6.1 Satan is Released and then Leads a Final Rebellion
6.2 The Rebellion is Crushed & Satan Thrown into the Lake of Fire
6.3 The Last Resurrection – Of the Unsaved
6.4 The Great White Throne Judgment of the Unsaved
6.5 God Destroys the Present Heavens and Earth by Fire
6.6 God Creates a New Heaven, a New Earth and a New Jerusalem
“He seized the Dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss (the Bottomless Pit), and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.”
“When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth – Gog and Magog – to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand of the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves.”
“But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the Devil (Satan), who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the Beast and the False Prophet had been thrown (see Revelation 19:20). They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
“Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil (Satan) and his angels.”
“In regard to judgment, because the prince of this world (Satan) now stands condemned.”
“Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.”
1 Corinthians 15:24-25
Note that Satan’s fallen angels:
1. Were hurled, along with Satan, from heaven to earth – Revelation 12:7-9.
2. Were presumably put, along with Satan, into the Abyss (the Bottomless Pit) for the 1,000 year Millennium – Revelation 20:1-3.
3. Were presumably part of Satan’s final rebellion – Revelation 20:7-9.
4. Were presumably then judged and thrown into the Lake of Fire, along with Satan – Revelation 20:9-10; Matthew 8:29, Matthew 25:41, Hebrews 10:27, 2 Peter 2:4 & Jude 6
Now is the time for the final eternal judgment. At this time, right after the Millennium, all the righteous have already been bodily resurrected as discussed in 4.11. But all the unsaved of all time are physically dead, including those killed in the final rebellion (see 6.1 & 6.2 above). The unsaved, called the “dead” in Revelation 20:12-13, are now bodily resurrected for the final eternal judgment:
“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and the books were opened. …. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.”
“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.”
“A time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out – those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”
“The rest of the dead (the unsaved) did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.”
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Note that the decisive factor in the Great White Throne judgment is whether a person’s name is found written in the Book of Life, which only includes those who are saved by faith. Since the “dead” are unsaved, all appearing before the Great White Throne are all thrown into the lake of fire. However, it may be that the severity of judgment in the lake of fire depends upon what he has done as recorded in the books.
“God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked.”
“The LORD will execute judgment upon all men.”
“But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.”
“But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat. …. ‘Let both grow until the harvest. …. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. …. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
“The kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. …. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
“…. thrown into eternal fire.”
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.’”
“… to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. …. be thrown into hell, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’”
“His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
“That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows.”
“There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.”
“For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.”
“Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
1 Corinthians 15:24-26
“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment. …. He (Christ) will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
“See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone.”
“And the Devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the Beast and the False Prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murders, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
“By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment (the Great White Throne judgment) and destruction of ungodly men. …. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? …. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.”
2 Peter 3:7,10-12
Note that this is the destruction of the present heavens and earth, without any harm to God’s people.
Then immediately following the above scripture God’s purpose is given: “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.”
2 Peter 3:13
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”
“Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment.”
“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded.”
Psalm 102:25-26 and also Hebrews 1:10-12
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
“’Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken – that is, created things – so that what cannot be shaken may remain.”
“Then I saw a Great White Throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.”
Revelation 20:11 Basis this scripture, it is uncertain which of the two occurs first; the Great White Throne judgment (6.4), or the destruction of present heavens and earth by fire (6.5).
“The old order of things has passed away.”
The present heavens and earth are suffering decay, and will be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth that will not decay, as indicated by the following scripture: “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
The destruction by fire and the passing away of the heavens and the earth at the end of the Millennium, does not mean that God’s saved people are harmed or destroyed. On the contrary, God’s people will immediately be given a new and better home in the New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem. This is seen in Revelation 21:3 where is says: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.” And it is seen in Isaiah 66:22 where it says: “So will your name and descendants endure.”
The destruction of the present heavens and earth does not mean the end of God’s eternal kingdom. The eternal promises of land (Genesis 13:15; Genesis 17:7-8 & 1 Chronicles 16:16-18), and of an eternal kingdom (2 Samuel 7:12-13,16; 1 Chronicles 17:11-14; Psalm 89:3-4 & Luke 1:30-33) continue and extend beyond the present heavens and earth into the everlasting New Heavens, New Earth and New Jerusalem. See Section 7.
The heavens that are destroyed by fire are presumably the atmosphere (the first heaven) and outer space (the second heaven), but not the abode of God (the third heaven per 2 Corinthians 12:2-4).
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no death or mourning or crying or pain, for the order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’”
“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”
“’As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,’ declares the LORD, ‘so will your name and descendants endure.’”
“But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God.”
“But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him”
2 Peter 3:13-14
“I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God.”
“I am making everything new.”
“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.”
Note that Revelation 21:1-2 is the next verse after Revelation 20:12-15, which is the Great White Throne judgment. So, it seems clear that God’s creation of the New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem immediately follows the two preceding events: 1) the Great White Throne judgment and 2) the destruction of present heavens and earth. God’s saved people are somehow protected and translated from the present earth (which is to be destroyed by fire), to God’s new creation: the New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem. This is supported by Isaiah 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13-14 and Revelation 21:2-3 above.