THE LAST DAYS OF BABYLON Part 8, AGE OF DELIVERANCE

Goodnews Christian Ministry

"The Father who is the source of life has made the Son the source of life; and, because he is the Son of Man, has appointed him supreme judge. Do not be surprised at this, for the hour is coming when the dead will leave their graves at the sound of his voice: those who did good will rise again to life; and those who did evil, to condemnation." ---John 5:26-29

CHAPTER 36

Victory!

"When you see these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high,
because your redemption is near at hand."
Luke 21:28

_____________

The last battle has not yet been fought, but the war has already been won! This is the proclamation of the Almighty concerning the End.

Thousands of years -- scores of billions perhaps -- have passed since the devil first declared war on the creation of God. And now, in a very short while, that conflict will be over for good.

Billions of angels have gathered here, making ready for the victory celebration. The offer of peace has been made, a moment of atonmement declared for those who wish to be saved from the catastrophe of Satan's act.

Seconds pass and then the offer is withdrawn. Suddenly, the clouds are stirred by the feet of heaven's advancing cavaliers. In numbers beyond description they come, beckoned by the command of God. In power greater than all the universe can muster against them they come, ready to carry out the terminal censure.

While the final battle ahead may seem to us the most terrible conflict in human history, the ferocious combat defining it will be the culminating moment in the will of God whose secret intention has been to redirect the violence of Babylon against itself.

Aiming their weapons at the children of God, the soldiers of Satan will strike a mirror instead, and all the terror in their hands will fall on their own heads. It is in this fashion that Babylon will perish forever.

Like wheat, beaten on a threshing stone, the grain of God will rise from the pounding alive and unharmed, the only survivors of the war's crushing savagery.

"When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughter of Zion and cleansed Jerusalem of the blood shed in her with the blast of judgment and the blast of desolation, God will come and rest on the whole stretch of Mount Zion and on those who are gathered there..." (Is.4:4-5).

It has been revealed in the scriptures that this 'gathering' will be immense. It will stretch not only to the ends of the earth, but to the farthest reaches of the universe as well.

"In those days, after that time of distress...they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory; then too he will send the angels to gather his chosen from the four winds, from the ends of the world to the ends of heaven." (Mk.13:24-27).

When that moment appears we will all be caught up together in the air above Jerusalem to stand before the throne of God. Those who have died will be one with those who are still left alive, and all will stand before God together.

This is the time of the last Judgment when the books of our lives will be opened and read, and the wicked will have to make an account for their sins.

For those who have kept the Gospel, there will be no Judgment and no end. For these the end of the world will simply be like the changing of clothes. Like going from rags to the robes of state.

Speaking of these robes Paul said, "...there are heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies...If the soul has its own embodiment, so does the spirit have its own embodiment. This (exchange of clothes) will be instantaneous, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet sounds. "

"It will sound, and the dead will be raised, imperishable, and we shall be changed as well, because our present perishable nature must put on imperishability and this mortal nature must put on immortality...then the words of scripture will come true: 'Death is swallowed up in victory."
(1 Cor.15:41-56).

Victory is eternal life.

Eternal life is is the great triumph Jesus has brought into this doomed world, parcelling it out freely to those who believe in His righteousness and who choose to leave Satan's side and work peacefully for God according to His commands.

Death, where is your conquest? Death, where is your sting?'...So let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Never give in then, my dear brothers, never admit defeat; keep on working at the Lord's work always, knowing that, in the Lord, you cannot be laboring in vain." (1 Cor.15:41-58).

Babylon, this harsh and momentary world with all its violent cruelty will disappear forever. In its passing, a kingdom bathed for all eternity in the light of righteousness will appear to take its place -- a kingdom whose royal citizens never die, but live forever in joy and everlasting peace.

God so loved the people of this world that he sent His only Son down from heaven to offer those who would listen to Him the opportunity to escape death and gain eternal citizenship and stations of royalty in His new kingdom.

"Those judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God." (Lk.20:35-36).

Defining the Lord's offer to us, the Bible tells us that God will favor the humble and the poor, and especially those who care for others. "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted." (Lk.14:11).

"Happy the man who cares for the poor and the weak; if disaster strikes, the Lord will come to his help." (Ps.41:1).

"The Lord defends the simple, he saved me when I was brought to my knees." (Ps.115:6). "God is near to the broken-hearted, he helps those whose spirit is crushed. Hardships in plenty beset the virtuous man, but God rescues him from them all..." (Ps.34:18-20).

The nations of the earth and the hostile citizens they have gathered against the children of God will come to disaster together. "God thwarts the plans of nations, frustrates the intentions of peoples; but God's plans hold good forever, the intentions of his heart from age to age. Happy the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen for his heritage." (Ps.33:10-13).

"When that day comes, I shall set myself to destroy all the nations who advance against Jerusalem. But over the House of David and the citizens of Jerusalem I will pour out a spirit of kindness and prayer. "

"They will look on the one whom they have pierced; they will mourn for him as for an only son, and weep for him as people weep for a first-born child."
(Zech.12:9-10).

The Lord created this world with a word from His mouth. "By the word of God the heavens were made, their whole array by the breath of his mouth...He spoke, and it was created; he commanded, and there it stood." (Ps.33:6-9).

That same word has formed the scriptures by the power of Jesus Christ -- giving us a way to live forever. This means that the material creation has been formed out of the same substance as the Gospel of Christ. The two are identical.

Having come from the same mouth, they both interract with one another in perfect harmony. That is why the judgments of God reside within the structure of material creation.

When scripture tells us that creation itself will march with God in the final judgment of the earth, we can understand this by knowing that both issue from an identical source and both are under identical control.

The word that formed creation is righteousness because all the Lord does is done faithfully and He loves virtue and justice.

And what of the prophets and their word? "When that day comes...I will rid the country of the prophets, and of the spirit of impurity." (Zech.13:2). God has taken away all the instructors. There is only one Word of life and it comes entirely from Jesus.

Prophecy announces what is not known, but in Christ everything is known, so the prophets sound now only as trumpets to acknowledge a truth that has already been stated and is greater than their own -- the testimony of the Gospel.

"Thus says God, 'Let the sage boast no more of his wisdom, nor the valiant of his valor, nor the rich man of his riches! But if anyone wants to boast, let him boast of this: of understanding and knowing me. For I am God, I rule with kindness, justice and integrity on earth; yes, these are what please me." (Jer.9:22-24).

In the Lord we have the right now only to witness, not to teach. And what we witness to is true. Because it is only Jesus that is true. "Trust no more in man..." (Is.2:22).

"In my alarm, I declared, 'No man can be relied on'."
(Ps.116:11). God has sent us one teacher from heaven. And "the witness Jesus gave is the same as the spirit of prophecy." (Rv.19:10).

In the higher places of the Church we often see those whom Jesus warned about -- those who like to muddy the clear water Jesus has given to us.

"You do not need anyone to teach you. The anointing he gave you teaches you everything." (1 John 2:27). "Do not put your trust in men in power or in any mortal man, He cannot save..." (Ps.146:3).

Call no man on earth 'teacher' said Jesus, "...for you have only one teacher, the Christ." (Mat.23:10). The Gospel he has brought down to us must rule our every thought, and it must guide every move we make.

"God says, 'A curse on the man who puts his trust in man...A blessing on the man who puts his trust in God." (Jer.17:5).

It is not theology (the pronouncements of men) that makes us one with God -- theology has had a divisive history on earth -- it is only perfect trust in the Lord Himself and in the Gospel He preached that permits us to reach out to each other in the kind of love and compassion God wants.

"For he is the peace between us that makes aliens and Israel one; breaking down the barrier between them which used to keep them apart, actually destroying in his own person the hostility caused by the rules and decrees of the Law, creating out of the two a new man." (Eph. 2:14).

And the commands from heaven are simple: "Your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God." (Lk.9:60).

"What God wants is for you all to be holy. Be at peace among yourselves. And this is what we ask you to do, brothers: warn the idlers, give courage to those who are apprehensive, care for the weak and be patient with everyone. " (1 Thes.4:3, 5:14)

"Make sure that people do not try to take revenge; you must all think of what is best for each other and for the community. Be happy at all times; pray constantly; and for all things give thanks to God, because this is what God expects you to do in Christ Jesus."
(1 Thes.5:15-18).

Though God may have created this world in righteousness, that is not what we see in it now. Jesus said that the prince of this earth is Satan.

God, Jesus said, created a place of rescue in the heart of Satan's domain, not for our pleasure, but only to lead to freedom the captive children of God whom Satan has held here condemned to death in the chains of sin.

The terrible evils we see here, therefore, do not come from God. He is leading us around them and away from here. Jesus has come only to give us a way to escape what has become a den of iniquity in the service of Satan's spirit.

Everything we see here that is not of Christ is in partnership with the devil's dark spirit. Jesus said this clearly and without equivocation, and yet there are many here who feel certain that there is no Satan, and express great shock at the outrages that continue so often to belie this thinking.

They blame God for their own misjudgment. "You say harsh things about me, says God. You say, 'It is useless to serve God; what is the good of keeping his commands or of walking mournfully before the Lord on the Sabbath? Now we have reached the point when we call the arrogant blessed; yes they prosper, these evil-doers; they try God's patience and yet go free.'

This is what those who fear the Lord used to say to one another. But God took note and heard them: a book of rememberance was written in his presence recording those who fear him and take refuge in his name.

On the day which I am preparing, says the Lord God Almighty, they are going to be my own special possession. I will make allowances for them as a man makes allowances for the son who obeys him.

Then once again you will see the difference between an upright man and a wicked one; between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve him. For the day is coming now, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and the evil-doers will be like stubble.

The day that is coming is going to burn them up, says the Lord God, leaving them neither root nor stalk.

But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will shine out with healing in its wings; you will leap like calves going out to pasture. You will trample on the wicked, who will be like ashes under your feet on the day I am preparing, says the Lord God Almighty."
(Malachi 3:13-21; 4:1-3).

"Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. for it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man." (Lk.21:34-36).

At that moment the city of Babylon will cease to exist. Formed by the tares which Satan sowed in the night while all were asleep (Mat.13:24-30), the city of Babylon and all its godless seed will disappear forever.

"Now heaven, celebrate her downfall, and all you saints, apostles and prophets: God has given judgment for you against her. Then a powerful angel picked up a boulder like a great millstone, and as he hurled it into the sea, he said, 'That is how the great city of Babylon is going to be hurled down, never to be seen again." (Rv.18:20-21).

With Babylon gone, the gates of the new kingdom will be opened. Those judged worthy to pass through her gates will be ushered in by God in a grand procession amid an immense gathering of angels; and Jesus, Himself, will wait on those who have been resurrected.

It will be the day of a great feast -- the marriage feast of the Lamb. "After this I seemed to hear the great sound of a huge crowd in heaven, singing, 'Alleluia! Victory and glory and power to our God! He judges fairly, he punishes justly, and he has condemned the famous prostitute who corrupted the earth with her fornication; he has avenged his servants that she killed'.

Then a voice came from the throne; it said, 'praise our God, you servants of his and all who, great or small, revere him'. And I seemed to hear the voices of a huge crowd, like the sound of the ocean or the great roar of thunder, answering, 'Alleluia!

The reign of the Lord our God Almighty has begun; let us be glad and joyful and give praise to God, because this is the time for the marriage of the Lamb. His bride is ready, and she has been able to dress herself in dazzling white linen, because her linen is made of the good deeds of the saints.'

The angel said, 'Write this: Happy are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb', and he added, 'All the things you have written are true messages from God'.

Then I knelt at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, 'Don't do that: I am a servant just like you and all your brothers who are witnesses to Jesus. It is God that you must worship."
(Rv.19:1-10).

All that the Lord has promised will come to pass. "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea.

I saw the holy city, and the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband.

Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, 'You see this city? Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them; they shall be his people, and he, himself will be their God...There will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone.'

Then the One sitting on the throne spoke: 'Now I am making the whole of creation new' he said. 'Write this: that what I am saying is sure and will come true.' And then he said, 'It is already done."
(Rv.21:4-5).

THE END

The Last Days of Babylon

 


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