ESAU AND JACOB
In the majestic prophecies of Isaiah we find some of the most sublime imagery in human literature. Isaiah 63 is an example. Here again we pick up on the theme of the older brother, and it is a familiar face, Edom or Esau. His name means “red,” because when he was born he “came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.” Now, let us notice again in Genesis 25 how Esau picked up the nickname of Edom. “And Esau said to Jacob, feed me,’ (the margin says, ‘let me wolf or swallow.’) I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom (that is red).” Genesis 25:25, 30. Swallow also means to devour, which is characteristic of Satan, 1 Peter 5:8. CF. Psalms 27:1-4.
Now notice how Esau or Edom is mentioned here in Isaiah 63. “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come … And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.” Isaiah 63:1-4, 6. Edom also represents the land of ego, hell, or bottomless pit. Jesus went to the bottomless pit and hell for us to destroy the carnal mind or ego, so our true self or identity could be resurrected in Christ. The bottomless pit or hell is the grave.
Bozrah was the city of Jobab, son of Zerah, son of Reuel, son of Esau. Jobab was the second king of Edom. Remember that Edom is Esau, older brother of Jacob. And remember that Jacob received the birthright instead of Esau and that Esau vowed to kill Jacob. Jacob had sinned, but repented. Esau never repented, for all he wanted was the material possessions of the birthright, not the moral and spiritual blessings and responsibilities. Esau forfeited the birthright on this basis alone, but still God granted him the chance to prove himself just as He gave King Saul a chance, and Judas a chance. God never rejects anyone. He treats all equally and fairly. James 1:5, Acts 10:34, 1 Peter 1:17. Job 34:19. But Esau failed as did King Saul. See Hebrews 12:16, 17.
Isaiah 63 pictures Jesus as coming from Edom with red stained, bloody-looking garments. He is claiming to be killing people and the proof is that their blood is sprinkled on his garments. He specifically is talking about all the people that he has just killed over at “Edom.” Without deep spiritual understanding a person cannot comprehend this. “The foolishness of God is wiser than men.” 1 Corinthians 1:25. Did not Jesus “kill” Judas by bringing Judas to a definite point of decision? He came out plainly, “one of you shall betray me.” He was trying to stop Judas from this terrible act of suicide. He knew what Judas was about to do. He also knew that Judas was blind to the results, for he did not know or realize that when he kissed Jesus to identify Him that this was a “kiss of death.” Not for Jesus, for he rose from the grave. It was the kiss of death for Judas. Judas just sealed his doom for that age. Of course, Jesus did die, and Judas betrayed him, but Judas did not have to be the one. It was his own choice. Jesus, did everything to stop him.
Now, friend of mine, Jesus never changes. Hebrews 13:8. Malachi 3:6. If Christ in His great love tried to stop just one human being from killing himself, how much more would He try to stop millions and billions of his beloved creatures from blowing each other up outside the city walls? The Father, through his Son, holds out the proof, the greatest evidence He can give them, of his undying love by stretching out that powerful right hand with the nail wound in it. “I love you. I died for you. Please accept Me. Don’t reject Me. Don’t do it, for it will cause you incredible suffering.” Here then Psalms 21:8-12 will find its fulfillment. Revelation 20:12 tells us that “the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life* and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books… according to their works.” Revelation 17:15 tells us that “waters” represent people. Therefore a “lake of fire,” Revelation 20:10-14, which will be a human lake in its final phase is first of all, a mass of humanity, a lake of humanity, burning up inside “like an oven.” There will be hatred and cursing. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Everyone will be blaming someone else for being on the outside instead of the inside. All the Esaus look inside the city and see all the Jacobs and all the Josephs and it just burns them up with envy and jealousy. “The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau stubble; they shall burn them and consume them, and there shall be no survivor to the house of Esau.” Obadiah 1:18. R.S.V.; Psalms 22:29.
The story of salvation will be seen by all and everyone outside of that city will see just where they refused Jesus’ love. “The heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.” Psalms 50:6. The opening of the books refer to a cosmic display of the entire 6,000 year struggle between good and evil. It would include all the facts in every person’s life from Lucifer to the last lost man to live on this earth before Christ returns. All the saved would also be included. Just as Jesus made a last minute effort to save the Pharisees and Scribes (Matthew 23), by facing them squarely with their self-righteousness and futile efforts to save themselves so they would repent and be saved, so the Father pleads one last time with all of His older sons, all of His Esaus to repent and come into the house. He reveals their whole life history to them. It is a “strange act” for Him, for God has never before let everyone see all their sins at once. He has shielded them from that, but now in a desperate effort to bring them to their senses he reveals it all. The sky is like a giant movie screen. And it works, because all will bow down and confess.
Remember that God already knows that they will repent. That is why He does this. There are many relatives and friends inside that city who long for their brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters to come inside with them. They are weeping and heartbroken over it. For their sake the Father makes this appeal, but not only for them, but because He loves them too. It is His eternal unchanging nature to love. He can’t help Himself. “Oh, how can I give you up, My Ephraim? How can I let you go? How can I forsake you like Admah and Zeboim? My heart cries out within Me; how I long to help you!” Hosea 11:8 Living Bible. Our heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ are eternal and incurable lovers. The Bible pictures God’s love in many, many ways. You can find it all throughout the Scriptures. John 3:16 is a well known classic. Isaiah 49:15, 16; 1 Corinthians 3:7. God’s love never quits, never gives up. Jesus never fails.
Will there be tears in that city as the saved inside watch their loved ones and friends? Yes, there will be tears, but listen to the promise. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4. For all the lost are found.
THE MARK OF THE BEAST DEFINED
Notice also in Revelation 14 that the only people who suffer the “wrath of God,” which is when he is forced to give up on a person, are those who receive or take by their own choice, the Mark of the Beast. Notice that the second coming of Christ does not take place until verse 14 and the torment in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb takes place in verses 10 and 11. Besides this, the scenes here described are taking place before the seven last plagues, which occur before the second coming of Jesus. However, chapter 14 gives the whole scene here, taking us up to the second coming of Christ. Note the expression, “the same (whoever takes the mark) shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God . . .” Revelation 14.10. The word “shall” indicates future tense. In other words these verses are describing the decisions and events that lead up to the pouring out of the plagues which take place before the end of our age and Christ’s return. Therefore, the “torment” of Revelation 14 does not take place in hell after Christ’s return or any time before in some hollow place in the earth which men would say is hell. No. The events here described take place right here on earth in the sight of the holy angels. The Mark of the Beast represents the character of the carnally minded who are bowing down to the false God of Sun(day) worship, Satan, just before Jesus comes.
These people are suffering mental torment because they have rejected God and His truth. But there is something else we must understand. The torment the lost will suffer, which is described in Revelation 14 through 22 in various ways, is a torment that the lost of all ages will experience after the 1,000 years. When they come up around that holy city to capture it and/or destroy the saints and the Father and the Son and anyone else who opposes them, they are going to be tormented in their minds and bodies as they realize they cannot win. The specific torment described in Revelation 14, before Christ comes the 2nd time, will be experienced twice by those alive in the final generation of opposers of God and his truth and his people who live and preach that final message of truth. Daniel 12:2 and Revelation 1:7 indicates that there will be a special resurrection for some of the saved and some of the lost just before Jesus comes. I say there will be a “specific” torment for those who reject the truth about the Father in this Final generation or age. Because, that same torment will be experienced again by the lost of all ages after the 1,000 years when they too come to a full realization of what they have lost. The lost of this present generation will be there too and will suffer further torment. It is not that God wants or wishes this for them, for He longs to deliver them from it, but He cannot force them to come into His house. Although the “mark of the beast” is being developed and perfected in our day, it has always existed in every age in one form or another. The older brothers have always been used by Satan to hurt the younger. After the 1,000 years, at Christ’s 3rd coming to this earth, the mark of the beast will be fully perfected by Satan again and all the lost outside the city will be under its power and authority and will suffer because of it. The simplest definition of the mark of the beast is FORCED WORSHIP and it can be forced upon you by another person or an organization or by you yourself. If you are “forcing” yourself to pray over your food, read religious literature, the Bible included, or if you are “forcing” yourself to go to church or to “act” religious or perform religious “duties” of any kind, you are already experiencing to a degree, what it will be like when the mark of the beast is really in full swing. You are, as it were, just getting warmed up for it. Excuse the pun, but I hope you get the point. In that day, the heat will not only be on people, it will be in them, for they will “burn like an oven” on the inside, from guilt, remorse, regret and hatred. Malachi 4:1; Hosea 7:6; Psalms 21:8, 9. More specifically, Sun(day) worship is the sign of the Death God and 7th day Sabbath is the sign of the Life-God. Exodus 20:8-11.
Notice again Christ’s effort to save Judas at the last supper. “After supper he gave them another glass of wine, saying, this is the token of God’s new agreement to save you — an agreement sealed with my blood I shall pour out to purchase back your souls. But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. I must die. It is part of God’s plan. But, oh, the horror awaiting that man who betrays Me.” Luke 22:20-22 Living Bible. This suffering causes them to repent.
The disciples were shocked and stunned. Who among them, would even think of such a dastardly deed! Let alone carry it out! And yet verse 24 says “and they began to argue among themselves as to who would have the highest rank (in the coming kingdom).” Living Bible. We look back and shake our heads at their blindness, but do we see any more clearly today? Do we understand the Father’s character of love anymore than they did? I truly hope so, but unless we are continually “watching unto prayer,” we too may sleep as did the disciples in the garden, when Jesus had told them, “pray that ye enter not into temptation.” Luke 22:40. Jesus then went away from them “about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed.” verse 41. He prayed that if the plan of salvation could be carried out any other way, except for the coming separation of the Father’s presence, that it be done. Jesus did not fear physical torture and abuse. He did not enjoy it, for He was not a masochist, but this was not what made him ask this special consideration. The Father’s presence had always been with Him in an unlimited measure, John 3:34, ML. But, can you imagine how much the Father must have been suffering? “O, Daddy, if there is any other way to save the world and convince the universe that you are innocent from the false charges that Lucifer has brought against you, please let this cup pass from me. I don’t want you or the angels or the unfallen worlds to have to see me suffer. And I know everyone will turn against Lucifer. If there is any other way, let this cup pass from me. But, thy will be done.” It is estimated that Christ’s three season’s of prayer lasted about two hours.
The mental torture that Jesus endured in His struggle against sin and the forces of Satan were so powerfully oppressive that He actually sweat blood. Luke, the beloved physician, is the only one of the four gospel writers who mentions it. He received his information about the life of Jesus from eyewitnesses like John and Peter and James who saw Jesus sweat blood. Being a doctor of medicine he must have immediately recognized this as an important phenomenon. And truly it is.
A book entitled “Behold the Man” by Taylor G. Bunch, 1940, refers to this blood-sweating incident on pages 35-37 of his book. “While the sweating of blood is a very rare occurrence, it is not unknown to history and to medical science. It is known to medical authorities as diapedesis. The word is defined by Webster thus: ‘The passage of the corpuscular elements of the blood from the blood vessels into the surrounding tissues. A few notable cases have been left on record by historians and physicians where persons under great physical strain, mental anguish, or intense fear, have actually sweat blood.’ Since this is true, it was certainly the most natural thing that could have happened to Jesus while passing through a season of physical suffering and mental fear and anguish so terrible that it surpasses the utmost stretch of the human mind to portray.”
THE CAUSE OF DIAPEDESIS
“Of the possibility and cause of diapedesis, G. H. Kannegiesser, a German physician, wrote: ‘Violent mental excitement…. and in like manner sudden terror, or intense fear, forces out a sweat…. If the mind is seized with a sudden fear of death, the sweat, owing to the excessive degree of constriction, often becomes bloody.” – German “Ephemerides,” quoted by William Stroud, M.D., in The Physical Cause of the Death of Christ, page 86. Dr. Stroud was at one time the President of the Royal Medical Society of Scotland, and his book was endorsed by some of the leading physicians of the British Isles. His book was first published in 1847.”
Of this rare occurrence another physician wrote: “Of all the maladies which affect cutaneous transpiration, diapedesis, or sweating of blood, is the most singular; so much so indeed, that its existence has been doubted, although several well-authenticated cases are on record, both in the ancient and modern annals of medicine. It is mentioned by Theophrastus, Aristotle, and Lucan. The base Charles IX of France sank under this disorder, as stated by Mezeray. The same historian relates the case of a governor of a town taken by storm, who was condemned to die, but was seized with a profuse sweating of blood the moment he beheld the scaffold. Lombard mentions a general who was affected in a similar manner on losing a battle…. It is probable that the strange disorder arises from a violent commotion of the nervous system, turning the streams of blood out of their natural course, and forcing the red particles into the cutaneous excretories.” – Curiosities of Medical Experience, J. G. Millingen, M.D., vol. 2, pp. 338-342. (Stroud.)
S. A. D. Tissot, a Swiss physician and author who lived between 1728 and 1779, reported the case of “a sailor who was so alarmed by a storm, that through fear he fell down, and his face sweated blood, which during the whole continuance of the storm returned like ordinary sweat, as fast as it was wiped away.” – Traite des Nerfs, pages 279, 280. (Stroud) Dr. Schenck, a German physician, cites the case of “a nun who fell into the hands of soldiers; and, on seeing herself encompassed with swords and daggers threatening instant death, was so terrified and agitated, that she discharged blood from every part of her body, and died of hemorrhage in the sight of her assailants.” – Joannes Schenck a Grafenberg, in Observ. Medic., lib. 3, p. 458. (Stroud).
Writing of the death of Charles IX of France, F. M. Voltaire said: “The disease which carried him off is very uncommon; his blood flowed from all his pores. This malady, of which there are some examples, is the result either of excessive fear, furious passion, or of a violent and melancholic temperament.” – Euvres Completes, vol. 18, pp. 531, 532. (Stroud.)
DeMezeray, a French historian, declared of the same case: “During the last two weeks of his life, his constitution made strange efforts. He was affected with spasms and convulsions of extreme violence. He tossed and agitated himself continually, and his blood gushed from all the outlets of his body, even from the pores of his skin, so that on one occasion he was found bathed in a bloody sweat.” – Histoire de France, vol. 3, p. 306. (Stroud.)
The French historian, De Thou, tells of “an Italian officer who commanded at Monte-Maro, a fortress of Piedmont, during the warfare in 1552, between Henry II of France and the emperor Charles V. This officer, having been treacherously seized by order of the hostile general, and threatened with public execution unless he surrendered the place was so agitated at the prospect of an ignominious death, that he sweated blood from every part of his body.” The same author also wrote of a young Florentine at Rome, unjustly put to death by order of Pope Sixtus V, and concludes the narrative as follows: “When the youth was led forth to execution, he excited the commiseration of many, and through excess of grief, was observed to shed bloody tears, and to discharge blood instead of sweat from his whole body.” – The Physical Cause of the Death of Christ, Stroud, pages 86, 87. Other historic and scientific testimony might be given, but this is sufficient to prove that the sweating of blood is not only possible under excessive pain and fear, but that it has actually happened on many different occasions. “Thus, once more, destructive Biblical criticism has been silenced by the facts of history and science.”
The word “diaphoresis” is a closely related term referring to actual sweating or perspiration, especially when profuse and caused by artificial means. The Greek word, “thromboi” meaning thick drops or clots is translated “drops or great drops of blood.” The International Critical Commentary gives historical instances of persons whose pores have exuded a bloody sweat. Some scholars have omitted verses 43, 44, because certain manuscripts show it missing. But, the weight of evidence favors retaining them. That is, other ancient manuscripts include these verses. Living Bible footnote on Luke 22:43, 44.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary (written around 1704-1710), says, “Every pore was as it were a bleeding wound, and his blood stained all his raiment. This showed the travail of his soul.” Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Luke 22:43, 44, page 1495.
Again Isaiah predicted Christ’s agonies. “Behold my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high (or lifted up as the Revised Standard Version says). As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man and his form more than the sons of men.” Isaiah 52:13-14. (Many think of the beatings etc. at his trial, but this also has reference to the terrible mental struggles he went through in the 40 day fast and temptation afterward. However, the struggle in Gethsamne is even worse, as He sweats blood, “striving against sin,” as Paul tells us in Hebrews 12:4. “So shall he sprinkle (Cf. Isaiah 63:3) many nations: the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.” Isaiah 52:13—15.
If God had acted as men thought He would and should act, our Father would have killed anyone who dared touch His Son. But would this have drawn anyone to the Father? No, it would have terrified them, just as all the other terrible calamities of the Old Testament had done, e.g. the flood, Sodom, Uzzah. We, in our carnal, fleshly, finite minds indict the Father and His Son for murder on the basis of these incidents, which are nothing more than circumstantial evidence. Are you willing to stand on a witness stand and claim that you believe God is guilty of murder on the basis of these scanty, fragmented, accounts? And remember that all throughout the Old Testament God is always taking the blame. Look at Isaiah 53:10. “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.” The Father here claims to be hurting his own Son. Once you understand how God is always doing this throughout the whole Bible, you will begin to really understand the plan of salvation.
In the Most Holy place of the sanctuary, beyond the sacred veil, was the ark of the covenant. The word “covenant” simply means “agreement.” God is saying, “I have agreed with my son that He will come and get you out of this terrible predicament you are in. If you will enter into this agreement with us, we will be able to carry out our rescue mission successfully. You will have new bodies again and a beautiful new earth again.” And so the covenant is really God’s promise to save us.
The ark of the covenant or agreement was the center of action and the real goal of this desert drama, for that is where the very presence of the Eternal God rested. Now, this little ark was 4 ft. 4 in. long and 2 ft. 7 in breadth or width and 2 ft. 7 in. high. It was made of shittim wood (Exodus 25:5) or acacia, a hard, durable, and close-grained wood, suitable for cabinetwork. The Father’s presence was just above the ark. The whole box was to be overlaid with pure gold, including the lid to the box, which was called the “mercy-seat.” It was also known as the covering, since it “covered” the ark or box. Exodus 25:10 Says the ark was 2 1/2 cubits long, 1 1/2 cubit wide and 1 1/2 cubit high. There were long cubits and short ones in Bible times. The measurements given above are based on Egyptian cubits and royal Egyptian cubits since Moses was educated in Pharaoh’s court. Most people think of a cubit as 18 inches. The common Egyptian cubit was 17.7 and the royal was 20.6 inches which is what the above figures are based upon.
But, let’s consider the covering or lid of the ark, which is called, “the mercy seat.” It was also made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold, representing God’s love, mercy and faith. But it means much more. It means that God is covering up for us. I mean he is taking the blame for us. Deuteronomy 10:5 tells us God commanded Moses to put the two tables of stone (Ten Commandments or law of God that he wrote with his own finger) inside of the ark. Paul confirms this in Hebrews 9:1-5. By Solomon’s time only the Ten Commandments were in the ark. That law is what condemns us as sinners. It is like a mirror which points out our sins. It is God’s perfect standard of obedience that no human in his own strength could ever keep after Adam fell and passed on to us his weak, fallen, degenerate and disobedient nature. We are not born sinners, but we have a natural inclination and leaning toward it which is impossible to resist, therefore every man has sinned. But through Jesus we can become obedient. But it is only because our wonderful Heavenly Father has taken the first step toward us that we have hope, for we are not naturally attracted to our Heavenly Father. We have a fallen nature which must be exchanged for the divine nature of Christ, who is the express image, of the Father. It is not natural for us to love. No, it is natural for us to hate. It is not natural for us to want to give. It is natural for us to take. If we are raised by godly parents who teach us the truth of God’s law we are most fortunate, but even in the most religious homes there are rebels. And even the children who are “righteous” or “good kids” we find have a struggle. Some more and some less, but all have a struggle against sin. The Bible has declared that none are righteous, “no, not one.” “For all have sinned and come short of the glory (character) of God.” Romans 3:23 KJV.
And so we need mercy and God showed that he had given that mercy in the Most Holy place of the sanctuary, over the …mercy seat. Here the blood of a bullock was to cleanse a priest of all sin before he was ready to make atonement for all the people. This young bull (Christ was a young man) was a sin offering for the high priest and for his whole house or family. Leviticus 16:11. This was the “day of atonement” or “yom kippur.”
Then after atonement had been made with this “sin offering,” for himself and his family, he was to offer a ram for a burnt offering. Verse 3. But the atonement for all of Israel was made with two goats. Lots were cast and one goat became the “Lord’s goat,” and the other became the “scape goat.” Just as the bullock was killed and its blood sprinkled seven times over the mercy seat and also over the altar in the outer court, so the same thing was done with the Lord’s goat. Then when Aaron came out of the most holy place and had made atonement for all of Israel, “Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the (live) goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat, and send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities upon him to a solitary land; and he shall let the goat go in the wilderness.” Leviticus 16:21-22.
The goat which died would have to represent Christ who made atonement for our sins. The scape goat (Azazel in the Hebrew) escaped alive. Now, who does this represent? It would have to represent the one who is responsible for all the evil that has gone on in the world since sin began. God is not responsible, so the live goat or scapegoat does not represent the Father or his Son. The goat that was slain represents Christ’s death on the cross for us. He is willing to die that all of His creatures who will accept His death may live. This includes even Satan. This goat going into the wilderness alive is symbolic of Satan during the 1,000 years. All the saints are reigning with Jesus in the Father’s house (John 14:1-3; Revelation 20:4-5) and all the wicked are dead. Only Satan and his angels are here roaming the earth. They cannot stand truth and righteousness, light and glory, so they stay here by their own choice, since it is more comfortable or perhaps I should say, less painful here on this earth than in any other place in the universe. In Greek mythology, Pan was a “god” of nature who had the legs and hips of a goat, but the arms and face of a man. Sometimes he even had the horns and ears of a goat. This was a representation of Satan, although the people thought it was one of the gods. Pan destroys the nature he is supposed to protect.
Someone may be asking, “will Satan and his angels be saved?” The Bible predicts that the devil will be “tormented” in the lake of fire “day and night” with all the wicked “forever and ever.” Revelation 20: 10. This everlasting fire” is prepared only for the “devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41. The phrase “forever and ever” and “everlasting” again do not mean “without end,” for the Bible teaches that Satan will come to an end. In fact he will be brought to “ashes,” right here on the earth in the sight of all the righteous who are safe inside the city. Ezekiel 28:18.
The question is this: What does the word “ashes” really mean? Well, I have already explained that in an earlier chapter but it bears repeating.
“Among the ancient Hebrews, to put on sackcloth and ashes, or to lie in them, or to sprinkle ashes on the head was a token of grief and mourning , 2 Sam 13:19; Esther 4:1, 3; Job 2:8; Neh 9:1. To sit in ashes was also a sign of penitence Jonah 3:6; cf. Job 42:6.” Bible Dictionary, page 82. Therefore, when we see the word “ashes” in Ezek. 28:18 we know this is a sign and prediction of a future event when Lucifer will be brought to “grief, mourning and repentance” in the sight of the whole universe. But, like the prodigal son, he will repent and be welcomed back with open arms because Lucifer is the first prodigal son and the last to finally come back home.
Sometimes when you first read a verse it may seem pretty harsh. It sounds like God is going to get even with the devil in the final day by destroying him with fire. But, is that really what God is saying here? No, it isn’t, for we know the Father is not like that. Why? Because Jesus painted an altogether different picture of him. For example, let’s read in just one place how Jesus pictured his Father.
“If a child asks his father for a loaf of bread, will he be given a stone instead? if he asks for fish, will he be given a poisonous snake? Of course not! And if you hard-hearted, sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask Him for them?” Matthew 7:9-41. Living Bible.
IS GOD TO BLAME FOR LUCIFER’S FALL?
Now, we know Lucifer or Satan, as he is now named due to his own actions, was created by the Father in a glorious, pristine state-absolutely perfect. Ezekiel 28:15. It was Lucifer who made himself into what he is now-a devil. Isaiah 14:12-14. God is not to blame for Lucifer’s original sin, his fall, for Jude 6 tells us he “left,” heaven. Nor is God to be blamed for His final terrible suffering and death to self.
In fact, the Father has been doing all he can to protect and preserve Lucifer so he would not destroy himself or his evil angels. Why else would Satan bow down with all the rest of human race at the end of the 1,000 years? Philippians 2:10 and Psalms 22:29 refer to this. And John the Revelator says this song will be sung, “Who shall not fear thee, 0 Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments (decisions) are made manifest.”
Revelation 15:4. James tells us that the devils even believe and tremble, James 2:19. They admitted Christ was the Son of God and worshiped him in fear, Mark 1:34, 5:6, 7.
We already know that the fire that destroys Satan comes from inside of the devil himself. God’s fire always gives life. It does not destroy. Jesus said, “I am come to send fire on the earth . . .” And what was that fire? It was His eternal love, for on the day of Pentecost God’s fire came on the disciples and they spoke in different languages about “the wonderful works of God.” Acts 2:11. Ezekiel saw God’s messengers as living creatures (beings)” which “ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.” Ezekiel1:14. Daniel saw a “fiery stream” come forth from God’s throne. Daniel 7:10.
The angel which rolled back the stone from Jesus’ grave had a “countenance (face)…like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.” Matthew 28:3. The soldiers evidently fainted “for fear of him,” but they were not hurt in any way. Now, it is very significant what Luke says about Christ’s transfiguration experience. “And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and GLISTERING.” Luke 9:29. It is very interesting that the word “GLISTERING” in-Young’s analytical concordance to the Bible is from the Greek word exastrapto which means, “To flash as lightning.”
What great meaning is now added to our Lord’s words with this understanding. “For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of Man be in his day.” Luke 17:24. In Matthew 17:2 we read that Jesus’ “face did shine as the sun,” on the mountain. Jesus had promised the disciples that they would not see death until they “see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Matthew 16:28. And so this was a little sample of the wonderful “fiery glory” Jesus will have when He comes to this earth again. This glory is His love and the wicked will not be able to stand it. They will pray for the mountains and rocks to fall on them, which proves His glory does not kill them. Revelation 6:16.
And so what we are saying is that the life-giving fire of God brings death to the person who rejects it. Not that God kills him. Oh, no, not at all. The person turns away from God’s light and destroys himself. “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help.” Hosea 13:9. Judas is a prime example. He was not willing for Christ to cast the demon of greed out of him, so he sold his Lord for 30 pieces of silver and then went out and hanged himself. Matthew 27:5. He exchanged the fire of Christ’s soul cleansing love for the fire of guilt, regret and age-lasting remorse. That my friend, is the fate of everyone who refuses God’s life giving fire. You cannot ignore it, avoid it or resist it. It will either drive you to your knees at the foot of the cross or drive you to your grave as you wear yourself out trying to run away from it.
And did you know that God’s love is in His Ten Commandment law. Yes it is and that law is implanted and imbedded in the very heart and being of every created being in the universe, including Lucifer (now Satan) and all of his evil angels. Why even the people who have never been taught about God, whom the Bible calls “Gentiles,” have the law of God written in their hearts. The Bible tells us about it.
“For when the Gentiles who lack the Law do naturally practice it, they are for themselves a law, though they have none. They show that what the Law requires is written in their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their thoughts accuse or defend one another.” Romans 2:14-15, ML Version.
Yes, it is true. The law of God, His very own fiery law is built in to everyone of us and was built into Lucifer himself in the beginning. The Father has been taking the penalty of that law upon himself all this time so as to shield Lucifer and all of his demons from suffering and death.
In the Garden of Eden the most beautiful of all of God’s creation was chosen to be a medium by which to speak to Mother Eve to tell her that nothing was wrong with God’s creation. Ever since that fateful day the serpent has been the most degraded and despised, hated and feared creature in the animal kingdom. And yet, it was this very creature that became a symbol of God’s redemptive power in the desert with Israel when Satan brought his fiery serpents of death into the camp.
“And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived… And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Numbers 21:9; John 3:14, 15. My friend, that whosoever included Satan. That serpent showed how the Son of God was willing to go down to the very depths of sin and depravity … yes even to the pits of hell itself to include his beloved Lucifer, the first and highest angel he had ever created. When Jesus was nailed to that cross on Golgotha’s hill the eyes of the universe were drawn to Him. God was demonstrating his fiery love for all the universe to see. No one could avoid it. No one could escape it. Jesus’ very words were fulfilled by it.
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL (men) unto me.” John 12:32. The word, “men” is a supplied word and not in the original. Jesus said He would draw “all” to Him and that all included Satan and his evil angels. Yes, they were drawn there too. They were there watching, for Satan was there leading the Jews to kill their Creator. And Jesus never once lashed out at any of them with a hateful word or look or glance. He showed His unchanging, eternal character of love is stronger than hatred, malice and death, for after He was dead and buried, He rose again. And His chief angel saw it all, but never repented. But all of these facts are stored in Satan’s memory banks. He has been resisting them for centuries, yes millenniums now. And the more he resists these “fiery” reminders of God’s great love for him, the more hatred builds up in his heart or mind. This hatred is the “fire” that will burst forth on that great final day of “decision” (judgment) when the Father reaches out to His beloved older boy to rescue him from the fiery self-destruction Satan is leading all the lost to bring upon themselves. God the Father, through his Son will arrest them from this suicide mission to remind them of the Father’s great love. All of them will stand transfixed as they see in the heavens the history of God’s love story. They will all bow down and admit God is right and they are wrong. The original Greek indicates that this will be a true conversion experience. It has to be, otherwise, it could not “bring glory to God the Father” to God the Father as Phil 2:10, 11 predicts that it will. Furthermore, no one can say or confess “that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” I Cor 12:3. Repentance includes change and reformation and the proof that this happens is that they all eventually will drink of the water of life and go into the city.
Neither can any human being change his words, habits, thoughts and lifestyle in his own strength. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil?” Jer. 13:23. Jesus himself said, “without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5. But Paul said that through Christ he could do all things, Phil. 4:13.
Oh, how the Father’s and Son’s heart will be rejoicing as they see all the wicked lost outside the city bow and repent and change so they can join the rest of their brothers and sisters in the New Jerusalem. The fiery revelation of truth spoken of in Revelation 20:9, “and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them,” goes into even Satan’s heart and he bows with all the lost. Does he accept it? Not on the first invitation. At first he resists God’s love and all the hatred of the ages comes out. This leads him to his “death” for all the wicked are filled with the same hatred that motivates Satan and they all turn on him as he no doubt tries to convince them they can go ahead and take the city. Ezekiel 28:6-10 shows that the people will “kill” Satan by blaming him for all of their problems and loss, etc. His death will come from the midst of his own followers (who will turn on him) and his own fiery hatred in his heart. Ezekiel 15:7 is explained by Song of Solomon 8:6 and Isaiah 9:18. What we are talking about here is the destruction of the carnal nature. Satan means “one who opposes or is against.” The death and destruction of Satan is referring to that person or identity who has been an enemy of God. How does God destroy His enemies? By making them into His friends. And that is what will happen to Lucifer. Satan will die but Lucifer will be re-born in his original and renewed perfection and beauty. This will demonstrate the power and wisdom of God beyond any thing that has ever been done before. Rev. 15:1-4 proves this because it predicts all of God’s creatures will be praising Him together when they finally see the completion of His creation.
Revelation 20:7-15 gives a clear picture of the final consuming of all the wicked outside of the walls of the New Jerusalem. The wicked of all ages are raised up to see the final and full display of God’s eternal love. Do you think God is raising them up so he can make them suffer some more for their sins? Is that your idea of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ? Well, that is not the God that Jesus revealed in His beautiful life. Well, then why does God bring all the lost back to life? It is for the same reason that He has kept Lucifer and his angels alive for 6,000 years. He can’t stand to let them go. Listen to this mighty Creator sob His heart out. “Oh, how can I give you up, my Ephraim? How can I let you go? How can I forsake you like Admah and Zeboiim? My HEART CRIES OUT WITHIN ME; how I long to help you!” Hosea 11:8. Living Bible. This is the Father’s and Son’s cry as they see all the lost outside of the city.
The Psalmist tells us what a wonderful relationship he had with his own son Absalom. But, this Psalm I am going to share has another setting in heaven between the Father, Christ, His Son and Lucifer, his highest angel. Oh, how They loved him. “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against Me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.” Psalms 55:12-14.
Music is one of the main features in heaven. Ezekiel 28:13 tells us Lucifer had musical instruments built into him. Can’t you see the Father and the Son singing trios and duets with their number one angel? Job 38:7 And imagine all the council meetings and talks they must have had together. If you were a father and had a son and he grew up and went bad would you give up on him? Not if you were a true father. And that is human love. And suppose the son cursed you and slandered you. You would only know that your son was sick and needed help. You would try and get him the best help the medical profession provides. That’s human love. But let us suppose your son is put in prison on death row for murder and when you go to visit him to plead with him to give his heart to God he tells you he hates you and wants you to go away and leave him alone. Would you do it? Not if you really love your son. You would keep going back right up until the night of his execution. And even if he had rejected your love a thousand times before, you would still go that last night to make one last appeal. Your love for that boy is so great that you can’t stay away. And that is only human love. How much greater is DIVINE LOVE? Isaiah 49:15, 16 tells us that God’s love is greater than mother love which is often thought of as the highest form of love human beings can express.
It is almost impossible for most people to understand how God could love the devil, but He does. It is because we are so inclined to hate instead of to love. Nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to hate the devil. We are warned against his wiles and power to deceive, but I have never found a text that indicates I am to hate Satan. Jesus Himself even refused to “rail” or “accuse” Satan. Jude 9.
Jesus always treated Satan with dignity and respect. He even permitted Satan to carry Him up to the pinnacle of the temple, Matthew 4:5, so he could tempt Him to cast himself down to prove that the Father loved him enough to send an angel to catch him. I wonder what Jesus said to Lucifer when he was carrying Him up to the pinnacle of the temple and to the high mountain? Since Jesus is love I would imagine Jesus said, “Lucifer, I still love you. I want to help you. Won’t you let My Father and me help you to change so you can come back home to heaven with us?” The Jews also had a tradition that said the Messiah would stand on the roof of the holy place. If Christ would have called to the priests below and then when He had their attention jumped down while they watched, it would have been a most impressive sight. But Christ resisted this temptation and Satan left him.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:8 that “love never faileth.” The word “faileth” in the original means “to cast away or drop or fall away.” God is love and He never casts anyone away or falls away from anyone. Paul tells us that we should “covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” 1 Corinthians 12:31. The love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13 follows. This love that Paul is describing says that it “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” Verse 7. God the Father never stops hoping that His prodigal son, Lucifer, will come home.
This love is the kind of love God wants us to have. This is the love Jesus prayed would be in us as He poured out his soul in Gethsamne. He actually sweat blood there resisting sin, Hebrews 12:4. “I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:26. RSV.
WHAT IS THE LAKE OF FIRE?
And so the choice is ours, my friend. We can be inside loving everyone or outside hating and cursing everyone. That will truly be a “lake of fire” outside of the city as all the wicked begin turning on each other, blaming each other for being lost. Revelation 17:15 tells us that people represent or symbolize water. A lake is a body of water, therefore that lake of fire could represent all the lost outside of the golden gates of New Jerusalem turning the world into a blazing inferno with their words and actions. “So the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is afire – The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature, and set on fire by hell.” James 3:5-6.
And that is exactly what is going to happen. God is preserving this earth and its atmospheric heavens from blazing into a deadly inferno that would destroy every human being on planet earth right now today, 2 Pet. 3:7. But after the 1,000 years Satan will have complete control of the wicked and will inspire them to create weapons of destruction that will make today’s arsenals look like cap guns and fire crackers in comparison.* I want to be safe inside the city, not on the outside when that day comes. It is the Father’s will for all of us to be inside the city with Him. The suffering the wicked will have to endure in this age and the age to come, after the 1,000 years, will be terrible. But it will be neccessary to bring them to repentance because He does not want one single angel or person to perish, in this age or the age to come. The choice is up to us. I want to choose life. What about you? Jesus is that life.
*Even though the wicked will be permitted to manufacture these weapons of mass destruction, the Lord will not allow them to be used. See Psalm 7:13 and Psalm 21:11. “For they intended evil against thee; they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform.” After they view the movie in the sky they will all bow down, drop their weapons and repent and confess. Phil. 2:6-11.