Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 77
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE – PART 47
Genesis – Revelation (Eternity)
It is so good having such a large group in for the taping this afternoon. We’re going to start right where we left off in the last lesson and that would be Revelation chapter 20. We’ll go down to verse 10.
While you’re looking that up in the studio, for those of you joining us on television, of course I say it over and over, but in case we’ve got new listeners, we’re just an informal Bible study. Hopefully you are learning how to study. Because the Word of God is so interesting, and it really becomes interesting when you learn how to rightly divide the Word
Now that’s the secret to good Bible study! And it’s not dividing the Old from the New Testament. But rather, since we’re under Grace in the Body of Christ and Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13), we have to do most of our studying in Paul’s letters, because they are addressed to you and I today. The rest of Scripture pretty much is addressed to the Nation of Israel, especially from Genesis chapter 12 through Revelation, with the exception of Paul’s letters. Well, I hope that helps. Because once you see what belongs to you every day of your Christian walk, then Bible study becomes exciting.
All right, Revelation chapter 20, and in this lesson we’ll look at the judgment for all the lost from Cain till the last one that will be born goes out into eternity lost. There is no reason for any to go to that horrible place. God has made it so simple for mankind to live with Him throughout eternity—by just believing in your heart for your salvation that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead (I Corinthians 15:1-4). But most of mankind fails to take advantage of this free gift from God.
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast (the anti-Christ) and the false prophet are, (We addressed that in that last half hour.) and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Now, I realize there are a lot of folks who are beginning to think that there’s an end to the punishment of Hell fire, but I cannot find it in Scripture.
“And I saw a Great White Throne, and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.” Now, we’ve got to identify the time factor here. This will be after the millennium has run its course. Those who rejected Christ at the end of the millennium will now be involved in this Great White Throne, because the Great White Throne judgment is for all the lost of all the ages—from Cain on up until the end of the millennium, and at which there will be no believers.
Now, I had a letter again the other day from some folks. Their preacher said that we were going to be there and see our loved ones judged. No, we will not! Because that would take all the glory of salvation away from us if we saw loved ones doomed to their eternal Hell fire. So, this is only for the lost.
We as believers have had our judgment, if you want to call it that, our examination at the judgment seat of Christ, which Paul taught back in II Corinthians chapter 5. So don’t ever let anybody tell you that any believers will be at this Great White Throne judgment. It’s at the beginning of eternity, now, and we don’t know where it is. It’s probably someplace out in the vastness of outer space, but whatever. It’s a real thing. It’s genuine. The Bible teaches it, so consequently, I have to address it.
I’ll never forget, I was teaching at a large church down in Florida. I won’t name it. It doesn’t matter. I’d had an all day Saturday Seminar. I wrestled all night, because they wanted me to teach the adult Sunday school class on Sunday morning and nothing, nothing was coming together. I got up that next morning on Sunday morning and I told Iris, “I can’t get anything to come together for that Sunday school class of about 200 people, I think.” I was just speechless. When it was time to start the class, I just told them, you know, the Lord just seemingly hasn’t laid anything on my heart and mind. And, I said, I guess the only thing I can do is ask if somebody has a question.
Well, one of the assistant pastors was sitting way at the back. He was a younger fellow. He said, “Les, you are always talking about works. How about the works in Revelation 20?” I about had heart failure! I said, great! That’s the Great White Throne. We’ll talk about it. So we turned to this chapter, and I spent the whole hour teaching Revelation 20 and the Great White Throne. Well, the Sunday school was a little ways from the sanctuary. As we were walking from the Sunday school to the Sanctuary, I can’t tell you how many of the older people in that congregation came around and said, “Les, this is the first time we’ve heard Hell fire in this church in 50 years!”
But, you see, that’s most churches. Preachers never address it anymore. I’m aware of that. People don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to admit that there is that kind of an eternal future for the lost. But, beloved, it’s in the Book. It’s as plain as language can make it, and we’d better address it.
So here we are, the Great White Throne out some place in space at the beginning of eternity. I think it’s in that interval of time between the destruction of everything and everything new—as we’re going to see, hopefully, in the next half hour in chapter 21 and 22, which is the eternity that’s awaiting us. But back to verse 12 in Revelation 20 where John says:
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened:…” Now, I have to stop a minute. Where do all these lost people come from? How could they stand before God now after 7,000 years of the human experience?
Well, go back with me to John’s Gospel. I think we can make it as plain as language can make it. John’s Gospel chapter 5 and we’ll jump in at verse 28. If you’ve got a red letter edition, it’ll be in red, because Jesus is speaking during His earthly ministry.
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, (He doesn’t say when, but it’s coming.) in the which (at that particular hour) all that are in the graves (In other words, who have lived and died.) shall hear his voice, 29. And shall come forth; (That’s resurrection.) they who have done good,…” In other words, the people of faith, whether it was Adam or Seth or Noah, all the way up through our present age, the Age of Grace and our faith in the Gospel—all who have been people of faith.
I shrink at the “done good” of that verse, because then the first thing people say is, “Well, then I have to work for my salvation.” That’s not what Jesus meant. What He meant here was those who have responded by faith, which has always been the way.
“…they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life;…” Now, let’s stop a moment. For the Body of Christ believer, that’ll be at the time of what we call the Rapture at the end of the Church Age.
Then we’ve got other groups that will be resurrected. I think they will all, for the most part, come under the resurrection of—now come back with me. Keep your hand in John. I’m not through there. But come back with me to Daniel. I referred to it in the closing moments of the last half hour, so it’s a good thing we looked at it. Daniel chapter 12 and we’ll just let Scripture speak for itself.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people: (that is Israel) and there shall be a time of trouble, (A reference to the seven years of Tribulation) such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” In other words, you remember, the believing remnant of Israel is going to survive the Tribulation and go into the Kingdom.
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,…” Now we’ve got to be careful. You know there are groups that teach “soul sleep” and so forth. I always answer with one terse answer. The body may sleep awaiting a resurrection, but the soul never sleeps or dies.
The soul never dies. Because at creation, back there in Genesis 1:27, the human race was created in the image of God. So the human soul, spirit, that invisible part of us will die the day God does. When will that be? Never! So remember, if we’re a member of the human race, the soul and spirit will never die. It’s going to keep on living in the interval between physical death and resurrection. It’s going to keep on living for all eternity, because we’re going to live as long as God lives, whether saved or lost!
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth…” In other words, the body has been put in the grave, returned to the dust of the earth, but the soul and the spirit are still someplace. Now, keep your hand in John and Daniel and let’s go to Luke chapter 16. Again, I didn’t intend to do any of this today. I’m sorry. But I guess it’s what the Spirit leads. That’s what we have to go by.
Luke chapter 16, the rich man in torment and Abraham and Lazarus are in Paradise. All right, Luke 16, we haven’t got time to look at all of this, but just to show you that even though they’re in the place of the departed in what the Hebrew calls Sheol. In the Greek it’s called Hades, and in the English, be it right or wrong, it’s called Hell. All right, here we are:
“There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: (That is in his days of life on earth.) 20. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores. (In other words, he had none of the things of this world.) 21. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.”
“And it came to pass, that the beggar (in this case Lazarus) died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham bosom: (Which was down in Sheol, but on the Paradise side.) the rich man also died, and was buried;” So his body is going to go back to the dust of the earth. Now verse 23:
“And in hell (in Hades, in Sheol, the place of the departed) the rich man lifted up his eyes, being in torments, (See that?) and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” Now remember, this is the Lord Jesus Himself speaking. So you can’t put any doubt on it whatsoever. This is for real.
Now remember, the rich man is in the torment side of Hades, or Hell. Abraham and Lazarus are over on the Paradise side. Now, to refresh your memory, what did Jesus tell the thief on the cross just before they died? “Today, thou shalt be with me (Where?) in Paradise.” That’s what He’s talking about. Where Abraham and Lazarus were. They were in the place of the departed, which Jesus said in Matthew 12 is in the center of the earth. So I have to go along with that. At some place in the center of the earth was this place of the departed called Sheol or Hades or Hell. But it had a great gulf fixed, and over here was Torment, over here was Paradise.
Now, at Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, He took Paradise up to Heaven. But Hell remains as it is. Okay? Now just a couple of comments here, so that you’ll get where I’m coming from. Verse 25:
“But Abraham said, (to the rich man) Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime received thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. (Now here it is.) 26. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: (that separated Paradise from Torment) so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” And so on and so forth. But what I want you to see is that in the Old Testament economy, where of course Daniel is writing, the believers went down into Paradise of Sheol, and the lost went over to where the rich man is. Now, if you’ll come back with me to Daniel, maybe we can wind this up and make it understandable.
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; (See, just like Jesus said in John 5 – those who have done good; they’ve been people of faith.) and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. 4. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book,…” All right, then He tells Daniel to shut up the book and so on and so forth.
But now come all the way over to verse 8, still in Daniel 12. We’re still dealing with the resurrection of the non-Body of Christ. I have to put it that way, because, remember, we’ve got to still take care of Adam and all those before Israel became a Nation. Those are all part, I feel, of the Old Testament economy. So they’ll all be resurrected at the same time. There is not a separate resurrection for the first 2,000 and then another one. There is one resurrection for anybody that’s not in the Body of Christ, but were believers.
“And I heard, but I understood not:…” Now, do you see what this is saying? These Old Testament writers wrote of things by virtue of the Holy Spirit. They didn’t have a clue what they were writing about. But they wrote. And that’s exactly what Peter meant back here in his little epistles–“how they searched diligently.” But did they find the answers? No. It wasn’t meant for them to. And this is what we have to understand – that God reveals things for man’s understanding when He is ready to reveal it. Daniel wasn’t that fortunate. He wrote things that he couldn’t comprehend.
“And I heard, but I understood not: then I said, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9. And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.” Well, now I have, I guess, almost a canned answer by now. I’ve taught it so often. I call it the signs of the times. And when did end time signs really start accumulating. The late 1800’s.
And again, I go back to Isaiah. When Isaiah was warning Israel of the coming Babylonian invasion and the captivity, what did it sound like? Next month. How long was it? Hundred years. That’s why I feel that time-wise we’re right on God’s end time scenario of being about a hundred years. You can go back and just see in every segment of our existence that all the signs of the end time began in the last part of the 1800’s. Then after we cross over into the 1900’s, it’s a down hill run. And here we’re culminating now after a hundred years of the signs of the end time.
All right, now same way here—these things that Daniel had written prophetically were not understood until the late 1800’s. For eighteen hundred years Christendom had absolutely no concept of end time prophecy. And God didn’t intend it to be. But as we approach the end time now, of course, more and more becomes evident. So reading on in verse 10:
“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: (My, we’re seeing that, aren’t we?) and none of the wicked shall understand;…” You go out into the world today and try to tell them about end time events, and they look at you like a “bull at a new gate.” What are you talking about? Isn’t that right?
Forgive me, but my big city people love those little things. But that’s true. They haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about. It’s what the Book says. Now verse 11:
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, (Now, you’ve got to be a Bible student. When does the anti-Christ shut down Israel’s temple? In the middle of the Tribulation. All right, so from the middle of the Tribulation, then–) and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, (From the middle of the Tribulation until the event that Daniel is going to wait for–) will be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” That’s an extra thirty days.
“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty five days. (So we’ve got an extra 75 days in Daniel 12 that leads up to the resurrection of the Old Testament saints, which is in verse 13.) 13. But go thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, (In other words, Daniel is in that place of perfect bliss and rest as Abraham and Lazarus were. Only it’s not down in Paradise. Paradise is now in Glory. But nevertheless, they are still waiting for their resurrection day.) and stand in thy lot (or your company—your group of saved people) at the end of the days.” Or 75 days after Christ returns.
Now, I take that 75 days to be what Daniel 2 referred to as the dust that was blown away after the stone smites the image. You remember that in Daniel 2? The stone that smote the image and ground it to powder and then the wind blew the chaff and the residue away. I take that to take place during this 75 days, and that will make the earth ready for the glory of the Kingdom.
All right, now we’re still back in John. Okay, John chapter 5 again, now maybe this will mean a little more to you. Verse 28, let’s just read it all over.
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the grave shall hear his voice, 29. And shall come forth; they who have done good, (the people of faith) unto the resurrection of life;…” And we’ve broken them down into two companies or orders. The Rapture of the Body of Christ before the Tribulation; and after the Kingdom is set up, the Old Testament and the rest of the world’s population that are believers. Those are the two resurrections of life! Now, come to the next one.
“…and they who have done evil, (They’ve never responded to God’s Word. They have never responded by faith. They will come–) unto the resurrection of condemnation.” Okay, now I’ve got four minutes left to bring this to a head. Come back with me once again to Revelation chapter 20.
For the believers there will be two resurrections. The resurrection of the Body of Christ at the Rapture, and the resurrection of all the rest of the believers before we come into the Kingdom event when the Old Testament saints will come back 75 days after Christ returns. But now at the end of everything, at the end of the 7,000 years or whatever else goes on after that. At the end of everything, the Great White Throne is set up and here come all the lost of the ages. And I feel they’ll be in bodies, otherwise why have a resurrection?
Resurrection simply means a person who has died and has been supernaturally brought back to life. Not like Lazarus. Lazarus wasn’t resurrected. He was simply brought back to life. The widow’s son was brought back to life. But resurrection is when, by God’s supernatural power, a person who has lived and died and gone back to the dust of the earth is called out with a resurrection body. And that’s what we have here. And I feel that they’re going to stand before the Lord Jesus Christ bodily. With a body not fit for eternal bliss, but a body fit for the Lake of Fire. Now, that’s my own interpretation. I can’t specifically say that’s what the Book says, but I think I’m close. All right, read on in verse 12.
“So I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books (plural) were opened: and another book (singular) was opened, which is the book of life:…” And if they weren’t in the Book of Life, God would show it to them, proof positive. You’ve never entered into eternal life. You’ve never exercised faith. And then He judges their punishment in the Lake of Fire, where there will be degrees. Absolutely there will be. He gives out the punishment according to the works that were registered in the books. Reading on in verse 12:
“and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; (And I think that takes you all the way back to the early centuries of the human experience before the flood.) and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” None excepted. Every human being that has ever lived is going to have his moment of time, although it’s in eternity, before the Lord Jesus Christ.
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” In other words, they’re resurrected out of Hell where the rich man was. They’re resurrected out of wherever the lost have been in the interval of time, and then bodily they are cast into the Lake of Fire—the second death.
The first death, of course, is physical death. The second death is spiritual death. Now then verse 15, oh, we don’t like this. I know we don’t. I can sometimes wake up at night and think about this. How I wish it weren’t true. But, beloved, it is. And until God tells us clearly that it’s wrong, we have to accept it as biblical truth. Verse 15:
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” And Jesus Himself over and over used what kind of terminology? Forever and ever and ever and ever. It is without end.
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