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The end of the rebellion

Query for the Month

of

February 2006

Next up-date: March 1st 2006 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends.   It's called "Light on the Dark Side of God" and is one of the best on this subject that I have ever read!


Query:

Malachi 4:1-3

“For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall burn them up,” says the LORD of hosts, “that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 

"But to you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing [of mind] in His wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

" And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this,” says the LORD of hosts.

Won't this situation produce either a lot of anger or sorrow?


Answer:

The warfare against God's law, which was begun in heaven, will be continued until the end of time.  Every man and woman who has lived on earth has been individually tested on this point many times during their lifetime, but this process has not been visible to others. (John 1:9.) So, on the last day obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided for the whole universe.  All humanity will be gathered to show their choice between the law of God and the laws of men.  Here the dividing line will be drawn.  On earth there will be but two classes, sheep and goats.  Matthew 25:31-33.  Every character will be fully developed; and all will show in a legal situation whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion.

Then the end will come.  God will vindicate His law and deliver His people.  Satan and all who have joined him in rebellion will be cut off.  Sin and sinners will perish, root and branch, – Satan the root, and his followers the branches. 

The word will be fulfilled to the prince of evil, “Because you have set your heart as the heart of God; .  .  I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  .  .  .  You shall be a terror, and never shall you be any more.” Ezekiel 28:6-19.  Then “the wicked shall not be: yea, you shall diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.” Psalm 37:10. “They shall be as though they had not been.” Obadiah 1:16.

This is not an act of arbitrary power on the part of God.  The rejecters of His mercy reap that which they have sown.  God is the fountain of life; and when one chooses the service of sin, he or she separates from God, and thus cuts themselves off from life.  They are “alienated from the life of God.” Ephesians 4:18. Christ says, “All they that hate Me love [desire] death.” Proverbs 8:36.  However, God continues to give them existence for a time that they may develop their character and reveal their principles.  This accomplished, they receive the results of their own choice.  By a life of rebellion, Satan and all who unite with him have placed themselves so out of harmony with God that His very presence is to them a consuming fire.  The glory of Him who is love will destroy them when they enter it.

At the beginning of the great controversy, the angels did not understand this.  Had Satan and his host then been left to reap the full result of their sin, they would have perished quickly; but it would not have been apparent to heavenly beings that this was the inevitable result of sin.  A doubt of God's goodness would have remained in their minds as evil seed, to produce its deadly fruit of sin and woe.

But not so when the great controversy shall be properly ended. 

Then, the plan of redemption having been completed, the character of God will be   revealed to all created intelligences.  The precepts of His law will be seen to be perfect and immutable.  At that time sin will have made manifest its nature, and Satan his character, not once, but three times.  Then the extermination of sin and those who cling to it will vindicate God's love and establish His honour before a universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law.

The whole work of the father of lies is recorded in the statute books of heaven, and those who lend themselves to the service of Satan, to put forth and present to men his lies by precept and practice, will receive, with him, according to their deeds.  Revelation 22:12. Root and branch will be destroyed by the fires of the last days.  Satan, the great general of apostasy, is the root, and all his workers, who teach his lies in regard to the law of God, are the branches.

How will this come about?

After the sanctified ones are changed to immortality and caught up together with Jesus, after they receive their harps, their robes, and their crowns, and enter the city in heaven, Jesus and the saints sit in judgment.  Revelation 20:4-5.  The books are opened – the book of life and the book of death.  The book of life contains the good deeds of the saints; and the book of death contains the evil deeds of the rejecters.  These books are compared with the statute book, the Bible, and according to that men and women are judged.  The saints, in unison with Jesus, pass their judgment upon the rebellious dead.  They agree with Him that what the rebels have chosen is what they should receive.  Even when they see their loved ones among that group they will accept that they must be allowed to exercise their right of choice and commit suicide while attempting to attack the city. 

This is the work of the saints with Jesus through the one thousand years in the holy city before it descends to the earth.  Then at the close of the one thousand years, Jesus, with the angels and all the saints, leaves the holy city, and while He is descending to the earth with them, the rejecters of His mercy are called from their graves. (Revelation 20:5)  Then the very men that “pierced Him,” being raised, will see Him afar off in all His glory, the angels and saints with Him, and will wail because of Him.  Then they will see the prints of the nails in His hands and in His feet, and where they thrust the spear into His side.  John 19:34; Revelation 1:7. The prints of the nails and the spear will then be His glory.  “God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran.  Selah.  His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. And His brightness was as the light; He had horns [symbols of power] coming out of His hand: and there was the hiding of His power.” Habakkuk 3:3-5.

All this will happen at the close of the one thousand years when Jesus stands upon the Mount of Olives, and the mount parts asunder and becomes a mighty plain.  Zechariah 14:4-5.  Those who flee at that time are the rejecters, who have just been resurrected.  Then the holy city comes down and settles on the plain caused by Jesus touching the earth and Jesus and His people enter it.  After that Satan imbues the rebels with his spirit of enmity.  He flatters them that the army in the city is small, and that his army is large, and that they can overcome the saints and take the city. Revelation 20:7-9. This they must be allowed to try to do, for the angels of God are never to control human wills.

The Son of God has set before men and women everlasting life and everlasting death.  Deuteronomy 30:19. They have made their choice.  Many desired the life, but still continued to walk in the broad road of neglect.  They chose to rebel against God's government, notwithstanding His great mercy and compassion in giving His Son to die for them.  Those who did not choose to accept of the salvation so dearly purchased, must receive the results of their choice.  But God will not shut them up in hell to endure endless misery; neither will He take them to heaven; for to bring them into the company of the pure and holy would make them exceedingly miserable.  (See Psalm 24:3-4.)  But He will allow them to destroy themselves utterly and come to be as if they had not been; then His justice will be seen to be equal.  (See Ezekiel chapter 18.)

He formed man out of the dust of the earth, and the bodies of the disobedient and unholy will be consumed by fire and return to dust again.  As they attack the city with thoughts totally satanic the Son of God will appear on His “great white throne” of pure justice and show them the truth.  Revelation 20:11. This will cause them to turn on their former religious leaders whom they have trusted, and attempt to kill them.

The earthly rebels will be filled with the same hatred of God that inspired Satan; but they will see that their case is hopeless, that they cannot prevail against God Almighty.  Their rage will then turn against Satan and those who have been his agents in deception, and with the fury of demons they will turn upon them also.

Says the LORD to Satan: “Because you have set your heart as the heart of God; behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon you, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom, and they shall defile your brightness.  They shall bring you down to the pit.” Ezekiel 28:6-8. 

“I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  .  .  .

I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you.  .  .  .  I will bring you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold you.  .  .  .  You shall be a terror, and never shall you be any more.” Verses 16-19.

“Every [normal] battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.” Isaiah 9:5.

“The indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He has utterly destroyed them, He has delivered them to the slaughter.” Isaiah 34:2.  “Upon the wicked He shall rain quick burning coals, fire and brimstone and a horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.” Psalm 11:6, margin.  “And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.”  Zechariah 14:12-13.

Energy in the form of fire will come down from God out of heaven in response to the presence of sin.  Revelation 20:9.  At the same time the earth’s surface will break up.  The atomic structure concealed in its depths will be drawn forth.  Devouring flames will burst from every yawning chasm.  The very rocks will be on fire.  The day has come that shall burn as an oven.  The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up.  Malachi 4:1;

2 Peter 3:10.  The earth's surface seems one molten mass – a vast, seething lake of fire.  It is the time of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men and women – “the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.” Isaiah 34:8.

We should see that the cross of Calvary, while it declares the law of God is immutable, also proclaims to the universe that the wages of sin is death.  In the Saviour's expiring cry, “It is finished,” the death knell of Satan was rung.  The great controversy that had been so long in progress was then decided, and the final eradication of evil was made certain.  The Son of God passed through the portals of the tomb, that “through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Hebrews 2:14.  This was the second time that God’s word had been proven true and sin exposed as the destroyer. (The first was at the Flood.)  But, that there should be no doubt at all in anyone’s mind, God has allowed the rejecters of His mercy to continue again for a third and final time, that all mankind might also see His goodness and mercy.

Lucifer's desire for self-exaltation had led him to say: “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: .  .  .  I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13-14.

God declares: “I will bring you to ashes upon the earth, .  .  .  and never shall you be any more.” Ezekiel 28:18-19. 

At the final judgment the whole universe will have become witnesses to the nature and results of sin.  And its utter extermination, which in the beginning would have brought fear to angels and dishonour to God, will now vindicate His love and establish His honour before the universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law.  Never again will evil be manifest.  Says the word of God: “Affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nahum 1:9.  The law of God, which Satan has reproached as the yoke of bondage, will be honoured as the law of liberty.  (James 2:12.)  A tested and proved universe of creatures will never again be turned from allegiance to Him whose character has been fully manifested before them as fathomless love and infinite wisdom.

Then it will be seen that Satan's rebellion against God has resulted in ruin to himself and to all that chose to become his subjects.  He has represented that great good would result from transgression; but it will be seen that “the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23.  Satan, the root of every sin, and all evil workers, who are his branches, shall be utterly cut off.  An end will be made of sin, with all the woe and ruin that have resulted from it.  Says the psalmist, “You have destroyed the wicked, you [sin] have put out their name forever and ever.  O you enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end.” Psalm 9:5-6. (“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”  1 Corinthians 15:26.)

But amid the tempest of divine judgment the children of God will have no cause for fear.  “The LORD will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:16.  The day that brings terror and destruction to the transgressors of God's law will bring to the obedient “joy unspeakable and full of glory.”  1 Peter 1:8. “Gather My saints together to Me,” says the LORD, “those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.  And the heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is Judge Himself.” Psalm 50:5-6.

“Then shall you return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serves God and him that serves Him not.” Malachi 3:18. 

“Hearken to Me, you that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law. . . . Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling, .  .  .  you shall no more drink it again.” Isaiah 51:7, 22.  “I, even I, am He that comforts you.” Verse 12.  “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, says the LORD that has mercy on you.” Isaiah 54:10.

The great plan of redemption results in fully bringing back the world into God's care.  All that was lost by sin is restored.  Not only man but the earth is redeemed, to be the eternal abode of the obedient.  For six thousand years Satan has struggled to maintain possession of the earth.  Now God's original purpose in its creation is accomplished.  “The saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.” Daniel 7:18. 

Solemn scenes are these.  Why are so few of us interested in our eternal welfare, so few preparing for our last change?  Earth attracts us, its treasures seem of worth to us. We find enough to engross our minds, and have no time to prepare for heaven.  Satan is ever ready to plunge us deeper and deeper into difficulty; as soon as one perplexity and trouble is off the mind, he begets within us an unholy desire for more of the things of earth; and thus our time passes, and, when it is too late, we see that we have gained nothing substantial.  We have grasped at shadows and lost eternal life.  Then we will have no excuse.

We need the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit now in order to discern the truths in God's word.  The lovely things of the natural world are not seen until the sun, dispelling the darkness, floods them with its light.  So the treasures in the word of God are not appreciated until they are revealed by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness.

Since the leap into sin by Adam the earth has been dark through misapprehension of God.  That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan's deceptive power needed to be broken.  This could not be done by force, for the exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God's government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority.  Only by love is love awakened.  To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan.  This work only one Being in all the universe could do.  Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known.  Upon the world's dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, “with healing in His wings.” Malachi 4:2.  In His public work He first tried working through the minds of men and women. When this was hedged up by Satan through his counterfeit church He added the physical evidence of His presence on earth.  Since Calvary He has also approached us through our hearts. (Of course, He has always used all three of  these methods on individuals.)

The benevolence and compassion of God in this matter should lead all to admire His character and to adore His holy name.  After the rebellious are destroyed from off the earth, all the heavenly host will say, “Amen!”

“And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, ‘Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, to the LORD our God: for true and righteous are His judgments: for He has judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and has avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.”  Revelation 19:1-2.

“And I heard a great Voice out of heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God [the Father] is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ And He that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’  And He said to me, ‘Write: for these words are true and faithful’.”  Revelation 21:3-5.

 Conclusion:

After the rebels have fought their last fight and been dissolved by the fires of change, their atoms will be mingled with atoms of the earth made new, and it is in this way that the redeemed will walk on their ashes.  Because everyone, both saint and sinner, have been able to get what they most wanted, either to live with God or to be always out of His presence, there will be no more sorrow or crying in the universe and all will see that God is exceedingly just.


Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.
Some of the comments on this page are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.
Next query. To be discussed from March 1st, 2006.

Genesis 3:17-19

[The Son of God said to Adam] “. . . cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall you return.” 

 What caused the conditions we see on earth today, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods etc.? 

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