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The Doctrine of Christ

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    LESSON FIFTY-SEVEN The Millennium

    1. A period Of one thousand years, usually called the millennium, intervenes between the resurrection of the righteous and that of the wicked. Acts 24:14, 15; Revelation 20:4-6.TDOC 157.1

    2. At the beginning of this period the living wicked are destroyed by the glory of Christ’s coming. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10.TDOC 157.2

    3. During this period the righteous, both those who were translated and those who were raised at the coming of Christ, ‘will reign with Christ in heaven. 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; Revelation 20:6.TDOC 157.3

    4. They will then have a part in the final work of the judgment. Daniel 7:21, 22; 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3.TDOC 157.4

    5. During the same period, Satan will be kept as a prisoner upon the desolated earth. Revelation 20:1-3.TDOC 157.5

    6. At the close of this period the wicked are raised, Satan is loosed, and he leads the wicked in a final effort to overthrow the government of God. Revelation 20:7, 8.TDOC 157.6

    7. The second death is then visited upon the wicked, and the three great foes of God’s church, the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, are cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:9, 10; 19:20; Matthew 25:41.TDOC 157.7

    8. Then will begin the eternal reign of the saints with Christ on this earth. Daniel 7:18; Revelation 22:5.TDOC 157.8

    NOTES
    The time of the millennium

    “There are other positive statements of Scripture which intimate that the millennium follows the coming of Christ. According to Daniel, it is after the Son of man comes with the clouds of heaven that he is given ‘dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him.... and the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven are given to the people of the saints of the Most High ... and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’ Daniel 7:13, 14, 27. According to the Psalms, the appearing of the Lord in flaming fire upon his adversaries, prepares the way for the establishment of his glorious kingdom, as ‘he comes to rule the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity.’ PsalmsTDOC 157.9

    96, 97, 98, etc. According to Paul (2 Thessalonians 1 and 2), the advent described by Daniel is not to an earth which is enjoying millennial peace, but it is ‘in flaming fire’ to destroy an existing ‘man of sin’ whose career is the culmination of the lawlessness already manifest and to continue until the personal coming of Christ.”TDOC 158.1

    “Taking the manner in which the prophecies had been fulfilled in the past, as a criterion by which to judge of the fulfillment of those which were still future, he [William Miller] became satisfied that the popular view of the spiritual reign of Christ-a temporal millennium before the end of the world-was not sustained by the word of God. This doctrine, pointing to a thousand years of righteousness and peace before the personal coming of the Lord, put far off the terrors of the day of God. But, pleasing though it may be, it is contrary to the teachings of Christ and his apostles, who declared that the wheat and the tares are to grow together until the harvest, the end of the world; that ‘evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse;’ that ‘in the last days perilous times shall come;’ and that the kingdom of darkness shall continue until the advent of the Lord, and shall be consumed with the spirit of his mouth, and be destroyed with the brightness of his coming.TDOC 158.2

    “The doctrine of the world’s conversion and the spiritual reign of Christ was not hold by the apostolic church. It was not generally accepted by Christians until about the beginning of the eighteenth century. Like every other error, its results were evil. It taught men to look far in the future for the coming of the Lord, and prevented them from giving heed to the signs heralding his approach. It induced a feeling of confidence and security that was not well founded, and led many to neglect the preparation necessary in order to meet their Lord.”-The Great Controversy, 301.TDOC 158.3

    The earth desolated

    “When the righteous are taken away from the earth, and all the wicked slain, the earth will be left empty, and without inhabitants. Therefore the following scriptures refer to that time: Jeremiah 4:19TDOC 158.4

    29. Verse 23 says the earth was without form and void; in the same chaotic state in which it was when first created, before the Spirit of God, in formative power, moved upon the face of the deep-the abyss. ‘Behold, the Lord makes the earth empty, and makes it waste, and turns it upside down, and scatters abroad the inhabitants thereof.’ Isaiah 24:1. The entire chapter is on this subject.TDOC 158.5

    “I will utterly consume all things from off the land, said the Lord.... The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hastens greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasting and desolation.... Neither their ‘silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the, fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.’ Zephaniah 1:2-18.TDOC 158.6

    “Thus the Scriptures clearly prove that the earth is yet to be desolated, without an inhabitant, broken down, without form and void, even as it was when first created, before man was made to dwell upon it. In this condition it was called ‘the deep,’ ‘the abyss,’ which in our version is rendered ‘bottomless pit.’ He who has been ‘the prince of the power of the air,’ will be confined thereon during the thousand years (Revelation 20:4), to behold the desolation which his rebellion has caused. And thus the antitype of the scapegoat will be sent away, with the sins of God’s true Israel upon his head, ‘to a land not inhabited.’ Leviticus 16:22. Of all that God has revealed by his holy prophets, nothing else fulfils, to the letter, the type of the scapegoat upon whom the high priest placed the sins of Israel after the atonement was fully made when he came out from the presence of God to pronounce the benediction of heaven upon his waiting people.”TDOC 159.1

    The binding of Satan

    “We well know that Satan, in order to work, must have subjects upon whom to work. Without these, he can do nothing. But during the thousand years of his confinement to this earth, all the saints are in heaven, beyond the power of his temptations; and all the wicked are in their graves, beyond his power to deceive. His sphere of action is circumscribed, he being at this time confined to this earth; and thus is he bound, being condemned throughout this period to a state of hopeless inactivity. This, to a mind that has been so busy as his has been for the past six thousand years in deceiving the world, must be a punishment of the most intense severity. According to this exposition, the ‘binding’ of Satan means simply the placing beyond his reach of the subjects upon whom he works, and his being ‘loosed’ means their being brought again, by a resurrection, to a position where he can again exercise his power upon them.”—“Daniel and the Revelation,” p. 824.TDOC 159.2

    Satan’s last struggle

    “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. Yet, true to his early cunning, he does not acknowledge himself to be Satan. He claims to be the prince who is the rightful owner of the world, and whose inheritance has been unlawfully wrested from him. He represents himself to his deluded subjects as a redeemer, assuring them that his power has brought them forth from their graves, and that he is about to rescue them from the most cruel tyranny. The presence of Christ having been removed, Satan works wonders to support his claims.TDOC 159.3

    He makes the weak strong, and inspires all with his own spirit and energy. 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.”-The Great Controversy, 663.TDOC 160.1

    “At the end of the one thousand years, the holy city, the New Jerusalem, in which the saints have dwelt in heaven during that period, comes down, and is located upon the earth, and becomes the camp of the saints, around which the resurrected wicked come up, numberless as the sand of the sea. The devil, deceives them, and thus brings them up to this battle. They are induced to commence an impious warfare upon the holy city, in prospect of some advantage to be gained by fighting against the saints. Satan doubtless persuades them that they can overcome the saints, dispossess them of their city, and still hold possession of the earth. But fire comes down from God out of heaven, and devours them. The word here rendered ‘devoured,’ Professor Stuart admits is ‘intensive,’ and signifies ‘to eat up, devour, so that it de notes utter excision.’ Hudson’s ‘Christ Our Life,’ p. 146. This is the time of the perdition of ungodly men, the time when the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and when the works that are in the earth shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:7, 10. In the light of these scriptures, we can see how the wicked are to receive their recompense in the earth (Proverbs 11:31); we can see also that this recompense is not eternal life in misery, but an ‘utter excision,’ entire and complete destruction.”.—“Daniel and the Revelation,” pp. 827, 828.TDOC 160.2

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