Conclusion of the New Testament, The (Msgs. 063-078)by Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In His work in the millennium Christ with His overcomers as co-kings will reign over all the nations (Rev. 20:4, 6; 2:27; 19:15c). The millennium will be the last section of God’s kingdom on this earth in the old creation over the God-created, fallen, and restored nations. They all will be the last stage of human nations on the old earth, and they all will become the kingdom of God’s Christ (Rev. 11:15), and Christ and His overcomers shall be the kings over them. Such a reigning will be the unique work of Christ in the millennium to show, for one thousand years, to the entire universe His kingship with His divine and heavenly authority for the shame of Satan, the defeated enemy of God, who will then be bound and imprisoned in the abyss, the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:2-3).
After the millennium Christ will do the work of judging all the dead, for He is the Judge of both the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 2 Tim. 4:1). This judgment is described in Revelation 20:11-15. Verse 12 says, “I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by the things which were written in the books, according to their works.” The “standing” here indicates that the dead have been resurrected. This is the resurrection of the unbelievers, the resurrection of judgment (John 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:23-24). The books are a record of the works, the deeds, of the unbelievers, according to which they will be judged.
Verse 13 continues, “The sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged everyone according to their works.” Because the dead unbelievers who were drowned in the sea are included among those in Hades, the dead given up by the sea should not be any unbelieving human beings. Rather, they may be the spirits (the demons today—Matt. 8:31-32; 12:43) of the living beings of the preadamic age (see Life-study of Genesis, Message 2). This may indicate that today’s demons will be judged at the great white throne along with unbelieving human beings.
Verse 14 goes on to say, “Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.” In the first death the soul and the spirit are separated from the body and perish in the suffering section of Hades (Luke 16:22-24). In the second death the soul and the spirit, after being rejoined to the body in resurrection, are cast with the body into the lake of fire. This means that the unbelievers’ whole being—spirit, soul, and body—will perish in eternal torment in the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:15 concludes, “If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.” Christ will judge the perishing unbelievers according to the books, which are a record of their works. But they will be cast into the lake of fire according to the book of life. This indicates that they are condemned by the Lord because of their evil deeds, but they perish because of their unbelief, not having their names written in the book of life. Not believing in the Lord Jesus is the unique sin that causes people to perish (John 16:9).
Christ’s work in judging the dead will mark the end of the old creation. Then the new heaven and the new earth with the New Jerusalem will come. In the New Jerusalem—in eternity—Christ will still be working.
As the redeeming God Christ will administrate within the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and the new earth. Revelation 22:1 and 3 tell us that the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the New Jerusalem. According to the context of this portion of the Word, the throne of God and of the Lamb is the center of the New Jerusalem. From this throne Christ, the redeeming God, carries out His administration, based on His redemption, in the eternal kingdom in the new heaven and the new earth.
Christ’s work in administrating within the New Jerusalem is for His expression through His administration. All that the redeeming God administrates is for the purpose that He might be expressed. In the New Jerusalem the throne of the redeeming God will be in the center of the city, and His expression will extend to its circumference. Therefore, the redeeming God administrating on the throne is the God both of administration and of expression. His administration serves the purpose of His expression in His eternal manifestation.
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