by Greg on August 1, 2012
In my last article Secret Rapture Needs to be Left Behind, I wrote the following.
“After the second coming of Jesus, the earth will be uninhabitable for a thousand years. The saints will be in heaven reigning with Christ during that time.”
That, of course, is contrary to popular Christian doctrine. Most believe that when Jesus comes back – subsequent to the secret rapture (false) and the 7 years of tribulation (false) – He, along with the saints, will land on earth. Upon which, they will reign during a thousand years of peace on the planet.
By restoring biblical truth, this article’s premise differs from that commonly believed scenario.
Here’s what the Bible tells us—
Beginning of the Millennium
“…These came to life again and reigned with Christ for a thousand years…. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that has a part in the first resurrection.” Rev. 20: 4, 5, 6.
This coming to life is the first of two resurrections that take place in earth’s future. It is the resurrection for the righteous dead. They, along with the righteous living, as described in 1 Thess. 4: 16, 17, will rise in the air to meet Jesus upon His second coming.
The first resurrection, as indicated in Rev. 20: 4, marks the start of the millennium.
The wicked’s fate
Since the premise of the secret rapture is false, so then is the idea attached to it. That idea describes the wicked as having a second chance to repent during a seven-year tribulation period.
So what then actually happens, concerning the wicked, upon the second coming of Jesus? The prophet Jeremiah saw that day and prophesied about it. “Those slain by the Lord on that day will be from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be lamented, gathered or buried; they will be like dung on the face of the ground.” Jer. 25: 33.
More from God’s word concerning that day:
“With the breath of His [Jesus] lips He will slay the wicked.” Isaiah 11: 4.
“…when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God.” 2 Thess. 2: 7, 8.
In Luke 17: 37, Jesus said that the bodies of the wicked will be left on the ground to be devoured by vultures.
The clear truth is that the living wicked will be slain at the brightness of Jesus’ coming.
The wicked that are already dead at His coming, will remain in their graves. At the end of the millennium, the wicked dead will live again, having risen from the second resurrection. This is according to Rev. 20: 5.
(About vs. 5. The last sentence says this is the first resurrection. That sentence, in context, should’ve been applied at the beginning of vs. 6. Keep in mind that only the word is inspired, not where the translator decides punctuation or paragraph breaks should be.)
The planet’s fate
“The earth will be completely laid waste and completely despoiled.” Isa. 24: 3 (See also vs. 19 and 20).
“I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light. I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. I looked, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens had fled. I looked and behold, the fruitful land was a wilderness, and all its cities were pulled down before the Lord, before His fierce anger.” Jer. 4: 23-26.
“…and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it and so mighty…and every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven.” Rev. 16: 18, 20, 21.
At the coming of the Lord, there will be much devastation upon the earth. Between the brightness of Jesus and the destruction from an earthquake and hailstorm, there won’t be a wicked human left alive.
The earth itself will be almost split asunder. The magnitude of destruction will shake the planet and the heavens back into their original state; that of being formless and void.
“I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent of old, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and shut it and sealed it so that he would not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years should be fulfilled.” Rev. 20: 1-3.
In the original Greek, the word for “bottomless pit” is “abussos,” or abyss. The same word “abussos” is used in the Greek version of the Old Testament in connection with the creation of the earth, but there it is translated “deep.” We see it in Gen. 1: 2—“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”
In other words, the words “bottomless pit” “abyss,” and “deep” are referring to the same thing; that is, the earth will revert back to its totally dark and disorganized form, just as it was before God made order of it.
So it is the formless void and deep darkness of earth itself that is the bottomless pit in which Satan is bound for a thousand years.
Now think about the feasibility of Satan being tied up. A spirit cannot be confined with a literal chain. The chain that he is bound with, like so much of Revelation, is symbolic. It is a chain of circumstances the scripture is speaking of.
Satan will be tied to the circumstances that there won’t be any people on earth to deceive for a thousand years. The righteous will have been caught up and taken to heaven; the wicked will have been destroyed at Christ’s coming.
Satan will be confined to earth, shut up in darkness alone with his demons. For the Lord will not allow him nor them to roam the universe.
The righteous’ fate
“Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God. And I saw those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand…they reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Rev. 20: 1-4.
“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? Do you not know we will judge angels?” 1 Cor. 6: 2, 3.
Having gone to heaven, taken by Jesus, the righteous from all ages will have the occasion to review earthly and celestial records. This time is given over to them to have their questions answered as to why some – family, friends, church members, acquaintances, etc. – didn’t make it to heaven. God’s treatment of the wicked angels will be reviewed too.
Given the opportunity to judge details of lifetimes, and God’s part in them; the saints, in the end, will see and acknowledge that God is just. God’s actions will be vindicated.
This all happens in heaven, along with learning to reign with Christ, during the course of the thousand years.
End of the Millennium
“And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” Rev. 21: 2.
“In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives…and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley…then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him…all the land will be changed into a plain” Zech. 14: 4, 5, 10.
Where the Mount of Olives now stands will be a flattened plain on which the New Jerusalem will land. In the city will be the saints from all ages, the heavenly angels, and the Trinity. This is Jesus’ third coming to earth.
The wicked live again
“The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed.” Rev. 20: 5.
This is the second resurrection as opposed to the first resurrection at the beginning of the millennium. In this second one, the wicked are raised. Their bodies are in the same mortal, corruptible, aged condition possessed before their deaths. Their mindset of selfishness and rebellion is still with them.
Although events in Revelation’s book, when read, seem to take place in minutes, the probable reality is that of at least a few months. It’s going to take some time for Satan and his minions to rally the wicked from all ages.
“When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations…to gather them together for the war…and they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city.” Rev. 20: 7-9.
At the close of the thousand years, circumstances have changed. Satan is no longer bound by emptiness. The earth is populated again. Satan then is able to use his power of persuasion to convince the wicked to attack the New Jerusalem.
Of course, that enterprise will fail; resulting in Satan, his demons, the wicked, and sin itself coming to an end in a worldwide lake of fire.
The New Jerusalem is the only thing left standing.
After the fiery cleansing, the meek will inherit the earth made anew.
Review of Events
Beginning of the millennium
- Jesus’ 2nd coming.
- Horrendous earthquake and hailstorm.
- First resurrection: righteous dead and living meet Jesus in air, and taken to heaven where they will judge and reign with Christ.
- Wicked living are slain by Jesus’ presence; wicked who are already in their graves, remain dead.
- Satan and his demons bound for a thousand years in darkness on a desolate earth.
Close of the millennium
- Jesus’ 3rd coming, with all the holy ones in the New Jerusalem.
- The New Jerusalem lands where the Mount of Olives is now, which will be a flat plain.
- Second resurrection: wicked dead are raised.
- Satan is loosed.
- Satan convinces wicked to attack the holy city.
- Satan and wicked are destroyed in fire.
- Earth is made anew, free from sin.