September 11, 2005 – September 17, 2005
“Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, [be] unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:12, 13.
Suggested Reading: The Great Controversy, 659–671; Early Writings, 292–294.
1 What is the condition of the earth during the 1,000 years? Who is living on earth during this time? Jeremiah 4:23–26; Revelation 20:1–3.
note: “The revelator foretells the banishment of Satan and the condition of chaos and desolation to which the earth is to be reduced, and he declares that this condition will exist for a thousand years. . . .
“That the expression ‘bottomless pit’ represents the earth in a state of confusion and darkness is evident from other scriptures. Concerning the condition of the earth ‘in the beginning,’ the Bible record says that it ‘was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.’ [The Hebrew word here translated ‘deep’ is rendered in the Septuagint (Greek) translation of the Hebrew Old Testament by the same word rendered ‘bottomless pit’ in Revelation 20:1–3.] Genesis 1:2. Prophecy teaches that it will be brought back, partially at least, to this condition. . . .
“Here is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for a thousand years. Limited to the earth, he will not have access to other worlds to tempt and annoy those who have never fallen. It is in this sense that he is bound: there are none remaining, upon whom he can exercise his power. He is wholly cut off from the work of deception and ruin which for so many centuries has been his sole delight.” The Great Controversy, 658, 659.
2 What event takes place in heaven during the 1,000 years? Revelation 20:4–6; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Daniel 7:22; 1 Corinthians 6:2.
note: “During the thousand years between the first and the second resurrection the judgment of the wicked takes place. . . . Daniel declares that when the Ancient of Days came, ‘judgment was given to the saints of the Most High.’ Daniel 7:22. At this time the righteous reign as kings and priests unto God. John in the Revelation says: ‘I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.’ ‘They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.’ Revelation 20:4, 6. It is at this time that, as foretold by Paul, ‘the saints shall judge the world.’ 1 Corinthians 6:2. In union with Christ they judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book, the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion which the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works; and it is recorded against their names in the book of death.” The Great Controversy, 660, 661.
3 What is the first thing Jesus does as He returns to earth after the millennium? Revelation 20:5.
note: “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.” The Great Controversy, 662.
4 What is the purpose of the “second resurrection”? Psalm 149:6–9; Isaiah 24:22; Revelation 20:12.
note: “At the close of the thousand years the second resurrection will take place. Then the wicked will be raised from the dead and appear before God for the execution of ‘the judgment written.’ Thus the revelator, after describing the resurrection of the righteous, says: ‘The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.’ Revelation 20:5. And Isaiah declares, concerning the wicked: ‘They shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.’ Isaiah 24:22.” The Great Controversy, 661.
5 Who will inhabit the Holy City after it comes to rest on the Mount of Olives? Revelation 21:1–3.
note: “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.” The Great Controversy, 663.
“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.” Ibid., 665.
6 When Satan sees all the hosts of the wicked raised from the dead, what plan does he develop for his last struggle for supremacy? Revelation 20:7–9, first part.
note: “Now Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy. . . . He proposes to lead them [the wicked] 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.
“Satan, the mightiest of warriors, leads the van, and his angels unite their forces for this final struggle. Kings and warriors are in his train, and the multitudes follow in vast companies, each under its appointed leader. With military precision the serried ranks advance over the earth’s broken and uneven surface to the City of God. 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.” Ibid., 664.
7 Before Satan and his armies are able to launch an attack on the Holy City, what happens? Revelation 20:9–15.
comment: John is using, in these verses, a common literary technique in which the conclusion is stated first and then an explanation of things that lead up to the conclusion is presented. In order to get an orderly flow of events, read Revelation 20:9–15 in the following order: (1) verse 9, first part; (2) verses 11–13; (3) verse 9, last part; (4) verses 14, 15; (5) verse 10.
The Great Controversy, 665–673, is a description in greater detail of the same events as recorded by John in Revelation 20:9–15.
8 Describe the final judgment scene. Revelation 20:11, 12.
note: “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.
“Nearest the throne are those who were once zealous in the cause of Satan, but who, plucked as brands from the burning, have followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion. Next are those who perfected Christian characters in the midst of falsehood and infidelity, those who honored the law of God when the Christian world declared it void, and the millions, of all ages, who were martyred for their faith. And beyond is the ‘great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, . . . before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.’ Revelation 7:9.” The Great Controversy, 665.
9 What is the first event to take place in the final judgment? What are the first two things Jesus does? Revelation 20:11, 12. See the reference below for a closer view of this scene.
note: “In the presence of the assembled inhabitants of earth and heaven the final coronation of the Son of God takes place. And now, 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 that 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, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.’ Revelation 20:11, 12.” The Great Controversy, 666.
comment: It is of interest to note that this is the only time in the long history of the controversy between Christ and Satan that everyone who has ever lived is present at the same time and at the same gathering.
10 List the events of the great controversy which are displayed in panoramic view before all the inhabitants of the universe. See The Great Controversy, 666–668, and see the Old Testament prophet’s vision of this very scene, given thousands of years ago, in Isaiah 28:20, 21; 52:15.
note: “Above the throne is revealed the cross; and like a panoramic view appear the scenes of Adam’s temptation and fall, and the successive steps in the great plan of redemption. The Saviour’s lowly birth; His early life of simplicity and obedience; His baptism in Jordan; the fast and temptation in the wilderness; His public ministry, unfolding to men heaven’s most precious blessings . . . .” The Great Controversy, 666.
“And now before the swaying multitude are revealed the final scenes—the patient Sufferer treading the path to Calvary; the Prince of heaven hanging upon the cross; the haughty priests and the jeering rabble deriding His expiring agony; the supernatural darkness; the heaving earth, the rent rocks, the open graves, marking the moment when the world’s Redeemer yielded up His life.” Ibid., 667.
“There are papist priests and prelates, who claimed to be Christ’s ambassadors, yet employed the rack, the dungeon, and the stake to control the consciences of His people. There are the proud pontiffs who exalted themselves above God and presumed to change the law of the Most High. Those pretended fathers of the church have an account to render to God from which they would fain be excused.” Ibid., 668.
exercise: Write, “Panorama of the Whole Great Controversy,” on your Closing Events Time Line, followed by an arrow pointing just past “Satan and His Armies Surround the Holy City.”
11 What is the final charge laid down by the court? Jude 14, 15; Revelation 20:11–15.
note: “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.” The Great Controversy, 668.
12 What will the wicked confess? Romans 14:11; Isaiah 45:23.
note: “As if entranced, the wicked have looked upon the coronation of the Son of God. They see in His hands the tables of the divine law, the statutes which they have despised and transgressed. They witness the outburst of wonder, rapture, and adoration from the saved; and as the wave of melody sweeps over the multitudes without the city, all with one voice exclaim, ‘Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints’ (Revelation 15:3); and, falling prostrate, they worship the Prince of life.” The Great Controversy, 668, 669.
13 Who will at last be fully exposed and destroyed? Ezekiel 28:18, 19; Isaiah 14:15–17.
note: “But the time has now come when the rebellion is to be finally defeated and the history and character of Satan disclosed. In his last great effort to dethrone Christ, destroy His people, and take possession of the City of God, the archdeceiver has been fully unmasked. Those who have united with him see the total failure of his cause. Christ’s followers and the loyal angels behold the full extent of his machinations against the government of God. He is the object of universal abhorrence.” The Great Controversy, 670.