Words of Hope…
At the close of the thousand years,* Christ returns to the earth accompanied by the redeemed and by legions of angels. He commands the wicked dead to arise to receive their doom. They come
out, numberless as the sands of the sea, bearing the traces of disease
and death. What a contrast to those raised in the first resurrection!
Every eye turns to see the glory of the Son of God. With one voice the vast army of the wicked exclaims, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 23:39). It is not love that inspires this utterance. The force of truth urges the words from unwilling lips. As the wicked went into the graves, so they come out with the same hatred of Christ and the same spirit of rebellion. They will have no new probation in which to remedy their past lives.
Says the prophet, “In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, … and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two” (Zechariah 14:4). As the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven, it rests on the place made ready for it, and Christ, with His people and the angels, enters the Holy City.
While he was cut off from his work of deception, the prince of evil was miserable and dejected, but when the wicked dead are raised and he sees the vast forces on his side, his hopes revive. He determines not to give up the great controversy. He will rally the lost under his banner. In rejecting Christ they have accepted the rule of the rebel leader, and they are ready to do his bidding. Yet, true to his early practice, he does not acknowledge himself to be Satan. He claims to be the rightful owner of the world whose inheritance has been taken from him unlawfully. He represents himself as a redeemer, assuring his deluded subjects that it is his power that has brought them from their graves. Satan makes the weak strong and inspires all with his own energy. He proposes to lead them in battle to take possession of the city of God. He points to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead, and he declares that as their leader he is well able to regain his throne and kingdom.
In the vast assembly are many from the long-lived race that existed before the Flood, people of tall stature and giant intellect, whose amazing works led the world to idolize their genius, but whose cruelty and evil practices caused God to blot them from His creation. There are kings and generals who never lost a battle. In death these leaders experienced no change. As they come up from the grave, they are driven by the same desire to conquer that ruled them when they died.
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Source: Ellen G. White, The Great Hope, pp. 82, 83.
*This is the millennium, described in the Bible in Revelation 20:1-6 and in the complete book, The Great Controversy, chapter 41.