At the close of the thousand years, Christ again returns to the earth. He
is accompanied by the host of the redeemed and attended by a retinue of
angels. As He descends in terrific majesty He bids the wicked dead arise
to receive their doom. They come forth, a mighty host, numberless as the
sands of the sea. What a contrast to those who were raised at the first
resurrection! The righteous were clothed with immortal youth and beauty.
The wicked bear the traces of disease and death.
Every eye in that vast multitude is turned to behold the glory of the Son
of God. With one voice the wicked hosts exclaim: "Blessed is He that
cometh in the name of the Lord!" It is not love to Jesus that inspires
this utterance. The force of truth urges the words from unwilling lips. As
the wicked went into their graves, so they come forth with the same enmity
to Christ and the same spirit of rebellion. They are to have no new
probation in which to remedy the defects of their past lives. Nothing
would be gained by this. A lifetime of transgression has not softened
their hearts. A second probation, were it given them, would be occupied as
was the first in evading the requirements of God and exciting rebellion
Christ descends upon the Mount of Olives, whence, after His resurrection,
He ascended, and where angels repeated the promise of His return. Says the
prophet: "The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee." "And
His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before
Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst
thereof, . . . and there shall be a very great valley." "And the Lord
shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and
His name one." Zechariah 14:5, 4, 9. As the New Jerusalem, in its dazzling
splendor, comes down out of heaven, it rests upon the place purified and
made ready to receive it, and Christ, with His people and the angels,
enters the Holy City.
Now Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy. While
deprived of his power and cut off from his work of deception, the prince
of evil was miserable and dejected; but as the wicked dead are raised and
he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes revive, and he
determines not to yield the great controversy. He will marshal all the
armies of the lost under his banner and through them endeavor to execute
his plans. The wicked are Satan's captives. In rejecting Christ they have
accepted the rule of the rebel leader. They are ready to receive his
suggestions and to do his bidding. Yet, true to his early cunning, he does
not acknowledge himself to be Satan. He claims to be the prince who is the
rightful owner of the world and whose inheritance has been unlawfully
wrested from him.
He represents himself to his deluded subjects as a redeemer, assuring them
that his power has brought them forth from their graves and that he is
about to rescue them from the most cruel tyranny. The presence of Christ
having been removed, Satan works wonders to support his claims. He makes
the weak strong and inspires all with his own spirit and energy. He
proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take
possession of the City of God. With fiendish exultation he points to the
unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declares that
as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his
throne and his kingdom.
In that vast throng are multitudes of the long-lived race that existed
before the Flood; men of lofty stature and giant intellect, who, yielding
to the control of fallen angels, devoted all their skill and knowledge to
the exaltation of themselves; men whose wonderful works of art led the
world to idolize their genius, but whose cruelty and evil inventions,
defiling the earth and defacing the image of God, caused Him to blot them
from the face of His creation. There are kings and generals who conquered
nations, valiant men who never lost a battle, proud, ambitious warriors
whose approach made kingdoms tremble. In death these experienced no
change. As they come up from the grave, they resume the current of their
thoughts just where it ceased. They are actuated by the same desire to
conquer that ruled them when they fell.
Satan consults with his angels, and then with these kings and conquerors
and mighty men. They look upon the strength and numbers on their side, and
declare that the army within the city is small in comparison with theirs,
and that it can be overcome. They lay their plans to take possession of
the riches and glory of the New Jerusalem. All immediately begin to
prepare for battle. Skillful artisans construct implements of war.
Military leaders, famed for their success, marshal the throngs of warlike
men into companies and divisions.
At last the order to advance is given, and the countless host moves on--an
army such as was never summoned by earthly conquerors, such as the
combined forces of all ages since war began on earth could never equal.
Satan, the mightiest of warriors, leads the van, and his angels unite
their forces for this final struggle. Kings and warriors are in his train,
and the multitudes follow in vast companies, each under its appointed
leader. With military precision the serried ranks advance over the earth's
broken and uneven surface to the City of God. By command of Jesus, the
gates of the New Jerusalem are closed, and the armies of Satan surround
the city and make ready for the onset.
Now Christ again appears to the view of His enemies. Far above the city,
upon a foundation of burnished gold, is a throne, high and lifted up. Upon
this throne sits the Son of God, and around Him are the subjects of His
kingdom. The power and majesty of Christ no language can describe, no pen
portray. The glory of the Eternal Father is enshrouding His Son. The
brightness of His presence fills the City of God, and flows out beyond the
gates, flooding the whole earth with its radiance.