The Second Resurrection

Last Great Day

Fred R. Coulter–October 4, 2007

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Greetings brethren, welcome to the Last Great Day! Time marches on! When this day ends at sunset, the Feast is over. We can read back there in 1-Chron. after the Feast was over, and Solomon sent them home joyous, happy and very well contented for all the things that God had done during that Feast of Tabernacles in dedicating of the temple.

We hate to see it come to an end. We've had a lot of good fellowship. We've been able to renew friendships. We've been able to meet new people and so we hope that this day will be the capstone or the crowning of the things that we look forward to. Of course, this day pictures something that the world does not understand. It also pictures something that can only be understood with the New Testament, and in particularly the book of Revelation.

As we will see later, if you just take Ezek.37 and have no New Testament, like the Jews do—they do not recognize the New Testament—they don't understand what that means. That's why it's so important that we understand that the last division of the Bible is the book of Revelation, only one book. It's the only division of the entire Bible that has one book, which shows you the importance of the book of Revelation, and how that without it:

  • we would not be able to interpret the Day of Atonement, as found in the book of Leviticus
  • we would not be able to understand the Feast of Tabernacles and the thousand-year reign, the Millennium
  • we would not understand Satan's final judgment without the book of Revelation
  • we would not understand what God is going to do for all the terrible things that have happened to so many people, which you could say were innocent people; all are sinners, no question about that.

But

  • Have all committed the unpardonable sin?
  • Are they all excluded, as the Protestants would have it, from eternal life?

That if they do not accept Jesus in this life they have no other recourse for salvation! It shows that they don't understand the book of Revelation, and it's right there easy to read!

So, let's begin with what we know. The first place we go with what we know is where all the Holy Days of God are listed: Lev, 23. As I pointed out at the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles, without the New Testament and without the book of Revelation there would be absolutely no understanding of the eighth day. It's not called the Last Great Day in Lev. 23. But we'll see a little later it's called the Last Great Day in the book of John. I think that's interesting because who was the one who wrote the book of Revelation? The Apostle John! How much understanding he had of it we don't know, but he certainly saw the vision of it.

Leviticus 23:33: "And the LORD spoke to Moses saying,"

Remember that when something begins 'in the beginning,' that gives us the foundation to go on. But as God builds and builds and adds on it, before we come to the ending with the book of Revelation, that's where we get the understanding. So here we just have the command, and we have very little understanding of the eighth day

Verse 34: "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. On the first day shall be a Holy convocation. You shall do no servile work therein. Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD…. [tie in Num. 29 all the offerings that they had. Then it says, right in the middle of v 36]: …On the eighth day…'" (vs 34-36). Eight is the number of a new beginning!

As a matter of fact, let's understand that in the Greek the name 'Jesus Christ' figures out to be 8-8-8. So eight is significant. When was a male child circumcised? On the 8th day! Because after he was circumcised he was accepted into the community and following the covenant that God gave to Abraham.

"…On the eighth day shall be a Holy convocation to you. And you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly. And you shall do no servile work therein" (v 36).

  • What does that mean?
  • Why do we have an extra day thrown in at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles?

It's not revealed here, but nevertheless, we're told it's a Holy Day, a Holy convocation and we are to bring an offering!

So, let's see what he says here concerning this. Giving a summary of all the Feasts:

Verse 37: "These are the Feasts of the LORD…" They belong to God! They're not the Jewish feasts, they're not the Church's feasts, they're not Herbert Armstrong's feasts, they're not anybody else's feasts, but God's! Even Moses only gave to the children of Israel what God told him to bring!

"…which you shall proclaim to be Holy convocations to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, everything on its day; besides the Sabbaths of the LORD… [plural—the weekly Sabbath and the annual Sabbaths] …and besides your gifts… [above tithes and offerings] …and besides all your vows… [special dedication to God] … and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD" (vs 37-38).

So, we are on this last day to take up an offering; God tells us so! Even though, here in v 39 he says the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles is a Holy convocation, and the 8th day shall be a Sabbath. Every Holy Day is a Sabbath.

(pause for offering)

Now let's read some things: some in review, some in asking other questions, and some to see how this applies to the Last Great Day. If we understand that the thousand years is pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles, then it follows that what happens afterwards—after Satan is put away, as we saw yesterday—has to be tied in with the Last Great Day. Yes, sure enough it is.

Revelation 20:4: "…and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years…. [here's a parenthetical statement inserted right here]: …(But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were completed.)" (vs 4-5). Who are "…the rest of the dead…? The Bible shows there are a total of three categories:

  • Those who are in the first resurrection—1-Cor. 15 tells us that 'Christ is the Firstfruit, and afterward those that are Christ's.' It didn't mentioned "…the rest of the dead…" there; it's just talking about those who are Christ's at His coming
  • "…the rest of the dead..."
  • those who have committed the unpardonable sin, who are going to be 'cast into the Lake of Fire.' That's their final judgment, which is also pictured on this 8th day

Just like the final judgment against Satan the devil is pictured on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, so the final judgment against the incorrigible wicked, is toward the last part of the 100-year-period, if we have the timeframe from Isa. 65 correct.

Verse 5: "(But the rest of the dead… [2nd category] …did not live again until the thousand years were completed.) …. [here's another thing]: …Blessed and Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power…." (vs 5-6).

What does this tell us? That the rest of the dead, who live again after the thousand years are finished, would be subject to a second death! This fits in with the rest of what the Bible tells us about those who sin.

  • Are there sins, which are not sins 'unto death'? Yes! Let's see what John wrote concerning about those who sin 'a sin not unto death.'
  • What is a sin unto death? Since we all die once it's got to refer to a death not counting the first death!

1-John 5:16: "If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin that is not unto death, he shall ask… [he'll go to God and pray] …and He [God] will give him life for those who do not sin unto death…."

In other words, it will be forgiven. That's what it's talking about; 'the wages of sin is death.' All sin! But there is a sin not unto permanent eternal death, which can be forgiven! But there is a sin unto permanent eternal death that never will be forgiven!

"…There is a sin unto death; concerning that sin, I do not say that he should make any supplication to God" (v 16).

Paul gives us another part or another precept that we put together with this so that we understand what God is going to do. Because we're talking about those in the world who are what the world would say are 'good people; law abiding people'—not murderers or anything like that. Not that murderers cannot be forgiven, but we're talking about the average person in the world, not given over to sin, not given over to Satan, not given over to all kinds of things you see going on in the world.

Romans 2:14: "For when the Gentiles…"—before the beginning of the New Covenant were excluded from the nation of Israel!

They could come in and be part of it if they were circumcised, but they were still always strangers. Now, this was magnified with Judaism, where then the Gentiles were always second or third class, even within the synagogue. That's why salvation coming to the Gentiles raised them to the level that God intended. And this infuriated the Jews because this took away their special privilege and bragging rights.

 "…Gentiles, which do not have the Law…" (14)—because God didn't give them the Law! So, Paul is saying, 'Now, you Jews, you have the Law.'

"…practice by nature the things contained in the Law…" (v 14). Almost every 'code of law' of any nation has things in there based upon the Laws of God! That goes clear back to the days of Noah. They don't have everything contained in the Law that God gave to the children of Israel. They don't have anything in there concerning the Sabbath. They could not partake of that until we came to the New Testament time, or they lived in Israel during the time when they were keeping the Sabbath.

"…these who do not have the Law are a law unto themselves" (v 14). In other words, God recognizes the good behavior of anyone in the world because God is no respecter of persons!

This doesn't necessarily mean that they have been called unto salvation because God honors what they do. You can go back and find this also in the book of Jeremiah where God says that He judges the nation; when a nation sins He will judge it and bring curses upon it. When they do good, God will bless it. You can go to the book of Jonah and see what happened with Jonah and the Assyrians and the city of Nineveh and how they repented. And even as we'll see a little later, Jesus commended them for repenting and told the Jews of His day that a greater than Jonah was there. So God recognizes that.

Verse 15: "Who show the work of the Law…"

We're going to do just a little bit of explanation of this verse. This is the only place in the whole New Testament, where in the Greek it says 'the work of the Law.' Meaning, God's Laws. Every other place that Paul writes about 'works of law' there is no 'the' for works; and there is no 'the' for law, because Paul is not talking the works of the laws of God—he is talking about 'works of law' of Judaism! That's a key in understanding the book of Galatians and the book of Romans.

'Works of law' has to do with any religious works of law that men contrive that are not found in the Law of God. What it's talking about here:

"…the work of the Law written in their own hearts…" (v 15)—that is acknowledging that there are good works with the Law of God that we are to do!

"… their consciences bearing witness, and their reasonings also as they accuse or defend one another)" (v 15).

Is God going to recognize that? Of course, because He's no respecter of persons! That's why that wherever there are people who keep, in measure, those things which are actually initially derived from the laws and commandments of God they have blessings to that degree.

Verse 16: "In a day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel."

When is that day that God is going to judge it? In the day of the Great White Throne Judgment; and in the day when it comes for the rest of the dead to be raised to life, a second physical life in the flesh. Those 'died in the wool' Protestants say, 'Ohhhh!!! Giving them a second chance for salvation.' No! They never had a first chance, and God is determined that He's going to give everyone an opportunity. Even Jesus talked about that.

Let's see that Jesus talked about it. Here in Matt. 12 He combines the Scriptures that we have put together so far in a way that will give us understanding of what He is saying—and there are some very interesting phrases here:

Matthew 12:27because they accused Him of casting out demons by Beelzebub, Jesus said: "And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out?.… [they always cast them out by the name of God] …On account of this, they shall be your judges. But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you" (vs 27-28).

That's an action that comes from the Kingdom of God, authorized by God, given by God and empowered by God. It's an action of the Kingdom of God, though the Kingdom of God is not on earth at the present time. And during Jesus' day, He was a representative or the coming King of the Kingdom of God, so He was the Kingdom of God on earth in His person at that time.

Verse 29: "Or how is anyone able to enter into the house of a strong man and plunder his goods, if he does not first bind the strong man? And then he will plunder his house."

  • What did God do with Satan the devil? He bound him first of all!
  • What was the world up to that point? It was Satan's.

All during the Millennium, as far as Satan's view of the world, Jesus Christ and the saints were plundering his domain! And bringing children into the Kingdom of God.

Verse 30: "The one who is not with Me is against Me, and the one who does not gather with Me scatters. Because of this, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; that shall not be forgiven to men" (vs 30-31).

  • Why?
  • Is it because the Holy Spirit is God? No, that's not why!.
  • The Holy Spirit comes from where? God the Father!

So, you are rejecting God the Father if you commit the unpardonable sin, the blasphemy that shall not be forgiven!

Verse 32: "And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him…"

There are a lot of people who have said a lot of things against Jesus and about Him; and perverted doctrines and perverted gospels and so forth and so on. Upon repentance that shall be forgiven him.

"…but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age… [that time during the life of the individual] …nor the coming age."

What is the "…coming age" where this applies? The Great White Throne Judgment!

Verse 33: "Either make the tree good and the fruit good, or make the tree corrupt and its fruit corrupt; for a tree is known by its fruit"—and so forth.

 'Oh, we want a sign. Give us a sign.' Well, people won't necessarily believe a sign!

Verse 39: "And He answered and said to them, 'A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, in like manner the Son of man shall be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights'" (vs 39-40)—in both cases, literally three days and three nights!

Verse 41: "The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment…" What is 'the judgment'? We saw where Paul wrote of it] …with this generation…"—removed from that generation almost a thousand years! This shows a simultaneous resurrection of those who lived in different ages.

"…and shall condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah… [they didn't receive eternal life, they just repented, which the work of the Law written in their hearts] …and behold, a greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the south… [going back another thousand years in this case; the queen of the south came to Solomon] …shall rise up… [be resurrected] …with this generation and shall condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here" (vs 41-42).

This becomes very important when we understand it. This tells us an awful lot! This gives us the interpretation of 1-John 5:16—these people have 'the law of sin and death' in them just like anyone else. They did good and evil just like anyone else. God did not call them unto eternal life. So that means they didn't sin a 'sin unto death.' This means they are eligible to be raised from the dead in the category of those people that it talks about in Rev. 20.

Let's read a little more in Rev. 20 and see about the judgment. As a matter of fact, it's called quite some judgment when we see it here. Remember, John saw all of this in vision. After Satan is removed, cast into the Lake of Fire, his final judgment put on him, then John saw something else:

Revelation 20:11: "Then I saw a great white throne… [that's why in some phrases this is called The Great White Throne Judgment] … and the One Who was sitting on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and no place was found for them…. [Who are them?] …And I saw the dead…" (vs 11-12).

Which dead? This is after the thousand years, the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were completed!

Verse 12: "And I saw the dead… [now raised to life] … small and great, standing before God; and the books were opened…" Whatever books these refer to about God's way of life or whatever it may be! Now let's understand this, and we can do this by proper deduction using the Scriptures.

  • Is there a Book of Life in which our names are written? Yes! (Heb. 12)

We find that even in the account of Moses and God, where Moses intervened to save the children of Israel.

  • Does God keep track of all people? Yes,

He'd have to, otherwise, how would He resurrect those we're just talking about here in Matt. 12. That means that there is also a section in the Book of Life, which then would be the Book of Life for the second resurrection because the first resurrection was a resurrection of the saints. Therefore, this is the second resurrection. The part we are talking about has got to be the first part of the second resurrection.

Some people would like to say there's a third resurrection, but nowhere does it give us a third resurrection except that the wicked are raised in a second resurrection, which is a second life for them after the 100-years comes to an end.

"…and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life…." (v 12). They have an opportunity for salvation. Here's another Scripture that's hard for people to understand:

"…And the dead were judged out of the things written in the books, according to their works" (v 12). If they were judged according to their first life:

  • Did they know God? No!
  • Did they have an opportunity for salvation? No!
  • Were they cut off from God? Yes!
  • Did they live their lives separate from God, apart from God? Yes!

If they were judged by those works, they would have to be condemned to death again, would they not? Yes!

God is 'the same yesterday, today and forever.' If it's required for us for salvation, to repent and be baptized and keep the commandments of God: What do you think is going to be the agenda for these people when they're raised back to a second physical life? To repent! Be baptized! Receive the Holy Spirit and keep the commandments of God! That's always required.

Another thing that God has already decreed is that there are no souls that go to heaven, neither are there souls in heaven that are in the stars, which come down and possess people and then they live their lives. This is strictly Gnostic doctrine when it gets down to that, and then they return back to heaven if they live good lives. That's all the theology of men!

"…And the dead were judged out of the things written in the books, according to their works" (v 12)—which are the works that they would now be doing!Because everything they did, when they died, was wiped out, with the exception that they did not 'sin a sin unto death.'

Verse 13: "And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and the grave gave up the dead that were in them; and they were judged individually, according to their works."
On the Last Great Day we always go to Ezek. 37, just like we always go to Lev. 23 for all the Holy Days. Ezek. 37 tells us something that's important, and without Rev. 20 to tell us who these people are, and to tell us what is happening, you can make no determination except to say they are resurrected back to a second physical life. That's about the only determination you can make out of it, because it gives us the reason. Here's quite a fantastic thing.

  • What about all the children of Israel that were given the Law of God, but never given the Holy Spirit to keep it?
  • What about all of those that God killed—executed because of their sins—and sent them off into war, sent them off into famine, pestilence and captivity?
  • What about them?
  • Doesn't God say that He loves Israel? Yes!

Ezekiel 37—we know much of it already, but let's read it and understand. It's amazing, every once in a while, every year or two, we come across those people that for some reason or other get some thought in their head, and what do they do? They reject the way of God! They reject the knowledge that we're going to read here! And they blither back out into the world!  I hope and pray that they don't commit the unpardonable sin, but they are accountable. Nevertheless, for those who did not commit the unpardonable sin, and since God did not give the Holy Spirit to the children of Israel under the covenant with them that they received through Moses, therefore, with the exception of some of the kings and the prophets, they were never converted, so they didn't commit the unpardonable sin.

Ezekiel 37:1: "The hand of the LORD was on me, and brought me by the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of a valley, and it was full of bones. And He made me walk among them all around. And behold, very many were in the open valley. And lo, they were very dry. And He said to me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?' And I answered, 'O Lord GOD, You know.'" (vs 1-3). How am I supposed to know? I'm looking at these dry, dead bones here!

Verse 4: "Again He said to me, 'Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, "O dry bones, hear the Word of the LORD."

Let's understand that when you have bones, you have evidence of a first physical life. God did not take Ezekiel around a valley full of stones. Because remember what John the Baptist told the scribes and Pharisees: 'Don't say that Abraham is your father, for God is able, from these stones, to raise up children.' This is a valley of dry bones, not rocks.

Therefore, these people lived once. What do you conclude? What do the police conclude when they go out when someone has disappeared and finally find where they were buried and dig up the bones? They know that this person was killed, murdered—however they died—and now they dig them up and they have the bones. They know that this person had lived once. So, same thing here.

Verse 5: "Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, 'Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you… [which you have to have for physical life] … and you shall live. And I will lay sinews on you, and will bring up flesh on you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live.… [a second physical life, couldn't be anything else] …And you shall know that I am the LORD…. [because in your first life, you didn't know the Lord] …So, I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a noise. And behold, a shaking! And the bones came together, a bone to its bone. And as I watched, behold the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them above. But there was no breath in them" (vs 5-8). You've got a body, now what do you do with it?

Verse 9: "And He said to me, 'Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain that they may live.'"' So, I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. And He said to me, 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel these bones are the whole house of Israel… [Obviously then, down through historical time] …Behold, they say, "Our bones are dried and our hope is lost; we ourselves are completely cut off." Therefore, prophesy and say to them, "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, O My people, [#1]I will open your graves…'"'" (vs 9-12).

Where were they? In the grave! Live people are not in the grave are they? Dead people!

"'…and cause you to come up [#2]out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD when [#3]I have opened your graves, O My people, and have brought you up [#4]out of your graves… [notice the opportunity for conversion that they did not have when they lived their first life and died]: … And I shall put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. And you shall know that I the LORD have spoken it and have done it,' says the LORD" (vs 12-14).

Knowing the Lord means conversion! So, here they didn't have an opportunity for salvation or conversion and they are raised from the dead and they are given that opportunity. Yes, they live a second physical life, but this is their first opportunity for salvation. And they will be judged according to the works that they now do.

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We saw that that is a tremendous and magnificent chapter back there in Ezek. 37; and that answers the question about being raised together with this generation. So, it shows that what happens to the children of Israel, also happens to all nations, because God is no respecter of persons.

Revelation 20:13 again, because this applies in both cases: "…they were judged individually, according to their works." That's the second category of dead, those who did not sin a sin unto eternal death. We've got plenty of information on the unpardonable sin. We'll cover just a little bit here, but go back to the Sermon series Hebrews #s 17 & 29 where in Heb. 6 & 10 we cover concerning the unpardonable sin or the rejecting of the Holy Spirit after they've already had an opportunity for salvation.

Verse 13: "And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and the grave gave up the dead that were in them; and they were judged individually, according to their works."

Now those who have committed the unpardonable sin their judgment is a sentencing to the second death, because God has decreed that all who sin a sin unto death—the unpardonable sin—will die the second death. Sin unto death is not the first death, that is the second death of the incorrigible wicked.

Verse 14: "And death and the grave were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death."

Now let's understand something very simple: If you die twice, what does that mean? You have lived twice! The rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years were over. Those who do not qualify for salvation then are raised so they can all stand together and God is going to sentence them all at the same time. All of those who have received eternal life are going to witness and see this, and they're going to see us. They're going to know that the second death is at hand.

Verse 15: "And if anyone was not found written in the Book of Life, he was cast into the Lake of Fire."

You have the Book of Life—for the first resurrection, the second resurrection—which means that there also has to be a book that we could call The Book of Death, so that they will be raised to die the second death. God is the One Who makes the judgment concerning that.

Now let's see what the unpardonable sin really amounts to and how that, down through all the course of time, there will be relatively few, though through all the number of people that have been born, will probably be as the number of the sand of the sea—as it was concerning those at the end of the Millennium—and they likewise will be raised to stand with all of these. All of those who in the second resurrection that did have an opportunity for salvation and did not accept it, or rejected it and refused it, obviously were not changed from flesh to spirit. They were standing there with those committing the unpardonable sin.

Heb. 6 tells us about the unpardonable sin. It's something that has to be to really be worked at in devotion to evil and rejection of God in order to commit the unpardonable sin. I receive inquiries from people from time-to-time afraid they have committed the unpardonable sin. Well, you can rest assured that if you are fearful because you have sinned, you haven't committed the unpardonable sin because those who commit the unpardonable sin have no more conscience left for remorse concerning sin!

Hebrews 6:4: "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened… [knew and understood the Truth] …and who personally obtained the heavenly gift… [the gift of repentance and the gift of salvation] …and became partakers of the Holy Spirit."

They had the Holy Spirit impregnated and united with the spirit of their minds.

Verse 5: "And who have tasted the good Word of God… [they lived by the Word of God the way they should have for whatever period of time that was] …and the powers of the world to come,"

So, they understood God's plan, they understood conversion, they understood overcoming, because that's all part of the powers of the world to come.

Verse 6: "If they have fallen away, to renew them again unto repentance… [they have no conscience left] … seeing that they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves, and are publicly holding Him in contempt"—which means they now hate Jesus Christ! They hate God the Father!

They are now in a total same attitude as Satan the devil and that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, because you're rejecting God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, and blaspheming by calling that evil! That is the unpardonable sin!

Now let's see something else; see what Paul says concerning those who disregard salvation and get themselves into a contemptuous attitude and hardness of heart and rejection of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 10:26: "For if we willfully…"—by determined will saying, 'I am going to sin in spite of all of the consequences that I know of and the second death I am aware of.'

"…go on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins" (v 26)—because there's no repentance! The heart has been cauterized with a hot iron. And there is no remorse. So if that happens then here's what they look to:

Verse 27: "But a terrifying expectation of inevitable judgment… [Rev. 20] …and of fierce fire…" You're looking at a volcano, a lake of volcanic, molten lava, that's what a lake of fire is. The wicked are all on the edge of that Lake of Fire, just resurrected out of their graves.

"…which will devour the adversaries of God. Consider this: anyone who rejects the Law of Moses dies without mercy under the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, as an unholy thing, and has scorned the Spirit of grace? For we know Him Who has said, '"Vengeance belongs to Me. I will recompense!" says the Lord.' And again, 'The Lord will judge His people.' It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (vs 27-31)—for our God is a God of fire and consuming all the wicked!

Now let's see a Scripture in Matt. 25 that talks about the Lake of Fire:

  • those who do not love God
  • those who do not love the brethren
  • those who do not love Christ
  • those who are not willing to put themselves out to serve and help
  • those who become calloused and hard-hearted, and eventually reject the salvation of God

Matthew 25:31: "Now, when the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the Holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory; and He shall gather before Him all the nations; and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep at His right hand… [because they receive eternal life] … but the goats at His left. Then shall the King say to those at His right hand, "Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (vs 31-34)—because from the foundation of the world God's plan has been laid out!

Verse 35: "For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat… [gets down to just the minimal things of helping people] …I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in; I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me." Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry, and fed You? Or thirsty, and gave You a drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and took You in? Or naked, and clothed You? And when did we see You sick… [I don't think Jesus was sick a day in His physical life] …or in prison, and came to You?" And answering, the King shall say to them, "Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it to Me'" (vs 35-40).

Showing you've got to have the love of God, the love of the brethren, the love of your neighbor; that's the basis on which everything that God does is founded.

Verse 41: "Then shall He also say to those on the left, "Depart from Me, you cursed ones… [because you've committed the unpardonable sin] …into the eternal fire… [the fire that God started] …which has been prepared for the devil and his angels." They were cast into it at the end of the Millennium! Then He says the same thing again:

Verse 42: "'For I was hungry, and you did not give Me anything to eat; I was thirsty, and you did not give Me anything to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not take Me in; I was naked, and you did not clothe Me; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not come to visit Me.' Then they also shall answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and we did not minister to You?' Then shall He answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, neither did you do it to Me.' And they shall go away into eternal punishment…"—meaning the second death, there is no resurrection from that. That's how God is going to get rid of evil.

Let's see what Peter said about this, though he did not know the timeframe that we have because he died long before John wrote the book of Revelation; he didn't understand this.

2-Peter 3:10: "However, the Day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night… [which it will] …in which the heaven itself shall disappear with a mighty roar…"—because now there's going to be new heavens and a new earth.

What we're going to see is, as described by the Apostle Peter, the Lake of Fire, after all of the wicked are cast into the Lake of Fire and burned up. It is going to consume the whole earth. It's going to burn everything up on the earth to prepare it to be the new heaven and the new earth.

"…and the elements shall pass away, burning with intense heat, and the earth and the works in it shall be burned up…. [everything] …Since all these things are going to be destroyed, what kind of persons ought you to be in Holy conduct and Godliness, looking forward to and striving for the coming of the day of God, during which the heavens, being on fire, shall be destroyed, and the elements, burning with intense heat, shall melt? But according to His promise, we look forward to a new heaven and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. For this reason, beloved, since you are anticipating these things, be diligent, so that you may be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless" (vs 10-14).

Now let's see the timing and fulfillment of this. Because, when that happens, when the earth is consumed in the fire, which begins with the Lake of the Fire, into which all of the incorrigible wicked have been cast, then it consumes the whole earth. That's going to be an awesome thing to witness, too, isn't it? We're going to see it, just like John saw it! Now we see at the end of the Last Great Day, we see the beginning of the rest of eternity. Number eight is a new beginning. First of all, for those who are resurrected to a second physical life, for their first opportunity for salvation, and then the second death of the incorrigible wicked. That was their ending. Now we see a new beginning and the plan of God fulfilled! God, having overcome all the enemy, Satan the devil, all human beings against Him, everything that was evil and wretched and sinful have been removed.

Revelation 21:1: "Then I [John] 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."

The reason is, there are no more physical human beings! We need the ocean and we need the breeze and we need these things because we're physical.

Verse 2: "And I, John, saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem… [I wonder what that looked like to him, seeing this in vision?] …coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."

Let's understand that New Jerusalem is not the Bride. That's where the Bride is going to live with Christ. But she's prepared as a bride. For the Bride!

Verse 3: "And I heard a great voice from heaven say, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men…'"

Here completes the tabernacle of God, which began in the Garden of Eden with God living and dwelling in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, and now is finished with the new heavens and the new earth, and the tabernacle of God dwelling with men:

  • Men now perfected!
  • Men made perfect!
  • Men made in the image and substance of God!
  • The sons and daughters of God!

"…and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people; and God Himself shall be with them and be their God" (v 3).

This is what we are to look forward to. I want you to keep this in mind as we leave this Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day and we go home and face the world again, and face all the darkness that Satan is going to bring upon this world with His holidays, substituting for God's Holy Days. And that you be inspired to know and understand that yes, this is going to happen. It is sure!

Verse 4: "And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall not be anymore death, or sorrow, or crying; neither shall there be any more pain…" I know of very few deaths where there is not pain and sadness and sorrow involved! All of this will be gone, removed.

 "…because the former things have passed away.' And He Who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' Then He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful'" (vs 4-5). They're the inspired words of God! They are going to come to pass.

Verse 6: "And He said, to me, 'It is done….'" God's plan is finished! And now the only thing is to move in to New Jerusalem. It is done!

"…I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts, I will give freely of the fountain of the water of life" (v 6). That means to receive the substance of eternal life forever and ever and ever!

Verse 7: "The one who overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death" (vs 7-8)—because there's going to be no more sin, no more death, no more sorrow!

Now, we will be ready to perform a greater and more fantastic work of God.

Verse 9: "And one of the seven angels that had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, 'Come here, and I will show you the Bride, the Lamb's wife.' And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, Holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. And her radiance was like a most precious stone, as crystal-clear as jasper stone" (vs 9-11).

That's where the Bride is going to be. You don't marry a building. You don't marry a city, you live in it. Then it describes it. It's going to be 1500 miles wide, 1500 miles high in a cube. Not a pyramid, a cube. Just like the Holy of Holies greatly expanded. Then he measured the city and he measured the walls and it's going to be all furnished with precious stones, all the way through. If I had enough money, I would like to try and get a sample of each one of these stones that would be big enough to make an impression of what it's going to be like to see New Jerusalem. Not only these stones, but the streets are paved with pure gold and yet, translucent and you can see through them. Now that's amazing. Then there are 12 gates—and we have the foundation named after the 12 tribes of Israel and we have the 12 apostles after the gates. I think that's it. If it's the other way around it's the other way around.

Verse 22: "And I saw no temple in it…" Isn't that something! The whole lesson of the Feast of Tabernacles is a place for God to live and He always lived in a tabernacle? Yes! So, here the ultimate finale, the completion of God's plan—where there's an ending, there's a beginning—so here's the beginning of the rest of eternity. There was no temple in it. God wants to be with His people.

"…for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city has no need of the sun, or of the moon… [It doesn't mean they weren't there, it just wasn't needed] …that they should shine in it; because the glory of God enlightens it, and the Light of it is the Lamb. And the nations that are saved… [through the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment] …shall walk in its light; and the kings of the earth... [that will be us] …shall bring their glory and honor into it. And its gates shall never be shut by day; for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it" (vs 22-26).

This tells us that all through eternity we are going to be busy building, perfecting, working, doing, learning, growing. Is that going to be something? Stop and think for minute: All the beauty of the universe that is out there, God did not create that in vain. He created it for a purpose. Now we are going to fulfill the purpose as to why He created it. Who knows what that is going to be. Who knows how great the plan of God is going to be at this time. It's going to be forever, into all eternity!

Verse 27—another warning: "And nothing that defiles shall ever enter into it, nor shall anyone who practices an abomination or devises a lie; but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life." First resurrection and second resurrection!

Now then, John saw God's throne; Revelation 22:1: "Then he showed me a pure river of the water of life…. [spiritual water] …clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb…. [Amazing!] …And in the middle of the street, and on this side and that side of the river… [the river flowed right down the middle of the street] …was the Tree of Life, producing twelve manner of fruits, each month yielding its fruit; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations" (vs 1-2).

I don't know exactly how this applies forever and ever, but I believe that this means this: We are going to constantly learn on how to live eternally forever.

Verse 3: "And there shall be no more curse…"

  • no more sin
  • no more disease
  • no more sickness
  • no more Satan the devil

"…and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him, and they shall see His face…" (vs 3-4).

That's going to be amazing, to be able to walk up to the Father, to worship Him, to hug Him, to talk with Him, to see Him face-to-face or, as we say today, eyeball-to-eyeball; and say, 'Father, I love You.' and to hear Him say, 'And I love you.' Isn't that going to be astounding! Absolutely amazing!

"…And His name is in their foreheads" (v 4). We belong to God! We are His! We're going to serve Him and carry out whatever plan He has for all eternity—forever and ever and ever! That's what we've been called to, brethren. That's why God's plan is so fantastic! Why He took the trouble to put it in a book so that we may know, as He calls us and opens our minds, and gives us the understanding through His Holy Days, which is what the world considers the least and rejects.

Verse 5: "And there shall be no night there; for they have no need of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God enlightens them; and they shall reign into the ages of eternity."—forever and ever!

I imagine John was just stunned! Breathless! Speechless!

Verse 6: "And he said to me, 'These words are faithful and true; and the Lord God of the Holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things that must shortly come to pass.'"

Not just to John, to all the true servants of God, to know and understand His plan so that in season we can preach it to the people. That God can inspire us with His Spirit. That He can lift us from all the troubles and difficulties of this world:

  • to give us the hope
  • to give us the inspiration
  • to give us of His Spirit
  • to see and to understand

that yes, everything that we do in this life—all the difficulties, all the problems, all the things that we have to face, all the things that come upon us—are worth it, because:

Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" This is our hope, brethren! This goes out beyond, clear out to all eternity!

Revelation 22:7: "Behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."…. [you can only keep them if you understand them] …Now I, John, was the one who saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who was showing me these things. But he said to me, 'See that you do not do this! For I am a fellow servant of yours, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God'" (vs 7-9),

Never forget that, brethren! Worship God! Don't let any man take you away. Don't let any doctrine take you away. Don't let anything come into your life that's going to take you away from God.

Verse 10: "And he said to me, 'Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book because the time is near.' Let the one who is unrighteous be unrighteous still; and let the one who is filthy be filthy still; and let the one who is righteous be righteous still; and let the one who is Holy be Holy still" (vs 10-11). Think of this in our lifetime, because this is understood at the end of time!

Verse 12: "And behold, I am coming quickly… [Christ is going to come] …and My reward is with Me… [He's not going to forget what we do. He's going to remember it.] …to render to each one according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who keep His commandments, that they may have the right to eat of the Tree of Life, and may enter by the gates into the city. But excluded are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and everyone who loves and devises a lie. I, Jesus, sent My angel to testify these things to you in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star.' And the Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.'…." (vs 12-17).

That's going to be our job during the Millennium. That's going to be our job, whatever it's going to be through all eternity. But here now, at this time, in this life, in this occasion:

"…And let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who thirsts come; and let the one who desires partake of the water of life freely…. [then He gives a warning for the whole Bible, not just the book of Revelation, but the whole Bible, because it's the last book of the Bible]: …For I jointly testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, that if anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, and from the Holy City, and from the things that are written in this book. He Who testifies these things says, 'Surely, I am coming quickly.' Amen…. [then John adds]: Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen" (vs 17-21).

And brethren, that's the meaning of the Last Great Day, which fulfills all the plan of God in its fullness and in its greatness and in its spiritual application for our lives. We need to:

  • love God
  • thank God
  • love each other
  • love our neighbors
  • serve God with a pure heart

And let that be what we focus in on between now and Passover next spring!

Scriptural References

  • Leviticus 23:33-38
  • Revelation 20:4-6
  • 1 John 5:16
  • Romans 2:14-16
  • Matthew 12:27-33, 39-42
  • Revelation 20:11-13
  • Ezekiel 37:1-14
  • Revelation 20:13-15
  • Hebrews 6:4-6
  • Hebrews 10:26-31
  • Matthew 25:31-46
  • 2 Peter 3:10-14
  • Revelation 21:1-11, 22-27
  • Revelation 22:1-6
  • Romans 8:28
  • Revelation 22:7-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Numbers 29
  • Leviticus 23:39
  • 1 Corinthians 15
  • Isaiah 65
  • Hebrews 12; 6; 10

Also referenced: Sermon Series: Hebrews (#s 17 & 29)

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 8-22-07
Reformatted/Corrected: bo—9/2019

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