The heavenly courts and the meaning of eternal damnation.
The God of the Bible is often accused of being an unfair judge in the matters of men from people who reject the Bible. Unfortunately, those presenting God as an unfair judge are people of faith. Many of the ideas are emerged from a misunderstanding of some key scriptures and failing to see the full picture. The idea of God torturing people in a never-ending fire as punishment for a short life of sin here on earth doesn’t just seem unfair and unreasonable but IT IS. Fairness in ancient times is often compared to a scale measuring bad against good. At one time in that everlasting hell, the punishment will have gone too far. It takes just a child to conceive that if you are in a never-ending punishment as punishment for a short-lasting sin at one point in time in that ’forever’ state you have suffered more than you deserved.It’s therefore important to understand Bible expression in the correct setting and take a deeper look into what perdition means and how the courts in heaven work. You might be surprised to find many clues in Scripture that helps us see these things in a new light. What we will discover at the end of it are a good judge and a fair punishment.
The first thing that is essential to understand is that your church might have taught you to interpret the Bible wrong. Sometimes we need to unlearn and relearn all over. So when reading this article you might be in full protest saying: «that’s not how I have been taught it is, that’s not what the Bible says». Please consider that you have been taught wrong and give me this time to explain how and why. You see Christianity in its beginning was Judaism, a continuation of the Old Testament Bible. Christianity was never meant to be a new religion, Judah had been promised the Messiah and they were to represent Him to the world. Meaning Judaism would still be Judaism only with their promised Messiah. The symbolism in their rituals would be replaced with what they had symbolized. However, the Jewish people rejected their own Messiah and as a result, independent Jewish ministries shared Jesus with the world instead. The Jews refused to be associated with their Jesus-believing brethren and soon the first believers were called by a new name after the Man they were preaching: Christ, Christians. (Isa 62:2; Act_11:26) Meaning followers of Christ. Christ is the Greek word for the Hebrew word Messiah. Although a large part of the Jewish congregation accepted Christ, the leadership did not. Soon they started preaching the gospel to the pagans. Now most Jews didn’t have a doctrine of a never-ending underground torture ground where devils worked to torture people, they understood perdition differently than the pagans. The most dominant heathen religion in those days was the Roman and Greek which in return resembled the ancient Babylonian religion. Many of the pagans received the gospel of Christ but because they had a different background, their understanding of different Biblical truths was sometimes tied to their religious background. Finally, after Christians suffering great persecution the Roman state embraced Christianity to unite the kingdom torn between pagans and Christians. But at the same time as the state brought the people and religions together, many biblical terms were blended in with a pagan mentality. And this is when the heathen version of «hell» got mixed up with the Biblical «hell». In pagan mythology, there was always a god in control of the underworld torturing those who came there. Even in ancient Babylon who are the first religion we know who came up with these ideas, we see the then beloved semi-god Tammuz being captured in hell causing the worshipers to cry over him. And of course, the Romans had Hades assisted by Persephone in the underworld. When the pagan mentality was mixed with Biblical truth Satan became the god of the underworld and the demons his helpers. For the heathen, this was a common way of thinking and unfortunately after paganism and Christianity got blended the old pagan understanding became part of Christian traditional thinking and interpretation.
What does it mean if it’s true that God sends people to hell were Satan is «a god» to be tortured forever and ever? Well, then Satan who caused sin is the one who punishes the sinners. Imagine a man talked you into doing a robbery with him, and you did, and then the judge sentences you to be tortured by the man who talked you into it? Weird logic? Make no mistake: Satan doesn’t work for God in punishing sinners, he hates God and God’s laws. The word «Satan» means “the opponent”. He is not going to work for God or cooperate with Him, nor does he. Satan is a rebel doing everything he can to sabotage God’s plans.
Doesn’t the Bible mention hell? Yes it does. It mentions a “sheol” and a “hell”. But it’s the traditional pagan origin of the understanding of these things that are confusing people when they read these words in the Bible. The term needs to be placed into its proper context, the Old Testament understanding of perdition. Who wrote the words in the New Testament? Jews, not Romans and not Greeks. They had an Old Testament mentality but their work is written down in Greek.
What we will find on closer examination is not a God out of control with his anger, but a righteous judge and a righteous punishment.
Christianity driven by fear of hell
Many Christians today are partly Christians because they fear hell. One man said that if there wasn’t an everlasting hell there would be no point in being a Christian. The fear of being tortured forever is why he was confessing Christ and choosing His side. Is God honored by worship if it’s not love-driven but solely driven by fear of punishment? Wouldn’t such a relationship eventually become toxic? If you are only a Christian to avoid hell you might consider you don’t love the Lord or His truth. If God wants followers by fear and not love He could take over this planet right now and force people to worship Him. Instead, we see Christ standing outside the door asking for us to invite Him:
«Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.» (Rev.3,20)
The lake of fire
God is the source of life. No life is sustained without God or can exist without God. If people are to continue burning in an everlasting hell God has to have a presence IN hell to keep them alive. He has to continuously re-create them and sustain them for them to keep burning. In reality, the sinner has been given eternal life, only in hell.
However the Bible says the penalty for sin is DEATH:
«But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die» (Gen 2:17)
Sinning does not grant you everlasting life in hell, but it gives you a death penalty, you will be destroyed or cease to exist.
You will die.
Yes the old testament understanding given from God was that they were not to continue burning but to be completely burnt up:
«For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. ….And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. (Mal 4:1 & 4:3)
«BURN THEM UP» and what happens when something is burnt up? It becomes «ASHES». Now this is the ultimate ending for not only the ungodly but Satan himself. Yes, even Satan will be destroyed and be no more:
«And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death» (Rev 20:14)
How can death and hell itself be cast into the lake of fire? The lake of fire here signifies complete destruction. The New Testament is written in greek and the word for hell here is HADES which is the name of the Greek god of the underworld. But the God of the Bible forbids pagan gods so what is a Greek god doing in the Bible? The Greek language consists of words tied to their mythology. You might not know it but you use pagan religious words today as well in your daily conversation without believing in the pagan mythology the words represent, the preachers even use the names of pagan gods from the pulpit. We have these expressions from the ancient Roman religion. Every weekday, every month of the year is named after Roman gods. When you say Monday, Tuesday, etc you reference the Roman pagan gods. When you mention the planets or stars you reference pagan mythology. Mars, Jupiter, Pluto are all named after Roman gods. Yet we use them not in honor of the Roman gods they are named after but because they are the known words for certain things in the language we use. So January is the god Janus. Do we worship him or his ideology when we use the word January to explain something tied to that month? No, we are just mainly referring to that month in the language people around us understand. If you made up your own word for the month no one would understand what month you were talking about. And so we except pagan words in our everyday speech. So if you are representing your church and suggest a January prayer meeting does it imply the rituals of the god Janus in the prayer meeting? Of course not. Paganism was often woven into the language itself and still is. And the English language is full of words and expressions from none other than the Roman religion. The same with other languages in other cultures. The word “hades” in the New Testament was not just tied to mythology, it was also a word used to described death itself, a final resting place under the ground. When a jew speaking Greek used it he did not mean for you to adopt Greek mythology, he used it because that was the common phrase for a death that could not be undone. Those who went to the underworld could never leave and so the word became the Greek word for perdition and writing in Greek they had to use a word which meaning was understood.
Rather changing mythology on one doctrine because of a Greek word we need to look at what the Bible says in fullness about death and destruction, punishment and final judgment.
«For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord» (Rom.6:23).
Now God had told Adam and Eve if they ate of the tree they would be punished by death. Satan told Eve that God lied:
«And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die» (Genesis 3:4)
If you continue to live on in an underworld forever you are still alive. Meaning Satan told the truth and God lied? But we don’t believe Satan. According to the Bible, for man to continue living they have to eat from the tree of life:
«And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken» (Gen 3:22-23)
Now they need that tree to continue to live and they were denied access to it after they sinned (Gen 3:22-23). But for the redeemed access will once again be given:
«In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. …Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.» (Rev 22:2 & 14)
For the life of a sinner to be sustained in «hell» they would need a tree of life there. But there is no tree of life accessible in hell for sinners and if there was I’m sure they would not wish to eat from it just to prolong their state of being.
The first death is “a sleep”
In the Old Testament, the dead are dead:
«the dead know not any thing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) “His breath goeth forth, . . . in that very day his thoughts perish” (Ps. 146:4, KJV). “There is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (Eccl. 9:10)
“Nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun” “Their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished” (verse 6). “The dead do not praise the Lord” (Ps. 115:17).
The Old Testament is clear that when you die you die, you don’t go to an underworld to be tortured and where you will regret all your wrongdoings while being “whipped by Satan”.
The Old Testament describes David, Solomon, and the other kings of Israel and Judah as sleeping with their forefathers (1 Kings 2:10; 11:43; 14:20, 31; 15:8; 2 Chron. 21:1; 26:23; etc.). They are not described to either go to heaven nor to hell. Job called death a sleep (Job 14:10-12), as did David (Ps. 13:3), Jeremiah (Jer. 51:39, 57), and Daniel (Dan. 12:2). They called it a sleep because they believed they would be resurrected from the dead, and so they saw it as a temporary state of unconsciousness in wait of the resurrection.
The New Testament uses the same imagery. In describing the condition of Jairus’ daughter, who was dead, Christ said that she was sleeping (Matt. 9:24; Mark 5:39). He didn’t pull her soul from either heaven or hell. He referred to the deceased Lazarus in a similar manner, an unconscious state (John 11:11-14). Matthew wrote that many “saints who had fallen asleep were raised” after Christ’s resurrection (Matt. 27:52), and when recording Stephen’s martyrdom, Luke wrote that “he fell asleep” (Acts 7:60), not that his soul went to heaven as many Christian would say today. That was not something they said or claimed in Biblical times. Both Paul and Peter also called death a sleep (1 Cor. 15:51, 52; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; 2 Peter 3:4). Still, in New Testament times, they had the same understanding of death as in the Old Testament. The idea that the dead becomes angels in heaven are not from the Bible at all, it’s just something that has become popular among Christians to say. But it is not Biblical. Saying about someone who has died “they are now happy in heaven” isn’t Biblical either. No one says anything like that in the Bible because it’s not a theologically correct statement. Many Christians use these terms because they have been thought traditions and because they don’t know the Bible.
So everyone in the Bible says that when you DIE you fall in an unconscious state. You are not running around active in an underworld screaming and shouting. There is only one story in the Bible that could justify Christians to hold on to this pagan idea and that is a story Jesus tells about a man sitting on Abrahams’s lap while the rich man was being tortured in an underworld. However, that was the Greek understanding, and Jesus was using the story as a parable picturing a grown man sitting on Abraham’s bosom. Jesus used parables and metaphors all the time, and their claimed right to salvation was by being children of Abraham which is why Jesus place the beggar on the bosom of Abraham in the parable. One parable doesn’t change the perdition as written straight forward in the Bible and all the other accounts. If it did, Jesus Himself would have contradicted God’s word. None of Christ parables were literal, they were all figurative.
The Bible teaches that all humans, good or bad, will rise again after their first death. The first death is not eternal perdition, it’s a state of nothingness while waiting for the sentencing. The death sentence spoken of as final punishment for sin is the one that is given after the resurrection from this “sleep”.
The book of Revelation teaches us there are two resurrections. The first is for those God has saved and the second is for the ones who will receive their final destruction- an irreversible ending, the real death. «But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.» (Rev 20:5)
So why isn’t the first death(sleep) good enough as punishment? Why wake people up to just end their life again? This is when we get to the part that shows us just what a righteous judge God really is.
“Body and Soul”
Today we do not have the scientific knowledge on how to retrieve a dead person. We can copy their DNA, some say we have come so far that we can even clone a living being. But that would be all, at best we are stuck with a clone-twin of that living being and not that actual person. God, however, who has created all life knows more science than we do. He knows how to retrieve that exact person and not a copy or clone of it. It’s hard to find something to compare with to do it justice, and so I have to use a very silly comparison that does not do it justice however still illustrates the point. Let me use a computer as a metaphor. You may have a screen, mouse, keyboard – all those visible things you use to access your information but these things, although conceived as your computer visually, in reality, can be destroyed without you losing your work. As long as the hard drive is intact you can replace the exterior with new ones and place your hard drive in it and you will have all your data and work back. It’s not a copy of your old machine, it’s the same hard-drive, the same content. But your hard-drive cannot function without the rest of the parts. A hard-drive doesn’t work on its own. When the heard-drive is on its own, unconnected, it’s as if it is asleep. It doesn’t work at all. It is depended on the other items to work and be active and depended on electricity even to be switched on. As long as you have the hard-drive unharmed you can retrieve it all when you get it plugged in. God has to connect us and restore a body for us so that we can «work again» or exist. He is the only one who can do it, and even if He recreates our external body the inside identity is still us, it’s our souls or spirit or whatever word you might want to use to explain it inside a restored body.
Although it’s somewhat terrible comparing a human to a machine it illustrates the point in one important way. We have discovered DNA but we haven’t discovered God’s secret lying in each human being, what would be the “heard-drive” in the metaphor. Information of us is stored in the DNA, and in cells but there is one secret scientist who has yet to discover to build up the same human being again.
If humans had discovered this very secret they could destroy a human being for good. They kill each other all the time, but no one is lost because God can retrieve them. If man had discovered God’s secret they could eternally destroy a human. God has given no man this authority. God reserves the right to retrieve every human being at one point, and so no man has been allowed the knowledge to completely destroy someone.
So the first death is God allowing you to stay inactive until judgment. Meaning, continuing with our metaphor, the hard-drive and everything needed to make it work are separated from each other. God keeps the «hard-drive» unconnected. How we cannot explain with our science because it’s still a secret to us. It doesn’t matter if a body is decapitated, burnt or destroyed in any other way, God still sits with those people’s identity, not a copy of it, but them in an unconscious state of being just like the Old and the New Testament says. And when he places it back with a body and the spark of life that person will rise from the dead and be the same person only with restored body parts. And God can use our DNA to restore the same hair, the same legs, the same everything. The reason I don’t use the word «soul» is that it’s been abused. The teaching of a separate body and soul has become popular in Christian societies. And that the soul can have life and exist outside of a body. But the Biblical teaching is that our souls’ can’t live a life outside our body. It has to be connected to a body to work. Nowhere does the Bible speak of the soul as an immortal entity capable of living apart from our body. Neither does it speak of the spirit as an entity that can exist independent of our physical nature. In the Bible the word “soul” is never used separated from the physical person, it’s used to describe a living being. For instance, it says 70 souls went to Egypt when speaking of Israel immigrating. We are not made of independent parts temporarily connected, but of body, soul, and spirit in one indivisible whole. It says when God created man, He gave him a body and the breath of life he then became a living soul as a consequence (Gen 2:7). Another word used for the soul is the Hebrew ruach however neither in the Old Testament nor the New Testament does ruach or pneuma refer to an intelligent entity capable of existence apart from the body. This is important to understand for many try to connect with spirits thinking it’s their loved ones continuing living as a spiritual being. But the only spirits the Bible says are active in our world are demon spirits, fallen angels. When king Saul wanted to summon the spirit of the prophet Samuel from death the Bible explains he was actually in contact with an evil spirit.
«So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it» ( 1Ch 10:13)
The false idea believed by many Christians, that the souls continue to live outside of their bodies and are active showing themselves to the living, has allowed Satan and demons to make a playground among the Christians. Pretending to be their dead relatives bringing messages from God they can convince many of false teachings.
The Bible forbids contact with spirits claiming it’s a dangerous deception from the enemy:
«Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God. . . And the person who turns after mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people» (Leviticus 19:26,31; 20:6,27).
The warning was given many times:
«…or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD» (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).
The New Testament warned that Christians would be deceived and do this in the end times:
«Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will renounce the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons (1 Timothy 4:1).
So God does not send your dead relatives to give you a word from the Lord and if such a thing occurs you need to know it’s a deception by God’s enemy. A human soul is not given existence separate from a body, they only work with the body. And according to the Bible when someone dies they are “asleep”.
The reason the first death is “a sleep”
One of the reasons people are put to sleep is that God will sentence everyone together at one chosen time. And so everyone dying at different periods are preserved for this event.
Now the value of each person is so great in heavens eyes that what I called the «harddrive», in my metaphor, or soul or whatever you want to call it, isn’t lightly destroyed, even by God, without proper investigation. The moment God destroys this part of a man that person cannot even be retrieved by God Himself. It’s irreversible. God can make a copy, but the copy would just be a copy and not the real person. It would be a clone. The moment this unique identity part of the individual is destroyed it’s forever. It can not be undone. It’s eternal perdition. The «soul» together with your unique DNA is what makes you you, and when it’s gone it is gone for good. This is a big tragedy in heaven because each human life is considered unique and extremely valuable. We humans don’t even value each other as high as humans are valued in the eyes of heaven. Each loss is a complete tragedy. God knows every human being by heart, His spirit has searched them out from the inside. He knows their pain, their background, their joy and when it all went in the wrong direction. It hurts us when we see someone we know well die, but God feels this way about every single human being. It’s considered a big loss to Him because He loves them in spite of their faults and mistakes. He understands why we act the way we do and He has compassion with us in our struggles. This is why Satan does everything he can to deceive and destroy people and prevent them from receiving salvation. He knows he hurts God when he leads humans into perdition.
God will not make an irreversible act lightly, no one is eternally lost by an impulsive decision in wrath. The whole history of each individual is evaluated.
In the first death, God, therefore, keeps what He needs to keep to be able to retrieve that person again. At the second death however God gives up that part and both body and soul are forever lost (Mat.10:28) .
That is why God calls the first death a «sleep», they are not destroyed, they can still be retrieved. It’s not yet the death of perdition.
And so God does not «kill,» people in the Bible stories like many Bible critics say, He just puts them «to sleep» in wait for judgment.
GOD AS JUDGE
Many want to paint God as an out-of-control judge killing disobedient people as on some sort of rampage. The Bible tells a different story of how God judges. As people are put to sleep in wait of the resurrection and judgment a massive, serious and tidy process starts. No man is to be completely destroyed unable to be retrieved until their case has been carefully considered. That is the value heaven gives a life. No one is destroyed lightly by God.
Although God is almighty and has the power to judge alone without anyone interfering, He does not. He has created beings with the ability to think and reason because He wants them to use this ability for the greater good. And He has never created either man or angels as robots. Being the ruler of a universe with intelligent beings God acts accordingly inviting many to take part in evaluating the fate of humans on this planet. That’s right, the God of the Bible does not judge alone, even though He could have chosen that style of rule.
God wants to be worshiped in love and understanding, not in fear. The only way God can rule and be praised is if people and angels can see for themselves that He is righteous in His decisions. The praise needs to be sincere for God to be glorified by it. He doesn’t like fake flattery any more than you do. So God doesn’t judge alone.
In Daniel we get a glimpse of the courts in heaven: «I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.» (Dan 7:9-10)
That’s right, judgment is like a courtroom with many ministering and witnessing the cases brought up. Nothing is done in the dark. No man is going to be forever destroyed, cease to exist so that not even God can retrieve that exact person, without a real investigation which many take part in. And they are not the only ones. For how can we as humans know we are judged correctly if there is no one from earth taking part in this work? Do angels know how it is to live in a sinful world with a degenerate body? Should not the human race be represented in the courts were humans are investigated and judged? God says they should.
In the book of Revelation, we see some of those God has called from earth to take part and oversee all God does. Although the Old Testament tells us that no one goes straight «to heaven» but rather sleeps in wait of the resurrection, a few people are exempt from this rule. When Jesus died, and by it were able to deliver sinners, a chosen group of people was resurrected according to scripture:
«And the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.» (Mat 27:52-53)
“Many” bodies of the saints, not all of them. A selected group. The resurrection day happened on the biblical feast of first fruits and on this day the priest took a smaller portion of the harvest and presented it before the Lord in the temple. A wave sheaf representing the first part of the harvest. It was called «a first fruit». This was all symbolism to Christ’s mission. And on the same day as this feast, these representatives came out of their graves. Why did Jesus bring with Him a first fruit to heaven? Well, first we need to notice that they were not resurrecting before after Christ died on the cross, meaning they were redeemed by the blood on the cross. So does the Bible tell us about a special group redeemed from earth who are now working overseeing God’s judgment? It does. We read about them in Revelation:
«And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. ..And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold» (Rev 4:2 & 4)
We then see these people telling God they believe He is worthy as He is the creator of the planet and them agreeing with His right to judge the world:
«The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created» (Rev 4:10-11)
Having been given thrones and crowns they are representing mankind. They agree that the court in heaven is legit by placing their crowns before the throne.
They later reveal that they were redeemed from the earth by the blood of the lamb which is how we know who they are and that they are humans:
«And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth» (Rev 5:9-10)
How do they reign on earth when they are in heaven? It just means they are taking part in the judgment of man.
Now the book mentioned being opened contains seven seals and then later seven trumpets are blown, all part of God’s judgments over the earth. And so these representatives of planet earth doesn’t just oversee God’s judgment but also how God judges mankind in the matter of things happening on earth up until the final judgment. They see God’s judgment and they praise Him for being righteous in His actions. So humans are represented by humans in the courts witnessing God’s judgment.
And so God doesn’t judge mankind without a proper court, a proper investigation with thousands upon thousands of witnesses and He even brought humans from «every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation» to heaven as witnesses. Yes, not even just one nation is represented in the judgment, but key people tied to different nations and languages from different parts of the world. This means that these representatives are not just from the nation of Israel, but other nations as well.
God let man take part in man’s judgment. But are these representatives for planet earth enough witnesses to the investigative judgment? God even says no to this, as we will see a great number will later get to take part before anyone is completely destroyed to the point where they cannot be retrieved. As we are about to see from the Bible, a mass number of people from the earth will get to evaluate the process.
For as the Bible teaches, there are two judgments. One before Christ second coming and one after. Let’s look at why, the purposes of them and why God is doing it this way.
FIRST INVESTIGATIVE JUDGEMENT
In reality, when mankind sinned all those who had sinned would get their case tried in the heavenly court and be sentenced to eternal destruction (not eternal life in hell, but a final irreversible and therefore eternal destruction). Because God is fair He doesn’t judge everyone as a group but as an individual. This judgment would be set during a chosen period and all who had sinned would be sentenced and destroyed after this time ended.
However, God could not bear to loose mankind. Although man had sinned He still loved them. He didn’t want to see a single human life destroyed. He says:
“For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye”. (Eze 18:32)
However keeping rebellious people alive would mean allowing pain and suffering to not just continue forever, but spread to the rest of the universe. If sin had no consequence or broken laws were ignored then God’s laws would be disregarded other places as well. And soon the whole universe would be filled with violence and suppression. God cannot govern without a law to govern by.
So God together with His son came up with a plan to rescue people while respecting the law at the same time.
«For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life» (Joh 3:16).
Those who had sinned but wanted to turn from their ways and become loyal to the heavenly law would be given another chance.
However, the law would not be done away with and so someone had to pay the penalty for the sins committed or the law would have been violated. The price paid to atone for the transgression had to be so big and leave such an impression that even though God would give the lawbreakers on earth a second chance, other beings and worlds would not be tempted to think that violating God’s laws was ok in any way. God’s son Himself would come as a man and pay the price of mankind. He would take their punishment. To represent mankind He had to become a man and by it leave His great position and divine nature and take the greatest risk ever taken by anyone. Taking upon Himself human nature in a sinful world yet remain sinless and loyal until His death. He then, as a man without personal sin, would get access to heaven and become their priest and bring His blood to the heavenly courts and tell them that the price for the sin had been paid.
The rescue plan was illustrated in the Sanctuary service given to Israel. The sanctuary service was a copy of a sanctuary in heaven (Heb.8).
“Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount” (Heb 8:5).
The sanctuary on earth was to illustrate what would take place in the judgment for those choosing to be part of God’s plan. The holiest in the tabernacle represented God’s throne and the law represented which law man would be judged by. The priest was to bring blood to the throne and above the law as evidence that the law had been respected and the price had been paid. But what had happened at the entrance was that the record of sin had been transferred from the guilty party to a substitute and the substitute had taken the penalty in the sinners’ stead. Instead of the sinner’s blood, the blood of the substitute was taken into the throne room as evidence that the requirement of the law had been respected. God’s govern had been upheld.
Only the ones who would have the blood go before them in the judgment would escape the final judgment that would come over mankind on the final judgment day. The sanctuary service represented a way-out, an escape from the final judgment. But not just anyone could take part in the substitute blood. Many Christians seem to be unaware of this as they haven’t studied the plan of salvation illustrated in the role-play sanctuary on earth. Had Christians understood this, the many Christian divisions would have been avoided and they could have been as one.
The only one who can get out of the judgment coming over the earth is those who will have their case evaluated BEFORE and subsequently taken from earth before the planet is to be judged. To get our case in the first investigative judgment we need a personal representative in the heavenly court to tell the courts that our sins have been paid and that we can be separated from the rest that is about to face the judgment. God had hoped that all humans would choose His rescue plan and that no one would be left to judge accept Satan and the angels following him. However, God foresaw that a large part of the people on earth would continue their rebellion and refuse to have a part in the atoning sacrifice made for them.
To get our case tried before the judgment in this phase we need evidence that our sins have been atoned for and we need someone with access to the heavenly courts to plead our case and bring the evidence to the courts.
The sanctuary system illustrates the only way and the procedure we must take to take part in the first investigative judgment.
In the sanctuary illustration given to man here on earth, there was only one way to get sin atoned and make peace with the law broken without losing one’s life themselves. They had to come to the entrance of the sanctuary with a substitute (in this case animals). The person had to agree that the law in the holiest was valid and that they had broken it. They had to regret what they had done and wish to again be lead by God’s govern and law. The regret was shown by them showing up and acknowledging God’s right to make laws and judge them. They agreed they had sinned. The sin of the individual was then transferred to the substitute and then the substitute animal received the death penalty and «was executed» in their place. On one day in the year, the High Priest went into the Most Holy place where the law was and sprinkled blood above the law on the seat of the throne and the people on that day would know that their sin had been taken away and they were reinstated as God’s children with its liberties and no longer considered part of the rebellion.
Animal blood was never good enough, it was all an illustration of the real rescue plan. Instead of animals, it was Christ, the law in flesh, who would come as a man and take our sins upon Him. He would then take the penalty now carrying our sins upon Him he took the punishment and died in our place. He then, because He never sinned Himself, goes to heaven and into the heavenly courts to represent us in the judgment and to save us from the coming judgment and the destruction coming over mankind.
But the rules still applied. Not everyone would automatically get this escape. The same procedure as illustrated in the sanctuary service on earth had to be made. The sinner had to acknowledge God’s law as just and by it confess to being a sinner, a lawbreaker, they had to show regret and the desire to again be a part of God’s rule and they had to personally give the sins to the substitute Jesus. When the sinner did this act, Jesus would bring our case before the heavenly courts.
He would tell them that we are no longer a threat to the universe, we are not rebellious towards God’s law, that we have repented and that we now wish to respect God’s authority and law. No longer being a threat would make us someone whom God could safely give a second chance. But because of our previous sins, the law had to still be respected and penalty performed. That is when Jesus presents His blood and tell the courts that He has paid the price for those very sins committed, they have been atoned for.
Our names then are moved from pending judgement over to the book of life. And we will be gathered by Jesus Himself and taken away from the planet before the final judgement.
Everyone who claim the blood of Christ (the substitute blood) get their case tried in the pre-trial that the sanctuary represented. The sanctuary only represents those who claim the blood of the substitute, for the priest in the role-play only went into the most holy with blood. Only those who come before the tabernacle had their case trialed in the tabernacle. The same with the heavenly pre-judgement. Only those who claim Christ blood will have their case evaluated in the pre-trial, which is the only way to escape judgement.
«Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.» (Act 4:12)
The only way to secure life is by Christ:
«Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me» (Joh.14:6).
There are many who claim Christ blood today. Some are visible bad people. The pope and the protestant who have condemned each other, both claim they are saved by Christ blood. Many who are still denying God’s law is also claiming Christ blood anyway. Many who continue harming others are claiming Christ blood. Some blood thirsty rulers have claimed Christ blood while still committing their crimes.
God is no fool and this is the very reason there is an investigation prior to Christ coming. It has to be determined who Christ is taking with Him, who has really repented and have a desire to be loyal under God’s govern. Claiming Christ blood is not a magic spell that immediately gets your sin acquitted and giving you access to the tree of life. The courts in heaven are thorough and nothing is left to chances.
However anyone claiming Christ blood will have the chance of having their case tested before the great judgement day.
It’s among others, this judgement, those who were taken to heaven mentioned in Revelation 4 and 5 are foreseeing. A selected group of believers from all nations watching God judge other believers with the chance to have their voices heard. The court mentioned in the book of Daniel chapter 7 is taking place while the struggles of this earth continues and while false religious leaders make bold claims of being over God’s law pushing it upon God’s people (Dan 7:9 & 7:25).
When this heavenly investigation is over, Christ is sent to gather those He redeemed, known as Christ second coming. They are rescued from earth. Notice how when Jesus comes how systematic and in order everything is.
«And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.» (Rev 14:14-15)
So Jesus as a mediator awaits the command from the temple and the Father Himself to gather those He has saved from the final judgement. Jesus doesn’t just take those living, but gather all those who had put their trust in Him and taken part in His rescue plan for them from the graves.
«For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord» (1Th 4:16-17)
In Revelation He is illustrated with a sickle, bringing the rest of His harvest home. Previously He only brought a first fruit, now He gathers the rest that He has rescued.
It then says that Jesus hurry and gather His children: «And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped» (v.16) Jesus does not destroy the rest. Just like Jesus was told by an angel from the temple when to gather those He had saved another angel from the temple has another mission than Christ:
«And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress. (Rev 14:17 & 19-20)
THE FINAL JUDGEMENT
Everyone else’s life is ended. The earth is left desolate (Isa.24) and every human lying dead in graves is in an unconscious state until their final destruction. They don’t resurrect when Jesus comes, they remain dead. And those who are alive dies. And all are left desolate. Why? Because God will not destroy anyone completely until all those who have been rescued had a chance to understand why. Satan and the angels will also have to wait with their final sentencing and destruction. Satan is put in prison:
«And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him» (Rev.20,2-3)
Unlike humans with a short life span, Satan is an angel and his nature is unknown to us, but we know he doesn’t die like humans do as he has lived for thousands of years, and so he lives bounded until his final destruction.
Ones the faithful redeemed are gathered at Christ second coming we learn that they will get to take part in the judgment over the remaining people now waiting for judgment day. Not one soul is destroyed before people’s case have been evaluated and people saved from earth gets to go through it. Therefore it is written: «And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.» (Rev 20:4-6) Now notice that their assignment is described in the same way as the twenty-four elders that did the same before Christ’s second coming. They are not to rule over ungodly physically but by partaking in the judgment over them.
Not only people but at the end judgment angels as well as Satan will be destroyed and so their case is also given to them to investigate before anyone receives their eternal sentence. The matters and judgments pertaining to earth are given to earthlings to investigate. That is how thorough and fair God is.
Paul reveals: «Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?» (1Co.6:3)
Had they been eternally lost before we got to evaluate the cases we would not have any say in reality. Calling them «rulers» would be a lie. But by presenting the books to us WHILE HUMANS IN THEORY STILL CAN be retrieved we are to evaluate God’s perfect judgment and agree with Him that He has been righteous and fear before anyone is permanently destroyed. Now can you see that God not only has a proper court and legal system but that He will not destroy anyone on impulse without humans being able to investigate His ruling. God is not a dictator.
Once this is done, over a course of a thousand years, every human being left on earth who did not take part in the rescue plan is restored ready to receive their sentencing. The second resurrection takes place.
«And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.» (Rev 20:12-13)
Satan is released from his 1000 year-long prison and all people who ever lived are standing ready to receive their sentencing. The new Jerusalem has been taken from heaven and is now standing in everyone’s sight. The new Jerusalem was made in heaven and moved to earth and the reason it’s present during the judgment is that it’s the capital of the planet and the inhabitants are those who have taken part in the judgment and who has been given the right to rule over the earth with Christ. God has let mankind take part in everything containing them. Making them priests on earth, they got to write down God’s words, the Bible. Jesus didn’t even write the gospel Himself but let humans write it down for Him. He assigned to mankind to try and save their people by evangelizing to others the gospel. God always gives responsibility to humans in the case of humans. He invited mankind to take part in the judgment of men and now they will also witness the final sentencing taking place. God does nothing in the dark regarding mankind that man will not be able to oversee at one point. We see God doing it this way all along:
«Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets» (Amo.3:7)
And when visiting Abraham:
«And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do…», and He answered Himself, God would not hide it. (Gen 18:17)
In everything pertaining earth God has mankind take part, now even in the final sentencing, they are His witnesses. But before God announce the result of the judgment He chooses to wait a little while after they are all resurrected before completing the penalty. In this short amount of terry, the people resurrected gather to open warfare against Jerusalem, the rulers there and God. You could say they are already judged so why not try to overthrow the government that will now judge them? Well, they don’t know what has been going on while they were sleeping/inactive. They understand they are on the outside and instead of humbling themselves they show the same character they had before they died, rebellion and hatred toward God and His people. They unite to attack Jerusalem. By waiting a little before the sentencing the last witness against them is made for the saved in Jerusalem to see. By waiting God show that even the execution of the punishment is an act of SELF-DEFENSE:
«And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.» (Rev 20:7-9)
It’s clear one last time, that God has NO OTHER CHOICE than to complete the sentencing. Either God’s people will be destroyed or they have to agree to complete the sentencing, which they already have agreed to. The two ruling groups cannot co-exist for one part will rebel and use violence and any means to control the other as they did in the past. The bible tells how God’s people were forced into submission, killed and refused rights before Christ second coming. They know the result of living in a rebellious world. The suffering has no end. If the doomed had the chance they would overthrow God’s government and His chosen rulers and now they show that very spirit once again. If God would spare them, sin and the evil ways now practiced on this planet will just continue in a never-ending cycle.
Even though God were going to sentence them, the sentence done at this point illustrates why God are forced to deal so strict with sin in the first place. If God doesn’t take control, the other side will. The two cannot peacefully co-exist, it never could. There can’t be two masters, two different leaders with a different ideology. Satan wants to kill God if he could, and he is more than willing to destroy and kill God’s people now given the right to rule the planet. There would be no peace, even if Satan was killed many humans still would rebel to gratify self and they would strive to be leaders over each other. And once the sinners had destroyed God’s chosen rulers they would start destroying each other just like they have up throughout the earth’s history were one kingdom has destroyed the other before a new rebellion rises. History has been repeating itself for centuries.
Those who have been able to rule with Christ during the 1000 years know that God has no other choice. They have seen that His judgment is fair, that He did all He could. They known the cases of those now lost. The army of doomed surrounds the city. The inhabitants of Jerusalem know they are going to be destroyed if God doesn’t sentence these people and angels straight away. And God does, He sentences them to burn up until nothing of them is left. The body and soul are gone. This is eternal perdition. It cannot be undone. God cannot resurrect anyone of them from the dead again, they are destroyed forever. For their unique identity, the «the hard-drive» or «soul» or what it is that God has to make it possible to retrieve humans, is destroyed forever. If anyone would, only a copy could be made, but even that information is gone. Their DNA is gone too. They are forever lost. Because the decision cannot be undone, the decision is final, it’s called everlasting damnation. They have perished forever. The fire cannot be undone, the damage cannot be undone. They are gone as they never existed. Forever and ever.
«And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. …And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.» (Rev 20:11-15)
This lake of fire is what destroys them for good. The hell spoken of here must be understood in the context of the Old and New Testament and not compared to the Greek mythology of the Greek god Hades torturing people. It’s just a word that means the kingdom of death, is just poetic for being dead and buried underground. When hell is cast into the lake of fire it means that no dead will remain buried in the ground on the new earth, no remains will remain. The graves themselves will be burnt too, nothing will be left.
Satan the same, he too, along with the angels that followed his lead, is cast into this lake of fire and cease to exist. They all cease to exist. If God had sustained their life He would be part to blame for all the hurt they would continue to do. God is not a sinner, He doesn’t keep Satan alive to torture people in some eternal underground life.
That leaves us with an unanswered question:
«And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.» (Rev 20:10)
Now the Beast and the false prophet were cast into the lake of fire before everyone else, a thousand years before to be exact, and here it seems as if they have been burning for those thousand years doesn’t it? Well, the reason it looks like that is because the word «are» is in the sentence which implies they are still existing there when the rest is thrown there. But the word «are» is not in any of the original bible manuscripts, it’s actually a word supplemented by the translators. And those English translators believed in the pagan hell as had been taught from churches ever since the roman religion had been mixed together with the pagan. Adding the word «are» seemed logic to them, but it’s not Biblical logic if compared to the revelation of the Old and New Testament regarding death.
The correct understanding should be that the devil was cast into the same lake of fire or like the one the beast and false prophet once were cast into. But they are no longer there still burning, the word «are» is added.
The devil doesn’t die quickly, he can handle fire as his body is different than ours. God allows this originator of all this misery who has not had mercy on those he tortured here on earth – to himself feel that physical pain on his being in some way we don’t understand. Could God kill him in an instant? I don’t know, I would think He could. But all we know is that Satan’s death takes a little longer. It’s not unreasonable to think that those who have committed the biggest crimes have their end dragged out a little. This whole time God has chosen to speak to people’s intellect. And He would want those sentenced to understand the crime they have been sentenced for and to have time to consider the pain they have caused before they die.
But ultimately as the Bible states that all will end, even «hell» itself.
Why does it say «forever and ever»? The consequence of punishment is forever. Also, in the Bible, «forever» is used poetic to describe how something can feel. Jonah used the word in a way it’s clear it doesn’t mean something that will never end:
«I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God» (Jon.2:6)
The same sentence for ever is used to explain a time period and the same time period ending. «Her bars was about me for ever» and then «yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption». So the «for ever» only lasted a while, however, it felt like for ever to Jonah when he was trapped into the belly of the fish. But he was only there for three days. Again, we have to understand the Bible not in harmony with Greek mythology but with the bible and other scriptures describing perdition as well. And by adding these statements we see an end. The «for ever» is referring to the destruction, they will not come back and harm anyone again. The punishment itself is for ever. It’s meant as a relief, so you never have to fear the enemies resurrecting and attack again. Satan isn’t suddenly coming back from the dead like in a horror movie just to continue doing what he does. The for ever is our reassurance it’s finally over.
No one is easily executed
What we can see on closer examination is that God doesn’t easily kill anyone. Some Bible critics think He does, they watch the flood story, Israel conquering Canaan and other stories were God does end people’s life. But these are temporary judgments, they are just put to sleep because of the harm they are causing, they are not permanently destroyed. No one is completely destroyed before several steps have been taken and both heaven and humans alike take part in their judgment together with God. God is not a crazy ruler who does things untied with loose ends and no one knows who He might kill next.
God Himself claims to be merciful and righteous. The implication of being righteous is that His judgments are righteous. He is fair, His process of dealing with rebellion against His government is done fairly and right. And He even asks us to acknowledge that. He also asks of His people to investigate and see that He is good:
«Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him» (Psalm 34:8)
He has shown that He need not hide His judgment, He is doing everything in the open with a multitude of witnesses. Even with human witnesses to His judgment concerning the earth. He asks for our worship of Him as our leader, Creator, and savior with our heart and intellect. He gave us the ability to evaluate and think. And He asks us to use it. He puts it all in the open. How can He have done anything any other way? What would the consequence have been if He had? And by our intellect searching, we will come to the same conclusion as He did, that there was no other way. And He wants us to reach that conclusion BEFORE anyone is destroyed to the point where they cannot be retrieved. God claims He is perfect and man will have a hard time finding fault with his judgment but that doesn’t mean we don’t get to investigate and have a voice in the process.
The Biblical judgment shows a God, all mighty and powerful, who could do it any way He wanted but chose to do it this way because HE IS righteous and because He wants us to love Him for real. He doesn’t desire fake obedience, fake praise. A heart murmuring against God while the mouth pretend to love Him is not what He wants. So He puts the judgement in the open and He invites angels and humans to take part and evaluate the entire process.
And even waits in the end so that the final destruction, even that, ends up as an act of self-defense. There is a lesson in even that. It shows what judgment against sin really is, it’s protecting the beings in the universe, other planets, angels and humans from the rebellion and the consequences of it. God never judged just to protect Himself and His rule, it will be evident that God made the judgments He did to save life itself, to save people that mean no harm, to save innocent angels, to save planets that have never rebelled or desired to throw away God’s govern. God would do everyone wrong if He had allowed sin and rebellion to continue. Judgment had to be done. The extinction of sinners is ultimately an act of self-defense.
Should God had chosen anarchy instead of having a law?
God has a government, and that government has a law. If whenever that law is broken God would tell the transgressor not to worry about it, he would maybe make that particular person happy but He would soon have a universe out of control. If He tells one person it’s OK it would be unfair unless He said the same thing to everyone. And then there would be no government, no overseer. So when man sinned He had to put the juridical system to effect or He would be forced to allow others to break it too. Why should humans have that freedom and not angels and other planets? And so, in the end, God would not be able to rule His own universe. What sin usually is about is one violating the opportunities and freedom of another or causing damage to another. That is why God says His law is good, it does good, it protects.
Anyone who thinks God should not have a law at all should consider that even in chaos and lawlessness there are rules. Although perhaps not written down, they are unspoken and can change all to suit whoever needs them to suit them. Such rules are unmerciful as they inspire the survival of the fittest. The strong oppress the weak. And a world like this inspires corruption and dishonesty as well as violence. Some see a lawless world as a utopia, but in practice, it would not work that way. Someone will be harmed. No society on earth is without rules because where there has been temporarily anarchy the result is too much for anyone to bear, and the people themselves will eventually demand rules. The only one who thrives in a system like that is those on the top, but even their inside is damaged.
In the past whenever rules have become too liberal a new movement emerges to demand more conservative rules, and when they get what they want the liberal wants more liberal rules and so on. It’s people themselves that demand rules and regulations to protect themselves and their way of life. They know if there are none, they loose rights and chaos emerge causing unstable surroundings. People desire leadership to protect them and their rights.
That is why even every earthly ruler demands obedience to their set of rules, it’s done to create order and peace. However human rulers are flawed and their laws are flawed and often injustice is committed by the state because of it. It’s hard to find any place on earth where some people don’t feel discriminated or subdued by their countries rules. A country usually makes laws that suit and protect the majority leaving the minority in distress. However, most people know that rules are created for good and not to suppress. And that leadership is needed, if the leadership is good, to create order and peace. Unfortunately, many leaders in the world seek to gratify themselves rather serving their people.
God’s kingdom is designed to avoid all these problems in how it’s built up. God is that leadership of peace and His law is designed for the common good of all, no one will be suppressed.
God has to have a law, He has to govern, there is no other way.
Why is the lie of tormented people in hell right now a thing among evangelicals?
Why has Satan presented false teachings regarding God’s judgment? Because he wants us to think of Him as unrighteous, an unfair judge, to fear Him in the wrong way, to even hate God. If even a man can see a forever torment in hell is unfair for sins that were committed over the short time a man has, then a man will think of himself as more capable of viewing fairness than God is. Viewing God as unfair and unreasonable will provoke a lack of respect even if the person fears to say they do. God’s wrath seems out of control.
Satan has been lying about God for as long and he has been deceiving people. The best place for Satan to deceive people are among those who claim to represent God and Christ. Those who reject God doesn’t care. And those who seek God will go to those who claim to represent Him. And so Satan goes after religious leaders and teachers as he always has to get the lies about God right where people come to get to know Him. He portrays Him as someone who gets angry over a small thing, waiting for people to fail so He can judge and humiliate them. He portrays God as someone who doesn’t want people to think or reason.
Why judgment is going to come over religious leaders
He is fooling Christians right now but he also lied to the Jewish people throughout. He made them think that God would be angry for every little insignificant matter which caused them to make small silly rules in fear of breaking the real ones. Jesus tried to address the lies and told them they were so oppressed by these little things that they missed the big picture:
«Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.» (Mat 23:24-25)
Satan would suggest anything to make God look unreasonable, even using God’s own law to put fear in people. That’s why God had ordered them not to add or remove from His law (Deu.12:32) No one was allowed to tamper with it, change it or even add to it. The moment humans added, removed or changed God’s law the law would no longer be good. It was perfect as God had made it Himself.
«The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple» (Psa.19:7). «Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good» (Rom.7:12).
Remember if the law that condemns us is not good, neither is God’s judgment based on that law. And so if we attack God’s law we in reality attack God’s judgments. If the law is unfair, God is unfair. God claims otherwise, but it was strictly forbidden to change the law in any way even if it was claimed to be done in His honor He would not be honored. One of God’s great earthly ruler enemies on earth is accused of doing just that:
«And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws…But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end» (Dan 7:25-26)
Anyone thinking to change God’s times or laws are speaking great «words against the most High». And that is just what Christian and Jewish leaders have done to God’s laws.
When human feebleness adds additional laws to God’s law it would make God’s law unreasonable and faulty. Even though these extra rules and regulations were claimed to have been done in God’s honor He was not honored by them. If God had wanted them He would have ordered them Himself. If God needed to change His law it would be a confession from God that it had not been perfect in the first place. But God says:
«My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips» (Psa.89:34).
The law and sanctuary system on earth was a copy of the one in heaven. Even if human religious leaders try to change the one on earth the one used in the judgment in heaven remains the same. They are just fooling themselves and their followers.
Christians have adjusted God’s law, removed a command and changed another is Biblical speaking idolatry and blasphemy. It’s disrespect against heavens’ authority suggesting God’s law was not perfect as it was and that human fallible hands could fix God’s «mistakes» and make His law better. It’s all different types of rebellion under the guise of holiness. God has a quarrel with these religious leaders and they will be judged like prophesied.
Why the Beast and the false prophet are cast in the lake of fire before the others.
So another important topic needs to be addressed. Why was the Beast and the false prophet cast into the lake of fire before the thousand years?
First of all the book of Daniel reveals to us directly that a beast represents the leadership of a kingdom (Dan 7). It’s a governmental system that is cast into the lake of fire. The end of the existence of a kingdom. The same with the false prophet, it’s described working in union with the beast coming out of the earth earlier in the book of Revelation. It represents a religious system. And they get a judgement at this point in time.
When Christ second coming is described in Revelation 14 we see those Christ saves are taken to Christ and the rest put to death in wait of judgement. So who are the Beast and the false prophet representing and why are they cast into the lake of fire already at Christ second coming?
In order to be placed into the lake of fire there has to be an investigative judgment first just like what we see with the lake of fire commencing after the thousand years. If the beast and false prophet are cast into the lake of fire it means that they have been judged before the event.
However only those claiming Christ’s blood at the sanctuary entrance would be represented at the pre-judgment in the holiest place in heaven.
To know who the beast and the false prophet are and why they are judged we need to go back to the sanctuary service and the plan of salvation revealed there.
On the day of atonement where the priest would enter the holiest with the law to show that a substitute had taken the place of the people, not all of the people were saved by it. This day was a day of freedom for many but it was also a day were a group would be cut off from God’s people.
«Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. … For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people» (Lev 23:27 & 29).
In the illustration shown in the sanctuary which was imitating the real plan of salvation we might learn why. It was not just the priest that had to act, but people the priest represented had something they had to do as well. Had they been sincere or were they falsely claiming the blood of the substitute? Were they in reality still in rebellion against God’s rule while claiming the blood?
Like we previously looked at, to have the priest go before them to save them from the judgment they had to do the following:
- Confess they had broken the law (sinned) and by it acknowledge the laws right to judge them
- Give their sins to the substitute
- The substitute would die in their place and eventually, the blood of a substitute would be presented in the holiest for their sins to be blotted out (Sanctuary cleansed from their sins).
Now if they did not acknowledge God’s law they would still be in rebellion even when offering the sacrifice. Their act would be without self affliction. If they refused to acknowledge God’s law it meant they weren’t prepared to turn away from their sins either. In the Bible we are explained that «SIN» is just a word for «breaking the law».
«Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law» (1Jn.3:4).
So in order to confess sin you, in reality, confess you have broken the law and by it acknowledge it’s valid and at force. Repentance of sin is regretting breaking the law, meaning you wish to respect it. So you cannot confess your sins without at the same time acknowledging that breaking the law is a sin. The court is in heaven and so if you are fooled into believing breaking another version of the law is what defines sin you never get the chance to repent from having broken God’s law and bring the sins to the Savior. You are obeying a different ruler when you go by a different law. Putting the law of a different ruler above God’s law is idolatry and considered rebellion against the God of the universe. If you even worse, refuse to acknowledge the law’s right to judge you, the blood is not going to save you as you have not transferred your sins to the substitute.
However everyone who claims Christ blood would have their case tested before Christ second coming. And like with the day of atonement those who had not really acknowledged the law and their sin would be «cut off from among his people».
The beast and the false prophet are judged at Christ second coming because they are religious systems who have claimed Christ blood without ending their rebellion against His law. They have claimed Christ as their priest and redeemer. But they have been revealed to have been in fact rebellious. It’s only these power said to be cast into the lake of fire at Christ second coming, the rest is put to death only. Meaning other religions and kingdoms and people are not put into the lake of fire at this point.
However for the ’beast’ and the ’false prophet,’ it’s a different matter. Not only did these two Christian movements claim Christ’s blood for themselves, that Christ was their priest, but they have persecuted and murdered God’s true people (Rev 13:7, Rev 13:15 and so on). While claiming to be God’s representatives they have hindered the influence, persecuted and even killed God’s real representatives who respect God’s law as He wrote it. The worst kind of treason.
They had also deceived the whole world into false religious practices and given them a false sense of security claiming to represent Christ when in fact they were hindering people’s salvation by encouraging rebellion against God’s law all done in Christ’s name (Rev.18).
The beast is the Catholic Church, claiming Christ’s blood while denying God’s law as God Himself wrote it. Telling their people that they have not sinned when they have broken parts of it they have prevented people to stand at “the entrance of the tabernacle” in repentance for having broken God’s law. Instead, people are repenting for having broken the Catholic church’s law which will not secure them salvation. The church has even told their followers that they will be tortured forever if they leave the church institution and the church’s claimed conditions for salvation. Scaring people from turning to the real God and His real law. This church has not turned from their ways, they still rebel against God’s authority and the blood of Christ cannot redeem the sinner that hasn’t repented.
“The false prophet” represents the protestant and evangelical churches that have rejected God’s law’s authority. They still follow the changed law made by the papal beast. They have preached a false gospel, a false end-time scenario and fooled people into thinking they are free to break God’s law all while proclaiming Christ’s blood at the same time. Not only that, they have made the dangerous deception that you betray Christ by respecting God’s law and that respecting that law will lead you into perdition. They have turned everything around, they battle Christ’s authority in Christ’s name and are aiding the dragon Satan himself in deceiving people to disobedience and to legalize sin.
Christ cannot present their cases with his blood because they are still in rebellion to that very law He is presenting His blood as atonement for. Christ will, as shown in the sanctuary system, only represent those who have repented and acknowledged the government of God as represented in His law.
Everyone else who claims Christ’s blood will be judged at Christ’s second coming. They will be separated from God’s people and «cut off».
It’s all Satan’s master-plan to confuse people from getting acquitted from their sins. It says he fools both the beast and the false prophet:
«And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.» (Rev 16:13-14)
The miracles and powers that had been claimed to have been from God by these seemingly Christian movements are revealed at the end to have been by moved by the «spirit of devils». Thinking they were serving Christ they are revealed to have been serving and being puppets of Satan the dragon himself. What was Satan’s strategy from the beginning? Causing man to break God’s law and eat from the tree. Now he has gathered Christians churches, distorted God’s word and twisted it’s meaning and fooled Christians to not only oppose God’s law themselves but force that religion upon the world by using violence and flattery, whatever works best. (Rev.13; 14-17)
And those who are suffering amidst the beast and false prophets behavior is described in the following way:
«Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.» (Rev 14:12)
They who have both. They two great powerful Christian directions will attack those who believe in Christ and recognize the validity of God’s law at the same time.
There is only one group that will be redeemed at Christ second coming, that is those who have acknowledged God’s law, willing to turn from opposing it and who has given their sins to Christ to go before them to judgment and by it escaping judgment itself.
The false prophet and beast are «separated» out to not be counted with God’s people, exposed as still in rebellion. Because their case have been dismissed and they have been refused pardon the beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire at Christ second coming.
The Catholic Church, the protestant and evangelical churches will receive their judgment, they have mixed truth with error, they have blasphemed and turned Jesus against His own law to the pleasure of Satan who is the real one who is making war against God’s government and law. Jesus had warned them ahead of time:
«Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.» (Mat 5:17-18)
Many claims that all was fulfilled at the cross but both the law and the prophet prophecies past Christ second coming and even to the new earth. All of the prophecies have not been fulfilled, the plane of salvation not completed until God’s people are safe and the ungodly have received their penalty.
Anyone who opposes God’s government or law is working with Satan whether they understand it or not.
God has His people in different churches but tells them to leave.
God does recognize that He does have children in all these churches, He knows that a large number has been sincerely deceived by their teachers and leaders and are unaware of the deception they have been part of. God has the whole time heard their sincere prayers and seen their hearts. Before destruction comes He sends a special message to all of His people who have their hearts in the right place and have been fooled and therefore are still a part of these religious systems:
«And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.» (Rev 18:4-5)
They are about to be judged and you can still be spared if you leave them and turn back to the apostolic faith and acknowledge only one lawgiver, savior, and mediator.
So leave them, separate from these institutions because these churches will be rejected at Christ’s second coming. Confess God’s law is just, that you have sinned, give your sins to Jesus and He will hurry and let the heavenly court know that your sins have been atoned for and that you, therefore, belong to Him and are among those He is allowed to claim as His own and take with him before the angels are given the order to execute the death sentence on the rest.
God has been good dealing with the world and everything is done not only in fairness but by being merciful, long-suffering and giving people chances to turn and choose a different path all up until the last hour. Then it will be too late. You decide today what you want to do, who you want to belong to. If you want to continue to rebel against His government or repent and ask for pardon.
Ark of the Covenant discovery
Spite the truth made plain in the Bible and that the Bible is accessible to almost everyone in the whole world, God in His great mercy and long-suffering wants to give people even another warning before it’s too late. The offer to be saved is open to everyone, no one has to go to judgment and lose their life. God has made provision so that no one needs to be lost. And before the offer is withdrawn God will make sure everyone knows that there is an option, a way to be saved. God will bring the discovery of The Ark of the Covenant containing His unchanged law and the blood of the Savior upon the mercy seat to everyone’s attention. They will know the condition to be saved, they will know that their sins are paid for if they give them to Christ. One more time God will enlighten the world with the truth so that no one needs to be left in the dark and chose the lie because of lack of information. Why does God bring such a great revelation to the world when people can just read the Bible to get the same information? God doesn’t want to judge anyone, He wants to save. That is why He made the sacrifice, why He made the plan of salvation. He doesn’t want to lose anyone. And when you love someone you don’t give them up easily. What we see with the Ark of the Covenant discovery is God trying one last time to reach out because He is hoping to save more people, He wants to save everyone but knows that His offer will be rejected by many. He is driven by love for man, and that love has caused Him to be patient and to try over and over again. Yes, He made sure the Bible was available, but He will do anything He can. This last great revelation is man’s last chance to choose the plan of rescue.
The pain heaven feels when a soul is lost is not perfectly understood by mankind. The great value of each human being has been lost to a world that easily even kill their babies in the womb. A world that believes we are here by chance and then forgotten. That humans can be sacrificed for peace or prosperity. Heaven has not forgotten a single soul, and God notices the life and end of every human being. Even those who are killed in their mother’s womb and never got a chance. Humans are valuable to God and that is why instead of just giving them their sentence straight away He came up with a plan to save them without removing His laws validity. Because He values them they are invited to take part in the judgment over their own fellow humans. Heaven watches as the majority are rejecting the offer of salvation and by that sealing their fate. And the loss is greater in their eyes than in even ours.
The Ark of the Covenant is God’s final outstretched hand to a world that is coming to its end. Make sure you grab that hand, for it’s the hand of Someone who loves you, your maker and your King!