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Satan in the lake of fire

Revelation 20:7-15

Revelation 20 - Quick Links

  • Satan Bound
    Revelation 20:1-3

  • Resurrection of Believers
    Revelation 20:4-6

  • Satan Deceives the Nations
    Revelation 20:7-10

  • The Great White Throne Judgment
    Revelation 20:11-15
  • Revelation 20:7-10


    Revelation 20:7-8 - Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out 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.

    Satan will eventually be released from his prison in the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:2) to deceive the nations of the earth. A thousand years earlier, the Lord will judge the survivors remaining on the earth after the Tribulation in the "Sheep and Goat Judgment," where the sheep are believers who enter the kingdom in their mortal bodies, and the goats are unbelievers the Lord sends to everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:31-46). Therefore, all the survivors of the Tribulation who enter the kingdom are believers. However, as these believers have children, each one in subsequent generations will still have the Adamic sin nature and individually have to choose whether to surrender their hearts to Christ or not (Romans 5:12-21):

      "For 1000 years, no one will be influenced by satanic or demonic activity, corrupt government, war, sickness, or bad weather. Still people will rebel. All rebellion during the millennium will find its cause not in man's external circumstances but in his own internal corrupt nature. The loosing of Satan will demonstrate that no type of social order or environment in the world can possibly change the sinfulness of man's degenerate heart. Only by a personal relationship with Messiah through redemption can one resist not only his own evil heart but also Satan himself."

      Source: The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy - By Tim LaHaye, Ed Hindson

    Satan easily deceives the nations to gather an innumerable army to battle against Christ because of their rebellious hearts:

    Jeremiah 17:9 - "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?"

    These rebels will have animosity toward the Lord as they begrudgingly submit under the strict "rod of iron" rule the Lord enforces to maintain world peace (Revelation 2:27, 12:5, 19:5), instead of willingly submitting to the Lord. The following commentary discusses how that might happen:

      "Many will doubt the Gospel message. They will not believe that human nature is corrupt, prideful, disobedient and intrinsically evil. They will not believe that man needs to be born again. They will not believe that the "ancient" world (today, as you read this) was as bad as the history books will tell them. They will not believe that human government is incapable of lasting peace. They will not believe stories about the devil and his deceptions."

      "Like the devil before them, they will look around at the peace and prosperity of their world and convince themselves that THEY deserve more of the glory. They will be easy prey for the devil when he's finally released."

      Source: BibleWriter.com

    Even before Satan is released from his prison, Zechariah prophesied that the Lord will punish a rebellious nation with drought and plague, showing how harsh His "rod of iron" rule is to keep the nations in line:

    Zechariah 14:16-19 - And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

    The passage below shows how the Lord will have to continually deal with rebellious nations in general to maintain world peace:

    Micah 4:3-4 - He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.

    The following passage is often attributed to the time of Gentile rule, before Christ returns after the Tribulation, but it extends into the Lord's earthly kingdom when He rules with a "rod of iron" to deal with the nations who rage against Him:

    Psalms 2:1-12 - Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion." "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'" Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

    So, we see that Satan will not have to give much effort to deceive the masses and gather a massive army to battle against the Lord and try to overthrow His kingdom. It is possible the fallen angels and demons that are bound at the end of the Tribulation are also released to help Satan, but as discussed in Revelation 20:2-3, Scripture is silent on the issue.

    Satan will lie like he did to Eve in the garden (Genesis 3:1-5), and when he sent the lying spirit to gather the armies for Armageddon (Revelation 16:13-14), in order to make the rebels think they have any chance to overthrow Almighty God. As ludicrous as it is, Satan has long thought He could usurp God:

    Isaiah 14:12-15 - "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit."

    Satan was able to deceive a third of the angels to follow him, as discussed in Revelation 12:9. But Satan's desperate effort to gather human military might against God shows his limited power and arrogance to think he could muster enough forces, both spiritual and human, to defeat the Almighty. The Lord laughs at the nations that rage against Him (Psalm 2:4) because they are no match to Him, as demonstrated when Satan gathers human forces to war against Him at Armageddon (Revelation 19:15). Even if Satan somehow internally concedes he is going to lose, he still tries to wreak as much havoc as possible in a last-ditch effort to subvert God's plan and take down as many as he can with him:

    Revelation 12:12 - "Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
    1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

    But God has a purpose to release and use Satan as His tool to test men one last time, and allow him to advocate for the nations to finish their transgression as described in Romans 1, before taking them out in a fiery judgment as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah and Babylon:

    Jeremiah 50:1, 40 - The word that the LORD spoke against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.... As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbors," says the LORD, "So no one shall reside there, nor son of man dwell in it."

    When Satan is released from the bottomless pit, he goes out to gather the army of rebels from the "four corners of the earth," which shows that the entire globe is in view:

    Isaiah 11:12 - He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
    Revelation 7:1 - After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.

    The "four corners of the earth" is identified with "Gog and Magog," which takes us back to the first war at the beginning of the Tribulation, or the beginning of the "day of the Lord," which includes both the Tribulation and the Lord's thousand-year earthly reign, as discussed in Revelation 20:6. In other words the "day of the Lord" begins and ends with a "Gog and Magog" war, and the chart below shows some stark differences that show they are two different wars at different times:


    Gog and Magog (Revelation 20) Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39)
    At the end of the Lords kingdom Before the Lord's kingdom
    Followed immediately by judgment and eternity with the earth going through a renovating fire Followed by 7 months of cleaning up and 7 years of burning weapons
    Armies come from the four corners of the earth Armies come from the far north
    All nations involved except Israel Several nations involved
    Satan leads the army Gog leads the army
    Israel still faithful corporately Israel not faithful corporately
    Army is against Christ and the saints Army is against Israel

    The first "Gog and Magog" war is found in Ezekiel 38-39. Magog was the name of a grandson of Noah through Japheth (Genesis 10:2), and is the ancient name for the modern-day area of Russia. Gog is the name of one of Reuben's descendants (1 Chronicles 5:4), but it is clear that the Gog in the first "Gog and Magog" war is a supernatural entity spoken of by other prophets in the past who operates through a human leader:

    Ezekiel 38:2-3, 17 - "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal...."' Thus says the Lord GOD: "Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?"

    Since Scripture is silent on whether the spirits imprisoned at the end of the Tribulation with Satan are also released to help Satan deceive the nations (Revelation 20:2-3), it cannot be determined if the supernatural entity of Gog will play a role in the last "Gog and Magog" war.

    While there are several differences between the two wars, both armies gather because of rebellion and deception, and both armies try to attack Israel. So, it is possible that "Gog and Magog" is symbolic and not literal to reflect this overarching theme, and equating it to the "four corners of the earth" shows the global scope versus the regional scope of the Ezekiel war.

    It is interesting to note that in the Ezekiel war, Israel is alone against the "Gog and Magog" horde and no other nations come to their aid - only the Lord comes to their rescue. Perhaps, God calls the Gentile nations "Gog and Magog" after that historical moment, becoming a new distinction between Israel and the other nations in the kingdom, instead of Jew and Gentile. Also, the rebel army will gather from the Gentile nations, but not from Israel, because all Jews are believers in the Millennium (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Romans 11:26-27). In the second "Gog and Magog" war, the rebel army descends on Jerusalem and the camp of the saints (Revelation 20:9), but their intention is clearly to overthrow the King.

    The rebels who gather to battle against the Lord are as the "sand of the sea," which means there are too many to number:

    Genesis 41:49 - Joseph gathered very much grain, as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it was immeasurable.
    Joshua 11:4 - So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots.
    Judges 7:12 - Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.

    The population on the earth by the end of the Millennium will likely exceed the current population, because God will restore the earth and lift the curse, allowing people to live longer and have many children. Millennial saints will live as long as trees like Methuselah (Genesis 5:27), and presumably they will not die, as the following passage suggests that death during this time is a curse only for unbelievers:

    Isaiah 65:19-24 - "I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 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. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear."

    Also, it doesn't make sense that believers will die since the Lord is present on the earth, unless they are going to continue on the earth as ethereal spirits, which doesn't seem to fit the mold of Isaiah's description of the kingdom above:

    2 Corinthians 5:8 - We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

    Zechariah shows that men and women will be able to reach great age, and children at play will fill the streets:

    Zechariah 8:4-5 -"Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of great age. The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.'"

    So, the earth will be full of people, old and young, but the rebel army Satan deceives and gathers will be a "youth movement" compared to most of the earth's population, since only the accursed die before a hundred (Isaiah 65:20).


    Revelation 20:9 - They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.

    The rebel army comes from the four corners of the earth and they go "up on the breadth of the earth" from all directions toward Jerusalem, the beloved city and the seat of government from which the Lord rules His kingdom. The "breadth" of something is the range, or scope of something (Job 38:18, Revelation 21:16). Since the rebel army is innumerable and comes from all directions, they will fill the "breadth" of the land that they pass through, as they make their way toward Jerusalem like the armies in these passages:

    Habakkuk 1:6 - For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty nation which marches through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs.
    Isaiah 8:7-8 - Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings up over them the waters of the River, strong and mighty - the king of Assyria and all his glory; he will go up over all his channels and go over all his banks. He will pass through Judah, he will overflow and pass over, he will reach up to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel.

    When the rebel army gets to Jerusalem, they surround the "camp of the saints." The word translated "camp" is a military term that is also translated "fort," "castle," or "barracks" (source), and is also used to reference Israel's camp during the Exodus (Hebrews 13:11). On that note, we see similar imagery to the rebel army descending on the camp of the saints when God protected the camp of Israel against the Egyptian army. The main difference is that God judged the Egyptians with water, but He will judge the Gog and Magog army with fire:

    Exodus 14:13-14 - And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."
    Exodus 14:18-21 - "Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen." And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided.
    Exodus 14:26-30 - Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen." And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.

    The camp of the saints is the base for the glorified saints whose home is the New Jerusalem in Heaven (Revelation 21:9-10), but who carry out administrative duties on the earth as they reign with Christ in His kingdom. At the beginning of the Millennium the human population will be small, so most of the saints will not have much kingdom work to do initially. The saints who did the most for the Lord during their lives will probably be the first to serve in the kingdom and have more responsibility during the thousand-year reign of Christ based on the following parable. Note that all saints will get a return to varying degrees on what the Lord commissions to them - only the lost are unprofitable:

    Matthew 25:14-18 - "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money."
    Matthew 25:19-23 - After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. "So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.' His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' He also who had received two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.' His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'"
    Matthew 25:24-30 - "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' "But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 'For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'"

    The saints who are not needed at the beginning of the thousand years would then stay in the New Jerusalem, preparing for their work in the kingdom. It might be like missionary work, where the saints leave home on assignment, but then return home on sabbatical and prepare for their next missionary trip. By the end of the Millennium, the human population will have likely filled the earth, therefore most, if not all the saints will need to serve to help govern the multitudes toward the end of the thousand years. But in the meantime, most saints will probably spend much of their time in the New Jerusalem, while returning to earth intermittently to help govern the kingdom.

    Jerusalem is affectionately called the "beloved city." Jerusalem will be a restored and loved city at the center of the Lord's kingdom, no longer despised and hated by the world:

    Isaiah 60:1-7 - Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. "Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you. The multitude of camels shall cover your land, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall proclaim the praises of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall ascend with acceptance on My altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory."
    Isaiah 60:8-13 - "Who are these who fly like a cloud, and like doves to their roosts? Surely the coastlands shall wait for Me; and the ships of Tarshish will come first, to bring your sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, to the name of the LORD your God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He has glorified you. "The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you; for in My wrath I struck you, but in My favor I have had mercy on you. Therefore your gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day or night, that men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles, and their kings in procession. For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish, and those nations shall be utterly ruined. "The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the pine, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I will make the place of My feet glorious."
    Isaiah 60:14-18 - Also the sons of those who afflicted you shall come bowing to you, and all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet; and they shall call you the City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel. "Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, so that no one went through you, I will make you an eternal excellence, a joy of many generations. You shall drink the milk of the Gentiles, and milk the breast of kings; you shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. "Instead of bronze I will bring gold, instead of iron I will bring silver, instead of wood, bronze, and instead of stones, iron. I will also make your officers peace, and your magistrates righteousness. Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise."
    Isaiah 60:19-22 - "The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the LORD will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. Also your people shall all be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time."

    The love for Jerusalem, or Mount Zion began when God chose the city and the people as His own, like a husband that chooses a wife (Ezekiel 16), and similar to how the heavenly New Jerusalem is the city and home to the Lamb's wife the Church (Revelation 21:9-10):

    Psalms 78:68-68 - But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved. And He built His sanctuary like the heights, like the earth which He has established forever.
    Psalms 87:2-3 - The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God! Selah

    Isaiah further describes in the passages below how treasured Jerusalem is to God and the rest of the world, after the Lord restores the city in His kingdom:

    Isaiah 62:1-5 - For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns. The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name. You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
    Isaiah 62:6-12 - I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by the arm of His strength: "Surely I will no longer give your grain as food for your enemies; and the sons of the foreigner shall not drink your new wine, for which you have labored. But those who have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the LORD; those who have brought it together shall drink it in My holy courts." Go through, go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway! Take out the stones, lift up a banner for the peoples! Indeed the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the world: "Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Surely your salvation is coming; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.'" And they shall call them the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.
    Zephaniah 3:14-20 - Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall see disaster no more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: "Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." "I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly, who are among you, to whom its reproach is a burden. Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame, and gather those who were driven out; I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land where they were put to shame. At that time I will bring you back, even at the time I gather you; for I will give you fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I return your captives before your eyes," Says the LORD.

    The following commentary suggests an interesting connection to David, and why Jerusalem is "beloved" to God and His people:

      "Jerusalem became known as "the City of David", being called this 45 times in Scripture and is still known as such today. The name David means "beloved", and David was God's beloved, just as the City of David, Jerusalem, is God's beloved city."

      "We also know from Scripture that God Himself described David as "a man after my own heart". This means that David and God were in harmony. So, it is no surprise that the Psalms of King David abound with revelation on Israel, Jerusalem and Zion, just as God's heart abounds with love for His land, His city and His people...."

      "If we want to have a passion after God's own heart, then we will want to see Jerusalem as David saw it. Psalm 122:6 says: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.""

      Source: Christians United for Israel

    Before the rebel army can attack the beloved city and the camp of the saints, God devours them with fire from Heaven, similar to His judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24), on Babylon (Jeremiah 50:40, Revelation 18:8), on the messengers sent by the king of Samaria to Elijah to inquire about a false god (2 Kings 1), and on the armies in the first "Gog and Magog" war:

    Ezekiel 38:18-22 - "And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel," says the Lord GOD, "that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: 'Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.' I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains," says the Lord GOD. "Every man's sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone."

    As mentioned in the last section, God's purpose to release Satan is to test men, and when they are found wicked, He judges them with physical fire on the earth and with eternal fire:

    Psalms 11:5-6 - The LORD tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup.

    But we find that God's pattern in Scripture shows that He always allows nations or societies to first work through and finish their transgression before judgment, as outlined in Romans 1 . As discussed in Revelation 17:2, when a society turns away from God, He turns them over to a "debased mind" (Romans 1:28). Without being able to reason, a debased society will be unable to repent, then they will "complete their iniquity," and God will judge them the way He did in Egypt and in the nations that occupied Canaan before Israel conquered the land:

    Genesis 15:13-16 - Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."
    Leviticus 18:24-25 - 'Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants.'
    Exodus 7:3-4 - And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.

    In other words, God hardens people's hearts the way He did Pharaoh's before the Exodus, by giving them completely over to their sin to become deranged in a spiritual drunkenness, passing the point-of-no-return before He pours out His wrath in judgment.

    God's patience with man's rebellious heart will end here. He will promptly consume this army of rebels by fire, and God will prove once again that man can never meet His standards, no matter what conditions they lived under, or what dispensation they lived in. Only a repentant heart that accepts the covering of the blood of Jesus will make a man righteous in the sight of God. Once the last test at the end of the Millennium proves that men can never live up to God's standards, He will resurrect those who rejected Christ to face judgment and the second death, or eternity in the lake of fire, which we will discuss in detail in the next several sections:

    Revelation 20:11-15 - 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, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

    It is unclear what happens to the believers still living in mortal bodies on the earth when God sends fire down to devour the rebel army, but it is probably safe to assume they are translated into their immortal bodies and stand before the judgment seat of Christ like every other dispensation of saints. And as mentioned in Revelation 20:7-8, since being absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-8), it doesn't make sense for the millennial saints to die and their souls go to Heaven, when Jesus is reigning on the earth. More evidence that God translates the millennial saints into immortal bodies is that God immediately judges Satan and the dead after wiping out the rebel army (Revelation 20:10-15), and then God is with His people in the new heaven and new earth, where all saints are in their eternal state:

    Revelation 21:1, 3-4 - Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.... And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

    The passages below fill us in on more the details of the new eternal earth, and shows how God will put the current earth through a refining fire and make it new, which supports the notion that God translates the saints to their immortal bodies before the fiery judgment on the rebel army and the earth, because they otherwise wouldn't survive either judgment in mortal bodies:

    Psalm 102:25-26 - Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; yes, they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed.
    Isaiah 51:6 - Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished.
    2 Peter 3:7, 10-13 - But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.... But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

    After God's final judgment and restoration of Heaven and Earth, God will finally live in harmony with man and eternity will begin (Revelation 21:1-4), but first He must deal with Satan.


    Revelation 20:10 - The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

    After God devours the rebel army with fire, He turns to deal with the devil who deceived them. Recall from Revelation 20:2-3, that Satan's depiction as the devil speaks of his slander and lies that he uses to ensnare or destroy people, in addition to making false accusations against the saints (Revelation 12:10, John 8:44, 1 Timothy 3:6-7). In other words, calling Satan "the devil" suggests he is able to deceive the rebel army by lying to them about the saints who are ruling and reigning with Christ in the kingdom.

    Recall that the beast and the false prophet were cast into the lake of fire at the end of the Tribulation:

    Revelation 19:20 - Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

    A thousand years later the beast and the false prophet are still in torment in the lake of fire, because the spirit never ceases to exist. Isaiah and Jesus spoke of a spirit body that is eternally tormented where "their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched" (Isaiah 66:24, Mark 9:43-48). As discussed in Revelation 9:2, torment is the process where the lost are continually burned with God's refining fire to pay the price for their sin. Their spirit bodies, or their "worm," act as a perpetual fuel for the fire to burn.

    Satan, or the devil, who deceived the rebel army to come against Jerusalem and the camp of the saints, is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone with the beast and false prophet. As discussed in Revelation 9:18, brimstone is solely used in the context of God's judgment against wicked humans, against fallen spirit beings, and against places like Sodom and Gomorrah and Babylon, and their wicked inhabitants. The lake of fire is a different abode from the abyss and Hades in the heart of the earth (Revelation 9:1). The lake of fire is the final and permanent place of everlasting fire and torment that God originally prepared for Satan and the fallen angels, but all who reject Christ will also end up there:

    Matthew 25:30, 41, 46 - 'And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.... Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels...' "And these will go away into everlasting punishment...."

    Satan and his former accomplices will have "no rest day or night," which reinforces the fact that their torment is eternal and never ends, just as the living creatures "do not rest day or night" and never stop praising the Lord (Revelation 4:8). There is no annihilation of the wicked - angels or humans - only eternal suffering:

    Revelation 14:9-11 - Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

    The following commentary shows that the Lord used real places in Israel to illustrate the spiritual realm to believers, similar to how He told Peter that the "gates of hell" would not prevail against His church (Matthew 16:13-18) at a place in Caesarea Philippi called the "Gates of Hell" (source). Also, Jesus referred to the place of "Gehenna" (Matthew 10:28), a valley south of Jerusalem that came to symbolize the final place of punishment of the ungodly (source), and where the kings of Judah allowed child sacrifice to Molech to take place (2 Chronicles 28:1-3, 33:1-6, Jeremiah 32:31-35). So, believers at the end of the first century who were familiar with the Dead Sea in Israel would have likely had this imagery in mind when they heard about the lake of fire in Revelation:

      "The Lake of Fire is a place of torment somewhere unknown to us, but the name has an interesting parallel in history that gives us a frighteningly clear model of the torment the unsaved will suffer. The Dead Sea is filled with water so rich in salt and other mineral content that it supports the human body. In other words you can't sink while floating in (on) it. In ancient times crude oil would periodically bubble up to the surface and solidify into a tar-like substance that harvesters chopped into blocks and towed to the shore for sale. When melted down again, it made a good adhesive to cement building blocks together, and the Egyptians used it in their embalming procedure as well. It was so prevalent on the water's surface that the Romans called the Dead Sea "Lake Asphaltus" using the word from which we get asphalt. From time to time, during an electrical storm, lightning would strike the surface setting the oil aflame. When that happened they called it "The Lake of Fire.""

      "Imagine this. You're in deep water. As long as you keep your head above the surface you can breathe. But the surface is on fire, so you hold your breath to sink under the surface to escape the flames. But the water pushes you back up like a cork into the fire. On it goes day and night. You twist and turn and squirm on the surface looking for some kind of respite, however brief. You'd welcome death and long for it, but you can't die because there's no escape from the punishment. Get the picture?"

      Source: Rapture Forums - Jack Kelley

    After Satan's judgment, the Lord will judge the dead, and anyone not recorded in the "Book of Life" is cast into the lake of fire with Satan, the beast, and the false prophet (Revelation 20:15).

    Revelation 20:11-15


    Revelation 20:11 - 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.

    After Satan is cast into the lake of fire, John sees a "Great White Throne" with the Lord sitting on it. Recall from Revelation 4:2, a throne is a seat of authority. The Lord maintains sovereignty over all from this seat of authority:

    Psalms 103:19 - The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.

    The Lord governs from His throne in righteousness and justice:

    Psalms 9:4-8 - For You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat on the throne judging in righteousness. You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever. O enemy, destructions are finished forever! And you have destroyed cities; even their memory has perished. But the LORD shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness, and He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.
    Psalms 89:14 - Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth go before Your face.
    Psalms 97:2 - Clouds and darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

    The Lord has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness:

    Acts 17:30-31 - "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."

    This great throne is white, different from the Lord's throne in the heavenly tabernacle, which is sapphire blue. Recall that the sapphire stone on the breastplate of judgment of the high priest represents the tribe of Dan, whose name means "judgment", as discussed in Revelation 4:3:

    Ezekiel 10:1 - And I looked, and there in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim, there appeared something like a sapphire stone, having the appearance of the likeness of a throne.
    Ezekiel 1:26-28 - And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.

    The color white in Scripture generally represents purity and cleansing from sin (Isaiah 1:18, Psalms 51:5-7), or refining (Daniel 12:10). The Greek word translated "white" can also mean "brilliant," and is often used to describe how celestial figures, like angels and the glorified Lord physically shine or glisten with an intense bright light (Matthew 17:1-2, 28:2-3, Mark 9:2-3, Luke 9:28-29, Revelation 14:14). White can also symbolize conquest (Revelation 6:2, 19:11). As we continue on, we will see that all these meanings can apply to the "Great White Throne Judgment."

    From the "Great White Throne," the Lord is going to cast all those not covered by His cleansing blood He shed as the Lamb (1 John 1:7, Revelation 5:9, 13:8), who are not found in the "Book of Life" into the lake of fire:

    Revelation 20:15 - And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

    The great throne is glorious, and thus will look brilliantly white like celestial figures in glory:

    Matthew 25:31 - "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory."

    And Christ is going to conquer His final enemy "Death" with His authority on the "Great White Throne":

    Revelation 20:14 - Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
    1 Corinthians 15:24-27 - Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.

    In an interesting side note, there is another great throne that is white in Scripture - the great throne that Solomon had crafted for himself. However, Solomon's ivory-white throne was overlaid with gold, but it would have made it look shiny and brilliant:

    1 Kings 10:18 (& 2 Chronicles 9:17) - Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold.

    When the "Great White Throne" appears, the earth and the heaven, or the atmosphere, flee from the face of the Lord who is on the throne. Creation is often personified in Scripture, and the passages below show how elements of the creation respond to the Lord's presence and His commands with reverent fear:

    Psalms 77:16-18 - The waters saw You, O God; the waters saw You, they were afraid; the depths also trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flashed about. The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook.
    Psalms 97:2-5 - Clouds and darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. A fire goes before Him, and burns up His enemies round about. His lightnings light the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
    Psalms 104:32 - He looks on the earth, and it trembles; He touches the hills, and they smoke.
    Habakkuk 3:6, 10-11 - He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations. And the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills bowed. His ways are everlasting.... The mountains saw You and trembled; the overflowing of the water passed by. The deep uttered its voice, and lifted its hands on high. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation; at the light of Your arrows they went, at the shining of Your glittering spear.

    When the earth and the heaven flee from the face of the Lord, they will physically disappear from the scene like the islands and the mountains after the seventh Bowl judgment:

    Revelation 16:17-18, 20 - Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.... Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

    The passages below also speak of the passing away of the earth and the heavens, which include the earth's atmosphere, the cosmos, and the current dwelling place of God:

    Isaiah 51:6 - Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished.
    Matthew 5:18 - For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
    Matthew 24:35 - Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
    Revelation 21:1 - Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away....

    There will be "no place found" for the earth, such as when the dragon and his angels were cast out of Heaven, which means that God removes the earth from its established place:

    Revelation 12:7-8 - And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

    The earth and the heavens "perish," yet they are not obliterated, but "changed":

    Psalm 102:25-26 - Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; yes, they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed.

    Peter fills in the gaps of what happens and shows that God will put the earth and the heavens, including the cosmos, through a fiery judgment. God's refining fire will purify the earth from the taint of sin, reducing it to its primary elements, from which God will restore it to new heavens, or cosmos, and a new earth:

    2 Peter 3:7, 10-13 - But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.... But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

    Revelation 20:12 - 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.

    At the "Great White Throne Judgment," the "dead" stand before God who judges both the living and the dead. The "living" are saints who have eternal life through Christ, and the dead are those who do not:

    Acts 10:42 - And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead.

    The saints have eternal life through faith in Christ. The saints' eternal destiny is determined by what Christ did on the cross, and not by sin or personal merit:

    Hebrews 9:27-28 - And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
    Ephesians 2:1-6 - And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus....
    1 Peter 4:17-18 - For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now "If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?"
    2 Peter 2:9 - ...the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment....

    The Lord judges the dead according to their works, which is a measure of the works or deeds they did on their own merit in the flesh, and not according to God in the spirit:

    1 Peter 4:5-6 - "They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."
    Revelation 22:11-12 - "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still." "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work."

    Note that the judgment before the "Great White Throne" is only for the dead. As discussed in Revelation 20:6, these are the rest of the dead who will take part in the second resurrection to second death:

    Revelation 20:4-6 - ...Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power....

    The Lord judges the living, or the saints who take part in the first resurrection to eternal life in different stages - first at His appearing in the rapture, then at His appearing when He returns to the earth, and lastly at the end of His kingdom (Revelation 20:9), presumably right before He judges the dead at the "Great White Throne Judgment":

    2 Timothy 4:1 - I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom....

    The dead are "small and great," meaning they are of all statures, rich or poor, free or slave:

    Psalms 49:1-2 - ...Hear this, all peoples; Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor together.
    Revelation 13:16-17 - He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
    Revelation 19:17-18 - Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."

    As author John Walvoord notes:

      "The divine judgment upon the wicked is no respecter of persons or station, and is the great equalizer of all."

      Source: Blue Letter Bible

    The dead "stand" before God, which might allude to their resurrection, in this case, the second resurrection to second death, or in a judicial sense standing before the Judge, similar to the resurrected saints who stand before the judgment seat of Christ:

    Luke 21:36 - "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
    Romans 14:10 - But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

    In the Tribulation, men of all statures try to hide from God and are not able to stand against His wrath:

    Revelation 6:15-17 - And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"

    But at the "Great White Throne Judgment," there is no place to hide from the face of the Lord. The dead will have no choice but to stand in judgment before the Lord, naked, and full of shame. They will be physically and spiritually fully exposed, because they have no covering for their sin like Adam and Eve before God provided a covering for them (Genesis 3:21), which is a picture of Christ's atoning sacrifice:

    Hebrews 4:13 - And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

    The Lord judges the dead according to their works recorded in books. We see that books are also opened at the beast's judgment before he is cast into the lake of fire, showing that he will stand trial, receive a guilty verdict based on the evidence in the books, and then sentenced, similar to how human courts function:

    Daniel 7:9-11 - "I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. "I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame."

    There are references to at least some of these books in Scripture that show that they are a record of how God's created beings respond to Him and others, and are the essence of God's two commandments that all other commandments hang on, including the Mosaic Law:

    Matthew 22:37-40 - Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

    These two commandments are God's fundamental standard of judgment for those who die apart from Christ. We see a preview of God's judgment based on these commandments at the end of the Tribulation, when He judges the survivors based on how they treated His people, which reflected whether they loved the Lord or not:

    Matthew 25:31-34 - "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world....'"
    Matthew 25:41-46 - "...Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' "Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

    The following passages do not specifically mention "books," but do show that there is an account made of every work, motive, thought, word, and secret that God will judge:

    Ecclesiastes 12:14 - For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.
    Psalms 28:3-5 - Do not take me away with the wicked and with the workers of iniquity, who speak peace to their neighbors, but evil is in their hearts. Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors; give them according to the work of their hands; render to them what they deserve. Because they do not regard the works of the LORD, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them and not build them up.
    Psalms 62:12 - Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; for You render to each one according to his work.
    Proverbs 24:12 - If you say, "Surely we did not know this," Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?
    Jeremiah 17:9-10 - "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings."
    Jeremiah 32:19 - You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings.
    Matthew 10:26 - Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
    Matthew 12:35-37 - "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
    Luke 8:17-18 - "For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him."

    While the "Great White Throne Judgment" is for the dead apart from Christ, the Lord also judges the works of the living, who either suffer loss, or receive reward based on those works:

    Romans 14:10, 12 - But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.... So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
    2 Corinthians 5:10 - For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
    1 Corinthians 3:12-14 - Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

    Recall that resurrection and final judgment occur in tandem, whether it is resurrection to eternal life, or resurrection to eternal death, but the resurrection to eternal life happens in stages or different events across the dispensations, compared to one resurrection to eternal death (Revelation 20:4-5). But the eternal destination of the living is determined through faith in Christ's work on the cross and His imputed righteousness, not by their works (Ephesians 2:8-9):

    John 5:24 - "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life."
    Romans 4:23-25 - Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

    David spoke of a book that recorded the "tears" he cried out to God when his enemies pursued him:

    Psalms 56:8-9 - You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me.

    This "book of tears" is reminiscent of the prayers of the martyrs crying to the Lord for vengeance on their enemies:

    Revelation 6:9-10 - When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"

    Recall from Revelation 5:8 that the prayers of the saints for justice and judgment on the wicked are kept in golden bowls. God will answer these prayers and avenge His saints when He judges the wicked in both the Tribulation judgments (Revelation 8:3-5), and in the final judgment described in the passage below, which suggests this information is also recorded in one of the books at the "Great White Throne Judgment," and not just in the golden bowls:

    2 Thessalonians 1:6-9 - ...since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power....

    Moses and David spoke of a book that had a record of those who were alive. The following passages suggest that those living in Christ eternally are never blotted out of the "book of the living," but the unrighteous get blotted out upon death:

    Exodus 32:32-33 - "Yet now, if You will forgive their sin - but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written." And the LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book."
    Psalms 69:19, 28 - You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; my adversaries are all before You.... Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

    David also mentions a book that records the blueprint for each human, and how many days God has appointed to them. Perhaps this is the information also recorded in human DNA:

    Psalms 139:16 - Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.

    While there might be more books opened at the "Great White Throne Judgment" that Scripture is silent on, the most important book opened is the "Book of Life," also called the "book of remembrance," which is a record of the names of the saints, or the citizens registered in Heaven:

    Malachi 3:16-18 - Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. "They shall be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him." Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
    Luke 10:20 - "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
    Hebrews 12:22-24 - But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
    Philippians 4:3 - And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.
    Revelation 3:5 - He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

    This book is also called the "Book of Life of the Lamb." As discuss in Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 17:8, the names of the saints were written in this book before the foundations of the world:

    Revelation 13:8 - All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
    Revelation 17:8 - The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

    The saint's names are in the "Book of Life" because of the Lamb's sacrifice, and not based on any merit on the part of the saints other than their faith in Christ. All who reject the Lamb are not found written in the "Book of Life," and their destiny will be in the lake of fire apart from the Lord:

    Revelation 20:15 - And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
    Revelation 21:10, 27 - And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.... But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
    Revelation 22:19 - ...and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    The dead rejected the Lamb of God and the price He paid that God requires for eternal life, so they will be condemned by their works because they cannot be justified by them. Justification only comes through Christ because all have missed the mark and have fallen short:

    Romans 3:23-26 - ...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
    Galatians 2:16 - ...knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

    So, when the dead are not found in the "Book of Life," the Lord instead judges them by their works recorded in the other books, but they have to stand on their own merit and what they did according to God's natural law written on everyone's hearts, as described in the passage in Romans below. Like the Mosaic law, the natural law also hangs on the two greatest commandments mentioned earlier to love God and love our neighbors (Matthew 22:37-40). In other words, God is going to judge the dead based on these commandments and the works done for or against God and others:

    Romans 2:5-11 - But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds": eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness - indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.
    Romans 2:12-16 - For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

    In the commentary below, Tim LaHaye summarizes how God judges the dead at the "Great White Throne Judgment," using the courtroom correlation we discussed earlier with regard to the beast's judgment after the Tribulation (Daniel 7:9-11):

      "The judge sits on His throne, ready to give the verdict as He examines the books that are opened in the presence of the courtroom. These books record all the deeds of each defendant. Salvation is not the issue, for those in this judgment are described as dead, meaning that they are spiritually dead. Thus, their works, which cannot be pleasing to God (Romans 8:8), will be irrefutable evidence that they have no saving relationship with God. With no mediator (1 Timothy 2:5), they will be judged by their actions (Matthew 16:27). No defense attorney will plead the case of those standing before the throne. They will stand naked and open before the eyes of Him to whom they must give an account. Judgment will be entered, and the sentence is the lake of fire, a punishment of everlasting torment prepared for Satan, his angels, and all who refuse the offer of eternal life through Christ (Matthew 25:41, 46)."

      Source - The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy, By Tim LaHaye

    So, if the dead all end up in the lake of fire apart from God, what is God's purpose to judge the works of the dead? Recall, that the living either suffer loss, or receive reward based on their works (Romans 14:10-12, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:12-14). If God "will render to each one according to their deeds" (Romans 2:6), whether they are of the living or of the dead, then God's order of things in giving varying degrees of rewards to His saints in the kingdom would apply in reverse to the dead in the lake of fire. In other words, the works of the dead will determine what degree of punishment they will receive. On the spectrum of punishment, Satan, with the beast, and the false prophet will receive the worst punishment, and the folks who tried to do good deeds on their own merit and follow the natural law written on their hearts will receive the least punishment.

    Incidentally, Satan's ministers, including fallen angels and demons, are also judged according to their works, which makes sense since the everlasting fire, or the lake of fire was originally prepared for the devil and his angels(Matthew 25:41):

    2 Corinthians 11:13-15 - For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

    The passage below suggests that the saints will actively participate in the court of the "Great White Throne Judgment," such as with the beast's judgment (Daniel 7:9-11), because they will judge the world and angels:

    1 Corinthians 6:2-3 - Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

    After the "Great White Throne Judgment," the role of the saints to execute judgment that the Lord delegates to them in the kingdom is completed (Psalm 149:1-9), because there will be no more need of judgment since the former things will have passed away:

    Revelation 21:1-2, 4, 27 - Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God... And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.... But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

    Revelation 20:13 - The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

    As we discussed in the last section, the "Great White Throne Judgment" is only for the dead who are apart from Christ, because those who die in Christ are not judged on their works for salvation, but solely on Christ's work on the cross:

    Hebrews 9:27-28 - And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

    As discussed in Revelation 20:5, resurrected saints come before the judgment seat of Christ in different events and at different times, depending on the harvest or dispensation they are from, but the rest of dead apart from Christ are not judged until after the thousand-year reign of Christ:

    Revelation 20:5 - But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished....

    Until the "Great White Throne Judgment" the dead are held in the sea, by Death or Destruction, and in Hades or Sheol:

    Job 26:5 - "The dead tremble, those under the waters and those inhabiting them. Sheol is naked before Him, and Destruction has no covering."

    Hades, or Sheol in Hebrew is the holding place of the souls of the dead inside the earth, as discussed in Revelation 20:1. Death and the grave are found together in Scripture when referring to the physical death of the body. Here we see Death personified like the Grim Reaper having control over bodies in the grave:

    Psalms 49:14 - Like sheep they are laid in the grave; Death shall feed on them; the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling.

    If Death, or the grave represent the holding place of the buried bodies of the dead, then the sea represents the holding place of the dead who are not buried. Jonah is an example of being buried at sea when a whale swallowed him:

    Jonah 2:1-6 - Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish's belly. And he said: "I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction," and He answered me. "Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and You heard my voice. For You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me; all Your billows and Your waves passed over me. Then I said, 'I have been cast out of Your sight; yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.' The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; the deep closed around me; weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the moorings of the mountains; the earth with its bars closed behind me forever; yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD, my God."

    Jonah died and his soul went to Sheol, or Hades, until the Lord resurrected him, which was the sign of how the Lord would die and go to the heart of the earth before God resurrected him:

    Matthew 12:39-40 - But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

    The imagery of the sea holding the dead is interesting, because the bodies lost at sea dissolve or get eaten, yet God will raise them from the dead in the second resurrection to the second death (Revelation 20:6). On that note, when a person's body is cremated, there are still bone fragments left that are crushed into "ash" that remain (source), but even more interesting is that scientists are able to find DNA in the soil (source). So, DNA still remains even after the body decomposes, or is burned or dissolved. But God doesn't need a body in a grave to resurrect someone - He uses the "seed," or DNA that remains to make the spiritual body. The passage below is speaking specifically of the body raised in glory from the "seed" of the mortal body, but Revelation 20:5-6 is clear that the dead apart from Christ are also resurrected to a body made for eternal destruction:

    1 Corinthians 15:38-44 - But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

    So, Hades holds the souls of the dead, and Death and the sea hold the bodies of the dead until they deliver them up for judgment at the "Great White Throne." Hades, or the pit in darkness also holds the ministers of Satan whom God will also judge (2 Corinthians 11:13-15), as discussed in the last section:

    Isaiah 24:21-22 - It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, and on the earth the kings of the earth. They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; after many days they will be punished.
    Jude 1:6 - And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day....

    Recall that Jesus has the keys of Death and Hades, which gives Him the authority to release the dead and the ministers of Satan held there, and deliver them to the "Great White Throne Judgment":

    Revelation 1:18 - I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

    It will be at the "Great White Throne Judgment" that every created being that was in Heaven, on the earth, under the earth, or in the sea will bow the knee and acknowledge the name of Jesus and His authority:

    Revelation 5:13 - And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!"
    Philippians 2:9-11 - Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    Revelation 20:14 - Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

    After Death and Hades deliver up the dead, the abodes themselves are cast into the lake of fire. In the passages below, cities are similarly personified and judged:

    Luke 10:10-16 - But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 'The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.' But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city. "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, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades. He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me."

    Like personification of Babylon (Revelation 17:18) and the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2), personification of the cities is really speaking of the inhabitants. When the cities become "ghost towns," or the abodes get vacated, they cease to exist, being metaphorically cast into Hades or the lake of fire, but not physically. When God avenges His saints by destroying Babylon, it isn't just because He destroys the city, but because He also destroyed the "earth dwellers" who were citizens of the Babylon system:

    Revelation 6:10 - And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
    Revelation 18:20-21 - "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!" Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore."
    Revelation 19:2, 20-21 - "For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her...." Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

    The judgment of Death and Hades goes beyond the abodes ceasing to exist - they are the last enemy that the Lord must defeat. The Lord will complete what He started, when He came to redeem the world at the end of the Tribulation and deliver it to the Father, by putting all enemies under His feet:

    1 Corinthians 15:24-27 - Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.
    1 Corinthians 15:50-57 - Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed - in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Hosea 13:14 - "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes."
    Isaiah 25:8 - He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken.
    Revelation 21:4 - "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

    The lake of fire of fire is synonymous to the "second death." Recall from Revelation 20:6 that the second death is the destruction of the soul in the lake of fire after the final judgment, and the spirit is never annihilated, but eternally tormented:

    Matthew 10:28 - And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
    Revelation 20:10 - The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
    Revelation 21:7-8 - "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 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."

    While torment in fire for eternity is harrowing, the worst torment of the second death is eternal separation from the Lord that begins when a lost person dies and goes to Hades, but is not fully realized until the final judgment at the "Great White Throne":

    Matthew 7:23 - And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
    Matthew 25:41 - "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels....'"
    Luke 13:27-28 - But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.' There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.

    Revelation 20:15 - And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

    Recall from Revelation 20:12, the "Book of Life" contains the names of the saints, or the citizens registered in Heaven. The saint's names were written there based on the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, and not on any merit on the part of the saints apart from their faith in Christ. All who reject the Lamb are not found written in the "Book of Life," and their destiny will be the second death in the lake of fire eternally apart from the Lord, since justification can only come through Christ, because He paid the price for all who have faith in Him (Romans 3:23-26, Galatians 2:16). In other words, those who reject Christ have to pay the price themselves in the lake of fire for their sin eternally. Eternal life only comes through a saving faith in Jesus - all others are condemned eternally:

    1 John 5:11-12 - And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
    John 3:16-21, 36 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.... He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

    After the "Great White Throne Judgment," God will bring forth a new order of things, and "affliction will not rise up a second time" in the next age because He will completely defeat all His enemies:

    Nahum 1:2-9 - God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; the LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies; the LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, and the flower of Lebanon wilts. The mountains quake before Him, the hills melt, and the earth heaves at His presence, yes, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him. The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him. But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, And darkness will pursue His enemies. What do you conspire against the LORD? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time.

    As we move on to Revelation 21, which describes God's new order of things in the eternal state, we will see that the former things become forgotten:

    Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 - For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun.
    Isaiah 65:17 - "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind."
    Revelation 21:1, 4 - Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.... "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

    In closing, it is hard to imagine eternity, where the former things are forgotten, especially our lost loved ones in this life who may end up in the lake of fire, but the gravity of that possibility should motivate us to share the Gospel with others. Someday believers will fully be able understand these difficult matters in their glorified state, but even now believers can seek wisdom and understanding through the Holy Spirit:

    1 Corinthians 2:9-16 - But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

    *** Commentary for Revelation 21 coming soon! ***

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