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Satan's Demise

We just spent seven days celebrating the coming peace of God's righteous government, soon to be established over the whole world. It not only pictures a time of peace and prosperity in the renewed and rejuvenated earth, it also celebrates a time when the truthful knowledge of God is to be made freely available to all people then living after the Tribulation.

In the fourth chapter of Mark, however, Christ spoke of the present conditions in the world when he told of the parable of the sower. Jesus addressed all four conditions in which people could receive the truth of God. We'll read from the English Standard Version.

(Mar 4:3-9 ESV) "Listen! A sower went out to sow. (4) And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. (5) Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. (6) And when the sun rose it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. (7) Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. (8) And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold." (9) And he said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Let's hear Christ's own interpretation of the parable, as he explained it to his disciples in verse ten.

(Mar 4:10-20 ESV) And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. (11) And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, (12) so that "they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven." (13) And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? (14) The sower sows the word. (15) And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. (16) And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. (17) And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. (18) And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, (19) but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (20) But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."

The Eighth Day

Today we are keeping the eighth day, better known as the Last Great Day. It is a day separate from the other seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles but it probably has more potential than all the other days of the Feast of Tabernacles because of what it portends for the distant future on into eternity.

If you were to go to most denominations of Christian churches or turn on the television early on most Sunday mornings, you would hear most preachers admonishing people to accept Christ and be saved right now. They tell stories of eternal damnation and unending torture for those who don't seek out Christ and are not saved today. Regardless of the denomination, their messages have a curious similarity: today is the only day of salvation. We've read many scriptures this week wherein God condemns the shepherds or ministers of Israel for misguiding, deceiving, and prophesying lies to his sheep. In doing so, they deny the true message of God in favor of a message which enslaves the people. More often than not, they teach a message about a harsh and angry God of the Old Testament and a peaceful, loving, forgiving God of the New Testament. They preach about the life of Jesus but deny or obscure the real gospel message he taught. Yes, Jesus did tell of a coming day of judgment on the whole world and he did speak of eternal death as the ultimate punishment for some but he also taught of God's forgiveness upon true repentance and how all Israel would some day be reconciled to God. He also taught about the real causes of sin and the true accountability for the source of mankind's sin.

A World of Slaves

We just read the parable of the sower. We know the four different types of people discussed and the four situations in which the witness of the word of God might be received. Let's focus, however, on the first, second, and third types of reception: the seed sown along the path; the seed sown on the rocky ground; and the seed sown among the thorns. Each of the three might sound different but there is a common denominator. In Ephesians 2:1, Paul discusses the commonality between apparently unrelated circumstances.

(Eph 2:1-7 NASB) And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, {2} in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. {3} Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. {4} But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, {5} even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), {6} and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, {7} in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

We were, essentially, dead in our sins because of our disobedience to God and our susceptibility to the influence of Satan. We were under Satan's sway. We didn't seek first to do God's will in our lives. Our very thoughts, as well as our actions, were subject to the spiritual power and influence of Satan.

In 2 Corinthians 4:3, Paul establishes the fact that, under the sway of Satan, most of the world's population has been blinded from the truth of God.

(2 Cor 4:3-4 NASB) And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, {4} in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

In 2 Timothy 2:24, Paul tells us how to escape the world's captivity to Satan.

(2 Tim 2:24-26 NASB) And the Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, {25} with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, {26} and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

When people in the world do the continual bidding of Satan, they are slaves to the devil. In 1 John 3:8, the apostle said that Jesus came to liberate the world from Satan's captivity.

(1 John 3:8 NASB) the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

If one of the reasons Jesus came to earth was to destroy the works of the devil, just what do we know of the one called the devil? Satan is the name most often used to describe the one who works in opposition to God. The Hebrew word is Strong's number 7853, satan, and it means to attack or accuse.

Satan wasn't always an adversary to God. Ezekiel 28 tells in detail how perfect he was when he was created by God.

(Ezek 28:12-16 NASB) "Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. {13} "You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, Was in you. On the day that you were created They were prepared. {14} "You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. {15} "You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created, Until unrighteousness was found in you.

When that unrighteousness was found in the anointed cherub, he radically changed. In Isaiah 13:12, the prophet spoke of Satan's new nature.

(Isa 14:12-14 KJV) How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! {13} For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: {14} I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

In Luke 10:18, Christ also spoke of Satan's change and of his rejection from heaven

(Luke 10:18 NKJV) And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

In John 8:44, Jesus spoke of Satan's new nature.

(John 8:44 NASB) "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.

Satan's Influences

In 2 Corinthians 11:14, the Apostle Paul also tells of the assistance Satan now has to spread his nature throughout the world.

(2 Cor 11:14-15 NASB) And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. {15} Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.

Earlier, in 2 Corinthians 2:11, Paul warned of the schemes that Satan uses.

(2 Cor 2:11 KJV) Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Revelation 12:10 shows how it is Satan's continual ambition to accuse God's righteous ones.

(Rev 12:10 NASB) And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.

Even such stalwart men of God as David were not immune to Satan's influences. In 1 Chronicles 21:1, we can see one of the instances in which Satan swayed David to rebel against God's direction.

(1 Chr 21:1 NASB) Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.

In Ephesians 6:11, Paul tells us how to stand up against Satan's devices.

(Eph 6:11 NASB) Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

A few verses later in verse 14, Paul gives step-by-step instructions how to defend against the attacks of Satan.

(Eph 6:14-16 NASB) Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, {15} and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; {16} in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.

Luke 22:3 shows us that, beyond mere influences, Satan can actually enter a man to do his evil deeds.

(Luke 22:3 NASB) And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve.

Although they are his most frequent tool to achieve his desires, evil men of this world are not the only way Satan works. He also has the ability confront directly. In Matthew 4:3, we can see how he directly confronted Christ in the wilderness.

(Mat 4:3-4 NASB) And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." {4} But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'"

Even though he has had dominion over the earth's population throughout the history of mankind, Satan's time is almost gone. Revelation 12:12 shows he knows it, too.

(Rev 12:12 NASB) "For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time."

In these last days, however, Satan's wrath will be displayed on the whole world. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Paul gives us a glimpse of what will happen in the last days of Satan's sway.

(2 Th 2:3-12 NASB) Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, {4} who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. {5} Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? {6} And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. {7} For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. {8} And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; {9} that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, {10} and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. {11} And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, {12} in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

Overcoming Satan

In 1 Peter 5:8, the apostle warns of Satan's craftiness.

(1 Pet 5:8 NASB) Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

We are not to be in the world or act as the world acts. In James 4:7, we're told exactly what to do.

(James 4:7-8 NASB) Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. {8} Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Back in 1 Peter 5:9, Peter tells us of the true source of power to combat Satan.

(1 Pet 5:9-10 NASB) But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. {10} And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

Jesus held out to us the ultimate reward in Mark 13:13. Endurance means ultimate salvation.

(Mark 13:13 NKJV) "And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

In Hebrews 2:14, the author of Hebrews tells of how our salvation was made possible by Christ's sacrifice to God and his triumph over Satan.

(Heb 2:14-15 NASB) Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; {15} and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

Because of Christ's sacrifice, we are no longer continual slaves to Satan. 1 Corinthians 6:20 shows that we are slaves to a new master because we have been purchased by a new master.

(1 Cor 6:20 KJV) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

In 2 Peter 2:4, we're told the ways in which God has reserved different judgments for different aspects of his creation and we're told that God knows how to protect his righteous servants.

(2 Pet 2:4-9 NASB) For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; {5} and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; {6} and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter; {7} and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men {8} (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds), {9} then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,

The Resurrections

Paul knew the value of his new enslavement to God. In Philippians 3:8, he said the value of merely knowing Christ opened the door for him to obtain the lofty goal.

(Phil 3:8-12 NASB) More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, {9} and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, {10} that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; {11} in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. {12} Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

In Luke 20:34, Jesus also taught both of the value of the resurrection and of the new quality of life it will bring.

(Luke 20:34-36 NASB) And Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, {35} but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; {36} for neither can they die anymore, for they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

In Romans 6:4, Paul explains the relationship between slavery, death, resurrection and the judgment.

(Rom 6:4-7 NASB) Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. {5} For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, {6} knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; {7} for he who has died is freed from sin.

In 1 Corinthians 15, the resurrection chapter, Paul describes the transformation of our earthly bodies.

(1 Cor 15:42 NASB) So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;

In verse 21, Paul established the link between the coming judgment and our authority under the new King.

(1 Cor 15:21-24 NASB) For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. {22} For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. {23} But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, {24} then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.

Even though the Bible speaks in many places of the coming resurrection of the dead, in John 5:28, Jesus made it clear that there is more than one resurrection.

(John 5:28-29 NASB) "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, {29} and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

So, a person's resurrection does depend upon the quality of the deeds performed in this life. What do we know about the first resurrection? Hebrews 11:35 shows that the first is the more desirable resurrection.

(Heb 11:35 NASB) Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection;

Look at Christ's own words in Luke 14:12. He shows that there is a reward to come for those worthy to attain that better resurrection.

(Luke 14:12-14 NASB) And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. {13} "But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, {14} and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

The first resurrection is, by no means, the only resurrection. What about those in Israel throughout the centuries who died without having the spirit of God to enable them to understand the knowledge of God? They weren't openly rebellious to God but they were cut off from God in the same way that Jesus justified his own use of parables to teach the people in Israel during his day in order to obscure the meaning of the lessons he taught them. He did it because, in his words to his disciples, "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand." What about those other Israelites? In Ezekiel 37:1, we have a vivid picture of their resurrection.

(Ezek 37:1-14 NASB) The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. {2} And He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. {3} And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" And I answered, "O Lord GOD, Thou knowest." {4} Again He said to me, "Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.' {5} "Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, 'Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. {6} 'And I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin, and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.'" {7} So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. {8} And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew, and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. {9} Then He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life."'" {10} So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life, and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. {11} Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.' {12} "Therefore prophesy, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. {13} "Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. {14} "And I will put My Spirit within you, and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it," declares the LORD.'"

The Judgment

The scriptures so often speak of the judgment to come and they link that judgment to the discernment between the righteous and the evil. We've already seen that the resurrection of the righteous will be the first resurrection. Revelation 12:10 specifies some of the deeds performed by those deemed worthy to attain that first resurrection.

(Rev 12:10-11 NASB) And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night. {11} "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.

In turn, Revelation 20:4 speaks of the difference between the first resurrection and the resurrection to judgment.

(Rev 20:4-6 NASB) And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. {5} The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. {6} Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Notice verse five: "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed." The next verse continues the story but links that judgment with the activity of Satan.

(Rev 20:7-9 NASB) And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, {8} and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. {9} And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.

After God's defense of his beloved city, Jerusalem, by obliterating the attacking armies of the nations, God will speedily execute judgment against Satan in verse ten.

(Rev 20:10 NASB) And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Verse eleven shows the great white throne, where judgment is dispensed on all who have been resurrected from the dead. So, quite possibly, this is another resurrection, apart from either the first resurrection of the righteous or the resurrection of Israel.

(Rev 20:11-13 NASB) And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. {12} And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. {13} And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.

Notice the standard by which all the resurrected dead are judged. Their deeds were measured against "the things which were written in the books." One of those books is the Book of Life but there are also other books. In James 2:12, James tells us what those books are. After enumerating two of the ten commandments in verse 11 and defining sin in verses eight and nine, he says they are the standards by which judgment will be based.

(James 2:12 NASB) So speak and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.

In Revelation 20:14, after judgment is passed, we see the end of those who continue in rebellion against God.

(Rev 20:14-15 NASB) And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. {15} And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

The Future Eternity

In chapter 20, we saw that Satan's slaves who were defeated in battle against Jerusalem, signaled the end of Satan's reign on earth. We can also see back in the book of Isaiah how God foretold the demise of Satan thousands of years before it actually happens.

(Isa 14:12-17 NASB) "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! {13} "But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. {14} 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' {15} "Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit. {16} "Those who see you will gaze at you, They will ponder over you, saying, 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms, {17} Who made the world like a wilderness And overthrew its cities, Who did not allow his prisoners to go home?'

Paul also told of the end of Satan in Romans 16:20.

(Rom 16:20 NASB) And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

Revelation 21 tells the end of the story, which is really just the beginning of the future of eternity.

(Rev 21:1-8 NASB) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. {2} And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. {3} And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, {4} and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." {5} And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." {6} And He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. {7} "He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. {8} "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

It will be as the prophet described in Isaiah 11:1. With the final removal of the rebellious ones, our great King will rule in peace over the whole world.

(Isa 11:1-9 NASB) Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. {2} And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. {3} And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; {4} But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. {5} Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, And faithfulness the belt about His waist. {6} And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the kid, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. {7} Also the cow and the bear will graze; Their young will lie down together; And the lion will eat straw like the ox. {8} And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den. {9} They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.

All of these things were set in motion through the acceptable sacrifice of our elder brother, Jesus Christ. He paid the penalty for sin in our stead. We were incapable of paying the debt ourselves, so, as our Kinsman Redeemer, he stepped in and paid the penalty for us. As Paul said in Colossians 1:13, we were in darkness, cut off from God.

(Col 1:13-14 NASB) For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, {14} in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Brethren, we have just celebrated seven days of God's Feast of Tabernacles. Even packed as full as those days were with insight, understanding, and knowledge of God, our great God Most High saved the best for last. Today, the Last Great Day, pictures our glorious future ruling with the great King over the renewed earth in peace for all.

Let's remember the lessons we've learned here. Take them home with you and take them to heart. What a glorious future God has in store for all mankind.

Sermon given by Philip Edwards
Last Great Day
October 2, 2007
Copyright 2007,
Philip Edwards