The Destruction of the Wicked
Now we come to the close of the thousand years, mentioned in Revelation 20. As we’ve already noted, the wicked were slain by the brightness of Jesus’ second coming, and they lay dead on a desolate earth while Satan was brewing over the ill results of his rebellion. The righteous were judging the lost and the wicked angels. (See 1 Corinthians 4:5; 6:2-3; Jude 6; Revelation 20:4, 6.)
Now God, the saints, and the New Jerusalem come down from heaven. (Revelation 21:2; 20:9.) Then the wicked are raised from the dead. (Revelation 20:5-6.)
“They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; after many days they will be punished.” Isaiah 24:22.
At the close of the thousand years, Christ again returns to the earth. He is accompanied by the host of the redeemed and attended by a retinue of angels. As He descends in terrific majesty He bids the wicked dead arise to receive their doom. They come forth, a mighty host, numberless as the sands of the sea. What a contrast to those who were raised at the first resurrection! The righteous were clothed with immortal youth and beauty. The wicked bear the traces of disease and death. . . .
Christ descends upon the Mount of Olives, whence, after His resurrection, He ascended, and where angels repeated the promise of His return. Says the prophet: "The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee." "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof, . . . and there shall be a very great valley." "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one." Zechariah 14:5, 4, 9. As the New Jerusalem, in its dazzling splendor, comes down out of heaven, it rests upon the place purified and made ready to receive it, and Christ, with His people and the angels, enters the Holy City.
Now Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy. While deprived of his power and cut off from his work of deception, the prince of evil was miserable and dejected; but as the wicked dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes revive, and he determines not to yield the great controversy. He will marshal all the armies of the lost under his banner and through them endeavor to execute his plans. The wicked are Satan’s captives. In rejecting Christ they have accepted the rule of the rebel leader. They are ready to receive his suggestions and to do his bidding. . . . He proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God. With fiendish exultation he points to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declares that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom. . . .
Satan consults with his angels, and then with these kings and conquerors and mighty men. They look upon the strength and numbers on their side, and declare that the army within the city is small in comparison with theirs, and that it can be overcome.
At last the order to advance is given, and the countless host moves on—an army such as was never summoned by earthly conquerors, such as the combined forces of all ages since war began on earth could never equal. Satan, the mightiest of warriors, leads the van, and his angels unite their forces for this final struggle. . . . By command of Jesus, the gates of the New Jerusalem are closed, and the armies of Satan surround the city and make ready for the onset.
Now Christ again appears to the view of His enemies. Far above the city, upon a foundation of burnished gold, is a throne, high and lifted up. Upon this throne sits the Son of God, and around Him are the subjects of His kingdom. The power and majesty of Christ no language can describe, no pen portray. The glory of the Eternal Father is enshrouding His Son. The brightness of His presence fills the City of God, and flows out beyond the gates, flooding the whole earth with its radiance. . . .
Invested with supreme majesty and power, the King of kings pronounces sentence upon the rebels against His government and executes justice upon those who have transgressed His law and oppressed His people. Says the prophet of God: “I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were 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.” Revelation 20:11, 12.
As soon as the books of record are opened, and the eye of Jesus looks upon the wicked, they are conscious of every sin which they have ever committed. . . .
The whole wicked world stand arraigned at the bar of God on the charge of high treason against the government of heaven. They have none to plead their cause; they are without excuse; and the sentence of eternal death is pronounced against them. . . .
“Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup.” Psalm 11:6. Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up. (See Malachi 4:1; 2 Peter 3:10.) The earth’s surface seems one molten mass—a vast, seething lake of fire. It is the time of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men—“the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.” Isaiah 34:8, KJV.
The wicked receive their recompense in the earth. Proverbs 11:31. They “ ‘will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,’ Says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 4:1. . . . All are punished “according to their deeds.” Jeremiah 25:14. . . . In the cleansing flames the wicked are at last destroyed, root and branch—Satan the root, his followers the branches. The full penalty of the law has been visited; the demands of justice have been met; and heaven and earth, beholding, declare the righteousness of Jehovah. . . .
Now God’s creatures are forever delivered from his presence and temptations. “The whole earth is at rest and quiet: they [the righteous] break forth into singing.” Isaiah 14:7. And a shout of praise and triumph ascends from the whole loyal universe. “The voice of a great multitude,” “as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of mighty thunderings,” is heard, saying: “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” Revelation 19:6.
The Great Controversy, p. 662-673
Now, the saved get to watch Jesus create a New Earth!
All Scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version, including those originally quoted by Ellen White from the King James Version.—Editors