Chapter 26: THE MILLENNIUM AND THE END OF SIN


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

Christ returns.

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

their reign.

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

governing.(*6)

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

millennial judgment.

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

responsible.

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"

(Zech. 14.9).

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'"

(Luke 13:28).

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

of doom.

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.

1. Hell.

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

Christ."(*13)

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

rubbish.

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.

10:28).

What is the nature of hellfire? Do people in hell burn

forever?

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

exists.

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

any resurrection."(*16)

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

everlasting.

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'"

(Mal. 4:1).

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

(Rev. 20:14).

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

eternal.

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).

References

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

earth.

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.