February 6, 2015
Before we finish our discussion on the Doctrine of Eternal Judgment, let me share with you a rather fascinating experience that happened not long ago. We generally tend to have anywhere from one to three FedEx packages delivered to our door every week. For the most part, the driver is the same one who comes each time and he has gotten to know and recognize me.
On this occasion he rang the doorbell as usual and I opened the door. Suddenly the look on his face took on a startled appearance as his eyes glanced above my head. Very quickly he said, "Good Morning, my lord." No one has ever addressed me like that and it caught me completely off guard! I responded almost automatically, "Good Morning," and took the signature machine he extended to me to sign my name. He smiled but left without saying another thing.
When I closed the front door, Della called to me from the kitchen and said, "Honey, did you hear what he said to you?" We both thought it was really odd and talked about it for a minute before I returned to my office. Later in the day, in a conversation with the Lord I said, "Father, what was THAT all about?" Immediately He gave me a vision of the event, but this time I stood back watching myself at the front door and saw a very tall angel standing right behind me. That angel is what caught the FedEx driver's attention and provoked his address to me.
Other people are having unusual things like this taking place, and it is a sign of the time that we are in. As we continue to press into the things of God, He manifests Himself with us, often showing others the hosts of Heaven that surround us. You won't have any difficulty understanding when I say that this was really a WOW and Praise the Lord event!
Anyway, we need to get back to our discussion on eternal judgment.
Before we continue with the picture from Revelation 20 where we left off last week, it is important to note that for a thousand years of time up to this moment, Satan has had no ability to tempt, to deceive and to entice the thousands and millions of people who’ve been born during the thousand years. Jesus, as we all know, is returning for an “overcoming Bride” — one who has overcome all of the flesh, the temptations of the world, and Satan!
From what I experienced when the Angel of the Lord took me forward into the future to see Satan loosed, and watch the battles against the people of God unfold, those folks who have grown up and had a knowledge of the Lord and a relationship would now see that relationship tested to the max! Satan’s intention is to ply his enticements and deception against a whole new batch of professing believers and use them against those who choose the Lord Jesus Christ as their beloved.
The battle that ensues once Satan gathers his forces and those who stand in agreement with him is earth’s final battle. The judgment of the Lord against him is now a dazzling display of the might and glory of God as fire (the Greek term used here is pur, which more literally translates as “lightning”) consumes Satan's hordes and armies from top to bottom.
[Here, again, we have a Greek word, katesthio, describing the action of the fire which means to “eat down” from the top.]
The eternal judgment that follows manifests as Satan, the Beast, and the False Prophet are cast into the lake of fire where they will be tormented throughout the eternity of the eternities.
(This is one of those places in the NT where you see the term, “forever,” (aion) doubled to read like this: aiona tou aionos,” which we render “forever into forever,” or “perpetuity upon perpetuity,” or — as we have been describing — “the eternity of the eternities.”)
In other words, there is no such thing as a terminus to this. You can’t call it “an event” because the word, event, has time incorporated into it. You can’t refer to it with any word or terminology which puts it within some specified framework incorporating a beginning and an end. It is eternal — PERIOD!
Consider, now, the next recorded eternal judgment.
Revelation 20:11-15: "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 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.
"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."
There is a second part of this “Final Judgment” which appears in Revelation 22.
Revelation 22:5-8: "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
"I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
This “Great White Throne Judgment” has sometimes been referred to as the “Bema,” but the Greek word, bema, actually describes a moveable judgment seat that moves from place to place with the Judge.
In any event, what we see is the result of a law of the universe being enacted. When God created the Heavens and the Earth, He set in place certain immutable (absolutely unchangeable) laws which carry specific consequences when they are violated. The laws and the consequences that follow are not a product of the wrath of God — and He DOES have wrath (the Hebrew word for wrath is: chemah, and the Greek word is, orge: both words mean: violent passion, hot displeasure, heat, anger) — they are the result of the arbitrary choices we make, and the callous disregard people have for God’s universal law.
Before we wrap up this very brief look at the doctrine of eternal judgment, there is an aspect of judgment that we must consider.
Revelation 1:5b-6: "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
Think about the role of the priest for a minute. The priest takes the sins of the people upon himself, acting as an intercessor, and presents himself before the King of Kings seeking mercy and forgiveness. In our role as priests unto God, we act within the person of Jesus Christ, Who — as Paul writes — makes intercession on our behalf. Look at the way he describes this in writing to the Hebrews:
Hebrews 7:25-26: "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens..."
THAT is one of our roles in Christ Jesus.
But that isn’t the only role. We are also created to be kings. We are supposed to be the kings that Jesus is King of. Among the areas of responsibility and function that kings operate in is to execute judgment. That judgment generally has a finality to it.
Take a look at some of the ways that kings’ judgment is described by Solomon in Proverbs:
Proverbs 8:12-21: "I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
"I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures."
Proverbs 16:12-15: "It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness. Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right. The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it. In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain."
Proverbs 20:26, 28: "A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them. Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy."
Proverbs 21:1: "The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."
I realize that this is a rather narrow selection from the Word, and we could probably do many pages of references, but these verses draw a pretty accurate picture of a king and the way in which God characterizes the role and boundaries of judgment placed in the hand of the king.
The judgment that the King of Kings renders is eternal. It is based in God’s universal, immutable Law that NEVER varies one iota! We, as those kings answerable to the King of Kings, MUST have that character of righteous judgment and justice operating in and through us! This is a mandate from the Lord.
For the past thirteen weeks (OK, fourteen because of our break for Christmas) we have tried to cover the six basic fundamentals that MUST be laid in our lives as foundation stones if we are to move from being believers who are continually "under tutors and governors," to that place where Father can put His stamp of approval and sent us out as mature and seasoned "sons of God, heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ."
Let's recap them as we wrap up this discussion.
The first, and most basic, foundational truth is that of repentance from dead works. Without understanding and knowing absolutely that there is nothing we can do to "be good enough" to come to Jesus Christ; without the understanding that the once-and-for-all price He paid in the stripes He bore, the crown of thorns that was shoved into His skull, and the horrible death by crucifixion that He took on our behalf paid the complete and total price for our sins, our sicknesses and our death, we wind up doing repetitious repentance where faith gets lost in the traditions of men.
And that brings us to the second foundation stone -- faith towards God. Faith isn't the screwing up of one's will power: it is the trust and confidence-filled obedience on our part to hearing God's direct Word in our spirits and acting on it. The grace of God enables and empowers us to act in and by God's faith. That faith becomes a transporter mechanism (to use a sci-fi term) to convey healing or restoration or various gifts of God into those desiring to receive. [We often use this terminology to describe the transfer and conveyance of "body parts" or organs from the "body parts warehouse" in Heaven when a person receives a miraculous healing.
This is followed by baptism in water to demonstrate to both angelic and demonic beings that the old "us" that was subject to the Law of Sin and Death -- has hung on the Cross IN Christ -- has died, and no longer is living in slavery to Satan. When we come up out of the water, we are still in Christ as completely new creations now living the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. Right behind water baptism is Holy Spirit baptism as demonstrated on the day of Pentecost by the surrender of our tongues to Holy Spirit so that He now speaks through us with the language of the Kingdom -- the Kingdom of God, of which we are now citizens. Holy Spirit also has a baptism of fire in which we experience a step-by-step purification process necessary for our soul to be in proper alignment with our re-born spirit.
Then comes the next foundation stone: understanding and implementing the transfer of authority and power that comes with laying hands on individuals. People receive various mantles of power and authority from the Lord when one who is operating by a direct rhema from the Lord lays their hands upon them. Often this will come with an anointing with oil which is poured upon them or rubbed into their heads (or hands, or feet, or wherever directed by Holy Spirit). One of the most common manifestations of this operation comes when some lays hands on a willing and responsive individual to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Fifth in the series of foundations is resurrection from the dead. If ever there was a foundation needed in the body of Christ today, this is it! With the world's culture of death and society's continual focus on death and dying, God's people absolutely need to understand that when Jesus rose from the dead, He didn't just grant eternal life to those who accept and walk with and in Him as something to take place "in the sweet bye and bye." This isn't just resurrection from the dead following Judgment Day: this is resurrection from the dead NOW, being delivered from the mindset and culture of death, knowing that one does not need to ever die physically. And that, folks, is a tough one for most folks! But unless God's people get hold of this principle, raising the dead will continue to be the exception to the rule instead of being the rule NOW!
Lastly, we have the doctrine of eternal judgment -- the study we have just gone through. As already stated, judgment is the purview of kings. If we are to function within the Kingdom of God as kings subject to and ruling with the King of Kings, we absolutely MUST be able to judge according to God's standard of judgment -- not out of human emotion, and not out of some reactionary place.
Are we good? Do you understand these foundations, now? Then let's get them laid once and for all so that we don't have to come back and do this all over again!
I remind those of you in need of healing of our Healing Prayer Call on Mondays at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call for prayer is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#. Also want to let you know that our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (559) 726-1300, and the access code is 308640#.
Blessings on you!
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