A vision: the book of life

I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

He seized the dragon—that ancient serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him with the chain for a thousand years. He threw the dragon into the bottomless pit, which he then closed and locked to prevent the dragon deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were completed. After that, he will be set free for a little while.

Then I saw thrones, and the people who sat on them had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony concerning Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life again and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. This is the first resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended.) Happy and privileged are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years.

When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his imprisonment. Then he will go out to deceive the nations—called Gog and Magog—in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle –  in number, as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. And I saw, in my vision, that will march across the broad plain of the earth to surround God’s people and his beloved city. But fire will fall from heaven and consume the attacking armies.

Then the devil, who had deceived them, will be thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet have already be thrown. There they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

And I saw a great white throne and the one who sat upon it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, but there was nowhere for them to hide. And I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before the throne and books were opened, Then another book was opened – the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and everyone was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades themselves were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

John

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