The Great Judgment Day

The Great Judgment Day

Lesson: 10
What events mark the beginning of the millennium and the great judgment day?
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Jëan Ross: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Again, welcome to "Prophecy Encounter," coming to you live from Sanford, Florida. I'd like to warmly welcome our audience here. Good to see you again this evening. We've been studying through some very important prophecy over the past few nights, and this is the final presentation in this special prophecy series. I'd like to also welcome those joining us across the country and around the world. Thank you for tuning in and being a part of this very important Bible study experience. And once again, we are just delighted that Pastor Doug Batchelor, president and Speaker of "Amazing Facts" is leading us in our study. So why don't you join me as we warmly welcome Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Doug Batchelor: Thank you Pastor Ross. Welcome once again, friends. Very thankful to have each of you here for our prophecy encounter meetings. I want to welcome our friends who are watching on television, or on the Internet, and we're glad that you joined us. In our presentation this evening, we're going to be talking about, as Pastor Ross shared, the great judgment day, and I remember the story about a young pastor that got his first assignment to a country church. And the first Sunday, he was scheduled to preach. The weather was very bad, and it was cold, and rainy, and stormy, and snow came. And when he got to the church and he got the fire started, only one farmer showed up. But the young man had been preparing, and he wanted to make a good impression. So he started to preach. And he preached for 20 minutes, and then he preached for half an hour. Then he preached for 60 minutes, then he preached for 90 minutes, and the farmer patiently sat there and said, "Amen, amen." And then after he had his closing prayer, he ran back to the door to greet the only attendee, and the farmer said, "Thank you very much, young man. But let me give you a tip." He said, "When sundown comes and the cows come in from the field, and I feed them their hay," he said, "If only one cow comes in, I don't give them the whole bale." Well tonight, friends, I have to give you the whole bale because it's the last program, and there's a lot of things to cover.

Let's begin with a little amazing fact from history. I don't know how many of you have heard of Baron Fabian von Schlabrendorff? His whole name was Fabian Ludwig George Adolf Kurt von Schlabrendorff. How do you like to be his mother calling him when you're angry? Probably called him Butch. He was born in Germany, in 1907, and trained as a lawyer, a very bright individual. And when the war was getting ready to break out, he was drafted, but because he was so bright and performed well, he was rapidly promoted. Well, it didn't take him very long to realize that Adolf Hitler was crazy, destroying Europe, not to mention Germany. So he joined the resistance. Schlabrendorff was the one who, when Hitler came to visit an army base in Germany, he smuggled a time bomb onto Hitler's plane. It was supposed to blow up and get rid of that cruel dictator, but it failed. Eventually, they traced it back to him, he was arrested, he was tortured, he never did talk and give up any of the people that were a part of the resistance, and finally, they set a trial for him. He was brought into the court room. This was now 1945, by the time it got to his trial, and courthouse was full, judges, jury, they all found him guilty of high treason, and he was sentenced to be killed by firing squad. Because of the war effort, they didn't put you on death row, and you did not have appeals. They were marching him out of the courtroom to a wall where he was going to be executed. When the air raid sirens went off, and one of the allied bombers scored a direct hit on the courthouse. Everybody in the courthouse was killed except Schlabrendorff who escaped. He later was recaptured and they put him in the Dachau prisoner of war camp, but it wasn't long before the allies came, and he survived. And guess what? He became a leading judge in Germany, the one who was being tried, what a reversal of fortunes, who had been condemned, ended up being the judge, and he lived till 1980.

Makes me think about when Jesus stood before Caiaphas the high priest and Pontius Pilot, and there they were, the church and the state condemning Him, and He said, "Hereafter, you will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of Heaven." Talk about a big surprise. When they come out of their graves and they see the one they were judging is now the judge of the universe.

The Bible says, "We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." Now, we're going to be looking at several chapters in the Bible, principally chapter 20 of Revelation that talks about this great judgment day, and it also talks about the Millennium. It begins--and if you have your Bibles, you might want to turn to chapter 20 of Revelation. Revelation 20, verse 1, "Then I saw an angel coming down from Heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit. And a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon. That old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan." There you have it again, same thing you see in Revelation 12, has his titles, "And bound him a thousand years."

So, this one-thousand year period you hear referenced often, is usually called the Millennium. The word Millennium is simply, it's a composite Latin word, milli, a thousand; annum, years. It's talking about a thousand-year period. You principally find this in Revelation, chapter 20. And it goes on to say, if you go in Revelation, chapter 20, verse 4, it says, "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was committed to them." And so, there's this judgment that is given. In fact, if you look in Revelation, chapter 20, you'll find it talks about judgment several times there in the chapter. Go to verse 11. "And I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it from whom the face of the earth and heaven fled away, and there was no place found for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God. And the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged out of--by their works according to the things that are written in the books."

Now, you might be thinking, "Pastor Doug, I thought we were saved by faith? Why are we being judged by works?" Your works are evidence of whether your faith is real. So, yeah, you are saved by faith. And if you are saved by faith, Jesus said, "You'll know them by," their faith or by their fruit? The fruit will be different if your faith is real, amen? So, a lot of people are saying, "Lord, Lord," and their fruit is, you know, thorns, then maybe they really haven't got the new heart yet. All right, let's go through our questions, that'll be a springboard as we study this important subject of the great judgment day and the Millennium.

What events mark the beginning of the Millennium and the great judgment day? So, let's look at this timeline and the final events of prophecy. You read, for instance, in 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4, verse 6, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout. With the voice of the archangel and the trump of God," and it says that, "The dead in Christ will rise first." So, this 1000-year period begins with the coming of the Lord and a resurrection.

Now, in our study this evening, we're actually are going to be talking about four different groups of people. When Christ comes, you've got the good that are alive, or saved I should say, that are alive, and the evil that are alive. You've got the saved that are dead and the evil that are dead, the lost. Everybody who's ever lived falls into one of those categories. Is that right? You got the living and the dead, the good and the bad, and all of them are addressed in this study tonight. So this is relevant for everybody in one way or another. And it says, "They lived and reigned with Christ for 1000 years." Those who are resurrected, the dead in Christ rise. Those of us who are alive and remain, we're caught up, we meet the Lord in the air, and we live and reign with Christ. Now, where are we doing our living and reigning? This is a very important question. It actually came in earlier and I know that we'd cover it here.

Some churches teach that the 1000 years we spend here on Earth where the righteous are reigning over the wicked. We have eternal life, but they don't. So, I guess they're living, breeding, and dying. But we're immortal and we don't get married and have children. First of all, I don't know about you, but I don't want to reign over the wicked--and that Christ is here on Earth. And then the other group of Christians believe that we go up and we live and reign with Christ in glory during the 1000 years. Now, you remember when Jesus says in John, chapter 14, "I go to prepare a place for you," right? He's gone. "I will come again, receive you unto Myself, that where I am, you may be." He's taking us to where He's going, isn't that clear in the language?

So, what direction do we go when Jesus comes? We are caught up. So, when we live and reign with Him, it's in the New Jerusalem that later comes down. We're not living and reigning over the wicked here on Earth. It's not happening here, absolutely. So they live and reign with Christ for 1000 years, and then it tells you what happens to the rest of the dead in verse 5, 4 and 5. "The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection," in another words, the dead in Christ are the first resurrection. The rest of the dead, they don't live again till when? The end of the 1000 years. And so, here you've got the 1000-year period, that's like bookends. You can separate it with the first resurrection, righteous; second resurrection, wicked. And they're spread apart, and this fits with what Jesus always taught.

Number two: what else will happen at the first resurrection? It says, "We will not all sleep, but we'll all be changed in a moment, at the last trump," by the way, 1 Corinthians 15, verse 51, "Where the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised, the incorruptible, and we will be changed." This mortal--when are we changed? When Christ comes we'll be changed. "This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." And then it says in Philippians 3:21, Jesus when He comes will change our vile bodies. These bodies that have aches and pains, and they get old, and, "that it might be fashioned like unto His glorious body." Now, what kind of bodies do the redeemed have when they get a glorified body? Are they ghosts?

When Jesus rose from the dead, was He real? Did He try to emphasize that He was real? He said--they were just shocked. He said, "Touch Me, handle Me. A spirit does not have flesh and bone as you see that I have." And then he said, "I'm hungry. You got anything to eat?" Not only did He say that in the upper room, He met them by the sea. He said, "You guys got any food?" So, was it God's original plan that Adam and Eve eat? Do ghosts eat? None of my ghosts eat. Do your ghosts eat? No, ghosts don't-- And so--I don't believe in ghosts. And so, you know, ghosts don't eat. They're real people, and He's--but the thing is, we have spiritual bodies.

See, the best way I can explain it, Adam and Eve, before sin, they lived in four dimensions. You and I live in three dimensions now. They had glorified bodies that had no aches or pains, where they could see angels, then after sin the light went out, and something changed. They lost a whole dimension. The whole spiritual dimension of our being will be added again in these glorified, eternal bodies that we have. But they're real bodies. You learn later, when we're talking about Heaven, it says, they plant vineyards and they eat the fruit of them, they build houses, and they go forth, and we're doing real things. We're not just, you know, people in Heaven. I used to think we're up on clouds, we're fat, little cherubs, naked playing harps, and I thought, "Boy, I don't, you know, Hell sounds more interesting." When I was a teenager, that's what I thought. That's not it at all. We're going to be doing real things. So, we'll have what kind of body? Glorious bodies like his body.

Now, there was one thing wrong with Jesus' body, when He rose. Did He still have the scars in His hands? The Lord deliberately allowed that blemish to remain so that, through eternity, we would see the icon, the reminder of His sacrifice for us. So, sin will never rise up again the second time. We'll never forget what He did to save us. And it says, "Then that Wicked One," what happens to the wicked when the Lord comes? 2 Thessalonians 2:8, "Then that Wicked One will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the brightness of his coming and destroy with the breath of His mouth." It also goes on to say, Revelation 16, "And there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." And so, there's a great earth-shaking earthquake, and this is not, you know, three or four on the Richter scale. We have those in California, we just sort of shrug. This is talking about, you know, a major, you know, 15 on the Richter scale, mountains and islands are being swallowed up in this earthquake. And it says, "Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found." And it goes on to say that, "There was a great hail out of Heaven, every hail stone about the weight of a talent." You know what a talent is? It's about 75 pounds. And so, if you can imagine hail stones with that weight, that's pretty amazing. This is a picture here of hail stones that are as big as baseballs.

Goes on to say that Satan has been bound at this time in the bottomless pit. So what is this bottomless pit? The word that you find there for bottomless pit is "abussos." And abussos means--well, you've heard the word abyss. Abyss means, emptiness, void. You actually find that word describing the world before God created, in Genesis, in the Septuagint, the Greek version, it talks about the world was void and was without form. It was an abyss. It was dark. But, you know, bottomless pit is really, it's a word--I don't know why the King James translators chose that word, because you find the word other places in the Bible.

How many of you remember where it talks about this demoniac that was filled with devils? You read about it in Luke, chapter 8, Mark, chapter 5, "And they begged Jesus," when Jesus was casting them out of the men, "Please do not cast us out into," exact same word, "abussos." There, it's translated "deep," into the nothingness. See, when the devil has nobody to tempt, possess, manipulate, for him is nothingness because the devil does his work. He's a spirit, by possessing living creatures. Even the devils in this story said, "Please let us possess the pigs, something, but don't cast us into the nothingness." And so, when the devil is bound on this earth with nobody to tempt and manipulate, that is the bottomless pit. And the Bible talks about in Jude, I read it to you earlier, in verse 6, the devil's being chained in darkness, but then they'll have nobody to tempt because the righteous are raised, dead righteous. Those who are alive are transformed. We go up. The wicked who are alive are destroyed by the brightness of his coming. How many living people does that leave on earth? None. So, it describes this time when Satan is bound on this planet and he's got a thousand years, while we're living and reigning with Christ, to contemplate the results of his rebellion against God.

Now, the Lord is doing this deliberately, because He's going to demonstrate to the universe that He has no alternative but to do what He's going to do to Lucifer and his followers. So, Satan is down here with all his angels. They got to live with each other. They can all blame each other. They've got to be chasing all over the planet and say, "We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you." He's gotta put up with that for a thousand years. And so, they're in this dark prison during that time.

So, who is raised, question three, in the second resurrection, and when will it take place? It says in John, chapter 5, verse 28, Jesus speaking here, "All that are in graves will hear His voice and come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." How many resurrections? Two. You even read about that in Daniel, chapter 12. "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt."

You got two separate resurrections. They got a thousand years between them. And so, if, in the resurrection, you come forth and you still have wrinkles, you're in the wrong resurrection. That's not good. Because we get glorified bodies at that point, right? Revelation 20, verse 5, "The rest of the dead," meaning the wicked, "They don't live again until the thousand years are finished." I read this, but I want to re-emphasize it.

Now, before I move on, I've just got to stop and say something. Hopefully, you've caught it along the way, but there is a lot of confusion among Christians about what happens when a person dies. Walk through a Christian cemetery and a churchyard cemetery sometime, you will see the confusion. You read the tombstones, and one tombstone will say, "Our beloved mother resting in peace, waiting for the resurrection morning." Then you go two tombstones away, it'll say, "Our beloved mother walking on golden streets." So, is she resting and waiting for the resurrection, or is she singing with the angels and walking on golden streets? And you'll see all--people are very confused, they say, "Now, doesn't the Bible say to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord?" Yes. That means, if you're a believer, and you die, your next conscious thought, which will seem like the twinkling of an eye, will be the presence of the Lord and the resurrection of the righteous, but they're not there yet, because the resurrection hasn't happened, and the judgment hasn't happened. And so, a lot of Christians are confused about that.

The idea that people would be thrown in hellfire before the judgment, and pastors have kinda been forced and cornered into coming up with these strange interpretations that say, "Well, the Lord's got this Abraham's bosom, He's got this kinda limbo area where the spirits kinda hibernate, and you're conscious and you're just praising the Lord, but you don't have your body yet. And then after the thousand years, or during the resurrection you come and get your body," and I think, "Why don't--" you know, I'd just say, "Lord, let me sleep until the body part comes." And then--well, they just invented this whole thing. The Bible is really clear that the dead are sleeping until the resurrection, but they don't know they are sleeping.

There are about a dozen resurrections in the Bible, and Jesus raised several people. You've got resurrections in the Old Testament. Do you know, in every single resurrection in the Bible, none of those resurrected ever make one comment on what they experienced during death, none of them. Why? The dead know not anything according to Solomon. They are sleeping a dreamless sleep. They do not die and go right to Heaven. They do not die and go right to Hell. So, when someone says, you know, "I'm so thankful for my grandma, because her next thought is a resurrection." That's true, she's not there yet though, because you and I live in a dimension of time. You realize, God is not confined to time. God can go into the future. He can go into the past. But as far as the time we live in, they're not there yet.

So the idea that your loved ones are in Heaven spying on you, or if they're lost, they're suffering in the lake of fire, that comes from Paganism. That's not--let me give you some verses on that. Go with me to 1 Corinthians, chapter 15:21, 1 Corinthians 15:21. "For since by a man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But each one in his own order." Here's the order, very plain, "Christ, the firstfruits; afterward, those who are Christ's at His coming." When are they made alive? At His coming, which means before His coming, they are not alive. And if you're not alive, you're dead. The Bible doesn't have an in between. And so, people are not getting their rewards before the resurrection and the judgment. We got a whole study on that. I wish I had more time to talk about it.

What will the condition of the Earth be left in during the 1000 years? What's it look like down here? Many of us have heard the popular left-behind scenario of final events where the righteous are secretly raptured, life continues to go on here on Earth. There is a hundred and forty-four thousand literal Jews that are converted, that are preaching everywhere. The seven last plagues fall, some people may still be converted at the end of that seven-year of tribulation, then Jesus comes back down here on earth with the righteous, and we live and reign down here together for a thousand years, and then the wicked are destroyed at the end of that one thousand years, which really puts the destruction of the wicked another thousand years beyond the coming of the Lord.

In that scenario, is there ever a time when the Earth is vacant? There's always something going on down here. But if you read in 2 Peter, chapter 3, it says, "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens pass away with a great noise. The elements melt with fervent heat. The earth and the things that are in it are burned up."

So what's the world going to look like during that time? And you look at this verse here, Isaiah 24, "Behold, the Lord makes the earth empty," nobody here. "He makes it waste." "Behold the Lord the earth utterly empty, He turns it upside down. The earth is utterly broken down." This is a picture of some lava. Earlier this year, I was speaking in the Big Island of Hawaii, and the volcano is active. And so, some of the local members and I, we went--you can walk and hike, ride a bike 10 miles out to the volcano and you can see the ground opening up, and the hot lava pouring out of the ground. And I took some pictures there because it's just miles and miles of wasteland, I thought, "This is what the world is going to look like all over the planet at that time." Read this verse in Jeremiah, chapter 4, verse 23. "I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled. And there was no man." Sounds like he was describing the world before creation, but keep reading. "And all the birds of heaven were fled." That means, they were there, but they're gone. It says, "The fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities were broken down."

So there was cities, now they're broken down. By what? "At the presence of the Lord, and by His fierce anger." Pretty clear. Here is the condition of the world where it says, "Burned up, cities broken down, no man alive." Goes on and it says in another passage, "The slain of the Lord cover the earth from one end to the other, and there's no one to mourn, lament, or bury them." And so, all through the prophecies, it talks about this time after the judgment when the earth is a mess. You can look here in Jeremiah, I'm still reading. "The slain of the Lord will be at one end of the earth to the other and they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, not buried."

Number five: where will the slain be during the 1,000 years, and what are they doing? All right, so now we're talking about that in Christ rise, we who are alive and remain--I would like to be one of those who are alive and remain, how about you? Caught up to meet the Lord in the air. And I think He's coming pretty soon. Some of you here may die, but not a lot are going to die of old age.

I think that Jesus is coming soon. So what's going on during that time? You can read in John, chapter 14. He said, "I will come again, receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." We'll be with Him in the mansions that He's prepared in the New Jerusalem. And then it goes on in Revelation 20, and it says in verse 4, "I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years." So judgment is given unto the saints, and we live and reign with Christ a thousand years. Now, read in 1 Corinthians 6:2. I know, some of you are taking notes furiously. "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?" And it goes on to say, "Do you not know that we will judge angels?" Now, obviously we're not judging good angels. But does the Bible tell us, there's a lot of fallen angels? We are not deciding whether they're saved or lost, we are actually endorsing, we are cooperating because Christ said, "Look, I want to involve you with Me."

Do you understand why we're going to judge them the way we're going to judge them? And we affirm the judgments of God, is really what we are doing. But, there's going to be a loss. And why is this happening? Someone said, there's going to be four big surprises when you get to Heaven. Maybe it was three surprises. First surprise is that you're there. Second surprise is that there are some people that are not there that you thought would be leading the parade, and you're going to go to your angel and say, "Where is Pastor so-and-so? Where is Deacon Elder? Where is this sister or brother?" Oh, they just so spiritual. I don't see them anywhere." And the angel will say, "Well, come with me." And they're going to take you to the library. The Bible says, "Everything is in the books." Jesus said, "Every idle word," Matthew, chapter 12, "Every idle world that men speak, you'll give an account thereof in the judgment."

You know, there's camera's everywhere today, aren't they? I got a letter in the mail and it was a citation for doing an illegal U-turn. And I said, "I didn't do that, and I wasn't there." And then I kept looking through the envelope, and there was a picture of me and my car looking suspicious, and I said, "Oh! I guess I was there." They got cameras everywhere now, right? You gotta be watching what you do. Yeah, I thought, "Boy, I can't fight this one. Guilty." So, everything is in the books. And so, the angels take you over to the books and they'll say, "We really wanted to save Deacon Herb," hope nobody's name here is Herb. But, you see that while he looked good on the outside-- you know, the Bible talks about people who pray long prayers, but they devour widows' houses, hypocrites. And there was some sin that he would not surrender to the Lord, and you'll see, those things done in secret, Jesus said, will be shouted from the housetop. Only thing that's going to be hidden are those things under the blood. That's why I want to be saved 'cause I don't want you to see my book, amen? We want it all under the-- I want it expunged. Now, it's the only way, otherwise it's all--people are going to wonder, "Why isn't he here? Why isn't she there?" And it's all going to be seen. It'll all be clear.

Oh, yeah, and then there is the third surprise is there are some people there and you think, "How in the world did they get here?" I've often thought, can you imagine what it's going to be like when Paul, I'm sorry, Steven gets to Heaven, and Steven is in Heaven and he's enjoying Heaven, and they're all, you know, giving him his crowns for his being the first Christian martyr and then they see this character is being carried on the shoulders of the angels, and it's Paul. And when Steven knew him, his name was Saul, and he was killing Christians. And Steven is going to say to his angel, "You guys normally do really good work, but there's something definitely wrong with this picture, because last time I saw him, he was an accomplice in my murder. What's he doin' here? I mean, I believe in forgiving and everything, but--" And the angel says, "Steven, wasn't your last prayer, 'Father forgive them?' Well, the Father forgave him. And he was converted, and he suffered much for the gospel, and he was so sorry about what he did to you."

So, during this one thousand years, there's a lot of questions, and it's like a thousand-year Sabbath. For 6,000 years, from the time of Adam to the coming of the Lord, we don't know exactly when that is, but it's approximately that period of time. Christ has been sowing the seed of the gospel. Then we are going to live and reign. It's like a thousand-year Sabbath. Do you know when the children of Israel were carried off to Babylon, by King Nebuchadnezzar, God took the survivors to this golden city, and the Bible says, the land was desolate? And it kept Sabbath while it was desolate. The planet is going to get a thousand years of Sabbath. God had a pattern in the Bible where for 6 years you would sow the seed in the field, one year you'd let it lay fallow. You'd let it rest. And then God is going to create a new heavens and new earth.

Number six: what will happen at the close of the 1,000 years? You read in Zechariah 14:1, "Behold the day of the Lord comes. And His feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives," at the end of the 1,000 years, Jesus is going to say, "The time has come. I've answered your questions." Now we're going to go down and return to My original plan for this planet." And His feet are going to come down, He will touch the Mount of Olives, "Which is before Jerusalem on the East, and the mount will cleave in the midst thereof." It's going to split into two and form a great valley. Jesus did a lot of teaching from the Mount of Olives. He prayed on the Mount of Olives, "Father, not My will, Thy will be done." The Mount of Olives isn't far from Bethany where He ascended to Heaven. And so, this was a special place He spent with the apostles. He foretold the end of the world on the Mount of Olives looking at the temple, and after His feet touch the mountain, this great valley forms. There's going to be a massive earthquake. He's preparing the foundation.

It then tells us that the New Jerusalem comes down. John, chapter 21, verse 2, he says, "I John saw it. I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Because the bride of Christ, the church, lives in that city, and what a glorious experience that will be.

What will happen next to free Satan from his prison? Well, Satan is imprisoned because he has nobody to tempt or manipulate. All the wicked are dead, right? He's got no one to possess, no one to control. But when Jesus comes back, it says at the end of the 1,000 years, the rest of the dead, third time we're reading this, they don't live again until the 1,000 years are finished. If the dead in Christ rise first, then the rest of the dead are the wicked and they rise in the second resurrection. You're still with me? That means, they do live again when the 1,000 years are finished. And when Jesus comes down, He calls them all from their graves. "When the thousand years are expired, Satan is loosed from his prison."

What loosens him from his prison? Well, now the world is kind of illuminated with the city of God and all the wicked come forth from their graves, the Bible calls them Gog and Magog. And you may have heard some say, "God and Magog, it's talking about Russia and China in the last days." I'm sorry friends, that's a very fanciful interpretation. Gog and Magog are enemies of God's people in the early chapters of Genesis. Gog, Magog means, from the matrix, or the ones who have come out of Gog, it's talking about the enemies of God's people and their children. It's like Babylon and her daughters, like Jezebel and her daughter, Athaliah, and then you've got Salome, or Herodes and her daughter that danced for the king. It's like this confederacy of evil in the Bible and their children. That's all Gog and Magog means. It's a symbolic--all the names in Revelation are symbols. Does Revelation talk about Balaam? Yeah, it does. It's a symbol. Revelation mentions Jezebel, not the real Jezebel. She's dead. It's talking about a spiritual Jezebel, talks about Apollyon, it talks about all these names. It talks about Egypt, it talks about Sodom, and when it talks about Gog and Magog, it's talking about the ancient enemies of God's people, because all the wicked, through the ages, they represent the enemies of God's people.

I'm going to drop a little amazing fact for you here about Napoleon Bonaparte. You know, at one point, Napoleon was sweeping across Europe, and it looked like he was going to re-unite the ancient Roman Empire. He was a brilliant general. But in the largest battle in Europe, before World War I, Napoleon was finally defeated by this coalition of nations, and they exiled him to Elba, this island, and he knew that before too long, they were going to send him to an remote island in the middle of the Atlantic. He--very clever. He managed to escape, a bold and daring escape from that island, got back to France, reassembled the French army, and for another 111 days, he was in power and he rallied the forces one more time. Even though he had been in prison, he couldn't change. As soon as he got back on the main land, he went back to war to become king of the world again. And then, he was defeated at Waterloo. This time they sent him to Saint Helena, said, "You're not gettin' away this time," and he didn't. He died 5 years later.

Satan is released to show all the--he used to be, think about this, Satan was number four. Father, Son, Holy Spirit of God, he was the highest of creations. He is going to be executed now. He's going to be cast into this lake of fire. Before God does that, He wants to make sure that all--some of those good angels heard Lucifer appealing to them. They chose to stay loyal to God, but maybe they were on the fence. And so, God wants to make sure there's no question. As soon as Lucifer has an audience again, he goes right back to his old ways. He cannot change any more than Napoleon who is probably inspired by the pride of the devil.

What will Satan do when he sees the wicked are raised? Is question number eight. It says, Revelation 20:8, "He shall go out to deceive the nations," that tells you who Gog and Magog are, right? The nations of all the wicked, "Who are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog." Now, when we are resurrected, we get glorified bodies, right? People often ask, what about the wicked when they're resurrected? What do they get? I think the Lord just sort of patches them together so they know what's going on, but they don't get any special bodies. They don't get the upgrades that we get. They just get a stripped-down rental to get them through the judgment experience. They probably come out of their graves pretty much like they went in. I can't prove that, but I don't think they're getting any kind of glorified bodies. It says, "To gather them together, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea." Think about all the people that have lived over the thousands of years of human history, all alive at one time on the planet. And he sees all these forces--now, I don't know, it's a sad thought, but it's biblical.

Whose got the bigger army? Christ or Satan? Now, think about this, you got Jesus and all the good angels. The good angels outnumber the bad, and then you got Satan, all the bad angels, and the wicked, and the wicked outnumber the good. Broad is the way that leads to destruction. So, they cover the earth like a cloud, and that means everybody in this room, we're going to see each other again someday. I hope you're in the city when that happens. And it goes on to say, "And thou shalt come up against my people, the people of Israel, and you shall cover the land." So, they're going to completely cover the land. It's like a cloud. At this crucial moment, this is question nine, what stops everything?

Now, Satan is loosed from his prison. What do you think he does when he is loosed? He rallies all the wicked, and he said, "There is more of us, then there are of them." You read in Ezekiel, it says, "They're gathering together," read in Zechariah, "Against the city of God to attack the city of God." And it says, "They're loosed from their prison for a season." How long is that time? I don't know. But it's long enough for them to organize these armies and think of who will be out there. They're going to have some pretty smart generals. Napoleon, probably, Stalin, he wasn't that smart of a general though. Hitler will be there, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, all the brilliant minds and military people that, I'm assuming some that are lost, and you know, all gather together and Satan's going to say, "That's our city." And even though he's fallen, he's still looks like a glorious being. He said, "That's the enemy. That belongs to me." He's taking that, and he's going to rally them all with him, because what else--it's their last hope. And in desperation, instead of repenting, they try to attack God's city.

But before they can launch their attack, Jesus says, "Enough is enough." This is the great judgment day. Now, when I talk about judgment, it really all happens in three phases. You've got a judgment that takes place before Jesus comes, those that take the name of Christ. Their names are entered to the Book of Life. He that has the Son, has life. And we are judged based on the merits of Christ. Bible knows--the Bible tells us God knows before He comes, who is saved. Because when He comes, He's dispensing rewards, right? He'll give to every man according to his works. When He comes, He knows who's saved or lost. Then there's the judgment during the 1,000 years where we participate in asking questions and understanding why God judged as He did. We're affirming the judgments of God. Then the final executive part of the judgment is the white throne judgment that happens now at the end of the 1,000 years, when all the wicked are there before the Lord. Christ on His great white throne is exalted above all the city where everybody sees Him. And the glory of Christ is going to be overwhelming. And you can read here, and it says, "I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

This final judgment, is it where everyone lines up in a big line like in the Department of Motor Vehicles, and you're all kinda waiting, and they say, "Next case?" And one by one, we all come and--I don't think it's like that. At Pentecost, when the Lord filled 3,000 people with the Holy Spirit, was it one at a time, or all at once? So, there's going to be a massive judgment, but each person, and it may take a while, each person will have their life in review, in the heavens. They will see a panorama of Christ's sacrifice and all God did to try to save them, and everything is going to be opened. We're going to see people that are going to be outside of the city because of our influence. If you're saved, hopefully you'll see people that are inside the city because of your influence. And so, it's not just so you're going to be judged for your deeds, you're going to be judged for what you've done to others with your life.

I meet people sometimes. A father will say, "Oh, I tell my wife and kids to go to church. I want them to, you know, get to Heaven and everything. It's too hopeless for me." You're example is going to make a difference. It's not just what you do for you. Every one of us is influencing others for or against God, amen? You want to have a good influence. So, Christ is up there and everybody sees the glory.

What happens then, when they see the glory of God. You read that verse, Romans, chapter 14, verse 11. "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue confess to God, That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, And things on the Earth, and things under the Earth." Everybody is going to bow before God, even Lucifer at some point is going to then fall down. He's going to have to declare, "God is good. I have been wrong." He'll be overwhelmed with the sense of his own sin. You know what Judas did before he killed himself? He went into the temple and he said, "I have betrayed innocent blood." And then he went out and hung himself.

Satan, from his proud lips will be forced a confession that he was the author of this whole rebellion. Every knee is going to bow. Every people who are atheists, who say, "There is no God." Every knee will bow. I just as soon bow to Jesus now and be ready for when He comes, and not be a rebel and wait till it's too late. "And every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father," amen? And you read in Revelation 19, "I heard a great voice of many people in Heaven, saying true and righteous are His judgments." Notice what's happening there? Everyone in Heaven is saying, they are affirming God's judgment. So, who is the judge? Ultimately, it's God, and everybody will declare, "God is just, God is good. His judgments are fair."

What happens next? Then it tells us, this is the final phase of what you call the Battle of Armageddon. Battle of Armageddon kinda starts before Jesus gets here and it finishes afterwards. The Battle of Armageddon is not China, and Russia, and Israel. God is concerned about the battle between good and evil.

You know, there's a story in the Old Testament about Gideon. Gideon was surrounded by a three-fold union, the Amalekites, the Edomites, and the people of the East. They all came, like, they covered the earth like a cloud. They devoured the land like locusts, and God said to Gideon, "I'm going to go with you and all you need is your 300 men." And there, in the valley of Megiddo, Gideon, through the power of God and His Spirit, they have complete victory over these superior forces. You see that scenario happen several times in the Bible, except in Revelation it's the beast, the dragon, the false prophet, another three-fold union come against the people of God. They're coming against the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but they're defeated. And this is where Jesus, you see Him sometimes pictured conquering on His horse, and He then sends judgment on the wicked. It says in Revelation 20, verse 9, "Fire comes down from God," see God's got nuclear weapons. "Fire comes down from God out of heaven and devours them." What does it say happens to them? Devours them. "Whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

There's no third option. Everybody is either we're in Heaven, your name is in the Book of Life, or you follow the devil and his angels into the lake of fire. Now, the big question is, people misunderstand the lake of fire. Let's talk for just a minute about Hell. You read in Revelation 20, verse 14, it says, "This is the second death." I heard a pastor say one time, "If you're only born once, you're going to die twice. If you're born twice, you die once." You see, Christians, you might die, but then you're resurrected and you don't die the second death. The wicked, if you're only born one time and you're not born again, you're going to die the second death.

Let's talk for just a minute about Hell. Is that okay? This is a subject that is vastly misunderstood and a lot of people have turned away from God because of the terrible Medieval myths that have been perpetrated that are unbiblical. I used to think God was a sadist. Someone's lost, it's some teenager who's past the age of accountability, but he doesn't accept Jesus, and so he goes to the same lake of fire as Adolf Hitler, and he burns for zillions of years, and a million years after broiling, and boiling, and shrieking, and agony, moment after moment, he sticks his head up out of sulfur and brimstone and says, "God, how long?" And God pushes him under and says, "You haven't even started yet." That's the picture that a lot of people have of God, and that's what's been taught. It's not what the Bible teaches.

Let me quickly tell you what the Bible teaches. Malachi, chapter 4, "Behold, the day comes that will burn as an oven, and all the proud and all that do wickedly will be stubble. The day that comes will burn them up." The Bible says the wicked are devoured, the wicked are consumed. You've got two choices, "He that has the Son has life. He that does not have the Son, does not have life. Whoever believes in Him may not perish, but have everlasting life."

You either are going to perish, or you're going to have everlasting life. God told Adam and Eve, he said, "If you disobey, you die. If you believe, you live." But the devil is saying, "No, no, you've got everlasting life no matter what, you're immortal. You're going to burn forever, or you're going to go to Heaven." The Bible doesn't say that. The Bible says, "God and God only has immortality." Show me where it says people have immortality in the Bible. I'm being quiet. Doesn't say it. So then, when Christ comes, then this mortal puts on immortality. But we die. The idea that God is going to immortalize sin, the Bible says, "There's no more sin, there's no more pain." If there is no more pain, Revelation says, "No more pain." How can God say all things are new, if you got sinners immortalized in some torture chamber forever and ever. And so many people have heard that, thinking people say, "There is no justice in there at all." To torment the objects of Your creation through all eternity for the sins of a fraction of a second. This has been used by the church in the Dark Ages to scare people.

God doesn't want you coming because of fire insurance. He wants you to come to Him because you love Him. This is the second death. Now, there are some difficult verses. It says, eternal fire, calls it eternal fire because what the fire does is eternal. And it calls it everlasting punishment. The punishment lasts for how long? Forever. The Bible says, "The wicked are going to be treated like Sodom and Gomorrah, where Sodom and Gomorrah burnt." Are they still burning? No, they were consumed, it says, "Turning them into ashes as an example to the ungodly." What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah? Burn up. Different people are going to suffer different lengths of time based on what they deserve. There is a lake of fire, so don't go out of here and say, "Pastor Doug doesn't believe in Hell." I do believe in Hell. My Hell is hotter than most hells. My Hell is hotter because it burns people up. Others just simmer forever and ever. So I do believe in Hell. The Bible does say, "The people are going to be punished according to what they deserve." But the idea that it goes on forever and ever, and ever, being tortured, that is not what the Bible teaches. God says, "He's going to make a new heaven and a new earth where indwells righteousness. All things are going to be made new."

So, quickly, let's review the Millennium. You got the first resurrection that starts it and the second coming. Thousand years we live and reign with Christ during the Millennium. Second resurrection, the Holy City descends. And so, during the 1,000 years, we're living and reigning with Christ, and there is a judgment. But read in Isaiah 65:17, "Behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth." Why doesn't it say a new Heaven? The word heaven there is an atmosphere around the earth. It's not talking about a new dwelling place. Hebrews had three words for heaven. Heaven had three levels I should say. You've got the air around the planet where the birds fly and the clouds float. You had the part of the cosmos where the stars hang. Then you had the dwelling place of God that was called the third Heaven. Paul talks about a man caught up to the third Heaven. And who knows where the verse is about the seventh heaven? It's not in the Bible, good. Just checking to make sure.

So God's making a new heavens and a new earth. Revelation 21, "I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away." And God said, "He is going to make all things new." It says, "We, according to His promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness." And again, you've got the promise, "Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth." I'm jumping ahead of myself here.

Question number 13: Where will God and the righteous finally live? When the New Jerusalem comes down, after that great white throne judgment. God will rain fire down upon the wicked outside the city. They're all punished according to what they deserve. The Bible says that fire rains down on the Earth. It's not--Hell is not a torture chamber down in the middle of the Earth somewhere. The Bible doesn't teach that. It says that God himself will dwell with us. You can read it in Revelation 21:3. What a beautiful promise. "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men. He will dwell with them. He will be their God and they will be His people." And the Bible says, "We will see His face." And then, we're going to have glorified bodies. We're going to be able to eat from the tree of life, 12 different kinds of fruit, 12 times a year. That's better than Baskin Robbins, 31 Flavors. And you're going to be able--we'll gather together.

No more pain, no more police stations, no more sickness, no more death, no more suffering, and it is real, friends. This pain and misery in our world was never God's plan. He's going to restore things to its original plan. "Blessed are the meek: they will inherit the earth."

Where will we ultimately live? Not in Heaven. The New Jerusalem comes down to earth. God has made a city home for you, but you can go forth from the New Jerusalem. Says you will tread on the wicked for their ashes are under the souls of your feet. It won't be ashes, it'll be beautiful carpets of living grass, but you'll plant vineyards and eat the fruit. You'll build houses. We'll do exciting things. We'll soar to worlds unknown. Anyone know where that verse is? It's in Rock of Ages, it's not in the Bible. But it's a great verse. We'll go to worlds unknown. We'll be able to thrive. It does say in the Bible, "We will mount up with wings like eagles. We'll run and not be weary. We'll walk and not faint." It's very real. Boy, I tell you, the older I get, the more Heaven sounds good to me, because I can tell, I want to trade this one in for a newer model, amen? The Lord is going to give us an upgrade. The question is, will you accept Jesus' offer of eternal life and a place in that kingdom?

I heard a story years ago about this king in Persia, and he had a law in his kingdom. He had a harem. And the law was that no man was to ever enter the harem other than the Sultan, the king. And he had his eunuchs and he had people that took care of the harem, but they were at the quarters of the women and the wives, and no man was supposed to go in. The crown prince was a little arrogant, and he thought, "Well, that law doesn't apply to me because I'm the king's son, I can go wherever I want to go." And one day, he just went marching off into the king's harem to the horror of all the attendants and everybody there, and it hit the headlines. And everyone was wondering, "What will the king do?" Because, the king had a law that said, "If any man dares to go into the harem, his eyes will be put out." Now, the king's got to make a decision. He is a just king, and he's a loving father. He doesn't want to blind his son, but he doesn't want to send the wrong message to his people. What do you do? As the story goes, the king took out one of his son's eyes, and he took out one of his own so they could still see.

But, you know, Jesus has gone the second mile. He didn't say, "Look, I'll share in your punishment." He said, "I will take the whole punishment." Everything that you deserve for your life of sin--we deserve death. The penalty for sin is death. Jesus said, "I will take your penalty. I'm going to take your weakness. I'm going to give you My strength. I'm going to take your sin. I will give you My righteousness. I'll take the death that you deserve, and I'll give you the life that I deserve." He said, "I'm going to make a total trade with you."

The Bible is full of stories of God taking people from the prison and He brings them to the palace, and He does it in one day. That's what He did for Joseph, from the prison to the palace. Daniel went from being a prisoner to being prime minister. Esther went from being an orphan captive to being queen. The Bible is full of these stories. The Exodus, they went from slavery to the Promised Land. It's all there to illustrate what God wants to do for you. We go from this world where we're slaves to sin, and Jesus said, "I want you to live and reign with Me in heavenly places." But the question is, will you accept it? The Lord loves you so much, He's giving you freedom. And I can talk about it for a thousand years. But until you finally say, you know, "I'm going to stop trying to do it on my own. I am going to surrender my life to God. I'm going to accept the sacrifice that Jesus made." On the cross, when He was up there, it's as though you are the only one that sinned. He loved you that much. If you were the only one who had rebelled and done all the nasty things that you and I have done, He said, "I would take the penalty, and the shame, and the guilt for all of that because I love you that much, so that you could be with Me." He says, "Lord, Father, the joy that they might be with Me in paradise."

Do you want to be with Him in paradise? Friends, you who are watching, you've got to make a decision. And, you know, I thought I'd like to do something now that I haven't done thus far during this seminar. I'd like to ask you, some of you here maybe have not yet made a decision. Or maybe, you've recently made a decision, but you haven't really made it public to accept Jesus as your personal sacrifice. And before we close this series with prayer, if you'd like to acknowledge that and say, "Lord, I want to say right now, I want to surrender my life to Jesus. I want Him to be my judge." He's your best friend. "I want my sins washed away. I want you to fulfill Your will in my life. I want to be Your child. I'm going to come to You right now."

If that's your desire, would you be willing to stand right now where you are and say, "Lord, that's my--" that's right. Just don't be afraid of the people. Folks might be intimidated by the lights and the cameras, but he's speaking to you, praise God. Those who are watching, we're talking to you, too. You might be in a group, you might be at your home alone. But are you willing to stand up for Jesus? If you've not made that decision before, or maybe you made it years ago and you know the Lord has not been the King of your life, and you want to return to Christ. This would be a good time for you to do that. Can I pray with you, please? Father in heaven, dear loving Lord, we see that God of love and the world misunderstands who you really are. I pray that, through this series, people will see who You are, understand Your character of love, understand what You're calling us to do, to take up our cross, to deny ourselves, and to trust You with our lives, to follow You. Be with these people who've made this decision. Seal it now, record it in Heaven. Write their name in the Book of Life. And Lord, we know that You're coming soon. Help us to have a faith that will endure unto the end. Bless those who are watching, and their families. Give them health and strength, and please pour out Your spirit on Your people. Help us be ready for when Jesus comes. We thank You and pray in His name, amen.

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