Appendix 10: The Millennium: an alternative premillennial approach to Revelation 20

INTRODUCTION1

In all of Scripture Revelation chapter 20 contains the only reference to a period of 1,000 years, commonly called the Millennium. It begins with the Devil’s imprisonment, albeit temporary, and a  resurrection, said to be the “first” resurrection.2 It ends with the termination of the Devil and those whose names are not found in the Book of Life.

Differences of opinion as to the Millennium’s place in the history of this world persist in the church to this day. Those who understand that this chapter is describing the Last Days, the time between the two advents of Christ, beginning with the preaching of the Gospel and culminating in the final judgement, are called amillennialists. Their doctrine is called “amillennialism.” Those who believe that the Second Advent precedes the Millennium are known as premillennialists. Their doctrine is known as “premillennialism.” Seventh-day Adventists are premillennialists.3

Apart from the location of the Millennium in history, its purpose is also in question with denominations holding a variety of views and some even ignoring it. It is this writer’s opinion, and that of both amillennialists and premillennialists, that it is our responsibility to teach what is consistent with the rest of Scripture.

AMILLENNIALISM

With that in mind, it is the opinion of this writer that amillennialism’s great weakness is in its assertion that the first resurrection has already occurred.2 The Apostle Paul had already denied this when he wrote this in his second letter to Timothy (2:16-18):

Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenæus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place. They are upsetting the faith of some.

Regarding his own future with the Lord, Paul wrote:

From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing (2 Timothy 4:8).

So, for Paul, the return of Jesus was going to be the occasion in which he would receive his reward.

Further, in its premise that Satan has already been bound, amillennialism contributes a distorted view of events throughout the Last Days, the period between the two advents. It explains that Satan’s binding is the result of the preaching of the Gospel which inhibits his exercising his full powers. Notice, however, the words of Scripture.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended.

St Paul tells us of the “lawless one” who one day will be revealed and destroyed by Christ at His coming (2 Thessalonians 2:3-10). However, his present restraint, of which Paul wrote in those verses, in no way matches the incarceration of the dragon described in Revelation 20 as his being bound and thrown into the “bottomless pit” (abyss) and its being locked and sealed.

Amillennialists understand the “thousand years” of Revelation 20 to be the time between the two Advents. This same period of time, with its symbolic description of the plight of believers and the goal of their persecutor, is elsewhere said to be 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6; cf. Revelation 13:5). Consequently, amillennialists could well be asked, “Why is the length of the Christian age said to be 1,260 days in chapter 12 and 1,000 years in chapter 20? Secondly, if the Devil is angry and at war in the 12th chapter, why is he said to be incarcerated in the 20th, if it is during the same period?” This is a contradiction.

Revelation 20 cannot possibly be covering the period of time covered in earlier chapters. With this in mind, one would do well to also compare with chapter 20 the events during the opening of the first four of the seven seals recorded in Revelation 5 and 6, and the activities of the beast from the sea and the beast from the land recorded in chapter 13. They are certainly doing the bidding of the dragon. From the Pit? Hardly!

PREMILLENNIALISM

If the Last Days climax with the return of our Lord (Matthew 24:39-41), the promised resurrection (John 6:40; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) and the final judgment (Matthew 25:31-46), then amillennialists have a right to ask the premillennialists why do they assert that there is a delay of 1,000 years until the final judgment. In other words, “Why the Millennium? Why a millennium between the advent and the judgment?”

One thing that can be said in defense of premillennialism is that St John has related the events of the Millennium (Revelation 20) after he has related the events surrounding the arrival of “the white horse [whose] rider is called Faithful and True [who] in righteousness … judges and makes war (Revelation 19:11).” To some this may sound humorous, but there is a clue here. Having described in the chapters beginning with chapter 12 the crises facing Christians, there is no reason of which this writer knows for John to recapitulate in chapter 20 the earlier account, especially from chapter 12 onwards, when that account carries no suggestion at all of the Devil’s being incarcerated.

Weaknesses in the position taken by premillennialists, particularly as perceived by amillennialists, are these two: the purpose for and the length of the Millennium.

Regarding its purpose, amillennialists ask of premillennialists, “Well, what’s the Millennium for?” The reason for this question is that premillennialists often focus on the period with a resurrection marking its beginning and end. There are even mixed messages about its purpose. These range from that described in the writings of Ellen G. White (See Appendix 11: Hell) to the suggestion that this will be the longed-for “opportunity to ask why about everything, and get satisfying and truthful answers.” (See ADVENTIST RECORD of February 1, 2018). At the same time the New Testament, as in the following verses, clearly states that God has set a day (singular) in which he will judge the world. Sounds like less than 1,000 years — the time it takes for Earth to orbit the Sun one thousand times.

  • Acts 17:30-31 — While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
  • John 12:48 — The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge,
  • Romans 2:15-16 — They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.
  • 2 Timothy 4:8 — From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

With Revelation 20 clearly showing that there will be an occasion when God will judge the world, this author sees the use of the word “day” in the texts above, and the word “hour” in certain others (e.g. Matthew 24:44; Revelation 14:15) as just a general term for “occasion.” This occasion will be for as long as God intends. This is God’s occasion and in God’s good time. Besides, many a student of Scripture has wondered whether 1,000 years should be taken literally or figuratively. Taking everything into account this author believes that the number should be taken figuratively. (See the Supplement below.)

The thinking of the apostles regarding time can be understood a little from the writings of Peter where he wrote in a different context, “But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day (2 Peter 3:8).”

WHAT CHRISTIANS BELIEVE

Considering the information we were given elsewhere in the Scriptures about the return of Jesus, Christians believe that at His return there will be

  • The judgment of the living and the dead,
  • The resurrection of the dead, followed by
  • Life everlasting

Are these significant in Revelation 20? Very much so.

[4] Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them were given authority to judge.

[11] Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books.  And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Apart from its introductory statements, which we shall focus on later, Revelation 20 is, very much then, about judgment.

Before the judgment begins, the Devil, i.e. Satan, is incarcerated

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be let out for a little while.

Throughout the history of mankind the Devil has been involved, tampering with the truth, misleading human beings and making accusations about them to God.3

The text says that he is locked up so that he can’t deceive. This is not about temptation but a matter of deception. This has to do with lies. This has to do with perversion of the truth. This has to do with misrepresentation. The relationship of God to His created. What has it led people to believe … about God?

In a vision, the prophet Zechariah once saw Satan attempting to involve himself in judgment, ready to level accusations at the High Priest Joshua, representative of God’s covenant people in that day.

Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this man a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was dressed with filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And to him he said, “See, I have taken your guilt away from you, and I will clothe you with festal apparel.” (Zechariah 3:1-4)

With a few words, “The LORD rebuke you, O Satan!” Satan is silenced.

Far from being imprisoned so that the Earth can experience a thousand years of peace Satan is thrown and locked into the Abyss to silence him during the judgment. From Sarai’s remark in Genesis 15:5, through Daniel 7 to Revelation, God is recognized as the Judge of the earth. As a matter of fact His Son Jesus divulged that His Father had actually made Him the Judge. (See John 5:22-27) And He is the One who has the register of all those who have committed to Him. This is called The Lamb’s Book of Life, or the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. (Revelation 13:8, NIV).

The Abyss?

While some3 have equated the Abyss with the condition of Earth prior to its being set up for life (Genesis 1:2 LXX), another clue might be found in a remark made by demons to Christ when he cast them out of a man whom they had possessed. The demons begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss. (Luke 8:30-32). The apostle Paul refers to the the Abyss as the place of the dead (Romans 10:7). Apart from Genesis 1:2, in Biblical thought in the time of Christ anyway, the Abyss was contemporaneous.

The First Resurrection

After the incarceration of Satan, John

saw thrones, and those seated on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. Over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him a thousand years.

Jesus once told his disciples, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28).”

It was Paul who made it clear that in his day, in the first century A.D., the resurrection was still future (2 Timothy 2:16-18). He anticipated receiving his “crown of righteousness” at the Second Advent (2 Timothy 4:8). In 1 Thessalonians 4:16 he wrote, “For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” That’s when the resurrection happens.

Paul also wrote that “the saints will judge the world” and that “we [himself included] are to judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:2-3).”

From these it is clear that those whom John saw and spoke of in Revelation 20:4-6 must have returned to life in that “first resurrection,” the one that will occur at the return of Jesus.

It should be made clear that both the Old Testament and Jesus insist that both the righteous and the wicked will be resurrected. Daniel (12:1, 2) has put it this way:

Michael … shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Jesus said, “Do not be astonished at this; for the hour (Gk: hōra, ὥρα) is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:28, 29).”

However in every reference to a resurrection at the Second Coming it is about that of the righteous. (See John 11:23-26; Acts 24:14-15; Romans 6:5; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22; 1 Corinthians 15:42-45; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; Philippians 3:10-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:9,10; 2 Timothy 2:17-18; 1 Peter 1:3.) According to Revelation 20:5 the resurrection of the rest of the dead will occur later.

The release of Satan and its result.

When the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog5, in order to gather them for battle; they are as numerous as the sands of the sea. They marched up over the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from heaven and consumed them. And the Devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

This is just a preview of the events surrounding Satan’s subsequent release.

Having had no part in the judgment, and as determined as ever, unwilling to acknowledge Christ as the heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2) Satan leads the unrepentant7 in what turns out to be a final attempt to retain control this world. He it was who, in the days of Jesus, had assumed ownership of the kingdoms of this world. When Christ was led into the wilderness to face the Devil, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to Him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me (Matthew 4:8-9).” They were not his to give. Now, at the end of time, he reveals his hand and leads the lost into the very final battle. At Christ’s second advent the “beast” and the “false prophet” who led His enemies are captured and thrown into the Lake of Fire. It is after the judgment has been completed that the Devil joins them.

The Final Judgment and the separation of  two groups

Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

The dead were judged according to their works.”

This is so unlike the Gospel.

  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son (John 3:16-18).
  • Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life (John 5:24).
  • My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand (John 10:27, 28).
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

Jesus however, in the parable of the sheep and the goats, did tell of a judgment when certain ones will be judged according to their works. (See Matthew 25:31-46).

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’  Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

This will apply to His judgment of the “nations” (Gk. εθνοι ethnoi, the Gentiles). “All the nations will be gathered before him,” he said (verse 32). The standard of judgment? How did they treat Jesus in the person of the least of His family members (Matthew 25:40, NRSV) or brethren (KJV) (Gk. αδελφοι adelphoi, brothers, literal or figurative, near or remote). Having already given eternal life to His followers, He now turns to the Gentiles. How will they be judged? “According to their works.”

We already know what God has decided. In Revelation 20 the pronouncement of His decision is dramatized for readers to visualize as part of the final scene in this Divine Exhibition, this Apocalypse, this Revelation (1:1, Gk. δεικνυω = to show).

CONCLUSION

Rather than the title of this chapter being “The Millennium” it could well be titled “A Picture of the Final Judgment.”

The subheadings could then be

  • The Silencing of Satan
  • The Associates of the Judge
  • The Demise of the Devil
  • The Decision is Given
  • The Final Separation
  • “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1).”

The thousand years? “With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.” In this case, it’s just the timeframe for the final judgment. For some it could be like an eternity.

Postscript

These conclusions, that the Millennium follows the Second Advent and that the number 1,000 is a symbolic number, have been reached by comparing the outline of events in Revelation 20 not only, and most importantly, with those in the rest of Revelation, but also with those throughout the New Testament. Nowhere have I found in Revelation a reference to Satan’s being silenced after the Cross and before the Second Coming. In fact during that time Satan is shown to be very active in one way or another and even uses henchmen, the beasts from the sea and from the Earth, a.k.a. the Beast and the False Prophet, to achieve his intentions through deception and threats.

——————————-

Supplement

When is Satan bound to the extent described in Revelation 20?

Because there is no hint of Satan’s binding elsewhere in Revelation, this writer believes that this incident follows the Second Advent just as chapter 20 follows chapter 19.

When is the “first” resurrection?

Because those who are seen in the judgment/reigning setting and those who have been beheaded are exempt from the power of the second death this writer believes that the first resurrection is at the Second Advent. See Revelation 20:4-6. It’s interesting to note that there is no explanation as to how any of these individuals came to avoid any judgment and actually reign and judge during the thousand years.

How long in reality is the “Millennium”?

Because the visions recorded are in signs and symbols, this writer accepts that the “1,000 years” is symbolic for the period taken for the judgment and does not indicate exactly the length of its duration.

Roy C. Naden’s The Lamb Among the Beasts, (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 1996), page 277: “John’s thousand years spell the end or ‘completeness’ of the wild and agonizing history of sin.” Naden (1934-2017) uses the writings of both Socrates and Plato as the basis for this concept. Then on page 278 there is this: “The 1,000 years should certainly be viewed first as qualitative, a symbol of the completeness of the plan of salvation.” Naden, an historicist, then adds, “Whether it also has a quantitative meaning, either literal time or prophetic time is something only the future will confirm.”

Regarding hōra (Gk: ὥρα = hour) meaning other than precisely a short period, see, for example:

  • 1 John 2:18 — Children, it is the last hour [ὠρα]! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour [ὥρα].
  • Philemon 1:15 — Perhaps this is the reason he was separated from you for a while [ὥρα], so that you might have him back forever …
  • 2 Corinthians 7:8 (KJV)  For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season [ὥρα].
  • Romans 13:11-12 — Besides this, you know what time [ὠρα] it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near.
  • Revelation 3:10 — Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour [ὥρα] of trial that is coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

What is the “Millennium” for?

This question only arises because “1,000” years sounds like a long time when it could well be a short time. I prefer the Apostle Peter’s “with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.”

So, ignoring Revelation 19 as a prelude, what does Revelation 20 say occurs?

  1. Satan is bound.
  2. A court sits.
  3. Satan is released and makes an unsuccessful attack on the “camp of the saints.”
  4. Satan is defeated and punished and his army is destroyed.
  • The destruction of his army. “Fire came down from heaven and devoured them.”
  • The eternal suffering of Satan, the beast and the false prophet. “They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
  1. In the judgment scene we are shown why “the dead” are not granted eternal life. Their names are not found in The Book of Life. They suffer the “second death.”

Where is the Millennium spent?

While Revelation does not say where the Millennium is spent, there is no suggestion in the Apocalypse itself that it is spent in some extraterrestrial location.

The Abyss. Where is it?

Let’s engage in a little Apocalyptic cosmography.

  • Revelation 12:7-9 — And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, [8] but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. [9] The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world — he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
  • Revelation 12:12 — Rejoice then, you heavens and those who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you with great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
  • Revelation 12:18 — Then the dragon took his stand on the sand of the seashore.
  • Revelation 13:4 — They worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
  • Revelation 16:13-16 — And I saw three foul spirits like frogs coming from the mouth of the dragon, from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet. [14] These are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. [15] (“See, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and is clothed, not going about naked and exposed to shame.”) [16] And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Harmagedon.
  • Revelation 20:1-3 — Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. [2] He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, [3] and threw him into the pit, and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be let out for a little while.
  • In Revelation 2:9 Satan is said to have a synagogue
  • In Revelation 2:13 Satan’s throne is said to be in Pergamum

So, until his capture, where has the dragon been? There is no doubt from all these Scriptures that he has not been in the Abyss.

Regarding Jude 6 (“the angels who did not keep their own position … he has kept in eternal chains in deepest darkness for the judgment of the great Day.) the NIV Bible Commentary has this to say: “Apparently some fallen angels are in bondage while others are unbound and active among people as demons.”

Regarding 2 Peter 2:4 (“God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell [lit. “held … captive in Tartarus] and committed them to chains of deepest darkness to be kept until the judgment”) the same Commentary reads: “The angels referred to here in 2 Peter are confined to gloomy dungeons. Apparently some fallen angels are free to plague human beings as demons while others are imprisoned. The connection with Genesis 6:1-4 provides a reason for this phenomenon.” [Compare 1 Enoch 6 and 2 Enoch 7:1, 2.]

Endnotes

1 Scriptures quoted are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

 2 Before proceeding, something must be said about this “first” resurrection. While Revelation 20:4-5, in connection with the first resurrection, speaks of “those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God [coming] to life and [reigning] with Christ a thousand years,” Christ himself located the resurrection of “all who see the Son and believe in him” on the last day. (See John 6:40.) The “last” day must be the day of his return, the end of this present age.

3 See the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Fundamental Belief no. 27: “The Millennium and the End of Sin.”

4 Genesis 3:1-5; Job 1:1-2:7; Zechariah 3:1, 2; Matthew 4; Luke 22:3; John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 2:11; 11:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Timothy 5:15; Revelation 2:9, 13; 3:9; 12:9, 10

5 In this case, “those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:10).”

6 The Beast, the False Prophet and the Devil are tormented for ever. The deceived ones are consumed.

7 Compare Revelation 9:20; 16:9, 11 where there is shown to be an element of lack of repentance among some.

© October 2020, Angus McPhee