|By Carlyle B. Haynes
Chapter 9— The Millennium and Hell
THE second coming of Christ, Satan is to be bound a thousand years
so that he will be unable to deceive the nations. After the thousand years
he will be loosed from his bondage and again enter upon the work of
deception for a little season. The only passage in the Bible which makes
reference to the thousand-year period is as follows: “And I saw an angel
come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great
chain in his hand, And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which
is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into
the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he
should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be
fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 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. But the
rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.
This is the first resurrection.” Revelation 20:l-5.
Every theory of the millennium which is now being taught must be made to harmonize with this passage of Scripture, for, as has been said, this is the only passage which speaks of the thousand-year period. The word millennium comes from two Latin words, mille, meaning “a thousand,” and annus, meaning “year”—a thousand years. There is no other meaning to the word. It does not mean what its perverted use has come to convey to the minds of many people—a thousand-year period of great peace, prosperity, and salvation upon this earth. This has been the generally accepted meaning of the term, but there is no such meaning in the term itself. It means merely a thousand years, without specifying anything at all as to the character of that period.
This thousand-year period, the millennium, begins with the second coming of Christ. During the thousand years Satan will be bound in some place called “the bottomless pit.” This is for the purpose of restraining him from deceiving the nations and to partially punish him.
From the fact that Satan is bound it has been concluded that the millennium will be a very happy, glorious time of peace among the nations, that all the nations will be converted to the gospel, and as a result disband their armies, dismantle their navies, and learn war no more. This theory has been taught so long that it has come to be widely accepted, but it has absolutely no foundation at all in the Scriptures.
There is nothing in the Bible which would lead anyone to suppose that before the end of this world the nations will all be converted to the gospel and cease to fight each other. The Bible teaches just the contrary. The verse upon which much of the teaching is based that the world is to be converted to Christ before His second coming is Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” But this verse does not teach at all that the world will be converted. It teaches merely that the gospel will be sent to all the world, not for the conversion of the nations, but “for a witness” unto all nations.
In the parable of the wheat and the tares, recorded in Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, it is made very plain that both the righteous and the wicked are to grow together until the harvest, which is explained to be the end of the world. At the end of the world, instead of the wicked all being converted, they are to be cast into a furnace of fire, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.
World Growing Worse and Worse
We are plainly told in the Bible that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13. )
Himself, in speaking of the days immediately preceding His second coming, declared that “as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom 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.
Hence, all that it is necessary to do in order to discover the character of the days just before the coming of Christ is to refer to the history of the days just before the Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Concerning the conditions prevailing on the earth in the days of the Flood, we read, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5.
We have a picture of the last days of the history of this earth, painted by divine inspiration. It is as follows: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:l-5.
Surely this does not appear to be teaching the conversion of the world. Here is the list of nineteen terrible sins which are especially to characterize the “last days.” And the astonishing thing about this passage is that the people who indulge in these sins will not be worldlings only, but church members. This is evident from the expression that they have a “form of godliness.” And if the professed church of Christ in the days of His second coming can be so described by divine inspiration, then what must the world at large be?
Nor are we left in ignorance by the Lord even of the rise of the movement which is teaching the world’s conversion and a millennium of peace upon earth. “Of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety: then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:l-3.
It appears, then, that this very movement which is proclaiming the world’s conversion is a sign in itself of the rapidly approaching destruction of all things.
But, it will be asked, does the Bible not teach some where that all the world at some time in the future will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and all nations serve Him? Yes, the Bible does teach just this. But the mistake has been made in not seeing that this is taught with reference to the earth in its regenerated condition, when all things are made new, and not regarding the earth as it is now.
“The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:9. “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 66:23..These passages clearly foretell a time when all the earth will be acquainted with Jehovah, and will worship Him. But they have reference solely to the new earth, not to the earth in its present condition. And this condition of universal worship is to be brought about, not at all by the conversion of the nations of the earth, but rather by their destruction. Thus Peter informs us, “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.” “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:10, 13.
Order of Events
Let us study briefly the order of the events at the beginning and the close of the millennium. It is to begin, as we have seen, with the second coming of Christ. At the coming of Christ all of the righteous dead will be raised from their graves to be taken to heaven with the righteous living, who are to be translated. “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.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.
The Bible teaches clearly that there are to be two resurrections, a resurrection of the righteous and a resurrection of the wicked. “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 first resurrection is to take place at the coming of Christ, and will include only the righteous. This will be plain from a study of the verse which reads, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power.” Revelation 20:6.
Thus it is plain that at the second coming of Christ all of the righteous, both the dead, who have been raised, and the living, who have been translated, will be caught up together and will meet the Lord in the air, and then will be taken with the Lord to those mansions in His Father’s house which He is now preparing for His people. They will be taken to heaven, and there they will live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. (John 14:1-3; Revelation 20:4.)
The Earth Depopulated
As the wicked dead are not raised at the time of the coming of Christ, this removal of the righteous from the earth will leave only the living wicked here. And these wicked who are alive at the coming of Christ are put to death by the brightness of His presence. This is clearly taught by 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9.
Thus it will be seen that with the righteous all in heaven and the wicked all dead upon the earth, the earth will be utterly emptied of its inhabitants. A description of the condition of the wicked in that day will be found in the Book of Jeremiah: “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.” Jeremiah 25:33. “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.” Isaiah 24:1, 3. “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. For thus hath the Lord said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.” Jeremiah 4:23-27.
The condition of the earth during the millennium will be a waste, desolate wilderness. Man’s works will be ruined and destroyed. Darkness will cover the earth. It is the earth in this condition which is called the “bottomless pit,” into which Satan is cast and bound. The term bottomless pit is used in Revelation 9:1, 2, and is there applied to the Arabian desert, from which issued the hordes of Saracens and Turks which are described in that chapter. The term means any place of darkness, desolation, and death. And when the earth during the millennium returns to its original condition of chaos, “without form and void,” it becomes the “bottomless pit” of Satan’s captivity.
Here, in this desolate earth, with its cities broken down, and its whole expanse become a great wilderness without any of the human race left, Satan will be compelled to stay for one thousand years. He is bound with a great chain. This chain is not a literal chain, but a chain of circumstances. He is unable to do anything.
He is out of work. He cannot deceive the righteous, for they are in heaven, out of his reach. He cannot deceive the wicked, for they are dead. By the very circumstances of his position he is bound, and he must of necessity remain bound until some change is brought about either in the condition of the righteous or the wicked.
A Just Punishment
While this is not Satan’s final punishment, it is a just preliminary to it. It is sin which causes the wreck of the world. This is the work of Satan. This is the result of the rebellion he started in heaven and continued upon this earth. And now, during the millennium, he is made to understand what it all means.
The great chain which will bind Satan will be broken by the resurrection of the wicked. “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Revelation 20:5. Now, if the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished, then when the thousand years aye finished the rest of the dead will live again. The resurrection of the wicked takes place at the close of the millennium. This releases the devil and provides him someone to work with again and to deceive. It was the emptiness of the earth of all human inhabitants which constituted his binding, and now the resurrection of the wicked effects his release.
And no sooner are the wicked raised from the dead than Satan begins to plan for his last great attempt to overthrow the government of God. When the wicked are raised, he has a greater host at his command than ever before in the entire history of his rebellion. All of the wicked who have ever lived upon the earth are now under his control and ready to do his bidding. And all the angels who were cast out of heaven are still with him, and are now in such desperation as to be ready for anything.
It is at the close of the thousand years of the millennium that the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, comes down from God out of heaven and rests upon the earth. At this time the wicked are still upon the earth, being marshaled into companies and battalions by the great archrebel and his assistants. That beautiful and glorious city, which is to be the capital of the new earth, settles down upon the place prepared for it in the sight of the wicked. And in the city are to dwell the redeemed of the Lord who have been living and reigning with Him during the millennium.
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Revelation 21:2, 3.
Satan is released from his captivity by the resurrection of the wicked. Around him are gathered the vast hosts of his own evil angels, and now this great company is joined by the innumerable throng of the wicked.
As Satan sees himself joined by this great host, and beholds before him the New Jerusalem containing the righteous and the holy angels with their loved Commander, the Son of God, he determines that he will not yet yield his struggle. He inspires his host with the hope that after all they may be able to overthrow the government of God and take the city.
The Attack Against the Holy City
Led by this delusive hope, the great host of the lost are marshaled by Satan to take the Holy City. “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city; and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” Revelation 20:7-9.
As the great host of the wicked surround the Holy City, the fire of God falls from heaven, and the vast multitude of evil men and fallen angels are overwhelmed. This fire does not perpetuate the wicked, but devours them. This is the second death, from which there will never be any recovery. None of the wicked will ever be raised from the death which they experience at this time. There will be no eternally burning hell into which they will be cast and in which they will suffer forever. Notice what the Scriptures say of their fate.
They will “die” (Ezekiel 18:4), they will suffer “death” (Romans 6:23) they will suffer the “second death” (Revelation 20:14, 15) they will be destroyed (Psalm 145:20), they will suffer “destruction” (Job 21:30) they will “perish” (Psalm 37:20), they will be burned up (Matthew 3:12; Malachi 4:1 ), they will “not be” (Psalm 37:l0), they will come to an “end” (verse 38) they will be consumed (verse 20) they will be devoured (Psalm 21:9), they will be “slain” (Psalm 62:3) they will be “cut off” (Psalm 37:9) “they shall be as though they had not been” (Obadiah 16) they will be “silent in darkness” ( 1 Samuel 2:9) they will “be no more” (Psalm 104:35 ) , they will be “blotted out” (Psalm 69:28 ) , they will suffer “perdition” (2 Peter 3:7) they will be ground to powder (Matthew 2 1:44) they will be “hewn down” (Matthew 3:l0), they will see “corruption” (Galatians 6:8) they will be torn in pieces (Psalm 50:22) they will be rooted up (Proverbs 2:22), they will be as “nothing” (Jeremiah 10:24) and they will be as “nought” (Isaiah 41:12).
The Destiny of Satan
These expressions, with the other studies on this subject in this book, are surely sufficient to establish the fact that the Bible does not teach the God dishonoring doctrine of eternal torment. This doctrine was invented by Satan himself in the Garden of Eden when he told Eve that if she disobeyed God she should “not surely die,” although God had plainly told her that she should surely .die. The doctrine of eternal torment for the wicked has no place in the Bible and will have no place in reality when the wicked are punished. The fire that falls upon them from heaven at the close of the millennium will consume them altogether. Each will be punished “according to his deeds” (Romans 2:6) some burning longer than others as they have lived more wickedly, but ultimately the fire which punishes them will bring them all to utter death and destruction—complete annihilation.
The fire will have the same effect upon Satan and his angels that it has upon the wicked. They will also be brought to nothing, and be as though they had not been. This will take longer in Satan’s case than in any other, as he has been the one through whom all the rest have been caused to sin. But even in his case the fire of God will eventually devour him, and he will be no more. This is very plain from the words which God spoke to Satan: “I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. … I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. … Therefore will 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.” Ezekiel 28:16-19.
The destiny of Satan is also referred to in the Book of Malachi: “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.” Malachi 4:1.
Thus the end of the great conflict of the ages between Christ and Satan will result in the utter annihilation of Satan and his angels and all who ally themselves with him. The fires of the last day will consume them and leave them neither root nor branch. Satan is the root, and the wicked are the branches. Nothing is to be left of either sin or sinners. The universe is to be cleansed from every stain of sin.
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