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One Final Human Conflict

At the end of the millennium, the first event that occurs is the release of Satan for a little season.  This is described in Revelation 20: 7-10: “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and he will go to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.  They went up on the breadth of the earth and
surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city [Jerusalem].  And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.  And the devil who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet were cast.  And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

To fully understand why God releases Satan for a “little season”, which means only a short time (could be as short as a few months), we must understand what happened to him and the demons at the beginning of the millennium.  As pictured by the annual holy day or festival called the Day of Atonement, all of humanity’s sins were laid on Satan’s head and he was imprisoned in chains in the bottomless pit or abyss by the hand of a mighty angel, as described in Revelation 20:1-3.  Symbolism of the Day of Atonement that pictured this event was the taking away of the Azazel goat to an uninhabited wilderness and releasing it (Leviticus 16:5-10).  Uninhabited wilderness would parallel the solitary confinement of Satan in the abyss for 1,000 years.  

The demons, however, will be imprisoned in the territory that is spiritually known as Babylon, which in Revelation 17 and 18 is described as “that great city.”  Students of prophecy know that city to be Rome.  So for the 1,000 years the demons are imprisoned in the ruins of Rome.  But Satan is no longer ruler over them.  Hence he can no longer influence them.  In their place of imprisonment the demons will be free to decide how they want to
conduct themselves and be governed.  They can choose to still live in Satan’s way of ‘get’, deception, violence and murder, or change their ways and learn to live according to God’s way of love.  Perhaps many of them have already gone too far and it is impossible for them to repent and change.  But their imprisonment without Satan’s influence will at least provide them an opportunity to repent and change their ways.

The apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 6:3: “Do you not know that we shall judge angels?  How much more things that pertain to this life?”  This shows that one of the jobs of the firstfruits will be judging demons.  Judging does not mean sentencing but evaluating the conduct of individuals being judged and making a decision regarding them after a certain period of evaluation.  This is the precise meaning of the white throne judgment that is pictured by the Last Great Day, which I will shortly explain.  Thus it seems that the immortal saints will be judging the demons during the 1,000 years of their imprisonment, and later.     

Letting Satan loose for a “little season” is perhaps a test God has devised for the demons to see if any of them will repent of their sins.  It is also a way to test humanity to see if they are totally convinced that God’s way is the only way that works for the best interests of everyone.

Once Satan is turned loose, he and the demons that join him proceed to again influence mankind.  But only the people of Gog and Magog which refers mainly to China, Mongolia and countries close to it, and parts of Russia, respond to Satan’s influence.  Revelation 20:8 actually says, “8 and [Satan] will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog…”  This seems to imply that towards the end of the millennium, nations descended from Gog and Magog would have spread to all four corners of the earth.  We should remember that the greatest earthquake ever in the history of mankind had greatly altered the surface of the earth, shrinking the oceans and making much more land available.  Gog and Magog would have been allotted this land in all corners of the earth which is currently under the oceans.

Perhaps Satan uses the historical resentment of the nations of Gog and Magog for destroying their armies at the beginning of the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ when they had attacked the Israelites as quoted earlier from Ezekiel 38 and 39.  He could also cause them to feel resentment against Israelite nations because of their relatively greater blessings and prosperity and accuse Jesus and the saints occupying top positions in God’s
government at Jerusalem with Him of favoritism, most of who will have been Israelites in their human lives.  In addition, physical Israelites occupy the Holy Land which gives them a prosperous economy because all nations come to visit Jerusalem.  Millions will be deceived, despite having been exposed to sound teaching of the truth in the millennium, and being forewarned of Satan’s arrival.   

It is not fully revealed how God will treat those who rebel against Him in this last conflict.  They could forfeit their opportunity for eternal life.  But if God Almighty wants this history written as a lesson for eternity and already knows who will be influenced in this rebellion, He could resurrect those of Gog and Magog who rebelled in the second resurrection that immediately follows this Satan led rebellion.  The reason for this could be that many of these people of Gog and Magog were still unconverted and had not yet made a commitment to God’s way of life by being baptized, even though they were living in the millennium.  They had not known any other way of life.  By releasing Satan, perhaps God wants to show humanity how powerful and diabolically cunning Satan really is, and that He was protecting mankind all along as He chose to protect them.  Humanity will know that no human could have resisted Satan and the demons on his own, and in some cases even after having received God’s Holy Spirit.  Thus humanity will learn the lesson forever that they ultimately need to rely on God the Father and Jesus Christ for protection forever.

The statement in Revelation 20:10, “where the beast and the false prophet are cast” should read “were cast.”  The verb “are” was placed by the translators, whereas this is describing a past event and the verb should be past tense.  The beast and false prophet had immediately perished in that fire.  The only beings that survive in the lake of fire are spirit beings—Satan and the demons.

Let’s read Revelation 20:10 again with “are” changed to “were”: “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet were cast. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”  Since the pronoun ‘they’ is used instead of he, this means that some of the demons, or perhaps many of them do follow Satan even in this rebellion against God, after their imprisonment for 1,000
years, but free from Satan’s rule over them.  It is a rebellion against God because the armies of Gog and Magog travel the breadth of the earth and surround the beloved city Jerusalem to attack Jesus Christ and the saints at Jerusalem and not other nations.  Again, one of the likely reasons for resentment against the former saints could be that most of those occupying top positions are former Israelites, and virtually none from Gog and  Magog.

Of course, this attack fails and the armies are destroyed, as stated in Revelation 20:9: “and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”  Then Satan and the demons with him who led this final rebellion are cast into the lake of fire and brimstone burning in Jerusalem to be tormented by being restrained there for the next 100 years from ever again influencing mankind.  Their fate is now sealed.

The Second Resurrection

Immediately after this final Satan influenced tragic conflict, God’s plan now begins the process of offering salvation to all human beings who have ever lived.  This is described in Revelation 20:11-13 (NKJV): "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.  And there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened.  
And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.  And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.  The sea gave up the dead who were in it [this is talking partly about all who died in Noah’s Flood and are buried in the depths of the oceans], and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.  And they were judged, each one according to his works."

The dead who stand before their Creator are all those who died never knowing the true God.  These people emerge from their graves and begin to know the true God.  The books they are judged by are the books of the Bible, the only source of knowledge of eternal life.  The Greek term biblia used here is the same word translated “bible.”  Finally all will have an opportunity to fully understand God's plan of salvation.  

The dead who are resurrected in this White Throne Judgment (the 2nd resurrection) are to be judged primarily according to what they do after being resurrected to a physical life.  These people will live in a millennial-like setting and experience firsthand the abundance and joy of living God’s Way for the first time.  It is a time of judgment—not a time of sentencing, as many have been misled to believe.

In Revelation 20:5 John writes that "the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished."  Here John makes a clear distinction between the first resurrection, which occurs at Christ's second coming (verses 4, 6), and the second resurrection, which takes place at the end of Christ's millennial reign.  Remember that the first resurrection is to eternal life.  By contrast, God raises those in the second resurrection to a physical, flesh-and-blood existence.  We can also be certain that this second resurrection is to a physical life from Isaiah 65:20-25: “No more shall an
infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days.  For the child shall die one hundred years old.  But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.  They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit…It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat
straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, says the Lord.”

These verses clearly show that these are physical human beings who will live a hundred years during this judgment time (whether they begin as infants and grow to maturity, or as elderly people whose health and vitality are restored).  They also build houses and inhabit them.  Only flesh and blood humans need to do that.  Also note that verse 25 shows the change in the nature of carnivorous and dangerous animals, just as occurred in
the Millennium.  This one-hundred-year time of judgment will have similar conditions as existed in the Millennium, including all the blessings and abundance of that time.  All who had never been called to salvation before the Return of Christ will be given their first and only chance for salvation.  When they are resurrected to this world of peace, tranquility, abundance, joy, health and happiness, the vast majority will overwhelmingly treasure God’s way of life over the misery and sin of their prior existence.  The tens of billions (possibly 50-60 billion) in this judgment will be receptive to the truth and responsive to their teachers.

From these verses it appears that God has allotted a time span of 100 years for the White Throne Judgment.  Why do human beings need to be given a hundred year time span to enable them to learn and be judged according to God’s ways, while the average life span these days is only 70 years?  The reason is that in the second resurrection there will be many resurrected who lived 900 years or more before the flood, such as Lamech and his descendants.  That was their normal life span.  When these people wake up in the second resurrection, 20-30 years will not be enough time for them to be properly judged according to their time perspective.  Thirty years have a different meaning for those whose life span is only 70 years than for those whose normal life span has been more than 900 years.  Those who have lived more than 900 years need to be given sufficient time to learn, absorb and experience God’s way of life at the pace they are used to.  God in His wisdom has perhaps decided that 100 years is an appropriate space of time for this purpose.  In addition, because the curse on the earth would have been lifted and food, air and water will be pure and healthy again, people will be able to live healthier and longer lives.  So even those who died only 70 years old will live the full 100 years!  Certainly they will have to be resurrected into bodies that would last 100 years.

Ezekiel Also Describes a Physical Resurrection

The prophet Ezekiel also describes this physical resurrection to an opportunity for salvation in a vision of a valley full of bones in chapter 37:1-14 (NKJV).  He writes: 1 The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" So I answered, "O Lord God, You know." 4 Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: "Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord." ' "

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. 9 Also He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live." ' " 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. 11 Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it," says the Lord.' "

In this vision a physical resurrection took place.  The people thought their situation was hopeless.  But God gives them hope by saying that He will resurrect them and give them His holy spirit.  Then verses 26-28 say: 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also
shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore."

God promises that He will make an EVERLASTING COVENANT of peace with Israel. Verse 28 says that the nations will also know that God will sanctify [or set apart as holy] Israel, which means that other nations will also be resurrected at the same time as Israel.  The EVERLASTING COVENANT is the same original covenant that God desires with all intelligent creatures He has created, which is to live among them as verse 27 states: “My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” But that can happen only when humanity stops sinning by becoming eternal sons of God.

Not only Israel, but all who have never had a chance to drink from the living waters of God's Word and His Holy Spirit will at last be able to do so (Romans 9:22-26 (NKJV): 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,  23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,  24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?  25 As He says also in Hosea: "I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved."   26 "And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people [Non-Israelite nations and the unconverted],' There they shall be called sons of the living God.").  God will freely offer them the opportunity for
eternal life.

This was made clear when Jesus Christ discussed the second resurrection.

Jesus Discusses the Second Resurrection

Matthew records in 11:20-24: “Then He [that is Jesus] began to upbraid the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: Woe to you, Chorazin!   Woe to you Bethsaida!   For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.  But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for
you.  And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.  But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

Christ was rebuking the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida in which He had performed miracles and other works and the people had ignored His witness.  He told them that had the same works been done in ancient Tyre and Sidon, they would have readily repented.  Therefore, it would be more tolerable (in the future judgment of the 2nd resurrection) for these ancient cities of Tyre and Sidon than for those who ignored Christ’s miracles and
works.  For the same reasons, ancient Sodom would fare better than Capernaum.  God will clearly hold those accountable who have been exposed to the truth and ignored it.  Christ’s generation will have to demonstrate its repentance at a much deeper level in the White Throne judgment due to their failure to heed His words.

Matthew then records in 12:41-42: “The men of Nineveh will rise in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.  The queen of the South [or the queen of Sheba] will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.”

Christ here compared the city of Nineveh—which responded to the warning of Jonah—with His generation in Judah, who dismissed His warnings.  He also contrasted the Queen of the South (Sheba), who came to hear the wisdom of Solomon from far off, with those of His generation, who were oblivious to the fact that One much greater than Solomon was among them.

God’s plan for salvation of all mankind shows how deep and far reaching are the merciful judgments of God.  The inhabitants of ancient Tyre, Sidon and Sodom—cities that had incurred the wrath of God for their depravities—will receive mercy in the Day of Judgment.  God will resurrect these people and include them in the time of judgment that is beyond the 1,000-year reign of Christ.  Even those of Jesus’ day will be resurrected to have their minds opened to the truth.

Perhaps now people can understand why God uses His prerogative to order people to be utterly destroyed like the Canaanites and Sodom and Gomorrah, and why he drowned the world in a worldwide flood in Noah’s days.  He knows He will resurrect them to life again, who will then be humbled and willing to listen to Him after having experienced the trauma of violent death.

The apostle Paul states in Hebrews 8:11: “11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.”  Thus the second resurrection is a time when all of humanity will know the true God, and receive its opportunity for salvation.

The Bible thus shows that each and every human being ever born will receive an opportunity for salvation, but each in his or her own time.  

God’s Seven Annual Holy Days Picture God’s Plan of Salvation

The process of offering a chance for salvation for every human being is termed “God’s calling’ in the Bible.  Every human being is not being called today to offer him or her salvation.  The truth is that only a very few are being called today.  Calling of different people at different times to receive their chance for salvation is depicted in God’s seven annual holy days.  

God took the three harvest seasons in the biblical land of Israel to picture how and in what numbers He will spiritually harvest human beings for eternal life in His Kingdom.

In Israel, there are three harvest seasons: the first harvest season is the early-spring harvest, second the late-spring harvest and the third the early-autumn harvest season. The spring harvest seasons are the seasons of the smaller harvest, and the early-autumn harvest season is the time of the greater harvest. God's plan of salvation for mankind is an exact parallel of these harvests. First comes the smaller harvest of souls for God's kingdom during the first 6.000 years of man’s history; then comes the greater harvest of souls to eternal life in the 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ in God’s Kingdom.

Let us briefly look at what all the seven annual holy days picture in God's master plan for salvation of mankind.


Two of God's festivals: the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread are celebrated during the first harvest season, the early spring harvest season, in March-April in our modern calendars.

The Passover for the ancient Israelites was an annual reminder that God spared or passed over the firstborn of Israelite slaves, when He slew all the firstborn of Egypt at the time of the Exodus. They were spared because they had put the blood of a sacrificed lamb on their doorposts.

The sacrifice of the lambs without blemish foreshadowed the sacrifice of the sinless Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God without blemish, for the sins of mankind.  Every human being has sinned and come short of the glory of God as stated in Romans 3:23.  As a result all of us have earned the death penalty, as Romans 6:23 says, 23…the wages of sin is death.  Jesus as our Creator sacrificed his life to pay the death penalty on behalf of each and
every human being so that our sins could be forgiven.  That is what the Passover pictures for the Christian.


The second feast during the early spring harvest season is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, immediately following the Passover.  During this feast, God commands His people to put leaven (or yeast) out of their homes for seven days (Exodus 12:19, I Corinthians 5:7-8).  Leaven symbolizes sin.  Therefore, this festival teaches and reminds us annually that after our sins have been forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are not to
remain in sin, but to work diligently to put all sinful thoughts, attitudes and actions out of our lives.  

The early spring harvest season (which comes in March – April) pictures the very first of the firstfruits.  And the first of the firstfruits was Jesus Christ, the only soul that has been harvested for God's kingdom during the first 6,000 years of man’s history.  And that was pictured by the wave sheaf offering ceremony during the Days of Unleavened Bread.  That ceremony is described in Leviticus 23:10-11: “10 "Speak to the children of Israel, and
say to them: 'When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.”


The only annual feast during the second harvest season, the late spring harvest season, is called the Feast of Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Firstfruits.  On this day in 31 A.D., God's holy spirit was first given to a group of disciples to begin God’s New Testament Church.

The firstfruits are the first agricultural products that mature and ripen.  This feast, therefore, pictures the calling out by God of a few people during the first 6,000 years of man’s history, granting His holy spirit to enable them to understand His laws and live a righteous life in order to qualify to receive eternal life through a resurrection at Jesus Christ's second coming.  The firstfruits will then reign with Jesus Christ for 1,000 years in God’s kingdom.

Only the firstfruits are being called and judged to qualify to be harvested for God's kingdom at this time.  The rest of humanity is not being called at this time and will get its chance for eternal life later.

The Feast of Pentecost, therefore, teaches us that this is not the only time for salvation.  In fact, only a relatively few are receiving their chance for salvation during the first 6,000 years of man's history.  Calling of the relatively few as the firstfruits is perfectly pictured by the smaller spring harvest.  Most of humanity will be called later, as pictured by the much greater autumn harvest.

This Feast is celebrated during the months of May – June every year.


Now we come to the annual Feasts of the third harvest season, the greater autumn harvest season, celebrated during the months of September – October.  Four Feasts are celebrated during this season.  All these four feasts are about the kingdom of God and its establishment.  The first of the autumn feasts is the Feast of Trumpets.

This Feast teaches us that Jesus Christ will return to earth in great power and glory to take over the kingdoms of the world. Also at this time, the firstfruits – those who are called from the time of the creation of Adam to the return of Jesus Christ – will be resurrected as immortal spirit beings and will reign with Jesus Christ in His kingdom.   


The next Feast during the autumn holy day season is called the Day of Atonement.  This festival teaches us the need for humanity to be reconciled to God through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the sins of all mankind.  It also pictures Jesus Christ as our High Priest interceding for us with God the Father.

This feast teaches us that true reconciliation with God is not possible until the author of all of humanity's sins, which is Satan the devil, is put away.  Therefore, the Day of Atonement also pictures the putting away of Satan for 1,000 years during the reign of Jesus Christ, after all of humanity's sins have been laid on his head, as symbolically pictured by the ceremony described in Leviticus 16:20-24, 26 in which the high priest laid the sins of
the people on the Azazel goat and released the goat in an inhabited wilderness.

This festival is celebrated by fasting for 24 hours to draw closer to God, to picture the reconciliation of mankind to Him.


The seven-day Feast of Tabernacles represents the next step in God's master plan for salvation of mankind and pictures the 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:11-16; 20:4; Matthew 17:1-4; Hebrews 11:8-9), assisted by the resurrected, immortal saints.  God's kingdom will establish a new, perfect society, ruled according to God's laws, beginning at Jerusalem and then spreading out
to all nations.

God's commandments, laws and ways will be taught throughout the earth.  Unlike in our time, during the millennium, each and every human being living will be called by God and receive his or her chance for salvation.  Therefore, this feast represents the greater harvest of souls for God's kingdom.  Satan and the demons will be imprisoned so that they can deceive the nations no more during the 1,000 years.  God's rule will usher in an era of universal peace, prosperity, abundance, happiness and joy (Isaiah 2:2-4; Daniel 2:35, 44; 7:13-14).


The seventh feast called the eighth day or the Last Great Day of the Feast teaches us that after the 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ, God will offer a chance for salvation to each and every human being who has ever lived and died without being called by God.

All such human beings will be raised from the dead as physical human beings and called by God.  They will have their minds opened to understand the truth of the gospel message.  They will be given sufficient time (100 years as mentioned earlier) to repent and qualify to receive eternal life.  It thus pictures a time of the greatest harvest of souls for God's kingdom.

We thus see that each holy day season represents an ever-increasing harvest of souls for God's kingdom.  The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread during the early spring harvest represented only Jesus Christ receiving eternal life; just one soul being harvested for the kingdom of God, as the first of the firstfruits.  The Feast of Pentecost during the late spring harvest season represents the firstfruits being harvested for the
kingdom of God during the first 6,000 years of man's history, from the creation of Adam to the return of Jesus Christ.  During this time perhaps people in the hundreds of thousands or a few million will have qualified to receive eternal life.  The Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day during the autumn harvest season represent the greatest harvest of souls for God's kingdom with tens of billions qualifying to receive eternal life.

The Fate of Those Who Refuse to Repent

Although God will in His great mercy extend the opportunity for salvation to every human being born, some will still refuse to repent and accept God’s way of life.  What is their fate?  

The Bible reveals that, rather than be tortured forever in an ever-burning hell, their lives will simply be permanently extinguished.  They will cease to exist, and will be as though they had never been.

Revelation 20:15 reveals that, after the final judgment depicted by the Last Great Day, "anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."

Revelation 21:8 adds, "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

These verses make absolutely clear that the fate of the incorrigible is clearly death, not eternal life of torture.  Their lives will be extinguished forever.  Even their memory will be forgotten.   

Paul also made it plain that the punishment of the wicked is death.  He states in Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death…"  Malachi the prophet also described the fate of the incorrigibly wicked in Malachi 4:1-3: "'For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.  And the day which is coming shall burn them up,' says the LORD of hosts, 'that will leave them neither root nor branch.  But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves.  You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this,' says the LORD of hosts."  

We had seen earlier that after the final conflict when Satan was released from his solitary confinement at the end of the 1000 years, and some  demons had joined him in leading Gog and Magog to unsuccessful rebellion against Jesus Christ and the saints, Satan and the demons were thrown in the Lake of Fire smoldering in Jerusalem.  They had remained there during the 100 years of the White Throne Judgment.  Their fate was sealed to have their lives extinguished forever as well with all human beings who had continued to follow Satan’s way of life even during the reign of Jesus Christ, as well as those who received their chance for eternal life during the first 6,000 years, but failed to qualify.  

This fate of Satan is indicated in Ezekiel 28:18-19: “18 You [that is Satan] have defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of you, it shall devour you, and I will bring you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold you. 19 All they that know you among the people shall be astonished at you: you shalt be a terror, and never shall you be any

A normal fire that can consume human beings and material things does not consume spirit beings like Satan and the demons.  But God will prepare a special fire that will consume Satan and the demons as well with the rest of humanity that failed to repent.  This is mentioned in Matthew 25:41: “41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”

All those who were called during the first 6,000 years of man’s history but failed to qualify to receive eternal life, and died, will have to be physically resurrected to then be burnt alive in the Lake of Fire.  This is the third resurrection.  Daniel 12:2 describes it this way: “2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life [during the first resurrection at the return of Jesus Christ], and some to shame and everlasting contempt” [after the 100 years of the White Throne Judgment are complete].

The third resurrection is not called the third resurrection by name.  But with a clear understanding of the sequence of the resurrections and their purpose, it is evident that the third resurrection will be a resurrection to physical life for humans.

Revelation 20 mentions all the 3 resurrections.  The first two resurrections have already been described. Verses 12-15 state; “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.  13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the Lake of fire.”   

Verses 12-13 describe the second resurrection to physical life.  The dead who are made alive are judged according to their works (meaning how they live their lives) by what is written in the books of the Bible to finally have their names either written in the Book of Life or excluded from it.  At the end of the 100 years of the White Throne Judgment, those who by their conduct fail to qualify to have their names written in the Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire.  They had died a physical death earlier which was the first death.  After being cast into the Lake of Fire they die the second death which is permanent.  These people are still living after the second resurrection.  But in the third resurrection will be the very small number of people who received their chance for eternal life during man’s first 6,000 years of history but failed to qualify to have their names written in the Book of Life. They are the ones who are resurrected in the third resurrection, called the resurrection ‘to shame and everlasting contempt’ in Daniel 12:2.  These along with those from the second resurrection who are still alive are left standing on earth when the earth is set ablaze to consume it.  They together die the second permanent death in this Lake of Fire.

Burning up of the incorrigibly unrepentant in the lake of fire completes God’s plan of salvation for humanity as depicted by God’s seven annual holy days.

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