Let us go back in our minds to the judgment of the lost. "And I saw a great white throne... and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Revelation 20:11.12.
When the judgment is over, the execution of the verdict must take place. But first, the holy city, the New Jerusalem will descend from heaven to the earth. John saw this in vision.
"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband... And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God." Revelation 21:2.10.
This city will land on the earth and become its capital. It is a huge city -- "twelve thousand furlongs...." on each side. Revelation 21:16. It is a square city, approximately three hundred miles on each side. It is magnificent, with twelve foundations of precious jewels, twelve gates of pearl and its streets are transparent gold. Revelation 21:11-21.
Now remember, the earth is a complete mess, totally destroyed and with a very uneven surface. God will prepare a place for the city, making a clean flat area. Imagine seeing this beautiful city descending out of the skies. What a sight!
After the New Jerusalem has come to rest on the earth, the lost will be resurrected. (This is when they are loosed for a little season. Rev 20:3.) What a shock it will be for many professing Christians who had willingly taught error to find they are on the outside of the city. Now they are filled with remorse -- they know what it means: they are lost.
Remember that the wheat is safely in the garner of God, never-more to suffer. God's people are now immortal and in a heavenly bliss that will never end.
During the 1000 years, those who are saved in God's kingdom will take part in the judgment of the lost. Paul mentioned this when he said, "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" 1 Corinthians 6:4. It won't only be the fallen angels, but will include all those who will not be in heaven.
"And I saw thrones and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." Revelation 20:4.
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away... And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Revelation 20:11.12.
The lost are dead, so they don't actually stand before the judgment seat, instead they are judged out of the record books of their lives. Angels record every action of our lives and these will be the basis of the judgment for those who are not saved. The saved who are already in heaven have been judged before the return of Christ. The basis of their judgment is whether their names are in the book of life, and if the blood of Jesus covers their sins. The book of life is opened for the lost, but none of their names are written there.
Just think of it. The saved have opportunity to look into the lives of every person who has ever lived who is not in heaven. A judgment is important for us, not for God. He knows who will be saved and who will be lost, but the saved need to know why some are in heaven (surprise! surprise!) and some are not there (why? why?). The investigation of the books of records will reveal the reason.
During this time, each life is investigated, and the intensity of the punishment recorded. Jesus, who is the Judge, will place His approval on it.
Always remember that the decision for heaven or hell is our own. The punishment was only meant for the fallen angels, but if we choose to reject God and His mercy, we have chosen to join them in their fate. It is not through fear that we choose God, but because His amazing love was willing to accept the voluntary act of His Son to suffer the punishment for our sins on the cross.
The distinction between the wheat and the tares will be revealed even more clearly than the distinction between the grass paddock in the foreground and the brown one behind.
If you would like to discuss further the subjects of the Tares and the Stubble, please write to me. I will give you other verses and discuss the ones that appear to say the opposite. There is no obligation.
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The tares may begin looking nice, but as they mature, the change to become ugly. During the growing time of the harvest, there is not a great deal of difference, but after the latter rains, the tares shoot up at least a food taller than the crop. Then they can be distinguished clearly. These tares in crop are in the crop above and they do look different to the crop, however, some tares do not look much different at all. Wild oats are in the crop and others that look like the crop of oats or wheat.
Go to -- New Earth
In the spiritual realm at the end, the tares will have the character of Satan -- "Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murder, drunkenness, revellings..." Galatians 5:19-21.
Again, in your imagination, see the earth covered with billions and billions of men and women standing in awe before the magnificent city. Some are shocked finding themselves on the outside; others because they did not believe heaven existed. Now they see that the Bible was true, but it is too late.
Satan is bound for a thousand years, and when the thousand years are finished he is "bound with a great chain.... and loosed for a little season." Revelation 20:3.
This is symbolic language. No literal chain could bind Satan, but it is through circumstances he is bound. After Christ has taken the redeemed to heaven, there is no one for Satan to tempt, as all who were left behind are dead. The texts say the devil can “deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled.” Revelation 20:3. After the thousand years have ended, and the lost are resurrected, he is able once again to do his deadly work of deception.
As soon as the lost rise from the grave, Satan tells them they can take the city. ‘Look at the billions on our side’, he says. ‘We can attack the city and take it.’ “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth… to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” Revelation 20:8.9.
Following his instructions, men and women begin to prepare instruments for the attack. There are no factories to do the job, so they gather everything they can find among the rubble and shape it as best they can into weapons of war.
When they are ready, they go up on the breadth of the earth, and encompass the New Jerusalem. Before they can hurl their first weapons, they see the Son of God about to deliver the verdict of the judgment. How it will take place, we do not know, but every single lost person must learn why they are not in the new Jerusalem. God will give them a panorama of their lives. It may be in the mind; it may be in the sky like a big screen, we don’t know, but the verdict must be given.
When every man and woman realises they have forfeited their right to heaven by their own actions and decision, they will fall to their knees. “At the name of Jesus, every knee (will) bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue (will) confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9.10. Romans 14:11.
All will confess that God is just in His ways and judgment. It will not come from a change of heart, but from a realisation that God has done everything righteously. Even Satan and his evil host will bow before God and acknowledge His righteousness.
It is not long before Satan is up from his knees. He again turns to the multitude, and encourages them to take the city. It is at this point that every person realises that their loss of heaven is not only their own decision, but it was at the instigation of Satan. Instead of turning towards the city, they rush upon the Deceiver with angry shouts. They wave their weapons, with an intent is to kill him. They may have done so, except that fire begins to fall from heaven.
“…and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone…. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:9.10.15. The wording of this chapter is not in order, and there is no mention of the verdict being given. However, as no earthly court would have a trial and not deliver the verdict, neither would God. He does everything with justice. So although it is not mentioned, we know it will take place. The fire that comes down from heaven becomes the lake of fire.
This is God’s “strange work”, but justice demands it. He must “bring to pass his act, his strange act” to remain just. Isaiah 28:21. It is not in God’s heart to kill and destroy, but for the sake of justice, and to safeguard the universe, He must bring it to pass.
Many will die in a moment, others a little longer. Satan and his angels will burn for many days, and Satan the longest of all. This is “the second death”. Revelation 20:14.
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15. God’s promise to His people who overcome sin is that they will “not be hurt of the second death.” Revelation 2:11. Their names remain in the book of life, for God promises, “I will not blot his name out of the book of life.” Revelation 3:5.
The second death is hell, that place men and women say is eternal torment. Thousands of Christians believe that hell must continue for eternity as a reminder of the evil nature of sin and of Christ’s suffering on Calvary. Can you imagine being happy in heaven when you know your friends and even loved ones are suffering in an eternal burning hell? More than that, what kind of a God would make people suffer for eternity with no release ever? Would that be justice? Of course not. It is a diabolical scheme of the devil to accuse God of being a tyrant.
After the fire has done its work, it will go out. Nothing will be left but ashes. “For behold the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven: and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch…. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 4:1.3.
Remember, God’s people are in the holy city; the gates are shut, and the fires do not affect them. After the fire is out, and all that remains is ashes, God is not going to allow His people to go out of the city and walk on ashes. Ash is very light and when moved, it flies everywhere. One must be careful not to breathe it in. No. The saints will remain in the city until God begins His final work for them – to recreate the earth. When the work begins, the ashes will be turned to soil, and only in this sense will they walk on the ashes of the lost.
Turning our thoughts to those who inherit the kingdom, God promises to “wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4. If you have lost loved ones and friends in that day, God will take their memory from your mind. There will be no more pain. You will not remember the heartaches and the suffering you have gone through. God says, “Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5.
Only one reminder of sin will remain – the nail prints in the hands and feet of Jesus.
In the spiritual realm, those who are God's children have His character -- "love, joy, peace, gentleness, patience, faith, meekness, and self control." Galatians 5:22.23.
This is vitally important for us all to understand. If we are surrendered to Jesus, we have His Spirit dwelling within, and it is the Spirit that changes us to become like Him. It is not our obedience to the Law of God that changes us, but His power in our lives. This is the mystery of God, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27.
Of course we do keep the Ten Commandments because they are written upon our hearts, and in love for Jesus, we will obey. "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." 2 Corinthians 3:3.
Jesus said, "If ye love Me, keep my commandments." John 14:15. Only His love and His Spirit can give us the power to obey.
If we are not surrendered, the Spirit cannot dwell within, and the Law of God will not be there. To the worldly person, the Law is restrictive of freedom. In reality is not freedom at all, but slavery to Satan.
The conditions of this world will become worse and worse and God's people will need to stay very close to Him to be able to get through it until Christ returns. Heresy and error will be presented as truth by the churches and only those who study and hold to the Word of God will be able to see the truth.
We must love the truth. If we don't, we will be deceived. "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie..." 2 Thessalonians 2:10.11.
It is not that God will actually send them a lie, but as the Word is not studied, error will be readily received. Jesus warned about false Christs and false prophets, "and they shall deceive many." Matthew 24:11. The teacher or minister does not need to claim to be a prophet, but if the message is not according to the Word of God, it will be a lie. These men and women are tares of the worst kind because they claim to have the truth in the name of Jesus.
This is wild oats and must be sorted from the crop. It grows much taller than good oats.
Tares are in this crop.