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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
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.
“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
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