. They come forth, a mighty host, numberless as the sands of the sea. What a contrast to those who were raised at the first resurrection! The righteous were clothed with immortal youth and beauty. The wicked bear the traces of disease and death.” Maranatha, 336.
1 During the thousand years following Christ’s Second Coming, where will the saints be? What will they be doing? Revelation 20:4, 6; John 14:1-3.
note: “Long have we waited for our Saviour’s return. But nonetheless sure is the promise. Soon we shall be in our promised home. There Jesus will lead us beside the living stream flowing from the throne of God and will explain to us the dark providences through which on this earth He brought us in order to perfect our characters. There we shall behold with undimmed vision the beauties of Eden restored. Casting at the feet of the Redeemer the crowns that He has placed on our heads, and touching our golden harps, we shall fill all heaven with praise to Him that sitteth on the throne.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 254.
2 What important task will the saints perform during this time? 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3; Psalm 149:5-9.
note: “After the saints are changed to immortality and caught up together with Jesus, after they receive their harps, their robes, and their crowns, and enter the city, Jesus and the saints sit in judgment. The books are opened the book of life and the book of death. The book of life contains the good deeds of the saints; and the book of death contains the evil deeds of the wicked. These books are compared with the statute book, the Bible, and according to that men are judged. The saints, in unison with Jesus, pass their judgment upon the wicked dead.” Early Writings, 52.
3 What marks the end of the thousand years? Revelation 20:5-7.
note: “The new heavens, and the new earth, (Revelation 21:1; Isaiah 65:17; 11 Peter 3:13) will not appear, till after the wicked dead are raised, and destroyed, at the end of the 1000 years. I [Ellen White] saw that Satan was ‘loosed out of his prison,’ at the end of the 1000 years, just at the time the wicked dead were raised.” A Word to the Little Flock, 11.
4 As soon as Satan is loosed, to whom does he go? Revelation 20:8.
note: “Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy. While deprived of his power and cut off from his work of deception, the prince of evil was miserable and dejected; but as the wicked dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes revive, and he determines not to yield the great controversy. He will marshal all the armies of the lost under his banner and through them endeavor to execute his plans. The wicked are Satan’s captives. In rejecting Christ they have accepted the rule of the rebel leader. They are ready to receive his suggestions and to do his bidding. . . . Satan works wonders to support his claims. He makes the weak strong and inspires all with his own spirit and energy. He proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God. With fiendish exultation he points to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declares that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom.” The Great Controversy, 663.
5 What is said of the character of Gog and Magog? Ezekiel 38:2; 39:1. When are they to come forth? Ezekiel 38:8; Revelation 20:8.
note: “And I [Ellen White] saw, that as Christ is the vine, and his children the branches: so Satan is the ‘root,’ and his children are the ‘branches’; and at the final destruction of ‘Gog and Magog,’ the whole wicked host will be burnt up, ‘root and branch,’ and cease to exist. Then will appear the new heaven and the new earth. Then will the saints ‘build houses,’ and ‘plant vineyards.’ I saw, that all the righteous dead were raised by the voice of the Son of God, at the first resurrection; and all that were raised at the second resurrection, were burnt up, and ceased to exist.” A Word to the Little Flock, 12.
6 Who will appear at that time? What comes to earth with Jesus and the saints? To what place do they come? Zechariah 14:4, 5; Revelation 21:2.
note: “At the end of one thousand years, Jesus, the king of glory, descends from the holy city, clothed with brightness like the lightning, upon the mount of olives the same mount from whence he ascended after his resurrection. As his feet touch the mountain, it parts asunder, and becomes a very great plain, and is prepared for the reception of the holy city in which is the paradise of God, the garden of Eden, which was taken up after man’s transgression. Now it descends with the city, more beautiful, and gloriously adorned than when removed from the earth. The city of God comes down and settles upon the mighty plain prepared for it.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 83, 84.
7 When Satan sees them, what does he do? Revelation 20:9; Ezekiel 38:10-12.
note: “Satan works wonders to support his claims. He makes the weak strong and inspires all with his own spirit and energy. He proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God. With fiendish exultation he points to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declares that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom.
“In that vast throng are multitudes of the long-lived race that existed before the Flood; men of lofty stature and giant intellect, who, yielding to the control of fallen angels, devoted all their skill and knowledge to the exaltation of themselves; men whose wonderful works of art led the world to idolize their genius, but whose cruelty and evil inventions, defiling the earth and defacing the image of God, caused Him to blot them from the face of His creation. There are kings and generals who conquered nations, valiant men who never lost a battle, proud, ambitious warriors whose approach made kingdoms tremble. In death these experienced no change. As they come up from the grave, they resume the current of their thoughts just where it ceased. They are actuated by the same desire to conquer that ruled them when they fell.
“Satan consults with his angels, and then with these kings and conquerors and mighty men. They look upon the strength and numbers on their side, and declare that the army within the city is small in comparison with theirs, and that it can be overcome. . . .
“At last the order to advance is given, and the countless host moves on an army such as was never summoned by earthly conquerors, such as the combined forces of all ages since war began on earth could never equal. Satan, the mightiest of warriors, leads the van, and his angels unite their forces for this final struggle. Kings and warriors are in his train, and the multitudes follow in vast companies, each under its appointed leader. With military precision the serried ranks advance over the earth’s broken and uneven surface to the City of God.” The Great Controversy, 663, 664.
8 Why does God permit the wicked to come against His people? Ezekiel 38:16.
note: “The crowns of the saints were of the most pure gold, decked with stars. Their faces shone with glory, for they were in the express image of Jesus; and as they arose and moved all together to the top of the city, I [Ellen White] was enraptured with the sight.
“Then the wicked saw what they had lost; and fire was breathed from God upon them and consumed them. This was the execution of the judgment. The wicked then received according as the saints, in unison with Jesus, had meted out to them during the one thousand years.” Early Writings, 54. [Author’s emphasis.]
“The whole wicked world stand arraigned at the bar of God on the charge of high treason against the government of heaven. They have none to plead their cause; they are without excuse; and the sentence of eternal death is pronounced against them.
“It is now evident to all that the wages of sin is not noble independence and eternal life, but slavery, ruin, and death. The wicked see what they have forfeited by their life of rebellion. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory was despised when offered them; but how desirable it now appears. ‘All this,’ cries the lost soul, ‘I might have had; but I chose to put these things far from me. Oh, strange infatuation! I have exchanged peace, happiness, and honor for wretchedness, infamy, and despair.’ All see that their exclusion from heaven is just. By their lives they have declared: ‘We will not have this Man [Jesus] to reign over us.’ ” The Great Controversy, 668.
9 What will the Lord do to the wicked? Ezekiel 39:4-6; Revelation 20:9.
note: “The wicked receive their recompense in the earth. . . . Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1142.
10 What effect will this fire have on the earth? 11 Peter 3:10. What shall come forth from this ruin? Verse 13.
note: “The fire that consumes the wicked purifies the earth. Every trace of the curse is swept away. No eternally burning hell will keep before the ransomed the fearful consequences of sin.” The Great Controversy, 674.
“Said the angel, ‘Satan is the root, his children are the branches. They are now consumed root and branch. They have died an everlasting death. They are never to have a resurrection, and God will have a clean universe.’ I [Ellen White] then looked and saw the fire which had consumed the wicked, burning up the rubbish and purifying the earth. Again I looked and saw the earth purified. There was not a single sign of the curse. The broken, uneven surface of the earth now looked like a level, extensive plain. God’s entire universe was clean, and the great controversy was forever ended. Wherever we looked, everything upon which the eye rested was beautiful and holy. And all the redeemed host, old and young, great and small, cast their glittering crowns at the feet of their Redeemer, and prostrated themselves in adoration before Him, and worshiped Him that liveth forever and ever. The beautiful new earth, with all its glory, was the eternal inheritance of the saints. The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, was then given to the saints of the Most High, who were to possess it forever, even forever and ever.” Early Writings, 295.
11 Who shall dwell on the new earth? Matthew 5:5; Isaiah 35:4-10.
note: “In the final restitution, when there shall be ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ [Revelation 21:1] it is to be restored more gloriously adorned than at the beginning.
“Then they that have kept God’s commandments shall breathe in immortal vigor beneath the tree of life; and through unending ages the inhabitants of sinless worlds shall behold, in that garden of delight, a sample of the perfect work of God’s creation, untouched by the curse of sin a sample of what the whole earth would have become had man but fulfilled the Creator’s glorious plan.” The Adventist Home, 539.
12 What prophecy will then be fulfilled? Micah 4:8.
note: “The time has come to which holy men have looked with longing since the flaming sword barred the first pair from Eden, the time for ‘the redemption of the purchased possession.’ Ephesians 1:14. The earth originally given to man as his kingdom, betrayed by him into the hands of Satan, and so long held by the mighty foe, has been brought back by the great plan of redemption. All that was lost by sin has been restored. ‘Thus saith the Lord . . . that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited.’ Isaiah 45:18. God’s original purpose in the creation of the earth is fulfilled as it is made the eternal abode of the redeemed. ‘The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.’ Psalm 37:29.” The Great Controversy, 674.