Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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October 29, 2011
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October 29, 2011
Despite God's Wrath On Them They Repented Not Of Their Deeds, Hard-hearted People Of The Earth And Blasphemy Of The Beast, Endtime Ministry Of Two Sackcloth Witnesses, Hate The Light, Demonstrate Humility In Our Understanding, Misguided Wannabe False Prophets, Christian Brethren Doctrinally Confused, The Earth Will Not Be Destroyed At Christ's Return, New Heaven And A New Earth, Science Technology And Modern Conveniences, Don't Harden Your Heart Against God, Hardening Our Hearts Is An Invitation To God's Wrath, A Rude Awakening But Too Late, Now Is The Day Of Salvation, The Choice Is Yours, Eternal Life Or Wrath And Destruction Of An Angry God, Conclusion
Blasphemy of the Beast
Once thing which amazes me -- and saddens me -- concerning these Endtime plagues and catastrophes, is that not only do the people of the Earth realize that it is God who is doing these things to them, but they continue to blaspheme His Name as well. They are so hard-hearted and evil, that rather than repent and beg for God's mercy, they curse Him in the midst of their afflictions instead, right along with the Beast, as we see by the following verses. Please take note that in the first set of verses, it clearly says that they "repented not of their deeds". Is it any wonder that so many experience the Second Death?:
"And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds . . . And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."
Revelation 16:8-11, 21, KJV
"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."
Daniel 7:25, KJV
"And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done."
Daniel 11:36, KJV
"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven."
Revelation 13:5-6, KJV
"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty . . . And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."
Revelation 16:13-14, 16, KJV
Ministry of Two Sackcloth Witnesses
Considering how hard-hearted these people will be, how is it that they will realize that it is God who is afflicting them with these Endtime plagues? I believe that the answer may be found in Revelation chapter eleven, where we find a lengthy description of the ministry of the Two Sackcloth Witnesses. In other words, as I explain in more detail in the article "The Two Sackcloth Witnesses of Revelation 11", the Lord's Two Prophets will be announcing the Judgments of God against the unbelieving world for a period of three and a half years, whether they want to hear it or not. They will be telling them why they are experiencing the Wrath of God, and why the world is filled with so much destruction.
As we saw earlier, when people refuse the Light of God's Truth, preferring instead to remain in spiritual darkness, they in fact turn against the light, and hate the light, and even try to extinguish it, just as the unbelieving Jews made every attempt to extinguish Jesus' life two thousand years ago. Thus it will be with these Two Sackcloth Witnesses as well. Once they have completed their mission on Earth, God will allow them to be killed by their antichrist enemies. However, three days later, God will shock the world when He resurrects His two servants, and then returns them to the Heavenly Realm. Please refer to the aforementioned article for a more in-depth look at my personal views regarding this topic.
Demonstrate Humility In Our Understanding
As I explained earlier, trying to properly understand where particular prophetic events should be placed in God's Divine Timeline is not an easy task. Even being an expert in human history -- which I am not -- sometimes does not suffice; the reason being that some portions of God's Word are just that cryptic. It is for this reason that we all must be willing to demonstrate a bit of personal humility when it comes to the discussion of God's Word. This is particularly true when we are discussing prophetic events. As I have said before, until something actually happens, we just don't know with absolute certainty, and to claim otherwise is foolishness, and stems from vanity and pride.
In fact, as I explain in a number of articles, such as "The Misguided End of the World Predictions of Harold Camping", "Sorry . . . Jesus Is Not Coming at Any Moment", and "Comet Elenin, Hercolubus, Nibiru, and Planet X", it is precisely because certain preachers and teachers have been so foolish as to make specific date predictions which have failed to come to pass, that not only has our faith been mocked by the unbelieving world, but many of our Christian brethren have become doctrinally confused by these "trumpets" which make an "uncertain sound", as the Apostle Paul tells us:
"And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"
1 Corinthians 14:7-8, KJV
While Paul was writing about the Gift of Tongues, the same principle can be applied to the discussion of prophecy as well. There is such a plethora of interpretations today, not to mentioned the army of misguided, wannabe false prophets, that it is no wonder that so many of our Christian brethren are confused, and not knowing what to believe. I hope that my articles don't contribute to their confusion. As you may know, that is why I endeavor as much as possible to validate my views by providing Scriptural support for them.
Earth Not Destroyed at Christ's Return
Having stated the above, my current understanding is that the Earth itself won't be totally destroyed at the time of Jesus Christ's Return. In examining all of the previous verses that I have shared with you, I hold to the view that, if anything, the surface of the Earth may possibly be totally burned -- as per the Apostle Peter's description, just as a farmer must turn his fields each year -- and then restored to its former beauty, following the Battle of Armageddon. As you may know, it is during that great battle that Jesus Christ will destroy the Beast and the False Prophet, imprison Satan, and set up His own Kingdom on the Earth. In other words, the planet will still be here. It will just be the surface that is actually burned, and then receives a makeover. This is my current thinking on the subject.
Common sense dictates that if Christ and His resurrected Saints are going to rule on the Earth during the period that we Christians refer to as the Millennium, then obviously, our planet must still be here. As I explain in the article entitled "From Armageddon to the New Earth", I have pondered the possibility that the Lord might choose to not restore the Earth to its former glory during the Millennium, so that it will serve as a stern reminder to those blessed people who still remain. What does seem certain to me is that at the time of the Great White Throne Judgement which occurs in Revelation chapter twenty, the Earth and heavens do in fact flee away, as we saw in earlier verses. This is of course followed by the creation of the New Heaven and the New Earth in Revelation chapter twenty-one, as we see by this verse:
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."
Revelation 21:1, KJV
Please note that because of the way the Greek word "ouranos" is used in the New Testament, the phrase "new heaven" could be referring to a new atmosphere around the new Earth, or it could be referring to something much greater than that. In other words, Outer Space itself. At this point in time, I am not certain which is the correct interpretation. There are arguments to favor both views.
Science, Technology and Modern Conveniences
Before concluding this series, I would like to bring one more thought to your attention. In this modern age of science and technology, we have become so accustomed to explaining things through scientific terms. To a certain degree, this is good. However, there is a negative aspect to this as well. You see, thousands of years ago, man was much more connected to both the Creation and the Creator. This can even be said of a few hundred years ago as well. As a result, it was easier for him to recognize the Hand of God working in the affairs of men.
Today, however, as a direct result of our science and our technology, and our many inventions and modern conveniences, we have distanced ourselves from God and the natural world. We are like chickens running around the world with our heads chopped off, always in a hurry to get somewhere. As a result, it has become more difficult for us to recognize when the Lord is working in our lives in some way. I am reminded of the following verse that was written by the Prophet Daniel:
"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."
Daniel 12:4, KJV
Don't Harden Your Heart
In other words, to a large degree, many of us have stilled the Voice of God's Spirit speaking to our hearts, and have resisted the conviction that He is trying to place upon us when we do wrong. Today, when powerful earthquakes occur, we simply point to science and its explanation of tectonic plate movement. When droughts, floods or heat waves occur, we again point to science and its explanation concerning "el niño", "la niña", changing weather patterns, or some other such thing. Unlike our God-fearing forefathers, we are no longer willing to consider that these things occur in our lives because God may be displeased with us in some way, and is trying to get our attention. We simply refuse to recognize that these things are mechanisms of His Wrath and displeasure.
Folks, this is a dangerous spiritual place to be in. For our own good, we must not be so foolish as to harden our hearts as the Israelites did thousands of years ago during their time in the wilderness, or as many people continue to do today as well. In the New Testament, we find the following admonitions:
"Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness . . . While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation."
Hebrews 3:8, 15, KJV
"Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts."
Hebrews 4:7, KJV
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Jeremiah 17:9, KJV
"For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened."
Mark 6:52, KJV
"And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?"
Mark 8:17, KJV
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept."
Mark 10:5, KJV
"Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen."
Mark 16:14, KJV
"He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them."
John 12:40, KJV
"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye."
Acts 7:51, KJV
"Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness."
Ephesians 4:18-19, KJV
Guaranteed Recipients of God's Wrath
One of these days, God is going to make absolutely certain that we understand that He is indeed sorely displeased with us, when His Divine Wrath is revealed from Heaven. He is going to let us know that by hardening our hearts against Him, we have in fact sealed our fates, and guaranteed that we will become recipients of His Wrath. I am reminded of the following verses that were written by the Apostle Paul, and directed to the brethren in Rome. Paul wrote thusly:
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;"
Romans 1:18, KJV
"But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;"
Romans 2:5, KJV
A Rude Awakening, But Too Late
When all of the events that I have described in this series begin to come to pass, and when destruction is all around, only then will many people begin to wake up, and realize their error, and it will indeed be a very rude awakening. Why a rude awakening? Because right now, so many of them are spiritually asleep, and they don't even realize it. Let me remind you again of the Apostle Paul's admonition regarding remaining spiritually awake:
"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,"
1 Thessalonians 5:1-9, KJV
Perhaps that is one of the reasons why Jesus informs us in Matthew chapter twenty-four that "all the tribes of the earth [shall] mourn" when they "see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven." They will no doubt be shocked out of their spiritual sleep and lethargy; and they will realize that they have been terribly wrong. As I have explained throughout this series, while Christ's Return will be a glorious occasion for the saved Children of God, such will most definitely not be the case for the unrepentant and rebellious children of the world. Perhaps only then, as they feel the full Wrath of God, and witness the Earth being destroyed around them, they will realize that they have waited too long.
When their temporal world begins to crumble all around them, and destruction can be seen and felt everywhere, only then will some people repent of their sins, and cry out to God for His Mercy. Sadly, as we have seen, some hard-hearted people will continue to blaspheme God to the very end; that is, to their very end and destruction.
Now Is the Day of Salvation
Obviously, it should not be like this. Rather than wait for the Wrath of God to fall upon our heads, we should repent of our sins of wickedness, rebellion and unbelief now, while there is still time to do so, and turn to and embrace the Light of Jesus Christ. As we are told in the Scriptures, now is the day of Salvation. We should not put it off another day, because we may not have another day. Please consider the following verses:
"[For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.]"
2 Corinthians 6:2, KJV
"The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."
Psalms 90:10, KJV
"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."
Isaiah 40:7-8, KJV
"But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?"
Luke 12:20, KJV
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
Hebrews 9:27, KJV
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
James 4:14, KJV
The Choice Is Yours
As I explain in such articles as "Do You Want Love and Light, or Rod and Wrath?", we should each endeavor to live a godly, wholesome, righteous life now, while we still have the choice and freedom to do so, rather than wait until the Wrath of God forces us to do so. The choice is really up to you. What will you do? Please choose wisely, because if there is one thing that the Bible makes very clear, it is that to make the wrong choice means to end up in a very terrible place. This is made plain by verses such as the following:
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Matthew 7:13-14, KJV
". . . he that cometh after me . . . will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Matthew 3:11b-12, KJV
"The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish."
Psalms 1:4-6, KJV
"How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and how oft cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his anger. They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away."
Job 21:17-18, KJV
". . . He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
Matthew 13:37b-42, KJV
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God . . . For our God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 10:31, 12:29, KJV
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Revelation 20:15, KJV
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Revelation 21:8, KJV
"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?"
2 Peter 3:11-12, KJV
The time is growing shorter with each passing year. At some point -- perhaps when you least expect it -- Jesus Christ will return with the Holy Angels, in order to Rapture His children out of this wicked world. Will you be ready? Will you be one of them? Or will you be left behind to face the destruction and Wrath of an angry God? Again, the choice is really up to you. Please receive Jesus Christ as your Savior today.
With these words I will bring another series to its close. I trust that you have found it informative and inspirational, and I hope that it has been a blessing in your life.