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The Little Season

Query for the Month

of

February 2017

Next up-date: March 1st 2017 (God willing).

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

 

This article is available as a PDF file here.    Or as a WORD doc.

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 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! 

In the meantime, try this site.   

 

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.   


The query:

In The Revelation 20:1-3 we have these words, “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled:

                 and after that he must be loosed a little season”. 

What is meant by “a little season”?

 

My response:

First, let me go over our understanding of the earlier part of the verses. 

We recognise that at the end of human probation (when the sanctuary is cleansed), the cases of all who are alive on earth will be finalised. 

I cannot describe this as well as the following quote, so let’s read it:

    {GC 653.1 – 661.2}  [In this quote the scriptures have been modernised.]

“Her [the counterfeit Christian church] sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities .  .  .  In the cup which she has filled fill to her double.  How much she has glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she says in her heart, ‘I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow’.  Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the LORD God who judges her.  And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her .  .  .  saying, ‘Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city!  For in one hour [a short time] is your judgment come’.”   Revelation 18:5-10.  {GC 653.1} 

.  .  . 

Such are the judgments that fall upon [great] Babylon in the day of the visitation of God's wrath.  She has filled up the measure of her iniquity; her time has come; she is ripe for destruction.  {GC 653.3}

[How will this happen?]

When the voice of God [the Father] turns the captivity of His people [see Matthew 24:36], there is a terrible awakening of those who have lost all in the great conflict of life.

[This tells us that in this story we are at the end of the world,

just before the LORD arrives at the Second Advent,

near the end of the seven last plagues.]

While probation continued they were blinded by Satan's deceptions, and they justified their course of sin.  The rich prided themselves upon their superiority to those who were less favored; but they had obtained their riches by violation of the law of God.  They had neglected to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to deal justly, and to love mercy.  [See Matthew 25:41-46.]  They had sought to exalt themselves and to obtain the homage of their fellow creatures.  Now they are stripped of all that made them great and are left destitute and defenseless.  They look with terror upon the destruction of the idols which they preferred before their Maker [Revelation 6:14-17] .  .  .  {GC 654.1} 

The wicked [rebels] are filled with regret, not because of their sinful neglect of God and their fellow men, but because God has conquered.  They lament that the result is what it is; but they do not repent of their wickedness.  They would leave no means untried to conquer if they could. .  .  .  {GC 654.2}

Says the LORD [speaking of and to the religious leaders of the rebels]: “They have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace; when there is no peace’.”   “With lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked [rebel], that he should not return from his wicked [rebellious] way, by promising him life [your way].”  Jeremiah 8:11; Ezekiel 13:22.  {GC 655.1}

“Woe be to the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!

.  .  .  Behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings.”  “Howl, you shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, you principal of the flock: for your days for slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished .  .  .  and the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.”  Jeremiah 23:1, 2;  25:34, 35, margin.  {GC 655.2}

[We need to realise that they have known and chosen their work of deception!! 

To varying degrees of knowledge certainly, but it is still a conscious decision. 

Like Lucifer, the fallen angel, they have been “drunk” on the spirit of rebellion and loved leading others into the same path and accepting their homage.] 

Ministers and people see that they have not sustained the right relation to God.  [This is the Age of Demonstration, not the Age of Faith.]  They see that they have rebelled against the Author of all just and righteous law.        The setting aside of the divine precepts [the Ten Commandments] gave rise to thousands of springs of evil, discord, hatred, iniquity, until the earth became one vast field of strife, one sink of corruption [as in the Flood time.  Genesis 6:5.]  This is the view that now appears to those who rejected truth and chose to cherish error. 

No language can express the longing which the disobedient and disloyal feel for that which they have lost forever -- eternal life. 

Men whom the world has worshiped for their talents and eloquence now see these things in their true light.  They realize what they have forfeited by transgression, and they fall at the feet of those whose fidelity they have despised and derided, and confess that God has loved them.  {GC 655.3}

The people see that they have been deluded. 

They accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers.  Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy.  Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception. 

The multitudes are filled with fury.  “We are lost!”  they cry, “and you are the cause of our ruin;”  and they turn upon the false shepherds.  The very ones that once admired them most will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them.  The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction.  The swords which were to slay God's people are now employed to destroy their enemies.  Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed.  {GC 655.4}

“A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with the nations, He will plead with all flesh; He will give them that are wicked [the rebels] to the sword.”  Jeremiah 25:31.  For six thousand years the great controversy has been in progress; the Son of God and His heavenly messengers have been in conflict with the power of the evil one, to warn, enlighten, and save the children of men. [See note 1 for the reaction to their efforts.] 

Now all have made their [final] decisions; the wicked [rebels] have fully united with Satan in his warfare against God. The time has come for God to vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law.  Now the controversy is not alone with Satan, but with men. 

“The LORD has a controversy with the nations;”  “He will give them that are wicked [disobedient] to the sword.”   {GC 656.1}

[How will He do this?]     What follows is a mixture of 2nd and 3rd advent events.

The mark of deliverance [the seal of God] has been set upon those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done.” 

Now the angel of death goes forth, represented in Ezekiel's vision by the men with the slaughtering weapons, to whom the command is given: “Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.”  Says the prophet: “They began at the ancient men which were before the house.”  Ezekiel 9:1-6.  The work of destruction begins among those who have professed to be the spiritual guardians of the people.  The false watchmen are the first to fall.  There are none to pity or to spare.  Men, women, maidens, and little children perish together.  {GC 656.2} 

[Who is this angel of death?

Here we are told that it is the six men of Ezekiel’s vision,

but they are only symbols of one angel – the destroyer. 

Exodus 12:23; 1 Corinthians 10:10; Revelation 9:11.]

“The LORD comes out of His place to punish [to show the end result to] the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”  Isaiah 26:21. 

“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem [the saints of God].  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 [their DNA unravels as they consciously separate from the God of Life]

“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 everyone on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor.”  Zechariah 14:12, 13. 

In the mad strife of their own fierce passions, and by the awful outpouring of God's unmingled wrath [His lack of protection at that time], fall the wicked [rebellious] inhabitants of the earth -- priests, rulers, and people, rich and poor, high and low.  “And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried.”  Jeremiah 25:33.  {GC 656.3}

[It is in this way that] at the coming of Christ the wicked [rebels] are blotted from the face of the whole earth -- consumed with the spirit of His mouth [by His words] and destroyed by the brightness of His glory [the light that shines around Him]

[But all this can only happen to one generation – the one that is alive at the close of probation and the Second Advent.  What about the untold billions who have lived and died before this?]

Christ takes His people [after the first resurrection] to the City of God [in heaven], and the earth is [totally] emptied of its inhabitants. 

[The saints are in heaven – the sinners are dead in or on the ground]

“Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty, and makes it waste, and turns it upside down, and scatters abroad the inhabitants thereof.”  “The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD has spoken this word.”  “Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.  Therefore has the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned.”  Isaiah 24:1, 3, 5, 6.  {GC 657.1}

The whole earth appears like a desolate wilderness.  The ruins of cities and villages destroyed by the earthquake [Revelation 16:18], uprooted trees, ragged rocks thrown out by the sea or torn out of the earth itself, are scattered over its surface, while vast caverns mark the spot where the mountains have been rent from their foundations.  {GC 657.2}

Now the event takes place foreshadowed in the last solemn service of the Day of Atonement [the guilt of the forgiven sins of the righteous is placed on the scapegoat, and he is set free to endure it.  Leviticus 16:20-22]

When the ministration in the holy of holies [the second apartment] had been completed, and the sins of Israel had been removed from the sanctuary by virtue of the blood of the [special] sin offering, then the scapegoat was presented alive before the LORD; and in the presence of the congregation the high priest confessed over him “all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat.”  Leviticus 16:21. 

In like manner, when the work of atonement in the heavenly sanctuary has been completed, then in the presence of God and heavenly angels and the hosts of the redeemed the sins of God's people will be placed upon Satan [by the High Priest]; 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.  {GC 658.1}

[Thus we can see who the “angel” that binds Satan is.  And the “destroying one”.  Our God and His loyal angels do not need to punish, hurt, or destroy any one, at any time for any reason – there are plenty of humans urged on by rebel angels who will do that.]

The revelator foretells the banishment of Satan and the condition of chaos and desolation to which the earth is to be reduced, and he declares that this condition will exist for a thousand years.  After presenting the scenes of the LORD's second coming and the destruction of the wicked [rebels], the prophecy continues: “I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”  Revelation 20:1-3.  {GC 658.2}

That the expression “bottomless pit” 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 Hebrew old testament by the same word rendered “bottomless pit” in Revelation 20:1-3. 

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, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.  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.  {GC 658.3}

Here is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for a thousand years.  Limited to the earth [as he has been since the cross], he will not have access to other worlds to tempt and annoy those who have never fallen.  It is in this sense that he is bound: there are none remaining, upon whom he can exercise his power.  He is wholly cut off from the work of deception and ruin which for so many centuries has been his sole delight.  {GC 659.1}

The prophet Isaiah, looking forward to the time of Satan's overthrow, exclaims: “How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! .  .  .  You have said in your heart, ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God .  .  .  I will be like the Most High’.  Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.  They that see you shall narrowly look upon you, and consider you, saying, ‘Is this the man [creature] that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?’”  Isaiah 14:12-17.  {GC 659.2} 

For six thousand years, Satan's work of rebellion has “made the earth to tremble.”  He had “made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof.”  And he “opened not the house of his prisoners.”  For six thousand years his prison house [the grave] has received God's people, and he would have held them captive forever; but Christ had broken his bonds and set the prisoners free.  {GC 659.3} 

Even the wicked [the human rebels] are now placed beyond the power of Satan, and alone with his evil angels he remains 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.  {GC 660.1}

For a thousand years, Satan [and his angels] will wander to and fro in the desolate earth to behold the results of his rebellion against the law of God.  During this time his sufferings are intense.  Since his fall his life of unceasing activity has banished reflection; but he is now deprived of his power and left to contemplate the part which he has acted since first he rebelled against the government of heaven, and to look forward with trembling and terror to the dreadful future when he must suffer for all the evil that he has done and be punished for the sins [by Romans 6:23] that he has caused to be committed. [Consider James 2:19.]  {GC 660.2}   .  .  . 

At the close of the thousand years the second resurrection will take place.  Then the wicked [rebels] will be raised from the dead and appear before God for the execution of “the judgment written.” [Psalm 149:9.]  Thus the revelator, after describing the resurrection of the righteous, says: “The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.”  Revelation 20:5. 

And Isaiah declares, concerning the wicked [rebels]: “They shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.”  Isaiah 24:22.

          {GC 661.1}

It is at this point that we are told that, “he must be loosed a little season”.

The book, The Great Controversy, carries on with these words;

    {GC 662.1-3} 

At the close of the thousand years, Christ again returns to the earth [for the third time].  He is accompanied by the host of the redeemed and attended by a retinue of angels.  As He descends in terrific majesty He bids the wicked [rebellious] dead arise to receive their doom.  They 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.  The wicked [rebels] bear the traces of disease and death.  {GC 662.1} 

Every eye in that vast multitude is turned to behold the glory of the Son of God.  With one voice the wicked [rebel] hosts exclaim: “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the LORD!” [Matthew 23:39.]  It is not love to Jesus that inspires this utterance.  The force of truth urges the words from unwilling lips.  As the wicked [rebels] went into their graves, so they 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.  [So why are they resurrected?] {GC 662.2}

Christ descends upon the Mount of Olives, [from] whence, after His resurrection, He ascended, and where angels repeated the promise of His return.  Says the prophet: “The LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with You.”  “And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof, .  .  .  and there shall be a very great valley [with a flat floor].” 

“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and His name one.”  Zechariah 14:5, 4, 9.  [This must be the THIRD Advent, for unlike the second, where He stays out in space, He touches the sin-damaged earth this time, for a special reason!]

As the New Jerusalem, in its dazzling splendor, comes down out of heaven, it rests upon the place purified and made ready to receive it [by His holy feet], and Christ, with [all] His [redeemed] people and the angels, enters the Holy City.  {GC 662.3} 

Consider the scene:

While the redeemed are in the city, the rebels, from every age and every part of the world, will be scattered throughout the surface of the earth.  They will range in age from new-born to very old men and women, including those who existed before the Flood and lived to be many centuries old!  (See Genesis chapter 5.)  In the city will be the Son of God in all His outward glory of Life which flows out around the city, so the rebels will keep a respectful distance from its walls, because His Light, which is the external evidence of His power, hurts them as they approach it.

So what happens?

    {GC 663.1 - 664.2}

Now Satan prepares 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 wicked [rebellious] dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes revive, and he determines not to yield the great controversy.  He will marshal all the armies of the lost under his banner and through them endeavor to execute his plans.  The wicked [rebels] are Satan's captives.  In rejecting Christ they have accepted the rule of the rebel leader.  They are ready to receive his suggestions and to do his bidding. 

Yet, true to his early cunning, he does not acknowledge himself to be Satan.

He claims to be the prince who is the rightful owner of the world and whose inheritance has been unlawfully wrested from him [by the Person in the city whom he will accuse of being the Antichrist].  He represents himself to his deluded subjects as a redeemer, assuring them that his power has brought them forth from their graves and that he is about to rescue them from the most cruel tyranny.  The presence of Christ having been removed, Satan works wonders to support his claims.  He makes the weak strong and inspires all with his own spirit and energy.  He proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God.  With fiendish exultation he points to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declares that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom.  {GC 663.1}

In that vast throng are multitudes of the long-lived race that existed before the Flood; men [and women] of lofty stature and giant intellect, who, yielding to the control of fallen angels, devoted all their skill and knowledge to the exaltation of themselves; men whose wonderful works of art led the world to idolize their genius, but whose cruelty and evil inventions, defiling the earth and defacing the image of God, caused Him to blot them from the face of His creation. 

There are kings and generals who conquered nations, valiant men who never lost a battle, proud, ambitious warriors whose approach made kingdoms tremble.  In death these experienced no change.  As they come up from the grave, they resume the current of their thoughts just where it ceased.  They are actuated by the same desire to conquer that ruled them when they fell.  {GC 664.1}

Satan consults with his angels, and then with these kings and conquerors and mighty men.  They 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 lay their plans to take possession of the riches and glory of the New Jerusalem. 

All immediately begin to prepare for battle. 

Skillful artisans construct implements of war. 

Military leaders, famed for their success, marshal the throngs of warlike men into companies and divisions.  {GC 664.2} 

 

So John continues:        

    Revelation 20:7-9

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are [now] 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. 

    {GC 664.3} 

At last the order to advance is given, and the countless host moves 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.  Satan, the mightiest of warriors, leads the van [is in the front], and his angels unite their forces for this final struggle.  Kings and warriors are in his train [following him], and the multitudes follow in vast companies, each under its appointed leader. 

With military precision the serried [shoulder to shoulder] ranks advance over the earth's broken and uneven surface to the City of God [they have been well-trained].  By command of Jesus, the gates of the New Jerusalem are closed, and the armies of Satan surround the city and make ready for the onset.

Now we come to our query – how long is the time of preparation?

For the answer to that we need to go back to the Old Testament where the Son of God tells us of His experiences during the 6,000+ years of the controversy on earth, not just with the Jews, but also with all peoples in all places.  In a chapter that sums up the whole demonstration, He says:

    Isaiah 65:

1 I am sought of them that asked not for Me; I am found of them that sought Me not: I said, “Behold Me, behold Me”, to a nation that was not called by My name.  [These are those who responded to the invitation.] 

[But many of those who responded did not continue:]

2 I have spread out My hands all the day to a rebellious people, which walks in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; 3 A people that provokes Me to anger continually to My face.  [God’s “anger” is directed at Himself when He is not allowed to help any more.  We would call it “sadness”.]

That sacrifices in gardens [wherever they choose, not where I ask them to], and [they are a church that] burns incense [makes prayers] upon altars of brick [man-made, and not from natural materials.  Exodus 20:25.] 4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments [their churches have the dead buried in and around them], which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels.  [He is not referring to Pagans, for they do not profess to worship Him, but to counterfeit Christians.]

5 Which say [to unfortunates], “Stand by yourself, come not near to me; for I am holier than you”.  [I am saved – you are not!]

These are a smoke in My nose [an irritation], a fire that burns all the day [because they profess Christianity but deny the power of it.  Titus 1:16.]

[Then He tells us what He will have to do]

6 Behold, it is written before Me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom, 7 your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together [all at the same time], says the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed Me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.  [I will have to allow them to receive the RESULTS of their choices, all at the same time.] .  .  . 

12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not hear [so I cannot protect you any more]; but did evil before My eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.

13 Therefore thus says the LORD GOD, Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry [on rations]: behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty [never satisfied.  John 4:13-14]: behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed. 14 Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.  15 And you shall leave your name for a curse to my chosen: for the LORD GOD shall slay you [we have already seen how He will do this, and by whom], and call His servants by another name [Revelation 2:17; 3:2] .  .  . 

17 For, behold, I [will] create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.  [So we are standing on the threshold of the Lake of Fire and the new world.]

18 But be you glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create [new] Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19 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. 20 There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days.  [Eventually all will be of the same age, the age at which Adam was created.]

[Yet He also says:]

For the child shall die a hundred years old;

but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed [to the second death in the Lake of Fire]

21 And they [the righteous] shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them [in front of the rebels on the holy ground outside the city]22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; 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 [the “little season”]

23 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.

    {EW 17.3} 

We all cried out, “The city, the great city, it's coming, it's coming down from God out of heaven,” and it came and settled on the place where we stood. Then we began to look at the glorious things outside of the city. There I saw most glorious houses, that had the appearance of silver, supported by four pillars set with pearls most glorious to behold. These were to be inhabited by the saints. In each was a golden shelf.  I saw many of the saints go into the houses, take off their glittering crowns and lay them on the shelf, then go out into the field by the houses to do something with the earth; not as we have to do with the earth here; no, no.

24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.  25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw [grass] like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, says the LORD. 

The complete quote is from Isaiah:

    Isaiah 11:

6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp [a snake], and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den [another snake].

9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.   

In these texts the Son of God has mentioned that there will be one hundred years of growth after the second resurrection in which the youngest rebels will grow up and demonstrate that they want to live separately from God.  This will ensure their second death because the living God is the ONLY Source of Life – to separate from Him is to die.  HOW, and WHEN, depends on the circumstances of each individual.  We just need to remember that everything in this world is temporary – not until the new world will things become permanent.

(Just in passing, so the youngest saints will grow up and demonstrate their loyalty in the same period!  God will not deny them their natural adjustment to teenage and maturity, nor the joy of caring for plants as they grow.  It also shows that young Christians will mature in their native world.) 

It likewise answers a question which many have had, “How can God be just if He condemns those who were very young when they died the first death?”.  They do not appear to have had time in which to decide!  But in the “little season” they will have at least 100 years!  Much more time than many have had in their former full lives on earth, which could have been “threescore and ten” (70), although the average life-span over the centuries has been averaging about 40.  Psalm 90:10. 

As He says, the youngest rejecter will die at 100! 

And not only that, but the rejecters will have been able to camp out not far from the city where the gates have always been open.  (They are not shut until the rebels begin their attack, and I believe that that is to prevent the saints from rushing out and pleading with them.)  So the answer to our query is that it will take 100 years of preparation and weapon-making before the rebels feel strong enough to attempt to storm the city.

But in the city is the Son of God in all His glorious magnificence as the Creator!  As the rebel sinners approach closer to the city and to Him they will enter the area of “the stones of fire” which surrounds the city.  They will consider this to be an attack from Him and push forward more strongly, as men do in battle.  Ezekiel 28:14.  Sadly, He cannot withdraw from His position for He is the Life of the city and the saints, and as the rebels press on in their sinful anger their life-string of DNA will start to unravel.  This is why God has always said, “Don’t come too close to Me without special protection”.  Leviticus 16:1-2.  But, maddened by this, with their blood-lust fully aroused they will then turn on each other and even as they die they will kill!

Then it will be said of them, as of ancient Israel, “Ephraim is joined to idols [of self-love]; let him alone”.  Hosea 4:17.  God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit and all the redeemed and people of the universe will weep over them as He wept over Jerusalem, saying, “How often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen does gather her brood under her wings, and you would not [let Me]!  Behold, your house is left to you desolate”, for there is nothing anyone can do to stop the carnage.  Luke 13:34-35. 

Conclusion:

The “little season” is the time required for the preparation of weapons and the training of the rejecters so that they operate as a well-disciplined army and not as a mob.  It will be 100 years long.  In that period the youngest rebel will grow up to be an adult, so that no child will perish in the Lake of Fire, or enter the new world. 

 

________________________________________________________________

 

Note 1:  The way many see God today is how they first saw a notorious gangster in the prohibition days of the United States during the 1920’s!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Capone

Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone (/Šl kəˈpoʊn/[citation needed]; January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947) was an American gangster who attained fame during the Prohibition era as the co-founder and boss of the Chicago Outfit. His seven-year reign as crime boss ended when he was 33 years old. . . .

A conflict with the North Side Gang was instrumental in Capone's rise and fall. Torrio went into retirement after North Side gunmen almost killed him, handing control to Capone. Capone expanded the bootlegging business through increasingly violent means, but his mutually profitable relationships with mayor William Hale Thompson and the city's police [bribes] meant that Capone seemed safe from law enforcement.

Capone apparently reveled in attention, such as the cheers from spectators when he appeared at ball games. He made donations to various charities and was viewed by many to be a "modern-day Robin Hood".

However, the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre of gang rivals, resulting in the killing of seven men in broad daylight, damaged Chicago's image—as well as Capone's—leading influential citizens to demand governmental action and newspapers to dub him "Public Enemy No. 1".

The federal authorities became intent on jailing Capone, and they prosecuted him for tax evasion in 1931, a federal crime and a novel strategy during the era. [They did this because they could not connect him with any of the many crimes of which they suspected him.  He was normally clever enough to have a good alibi each time.]

During the highly publicized case, the judge admitted as evidence Capone's admissions of his income and unpaid taxes during prior (and ultimately abortive) negotiations to pay the government any back taxes he owed.

Capone was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. After conviction, he replaced his old defense team with experts in tax law, and his grounds for appeal were strengthened by a Supreme Court ruling, but his appeal ultimately failed.

He was already showing signs of syphilitic dementia early in his sentence, and he became increasingly debilitated before being released after eight years. On January 25, 1947, Capone died of cardiac arrest after suffering a stroke.

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

 oooOooo

 


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 March 1st 2017.

 

Next query:

How do we recognise when the Bible is to be read literally and when is it to be seen as a spiritual message?  How can we know when “water” means the liquid substance, and when “water” should be read like this?  “And he says to me, The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues [languages]”.  Revelation 17:15.

Is there only one truth, and if so who decides what is right?     

How can we interpret the Bible correctly?

šššš

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