Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
May 26, 1997
Last Updated :
December 1, 2011
Millions Of People On The Earth By The Time Of Genesis Flood, Book Of Enoch: Men Devoured By Bloodthirsty Nephilim Giants, A Provision For Salvation Of The Antediluvian Inhabitants?, Looking Forward And Backwards In Faith To The Messiah, Are Pre-Flood People Eternally Lost?, A Post-Crucifixion Mass Resurrection In Gospel Of Matthew, Who Were The Resurrected Saints?, Era Of Forward-Looking Salvation And Old Testament Saintly Designation, Dark Difficult Time Following The Fall In The Garden Of Eden, A Full Restoration And Peace With God Through Jesus's Sacrifice, God's Foresight And Foreknowledge, Predestinated And Chosen Before The Foundation Of The World, Salvation Available To All Men, Straight Gate And Wide Gate, Ye Shall Die In Your Sins, We Get Only One Lifetime To Live, Gospel Preached In All The World, God Thoroughly Warns The World And Then His Divine Judgments Fall, Unbelieving World And The Beast Blaspheme God, God's Banquet For The Buzzards, Beast And False Prophet Are Cast Alive Into The Lake Of Fire, Satan Imprisoned In The Bottomless Pit, Christ Rules During The Millennium, First Resurrection And Reign Of The Saints, Satan Loosed One Final Time To Deceive The World Once More, Final Battle Of Gog And Magog, Fire From Heaven And Satan Is Cast Into The Lake Of Fire, The Fate Of The Fallen Angels
One important point which is worth mentioning here is that while we have been primarily discussing the fate of the Fallen Angels, the Nephilim, the demons and the imprisoned spirits who both Peter and Jude mention in their Epistles, these were not the only living beings who were affected at the time of the Great Flood. Consider that from the time of Creation up until that point, over sixteen hundred years had passed. It seems likely that by that time, the descendants of Adam and Eve and their children -- the precise number of whom is not made clear in the Scriptures -- must have numbered in the millions. The casualties of the Great Flood must have also included Noah's ancestors as well.
While the Book of Enoch informs us that many people were devoured by the violent offspring of the Fallen Angels -- the bloodthirsty Nephilim giants -- when the resources of the Earth were no longer sufficient to sustain them, there must have still been a lot of regular human beings living upon the Earth at the time of the Flood. These people lived thousands of years prior to the time when Jesus Christ was manifested upon the Earth, and obviously before He died on the Cross for the Remission of our sins. That being the case, knowing that God is a fair, merciful and righteous Judge, doesn't it seem possible, even likely, that He would have put in place some kind of provision for the Salvation of these antediluvian inhabitants of the Earth?
As I have mentioned before, it is important that we remember that the people of the Old Testament era looked forward in faith to the time of the arrival of the Messiah, while we people of the New Testament era look backwards in faith to the time of Jesus Christ. Of course, there are also those people who actually lived during the time of Jesus Christ as well. Being as many of them personally witnessed the great miracles of the Son of God in the flesh, and yet in the end, still rejected Him and the Salvation which He offered them, I have wondered if perhaps some of those people will receive the harshest judgment of all, namely the unbelieving Jews.
While I have some doubts concerning whether or not God will give the Fallen Angels another chance, being as they were created by God, and previously existed in the very Presence of God, and knew His Benevolence, Mercy and Salvation, the same cannot be said regarding the people who lived upon the Earth prior to the time of the Great Flood. Is it possible that they are included in the spirits who the Apostle Peter mentions in his Epistles? If so, exactly what provision did God make for them, if any? Or will those lost souls meet the same judgment as the Fallen Angels? In other words, are they eternally lost?
For a number of years now, I have pondered an interesting set of verses which are found near the end of the Gospel of Matthew. According to Matthew -- and he is the only one who even mentions this event in the four Gospels -- at the time of Jesus' Resurrection from the Dead, many other people were likewise resurrected as well, as we see here:
"And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."
Matthew 27:52-53, KJV
As you will recall, in part one of this series, I explained that the Bible informs us that as a result of His physical death on a Roman Cross, and His subsequent Resurrection from the Dead two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ is referred to as "the firstborn among many brethren", "the firstborn of every creature", "the firstborn from the dead", "the first begotten of the dead", and finally, the "firstfruits" of the Resurrection.
Jesus is in fact the very progenitor of a new race of beings, which, in some way that is not yet fully understood by mere humans, somehow combines the properties of flesh and Spirit. This becomes evident when we consider the fact that following His Resurrection from the Dead, Jesus was still able to be seen and touched, and still able to eat and drink. Yet, at the same time, the Lord could also pass through closed doors, vanish at a moment's notice, and transport Himself from one place to another apparently instantaneously.
The fact that Jesus Christ is the Firstfruits implies that other people will follow Him, and will likewise experience a resurrection, resulting in a miraculous transformation of their mortal bodies of flesh. The Gospel writer Matthew is describing just such an event in the previous verses.
For me personally, the challenge isn't only in wondering why Matthew is the only one to have mentioned such a miraculous and glorious event -- one would think that all four of the Gospel writers would do likewise, as well as the Apostle Paul -- but also in properly understanding exactly who Matthew is referring to when he states "bodies of the saints". I have always assumed that he is writing about the famous Israelite leaders, the Prophets and other people of the Old Testament era who looked forward to the arrival of their, as well as our, Messiah. As I mentioned earlier, even though Jesus had not yet died on the Cross, they were sanctified by faith, just as Abraham was saved by faith.
But the question is this: At one point in time in the history of the ancient world did God begin to consider certain people to be His Saints? Did this Saintly Designation first begin with Adam and Eve? Did it begin when God made the Covenant of Circumcision with the Patriarch Abraham? In other words, at what particular point in the early history of the world did forward-looking Salvation go into effect? If we assume that it began with the Covenant of Circumcision that God made with Abraham, does that imply that everyone prior to that time is forever lost?
Well obviously, it doesn't seem likely, does it? After all, if the era of forward-looking Salvation began with Abraham, it would even rule out the Patriarch Noah, who God used to save the remnant of mankind, and who the Bible even informs us found Grace in the sight of the Lord, as we see here:
"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."
Genesis 6:8, KJV
If we begin with the Covenant of Circumcision, it would also leave out Adam and Eve -- who are the parents of all living -- righteous Abel, Seth his replacement, and even Enoch, who walked with God. One interesting verse which comes to mind is the following:
"And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD."
Genesis 4:26, KJV
It has long been my impression that following the Fall in the Garden of Eden, and particularly after Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden, that early humanity faced a very difficult and dark time. I can't begin to imagine the great trials that must have beset Adam and Eve; the feelings of failure, guilt and condemnation; wondering if God still loved them or not, etc. I am reminded of how children and parents react to each other immediately after some disobedience has occurred. It is quite common for the children to not want to see the parents, partially out of fear of receiving further retribution, and the parents to not want to see the disobedient child, just because they are still simmering.
Perhaps this is what Moses means when he writes "then began men to call upon the name of the LORD". In other words, maybe it was not until the birth of Adam and Eve's grandson Enos occurred, that the close relationship between God and man began to be restored. Of course, the Bible makes it rather clear that the possibility of full restoration did not occur until Jesus Christ died on a Roman Cross for the sins of the world. It is this restoration and peace between God and man that is often referred to in the New Testament. Why peace? Because God is at war against sin and rebellion. Consider the following verses:
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
John 14:27, KJV
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John 16:33, KJV
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"
Romans 5:1, KJV
"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father."
Ephesians 2:13-18, KJV
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:7, KJV
"For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:"
Colossians 1:19-22, KJV
So this is the kind of peace that Jesus was talking about, and the kind of peace that the Apostles wrote about. It is not simply a mental peace or state of being as some people may suppose -- although it includes that as well -- rather, it is a peace between God and man, and a restoration of our relationship with Him, which was wrought by the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus -- the Second Adam, as the Apostle Paul refers to Him -- through His Sacrifice on the Cross, closed the breach that was opened by the first Adam in the Garden of Eden.
Taking the previous thoughts into consideration, we arrive at a very interesting realization; and that is that contrary to what some people may believe, the concept of being a Saint isn't something which suddenly materialized at some certain point in human history. It was not a human invention. If we consider the actual meaning of the word "saint" -- one who is chosen, holy and set apart by God -- then we realize that the concept of Sainthood, as well as forward-looking faith, really began in the Halls of Heaven before the world began. Why is this? Because according to the Bible, that is when God the Father first put the Plan of Salvation in motion, even before Adam and Eve had ever been created. Consider the following verses which clearly reveal God's Plan and Foreknowledge:
"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"
Isaiah 46:9-10, KJV
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
Romans 8:29, KJV
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
Ephesians 1:3-6, KJV
So as you can see, even before the foundation of the world, God chose certain people to become His adopted children. The mechanism which He used to accomplish this task is the Death of His own dear Son on a wooden Roman Cross. Clearly then, long before Adam and Eve were ever created, long before the Fallen Angels chose to move against God and create the giant Nephilim, long before the Great Flood occurred in the days of Noah, long before demons began to roam the world, due to His Divine Foresight and Foreknowledge, God set the Plan of Salvation in motion. He chose a people for Himself, who would be holy and set apart from the world -- His Saints.
What this implies is that Salvation has been available to everyone since the very beginning of time. As I explain in such articles as "Is The Message Of Salvation Meant For All Men?", while Salvation is available to everyone, and always has been available to everyone, it does not mean that every single person will accept it. In fact, despite God's desire for everyone to be saved -- remember 2 Peter 3:9 -- most people will reject His offer of Forgiveness, Redemption and Eternal Salvation. As you may recall, even Jesus tells us the following in the Gospel of Matthew:
"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
While we have discussed the Fallen Angels, the Nephilim, the demons, the antediluvian people of the Earth, as well as the post-Flood people of the Earth, what about those people who have been born since Jesus gave His life on the Cross? After having heard the truth of the Gospel, what will happen to them if they reject it and die in unbelief? As we saw in part two, Jesus seems to equate unbelief with blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, because to not believe is to call God a liar. That being the case, it appears that such people will not be forgiven in this life or in the next. Just like the Scribes and the Pharisees of old, they will simply die in their sins without having ever received any Forgiveness. As Jesus said of them:
"Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come . . . I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."
John 8:21, 24, KJV
The very same thing can be said of anyone else who has lived since that time. They too have sealed their fate by their own stubbornness and hard-heartedness. One verse which adds a degree of finality to the life, death and judgement cycle is the following:
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
Hebrews 9:27, KJV
This verse not only knocks the possibility of reincarnation out of the ring, but it also tells us that we only get one chance to do it right. However, we have our entire life to do it. Of course, what constitutes an "entire life" can be very different for each individual. Let us not forget verses such as the following:
"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
"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
Some people might argue, "Well, what if a certain individual never had an opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ? What if they are part of some forgotten tribe that lives back in the jungles of South America or Indonesia, for example? Is your God just going to send them to hell?" Personally, I believe in the absolute Righteousness of God. I also believe in His Love, Patience and Mercy as well. But I also believe in His fairness and His firmness. As such, I must believe that every single person will be given an opportunity at some point in their life to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus promised this in the twenty-fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, as we see here:
"And 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, KJV
As if that is not enough, the Scriptures inform us that prior to the Lord's Return, there will be Angels blasting on their shofars -- or trumpets -- during the Great Tribulation. There will be God's Two Sackcloth Witnesses who will proclaim the truth of the Gospel to the world from the city of Jerusalem for the entire three-and-a-half-year period, letting everyone know exactly what is going on, and why it is happening. There will be all kinds of plagues and Divine Judgements afflicting the unbelieving wicked. In short, I believe that God is going to give everyone a fair chance. He is going to go out of His way to wake up everyone to the Truth. That is why His Divine Judgments will be so righteous when they begin to fall upon the world. His Judgements will not be falling on a world that has never heard the Gospel before. Quite to the contrary, the world will be saturated with the Gospel, even more than it is now.
In spite of all of these Divine Judgments and Chastisements occurring during the final years of man's corrupt rule upon this Earth, we are told in the Book of Revelation that some hard-hearted people will still be so foolish as to utterly reject the truth, and will blaspheme against God's Spirit, beginning with the Beast himself. It seems that the more that the Lord deals with them through the various Judgments that fall during the Great Tribulation, the more they rebel against Him and blaspheme Him. Consider the following verses:
"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."
Revelation 16:9, KJV
"And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 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 13:4-6, KJV
Here we see a picture of the totally incorrigibles; what we might term the hardened criminals in God's eyes. They have clearly chosen the wide gate and the broad way which leads to destruction. So what will be the fate of the followers of the Beast and the False Prophet? The Book of Revelation informs us that the deceived armies of the Beast are going to find themselves invited to a very special dinner. However, I am not referring to the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, but rather to a huge banquet which will be held for the buzzards of the air; and the bodies of these rebellious armies will be the main course, as we see here:
"And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh."
Revelation 19:17-21, KJV
Such will be the horrible fate of the followers of the Beast and his False Prophet, because they will have accepted their lies, embraced Satan as their "savior", and totally rejected Jesus Christ. Let me draw your attention to the fact that we are told that the Beast and the False Prophet are cast alive into the Lake of Fire. These are two real human beings. They are not spiritual entities as some people may suppose. But, of course, they will be influenced by, and perhaps possessed by, evil spirits.
But this is not the end of God's Wrath and Judgments at this time. In addition to destroying the armies of the Beast and the False Prophet, and casting this ungodly pair alive into the Lake of Fire, the very next chapter in Revelation informs us that an Angel with a great chain in his hand descends from Heaven, binds Satan with it, and casts that old serpent into the Abyss; that is, into the Bottomless Pit, which is also the same dark prison where the Fallen Angels are now bound. There that vile demon and Father of Lies will remain for one thousand years, while Christ gloriously reigns upon Earth, as we see with these verses:
"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season."
Revelation 20:1-3, KJV
Following the defeat of the unholy trio -- Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet -- and their ungodly armies at the Battle of Armageddon, and the imprisonment of Satan in the Bottomless Pit, John describes for us the First Resurrection and the Millennial Reign of the Resurrected Saints, who will rule with Jesus Christ. The Bible specifically states "the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." In other words, the First Resurrection is only for those Christians who have died in Jesus Christ. It is not for the rest of the people of the world who have died. Consider these verses:
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
Revelation 20:4-6, KJV
Following the Millennial Rule of Jesus Christ on Earth with His saved and resurrected Saints, Satan will be released from the Bottomless Pit, and will be given one final opportunity to deceive the nations of the world. As surprising as it may seem, that old serpent will still able to find unrepentant and incorrigible souls who are willing to rebel against the Lord and the Camp of the Saints, in spite of the fact that they will have actually seen and witnessed Christ's rule on the Earth for a thousand years. Such will be the hardness of their hearts. Even though they will have been given a full thousand years to learn the lessons that the Lord has been trying to teach us all for millennia already, yet they will fail miserably. As we are told by the Prophet Jeremiah:
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Jeremiah 17:9, KJV
But this time, God has had enough of their foolish rebellion. Notice in the following verses how quickly God's judgements will fall, and His Wrath will be revealed upon these wicked people. God is simply done wasting time with such reprobates. Thus, He sends fire from Heaven and devours them all:
"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
Revelation 20:7-10, KJV
While John the Revelator does not mention it clearly in the previous verses, I think it is important to point out that according to what Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew, the Fallen Angels who are in rebellion with Satan will meet the very same fiery fate as he does. To refresh your memory, these Fallen Angels are mentioned in the following verses that are found in Revelation chapter twelve:
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
Revelation 12:7-9, KJV
Concerning these Fallen Angels who rebel against the Lord right along with Satan, consider now what Jesus says in the twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew:
"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:"
Matthew 25:41, KJV
While it is only personal speculation on my part, it seems to me that if this is the fiery fate which God has ordained for the Fallen Angels who rebel against Him in Revelation chapter twelve, then I would think that in similar fashion, the Fallen Angels who led the rebellion thousands of years ago in Genesis chapter six, and who apparently now remain imprisoned in the bowels of the Earth, would meet the very same fiery fate. In fact, the Book of Job suggests that God charged these misguided Fallen Angels with folly, as we see by this verse:
"Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:"
Job 4:18, KJV
Please go to part four for the conclusion of this series.
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