Nazarene Apocalypse ©2000

CHAPTER TWENTY:
A THOUSAND YEAR REIGN AND JUDGMENT

[“Resurrection and Judgment”]
Key Word: Judgment
Theme Verse: 4

Revelation 20:1-3 – An Earth without Satan

RV20:1 And I saw an angel with the key of the Abyss [Luke 8:31] descending out of the Celestialum948 with a great chain in his hand.
948 Descending out of the Celestialum: The angel “descends” because the Devil was cast out of heaven in chapter 12.
RV20:2 Then he laid hold on the Dragon,949 that archaic Serpent,950 [Genesis 3:1] who is a Devil951 and the Satan,952 and bound him for 1,000 years.953
949 Dragon: First appears at Revelation 12:3 with a total of 13 occurrences: Revelation 12:3, 4, 7, 9, 13, 16, 17; 13:2, 4, 11; 16:13; 20:2.
950 Archaic Serpent: Or, old, ancient. The Greek is ARCHAIOS (English “archaeology”) meaning ancient, very old, original. Compare the source of the idea at Genesis 3:1-5.
951 Devil: Meaning, “slanderer” or “liar.” It occurs first at Revelation 2:10 for 5 occurrences: Revelation 2:10; 12:9, 12; 20:2, 10. The name only occurs in the Christian Bible beginning with Matthew 4:1 for a total of 33 times.
952 Satan: Meaning, “Resister.” The word Satan occurs first at 1 Chronicles 21:1 for a total of 52 times. In the Hebrew Bible it only occurs in two books outside of Job, 1 Chronicles and Zechariah. The bulk of the occurrences are in the Christian Bible with only three occurrences in the Hebrew Bible outside of Job. “Satan” occurs first in Revelation 2:9 for a total of 8 in the Apocalypse: Revelation 2:9, 13, 24; 3:9; 12:9; 20:2, 7. Note Satan’s “angels” of Revelation 12:7, 9 are not mentioned here though it might be inferred from Luke 8:28, 31; Matthew 8:29; Mark 5:7. At some point Matthew 25:41 is fulfilled.
953 1,000 years: The first mention of this period, taking by most as a literal period of Messiah’s reign over the earth.
RV20:3 Then the angel hurled the Dragon into the Abyss.954 The angel shut up and sealed the Abyss over the Dragon so that the Dragon will no longer mislead955 the nations956 until the 1,000 years ended.957 Following [the 1,000 years] the Dragon will be loosed for a little time.
954 Abyss: The occurrence is Revelation 9:1 with a total of Revelation 9:1, 2, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3.
955 The Dragon will no longer mislead: Or, cause to err. Compare Revelation 12:9 where Satan has mislead or made to err the whole inhabited earth. Under Messiah’s millennial reign this will not be the case. This alone ought to make for a pleasant atmosphere in “the inhabited earth to come.” (Hebrews 2:5)
956 Nations: Or, non-Jews, Gentiles There are “nations” on earth who are not resurrected (Revelation 20:5). These must be those who “survive” (Zechariah 14:16) and who may have responded to the appeal in Revelation 14:7. Revelation 9:13, 14 indicate two-thirds of humankind would survive the “four winds” of Revelation 7:1-3. The word “nations” occurs 19 times in the Apocalypse. Revelation 15:4; 20:3; 21:24, 26; 22:2 suggest these may be the same as those peoples in Isaiah 65:20-25 and Isaiah 66:22-24.
957 Until the 1,000 years ended: This Greek word for “ended” is TELESTHE and is related to Paul’s use of TO TELOS. (1 Corinthians 15:24) That is the end (HO TELOS) of the 1,000 Years.

#468. Chapter 20 begins with the abyssing of that original serpent who is the Devil and Satan. He is bound for 1,000 years so that he can no longer misled the “nations” of earth. Packed in that brief phrase is a wondrous thought: a globe without the Devil. [2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19] What more needs to be said? The result of 1,000 Years without the Devil must spell Messianic changes for the earth and its blessed inhabitants. Here are the millions, if not billions, who are left to live on into the first generation of Messiah’s reign of 1,000 Years. According to the account in chapter 20 the 1,000 Years is much different from what is painted by many Christian teachers. It is a period of rule over the remaining “nations” on earth, even many of those who formerly persecuted and attacked the Holy City. (Revelation 11:2, 3; Zechariah 14:16) How do we know this?

#469. First, no where in the Apocalypse does it describe the complete end or destruction of all nations. Rather, these “nations” are seen surviving Armageddon to live on into the Messiah’s reign of a 1,000 Years. Secondly, the prophet Zechariah, chapter fourteen, is alluded to several times in chapters 21 and 22 of the Apocalypse. We take a close look at a couple of these verses. Zechariah 14:12, 13 has Yehowah smiting those peoples that warred against Jerusalem, and this in language which sounds very much like the plagues of chapter 16: And this is what will prove to be the scourge with which Jehovah will scourge all the peoples that will actually do military service against Jerusalem: There will be a rotting away of one's flesh, while one is standing upon one's feet; and one's very eyes will rot away in their sockets, and one's very tongue will rot away in one's mouth. And it must occur in that day [that] confusion from Jehovah will become widespread among them; and they will actually grab hold, each one of the hand of his companion, and his hand will actually come up against the hand of his companion.’ (NWT)

#470. However, Zechariah 14:16 has these nations who survive making a yearly pilgrimage to celebrate the Feast of Booths: And it must occur that, as regards everyone who is left remaining out of all the nations that are coming against Jerusalem, they must also go up from year to year to bow down to the King, Jehovah of armies, and to celebrate the festival of the booths.’ (NWT) These two factors are enough to indicate that something of two-thirds of humanity will survive the cataclysm of the last plagues, the end of Harlot Religion and Armageddon. Judging from Revelation 20:3 these “nations” will live on into a world where Satan no longer exists. But, what about the resurrection?

Revelation 20:4-6 – Resurrection Order

RV20:4 And I saw thrones958 and those who sat down on them. Power of judgment was given to them.959 [Daniel 7:22] These are the souls960 who had been executed with the ax961 because of the Word of The God and the Testimony of Jesus. They had not worshipped the wild Sea Beast nor its Image. They did not accept the engraving upon their forehead or their hand. They came to life962 and reign with the Messiah for the 1,000 Years.963
958 Thrones: Compare Matthew 19:8; Daniel 7:27; Revelation 3:21.
959 Power of judgment was given to them: This Greek phrase KAI KRIMA EDOTHE AUTOIS is a strong echo of Daniel 7:22 and may mean a judgment in their favor. Compare 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3.
960 These are the souls: This would have been a fine opportunity to repeat 144,000 but it does not for the sum described is larger than the 144,000.
961 Executed with the ax: The phrase is the same as that of Revelation 6:9. There seem two groups here: that one of Revelation 6:9-11 who were the martyrs; and, those contemporary with the wild Sea Beast and the Return of Christ. Compare Revelation 13:9, 11 and Revelation 15:2. In fact these represent the ancient Christians of the Church Age and those of Paul’s “we the living.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17)
962 They came to life: Or, resurrected. (compare verse 6) The Greek is EZESAN the same as verse 5 where the word is presented in the negative. If EZESAN means the “first resurrection” then OUK EZESAN means “not resurrected.” (Compare Romans 14:9; Revelation 2:8 EZESAN = resurrection) There is not a Bible text which shows any resurrection during the 1,000 Years.
963 1,000 Years: The Saints all reign with Christ for the full period.
RV20:5 (The rest of the Dead964 did not come to life until the 1,000 Years ended.)
964 The rest of the Dead: As pointed out above this must mean those “not resurrected” as those not Saints are raised in the Last Resurrection prior to the Last Judgment of Revelation 20:12-15. Nowhere is there a text which would prove there is some ongoing resurrection during the 1,000 Years. Indeed, Isaiah 65:20-22 may indicate “death” occurs during Messiah’s reign. Compare Revelation 20:5 with 1 Corinthians 15:24 where TELOS is used. Here the Greek TELESTHE is related. Note Daniel 12:13 LXX SYNTELEIAN (form of TELOS) when Daniel is to stand up, be raised, or resurrected. [NOTE: some Greek texts (Stephen 1550 and Scrivener 1894) have OUK ANEZĘSAN, or “not come to life again.”]
RV20:6 This is the First Resurrection.965 Happy and holy are those sharing in the First Resurrection! Over these the Second Death966 has no authority. They will be priests of The God [Isaiah 61:6] and the Messiah967 and they will reign with him for the 1,000 Years.968
965 First Resurrection: And, therefore, there must be a second or last. Compare Philippians 3:11 with 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. 1 Corinthians 15:23 has two basic resurrections (after Christ): a) Christians at the Return of Christ; and, b) everyone else. (Acts 24:15; John 5:28, 29; Hebrews 9:27) Note in 1 Corinthians 15:22 the Greek word ZOOPOIETHESONTAI which is related to John’s EZESAN. (= “made alive”) [See notes on Revelation 20:4.]
966 Second Death: That is eternal destruction. This suggests, though it may not be authorized over the glorified Saints, it still stands ready for use against any during the 1,000 Years or those who are later found not to be inscribed in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 20:13-15; compare Isaiah 65:20-22) Nowhere is Second Death ever destroyed.
967 Priests of The God and the Messiah: Compare Isaiah 61:6; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10. The glorified Saints have two functions during the 1,000 Years: priests and kings. They fulfill those functions over those “nations” no longer misled by the Devil during the 1,000 Years, evidently throughout successive generations. (Isaiah 65:20-25) This duty as “priest” must relate to worship, sin-bearing, and education. It is possible they are also “judges” if verse 4 is shown to be different from Daniel 7:22. It should be remembered that both Christ and the Saints will reign with a rod of iron, likely because some individuals will not submit to God Almighty.
968 They will reign with him for the 1,000 Years: Or, rule as kings. The Apocalypse was introduced with this hope of reigning as kings. (Revelation 1:6) Revelation 5:10 may suggest this reign is on earth and the descent of the Holy City seems to agree. The duty of a king is to judge matters, maintain order, and protect and provide for subjects.

Revelation 20:7-10 – The End of the Thousand Years

RV20:7 And when the 1,000 Years end969 The Satan will be loosed from his prison.970
969 End: The Greek TELESTHE is related to Paul’s HO TELOS at 1 Corinthians 15:24 where he infers the resurrection of “all” those other than they “who are of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:23)
970 Satan will be loosed from his prison: Note the Abyss is a “prison.” Compare Jude 6. It does not necessarily follow that Satan is dead or unconscious during this period. The word “abyss” is associated with death in the case of Jesus (Romans 10:7) and judging from this it could mean a state of unconsciousness. (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10) But, if it is here a “prison” there is a certain justice if Satan is conscious and aware of the successful results of Messiah’s reign during the 1,000 Years.
RV20:8 He will go forth to make the nations err,971 those in the four corners of the earth,972 The Gog and Magog.973 [Ezekiel 38:2] He will gather them for war.974 Their number is as the sand of the sea.975
971 He will go forth to make the nations err: Right back to what he was doing before in Revelation 12:10. By this time, after 1,000 years of kingdom control with successive generations living 100 years (Isaiah 65:20-22) under royal Messianic conditions earth’s population must be considerable.
972 Those in the four corners of the earth: The earth is fully inhabited. This is a global effort on Satan’s part.
973 The Gog and Magog: This finds its source in Ezekiel chapters 38, 39. If these are the same then these chapters in Ezekiel may find their fulfillment at the end of the 1,000 Years with “Israel” being the Saints within the Holy City.
974 War: Armageddon is not the final battle to end all war.
975 Their number is as the sand of the sea: A Hebraic phrase which indicates an unknown number as in the case of the millions of Abraham’s seed. (Genesis 22:17; 32:12; 41:49)
RV20:9 They rose over the breadth of the earth and encircled the encampment of the Saints976 and the beloved City.977 Then fire descended out of the Celestialum978 and devoured them.
976 The encampment of the Saints: In Greek this may be a temporary army bivouac. See word studies on PAREMBOLEN and compare Hebrews 13:11, 13 where PAREMOLES is used. It may suggest a temporary position with regard to the Saints and the earth. Note Zechariah 9:8 and Yahweh’s defense of His house.
977 The beloved City: The fact that these hordes can surround the Holy City gives further indication the golden Cubic City has settled down upon the earth proper where it has ruled for the 1,000 Years. Since the next phrase shows fire coming down out of heaven, this City is truly resting on its foundations on earth and its dimensions, though great, are limited and cable of encirclement. Note the CYCLOUMENEN of Luke 21:20 with the ECYCLEUSAN here. That the City is “upon” the earth may be proved by the EPI at Revelation 5:10.
978 Fire descended out of the Celestialum: Or, Heaven is where the City formerly descended a 1,000 Years before.
RV20:10 The Devil979 who was making these nations err980 was thrown into the Lake of Fire and sulfur. This is where the wild Sea Beast and the False Prophet981 are. They will be punished982 day and night throughout all future periods of time. [Isaiah 34:10]
979 Devil: Only the Devil is here mentioned, lacking his “angels” of Revelation 12:9, 10. Though his angels might be inferred from Matthew 25:41, 46.
980 Who was making these nations err: What methods the Devil uses to accomplish this is not stated, but it may well be the old dog has learned no new tricks. His appeal has always been one of self-determination and possible there will be those “sinners” (Isaiah 65:20; Revelation 21:8; 22:15) who will crave self-determination, as did even Adam and Eve.
981 The wild Sea Beast and the False Prophet: First mentioned in Revelation 13:15 the wild Sea Beast has been mentioned 24 times in every chapter from 13 to 20 with the exception of 18. The False prophet occurs 3 times (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10) and a comparison shows it to be the same as the Earth Beast of chapter 13. The Beast and Prophet are abstractions.
982 They will be punished: This word BASANISTHESONTAI in another related form (BASANON) is translated “punishment” (LXX) in Ezekiel 32:24, 30. The word occurs in Apocalypse 10 times: Revelation 9:5; 11:10; 14:10, 11; 18:7, 10, 15; 20:10. Is this “torment” or “destruction”? In Revelation 17:11 the ultimate destiny of the wild Sea beast is “destruction” and this must equate to the Second Death, or the Lake of Fire.

Revelation 20:11-15 – The Last Judgment

RV20:11 Then I saw a great White Throne.983 Heaven and earth fled984 from before the face of985 [Psalm 114:3, 7] the One sitting upon the Throne986 [Isaiah 6:1] and no place was found for them. [Daniel 2:35]
983 A great White Throne: This must be different throne from that of chapter 4 because the article is absent and suggests another throne. Also this throne is called “white.” God has committed all the judging to the Son (John 5:22) so this must be the Judgment Throne of Messiah at the Last Judgment on what Jesus called “the Last Day.” (John 6:39, 44, 54)
984 Heaven and earth fled: There are a variety of views, some holding to the literal heaven (the starry universe) and earth. A study of the search groups “heaven” (Ephesians 6:12) and “earth” may indicate that celestial realm of the Devil as well as his domain, his “earth.” Compare 2 Peter chapter 3. Here, in this context, those demonic heavens over which the Devil resumed his rule are gone, as are those on earth who were misled.
985 Before the face of: This is the only occurrence of ENOPION regarding a throne other than The Throne of chapter 4.
986 The One sitting upon the Throne: A King and Judge. Messiah judges on two major occasions: a) the parousia-Judgment upon his Return (parousia) of his own Household. (Matthew 24:45-25:46; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 2 Corinthians 5:10) And, b) that final judgment at the end of the 1,000 Years. Though the 1,000 Years itself may be viewed as a judgment period.
RV20:12 Then I saw the Dead,987 the great and the small, standing in sight of the [white] Throne. Little Books were opened988 [Daniel 7:10] and another Little Book was opened, the Book of Life.989 [Psalm 69:28] The Dead were judged990 out of the things written in the Little Books, according to their works.991 [Psalm 28:4]
987 The Dead: Of course, not including those of Revelation 20:4. These are the “dead” of Revelation 20:5. Paul teaches “all” the dead from Adam will be raised (1 Corinthians 15:21, 22) and judged (Acts 17:31; Hebrews 9:27) When there are these judgments it is always of the “living and the dead.” (Ruth 2:20; Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:8) At the parousia-Judgment, following the Return of the Master, it is those dead Saints as well as “we the living” of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. At the Last or final judgment there will be those “nations” still alive at the end of the 1,000 Years and those dead resurrected.
988 Little Books were opened: By comparing Daniel 7:10 these seem to be those records of personal human activity; that is, the “logs” of the Almighty regarding each person. Compare notes on Matthew 12:36, 37 and the Biblical Article God and Judgment. In order for this to happen there must be some record.
989 Book of Life: Compare Daniel 12:1; Malachi 3:16; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5. The Saints were inscribed in this Book and those who accepted the mark of the Beast and worshipped the Image are not. Neither are those who are eternally judged (Hebrews 6:1-3) or condemned at the end of the 1,000 Years.
990 The Dead were judged: Compare a word search on the group “judg(ment)” and related words, like “recompense” and “award” or “reward.” From these six dozen occurrences it appears all persons are going to be judged on the basis of their lives on earth and now at the end of the 1000-years they give an accounting and receive their judgment. Humankind gets only one chance during life on earth. Life is brief and quickly over. But, those attitudes, speech and actions toward others will be remembered by the “Judge of the whole earth.” (Genesis 18:25) Included in these are those sins of omission which one fails to tender kindness to someone deserving. For details see the Biblical Article God and Judgment.
991 According to their works: That speech, actions and attitudes committed during their previous life on earth. Compare Matthew 12:36, 37; Romans 2:5, 6, 12-16; 14:1-23.
RV20:13 The Sea gave up its dead992 and The Death993 and the Hades gave up their dead.994 They were all judged according to their works.995 [Psalm 62:12]
992 The Sea gave up its dead: Millions have drowned in the seas through war, natural disasters, merchant marines, drownings, and travel. This almost happened to Paul. (Acts 27:9-44; 2 Corinthians 11:25, 26) The bottom of earth’s oceans are scattered with the debris from war and catastrophe.
993 Death: This is an abstraction for that death inherited from Adam (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22). Here “the last enemy is destroyed (or rendered ineffective).” (1 Corinthians 15:24-26) The only death authorized during the 1,000 Years and after is the Second Death. (Revelation 20:6, 15) Jesus must hint of this protection from the Second Death regarding the Saints when he says, ‘Neither can they die any more.’ (Luke 20:36) If his words apply to the “first resurrection” then death still continues during the 1,000 Years upon those successive generations of “nations” no longer misled by the Devil. This Death is destroyed when the last one comes out of the grave to Judgment.
994 Gave up their dead: This would equal a resurrection in which Christ renders death ineffective. (1 Corinthians 15:25, 26) Those who have become victims of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and entered Hades, or Death, will come out to their judgment. (Hebrews 6:2; 9:27)
995 Judged according to their works: Individual works in their life times. Compare Matthew 12:32, 36, 37, 41, 42; 16:27; Mark 8:38; John 5:28, 29; 12:48; Romans 14:10, 11; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10. Good works and vile works are clearly listed in the Bible. [Compare Romans 1:18-32; Galatians 5:19, 20] Good works are almost always associated with charity and good deeds toward others, including enemies. [Luke 6:30-35]
RV20:14 Then The Death and the Hades996 were hurled into the Lake of Fire.
996 Hades: See word studies on the Greek HADES. This is the place of the dead, the grave. When “all” come out of the tombs (John 5:28, 29) Hades will no longer exist even as Death has been rendered ineffective. (1 Corinthians 15:26 KIT) See the work Where Are the Dead? in Nazarene Commentary 2000©.
RV20:15 Also, if any were not found written in the Book of Life, they were hurled into the Lake of Fire.

#471. Many teach that the general resurrection will occur during this 1,000 Years. However, read for yourself Revelation 20:5-15 and ask yourself what is the sequence of events involving the 1,000 Years? Are there not two resurrections? One of the Saints, the First Resurrection, before the 1,000 Years begin; and, a general or last resurrection after the 1,000 Years have ended. Indeed, this last resurrection occurs after the Devil is destroyed, for “death” is “the last enemy,” not Satan. (1 Corinthians 15:26) These billions of mankind who “died in Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:20, 21) are raised to their Judgment Day as described in Revelation 20:12-14. [Hebrews 9:26, 27] They are then judged on the basis of their works in their former life on earth. Can you find any phrase in these verses, or anywhere in the Bible for that matter, where the Bible describes a resurrection during the 1,000 Years? [For more details on Judgment Day see notes in Nazarene Commentary© on Matthew 12:36 37 and Romans 2:15, 16 and the Biblical Articles: “God and Judgment.”]

#472. What will happen to these “nations” alive at the beginning of the Thousand Years? Or, we might ask, first, what will not happen to them? They will no longer be misled by the Devil. (Revelation 20:3) However, other than these verses here in the Apocalypse there is only one other portion of Scripture which mighty directly answer this question. It is Isaiah 65:17-21: “For here I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart. ... No more will there come to be a suckling a few days old from that place, neither an old man that does not fulfill his days; for one will die as a mere boy, although a hundred years of age; and as for the sinner, although a hundred years of age he will have evil called down upon him.” (NWT)

This prophecy may indicate that during this period there will be successive generations. Do not these verses indicate there will be death and also sinners during the Thousand Years? Evidently, then, the Thousand Years is a period of judgment by the glorified Church and the Lamb on those living in successive generation on earth. The “sinner” will have a curse called down upon them, likely the Second Death. This is inferred in the prophet Zechariah 14:17-19 when those who refuse to obey God will have those previous plagues befall them.

#473. Revelation 20:4, 6 state only the resurrected Saints are free of the Second Death’s authority. Does that mean that others are still subject to the Second Death during the Thousand Years? Judging from Isaiah and Zechariah it would appear so.

#474. The Apocalypse does not give a complete description of life on earth during the Thousand Years leaving it to our imaginations. Many texts are often brought to bear on this subject but generally these are taken out of contexts dealing with the restoration of Israel. (Isaiah chapters 11, 32-36) However, one thing is sure: Messiah with his Church reign without any interference from demonic influence, for Satan is out of commission. That alone should make for a true New Heaven and New Earth. Further descriptions in chapters Revelation 21 and 22 give indications as to life on earth during the Thousand Years.

#475. Skipping quickly over the Thousand Years, the Apocalypse describes what happens at the end. The Devil is released from his prison and there is a brief period of misleading that living generation when the Thousand Years end. According to the Apocalypse the Devil is successful and a great number under his influence try to make an attack on the New Jerusalem. This does not succeed because fire descends from heaven and destroys the opposers. The Devil is specifically described as being thrown into the Second Death, but the misled nations are not. Possibly they are also resurrected shortly to stand with the rest of mankind in their own judgment.

#476. Only after the Devil is destroyed forever is there a vision of Judgment Day for all those who have died, whether they disappear in the sea or were buried in Hades, or in some other way finished their life in Death. They have their day of appearing before the Throne of the Messiah to give an account for their words and deeds when alive on earth. A word search on the subjects of judg(ment) will reveal what the writers of the Christian Bible had to say on this subject. We provide many of these texts here and you judge what will be the basis for this judgment.

#477. Matthew 12:31-32, 35-37, 41: ‘On this account I say to you, Every sort of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the spirit will not be forgiven. For example, whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the holy spirit, it will not be forgiven him, no, not in this system of things nor in that to come. ... The good man out of his good treasure sends out good things, whereas the wicked man out of his wicked treasure sends out wicked things. I tell you that every unprofitable saying that men speak, they will render an account concerning it on Judgment Day; for by your words you will be declared righteous, and by your words you will be condemned. ... Men of Nin'e·veh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and will condemn it; because they repented at what Jo'nah preached. The queen of the south will be raised up in the judgment with this generation and will condemn it; because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Sol'o·mon, but, look! something more than Sol'o·mon is here.

#478. John 3.19-21; 12.30, 31, 48: ‘Now this is the basis for judgment, that the light has come into the world but men have loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were wicked. For he that practices vile things hates the light and does not come to the light, in order that his works may not be reproved. But he that does what is true comes to the light, in order that his works may be made manifest as having been worked in harmony with God. ... Now there is a judging of this world. ... He that disregards me and does not receive my sayings has one to judge him. The word that I have spoken is what will judge him in the last day.’

#479. Romans 2:1-2, 5-6, 15, 16: ‘Now we know that the judgment of God is, in accord with truth, against those who practice such things. ... on the day of wrath and of the revealing of God's righteous judgment. And he will render to each one according to his works. ... They are the very ones who demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts, while their conscience is bearing witness with them and, between their own thoughts, they are being accused or even excused. This will be in the day when God through Christ Jesus judges the secret things of mankind.’

#480. John 5:28-29: ‘Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.’

#481. Acts 17:30-31: ‘God has overlooked the times of such ignorance, yet now he is telling mankind that they should all everywhere repent. Because he has set a day in which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and he has furnished a guarantee to all men in that he has resurrected him from the dead.’

#482. Romans 14.10-12: ‘For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written: “As I live,” says Jehovah, 'to me every knee will bend down, and every tongue will make open acknowledgment to God.” So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God.’

#483. These make it clear that mankind is judged on their works in their previous life. What kind of world on earth does God want? He requires but three things: a) that God become everything to everyone (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), that is, the center of their lives, for that is only reasonable as products of the Creator; b) they acknowledge that “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:9-11; 1 John 3:23); and, c) that they love one another and seek not their own interests. (1 John 3:23)

#484. Imagine for a moment Day One on earth as the “day of eternity” begins. (2 Peter 3:18) The billions alive on earth all believe that “God is everything to everyone.” They are all Christians who acknowledge their Lord is Jesus Christ. And, they all have the loving interest of others in mind. In other words, they are all willing to become Christ and behave like Christ in their daily lives. What could this kind of world become? Not just from the standpoint of science, the arts, and the humanities, but in human conduct toward one another? Imagine such a world! Nothing will be impossible for such a world! Whatever the human imagination can create, not only on earth, but surely anywhere within the material universe where humankind seems to have a magnetic urge. But, now, on to the final, uplifting chapters of the Apocalypse. These were written to encourage the Christian Saints throughout the ages down to our own time as we enter the 3rd Millennium.

Nazarene Commentary 2000©

Mark Heber Miller

©2000 All Rights Reserved