When All Things Become New

Scripture: Revelation 21:4
Date: 12/29/2012 
Lesson: 13
"What is the millennium, when does it happen, and to what does it lead?"
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church in Sacramento, California in the United States of America. It is by no accident that you have joined us to study God's word together today. And as you can see behind me, I am not alone. We have our choir joining us from central today and for those of you that are streaming online through this presentation, this evening, which is December 6th, at 6:00 - December 8th - it's December 8th at 6:00 this evening streaming live, will be our Christmas concert. And so, we invite you to get online and join us and we know that you will truly be blessed.

We've been practicing since September, so our lot of effort is going to culminate this evening. Our first hymn that we're going to sing together this morning is hymn #122 - 'hark the herald angels sing' - and we have a list that is miles long of the requests today of this one and silent night and we'd be here all day if I had to read it but we do know that silent night is debbie's favorite and many more of you requested it this year knowing that it is her favorite. So let's sing together hymn #122 - 'hark the herald angels sing' - and we'll sing all three verses. If you have a favorite hymn that you would like to sing with us on a coming presentation, I invite you to go to our website at saccentral.org. There you click on the 'contact us' link and you can request any hymn in our hymnal and we are excited to sing that with you on a coming presentation.

As you remember, we are learning the new hymns in the hymnals so, you know, just be tuning in with us and you too will know the whole hymnal. Hymn #143 - 'silent night, holy night' - we'll sing all four verses. Let's pray. Our Father in Heaven, we come humbly before you to study your word and we study based on the promises that your word is true and that you will fulfill every promise that is in that book. We thank you so much that you fulfilled the promise that you would come the first time and you would show us what God is like.

And we thank you so much and we live in faith and hope that you are going to fulfill very soon and very quickly the longing of our hearts - and that is to see you again. So during this season, lord, help us to keep our eyes on you, our hearts in the right place, and help us to show your love and your grace and your mercy to everyone around us that they could be drawn to you, you will be lifted up, and you will come soon. We pray these things in your precious and holy name, Jesus, amen. Our study today will be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor, senior pastor here at Sacramento central. Hello everyone.

Happy Sabbath. I feel like a big rock in the middle of a river right now with the choir exiting. That was beautiful. We sure appreciate all the work the choir has put into both these presentations we'll have here at church and especially our program tonight, and for our friends that might be visiting here at Sacramento central or some who are watching online who may be within driving distance - we hope that you are able to come here tonight for the program - this is December 8th and that would be at 6:00. Those who are watching, I believe it will be streaming online as well and so you can tune in.

Well, we've got a lot going on today. For one thing, we're studying our last lesson in this quarter's series, 'growing in Christ' and we'll get to that in just a moment, but the very fact that we're studying the last lesson tells you we are about to embark on a new study and I'm looking forward to this - it's called 'origins' - 'origins' - it's going to be talking about how everything came to be and so those of you who study along - you know, if you don't have a copy of this and you'd like to join us here for central study hour in these studies, if you'd just contact your neighborhood seventh day adventist church, I'm sure that they'll be happy to share one with you. We know that we also have a lot of people that watch these programs online or satellite that don't have a church - some are in very remote places. I was talking to a friend in Alaska last night and he was telling me about a friend that's way off in the outback - I guess they don't call the wilderness of Alaska the outback, but they're way out. We also have friends in the outback but they get it on satellite - and you can download the study guide on the internet.

Some people - our place up in covelo - they've got satellite on the internet as well and you can study it online. It's called 'origins' - you'll see that show up pretty soon online and - what am I forgetting? Welcome to any who are visiting and our online members. We have a number of people who are online members of this church because they don't have a local church that they can attend and if you want to know more about that, just go to your website and type in 'saccentral' - that's for Sacramento - 'saccentral.org' - that's our website and we'll talk to you more about what that involves. Our lesson is lesson #13 and we're talking today about when all things become new. Lesson #13 - 'when all things become new.

' We have a free offer - we're going to be dealing with heaven in our study today and our free offer book is the book by joe crews, 'heaven, is it for real?' If you'd like a free copy of that then you can just call the number on your screen - -study-more - that translates into 866-788-3966. Ask for offer #189. Getting into the lesson we have a memory verse. Memory verse is from Revelation :4 and here in our lesson it's from the new king James version - Revelation 21:4 - and I invite you to say that with me. 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." Can you say 'amen'? Won't that be nice, friends? No more death, no more crying, no more pain, and we're looking forward to that world. Where we left off last time, we talked about some of the events that lead up to the second coming of Christ and, in particular, we're going to be talking a little bit about the millennium. Now, the word 'millennium' does not appear in the Bible, it's simply called 'the thousand years' in the Bible. And if you turn in your Bibles to Revelation 20 - let's find out where that shows up - Revelation 20 is where you find the principal passage that deals with the subject of the one thousand years. 'Millennium is a composite of two words - 'milli' which means 'thousand' - and 'annum' - thousand years.

Let's look at Revelation chapter - I'll read verses 1 through - maybe 1 through 5. "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," - this is like Revelation 12 - if you're wondering who was the dragon, who was the serpent, it says right here, the devil and satan. He's all one and the same. The devil first manifests himself through the medium of the serpent in the garden of eden and that sort of became a label - a tag - that stuck through the Bible.

And it says he laid hold on him "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." - You remember in Revelation 12 it says, 'the devil who deceiveth the whole world. Well, he'll deceive them no more til the thousand years are finished - meaning at least there's a little time after the thousand years when he deceives again. "But after these things he must be released for a little while." And now our attention is fixed heavenward - "and I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the Word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image; and had not received his Mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection." Alright, we'll read a little more about that but we've introduced the subject of the one thousand years. It's probably good for us to, at this point, go and talk a little bit about what we're going to talk about. When does the thousand year - well, when we talk about the thousand years, we're going to divide it up very simply into three categories. What events begin the 1,000 years we find in Revelation? What's going on during the 1,000 years in Revelation? And what things happen at the conclusion of the 1,000 years? Now, I've got a pretty big assignment to cover all this but I'll do what I can.

First, let's do a little bit of location. Who has Revelation 19:11? We've got a couple people - we've got one over here - let's get you a microphone. And then somebody should have John 5:28 and 29. You've got a micro - you'll be next, we'll just get you the microphone next, okay? What begins the 1,000 years? Well, it starts with the resurrection for we read in Thessalonians 4:16, "for the lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise" - alright, here's the Lord coming - the dead in Christ rise.

This happens at the beginning of the one thousand years. And it says, "then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up." Alright? Very important. Two letter word - up. What direction do we go when the one thousand years begin? Up. Jesus said, 'i go to prepare a place for you.

In my Father's house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you.' John 14 - '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 unto myself that where I am you may be also.' So this is very important because there are two views regarding the one thousand years where believers spend the one thousand years. One group believes we spend it here on earth with the righteous reigning over the wicked. Well, that wouldn't be a lot of fun, in my opinion. And then the other group of protestants believe that we are living and reigning with Christ in glory during the one thousand years. So we'll find out more about that in a moment.

Revelation 16 - the millennium begins also with a battle. It says here in verse 13, "and I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the Spirits of demons performing signs that go out to the Kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of the great day of God almighty and he gathered them to a place, which is called in hebrew tongue, armageddon. Armageddon - so that's the big battle. So there's this big battle.

Christ comes, Jesus is seen in Revelation 19 coming as a soldier on a white horse to wage war and so there's this big battle that is fought between Christ and the devil during this time. Alright read for us Revelation 19:11. "Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And he who sat on him was called faithful and true, and in righteousness he Judges and makes war." Alright, Revelation 20 is 20. This is Revelation 19.

So before the millennium begins there's a war, you got that? Not everything in Revelation is sequential or chronological, but this is one case where it is. In Revelation 12, verse 17, the dragon was wroth with the woman and went to make war with the remnant of her seed that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. So there is a war at the end. This battle of armageddon, contrary to some of the tabloid theology that you've heard, is not a battle between china and russia and Israel and the u.s. It's not world war iii, it's not an atomic war, it is a war between those who serve and worship God and those who don't.

It's between those who have the seal of God and those who have the Mark of the beast. This is the final war and Christ comes to fight that war for us at the crucial moment when God's people are about to be destroyed. Thessalonians 2, verse 8, "and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming." So what happens when Jesus comes to resurrect? In this war the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of his coming. Now you're next. Did we get you a microphone? Let's get a mic over here.

And that's going to be John 5:28 and 29 and I think they said they're ready for you. You go ahead. John 5:28 and 29, "do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth - those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation." Alright, there are two resurrections and I remember when I first heard this I thought there was the big resurrection day - I didn't know there were two resurrections. And it's very clear that the dead in Christ rise first, so if it says here in 1 Thessalonians 'the dead in Christ rise first', wherever you have a first - you're talking about a sequence - it means somewhere you've got a second, right? Again, now we're going back to Revelation 20. Revelation 20, verse 6, "blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.

" So who's in the first resurrection? They're blessed and they're holy. That's the one you want to be in, right? And so this is the blessed group. They're not blessed and they're not holy that have part in the second resurrection. Does that make sense? So the beginning of the one thousand years is when you have the first resurrection and that's when the Lord comes. Jesus said - two resurrections - matter of fact, if you read in Daniel, chapter 12 it says, many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

' So you've got two - the life resurrection, the contempt resurrection. You want to be in that first resurrection. Alright, if you look here - now this is the time of Christ's coming. He comes down, he rescues all of the saved, they are caught up to meet him in the air, all of the dead in Christ rise, they're caught up, they meet him in the air - it says, 'we will then be with the Lord' - he takes us back to the mansions that he's prepared and we live and reign with Christ. Satan is bound in this abussos.

And it says he's cast into a bottomless pit. Now, this causes a lot of confusion for people. What is this bottomless pit? Some people have tried to imagine all kinds of things. Is it some kind of cosmic wormhole out there? This is a place where heaven only knows what the King James translators were thinking. They took the greek word abussos - that's the word, abussos, that very same word is in Luke chapter 8 - you remember the story of the demoniac? He's filled with a legion of demons.

And the devils say to Jesus, 'please do not cast us out of the man, cast us into the pigs.' And the Lord was going to cast them out into the deep. They said, 'don't cast us into the abussos.' Same word exactly - same word as Revelation 20. There they translate it 'deep'. It just means the abyss - the nothingness - the emptiness. For a devil - devils do not possess houses devils possess people.

They want - Jesus talks about a man who has a devil cast out and he goes through desolate places looking for someone else to possess because these are spirits. That's the deep - the nothingness. They're all in the world but they have nothing to possess. And so, devils are workaholics and with nobody to possess, they're very irritable. And so, for one thousand years satan is bound on this planet.

Nobody's alive. Think about it. What happens to the wicked when Jesus comes? We just read here - it says they are destroyed - 2 Thessalonians :8, "by the brightness of his coming." All the wicked are destroyed - all the wicked that are alive. The wicked that are dead when Jesus comes - they stay dead. The righteous who are dead when Jesus comes are raised.

The righteous who are alive are transformed in the twinkling of an eye. They get their glorified bodies. They go back - they all leave. All the good are gone. Satan is bound down here.

The planet is total chaos and ruins. Matter of fact read - go with me to Jeremiah - someone look up for me - who has Isaiah 24:1. We've got a hand right here. Hold your hand up. Where's a microphone? Over here? Hold it up until ethan sees you.

And I'm going to read Jeremiah 23 - I'm sorry, Jeremiah 4:23 - 26. And listen to this verse carefully, "I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void;" now if you stop right there, what verse in the Bible does that sound like? Sounds like Genesis creation but it's not. This is creation in reverse. Notice as we keep reading, "I beheld the earth and indeed it was without form and void; and the heavens, they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, and all the hills moved back and forth.

I beheld, and indeed there was no man, and all the birds of heaven had fled." It means they were once there but they're gone. "I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land" - a place that was once fruitful - "was a wilderness, and all its cities were broken down" - what caused this? - "At the presence of the Lord, by his fierce anger." So here Jeremiah is taken ahead in vision and he's shown the condition of the world when there is no man. All the cities are broken down and it's because of the Lord's fierce anger. This is actually a dual prophecy. This is talking about the condition of Israel after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed everything and took everyone back to the golden city of Babylon.

But it's sort of a parallel for when Jesus comes and takes us to a golden city and destroys all the rebels in the land and the world is in chaos. Alright, read for us Isaiah 24:1 please. "Behold, the Lord makes the earth empty and makes it waste, distorts its surface and scatters abroad its inhabitants." The earth is covered with the lost. The earth is empty. Now this is - you've got to follow carefully.

You know, there's some colorful books that were written about the second coming and these events - it's a famous - sort of a phenomenon - the 'left behind' series. How many of you have heard of tim lehaye's left behind series - jerry jenkins - and they wrote that - as a whole - it's fiction. It tells you in the beginning of the book it's fiction. It's not true. These are a couple of authors' ideas of how prophecy is going to play out but they got some very important things wrong - one thing they got wrong and I don't mean to be critical, I don't question their sincerity, but it's just bad theology.

They've got everybody staying on earth all through the millennium and according to the hal lindsey, tim lehaye scenario - the popular pentecostal trinity broadcasting version of prophecy, there's always someone on earth. The rapture happens but the wicked are still alive on earth after the rapture, right? If you know what they believe. And at the end of the seven years, Christ comes down and he brings the righteous with him and they're still on earth and the righteous reign over the wicked for a thousand years and then the wicked are destroyed and then he makes the new earth and no one ever leaves. The planet is always inhabited during that scenario. But there's all these prophecies in the Bible that say the earth is desolate, that - let me give you one more - Jeremiah 16:4, "they shall die gruesome deaths; they shall not be lamented nor shall they be buried, but they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth.

They shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, and their corpses shall be meat for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth. There's a number of prophecies that talk about 'the slain of the Lord will be from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be lamented or buried.' Why are there no funerals? Why are they not being buried? There is no one to conduct a funeral. Everyone has left. Everyone on the earth is dead.

Satan is bound in this lasar-house of ruins, to look at the results of his rebellion for one thousand years. Now why is God doing it this way? Why doesn't the Lord just come back when he comes back? Judge and punish the wicked, save the righteous, destroy the devil, make a new earth and there we are. Well, a few reasons. One is God does things in a perfect cycle. 'A day with the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day.

' For roughly 6,000 years right now, from the time of creation to the present day, God has been sowing the seed of the gospel. He's coming soon to harvest and the earth is going to keep a Sabbath. How many of you know that the jews followed a law that they farmed their land for six years and they let it rest for one year, right? Well, for 6,000 years Jesus has been sowing the earth with the gospel seed. He says 'the word is the seed, I am the sower' - he's going out and spreading the seed. He's coming next in Revelation with a sickle - why? To harvest.

And what's going to happen? The wheat and the tares are separated. What happens to the weeds - they're destroyed. They're burnt. And so what's happening when Christ comes to the wicked? There's destruction. He's not letting them coexist for a thousand years.

Yeah, who would want to do that? Would you call that heaven? To reign over the wicked? I don't even want to be president. I mean, why would you want to reign over all lost people? That'd be terrible. So this is going on and the world is covered with the slain. Oh, the other reason God's doing it that way, lucifer used to be the highest of God's angels, right? He was loved, revered, honored - in heaven he was adored as the highest of God's created beings. Now, he rebelled and he made a lot of terrible accusations against God.

He said, 'if I was in charge everything would be better.' the Lord is going to destroy the devil. The Bible says he'll be cast into the lake of fire. It tells us in Ezekiel, 'I'll bring forth a lake of fire from the midst of thee and it will devour thee. I'll bring thee to ashes on the earth in the sight of them that behold thee. Thou shalt be a terror.

Never shall thou be any more. Never shall thou be any more.' So the Lord is about to judge, punish and annihilate the most powerful being he ever made. He must demonstrate to all the unfallen worlds that there are no redeemable qualities left in lucifer. So he gives lucifer a thousand years to roam to and fro through this earth. He is bound on this planet.

It is the bottomless pit. Let me give you another verse. Isaiah 24:22 - Isaiah 24:22, "they will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit," - what word is used with pit? Prison. And you know what it says in Isaiah 14 about the devil? 'You shall be brought to the pit.' So this world is a prison. Why does it say the devil is bound? He's bound by circumstances.

It's a chain of circumstances. It's not that God's got these big old clattering chains off in the universe somewhere, he's got this dungeon they call the bottomless pit out there. This planet becomes desolate and dark - it becomes a prison. He has to look at all the broken down cities and all the dead bodies and consider - you've read in Revelation this very disturbing prophecy called the feast of the birds - it's the feast of the raptors - all these birds of carrion come and it says they're feasting on the carcasses of all of the enemies of God's people. The earth is covered with the slain.

This is that time. Satan just has to - and, ultimately, the birds all die off too because it says, 'all the birds of heaven were fled.' We just read that. Satan's got to look at this planet covered with the broken surface and the broken down cities, and places that once were beautiful are a wilderness. They're in other words, distorted and the heavens have gone dark - for how long? A thousand years. The devil has nobody to tempt and manipulate.

It's going to drive him crazy. Not only that, is the devil alone? It talks about the devil, but it talks about satan and his angels. How did these angels get sucked into this? He said, 'follow me. I'll lead you to a higher existence. He got all these demons - these fallen angels are now called demons - to follow him and trust him - they're bound here too.

I bet they're asking him a lot of questions. They're probably saying, 'hey, you said you had a better idea than God. Now look where we are. He's got to face them for a thousand years. So at the end of the thousand years, God demonstrates - does he change? Nope.

After those thousand years are finished and we may as well look here, verse 7, Revelation 20 - we're back at the one thousand year chapter - Revelation 20, verse 7, "now when the thousand years have expired, satan will be released from his prison." Why is he released from his prison? You look in chapter 21 of Revelation, it says, "I saw a new heaven and a new earth." Verse 2, "i, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." The new Jerusalem comes down from heaven at the end of the one thousand years and Christ goes out before the city - and this planet is like it was when he first made it in the beginning - it was void - it was dark, wasn't it? God came to the planet and his presence brought light - he said, 'let there be light.' At the end of the one thousand years Jesus comes down again and the planet is illuminated. The city of God - like a great jewel - 375 miles on each side - settles down, the Lord's feet touch where the mount of olives used to be. When Jesus last touched this world it was on the mount of olives, right? He ascended from the mount of olives. When did Jesus prophecy his second coming - or where? From the mount of olives, right? Where did Jesus weep and say, 'not my will - thy will be done'? On the mount of olives. So when he comes back, guess where he's coming.

It says in Zechariah 14, 'and that day his feet will touch down upon the mount of olives and there will be a mighty earthquake and it will split and it will prepare" - this earthquake is going to prepare a great foundation platform for the city of God. I mean, it's going to be - you talk about continental drift. There's going to be - you hear about these tectonic plates that float around the world - he's going to move those plates very quickly and he's going to prepare a great plain. He told Abraham, 'you're going to inherit this territory.' He's going to keep His Word, isn't he? Right where the promised land is - 375 miles on all sides - he's going to set down the new Jerusalem. And at the same time he comes to the earth, all the wicked who have ever lived are called forth.

How do we know that? The rest of the dead live not again until the thousand years are finished. You know what that means? If all the righteous of the dead in Christ and they're in the first resurrection, who are the rest of the dead? The opposite of the dead in Christ. That's the dead who are lost. When Christ then calls them forth, they are a vast army. The Bible refers to them as 'gog and magog.

' Matter of fact, let's keep reading on here. 'When the thousand years have expired satan is released from his prison.' What releases him? He now has someone to tempt and manipulate - he's not alone anymore. He figures, 'I'm back in business.' But has he repented? Does he change? Nope. 'He will go out and deceive the nations that are in the four corners of the earth. This is global now - four corners of the earth - 'gog and magog.

' Now, I've heard some just really interesting interpretations of who are gog and magog. You find them first mentioned among the tribes that scattered from the tower of babel. They were enemies of God's people in the old testament and - it's really gog - you find a prophecy in - let me see here - in Ezekiel verse 38 - in Ezekiel , verse 1 - in order to understand Revelation you've got to look at these things. "Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'son of man, set your face against gog, of the land of magog, the prince of rosh, meshech, and tubal, and prophesy against them." Those are all names you're going to find there - I think it's Genesis 10. Gog was this tribe of people that were enemies of God's people.

Magog is not someone different. The word magog means 'from gog' or 'from the matrix of gog' - meaning gog and his children. Kind of like Babylon and her daughters. See, in Revelation you've got the principle power and then the seed. You've got the woman and her seed.

You've got Babylon and her daughters, right? And it's talking about the descendents so you've got gog - or the enemies of God's people and their children. That's all that means. I've heard people say, 'magog means moscow.' And there's no support for that. It is true that the people of gog and magog lived north of Israel and so some people say, 'north of Israel - russia!' And people try to take the politics of today and they look at prophecy through the lens of today's politics and governments and it's been interesting to watch these pastors that are constantly trying to take the headlines and fit them into Revelation somewhere and every time - when russia - communism fell - they had to rework all their theology and when - they said, you know, 'when the european union gets to ten those are the ten toes, then it will all happen.' Well, now they're at 14. And so, you know, they just keep trying to fit the headlines in like this.

It's not talking about these nations. Revelation is dealing with a battle not between political governments, it's dealing with a battle between Christ and the devil - between Michael and the dragon. And the great culmination is not a big culmination between china and russia - Revelation's not dealing with that - it's talking about the final culmination between those who have served God and put their lives on the line for God and Christ and those who have served the devil and it divides it that way. Now I want to go back and read in Revelation 20 - excuse me - it says he goes to the four corners of the earth and he gathers them together to this 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.

" So they're getting ready to wage war on the city of God and this is that great final battle. Oh, you know I left an important part out. I'm rushing to the end of the one thousand years. Let's talk for a minute - before I get to the final battle - what's happening during the one thousand years? What are the saints doing during that time? Matthew 19:28, Jesus said to the apostles, "assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when The Son of man sits on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Somebody look up for me 1 Corinthians 6, verses 2 and 3 - who has that? Over here - 1 Corinthians 6, verses 2 and 3. Let's get a microphone for you.

I think you know that young man bringing you that microphone, okay. And I'm going to read John 7:24, "do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." What? That's red letter. Jesus telling us to judge? I thought he told us not to judge. That's one of the most common misunderstandings in the Bible - is that Christians are never to judge anything - that it's somehow a sin to judge. That's not true.

Jesus didn't say don't ever judge. He said, 'when you judge, judge with righteous judgement.' He wants us to use judgment every day. He doesn't want us condemning each other - that's the way - what he meant when he said don't judge others - it means don't pronounce sentence on people. But it doesn't mean you're not to judge. He tells us that 'you are to know them by their fruits.

' What do you do? You judge them by what their fruit is. Of course you use judgment. We're going to actually be involved in the judgment. Next verse proves that. Go ahead read that for us - 1 Corinthians - what did I say, :2 and 3? "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? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?" What? We're going to judge the world? I thought that God was going to judge through Christ? How do you feel about maybe me judging you? Or you judging me? Can you be trusted? (Comment from audience) yeah, people - sometimes people judge people now but we're talking about in heaven.

All the lost are lost, all the saved are saved. Will we be doing anything out of harmony with God's will during that judgment? So if we've all got the mind of Christ because we're all saved, are we really doing anything different from God or are we really confirming or supporting the judgments of God? Now, one thing that's happening during the one thousand years - things that are hidden now will be revealed. The Bible tells us that those things done in secret will be proclaimed from the housetops. Let me give you a couple more verses on this. Corinthians 4:5, "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." The counsels of the heart will be revealed during that time. And we read in Revelation 15:4, "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." It says the judgments of God are made manifest. One more - 1 Corinthians 4:5, therefore judge nothing before the time" - oh, I just did that one, didn't i? It says he'll bring to heart the things from people's hearts are then manifest. So at the end of the one thousand years, now, the new Jerusalem comes down, all the wicked are raised, they're called 'gog and magog' - they cover the earth like the sand of the sea.

Let me show you an example of this here - Ezekiel 38:16 - still talking about the old testament parallel - gog and magog - "you will come up against my people Israel like a cloud," - didn't it just say like the sand? - "To cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me, when I am hallowed in you, o gog, before their eyes." And I'm jumping down - same chapter, 38 - because we don't have time to read all of chapter - "and I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him," - it's talking about God raining on gog and magog - "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." Now isn't that what we just read in Revelation? "They went up on the breadth of the earth" - this is verse 9 of chapter 20 - "and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them." And then it says, "the devil who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone." There you've got the word 'brimstone' again. And so, all the wicked who have ever lived - called gog and magog - they are raised. Satan marshals them - now satan has not lost his influence because they went to the grave trusting in the devil - when they come out of the graves they're the same.

People have wondered, 'well how are the wicked resurrected? Do they get new bodies? No, I think they just get put back together enough so they can figure out what's going on. And if they went to their grave with a backache they might come out with a backache - and if you come out of your grave with a backache, you're in the wrong resurrection. So, first thing you might ask yourself is, 'do I hurt anywhere?' When you open your eyes, right? So he gathers them together. And where's the biggest number? In the city or outside the city? It's outside the city. Straight is the gate that leads to life and few there be that find it.

' The minority is in the city. There'll maybe be millions or billions in the city, but there's many more billions outside. Now think about this. This is a very somber moment. At this moment, everybody who has ever lived on the planet or been involved in the plan of salvation is present and accounted for.

This is a roll call nobody can escape. You and I will all meet again someday, I promise you right now. The question is will we be in the city or will we be outside? The devil is there - he's outside. Fallen angels are there on the outside. Christ is there - he's on the inside.

Good angels are on the inside. Lost are on the outside, saved are on the inside. Everybody is there, right? And the devil sees this cloud - like the sand they cover the earth. All the wicked, he says, 'we can take the city.' It's his last desperate futile attempt to seize what he wanted all along, he wanted to be God. He says, 'we can take this world.

It's mine. We outnumber them.' I mean, the devil tried to keep Jesus in the tomb with a few roman soldiers, right? He's desperate. He does dumb things because he's desperate. But he is a master manipulator. Boy, he does great Marketing.

He can do a pep rally like no one you've ever heard. He gets these people to believe in him. Doesn't the devil manage to manipulate people? And he's going to - you know, I might be judging, but I think maybe julius caesar is outside the city. Maybe napoleon is out there. Probably adolph hitler and stalin, right? So you've got these great despotic leaders out there - military minds are out there and he gets them all to marshall all these armies and it says, 'for a little season.

' How long is this period of time when they muster for battle against the city of God? I don't know. I mean, it might be a matter of days, it might be months, it could be years, I don't know. God's very patient. It calls it 'a season.' He's loose for a season. A little while.

We don't know what that means. I mean, compared to 6,000 years or 7,000 years, what is that? But they gather together to form this battle against the people of God. You know, that shows - all the universe that's watching sees God has no choice but to destroy them because satan has not repented and the people outside the city - you and i, if we're saved and we're in the city, we may look outside the city - probably will - and see some people we know. And can you think about the heartbreak of looking out there and seeing people you know and know that there's no more hope for them? And you'll be thinking, 'God, please, don't destroy them.' But when you see that they're ready to attack God, again, we all realize, 'does he have any choice?' We're going to understand he has no choice. So God is allowing this to play out so everybody is going to recognize he is doing what - he has no other option.

It's something that breaks his heart but he will have to destroy the wicked. And so, at the end of that time they surround the city of God. Now this is when the great white throne happens - at this same moment. Just when the devil is about to launch his attack on the city of God, Christ rises up above the city. Everybody is surrounding the city now, like a big bull's eye.

All the wicked are there. All the righteous are in the city. Keep in mind this is a big city with big walls and it's all stone. the Lord has got it all protected from the fire that will rain down. In the heavens, God will make a panorama appear of the whole plan of salvation.

You know, can the Lord teach a person in five minutes, through vision, a great deal? I mean, the Lord can give something to someone in a vision - in the judgment this final executive judgment - I don't think God is going to sit on the white throne and have this line that is going to spiral around the planet 10,000 times like you're at the dmv department and - waiting for your turn. One by one people are going to come and stand before the Lord and God's going to say, 'guilty. Innocent. Guilty.' No. Can God save 3,000 people at one time during pentecost? Can he judge 3 billion people at one time? So I think that he'll have this panorama in the sky, everyone will stand before God.

He will show them their life - you've heard of people's lives passing before them? Their lives will pass before them. They will see all the times when God created an opportunity for them to be saved and they kept postponing or kept putting it off, or kept rejecting it or turning away. And he pled after them and he did everything he could. And they'll see that God is good because at that moment - there's going to be a moment, the Bible says, when finally everybody is overwhelmed with the Spirit of God - the goodness of God - the justice of God - and it says 'every knee will bow.' Every knee - everybody in the city will bow - of course, they didn't have a problem bowing to Jesus - but even everybody outside the city will bow. All the good angels will bow.

All the bad angels. Even the devil himself will kneel before the Lord and say he is just, he is right. But after that deed and after they acknowledge his justice and his goodness, satan, in just a frenzy says, 'this is our last chance.' And he says, 'charge! Attack! It's our only chance! Take it by force. We're lost otherwise.' And they'll go to launch this attack on the city of God. And at that point God speaks the word, the heavens peel back, fire rains down upon the lost - all outside the city of God.

The Bible tells us in 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. It will leave them neither root nor branch. That's that day, right? Peter talks about this in 2 Peter chapter 3 and he talks both about the second coming and the end of the millennium when he says, 'the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens will dissolve with a great noise and the elements will melt with fervent heat and the earth and the things that are in it will be burned up.' And he says, 'seeing then that all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we be in all holy conversation and Godliness.' And so everything is going to be devoured outside the city of God so we want to be in the Kingdom of God at that time, right? When can we get entrance into the Kingdom of God? Now. 'Behold the Kingdom of God is at hand.

' And he says, 'behold, the kingdom of God is within you.' If Christ is reigning as king within you now, you will be within his kingdom then. And so, now is when we get our citizenship for that kingdom. Oh, I've been trying to squeeze a lot of Bible eschatology into just a few moments here. What have I left out here? I hope I made it clear that during the millennium we are in heaven, we are not on earth. One more verse on that, Revelation 4, verse 2, it says, "immediately I was in the spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven.

" Where is this throne? Heaven. And Revelation 20:11, "then I saw a great white throne and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away." This great white throne in Revelation 20 where the millennium is, is where? So where are we during the one thousand years? And we're going to be involved in looking at the books. I used to think, you know, God - I don't think God's got a big old library with dusty books up there - he just uses the word 'books' so we'll understand he's got a record and knowing that God is much better than any librarian. I figured, for years, it was a dvd. And then I finally - I thought it was a video cassette and then I realized it was a dvd and now it's probably a blue ray, but eventually it's going to be three-dimensional in my mind, but God's going to basically have some kind of 3-d way of - you're going to see why people are there that maybe shouldn't be there.

Can you imagine the surprise when stephen gets to heaven and he sees Paul there? He says, 'wait!' - To his angel - he tugs on his robe and says, 'you know, you guys normally do really good work but I think you made a mistake.' And he said, 'the last time I saw him, he was killing Christians.' And then the angel will say, 'come here. I want to show you what happened.' And he'll press a button and this dvd will come out and he'll play the record and it shows that Paul was converted. And there's going to be a lot of interesting questions when we get there. There might be some people that are missing and you're going to wonder why aren't they there? And the Lord will show us during that time. Alright, let's go to 'life in the new earth'.

We want to get you to heaven. We read about Revelation 21 - 'i saw the new heaven and the new earth' - are we just going to be chubby cherubs, you know, you've seen all these pictures of kind of these little fat naked babies on clouds playing harps up in heaven and people think - and then they portray hell as just a wild party and people say, 'well, which do I want? Do I want to just float on the clouds and play a harp and be a, you know, a little fat baby or do I want to, you know, go to the party?' This is - the devil wants people to think, you know, hell is going to be the groovy place to be. Oh no, it's not. It is the antithesis of that. Heaven is going to be very real - people doing wonderful, wonderful, exciting real things.

Hell is going to be terror and, of course, people don't burn there forever, everyone is punished according to what they deserve and they are consumed in that lake of fire. But what are the righteous doing when God makes the new earth? Well, for one thing, look in - someone read for me 2 Peter 3:13 - who has that? Right here. Let's get you a microphone. Peter 3:13 and while we get that I'm going to go to Isaiah :17. Here the prophet says, "for behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.

" It doesn't mean that we've forgotten that the Lord saved us. All the former painful memories are gone. But he makes a new heaven and a new earth. Heaven there means 'atmosphere around the planet' - that's the word 'heaven' that's used there. Alright, go ahead - we're going to have you read 2 Peter 3:13.

"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." Alright. Planet is a chaotic void mess after the millennium. All the wicked are burned. God is going to purify the planet with that fire that comes down and then after it goes out it says they are turned to ashes - Malachi 4 - there's not a coal to warm at Isaiah tells us. And so, there's no more fire.

Then on the purified ashes of this world God is going to create a new heavens and a new earth. And I don't know if he'll do it in six days - or exactly how he's going to do it, but we get to watch him from those front row seats of the new Jerusalem - create. He will speak a new world into existence better than the first. I believe it's going to be an upgrade on what adam and eve had. And then we enter eternity - we'll be able to soar through the universe and explore and we will be the representatives of God - God is going to move the capital of the planet to our planet - capital of the universe to our planet.

Won't that be exciting? If you'd like our free offer #189 it's 'heaven, is it for real?' You'll find this inspiring - offer #189. Call the number 866-study-more - -788-3966. I don't know why I didn't remember that - study more - that's easy. And God bless you friends, the lord willing, we'll enter into our new lesson next week dealing with 'origins'. Impact your world.

The Amazing Facts center of evangelism is the first and original Bible training school operating for over ten years. You'll receive practical training in personal and public evangelism. Learn how to give dynamic public presentations, give compelling Christ-centered Bible studies and all while gaining a personal, deeper understanding of God. Learn from Doug Batchelor and other world-class evangelists. To enroll today, visit afcoe.org or call (530) 422-7994.

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