Saturday, December 5, 2015

"Counting Time — Measuring Distance"

By Charles Wheeling

Words can often play tricks on the mind.  When you use the word “distance,” you usually think of something way out yonder.  But that’s not necessarily true.  Two ends of a one-foot ruler are separated by distance.  Modern science asserts that time equals space, and space equals time.

Let’s kick off with the idea of an equation:

An equation is the idea in reality that whatever is on one side of the equals mark is the same as, or equal to, what's on the other side — if it's a true equation.

The Bible, from cover to cover, uses an equation.  Whether you want to talk about an hour, a day, a month, a year, or a thousand years, this important equation comes into play.  We find God using a lot of stretch words when he talks to us through the prophets about this equation.

“When ye therefore shall come into the land ….”

There's the “when” and there's the stretch.  In other words, you're not there yet; it’s going to happen.

“Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.”

We’re not there yet; there's a stretch.  But it’s still the same equation.

A few years ago we had a big to-do all over the planet about the Mayan Calendar, and the end of the world coming on December 21.  The Mayans never said it's going to be the end of the world.  That was just Hollywood garbage; newspaper-headline garbage.  What the Mayans did say was that the earth and the sky above us would enter into a Fifth Heaven.  Well, the time, according to the Mayans, has come and gone.  The “stretch” arrived on December 21, 2012.  We’re not talking about the Heaven where God lives; we’re talking about the sky we can see when we look up.  And I’m not interested in proving the change; I’m interested in understanding why people engage in the idea … and why God engages in it.

Let’s ask this: if there's a Fifth Heaven, will there be a Sixth Heaven?

The answer, of course, is yes … when God shakes the heavens and the earth, and changes the times and the seasons.  I believe that, prophetically, we are on the way to the Sixth Heaven.  Right now we’re not going to relate it to salvation, only to time and circumstance.

According to the Mayans, on December 21 of 2012 earth and the skies above us entered into the Fifth Heaven, the fifth change, the fifth clock … the fifth something.  Prophetically speaking, in Old Testament and New Testament, we’re headed for a change in the earth and the heavens.  We're talking about big change, in the moon, the sun and the planets.  And if you change the measurement, just by a fraction, between the planets, you end up changing the entire calendar.  Even the smallest change will affect the clock.  In the past it appears that the flood was one of those changes; something happened in the sky that changed the clock.  And when the clock got changed … we got hit.

Whatever has changed in the sky is causing a whole lot more craziness.  And it’s no good to say, “Well, we’ve always had crazy.”  Things have changed.  More people are going crazy in public places.  Crazy dyes its hair pink and goes to the movie theater at midnight, then shoots as many people as appear at the end of the gun.  This is happening everywhere; it’s multiplying, not just in America — the entire globe is going crazy.  We're watching the same developments on this rock that were there before the flood and shortly thereafter at the Tower of Babel — confusion! 

In reality we live amid an ever-shifting, ever-changing earth, and an ever-changing sky above.

The Creation we live in is all very complex.  The earth is spinning.  The moon is going around the earth.  The earth and moon are going around the sun.  The earth, moon and sun are going around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.  In our own solar system there are other planets that line up at various angles.  It takes an array of super-computers just to sort all this out, and to keep our minds on an even keel.  People on earth are walking around doing their Walmart shopping, and they pay no attention to any of this … but they’re all affected by all of it.  Everything down here is affected by everything out there. 

God, through the prophets, refers constantly to “The fullness of time,” “Times and seasons.”  What are these cycles all about?  We’ve got long cycles: years.  We’ve got short cycles: days and weeks (though weeks are not astronomical).  We’ve got months.  We’ve got a fifty-year Jubilee, which might eventually line up with some astronomical event which we don’t yet recognize.  It may be seen one day that something astronomical happens in that fiftieth year.  We ought not be surprised at such a notion; every seventy-six years Halley’s Comet appears for a short time in our sky as it speeds through its cycle.

Count backward from where we are now to the day of either the birth of Jesus, or the day of His leaving, and continue counting back and back; we know that something grand and awful happened at the flood that affected everything on the rock, and we have very good reason to believe that after the flood there were other grand and great events in the heavens that impacted our earth.

Is it possible that the whole scenario of the Sanctuary, the Bible, the ongoing “time,” is all very natural?

By that I mean to say that we are absolutely too small to see the big picture; we don’t live long enough to play the whole game.  But God does see the big picture.  He does live long enough to see the end from the beginning.  

Pentecost is measured time.  Through Jesus, God says to the disciples, “Wait here until you receive the promise of the Father.”  The Father knew what day that was going to occur.  The disciples didn’t know the day it was going to happen.  “After that ye shall have received power …” or energy.  They were to receive power … energy.  Zapp!  And they got it … every which way.  Something lined up which affected the crowds, as well as the disciples.  It affected the disciples first because they were praying to be affected.  They were aligning themselves with the alignment.

God knows these moments of alignment; they are very real, and God knows exactly when they are, and when the astronomical wires get connected.  I see the end of the world as either when all the wires are connected, or all the wires are disconnected — one or the other.  Could even both be true?  Perhaps some folk, because they anticipate the time, the moment, or the event, put themselves in alignment with it and the Spirit flows through them.  God's energy will flow through them and they will blessed by it.  At the same time, though, that same energy flows through other people and they just get fried by it.

Every day, year, century and millennium that goes by shouts to us that God is an observer of the times; He knows when things are going to come together.  Jesus told the disciples in Acts Chapter 1 that God has the times and the seasons in His own hands.  That means that all God has to do is speak, and He can change the clock.  It looks to me like, at the end, everything is aligned for evil.  Everything will be bad, not only for the human beings that are here, but it will be bad for the evil spirits that are here.  These evil spirits have been captive in the pit, but they’ll be let out a little while to do their dirty work, then they’re going back into captivity for 1,000 years and then they'll be loosed a little season, whatever “a little season” is — two days, two weeks, two months, two years.  Evidently there's enough time allotted that Satan can go out to the nations and sell them his wonderful plan … again, and get them all to march from wherever they are on the rock to wherever the city is.

The Scripture says the whole creation groaneth and travaileth.

Our world is not even a corner, not even a speck, in the grand tapestry.  The whole creation groans and travails, awaiting the day of deliverance.  Meanwhile, sin is a pox on the house; a disease draining good energy from everything and everybody out there, in order to feed its evil self. 

God knows how long it's going to take until He intervenes, interrupts and interferes in order to save as many as can be saved in that present moment.  A lot of folk have already lived and are dead; for them the resurrection morning hasn't come yet.  We’re talking about the moment when everything that can go wrong … goes wrong.  But when everything goes wrong for some, everything, for some others, begins to go right.  God will demonstrate that He is the Master of time and space, He's the One that created it.  It exists by, in and through Him.

It looks to me like there is a Pentecost to come before the clock runs out.  Power from God will flow through people who choose to align themselves according to the time.  The Scripture says, “Ye know not what hour … watch therefore and pray.”  Timing appears to be everything.  Those who make their own willful choices to align themselves with God's call can receive this energy, this Latter Rain, Holy Spirit energy. 

What about the rest of the folk who didn't know it was time?

How are they going to be energized by the Holy Spirit?  I believe it’s because the first choice was a willful choice.  The final choice coincides with a true alignment, a true time, a true filling full.  At that last time the power is going to be available to everyone.  Jesus said again and again that every kindred, tongue, nation and people has to hear.  We have all kinds of ways to communicate information, but alone these ways are not enough.  Everyone hasn’t heard yet because the power has not yet been available; the time has not yet come; the deed is not yet done.  God knows when that time is coming.  God knows when the heavens speak, and He understands the language and the math.

All of this is of great significance to Adventist Christians.  Daniel Chapter 4 portrays King Nebuchadnezzar going about his business in his attitude of egotistical “Me, Myself and I.”  The Scripture goes on to portray a watcher and a holy one … who is watching what’s going on down here and what’s going on up there.  When the watched-for time comes there is a command issued in heaven by the watcher and holy one, who by the way is no ordinary man, person or angel.  This watcher is one that knows the time, the hour, and the day.  The holy one orders the tree cut down, and shortly thereafter Nebuchadnezzar loses his mind.  No one else loses their mind to the same degree because they weren’t in the way and interfering with God’s plans.  If you or I are standing in the way of Heaven’s business, God has a way of taking care of business.  It was great mercy on the part of heaven not to totally get rid of Nebuchadnezzar, or just let him go completely crazy. 

No, Nebuchadnezzar was humbled, put out in the field with the rest of the livestock, and left to eat grass for … 7 years — there's that time and space again.  At the end of Chapter 4 Nebuchadnezzar looks up and praises God; there’s a new vista.  He knew the God of heaven was to be praised.

It appears to me that we're not just approaching the end, which would be the Seventh Heaven, but there's a time before it during which we should be looking, we should be expecting.  God, through the prophets, is telling us that there’s at least seven years before this event.  I believe Daniel and The Revelation are among the most valuable writings in the whole book; they are unlike the others in that God counts days and tells you how many days until …. 

In the fourth chapter of Daniel we have time and distance, because the Lord is coming at the end of the process; at the end of this last seven years. 

The coming of the Lord is the capstone of the whole prophetic structure.

The Scripture says at that time the sun is going to turn black.  We might wonder how that can happen.  Cosmologically-speaking it could happen in several different ways.  Before this year's over we’re going to have a solar eclipse, which means, at least briefly, the sun is going to turn black.  Many people who are interested in prophecy read about the events at the end, and they say the blackness will be caused by a solar eclipse.  I believe there will be a solar eclipse; I also believe there will be a lunar eclipse; and not just any lunar eclipse, but a blood moon.  There are other possibilities to consider: there are vast clouds of dust and gas in every known galactic system.  Our earth is part of a galactic system called the Milky Way Galaxy.  If a sun should live long enough, and move far enough in the system, it’s going to pass behind or through some of these immense clouds of dust and gas.  Light doesn’t penetrate these clouds; the blackness is as the blackness of sackcloth.  In whatever fashion, our sun is going to gather blackness.

The Scripture several times talks about the coming of the Lord as from the east, from the rising of the sun.  It’s possible that Jesus is going to approach the earth from behind the sun, and is not seen or recognized until the last few moments (prophetically speaking).  Ellen White speaks of the coming of the Lord as beginning as a small, black cloud.  As He draws near the earth, with all the saints amassed, and all that energy and power collected in such a small space, is it possible that the energy and power is so great that it temporarily sucks the light out of the sun? 

You have to wonder what all this would mean spiritually.

If a physical body as great … as energetic … as powerful and as hot and bright as the sun goes black in God’s presence, what could that possibly mean to us spiritually speaking?  There is no light that outshines Him.  There is no energy greater than His; no one greater than Himself.  I believe Ellen White had it exactly right.  With her impossible three grades of education in the early 1800s, she talks about the coming of Jesus in the clouds of heaven — the brightest most glorious event ever known in the history of this rock — as like a little black cloud, that, “As He drew nearer the earth the cloud became bright and overall glorious, and we could hear the angels singing.”

There was a darkened sun while Jesus was hanging on the cross about the sixth hour to the ninth hour.  Now, that was the ultimate solar eclipse.

When God says the “fullness of time was come,” it’s not just chitter chatter; He’s not just trying to fill space on the page.  God is the Master of Creation, and what He created was time and space.  Time with nothing in it is boring.  Space with nothing in it is beyond boring.  God created time and space and immediately began to fill it.  It’s possible that the principle stated in the Garden holds true all the way along the path of Creation: “Be fruitful and multiply.”

God did not create the heavens and the earth without purpose, without a plan.  Sin has interrupted God's plan, and from our perspective the devil has almost won.  “The meek shall inherit the earth.”  But not this earth; no one wants to inherit this rock the way it is.  That would be a nightmare — not a promise.  New heavens and a new earth, wherein the former things are passed away; I'll take that, and so will you.  Can you even put a price on what it cost God to get it back? and to get us back?  He could have said, “Blow them away and let's start again.”

To try and define or describe God is a lost cause.

Shall we say God is a ball of energy?  How ridiculous is that?  Energy flows from him to everything that exists.  But God is not just energy.  God creates, but then He also upholds what He creates.  That’s a marvelous thought.  I build a house and move into it, and everything’s sparkling and new.  But in fifteen years I’ve got to paint it again, and again; eventually I’ll need a new roof.  In thirty years, when the mortgage is paid, I’ll have to put a match to it and start all over again.  But this will not be true of the world to come.  When the universe is perfect again, with a perfect heaven, a perfect earth, and perfect people, at that time supreme energy — love — is going to flow out from God uninterrupted by sin.

Let’s for a moment talk about families.  Suppose you and I live 70 or 80 years down here, then suppose we have children, then suppose we lose a child before we ourselves pass away.  Do we cry?  Do we weep?  Do we experience pain?  We sometimes say, “Lord, why didn’t you let me die instead of my child?”  We sometimes say, “If I can’t have my children or my wife or my whatever, then just let me die.”  Some people, out of absolute despair, commit suicide.  But what about angels?  Angels are not blood kin to other angels; they're not married kin to other angels.  But there's obviously some kind of kinship, some connection between them.  There are families, called orders: cherubim, seraphim. 

There have been several thousand years, maybe a few million years, that angels have existed.

Angels are family, they love God, and they love one another.  When this rebellion breaks out kin start cursing kin to their faces.  Words are heard: “You know not to trust Him; He's just out for self; you're letting us all down.”  At the end of the fights those angels who remained faithful to God are still grieving over the fact that their family, their kin … are gone.  We have this picture in our minds of the end of the Millennium: we see the City of God; the saved, ransomed and redeemed are inside the City.  On the outside of the City are not just bad angels; outside are people who are kin to us.  It’s going to be painful to be on the inside watching people you have known and loved in this life who are on the outside.  Angels have never experienced death … yet.  Those angels who lost loved ones in the angelic order are going to be standing there watching for their own family.  And not until the end of all this process is the last tear wiped away.  I don't think any of us are able to even begin to comprehend the pain that sin has brought to the heart of God.  Angels are going to weep.  Angels are going to burn.  People are going to weep, and people are going to burn. 

God will not be dispassionate through the end of this horrible mess.  God is not going to shrug His shoulders saying, “Well, I tried to tell them, but they wouldn't listen.”  No, not at all.  Just like us, God is not looking forward to that day.

By God’s good grace we have an opportunity to be on the inside of the City.  Only to that end do we look forward.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

"Captivity Is Coming — for Some"

By Charles Wheeling

Life as we call it on this planet is very strange.  There's not a sensible person anywhere who would plan life the way it is carried out on this rock, if in fact they had a chance to plan it.  Nobody would plan it this way.  Whether because of pain and anguish … or trouble.  If you had your choice in the matter, you would not plan to have trouble, or pain.  I don't believe this is God's plan; I believe it's the byproduct of the sin problem.  

We are caught up in this mess.  And the pain is physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. In order to survive we have to invent escape mechanisms: if you’ve got bodily pain, you have to invent a pain pill.  If you have emotional pain, you have to invent an emotional pain pill.  You must find some way to blunt the reality of life, as we call it. 

It's interesting to me that if you go to China, and you see a mother with her dead baby lying by her side, the mother is crying.  Same thing if you go to Africa.  If you come to America and see the same scene, the mother is crying.  It appears that we all share the same sensitivity to pain.  We all have different ways of dealing with it, different escape mechanisms. 

Religion is a wonderful way for many to get a handle on the emotional and spiritual pain of life: “My child is not dead; she's gone to heaven.”  Ask the question: “Is she going to remain a child until you get there?"  "Will she remain a child forever?”  These are the questions that should be asked.  But those kinds of questions are not asked or pursued.   If the dead child has gone to heaven, why are the mothers crying?  Pain does not cause rational thinking.  Pain itself is unreasonable, therefore the escapes that we invent are unreasonable.  And that seems to make it okay for us to invent unreasonable escape mechanisms.

Even as a youth in the Baptist faith I had problems with the idea that, “If it’s the will of God that the tree falls on you, then it’s the will of God — the tree’s going to fall on you.”  I have problems with that kind of thinking.  In other words, nothing can happen to you, or will happen to you, except it’s the will of God. 

Pain produces strange and bizarre reactions, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional or spiritual; it matters not.  If bodily pain is so unbearably painful, the mind and psyche — in order to survive — must produce some way of blunting the pain.  “my child is not dead!”  “My husband’s not dead; he's in heaven.”  “Everything's okay.  Besides that, it was the will of God.”

Let’s take our thinking back a couple of thousand years to the Roman Empire:

Christianity did not have a choice as to when it would be born.  Obviously it could not be born before Jesus came as a man, and when Jesus did come as a man, Christianity was born.  Christianity was a burr under the saddle of Judaism.  Christianity was a pain, and a way had to be found of dealing with the pain.  Jesus was a pain to their thinking; He was a pain to their theology.  He was a pain!  Even though He was doing wonderful things, it was those deeply spiritual, theological issues that mattered most to the religious leaders.  And they do matter most.  That's why Jesus was paining them … because they were incorrect.  But being incorrect is painful … so we can't be incorrect.  We’ve got to get rid of Him who is the source of the pain.  “It’s better that one man should die, than that we all should perish.”  That’s reasonable thinking.  We cannot study Jesus and His activities and His sermons, and say He didn't know what He was doing.  He knew exactly what He was doing.  He knew He was stirring the pot.  He knew it … but He didn't stop it.  He didn’t stop because 1,800 and 2,000 years of Judaism had not brought the people to a safe, sound, correct position in their thinking of God and their relationship with God. 

For reasons that I attribute to Heaven as much to the people of Jesus’ day, they came to the conclusion that works were salvation.  If you keep every point of the Law, then you’re going to Heaven.  Jesus brought that point up with the rich young ruler, who asked Jesus,

“What can I do?”

“You know the Law.”

“I've kept all that!”

And I don't even question the veracity of that claim.

“I’ve done all that!”

Jesus responded to the rich, young ruler that the works of the Law — necessary and good as they may be — do not save your soul.  This is an enigma; it’s a problem that doesn't make sense.  If I do a bad work, I can be lost; but if I do a good work, I can't be saved.  That's not reasonable, and the entire human family sees that it’s unreasonable … so they ignore it.  Almost the entire human family who expect to be saved, practice a form of works for salvation.

As far as the people were concerned, Christianity was born at an "inconvenient time."  But the Scripture says it was in the “fullness of time” that God sent Jesus.  It was inconvenient because of the Romans, and it was inconvenient because of the Jews.  But Christianity was born when God wanted it to be born.   Christianity, as an expansion of Judaism, was inconvenient for the people.  And if it was inconvenient for the people, it was inconvenient for God.

Jesus invited people to follow Him, to be His disciples.  The word disciple is where the word discipline comes from.  In other words, we’ve got to discipline ourselves.  What is it about us that has to be disciplined?   We’ve got to put away sin in our lives.  We must discipline ourselves to endure pain and trial.  Pain and trial?  That's a different story.   My whole object in life is often to avoid pain.  That's the sermon Jesus is not preaching.  He doesn’t say, “If you follow me you'll avoid pain.”  Far from it; He says, “If you follow Me you can expect pain.”   

Within 30 to 60 years of Jesus, Peter, James and Paul there were thousands of Christians.  Christianity was spreading.  And just like Christianity within Judaism was not appreciated, Christianity within Romanism was despised.  Within a few brief years of Paul's beheading and Peter's crucifixion thousands of Christians are thrown to the lions.  Whole families: husbands and wives with their children were thrown to the lions, to the applause, laughter and glee of countless thousands in the bleachers of the arenas.  There were millions of Christians back then, today and everywhere in between, who believe it was the will of God for those people to be thrown to the lions.  “God wills it,” say the Christians.  “Allah wills it,” say the Muslims.  And I don't buy it, not in the Baptist Church, not in the Adventist church, and I don’t buy it in the history books.  I simply don't buy it.  I think they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Can it surely be that simple?  It's that simple.  People cannot choose where they are to be born, when they are going to live.  We cannot choose the circumstances that are going to surround us when we are to be born.  We’re just here. 

“Well, it’s the will of God!”

Honestly, I don't believe that.  I don't believe the circumstances that haunt you and me down here were ever the will of God — ever.  I think that we are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  You can reason positively and say, “No, we’re here at the right time.”  And you’re free to think that way if you choose.

Let’s consider Scripture:

Revelation 13, verse 9 counsels us that if any man have an ear he’d better listen up.  Somebody is calling someone’s attention to something.  “If any man have an ear, let him hear.  He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity.”  Think of this in the context of Revelation 13: the Mark of the Beast … you can't fight city hall.  Who's going to lead into captivity?  The Beast System … the Little Horn … the Woman — all of them conspiring together to get rid of you, me and anybody that doesn't go along with the plan.   If you and I are there when that happens we’ll be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Look at the phrase again: “He that leadeth into captivity ….” — that's an action taking place — “shall go into captivity ….” — that's an action yet to take place.  While he's leading into captivity folks are being burned at the stake; their houses are torched while they and their families are sleeping at night; they’re rounded up and beheaded publicly.

“This is the will of God!”

I don't believe that at all.  They are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  But ask the question: does God have any responsibility in this matter?  Expand the question: were warnings given through Jesus Himself to the early Christian church that when you see Jerusalem surrounded with armies … Run!?  Why didn’t He tell them it’s the will of God that you stand there and be brave, and make a demonstration?  He didn’t say that at all, did He?  He told them to run for it … don't even go get your umbrella or your coat — run!

If you read the Gospels carefully you will see that Jesus was brought to the point several times in His ministry where His life was threatened … prematurely.  We know He was here to die, but not before the time.  Do you and I have a time to die?  If you’re a Baptist, then, yes, you’ve got a time to die.  This view paints a very ugly picture of God, wouldn’t you say?  God is pictured in Heaven making the declaration that you will live till this hour, this minute, this day, and then you’re going to get it.  I honestly pray that this is not a true picture of God at all.

Let’s look again:

“He that leadeth into captivity 'shall' go ….” “shall” is future tense.  In other words, someone is going into captivity, before the “captivator” goes into captivity.  “He that killeth with the sword … must be killed with the sword.”  There’s a time coming when somebody is going to be killed with the sword … before the killer with the sword is killed.

“Here is the patience and faith of the saints.”

If you get caught in the big cities, and the cordon is put up, and you can’t get out, then you’d better have the patience and faith of the saints … that's all I have to say;  Because you did not understand that it was not the will of God for you to stay there.

You can say all you want: “God will take care of me!”

If there is any such thing as luck, well … good luck.

If you're going to avoid the trouble that is on the way, you're going to have to make difficult, painful decisions — before the fact … not when the fact arrives.  That upsets families.  That upsets paychecks.  That upsets kids.  “My friends are here,” we say.  Yes, it’s painful.  But do you want a little pain now … or a whole lot of pain later?  We’re all going to experience pain down here; but reasonably, sensibly, logically, we should avoid as much pain as possible, as often as possible; and the “as possible” is important.

All these mature leaders in Islam tell all these other young folks to blow themselves up.  Why don't these Islamic elders blow themselves up first?  They’ll tell you it’s important that they stay here and tell everyone else to blow themselves up.  None of this makes any sense.  Life here makes no sense.  The human condition here makes no sense.  It makes no sense because it is not God's plan.  I believe God works through it and around it; but this was never God's plan.  Just like you and I have to work around it, God is having to work around it.  I might live 70 or 80 years and have to put up with it.  But, unfortunately, God has to put up with it far longer than that.  I'm trying to look at this mess, not just through human eyes, but through Heaven's eyes, and see that this was never God's plan.

Listen to it again:

“If any man have an ear, let him hear.  He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.  Here is the patience and faith of the saints.”

I believe — if we can know the danger ahead of time — that it is the will of God that we get out of Dodge.  I don’t believe God is glorified because we throw ourselves to the lions.  I believe there is a practical side to religion and spirituality.  If I can live longer, I think I should.  I believe that is how we were created … to want to live, and not want to die.

So, what do we do with Revelation 12:11:

“And they loved not their lives unto to the death”?

This verse is speaking of people like the disciples — maybe like us — who are caught by the circumstances of the day.  They are going to have the patience and faith of the saints.  All they can conclude is that God knows where they are, and if he wants them to be saved out of it, He will save them.  That’s the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and Daniel in the lions’ den.  Daniel didn't go out of his way to make sure the shades were up while he was saying his prayers; he wasn’t sure to pray loud enough that he could be heard all through the house.  He had no intention of being thrown into the lions’ den.  I don't believe the three worthies told each other to stand up, so we can burn up.  I believe time and circumstance caught up with them, and they couldn’t run anywhere.

We're coming to the end of the world.  But is it because God has said, “I have declared that there shall be no more time”?  Or is it because of time and circumstance, and because the powers of heaven are shaking, and because it's payday?  Judgment Day?  It is the end of the rock; and since we live on the rock and we’re part of the rock, we’re going to get caught up in whatever is coming.

I have come to believe and understand, that the Bible is written by human beings who believe God sent the flood, and that there could not be a flood unless God made it happen.  I personally believe that if sin had not flooded the planet before the flood of water, and all the circumstances were pointing to the flood coming, I believe God could have spoken and moved whatever out of the way and prevented the Great Deluge; the same way He spoke to the clouds and the waves, and told them to stop … be still and go away.  God is caught up in this chain of circumstances as well, though not of His own making; someone else is making and doing.  And here we are caught in this trap.  We, too, are in this prison.

By the way, had God stopped the flood that drowned the world in Noah's day, the intelligent universe would not have seen what sin produces … what the byproducts of sin are … and what the end result of sin is.  Evidently there's an end product of sin that the world has not yet seen.  Daniel 12:1 is all about a time of trouble such as never was.  There's something coming on this rock that nobody, in all the centuries and millennia before us, has ever seen.

If you're watching the news; if you're reading the news; if you know anything about recorded history, or about present history being written, you would have to be blind to not see that a storm is coming relentless in its fury.  Ellen White spoke of a dream she had; she said she looked around the morning after a storm had gone through in the night, and everything had been swept away.  There was nothing left.

You don’t have a while to think about this.  Your while time is over.  What these verses are saying to you is “Do or die;” when this time comes don't be in the way, because it's going to happen; It’s coming — quickly.

Amen, and Amen ….

Friday, September 18, 2015

"Here Comes the Beast!"

By Charles Wheeling

At its January, 2010 annual WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM in Davos, Switzerland, many nations, including the United States, signed AN AGREEMENT TO REFORM THE IMF CAPITAL STRUCTURE.

As a follow up, it would be necessary for the U.S. Congress to vote and ratify that agreement — so far they have refused to sign this agreement, even to this date!  Why?

At present, the U.S., as the largest contributor to the IMF, holds 17.69% voting power, granting the U.S. veto power over IMF decisions.

In 2010, the world said to the U.S., “Get out of the way or we will get you out of the way!”  Because the U.S. has steadfastly refused to surrender its veto power and keep the 2010 IMF Reform Agreement, the BRICS was formed and 120+ nations have since joined this new alternative to the IMF.

In November 2014, In order to further pressure the U.S. Congress — pressure which had been increasing since 2010 — the IMF secretly bribed U.S. Congressional members by allowing them and their families to purchase certain foreign currencies (soon to be released and revalued), and exchange them (ahead of U.S. citizens) for hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars. This bribe/favor was accomplished as IMF granted SDRs (Special Drawing Rights); then U.S. banks would issue favored persons SKRs (Safe Keeping Receipts), used as collateral for $ loans.

The Global Currency Reset (GCR) has been withheld to date, to punish the US economy and coerce Congress to sign the 2010 agreement.  This power-play refusal on the part of the U.S. (Congress) and the IMF, has literally brought the entire world economy to THE BRINK OF ECONOMIC MELT-DOWN!

Now the Pope is coming to the U.S. September 22, 23, to, I BELIEVE, pressure the U.S. Congress to sign this “Death to America Agreement;” I believe he will succeed and we (Congress) will accede (Surrender)!!

Then we should expect the Pope to announce this “Good News” to the whole world (via the United Nations) and the IMF will push the GCR button before September 30.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

"A Little While Lower"

by Charles Wheeling

From time to time somebody writes what they believe is an intellectually, factually correct document to straighten out the rest of us on the planet.  This week I received one of these documents, which tries to tell me that it is just not possible for non-intellectuals to understand what the Bible is really saying, because non-intellectuals don't read it in Hebrew and Aramaic, and don't interpret it in Hebrew and Aramaic.  I can get a few paragraphs into it, but before long I see red, and can't see anything else.   

Let’s ask the question right off: Did the people who understood Hebrew and Aramaic murder Jesus?  The Day of Pentecost illustrated that God is no respecter of persons … or language!  It's ridiculous to paint a picture of God as though He loves only Christians or Jews, and hates and detests everybody else, and wants nothing to do with them.  Denominationalism contributes to this kind of ridiculous thinking.   

For a few minutes here let’s think about how God made us at a different time than He made the Angels.

I'm in Hebrews Chapter 2, beginning with Verse 5:

“Unto the Angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.”

For the word “subjection” the Greek also offers “submission.”  In the beginning of the Bible God made everything, then made Adam and put him at the head of it all; everything subject to Adam.

“But one in a certain place testified saying, What is man that thou art mindful of him? or the Son of Man, that thou visitest him.”

In other words, what are we?  We’re just made of dirt.  How are we worthy of God paying any attention to us at all?  Why come to visit us in the Garden?  Why converse with us and tell us He’s turning all of this over to Adam?

“Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands.  Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.  For in that he put all in subjection under him ….”

The word “subjection” in verse 8, in the Greek, is in agreement  with “a little lower;” “submissive;” “subjection.”

“But now we see not yet all things put under him.”

In other words, things started out with a plan.  Man was to be Lord and King over this rock, with all its animals, trees and people.  He was to be a king in subjection to higher powers, to the higher King.

“He left nothing that is not put under him.”

Paul speaks of Jesus as He Who made everything; nothing made that He didn't make. There’s nothing that He is not Lord over.

“He left nothing that is not put under him.  But now we see not yet all things put under him.”

Evidently you and I are on a road that doesn't look all that prosperous most of the time.  We’re on a road going somewhere.  The question is, what does it mean, “we're a little while lower”?

The Book closes with John seeing the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.  In other words, this rock is going to be God’s everlasting, eternal resting place.  That's what’s meant when the Bible says God’s Kingdom is a Kingdom that will never pass away.  When it gets here, it’s not going anywhere else.  It’s possible that the original intent of God was to bring Himself and His city here to the earth.  It’s possible that this was the original purpose, especially when you consider that the Bible says Heaven is His throne, but the earth is His footstool.  This suggests to me that there's some process going on. 

I honestly think that the earth was meant to be God's retirement home … vacation home … country home, or whatever we want to call it.  And evidently we human beings are going to be elevated — not just re-created in body, but elevated in some way.  So when all of the visitors from other worlds come to our world, we will be the greeters, the people who host them.  We will be the ones whom God allows to represent Him.  People come; we find out if they can sing, and if they can we arrange for them to present Special Music on Sabbath.  This is how it seems to me, right now anyway.

Verse 9 says, “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels …”

Meaning He became one of us …

“… for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren…”

My question here is, when Jesus took upon Himself humanity, was it a “forever” transaction?  Or when all of this is done is He going to go back and be what He was before?

Right now my feeling is that He's going to be one of us forever.  Perhaps this is one reason He’s going to be King of kings and Lord of lords … here on the earth.  This earthly kingdom is the kingdom that is going to be given to Him.  But there’s a larger kingdom.  The New Testament says that Christ will bring all things in subjection to the Father.  The Father is the Great King; then there is Jesus who is King of kings and Lord of lords, King and Lord over all that we are and all that is here.  And since He made all the rest of the worlds, is He King of kings and Lord of lords out there, too?

Verse 16 says, “For verily he took not on him the nature of Angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to succour [comfort] them that are tempted.”  

I believe that John, who was the simplest of all New Testament contributors, was permitted to present some of the most profound, complicated things.  God is no respecter of persons, says Paul.  But John is talking about the same thing when he says it does not yet appear what we're going to be, but were going take on His nature, His appearance — both on the inside and on the outside.  

Another question is, when Jesus is buying us back — redeeming us; ransoming us … when He’s buying us back is it an incremental purchase?  There’s a blood transaction, then there’s a flesh transaction.   If you go into the sanctuary and just read the language, the process plays out like this:  You bring a sacrifice, then you take the blood of the sacrifice, then the whole sacrifice is consumed by fire.  Whatever this redemptive process is, it’s more than just buying us back.  It’s also buying the lawful right to make us all over again.  And that’s the part I haven’t fully sorted out yet.  That's really the ultimate decision in the judgment, when that final determination is made that Jesus is worthy to be King of kings and Lord of lords, then He has the lawful right to not only blot out our sins, but to make us brand-new.

What we we’re going to read next cannot take place until after the two witnesses are put to death and resurrected.

Revelation Chapter 11, verse 11 paints this picture:

“After three days and a half the spirit of life from God entered into them [the Two Witnesses], and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell on them which saw them.  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither.  And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.”

That cloud is interesting to me, since the same thing is said about Jesus going up in a cloud.

Verse 13: “And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.  The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world ….”

Let’s clarify that the seventh angel is the Archangel.  This is the one that shouts and the resurrection takes place.

“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 forever and ever.”

This is the King and Kingdom we’re talking about here.

Verse 16:  “And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats [thrones], fell on their faces and worshiped God ….”

Whatever has just taken place is causing the 24 elders to fall on their faces.

“…. They fell upon their faces and worshiped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty ….”

We might ask right here, are they praying to the One on the throne?  Are they praying to the One who has just become King of kings and Lord of lords?  Let’s see:

“We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”

It appears to me they are singing this, praying this, glorifying this to the one who has just been addressed as King of kings and Lord of lords.

“Thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned ….”

“Reign-“ed;” that's a completed act.

Verse 18:  “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged [rewarded], 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.”

There are two verses in the Book of Revelation that are similar to this verse 19, basically saying the same thing.

“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”

“…. And the temple of God was opened in heaven ….”

That suggests to me that it was not open until then.

“There was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.”

That's the ark of the Covenant; the Ark of His Testament, His Law, His will.

Whatever sin was and is, if God had not intervened as He did, I think there would have been instant judgment.  I think that when the angel of the Lord came back into the garden, Adam and Eve would have been consumed.  They would have been consumed because they had no covering; they were naked.  They did not have the covering of light, which is represented as the righteousness of Christ; light we lost which is going to be restored.  If God had not foreseen, foreknown, and had not fore-planned for this, if He had not set in motion, or at least put a plan in place, I believe Adam and Eve would have been destroyed.  The brightness of His coming, His appearance, would have killed them.  If the Angel of the Lord had appeared, they would have had no protection from His glory.

I agree in principle with the Apostle John when he says it does not yet appear what things are going to be like on the other side. Not just us, but what everything is going to be like.  Things are going to be very different from what we know now.  It all has something to do with this “little while lower” business.

Is it possible that the universe is stuff, as well as energy?  Stuff is nothing but energy slowed down, cooled down.  The universe has many parts and pieces — this Creation; and is it possible that God made man to appreciate all of it?  Is it possible that God made man, not at the bottom, but at the top?  And is it also possible that that's what Lucifer and his bunch saw and were jealous of?  All of these stories seem to be as much for them, or perhaps more for them, as they are for us.

Is this the older brother in the Parable?  What was he so angry about?  “You never threw a party for me,” he said.

There are 10 brothers, baby Benjamin, and Joseph in between.  Joseph shares with the family that he had a dream.  The older brothers promptly respond that they’re going to turn his dream into a nightmare.  They hated Joseph.  Murder was in their hearts.  The original purpose was to get rid of him, not to sell him off down into Egypt, and have him pop up again later on.

The point of all these lessons, which are told all the way through the Book — Old and New Testament — is that the first shall be last and the last shall be first.  We are the last, made a little lower, and we are going to be elevated.  That means that we are going to be dressed to be admired, we are going to be given positions of trust and authority.  Though we’ll be very happy to just bring in the firewood, God apparently does not have that plan for us.  It appears to me that we do not yet know what “we” shall be, or what “it” shall be like, or what “there” shall be.  We have nothing here to compare it with.  All we can do is look around us and say, “There's got to be something better than this!”

And to that day we look forward with great anticipation.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

More Thoughts On Daniel & the Revelation

• A Faith Statement by Charles Wheeling

Recent events in and from the Middle East now stir the thinking of millions regarding Bible Prophecy and the End Times.  For obvious reasons, many are focusing special attention upon the apocalyptic writings of Daniel and the Revelation.  For some, reading these prophetic writings in light of current events poses a challenge because they hold preconceived opinions and interpretations.

 To express the matter simply, these persons are at once confronted with the difficulty of holding onto past interpretations while, at the same time, considering Daniel and the Revelation as new or present truth writings.  For a variety of reasons, they believe many of the prophecies contained in Daniel and the Revelation have already met fulfillment.  For some, interpreting Daniel and Revelation as present or future truth borders upon heresy.

 It seems most unreasonable to me that anyone could, after becoming acquainted with the context of Daniel and Revelation, hold such an uncomfortable and  untenable position.  Both of these ancient prophets wrote concerning the distant future, i.e., distant from their day.  Both Daniel and John were told in their visions that the things being shown to them pertained to the time of the end.  This is why both writings are considered to be apocalyptic writings!  Daniel, for example, was specifically commanded by a mighty angel to “seal up his book until the time of the end.” 

 How then is it possible for anyone to claim fulfillment of these apocalyptic writings before the time of the end?  Are we to believe, for example, that Alexander the Great (c. 330 B.C.) has fulfilled apocalyptic prophecy?  Impossible!  The only reasonable conclusion here is that all previous attempts to interpret Daniel and Revelation with past history represent applications, not fulfillments!  In truth, past applications are but shadows of a future fulfillment (filling to the full), not the inverse. 

 Dedicated students of Bible prophecy should be aware of some critical problems (scholarly issues) associated with the two books, Daniel and Revelation.  For example, many Bible scholars do not consider the Book of Daniel to be older than 200-165 B.C.  In plain English, many Bible scholars believe the book of Daniel was written perhaps 150-200 years before Christ was born.  The difficulty here of course is that the author of the book, Daniel, claims to be living circa 600 B.C.  This alleged contradiction, for some, makes suspect the genuineness of the book, and thus casts doubt upon its end-time predictions.

 Unless, or until, additional copies of the book of Daniel can be discovered pre-dating the Dead Sea Scrolls, the historicity (historical authenticity) of the person (Daniel) and the writing itself cannot be considered beyond scholarly dispute. 

 Similar scholarly issues surround the book of Revelation in the New Testament.  The great German Reformer, Martin Luther, considered the book of Revelation as unworthy of Scripture.  He did not believe the writing should have place in the Sacred Canon.  Yet, the author of Revelation claims to be John, the youngest, beloved disciple of Jesus and claims to have received words and visions directly from Jesus Christ.

 There is a simple solution to this “tempest in a teapot,” however, that I wish to offer.  I accept Jesus of Nazareth as being a genuine, historical person, even though archeological evidence or extra-Biblical evidence regarding the man Jesus is rare.  Nevertheless, I personally believe He lived, died, was resurrected and is alive today in Heaven.  For me, this is a faith transaction.  I accept Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ of Scripture, and He accepted the person of Daniel and the book of Daniel as authentic!  Jesus quoted from the book of Daniel.   Jesus spoke of “Daniel the prophet and,” and even more significantly, Jesus placed the context of Daniel’s visions at the time of the end! 

 Personally, I accept both apocalyptic writings, Daniel and Revelation, as valid, with the same faith that I accept Jesus as the Christ.  For me, this is the only reasonable position to hold.  I believe the book of Daniel in Old Testament Scripture and the book of Revelation in New Testament Scripture contain apocalyptic prophecy, that is, having to do with the end of time.  I reject every claim to fill-full their visions at any other time in history than at the time of the end. 

 I cannot believe that Alexander the Great fulfilled Daniel’s second vision (Daniel, Chapter 8) or that Antiochus IV Epiphanes  (c 175-163 B.C.) fulfilled Daniel’s third and fourth visions (Daniel, Chapters 9; 10-12).  While it may be reasonable to take the position “history repeats,” I cannot see that it is reasonable to propose multiple fulfillments of prophecy.  Multiple applications, absolutely, but fulfillment means to fill-in-full.  To fill-in-full means 100%.  What can one add to 100%?  Though some events or persons in past history may parallel or appear similar in some respects to apocalyptic predictions, the past is the past, and past history is not the time of the end!  

Charles Wheeling is author of this faith statement.  Others may freely copy or quote this statement, but in its entirety please.  Questions or comments may be directed to: Charles Wheeling, P.O. Box 352, Jemison, AL  35085, USA; PH (205) 646-2941 or e-mail:         

Friday, July 31, 2015

The "Stuff" of Life

By Charles Wheeling

Let’s consider the relationship between God, and “stuff” that He created, that originated with Him, out of Him, from Him, and for Him.  It’s not easy to work this phenomenon out.

Jesus became “stuff.”  Any spirit that does not confess that Jesus is come as “stuff” … is not of God.  So if God, in the Person of His Son, came and took the form of “stuff,” then that was a step down.  That step demonstrates to the thinking person that God is not unknowing of our circumstance.  “The Lord knows our frame that we are but dust,” the Scripture says.  He knows what we’re made of, what we’re taken out of, and, unless He intervenes, what we’re going back to: just nothingness, except dirt.

I'm in the book of Isaiah and Chapter 24:  

“Behold…” (Watch, or Look, would be a modern expression)  “Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty.”  Empty of what?  We keep reading, “…the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.  And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest….”  in other words God is not going to be a respecter of persons in this day.  “As with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant so with his master; as with the maid so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with a borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.”  Here it is again: “The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord has spoken this word.”

I maintain that if you follow these few words in these few verses through Scripture you will see that God is going to allow the earth in this Great Day of the Lord to waste and go back to nothingness, to lifelessness. 

“The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.”

Obviously some judgment, some division, has taken place. 

“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” 

Are those things all one and the same?  The Laws?  The Ordinance?  The Everlasting Covenant?  I don’t think so.  There’s some large picture being painted here. 

“Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate…” 

“Desolate:” that's an interesting word.  It reads in the margin, “Uninhabited … Deserted … Barren … Lifeless.”   

“Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.” 

I wonder who the few men would be. 

“The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merry-hearted do sigh.”   

This is going to happen is in the autumn of the year, in the northern hemisphere, when the grape harvest is due. 

“The mirth of tabrets ceaseth.” 

There’s no more music. 

“The noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth.   They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.  The city of confusion is broken down:…” 

That's Babylon.  

“…Every house is shut up, that no man may come in.” 

This is the reverse of Passover.  You’re supposed to come in and be safe, where nobody can get in; the house is shut up. 

“There's a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.  In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction.  When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done.  They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea.”

I believe verse 14 is a description of the resurrection of the righteous:

“Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires, even the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea.  From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous.  But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me!  The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.  Fear, and the pit, and the snare are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.  And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit.”

“Fear” is one thing; the “Pit” is something else … “Don’t send us to the pit!” said the demons.  Evidently somebody is out of the pit.

“… He that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.  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 ….”

At the beginning we read that He turns the Earth upside down.  Down is up and up is down.  Here the Earth is utterly broken down, clean dissolved, and 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.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones on high and the kings of the earth upon the earth.  And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shut up in the prison, and after many days ….”

Evidently 1000 years. 

After many days they’re going to be visited.  That word “visited” is a powerful word, particularly in Old Testament Scripture and Old Testament prophecy.  God is saying, “I am coming to visit you.”  In other words, “I'm coming in judgment.”  

“Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his agents gloriously.” 

That’s Isaiah Chapter 24.

A Little Bit of Cosmology:

The solar system used to have nine planets, now only eight.  Mercury is the first planet, then Venus, and the third rock from the sun is us — Planet Earth.   In scientific terms, these planets are held in their orbital positions by something called angular momentum.  In other words, there’s a force pushing the planet out, but another force holding the planet back.  It’s really strange.  The earth’s going to be clean removed.  It's interesting that Isaiah says God’s going to turn the earth upside down.  That fits Ellen White, because she says the sun comes up at midnight.  How do you get the sun to come up at midnight?  The earth is going to be clean removed, the Scripture says, out of its place; a cottage clean removed.

Many people pooh-pooh Immanuel Velikovsky, but they really don’t know what they’re talking about, because since his death many of his assertions have been proved to be factual.  Cosmological history suggests the possibility that if one of these planets is moved out of its place—by whatever force—you can ellipse (or extend or lengthen) its orbit.  It looks like this is what most likely happened in 701/702 BC.  Whatever the flyby was it added 5¼ days to the earth’s orbit.  Whatever the flyby is that is coming will add a thousand years to our orbit, so that it will take that long to come back to our place in the solar system.  Something is going to kick us out of our place; that’s what the Bible says.

Said Jesus, “Think not that I'm come to destroy the law, or the prophets:  I'm not come to destroy, but to fulfil.  For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass [that’s our sky and ground], one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”  Matthew 5:17.  Jesus said heaven and earth are going to pass.  This is confirmed again in the Gospel of Luke.  These words are mentioned again, but even more expressly.  “Heaven and earth are going to pass away, but the law … is not going to pass away.”  In other words there’s something more permanent than heaven and earth: the word of God, God's Law, God’s will—the doing of God.  “Till heaven and earth pass …” is a statement of affirmation that one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till it’s all fulfilled.

We’re going to be kicked out of the comfortable orbit we’re in, and evidently we’re going to be sent on a very long elliptical orbit for a thousand Earth years.  Apparently we’re going to be brought back very near the sun, where the sun will be seven times brighter; the moon will be many times brighter, as well.  In order for that to happen you need to be nearer the sun. 

These verses in Revelation 20 will be familiar to you; the story goes like this: An Angel comes down from heaven; he has the key of the bottomless pit.  We’re back to the pit again.  The angel has a great chain in his hand; he lays hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which, according to Revelation 9, got out of the pit.  He laid hold on the dragon — the devil … Satan — and bound him a thousand years.   The binding evidently takes place at the beginning of the thousand years, not the end.  The angel casts the devil into the bottomless pit and shuts him up, setting a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be filled full.  After that he must be loosed a little season.  John says he saw thrones and those who are sitting upon them.  Judgment is given to those sitting on the thrones.  This is Chapter 20 we’re considering. 

Chapter 4 of Revelation opens with thrones and those who are sitting upon them; and judgment is given to them.   Here in Chapter 20 judgment is given unto them, and John saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, beheaded for the word of God.  These had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

The judgment being described here is at the beginning of the thousand years.   But the rest of the dead live not again until the thousand years are finished.  This is described as the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy is he that has part in that first resurrection, on such the second death has no authority … no power, but they shall be priests of God and Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years.  Whatever the thousand years is, it’s a big deal, for it to be repeated over and over. 

When the thousand years are expired Satan shall be loosed out of his prison and go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth.  How can Satan deceive the nations, since they’re all dead?  They're all dead for a thousand years and then all brought back to life.   When the thousand years are expired Satan will be loosed out of his prison, and he’s going to go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.  These nations will go up on the breadth of the earth, compass the camp of the saints and the beloved city, until fire comes down from God out of heaven and devours them.

You and I are out here 93 million miles from the sun.  Suppose when we come back we’re a bit closer to the sun.  What could we expect to happen?  Verse 9 tells us that the devil and the nations will go up on the breadth of the earth and surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city.  Fire comes down from God out of heaven and devours them.  The camp of the saints at this time is in Jerusalem; it's come here to this rock.  Is it possible this fire is produced by the sun and our being so close to it?

Some people believe all this happens at the beginning of the thousand years, and some believe it happens at the end of the thousand years.  It really doesn’t matter; you’re either with God for the thousand years, and with God at the end of the thousand years, or you’re in hot water.  Whether the Holy City comes down at the beginning of the thousand years, or at the end, I careth not.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.  What does that mean?  Did He give just life?  Did He also give substance?  Did He give origin, birth, creation to all things?  And the answer is yes.  We are “stuff” creatures; created out of the “stuff” of creation, the Bible says … and so does science.  God made us out of the stuff.  Which was made first, stuff, or us?  “Stuff,” of course. 

God said to Adam and Eve that if they do the wrong thing, or make the wrong choice, they’re going to return to dead, lifeless “stuff.”   Most of the world believes that when you die, you don’t really die; it’s just the stuff that dies.  But there is going to be a supernatural destruction that is to include the destruction of angels … and we would regard angels to be supernatural beings … spirit beings.  These evil angels are not made of stuff, at least, not stuff we’re familiar with.  God created “stuff” before the angels were created.  Angels, like us, are taken out of “stuff.”  They may be at a different level of matter, or energy, or whatever, but they're made out of “stuff.”  The Bible states that they are created beings. 

The point is that before there was “stuff,” there was only God.  All things that exist are taken out of God’s breath.  If the end of a sinful man is returning to the “stuff” from which he or she was taken, then I submit to you that the end of angels is a return to whatever stuff they were taken from; whatever energy; whatever matter; they return to that.  Fire comes down from God out of Heaven, says the Bible, and destroys them, or consumes them.

A huge question is, why not take care of business with the devil and his bunch right here at the beginning of the thousand years?  What is going on at the end that couldn't go on at the beginning?

Consider these verses again, and notice that when the thousand years are expired Satan is going to be loosed out of his prison and go out to deceive the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the battle, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.   Do we think there are going to be more good folks in Heaven than bad folks in the lake of fire?  Obviously, that’s up to God, but one thing we need to understand is that when you start counting who's in the lake of fire you have to count all the evil angels, because they are going into that lake of fire.  These wicked ones go out upon the breadth of the earth, and they surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire comes down from God out of heaven and devours them.  The devil that deceived them is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and false prophet are, and they shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.   

John says he saw a great white throne, and Him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.  No place is found for them.  This is talking about the heaven, the atmosphere, around the planet.  The Apostle Peter said this heaven is going to be blown away.  The earth and the atmosphere fled away, said John, and there was no place found for them.  John saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened, and another book was opened which is (“the book” is supplied) of life.  The dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works.

A thousand years before this somebody went somewhere.  Who were the somebodies that went somewhere?  These are the folks who are resurrected when Jesus comes with a loud voice saying, “Arise.”  The Scripture record reads that we will be caught up to meet him in the air at the second-coming.  We read here that another book is opened which is “of life,” and the dead are judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works.  Revelation 20 is the same as Daniel Chapter 7, telling us the Ancient of Days arrives, the books are opened and the judgment is set.  Then those who shall be lost are thrown into the lake of fire.   

Where do we place this judgment in this context … at the end of the thousand years? or at the beginning of the thousand years?  Is judgment a one-day process?  A one-year process?  Or is it a thousand-year process?  It's an -ING to an -ED process.  The book of life is not about the dead, bad people.  If their names were once in the Book, their names don’t remain in the Book.  There is a process of elimination.  There's also a process of inclusion.  Everybody who's lived and died, eaten by sharks, blown apart by bullets, can still be resurrected.  While they were here they were made out of “stuff.”  When they come up they made out of new “stuff.”  John says, “Now brethren, we don't know what we’re going to be … but we're going to be like Him.”  That's all that matters.  

Jesus was here and lived among us; He was nailed to the tree; put in the ground.  But when He came out of the ground He’s able to walk through walls.  He is now made out of changed “stuff.”  “Come and feel me,” He said, “Because a spirit doesn’t have ‘stuff’ like I have.”  But He still walked through the wall and disappeared.  Then He ascends, and they see it.  Likewise, you and I go into the ground as “stuff,” but when we come out we’re going to be “enhanced stuff.”  We will still be “stuff,” but from then on it will be changed stuff.  We’re going to learn what the reference in Hebrews is about, that God made man “a little while lower than the angels.”  Whatever angels are made of, we're going to be made of even higher “stuff.”  We’re going to be changed and glorified … from glory to glory.

If you know anything about physics and the way the universe is ordered, you’ll recognize, in physical terms, that there's an atom; but the atom is not just one thing, it's several things: protons, neutrons and electrons.  And it appears to me that whatever we're going to be, we’re going to be energized several notches up the ladder — beyond atomic.  Where would that energy come from?  Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Life, but they didn't live forever.  They needed more than just “stuff” from this planet.

Jesus came down here as “stuff,” and while He was here He was receiving energy from His Father.  He said the works He did were not His, but His Father’s.  He was receiving energy; He told the blind man to look and see, and the lame man to get up and walk.  But it was all temporary, because they died.  But why was it temporary?   Why wasn't His healing … forever healing?  Obviously something had not taken place yet; He was not yet King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  God permitted Him, enabled Him and empowered Him to work miracles here to give people hope; to give you and me hope; to give us hope to hang on until He can get the job done. 

My point is that Jesus left whatever dimension God exists in, and took our form.  He took “stuff;” He made Himself of no divine reputation and became “stuff” like us.  When He came out of the grave He was the same “stuff,” but enhanced, glorified, whatever we want to call it.  Did He have to go to heaven to find out if that was a permanent arrangement?  The answer is yes.  “Don't hold me back,” He said, “I have not yet ascended to my Father.”  The purpose of ascending to His Father was part of the plan of salvation.  As our faithful High Priest He had to be verified clean, so He went with that earthly “stuff” into the presence of His Father.  He asked His Father, according to Ellen White, if His sacrifice was acceptable.  What the judgment will do is declare that everything necessary has been done.  “It is done,” has not been spoken yet.  That's why I can say, at the risk of my neck, it is not yet finished; it’s not yet done.  The only way we can make sense of our still being here after, not two thousand years, but six thousand years, is that there's something still lacking.  Something is yet required and to be accomplished.  God is in the process of doing whatever is necessary, while He's got a whole bunch of kids down here in the backseat saying, “Are we there yet?” 

This is where we are, and who we are; and God is in the unwinnable position of having to be Daddy, Granddaddy, Judge and Savior.  He's got to be all things.  So He gives us a little hope down here, because He's a God of love.  He understands our condition and knows that we are sick and fed up with all of this.  So is He!  The fact that time lingers proves to me that it is necessary, otherwise you cannot justify time stretching out the way it has. 

I have to be forgiving to the fathers.  I'm not forgiving to my neighbors — the church in its current state — because we ought to know better.  We ought to know far more than we do.

John goes on to say he saw the dead, small and great, stand before God.  The books were opened.  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.  John saw the sea give up the dead which were in it.  Death and hell (the grave) delivered up the dead which were in them, and they were judged every man according to their works.  Death and the grave were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death, John says.  Whatever the lake of fire is going to be, whether it's God saying, “Be gone,” or whether it's black hole radiation, it doesn't matter; the lost will be thrown into a fiery end — a fiery lake.  John goes on to say that whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life is cast into the lake of fire. 

This judgment the whole world needs to witness is about finding out if your name is still in the Book of Life.  Right now everybody's name is in the Book.  I'm not sure the devil and his bunch are in there.  But once the judgment is finished Christ will make the declaration that it is complete … done … over.  The work of salvation will be filled full, and whoever is in … is in, and whoever is out … is out.