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When the voice of God turns the captivity of His people. there is a terrible awakening of those who have lost all in the great conflict of life. Now they are stripped of all that made them great and are left destitute and defenseless. The gain of a lifetime is swept away in a moment. They bemoan the destruction of their houses, the scattering of their gold and silver, But their lamentations are silenced by the fear that they themselves are to perish with their idols. They are filled with regret, not because of their sinful neglect of God and their fellow men, but because God has conquered. They lament that the result is what it is; but they do not repent of their wickedness. They would leave no means untried to conquer if they could.
At the coming of Christ the wicked are blotted from the face of the whole earth— consumed with the spirit of His mouth and destroyed by the brightness of His glory. "And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried." Jer. 25:33. Christ takes His people to the City of God, and the earth is emptied of its inhabitants. "Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty. and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down." 'The land shall be utterly emptied. and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word." "Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate." Isa. 24:1, 3, 5, 6.
The whole earth appears like a desolate wilderness. The ruins of cities and villages destroyed by the earthquake, uprooted trees, ragged rocks thrown out by the sea or torn out of the earth itself, are scattered over its surface, while vast caverns mark the spot where the mountains have been rent from their foundations.
"But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." Rev. 20:5.
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. After presenting the scenes of the Lord's second coming and the destruction of the wicked, the prophecy continues: "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, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up. and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season." Rev. 20:1-3.
Here is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for a thousand years. The wicked are now placed beyond the power of Satan: 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, and alone with his evil angels he remains to realize the effect of the curse which sin has brought. For a thousand years, Satan will behold the results of his rebellion against the law of God. During this time his sufferings are intense. Since his fall his life of unceasing activity has banished reflection: but he is now deprived of his power and left to contemplate the part which he has acted since first he rebelled against the government of heaven, and to look forward with trembling and terror to the dreadful future when he must suffer for all the evil that he has done and be punished for the sins that he has caused to he committed.
The prophet Isaiah. looking forward to the time of Satan's overthrow, exclaims: "How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground. which didst weaken the nations Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: . . . I will be like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." Isa. 14:12-17.
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." Dan. 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." Rev. 20:4.6. It is at this time that, as foretold by Paul, "the saints shall judge the world." 1 Cor. 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.
Satan also and evil angels are judged by Christ and His people. Says Paul: "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" Verse 3. And Jude declares that "the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." Jude 6.
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Created: 8/1/01 Updated: 07/16/07