"Coming, 1,000 Years of Peace!"
"The devil is bound, and we are now in the millennium," someone recently claimed. "If the devil is bound," a minister replied, "he must be tied with a rubber chain that stretches from Paris to Bombay and from Washington to Moscow!"
We need only look at what is happening about us to know that the devil has never been more active. However, the time is soon coming when the devil's
activities will be completely restricted. He will be unable to tempt, torment, or destroy any of God's children. Perfect peace and happiness will permeate the universe, for the devil will be bound!
This thousand - year "vacation" is called the millennium. This term is not found in the Bible. It comes from two Latin words, mille and annus, and means one thousand years. The phrase "one thousand years" is found six times in Revelation 20. There are many theories concerning the millennium. However, the Bible explains very clearly the beginning, the purpose, and the end of this period. Before you begin your study of the questions in this lesson, read the entire chapter of Revelation 20 in it's context.
1. In what two resurrections did Christ say the dead will be raised? John 5:28, 29
Here we have mentioned the resurrection of the righteous and the resurrection of the wicked: two distinct resurrections.
2. When will the righteous dead be raised? 1 Thessalonians 4:16
3. What does the Bible call this resurrection of the righteous? Revelation 20:6
4. What happens to the living righteous when Christ comes? 1 Thessalonians 4:17
5. What happens to the wicked living when Christ comes? Jeremiah 25:31-33
6. How does the Bible indicate that the second coming of Christ does not disturb the wicked dead? Revelation 20:5
From our study we notice that the millennium, or thousand years, is bounded by two resurrections: that of the righteous at the beginning of the millennium; and that of the wicked at the end of the thousand years. The resurrection of the righteous takes place at the second coming. Thus we see that the millennium is the thousand years immediately following the second coming of Christ.
7. How will the righteous spend a portion of their time in heaven during the millennium? Verses 4, 6 & 1 Corinthians 6:1-3 & Jude 6
During the thousand years between the first and second resurrections, the judgment of the wicked, the devil, and his angels takes place. "How wonderfully wise is God! Suppose you had a very dear friend on earth, but in heaven he was not to be found. Well, during the millennium you will find out just how God has dealt with his case and the case of all others. God takes one thousand years for this work. He will run no risk of having one single doubt in any mind about His work for fallen men. During this period God allows the saved to sit, as it were, beside Him and learn how hard He tried to save every person" (God Speaks to Modern Man, p. 540).
8. If all the righteous are in heaven and all the wicked are dead, how many people will be here upon earth during the millennium? Jeremiah 4:23-27
All is darkness, no man is left alive upon the earth. Even the birds are gone! The cities are all broken down. The unburied dead are strewn upon the earth! What a picture of gloom and desolation!
9. What does Satan do during the millennium? Revelation 20:1-3
The desolation of the earth is brought on by a series of tragic events: (1) the awful plagues (Revelation 15, 16), including the general carnage and devastation of Armageddon; (2) the awesome coming of Christ in glory, at which time the wicked living are destroyed and the earth is broken up by a great earthquake.
The expression "bottomless pit" means a place of chaos, darkness, or desolation, and is translated from the Greek word from which we get abyss. The same Greek word is used in the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament in Jeremiah 4:23-25, where the earth is pictured as "without form, and void"
"For a thousand years, Satan will wander to and fro in the desolate earth to behold the results of his rebellion against the law of God. During this time his sufferings are intense. Since his fall, his life of unceasing activity has banished reflection; but he is now deprived of his power and left to contemplate the part which he has acted since first he rebelled against the government of heaven, and to look forward with trembling and terror to the dreadful future when he must suffer for all the evil that he has done and be punished for the sins that he has caused to be committed" (The Great Controversy, p. 660).
10. When will the wicked dead live again? Verse 5
11. When will Satan be loosed out of his prison? Verse 7
12. How does the city of God get to this earth? Revelation 21:2, 3
13. How does Satan show that he has not changed during the millennium? Revelation 20:8, 9
Satan has not changed. He goes out again to deceive and mislead those who have been raised at the end of the thousand years in the second resurrection. This will include all the wicked of all ages who have refused to let God cleanse and save them from their sins.
14. What is the outcome of the desperate attempt of Satan and his followers to take the City of God? Verses 9, 14, 15
"This is the last act in the great controversy between Christ and Satan. The whole human race meet here for the first and last time. The eternal separation of the righteous from the wicked here takes place. At this time the judgment of God is executed upon the wicked in the lake of fire. This is the second death. This ends the great rebellion against God and His government" (Bible Readings, p. 261)
16. After the purifying fire is over and all sin has been eliminated, what will God make? Verse 13
John said, "I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away" (Revelation 21:1). "The fire that consumes the wicked purifies the earth. Every trace of the curse is swept away. . . . Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God" (The Great Controversy, pp. 674, 675).
17. Who will inhabit the new earth? Revelation 21:27
18. How can we make certain that our name is in the book of life and that it has not been erased? Exodus 32:33 & Revelation 3:5
19. Through whom only do we obtain the victory and become over comers? 1 Corinthians 15:57
20. How do the Scriptures say the saints overcame the enemy? Revelation 12:11
All eternity is at stake; for there's no second chance. The purifying fires are final! But none need experience the anguish of being eternally lost. Jesus offers eternal life -- a beautiful tomorrow to each person. The invitation is given to everyone! "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17).