"How is God going to save the world?"

Fred R. Coulter - September 28, 2002

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An atheist looks at the Bible and says, “I can’t understand how there can be a God Who claims to be a God of love, and yet He flooded the whole world, if that is true, during the days of Noah and killed all those people.” Another man will say, “I can’t worship God, because look at all of the people who have died in wars. And look at all of the innocent little children who have died because of war, and famine, and starvation, and because of the cruelty of adults to children.” Another one would say, “Well, how can there be a God, if He’s a God of salvation and He is not saving everyone? How can there be a God Who is a God of love Who has deliberately blinded people so they will not understand the Bible?”

Now let’s go to Isaiah 6 and let’s see. Sure enough, those are true statements, aren’t they? Yes they are. Isaiah 6 - before we go there, let’s go to 1 Samuel 15, and here’s another one that people look at and accuse God. Now here’s another example. 1 Samuel 15:1, “[And] Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over His people, over Israel: now therefore hearken [listen] thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid [in] wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass” (1 Sam. 15:1-3). Now that’s a pretty severe sentence, isn’t it? What about the little infants who are innocent? They don’t know anything. Why would God kill them? And if God kills them, how can we say that God is a God of love? And in this, you see, people do not understand that God has a plan.

Now let’s come to Isaiah 6, and let’s see where God deliberately blinds the minds of people. It’s quite an interesting thing back there in Isaiah 6, because we will see that this also quoted in Matthew 13 in just a minute. But notice what God told Isaiah. Now let’s pick it up here, let’s just begin in verse 1. “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: and the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isa. 6:1-3).

So this is quite a scene, isn’t it? And Isaiah saw this. And I imagine when he saw it, like it says here in verse 5, “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then said I, Here am I [Isaiah said]; send me. And He said,...” Now notice, “...Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed” (vs. 5-10).

Now if God is trying to save people, why would He do all of these things? And it’s evident that He does it, right? There’s no saying, “Well, you know, God didn’t do it.” The question is, what is God going to do about it? And the question is, why did He do it in the first place? Why did God do this in the first place? Well, it all goes back to the sin of Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman. They set the pattern. God put them in the Garden of Eden. They chose by willful deliberation to go against God’s way. He set before them the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So they could have eaten of the tree of life. But they chose to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and as a result of that, cut themselves off from God. And God gave judgment to them, didn’t He? And in that judgment and in that sentence He said, to the woman, her sentence, that she would have sorrow and trouble in childbirth; that her husband would rule over her. He said to Adam, “You’re going to work by the sweat of your brow, and you are going to labor and toil until you die, for dust you are and unto dust you shall return.”

That’s pretty heavy sentence, isn’t it? Why? Because they worshipped Satan the devil and listened to him instead of God. And as a result of that, we find in the book of Romans that, what? God also, as part of His judgment against them, gave them a nature of sin and death. Now then, the human condition changed. And so God let man go his own way. And because of sin God had to destroy the world that was then in the days of Noah with a flood. And every time you look at all of the things in the Bible, you see that these disasters and these things, and wars, all take place because of sin. So when God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, came to this earth and taught human beings face-to-face as a man. From that time forward God was selective in whom He called.

Now let’s look at some more scriptures. Let’s come back here to Matthew 13, and let’s read where Jesus quoted that very, those very verses that we read in Isaiah 6. So you see, if God is not interested in saving all people now - or let’s put this way: If, because of the choice of mankind, which then God accepts because He’s not intervening to make people obey Him, then God is not saving those people. At least we can say, at this time. So let’s come here to Matthew 13. Now let’s begin in verse 10. And this is quite an explanation. “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speaketh Thou unto them [that is, the multitudes] in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” (Matt. 13:10-11).

Now there is a change that takes place. Those whom God the Father and Jesus Christ call and repent and receive the Holy Spirit,through the word of God, and the Spirit of God, are given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. And part of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven is to understand God’s plan. And God’s plan, as we have seen, is laid out in a step-by-step manner beginning with the Passover to the Last Great Day, which is this day. And we will see that this is truly the greatest day, because of what God is going to do and how He is going to do it.

Now let’s finish reading this section here, because this is very profound and it has an awful lot to do with our salvation; and then we will see later on, with the salvation of the rest of the people who, down through history, have not been given that opportunity. Now let’s read it here, verse 12, “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.” So then, when we make choices the wrong way, then God even removes what we have from us, you see. And we’ve seen that happen too, haven’t we, down through the years. “Therefore speak I to them in parables:...” Now here He quotes Isaiah, “...because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed;” (vs. 12-15).

Now you remember when the children of Israel were gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai. And God spoke to them the Ten Commandments. What was their response? “Oh! Moses! Don’t let God speak to us! You speak to God, and you tell us. Then we’ll do what God says.” So right in the presence of God, what did they do? They stopped their ears and they closed their eyes.

Now notice, “...and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Now you see, a lot of people are under the false and mistaken conclusion that God wants to save everybody now. We’re going to look at some scriptures which show that God wants to save everyone that’s possible to save. So then the question becomes, when and how is He going to do this? Now notice verse 16, and I want you to think about this in relationship to what you know from the word of God, in relationship to God’s Spirit being within you, and understanding the word of God, and understanding the plan of God, and knowing the things that you know. “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them” (vs. 15-17). So that is an amazing thing, isn’t it?

Now let’s look at some scriptures which seem to contradict what we have said. Let’s come to John 3:16. And John 3:16 is the one that the whole Protestant world relies upon, correct? Let’s read it. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but [may] have everlasting life.” So therefore, if you just believe in the name of Jesus you are saved. But then there are false Christ’s, and there are false apostles, and there false teachings. So this kind of looks like that God wants everybody saved, right?

Let’s come to 2 Peter. Or 1 Peter, rather. I’ll let you know when we get there. 1 Peter 2, and this tells us something very important too, doesn’t it? 1 Peter 2, and let’s pick it up here - beg your pardon, that’s 2 Peter 3, and let’s pick it up here in verse 9. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Now there are two key things here. God is not willing that they perish, but come to repentance. Now that’s a key thing to understand, because repentance is something that has to come from God. Repentance then it is a two-way thing. We have to come to ourselves to recognize that we are sinners, and God has to grant us repentance. Now, since God hasn’t offered this to all people at the present time, when is it going to happen? Because He doesn’t want all to perish. He wants them all to come to the knowledge of the truth, as we will see. Now let’s come to 1 Timothy 2, and we will see that. And then we’ll begin to ask the question, how is God going to do this? If this is God’s desire, and we also have to say that God gives choice. So man’s choice is there. And when man chooses, that becomes his responsibility. If man chooses to follow God, that’s one proposition. If man chooses to go his own way and reject God, that’s another proposition. Either way, it doesn’t change God’s desire. But that’s how important choice is.

Now let’s pick it up here in verse 4. 2 Timothy 2:4 - not 2 Timothy, 1 Timothy 2:4. I’ll get it right yet here. Notice, “…Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Now that’s a very important verse, isn’t it? How are they going to come to the knowledge of the truth, when they didn’t have the knowledge of the truth given to them? Now whose fault is that? Well, that’s God’s fault. Now what is God going to do about it? Is God going to be unfair?

Now let’s come here to Romans 2, and let’s see another statement that’s very important. Because if God calls some and not others, and if God gives eternal life to some and not others, is not God a respecter of persons? And if God is a respecter of persons, then does that not contradict the scriptures which say that God is not a respecter of persons? Let’s read it here. Romans 2:11, “For there is no respect of persons with God.” Now it would seem that God was a respecter of persons, wouldn’t it, if we put together the scriptures that we have covered? Now, there’s another thing that takes place besides man’s choice. Now we’ll come back this, because we will see that God is not a respecter of persons. But let’s look at some other things. Let’s come here to 2 Corinthians 3:14. There’s another factor out there, because when Adam and Eve chose to follow Satan the devil, it literally loosed Satan the devil upon this world. And he is the prince of the power of the air, we’re going to see. He is also the god of this world, as we saw on the Day of Atonement. And those who have their eyes blinded and their minds blinded have been blinded by Satan the devil. And who let him be there? God did.

2 Corinthians 3:14, “But their minds were blinded:...” That is talking about the children of Israel while they were there in the wilderness with Moses. Their minds were blinded. “...For until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ.” Now then, let’s come over here to chapter 4 and verse 4, since it’s just across the margin here. 2 Corinthians 4:4, it’s says, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Now how is God going to solve this problem? How is God going to clear up this dilemma? Because it is. And it’s one that people look out there and see, and rightly see, that it is a difficulty.

Now let’s come to Romans 11 and let’s see how Paul talks about it here concerning Israel. Israel, the twelve tribes of Israel that God has chosen; and let’s see what happened to them. So here in Romans 11 we begin to understand how God is going to do it. Because you see, God closed the minds of the children of Israel. He cut off the rest of the world. He blinded their eyes, blinded their understanding. And He didn’t call them. So what is God going to do? How is God going to do it?

Now let’s pick it up here in Romans 11:7. “What then? Israel hath not obtained it that which he seeketh for; but the election...” That is, those that God called. And that means, “selected.” So you have in this world the selected, or election, and the un-elected, or the un-selected, you see. Notice, “…the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompence unto them: let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway” (Rom. 11:7-10). So after quoting that, now that’s a pretty harsh quote, isn’t it? Yes it is.

Now notice verse 11, what Paul is writing here about Israel; and this is something. “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?” (vs. 11-12).

Now let’s come over here to verse 25, and Paul begins to clarify it. He begins to see that God has in His plan a way to resolve it. And we will find through the scriptures that there is a way to resolve all of these things. Verse 25, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery,...” And that’s why I say it is the answer, the mystery of the ages, because this is the mystery of God. “...Lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” Now verse 26, “And so all Israel shall be saved:...” The question is, when? How? Under what circumstances? And if they’ve already lived their lives and died, not having had an opportunity for salvation because God has cut them off, and God has given them blindness, how is He going to solve this? And how is He going to fill it here, verse 26, “so all Israel shall be saved”? “...As it is written, there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (vs. 25-26).

Now I tell you, it’s really something what God is going to do. And that’s why this Last Great Day is the great day. It is the great day of God. Because God is going to undo all of these things. Now let’s come down here to verse 31. No, verse 30. “For as ye in times past [he’s talking to the Gentiles] have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief,...” Why? “...That He might have mercy upon all.” When? Now, Paul knew that it was going to come. But he didn’t know when. So he says here, verse 33, “O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counselor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompenced unto him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be the glory for ever. Amen” (vs. 30-36).

So Paul is literally saying here, “It’s in God’s hands, but He’s going to do it. He has promised. I know the Old Testament well enough to understand that God is going to do it.” Now we’re going to see how God is going to do it, when He’s going to do it. And that is the great treasureof the Last Great Day.

Now let’s look at some other things. Let’s continue here. Since we’re in the book of Romans let’s come to Romans 8, and let’s understand why God gave the creation over to these things, like we just described. Of what advantage is it to God to do so? Well, let’s put it this way: It is for their salvation in the end run. But since God gave free moral agency and free choice - and we are to choose. Every human being has to choose. And if they choose not to go God’s way, they are blinded, and they remain cut off from God. And so the question is, why did God do this, and how is he going to solve the problem?

Romans 8:20, “For the creature [or, the creation] was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him Who hath subjected the same in hope,…” Well, what is their hope if they are dead and gone? What chance is there for salvation for them? Well, we’ll find out. “…Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:20-21). So it’s going to be a future thing. Now we have seen down through the millennium how God is going to do it, right? We’ve seen that there are going to be literally billions come into the kingdom of God through the operation of salvation all during the millennium.

Now is the time to begin to understand. Let’s come here to Revelation 20 and let’s read this scripture, and let’s see something very important. And we will look at all, all of the things that God has had for us so that we can understand. Now we know about the first resurrection, don’t we? We know that when Christ returns, 1 Corinthians 15, all those who are Christ’s will be resurrected as firstfruits. That we know from Pentecost, and from the scriptures. Now here, a very important verse. Revelation 20:5, “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Who are “the rest of the dead”? The rest of the dead has to include all of those who are not in the first resurrection. Because he clearly says here, this is the first resurrection. As we’ve read, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be [kings and] priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:5-6).

Alright. What else does this tell us? “The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years...” That means a resurrection, doesn’t it? If you’re dead and you live again you’ve been resurrected back to life, correct? Ok. When will this take place? Now let’s just come down a little further in Revelation 20 and we will see. Verse 11, “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.” In other words, there were so many who are resurrected, the rest of the dead. Now how many can that be? Billions and billions down through the history of all of mankind. So this must have been quite a sight. Quite a sight. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;…” That’s quite a thing. So this occurs right after the millennium comes to an end. This is called the Great White Throne Judgment because it’s a period of judgment, and there is the great white throne.

Now then, let’s go back to Matthew 12 and let’s understand what Jesus said about this time. And we will see, we will see as we go along how this is going to be accomplished. Matthew 12, and let’s pick it up here in verse 31. He says, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy [Spirit] Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” Now this shows that there is a very narrow category of unforgivable sins: blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. And as we have seen in the series of Hebrews, it is a deliberate, premeditated, willful rejection of God and Christ, and His word, and His Sabbath, and everything to do with God. It is that which is of such a nature that there is no remorse, no desire for forgiveness, no desire for repentance; but it is a willful, deliberate choice. Now there will be some who will choose that. And that is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Now verse 32, here Christ shows the difference. “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy [Spirit] Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world [or that is, age], neither in the world to come.” Or the coming age. Now what do you mean, coming age? Well, we’ll see here in just a minute. That is the age that we’re talking about right now, the age of the Great White Throne Judgment. That is the age that is coming, which takes place after the millennium.

Now let’s come down here to verse 36. “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak,...” Now this is a broad general statement, isn’t it? “...They shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Because there is a day of judgment. Now we’re going to see that they’re - we’ve already covered what the unpardonable sin is. They are going to be resurrected, as we will see, to live a second time, to die a second time. Because God has ordained that all of the incorrigible wicked die twice. And their judgment comes all at once. Now what about this: “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (vs. 36-37). Now then, the Jews wanted a sign, and Jesus said He wouldn’t give them a sign except the sign of Jonah.

Now let’s come down here to verse 41 of Matthew 12, because there are some very interesting things said in the next two verses, verses 41 and verse 42. “[For] the men of Nineveh shall rise [up] in [the] judgment with this generation,...” Now this gives us some understanding as to when this will be. Because there’s a difference of about nine hundred years to a thousand years between the time of Jonah and Nineveh, and the time of Christ and the men of that generation. But it says they “...shall rise [and that means, be resurrected], in [the] judgment with [that means, alongside], this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation [showing, at the same time], and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” So they’re going to be resurrected.

Now let’s come to Romans 2, and - no, let’s go first to John 5. Let’s see something very important. Because we know of the resurrection to eternal life, don’t we? Yes we do. Now we’ve seen the resurrection which is going to be in the Great White Throne Judgment. And these people are raised back to life. We saw that the incorrigible wicked are going to die twice. Now then, let’s read here in John 5, and let’s see what Jesus said. Let’s pick it up here in verse 25. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice,…” It’s says “all.” Now we’ve seen the two categories already, haven’t we? Those who are Christ’s at His coming, those at the end of the thousand years. So that’s all. It’s a matter of timing, and it’s a matter of God’s plan. “…And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life;...” Be it spirit life or, as we will see, physical life, “...and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation [judgment]” (John 5:25-29). Now that’s really quite a very profound thing for us to understand, and for us to realize here.

Now let’s come to Romans 2, and let’s read this. Because this is a verse that is misunderstood. This is a verse whereby some people say that, “It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you are. If you try and live a good life, you’ll receive eternal life, even the Gentiles who never had the word of God.” Let’s pick it up here in verse 14. “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:…” Now these are the, what you might call, good, sincere upright people in the world who are trying to live by the rule of law. Now they have the law of sin and death in them, in their nature, and they are trying to do what is right in their own eyes. Now they don’t understand God’s word, but they realize there needs to be morality to live. And that’s what Paul is talking about here.

Verse 15, “Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)…” Now notice verse 16, “…In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” Now, does this mean they’re going to receive the eternal life, having not known the law, having not known the gospel? Is God double-standard? No He isn’t. There’s one standard. There’s one way. And that’s through Christ. But what does this mean? This means - just as we read back in Matthew 12 - that they will be raised back to, as we will see here in just a minute, a physical life. Now, what form? Why back to physical life? Now we’ll see.

Let’s first answer the question, why be raised back to a physical life? What is the purpose in that? Let’s come to John 11:23. Here we have the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead, who was dead for four days, right? Yes. Now this was before Jesus was ascended, right? This was before His crucifixion and all, this sort of thing. So what do we have? We have this: this shows the resurrection back to physical life for an opportunity for salvation. Now Jesus said, I won’t go through the whole thing here, but let’s pick it up here when Jesus comes to Mary - or, yes - comes to Martha, she comes out to Him. “Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha said unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Now does that mean they understood the meaning of the Last Great Day, or not? Don’t know. But, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:23-26). And He said, “ Do you believe that?” She said, “Yes.”

Part 2

So the rest of the account here was that Lazarus was brought back to life, though he were dead for four days. And of course then, he was able to live, be there at Pentecost on 30 AD, received the Holy Spirit so then he can be in the first resurrection. Now if Jesus had not raised him, then he would not have had that opportunity. So the very purpose that Jesus did in raising Lazarus from the dead was to set the precedent and to show that when a person has not committed the unpardonable, incorrigible sin, that he or she will be resurrected back to life so that they may receive an opportunity for salvation.

Now then, this helps answer the question as to when Israel is going to be saved, and as to when the rest of the dead live again, and in what condition they are going to be when they are raised. And then we will ask the question: If that be so, what is going to happen to them? Now let’s come back to Ezekiel 37. And of course, always on the feast of the Last Great Day we come back to Ezekiel 37. Now as we’re turning back there, let’s understand that this is talking about a resurrection. This is not talking about the Jews coming back to the Holy Land, though the Jews interpret it that way. It has nothing to do with that. This has to do with the literal resurrection to a second physical life, and as we will see, for an opportunity for salvation.

Now here in the Ezekiel 37, it’s talking about the whole house of Israel, meaning, all the twelve tribes of Israel. Now we also know that Jesus said in Matthew 12 that the men of Nineveh, the queen of the south, who were typical of the Gentiles, that they will be raised in judgment with that generation. Well, here, Ezekiel 37 is the key that unlocks the mystery of how God is going to do it. Revelation tells us when He is going to do it, Ezekiel 37 tells us how He is going to do it, and what He is going to do. Because then, we will see that God will be able to fulfill the scripture that He desires all to come to repentance; that is, whoever chooses. He desires none should die, except for those wicked who choose to die.

Now let’s begin right here in verse 1. Ezekiel writes, “The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about:...” So he was - walked around and looked at them. “...And, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And He said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezek. 37:1-3). Now it’s just like people ask the question today: if people are died and cremated, can they live again? The answer is yes. What if people die in the ocean and they are eaten by sharks? Can they live? The answer is yes. How is that possible? Because when a person dies, the spirit goes back to God. And the spirit must have a mind and must have a body in order to function, because God designed it that way. The spirit that is in man is not a spirit being. But it is that, as it says in John 1, that light which lightens all men. This gives us intellect, this gives us mind power, and this gives us a connection with God so that when we receive the Holy Spirit we’re able to have that unite with the spirit of our minds and we become the begotten children of God.

So when we die the spirit goes back to God. Now where is it? It’s with God. What does He do with it? He doesn’t tell us. But we know that if our names are written in the book of life, then He’s got to have someplace where, then, He keeps all that information. And on that spirit of every person is everything about that person, including all of the DNA and the RNA of what made this individual a person. So at the resurrection, God puts that back into new earth, and behold, the same person is recreated. Now we see that right here in Ezekiel 37.

Now let’s continue, verse 4. Let’s finish verse 3. “...Can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, Thou knowest. Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:…” Now if you breathe, this means that it is what? A second physical life, because they were dead. You don’t have bones without having lived one time, right? Correct. Verse 6, “And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live;...” A second physical life. “...And ye shall know that I am the LORD.” (vs. 3-6). And of course, that was the problem with the children of Israel, wasn’t it? Though God gave them His laws, gave them His word, sent the prophets to them, they never knew God because they didn’t obey God. Now some few, always a remnant, did. But not very many.

Verse 7, “So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.” Just a whole bunch of reconstructed human beings, in the flesh, that weren’t yet living. “Then said He unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon the slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.” Now what an awesome thing this must have been. “Then He said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel:…” (vs. 7-11). A second physical life. Because in the first physical life they were blinded. And God blinded them. And since God blinded them, then it’s God’s responsibility to raise them back to life and give them an opportunity for salvation, or He could not fulfill the scripture that He desired that all Israel shall be saved, correct? Yes.

Now notice, they recognize who they are. And they recognize what they have done. “...Behold, they say,...” So now they have conscious thought again; they remembered that they had died, and now, lo and behold, they are alive. And they say, “...Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts” (vs. 11). In other words, they said, “We missed out on salvation.” No they haven’t. They missed out on salvation in their first life. But now here they have a second physical life and the opportunity for salvation.

“Therefore prophesy and say unto them, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves,...” So you’re dead in the grave, “...and cause you to come up out of your graves [that’s a resurrection], and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves,...” (vs. 12-13). He mentions “graves” three times. So this shows a resurrection back to a physical life. This is the rest of the dead which lived not again until the thousand years are finished. This is all Israel who had been blinded, who shall be saved. And then Matthew 12, we know it’s going to happen to all the Gentile nations as well.

Now notice verse 14. At this point they become converted. “…And shall put My spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.” Now that’s quite a thing. This is the mystery of God that the world does not understand, nor can they understand it because they are all thinking they’re going to heaven. So this is a phenomenal thing what God is going to do, isn’t it?

Now let’s come back to Revelation 20, and then we’ll go to Isaiah 65. And let’s see something here. Let’s do a little bit of, let’s put on our spiritual thinking caps. What does the scripture say the wages of sin is? Death. These people have died once. And they even said, “For our part,” so they were living in sin. But they were cut off from God. And they had not committed the unpardonable sin. So all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. So those who have not committed the unpardonable sin, which is a sin unto death, as John says in 1 John 5, will be resurrected back to life for an opportunity for salvation. Now let’s come back here to Revelation 20 and let’s read it again here. Verse 12, “And I saw the dead,...” which are what? The rest of the dead who lived after the millennium. “...Small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life:...” Meaning, they now have an opportunity for salvation, “...and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Rev. 20:12).

Now then, when they died their first death, that blotted out the sins they had in their first life. Now they have a new start. Now they have a new body; now they have a new mind; now they have a new time to live in which to be judged, whether they will receive the salvation of God, whether they will draw close to God, whether they will repent; because even though those sins were taken away by their death, they still have consciousness of it, because as it said there in Ezekiel 37, “We are cut off for our part.” So they understood that they were living in sin. So there has to be some repentance involved here too. Now just like us, in the church today, when is judgment upon us? Peter says that judgment is now on the house of God. So we are being judged for eternal life now. They didn’t have the opportunity for eternal life in their first life. So now they are going to be judged in their second physical life for an opportunity for salvation. And you can’t write in the judgment book, or the book of life, what they did in their first life, because that was not worthy of salvation. So this means they have to live a period of time in order to keep the commandments of God, love God, show that they desire the salvation of God, so they can come into the kingdom of God. Now then, let’s read verse 13 and then we will go to Isaiah 65. “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.”

Now let’s come back to Isaiah 65. Now let’s pick it up here in verse 17. And here we’re going to find in this section of scripture that they’re going to live for approximately one hundred years. Now that ought to be plenty of time for them to know whether they want salvation or not, whether they’re going to live God’s way or not, whether they can be taught of God’s way or not. And at this time God is going to undo all evil and all sin. He’s going to resurrect all of those little children who have been killed and murdered, all those who have died in wars, all of those who died in the Flood. All the things that I started out this sermon with, God is going to resurrect these people and give them an opportunity for salvation. Now that’s quite a thing. That is absolutely phenomenal. And so for them, it’s going to be a wonderful time.

Verse 17, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” There’s going to be no comparison with that, you see. “But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days,...” They’ve got to stop childbirth somewhere. So there isn’t going to be any more childbirth. “...Nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred...” That means, come to the end of the life; they will either go into the kingdom of God or go into the lake of the fire, as we’ll see here in just a minute. “...But the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed” (vs. 17-20). And “accursed” means cut off from God, cast into the lake of fire. Then it shows the rest of it here, that they’re going to build houses and inhabit them, they’re going to have a normal human life again. So that’s going to be quite a thing. So they will live about one hundred years.

Now then, let’s look at the other category of people. Let’s look at those who are the wicked. Let’s look at those who have committed the unpardonable sin in this life, or in the second resurrection when they are raised for an opportunity for salvation, and they turn it down. Let’s look at that. Let’s come here to Luke 13, and it talks about weeping and gnashing of teeth. Now let’s pick it up here in verse 24. Jesus said here, Luke 13:24, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate:...” Now that’s going to be for them too, then, at that time. “Here’s the way, walk in it.” The same rules and everything will apply to them in the Great White Throne Judgment when they live one hundred years that applied to everybody during the millennium. Walk in God’s way.

“...For many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. [And] when once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not [from] whence ye are:…” (Luke 13:24-25). See, because there will come a time when salvation will be shut. And it’s too late, then, to knock on the door. When it comes for the time of the end of the one hundred year period, then those who reject the salvation of God at that time will await the second death. And those who have committed the unpardonable sin and are in the graves now will be resurrected to stand right alongside all of the other incorrigible wicked, so that they will all receive the judgment of God at once at the same time.

Verse 26, “Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are [I don’t know from where you are]; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.” Everyone who continues to desire to live in sin will be thrown into the lake of fire as Jesus says. “[And] there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last” (vs. 26-30). So how God works out the judgment here.

Now remember we saw, to end the millennium, Satan and his demons were cast into the lake of fire. Now we are going to see that the wicked are cast into the lake of fire, the same lake of fire that was prepared for Satan and the demons. Let’s come back here to Matthew 25. Now you go ahead and read all of Matthew 25, because each one of them tell us the conditions which reject us from being in the kingdom of God. And in each case, when they commit the unpardonable sin - let’s stop right here in verse 30. Now here is someone who rejected an opportunity for salvation in this life, and when they are resurrected in the second phase of the second resurrection at the end of the one hundred year period, here’s what’s going to happen. “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: [and] there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Now come over here to verse 41. “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:…” (Matt. 25:30, 41). So they’re going to be cast into the lake of fire.

Now let’s come back to Revelation 20, and let’s see where that is literally fulfilled. And then we will see what will happen to this lake a fire. And we will see what it will do to the wicked, and we will see what it will do to the earth, and we will see what God will do after that. Now Revelation 20:14 now notice: “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” In order to die twice, you have to live twice. So God has determined that all of those who are the of incorrigible wicked will die the second death. Now come over here and let’s see the category of those. Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful,...” That is, not those who fear God, but they are afraid to love God and afraid to obey Him. “...And unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers,...” That is, everyone who does not repent of murder, “...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.”

Now this is going to be quite a conflagration, if we could put it that way. Let’s come to 2 Peter 3, and let’s see what’s going to happen. Because not only is God going to burn up all the wicked and they become ashes, and their remembrance will be no more; they’re not going to suffer in hell, tormented forever and ever, they’re just going to be burned up and that’s it. Because flesh cannot be tormented by fire day and night forever. But if they’re thrown in the lake of fire, they’re going to burn up. Now let’s see what that lake of fire is going to be. 2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night:...” Now here it is, “ the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein and shall be burned up.” So this lake of fire is going to cover the whole earth. Now exactly how God is going to do that, we’ll just have to wait and see. We’ll be able to see that.

Now, all those who receive salvation will become spirit beings. All of us as spirit beings will not be affected by the lake of fire. But what God is going to do is prepare the earth and the heavens around the earth for the coming New Jerusalem, and a place for all the spirit sons and daughters of God to live with Him forever and ever. Now isn’t that going to be something? Let’s come back here to Revelation 21. And after everything is burned up and the fire is out - no one’s going to put it out. It’s an unquenchable fire. You can’t put it out. It will burn of itself, burnout. Then God is going to do something greater.

Now then, we have a greater fulfillment of the Last Great Day, which is, a new heaven and a new earth. A whole spirit society for the family of God to live together on this earth. And what a tremendous thing this is going to be, brethren. And God the Father and Jesus Christ are going to be here on this earth. And New Jerusalem will be here on this earth. Now let’s read it, beginning in Revelation 21:1. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Totally evaporated. All burned up. And as spirit beings we won’t need the sea to modify the temperature to make it livable for us. Because we’ll be spirit. Temperature will not affect us. “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,...” (Rev. 21:1-3). That is, men now made perfect. Men who are spirit beings. And this includes men and women.

“...And He will dwell with them,...” And that’s what God started out clear back in Genesis to do - to live with His creation. And the whole story of the Bible is God’s plan to make that a reality in the final analysis at the end, and here we see it fulfilled. God will dwell with them, “...and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death,...” because we’re spirit beings, and will live forever. “...Neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” That which is flesh is gone. We won’t even remember these things. All the trials, and all the difficulties, and all the pain, and agony, and suffering, and wars, and death, and murder, and storms, and everything that you could imagine that human beings have gone through will be all solved and cured. We won’t remember them anymore. Now verse 5, “And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new…” We have to have a new city, a new place to live; a new - everything about it. Everything new. “…And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (vs. 3-5).

So this plan of God is going to happen. This plan of God is going to be fulfilled, as pictured by this Last Great Day. “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” (vs. 6). And that’s something. All of us, brethren, we’re going to be filled with the Spirit of God, live by the Spirit of God; those of us who are in the first resurrection we will live in new Jerusalem with Jesus Christ and God the Father forever and ever. Now that’s a tremendous thing for us to understand. That’s why all the things that we go through, and all the things that we suffer are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. That’s why we go through the things that we do. Because we know the plan of God, we understand what God is going to do; we realize how fantastic and marvelous and great, and what a mystery that God has revealed to us that the rest of the world doesn’t even know. And God has included us in it. Now then, He has included all of mankind, and all of those who accept salvation.

Now let’s come over here tosee something about New Jerusalem. It’s coming down out of heaven. It’s going to be a city, four square, 1,500 furlongs on each -12,000 furlongs, rather. That’s 1,500 miles square and high. And just how that will fit on the earth, we’ll have to see. If you want to know how it’s going to work, the only thing I can tell you is make sure of your salvation that you’ll be there. And then you’ll know. And then instead of reading of it here, you’ll actually see it, you’ll behold it, you’ll live in it. Because, you see, Jesus said, “In My Father’s house [which is New Jerusalem], are many abodes.” That is, it dwelling places. And He says, “I go and prepare a place for you, so that where I am you may also be” (John 14:2-3), paraphrased. And that is New Jerusalem.

And you’re going to have a place there that is all your own. And you’re going to have a new name written which is going to designate who you are and where you are going to live in New Jerusalem. And I’ll tell you what, you’re just going to have to trust God in faith that He is going to have such a great and marvelous plan, as He unfolds the rest of His plan for all eternity for us. That we are going to, as spirit beings, have the greatest, most wonderful, fulfilling, kind of work and task and life that we cannot even think of or imagine. That’s why Paul said, “We look through a glass darkly,...” you see, “...but then face-to-face” (I Corinthians 13:12), paraphrased. And that’s exactly what it’s going to be. And it’s going to be so absolutely fantastic, that it’s just, you know, it says that the streets of the city are pure gold, as it were transparent glass. Now I don’t know how you can get pure gold as transparent glass. And it lists all the jewels and everything that God has built into New Jerusalem and it comes down from God. That means God the Father and Jesus Christ have overseen the construction of New Jerusalem. And Jesus is preparing that place for you.

Now notice verse 22. After we’ve gone through the whole thing concerning the Ark of the Covenant, the tabernacle of God, the temple of God, and all of these temporary things, now we come down to the final spiritual reality and the - of being with God the Father and Jesus Christ, and guess what? There is no temple. There is no tabernacle. Let’s read it. Revelation 21:22, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” Now isn’t that something? And God is going to fulfill the desire of His heart, that He is going to dwell with His people. And He will fulfill the desire of your heart, that you can dwell with Him.

Verse 23, “And the city had no need of the sun,...” though there will be the sun; “...neither of the moon,...” But there will be the moon to shine on it. Didn’t have the need of it. Not like it was at the creation in the beginning, you see. “...For the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved...” (vs. 23-24). So this shows that all the nations who have been saved shall walk in the light of it. Now how God is going to do that, and the plan that He has for all of those who are saved to live forever through all eternity in joy, in happiness, in peace, in love, in understanding, and work and accomplishment - if you don’t think it’s going to be awesome, then you just look at some of these pictures of the universe and the galaxies and stars and the things that are out there. Absolutely marvelous, brethren.

“...And the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” This means that God is going to be productive here. “And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nation’s into it.” And that, generally meaning, the wealth that they produce; and God is wealthy. And God has given us an inheritance and He is going to share that with us, and that is absolutely marvelous. “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (vs. 24-27).

And then he says here, 22:1, “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life,...” Meaning that we’re constantly going to be living and existing because of the power of God’s Holy Spirit. And that’s coming out of the throne of God and the Lamb. “[And] in the midst of the street of it,...” Now this is all symbolic here. So this shows that we are going to be living spiritually, continually. “...And on either side of the river, was there the tree of life,...” Now notice, no tree of the knowledge of good and evil. No Satan the devil. No demons. Only God the Father and Jesus Christ and the tree of life. “...Which bear twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing...” Or that is, it means the maintenance of the nations; and that is, the nations that were saved. “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: And they shall see His face;...” See God face-to-face. Brethren, that ought to be such a burning thing in our lives, of hope, and imagination, and understanding, to see God face-to-face and say, “Father, I love you,” and to hear back from Him that He loves us. What a tremendous thing, brethren. “...And His name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true:...” They’re going to happen, brethren, because God says so. “...And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to shew unto His servants the things which might shortly be done” (Rev. 22:1-6).

Now let’s come down here – let’s come down here to verse 12. And Jesus says, “And, behold, I come quickly;...” And yes, time is shorter than it ever was. And He says, “...and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” There we are. Right with Christ. Now notice this blessing. Is it worth it, keeping the commandments of God? Is it worth it, doing the things that God commands? Is it worth it, to keeping the feasts of God, keep His Sabbath, His holy days, and live God’s ways? Notice verse 14. “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” (vs. 12-14). Now what we need to do is keep our minds focused on that.

Let’s come back here to Ephesians 3. And let’s finish by going through Ephesians 3, because God has such a tremendous thing for us, brethren. Remember what it says there in 1 Corinthians 2, “The eye has not seen, and the ear has not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those that love Him” (I Corinthians 2:9), paraphrased. So do you love God? And are you grounded in His love? And let’s take this next year, between this Last Great Day and the next Last Great Day, to be inspired, to be determined to walk in God’s way, to walk in His love, to be faithful, to be loving, to be kind, to be zealous, to be studious, to really understand and drink in of the word and Spirit of God.

Now the apostle Paul had this special revelation given to him here, you see. And he says that this was given - let’s begin in verse 9, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery,...” Yes, and we have just understood this mystery, haven’t we? And our ultimate fellowship will be truly with God, personally, face to face. “...Which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,...” And so God has revealed it to His church so that even they may understand. Isn’t that an amazing thing? “According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:...” (Eph. 3:9-11). So God is going to fill it. We just saw what that eternal purpose is, and the hope, and the end of that eternal purpose.

Now he says here in verse 14, he says, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,...” And we should also, brethren, continually. “...Of Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,...” (vs. 14-15). And we saw in Revelation 22 how that all the family of God in heaven and earth are going to come together in New Jerusalem.

And this is our parting thought for the Feast. And as you leave the Feast, I want you to grasp this. I want you to think on this. I want you to pray about this. I want you to use this as a continuous guide in your Christian growth. Verse 16, “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man;...” To have that strength in you by the love of God. And verse 17, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;...” And that you have the mind of Christ; that you have the understanding of Christ. “...That ye, being rooted and grounded in love,...” And never forget, brethren, that it is the love of God to you and your love back to Him that is the cement that holds all of this together, the spiritual glue which makes it a reality.

“…[That you] may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;...” That is, of God’s plan which we have just covered in a magnificent way, going through all the holy days this year. “...And to know the love of Christ,...” That you really know it; you understand it; you live with it; you believe it; it is part of you by the very Spirit of God. And this love of Christ, “...which passeth [all] knowledge,...” All human knowledge cannot be compared. “...That ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (vs. 18-19). And let that statement sink in: being filled with the fullness of God, to be as God is. To be His son, or to be His daughter, you see. Now that’s something.

Now, then, he closes with these two verses, and we’ll close here. “Now unto Him that [Who] is able...” that is, has the power, “ do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (vs. 20-21). And brethren, when Revelation 21 and 22 are fulfilled, then God will say, “Step out into eternity for the rest of your spiritual life.”