The interconnectedness of the biosphere expands the consequences of humanity’s fallen nature to the earth itself.
“The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word…The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.” (Isa 24:3-6, 19-20)
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven [don’t forget this means angels as well as lights in the sky] fell unto the earth…and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man...said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? [It’s at this point that Antichrist offers himself as an alternative to kneeling before Messiah/Christ.] (Rev 6:12-13)
Sounds like a black hole.
Heavy stuff. This is where most people choose to reject the Bible on the basis of “A good God wouldn’t send anyone to hell.” Admittedly, the idea of burning for eternity is absolutely horrible. That doesn’t mean it’s not true. The easiest way we can understand God is to put ourselves in his place. Do you have children? We’re not talking about damnation over breaking some arbitrary rules against feeling good. Can you imagine watching your beloved children suffer at the hands of evil people? What punishment is appropriate for someone who deceived most of your children into hating you and running away from you in order to betray and trap them into a lifetime of misery and eternity separated from you, while torturing and murdering as many of your faithful children as he can? The attached clip from Game of Thrones shows scenes of horrific cruelty. I don’t recommend you watch it, but if you do,you can always click off. Unlike the millions of real life victims of persecution.
The God of the Bible is not a wuss. His war banner reads “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” His fight is with Satan and his angels, but he will take down anyone who joins them.
Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
- This goes back to: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth…Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out.” (Rev 3:11-12) The concept of being “kept” goes back to Yeshua’s prayer for his disciples on the night he was betrayed. They all suffered tribulation and most were martyred, so this can’t mean “raptured out of the Great Tribulation” as is often taught.”In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world …And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, [Why? So they don’t suffer? No! The Father had to abandon his son to suffering, and Yeshua had to suffer torture and death. Being “kept” means being guarded from giving up faith in God in the face of personal suffering.] that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (Joh 16:33, 17:11-12)
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep / inactivated, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (I Thessalonians 4:13-17)
“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit…The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we [those of us who have joined identity with YHWH’s Promised Savior Jesus Christ] shall also bear the image of the heavenly…flesh and blood cannot the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep / die physically, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (I Corinthians 15:40-52)
“And when he had opened the seventh seal...I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets…and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake…
- The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
- And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea:
- and the third part of the sea became blood;
- And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died;
- and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
- And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
- And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
- And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit…And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth…And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
- And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, [i.e. a specific appointment time] for to slay the third part of men. (Revelation 8-9)
- “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever…And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: (Revelation 11:16-19)
And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
And I saw…them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying…all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matt 25:41)
Notice the categories of beings listed in John’s vision of heaven described in Revelation chapters 4-5,7,20-21.
- Almighty God: a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
- Human elders who rule with The Consecrated One/Messiah/Christ: And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold…And they sung a new song, saying…thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
- Humans from every nation who remain faithful despite persecution: …an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel [this works out to be about 1% of the current world’s population of Jews, or about 50% of the current world’s population of Messianic Jews] and…a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb…These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
- Sons of God: He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
- Spirits: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
- Holy Beasts, i.e. living beings who don’t fall into a known (by humans) category of creature, identified by features “like” and “as” known beings: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind…And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him…and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
- And the first beast was like a lion,
- and the second beast like a calf,
- and the third beast had a face as a man,
- and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
- Messiah, the sacrifical Lamb, the star of this event: in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain…the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb
- Heavenly angels: And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
- Dead individuals from the sea and hell: …And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works…
- The unholy beast (describing another one of those unknown creatures), always paired with the human false prophet: And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
- The devil: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
- The unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death…
- And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
So who goes to hell? The short list includes the devil, for sure, also the enigmatic “beast”, the false prophet, the abominable, and, to sum it up, “whosoever was not found written in the book of life.” How do we make sure we are written in the book of life? What is this book of life?
According to the following psalm describing the development of a human embryo, God keeps a register, a log book of all human beings ever conceived. An aside note – if we take our convictions from the Bible, then this establishes that life begins at conception.
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psa 139:14-16)
From Moses we learn that that God will blot out, from this book, the names of people who have sinned grievously against him. This would account for individuals who are “not found written in the book of life.”
“And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” (Ex 32:31-33)
Centuries later, in the letters written to the congregations that were under great pressure to forsake Messianic Judaism (or nascent Christianity depending on your viewpoint), we find the same potential to be blotted out of the book of life.
“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write…I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead…He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Rev 3:1,5)
The threat of being blotted out of the book of life gives us to understand that the members of the Sardis congregation were in the same set of circumstances as the members of Moses’ congregation. Both groups had not yet overcome the obstacles to resisting the lures of lies in order to believe the hard truth spoken by Lord Yeshua Messiah. Both groups had yet to decide whether to 1) surrender to an easier life in allied to, i.e. in slavery to, the gods of this world, or 2) take up the fight for reclaiming our territory.
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God…lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Messiah/Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end…And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Heb 3:12-19)
The apostle Paul relates his willingness, like Moses, to be accursed – sacrifice his eternal destiny which would involved being blotted out of the book of life – to save his beloved people.
“I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Messiah/Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites…(Ro 9:2-4)
However, neither one of those men, nor any regular human, can trade places with another. There is only one, the man Yahweh’s Chosen Savior/Messiah Yeshua/Christ Jesus. In the following passage referencing the book of life, notice the lack of boundaries between two authors – David as a sinful human and the sinless Consecrated One/Messiah/Christ, confirmed as such in later references. This is a poetic means of demonstrating David’s merged identity with Messiah, made possible because Messiah took on David’s human identity.
“Save me, O God…I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me…They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children…But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation…And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink…Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents…Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.” (Psa 69:1-29)
Here we find that there is not only the book of the living in which are written the names of all humans born into this physical dimension and from which the names can be blotted out, there is also a second book in which are written the names of the righteous who are born again into the spiritual dimension. In context, the righteous are those who acknowledge their need for a savior/Yeshua/Jesus and put their trust in The Consecrated One/Messiah/Christ’s atoning sacrifice for sin.
“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Ro 4:3)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Joh 3:16)
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:4-9)
The general life book lists those individuals who came to life physically, die a physical death, and are resurrected to face an accounting for their actions while alive. Interestingly, the Egyptian Book of the Dead describes this same fate.
Does this include hybrid human/angels? I don’t know, but a bigger problem is that no-one can face God and claim to be righteous on the basis of their own works.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Ro 3:10-14)