Updated: Jan 14
Revelation 19 describes the Second Coming.
Revelation 20 continues the description of events that then occur.
When Christ returns the dead saints will be resurrected (John 14:2-3; Matt 24:30 -31)
This is the first resurrection (v 4-6; John 6:39-40)
The living saints will be translated with the resurrected ones (1Thess 4:16-17)
They will reign for a thousand years.
At the second coming the living wicked will be destroyed.
The earth is empty - devoid of humans.
Revelation 20 describes Earth's millennial REST from Sin which has run its course.
Satan, the tempter, is "bound up" figuratively speaking, by a chain of circumstances.
Satan has no-one to tempt as the earth is empty.
SATAN BOUND A THOUSAND YEARS.
1. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
1* ¶ And I saw an angel come down [literally “coming down”] from heaven , having the key of the bottomless pit This angel is not “the angel of the bottomless pit of Rev 9:11. This angel is seen as "coming down" and not "fallen from heaven". The angel of the bottomless pit of Rev 9:1,11, the one fallen from heaven is Satan (see Rev 12:7-9. This angel of Rev 20 binds Satan.
THE BOTTOMLESS PIT HERE SYMBOLISES THE GRAVE
This is a symbolic vision which suggests that the pit is also a symbol. The shutting up of Satan in the pit (v 2) shows that his activities will be brought to a halt, “that he should deceive the nations no more...” (v 3).
The bottomless pit symbolizes the grave. The grave is a “pit” which cannot be filled, (Isa 38:18; Isa 14:19; Hab 2:5; Prov 30:16) i.e. the grave is a bottomless pit.
The Greek “abussos” is translated “bottomless pit” here in Revelation but it is also translated “deep” in Rom 10:7 where it refers to the grave. The Greek Septuagint Bible uses the word “abussos” to describe the “earth without form and void” in the beginning. Gen 1:2. cf. Jer 4:23-27] and a great chain in his hand [great chain, a symbol of restraint].
2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
The binding of Satan is a restriction of his actions as indicated by the statement, “that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled” (v3)
This is accomplished by the very nature of the conditions:
1. The wicked have been slain at Christ’s return.
2. The saints have ascended to heaven.
3. The righteous reign with Christ in heaven.
There is no-one left on Earth to tempt.
EVENTS WHICH BEGIN THE 1000 YEARS
Chapter 19 describes the Second Coming (Rev 19:11-21)
The narrative continues on without a break into ch. 20 which discusses the 1000 years
Hence the second coming preceeds the 1000 years.
The continuity of the narrative is demonstrated by the interrelation of events:
Three powers gather to battle against Christ at the time of His Second Coming.
These are the dragon, the beast & the false prophet (Rev 16:13).
Rev 19:19: the Beast & false prophet are cast into the lake of Fire at Christ's Coming.
Rev 20, the third member of the trio, the dragon, will be cast into the bottomless pit.
Any definition or description of the millennium must be based on Rev 19 and 20
Rev 19 & 20 are the only passages in Scripture that deal directly with this doctrine.
Christ returns after the tribulation but before the millennium. Matt 24:29-31.
AT CHRIST’S SECOND COMING ALL THE RIGHTEOUS DEAD WILL BE RESURRECTED
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1Thess 4:16-17.
Note: ALL the faithful dead are, “dead in Christ” Those of the Old.Testaent. died with faith in the Messiah to come. Those of the New.Testament. died with faith in the Messiah who has come.
“ Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life…” John 5:28-29.
“For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.” 1 Cor 15:23.
ALL those that are Christ’s and are still in their graves will rise at Christ’s Second coming.
“...EVERY ONE which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the LAST DAY.” John 6:40.
ALL the dead saints will receive immortality at the last trump:
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [i.e. die], but we shall ALL be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed...and this mortal [must] put on immortality.” 1 Cor 15:51-53.
“...they [the faithful dead] without us should not be made perfect.” Heb 11:40. ALL the faithful will be perfected together.
The resurrection will take place on the last Day, not over a long period of time:
“And this is the will of him that sent me, that EVERYONE which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last DAY.” John 6:40.
“And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of ALL which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” John 6:39
“This is the first resurrection.” Rev 20:5, “...the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:14 in which ALL the “just” rise.
AT CHRIST’S COMING HE TAKES ALL HIS SAINTS TO HEAVEN
Christ does not establish His kingdom on earth at His Second Coming. He does not come to the earth to be received by His people, rather He comes to “receive” His people unto Himself. He resurrects the “dead in Christ” and together with the living saints catches them up from the earth “to meet the Lord in the air” and takes them to the mansions prepared for them:
“In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you [i.e. in heaven]. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.” John 14:2-3.
Not just the 12 disciples but all the faithful such as Abraham and Issac etc. will go to the city God hath prepared.
“...they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Heb 11:16, 10, 35, 40.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1Thess 4:16-17.
Note: Those “dead in Christ” are resurrected and ascend into the clouds WITH the living saints. No resurrection has yet occurred that was accompanied by the ascension into the clouds of living saints. It is clear therefore that this resurrection of the dead in Christ has not yet occurred. At the time Jesus addressed His disciples His people were a small group, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)
However as a result of the gospel going forth John beheld in heaven “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” Rev 7:9.
This “great multitude” are “few” when compared to the lost:
“ ...broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matt 7:13-14.
“All the Saints of All Ages Will Reign as Judges with Christ” v4.
At Christ’s coming ALL the righteous will be gathered together in one day:
“...Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed...Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? [or] shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” Isa 66:2, 8.
No one living at Christ’s return will have a second chance for the condition of all is fixed eternally prior to Christ’s coming.
“ He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Rev 22:11-12
AT CHRIST’S COMING ALL THE LIVING WICKED WILL BE SLAIN
“ And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man...the flood came, and destroyed them ALL. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot... it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] ALL. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” Luke 17:26-30.
“...the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished [ultimatelly] with everlasting destruction...” 2 Thess 1:7-9.
At the time of Christ’s coming “[the beast and the false prophet]...were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Rev 19:20-21. The beast, the false prophet and the remnant made up ALL the wicked.
“...the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they [i.e. the wicked] shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1Thess 5:2-3.
THE EARTH WILL BE EMPTY DURING THE 1000 YEARS
As ALL the saints are caught up at the Second Coming and as ALL the wicked are then slain, the earth will be utterly empty, utterly depopulated. Thus the Scriptures will be fulfilled:
“I will utterly consume all [things] from off the land, saith the LORD. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD.” Zeph 1:1-18.
“Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof...The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word...The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones [that are] on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And 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.” Isa 24:1-3, 19-22
The many days refer to the 1000 years: “...lived not again until the 1000 years were finished.” Rev 20:5.
At the seventh plague,“…there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great…And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” Rev 16:18-20.
“ I beheld the earth, and, lo, [it was] without form, and void; and the heavens, and they [had] no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, [there was] no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place [was] a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, [and] by his fierce anger.” Jer 4:23-26
“ 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; they shall be dung upon the ground.” Jer 25:33
No one will be left alive to lament, gather or bury them.
3. 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.
SATAN BOUND TO THE UNIHABITED EARTH FOR 1000 YEARS
The bottomless pit is the grave (See “The Bottomless Pit” verse 1).
The earth will be utterly empty throughout the 1000 years
a mass grave of the slain wicked (See on v 2).
It is here that Satan will spend 1000 years.
Satan’s banishment to this uninhabited world was typified in the Day of Atonement
On that day the earthly sanctuary was cleansed (See Lev 16:7-22).
Two goats were sellected, one was the Lord’s goat, the other the scapegoat, Azazel
The Lord’s goat was sacrificed and atonement made.
The scapegoat was led away “...unto a land not inhabited...” (Lev 16:22) to perish.
This typifies the fact that Christ will finish cleansing the heavenly sanctuary of sin.
He will place the sins of the faithful on Satan, the instigator of all sin.
Satan will be banished into the lifeless earth (1000yrs) where he will ultimately perish.
The scapegoat, Azazel, typified Satan not Christ:
1. The goat was sent away after the priest had made an end of cleansing the sanctuary (Lev 16:20-21).
2. It was sent away alive to an unihabited place. This cannot be applied to Christ who died and ascended to heaven.
3. It received and retained the iniquities but when Christ returns He will be “without sin.” (Heb 9:28).
4. This was one of two goats chosen. As the other goat was called the “Lord’s goat,” it stands to reason that the scapegoat is someone else's.
5. The scapegoat’s proper name, Azazel, is considered evil by the Jews, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him [As Satan had Christ sealed in the grave (Matt 27:63-66) so he will be sealed in the bottomless pit], that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled [Satan’s activities will be brought to a halt by the circumstances. At Christ’s Second Coming ALL the wicked were slain (See on verse 2). The dead saints were raised and ALL the saints were taken to heaven. “The rest of the dead,” i.e. the wicked dead, will not live again until the thousand years are finished. See on verse 5. Thus Satan will be unable to deceive anyone]: and after that [after the 1000 years] he must be loosed a little season [At the end of the 1000 years the wicked dead will be raised to life in the resurrection of damnation. Will the wicked nations still choose rebellion if given a second oppourtunity? After the 1000 years Satan will be permitted to go forth to deceive them. We do not know the length of this period but it is clearly long enough for Satan to deceive them and to organize the assault on the New Jerusalem (verses 7-9)].
4. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
And I saw thrones [They reign. cf. verse 6], and they sat upon them [The redeemed of all ages. See on verse 2], and judgment was given unto them
THE SAINTS REIGN AS JUDGES WITH CHRIST
“...ALL be made alive...they that are Christ's at his coming.” 1 Cor 15:23.
“the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1Thess 4:16-17.
Christ catches up from the earth ALL His people at His coming and takes them to the manisons He has prepared for them in heaven (John 14:1-3).
God wants ALL the redeemed to see His justice and to know the reasons for His judgments: The faithful Corinthians will ALL go to heaven at the Second Coming. Paul told them, “judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come...” 1 Cor 4:5.
The Disciples will go to heaven, “...when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel...” Matt 19:28.
The 24 elders will be there (Rev 4:4).
Christ told the faithful in the church of Laodicea, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” Rev 3:21. Therefore, ALL the overcoming Laodiceans will reign with Christ. Those who do not overcome will be lost.
ALL genuine Christians are overcomers and as such they will reign with Him: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God...For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1John 5:1-3.
“ Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer...” 2Tim 3:12
“If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]...” 2Tim 2:12.
As ALL godly Christians suffer, and as there is no other kind of Christian, ALL Christians will reign with Christ.
Note: All the ungodly will perish: “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous...the way of the ungodly shall perish.” Ps 1:5-6.
ALL men are to be “godly,” “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to ALL men, Teaching us that... we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Tit 2:11-12.
ALL the saints will participate in the 1000 year judgment in heaven, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 1Cor 6:2-3.
“...judgment was given to the saints of the most High ...” Daniel 7:22. “To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have ALL his saints. Praise ye the LORD.” Ps 149:9.
Moses is to be a part of the kingdom of God
“But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God. And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment [was] white [and] glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:” Luke 9:27-30.
In this they saw the kingdom of God. Moses, one of the faithful of the Old Teatament represented the resurrected “dead in Christ” and Elias represented those which will not see death and be translated.
“...a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne.” Rev 7:9.
“...I heard a great voice of much people in heaven...” Rev 19:1]: and [Attention is drawn to a specific group of the redeemed for whom the role of judging the wicked will be especially significant] [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded [lost their lives] for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived [“came to life”] and reigned with Christ a thousand years [Those whom the wicked judged as worthy of death because they refused to receive the mark of the beast (Rev 13:15-17) will be made the judges of those which condemned them. “
[God] hath made us kings and priests unto God.” Rev 1:6
Note the vesre does not state that the saints will be on earth during this 1000 years reign].
5. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
THE WICKED RESURRECTED AT THE END OF 1000 YEARS
The “rest of the dead” refers to the unrighteous dead who did not rise in the first “resurrection of the just” at the beginning of the 1000 years when Christ returns the second time. See on verse 2. The wicked will rise at the end of the 1000 years in “the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:29 which is so named because all who come up in this resurrection will perish.
“Lived not” must mean that they are not raised from the dead because “lived” in the first part of the verse applied to those who were dead (beheaded) and were raised from the dead.
Isaiah said of the wicked,
“And 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” Isa 24:22 . Rev 20 shows that the many days will be 1000 years.
The Millennium is thus bounded at each end with a resurrection. Christ plainly declares that "all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28,29. And Paul testifies "that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." Acts 24:15. Here the Revelator shows that these resurrections are one thousand years apart, at each end of the millennium.
As seen, the earth will be utterly emptied at the Second Coming of Christ. See on verse 2.
Some textual evidence may be cited for the ommission of the sentence, “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” However the preponderance of evidence is for retaining it. The three oldest Greek manuscripts which contain the Revelation (if one believes oldest is best) retain it as do nearly all translations.
The doctrine of the second resurrection is not however dependent upon this sentence. The term “Second resurrection” is derived from Christ’s teaching of two main resurrections (John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15). The “resurrection of the just” occurs at the second coming (1Thess 4:13-17) and is called “the first resurrection.” (Rev 20:6). The resurrection of the “rest of the dead”, i.e. of the wicked dead, occurs when the 1000 years are finished.
(a) ALL mankind must be resurrected to fulfil the Scriptures:
“ Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:28-29).
“...there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” Acts 24:15.
(b) If the wicked are to die the “SECOND death” (v6) they must live a second period of life which requires them to be resurrected.
(c) Since ALL the wicked are slain at the Second Coming (See on verse 2), and since they attack the New Jerusalem at the end of the 1000 years (Rev 20:5 first part, verses 7-9), it follows that they must be raised from the dead.
(d) As the “first resurrection” is for the “blessed and holy” (verse 6), the wicked must come up in a second resurrection, the resurrection of “damnation” (John 5:29).
(e) “For it is written, [As] I live, saith the Lord, EVERY knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Rom 14:11; Isa 45:23). To be fulfilled this requires the resurrection of ALL who have ever lived for as yet not every knee has bowed.
Note: “An hour is not always a literal 60min. (e.g. Rev 3:10; John 4:23; John 12:27).
There is also to be a special resurrection. See on Dan 12:1-2.
WHY HAVE A SECOND RESURRECTION?
The reasons the wicked are raised rather than simply leaving them in death are as follows:
1. The wicked resurrected will once again turn against God (See v 7-9) proving that given another chance the wicked still chose to sin.
2. Many who do not appear outwardy bad will reveal the sinfulness lurking within when they rally with Satan to attack God’s saints (See on v 9). The truth of Christ’s words will be seen, “He that is not with me is against me...” Matt 12:30.
3. Justice demands that the wicked be rewarded according to their works. In the lake of fire some will burn long while others will be devoured in short order but all will eventually die.
4. The Scripture must be fulfilled, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you [yourselves] thrust out.” Luke 13:28. For this to be fulfilled the wicked must rise to see Abraham etc.
5 “...every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” Rom 13:10. In order for ALL to do this ALL must be raised. The confession will remove from the minds of the righteous any question as to God’s wisdom, justice and mercy. This confession is not a change of heart just an admission of guilt. The wicked are irrevocably lost and could not enjoy heaven.
NO SECOND CHANCE, DESTINY DECIDED IN THIS LIFE
(a) “...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Heb 9:27; cf. Eze 18:24. Judgment is based upon this one life.
(b) Our reward will be based upon this life for when Christ is revealed He “...will render to every man according to his deeds:” Rom 2:6. “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Matt 16:27.
(c) The parable of the rich man & Lazarus shows that there is no second chance (Luke 16:26-31)
No second oppourtunity is given. The wicked will suffer the second death (Rev 20:6, 14)]. This [is] the first resurrection [The last sentence of verse 5 has caused confusion because it appears to read that the resurrection of the rest of the dead at the end of the 1000 years is the first resurrection. The passage is clarified in the following translations:
“They came to life and reigned along with Christ for a thousand years, (as for the rest of the dead, they did not come to life till the thousand years were completed.) This is the first resurrection.” Moffat.
“They were restored to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years, (The rest of the dead were not restored to life till the thousand years were ended.) This is the First Resurrection.” Twentieth Century N.T.
See also the Good news and the Fenton Bible which likewise place the sentence in parenthesis ( ), indicating that “the first resurrection” concerns those who come to life at the beginning of the 1000 years and reign with Christ (v4).
A first resurrection implies a second. The “rest of the dead” rise in the “Second Resurrection” at the end of the 1000 years. See first part of v5
The 1000 years thus have resurrections at either end.
The first death is as a result of inheriting a mortal body from Adam after his fall.
The second death will be as a result of the choices we make in this life.
Obedience to God and live or transgression of His law and die.
The first resurrection is of the righteous and occurs at Christ’s Second Coming - v 2.
The second resurrection is of the wicked and occurs at the end of the 1000 years - v 5
The second death occurs after the wicked are resurrected at the end of the 1000yrs.
Fire will come down from God and devour them.
The surface of the earth will become a lake of fire
When all sinners are perished God will make a new heavens and a new earth.
The reign of the saints with Christ is not dependent upon there being anyone alive on earth. Though the wicked will be dead, the saints will still reign with Christ as judges. 1Cor 6:2,3
The wicked of all ages come alive in the second resurrection at the end of the 1000 years (verse 5). Satan is now able to once more go forth and deceive them. He will present himself as their Saviour and lead them to attack the Holy city of the saints. cf. Eze 38.
Gog and Magog
The text shows these two names encompass the entire planet. They represent the wicked of all ages, cf. Eze 38-39. Rev. A. Jones, in the List of the Proper Names in the Old & New Testaments, at the back of Crudens Concordance states Gog means “roof, covering, expansion.” “Magog” means “place of Gog or expansion, i.e. increase of family.” It suggests the house of the father of rebellion and those who follow him, his children. Satan has always sought to “cover” his real intentions. Satan’s system has “expanded” to cover the whole world.
to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea
“...broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and MANY there be which go in thereat” Matt 7:13.
At this time ALL who have ever lived will be upon the earth and the stage will be set for the last great act in the drama of the ages.
THE BATTLE FOR THE TREE OF LIFE
The wicked will compass the New Jerusalem intending to take the city. "When raised, not one of the resurrected wicked will choose righteousness. Satan will be successful in once again deceiving the nations. He will lead an assault on New Jerusalem in a vain attempt to gain access to the tree of life contained therein (Rev 21:2) He knows that even a sinner who eats from it will live forever. (Gen 3:22-24)." GC, p664-665. The wicked are devoured in the flames.
CHRIST’S THIRD COMING WITH HIS PEOPLE
Verse 9 before us shows that by this time the beloved city, the New Jerusalem , and the saints, will have descended to the earth prior to the resurrection of the wicked at the end of the 1000 years because if this is not so then how could the wicked host encompass it about?
At His Second Coming Christ came FOR His people who were caught up from the earth and taken to His Father’s house (1Thess 4:16-17; John 14:2-3). After spending 1000 years in heaven judging the wicked Christ will return to the earth WITH His people and the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:2).
“...Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Jude 1:14-15]: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them
THE JUDGMENT EXECUTED
The city is clearly on the earth for the wicked which compass it are on the earth, and the “fires comes down from God out of heaven” upon them.This is Hell-fire, the destiny of the damned. See “The Lake of Fire” verse 15.
Just before their destruction, as they surround the New Jerusalem, other events occur. See on verse 11.
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone
Satan is not to be in charge of Hell-fire, he will is to be destroyed in it (Heb 2:14; Isa 14:12-17). In the person of the King of Tyre God addressed Satan:
“...I will destroy thee, O covering cherub...I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never [shalt] thou [be] any more.” Eze 28:12-19.
See “Lake of Fire” v 15. The fires from God will burn up the elements of the earth cleansing it from every trace of sin. As Noah’s ark rode the waters so the New Jerusalem will ride the flames (cf. 2 Pet 3:6-7) and as the 3 worthies passed safetly through the fire so will the saints (cf. Dan 3)
where the beast and the false prophet [are]
the word “are” is not in the Greek. “Went” might be a better choice for Rev 20:10 shows that at Christs Coming these powers went into the lake of fire
and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever
Literally “unto the end of the age.”
Gr. Aion - “For ever” does not necessarily mean without end.
The Greek word “aion” here translated “forever” means “A space or period of time, especially a life time, life,...A long period of time, eternity...Later, a space of time clearly defined and marked out, an era, age,...this present world.” Liddel & Scott’s Greek Lexicon.
“In general, the word depicts that of which the horizon is not in view, whether the horizon be at an infinite distance,...whether it lies no farther than the span of Caesar’s life.” J.H Moulton & George Milligan, Vocabulary of the New Testament.
Christ spoke of, “ the end of the world [Gr. aion].” (Matt 13:39). How could there be an end of the “aion” if “aion” is always endless?
Christ is called “a priest for ever [aion]” (Heb 5:6), yet after sin is dealt with Christ’s work as priest will end.
The Hebrew equivalent of “aion” is “olam.” We read in Exo 12:24 that the Passover was to be observed “forever” [olam] yet its observance has ended.
Jonah 2:6 “The earth with her bars was about me for ever [olam].” but this “for ever” was just “three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:17.
Samuel was to abide in God’s house “forever” [olam] but this time was plainly limited to “as long as he liveth” (verse 28).
Thus we see that by the Scriptures own definition aion, & olam, translated “for ever” does not necessarily mean everlasting. These words in Rev 14:11 are borrowed from Isa 34:6-15 where “for ever,” clearly refers to a period of limited duration.
Ps 37:10, 20 says that “the wicked shall perish...they shall consume; into smoke they shall consume away.”
The wicked will suffer as long as they continue to live in the fire. Then as the Bible states; “The wicked...shall be destroyed for ever” (Ps 92:7; Mal 4:1-3).
Rev 20:9 states that the fire“devoured” the wicked completely consuming them, as the fowls did the seed by the wayside, this same word being used in Matt 13:4.
The word soul is found 873 times in Scripture and is never called immortal or deathless, etc.
On the contrary the Bible uses words that show that the wicked will be totally destroyed. Words like, “chaff”, “stubble,” “wax”, “fat,” etc. (See Mal 3:12; Mal 4:1; Ps 68:2; 37:20). “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23) not eternal life in hell fire.
Having brought us to the end of the wicked the following verse takes us back to the time before they are destroyed.
12. 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.
THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT
And I saw the dead, small and great
none will be exempt. At this time ALL who have ever lived will be alive at one time upon the earth
stand before God; and the books
Containing the record of each man’s life, both good deeds and bad 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
Life - Rev 13:8; Rev 20:15; Phil 4:3. This is the register of all who have accepted Christ (Luke 10:20).
Remembrance - Mal 3:16; Ps 56:8 This reords the good deeds of the saints only.
Iniquities - Isa 65:6-7; Jer 2:22; Isa 30:8-9. The record of everyone’s sins.
The books are opened three times:
1. Opened in the investigative judgment prior to Christ’s Econd Coming (See on Dan 7:10; 8:14) At this time the angels will acknowledge God’s justice & mercy.
2. Opened during the 1000 years for the redeemed to see God's justice. 1 Cor 6:2; Rev 20:4. At this time the angels will acknowledge God’s justice & mercy.
3. Opened at the end of the 1000 years when even the wicked will acknowledge God's justice & mercy. Rev 15:4; Rom 14:11; Rev 20:11, 12; GC 666],
according to their works
“the wages of sin [payment for one’s works] is death.” Rom 6:23
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell
The Greek "hades" means the abode of the dead. Christ went to “hell [Gr. hades”] when He died (Acts 2:31). Hades is equivalent to the Hebrew word “Sheol” Ps 16:10. Sheol is the place of the dead. See Amos 9:2. Jonah called the whale’s belly “hell” (Jon 2:2). Hades is the grave. see study on death.
delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works
And death and hell
Gr. hades. The abode of the dead
were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death
THE SECOND DEATH
The second death is for all those who rise in the second resurrection.
All men, good and bad, die the first death due to Adam’s transgression (1Cor 15:22; Heb 9:27). i.e. they inherit a mortal body as a result of Adam's sin, hence a body that will die. They do not inherit Adam's Original sin.
The second death is destruction in hell-fire (v14)
Their fate is the exact opposite of eternal life The punishment for sin is death (Rom 6:23) and this death will be an “everlasting punishment [not punishing].” Matt 25:46.
Death in the lake of fire (Hell-fire) is future. It is called “the second death” and will occur in the future after the wicked have been raised to a second life in the second resurrection.
The wicked must be raised bodily as they are to be destroyed “both soul and body in hell.” (Matt 10:28).
The wicked are not yet burning in Hell-fire but are reserved unto that day:
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:” 2Pet 2:9.
Hell-fire is to be in the end of the world:
“...so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
“...the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” John 12:48.
All the dead are in the grave. No one is yet in Hell-fire:
“ Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28-29.
“...the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.” Job 21:30.
The wages of sin is not eternal life in Hell-fire but death:
“The wages of sin is death.” Rom 6:23
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
“The soul that sineth, it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:4
The fate of the wicked is:
“destruction” Job 21:30
“shall perish” Ps 37:20
“burn up” Mal 4:1
“shall be destroyed together Ps 37:20
“shall be slain” Ps 62:3
God will “destroy” them. Ps 145:20
the fire “shall devour them” Ps 21:9.
Sinners will suffer for varying lengths of time before they eventually die:
“according as his works shall be.” Rev 22:13
“And he shall reward everyman according to his works.” Matt 16:27
“ And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and...neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many [stripes]. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [stripes]..” Luke 12:47-48.
Death cannot be eternal life for Death itself will finally be erradicated from the universe:
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.” Rev 20:14.
THE LAKE OF FIRE - HELLFIRE
As the nations of the wicked are on the earth when the fire descends to destroy them (verse 9) the lake of fire (Hell-fire), is clearly to be on the surface of the earth.
“ Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.” Prov 11:31.
The wicked will enter the fire bodily:
“And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Matt 5:30.
“... Rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt 10:28.
Hell-fire will be global:
“ But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2Pet 3:10
“But the [atmospheric] heavens and the earth, which are now [in existence], by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment [punishment] and perdition of ungodly men.” 2Pet 3:7.
As “the meek shall inherit the earth” (Matt 5:5) hell-fire, the fire must eventually go out.
Hell-fire will be “unquenchable,” (Matt 3:12) i.e. it cannot be quenched or put out, but it will eventually go out when it has burnt the wicked to ashes. The gates & palaces of Jerusalem were once destroyed by unquenchable fire (Jer 17:27).
Chron 36:19-21 states that the fire burned “to fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah.” That “unquenchable fire” went out.
Mal 4:3 “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do [this], saith the LORD of hosts.”
Isa 47:14 “Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: [there shall] not [be] a coal to warm at, [nor] fire to sit before it.”
Mal 4:1 “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Satan the root and his followers the branches will cease to exist.
“For yet a little while, and the wicked [shall] not [be]: yea...the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD [shall be] as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.” Ps 37:10, 20.
“...they shall be as though they had not been.” Obadiah 1:16.
God is not a torturer worse than the most cruel man. An eternal hell would be a hell for God Himself who loves even the vilest sinner.
Ques: Does the word Hell as used in the Bible always refer to a place of burning?
Ans: No. The word “hell” is used 54 times in the KJV Bible. It is translated from three different words and in only 12 cases does it refer to a place of burning.
In the O.T.
31 times “Sheol,” which means grave.
10 times “Hades,” which means grave.
12 times “Gehenna,” which means “the place of burning.”
1 time “Tartarus,” which means “a place of darkness.”
Gehenna is a transliteration of the Hebrew Ge-Hinnom which means the valley of Hinnom. This valley south west of Jerusalem was a place where dead animals & garbage were burned. The Bible uses it as a symbol of Hell-fire that will burn up the wicked. The fires of Gehenna no longer burn today and likewise Hell-fire will burn itself out.
Sodom & Gomorrah were destroyed with “eternal [Gr. aionios] fire (Jude 7) and turned to ashes as a warning to “those that after should live ungodly.” (2Pet 2:6). These cities are no longer burning. The fire went out after everything was burned up. Likewise the “ungodly” will depart “...into everlasting [Gr. aionios] fire, prepared for the devil and his angels,” (Matt 25:41) and be turned to ashes (Mal 4:3) before the fire goes out. The effects of the fire are everlasting, but not the burning itself.
God will make a new heavens and a new earth. See Rev 21
Eternal Hell-fire is an erroneous theory of misguided men. This theory misrepresents God as a terrible torturer and has led many to reject Him, the God of the Bible.
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON REVELATION 20
WHAT WILL THE BODIES OF THE RESURRECTED BE LIKE
“Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” 1Cor 15:50.
“Flesh & blood” is a figure of speech meaning a person of this world as in below:
“...flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father......” Matt 16:17.
“...I conferred not with flesh and blood” Gal 1:16.
“...For we wrestle not against flesh and blood.” Eph 6:12.
Our resurrected bodies will not be like the bodies of the men of this world.
Whose body will our resurrection bodies resemble?
“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body...” Php 3:21.
“...it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him..” 1John 3:2
What kind of glorious body did Jesus have when He was resurrected?
“... Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not FLESH AND BONES, as ye see me have...And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took [it], and did eat before them.” Luke 24:36-43.
Jesus' resurrected body was NOT a spirit. He pointed to the nail holes in His hands as proof that He was the same Jesus they had seen crucified. Christ’s glorified, spiritual, resurrection body was an immortal body of flesh and blood.
What kind of body did Job say he would have?
“ And [though] after my skin [worms] destroy this [body], yet in my FLESH shall I see God:” Job 19:26.
The firstfruits of them which slept arose bodily and thus the rest will rise bodily: “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,” Matt 27:52.
Why did Christ’s followers not find His body in the tomb?
Matt 28:6 “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
Was Jesus body resurrected?
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up...he spake of the temple of his BODY. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” John 2:19-21.
The Greek word "soma" is translated “body” throughout the New Testament, so clearly Christ was referring to his own physical form therefore proving a bodily resurrection. Doubting Thomas was confronted with the fact of Christ’s resurected body in John 20:27.
Speaking of the Messiah the psalmist wrote, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption [i.e. rot].” Ps 16:10.
In fulfilment, Jesus' soul / body, was raised before corruption (rot) could set in.
“Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption [i.e. rot]...he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.” Acts 13:37; 2:27. Note that the corruption of Christ’s body was averted through raising it.
Would taking His body back mean the taking back of the price He paid for our sins?
Christ did not pay the redemption price for our sins with the flesh and bones of His body but with the sacrifice of His perfect life. “For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul.” Lev 17:11.
Therefore the raising of Christ’s body - flesh & bones, was not taking back the redemption price. He gave His life and this will always be a fact.
Why was Jesus not always recognized after His resurrection?
The fact that the resurrected Jesus at one time miraculously vanished (Luke 24:31) or the fact that certain people did not initialy recognize the resurrected Jesus (Luke 24:15-32; John 20:14-16) is no proof that He was a spirit. In the passage in Luke 24 the reason they did not recognize Him was “their eyes were holden that they should not know him.” Luke 24:16.
The text referring to Christ as, “...the brightness of [his] [the Father’s] glory, and the express image of his person...” (Heb 1:3) refers to Christ’s character.
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins...being put to death in the flesh, but quickened BY the Spirit:” 1Pet 3:18 KJV.
Some Bibles say “in the spirit” which is similar to the following texts:
“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit.” 1Cor 15:45.
“So also [is] the resurrection of the dead...It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.” 1 Cor 15:42-44.
While the resurrected Christ had what Paul called “a spiritual body” he nevertheless calls
it a "body" (Greek “soma”), and Christ testifies that it is a body of “flesh and bones” in Luke 24:39. A spiritual body then is not “a spirit” but a glorified, immortal, physical form possessing certain spiritual characteristics or attributes. (See John 20:19, 26; Luke 24:31).
Acts 10:40-41 “Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, [even] to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.” The resurrected Christ with whom they ate & drank was of “flesh & bones.” (Luke 24:36-43).
The word “Millennium” does not appear in the Bible but it comes from the Latin, mille annus and simply means “a 1000 years.” There are several views as to its timing.
Premillennial - Believe that Christ will return before a 1000 years of peace on earth.
Postmillennial - Believe Christ will return after a 1000 years of peace on earth.
Amillennial - Believe that the promises given to Israel were mere allegories of the victories of the church.
None of these views fits the Bible specifications.
Much confusion has resulted from the false concept that the O.T. promises made to literal Israel are unalterable decrees that must yet be fulfilled by literal Israel. This mistaken belief has resulted in a system known as “Futurism,” in which instead of regarding the Christian church as the inheritor of the promises, it sees the Christian church as a “parenthesis” in prophecy, i.e. filling up a gap until the ancient prophecies concerning Isral are fulfilled by literal Israel in the future.
ISRAEL IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Many see the Christian Age a "parenthesis" in prophecy, that is, as filling up the gap (between the 69th week, which they think ended prior to the crucifixion, and the beginning of the 70th week which they think is still future) until the ancient prophecies concerning Israel will in the future be literally fulfilled.
Interpreters of this school apply the greater part of the predictions of Revelation principally to the Jews, and believe that these predictions will be fulfilled in what they call the “end time.” They expect the O.T. kingdom prophecies given to Israel to be fulfilled during the millennium. They divide up sacred history into dispensations, or periods, in which the “church age” is regarded as an interim dispensation of grace between past and future Jewish ages of law. This division into dispensations logically requires a “pretribulation rapture” in order to remove the Christian saints from the earth before the Jewish “tribulation period.” These interpreters hold further that the surviving Jews will accept Christ when He appears in the clouds after the tribulation; then, with the surviving “nations” they will enter the millennium, and while still mortal, will live on a partly renovated earth. At this time, according to this view, the Jews will enjoy not only material prosperity and long life but also the restored Davidic kingdom, a restored temple and “commemorative” sacrificial system, the law, the Sabbath, political world dominion, enforcement of Christ's “rod of iron rule” over submissive but finally rebellious nations - all this in an earthly millennial kingdom, while the Christian saints are reigning with Christ in immortality.
Following are some of the principles of O.T. prophetic interpretation overlooked by those who reserve the O.T. kingdom prophecies for the Jews of a future age (See Deut 18:15).
1. The promises to ancient Israel were conditional.
God said, "IF ye will obey...then shall ye be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people" (Exo 19:5; cf. Deut 7; 8; 27-30; Jer 18:6-10).
2. National Israel failed to meet the conditions, hence lost the kingdom and promises.
When Christ, the son of David, came, and the Jewish nation rejected her King, she lost the kingdom (see on Matt 21:43; cf. Rev 20:1).
3. The Christian church, “spiritual Israel,” is now the inheritor of the promises.
The failure of literal Israel does not mean that “the word of God hath taken none effect” (Rom 9:6). When national Israel was cut off, like dead branches, from the true stock of Abraham, the true Israel was then the faithful Jewish remnant that accepted the Messiah (see on Rom 11:5), and to these Jewish Christians were added the Gentile Christians, grafted into the original stock. Thus the tree now includes the spiritual children of Abraham (Gal 3:16), 26-29), namely the Christian church.
Paul says that “all Israel shall be saved” (Rom 11:26), but makes it abundantly clear that “all Israel” does not mean all the Jews. He excludes the mere “children of the flesh” and includes only "the children of promise" (Rom 9:6-8). To these he joins the Gentiles that have the true spiritual circumcision, which comes from Christ (Rom 2:26, 28, 29; Col 2:11; see on Rom 11:25, 26; Phil 3:3). He says specifically that non Jews saved by the grace of Christ are no longer strangers and foreigners to “the commonwealth of Israel” and “the covenants of promise,” but are “fellowcitizens with the saints’ (Eph 2:8-22). In spiritual Israel there is neither Jew nor Greek, but in Christ all are one (Gal 3:28).
Paul applies to “all the seed,” Jewish and Gentile Christians, the promise of the kingdom (see on Rom 4:13, 16). Peter quotes almost verbatim, the key passage (Exo 19:5, 6) that promises Israel the status of a chosen people, a holy nation, a “kingdom of priests,” and applies it to non-Jewish Christians. This shows that he regards the Christian church as heir of the special status formerly held by disobedient Israel (see on 1 Pet 2:5-10). John twice uses a phrase which seems to allude to this same Exodus passage: “a kingdom, priests,” “a kingdom, and priests” (see on Rev 1:6; 5:10), showing that he makes a similar application of that kingdom promise to the church - not only to the future church triumphant but also to the Christians of Asia Minor. For other examples of inspired N.T. applications of some of Israel's promises and prophecies to the church in apostolic times see Acts 2:16-21; 13:47; 15:13-17.
4. Prophecies originally literal may be fulfilled spiritually to “spiritual Israel” in this age and transcendently in the world to come.
The N.T. applications show that prophecies given literally to ancient Israel may have a non-literal fulfilment for the church under the new conditions in the Christian age and a final fulfilment, with out the elements of mortality, in the eternal kingdom
The popular view of what is called the temporal millennium is that the gospel of Jesus Christ will yet so far control the minds and hearts of men that the whole world will be converted, and become holy by its influence and that this happy state will continue one thousand years; and that during this time Christ will reign with his people spiritually, and that the close of the millennium he will come the second time when the judgment will take place.
But a careful examination is sufficient to fully convince the intelligent student that the sacred Scriptures do not teach that at any period of time all men will be converted to God. There were but few righteous men from Adam to Moses. And the numbers of the just in the Jewish age, compared with the multitudes of the unbelieving, were very small. Neither does God's plan in the Christian age embrace the conversion of all men. The gospel is preached to all nations, and thus God visits "the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.".