Tag Archives: Second Coming

Why Hasn’t Jesus Returned Yet?

30 Jan

Please prayerfully read this page, as this is present truth and a vital message for the time we live in.

I am sure many of God’s professed people are wondering why Christ Jesus hasn’t returned yet. This world has been in turmoil for some time now, and it is just getting worse and worse. What is God waiting for? What is He waiting for His people to do?

There are many different types of Christians in the world today. But unfortunately, not enough who do the express will of God. There are those who focus on the ‘grace’ of Christ Jesus, thinking that they can continue to live a life of worldliness and sin, and forget about keeping the law of God. There are those who focus on the law of God, so much so that they forget about the grace of Christ and think that their works will save them. Then there are those who truly accept the grace of Christ, AND strive to keep the ten commandments, not to be saved, but because they love God. This is commendable, BUT this has become the only focus of many of God’s people today. They have become very insular and only focus on themselves, and there is something very important which God requires that they are NOT doing.

So what is God waiting for in His people? Why hasn’t Jesus returned yet? I believe the answer lies in the 58th Chapter of Isaiah. Let’s take a look and see what we are missing.

Isaiah 58:1 …’Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.’

So God is telling us that we are to warn the church of it’s sins. “Oh but I already do this, I show people THEIR wrong doing.” you may say. But is God just talking about telling people of THEIR wrong doing here? Let’s read on.

Isaiah 58:2-3 …’Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.’

Now look at the above verses and tell me if you see a diligent people who seek God and keep his commands. A people who “seek God daily” and “delight to know His ways”. A people who “did righteousness” and “approaches God” in prayer and supplication. A people who “fast” regularly. I bet many would look at this description and say, wow! yes! These people know God’s will, they are truly God’s people. Then why is it that God doesn’t bless them? The verse confirms that God does not “see” their efforts. Why is this? We find the answer in the next few verses.

Isaiah 58:5-7 …’Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?’

The reason God doesn’t bless them is because even though they have remembered the first commandment to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. They have forgotten the second greatest commandment, which is to love thy neighbor as thyself. These professed people of God are so focused on themselves, they have forgotten to do good to others. They neglect one of the basic teachings of Christ Jesus, which is to love your neighbor as yourself, to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. They have become insular and are only focusing on their own relationship with God.

IMPORTANT NOTE: What type of lifestyle do the verses above expose as being NOT the will of God? The Monastic lifestyle, where Monks close themselves off to the rest of the world and only focus on their own relationship with God. This is not the will of God and God does not bless this kind of life.

What is God Waiting For?

When we think of sin, we think about the ten commandments. So when God tells us to warn the people about their sin, we tend to think He is just talking about observing the ten commandments. But sin is much more wider and broader than what the ten commandments say. Think about it. If Jesus says we are to go and feed the hungry and clothe the naked, and we DON’T do those things. Is that not sin? (James 4:17) Yes it is. If Jesus tells us to go and teach all nations the gospel, and we DON’T do it. Is that not sin? Yes it is. Now look at what God says will happen if we do these things.

Isaiah 58:8,10 …’Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward … And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day.’

Isaiah 58:12 …’and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.’

THEN the Spirit of the Lord shall fall upon us, and we will be able to light up the world with the three angels message, and THEN the glory of God will shine in His people and THEN the true character of Christ will be shown in His people, and THEN the second coming can be hastened and the last days of earth’s history can reach their climax.

The problem with us sabbath keepers is that we look at chapters like Isaiah 58 and we ONLY see the verses to do with the sabbath. Yes, the sabbath is mentioned in Isaiah 58, and the sabbath day IS an important issue. Just like keeping the ten commandments is an important issue. Just like transforming our characters into Christ-like characters is very important. But we must not forget the other vital Christian principles, which is to take the “everlasting gospel” to the world (Rev. 14), and to SHOW the gospel to the world by doing good to others, whether friend or foe.

As a professed people of God, if we just stay insular, only focusing on ourselves, and keeping the truth to ourselves, then God CANNOT use us and WILL NOT use us. In order to bring on the last days and the second coming of Christ Jesus, we have to be LIVING the everlasting gospel ourselves. Yes, keep the ten commandments. Yes, keep the seventh day sabbath as per the 4th commandment. Yes, make every effort to have your character transformed to be like Christ. But we MUST also share and show the gospel truth with others who do not know the truth. We MUST warn the world of it’s sin. We MUST take the three angels messages to the world. And we MUST do good towards others, helping those in need, showing forgiveness and love.

Why hasn’t Jesus returned yet? Jesus hasn’t returned yet because He is STILL waiting for His people to start LIVING the gospel. What did Jesus do during His life on earth? He obeyed God and did His express will. He warned people of their sin. He preached the gospel message. He healed the sick and helped those in need. This is the TRUE chracter of Christ that we are to replicate. THIS is what God is waiting for. THIS is what the world needs to see! Let us as God’s professed people start doing the will of God and then we will soon see the return of our Lord and Saviour!

Let the world SEE Jesus Christ in your everyday life!

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1000 Years of Peace

25 Nov
You can be certain that it’s coming – an incredible millennium that will be ushered in after Christ’s return.  And the devil doesn’t want you to know about his 1,000-year prison sentence because it reveals his true character. In fact, Satan has concocted a counterfeit message on the millennium to trick you!  It’s an awesome, fascinating study that will utterly shake everything you’ve ever known! Now you can have the Bible’s amazing truths about the coming 1,000-year reign.
1. What event begins this 1,000-year period?

1. What event begins this 1,000-year period?

“These came to life again and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4, NEB, last part of verse.*

Answer:   A resurrection begins the 1,000-year period.
*The New English Bible, (C) 1961, 1970 by the Delegates of the Oxford University Press and the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press. Used by permission.

The 1000-year period begins at the resurrection of the righteous.

The 1000-year period begins at the resurrection of the righteous.

2. What is this resurrection called? Who will be raised in it?

“This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.” Revelation 20:5, 6.

Answer:   It is called the first resurrection. The righteous people–“blessed and holy” of all ages–will be raised in it.

The 1000-year period ends at the resurrection of the wicked.

The 1000-year period ends at the resurrection of the wicked.

3. The Bible says there are two resurrections. When is the second resurrection, and who will be raised in it?

“The rest of the dead [those who were wicked] lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Revelation 20:5. “All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28, 29.

Answer:   The second resurrection takes place at the close of the 1,000-year period.  The wicked will be raised in this resurrection.  It is called the resurrection of damnation.
Please notice: The resurrection of the righteous begins the 1,000 years.  The resurrection of the wicked ends the 1,000 years.

A devastating earthquake and hailstorm will strike the earth at Jesus' second coming.  At that time the righteous of all ages will rise to meet Jesus in the air.

A devastating earthquake and hailstorm will strike the earth at Jesus’ second coming.  At that time the righteous of all ages will rise to meet Jesus in the air.

4. What other momentous events take place when the 1,000 years begin?

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him.” Revelation 1:7. “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, … and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. “And there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” “And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent [scholarly estimates vary from 58 to 100 pounds].” Revelation 16:18, 20, 21. (See also Jeremiah 4:23-26; Isaiah 24:1, 3, 19, 20; Isaiah 2:21.)

Answer:   Other momentous events that take place as the 1,000 years begin are: the most devastating earthquake and hailstorm in history strike the earth; Jesus returns in the clouds for His people; and all the saints are caught up into the air to meet Jesus.

The living wicked will be slain by the brightness of Jesus' second coming.

The living wicked will be slain by the brightness of Jesus’ second coming.

5. What happens to the wicked–living and dead–at Jesus’ second coming?

“With the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” Isaiah 11:4. “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8. “Let the wicked perish at the presence of God.” Psalms 68:2. “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Revelation 20:5.

Answer:   The living wicked will be slain by the very presence of Christ at the second coming. When an angel appeared at Jesus’ tomb, the entire group of Roman guards fell as dead men (Matthew 28:2, 4). When the brightness of all the angels, God the Father, and God the Son combine, the wicked will die as if hit by lightning. The wicked already dead when Jesus returns will remain in their graves until the end of the 1,000 years.

The righteous will be in heaven with Jesus during the 1,000 years.

The righteous will be in heaven with Jesus during the 1,000 years.

6. Many believe the unsaved will have an opportunity to repent during the 1,000 years. What does the Bible say about this?

“The slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.” Jeremiah 25:33. “I beheld, and, lo, there was no man.” Jeremiah 4:25.

Answer:   It is impossible for any person to repent during the 1,000 years because there will not be a person alive on earth. The righteous will all be in heaven. All the wicked will be lying dead upon the earth. Revelation 22:11, 12 makes it clear that the case of every person is closed before Jesus returns. Those who wait to accept Christ until the 1,000 years begin will have waited too long.

The earth, in a torn-up, darkened condition, is the

The earth, in a torn-up, darkened condition, is the “bottomless pit” where Satan will be forced to stay during the 1,000 years.

7. The Bible says that Satan will be bound in the bottomless pit during the 1,000 years. What is this pit?

“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit. … 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 … till the thousand years should be fulfilled.” Revelation 20:1-3.

Answer:   The word for “bottomless pit” in the original Greek is “abussos,” or abyss. That same word is used in the Greek version of the Old Testament in Genesis 1:2 in connection with the creation of the earth, but there it is translated “deep.” “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” How interesting! The words “deep,” “bottomless pit,” and “abyss” here refer to the same thing–the earth in its totally dark, disorganized form before God made order of it. Jeremiah, in describing this earth during the 1,000 years, used virtually the same terms as these in Genesis 1:2: “without form and void,” “no light,” “no man,” ‘black.” Jeremiah 4:23, 25, 28. So the battered, dark earth with no people alive will be called the bottomless pit, or abyss, during the 1,000 years just as it was in the beginning before Creation was completed. Isaiah 24:22 also speaks of Satan and his angels during the 1,000 years as “gathered in the pit” and “shut up in the prison.”

The earth, in a torn-up, darkened condition, is the

The earth, in a torn-up, darkened condition, is the “bottomless pit” where Satan will be forced to stay during the 1,000 years.

8. What is the chain that binds Satan? Why is he bound?

“An angel … having … a great chain in his hand … laid hold on … Satan, and bound him a thousand years, … 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.” Revelation 20:1-3.

Answer:   The chain is symbolic, a chain of circumstances.  A spirit being cannot be confined with a literal chain.  Satan is “tied down” because he has no people to deceive.  The wicked are all dead and the righteous are all in heaven.  The Lord confines the devil to this earth so he cannot roam the universe hoping to find someone to deceive.  Forcing the devil to stay on the earth, alone with his demons for a thousand years with no one to deceive, will be for him the most galling chain ever forged.

REVIEW THE EVENTS OCCURRING  AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 1,000 YEARS:

  1. Devastating earthquake and hailstorm (Revelation 16:18-21 Revelation 6:14-17).
  2. Second coming of Jesus for His saints (Matthew 24:30, 31).
  3. Righteous dead raised to life (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
  4. Righteous given immortality (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).
  5. Righteous given bodies like Jesus (1 John 3:2 Philippians 3:21).
  6. All righteous caught up into the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
  7. Living wicked slain by the breath of the Lord’s mouth (Isaiah 11:4).
  8. Wicked in graves remain dead until the end of the 1,000 years (Revelation 20:5).
  9. Jesus takes righteous to heaven (John 13:33, 36 14:1-3).
  10. Satan bound (Revelation 20:1-3).
9. Revelation 20:4 says there will be a judgment in heaven during the 1,000 years. What for? Who will participate?

9. Revelation 20:4 says there will be a judgment in heaven during the 1,000 years. What for? Who will participate?

“I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them … and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4. “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? … Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3.

Answer:   The righteous of all ages (and probably even good angels) will participate in the judgment during the 1,000 years.  The cases of all who are lost, including the devil and his angels, will be reviewed.  This judgment will make details regarding the lost clear to each saved person.  In the end, all will see that people are shut out of heaven only if they did not really want to live like Jesus or to be with Him.

REVIEW THE EVENTS AND CONDITIONS DURING THE 1,000 YEARS:

  1. Earth in battered condition from huge hailstones and devastating earthquake (Revelation 16:18-21 6:14-17).
  2. Earth in total blackout/bottomless pit (Jeremiah 4:23, 28).
  3. Satan and his angels forced to stay on the earth/bound (Revelation 20:1-3).
  4. Righteous in heaven participating in the judgment (Revelation 20:4).
  5. Wicked are all dead (Jeremiah 4:25 Isaiah 11:4).

During the 1,000 years, every soul who has ever lived on earth will be in one of two places: (1) on the earth, dead and lost, or (2) in heaven, taking part in the judgment.  The Lord invites you to be in heaven.  Please accept His invitation.

The holy city, along with all God's people, will descend to earth at the close of the 1,000 years.

The holy city, along with all God’s people, will descend to earth at the close of the 1,000 years.

10. At the close of the 1,000 years the holy city, new Jerusalem, will come down from heaven to this earth. Who will come with it? Where will it settle?

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. … And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men.” Revelation 21:2, 3. “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh.” “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 the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” “All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem.” Zechariah 14:1, 4, 5, 10.

Answer:   The new Jerusalem will settle where the mount of Olives now stands.  The mountain will be flattened to make a great plain, upon which the city will come to rest.  All of the righteous people of all ages (Zechariah 14:5), the angels of heaven (Matthew 25:31), plus God the Father (Revelation 21:2, 3) and God the Son (Matthew 25:31) will return to earth with the holy city for Jesus’ special third coming.  The second coming will be for His saints the third will be with His saints.
Jesus’ Three Advents:
1.  First coming, to Bethlehem in a manger.
2.  Second coming, in the clouds at the beginning of the 1,000 years to take His people to heaven.
3.  Third coming, with the holy city and all righteous people at the close of the 1,000 years.

11. What will happen to the wicked dead at this time? How will this affect Satan?

“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, And shall go out to deceive the nations.” Revelation 20:5, 7, 8.

Answer:   At the close of the 1,000 years (when Jesus comes the third time) the wicked will be raised. Satan, loosed from his bonds, will then have an earth full of people (all the nations of the world) to deceive.

After the holy city descends, the wicked people of all ages--with Satan as their leader--will attempt to capture the city.

After the holy city descends, the wicked people of all ages–with Satan as their leader–will attempt to capture the city.

12. What will Satan do then?

“Satan shall … go out to deceive the nations … of the earth, … 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.” Revelation 20:7-9.

Answer:   Satan, true to his nature, will immediately begin lying to the people left on the earth–the wicked from all ages. He will probably claim that the city is really his, that he was unjustly deposed from the heavenly kingdom, that God is power-hungry and ruthless, and that God is getting ready to wipe them all off the face of the earth with a devastating, inescapable fire. He will convince them that, if they unify, God does not have a chance. With the entire world against one city, the victory will appear certain. The nations will then unite and marshal their armies to surround the new Jerusalem.

When the wicked of the ages surround the holy city, God will destroy them with fire that falls from heaven.

When the wicked of the ages surround the holy city, God will destroy them with fire that falls from heaven.

13. What will interrupt Satan’s plan to capture or destroy the city?

“Fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into … the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 20:9, 10; 21:8. “The wicked … shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 4:3.

Answer:   Fire will suddenly come down from heaven (not up from hell, as many believe) upon the wicked and all will be turned into ashes, including the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). This fire that destroys sin and sinners is called the second death. There is no resurrection from this death. It is final. Notice that the devil will not be tending the fire, as is commonly believed. He will be in it, and it will put him out of existence.

14. When the wicked are burned up and the fire goes out, what glorious, thrilling event will take place next?

14. When the wicked are burned up and the fire goes out, what glorious, thrilling event will take place next?

“Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.” Isaiah 65:17. “Look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13. “He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5. “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.” Revelation 21:3.

Answer:   God will create new heavens and a new earth, and the new Jerusalem will be the capital city of the earth made new.  Sin and its ugliness will be gone forever.  God’s people will at long last receive the kingdom promised to them.  “They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”  Isaiah 35:10.  Too fabulous to describe!  Too glorious to miss!  Too near for us to be unsure!  God has a place prepared there for you (John 14:1-3).  Plan to live in it.  Jesus is waiting for your consent.

REVIEW THE EVENTS AT THE CLOSE OF THE 1,000 YEARS:

  1. Third coming of Jesus with His saints (Zechariah 14:5).
  2. Holy city settles on mount of Olives, which becomes a great plain (Zechariah 14:4, 10).
  3. The Father, angels, and all of the righteous come with Jesus (Revelation 21:1-3 Matthew 25:31 Zechariah 14:5).
  4. Wicked dead raised Satan loosed (Revelation 20:5, 7).
  5. Satan deceives entire world (Revelation 20:8).
  6. Wicked surround the holy city (Revelation 20:9).
  7. Wicked destroyed by fire (Revelation 20:9).
  8. New heavens and earth created (Isaiah 65:17 2 Peter 3:13 Revelation 21:1).
  9. God’s people enjoy eternity with Christ on the new earth (Revelation 21:2-4).
    THE 1,000 YEARS OF REVELATION 20
    EVENTS DURING THE 1,000 YEARS
    1. Earth torn up, desolate, and dark.
    2. All wicked are dead on earth.
    3. Satan bound to this earth.
    4. Righteous judging in heaven.
    FIRST RESURRECTION _________________________ AT BEGINNING OF THE 1,000 YEARS SECOND RESURRECTION _________________________   AT CLOSE OF THE 1,000 YEARS
    1. Devastating earthquake and hailstorm. 1. Third coming of Jesus with the saints.
    2. Second coming of Jesus for the saints. 2. Holy city descends onto the  mount of Olives, which becomes a great plain.
    3. Righteous dead raised to life. 3. Father, angels, righteous come with Jesus.
    4. Righteous given immortality.      4. Wicked dead raised and Satan loosed.
    5. Righteous given bodies like that of Jesus. 5. Satan deceives all nations. They surround the holy city.
    6. All righteous caught up into clouds. 6. Wicked destroyed by fire.
    7. Living wicked slain by the Lord’s presence. 7. New heavens and earth created.
    8. Wicked already in their graves remain dead. 8. God’s people enjoy eternity with Jesus.
    9. Jesus takes righteous to heaven.
    10. Satan bound.
    15. Can we know how soon Jesus will return for His saints?

    15. Can we know how soon Jesus will return for His saints?

    “When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:33. “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28. “For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.” Romans 9:28. “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3.

    Answer:   Jesus said when the signs of His coming are being fulfilled rapidly, as they are today, we should rejoice and know that His coming is near–even at the doors. And the apostle Paul said we can know the end is near when there is a great movement for peace in the world. Finally, the Bible says God will cut the work short (Romans 9:28). So without doubt, we are living on borrowed time. The Lord will arrive suddenly and unexpectedly–at an hour known to no one, but to God only (Matthew 24:36; Acts 1:7). Our only safety is to be ready.

    16. I am definitely planning to live in the fantastic custom-built home that Jesus is preparing for me in heaven.

    Answer:

    Thought Questions

    1. How long will the time period be from the day the holy city descends until the wicked are destroyed by fire from heaven? The Bible says it will be a “little,” or short, season (Revelation 20:3). Enough time will be required for Satan to persuade people to follow his plan and prepare weapons of war. The exact length of time is not revealed in Scripture.

    2. What kind of bodies will people have in God’s new kingdom? The Bible says the redeemed will have bodies like that of Jesus (Philippians 3:21). Jesus had a real body of flesh and bones after His resurrection (Luke 24:36-43). The saved will not be ghosts. They will be real people, as were Adam and Eve.

    3. Does the Bible say how the lost will react at Jesus’ second coming? Yes. The Bible says they will cry “to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Revelation 6:16, 17. (See also verses 14 and 15.) The righteous, on the other hand, will say, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:9.

    4. When the holy city descends, will the wicked be able to see the righteous people who are inside the city? Quite likely they will. The Bible says the city will be the see-through type—clear as crystal (Revelation 21:11, 18). The righteous will be able to see the wicked (Psalms 37:34), and the wicked will be able to see the righteous (Luke 13:28). This could mean that some very sad encounters will take place at the city wall, with the saved part of a family inside and the lost part outside. The resulting heartache and trauma are too much for human language to describe.

    5. The Bible says God will wipe away all tears from the eyes of His people and there will be no more death, sorrow, or pain. When will this happen? From Revelation 21:1-4 and Isaiah 65:17, it appears that this will happen after sin and sinners are destroyed. During the final judgment and destruction by fire, God’s people will have many reasons for deep sorrow. As they realize that relatives and friends are lost and that people they loved are being destroyed in the fire, anguish will doubtless bring tears and heartache to God’s people. But after the fire goes out, the Lord will wipe away their tears. He will then create new heavens and a new earth for His people, which will bring them unspeakable joy and fulfillment. And sorrow, sadness, crying, and heartache will be forever gone.

    6. How will the destruction of wicked angels and people affect God the Father and His Son? Doubtless they will be relieved and overjoyed that the ugly cancer of sin is gone forever and that the universe is secure. Surely they will also experience deep, wrenching sadness over the fact that so many of those they loved, and for whom Jesus died, chose to cling to sin and reject salvation. Satan himself was once their warm, personal friend, and many people in the fire were their dearly beloved children. It will be like the agony of seeing one of your own errant children executed. Sin has been a crushing load upon both Father and Son since its inception. The aim of the Father and Son has been to love people and gently draw them to salvation. Their feelings are expressed in Hosea 11:8, NASB: “How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I surrender you, O Israel? … My heart is turned over within Me, all my compassions are kindled.”*
    *The New American Standard Bible,  (C) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

    7. What kind of body does Jesus have? He has a body of flesh and bones. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples (Luke 24:36-43) and demonstrated that He was not a spirit or ghost by stating that He was flesh and bones, having them feel His body, and by eating some fish and honey.
    Jesus Ascends He then walked with them to Bethany and, as He was conversing with them, ascended to heaven (Luke 24:49-51). The angel who appeared to the disciples as Jesus ascended explained that “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11.
    This Same Jesus Will Return The angel’s emphasis was that this same Jesus (of flesh and bones) will come again. He will be real, not ghostly, and the risen and translated saints will have bodies like His (Philippians 3:21 1 John 3:2). The saints’ heavenly bodies will also be incorruptible and immortal (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).

     

Case Closed

21 Nov
The jury is in, the verdict read … case closed! Few thoughts could be more sobering. The day is fast approaching when every person who has ever lived will have their lives reviewed before the all-knowing eyes of God (2 Corinthians 5:10). But don’t let this alarm you – take heart! Millions have already found the judgment message in this Study Guide to be very good news! On four occasions when the book of Revelation mentions the great judgment, it brings forth praise and thanksgiving! But did you know that the Bible mentions judgment more than a thousand times? Almost every Bible writer refers to it, so its importance cannot be overemphasized. In the next few minutes, you’re going to get a real eye-opener in this neglected subject.
First Phase of the Final Judgement

1. The angel Gabriel gave Daniel the prophecy of the 1844 heavenly judgment.  The first phase of the judgment is called the pre-advent judgment because it takes place before Jesus’ second coming.  What group of people will be considered in the first phase of the judgment?  When does it end?

“Judgment must begin at the house of God.” 1 Peter 4:17. “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”  Revelation 22:11, 12.  (See also 1 Timothy 3:15.)

Answer:   It ends just before the second coming of Jesus.  Those (living and dead) who claimed to be Christians–“the house of God”–will be considered in the pre-advent judgment.  (The 1844 date is established in Study Guide 18.)

Jesus stands with His faithful people in the judgment and promises them a positive verdict.

Jesus stands with His faithful people in the judgment and promises them a positive verdict.

2. Who presides at the judgment?  Who is the defense attorney?  The judge?  The accuser?  Who are the witnesses?

“The Ancient of days did sit, … his throne was like the fiery flame.”  “The judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9, 10.  “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. “The Father … hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” John 5:22. “The Devil, … the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Revelation 12:9, 10.  “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” Revelation 3:14.  (See also Colossians 1:12-15.)

Answer:   God the Father, the Ancient of days, presides in the judgment.  He loves you very much (John 16:27).  Satan is your only accuser.  In the heavenly court, Jesus, who loves you, your best friend will be your attorney, judge, and witness.  And He promises that judgment will be “given in favour of the saints.” Daniel 7:22, NEB.*
*The New English Bible, (C) 1961, 1970 by the Delegates of the Oxford University Press and the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press. Used by permission.

Evidence presented in the judgment comes from the books of heaven.

Evidence presented in the judgment comes from the books of heaven.

3. What is the source of evidence used in the pre-advent judgment?  By what standard will all be judged?  Since God already knows everything about every person, why have a judgment?

“The judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:10.  “The dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12.  “They … shall be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:12.  “We are made a spectacle [theater] unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” 1 Corinthians 4:9.

Answer:   Evidence for court comes from books in which all details of one’s life are recorded.  For the faithful, the record of prayer, repentance, and forgiveness of sin will be there for all to see.  The records will prove that God’s power enables Christians to live changed lives. God is pleased with His saints and will delight in sharing the evidence of their lives. The judgment will confirm that there is “no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.
The Ten-Commandment law is God’s standard in the judgment (James 2:10-12).  Breaking His law is sin (1 John 3:4).  The righteousness of the law will be fulfilled by Jesus in all of His people (Romans 8:3, 4).  To claim that this is impossible is to doubt Jesus’ word and His power.
The judgment is not to inform God.  He is already fully informed (2 Timothy 2:19).  However, the redeemed people will be coming to heaven from a world that has been degraded by sin.  Both the angels and the inhabitants of other unfallen worlds would certainly feel uneasy about admitting anyone to God’s heavenly kingdom who might start sin all over again.  Thus, the judgment will open to them every detail and answer every question.  Satan’s real aim has always been to discredit God as unfair, ruthless, unloving, and untruthful.  This makes it even more important for all beings in the universe to see firsthand how extremely patient God has been with sinners.  The vindication of God’s character is the prime purpose of the judgment (Revelation 11:16-19 15:2-4 16:5, 7 19:1, 2 Daniel 4:36, 37).  Note that the praise and glory are given to God for the way He handles the judgment.

Every facet of a person's life will be reviewed in the judgment.

Every facet of a person’s life will be reviewed in the judgment.

4. What portion of a person’s life is considered in the pre-advent judgment?  What will be confirmed? How will rewards be decided?

“God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14. “Let both [wheat and tares] grow together until the harvest.” “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend.”
Matthew 13:30, 41. “Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12.

Answer:   Every detail of life will be reviewed, including secret thoughts and actions.  For this reason, this first phase of the judgment is also called the investigative judgment.  The judgment will confirm who will be saved of those who claimed to be Christians.  It will doubtless also confirm as lost those whose names are not judged in the pre-advent judgment.  Although we are saved by grace, rewards will be given based on works, deeds, or conduct, which prove the genuineness of a Christian’s faith (James 2:26).

Second Phase of the Final Judgement

5. What group is involved in the heavenly judgment during the 1,000 years of Revelation chapter 20?  What is the purpose of this second phase of the judgment?

“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? … Know ye not that we shall judge angels?”
1 Corinthians 6:2, 3.  “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.” Revelation 20:4.

Answer

Answer:   The “saints,” or righteous people of all ages who Christ takes to heaven in the cloud at His second coming, will be participating in this second phase of the judgment.
Suppose a family discovered that their much-beloved son who was murdered was not in heaven.  But the murderer was.  Doubtless they would need some answers.  This second phase of the judgment will answer all the questions of the righteous.  The life of every lost person (including Satan and his angels) will be carefully reviewed by the righteous, who will then totally agree with Jesus’ decisions regarding the reward for each one.  It will become obvious to all that the judgment is no arbitrary matter.  Instead, it simply confirms the choices which people have already made to serve either Jesus or another master (Revelation 22:11, 12).  (For a review of the 1,000 years, see Study Guide 12.)

Third Phase of the Final Judgement

6. When and where will the third phase of the final judgment take place?  What new group will be present at this phase of judgment?

“His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem.” “And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” “All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem.” Zechariah 14:4, 5, 10. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.” Revelation 21:2.  “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall … go out to deceive the nations … to gather them together to battle.” Revelation 20:7, 8.

The wicked will try to attack the holy city.

The wicked will try to attack the holy city.

Answer:   The third phase of the judgment will take place on the earth at the close of the 1,000 years of Revelation chapter 20, after Jesus’ return to earth with the holy city.  All the wicked who have ever lived, including the devil and his angels, will be present.  At the close of the 1,000 years, the wicked dead of all ages will be raised (Revelation 20:5).  Satan immediately launches a powerful propaganda campaign to deceive them.  Amazingly, he succeeds in convincing the nations of earth that they can capture the holy city.

7. What happens next?

“They went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city.” Revelation 20:9.

Answer:   The wicked surround the city and prepare to attack.

The third phase of the judgment will interrupt the plan to attack the city.

The third phase of the judgment will interrupt the plan to attack the city.

8. What interrupts their battle plan, and with what results?

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12. “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:10. “As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:11, 12.

Answer:   Unexpectedly, without warning, God appears with almost paralyzing brightness above the city (Revelation 19:11-21).  The moment of truth has arrived.  Every lost soul since the world began, including Satan and his angels, now faces God in judgment.  Every eye is fastened upon the King of kings (Revelation 20:12).
Each Person Sees Own Life Reviewed Then each lost soul recalls his own life story:  God’s constant, warm, pleading calls to repent that wooing, still, small voice the awesome conviction that often came the repeated refusals to respond.  It is all there.  Its accuracy is incontestable.  Its facts are irrefutable.  God wants the wicked to fully understand.  He will provide any details desired in order to make all things clear.  The books and records are available.
No Cover-Up God is not involved in some celestial cover-up.  He has destroyed no evidence, erased no tapes.  There is nothing to hide.  Everything is open, and every person who has ever lived plus all the good and bad angels will be viewing this drama of all dramas.
The Lost Fall to Their Knees Suddenly there is a movement.  One lost soul drops to his knees to admit his guilt and openly confess that God was more than fair with him. His own stubborn pride kept him from responding. And on all sides now, people and evil angels are likewise kneeling. Then in one great, almost simultaneous move all remaining people and evil angels, including Satan, fall prostrate before God (Romans 14:11).  They openly clear the name of God from all false accusations and give witness to His loving, fair, merciful treatment of them.
All Confess That the Sentence Is Fair All confess that the sentence of death pronounced upon them is fairthe only safe way to handle sin. Of each lost person it can be said, “Thou hast destroyed thyself.” Hosea 13:9. God now stands vindicated before the universe. The accusations and claims of Satan have been exposed and unequivocally discredited as the perverse lies of a hardened sinner.

Fire from heaven will eradicate sin and sinners for eternity.

Fire from heaven will eradicate sin and sinners for eternity.

9. What final steps will eradicate sin from the universe and provide a secure home and future for the righteous?

“They … compassed the camp of the saints about, … and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:9, 10.  “For they [the wicked] shall be ashes under the soles of your feet.” Malachi 4:3. “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.” Isaiah 65:17. “Look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13. “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, … and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them.” Revelation 21:3.

Answer:   Fire from heaven will fall upon the wicked.  The fire will completely eradicate sin and sinners from the universe forever.  (See Study Guide 11 for full details on hellfire.)  This will be a time of deep sadness and trauma for God’s people.  Virtually every person will have a loved one or friend in the fire.  Guardian angels will probably shed tears over the loss of the people they protected and loved for years.  Even Christ will doubtless weep over those He loved and plead with so long.  At that awful moment the anguish of God, our loving Father, over the terrible cost of sin will defy description.
New Heavens and Earth Then the Lord will wipe all tears away from His redeemed people (Revelation 21:4) and create new heavens and a new earth lovely beyond description for His saints.  And best of all, He will reside here with His people throughout eternity.  No thinking person would want to miss that.

The sacrificed animal represented Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

The sacrificed animal represented Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

10. How did the “day of atonement” service in the Old Testament earthly sanctuary symbolize the judgment and God’s plan to eradicate sin from the universe and restore perfect harmony?

Answer:   In Study Guide 2, we learned how Satan falsely accused and challenged God and brought the ugly malignancy of sin into the universe. The day of atonement in ancient Israel taught, through symbols, how God will handle the sin problem and bring harmony back to the universe by the atonement.  (Atonement means “at-one-ment,” or “to bring all things into total divine harmony.”)
In the earthly sanctuary, the symbolic steps were:
A. Lord’s goat slain to cover sins of the people.
B. Priest ministered the blood before the mercy seat.
C. Judgment took place in this order:
(1) the righteous confirmed, (2) the unrepentant cut off, and (3) the record of sin removed from the sanctuary.
D. Record of sin placed on scapegoat.
E. Scapegoat sent into wilderness.
F. People cleansed from their sins.
G. All begin new year with a clean slate.
These five symbolic steps represent literal atonement events which are instituted from the heavenly sanctuary, God’s celestial headquarters for the universe.  The first point above is the symbol of the literal atonement event of the first point below the second point above is the symbol of the second point below, etc.  Notice how clearly God has symbolized these great atonement events:
A. Jesus’ sacrificial death as man’s substitute (1 Corinthians 15:3 5:7).
B. Jesus as our High Priest restores people to God’s image (Hebrews 4:14-16 Romans 8:29).
C. Judgment provides records to confirm lives,good and bad, and then removes the records of sin from the heavenly sanctuary (Revelation 20:12 Acts 3:19-21).
D. Responsibility for originating sin and for causing all people to sin is placed on Satan (1 John 3:8 Revelation 22:12).
E. Satan banished into wilderness (1,000 years of Revelation chapter 20).
F. Satan, sin, and sinners eradicated permanently (Revelation 20:10 21:8 Psalms 37:10, 20 Nahum 1:9).
G. New earth created for God’s people.  Everything lost by sin is restored to the Lord’s saints (2 Peter 3:13 Acts 3:20, 21).
The atonement is not completed until the universe and all in it are restored to pre-sin condition with the assurance that sin will never rise again.

After the judgment, sin will be gone forever.  The righteous will be safe for eternity.

After the judgment, sin will be gone forever.  The righteous will be safe for eternity.

11. What is the good news about the judgment as revealed in this Study Guide and listed below?

Answer:   A. God and His manner of handling the sin problem will be gloriously vindicated before the entire universe.  This is the central purpose of the judgment.
B. Judgment will be decided in favor of God’s people.
C. The righteous will be safe from sin for eternity.
D. Sin will be completely eradicated and will never rise a second time.
E. Everything that Adam and Eve lost by sin will be restored to the redeemed.
F. The wicked will be turned to ashes, not tortured endlessly.
G. In the judgment, Jesus is our judge, attorney, and witness.
H. Both the Father and Son love us. It is the devil who accuses us.
I. The heavenly books will be helpful to the righteous because they will show how the grace of the gospel changed their lives.
J. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  The judgment will only make that truth evident.
K. Not one soul (man or angel) will complain that God is unfair. It will be unanimous that God has been loving, fair, gracious, and kind in dealing with all.

12. God promises to acquit you in the heavenly judgment if you will invite Him to enter your life and permit Him to remain in control.  Will you invite Him to enter your life today?

Answer:

Thought Questions

1. What is the difference between accepting Jesus as my Saviour and accepting Him as my Lord? The difference is substantial.  When I accept Him as Saviour, He saves me from the guilt and penalty of sin and gives me the new birth.  He changes me from sinner to saint.  This transaction is a glorious miracle and is essential to salvation.  No one can be saved without it.  However, Jesus is not finished with me at this point.  I have been born, but His plan is that I also grow up to become like Him (Ephesians 4:13).  When I accept Him daily as the ruler, or Lord, of my life, He, by His miracles, causes me to grow in grace and Christian conduct until I am mature in Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
The Problem – I Want My Own Way The problem is that I want to run my own life – have my own way. The Bible calls this “iniquity”, or sin (Isaiah 53:6).  Making Jesus my Lord is so important that the New Testament mentions Him as “Lord” 766 times.  In the book of Acts alone, He is referred to as “Lord” 110 times and as “Saviour” only twice.  This demonstrates how important it is to know Him as Lord and Ruler of our lives.
A Neglected Imperative – Making Him Lord Jesus placed continuing emphasis upon His Lordship because He knew that crowning Him Lord would be a forgotten and neglected imperative (2 Corinthians 4:5).  Unless I make Him Lord of my life, there is no way I can ever become a full-grown Christian clothed in Christ’s righteousness.  Instead, I will end up “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” and, even worse, feeling that I “have need of nothing”. Revelation 3:17.

2. Since the record of the sins of God’s people were transferred on the day of atonement to the scapegoat, doesn’t that make him also our sin-bearer?  I thought Jesus alone bore our sins. The scapegoat, which represents Satan, in no way bears, or pays for, our sins. The Lord’s goat, which was sacrificed on the day of atonement, represents Jesus, who assumed and paid for our sins on Calvary. Jesus alone “taketh away the sin of the world”.  John 1:29.  Satan will be punished (as will all other sinners—Revelation 20:12-15) for his own sins, which will include responsibility for  (1) the existence of sin, (2) his own evil actions, and (3) influencing every person on earth to sin.  God will clearly hold him accountable for evil.  This is what the symbolism of the transfer of sin to the scapegoat (Satan) on the day of atonement is meant to convey.

3. The Bible is clear that God forgives all sins which are confessed (1 John 1:9).  It is also clear that, though forgiven, the record of these sins remains on heaven’s books until the end of time (Acts 3:19-21). Why aren’t the sins blotted out when forgiven? There is a very good reason.  The heavenly judgment is not complete until the judgment of the wicked takes place—immediately prior to their destruction at the end of the world.  If God destroyed the records before this final phase of the judgment, He could be accused of a massive cover-up.  All records of conduct remain open for viewing until the judgment is completed.

4. Some say the judgment took place at the cross.  Others say it takes place at death.  Can we be certain the timing for the judgment as shown in this Study Guide is correct? Yes.  To make it possible for us to be certain regarding the timing for the judgment, God clearly specified it three times in Daniel chapter 7.  Notice God’s specific timing.  God left no room for uncertainty.  The divine sequence is stated three times (verses 8-14, 20-22, 24-27) in this one chapter as follows:
A. The little horn power – ruled A.D. 538-1798.   (See Study Guide 15.)
B. The judgment – begins after 1798 (in 1844) and continues until Jesus’ second advent.
C. God’s new kingdom – established at the end of the judgment.
So God makes it clear that the judgment does not take place at death or at the cross, but between 1798 and Jesus’ second coming.  Remember that the first angel’s message is in part, “The hour of his judgment is come”. Revelation 14:6, 7.  God’s end-time people must be telling the world that the final judgment is in session now!

5. What important lessons can we learn from our study of the judgment? Notice the following five points:
A. God may seem to take a long time before He acts, but His timing is right.  No lost person will ever be able to say “I didn’t understand” or “I didn’t know”.
B. Satan and evil of all kinds will ultimately be dealt with by God in the judgment.  Since the judgment is God’s work and He has all the facts, we should stop judging others and let God do it.  It’s a serious matter for us to take over God’s work of judging.  It’s usurping His authority.
C. God leaves us all free to decide how we will relate to Him and who we will serve.  However, we must be prepared for serious consequences when we decide contrary to His Word.
D. God loves us so much that He has given us the books of Daniel and Revelation to make these end-time issues clear.  Our only safety lies in listening to Him and following His counsel from these great prophetic books.
E. Satan is determined to destroy every one of us.  His deceiving strategies are so effective and so convincing that all but a very few will be ensnared.  Without Jesus’ resurrection power in our lives daily to protect us from the devil’s traps, we will be devastated by Satan.

 

The Ultimate Deliverance

12 Nov
It’s no fairytale – one day, you can be free from all the hurt, hunger, aloneness, crime, and chaos infecting the world today.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful? But it’s not going to be some charismatic earthly leader who’s going to deliver you… no, He’s much more superior than that!  Jesus is coming soon, but there is a lot of popular misconceptions regarding just how He’s coming. So take a few minutes to understand what the Bible really says about the second coming so you won’t be left behind!
Jesus taught that He will return to earth the second time.

1. Will Jesus return to this earth the second time? Can we be positive?

“Christ … shall … appear the second time.” Hebrews 9:28. “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again.” John 14:3.

Answer:   Yes! In Matthew 26:64, Jesus testified under oath that He would come back to this earth again. Since the Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35), this is proof positive. Believe it just as it reads. It is Christ’s own personal guarantee.

Jesus said He will return to earth in the clouds.

2. In what manner will Jesus return the second time?

“While they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11.

Answer:   The Scriptures promise that Jesus will return to this earth in the same manner that He left at His ascension–in a visible, literal, bodily, personal manner. Matthew 24:30 says, “They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” He will come in the clouds literally, as a personal being with a body of flesh and bones (Luke 24:36-43, 50, 51), and His coming will be visible. Scripture is clear on these facts.

Every person living on earth will see Jesus when He returns the second time.

3. Will the second coming of Christ be visible to all men or only to a select group?

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him.” Revelation 1:7. “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:27.

Answer:   Every man, woman, and child living in the world when Jesus returns will see Him at His second coming. The staggering threefold (Luke 9:26) brightness of His coming will stretch from horizon to horizon, and the atmosphere will be charged with brilliant glory like lightning. No one will be able to hide. Every living soul will be forced to face Christ. Christ left no loophole for doubt or misunderstanding.
Note: The secret rapture so commonly believed and taught today is not in the Bible. It is a human invention. Nor is the second coming a spiritual coming into the heart at conversion. It does not take place at a man’s death, nor is it figurative, to be manifested by better world conditions. These theories are all of human origin. The second coming will be a literal, worldwide, visible, personal appearance of Christ in the clouds to bring this world to an end and to reward or punish all men and women.

All the angels of heaven will be with Jesus at His second coming.

4. Who will come with Jesus at His second coming, and why?

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” Matthew 25:31.

Answer:   All the angels of heaven will come with Jesus at His second coming. As the cloud nears the earth, Jesus will send His angels, and they will quickly gather together all of the righteous people in preparation for the trip back to heaven (Matthew 24:31).

Jesus will take His people to heaven and restore to them everything Adam and Eve lost.

5. What is the purpose of Jesus’ second coming to this earth?

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:3. “And he shall send Jesus Christ … Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things.” Acts 3:20, 21.

Answer:   Jesus is coming back to this earth to reward His people as He promised and to take them to the beautiful home He has prepared for them. He will restore to His people all of the joys and glories of Eden that Adam and Eve lost by sinning. His second coming will bring an end to this present age of evil.

Little babies taken from their parents by death will be returned to them at Jesus’ second coming.

6. What will happen to the righteous people when Jesus comes the second time?

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven … and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. “We shall all be changed, … and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. For … this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-53. “We look for … the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” Philippians 3:20, 21.

Answer:   The righteous dead will be raised from their graves, given perfect, immortal bodies like that of Christ, and caught up into the clouds to meet the Lord. Then the righteous living will also be given bodies like Christ and will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. And Jesus will take the righteous to heaven with Him. Note that Jesus does not touch the earth at His second coming. The saints meet Him “in the air.” So God’s people will ignore any report that Christ is in Baltimore, New Orleans, Los Angeles, etc. False christs will appear and do miracles on the earth (Matthew 24:23-27), but Jesus will remain in the clouds above the earth at His second coming.

The wicked will be slain at Jesus’ second coming.

7. What will happen to the wicked people when Jesus comes again?

“With the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” Isaiah 11:4. “And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth.” Jeremiah 25:33.

Answer:   The wicked will be slain by Jesus.

Today’s earthquakes are minor in comparison with the massive earthquake at Jesus’ coming.

8. How will Christ’s second coming affect the earth itself?

“And there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” “And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” Revelation 16:18, 20. “I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord.” Jeremiah 4:26. “The Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste.” “The land shall be utterly emptied.” Isaiah 24:1, 3.

Answer:   The earth will be seized by a great earthquake at the coming of the Lord. This earthquake will be of such a devastating nature that it will leave the world in a state of total destruction.

Millions of Christians died during the Dark Ages.  Many were burned at the stake.

9. Does the Bible give specific information regarding the nearness of Christ’s second coming?

Answer:   Yes, it does! And Jesus Himself said, “When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:33.  The Lord placed signs all along the way from His ascension to His second coming. They are listed below. Study them carefully.
A.  The Destruction of Jerusalem Prophecy:  “There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” “Let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains.” Matthew 24:2, 16.
Fulfillment:  Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Roman warrior Titus.
B.  A Great Persecution, or Tribulation
Prophecy:  “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world.” Matthew 24:21.
Fulfillment:  This prophecy points primarily to the long period of tribulation that took place during the Dark Ages and was instigated by the apostate church. It lasted more than 1,000 years. Over 50 million Christians were slain for their faith in this terrible tribulation period. One writer says the apostate church “has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind.” W.E.H. Lecky, History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, (Reprint New York: Braziller, 1955) Vol. 2, pp. 40-45.
C.  The Sun Turned into Darkness
Prophecy:  “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened.” Matthew 24:29.
Fulfillment:  This was fulfilled by a day of supernatural darkness on May 19, 1780.  It was not an eclipse. Timothy Dwight says, “The 19th of May, 1780, was a remarkable dark day. Candles were lighted in many houses the birds were silent and disappeared, and the fowls retired to roost. … A very general opinion prevailed, that the day of judgment was at hand.” Quoted in Connecticut Historical Collections, compiled by John Warner Barber (2nd ed. New Haven: Durrie & Peck and J.W. Barber, 1836) p. 403.
D.  The Moon Turned into Blood
Prophecy:  “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.” Joel 2:31.
Fulfillment:  The moon became as red as blood on the night of the “dark day,” May 19, 1780. Milo Bostick in Stone’s History of Massachusetts says, “The moon which was at its full, had the appearance of blood.”

The great star shower took place on November 13, 1833.

E.  The Stars Fall from Heaven
Prophecy:  “And the stars shall fall from heaven.” Matthew 24:29.
Fulfillment:  The great star shower took place on the night of November 13, 1833. It was so bright that a newspaper could be read on the street. One writer says, “For nearly four hours the sky was literally ablaze.”*  Men thought the end of the world had come. Look into this. It is most fascinating, and a sign of Christ’s coming.
*Peter A. Millman, “The Falling of the Stars,” The Telescope, 7 (May-June, 1940) 57.
F.  Jesus Comes in the Clouds
Prophecy:  “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Matthew 24:30.
Fulfillment: This is the next great event. Are you ready?

Strife between capital and labor is a sign of Jesus’ second coming.

10. How may we know when we have reached the very last days of earth’s history? Does the Bible clearly describe the world and its people in the last generation?

Answer:   Yes, indeed it does. Look at the following specific signs of the last days. You will be amazed. And these are just a few of many, many positive signs that show we are in the closing days of earth’s history.
A.  Capital-labor troubles
“The hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord.” “Be … patient … for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James 5:4, 8.
Trouble between capital and labor is predicted for the last days. For fulfillment, consult your newspaper.
B.  Wars and commotions
“But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass.” Luke 21:9.
Wars and the ravages of civil distress are affecting thousands worldwide. Only Jesus’ soon coming will bring an end to the pain and destruction of war.
C.  Unrest, fear, and upheaval
“And there shall be … upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity … Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” Luke 21:25, 26.
This sounds strangely like an editorial from a current newspaper a perfect picture of the world today and there is a reason: We are the people of the very last days of earth’s history. The tense atmosphere present in the world today should not surprise us. Christ foretold it. It should convince us that His coming is near.
D.  Increase of knowledge
“Even to the time of the end … knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4.
The Information Age makes this one all too obvious. Even the most skeptical mind must admit that this sign is fulfilled. Knowledge is exploding in all directions. It is said that 80 percent of the world’s total knowledge has been brought forth in the last decade and that 90 percent of all the scientists who have ever lived are alive today.
E.  Scoffers and religious skeptics who turn away from Bible truth
“There shall come in the last days scoffers.” 2 Peter 3:3. “They will not endure sound doctrine … And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3, 4.
It is not difficult to find scoffers today in fulfillment of this prophecy. Even religious leaders are denying the plain Bible teachings of Creation, the Flood, the divinity of Christ, the second coming of Christ, and many other vital Bible truths.  Psychiatry and the traditions of pseudo-intellectuals have replaced the Bible in many religious circles. Secular educators teach our youth to scoff at the Bible record of these great truths and substitute evolution and other man-made, false teachings for the plain, simple facts of God’s Holy Word. A recent poll discovered that only two percent of American student ministers believe in the literal second coming of Christ.
F.  Moral degeneracy; decline of spirituality
“In the last days … men shall be lovers of their own selves, … Without natural affection, … incontinent, … despisers of those that are good, … Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
America is in the midst of a tremendous crisis. People from all walks of life are saying so. Suicide is becoming a popular solution to human problems. Divorce rates are climbing wildly, with nearly one marriage in two ending in the divorce court. The current immoral generation, with its obsession with sex and filth, with its increasing church membership but decreasing true spirituality, is plain and positive fulfillment of God’s Word. For a real shock, see how many of the last-day sins listed in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 you can find depicted in any issue of your Sunday newspaper. Nothing short of the coming of the Lord will stem the tide of evil that is now engulfing the world.
G.  Craze for pleasure
“In the last days … men shall be … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” 2 Timothy 3:1-4.
The world has gone crazy for pleasure. Only a small percentage of the citizens of our large cities attend church services regularly, but they jam pleasure resorts by the thousands. America is spending billions each year for pleasure and only “peanuts” (in comparison) for God. Pleasure-mad Americans waste billions of hours in front of the TV set in direct fulfillment of 2 Timothy 3:4.
H.  Increasing lawlessness, bloody crimes, and violence
“Iniquity shall abound.” Matthew 24:12. “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse.” 2 Timothy 3:13. “The land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.” Ezekiel 7:23.
It is all too obvious that this sign is fulfilled. Crime and lawlessness are increasing with shocking rapidity. Most people in large cities do not answer their doorbells after dark. The wisest statesmen of our time are concerned for the survival of civilization because crime sweeps forward seemingly beyond control.
I.  Destructive earthquakes, storms, and famines
“And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences.” Luke 21:11.
Earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, etc. are increasing at an unprecedented rate. One-third of the people of the world are hungry, and thousands die daily of starvation. All these things are further proof that we live in earth’s last hours.
J.  A special message to the world in the very last days
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14.
The great, solemn, last warning message of Christ’s second coming is now being presented in more than 900 languages and dialects. Nearly 95 percent of the world’s population has access to this message. Before Jesus’ second coming, every person in the world will be warned of His soon return. People will be lost only if they reject the warning message.
K.  A turning to spiritism
“In the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits.” 1 Timothy 4:1. “They are the spirits of devils.” Revelation 16:14.
People today, including a vast number of the heads of nations, seek counsel from psychics, channelers, and spiritualists. Spiritism has invaded the churches, as well, with the false teaching of the immortality of the soul. The Bible teaches that the dead are dead.

We are living in the final moments of time.

11. Just how near is the Lord’s second coming?

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Matthew 24:32-34.

Answer:   The Bible is very specific and plain on this point. The signs have almost all been fulfilled. We cannot know the exact day and hour of Christ’s return (Matthew 24:36), but we can be confident that we are the people who will live to see Jesus return. God has promised to finish things very quickly now and cut the work short (Romans 9:28). Christ is coming back to this earth for His people very soon. Are you ready?

What appears to be Jesus in a seance chamber is one of Satan’s impersonating demons.

12. Satan is telling many falsehoods regarding the second coming of Christ and, with lying wonders and miracles, will deceive millions. How can I be certain I will not be deceived?

“They are the spirits of devils, working miracles.” Revelation 16:14. “And shall shew great signs and wonders insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20.

Answer:   Satan has invented many false teachings about the second coming and is deceiving millions into believing that Christ has already come or that He will come in some non-biblical manner. But Christ has warned us of Satan’s strategy, saying, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Matthew 24:4. He then exposes Satan’s plans and falsehoods so we will be forewarned, and He reminds us, “Behold, I have told you before.” Matthew 24:25. For example, Jesus stated specifically that He will not appear in the desert or come to the seance chambers (verse 26). There is no reason to be deceived if we learn what God’s book teaches about Christ’s second coming. The acid test is this: What does the Bible teach about it? People who know what the Bible says about the second coming will not be led astray by Satan. All others will be deceived.

e must not become so busy that we have not time for Christ.

13. How can I be certain to be ready when Jesus comes back?

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” John 1:12. “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts.” Hebrews 8:10. “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57.

Answer:   Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door [this door represents the human mind or heart], and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in.” Revelation 3:20. Through the Holy Spirit and my conscience, Jesus knocks and asks to come into my heart so that He can change my life. If I unreservedly turn my life over to Him, He will erase all my sins of the past (Romans 3:25) and give me the power to live a godly life (John 1:12). As a free gift, He bestows upon me His own righteous character so I can stand unafraid before a holy God when my life is changed by Jesus. Then doing His will becomes a pleasure. It is so simple that many doubt its reality. But it’s true. My part is simply to give my life to Christ and let Him live within me. His part is to work the mighty miracle within me that changes my life and prepares me for His second coming. It is a free gift. I need only to accept it.

14. Of what great danger does Christ solemnly warn?

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 24:44. “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” Luke 21:34. “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37.

Answer:   There is great danger in becoming so busy with the cares of this life or so entranced by the pleasures of sin that the coming of the Lord may slip up on us as the Flood did on the world in Noah’s day, and we will be surprised, unprepared, and lost. This will be the experience of millions. How is it with you? Jesus is coming back very, very soon–in our present day. Are you ready? Nothing else matters.

“The Time Of Trouble.”

30 Oct

“At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which
standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time
of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to
that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered,
every one that shall be found written in the book.”1053
When the third angel’s message closes, mercy no longer pleads
for the guilty inhabitants of the earth. The people of God have accomplished
their work. They have received “the latter rain,” “the
refreshing from the presence of the Lord,” and they are prepared
for the trying hour before them. Angels are hastening to and fro
in heaven. An angel returning from the earth announces that his
work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world,
and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts
have received “the seal of the living God.” Then Jesus ceases His
intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands, and with
a loud voice says, “It is done;” and all the angelic host lay off
their crowns as He makes the solemn announcement: “He that is
unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be
filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and
he that is holy, let him be holy still.”1054 Every case has been
decided for life or death. Christ has made the atonement for His
people, and blotted out their sins. The number of His subjects [614]
is made up; “the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of
the kingdom under the whole heaven,” is about to be given to
the heirs of salvation, and Jesus is to reign as King of kings, and
Lord of lords.
When He leaves the sanctuary, darkness covers the inhabitants
of the earth. In that fearful time the righteous must live in the sight
of a holy God without an intercessor. The restraint which has
been upon the wicked is removed, and Satan has entire control
of the finally impenitent. God’s long-suffering has ended. The
world has rejected His mercy, despised His love, and trampled
upon His law. The wicked have passed the boundary of their
probation; the Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last
withdrawn. Unsheltered by divine grace, they have no protection
from the wicked one. Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the
earth into one great, final trouble. As the angels of God cease to
hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements
of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in
ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old.
A single angel destroyed all the first-born of the Egyptians,
and filled the land with mourning. When David offended against
God by numbering the people, one angel caused that terrible
destruction by which his sin was punished. The same destructive
power exercised by holy angels when God commands, will be
exercised by evil angels when He permits. There are forces
now ready, and only waiting the divine permission, to spread
desolation everywhere.
Those who honor the law of God have been accused of bringing judgments upon the world, and they will be regarded as
the cause of the fearful convulsions of nature and the strife and
bloodshed among men that are filling the earth with woe. The
power attending the last warning has enraged the wicked; their
[615] anger is kindled against all who have received the message, and
Satan will excite to still greater intensity the spirit of hatred and
persecution.
When God’s presence was finally withdrawn from the Jewish
nation, priests and people knew it not. Though under the control
of Satan, and swayed by the most horrible and malignant
passions, they still regarded themselves as the chosen of God.
The ministration in the temple continued; sacrifices were offered
upon its polluted altars, and daily the divine blessing was invoked
upon a people guilty of the blood of God’s dear Son, and seeking
to slay His ministers and apostles. So when the irrevocable
decision of the sanctuary has been pronounced, and the destiny
of the world has been forever fixed, the inhabitants of the earth
will know it not. The forms of religion will be continued by a
people from whom the Spirit of God has been finally withdrawn;
and the satanic zeal with which the prince of evil will inspire
them for the accomplishment of his malignant designs, will bear
the semblance of zeal for God.
As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy
throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities
have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday, the
persistent refusal of a small minority to yield to the popular
demand, will make them objects of universal execration. It will
be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of
the church and a law of the state, ought not to be tolerated; that
it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown
into confusion and lawlessness. The same argument eighteen
hundred years ago was brought against Christ by the “rulers of
the people.” “It is expedient for us,” said the wily Caiaphas, “that
one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation
ish not.”1055 This argument will appear conclusive; and a decree
will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of
the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the
severest punishment, and giving the people liberty, after a certain
time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World, and [616]
apostate Protestantism in the New, will pursue a similar course
toward those who honor all the divine precepts.
The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of
affliction and distress described by the prophet as the time of
Jacob’s trouble. “Thus saith the Lord: We have heard a voice of
trembling, of fear, and not of peace…. All faces are turned into
paleness. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it
is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of
it.”1056
Jacob’s night of anguish, when he wrestled in prayer for deliverance
from the hand of Esau,1057 represents the experience
of God’s people in the time of trouble. Because of the deception
practised to secure his father’s blessing, intended for Esau, Jacob
had fled for his life, alarmed by his brother’s deadly threats.
After remaining for many years an exile, he had set out, at God’s
command, to return with his wives and children, his flocks and
herds, to his native country. On reaching the borders of the
land, he was filled with terror by the tidings of Esau’s approach
at the head of a band of warriors, doubtless bent upon revenge.
Jacob’s company, unarmed and defenseless, seemed about to fall
helpless victims of violence and slaughter. And to the burden of
anxiety and fear was added the crushing weight of self-reproach;
for it was his own sin that had brought this danger. His only hope
was in the mercy of God; his only defense must be prayer. Yet
he leaves nothing undone on his own part to atone for the wrong
to his brother, and to avert the threatened danger. So should
the followers of Christ, as they approach the time of trouble,
make every exertion to place themselves in a proper light before
the people, to disarm prejudice, and to avert the danger which
threatens liberty of conscience.
Having sent his family away, that they may not witness his
distress, Jacob remains alone to intercede with God. He confesses
[617] his sin, and gratefully acknowledges the mercy of God toward
him, while with deep humiliation he pleads the covenant made
with his fathers, and the promises to himself in the night vision
at Bethel and in the land of his exile. The crisis in his life has
come; everything is at stake. In the darkness and solitude he
continues praying and humbling himself before God. Suddenly
a hand is laid upon his shoulder. He thinks that an enemy is
seeking his life, and with all the energy of despair he wrestles
with his assailant. As the day begins to break, the stranger puts
forth his superhuman power: at his touch the strong man seems
paralyzed, and he falls, a helpless, weeping suppliant, upon the
neck of his mysterious antagonist. Jacob knows now that it is
the Angel of the Covenant with whom he has been in conflict.
Though disabled, and suffering the keenest pain, he does not
relinquish his purpose. Long has he endured perplexity, remorse,
and trouble for his sin; now he must have the assurance that
it is pardoned. The divine visitant seems about to depart; but
Jacob clings to Him, pleading for a blessing. The Angel urges,
“Let Me go; for the day breaketh;” but the patriarch exclaims, “I
will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.” What confidence,
what firmness and perseverance, are here displayed! Had this
been a boastful, presumptuous claim, Jacob would have been
instantly destroyed; but his was the assurance of one who confesses
his weakness and unworthiness, yet trusts the mercy of a
covenant-keeping God.
“He had power over the Angel, and prevailed.”1058 Through
humiliation, repentance, and self-surrender, this sinful, erring
mortal prevailed with the Majesty of heaven. He had fastened
his trembling grasp upon the promises of God, and the heart
of Infinite Love could not turn away the sinner’s plea. As an
evidence of his triumph, and an encouragement to others to
imitate his example, his name was changed from one which was
a reminder of his sin, to one that commemorated his victory. And
the fact that Jacob had prevailed with God was an assurance that
he would prevail with men. He no longer feared to encounter [618]
his brother’s anger; for the Lord was his defense.
Satan had accused Jacob before the angels of God, claiming
the right to destroy him because of his sin; he had moved upon
Esau to march against him; and during the patriarch’s long night
of wrestling, Satan endeavored to force upon him a sense of his
guilt, in order to discourage him, and break his hold upon God.
Jacob was driven almost to despair; but he knew that without
help from heaven he must perish. He had sincerely repented of
his great sin, and he appealed to the mercy of God. He would not
be turned from his purpose, but held fast the Angel, and urged
his petition with earnest, agonizing cries, until he prevailed.
As Satan influenced Esau to march against Jacob, so he will
stir up the wicked to destroy God’s people in the time of trouble.
And as he accused Jacob, he will urge his accusations against
the people of God. He numbers the world as his subjects; but the
little company who keep the commandments of God are resisting
his supremacy. If he could blot them from the earth, his triumph
would be complete. He sees that holy angels are guarding them,
and he infers that their sins have been pardoned; but he does not
know that their cases have been decided in the sanctuary above.
He has an accurate knowledge of the sins which he has tempted
them to commit, and he presents these before God in the most
exaggerated light, representing this people to be just as deserving
as himself of exclusion from the favor of God. He declares that
the Lord cannot in justice forgive their sins, and yet destroy him
and his angels. He claims them as his prey, and demands that
they be given into his hands to destroy.
As Satan accuses the people of God on account of their sins,
the Lord permits him to try them to the uttermost. Their confidence
in God, their faith and firmness, will be severely tested.
[619] As they review the past, their hopes sink; for in their whole
lives they can see little good. They are fully conscious of their
weakness and unworthiness. Satan endeavors to terrify them with
the thought that their cases are hopeless, that the stain of their
defilement will never be washed away. He hopes so to destroy
their faith that they will yield to his temptations, and turn from
their allegiance to God.
Though God’s people will be surrounded by enemies who are
bent upon their destruction, yet the anguish which they suffer
is not a dread of persecution for the truth’s sake; they fear that
every sin has not been repented of, and that through some fault in
themselves they will fail to realize the fulfilment of the Saviour’s
promise, “I will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which
shall come upon all the world.”1059 If they could have the assurance
of pardon, they would not shrink from torture or death;
but should they prove unworthy, and lose their lives because of
their own defects of character, then God’s holy name would be
reproached.
On every hand they hear the plottings of treason, and see the
active working of rebellion; and there is aroused within them
an intense desire, an earnest yearning of soul, that this great
apostasy may be terminated, and the wickedness of the wicked
may come to an end. But while they plead with God to stay
the work of rebellion, it is with a keen sense of self-reproach
that they themselves have no more power to resist and urge
back the mighty tide of evil. They feel that had they always
employed all their ability in the service of Christ, going forward
from strength to strength, Satan’s forces would have less power
to prevail against them.
They afflict their souls before God, pointing to their past repentance
of their many sins, and pleading the Saviour’s promise,
“Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with
Me; and he shall make peace with Me.”1060 Their faith does not
fail because their prayers are not immediately answered. Though [620]
suffering the keenest anxiety, terror, and distress, they do not
cease their intercessions. They lay hold of the strength of God as
Jacob laid hold of the Angel; and the language of their souls is,
“I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.”
Had not Jacob previously repented of his sin in obtaining the
birthright by fraud, God would not have heard his prayer and
mercifully preserved his life. So, in the time of trouble, if the
people of God had unconfessed sins to appear before them while
tortured with fear and anguish, they would be overwhelmed; despair
would cut off their faith, and they could not have confidence
to plead with God for deliverance. But while they have a deep
sense of their unworthiness, they have no concealed wrongs to
reveal. Their sins have gone beforehand to judgment, and have
been blotted out; and they cannot bring them to remembrance.
Satan leads many to believe that God will overlook their unfaithfulness
in the minor affairs of life; but the Lord shows in His
dealings with Jacob that He will in no wise sanction or tolerate
evil. All who endeavor to excuse or conceal their sins, and
permit them to remain upon the books of heaven, unconfessed
and unforgiven, will be overcome by Satan. The more exalted
their profession, and the more honorable the position which they
hold, the more grievous is their course in the sight of God, and
the more sure the triumph of their great adversary. Those who
delay a preparation for the day of God cannot obtain it in the
time of trouble, or at any subsequent time. The case of all such
is hopeless.
Those professed Christians who come up to that last fearful
conflict unprepared, will, in their despair, confess their sins in
words of burning anguish, while the wicked exult over their
distress. These confessions are of the same character as was that
of Esau or of Judas. Those who make them, lament the result of
transgression, but not its guilt. They feel no true contrition, no
[621] abhorrence of evil. They acknowledge their sin, through fear of
punishment; but, like Pharaoh of old, they would return to their
defiance of Heaven, should the judgments be removed.
Jacob’s history is also an assurance that God will not cast off
those who have been deceived, and tempted, and betrayed into
sin, but who have returned unto Him with true repentance. While
Satan seeks to destroy this class, God will send His angels to
comfort and protect them in the time of peril. The assaults of
Satan are fierce and determined, his delusions are terrible; but
the Lord’s eye is upon His people, and His ear listens to their
cries. Their affliction is great, the flames of the furnace seem
about to consume them; but the Refiner will bring them forth
as gold tried in the fire. God’s love for His children during the
period of their severest trial, is as strong and tender as in the
days of their sunniest prosperity; but it is needful for them to be
placed in the furnace of fire; their earthliness must be consumed,
that the image of Christ may be perfectly reflected.
The season of distress and anguish before us will require a
faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger,—a faith that
will not faint, though severely tried. The period of probation is
granted to all to prepare for that time. Jacob prevailed because
he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence
of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of
God’s promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as
he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling
to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly
for His blessing, will not obtain it. Wrestling with God—how
few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn
out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the
stretch. When waves of despair which no language can express
sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to
the promises of God. [622]
Those who exercise but little faith now, are in the greatest
danger of falling under the power of satanic delusions and the
decree to compel the conscience. And even if they endure the
test, they will be plunged into deeper distress and anguish in the
time of trouble, because they have never made it a habit to trust
in God. The lessons of faith which they have neglected, they will
be forced to learn under a terrible pressure of discouragement.
We should now acquaint ourselves with God by proving His
promises. Angels record every prayer that is earnest and sincere.
We should rather dispense with selfish gratifications than neglect
communion with God. The deepest poverty, the greatest self-denial,
with His approval, is better than riches, honors, ease, and
friendship without it. We must take time to pray. If we allow our
minds to be absorbed by worldly interests, the Lord may give
us time by removing from us our idols of gold, of houses, or of
fertile lands.
The young would not be seduced into sin if they would refuse
to enter any path save that upon which they could ask God’s
blessing. If the messengers who bear the last solemn warning
to the world would pray for the blessing of God, not in a cold,
listless, lazy manner, but fervently and in faith, as did Jacob,
they would find many places where they could say, “I have seen
God face to face, and my life is preserved.”1061 They would be
accounted of heaven as princes, having power to prevail with
God and with men.
The “time of trouble such as never was,” is soon to open
upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now
possess, and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often
the case that trouble is greater in anticipation that in reality; but
this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation
cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal. In that time of trial,
every soul must stand for himself before God. “Though Noah,
Daniel, and Job” were in the land, “as I live, saith the Lord God,
[623] they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver
their own souls by their righteousness.”1062
Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for
us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a
thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of
temptation. Satan finds in human hearts some point where he
can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means
of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared
of Himself, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing
in Me.”1063 Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that
would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father’s
commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could
use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must
be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.
It is in this life that we are to separate sin from us, through faith
in the atoning blood of Christ. Our precious Saviour invites us to
join ourselves to Him, to unite our weakness to His strength, our
ignorance to His wisdom, our unworthiness to His merits. God’s
providence is the school in which we are to learn the meekness
and lowliness of Jesus. The Lord is ever setting before us, not
the way we would choose, which seems easier and pleasanter to
us, but the true aims of life. It rests with us to co-operate with the
agencies which Heaven employs in the work of conforming our
characters to the divine model. None can neglect or defer this
work but at the most fearful peril to their souls
The apostle John in vision heard a loud voice in heaven exclaiming,
“Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for
the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he
knoweth that he hath but a short time.”1064 Fearful are the scenes
which call forth this exclamation from the heavenly voice. The
wrath of Satan increases as his time grows short, and his work
of deceit and destruction will reach its culmination in the time of
trouble. [624]
Fearful sights of a supernatural character will soon be revealed
in the heavens, in token of the power of miracle-working demons.
The spirits of devils will go forth to the kings of the earth and
to the whole world, to fasten them in deception, and urge them
on to unite with Satan in his last struggle against the government
of heaven. By these agencies, rulers and subjects will be alike
deceived. Persons will arise pretending to be Christ Himself,
and claiming the title and worship which belong to the world’s
Redeemer. They will perform wonderful miracles of healing,
and will profess to have revelations from heaven contradicting
the testimony of the Scriptures.
As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan
himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to
look to the Saviour’s advent as the consummation of her hopes.
Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come.
In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among
men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the
description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation.1065
The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that
mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out
upon the air, “Christ has come! Christ has come!” The people
prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his
hands, and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed
His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and
subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he
presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the
Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in
his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the
Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which
he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping
holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to
listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the
strong, almost overmastering delusion. Like the Samaritans who
[625] were deceived by Simon Magus, the multitudes, from the least
to the greatest, give heed to these sorceries, saying, This is “the
great power of God.”1066
But the people of God will not be misled. The teachings of
this false christ are not in accordance with the Scriptures. His
blessing is pronounced upon the worshipers of the beast and his
image, the very class upon whom the Bible declares that God’s
unmingled wrath shall be poured out.
And, furthermore, Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the
manner of Christ’s advent. The Saviour has warned His people
against deception upon this point, and has clearly foretold the
manner of His second coming. “There shall arise false christs,
and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders;
insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very
elect…. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the
desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe
it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth
even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man
be.”1067 This coming, there is no possibility of counterfeiting. It
will be universally known—witnessed by the whole world.
Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures,
and who have received the love of the truth, will be shielded
from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the
Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise. To
all, the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation, the
genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now
so firmly established upon His word that they would not yield
to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis,
cling to the Bible, and the Bible only? Satan will, if possible,
prevent them from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day.
He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them
with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome
burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of [626]
this life, and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief.
As the decree issued by the various rulers of Christendom
against commandment-keepers shall withdraw the protection of
government, and abandon them to those who desire their destruction,
the people of God will flee from the cities and villages and
associate together in companies, dwelling in the most desolate
and solitary places. Many will find refuge in the strongholds
of the mountains. Like the Christians of the Piedmont valleys,
they will make the high places of the earth their sanctuaries, and
will thank God for the “munitions of rocks.”1068 But many of all
nations, and of all classes, high and low, rich and poor, black
and white, will be cast into the most unjust and cruel bondage.
The beloved of God pass weary days, bound in chains, shut in
by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die
of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons. No human ear is
open to hear their moans; no human hand is ready to lend them
help.
Will the Lord forget His people in this trying hour? Did
He forget faithful Noah when judgments were visited upon the
antediluvian world? Did He forget Lot when the fire came down
from heaven to consume the cities of the plain? Did He forget
Joseph surrounded by idolaters in Egypt? Did He forget Elijah
when the oath of Jezebel threatened him with the fate of the
prophets of Baal? Did He forget Jeremiah in the dark and dismal
pit of his prison-house? Did He forget the three worthies in the
fiery furnace? or Daniel in the den of lions?
“Zion said, Jehovah hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath
forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she
should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they
may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee
upon the palms of My hands.”1069 The Lord of hosts has said,
[627] “He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of His eye.”1070
Though enemies may thrust them into prison, yet dungeon
walls cannot cut off the communication between their souls and
Christ. One who sees their every weakness, who is acquainted
with every trial, is above all earthly powers; and angels will come
to them in lonely cells, bringing light and peace from heaven.
The prison will be as a palace; for the rich in faith dwell there,
and the gloomy walls will be lighted up with heavenly light, as
when Paul and Silas prayed and sung praises at midnight in the
Philippian dungeon.
God’s judgments will be visited upon those who are seeking
to oppress and destroy His people. His long forbearance with the
wicked emboldens men in transgression, but their punishment is
none the less certain and terrible because it is long delayed. “The
Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in
the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work;
and bring to pass His act, His strange act.”1071 To our merciful
God the act of punishment is a strange act. “As I live, saith the
Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.”1072
The Lord is “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant
in goodness and truth, … forgiving iniquity and transgression
and sin.” Yet He will “by no means clear the guilty.” “The Lord
is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit
the wicked.”1073 By terrible things in righteousness He will vindicate
the authority of His downtrodden law. The severity of
the retribution awaiting the transgressor may be judged by the
Lord’s reluctance to execute justice. The nation with which He
bears long, and which He will not smite until it has filled up the
measure of its iniquity in God’s account, will finally drink the
cup of wrath unmixed with mercy.
When Christ ceases His intercession in the sanctuary, the
unmingled wrath threatened against those who worship the beast
and his image and receive his mark,1074 will be poured out.
The plagues upon Egypt when God was about to deliver Israel,
were similar in character to those more terrible and extensive [628]
judgments which are to fall upon the world just before the final
deliverance of God’s people. Says the revelator, in describing
those terrific scourges: “There fell a noisome and grievous sore
upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them
which worshiped his image.” The sea “became as the blood of
a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.” And “the
rivers and fountains of waters … became blood.” Terrible as
these inflictions are, God’s justice stands fully vindicated. The
angel of God declares: “Thou are righteous, O Lord, … because
Thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and
prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are
worthy.”1075 By condemning the people of God to death, they
have as truly incurred the guilt of their blood as if it had been
shed by their hands. In like manner Christ declared the Jews of
His time guilty of all the blood of holy men which had been shed
since the days of Abel; for they possessed the same spirit, and
were seeking to do the same work, with these murderers of the
prophets.
In the plague that follows, power is given to the sun “to scorch
men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat.”1076 The
prophets thus describe the condition of the earth at this fearful
time: “The land mourneth; … because the harvest of the field
is perished.” “All the trees of the field are withered: because
joy is withered away from the sons of men.” “The seed is rotten
under their clods, the garners are laid desolate.” “How do the
beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they
have no pasture…. The rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire
hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.” “The songs of the
temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there
shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them
forth with silence.”1077
These plagues are not universal, or the inhabitants of the earth
[629] would bewholly cut off. Yet theywill be the most awful scourges
that have ever been known to mortals. All the judgments upon
men, prior to the close of probation, have been mingled with
mercy. The pleading blood of Christ has shielded the sinner from
receiving the full measure of his guilt; but in the final judgment,
wrath is poured out unmixed with mercy.
In that day, multitudes will desire the shelter of God’s mercy
which they have so long despised. “Behold, the days come, saith
the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine
of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the
Lord: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north
even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the
Lord, and shall not find it.”1078
The people of God will not be free from suffering; but while
persecuted and distressed, while they endure privation, and suffer
for want of food, they will not be left to perish. That God
who cared for Elijah, will not pass by one of His self-sacrificing
children. He who numbers the hairs of their head, will care for
them; and in time of famine they shall be satisfied. While the
wicked are dying from hunger and pestilence, angels will shield
the righteous, and supply their wants. To him that “walketh righteously”
is the promise, “Bread shall be given him; his waters
shall be sure.” “When the poor and needy seek water, and there
is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear
them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.”1079
“Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit
be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields
shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and
there shall be no herd in the stalls:” yet shall they that fear Him
“rejoice in the Lord,” and joy in the God of their salvation.1080
“The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right
hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve [630]
thy soul.” “He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His
feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be
thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by
night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence
that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at
noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at
thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine
eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because
thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most
High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall
any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”1081
Yet to human sight it will appear that the people of God must
soon seal their testimony with their blood, as did the martyrs
before them. They themselves begin to fear that the Lord has left
them to fall by the hand of their enemies. It is a time of fearful
agony. Day and night they cry unto God for deliverance. The
wicked exult, and the jeering cry is heard, “Where now is your
faith? Why does not God deliver you out of our hands if you are
indeed His people?” But the waiting ones remember Jesus dying
upon Calvary’s cross, and the chief priests and rulers shouting in
mockery, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be
the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and
we will believe Him.”1082 Like Jacob, all are wrestling with God.
Their countenances express their internal struggle. Paleness sits
upon every face. Yet they cease not their earnest intercession.
Could men see with heavenly vision, they would behold companies
of angels that excel in strength stationed about those who
have kept the word of Christ’s patience. With sympathizing
tenderness, angels have witnessed their distress, and have heard
their prayers. They are waiting the word of their Commander
to snatch them from their peril. But they must wait yet a little
[631] longer. The people of God must drink of the cup, and be
baptized with the baptism. The very delay, so painful to them,
is the best answer to their petitions. As they endeavor to wait
trustingly for the Lord to work, they are led to exercise faith,
hope, and patience, which have been too little exercised during
their religious experience. Yet for the elect’s sake, the time of
trouble will be shortened. “Shall not God avenge His own elect,
which cry day and night unto Him?… I tell you that He will
avenge them speedily.”1083 The end will come more quickly than
men expect. The wheat will be gathered and bound in sheaves
for the garner of God; the tares will be bound as fagots for the
fires of destruction.
The heavenly sentinels, faithful to their trust, continue their
watch. Though a general decree has fixed the time when commandment-keepers may be put to death, their enemies will in
some cases anticipate the decree, and before the time specified,
will endeavor to take their lives. But none can pass the mighty
guardians stationed about every faithful soul. Some are assailed
in their flight from the cities and villages; but the swords raised
against them break and fall as powerless as a straw. Others are
defended by angels in the form of men of war.
In all ages, God has wrought through holy angels for the
succor and deliverance of His people. Celestial beings have
taken an active part in the affairs of men. They have appeared
clothed in garments that shone as the lightning; they have come
as men, in the garb of wayfarers. Angels have appeared in human
form to men of God. They have rested, as if weary, under the
oaks at noon. They have accepted the hospitalities of human
homes. They have acted as guides to benighted travelers. They
have, with their own hands, kindled the fires of the altar. They
have opened prison doors, and set free the servants of the Lord.
Clothed with the panoply of heaven, they came to roll away the
stone from the Saviour’s tomb.
In the form of men, angels are often in the assemblies of the
righteous, and they visit the assemblies of the wicked, as they [632]
went to Sodom, to make a record of their deeds, to determine
whether they have passed the boundary of God’s forbearance.
The Lord delights in mercy; and for the sake of a few who really
serve Him, He restrains calamities, and prolongs the tranquillity
of multitudes. Little do sinners against God realize that they are
indebted for their own lives to the faithful few whom they delight
to ridicule and oppress.
Though the rulers of this world know it not, yet often in their
councils angels have been spokesmen. Human eyes have looked
upon them; human ears have listened to their appeals; human
lips have opposed their suggestions and ridiculed their counsels;
human hands have met them with insult and abuse. In the council
hall and the court of justice, these heavenly messengers have
shown an intimate acquaintance with human history; they have
proved themselves better able to plead the cause of the oppressed
than were their ablest and most eloquent defenders. They have
defeated purposes and arrested evils that would have greatly
retarded the work of God, and would have caused great suffering
to His people. In the hour of peril and distress, “the angel of the
Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth
them.”1084
With earnest longing, God’s people await the tokens of their
coming King. As the watchmen are accosted, “What of the
night?” the answer is given unfalteringly, “ ‘The morning cometh,
and also the night.’1085 Light is gleaming upon the clouds above
the mountain tops. Soon there will be a revealing of His glory.
The Sun of Righteousness is about to shine forth. The morning
and the night are both at hand,—the opening of endless day to
the righteous, the settling down of eternal night to the wicked.”
As the wrestling ones urge their petitions before God, the
veil separating them from the unseen seems almost withdrawn.
The heavens glow with the dawning of eternal day, and like the
[633] melody of angel songs, the words fall upon the ear, “Stand fast
to your allegiance. Help is coming.” Christ, the almighty victor,
holds out to His weary soldiers a crown of immortal glory; and
His voice comes from the gates ajar: “Lo, I am with you. Be
not afraid. I am acquainted with all your sorrows; I have borne
your griefs. You are not warring against untried enemies. I have
fought the battle in your behalf, and in My name you are more
than conquerors.”
The precious Saviour will send help just when we need it. The
way to heaven is consecrated by His footprints. Every thorn that
wounds our feet has wounded His. Every cross that we are called
to bear, He has borne before us. The Lord permits conflicts, to
prepare the soul for peace. The time of trouble is a fearful ordeal
for God’s people; but it is the time for every true believer to look
up, and by faith he may see the bow of promise encircling him.
“The redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing
unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they
shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall
flee away. I, even I, am He that comforteth you: who art thou,
that thou shouldst be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son
of man which shall be made as grass; and forgettest the Lord thy
Maker; … and hast feared continually every day because of the
fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where
is the fury of the oppressor? The captive exile hasteneth that he
may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his
bread should fail. But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the
sea, whose waves roared: the Lord of hosts is His name. And I
have put My words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the
shadow of Mine hand.”1086
“Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but
not with wine: Thus saith thy Lord Jehovah, and thy God that
pleadeth the cause of His people, Behold, I have taken out of
thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of My
fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: but I will put it into the [634]
hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow
down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the
ground, and as the street, to them that went over.”1087
The eye of God, looking down the ages, was fixed upon the
crisis which His people are to meet, when earthly powers shall
be arrayed against them. Like the captive exile, they will be in
fear of death by starvation or by violence. But the Holy One
who divided the Red Sea before Israel, will manifest His mighty
power and turn their captivity. “They shall be Mine, saith the
Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and
I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth
him.”1088 If the blood of Christ’s faithful witnesses were shed at
this time, it would not, like the blood of the martyrs, be as seed
sown to yield a harvest for God. Their fidelity would not be a
testimony to convince others of the truth; for the obdurate heart
has beaten back the waves of mercy until they return no more.
If the righteous were now left to fall a prey to their enemies, it
would be a triumph for the prince of darkness. Says the psalmist,
“In the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the
secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me.”1089 Christ has spoken:
“Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy
doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment,
until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh
out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their
iniquity.”1090 Glorious will be the deliverance of those who have
patiently waited for His coming, and whose names are written in
the book of life.

Taken from THE GREAT CONTROVERSY BY ELLEN G WHITE

Millennium and the Judgment

18 Oct

Revelation 20

20:1-3 The Millennium: After Christ’s second coming, the earth is utterly desolate, a jagged smoldering ruin. The righteous have been taken to Heaven, and the wicked have been destroyed. 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

As the prophecy continues, John sees “an angel come down from heaven,” lay hold on Satan and bind him for “a thousand years.” Satan is alone with no one to ruin or deceive. He has a thousand years to reflect on the effects which sin has wrought, to behold the results of his rebellion, and to look forward with dread to the time when he will be punished for the evil he has done and the sins he has caused others to commit. At the end of the thousand years (commonly known as the “millennium”) he will be “loosed” for a short time.

 

20:4-6 The scene shifts to heaven where the saints sit with the Lord in judgment on the wicked. They will not determine the salvation or damnation of anyone, for each one’s case has already been decided. Instead Christ, in union with his people, judges the wicked dead, as well as Satan and his fallen angels. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3. The books of record are examined, and the punishment to be administered to each of the wicked is determined. During this time God patiently answers any questions the saints may have. This work takes “a thousand years” to complete, but when it is finished both saints and angels agree that God has been just in all His acts and in the way He has dealt with the great rebellion.

Jesus said in John 5:28-29: “The hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have one good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” “The first resurrection” is the “resurrection of life.” It takes place at the second coming of Christ when He resurrects all the righteous who have died (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57), and it marks the beginning of the millennium. The second resurrection is the “resurrection of damnation.” It takes place when “the thousand years” are “finished,” and is composed of the wicked, who will take part in “the second death.”

20:7-10 At the end of the thousand years of the millennium, Jesus and His people, along with the holy City, the New Jerusalem, descend to the earth. Revelation 21:2. All the wicked who have ever lived are now resurrected in “the resurrection of damnation,” and “Satan” is “loosed out of his prison.” After his long incarceration, he now has all his subjects, the vast multitude of the lost, to tempt, deceive and torment. He then goes out “to deceive the nations” and “to gather them together to battle.” He persuades them that he has resurrected them from the grave by his own power. He convinces them that together they can conquer the New Jerusalem and overthrow God. Now plans are made, instruments of war constructed, and the armies of Satan Surround “The camp of the saints” and “the beloved city.”

Before judgment is executed against the wicked, they are shown the charges for which they are condemned; they agree with the saints and the angels that God’s judgment is just. See vss. 11-13.

Then the sentence is executed. “Fire” comes “down from God out of heaven” to devour the wicked, turning the earth’s surface into a vast “lake of fire.” It burns up “the devil,” “the beast,” “the false prophet” and “whosoever was not found written in the book of life,” vs. 15. Sin and the effects of sin are destroyed, including “death” and “hell” (the grave), vs. 14. In the cleansing flames the wicked are annihilated; this is the second death. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power,” vs. 6. The fire that consumed the wicked purifies the earth. Every trace of the curse of sin is swept away. The universe is once again free from sin and rebellion.

God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:32; 33:11); to Him the destruction of the wicked is a strange act. Isaiah 28:21. God loves and sends blessings upon all, even on those who are evil. John 3:16; Matthew 5:45; Luke 6:35. The wicked have made themselves unfit for Heaven. The purity, peace and harmony of paradise would be a great torture to them. Their destruction is the most merciful thing that God can do for them

 

20:11-15 The Great White Throne Judgment: After the wicked surround the City of God, but before they are destroyed, God opens the books of Heaven and shows each one of the lost the record of his life of rebellion against God. They also see the love of God in the effort He has expended to affect their salvation, and in the blood of the Son of God poured out on their behalf.

The record books of heaven portray its unmistakeable detail their selfishness, cruelty, and every particular of their rejection of God’s authority. They will see clearly why their names are not in the Book of Life. Revelation 13:8; Exodus 32:32, 33; Revelation 3:5.

All the wicked will be fully convinced of God’s justice in the sentence of eternal death pronounced against them. All of God’s judgments are seen to be fair and honest. The entire host of the lost will bow down and confess that God is just. Romans 14:11. Even Satan will knee’ before God and admit that he has been wrong in his rebellion Then the wicked receive their punishment in the lake of fire with Satan and his angels

 

The Rider on the white horse

18 Oct

Revelation 19 KJV

19:1-5 Triumphant Praises to God: Revelation 19 begins with a picture of the redeemed saints in heaven singing triumphant praises to God with all their hearts. They are praising God for the justice and righteousness of His judgments on Babylon and for salvation from sin and from the power of Satan. All the heavenly beings join their voices proclaiming “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” All heaven is filled with unutterable joy in the love of God and with rejoicing at the eradication of evil from the universe.

 

19:6-9 The Marriage Supper of the Lamb: The announcement is made, “The marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.” Here Christ receives His kingdom, which is called “His Bride” (Revelation 21:9), and is symbolized by the New Jerusalem. Revelation 21:9-10.

She is clothed in “fine linen, clean and white.” The “fine linen” is the righteousness of Jesus which He gives to all who receive Him as Lord. The hosts of the redeemed are the citizens of His glorious kingdom. Thus “His Bride,” Christ’s Church and Kingdom is symbolically clothed in “the righteousness of the saints.”

The saints take part in “the marriage supper of the Lamb,” vs. 9. All heaven rejoices in a glorious celebration as Christ receives His kingdom.

19:10 The angel tells John to “worship God” only. Angels and prophets are both created beings, servants of God trusted with a common task, to bring prophecy, called here “the testimony of Jesus,” to mankind

19:11-16 The Feast of the Birds, Armageddon: Next, John sees a vision of Christ’s Second Coming that deals with the wicked. Christ appears on “a white horse” as the Conquering King. He comes with the “armies” of “Heaven” to “judge and make war.” His eyes seem to pierce to the heart of each person, for He knows every thought and word and action of their lives. His vesture has on it the “blood” of the victory He won at Calvary; that accomplishment ensured His triumph now in the battle of Armageddon.

The “sharp sword” and “rod of iron” signify victory over His enemies. Jesus comes to smite the wicked nations, who have waged war against Him, His saints and His church. He has laid aside his priestly garments and put on “crowns” and kingly attire; He is coming as “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS

19:17-18 When the battle of Armageddon is over and the wicked are all dead, an angel invites “all the fowls” to “the supper of the great God” that they “may eat the flesh” of the wicked. While the saints partake of the “marriage supper of the Lamb,” the wicked become a feast for the birds at “the supper of the great God.” May we all accept Christ’s gracious invitation to live and dine with Him in Heaven.

19:19-21 “The beast,” the Papal Roman Church system, along with “the false prophet,” apostate Protestantism, are “cast alive into a lake of fire.” The rest of the wicked are slain and left to be eaten by the birds; no one is left alive.

 

 

The Minstrel's Wife

A worship leader's missus and her views from the pew

STOP WALKING DEAD!

slaying the zombie in you through Jesus --

Life of Yan ♥

My Name is Yanira Vargas. I am a Senior at Washington State University. I love all things expression and creative. I was in a relationship with my childhood best friend of 4 years, who happens to have had passed away with stage 3 brain cancer. I still believe in God, and in the beauty of mircles. Join me and embark on this journey with me.

The New New World Order

So long as there remain the righteous people of God to stand firm.

Faith Love n Desire

Only Jesus is your best friend....

Attenti al Lupo

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Kristi Ann's Haven

Jesus-Yeshua Saves!!

keithgarrettpoetry

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Jesus. God Loves Bummyla

Teaching The World About Jesus

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

Gabriel Lucatero

I have a real job. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram don't pay the bills yet.

Journey Through Recovery

Amy McCalister's Journey Through Recovery

Ace News Services

" This is our daily news that we feel is important & we want to tell people about the truth behind the story "

Gospel Relevance

Gospel-Centered Resources For The Gospel-Driven Life

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