|Chapter 26: THE MILLENNIUM AND THE END OF
Seventh-day Adventists Believe...
The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with
His saints in heaven between the first and second
resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be
judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living
human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At
its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will
descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then
be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround
the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse
the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and
sinners forever.--Fundamental Beliefs, 26
THE MILLENNIUM AND THE END OF SIN
Throughout history there have been those who have waxed
eloquent about the horrors of hell, playing on people's fear
in an attempt to bring them to worship God. But what kind of
god do they portray?
How will God finally get rid of evil? What will happen to
Satan? What will keep sin from erecting its ugly head once
more? How can a just God also be loving?
Events at the Beginning of the Millennium
During the millennium, the thousand-year period of which
the twentieth chapter of Revelation speaks, Satan's
influence over the earth will be restricted, and Christ will
reign with His saints (Rev. 20:1-4).
The Second Advent
Revelation 19 and 20 belong together; there is no break
between these chapters. They describe Christ's coming (Rev.
19:11-21) and immediately continue with the millennium,
their sequence indicating that the millennium begins when
Revelation represents the three powers that gather the
nations of the world to oppose Christ's work and His people
immediately before the Second Advent, as a dragon, a beast,
and a false prophet (Rev. 16:13). When "the beast, the kings
of the earth, and their armies" assemble to make war against
Christ at the time of His return, the beast and the false
prophet are destroyed (Rev. 19:19,20). What follows in
Revelation 20, the chapter on the millennium, deals with the
fate of the third member of the demonic trio, the dragon. He
is taken captive and cast into the bottomless pit, where he
remains for 1000 years.(*1)
As we saw in chapter 24, it is with Christ's second
advent, when the kingdoms of this world are destroyed, that
God sets up His kingdom of glory--a kingdom that will last
forever (Dan. 2:44). It is then that His people will begin
The First Resurrection
At the Second Advent the first resurrection takes place.
The righteous, the "blessed and holy," are raised--for "over
such the second death has no power, but they shall be
priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a
thousand years" (Rev. 20:6; see chapter 25 of this book).
The Righteous Go to Heaven
After the resurrection of the righteous dead, they and
the living saints are caught up "to meet the Lord in the
air" (1 Thess. 4-17). Then Christ will fulfill the promise
He made just before He left this world: "`I go to prepare a
place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I
will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am,
there you may be also'" (John 14:2,3). Jesus described the
place to which He will take His followers as "`My Father's
house,'" where there are "`many mansions,'" or dwelling
places (John 14-2). Here Jesus refers to the New Jerusalem,
which does not come to this earth until the end of the
millennium. At the Second Advent, then, when the righteous
"meet the Lord in the air," their destination is heaven--not
the earth that they have just left.(*2) Christ does not
establish His kingdom of glory on the earth at this time. He
does that at the end of the millennium.
Christ's Enemies Are Slain
Christ compared His return to what happened at the Flood
and in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matt.
24:37-39; Luke 17:28-30). His comparison makes two points:
first, that the destruction that came caught the wicked by
surprise; and second, that what came was destruction--the
Flood "`took them all away'" (Matt. 24:39). The fire and
brimstone that rained down upon Sodom "`destroyed them all'"
(Luke 17:29; see also Matt. 13:38-40). At the Second Advent
Christ will descend from heaven with His armies as the rider
on the white horse whose name is "King of Kings and Lord of
Lords" and strike the rebellious nations of the world. After
the beast and the false prophet are destroyed, "the rest" of
Satan's followers will die and there will be no survivors,
for they "were killed with the sword which proceeded from
the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds
were filled with their flesh" (Rev. 19-21).(*3)
Describing this scene, Scripture has said, "The Lord
comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the
earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her
blood, and will no more cover her slain" (Isa. 26:21).
The Earth Becomes Desolate
Since the righteous ascend to be with the Lord and the
wicked are destroyed at His appearing, the earth stands for
a time without human inhabitants. Scripture points to such a
situation. Jeremiah said, "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" (Jer. 4:23-25). Jeremiah's use of the
terminology found in Genesis 1:2, "without form, and void,"
indicates that the earth is to become as chaotic as it was
at the beginning of Creation.
Satan Is Bound
The events that take place at this time were foreshadowed
in the scapegoat ritual of the Day of Atonement in Israel's
sanctuary service. On the Day of Atonement the high priest
cleansed the sanctuary with the atoning blood of the Lord's
goat. Only after this atonement was fully completed did the
ritual involving Azazel, the goat that symbolized Satan,
begin (see chapter 23). Laying his hands on its head, the
high priest confessed "`all the iniquities of the children
of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all
their sins, putting them on the head of the goat'" (Lev.
16:21). And the scapegoat was sent into the wilderness,
"`an uninhabited land'" (Lev. 16:22).
Similarly, Christ, in the heavenly sanctuary, has been
ministering the benefits of His completed atonement to His
people; at His return He will redeem them and give them
eternal life. When He has completed this work of redemption
and the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, He will place
the sins of His people upon Satan, the originator and
instigator of evil. In no way can it be said that Satan
atones for the sins of believers--Christ has fully done
that. But Satan must bear the responsibility of all the sin
he has caused those who are saved to commit. And as "a fit
man" led the scapegoat into an uninhabited land, so God will
banish Satan to the desolate and uninhabited earth (see
chapter 23 of this book).(*4)
John's vision of the millennium vividly portrayed the
banishment of Satan. He saw that at the beginning of the
thousand years "the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the
Devil and Satan" is chained and confined to "the bottomless
pit" (Rev. 20:2,3). This symbolically conveys the temporary
ending of Satan's activities of persecution and deception;
"he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand
years were finished" (Rev. 20:3).
The term John uses--"bottomless pit" (Greek,
abussos)--appropriately describes the earth's condition at
this time.(*5) Battered by the seven plagues that
immediately precede Christ's coming (see particularly Rev.
16:18-21) and covered with the bodies of the wicked, the
earth is a scene of utter desolation.
Confined to this earth, Satan is "bound" by a chain of
circumstances. Since the earth is devoid of any human life,
Satan has no one to tempt or to persecute. He is bound in
the sense that he has nothing to do.
Events During the Millennium
Christ in Heaven With the Redeemed
At His second advent Christ takes His followers to
heaven, to the dwelling places He has prepared for them in
the New Jerusalem. Like Moses and the Israelites, the
redeemed, filled with gratitude, sing a song of their
deliverance--"the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the
song of the Lamb, saying: `Great and marvelous are Your
works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O
King of the saints!" (Rev. 15:3).
The Saints Reign With Christ
It is during the millennium that Christ will fulfill His
promise to give the overcomers "`power over the nations'"
(Rev. 2:26). Daniel saw that after the destruction of
Christ's enemies "`the kingdom and dominion, and the
greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be
given to the people, the saints of the Most High'" (Dan.
7:27). Those whom Christ raises in the first resurrection
will reign with Him for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4).
But in what sense can the saints be said to reign if they
are in heaven and all the wicked are dead? Their reign will
consist of involvement in an important phase of Christ's
The Judgment of the Wicked
John saw that during the millennium the saints would be
involved in judgment; he saw "thrones, and they sat on them,
and judgment was committed to them (Rev. 20:4). This is the
time of the judgment of Satan and his angels that Scripture
notes (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). It's the time when Paul's
declaration that the saints would judge the world and even
the angels (1 Cor. 6:2,3) will come to pass.(*7)
The millennial judgment does not decide who is to be
saved or lost. God makes that decision before the Second
Advent; all those who were not either resurrected or
translated then are forever lost. The judgment in which the
righteous participate serves the purpose of answering any
questions the righteous may have as to why the wicked are
lost. God wants those to whom He has given eternal life to
have full confidence in His leadership, so He will reveal to
them the operations of His mercy and justice.
Imagine you were in heaven and you found that one of your
loved ones whom you certainly expected to be there was not.
Such a case might cause you to question God's justice--and
that kind of doubt lies at the very base of sin. To lay to
rest forever any occasion for such doubts--and so to ensure
that sin will never rise again--God will provide the answers
to these questions during this review phase of the
In this work the redeemed fulfill a crucial role in the
great controversy between good and evil. "They will confirm
to their eternal satisfaction how earnestly and patiently
God cared for lost sinners. They will perceive how
heedlessly and stubbornly sinners spurned and rejected His
love. They will discover that even seemingly mild sinners
secretly cherished ugly selfishness rather than accept the
value system of their Lord and Saviour."(*8)
Satan's Time for Reflection
During the millennium Satan will suffer intensely.
Confined, with his angels, to a desolate earth, he cannot
carry on the deceptions that had constantly occupied his
time. He is forced to view the results of his rebellion
against God and His law; he must contemplate the part he has
played in the controversy between good and evil. He can only
look to the future with fear for the dreadful penalty he
must suffer because of all the evil for which he is
Events at the End of the Millennium
At the end of the thousand years "the rest of the
dead"--the wicked--will be resurrected, thus releasing Satan
from the inactivity that has imprisoned him (Rev. 20:5, 7).
Deceiving the wicked once again, he leads them against "the
camp of the saints and the beloved city [the New Jerusalem]"
(Rev. 20:9), which, with Christ, have descended from heaven
by this time.(*9)
Christ, the Saints, and the City Descend
Christ descends to earth again, with the saints and the
New Jerusalem, for two purposes. He will end the great
controversy by executing the decisions of the millennial
judgment, and He will purify and renew the earth so that He
can establish on it His eternal kingdom. Then, in the
fullest sense, "the Lord shall be King over all the earth"
The Resurrection of Condemnation
Now the moment has arrived that will complete the
fulfillment of Christ's promise that "`all who are in the
graves will hear His voice'" (John 5:28). At His second
advent Christ brought the righteous dead from their graves
in the first resurrection, "the resurrection of life." Now
the other resurrection Jesus spoke of will take place, "`the
resurrection of condemnation'" (John 5:29). Revelation also
refers to this resurrection: "The rest of the dead [those
who were not raised in the first resurrection] did not live
again until the thousand years were finished" (Rev. 20:5).
Satan's Captivity Ends
The resurrection of the wicked at the end of the thousand
years releases Satan from his captivity "for a little while"
(Rev. 20:3). In his last attempt to challenge God's
government he "will go out to deceive the nations which are
in the four corners of the earth" (Rev. 20:8). Since the
wicked are raised with the same rebellion spirit they each
possessed when they died, his work will not be difficult.
The Attack on the City
In his final deception Satan seeks to inspire the wicked
with the hope of capturing the kingdom of God by force.
Gathering the nations of the world, he leads them against
the beloved city (Rev. 20:8, 9).(*10) "The wicked who
stubbornly refused an entrance into the City of God through
the merits of Christ's sacrificial atonement, now determine
to gain admission and control by seige and battle."(*11)
The fact that the wicked, as soon as God gives them life
again, turn against Him and attempt to overthrow His kingdom
confirms the decision He has made about their fate. In this
way His name and character, which Satan has sought to
besmirch, will be fully vindicated before all.(*12)
The Great White Throne Judgment
John indicates that when God's enemies have surrounded
the city and are ready to attack it, God sets up His great
white throne. As the entire human race meets around this
throne--some secure inside the city, others outside,
terrified in the presence of the Judge--God will carry out
the last phase of judgment. This is the time Christ spoke of
when He said, "`There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth,
when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the
prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out'"
To carry out this executive phase of the judgment, God's
record books will be opened. "And another book was opened,
which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged
according to their works, by the things which were written
in the books" (Rev. 20:12). Then God pronounces the sentence
Why does God raise these people to life only to end their
existence again? During the millennium, the redeemed have
had an opportunity to examine the justice of God's treatment
of every intelligent being in the universe. Now the lost
themselves--including Satan and his angels--will confirm the
justice of God's ways.
It is at this great white throne judgment that Paul's
words, "We shall all stand before the judgment seat of
Christ" (Rom. 14:10), will be fulfilled. There all
creatures--unfallen and fallen, saved and lost--bow the knee
and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10,11; cf.
Isa. 45:22,23). Then the question of God's justice will have
been forever resolved. Those who receive eternal life will
have an unshakable faith in Him. Never again will sin mar
the universe or wreak havoc on its inhabitants.
Satan and Sinners Destroyed
Immediately upon their sentencing, Satan, his angels, and
his human followers receive their punishment. They are to
die an eternal death. "Fire came down from God out of heaven
and devoured" all the unsaved (Rev. 20:9). The very surface
of the earth outside the city appears to melt, becoming a
vast lake of fire for the "judgment and perdition of ungodly
men" (2 Peter 3:7). The "`day of the Lord's vengeance'"
(Isa. 34:8), upon which He will perform "his strange act"
(Isa. 28:21, KJV) of destroying His enemies, has arrived.
Said John: "And anyone not found written in the Book of Life
was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:15). The devil and
his associates also suffer this fate (Rev. 20:10).
The context of the entire Bible makes clear that this
"second death" (Rev. 21:8) that the wicked suffer means
their total destruction. What then of the concept of an
eternally burning hell? Careful study shows that the Bible
teaches no such hell or torment.
Biblically, hell is "the place and state of punishment
and destruction, by eternal fire in the second death, of
those who reject God and the offer of salvation in Jesus
English versions of the Bible frequently use the word
"hell" to translate the Hebrew word sheol and the Greek
hades. These terms generally refer to the grave where the
dead--both righteous and wicked--await, in a state of
unconsciousness, the resurrection (see chapter 25). Because
today's concept of hell differs so greatly from what these
Hebrew and Greek terms imply, a number of modern versions
avoid the word "hell," simply transliterating the Hebrew
word as "Sheol" and the Greek as "Hades."
In contrast, the Greek word geenna, which English
versions of the New Testament also translate with the word
"hell," denotes a place of fiery punishment for the
impenitent. In the Bible, then, "hell" does not always have
the same meaning--and the failure to note this distinction
has often led to great confusion.
Geenna is derived from the Hebrew Ge Hinnom, "Valley of
Hinnom"--a gorge on the south side of Jerusalem. Here Israel
had conducted the heathen rite of burning children to Molech
(2 Chron. 28:3; 33:1,6). Jeremiah predicted that because of
this sin the Lord would make the valley a "Valley of
Slaughter," where the corpses of the Israelites would be
buried till there was no more place for them. The remaining
bodies were to be "food for the birds" (Jer. 7:32,33; Isa.
30:33). Jeremiah's prophecy undoubtedly led Israel to view
Ge Hinnom as a place of judgement of the wicked, a place of
abhorrence, punishment, and shame.(*14) Later rabbinical
tradition considers it a place for burning carcasses and
Jesus used the fires of Hinnom as a representation of
hellfire (e.g., Matt. 5:22; 18:9). So the fires of Hinnom
symbolized the consuming fire of the last judgment. He
stated that it was an experience beyond death (Luke 12:5)
and that hell would destroy both body and soul (Matt.
What is the nature of hellfire? Do people in hell burn
2. The fate of the wicked.
According to the Scriptures, God promises eternal life
only to the righteous. The wages of sin is death, not
eternal life in hell (Rom. 6:23).
The Scriptures teach that the wicked will be "cut off"
(Ps. 37:9, 34); that they will perish (Ps. 37:20; 68:2).
They will not live in a state of consciousness forever, but
will be burned up (Mal. 4:1; Matt. 13:30,40; 2 Peter 3:10).
They will be destroyed (Ps. 145:20; 2 Thess. 1:9; Heb.
2:14), consumed (Ps. 104:35).
3. Everlasting punishment.
In speaking of the punishment of the wicked, the New
Testament uses the terms "everlasting" and "eternal." These
terms translate the Greek word aionios, and apply to God as
well as to man. To avoid misunderstanding, one must remember
that aionios is a relative term; its meaning is determined
by the object it modifies. So when Scripture uses aionios
("everlasting," "eternal") of God, it does mean that He
possesses infinite existence--for God is immortal. But when
it uses this word of mortal human beings or perishable
things, it means as long as the person lives or the thing
Jude 7, for example, says that Sodom and Gomorrah
suffered "the vengeance of eternal fire." Yet those cities
are not burning today. Peter said that that fire turned
those cities into ashes, condemning them to destruction (2
Peter 2:6). The "eternal" fire burned until there was
nothing left to burn, and then it went out (see also Jer.
17:27; 2 Chron. 36:19).
Similarly, when Christ assigns the wicked to
"`everlasting fire'" (Matt. 25:41), that fire that will burn
up the wicked will be "`unquenchable'" (Matt. 3:12). Only
when there is nothing left to burn will it go out.(*15)
When Christ spoke of "`everlasting punishment'" (Matt.
25:46) He did not mean everlasting punishing. He meant that
as the "eternal life [the righteous will enjoy] will
continue throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity; and the
punishment [the wicked will suffer] will also be
eternal--not eternal duration of conscious suffering,
however, but punishment that is complete and final. The end
of those who thus suffer is the second death. This death
will be eternal, from which there will not, and cannot, be
When the Bible speaks of "eternal redemption" (Heb. 9:12)
and "eternal judgment" (Heb. 6:2), it is referring to the
eternal results of the redemption and the judgment--not to
an endless process of redemption and judgment. In the same
way, when it speaks of eternal or everlasting punishment, it
is speaking of the results and not of the process of that
punishment. The death the wicked die will be final and
4. Tormented forever and ever.
Scripture's use of the expression "forever and ever"
(Rev. 14:11; 19:3; 20:10) has also contributed to the
conclusion that the process of punishing Satan and the
wicked will go on throughout eternity. But like
"everlasting," the object it modifies determines the meaning
of the word "forever." When it is associated with God, its
meaning is absolute--for God is immortal; when it is
associated with mortal humans, its meaning is limited.
Scripture's description of God's punishment of Edom
yields a good example of this usage. Isaiah says that God
would turn that country into burning pitch that would "not
be quenched night or day" and that its smoke was to "ascend
forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste;
no one shall pass through it forever and ever" (Isa.
34:9,10). Edom was destroyed, but it is not still burning.
The "forever" lasted until its destruction was complete.
Throughout Scripture it is clear that "forever" has its
limits. The Old Testament says that a slave could serve his
master "forever" (Ex. 21:6), that the child Samuel was to
abide in the tabernacle "forever" (1 Sam. 1:22), and that
Jonah thought he would be in the belly of the great fish
"forever" (Jonah 2:6). The New Testament uses this term in a
similar way: Paul, for example, counseled Philemon to
receive Onesimus "forever" (Philemon 15). In all these
instances "forever" means "as long as the person lives."
Psalm 92:7 says that the wicked will be destroyed
forever. And prophesying of the great final conflagration,
Malachi said, "`The day is coming, burning like an oven, and
all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And
the day which is coming shall burn them up,' says the Lord
of hosts, `that will leave them neither root nor branch'"
Once the wicked--Satan, evil angels, and impenitent
people--are all destroyed by fire, both root and branch,
there will be no further use for death or hades (see chapter
25 of this book). These also God will eternally destroy
So the Bible makes it very clear that the punishment, not
the punishing, is everlasting--is the second death. From
this punishment there is no resurrection; its effects are
Archbishop William Temple was right when he asserted,
"One thing we can say with confidence: Everlasting torment
is to be ruled out. If men had not imported the Greek and
unbiblical notion of the natural indestructibility of the
individual soul, and then read the New Testament with that
already in their minds, they would have drawn from it [the
New Testament] a belief, not in everlasting torment, but in
annihilation. It is the fire that is called aeonian
[everlasting], not the life cast into it."(*17)
The full penalty of God's law having been executed, the
demands of justice are satisfied. Now heaven and earth
proclaim the righteousness of the Lord.
5. The principle of punishment.
Death is the ultimate penalty for sin. As a result of
their sin, all who refuse the salvation God offers will die
eternally. But some have sinned flagrantly, demonic in the
delight they have taken in causing others to suffer. Others
have lived relatively moral, peaceful lives, their guilt
mainly that of rejecting the salvation provided in Christ.
Is it fair that they suffer the same punishment?
Christ said, the "`servant who knows his master's will
and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants
will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not
know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten
with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much
will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted
with much, much will be asked'" (Luke 12:47,58, NIV).
Undoubtedly, those who have rebelled against God the most
will suffer more than those who have not. But we should
understand their ultimate suffering in terms of Christ's
"second death" experience on the cross. There He bore the
sins of the world. And it was the awful separation from His
Father that sin brought that caused the agony He suffered--a
mental anguish beyond description. So with lost sinners.
They reap what they sow not only during this life but in the
final destruction. In God's presence, the guilt they feel
because of the sins they have committed will cause them to
suffer an indescribable agony. And the greater the guilt,
the greater the agony. Satan, the instigator and promoter of
sin, will suffer the most.(*18)
The Cleansing of the Earth
Describing the day of the Lord, when all traces of sin
will be eliminated, Peter said, "The heavens will pass away
with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent
heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be
burned up" (2 Peter 3:10).
The fire that destroys the wicked purifies the earth from
the pollution of sin. Out of the ruins of this earth God
will bring "a new heaven and a new earth, for the first
heaven and the first earth had passed away" (Rev. 21:1).
From this cleansed, re-created earth--the eternal home of
the redeemed--God will forever banish mourning, pain, and
death (Rev. 21:4). Finally the curse sin brought will have
been lifted (Rev. 22:3).
In view of the coming day of the Lord, in which sin and
impenitent sinners will be destroyed, Peter says to all,
"What kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy
and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and
speed its coming." Basing his hope on the promise of
Christ's return, he affirmed, "We are looking forward to a
new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So
then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this,
make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at
peace with him" (2 Peter 3:11,13,14, NIV).
1. See SDA Bible Commentary, rev. ed., vol. 7, p. 885.
2. See Questions on Doctrine, p. 495.
3. "When the beast and the false prophet are cast into the
lake of fire (Rev. 19:20), `the remnant' (Rev. 19:21), or
`the rest,' of their followers are slain by the sword of
Christ. These are the kings, captains, mighty men, and `all
men, both free and bond' (Rev. 19:18). The same classes are
mentioned under the sixth seal, as seeking to hide from the
face of the Lamb (Rev. 6:14-17) when the heavens depart as a
scroll and every mountain and island is moved. Obviously
these scriptures depict the same earth-shattering event, the
second advent of Christ.
"How many are involved in the death of `the remnant' (Rev.
19:21)? According to Rev. 13:8 there will be only two
classes on earth at the time of the advent: `all that dwell
upon the earth shall worship him [the beast], whose names
are not written in the book of life.' It is evident,
therefore, that when `the remnant' are `slain with the
sword' (Rev. 19:21), there are no survivors except those who
have withstood the beast, namely, those who are written in
the book of life (Rev. 13:8)" (SDA Bible Commentary, rev.
ed., vol. 7, p. 885).
4. Cf. Questions on Doctrine, p. 500. The scapegoat is not
the savior of the righteous.
5. The Septuagint uses this expression to translate the
Hebrew word tehom, "deep," in Genesis 1:22. This indicates
that the condition of the earth during the millennium
reflects at least in part the condition of the earth in the
beginning when it was "without form, and void; and darkness
was on the face of the deep." See SDA Bible Commentary, rev.
ed., vol. 7, p. 879.
6. The fact that they reign, or have dominion, does not
necessarily mean that there must be wicked living on the
earth. In the beginning, God gave Adam and Eve a dominion to
rule (Gen. 1:26). Before they sinned, they reigned over the
part of the creation that God had assigned them. One need
not have unruly subjects in order to reign.
7. SDA Bible Commentary, rev. ed., vol. 7, p. 880.
8. Maxwell, God Cares (Boise, ID: Pacific Press, 1985),
vol. 2, p. 500.
9. Revelation's portrayal of the descent of the New
Jerusalem does not necessarily indicate the exact time of
the descent, for in the previous chapter we see that
"beloved city" surrounded by the armies of the devil. This
scenario leads to the conclusion that the New Jerusalem must
have originally descended before the rejuvenation of the
10. The names Gog and Magog were associated with the
enemies of Israel, who were to attack God's people and
Jerusalem after the exile (see Eze. 38:2, 14-16). Various of
the Old Testament prophecies regarding Israel were not
fulfilled. They will meet their fulfillment in spiritual
Israel. So the mighty enemy confederation Ezekiel spoke of
as coming against Jerusalem will find its fulfillment when
God allows Satan, with his armies of the unsaved, to come
against His people and His beloved city for the final battle
of the great controversy.
11.Questions on Doctrine, p. 505.
12.Cf. SDA Bible Commentary, rev. ed., vol. 4, p. 708.
13."Hell," SDA Encyclopedia, rev. ed., p. 579.
14.See "Hell," SDA Dictionary, rev. ed., p. 475.
15.Cf. Jeremiah's prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem
by unquenchable fire (Jer. 17:27), fulfilled when
Nebuchadnezzar took the city (2 Chrom. 36:19). The fire
burned until the city was destroyed and then went out.
16.Questions on Doctrine, p. 539.
17.William Temple, Christian Faith and Life (New York:
Macmillan, 1931), p. 81.
18.Cf. "Hell," SDA Bible Dictionary, rev. ed., p. 475.