Sunday, October 10, 2010

Revelation 20:10-15

Verse 10 “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.”

Now the beast and false prophet get some company. Satan is also thrown into the lake of fire. As the other two have no judgment day, neither does he. He goes down without any plea bargaining.

There are some that are teaching that there is no hell or eternal punishment in the lake of fire, that it is metaphorical and that God simply terminates a person and their consciousness. Or they teach that there is a limited time punishment and then annihilation of the consciousness. Unfortunately for them, that is not what the Bible teaches. In the Old Testament we see where people in hell are mocking the king of Babylon and how arrogant he was on earth. Is. 14:9-11 "Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee." There is also the parable of Lazarus and the rich man in which Yeshua clearly was teaching that there is a consciousness and reward/punishment system after death. Paul also said to be absent from the body was to be present (consciously) with the Lord. All of these clearly indicate consciousness after death. And there are the souls of those beheaded in the fifth seal. As that is before the resurrection, it clearly shows consciousness after death. Here we are told that one thousand years after being thrown into the lake of fire, the beast and false prophet are still there being tormented. And they will all be tormented for “ever and ever.” That is an unlimited time guarantee. The fire of eternal punishment will burn forever, not just for these three but for everyone. Mark 9:43-44 "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." There is no death in the sense of ceasing to exist for the spirit. Spiritual death is eternal separation from God and that never ends. Neither does the burning fire.

Verse 11 “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.”

Here is from where the term “Great White Throne Judgment” comes. At the end of the millennium, God, or the ancient of Days as mentioned by Daniel, sits on His throne to judge the unbelievers. Even heaven and earth flee from His face and are no more. Time is no more in the sense of history of the earth. It is finished. Heaven and earth in their revised, but still corrupted state cease to exist. They flee away from the face of God, as there is no place or need for them. He will be creating a new, perfect heaven and earth.

Verse 12 “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

Now the day has come when “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” The unbelieving dead, no matter how important they were on earth, will stand before God. Several books are opened. One is the book of life, the others are the books of works. God is fair. He has opened the book of life, even knowing that nobody who has died (and was not in the first resurrection) will be found there, just to show them that they are not there. (Those from the millennium who did not rebel are still alive.) Whoever is not found in the book of life (and that will be all the dead) will be judged out of the books of works. Today people say that they think they are “good enough” to make it into heaven. They do good works to work their way into heaven. Well, okay. God gave them another way, but if they want it this way, He is willing to oblige. He WILL judge them according to their works if that is what they really want. Personally I prefer to be judged by Yeshua’s work on the cross, but that’s me. One assumes that they are judged according to their works, and therefore a Mother Teresa type would not be judged the same as a Hitler type. One thing they cannot escape though is the fact that they are not going to heaven. The lake of fire may be hotter in some places than others, but it is still hot.

Verse 13 “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.”

Everyplace on earth hands over their dead. Hell coughs up everyone in it. As Hell seems to be in the center of the earth, it is easy to see why the earth will no longer be after looking at the next verse. There is no escaping this judgment. Death cannot hold anyone; Hell cannot hold anyone. Whether buried on land or at sea, the dead must appear before the throne of God for judgment.

Verse 14 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

Now we see that hell itself is cast into the lake of fire. The other occupant is a little more difficult to understand. It says that death is cast into the lake of fire. Does that mean the dead? Is it metaphorical for the end of death, which in terms of how we think of it is an act, not a person? Or is death an angel (fallen) who literally is the grim reaper? We know the dead will be cast into the lake of fire. This also seems to indicate that the act of death comes to an end, but the small problem with that is that it is metaphorical in that sense, as it is not a person, and the rest of the sentence is literal. It is inconsistent with the grammatical context of the rest of the sentence. However we will soon see that the curse is removed, so death should be also. Is death a person? When the Lord passed over the houses at Passover, the "destroyer" is the one who killed the firstborn. All of these things may be meant. It is hard to say definitively which or if all are meant, but it would seem that possibly all are meant. Again as hell is, according to Scripture, in the depths of the earth, the earth will most likely end up in the lake of fire, which is why this present earth ceases to be.

Verse 15 “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Here we have it. Those not in the book of life (all the dead) are cast into the lake of fire. As said, it may be that the lake of fire is hotter in some areas than others, but it is still a lake of fire. Whether you are a Mother Teresa type or a Hitler type you still go to a very unpleasant place, not heaven. Works will not get you to heaven. Good intentions and being “good” will not get you there. No other religion or person will get you there. Only the blood of Yeshua, repentance, and enduring to the end will get you there.

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