JUDGMENT & THE DAY OF THE LORD in the Bible
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"Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Rev 20:11-15).
God tells Abraham about the upcoming judgment He will pour out on Sodom and Gomorrah
Gen. 18:16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him."
20Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know." 22The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD.
23Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing --to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
26The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake." 27Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?" "If I find forty-five there," he said, "I will not destroy it." 29Once again he spoke to him, "What if only forty are found there?" He said, "For the sake of forty, I will not do it." 30Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?" He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there." 31Abraham said, "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?" He said, "For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it." 32Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it." 33When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by fire
Gen. 19:1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2"My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning." "No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square." 3But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.
4Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom --both young and old --surrounded the house. 5They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them." 6Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. 8Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof." 9"Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. 10But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
12The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here --sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it." 14So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, "Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. 15With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished." 16When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!" 18But Lot said to them, "No, my lords, please! 19Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I'll die. 20Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it --it is very small, isn't it? Then my life will be spared." 21He said to him, "Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it." (That is why the town was called Zoar. ) [Zoar means small]
23By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah --from the LORD out of the heavens. 25Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities --and also the vegetation in the land. 26But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. 29So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
Commentary: The parallelism between the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and that to take place at the end of time is astounding. Note several items that will be confirmed as you study further.
1) The general condition of the cities (world) was so bad that very few were saved.
2) The worldly people thought the coming destruction was a joke.
3) The acceptance and practice of homosexuality and other perverse sexual practices was widespread and abominable to God. Since men were created in God's image, this form of sexual activity is especially detestable in God's sight. See compilation on "Homosexuality, Adultery and other Sexual Sins" for more on this.
4) God's agents warned His people to flee from the cities and to the country for safety. The large cities are especially wicked and doomed to destruction.
5) Judgment was executed by fire and burning sulfur.
God's Perfect Law, the Ten Commandments, is the standard by which individuals will be judged
Exod. 20:1 And God spoke all these words: 2"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
I. 3"You shall have no other gods before me.
II. 4"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.
III. 7"You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
IV. 8"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
V. 12"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
VI. 13"You shall not murder.
VII. 14"You shall not commit adultery.
VIII. 15"You shall not steal.
IX. 16"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
X. 17"You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
The Law was written by the finger of God
Exod. 31:14 "`Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people. 15For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death. 16The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. 17It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.'" 18When the LORD finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.
Commentary: These two tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God were the only items ever actually written by Him and given to Man. This truly shows the importance of the Law, the Ten Commandments that He gave to Man. Jesus said in Luke 16:17, "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law."
It is interesting that the name used for the Ten Commandments is the Testimony, for it will stand as a witness and testify for or against us at the judgment.
Exod. 32:14 Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. 15Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
Exod. 32:31 So Moses went back to the LORD and said, "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32But now, please forgive their sin --but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written." 33The LORD replied to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. 34Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin."
Exod. 33:18 Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." 19And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Exod. 34:28 Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant --the Ten Commandments. 29When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.
God wants justice done
Lev. 5:1 "`If a person sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen or learned about, he will be held responsible."
Lev. 19:14 "`Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the LORD. 15"`Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. 16"`Do not go about spreading slander among your people. "`Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. I am the LORD.
Deut. 4:30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. 31For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.
Deut. 8:18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. 19If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.
Deut. 16:18 Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. 19Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you.
The testimony of two or three witnesses is needed to condemn one to death
Deut. 17:6 On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. 7The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you. 8If cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judge --whether bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults --take them to the place the LORD your God will choose.
Deut. 19:15 One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 16If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, 17the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, 19then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. 20The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you.
Deut. 30:19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The Book of the Law was to remain as a witness against God's people
Deut. 31:24 After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end, 25he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD: 26"Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you. 27For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you have been rebellious against the LORD while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die! 28Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and all your officials, so that I can speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to testify against them.
It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord
Deut. 32:35 It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them." 36The LORD will judge his people and have compassion on his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free.
Deut. 32:40 I lift my hand to heaven and declare: As surely as I live forever, 41when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me. 42I will make my arrows drunk with blood, while my sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders." 43Rejoice, O nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.
Josh. 24:19 Joshua said to the people, "You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. 20If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you." 21But the people said to Joshua, "No! We will serve the LORD." 22Then Joshua said, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD." "Yes, we are witnesses," they replied. 23"Now then," said Joshua, "throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel." 24And the people said to Joshua, "We will serve the LORD our God and obey him." 25On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he drew up for them decrees and laws. 26And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD. 27"See!" he said to all the people. "This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the LORD has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God." 28Then Joshua sent the people away, each to his own inheritance.
Judg. 11:27 I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the LORD, the Judge, decide the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites." 28The king of Ammon, however, paid no attention to the message Jephthah sent him.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth
1Sam. 2:9 He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. "It is not by strength that one prevails; 10those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed."
1Sam. 12:3 Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the LORD and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these, I will make it right." 4"You have not cheated or oppressed us," they replied. "You have not taken anything from anyone's hand." 5Samuel said to them, "The LORD is witness against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand." "He is witness," they said.
The Lord looks at the heart, not the appearance
1Sam. 16:6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD's anointed stands here before the LORD." 7But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
1Sam. 24:11 [Then David said to King Saul] See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. Now understand and recognize that I am not guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. 12May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. 13As the old saying goes, `From evildoers come evil deeds,' so my hand will not touch you. 14"Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? 15May the LORD be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand." 16When David finished saying this, Saul asked, "Is that your voice, David my son?" And he wept aloud.
1Chr. 16:32 Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! 33Then the trees of the forest will sing, they will sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. 34Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1Chr. 28:9 "And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.
2Chr. 19:6 He told them, "Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for man but for the LORD, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. 7Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery."
Job 9:28 [Job cried] I still dread all my sufferings, for I know you will not hold me innocent. 29Since I am already found guilty, why should I struggle in vain? 30Even if I washed myself with soap and my hands with washing soda, 31you would plunge me into a slime pit so that even my clothes would detest me. 32"He is not a man like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court. 33If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, 34someone to remove God's rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. 35Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.
Our witness, advocate and intercessor, is in heaven
Job 16:18 "O earth, do not cover my blood; may my cry never be laid to rest! 19Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. 20My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; 21on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend.
Job 37:22 Out of the north he comes in golden splendor; God comes in awesome majesty. 23The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.
Ps. 1:1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. 4Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Ps. 7:6 Arise, O LORD, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice. 7Let the assembled peoples gather around you. Rule over them from on high; 8let the LORD judge the peoples. Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High. 9O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure. 10My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart. 11God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day. 12If he does not relent, he will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow.
The Lord's throne is established for judgment; he will govern with justice
Ps. 9:6 Endless ruin has overtaken the enemy, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished. 7The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. 8He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice. 9The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Ps. 9:15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. 16The LORD is known by his justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. Higgaion. Selah 17The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God. 18But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish. 19Arise, O LORD, let not man triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence. 20Strike them with terror, O LORD; let the nations know they are but men. Selah
Ps. 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them. 5The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates. 6On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. 7For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.
Remember not the sins of my youth - remember me by your love
Ps. 25:4 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; 5guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 6Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. 7Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.
Ps. 30:7 O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. 8To you, O LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: 9"What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? 10Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help."
Ps. 36:5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. 6Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. 7How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Ps. 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Ps. 45:5 Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king's enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet. 6Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. 7You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.
Ps. 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. 8God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne. 9The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings of the earth belong to God; he is greatly exalted.
Our God comes to judge his people
Ps. 50:3 Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages. 4He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that he may judge his people: 5"Gather to me my consecrated ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice." 6And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for God himself is judge. Selah 7"Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you: I am God, your God. 8I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
Ps. 51:0 For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. 1Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Ps. 57:1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. 2I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills [his purpose] for me.
Ps. 69:24 Pour out your wrath on them; let your fierce anger overtake them. 25May their place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in their tents. 26For they persecute those you wound and talk about the pain of those you hurt. 27Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation. 28May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous. 29I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect me. 30I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.
Ps. 76:7 You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? 8From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet-- 9when you, O God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land. Selah 10Surely your wrath against men brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.
Ps. 82:0 A psalm of Asaph. 1God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the "gods": 2"How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
Ps. 82:7 But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler." 8Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your inheritance.
Ps. 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. 15Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.
Ps. 94:1 O LORD, the God who avenges, O God who avenges, shine forth. 2Rise up, O Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve. 3How long will the wicked, O LORD, how long will the wicked be jubilant?
Ps. 94:14 For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance. 15Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it. 16Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
Ps. 96:9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. 10Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. 11Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; 12let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; 13they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth.
Ps. 97:1 The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. 2Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
The Lord will judge the world in righteousness
Ps. 98:8 Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; 9let them sing before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.
Ps. 99:4 The King is mighty, he loves justice-- you have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right. 5Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy.
Ps. 110:4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." 5The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath. 6He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
Ps. 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Ps. 143:1 O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. 2Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.
Ps. 149:6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, 7to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, 8to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron.
Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath
Prov. 11:3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. 4Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. 5The righteousness of the blameless makes a straight way for them, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.
Prov. 22:22 Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, 23for the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.
Prov. 28:13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. 14Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.
Eccl. 3:16 And I saw something else under the sun: In the place of judgment --wickedness was there, in the place of justice --wickedness was there. 17I thought in my heart, "God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed."
Eccl. 11:8 However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. But let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything to come is meaningless. 9Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.
God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing
Eccl. 12:13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man. 14For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
Isa. 1:23 Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow's case does not come before them. 24Therefore the Lord, the LORD Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: "Ah, I will get relief from my foes and avenge myself on my enemies. 25I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities.
Isa. 2:3 Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. 5Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.
Isa. 3:13 The LORD takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. 14The LORD enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: "It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. 15What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?" declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.
Isa. 4:3 Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. 4The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire.
Isa. 8:19 When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.
Isa. 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
God will not judge by what he sees or hears, but with righteousness
Isa. 11:2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD-- 3and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
The day of the Lord is near, it will come like destruction
Isa. 13:5 They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens-- the LORD and the weapons of his wrath-- to destroy the whole country. 6Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. 7Because of this, all hands will go limp, every man's heart will melt. 8Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame. 9See, the day of the LORD is coming --a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger-- to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. 10The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. 11I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
Introduction: The next rather lengthy, but fascinating section is taken from the heart of Isaiah, from Chapter 24 to 35. In it, God prophecies the destruction of the world and the execution of His judgment against the wicked. In some ways, this section is the most graphic description of the great day of the Lord in the Bible. At times, God directs His eyes to His people, the Israelites of ancient times, but most passages, we will recognize, as yet haven't been fulfilled. In order to understand the parallelism in the following passages, recognize that Israel represents spiritual Israel as well, the remnant who remain true to God and stand firm during the last days. Edom, the nation that descended from Esau, represents the wicked. As it is written, "I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated" Mal. 3:2, 3.
The Lord is going to completely lay waste the earth because of its wickedness
Isa. 24:1 See, the LORD is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants-- 2it will be the same for priest as for people, for master as for servant, for mistress as for maid, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor. 3The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The LORD has spoken this word.
4The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish. 5The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. 6Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth's inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left. 7The new wine dries up and the vine withers; all the merrymakers groan. 8The gaiety of the tambourines is stilled, the noise of the revelers has stopped, the joyful harp is silent. 9No longer do they drink wine with a song; the beer is bitter to its drinkers. 10The ruined city lies desolate; the entrance to every house is barred. 11In the streets they cry out for wine; all joy turns to gloom, all gaiety is banished from the earth. 12The city is left in ruins, its gate is battered to pieces. 13So will it be on the earth and among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest. 14They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the LORD's majesty. 15Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. 16From the ends of the earth we hear singing: "Glory to the Righteous One."
But I said, "I waste away, I waste away! Woe to me! The treacherous betray! With treachery the treacherous betray!" 17Terror and pit and snare await you, O people of the earth. 18Whoever flees at the sound of terror will fall into a pit; whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a snare.
The floodgates of the heavens are opened, the foundations of the earth shake. 19The earth is broken up, the earth is split asunder, the earth is thoroughly shaken. 20The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls --never to rise again.
21In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below. 22They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison and be punished after many days. 23The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders, gloriously.
The banquet of the Lord; death removed forever
Isa. 25:1 O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. 2You have made the city a heap of rubble, the fortified town a ruin, the foreigners' stronghold a city no more; it will never be rebuilt. 3Therefore strong peoples will honor you; cities of ruthless nations will revere you. 4You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall 5and like the heat of the desert. You silence the uproar of foreigners; as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is stilled.
6On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine-- the best of meats and the finest of wines. 7On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; 8he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.
9In that day they will say, "Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation." 10The hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain; but Moab will be trampled under him as straw is trampled down in the manure. 11They will spread out their hands in it, as a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim. God will bring down their pride despite the cleverness of their hands. 12He will bring down your high fortified walls and lay them low; he will bring them down to the ground, to the very dust.
A song of praise
Isa. 26:1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. 2Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. 3You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. 4Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. 5He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust. 6Feet trample it down-- the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor.
7The path of the righteous is level; O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth. 8Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. 9My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness. 10Though grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and regard not the majesty of the LORD. 11O LORD, your hand is lifted high, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame; let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them.
12LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. 13O LORD, our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone do we honor. 14They are now dead, they live no more; those departed spirits do not rise. You punished them and brought them to ruin; you wiped out all memory of them. 15You have enlarged the nation, O LORD; you have enlarged the nation. You have gained glory for yourself; you have extended all the borders of the land. 16LORD, they came to you in their distress; when you disciplined them, they could barely whisper a prayer. 17As a woman with child and about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, O LORD. 18We were with child, we writhed in pain, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth; we have not given birth to people of the world. 19But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.
20Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. 21See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer.
Commentary: Note that God's people are present at the time His wrath is poured out as He tells them to "Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by."
The Lord will destroy Leviathan, the dragon-like monster of the deep (a symbol of Satan)
Isa. 27:1 In that day, the LORD will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea. 2In that day-- "Sing about a fruitful vineyard: 3I, the LORD, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it. 4I am not angry. If only there were briers and thorns confronting me! I would march against them in battle; I would set them all on fire. 5Or else let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me, yes, let them make peace with me."
Isa. 28:5 In that day the LORD Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people. 6He will be a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
The Lord will rise to do His strange work, His alien task
Isa. 28:14 Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem. 15You boast, "We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place." 16So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed. 17I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place. 18Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the grave will not stand. When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by, you will be beaten down by it. 19As often as it comes it will carry you away; morning after morning, by day and by night, it will sweep through." The understanding of this message will bring sheer terror. 20The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you. 21The LORD will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim, he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon-- to do his work, his strange work, and perform his task, his alien task. 22Now stop your mocking, or your chains will become heavier; the Lord, the LORD Almighty, has told me of the destruction decreed against the whole land.
The battle at Jerusalem
Isa. 29:5 But your many enemies will become like fine dust, the ruthless hordes like blown chaff. Suddenly, in an instant, 6the LORD Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire. 7Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Ariel, that attack her and her fortress and besiege her, will be as it is with a dream, with a vision in the night-- 8as when a hungry man dreams that he is eating, but he awakens, and his hunger remains; as when a thirsty man dreams that he is drinking, but he awakens faint, with his thirst unquenched. So will it be with the hordes of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion.
9Be stunned and amazed, blind yourselves and be sightless; be drunk, but not from wine, stagger, but not from beer. 10The LORD has brought over you a deep sleep: He has sealed your eyes (the prophets); he has covered your heads (the seers).
11For you this whole vision is nothing but words sealed in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say to him, "Read this, please," he will answer, "I can't; it is sealed." 12Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, "Read this, please," he will answer, "I don't know how to read."
13The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. 14Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish." 15Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, "Who sees us? Who will know?" 16You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?
17In a very short time, will not Lebanon be turned into a fertile field and the fertile field seem like a forest? 18In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. 19Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down-- 21those who with a word make a man out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice.
22Therefore this is what the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, says to the house of Jacob: "No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale. 23When they see among them their children, the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction."
Woe to the obstinate who refuse to listen to God
Isa. 30:8 Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness. 9These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the LORD's instruction. 10They say to the seers, "See no more visions!" and to the prophets, "Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. 11Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!"
12Therefore, this is what the Holy One of Israel says: "Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, 13this sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant. 14It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern."
15This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. 16You said, `No, we will flee on horses.' Therefore you will flee! You said, `We will ride off on swift horses.' Therefore your pursuers will be swift! 17A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill." 18Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
19O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. 20Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." 22Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, "Away with you!"
In the day of slaughter, the sun will be seven times brighter
23He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows. 24The oxen and donkeys that work the soil will eat fodder and mash, spread out with fork and shovel. 25In the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall, streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill. 26The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.
27See, the Name of the LORD comes from afar, with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke; his lips are full of wrath, and his tongue is a consuming fire. 28His breath is like a rushing torrent, rising up to the neck. He shakes the nations in the sieve of destruction; he places in the jaws of the peoples a bit that leads them astray. 29And you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival; your hearts will rejoice as when people go up with flutes to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel. 30The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail. 31The voice of the LORD will shatter Assyria; with his scepter he will strike them down. 32Every stroke the LORD lays on them with his punishing rod will be to the music of tambourines and harps, as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm. 33Topheth has long been prepared; it has been made ready for the king. Its fire pit has been made deep and wide, with an abundance of fire and wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of burning sulfur, sets it ablaze.
Who can dwell with consuming fire? He who walks righteously!
Isa. 33:1 Woe to you, O destroyer, you who have not been destroyed! Woe to you, O traitor, you who have not been betrayed! When you stop destroying, you will be destroyed; when you stop betraying, you will be betrayed.
2O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. 3At the thunder of your voice, the peoples flee; when you rise up, the nations scatter. 4Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts; like a swarm of locusts men pounce on it.
5The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. 6He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.
7Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets; the envoys of peace weep bitterly. 8The highways are deserted, no travelers are on the roads. The treaty is broken, its witnesses are despised, no one is respected. 9The land mourns and wastes away, Lebanon is ashamed and withers; Sharon is like the Arabah, and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.
10"Now will I arise," says the LORD. "Now will I be exalted; now will I be lifted up. 11You conceive chaff, you give birth to straw; your breath is a fire that consumes you. 12The peoples will be burned as if to lime; like cut thornbushes they will be set ablaze."
13You who are far away, hear what I have done; you who are near, acknowledge my power! 14The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?" 15He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil-- 16this is the man who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him. 17Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar. 18In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror: "Where is that chief officer? Where is the one who took the revenue? Where is the officer in charge of the towers?" 19You will see those arrogant people no more, those people of an obscure speech, with their strange, incomprehensible tongue.
20Look upon Zion, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved; its stakes will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes broken. 21There the LORD will be our Mighty One. It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams. No galley with oars will ride them, no mighty ship will sail them. 22For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.
23Your rigging hangs loose: The mast is not held secure, the sail is not spread. Then an abundance of spoils will be divided and even the lame will carry off plunder. 24No one living in Zion will say, "I am ill"; and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.
The stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll
Isa. 34:1 Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention, you peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world, and all that comes out of it! 2The LORD is angry with all nations; his wrath is upon all their armies. He will totally destroy them, he will give them over to slaughter. 3Their slain will be thrown out, their dead bodies will send up a stench; the mountains will be soaked with their blood. 4All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.
5My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; see, it descends in judgment on Edom, the people I have totally destroyed. 6The sword of the LORD is bathed in blood, it is covered with fat-- the blood of lambs and goats, fat from the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah and a great slaughter in Edom. 7And the wild oxen will fall with them, the bull calves and the great bulls. Their land will be drenched with blood, and the dust will be soaked with fat.
8For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion's cause. 9Edom's streams will be turned into pitch, her dust into burning sulfur; her land will become blazing pitch! 10It will not be quenched night and day; its smoke will rise forever. From generation to generation it will lie desolate; no one will ever pass through it again. 11The desert owl and screech owl will possess it; the great owl and the raven will nest there. God will stretch out over Edom the measuring line of chaos and the plumb line of desolation. 12Her nobles will have nothing there to be called a kingdom, all her princes will vanish away. 13Thorns will overrun her citadels, nettles and brambles her strongholds. She will become a haunt for jackals, a home for owls. 14Desert creatures will meet with hyenas, and wild goats will bleat to each other; there the night creatures will also repose and find for themselves places of rest. 15The owl will nest there and lay eggs, she will hatch them, and care for her young under the shadow of her wings; there also the falcons will gather, each with its mate.
16Look in the scroll of the LORD and read: None of these will be missing, not one will lack her mate. For it is his mouth that has given the order, and his Spirit will gather them together. 17He allots their portions; his hand distributes them by measure. They will possess it forever and dwell there from generation to generation.
The joy of the redeemed
Isa. 35:1 The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.
3Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you." 5Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. 7The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
8And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. 9No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, 10and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
The Lord will bring our reward with him
Isa. 40:9 You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, "Here is your God!" 10See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. 11He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Isa. 41:1 "Be silent before me, you islands! Let the nations renew their strength! Let them come forward and speak; let us meet together at the place of judgment. 2"Who has stirred up one from the east, calling him in righteousness to his service? He hands nations over to him and subdues kings before him. He turns them to dust with his sword, to windblown chaff with his bow.
Isa. 43:9 All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble. Which of them foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, "It is true." 10"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. 11I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. 12I have revealed and saved and proclaimed-- I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God. 13Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?"
Isa. 49:3 He said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor." 4But I said, "I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in the LORD's hand, and my reward is with my God."
Seek the Lord while he may be found - Turn from wickedness that he might have mercy
Isa. 55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
Isa. 56:1 This is what the LORD says: "Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. 2Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil."
Isa. 59:12 For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities: 13rebellion and treachery against the LORD, turning our backs on our God, fomenting oppression and revolt, uttering lies our hearts have conceived. 14So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. 15Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice. 16He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. 17He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. 18According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due. 19From the west, men will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along. 20"The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins," declares the LORD. 21"As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever," says the LORD.
Isa. 60:1 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. 2See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. 3Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4"Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm. 5Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.
Proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of his vengeance
Isa. 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Isa. 62:10 Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations. 11The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: "Say to the Daughter of Zion, `See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.'" 12They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.
Isa. 63:1 Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? "It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save." 2Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? 3"I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. 4For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come. 5I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me.
With fire and sword will God execute judgment
Isa. 66:15 See, the LORD is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16For with fire and with his sword the LORD will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by the LORD. 17"Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the midst of those who eat the flesh of pigs and rats and other abominable things --they will meet their end together," declares the LORD.
Jer. 9:23 This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, 24but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. 25"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh-- 26Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart."
Jer. 10:23 I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps. 24Correct me, LORD, but only with justice-- not in your anger, lest you reduce me to nothing. 25Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the peoples who do not call on your name. For they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him completely and destroyed his homeland.
Jer. 11:20 But, O LORD Almighty, you who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.
God will bring charges against all nations
Jer. 25:30 "Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them: "`The LORD will roar from on high; he will thunder from his holy dwelling and roar mightily against his land. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, shout against all who live on the earth. 31The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth, for the LORD will bring charges against the nations; he will bring judgment on all mankind and put the wicked to the sword,'" declares the LORD. 32This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Look! Disaster is spreading from nation to nation; a mighty storm is rising from the ends of the earth." 33At that time those slain by the LORD will be everywhere --from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered up or buried, but will be like refuse lying on the ground.
Jer. 46:9 Charge, O horses! Drive furiously, O charioteers! March on, O warriors-- men of Cush and Put who carry shields, men of Lydia who draw the bow. 10But that day belongs to the Lord, the LORD Almighty-- a day of vengeance, for vengeance on his foes. The sword will devour till it is satisfied, till it has quenched its thirst with blood. For the Lord, the LORD Almighty, will offer sacrifice in the land of the north by the River Euphrates.
Judgment against ancient Babylon
Jer. 50:14 "Take up your positions around Babylon, all you who draw the bow. Shoot at her! Spare no arrows, for she has sinned against the LORD. 15Shout against her on every side! She surrenders, her towers fall, her walls are torn down. Since this is the vengeance of the LORD, take vengeance on her; do to her as she has done to others. 16Cut off from Babylon the sower, and the reaper with his sickle at harvest. Because of the sword of the oppressor let everyone return to his own people, let everyone flee to his own land.
Jer. 50:27 Kill all her young bulls; let them go down to the slaughter! Woe to them! For their day has come, the time for them to be punished. 28Listen to the fugitives and refugees from Babylon declaring in Zion how the LORD our God has taken vengeance, vengeance for his temple. 29"Summon archers against Babylon, all those who draw the bow. Encamp all around her; let no one escape. Repay her for her deeds; do to her as she has done. For she has defied the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.
Jer. 51:5 For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken by their God, the LORD Almighty, though their land is full of guilt before the Holy One of Israel. 6"Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the LORD's vengeance; he will pay her what she deserves. 7Babylon was a gold cup in the LORD's hand; she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad. 8Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken. Wail over her! Get balm for her pain; perhaps she can be healed. 9"`We would have healed Babylon, but she cannot be healed; let us leave her and each go to his own land, for her judgment reaches to the skies, it rises as high as the clouds.' 10"`The LORD has vindicated us; come, let us tell in Zion what the LORD our God has done.' 11"Sharpen the arrows, take up the shields! The LORD has stirred up the kings of the Medes, because his purpose is to destroy Babylon. The LORD will take vengeance, vengeance for his temple. 12Lift up a banner against the walls of Babylon! Reinforce the guard, station the watchmen, prepare an ambush! The LORD will carry out his purpose, his decree against the people of Babylon. 13You who live by many waters and are rich in treasures, your end has come, the time for you to be cut off. 14The LORD Almighty has sworn by himself: I will surely fill you with men, as with a swarm of locusts, and they will shout in triumph over you. . . .
35May the violence done to our flesh be upon Babylon," say the inhabitants of Zion. "May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia," says Jerusalem. 36Therefore, this is what the LORD says: "See, I will defend your cause and avenge you; I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry. 37Babylon will be a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and scorn, a place where no one lives. . . .
55The LORD will destroy Babylon; he will silence her noisy din. Waves [of enemies] will rage like great waters; the roar of their voices will resound. 56A destroyer will come against Babylon; her warriors will be captured, and their bows will be broken. For the LORD is a God of retribution; he will repay in full. 57I will make her officials and wise men drunk, her governors, officers and warriors as well; they will sleep forever and not awake," declares the King, whose name is the LORD Almighty.
The end comes upon ancient Israel
Ezek. 7:2 "Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says to the land of Israel: The end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land [or earth]. 3The end is now upon you and I will unleash my anger against you. I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices. 4I will not look on you with pity or spare you; I will surely repay you for your conduct and the detestable practices among you. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 5"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Disaster! An unheard-of disaster is coming. 6The end has come! The end has come! It has roused itself against you. It has come! 7Doom has come upon you --you who dwell in the land. The time has come, the day is near; there is panic, not joy, upon the mountains. 8I am about to pour out my wrath on you and spend my anger against you; I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices. 9I will not look on you with pity or spare you; I will repay you in accordance with your conduct and the detestable practices among you. Then you will know that it is I the LORD who strikes the blow.
Ezek. 7:26 Calamity upon calamity will come, and rumor upon rumor. They will try to get a vision from the prophet; the teaching of the law by the priest will be lost, as will the counsel of the elders. 27The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with despair, and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. I will deal with them according to their conduct, and by their own standards I will judge them. Then they will know that I am the LORD."
Why will you die?
Ezek. 18:29 Yet the house of Israel says, `The way of the Lord is not just.' Are my ways unjust, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust? 30"Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel?
Ezek. 22:23 Again the word of the LORD came to me: 24"Son of man, say to the land, `You are a land that has had no rain or showers in the day of wrath.' 25There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her.
Ezek. 24:13 "`Now your impurity is lewdness. Because I tried to cleanse you but you would not be cleansed from your impurity, you will not be clean again until my wrath against you has subsided. 14"`I the LORD have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign LORD.'"
Alas for that day is near; doom for the nations
Ezek. 30:2 "Son of man, prophesy and say: `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "`Wail and say, "Alas for that day!" 3For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near-- a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations. 4A sword will come against Egypt, and anguish will come upon Cush. When the slain fall in Egypt, her wealth will be carried away and her foundations torn down.
Ezek. 32:6 I will drench the land with your flowing blood all the way to the mountains, and the ravines will be filled with your flesh. 7When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light. 8All the shining lights in the heavens I will darken over you; I will bring darkness over your land, declares the Sovereign LORD.
The Lord takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked - He would rather have them repent
Ezek. 33:11 Say to them, `As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?' 12"Therefore, son of man, say to your countrymen, `The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him when he disobeys, and the wickedness of the wicked man will not cause him to fall when he turns from it. The righteous man, if he sins, will not be allowed to live because of his former righteousness.' 13If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done. 14And if I say to the wicked man, `You will surely die,' but he then turns away from his sin and does what is just and right-- 15if he gives back what he took in pledge for a loan, returns what he has stolen, follows the decrees that give life, and does no evil, he will surely live; he will not die. 16None of the sins he has committed will be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he will surely live. 17"Yet your countrymen say, `The way of the Lord is not just.' But it is their way that is not just. 18If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it. 19And if a wicked man turns away from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live by doing so. 20Yet, O house of Israel, you say, `The way of the Lord is not just.' But I will judge each of you according to his own ways."
Ezek. 34:15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. 16I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice. 17"`As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. 18Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet? 20"`Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
Introduction: Compare the following passages in Ezekiel 38 and 39 to those in Rev. 19:11-21, 20:7-10 and Rev. 16:14-21 later in this compilation. Gog was the chief prince of Magog. Meshech and Tubal were cities in that region. Magog, Meshech, Tubal and Gomer, all listed below, were named after sons of Japheth, one of Noah's sons. (See 1 Chron. 1:5) They appear to have been in the vicinity or region of Greece. See Ezek. 27:13. Whether the events prophesied below have transpired or are still subject to a future fulfillment is not clear to this author. However, the parallelism of the following passages to the above mentioned texts in Revelation is uncanny.
A prophecy regarding Gog and Magog
Ezek. 38:1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2"Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him 3and say: `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 4I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army --your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 5Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops --the many nations with you. . . .
9You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land. 10"`This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. 11You will say, "I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people --all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. . . .
17"`This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel? At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. 18This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD. 19In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. 21I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign LORD. Every man's sword will be against his brother. 22I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. 23And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.'
Gog and the nations with him will be fed to the birds and wild animals
Ezek. 39:1 "Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 2I will turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel. 3Then I will strike your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand. 4On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals. 5You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD. 6I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coastlands, and they will know that I am the LORD. 7"`I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the LORD am the Holy One in Israel. 8It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign LORD. This is the day I have spoken of. . . .
17"Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Call out to every kind of bird and all the wild animals: `Assemble and come together from all around to the sacrifice I am preparing for you, the great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. There you will eat flesh and drink blood. 18You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth as if they were rams and lambs, goats and bulls --all of them fattened animals from Bashan. 19At the sacrifice I am preparing for you, you will eat fat till you are glutted and drink blood till you are drunk. 20At my table you will eat your fill of horses and riders, mighty men and soldiers of every kind,' declares the Sovereign LORD. 21"I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay upon them. 22From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God.
God will set up His eternal kingdom while the kingdoms of this world are still divided.
Dan. 2:43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay. 44"In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands --a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. "The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy."
A prophecy of the empires to be
Dan. 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.
2Daniel said: "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. 3Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.
4"The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.
5"And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, `Get up and eat your fill of flesh!'
6"After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.
7"After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast --terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
8"While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
9"As I looked, "thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. 10A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.
11"Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12(The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)
13"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
15"I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. 16I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this.
"So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: 17`The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth. 18But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever --yes, for ever and ever.'
19"Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws --the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. 20I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell --the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 21As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, 22until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.
23"He gave me this explanation: `The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.
26"`But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.'
Commentary: In a nutshell, this prophecy extended from the time of Babylon until the end of time and described the empires or world-type powers that would reign. The lion represented the Babylonian empire. The bear represented the Medo-Persian empire. The leopard represented the Grecian empire. The terrifying beast represented the secular Roman empire. The ten horns represented the ten barbaric kingdoms that overthrew the secular Roman empire.
The little horn that uprooted the three horns represented the Holy Roman empire or Papal power. The time, times and half a time (verse 25) represented three and a half prophetic years or 1,260 prophetic days. Since this particular prophecy is styled in symbolic language rather than literal, the day for a year principle must apply (Num. 14:34, Ezek. 4:5). The 1,260 years prophesied were the years of Papal supremacy extending from 538 A.D. after its overthrow of the three kingdoms denoted by the three horns that it uprooted (verse 8, representing the Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths, three of the barbaric kingdoms) and extending to 1798 A.D. when the pope was taken prisoner by Napoleon's general Berthier. Note that in this prophecy, there is no world wide empire again set up after the Papacy's overthrow. Neither is there in any other prophecy, including King Nebuchadnezzar's dream recorded in Daniel 2.
The date for the "court to sit and the books to be opened" some scholars suggest began in 1844, based upon the 2,300 day (year) prophecy in Dan. 8 and explained in Dan. 9. The connection between the two chapters is in the Hebrew rendering of the word "vision". The 2,300 day segment uses the Hebrew word mareh for "vision" (8:16, 17, 26a, 27). The overall vision uses the Hebrew word chazown (8:1, 2, 13, 26b, 15). It is this "narrow" part of the vision, the mareh, that Daniel did not understand. "I was appalled by the mareh; it was beyond understanding." (v. 27)
The angel returned in Chapter 9 to explain the part of the chazown that Daniel had not understood, the mareh.
Since this mareh involved prophetic time (the 2,300 evenings and mornings), the angel subsequently explained it by giving an additional time prophecy in Dan. 9:24-27, including in it the starting point for this 2,300 day (year) prophecy, a decree to rebuild Jerusalem. This decree would initiate the rebuilding of the city walls, which would take 49 years. Historically, this decree was issued by Darius of Medo-Persia in 457 B.C. with the walls of Jerusalem being completed in 408 B.C. Thus the beginning of the 2,300 year segment would also have been 457 B.C. (see Dan. 9:24). Additional historical confirmation comes from the fact that Jesus, the Messiah, began his ministry in 27 A.D., exactly 69 sevens, or 483 years after this decree in 457 B.C. (see Dan. 9:25).
Dan. 8:16 And I heard a man's voice from the Ulai calling, "Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision [mareh]." 17As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. "Son of man," he said to me, "understand that the vision [mareh] concerns the time of the end." 18While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet. 19He said: "I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision [translator supplied] concerns the appointed time of the end.
20The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia.
21The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king.
22The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.
23"In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. 25He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.
26"The vision [mareh] of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision [chazown], for it concerns the distant future."
27I, Daniel, was exhausted and lay ill for several days. Then I got up and went about the king's business. I was appalled by the vision [mareh]; it was beyond understanding.
Dan. 10:18 Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. 19"Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed," he said. "Peace! Be strong now; be strong." When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, "Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength." 20So he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.
Distress, resurrection and the timing of the end
Dan. 12:1 "At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people --everyone whose name is found written in the book --will be delivered. 2Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. 4But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge."
5Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. 6One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?" 7The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, "It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed." 8I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, "My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?"
9He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. 10Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. 11"From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. 13"As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance."
Commentary: Since the vision of Dan. 11 and continued on in Dan. 12 is given in literal terms, the timing of these chapters must also be in literal terms to be consistent. Therefore, the time, times and half a time (1,260 days), 1,290 days and 1,335 days need to be taken literally. Jesus, in Matt. 24:15-22, Mark 13:14-21 and Luke 21:20-24, indicated that the abomination of desolation would be manifested at the destruction of Jerusalem. There was a literal 3.5 year period between when the armies of desolation first surrounded Jerusalem in the fall of A.D. 66 and when the final destruction took place, beginning in the spring of A.D. 70. From the first breaching of the Third Wall until the Temple fell was 91 days. It took another 28 days for resistance to end (per annotations on the map on pg. B-35, Hammond's Atlas of Bible Lands, Hammond, Inc., NJ, 1977). It is difficult to find the exact events ending the 1,290 and 1,335 days from 1900 years away when the prophecy itself does not give good details. Others suggest that because the disciples' questions were two phasic, (regarding the timing of the destruction of the temple and the second coming of Jesus), Jesus' response might have a dual application as well, and these time periods might also apply to the literal end of days.
Hosea 6:5 Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth; my judgments flashed like lightning upon you. 6For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
Joel 1:14 Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. 15Alas for that day! For the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. 16Has not the food been cut off before our very eyes-- joy and gladness from the house of our God? 17The seeds are shriveled beneath the clods. The storehouses are in ruins, the granaries have been broken down, for the grain has dried up. 18How the cattle moan! The herds mill about because they have no pasture; even the flocks of sheep are suffering. 19To you, O LORD, I call, for fire has devoured the open pastures and flames have burned up all the trees of the field. 20Even the wild animals pant for you; the streams of water have dried up and fire has devoured the open pastures.
Rend your hearts and not your garments, and return to God
Joel 2:1 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand-- 2a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come. 3Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste-- nothing escapes them. 4They have the appearance of horses; they gallop along like cavalry. 5With a noise like that of chariots they leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle. 6At the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale. 7They charge like warriors; they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line, not swerving from their course. 8They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defenses without breaking ranks. 9They rush upon the city; they run along the wall. They climb into the houses; like thieves they enter through the windows. 10Before them the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine. 11The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?
12`Even now,` declares the LORD, `return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.` 13Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 14Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing-- grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God.
30I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 32And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls.
The Lord will gather the nations into the valley of decision
Joel 3:1 `In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, 2I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. 3They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine that they might drink. . .
9Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. 10Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, `I am strong!` 11Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there.
Bring down your warriors, O LORD!
12`Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. 13Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow-- so great is their wickedness!`
14Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. 15The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. 16The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.
17`Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her.
18`In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the LORD's house and will water the valley of acacias. 19But Egypt will be desolate, Edom a desert waste, because of violence done to the people of Judah, in whose land they shed innocent blood. 20Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. 21Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon.`
The LORD dwells in Zion!
Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord
Amos 5:6 Seek the LORD and live, or he will sweep through the house of Joseph like a fire; it will devour, and Bethel will have no one to quench it. 7You who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground 8(he who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns blackness into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land-- the LORD is his name-- 9he flashes destruction on the stronghold and brings the fortified city to ruin), 10you hate the one who reproves in court and despise him who tells the truth. 11You trample on the poor and force him to give you grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine. 12For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. You oppress the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts. 13Therefore the prudent man keeps quiet in such times, for the times are evil. 14Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. 15Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph. 16Therefore this is what the Lord, the LORD God Almighty, says: "There will be wailing in all the streets and cries of anguish in every public square. The farmers will be summoned to weep and the mourners to wail. 17There will be wailing in all the vineyards, for I will pass through your midst," says the LORD. 18Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light. 19It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. 20Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light-- pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
Amos 7:1 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king's share had been harvested and just as the second crop was coming up. 2When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, "Sovereign LORD, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!" 3So the LORD relented. "This will not happen," the LORD said. 4This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: The Sovereign LORD was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. 5Then I cried out, "Sovereign LORD, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!" 6So the LORD relented. "This will not happen either," the Sovereign LORD said. 7This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. 8And the LORD asked me, "What do you see, Amos?" "A plumb line," I replied. Then the Lord said, "Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.
Amos 8:8 "Will not the land tremble for this, and all who live in it mourn? The whole land will rise like the Nile; it will be stirred up and then sink like the river of Egypt. 9"In that day," declares the Sovereign LORD, "I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. 10I will turn your religious feasts into mourning and all your singing into weeping. I will make all of you wear sackcloth and shave your heads. I will make that time like mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day.
The day of the Lord is near for all nations
Obad. 13 You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor look down on them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster. 14You should not wait at the crossroads to cut down their fugitives, nor hand over their survivors in the day of their trouble. 15"The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head. 16Just as you drank on my holy hill, so all the nations will drink continually; they will drink and drink and be as if they had never been.
Micah 4:2 Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. 4Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.
What does the Lord want us to do?
Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 7:17 They will lick dust like a snake, like creatures that crawl on the ground. They will come trembling out of their dens; they will turn in fear to the LORD our God and will be afraid of you. 18Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. 19You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Nahum 1:1 An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. 2The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies. 3The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.
A day of distress and anguish, of darkness and gloom, of trumpet
Zeph. 1:7 Be silent before the Sovereign LORD, for the day of the LORD is near. The LORD has prepared a sacrifice; he has consecrated those he has invited. 8On the day of the LORD's sacrifice I will punish the princes and the king's sons and all those clad in foreign clothes. 9On that day I will punish all who avoid stepping on the threshold, who fill the temple of their gods with violence and deceit. 10"On that day," declares the LORD, "a cry will go up from the Fish Gate, wailing from the New Quarter, and a loud crash from the hills. 11Wail, you who live in the market district; all your merchants will be wiped out, all who trade with silver will be ruined. 12At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, `The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad.' 13Their wealth will be plundered, their houses demolished. They will build houses but not live in them; they will plant vineyards but not drink the wine. 14"The great day of the LORD is near-- near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there. 15That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, 16a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers.
God will assemble the nations
Zeph. 3:5 The LORD within her is righteous; he does no wrong. Morning by morning he dispenses his justice, and every new day he does not fail, yet the unrighteous know no shame. 6"I have cut off nations; their strongholds are demolished. I have left their streets deserted, with no one passing through. Their cities are destroyed; no one will be left --no one at all. 7I said to the city, `Surely you will fear me and accept correction!' Then her dwelling would not be cut off, nor all my punishments come upon her. But they were still eager to act corruptly in all they did. 8Therefore wait for me," declares the LORD, "for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them-- all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger. 9"Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
Zech. 8:14 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Just as I had determined to bring disaster upon you and showed no pity when your fathers angered me," says the LORD Almighty, 15"so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid. 16These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; 17do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this," declares the LORD.
A day of the Lord scenario
Zech. 14:1 A day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among you.
2I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.
3Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. 4On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
6On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. 7It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime --a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light.
8On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter.
9The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. . . .
20On that day HOLY TO THE LORD will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the LORD's house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. 21Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the LORD Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD Almighty.
The Lord does not change
Mal. 3:5 "So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty. 6"I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
Mal. 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. 17"They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. 18And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
Surely the day is coming when it will burn like a furnace
Mal. 4:1 "Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire," says the LORD Almighty. "Not a root or a branch will be left to them. 2But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. 3Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things," says the LORD Almighty. 4"Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. 5"See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."
Matt. 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Matt. 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. 21"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, `Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, `You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Matt. 9:12 On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: `I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Matt. 10:14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
Matt. 10:42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."
Matt. 11:21 "Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you." 25At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
Men will have to give an account for every careless word spoken
Matt. 12:32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. 33"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." 38Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you." 39He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. 42The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.
At the renewal of all things, the twelve disciples will also sit on thrones judging Israel
Matt. 19:27 Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?" 28Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
Introduction: Scholars indicate that the book of Matthew was written about 15 to 20 years after the resurrection, or between 46 - 51 A.D. This was sufficiently ahead of the aforementioned destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. that no reference is made in the book of Jerusalem being in ruins. This fact makes all the more impressive God's prophetic abilities as revealed by Jesus. Are we to doubt the rest of His testimony and prophecies regarding the end of time? God forbid!
Signs of the end of the temple and this age
Matt. 24:1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2"Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."
3As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
4Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, `I am the Christ, ' and will deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
15"So when you see standing in the holy place `the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel --let the reader understand-- 16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 19How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now --and never to be equaled again. 22If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!' or, `There he is!' do not believe it. 24For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect --if that were possible. 25See, I have told you ahead of time.
26"So if anyone tells you, `There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, `Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. 27For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29"Immediately after the distress of those days "`the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'
30"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
32"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
36"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
Judgment - the parable of the sheep and the goats
Matt. 25:31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34"Then the King will say to those on his right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For 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, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37"Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40"The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' 41"Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' 44"They also will answer, `Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' 45"He will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' 46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Jesus give a prophecy about the future
Mark 13:1 As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!"
2"Do you see all these great buildings?" replied Jesus. "Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."
3As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4"Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?"
5Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 6Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,' and will deceive many. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. 9"You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
12"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
14"When you see `the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong --let the reader understand --then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15Let no one on the roof of his house go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 17How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18Pray that this will not take place in winter, 19because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now --and never to be equaled again. 20If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. 21At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!' or, `Look, there he is!' do not believe it. 22For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect --if that were possible. 23So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
24"But in those days, following that distress, "`the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'
26"At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. 28"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
32"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.
The kingdom of God is near
Luke 10:10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11`Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.' 12I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. 13"Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
Luke 11:30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.
When Jesus returns, will he find faith on earth?
Luke 18:2 He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, `Grant me justice against my adversary.' 4"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, `Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'" 6And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" 9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `God, I thank you that I am not like other men --robbers, evildoers, adulterers --or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' 13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' 14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Signs of the end of the age
Luke 21:5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6"As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down."
7"Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?"
8He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,' and, `The time is near.' Do not follow them. 9When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away."
10Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
12"But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13This will result in your being witnesses to them. 14But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17All men will hate you because of me. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By standing firm you will gain life.
20"When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
25"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
29He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32"I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
34"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."
John 1:6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
John testifies of Jesus
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the one I meant when I said, `A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' 31I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel." 32Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, `The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' 34I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God." 35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"
John 2:23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. 24But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. 25He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.
John 3:10 "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven --the Son of Man.
John 3:31 [John the Baptist said] "The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
The Father has entrusted judgment to the Son
John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. 21For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. 24"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. 25I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. 28"Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29and come out --those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. 30By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. 31"If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. 32There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. 33"You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. 36"I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. 37And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.
John 7:6 Therefore Jesus told them, "The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.
Jesus and the Father testify of the Son
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." 13The Pharisees challenged him, "Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid." 14Jesus answered, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. 18I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me." 19Then they asked him, "Where is your father?" "You do not know me or my Father," Jesus replied. "If you knew me, you would know my Father also." 20He spoke these words while teaching in the temple area near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his time had not yet come. 21Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come." 22This made the Jews ask, "Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, `Where I go, you cannot come'?" 23But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins." 25"Who are you?" they asked. "Just what I have been claiming all along," Jesus replied. 26"I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world." 27They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. 28So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." 30Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.
John 8:49 "I am not possessed by a demon," said Jesus, "but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."
For judgment Jesus came into the world
John 9:35 Jesus heard that they had thrown [the blind man whom he had healed] out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" 36"Who is he, sir?" the man asked. "Tell me so that I may believe in him." 37Jesus said, "You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you." 38Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him. 39Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind." 40Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, "What? Are we blind too?"
John 12:23 Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. 27"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? `Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." 29The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. 30Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." 33He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. 34The crowd spoke up, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say, `The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this `Son of Man'?" 35Then Jesus told them, "You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. 36Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light." When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
When the Holy Spirit comes, he will convict the world of guilt
John 16:5 "Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, `Where are you going?' 6Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
Jesus came to testify to the Truth
John 18:35 "Am I a Jew?" Pilate replied. "It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?" 36Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." 37"You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." 38"What is truth?" Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, "I find no basis for a charge against him.
Acts 2:19 [Peter quotes Joel] I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'
Acts 4:32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales
God has appointed Jesus to be judge of the living and the dead
Acts 10:41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen --by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
Commentary: As you study further in this compilation, watch for this aspect of Jesus' role as judge of the dead as well as the living.
The wrath of God is poured out on the wicked living in the last days via the seven trumpets and the seven last plagues. Jesus brings the reward for the righteous with Him when He comes. Therefore, sometime prior to the outpouring of God's wrath and Christ's second coming, some form of judgment must take place. And sometime during this judgment, the judgment of the dead is completed and judgment of the living begins. Some scholars refer to this as an investigational judgment.
In the modern day court system, there are several phases in the prosecution of a case. First comes the discovery phase, during which the lawyers for the opposing sides attempt to discover or find evidence to support their case. Second, comes the court hearing during which accusations and rebuttals are made, and the evidence is presented. Third, comes the executionary phase at which the sentence is meted out, or the defendant is vindicated. According to Zechariah 3 and Revelation 12, Satan is the accuser of God's people before the throne of justice. Jesus is both our mediator and Judge.
One might aptly compare this investigational judgment to the discovery and court hearing phases. It is reasonable to believe that this "investigational judgment" began or will begin at the time "the court was seated and the books were opened" in Daniel 8.
The executionary phase of God's judgment occurs for the wicked living at the time His wrath is poured out at the end of time. The reward for the righteous is brought with Christ at His second coming. A secondary executionary phase occurs at the end of the thousand years when the wicked dead of all the ages are resurrected to stand before God's judgment throne (see Rev. 20).
Acts 17:30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."
Rom. 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
God will give to each person according to what he has done
Rom. 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? 5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God "will give to each person according to what he has done." 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism. 12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
Rom. 3:22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- 26he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Rom. 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs --heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Rom. 9:14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. 19One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, `Why did you make me like this?'" 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? 22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath --prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- 24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
Heap burning coals upon your enemy's head by loving him
Rom. 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."
Rom. 14:9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. 11It is written: "`As surely as I live,' says the Lord, `every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'"
Judge nothing before the appointed time
1Cor. 4:3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
1Cor. 5:4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. 6Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?
1Cor. 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."
1Cor. 11:31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.
2Cor. 1:12 Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God's grace. 13For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, 14as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.
We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ
2Cor. 5:9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 11Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
Phil. 4:2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. 3Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1Ths. 4:13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
While people are saying "Peace and safety," destruction will come upon them suddenly
1Ths. 5:1 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
2Ths. 1:4 Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. 5All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
The man of lawlessness must be revealed prior to the second coming
2Ths. 2:1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 5Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. 13But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
1Tim. 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners --of whom I am the worst. 16But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1Tim. 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men --the testimony given in its proper time.
1Tim. 3:2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.
1Tim. 5:24 The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. 25In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.
2Tim. 4:1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage --with great patience and careful instruction.
2Tim. 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day --and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Hebr. 1:7 In speaking of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire." 8But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. 9You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy."
Hebr. 2:3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
The word of God judges the thoughts of the heart
Hebr. 4:7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." 8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. 12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. 14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are --yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebr. 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And God permitting, we will do so.
Man is destined to die once and then face the Judgment
Hebr. 9:24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. 25Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Hebr. 10:15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 16"This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds."
Hebr. 10:26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Hebr. 11:24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. 25He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
Hebr. 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebr. 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Hebr. 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Even after you have been forgiven, speak and act as those who will be judged by the law
James 2:12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! 14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. 11Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
James 5:3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you. 7Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. 9Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
You will have to give an account to him who is ready to judge both the living and the dead
1Pet. 4:4 They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. 7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.
Judgment begins with the family of God
1Pet. 4:16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"
2Pet. 2:3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. 4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; 5if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)-- 9if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
The present heavens and earth are reserved for fire - The Lord is patient, wanting everyone to come to repentance
2Pet. 3:3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, "Where is this `coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." 5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
1John 4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1John 5:6 This is the one who came by water and blood --Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7For there are three that testify: 8the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
The angels who rebelled in heaven are reserved for judgment as well
Jude 5 Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. 6And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home --these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
Jude 14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." . . . 20But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22Be merciful to those who doubt; 23snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear --hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
Jesus Christ, the faithful witness- Every eye shall see him
Rev. 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2who testifies to everything he saw --that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. 4John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father --to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. 7Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. 8"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." 9I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
Rev. 3:3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
The sun will turn black, the moon to blood, stars will fall to earth, and the sky will recede like a scroll
Rev. 6:8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. 9When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" 11Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed. 12I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"
God's people are sealed from the coming judgments
Rev. 7:1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3"Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." 4Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
The Seven Trumpets - The angel (Christ) throws down his censor ending his intercessory ministry - The time of mercy ends
Rev. 8:2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
3Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. 4The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. 5Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
6Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.
The First Trumpet
7The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
The Second Trumpet
8The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
The Third Trumpet
10The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water-- 11the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.
The Fourth Trumpet
12The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.
The three woes - trumpets 5 to 7
13As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: "Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!"
The Fifth Trumpet - the First Woe
Rev. 9:1 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
7The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. 8Their hair was like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth. 9They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.
12The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.
The Sixth Trumpet - the Second Woe
13The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." 15And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. 16The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number.
17The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
20The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood --idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.
The two witnesses -- an interlude
Rev. 11:1 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. 2But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42months. 3And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." 4These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. 6These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.
7Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.
11But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.
13At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.
The seventh trumpet
15The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever."
16And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. 18The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great-- and for destroying those who destroy the earth."
19Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.
Commentary: Note the prominence of the ark of the covenant in verse 19 above as well as the reference to the tabernacle of the Testimony in Rev. 15:11. The Testimony is God's Law, His Ten Commandments, the standard by which all men are to be judged. It has not, nor ever will, be changed, no matter what men may try to say about it.
The Law is a reflection of God's character. This Law could not have been nailed to the cross as some suppose Col. 2:14 indicates, nor would that make any sense. Jesus said, "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law. " Luke 16:17. The Greek in Col. 2:14 uses the terms "blotting out the handwriting in the ordinances against us," the handwriting that records our transgressions against God's Law. See the commentary section in compilation on the "Sabbath and the Lord's Day" for a deeper discussion on this subject.
The next several chapters of Revelation comprise another interlude, in which additional elements of the story are explained. The actual sequence picks back up in Rev. 15 and 16 with the seven last plagues.
Satan is enraged by those who obey God's commands and hold to the testimony of Jesus
Rev. 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." 13When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. 15Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring --those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Rev. 13:5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. 6He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast --all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
Commentary: A better translation of verse 8 above would be: ". . . worship the beast -- all whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world belonging to the Lamb that was slain." See Rev. 17:8.
All who receive the mark of the beast will receive God's wrath
Rev. 14:6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth --to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water."
8A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries."
9A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, 10he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name." 12This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.
13Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."
"Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
The harvest of the world
14I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one "like a son of man" with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, "Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe." 16So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
17Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, "Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth's vine, because its grapes are ripe." 19The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath. 20They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses' bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia [about 180 miles]. [Compare this paragraph with Joel 3:13 earlier]
God's wrath is poured out on the wicked
Rev. 15:1 I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues --last, because with them God's wrath is completed. 2And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God 3and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: "Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. 4Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed." 5After this I looked and in heaven the temple, that is, the tabernacle of the Testimony, was opened. 6Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. 7Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever. 8And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
The Seven Last Plagues
Rev. 16:1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go, pour out the seven bowls of God's wrath on the earth."
The First Plague - Painful Sores
2The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.
The Second Plague - Sea to Blood
3The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died.
The Third Plague - Rivers and Springs to Blood
4The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 5Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: "You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; 6for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve."
7And I heard the altar respond: "Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments."
The Fourth Plague - Sun Scorches People
8The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. 9They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.
The Fifth Plague - Darkness on Throne of the Beast (Antichrist)
10The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony 11and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.
The Sixth Plague - Euphrates River dries up, World prepares for Armageddon
12The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. 13Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.
15"Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."
16Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
The Seventh Plague - Severe Earthquake and Hailstorm
17The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is done!" 18Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. 19The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. 20Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. 21From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.
Those whose names have not been written in the book of life will be amazed when they see Satan counterfeiting Christ
Rev. 17:5 This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. 7Then the angel said to me: "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. 8The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come. . . .
16The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled. 18The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth."
Babylon (Rome) to be destroyed by fire
Rev. 18:1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2With a mighty voice he shouted: "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. 3For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries." 4Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; 5for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. 6Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. 7Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, `I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.' 8Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
Rev. 18:19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: "`Woe! Woe, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin! 20Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you.'" 21Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: "With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.
With justice God judges and makes war
Rev. 19:9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: `Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God." 10At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
11I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
17And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great."
19Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
The Final Judgment - All will stand before God's throne and be judged
Rev. 20:1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
4I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
7When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth --Gog and Magog --to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life will enter God's heavenly kingdom
Rev. 21:22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
When Jesus comes, He will bring His reward with Him
Rev. 22:12 "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." 17The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. 18I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. 20He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen.
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