I would guess that many of you thought this would never happen; well, it will. Our confidence concerning this comes from the scriptures, all of which have proven that God is faithful to His word; and we happen to be looking at an aspect of that Word.
For the followers of Christ – those actively waiting for Him, the catching away of the church will happen any day now; at that point in time, Satan will no longer be an issue. That fallen angel, with his annoying ways, will no longer give those of us in Christ any more trouble.
On the other hand, if you are one of those who have to try and live through the seven years of God’s wrath, “they,” will, within a short period of time, be coming for you to kill you.
I can hear some of you saying, Hey, I have sat in church on occasions and I am confident that I deserve to be called a Christian. Because of that, I am sure that I will be gathered up with the church when the rapture comes. If you don’t want to believe this can happen, then look at this.
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. (2) “Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. (3) “For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, (4) but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. (5) “Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. (6) “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ (7) “Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. (8) “The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps, are going out.’ (9) “But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ (10) “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. (11) “Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ (12) “But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.‘ (13) “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” Matthew 25:1-13 NASB
If you paid attention, then you would have noticed that they were all virgins, and yet 50% did not get into the party.
As an analogy, you might think that this conveys that they were good Jewish girls and pure of heart. Apparently, that is not the case.
The term virgins also express that this is a young woman who has never had sexual relations with a man, and therefore marriageable in the Jewish community. While this tells us that she obeyed her father’s rules, it does not tell us about the quality of the heart.
Verse 2 tells us that five of them were foolish. This is explained in verses three and four.
““For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, (4) but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.”
Foolish is the Gk word mo-ros’ and means dull or stupid.
Prudent is the Greek word phronimos. It means to be intelligent, wise, prudent, i.e. mindful of one’s interests.
From verse five. “…while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.”
God does not see this as a negative; but while five were mindful to take extra oil with them, five were lazy and did not care anymore.
If you think they were such precious young ladies, then pay attention to what verse eight conveys from the Contemporary English Version.
“The foolish ones said to the others, “Let us have some of your oil! Our lamps are going out.”
All of a sudden they are demanding oil, as though the world owes them something.
Who can I equate this to?
Those who, like an acquaintance of mine, was inclined to tell me, that I was wasting my time and others by saying that Jesus was coming back soon.
Many of us see the ten virgins as an analogy of the church.
If that is correct, then we are looking at fifty percent of the “so-called” church, acting like that brother in Christ who chooses to berate anybody who is a proponent for the soon coming of Christ for His bride. (This concept could be mine alone; but what if I am right? Are you looking for Jesus or are you being dull and stupid? )
My advice to you, in whatever dire strait you find yourself in, is to hold tightly to Jesus Christ for He is your faith and hope for a future with the Father.
The reality is that we are NOT going back to normal, whatever that looks like for you. Those who gather at the World Economic Forum have done their damage and created the atmosphere to bring about their openly stated New World Order. Ukraine, Lebanon, and others are already having serious food shortages. It will not be long until people will be coming after the Christians, to kill them, partially because many of us have stood against these foolish global dominance efforts. So in effect, the end, as far as your life among the heathen, will come quickly for many.
In the last post, we covered Revelation 20, verses seven and eight.
Let’s pick up from there and move forward.
When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. (Revelation 20:7-8 NASB)
These people – the nations, will have heard and chosen to ignore, the same message that brought many of us to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
He will fool the countries of Gog and Magog, which are at the far ends of the earth, and their people will follow him into battle. They will have as many followers as there are grains of sand along the beach, (Revelation 20:8 CEV)
Immediately my mind says here are some familiar names, so what is the relationship to the Old Testament?
In looking at the children of Israel (Jacob), there is an allusion to Reuben, but the allusion ends almost as quickly as it comes, and the father of Gog, we are told, is Joel.
Suddenly, I am aware that I have never paid attention to this Joel and have no idea who he is.
Alright, who fathered Joel?
The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary gives us this.
“Now the sons of Reuben — In proceeding to give this genealogy, the sacred historian states, in a parenthesis (1Ch_5:1, 1Ch_5:2), the reason why it was not placed first, as Reuben was the oldest son of Jacob. The birthright, which by a foul crime he had forfeited, implied not only dominion, but a double portion (Deu_21:17); and both of these were transferred to Joseph,”
“That foul crime,” as JFB, side steps, was to take one of his father’s concubines to bed.
What if Joel was the product of that indiscretion?
The answer lies in pure speculation, so we will leave that hanging there.
Matthew Poole’s commentary claims that Joel was the son of Hanoch, Reuben’s first-born, or Carmi. Again, we have NO scriptural evidence. It is possible that the answer lies in Jewish history, but some would call that extra-biblical information and disregard it immediately.
What is evident, is that Joel, NOT the prophet, was of the lineage through Reuben and that he was the father of Shemaiah, Gog, and Shimei.
The one that catches our attention is Gog.
Why do I point out that Gog is a descendant of Reuben? We, of a religious bent, tend to think that Jacob was a Pentecostal. I am being facetious to make a point. There were NO Jews as yet, and certainly NO organized religion that we can associate with Jacob.
In fairness, Jacob was a descendant of Abraham, a man with whom God spoke and made a covenant. And yet, no one should be able to declare that Abraham lived under the tenants of organized religion. Abraham and any of his descendants that followed in his path became aware of ‘ĕlôhı̂ym, the Supreme God and the plural of ‘ĕlôahh. So Abraham, and every descendant he could speak to, was introduced to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit through this plural God, ĕlôhı̂ym.
We can’t call them Jews at this point in the study, as the name Jew, a derivative of Judah, did not get attributed to them until long after the exit from Egypt, and that is still to come. Since most people of this time period primarily passed along their culture and history through oral tradition, then it is safe to assume that Jacob would have known of ĕlôhı̂ym and the covenant this Supreme God made with Abraham.
What we struggle to see, is how this knowledge changed Jacob’s life or anyone else’s. If I based my inclinations as to how they were directed, on the family of Jacob, then his sons lose me, as they tried to kill their brother Joseph; murdered an entire community over how their king’s son treated their sister, Dinah; they lied repeatedly; and, Reuben apparently chose to ignore familial boundaries and had sex with one of his father’s concubine.
So, if I am considering a descendant named Gog, and trying to sort out what motivates this man’s eventual actions, then how much of Abraham’s moral fiber and character can still be attributed to this Gog character?
Not much and following this family’s patterns demonstrate that.
Is this Gog, the son of Joel, the same Gog that we see in Revelation 20?
I want to say, get real. There is no way this is physically the same person, but the spirit may be.
One last look at Revelation 20:8.
He will go out to trick the nations in all the earth, the nations known as Gog and Magog. Satan will gather the people for battle. There will be more people than anyone can count, like sand on the seashore. (Revelation 20:8 ERV)
“He” is Satan.
“Will go out to trick the nations in all the earth”
Deceive or trick, it does not matter. It is the Greek word planaō and means to roam from safety or truth. It also means to go astray or wander in your mind.
This statement implies that these people are at least aware of the truth. If it is true that Satan wants you to wander in your mind, then how do you fight that?
You get your spirit firmly planted in the Word of God.
“ the nations known as Gog and Magog.”
We are talking about the descendants of Gog and Magog. One of the confusing things for us, in this modern age, is that we are familiar with Magog as a region. Ah, but all these nations, primarily North of Turkey, began as a person, a descendant of Noah’s sons then became a people group, and, in time, enemies of Israel. (As an interesting side note, Magog sits in a region that was known as the Scythians. To describe these people makes me think of Genghis Khan or the Vikings, as they were nothing short of feared and vicious horsemen. Fortunately, God won’t allow us to revert back to being brutal savages, as we are dealing with a time in which there will be peace.)
The way science and industry are going you might think Star Trek could be a reality. That thought process quickly comes to a halt when you consider all the damage that God does to the earth during the seven-year period. Add to that the fact that the Bible indicates He will burn up the earth and the heavens with fire and start over. Since humans (let’s spice this up and call them mortals,) will be living on the earth, right up to the great white throne, then this burning would toast them all and prematurely end the story; so I am not clear when that refurbishing takes place. (Just in case you think I relish the mistaken idea that everyone that stands before the great white throne goes to hell, Matthew 25 plainly indicates that some, called sheep, gain entrance into the eternal kingdom. If this is true and it is, then our sadistic theology is broken, and there is no logical reason to have such a throne, as God could merely just throw away those He seemingly hates.) What is clear to me, is that what we consider technological advancement does not fit into God’s plan.
An uncountable number of people have now come against God.
Revelation 20:9 NASB And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
Image that, the camaraderie, the strange smiles of agreement, and that I really don’t know why I am here kind of look. Israel fronts the sea on one side, so as best they can, they have surrounded the city of God, the city of Gold. You might think that there would be an immediate sense of futility. Then the question, is everybody here? Oh, good. And fire comes down from heaven and devours them. Devour is the Greek word katesthiō and means to eat down.
Revelation 20:10 NLT Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
All those that attacked the city; the freshly dead, they just seem to lie there quietly with no thought. Meanwhile, Satan is grabbed without any fanfare and thrown into the lake of fire. There he joins the false prophet and the antichrist character, which is called the beast, for an eternal bath in fiery torment; and yes, it says “they” implying that Satan is also tormented, forever.
The NASB entitles this next section,
Judgment Before the Great White Throne
Revelation 20:11 NASB Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.
Hold on for a second, something just changed and I cannot remember anyone talking about this. Ignore the great white throne for a minute, because earth and heaven just fled away from the presence of Him who is sitting upon it.
“Him who sat upon it,”
Our immediate response, if anybody were to ask, is that it is God. That is, in part correct, but in spite of the fact that Scripture repeatedly points out that ALL judgment has been handed over to the Son, we rarely ever say IT’S JESUS.
“from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.”
The Moffatt translation finishes this sentence by saying, “no more to be found.”
We assumed that this great white throne would sit on the plains of Megiddo or on some high hill so that everyone could see. Now, I think it is sitting in the sky and is large enough for everyone to see. To be honest, I can see how this should be nightmarish for some.
But we have one more problem, and it is one that seems to solve many others, as the sky, as we know it, along with the earth, disappear.
Where did all the dead go?
Where did all the people, we thought were going to be standing before the great throne, get off to?
Where did He put Holy City?
And, how do you make the sky disappear?
I have, for some time, been trying to explain that almost everything in scripture is the polar opposite of what you were taught. Only the dead come before the throne, and so these “dead” are souls that are alive. God can do anything so having these souls stand before Him, while the earth is gone, is nothing. The quantity of dead or the era in which they died means nothing. Having been bypassed in the rapture of the church, all those years earlier, you would think there was no hope for them. But Matthew’s account demonstrates that JESUS looked in those books to see if any did good works, and He found some. Bizarre as it seems, those He found all had their names written in the book of life, and they were granted life in the eternal kingdom. Were they changed, so that they don’t bring their damaged life in with them? Of course, they were; and scripture tells us so.
Revelation 20:12 GW I saw the dead, both important and unimportant people, standing in front of the throne. Books were opened, including the Book of Life. The dead were judged on the basis of what they had done, as recorded in the books.
Almost every translation says something similar, “ The dead were judged on the basis of what they had done, as recorded in the books.” This is NOT what they teach you in Sunday school.
The dead came from everywhere. We, only moments ago, talked about the uncountable number that Satan deceived, but of those, who under radio silence, had their war vessel shot out from under them during WW11. Survivors had to jump into the sea and then had to watch as the sharks picked off many of the survivors. Those sharks scattered their remains across the seafloor where the currents move their cells across thousands of miles. You should get my point, God only needs one cell to rebuild a body if He needs it.
Revelation 20:13 GW The sea gave up its dead. Death and hell gave up their dead. People were judged based on what they had done.
Dead from everywhere are gathered, and judged based upon what they had done. Some will ask, what do I have to do? Well, Jesus explained that when He told them,
‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ (Matthew 25:35-36 NASB)
And finally, death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. What does that mean? It means that the fear of death and hades were also eliminated, quite possibly to never be spoken of again. That would be nice.
Revelation 20:14 NASB Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
What is the first death?
Perhaps this is it.
The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17 NASB)
They could not see it, but it happened, and death happened all around them. It was in some ways a slow death, in other ways, like in the spirit of the couple, it was instantaneous and they knew it, as the ease of communication with the Father ended abruptly.
This last verse of Revelation 20 is almost always read with an ominous tone.
Revelation 20:15 NASB And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
No followers of Christ were there, even those who wanted to spectate. This crowd consists only of the dead. Most, and understandably so, would assume that they were the dead in spirit, not having a relationship with Jesus. The problem with that kind of thinking is that we cannot see the heart where God looks.
And there is one other thing, we constantly forget that the law of God is written upon every heart. That law motivates us to do good, although it is clear that many choose not to follow that law.
We can label it deeds or works, but God sees the motive that we seem to miss.