A World in Chaos – Should We Be Afraid?

A World in Chaos – Should We Be Afraid?

This was the subject discussed recently on Christian Questions Radio.

Biblical perspective on worldwide problems

Theme Scripture: Luke 21:25

The edition of the program exams current happenings such as the the Ebola virus, the war between the Palestinians and Israel, and Iraq being plundered by ISIS, as well as how Christians in the middle east are being persecuted and killed and worldwide anti-Semitism is on the rise, and much more. It would seem that the chaos and unrest is spreading rapidly, raising the questions:  What should we be doing? Should we be afraid?

CLICK HERE to listen to this broadcast, or download the MP3 of the broadcast.

Scriptures discussed (put your cursor over each scripture to see the scripture from the American Standard Version):

James 5:1-3

{James 5:1} Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming on you.
{James 5:2} Your riches are corrupted and your garments are moth-eaten.
{James 5:3} Your gold and your silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be for a testimony against you, and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up your treasure in the last days.

James 5:7,8
Luke 12:1-3
Isaiah 24:18
Micah 7:8
Matthew 12:33-37
Ecclesiastes 12:13,14
Exodus 20:16
Deuteronomy 25:13-15
Amos 3:1,2
Psalm 83:1-5
Romans 11:25-29
Amos 9:11,14,15
Daniel 12:1
Isaiah 35:3,4
Micah 4:1
Isaiah 34:8
Zechariah 8:21-23
Zechariahs 12:9,10
Luke 21:25
Zechariah 7:8-14
Isaiah 42:1-4
Micah 4:3,4
Luke 21:25,26
Isaiah 35:5-10
Habakkuk 2:1
Daniel 12:1-4
Luke 21:25-29
Matthew 6:25-33
Romans 13:11-14

 

The Parousia, the Seventh Trumpet and the Harvest

[Bibles, Bible-Related Books and Other Items]
[The Interlinear Bible: Hebrew-Greek-English]
[Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary]


Some have confused the matter concerning the parousia, and have evidently misread the arguments of many of the Bible Students so as to conclude that the word “Parousia” is being interpreted as having the definition of “invisible presence.” In other words, some have made the claim that Bible Students who believe that Christ’s parousia is invisible are presenting the word “parousia” itself as carrying the meaning “invisible.” Without judging the motives of those who would present this kind of argument, in reality the argument diverts attention from the invisible aspect of Christ’s return to the word “parousia” itself, and ends up being a strawman argument.

Some have cited some works of the Greeks and Romans concerning this, as alleged proof that the the word “parousia” does not mean “invisible.” Of course, the Romans and Greeks of the first century, not knowing or understanding spiritual matters, would not think of the word Parousia as expressing a spiritual presence that could not be seen. — 2 Corinthians 4:18; 5:7.

Nevertheless, the word parousia, of itself, does not prove either a visible or invisible presence, and we don’t believe most, if any, Bible Students have intended to leave that impression.

Jesus, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, and having once for all time offered up his flesh, will never be seen in that flesh again. (Hebrews 7:27; 9:28; 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18) However, this does not rule out the possibility that Jesus may manifest himself as did the angels of Yahweh in the Bible, who appeared as “men,” ate as men, and looked like men, manifesting themselves with a body of flesh. — Genesis 18:2,8,22; 19:1,5; Judges 13:2,6,8,9; Luke 24:4.
See the study:
Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being
http://atonement.reslight.net/archives/1.html

However, Jesus does indeed return bodily, with a body, that is, with the spiritual, celestial body, and with its glory. He no longer has the body of a man, a glory a little lower than the angels. (Hebrews 2:9) Having offered (to his God in heaven) his terrestrial, earthly, fleshly body for sin, once for all time (John 6:51; Hebrews 7:27; 9:11,12,24;10:10), he will never again be seen with that body. (1 Corinthians 15:40,44) Now being a life-giving spirit, he comes again from heaven (1 Corinthians 15:40,45-48), during the blowing of the last trumpet, the seventh trumpet (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 8:2,6), with a celestial, spiritual body, resulting in (not necessarily in the order given):

(1) The end of the age, during which a harvest of the people of God begins. This harvest begins while the nations are still blinded by Satan, but it ends after Satan is abyssed, when the saints, the sons of God of this age, will be manifested and “will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their father.” (Matthew 13:3-43; Romans 8:19} Unlike many Bible Students, however, we do not believe that this harvest reveals who is of what class by any visible manifestation, except until after Satan is abyssed. Jesus said that the tares, not the wheat, are first gathered and bundled. (Matthew 13:39,40) Although the human servants of God labor in the harvest work, the harvest work itself is not entrusted to men, who would surely misjudge and treat much of wheat as tares, but it is entrusted to angels.

(2) The nations become angry, resulting in a great “time of trouble”, during which time the people in general do not take notice of the parousia. — Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-30; Revelation 11:15,18; Daniel 12:1,2.

(3) God’s wrath upon the children of wrath of this age comes to its conclusion — Ephesians 2:2,3; 5:6; Revelation 8:1.

(4) The dead are raised and the unjustified in this age are judged individually during the “last day” — Isaiah 2:2-4; Daniel 7:9,10; Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28,29; 6:39,40,44,54; 12:47,48; Romans 2:16; 3:6; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 6:2; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Revelation 11:18; 20:11-15.

(5) God’s servants, prophets, saints are rewarded in the first resurrection. — Isaiah 40:10; Daniel 7:9,10; 12:1,2; Romans 2:16; 1 Corinthians 3:8,14; Colossians 3:24; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 15:18; 20:4; 22:12.

(6) Those who would destroy the earth are themselves destroyed after the judgment day. — Psalm 37:10; Revelation 15:18; 20:8,12; 21:8.

Thus, the seventh trumpet begins to sound while the nations are still ignorant and are angry, and continues to sound until after the millennial age, up to the age of the ages, the eternal age.

Of Moses, it is said that, “he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27) In context, “him” could be referring to the prehuman Jesus, who, before coming the earth, had the glory of the invisible, the celestial — the glory that he did not have while on earth. (John 17:5; 1 Corinthians 15:40) Or, more than likely, “him” probably refers to the God and Father of Jesus, who is the “invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15) Either way, Moses saw him who is invisible by the eye of faith, not by literal sight, for he did not see that which is invisible by means of the physical eye. The point is that “seeing” does not necessarily mean seeing with the physical eye.
On the other hand, the Jews in general saw Jesus at his first appearing in the flesh, but did not see who he was — the Messiah — which could only have been seen with the eye of faith. They did not recognize him. (John 1:10) Nor could they “see” the God and Father in Jesus. (John 14:9) Having seen Jesus in the flesh, however, Jesus said of the world that had seen him in the flesh, that they would see him no more. (John 14:19) Since they had only seen him in the flesh, and had not seen him with the eye of faith as the Messiah, the son of God, then this can only mean that they will never see him in the flesh again. They will see the Son of Man coming [Erchomai] on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen. — Revelation 1:7.

The word “coming” in Revelation 1:7 is not “parousia,” but a form of the verb “Erchomai,” — to come. However, we have no doubt that it is reference to “coming” in the days of the son of man, the parousia. (Matthew 24:37; Luke 17:26) The statement here is not that he comes on a cloud, a singular cloud, but rather “clouds.”

Another scripture describes this event in the Old Testament:

I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. — Daniel 7:13.

Again, the reference is to clouds, plural, not a cloud, singular. Prophetically, the plural can used to represent two, as “times,” representing two times. (Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 12:14) Regardless, there is the possibility of at least two clouds being spoken of, indicating the possibility of two symbolic meanings. A cloud or clouds can represent: glory (Exodus 16:10; Ezekiel 1:28); guidance (Exodus 13:12); covering of sin (Isaiah 44:24); darkness (2 Samuel 22:12; Job 38:9; Psalm 18:11; Isaiah 5:30; Joel 2:2; Zephaniah 1:15); a covenant, a promise of God (Genesis 9:13,16); God’s anger (Lamentations 2:1); alienation from God (Lamentations 3:44); storms (Ezekiel 1:4; 38:9; Luke 12:54; Jeremiah 4:13; Nahum 1:4); a hiding of the sun (Ezekiel 32:7); majesty (Isaiah 14:14); a communication from God (Exodus 24:16; Psalm 99:7; Matthew 17:5; Luke 9:35); trouble, distress (Ezekiel 30:3; Zephaniah 1:15).

In Daniel 7, the one like a son of man, in coming with the clouds, comes before the Ancient of Days, that is, Yahweh, and is presented to him. As a result, there was given to him an everlasting dominion, and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. (Daniel 7:14) This brings us into the age of the ages, the everlasting age after the millennial age, the age that will never end.

In Revelation 10:1, we find a reference to an angel coming in a cloud (singular).

Revelation 10:1 I saw another mighty angel coming down out of the sky [heaven], clothed with a cloud. A rainbow was on his head. His face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.

Here is depicted an angel clothed as with a cloud. Of course, the language is symbolic. The “angel” is either Jesus or a messenger (angel) representing Jesus. Jesus, of course, will come as the “sun of righteousness.” — Malachi 4:2.

The “rainbow” probably represents the new covenant, which will be the means by which the seed of Abraham will bring blessings to all the families of the earth.
This angel is clothed with a cloud, a symbol of majesty, and yet we believe that it is also includes a symbolism of mystique, as a cloud hiding the sun, producing darkness. The angel has a face like the sun of righteousness, as a great ruler, but he also has feet like pillars of fire, representing a distressful situation and/or destruction. “Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them in the day of Yahweh’s wrath, but the whole land will be devoured by the fire of his jealousy.” (Zephaniah 1:18) “My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour on them my indignation, even all my fierce anger, for all the earth will be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” (Zephaniah 3:8) In this is pictured the wrath of Yahweh (Revelation 11:18), which wrath is brought to a finish during the blowing of the seventh trumpet, by means of seven symbolic bowls that are poured out. — Revelation 11:15,18; 15:1,7.

Revelation 10:2 He had in his hand a little book open. He set his right foot on the sea, and his left on the land.
Revelation 10:3 He cried with a loud voice, as a lion roars. When he cried, the seven thunders uttered their voices.
Revelation 10:4 When the seven thunders sounded, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from the sky saying, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders said, and don’t write them.”
Revelation 10:5 The angel who I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to the sky,
Revelation 10:6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there will no longer be delay,
Revelation 10:7 but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as he declared to his servants, the prophets.

Thus, we believe this cloud appears either shortly before or at the beginning of the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the last trumpet. The prophetical statement is that when the angel is about to sound his trumpet, the last trumpet, then the mystery of God is finished. The Greek word rendered “about” — transliterated as “Mello,” does not necessarily mean “about,” as though it was something yet to happen. We believe that it can also refer to the actual “being about” of something, that is, the actual doing of what is being spoken of, and we believe, in accordance with the context, “in days of the voice of the seventh angel,” that this is meaning of Mello in Revelation 10:7. When the seventh angel, having the seventh trumpet, is about the business of blowing his trumpet, then the mystery of God is finished. Many believe that this mystery refers to completing the mystery members of the bride of Christ, but we believe it refers to the completing of the mystery pertaining to the ages; in other words, it pertains to bringing to completion God’s purpose of the ages (Ephesians 3:9,11,Young’s Literal), which would bring us to up to the foretold “world without end,” or the age of the ages, the final age that never ends. — Isaiah 45:17; Ephesians 3:21, See Young’s Literal for Ephesians 3:21.

I looked, and behold, a white cloud; and on the cloud one sitting like a son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. — Revelation 14:14
Another angel came out from the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Send forth your sickle, and reap; for the hour to reap has come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe!” — Revelation 14:15
He who sat on the cloud thrust his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. — Revelation 14:16.

Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First, gather up the darnel, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.” — Matthew 13:30.

The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. — Matthew 13:39.

The “age” being referred to this present evil age, the age in which Satan is god. — Galatians 1:4; 2 Corinthians 4:4.

By saying that the “harvest time” is the end of this age, and then describing events that take place during that “end,” Jesus shows that the “end” is not something that happens suddenly, but that the “end” itself — being “the time of the harvest” — is a period of “time.”

Revelation 14:14 depicts one like a son of man coming on a white cloud, a cloud of glory, and he has a sharp sickle in his hand.Revelation 14:16-20 shows that the sickle is used to harvest the earth.

When Jesus comes, one of the things he accomplishes is the harvest of the earth by means of his angels. This takes place during the “end” of the present evil age, while Satan is still the “god of this age.” As long as Satan is still blinding the minds of people, we know that this “harvest” has not ended. Nevertheless, the harvest does take place as a result of Jesus’ coming on the clouds.

Thus we conclude that the harvest has been going on, especially since about 1874, with an influx of worldly knowledge that is separating the tares from the true wheat. Jesus said that the tares were to be first separated from the wheat (Matthew 13:30), again indicating a time involved; the tares are thrown into the fiery furnace (symbolic of the the severe part of the time of trouble), and the wheat is gathered into the barn (representing a condition of spiritual safety; the spiritual ark, true faith in Jesus’ sacrificed body with its blood by which we are sanctified, set apart — Hebrews 9:12,14; 10:10,29). Then, after this, the wheat — the righteous — will shine forth as the sun, depicting the age to come, when Satan is abyssed so that he cannot deceive the heathen. — Daniel 12:3; Matthew 13:43; Revelation 20:3.

Jesus indicated that the foretold time of trouble is pictured by what happened in Noah’s day, thus, it is possible that the last part of the foretold time of trouble is depicted by the 40 days’ flood of Noah’s day. (Genesis 7:4; Matthew 24:37,38) We are now certainly experiencing a flood of knowledge now available through the internet and other means of fast communication. More and more professed Christians are falling into infidelity as a result of this influx of knowledge, thus proving themselves to be tares, rather than wheat. This increase of knowledge, however, brings discontent among the masses, and greed, and thus is also a source of trouble, and ends up being like a fiery furnace, as “fiery feet” stomping upon the people, with the trouble becoming so bad, that unless the days should be cut short, no flesh will be saved. — Matthew 24:21,22.

Addendum:

One asks if we believe that Jesus returned in 1874 and “inspected the temple”.

While we probably not put it that way, we do believe that Jesus began the harvest work related to the separating of the tares from the wheat; this is indeed an inspection of all who profess to be Christian, and since those who are being called to follow Jesus are spoken of as the temple of God,  one could say that this is a inspection of the temple. Many claim that the harvest is carried out along physical lines, but we believe the harvest is along spiritual lines, and that is carried out, not by the servants of Jesus in the flesh, but by the angels.

The questioner further asks:  “Did jesus make a decision during that time period and make a chosing of a particular group?”

The questioner is evidently asking if we have a belief similar the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who claim that Jesus, in 1918, inspected the temple, and approved of Rutherford’s religion, to which our answer is no. We need to remember that that the choosing of the faith seed of Abraham has been going on ever since the first century. In 1874, we believe that a special period began which is called the “harvest”. However, we also believe that the choosing of the wheat class at the end of the age is done by means of the angels, and therefore, we conclude that the wheat class cannot be represented by any physical group, such as the Bible Students. The revealing of the wheat, however, cannot be until after Satan is abyssed.

The questioner further asks: “Did jesus really return and examine babylon the great, and then appoint a certain group? Was that the great tribulation? “

By “group”, I assume this refers to physical outward group, such the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the Bible Students movement. We have no reason to believe that Jesus has appointed a certain sectarian group, nor a certain individual, etc., to be “the true religion”, or “the true church.” Babylon the Great represents sectarianism, denominationalism, organizations (and associated false doctrines created by humans) that separate the sheep. To come out of Babylon the Great would signify rejection of denominational sectarianism and, and to the extent possible, the doctrines of men associated with such demoninationalism. The destruction of Babylon the Great signifies the destruction of all kinds of sectarianism and denominationalism. God is not going to allow such sectarian divisions to continue in His kingdom.

On the other hand, the tares are now being revealed as false Christians, often denying the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, accepting the idea that man got here by evolution, etc. Many of these tares openly deny Christ, and openly declare themselves as deists, agnostics, atheists, etc., while others retain the name of Christ, but in some way deny the power of blood of Jesus. Indeed, one can often hear of some claiming to be a Christian atheist, Christian agnostic, Christian deist, Christian Wiccan, Christian Buddhist, Christian Spiritualist, etc. We do believe, however, most of the Christians who profess Christ today will be found to be of the tare class. Nor does joining in association with the Bible Students movement make one of the wheat class. This does not mean that those who are found to be tares will be eternally destroyed, as the JWs teach; it simply means that their outward standing as a servant of Christ will eventually be burned up in the furnace of the time of trouble. No one amongst mankind, however, has been given any authority to point to this or that professed Christian and say “You are a tare,” although many are claiming they have authority to do so. Likewise, we have no authority to claim that one is of the wheat class because they belong to the Bible Students movement. Nor can we believe we have any authority to designate who among the “wheat” class will be found to arrived at the goal, the mark, of the prize of our high calling, so we should say to this person: “You are one of 144,000”, and to another, “You are not one of the 144,000.” We believe that all three major classes of Revelation 7 will be revealed after Satan is abyssed.

Thus, we do not believe that Jesus came in 1874 to inspect and approve any outward “group” as being approved as the JWs teach in doctrine concerning 1918. The inspection is of individuals, not of an outward “group.” Nor do we teach, as to the JWs, that one has belong to and/or recognize the Bible Students, Charles Taze Russell, or any other outward group, etc., in order to be saved, as as to live into the new age.

As Charles Taze Russell pointed out many times, the true church is not about an outward organization, but it pertains to individuals.

See also:

The Great Multitude
The 144,000 and the Twelve Tribes

Charles Taze Russell and sectarianism

The questioner asks if we “are saying that jesus inspected the temple in 1874, and found that the sect called ‘russelites’, or ‘bible students’ were thus in an approved condition?”

We do not know of any place that Russell taught expressly that Jesus “inspected the temple” in 1874, but Russell’s view of the temple had nothing to do with any external sect, group, denomination, etc. His view of the temple was that the temple is the church that belongs to Christ. Russell was non-sectarian.

Russell stated:“the Lord in Heaven records as members of His true Church all the saintly — whether Roman Catholics, Anglican Catholics, Greek Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc.— and none others…. Do we not see that a part of our mistake was in calling the outward organization the Church of Christ, instead of remembering that the Lord alone writes the names of the Church, that He alone reads the hearts, that He alone is the Judge, and that He alone has the right to blot out the names of those who become reprobates?… We must see that the Church is a comparatively small company of saintly footstep followers of Jesus, irrespective of sectarian lines.”

And Russell stated: “all who are worshiping any church organization should be warned. See thou do it not.’ These are thy fellow servants.‘Worship God.’`Rev. 22:9`.”

He further stated:“so far as the true Church is concerned, the only authority in it is the Lord, the Head of the Church, and his Word, and the words of those whom he specially chose to be his mouth-pieces, the apostles.”

And,“we believe that in every nation and denomination there are some true saints of God, members therefore of the true Church of God.”
http://ctr.reslight.net/?p=505

Thus, Russell viewed the temple of God to be any true Christian, regardless of what external group or denomination he might be associated with. His view of the temple of God was not restricted to a “group”, such as the Bible Students, nor a denomination, nor a religious organization, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Indeed, Russell preached against the kind of authoritarianism and sectarianism that is found in the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organization.

See: Charles Taze Russell and the one true church

Related

Russell’s Disappointment Over 1878
The 144,000 and the Twelve Tribes – Revelation 7
Astrape in Luke 17:22; Matthew 24:27
Bible Chronology and Bible Time Prophecy

Online Commentaries of the Book of Revelation

Southern Wisconsin Ecclesia Revelation Notes — We could not find a PDF of this online, so we uploaded the PDF version from the Bible Students Library DVD. If the authors object to this, please let us know and we will remove it. However, although we do not agree with all that is in it, this commentary does come to closest we have found to our own conclusions, so we wanted to make sure that it is included in this list.

Notes on The Revelation of Jesus Christ – Anton Frey

Short Exposition on Revelation, A — T.E. Patmos

Hollister, William J. — Notes on the Book of Revelation

Loomis, Ludlow — Revelation Notes

New Albany — Notebook and Study Records in Revelation

Streeter, R.E. – The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Some Other Studies Online:

How To Study Revelation and Have it Make Sense

Revelation for the End of the Gospel Age

Seven Churches of Revelation – Charles Redekker

The Beast: Commentary on Revelation 13 & 17

Some Thoughts on Revelation

Books

The keys of Revelation: Jesus testimony — (By Frank Shallieu) We do not necessarily agree with all of the author’s conclusions, but we have found this work to be helpful in our studies of the book of Revelation.

Mankind’s Coming Day of Judgment

“[God] has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.” — Acts 17:31

(1) The traditional church teaches a very vague idea about the day of judgment. This traditional view would have us believe that when Christ returns he will sit upon a great white throne. Then he will summon saint and sinner in rank and file before him to be judged. Amidst great convulsions of nature earthquakes, opening graves, rending rocks and falling mountains, the trembling sinners will be brought from the depths of everlasting woe to hear their sins rehearsed. Then they are once again returned to an eternal and merciless doom. The saints, according to the prevailing theory, will be brought from heaven to witness the misery and despair of the condemned, to hear again the decision in their own cases, and to return. This theory holds that all receive their sentence at death. The final judgment, often styled the “general judgment”, is nothing more than a repetition of that first judgment, but for no conceivable purpose, since they claim that a decision which is final and unalterable is rendered at death. The entire time supposed to be assigned to this stupendous work of judging billions is a twenty-four hour day.

(2) This popular view is a very crude conception. It is entirely out of harmony with the inspired Word. It is drawn from an inaccurate interpretation of our Lord’s parable of the sheep and goats. (Matthew 25:31-46) It illustrates the absurdity of attempting to force a literal interpretation upon figurative language. A parable is never an exact statement, but merely an illustration of a truth by something which is in many respects like it. If this parable were a literal statement of the manner in which the judgment will be conducted, it would apply to literal sheep and goats, just it reads, and not to mankind at all. Let us now look at a more scriptural as well as a more reasonable view of the work and the result of the great Judgment Day which God has appointed. With the true reasonable and scriptural conclusions all parables and figures should and do agree.

(3) The term judgment often signifies more than simply the rendering of a verdict. It includes the idea of a trial, as well as a decision based upon that trial. And this is true not only of the English word judgment, but also of the Greek word, krisis, from which it is translated. Thus Vine defines krisis is the way: (a) denotes “the process of investigation, the act of distinguishing and separating”; hence “a judging, a passing of judgment upon a person or thing”; it has a variety of meanings, such as judicial authority, John 5:22, 27; justice, Acts 8:33; James 2:13; a tribunal, Matthew 5:21-22; a trial, John 5:24; 2 Pet. 2:4; a judgment, 2 Peter 2:11; Jude 9; by metonymy, the standard of judgment, just dealing, Matthew 12:18, 20; 23:23; Luke 11:42; divine judgment executed, 2 Thessalonians 1:5; Revelation 16:7.

(4) Usually the word day signifies a 24-hour period. However, both in the scriptures as well as in common usage, it is often used to denote any definite or special period of time. Thus, for instance, we speak of Noah’s day, Luther’s day, Washington’s day. Likewise, in the Bible the entire time of creation is called a day “the day” that Jehovah God made the earth and the heavens.” (Genesis 2:4). In reality it was a long, definite period of time. Also we read of “the day of the trial in the wilderness” forty years (Hebrews 3:8,9), “the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Additionally, we read of the “day of vengeance.” (Isaiah 63:4) “day of wrath,” (Proverbs 11:4; Zephaniah 1:15) and “day of trouble”. (Isaiah 22:5; Zephaniah 1:15) These terms are applied to a period of time in the close of the Jewish Age and to a similar period of trouble in the end of the Good News Age. Further, we read of the “day of Christ,” (Philippians 1:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:2) the “day of judgment,” (Matthew 10:15) and “the Lord’s day” (Revelation 1:10) terms applicable to the Millennial Age. The same period is spoken of the “last day” in which believers are to be raised to rule with Jesus, and in which unbelievers are to be raised for judgment. (John 6:39,40,44,54; 11:24; 12:47,48) During this 1,000 years Messiah will reign over, rule and judge the world in righteousness. He will grant trial as well as render sentence. Of that period it is written that God will judge the world in righteousness, and “in his times he will show who is that blessed and only potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords. (Acts 17:31; 1 Timothy 6:15) It is only because of tradition without further investigation that many suppose that the day of judgment must be twelve or twenty-four hours. Certainly all must recognize the wider meaning of the word day in other similar cases. Therefore, we also conclude that the day of judgment is not referring to a twenty-four hour day.

(5) We will be presenting scriptures that speak of that great judgment or trial day yet future. We will show from the scriptures that the masses of mankind are to have their complete trial and final sentence in that day. We will also present scriptures that show there have been other judgment days, during which certain elect classes have been on trial.

(6) The first great judgment [trial or sentence] was at the beginning, in Eden, when the whole human race, as represented in its head, Adam, stood on trial before God. The result of that trial was the verdict guilty, disobedient, unworthy of life. The penalty inflicted was death “Dying you must die.” (Genesis 2:17, see margin in King James Version) And so “in Adam all are dying.” (1 Corinthians 15:22) That trial time in Eden was the worlds first judgment day, and the decision of the Judge (Jehovah) has ever since been enforced.

(7) “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18) It may be seen in every funeral procession. Every tomb is a witness to it. It is felt in every ache and pain we experience all of which are results of the first trial and sentence the righteous sentence of God. We are unworthy of life and blessings originally provided for man when obedient and in Gods likeness. — Romans 1:31.

(8) But mankind are to be recovered from the sentence of that first trial by the one sacrifice for all, which the great Redeemer provides. (Romans 8:22; 5:18) All are to be rescued from the grave and from the sentence of death destruction. (Hosea 13:14; Revelation 20:12,13) Because of this redemption, death is no longer to be considered “death” in the full, everlasting sense of the word, but rather a temporary sleep. (John 11:11-13) In the Millennial morning all will be awakened by the Life-giver who redeemed all. — John 5:28,29.

(9) Only the true disciples of Jesus and the faithful servants of old are yet in any sense released or escaped from this original sentence and penalty. (2 Peter 1:4; Ephesians 2:3-5; Romans 5:8-11; Matthew 22:32) Their escape is not yet actual, but only so reckoned by faith. “We are saved by hope” only. (Romans 8:24) Their actual release from this death penalty (incurred in Adam and escaped by getting into the Anointing of Jesus blood) will not be fully experienced until the resurrection morning. Then they will be satisfied to awaken in the likeness of God and Jesus. (Psalm 17:15; Genesis 1:26) Those who have come to a knowledge of God’s gracious plan in the Messiah have reckonedly “escaped the corruption that is [still] upon the world.” (2 Peter 1:4) Does this prove that others will have no future hope of escape? No, not at all. Rather it proves the opposite. Those now saved are the first-fruits of Gods creatures to receive this escape. (Romans 8:23) Their escape from death in Adam to life in Christ is but a foretaste of the deliverance of whoever wills to be delivered from the bondage of corruption [sin and death] to the liberty of life proper to all who God will recognize as sons. (Romans 8:21) All who will may be delivered from death to life, regardless of the distinctions God has provided for his sons on different planes of being. The present age is the trial-day for life or death for those who are being called to various ruling positions in the Kingdom.

(10) Thus God has appointed a day in which he will judge the world. How can this be? Has God changed his mind? Has he concluded that his decision in the trial of the first man and the general sentence were unjust, too severe, that he now concludes to judge the world individually? No. Were such the case, we would not have any better guarantee of a just decision in the future trial than in the past. It is not that God considers his decision in the first judgment unjust. Rather, he has provided a redemption from the penalty of the first judgment. Thus he could grant another judgment (trial) under more favorable conditions to the entire race all having then had experience with sin and its results. God has not changed one iota from his original purpose, which he formed before the world began. (Isaiah 45:18; 46:9-11; 55:11) He distinctly informs us that he does not change, and that he will by no means clear the guilty. (Malachi 3:6; Isaiah 55:11, Exodus 34:7) He will exact the full penalty which he justly pronounced.

(11) But note this! that full penalty has been provided by the Redeemer or substitute whom God himself provided. Jesus Christ, who, by the grace [unmerited favor] of God, tasted death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9) Our Lord provided a ransom for Adam’s race with his own life. Therefore he can justly give a new offer of life to them all. This offer to the his disciples is under the covenant by Jesus’ sacrifice, by which receive powers of the age to come as firstfruits of creatures to receive life. (Psalm 50:5; Galatians 3:14-17, 26-29; Hebrews 6:5; James 1:18) The world will receive the offer under the New Covenant in the age to come. — Romans 14:9; Hebrews 10:16; Jeremiah 31:31.

(12) We are further informed that when God gives the world this individual trial, it will be under Christ as Judge, whom Jehovah will thus honor because of his obedience even to the point of death for our redemption. God has highly exalted him, giving a name that above every name. (Philippians 2:9) He is therefore a Prince and a Savior. (Acts 5:31) He will be able to recover from death and grant judgment to all whom he purchased with his own precious blood. (1 Peter 1:18,19) God has committed all judgment to the Son, and has given him all power in heaven and in earth. — John 5:22.

(13) It is, then, the highly exalted, glorified Christ, who will be the Judge of the world in its promised future trial. And it is Jehovah himself who has appointed him to that office, for that very purpose. And what great love and concern Jesus has shown for the world by giving his life as its ransom-price! (John 3:17; 12:47,48) Since such are the plain declarations of the Scriptures, there is nothing to dread, but on the contrary there is great cause for rejoicing on the part of all, as they look forward to the Judgment Day. (Isaiah 35:10) Indeed, it is this day that world of mankind is ignorantly awaiting while in its present bondage of corruption. (Romans 8:19-22) The personal attributes of the Judge is sufficient guarantee that the judgment will be just and merciful, and with due consideration for the infirmities of all, until the willing and obedient are brought back to the original perfection lost in Eden.

(14) A judge, in ancient times, was one who executed justice and relived the oppressed. Note, for instance, how, when under oppression by their enemies because of transgression against Jehovah, Israel was time and again released blessings by the raising up of judges. Thus we read: “When the children of Israel cried to Jehovah, Jehovah raised up a savior to the children of Israel, who saved them . . . . The Spirit of Jehovah came on him, and he judged Israel; and he went out to war . . . . and his hand prevailed. . . . The land had rest forty years.” (Judges 3:9-11) So, though the world has long been under the power and oppression of the adversary, Satan, yet shortly he who pays for the sins of all with his own precious blood will take his great power and reign. He will deliver and judge those whom he so loved as to redeem. With this conclusion all the prophetic declarations agree. It is written: “He will judge your people with righteousness, And your poor with justice.” — Psalm 72:2.

(15) This coming judgment will be on exactly the same principles as the first. The same law of obedience will be presented, with the same reward of life, and the same penalty of death. (Acts 3:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:8,9) And as the first trial had a beginning, progressed, and culminated with a sentence, so also will the second. The sentence will be life to the righteous, and death to the unrighteous. The second trial will be more favorable than the first, because the experience gained under the results of the first trial. Unlike the first trial, the second trial will be one in which every man will stand the test for himself alone, and not for another. None will then die because of Adam’s sin, or because of inherited imperfections. It will no more be said: “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But everyone shall die for his own iniquity: every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.” “The soul who sins, he shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4; Jeremiah 31:29,30) And it will be true of the world then, as it is of the disciples of Jesus now, that a man will not be judged according to that which he does not have, but according to that which he does have. (2 Corinthians 8:12) Under the reign of Christ, mankind will be gradually educated, trained and disciplined until they reach full knowledge of God and ability to keep his requirements perfectly. (Isaiah 2:3,4; 29; 24; 1 Timothy 2:4) And when they have reached such full knowledge and ability, full harmony with God will be required. Any who then fall short of perfect heart obedience will be cut off, being judged unworthy of life. (Deuteronomy 10:12; 11:13; 26:16; Proverbs 17:3; Romans 6:17; Hebrews 10:26) The sin which brought death to the race through Adam was simply one disobedient act. (Romans 5:18) But by that act he fell from his perfection. God had a right to demand complete obedience of him, since he was created with complete ability to obey. He will demand the same of all men when the great work of restoring them is complete. To fall short of perfect obedience, then, will be to sin willfully against full light and perfect ability.

(16) The conclusion of the world’s coming judgment is clearly shown in the parable of the sheep and goats, (Matthew 25:31-46) and also Revelation 20:15; 21:8; 1 Corinthians 15:25. These and other scriptures show that at its close the two classes will have been completely separated — the obedient and the disobedient — those in complete harmony with God’s law, and those out of harmony with it. The obedient enter into everlasting life, and the others are remanded to death, extinction (“second death”). (Revelation 21:8) It will not be the same sentence as in the first judgment, from which they had been reckonedly released by Christ who secured the right to release them by the giving of their ransom by his death. This will be their second death. No ransom will be given for them from this sentence. (Hebrews 10:26) There will be no release or resurrection for them because their sin will be willful, individual sin against full light and opportunity, under a most favorable individual trial.

(17) We do not wish to be understood as ignoring the present responsibility of the world, which every person has, according to the measure of light enjoyed, whether it be much or little, whether it be the light of nature or of revelation. “Jehovah’s eyes are everywhere, keeping watch on the evil and the good,” and “For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil” (Proverbs 15:3; Ecclesiastes 12:14) The good and bad works of the present time will receive a just recompense of reward either now or hereafter. “Some men’s sins are evident, going before to judgment, and some men also they follow after.” (1 Timothy 5:24) No others than those who are now have tasted of the heavenly gift, and made partakers of the holy spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, have as yet sufficient light to incur the final penalty, the second death. (Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26) We here merely introduce the subject of the world’s accountability, leaving the particulars for subsequent consideration.

(18) There is a period of several thousand years between the world’s first and second judgment days. During this long period God has been selecting two special classes from amongst mankind. He has been specially trying, disciplining and training them to be his honored instruments during the period or day of the worlds judgment. These two classes are respectively designated by Paul (Hebrews 3:5,6) as the house of sons and the house of servants. The former is composed of those who are called out of the world to be of the seed of Abraham during the during the Christian dispensation. (Galatians 3:26,27) The latter is composed of the faithful overcomers who lived before the Christian dispensation. These special selections should not be understood as causing any interference with the judgment or trial promised to the world of mankind in the age to follow this Gospel, or Good News, dispensation. Those who successfully pass the trial for either of these special classes will not come into judgment with the world, but will enter into their reward when the world is coming into judgment. (John 5:24) They will be God’s agents in the blessing of the world in giving men the instruction and training necessary for their final testing and judgment. “Don’t you know that the saints will judge the world?” — 1 Corinthians 6:2; See also: Daniel 7:22; Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:29,30; Revelation 20:4.

(19) These specially selected classes, like the rest of mankind, were once under the Adamic condemnation, but became sharers by faith in the benefits of Christ’s death. (Ephesians 2:3; Romans 4:3,5) After being first justified by faith in God’s promises, and having then fulfilled the subsequent conditions of their respective callings, they are accounted worthy of high exaltation to stations of honor and authority. — 1 Peter 5:6.

(20) The trial or judgment of both these classes has been much more severe than the trial of world will be in its judgment day. These have had to withstand Satan, the ruler of this world, with all his cunning and devious schemes. The world’s judgment day, on the other hand, will have Jesus as its ruler. Satan will be bound so that he will not be able to mislead the nations. (Revelation 20:3) The sons and servants of God in the present age have suffered persecution for righteousness sake. In the next age people will be rewarded for righteousness and punished only for unrighteousness. The justified of this age have had great stumbling blocks and snares in the way, which will be removed when the world is placed on trial. But though the trial of these two special companies has been much more severe than the trial of the world will be, the rewards are correspondingly greater.

(21) Under the appealing, yet misleading guidance of the great deceiver, the world, including the false churches of popular Christianity, have been robbed of the blessed awareness of the coming time of righteous judgment. (Revelation 12:9) Many may know that the Bible tells of a coming judgment day, but most regard it with only fear and dread. Because of this fear, there is to them no more unwelcome news than the day of Jehovah is at hand. They put it far away from them, and do not wish to hear it even mentioned. They have no idea of the blessings in store for the world in that glorious reign of him whom God has appointed to judge the world in righteousness. (1 Corinthians 2:6-8) Among the greatest of the blinding influences which Satan have devised to keep men in ignorance of the truth regarding the judgment day have been the errors which have crept into the creeds and hymn books of the various religious sects. Many have come to esteem these errors as of paramount importance to the Word of God. — Matthew 15:6-9.

(22) How differently did the prophets and apostles regard that promised day of judgment! Note the exultant prophetic utterance of David (1 Chronicles 16:31-34). He says:

Let the heavens be glad,
and let the earth rejoice;
Let them say among the nations, Jehovah reigns.
Let the sea roar, and the fullness of it;
Let the field exult, and all that is therein:
Then shall the trees of the wood sing for joy before Jehovah;
For he comes to judge the earth.
Oh give thanks to Jehovah; for he is good;
For his lovingkindness endures forever.

(23) The apostle Paul points to the same day, assuring us that it will be a glorious and desirable day, and that the whole creation is groaning and travailing in pain together as they wait for that day. Then the great Judge will deliver and bless the world, as well as exalt and glorify his disciples. — Romans 8:21,22.

(24) In John 5:28,29 a precious promise for the world of a coming judgment-trial for life everlasting is, by a mistranslation, turned into a fearful imprecation. According to the Greek, they that have done evil – that have failed to obtain divine approval – will come forth to a resurrection of judgment [Greek, krisis see paragraph 3]. What a glorious prospect for all! What glorious Good News the true message of the Bible is!

Related Links:

Mankind’s Course to the Day of Judgment

Ages in the Bible and the Last Day of Judgment

Armageddon, The Second Death, and Judgments

Judgment and the Lake of Fire

When God Blesses All Peoples

(1) Today many world leaders and others are trying their best to solve man’s problems and bring about better conditions upon this earth. But it seems that no matter where we look, we are constantly confronted with disheartening troubles. Not only do we have our own personal heartaches, but as we watch T.V., listen to the radio, or read the daily newspaper, we are bombarded with the international, national, and local distresses that the world is in. But will man ever find any lasting solutions to the age-old problems of war, sickness, disease, crime, and the more modern problems of pollution and mental breakdown of society? But, of course, man’s greatest enemy is death. For man to completely be ideal, he would need to have continuous hope for the future. Can we ever expect our scientists and doctors to overcome our greatest enemy death?

(2) Only the Bible holds out the true hope for man. There we read about coming blessings for all mankind that will more than counterbalance his present distressful state. The Bible tells us that one night in Judea many years ago, some shepherds were watching their sheep in the fields. But this was no ordinary night, for on this night these shepherds were to see and hear something very unusual. We can read about what happened to them in the Holy Bible, at Luke 2:9-11. There we read that an angel of God appeared to them, and the glory of God “shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them: ‘Be not afraid! For look, I am bringing you good news of great joy which will come to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'”You may recognize this passage as Luke’s record of the birth of Jesus. Thousands of people have thrilled at this story for almost two millennia. Very few, however, have ever grasped the full meaning of the angel’s message that night. How does this good news that the angel gave that night affect you, your family, your neighbors, and all other peoples on earth?

People Need the Good News!

(3) What do the peoples on the earth need to make them happy? The Bible tells us that the whole creation, that is, all mankind, is groaning and travailing in pain, ignorantly waiting for the these promises. Not only is the world waiting in pain, but also those who are truly serving God are also waiting in hope of new and better conditions to come. (Romans 8:19-26) But God hears the groaning cries of His creatures and will bring them to their desired haven. (Psalm 107:26-30) What will be the better conditions to come which all peoples everywhere desire?

God Fulfills Man’s Earnest Desires

(4) One thing that people everywhere desire is to be free of sickness. Can you imagine a world where no one will say “I am sick”? Yet this is part of the promises of the good news contained in the Bible. (Isaiah 33:24) While doctors of today are trying to alleviate some of the suffering of mankind, God has the power and ability to totally eradicate sickness from the earth. And he will do so and much more. Hear the promise as recorded by an apostle of Jesus Christ: “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying: ‘Look! the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there will be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ Then He who sat on the throne said: ‘Look! I am making all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.'” (Revelation 21:3-5) Does this mean that people will actually live and never die? Yes, this is exactly what God has promised. — Isaiah 25:8; Psalm 37:29.

(5) But, someone might say, I would not like to live forever with all of life’s problems that we have upon this earth! There is further good news from the Bible! The prophet Isaiah tells us that when the blessings arrive upon the earth, people will “not work for nothing, nor bring forth children for trouble.” (Isaiah 65:23) Nor will bad people be allowed to destroy these blessings as often happens now. Then “the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26:9) Aren’t these blessings what mankind really wants, what he really yearns for?

(6) But wait, what about war? How will all of these blessings come if man cannot get along with each other? Today man is learning the lessons of war. But when God blessings all mankind, the whole earth will be taught the ways of peace. Isaiah tells us that through the worldwide governmental agencies that will be operating then, all nations will be taught how to be at peace. As a result all wars will cease. The implements of warfare will be destroyed and remolded into instruments of productivity. (Isaiah 2:2-4; See also Psalm 46:8-11; Micah 4:3,4) Picture in your mind a world without soldiers and the destructive weapons of today. Won’t it be a sigh of relief to see these gone?

(7) But there is one more thing. What about our loved ones who have died? Have they missed out on these blessings? No, for Jesus promised that all in the graves will come forth, some to life, some to judgment (Greek, krisis). They will be given an opportunity to partake of these blessings. (John 5:28,29; Isaiah 25:6-9) Wouldn’t you like to see your loved ones alive again, and happy?

How Will These Blessings Come?

(8) Man has been trying for six thousand years to bring about better things upon this earth. But each new invention, each government, each new development, has brought fresh problems resulting in revolutions, insurrections, and dissatisfaction. To illustrate, during the nineteenth century it was generally believed that man would gradually bring about peace and security by new technology and knowledge. But the outbreak of World War I in 1914 brought in a new era of unparalleled insecurity and distrust. As more and more knowledge is gathered and dispersed on secular topics, it has also spread distrust, fear and dissatisfaction, leading to turmoil and worldwide trouble. And, now, it appears, from the standpoint of man alone, that the world is involved in never-ending war with terrorism. These things are foretold in the Bible as marking the time of the end of the kingdoms of this world. (Daniel 12:1,4; 2:44) All such divisions amongst man will be done away with, allowing for peace to finally come. When the kingdoms of this world are finally removed, then God’s own kingdom will fill the whole earth, bringing about the conditions mentioned earlier. This is spoken of as the “good news of the kingdom.” — Matthew 9:35; 24:14.

(9) When will these things occur? We believe in the near future. Prophecies that are now being fulfilled give us reason to believe that God’s kingdom will soon bring peace and security to all the world. Jesus foretold that in the time of his second coming there would be “distress of nations, with perplexity, men’s hearts failing them for fear” (Luke 21:25,26), as they see things “coming upon the face of the earth.” The apostle Paul tells us that the last days would be marked by a great increase of wickedness and selfishness. (2 Timothy 3:1-5,13) Indeed, these very conditions are what we are experiencing in the earth today! Especially with constant threat of terrorists, the nations are becoming more and more distressed, as the cost of fighting terrorism increases, affecting the economies of the nations.

(10) Without a doubt, the nations today, with their nuclear weaponry could completely obliterate all life upon the earth! Likewise, with other methods of warfare, such as germ and gas warfare. If man is permitted to continue in his mad race to self destruction, this could indeed be his doom! How, then, can we expect hope for the future? Because man will not be permitted to destroy himself, neither by nuclear warfare nor by any other means. Jesus said: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever will be. And except those days be shortened, there should be no flesh saved. But for the chosen’s sake, those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24:20,21) In other words, Jesus tells us that things will not be allowed to continue to the point that “there should be no flesh saved.” To his followers in this time he said: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your deliverance is approaching.” — Luke 21:28.

Faith in the Promises

(11) How can a person believe this? How can we know for a certainty that these things will come to pass? How can we be sure that all these promises aren’t nothing more than the passing fantasies of the writers? The Bible describes faith as “the reality of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) What evidence is there that these promises will come true? One of the major evidences we have is fulfilled prophecies. We can build faith in God’s Word if we can see how the prophecies recorded in the Bible have been accurately fulfilled in the past.

(12) To illustrate, let us see how we build faith in everyday occurrences. We generally have faith that tomorrow will come. We make our plans for the next day, next week, next month, and even next year. We have faith that the next day will come, for if we didn’t have that faith, there would be no need to make plans for those days. But there are reasons for having such a faith. One reason we have this faith is because we have seen the cycle of day and night continue each day since our birth. Had we suddenly been placed into our environment fully developed we might have experienced anxiety as we saw the first evening bring darkness, not believing and not knowing that another day would follow. And if someone who had seen the cycles before had told us that another day was coming, we may have hesitated to believe him until we actually saw it for ourselves. But as it is, having seen these cycles, we have confidence in them for the future.

(13) Likewise, it is the same with the Bible. It may be hard to have confidence in the Bible if we have not seen how accurately it has foretold events hundreds, even thousands of years before they occurred. Additionally, many peoples minds have been turned against the Bible as there is an increasing flood of material that would claim that the Bible is untrustworthy, self-contradictory, etc. Nevertheless, through a careful examination of fulfilled prophecies, verified by history books, we will gain confidence in God’s promises, as we will eventually realize that “God … cannot lie.” (Titus 1:2) While there are other sources of prophecy, many of the prophecies from these sources do not come true, whereas not one of the one of God’s words have failed, nor will they fail in the future. — Joshua 23:14.

(14) The Bible alone shows us what will be the outcome of the present unrest, selfishness and dissatisfaction. The Bible tells that those who think they can bring in the Messianic blessings by carnal weapons are deluding themselves; they have, instead, brought upon themselves, the poor as well as upon the rich, the great and awful trouble which the Scriptures foretold “a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation.” (Daniel 12:1) Jesus quoted this passage and added to it the words: “No, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:21) Thank God! that this great, awful “time of trouble,” in which every man’s hand will eventually be against his neighbor and against his brother, will not last. (Ezekiel 18:21; Haggai 2:22) What do the scriptures say to one today who desires to do God’s will? “Seek righteousness, seek meekness. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of Yahweh’s anger.” And we can only find righteousness by putting faith in and obeying Jesus as our Lord and Savior. — Zephaniah 2:3; Romans 3:10-13,23; 5:1,8,9; 10:9; John 3:16; 15:14; 17:3; 1 John 3:23,24.

We hope you will read some of the other Bible studies of Restoration Light Bible Study Services. God willing, we hope to present studies of many of the prophecies of the Bible that may enable one to see and understand, if willing to do so. For those with a hearing ear, through the holy spirit one can know that the Bible is truly the “word of God”. (1 Thessalonians 2:13) We can have reason to believe that God used men to write the words of the Bible, but their writing was done under the direction of God’s holy spirit. You will “know that every prophecy of Scripture did not come into being of its own interpretation, for prophecy was not at any time borne by the will of man, but being borne along by the holy spirit, holy men of God spoke.” — 2 Peter 1:20,21.

Jeremiah 31

Jeremiah 31:1 At that time, says Yahweh, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.

This scripture refers back to the “time” mentioned in Jeremiah 30:24, which reads: “The fierce anger of Yahweh shall not return, until he has executed, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days you shall understand it.”

At that time — refers to the “latter days” just spoken of in Jeremiah 30:24, specifically the time when Israel will understand. Before Israel understands, however, Yahweh’s anger will have passed. That time of understanding is in the age to come, in the days of regeneration, that Jesus spoke of. (Matthew 19:28) Today, it is still true that ‘Yahweh has poured out on Israel the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed Israel’s eyes.’ (Isaiah 6:9; 29:10; Matthew 13:14,15; John 12:39,40; Acts 20:25-27; Romans 11:7-11) However, Isaiah prophecies: “In that day [the age to come] shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.” (Isaiah 29:18) And while those of Israel who murmur in this age are kept in darkness, in that age to come, we read: “They also who err in spirit shall come to understanding, and those who murmur shall receive instruction.” — Isaiah 29:24.

“I will be the God of all the families of Israel” — Yahweh will, in that age to come, be God of all the tribes, not just the two tribes of Judah. Indeed, he will be God of all Israel who have died, since they will be raised in that day of regneration due to the application of the blood of New Covenant on their behalf. It will in that age to come that “all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written, ‘There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, And he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” — Romans 11:26.

Jeremiah 31:2 Thus says Yahweh, The people who were left of the sword found favor in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.

This refers back to the time when Israel left Egypt, in the aftermath of the time when Israel’s sons were being killed and Pharaoh endeavored to kill the Israelites as they left Egypt (Exodus 1:16,22; 2:23; 5:21; 12:37; 14:8-12; 15:9,10; 17:8-13; Acts 13:17), and Yahweh brought Israel out of Egypt, after which they were in the wilderness for forty years. — Numbers 10:33; Deuteronomy 1:30,33; 2:7; 8:2,3,16; 12:9; Nehemiah 9:12-15; Psalms 78:14-16,23-29,52; Psalms 95:11; Psalms 105:37-43; 136:16-24; Isaiah 63:7-14; Jeremiah 2:2; Ezekiel 20:14-17; John 6:31.

Jeremiah 3:3 Yahweh appeared of old to me, [saying], Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn you.

This begins with a declaration attributed to Israel, carrying forth the same thought of verse 2. Israel says: “Yahweh appeared of old to me.” — Deuteronomy 7:7-9; 10:15; 33:3,26; Hosea 11:1,4; Malachi 1:2; Romans 3:1,2; 9:13; 1 John 4:19.

In Jeremiah 31:3 we have a beautiful statement of Yahweh’s everlasting love for his people, Israel. How is Yahweh’s love for Israel “everlasting?”  We should note that the “everlasting love” is between Yahweh and the covenant people of Yahweh, the children of Israel. Although Israel, as a whole, went into apostasy time and time again, and remains in apostasy to this day, Paul tells that “the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29) Thus, Paul tells that the present blindness of Israel is only temporary:

Romans 11:25 – that a hardening in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,
Romans 11:26 and so all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written, “There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, And he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
Romans 11:27 This is my covenant to them, When I will take away their sins.”
Romans 11:28 Concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sake.”

Yes, even though God has “given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, to this very day” (Romans 11:8), Israel is still beloved in the eyes of Yahweh “for the fathers’ sake.” Yahweh has not stopped his “everlasting love” for Israel, but Paul relates that their blindness will continue until fullness [full amount, number, plentitude, enough] of the Gentiles are come in (Romans 11:25) Then, the apostle tells us, “All Israel will be saved,” and that this will fulfill the prophecy: “There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, And he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob. This is my covenant to them, When I will take away their sins.” (Romans 11:26-28) Thus, Yahweh’s love has not ceased toward Israel, for there is still that future time when Israel will receive her Savior, Jesus, and will say, “Blessed in he who comes in the name of Yahweh.” — Matthew 23:39.

Jeremiah 31:4 Again will I build you, and you shall be built, O virgin of Israel: again shall you be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dances of those who make merry.

Again will I build you, and you shall be built – Some have claimed that this refers to the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Israelites returned from their captivity in Babylon. However, that restoration was only temporary, whereas this prophecy goes on to say in Jeremiah 31:40, that this building “shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more forever. ” We know that in 70 AD Jerusalem was destroyed.

Some claim that this applies to the church, the ones called out of the world as “God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9) made up of “living stones.” (1 Peter 2:5) We believe that Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the building again of Israel may possibly have a partial application antitypically, but unless one realizes this, the full application of Jeremiah’s prophecy may be lost. By saying “again,” however, this prophecy is shown to apply directly to Israel, for such an expression cannot directly apply to the building of church, for it would imply that the church itself was in need of being rebuilt after some kind of destruction. 1 Corinthians 3:9 and 1 Peter 2:5 do not refer to a rebuilding “again” of the church, but they speak of the first building of the church, which in reality is the only building of the church. The only exception that we can think of is that could possibly apply to the resurrection of the church, but we do not know of any scripture that speaks of the resurrection of the church as a building “again “of the church.

O virgin of Israel – Some have thought the “virgin” here refers to Jesus; however, Jeremiah 18:13 tells us that the “virgin of Israel has done a horrible thing.” Did Jesus ever do a horrible thing?

Actually, Jeremiah 18:13 lets us know that “virgin of Israel” is speaking figuratively of Israel as a virgin. Israel had forgotten Yahweh by burning incense to false gods, walking in the byways of the nations.  –Jeremiah 18:15,16.

******More to follow, Yahweh willing.

5 Again shall you plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant, and shall enjoy [the fruit of it]. 6 For there shall be a day, that the watchmen on the hills of Ephraim shall cry, Arise you, and let us go up to Zion to Yahweh our God. 7 For thus says Yahweh, Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout for the chief of the nations: publish you, praise you, and say, Yahweh, save your people, the remnant of Israel. 8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the uttermost parts of the earth, [and] with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her who travails with child together: a great company shall they return here. 9 They shall come with weeping; and with petitions will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by rivers of waters, in a straight way in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

10 Hear the word of Yahweh, you nations, and declare it in the isles afar off; and say, He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as shepherd does his flock. 11 For Yahweh has ransomed Jacob, and redeemed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he. 12 They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow to the goodness of Yahweh, to the grain, and to the new wine, and to the oil, and to the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. 13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old together; for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. 14 I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, says Yahweh. 15 Thus says Yahweh: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more. 16 Thus says Yahweh: Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says Yahweh; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. 17 There is hope for your latter end, says Yahweh; and [your] children shall come again to their own border.

18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself [thus], You have chastised me, and I was chastised, as a calf unaccustomed [to the yoke]: turn you me, and I shall be turned; for you are Yahweh my God. 19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I struck on my thigh: I was ashamed, yes, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. 20 Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a darling child? for as often as I speak against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says Yahweh. 21 Set up road signs, make guideposts; set your heart toward the highway, even the way by which you went: turn again, virgin of Israel, turn again to these your cities. 22 How long will you go here and there, you backsliding daughter? for Yahweh has created a new thing in the earth: a woman shall encompass a man. 23 Thus says Yahweh of Hosts, the God of Israel, Yet again shall they use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities of it, when I shall bring again their captivity: Yahweh bless you, habitation of righteousness, mountain of holiness. 24 Judah and all the cities of it shall dwell therein together, the farmers, and those who go about with flocks. 25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and every sorrowful soul have I replenished. 26 On this I awakened, and saw; and my sleep was sweet to me.

27 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of animal. 28 It shall happen that, like as I have watched over them to pluck up and to break down and to overthrow and to destroy and to afflict, so will I watch over them to build and to plant, says Yahweh. 29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. 30 But everyone shall die for his own iniquity: every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge. 31 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Yahweh. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people: 34 and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Yahweh; for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yahweh: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.

35 Thus says Yahweh, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who stirs up the sea, so that the waves of it roar; Yahweh of hosts is his name: 36 If these ordinances depart from before me, says Yahweh, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. 37 Thus says Yahweh: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then will I also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says Yahweh. 38 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that the city shall be built to Yahweh from the tower of Hananel to the gate of the corner. 39 The measuring line shall go out further straight onward to the hill Gareb, and shall turn about to Goah. 40 The whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields to the brook Kidron, to the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy to Yahweh; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more forever

Works of the Second Advent (Links)

This page has links to articles that appeared in “The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom,” May/June 2009 issue; we do not necessarily agree with all conclusions given by the authors:

Theme: Works of the Second Advent


In the Beginning (Works of the Second Advent-Introduction)

Audio MP3

Completing the Church
Audio MP3

Jesus is like a bridegroom who comes to take his bride to her new home. Titus 2:13; Psalm 46; Matthew 25:1-13;  Luke 12:35-53;  Daniel 12:12; Revelation 3:20;

The Restoration of Israel
Audio MP3

Israel’s 1,845 years of disfavor ended in A.D. 1878.

Smiting the Nations
Audio MP3
It is not just the nations; the Dragon, Beast, and False Prophet are destroyed as well.

Three Angels
Audio MP3
Christendom is judged—the faithful leave her.

Alive and Remain
Audio MP3
Resurrecting the saints: a verse-by-verse study of 1 Thessalonians 4, verses 13 to 18.

The General Resurrection
Audio MP3
Everyone, both good and bad, will be resurrected.

The Ancient Worthies in the
Millennial Kingdom

Audio MP3
The faithful ones of old will become the kingdom’s visible representatives.

Highway of Holiness
Audio MP3
Isaiah chapter 35 describes a way by which all mankind will be able to reach perfection.

Poems and Short Features

A Canaan on Earth
Audio MP3

The Beginning
Audio MP3

Divine Revelation
Audio MP3

Forgiveness of Sins
Audio MP3

Spring—Life Anew
Audio MP3


Some Helpful Books:

The keys of Revelation: Jesus testimony — (By Frank Shallieu) We do not necessarily agree with all of the author’s conclusions, but we have found this work to be helpful in our studies of the book of Revelation.

The Emphasized Bible * Canada * United Kingdom – (by Joseph Bryant Rotherham) This Bible translation is acclaimed by many to be the best English translation available.