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The Lake of Fire

Query for the Month

of

December 2014

Next up-date: January 1st 2015 (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 through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read! 

(when you get to the site just click "cancel" and it will let you in.  Then click "order" to obtain a copy. )

In the meantime, try this site.    And here's one where you can read it online.

 

Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.

In this reply the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding.  Some of the comments 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.  All the ideas expressed in this article, right or wrong, are my own.   


Query: 

Revelation 20:

 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished . . .  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 and shall go out to deceive the nations which are [then] in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them . . .

15  And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire. 

Wow!!  That sounds severe!  Are the rebels being brought up in a resurrection just to be killed off again?

 

Response:  

At the Second Advent the event takes place which is foreshadowed in the last solemn service of the Day of Atonement.  “And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat [representing Satan], and confess over him ALL the iniquities of the children of Israel, and ALL their transgressions in ALL their sins [for the whole year], putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness [where no man dwells]: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he [the capable man] shall let go the goat in the wilderness”.  Leviticus 16:21-22. 

In like manner, when the work of atonement in the heavenly sanctuary has been completed, then in the presence of God and heavenly angels ALL the forgiven sins of God's people from the foundation of the world will be placed upon Satan, for he will be declared guilty of all the evil which he has caused them to commit.  And as the scapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, so Satan will be banished to the desolate earth, an uninhabited and dreary wilderness.

The book of The Revelation foretells the banishment of Satan and also the condition of chaos and desolation to which the earth is to be reduced, and declares that this condition will exist for a thousand years.  That the expression “bottomless pit” in Revelation 20:1 represents the earth in a state of confusion and darkness is evident from other scriptures.  Concerning the condition of the earth “in the beginning,” the Bible record says that it “was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep”.  Genesis 1:2. 

The Hebrew word here translated “deep” is rendered in the Septuagint Greek translation of the Old Testament by the same word turned into “bottomless pit” in Revelation 20:1-3. Therefore prophecy teaches that it will be brought back, partially at least, to this condition.  Looking forward to the great day of God, the prophet Jeremiah declares: “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form [shapeless], and void [of life]; and the heavens, and they had no light [the sun had gone out].  I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.  I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.  I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down”.  Jeremiah 4:23-26.

At the Second Coming of Christ all the living rejecters will be blotted from the face of the whole earth at their own request – consumed with the spirit of His mouth (the truth) and destroyed by the brightness of His glory.  (Revelation 6:14-17.)  Christ then takes all His people, translated and resurrected alike, to the City of God in heaven, and thus the earth will be emptied of its inhabitants.  (1 Thessalonians 4:17.)  “Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty, and makes it waste, and turns it upside down, and scatters abroad the inhabitants thereof”.  Isaiah 24:1.  “The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD has spoken this word”. Verse 3.  “Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant [refused to obey the laws of safety].  Therefore has the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore [as a result] the inhabitants of the earth are burned”.  Verses 5-6. 

By the deaths of the rebellious ones they are now placed beyond the power of Satan, and alone with his evil angels he will remain to realize the effect of the curse which sin has brought.  “The kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, everyone in his own house [the grave].  But you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch . . . You shall not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, and slain your people”.  Isaiah 14:18-20.

The whole earth will appear like a desolate wilderness.  The ruins of cities and villages destroyed by the earthquake, uprooted trees, ragged rocks thrown out by the sea or torn out of the earth itself, will be scattered over its surface, while vast caverns will mark the spot where the mountains have been rent from their foundations.  Here is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for a thousand years.  Limited to the earth, he will not have access to other worlds to tempt and annoy those who have never fallen. It is in this sense that he will be bound: there will be none remaining upon whom he can exercise his power. He will be wholly cut off from the work of deception and ruin which for so many centuries has been his sole delight. 

The query text then tells us what will happen after the thousand years are finished, which will be at the time of the THIRD Advent.  At that time Satan’s helplessness (his term in “prison”) will be over as the rebels are raised from their graves, and he will attempt to win them over to his way of thinking and persuade them to make an attack on the city of new Jerusalem which will at that time be on the earth in plain sight. 

A description of the activities of this time has been available to us for many centuries and we will do well to turn to the Old Testament and read it. Through the symbolism of some old foes of Israel, we are told what will happen.

***************(Begin Quote)

Ezekiel 38:

1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, set your face against Gog [a picture of Satan, king of], the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal [the rebels], and prophesy against him, 3 and say, 

Thus says the LORD GOD; Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4 and I will turn you back [stop your temptations], and put hooks into your jaws [as was done to prisoners of war], and [then later] I will bring you forth, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya [and many others will be] with them; all of them with shield and helmet [in fighting gear]: 6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with you.

***************(End Quote)

But he has a plan:

***************(Begin Quote)

Ezekiel 38:

7 Be you prepared, and prepare for yourself, you, and all your company that are assembled to you, and be you a guard [leader] to them. 8 After many days [1,000 years] you shall be visited: in the latter years you shall come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which [until now] have been always waste: but [now] it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

***************(End Quote)

At the close of the thousand years, the Son of God will again return to the earth.  He will be accompanied by the host of the redeemed and attended by a retinue of angels.  As He descends in terrific majesty He will bid the rebels arise to receive their self-chosen fate.  They will come forth, a mighty host, numberless as the sands of the sea.  What a contrast to those who were raised at the first resurrection! The righteous were clothed with immortal youth and beauty while the rebels bear the traces of disease and death. 

Every eye in that vast multitude will turn to behold the glory of the Son of God.  With one voice the wicked hosts will exclaim: “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the LORD!” (Matthew 23:39), but it is not love to Jesus that inspires this utterance.  The force of truth urges the words from unwilling lips.  As the rebels went into their graves, so they will come forth with the same enmity to Christ and the same spirit of rebellion.  They are to have no new probation in which to remedy the defects of their past lives.  Nothing would be gained by this.  A lifetime of transgression has not softened their hearts.  A second probation, were it given them, would be occupied as was the first in evading the requirements of God and exciting rebellion against Him, and the next few years were to prove that.    

The city, with its inhabitants, will be sitting safely on the earth in full view of the rebel camps.  “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven [at the third advent], prepared as a bride adorned for her husband”.  Revelation 20:7-9.  And as we read in the query, “When the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are [then] in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them”.  Revelation 21:2;

So the Spirit continued:

***************(Begin Quote)

Ezekiel 38:

9 You shall ascend and come like a storm, you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you, and all your bands, and many people with you.

10 Thus says the LORD GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into your mind, and you shall think an evil thought: 11 and you shall say [aloud], “I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls [they live outside the city], and having neither bars nor gates, 12 to take a spoil, and to take a prey”.  [You will desire] to turn your hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people [the redeemed] that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land [and look rich].

13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish [as representatives of rebellion], with all the young lions [warriors] thereof, shall say to you, “Are you come to take a spoil?  Have you gathered your company to take a prey?  To carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? [We want to join with you]”.

14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, Thus says the LORD GOD; In that day when My people of Israel dwells safely, shall you not know [see] it? 15 And you shall come from your place out of the north parts [the counterfeit religions], you, and many people with you, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: 16 and you shall come up against My people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring you against My land, that the heathen [all the rejecters] may know Me, when I shall be sanctified [proved right] in you [in what you do now], O Gog, before their eyes.

[Up till now the majority of the rejecters have been like the angels who were fooled by Satan’s sophistries until they saw his behaviour at the cross.]

17 Thus says the LORD GOD; Are you [not] he of whom I have spoken in old time by My servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring you against them?

***************(End Quote)

Revelation 21:3-5.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God 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 [their Father].  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”.    

The area containing the city, the tabernacle and the saints will be a plateau not far from where Satan will concentrate his main force.  God says, “And I will rejoice in [new] Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence [in there] an infant of days [they have all grown up], nor an old man that has not filled his days [during the waiting period] . . . And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards [outside the city], and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit [as in the past]; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.  And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking,  I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust [the earth] shall be the serpent's meat [food].  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, says the LORD”.  Isaiah 65:19-25.

Here is a description of it in more human terms:

Zechariah 14:4-11.

“And His feet shall stand in that day [at the third advent] upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley [a plateau]; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And you [rebels] shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal: yea, you shall flee, like as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints [the redeemed from the earth] with You [Him].  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. [It shall be continuous day as it was in the beginning.]

[“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there”.  Revelation 21:23-25.]

“And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall [eventually] go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea [the Mediterranean], and half of them toward the hinder [the Dead] sea [and it will become alive]: in summer and in winter shall it be [there will be only one season]. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and His name one. 

“All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it [the city] shall be lifted up [on the plateau], and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate to the place of the first gate, to the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel to the king's winepresses.  And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but [new] Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited”. 

But on the other side . . . “There shall be no more thence [with Satan] an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days: for the child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed”.  Isaiah 65:20.  Here the Son of God tells us that there will be a period of one hundred years during which the youngest rebel will grow up and prove that God’s assessment of him/her in the judgment was accurate.  No one will perish in the Lake of Fire without knowing what they are doing!  

All the above is a human attempt to explain a heavenly situation, but we can get enough from it to understand that glory and eternity will exist on that small part of the planet where the city sits (where the Son of God had placed His feet). The rest of the world will still be in the state of chaos and anarchy.

Now Satan will prepare for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy.  While deprived of his power and cut off from his work of deception, the prince of evil was miserable and dejected; but as the rebel dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes will revive, and he will determine not to yield the great controversy.  He will marshal all the armies of the lost under his banner and through them endeavour to execute his plans.  The rebels will be his willing captives, for in rejecting Christ they have accepted his rule as their leader, so they are ready to receive his suggestions and to do his bidding – it’s in their nature. 

Yet, true to his early cunning, he will not acknowledge himself to be Satan.   He will claim to be the prince who is the rightful owner of the world and whose inheritance has been unlawfully wrested from him.  He will “deceive the nations” as the query text tells us.  (Verse 8.)  He will represent himself to his deluded subjects as a redeemer, assuring them that it was his power that had brought them forth from their graves and that he is about to rescue them from the most cruel tyranny – this will be his final delusion!  He will make the weak strong and inspire all with his own spirit and energy.  He will propose to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God.  With fiendish exultation he will point to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declare that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom.

Satan will then consult with his angels, and with the kings and conquerors and mighty men of the nations.  They will look upon the strength and numbers on their side, and declare that the army within the city is small in comparison with theirs, and that it can be overcome.  They will lay their plans to take possession of the riches and glory of the new Jerusalem.  All will immediately begin to prepare for battle, but this will take time.  Skilful weapon-makers will construct implements of war.  Military leaders, famed for their success, will marshal the throngs of warlike men into companies and divisions and begin to train them. 

The “beast” will be organized in full strength!

At last the order to advance will be given, for this is no hasty assault, and the countless host will move on – an army such as was never summoned by earthly conquerors, such as the combined forces of all ages since war began on earth could never equal, for this time it contains the former non-combatants.   Satan, the mightiest of warriors, will lead the point, and the angels and humans will unite their forces for this final struggle.  Earthly kings and warriors will be in his train, and the multitudes will follow in vast companies, each under its appointed leader.  With military precision the well-trained ranks will advance over the earth's broken and uneven surface towards the City of God.  By the command of Jesus His people will withdraw into the city, the gates of which will then be closed, and the armies of Satan will surround it and make ready for the onset.

So the attack will carry on and there will be consequences:

***************(Begin Quote)

Ezekiel 38:

18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, says the LORD GOD, that My fury shall come up in My face. 19 For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath have I spoken, “Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 20 so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at My presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground”.

***************(End Quote)

It will appear at first that the Son of God is destroying the rebels because He will become visible in full glory and majesty and the fire will come from Him, but closer inspection will reveal the truth.

It will be like His appearing at Mount Sinai in Moses’ time:

***************(Begin Quote)

Hebrews 12:

18 For you are not come to the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor to blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (for they could not endure that which was commanded, “And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart” [Exodus 19:12-13]. 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I exceedingly fear and quake”.) 

22 But you are [to] come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel.  

25 See that you refuse not Him that speaks [today].  For if they escaped not who refused Him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that [is going to] speak from heaven. 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven”. 27 And this word, “Yet [only] once more”, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are [man] made, that [only] those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom [the new world] which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

***************(End Quote)

As the sinful rejecters advance more closely into the area surrounding the city, they will enter into the immediate presence of the LORD, and His “glory” which is like a flaming fire (Isaiah 4:5), will cause the sin in them to begin to dissolve.  This will have an effect on their surroundings as well as their bodies, which is why it is called “The Lake of Fire”.  It is not deliberately thrown at them by God, but is the RESULT of total sin and total righteousness colliding. At that time the Son of God will be seen in all His terrible majesty (something that has never happened before), and this will flow out from around Him like the train of a wedding garment.

Its effect will be to make the rebels even madder (literally) that they were before and they will begin to attack anyone in their sight.

***************(Begin Quote)

Ezekiel 38:

21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all My mountains, says the LORD GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother.

22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23 Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.

***************(End Quote)

At this time the hatred in the rebels will cause them to fight amongst themselves!  “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 [as their DNA unravels], 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. 

Total known sin and the total rejection of His life-giving grace means that the LORD will not be able to hold their bodies together any longer, and they will “meltdown” at their own choice, for not one will change their mind!!  They would rather die than exist with Him! 

This truth (and this day) is what God has been trying to explain since sin entered the universe.

***************(Begin Quote)

Ezekiel 39:

1 Therefore, you son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus says the LORD GOD; Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

2 and I will turn you back, and leave but the sixth part of you [after the first effect], and will cause you [the 1/6th] to come up from the north parts, and will bring you upon the mountains of Israel: and I will smite your bow out of your left hand, and will cause your arrows to fall out of your right hand.

4 You shall fall [die] upon the mountains of Israel, you, and all your bands, and the people that is with you: I will give you to the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 You shall fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, says the LORD GOD.

6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles [meaning the rest of the rebels]: and they shall know that I am the LORD. 7 So will I make My holy name [character] known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let them pollute My holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.

8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, says the LORD GOD; this is the day whereof I have [often] spoken . . .

***************(End Quote)

Satan's work of ruin is forever ended.  For six thousand years he has been allowed to carry out his will, filling the earth with woe and causing grief throughout the universe.  The whole creation has groaned and travailed together in pain.  Now God's faithful creatures are forever delivered from his presence and temptations.  “The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they the righteous break forth into singing”.  Isaiah 14:7. 

And a shout of praise and triumph will ascend from the whole loyal universe.  “The voice of a great multitude,” “as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings,” will be heard, saying: “Alleluia: for the LORD God omnipotent reigns”.  Revelation 19:6. 

And what will God be doing?

To know that we must go back in history to that day when He came as the King of the Jews to old Jerusalem:

As He approached the city on the top of the Mount of Olives, the words of Zechariah were taken up by hundreds of voices: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes to you: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass”.  Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:5.

Christ was following the Jewish custom for a royal entry.  The animal on which He rode was that ridden by the kings of Israel, and prophecy had foretold that thus the Messiah should come to His kingdom.  No sooner was He seated upon the colt than a loud shout of triumph rent the air.  The multitude hailed Him as Messiah, their King.  Jesus now accepted the homage which He had never before permitted, and the disciples received this as proof that their glad hopes were to be realized by seeing Him established on the throne.

At the top of the mount Jesus gazed upon the scene, and the vast multitude hushed their shouts, spellbound by the sudden vision of beauty.  All eyes turned upon the Saviour, expecting to see in His countenance the admiration they themselves felt.  But instead of this they beheld a cloud of sorrow.  They were surprised and disappointed to see His eyes fill with tears, and His body rock to and fro like a tree before the tempest, while a wail of anguish burst from His quivering lips, as if from the depths of a broken heart. 

What a sight was this for angels to behold!  Their loved Commander in an agony of tears! What a sight was this for the glad throng that with shouts of triumph and the waving of palm branches were escorting Him to the glorious city, where they fondly hoped He was about to reign! Jesus had wept at the grave of Lazarus, but it was in a Godlike grief in sympathy with human woe.  But this sudden sorrow was like a note of wailing in a grand triumphal chorus.  In the midst of a scene of rejoicing, where all were paying Him homage, Israel's King was in tears; not silent tears of gladness, but tears and groans of insuppressible agony.  The multitude were struck with a sudden gloom.  Their acclamations were silenced.  Many wept in sympathy with a grief they could not comprehend. 

Nearby was Calvary, the scene of His approaching agony.  Yet it was not because of these reminders of His cruel death that the Redeemer wept and groaned in anguish of spirit.  His was no selfish sorrow.  The thought of His own agony did not intimidate that noble, self-sacrificing soul.  It was the sight of Jerusalem that pierced the heart of Jesus – Jerusalem that had rejected the Son of God and scorned His love, that refused to be convinced by His mighty miracles, and was about to take His life.  He saw what she was in her guilt of rejecting her Redeemer, and what she might have been had she accepted Him who alone could heal her wound.  He had come to save her; how could He give her up? 

Jesus raised His hand, – that had so often blessed the sick and suffering – and waved it toward the doomed city. “And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things which belong to your peace! .  .  .”   Here the Saviour paused, and left unsaid what might have been the condition of Jerusalem had she accepted the help that God desired to give her – the gift of His beloved Son.   If Jerusalem had known what it was her privilege to know, and had heeded the light which Heaven had sent her, she might have stood forth in the pride of prosperity, the queen of kingdoms, free in the strength of her God-given power.

But, “You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell [the Lake of Fire]?  Wherefore, behold, I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you slew between the temple and the altar.  Verily I say to you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kills the prophets, and stones them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not [let Me]!”  Matthew 23:33-37.

Then He continued: “But now they are hid from your eyes [for you have closed them yourselves].  For the days shall come upon you, that your enemies shall cast a trench about you, and compass you round, and keep you in on every side, and shall lay you even with the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in you one stone upon another; because you knew not the time of your visitation”.  Luke 19:42-44.   

All that was in the past, but He had not changed.

In the future it will not be a city – not then a nation – but a whole world! 

It will be the end of all the generations since Adam!

So many children He will have lost forever.  Why?

 

Conclusion:

The LORD says to Satan and his followers:

“Because you have set your heart as the heart of God [claimed that you were immortal]; behold, therefore I will bring [have to allow] 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 [the grave]”.  Ezekiel 28:6-8 . “I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire [I will have to allow this to happen for you claim that you are equal with God and have rejected My salvation] . . . 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 battle of the warrior [in an earthly war] is with confused noise, and garments rolled in [splattered with] 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.

It is this way that fire will come down from God out of heaven and by it the earth will be broken up.  The weapons concealed in its depths will be drawn forth.  Devouring flames will burst from every yawning chasm.  The very rocks will be on fire in a nuclear-like fission, for the day has come that shall burn as an oven.  The elements will melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein will be burned up.  (Malachi 4:1; 2 Peter 3:10.)  The earth's surface will seem one molten mass—a vast, seething lake of fire.  It is the time of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men—“the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion”.  Isaiah 34:8. 

It is the day that God cannot prevent – He must appear in His glory to convince the universe – and it is this very appearance which will push the rebels over the edge and make them destroy themselves.

He says that they will receive their recompense in the earth, not in hell. (Proverbs 11:31.)  They “shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts”.  Malachi 4:1.  Some will be destroyed as in a moment, while others will suffer many days.  All will be punished “according to their deeds” [because they are punished BY their deeds].  Jeremiah 25:14.  Their continual rejections in the past will have so hardened their hearts that they will echo Pharaoh’s cry, “I [don’t want to] know the LORD”. [I don’t want the life of the LORD!]

The forgiven sins of the righteous having been transferred to Satan, he is made to suffer not only by his own rebellion, but by all the sins which he has caused God's people to commit.  Therefore his experience is to be far greater than that of those whom he has deceived.  After all have perished who fell by his deceptions, he is still to live and suffer on because of his greater burden.  In the cleansing flames the wicked are at last destroyed, root and branch—Satan the root, his followers the branches. 

The full penalty of the law will have been visited; the demands of justice will have been met; and the people of heaven and earth, beholding, will declare the righteousness of Almighty God. “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.

Such a sad, sad, day!  One that will take the redeemed some time to get over.

 


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.

 

Next query. To be discussed from January 1st 2015,

 

Next query:

The period of Papal supremacy (“a time, and times, and the dividing of times” Daniel 7:25), appears in numerous places in various forms in the Bible. 

Historic Adventism has taken this to mean the 1,260 years in Europe from 538 – 1798AD and applied it accordingly wherever the term, or its equivalent, has appeared, e.g.

“time, times and half a time” Daniel 12:7; Revelation 12:14;  

“a thousand two hundred and threescore days”  Revelation 12:6; 

“forty-two months” Revelation 11:2; 13:5.

But why has the Spirit caused it to be written in these different ways? 

Could it be that He has “flagged” it for us so that we may ask Him just what period is He thinking about, and if they are not the same then what could they mean in the context in which they are found?

 

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