Life-Study of Revelationby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall consider the last rebellion of mankind (20:7-10) and the judgment at the great white throne (20:11-15). Both will take place after the thousand years and before the coming of the new heaven and the new earth. Although the condition of everything in the millennial kingdom will be wonderful, within mankind there will still be a rebellious nature. Because God foreknew that even restored mankind would still have this problem, He will keep Satan in the abyss during the millennium so that He may use him to test mankind after the thousand years are over. By means of this test man’s rebellious nature will be exposed and purged. Thus, the first thing to be cleared away after the millennium will be the rebellious human nature.
Following this, there will be the clearing up of the situation of the dead unbelievers, who are awaiting the judgment at the great white throne. The judgment at the white throne will deal with the dead unbelievers, with death and Hades that hold the dead, and with the demons. Therefore, in this portion of the Word we see the final clearance in the universe as a preparation for the coming of the new heaven and the new earth.
Before the millennium, many things will be dealt with: the great prostitute, Antichrist, the false prophet, and the evil, worldly forces. During the millennium the Lord will deal with the immaturity of His people. If we are immature and imperfect in God’s eternal life, we are a shame to God. The immaturity of God’s people is truly a shame to Him, and during the millennium God will rid His people of this shame.
Many Christians hold the mistaken concept that the dispensation of the millennium will be absolutely perfect. Some Christian teachers have said that when the millennium comes, everything in God’s economy will have been completed and perfected. We must strongly declare that this concept is inaccurate. The dispensation of the millennial kingdom will still take place in the old heaven and the old earth. God uses each dispensation to deal with people in a specific way. He uses the various dispensations to make His people perfect, complete, and mature, for the purpose of building up the New Jerusalem as His eternal habitation. All the dispensations are for this purpose. The millennium, the thousand years, will be the last dispensation. In this dispensation certain imperfections will still need to be dealt with. For this reason, the new heaven and the new earth will come after the millennium, not before it. Thus, the millennium will be also a dispensation used by God to perfect His immature people.
If you mature in the present dispensation, you will not need the next dispensation for your maturity. However, if you do not mature in this dispensation, you will have to mature in the next. In the present dispensation God gives us His life, He affords us His grace, and He also prepares the environment and circumstances we need to grow into maturity. He even uses items of the first death, such as weakness, sickness, trouble, and hardship, to help us grow. But if, in spite of the life, the grace, and the environment, we still do not mature in this dispensation, then, in His wisdom, God will use the last dispensation, the dispensation of the kingdom, to make us mature. To the mature and perfected ones, the millennium will be a reward and an enjoyment. But to the immature ones, it will be a loss and a dealing.
In the last dispensation God will even use the items related to the second death to discipline and to punish the immature believers. He will do this with the positive intention of forcing them to grow into maturity so that they may be prepared to enter into the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and the new earth. Thank the Lord that in the present dispensation God has already caused many of us to grow into maturity. In this present dispensation He will also deal with Catholicism, Judaism, Antichrist, the false prophet, and the evil, worldly forces. Then the millennium, the kingdom age, will come as a reward to the mature ones. During the millennium, the immature ones among God’s people will be dealt with so that they may mature.
After the millennium, the rebellious nature of mankind will still be found in the citizens of the millennial kingdom and will need to be exposed and purged. Furthermore, the dead unbelievers, death and Hades, and the demons will all need to be dealt with. All these negative things still need to be cast into the “trash can.” Therefore, during the millennium God will discipline the immature believers to rid them of their shame and to bring them into maturity. After the thousand years, Satan will be released and used by the Lord to test rebellious mankind and to purge out man’s rebellious nature. After this, the dead unbelievers and the demons will be judged at the great white throne, and all these negative things, including death and Hades, will be swept into the universal “trash can,” the lake of fire. At that time, everything negative throughout the whole universe will be in the lake of fire, and the new heaven and the new earth will come with the New Jerusalem.
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