Story of Hope


Chapter 14 - The Sentence

The Millennium

On the earth, the wicked had been destroyed, and their dead bodies were lying on its surface. The wrath of God in the seven last plagues had come upon the inhabitants of the earth, causing them to gnaw their tongues from pain and to curse God. After the saints had been delivered by the voice of God, the wicked multitude turned their rage on one another. The earth seemed to be deluged with blood, and dead bodies were from one end of it to the other. SH 114.1

The earth looked like a desolate wilderness. Cities and villages, shaken down by the earthquake, lay in heaps. Mountains had been moved out of their places, leaving large caverns. Ragged rocks, thrown out by the sea, or torn out of the earth itself, were scattered all over its surface. Large uprooted trees were strewn over the land. Here is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for a thousand years. Here he will be confined, to wander up and down over the broken surface of the earth and see the effects of his rebellion against God’s law. For a thousand years he can enjoy the fruit of the curse that he has caused. SH 114.2

Confined alone to the earth, he will not have the privilege of ranging to other worlds, to tempt and annoy those who have not fallen. During this time Satan suffers extremely. Since his fall his evil traits have been in constant use. But during these thousand years he will be deprived of his power and left to reflect on the part he has acted since his fall, and to look forward with trembling and terror to the dreadful future when he must suffer for all the evil that he has done and be punished for all the sins that he has caused to be committed. SH 114.3

From the angels and from the redeemed saints came shouts of triumph like ten thousand musical instruments, because Satan would never again annoy and tempt them and because the inhabitants of other worlds were delivered from his presence and his temptations. SH 114.4

Jesus and the redeemed saints sat upon thrones, and the saints reigned as kings and priests unto God. Christ, in union with His people, judged the wicked dead, comparing their acts with the Statute Book, the Word of God, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. (See Revelation 20:4-6.) Then they allotted to the wicked the portion that they must suffer, according to their works, and it was written against their names in the book of death. Jesus and the saints also judged Satan and his angels. Satan’s punishment would be far greater than that of those he had deceived. His suffering would so far exceed theirs as to bear no comparison with it. After all those whom he had deceived had perished, Satan was still to live and suffer on much longer. SH 115.1

After the judgment of the wicked dead was finished, at the end of the thousand years, Jesus left the city, and the saints and a retinue of angels followed Him. Jesus descended onto a great mountain, and as soon as His feet touched it, it split and became a wide plain. Then the great and beautiful city, with twelve foundations and twelve gates, three on each side, and an angel at each gate, appeared above. The redeemed cried out, “The city! the great city! It is coming down from God out of heaven!” And it came down in all its splendor and dazzling glory, and settled in the mighty plain that Jesus had prepared for it. SH 115.2

The Second Resurrection—Then, in terrible, fearful majesty, Jesus called the wicked dead back to life. They came up with the same feeble, sickly bodies that went into the grave. What a scene! Those in the first resurrection had all come up in immortal bloom, but in the second resurrection the marks of the curse are visible on all. The kings and noblemen of the earth, the poor and low, the educated and uneducated, come from the grave together. They all see the Son of man. Those very men who despised and mocked Him, who put the crown of thorns on His sacred brow and struck Him with the reed, see Him now in all His kingly majesty. Those who spat on Him in the hour of His trial now turn from His piercing gaze and from the glory of His face. Those who drove the nails through His hands and feet now look on the marks of His crucifixion. Those who thrust the spear into His side see the marks of their cruelty on His body. And they know that He is the very one whom they crucified and derided in His dying agony. And then there arises one long, protracted wail of agony, as they flee to hide from the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords. SH 115.3

All are seeking to hide in the rocks, to shield themselves from the terrible glory of Him whom they once despised. And, overwhelmed and pained with His majesty and great glory, they raise their voices together, and with terrible distinctness exclaim, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” SH 116.1

Then Jesus and the holy angels, with all the saints, again go to the city, and the bitter cries and wailings of the doomed wicked fill the air. Then Satan again began his work. He went around among his subjects and made the weak and feeble strong, telling them that he and his angels were powerful. He pointed to the countless millions who had been raised. There were mighty warriors and kings who were well skilled in battle and who had conquered kingdoms. And there were mighty giants and valiant men who had never lost a battle. There was the proud, ambitious Napoleon, whose approach had caused kingdoms to tremble. Men of lofty stature and dignified bearing were there, who had fallen in battle while thirsting to conquer. SH 116.2

As they come from their graves, they resume the current of their thoughts where it stopped in death. They have the same desire to conquer that ruled them when they fell. Satan consults with his angels and then with those kings and conquerors and mighty men. Then he looks over the vast army and tells them that the company in the city is small and feeble, and that they can go up and take it, and throw its inhabitants out, and possess its riches and glory themselves. SH 116.3

Satan succeeds in deceiving them, and immediately they all begin to prepare themselves for battle. There are many skillful men in that vast army, and they construct all kinds of implements of war. Then with Satan at their head, the multitude moves on. Kings and warriors follow close after Satan, and the horde follows after in companies. Each company has its leader, and in orderly fashion they march over the broken surface of the earth to the Holy City. Jesus closes the gates of the city, and soldiers of this vast army surround it and place themselves in battle array, expecting a fierce conflict. SH 117.1