Redemption

Redemption

Scripture: Revelation 21:4, Jeremiah 4:23-26, 2 Peter 3:10
Date: 03/26/2016  Lesson: 13
"How does the reality of the great controversy help us better understand why suffering and death exist now, even though many difficult questions remain unanswered?"
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Hello friends, and welcome again to Sabbath school study hour. A very warm welcome to our friends joining us across the country and around the world - and also to the members here of the Granite Bay church and those who are visiting on a rainy Sabbath morning. So glad to see you here today. We've been studying along in our lesson quarterly dealing with rebellion and redemption. Today we find ourselves on lesson #13.

And for our friends joining us, this is the final study in this quarterly. You can follow along, if you go online to the Amazing Facts website - you can download today's lesson - lesson #13 entitled redemption and study along with us. We also have a free offer that is entitled rendezvous in space - a book written by Joe Crews - and this is our free offer for today. Anybody wanting to receive this - in North America - give us a call. The number is 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #151.

That number again is 866-788-3966 - rendezvous in space - offer #151. We'll be happy to send it to anybody (in North America) who calls and asks. Now, usually, beginning our study time together we like to spend a few moments singing a few hymns, but today we have a special treat. (Piano and violin - instrumental version of holy, holy, holy) (clapping) before we get started with our study, let's bow our heads for prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, we are so grateful for the opportunity for us to, once again, to gather together to study Your Word.

Lord, as we open up the Scriptures we ask for the Holy Spirit to come and guide our hearts, our minds - lead us, Lord, into a clearer and fuller understanding of this great plan of redemption - this salvation that has been provided at such an infinite cost. Bless our time together. In Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson this morning will be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor. Good morning.

Good morning. Thank you, Pastor Ross. How is everybody? We're glad to be home. Some of you may have noticed that we've been gone for a couple of weeks. Some of you probably didn't notice.

And we were in south africa. Matter of fact, I thought it would be appropriate to maybe make a little mission report and tell our friends. I want to welcome our Sabbath school class - those who are part of the Granite Bay online membership and the others at large around the world that are watching. And we know that we have some friends that are in africa watching, because we met them and they said they watch every week. It works well for them with the time.

They can do it in the afternoon. And I'll just give you a quick little report. Those of you who are members here, you realize that pastor ross has a little bit of an accent and that's because he hails from cape town, south africa. I got to go by and see where he went to school and everything. I thought he had an accent until I went there with him and I realized he's really lost most of his accent.

(Laughter) but we went to the major cities in south africa in that, oh, twelve, fourteen days we were gone - being cape town, durban, johannesburg, and pretoria - and at those places we were doing evangelism training with our afcoe group and then we would do revival meetings - a series called keys to the Kingdom. And so, if you didn't know it, south africa is a long way from northern California. I've been there - this is my second time - and of all the places in the world that I've flown - and that's, you know, australia, new zealand, new guinea, india - all, you know, far remote corners of the earth. The longest plane ride I've ever been on is the one where I'm coming home from south africa. I was glad Karen was able to join me on this trip and Ruth was able to go with Pastor Ross, so we did have a little fun - I hope that's okay.

But it was mission work and so - go to the next slide here, we'll just show you some of the things we did. In cape town, after doing some evangelism training there, we were there to participate in the graduation of an afcoe class. They brought the area churches together. They had no one church large enough and so they actually rented, I think one of the largest, if not the largest, charismatic church called the lighthouse in town and the Lord blessed. The place was filled to overflowing.

There were about 4,000 people came out to the program and many were not members of our church, but they had been watching the Amazing Facts programs or studying online and they heard about the meetings and they came out. Something else interesting while we were there: we went from cape town then to durbin and - where we did some evangelism training. That's more - it's up on the indian ocean side of the country. There was a Christian couple there and they learned the Sabbath truth. And they operated a recreation resort where they've got some nice wholesome things like zip lining and they teach scuba diving - and when they realized about the Sabbath truth they said, 'that's our busiest day.

What's going to happen to our business?' They said, 'well, it's in the Bible. We want to keep the Sabbath.' And so they decided to close on Sabbath. You can see, this is what's on their gate coming into their establishment. And you know what happened? the Lord blessed and their business, over the next three or four years, went up like fifteen percent a year. And God just blessed - but they're closed every Sabbath.

They donated their place for us to use. The owner was actually an afcoe graduate now and they donated the place for us to use to teach an afcoe class there in durban. And so, and this is some of the - they have kind of an open area. We had 70 students there and I think chuck holtry is teaching and there's carissa mcsherry teaching some classes. Pastor Ross and I also were teaching some classes.

The neat thing about these classes - if you know anything about south africa, they have very serious racial problems. And if you think there's racial problems in North America, you need to go visit south africa. You know, they're still not completely recovered from the apartheid era - and that's, I think, a dutch word meaning 'apart', and they basically had different races that could and couldn't vote. It was pretty serious. But, at the class, and in these assemblies we had, people - and they divide their races in really three groups there.

They've got the white, the colored, and then the black. The colored could be anything from indian to filipino and there's a lot of segregation that still goes on today among those three groups. But it was wonderful that when we had our evangelism training, when we had our rallies, the pastor said, 'we've never seen it like this. Such a beautiful co-mingling of all the people in the country coming together.' And so, that's something we're very thankful for. And we had people that were in our class and they - they said, 'I have never sat down next to a white person in my life.

' 'I have never sat down next to a black person in my life.' And yet they came together for the evangelism training. There was a wonderful spirit there. Next slide. And then - just - I'd never been to healdberg college - did I say that right? Helderberg college - and we had a good program there and they showed us the campus and invited us back again. Next slide.

Oh, and we did some amazing facts videotaping while we were there. Some of our crew flew out and taped some of the programs and one of the things we did is we went to a lion park and we did an amazing fact about lions. And this is the sign that you see when you go in. And while we were taping there, they let me pet these lions, they're like three months old and, believe it or not, they are pretty rowdy and while - you see, there's one lion that's behind jared there, holding the microphone, the microphone is a big furry thing and the lions became very interested in that. They had to take the fur off the microphone - it's a windscreen - and one of those lions attacked Karen.

Now, attacked might be an overstatement but he was probably being playful, but he scratched and he bit her. And I really wanted to put on Facebook: mrs. Batchelor attacked by lion in africa, but she wouldn't let me do it. I thought that would really have gone far - headlines like that, you know? (Laughter) but yeah, she did, she got scratched and bruised. And so we taped some - then we went - our last Sabbath - we did some other - you know, we're just making it very short, to just give you an overview.

The last Sabbath we went to the largest adventist arena in the country, which was at sedavin, outside of johannesburg. And, again, over 4,000 people came. It was just absolutely packed. A lot of folks there watch the programs. They're members of our Sabbath school class and so, I tell you what: I want you to wave at them right now.

I told them, 'when we get home we'll wave at you.' So, okay, we know you're watching there in south africa. God bless you and thank you for being part of our class. So - and that's just one more picture of the same Sabbath. We had great meetings - and they stayed all day long. After church - we thought they'd go home after lunch, but they came back again.

And, again, it was a wonderful co-mingling of the people from all over the country - came together because of the Word of God and Jesus. Alright, we want to turn our attention to our lesson. We are dealing, today, with the last lesson in our quarterly. We've been talking about rebellion and redemption and the lesson today is on redemption. Before we get to that, it obviously stands to reason we are starting with our new quarterly's lesson.

I'm really looking forward to this. It's the book of Matthew. We're going to be going through the book of Matthew in thirteen lessons and, following our class here, those who are regular, local attendees, we do have some lessons for you, so you're ready for next week. Those of you who are visiting, we are three weeks ahead of where your church probably is, because of the recording, and I'm sure you'll have those available for you at your church. To our lesson.

And now, we have a memory verse and the memory verse comes to us from Revelation 21, verse 4 - I think most of us probably know this by heart, but why don't you say it with me? Revelation 21, verse 4. You ready? "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." We are all looking forward to that day, amen? We're going to be dealing, in particular now, in this last lesson, with the last three chapters in Revelation. Talking about Revelation chapters 20, 21, and 22. And so turn with me in your Bible to Revelation chapter 20 and this is a chapter that deals, to a large extent, with something we call the millennium, or the thousand years.

Now, the word millennium does not appear in the Bible. Millennium is a composite of two latin words mille and annum - simply means 'a thousand years'. And so the teaching of the millennium is in the Bible. And let's go ahead and read the first few verses here. We're going to be talking about the binding of satan.

"Then I saw an angel" - 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. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the devil and satan," - now I just want to pause here. When people say 'serpent' in the Bible, we say, 'that's a symbol for the devil.' Do we have biblical support that the serpent represents the devil? Here's one verse that also says this in Revelation 12, the devil, satan, serpent, dragon - it's all one - "the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the devil and satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 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." And we'll get to that. First, let's talk about the thousand years.

A number of Bible theologians and scholars, over time - martin luther being one of them - have believed that history would be summarized in a 7,000-year section. That, if you go back to the time of creation and you add up the ages in the Bible, the birth or creation of adam was some time around 4,000 b.c. Now, no one knows exactly - Amazing Facts developed a timeline a few years ago, where we went to the best scholars in our church and the Bible research institute and tried to get the dates as close as we could. And we put question Marks there because you can't be exact, but approximately 4,000 b.c. Now we're living in 2016.

That comes to about 6,000 years and then we're going to live and reign with Christ for one thousand years - like a thousand-year Sabbath. God often works on a principle of six days you work, one day you rest - 'a day with the Lord is like a thousand years; a thousand years like a day'. G. Edward reid wrote a good book called even at the door, where he talks about this theory and he gives a lot of Scripture for it, and I think there's something to it. I don't think it's going to be much longer before the Lord comes.

And when we get to heaven, and we go into the earth made new, we'll look back and see that God, sort of, wrapped it all up in a 7,000-year cycle - six days sowing the seed of the Gospel, one day resting - a day with the Lord like a thousand years. By the way, Peter, when he says that in 2 Peter chapter 3, he's quoting psalm 84, psalm 91, similar verses that talk about that. So satan is bound for a thousand years and what does it mean, 'the binding of satan'? I want to read Mark 3, verses 26 and 27. Jesus says, "and if satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. No one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man.

And then he will plunder his house." Satan has had people that are in his house of bondage for many years. By the way, when Jesus comes it's a time of jubilee. You could have a Hebrew servant for six years - at the end, they went free. You'll find a number of scenarios like that in the Bible. You've got to bind the strong man before you can plunder his house.

And it tells you, right there in that verse, about satan risen up against himself, implying there would be a time when satan would be bound and the captives would be set free. You can also read where satan does binding. A lot of times satan tried to bind God's people and bind the truth. Luke 13:15, "the Lord then answered him and said, 'hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom satan has bound - think of it - for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?'" She had been bound with an affliction. She was bent over.

So Jesus says the devil is seeking to bind God's people. He binds them with sickness and he binds them literally. By the way, the devil tried to bind God's messengers so he could bind the truth. He wanted to bind the word of God to prevent it from going forth. You can read at the end of acts chapter 12, the devil starts out trying to bind Peter.

James is killed. But at the end of chapter 12 it says, 'the Word of God grew and multiplied.' Here's another example, acts 21:33, "then the commander came near and took him," - Paul - "and commanded him to be bound with two chains;" - there you have it again - one on the right and one on the left. But you read where Paul responds in 2 Timothy 2:9, "for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the Word of God is not chained." When the devil tried to bind the Word of God by binding Paul, what was the result? Paul did more writing in jail than he did any other time. Someone said that half of Paul's letters were written from prison. And so, did the devil succeed in binding the Word of God? No, but the devil is going to be bound and let's talk about his influence being bound.

If you read in Jude 6 it says, "the angels" - there's only one verse - one chapter in Jude - Jude 6 - "and the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, he has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;" - again, they are bound in chains, waiting for judgment. Now, we are going to find out more about where they're bound. Let me just tell you, when you talk about the millennium, there are about five or six different views. I was reviewing the views last night. You've got post-millennialists, pre-millennialists, and amillennialists and all these different views on the millennium.

There's like five or six different views - and the view of some churches is 'don't read Revelation, it'll confuse you.' That's their view. People wonder where do you put this? Now everyone agrees there's a period of time where we live and reign with Christ. Folks are wondering, 'what is this bottomless pit where satan is bound? And 'where do we live and reign with Christ? Is it on earth? Is it in heaven? Is it before the second coming? Is it after the rapture?' And they divide it up in those different segments. First, let's talk about what is the bottomless pit? What do you think of when someone says 'bottomless pit'? Some would think, 'maybe it's a wormhole in space where satan is bound.' No, the - that word that is translated 'bottomless pit' is an unfortunate translation. the King James translators, when they got to the end of the Bible, wanted to be creative.

The word is abussos and you find that word other places in the new testament. I'll give you an example. If you look in Luke 8:30 - remember the demon-possessed man - he's got a legion of demons and the demons start to talk to Jesus and they say, 'don't cast us into the abussos' - the deep - the nothingness - 'put us into the herd of swine.' So Christ was preparing to cast them out. And when he was going to cast them out of the man, they had nobody to possess or manipulate. That was called the abussos - the nothingness.

Now - and you can read that - Jesus said, 'what is your name? They said, 'legion' because many demons had entered him and they begged him he would not command them to go out into the abyss. Same exact word as Revelation 20 - abussos - why they didn't say 'bottomless pit' there, or why they said 'bottomless pit' in Revelation 20, all the translators have passed away, who knows? But it's talking about the earth. Now let me give you some evidence for that. First, where do we live and reign with Christ? Some of my charismatic friends, they believe that the secret rapture takes place next on the scheme - the timeline - and then we go to heaven with Jesus for seven years, while there's seven years of tribulation down here. Then, at the end of the seven years of tribulation, Jesus comes back with the saints and he sets up an earthly kingdom in Israel where he and the saved reign over the wicked for a thousand years.

Now, who here wants to reign over the wicked? And wouldn't that really be a strange world to live in, where the saved - eternal life and eternal bodies - and you're ruling over the wicked who are still dying and having normal lives and it's just sort of the co-mingling the eternal world with the carnal world. It just doesn't make any sense. What direction do we go when Jesus comes? Now someone get ready to read for me 1 Thessalonians 4:16, okay? I want to read John 14:1 through 4. Most of you know this verse, "let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.

I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know." So, Christ is saying - you stop me if I don't get it right - Jesus said, 'I'm going - I'm going away from the planet to my father's place, paradise, to prepare a place for you and I'll come back and I'll get you to receive you unto myself that where I am you might be' - I'm taking you with me, away from this world to my Father's house. So what direction do we go when Jesus comes? Up. We go up.

Alright, go ahead, read the next verse for us. In 1 Thessalonians 4. "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. 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." Alright, it's very clear: when the Lord comes again, we're going to remain with him. What direction do we go when Jesus comes? First of all, it says the dead rise - they're going up. We who are alive will be caught up together with him so they have risen to Christ and we're, then, going to go up with them and be with the Lord. He says, 'I'm taking you to where I was - my Father's house.' We are leaving the planet when Jesus comes. So when it says we live and reign with Christ, are we reigning on earth? Let me give you some other verses why I believe that that's not correct.

There's going to be a time in the future when nobody is alive on earth. Now once you establish that there's a point in prophecy where it says there's no man alive on earth, all the other schemes don't work anymore because, with the typical, you know, the hal lindsey scheme that you see where you've got the tribulation people are on earth. At the end of the tribulation Jesus comes down and he sets up his millennial reign and then after the thousand years, all the wicked are destroyed. There's always a population alive on earth. But the Bible describes a time when the earth is vacated.

There is nobody alive. Here's some verses: Isaiah 24:3, "the land shall be utterly emptied and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken tHis Word." Jeremiah 25:33, "and at that day the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground." Why is there nobody to mourn them or bury them or gather them? There's nobody alive. He says he'll make the whole earth empty - utterly desolate. Let me give you another one: Jeremiah 4:23, "I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void;" - now I want to stop right there. If Jeremiah has seen the earth without form and void, is he looking back in time to creation or is he looking forward? When you first read it, 'in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was without form and void.

' And, by the way, those terms - without form and void - come from - it's interesting Hebrew words - tohuw and bohuw - so when you read that in Hebrew, it almost sounds like a play on words - 'the earth was tohuw bohuw.' (Laughter) that's what it's saying. And those words - tohuw means 'formlessness confusion'; bohuw means 'void, empty, waste'. The earth is a void, empty, formless, confused, waste. That's what that means. Now, when you read in Jeremiah chapter 4 - going back there again - "I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

" - Sounds like creation - "I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man," - not 'few men', there's 'no man' - "and all the birds of the heavens were fled." Now, in order for it to be the birds fled, it means they were there and they left. "I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness," - it was once fruitful, but now it's become devoid of life and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger." - What broke down the cities? The presence of the Lord. So when Jesus comes it's creation in reverse. Isn't he going to make a new heaven and a new earth? You ever see a potter and he tries to make something on the wheel and it doesn't work right and he takes the clay and he just mashes it into a formless lump again and starts over? God is going to do that with the planet - without form, dark, void - and things are going to be destroyed.

The elements'll melt with fervent heat. Cities are broken down. Birds of heaven are fled. There's no man. So there is a point when there's, obviously, no life on earth.

By the way, I just started reading you that verse - Peter says in 2 Peter 3:10, "but the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens... Shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works there are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved," - how much life can be on earth under that condition? This - this evangelical, you know, 'left behind' scheme that there's always something going on - always people living here on earth, doesn't fit with the Bible teaching. The Bible says that when Christ comes the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of his coming. There's desolation.

There is no man. The slain of the Lord are from one end of the earth to the other. No one to lament or mourn or bury them. You see how it has to fit that way? So where is satan bound? Well, when Jesus told those devils to come out of the man, they called it an abussos because they had nobody to possess or manipulate or tempt. For one thousand years satan is bound by circumstances, forced to remain on this planet where he has nobody to tempt or manipulate.

He is bound. He has nothing to do. Alright, let's see here - job - here's just one more example - job 12:24 - it says, "he takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless wilderness." That, again, is that word 'tohuw' talking about formless confusion. So for one thousand years satan is bound on earth and what are we doing in heaven during the one thousand years? Someone's going to read 1 Corinthians 4:5 in just a moment, okay? I'm going to read 1 Corinthians 6:2. Paul says here, "do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?" Paul is chastising a church there in corinth because they couldn't take care of judging something that really was obvious needed attention and he says, 'don't you know the saints will judge the world?' Now how is it that we judge the world? First of all, how does it make you feel that Paul says people are going to be judging people? What's the most commonly quoted verse? It's not John 3:16.

That's one of the best-loved verses, but the most commonly quoted verse is actually 'judge not' because all the unbelievers in the world quote that one. They all know it. 'You're judging me. Don't judge me. Judge not lest you be judged.

' But the Bible says, 'don't you know the saints will judge the world?' Now when Jesus comes, does the Lord already know who's saved and who's lost? So how could we be participating in judgment if the Lord has already determined who's saved and who's lost? You know, there's different phases of judgment. Sometimes a judge will get a jury together and they'll say 'guilty or not guilty?' And they'll say, 'guilty'. And the judge says, 'okay, we'll convene for another judgement in three weeks to determine punishment.' First we decide whether they're guilty or innocent, then we have another judgment, completely different, that is determining what the sentence is. When Jesus comes, the guilt or innocence is already determined, but there's going to be a time when the wicked are judged - great white throne judgment - and they receive their sentence at the end of the one thousand years - this great white throne judgment where all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. We will have a part in determining, evidently, the degree of punishment - that it is just.

Let me read you a quote from the book Great Controversy, page , "in union with Christ they" - the saints - "judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book" - the Bible - "and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion with which the wicked must suffer is meted out according to their works and is recorded against their names in the book of death." Which is obviously different from the book of life. Read for us, please, 1 Corinthians 4, verse 5. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God.

" Alright. During the one thousand years - first of all, let's just imagine for a moment the Lord comes, the wicked are destroyed, the wicked living are killed at the millennium, the wicked who are dead stay dead, the dead in Christ rise, the believers are caught up to meet them, all the saved are taken to heaven, all the lost are on the earth. We're going to get to heaven and where does it say God wipes away all tears? Revelation 20 or 21? 21. 21. Where is the millennium? Revelation 20 - Revelation 20 there may be some sadness.

If you get to the Kingdom and people that you knew and loved on earth - friends, family - are not there, are you just going to smile and sing 'hallelujah' like an idiot that has no feelings? Or is there going to be - I didn't mean to be derogatory, but I mean, you know what I'm talking about. Is God removing all natural affection? The wiping away of the tears comes later. People say, 'oh, there can't be sadness in heaven.' Where did they get that idea? When Jesus was on the cross, were the angels singing? No. No, there is sadness in heaven. There was sadness at the rebellion - at the fall.

And so there may be some sorrow. I think even the redeemed, when we get to heaven and we realize all we have, we're going to think, 'I wish I'd done more.' We may have some regrets. Even the saved, at first, may have some regrets and think, 'if I'd only known. I wish I hadn't wasted so much time. God is good.

I'm so glad to be here. He's shown me mercy. But if I had only known. Oh, the times I've wasted or the times I was a bad influence.' We'll have thoughts. Don't - don't misunderstand me.

The overwhelming joy and glory of the place will eclipse everything that is sad, but it's not like we're going to have no feelings in heaven. And so we're going to say, 'I don't understand' - to the angel - 'uncle harvey is the one who led me to the Lord and he was a head elder and he was such a Godly man. I don't see him anywhere. What happened?' And the angels are going to say, 'well, come with us. We've got the digital archives - 3-d archives - and we're going to look at uncle harvey and you're going to - see uncle harvey? He had something in his life.

Some sin he refused to let go of, that he hid from everybody else, but you can't hide from God. And God did everything he could to bring him to repentance - to convict him - to get him to turn - patient with him. But he refused and God couldn't save him.' And we'll see God did everything he could. And we'll say, 'I trust God. I'm not going to be angry because uncle harvey's not here.

' See what I'm saying? We're going to have a thousand years to ask questions. I just picked one scenario. There'll be a lot of scenarios. We'll not only be asking questions about people who may be missing; there may be some people we see in heaven and think, 'how in the world did they rate getting here?' You know, we just can't imagine why would napoleon be here? All the terrible things napoleon did - you know, the rumor is that napoleon had remorse and came to the Lord at the end of his life. That's a rumor I've heard - when he was a prisoner on, what is it - elba island.

Wouldn't it be something to see that this man who had so many died because of his wars, in heaven? And we'll say, 'what's he doing here?' And so we're going to have some surprises. I think you've probably heard me say before, can you imagine the expression on stephen's face when he gets to heaven and he sees Paul being carried on people's shoulders? The angels are celebrating and stephen's going to - 'wait a second, you guys made a mistake. What's he doing here?' And the angel's going to say, 'come here, stephen, we'll show you what happened. This guy who was killing Christians and helped execute you, you prayed for him before you died and said, 'Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.' God heard your prayer. He was converted.

He became one of the greatest new testament teachers and writers.' 'Oh, well glad he's here.' You see? So there'll be a lot of questions - a thousand years worth of questions. So we live and reign with Christ and part of the judgment - let me read this to you - Revelation :4, "who shall not fear you, o Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before you, for your judgments have been manifested." Now, what does manifest mean? Revealed. Part of what's happening - it's not all, but part of what's happening during the one thousand-year millennial judgment is we are evaluating the judgments of God. You ever heard someone use the expression 'they've got good judgment'? Does that mean they're walking through their day going, 'guilty - innocent - guilty - innocent'? So judgment doesn't always mean that you're pronouncing sentence.

In fact, Jesus said, 'when you judge use righteous judgment.' We always hear about 'don't judge' but Jesus actually said you should judge. And he said, 'when you judge, use righteous judgment.' We're going to have to use the judgment that God has given us in our own individual personalities and look at what has happened because God wants us to be at peace with him. He wants us to trust him through eternity. We always talk and hear about politicians saying, 'my government is going to be the most transparent government. We're not going to do anything cloak and dagger.

Everything is going to be open. You got a question, open the books. You can look at whatever you want.' And we haven't really run into a government like that yet. But God is going to do that. Yes.

He is going to say, 'here are the books.' You get to look. And you might be wondering - you know that verse that says, 'those things done in secret will be proclaimed from the housetops'? When does that happen? Everybody - if your sins are not under the blood of the lamb, they are going to be available for public access during the millennium. It kind of makes you shudder, doesn't it? We all want our sins under the blood, don't we? Because it says that everything's going to be naked and open at that time and those things done in secret will be plainly revealed. And so this is during that millennial judgment. Alright, then we've got the final judgment.

Now, if you look in Revelation chapter 20 - go to chapter 21 - well, you know, I want to read something else to you real quick. If you look in - go to verse 6 - Revelation 20, verse 6 - well, verse 5, "but the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished...blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection." - The dead in Christ rise when? First. First. So if the dead in Christ rise first, who are the rest of the dead? Those that are not dead in Christ are the ones who are dead without Christ - they're the lost - the wicked. Is that right? It says, "over such the second death has no power," - the dead in Christ have nothing to worry about the second death - "but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

" So we're living with and reigning with Christ in the Kingdom because when he comes the dead in Christ rise - we go up. But, verse 7, "now when the thousand years have expired, satan will be released from his prison 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. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city." - They cover the earth like a cloud - "and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them." Who are gog and magog? They're the wicked. Now I've heard some very interesting creative sermons before where I've heard some evangelical pastors that have said, 'during the one thousand years the righteous are living and reigning with Christ. Then gog, which is the chinese and magog, which comes from meshek - russia - moscow - are all going to get together and attack Israel in the valley of megiddo.

' Any of you heard this before? Nothing of the sort. There's nothing in the Bible to support gog and magog are china and russia. That is - pardon me, but that's just hallucinations. It's not even a vision, it's just a hallucination. In the old testament you can look in Genesis chapter 10 - it talks about the nations that populated the world and some nations that were - they were north of Israel - you've got magog, and that means 'the children of gog'.

Gog, they were enemies of God's people. They fought against God's people. They represented a large group of people and magog means 'from the matrix' or those who came out of gog. So it's basically the wicked and the children of the wicked, like Babylon and her daughters, like jezebel and athalia, like herodias and salome. These - the wicked and their descendents.

You've got Abraham and his seed; you've got the wicked and their seed. You've got the woman - the dragon makes war with the woman and the remnant of her seed - so it talks about the woman and her seed. It's simply saying, 'gog and the seed of gog. That's all that means. They represent all the wicked.

Now, if you want to know about that, to understand Revelation go to the old testament. Turn to Ezekiel. If you look in Ezekiel chapter 38 it says, for instance, "you will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you." So it's not talking about one nation, gog simply represents many peoples that will make war on the city of God. They'll think they can attack the city of God. They come like a storm covering the land.

And it says - you go to verse 22 of Ezekiel 38 - someone's going to read for me Matthew 7:22. Who has that? Okay, just a moment. In Ezekiel 22 - or 38, verse 22, "and I will bring him to judgment with the pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone." This is looking forward. Ezekiel is looking forward to this battle that you've found. Now, you can look in verse 8 of Revelation 20.

It says satan goes "out to deceive the nations that are in the four corners of the earth, gog and magog" - it tells you who they are - all the wicked that cover the earth. Gog and magog is a symbolic name. Now, in the Bible you'll find most of the names are symbolic. When it talks, in Revelation 2 and 3, about balaam and jezebel, is it literal balaam and jezebel, or do they represent people like jezebel and balaam? When it talks about apollyon and when it talks about the dragon, it's a symbolic name for the devil. And you look at all the names it gives there and they're usually symbols - gog and magog.

It's not that ancient nation, it's talking about the enemies of God's people and many people with him - satan is going to rally all the lost who are resurrected. Let me just try and paint it for you in a picture. At the end of the one thousand years, this investigative - or this curiosity judgment is over. the Lord, then, will signal the time has come. The new Jerusalem descends from God out of heaven.

Before it settles - and that city is 375 miles on each side - before it settles, Christ comes out of the city. He comes down - his feet touch the earth and, almost like a hypodermic needle with adrenalin in it, it brings to life all the wicked who have ever lived all through time. And they don't come out of their bodies - out of their graves with glorified new bodies. the Lord somehow patches them together again so they're alive, much like they died, just so they're aware of what's going on - and they can't die. I heard a pastor give a creative sermon about zombies - saying the Bible talks about zombies - and this is the time when there are going to be people on the earth that can't die, that are going to be put together like the living dead, and I thought that was very interesting.

That's - all the wicked are raised and when the devil sees this vast army and in the throng, I mean, just think about who's going to be there - he'll have, probably, alexander the great, julius caesar, and adolf hitler and, you know, you take all the generals through history - charlemagne - and most of them are probably lost - and they are going to bend all of their attention - he's going to say, 'that was my city.' Satan's a powerful angel. 'We can take it back!' - It's their only hope. And he rallies them to this one desperate, futile attack on the city of God. Now this is an interesting point in history when everybody meets again and - but not everybody is going to be saved. Why don't you read for us that next verse there in Matthew chapter 7? "Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!'" So there's this large group who think they're saved.

They say, 'Lord, Lord' - they know his name, but they're not. And he says, 'depart from me, you who practice lawlessness' - you're without the law. the Lord - if you go to Matthew 25, he tells a parable - now, let me just read this to you, verses 31 and 32, "when The Son of man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats." This is what that parable is talking about. This is the time, at the end of the 1,000 years, when Christ makes a separation - a physical separation.

All of the saved who have ever lived are in the new Jerusalem. All of the lost who have ever lived are separated - they're on the outside. And some on the outside are saying, 'Lord, we don't understand. We thought...' - And he said, 'depart from me, ye who work iniquity.' And they think, 'our only hope is to listen to lucifer who's not going to say he's the devil, he'll say, 'no, I'm the real prince who deserves that city. Christ's an imposter.

This is our last chance.' Lucifer - hope springs eternal - he's got great hope because he sees - where's the majority, in the city or outside the city? Outside. 'Few there be that find it - broad is the way that leads to destruction.' Many go down that road and so, unfortunately, the majority are on the outside and they are going to be billions - literally billions - a waving, moving, swarming sea of humanity and the devil is going to give all of his strength and spirit and power to them that he can and they're going to try to somehow mobilize. How long this period is I don't know. I don't know if they're going to have time to make, you know, nuclear weapons or what they're going to do. They're going to probably forge some kind of weapons, but they're going to take whatever resources they've got and try to prepare for this asSault on the city of God.

And just before they're ready to launch that asSault, Christ will be exalted above the city on a white throne, in the glory of The Father, and the Holy Spirit present and he will cause every knee to bow - you know that story - or that verse? It says, 'every tongue will confess. Every knee will bow before me.' That'll be the moment when everybody in the city, outside the city, good angels, fallen angels - everybody's there. No matter what happens between now and then, you and I will all meet again someday. Hopefully we're all in the city together, amen? Amen. But whether we are, know we will all meet again together someday.

There's going to be a time where those who have been persecuted - that are believers in the city - will get to look out of the city and they will see with eyes that are enhanced by the Holy Spirit, people that have persecuted them. The roman soldiers and others who persecuted Jesus, they will see that he's The Son of man. Those who persecuted Paul, who snarled at his steps all along through his ministry, there's going to be a great reckoning time. How long that'll last, I don't know. The Bible says satan is loosed for a season.

That's the same term that's used when it says Moses refused to be called The Son of pharaoh but, instead, chose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. There a season is like a generation. I don't know how long it'll be. And, finally though, when they're prepared to launch their futile attack, there's this great white throne judgment. Now, often, when we think of the great white throne judgment, we picture a time when you've got this line that stretches halfway around the planet - everybody's lined up - Jesus is sitting on his throne, the books are open, one person is in the limelight - the spotlight shines on them - then, 'okay, let's see what's going on.

' And they all study the books - 'guilty - innocent' - do you know how long that would take? Can the Lord save a thousand people one day, like he did at pentecost? Yes. By speaking to every heart individually? Yes. That's kind of what I think's going to happen in the white throne judgment. Every person will realize and believe that it's all - the whole world is looking at what they're doing - but he's going to judge millions at a time and he'll have a panorama in the sky that will show their lives and it will show the life of Jesus and everything that he did to save them and everything's going to be clear. And finally, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, including lucifer.

And then, after that moment, in one desperate act, he still tries to rally them to take the city, but they turn on him instead. They realize, at that point, it's futile. And at that point, the Bible says God rains fire. Let's read it here. We just read this about gog and magog - verse 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. 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." And, of course, we know that means that they are burnt up from eon to eon or until they are no more. And then it talks about the great white throne and it gets into that judgment. So, I want to end on a happy note and I only have a minute or two.

It talks about a new heaven and a new earth - Revelation 21, verse 1 - "I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away." You find that phrase mentioned, also, in 2 Peter 3, verse 13, "nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." Blessed are the meek - they will do what? Inherit the earth. Inherit the earth. What kind of earth? The new earth. The one that we have today or a new heaven? A new earth? God made everything perfect in the beginning. He'll restore that.

You can read in Isaiah 65, 'for behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth.' And this one - it says there are no more tears - Revelation - we read this in our - our earlier verse - 'I heard a voice from heaven say, 'and behold, the tabernacle of God is with men. He will dwell with them. They will be his people. God himself will be with them and be their God and God'll wipe away every tear from their eyes.' Similar verse in Isaiah 25:8, "he will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of his people he will take away..." And the most wonderful thing, then, is God himself lives with us. It says they will see his face.

You know, in the old testament God said to Moses in Exodus 33, 'no man can see my face and live.' Because we have sin. But at that point, our sins are washed away, we are righteous in his sight, and we will be able to see him. It says blessed are the pure in heart for what will they see? God. They will see God - and I want to be in that city and have my tears washed away and see God face to face. Amen? Amen.

It says the pure in heart will have that. We need to let him purify our hearts, amen? Thank you for studying with us, friends, I want to remind you that next week we'll begin our study in the book of Matthew. And our gift - that I never mentioned today - we have a - or Pastor Ross mentioned it - rendezvous in space by Joe Crews. We'll send you a free copy. We hope you'll go ahead and read this and then share it with a friend.

It's offer #151 and you call the number you see on the screen. God bless you and we'll look forward to studying God's Word together next week. Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming, visit the Amazing Facts media library at 'aftv.org'. At 'aftv.org' you can enjoy video and audio presentations as well as printed material all free of charge, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, right from your computer or mobile device. Visit 'aftv.

org'. Have you ever worried that you don't have enough time in your days? Or you can add another day to your life? Well, perhaps there is a way for you to add another whole day to your existence. Watch how easy it is. I just stepped into yesterday. No, I'm not talking about going back to the future or back in history; I happen to be standing here in taveuni, fiji, one of the only places in the world where the international meridian dateline runs through a piece of land.

People have not always been able to play with time this way. Back in 1878, sir sandford fleming, a canadian, he recommended to the science community of the world that the globe be divided in 24 even segments, each separated by 15 degrees of longitude, that would establish the international time system. In 1884, there was a prime meridian conference held in Washington, d.c., To standardize time and select a point for the prime meridian, which would be zero degrees on the globe. It ended up being greenwich, england, but that's not where we are. We are on the polar opposite side of the planet right now, but we're going to step into the future - want to come? And look at that, the Lord is still with us, even here.

He'll continue to take care of you, friends, wherever you go. Friends, do you sometimes worry about the future? What will you eat? Will you have a home? Are you going to still have your job? What will you wear? Jesus tells us in Matthew chapter 6, verses 25 through 34, 'don't take thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow will take thought for the things of itself.' He tells us that he feeds the birds and he clothes the flowers - he'll take care of us. We know that God'll watch over us, forgives the past, he promises to be with us in the present, and he will continue to lead us in the future - but you've just got to give yourself to him. I invite you to do that right now. For life-changing Christian resources, visit afbookstore.com or call 1-800-538-7275.

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