Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:5

Peace and Safety

Every era has included some area engaged in warfare.  Each generation of inhabitants of this planet has had children born into a war zone.  Peace has eluded us.  We build mountains of munitions, various war vehicles, and bigger bombs yet, peace still eludes us.  Most of the time, we battle over the ground we walk on or the god we call upon.  Man assumes much when he presumes to have great knowledge regarding the Creator of all mankind.  He presumes even more when he believes that God prefers to preserve one man over another.

The only way to maintain a piece of this earth is to protect it with arms, therefore,it is ironic and hard to perceive that the only way to partake of the earth made new is to lay down arms.  When will we beat our swords into plowshares?  When will one nation refuse to lift their sword against another nation?  Probably not this side of Heaven.  Only after the Prince of Peace comes and subdues the nations will we war no more.  Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3  When any nation sends ambassadors to the table for peace talks, they each have agendas that preclude the needs and wants of everyone else at the table.  It is only when Christ is our negotiator that all the nations will receive justice.  Personally, it is justice that scares me because  I am yearning for much better than I deserve.  I am hoping the same for you and yours.  It is only the Son of the Living God that can give to every nation more than we deserve and all that we desire.

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 

Revelation 22:12

Jesus is coming again.  I do not know when.  There is so much concern among the inhabitants of earth.  This concern is generated by at least two primary issues.  One of our major concerns is that in establishing and defending our place on the planet, we may blow ourselves out of the solar system.  The other concern is that this planet will not sustain life much longer unless Someone intervenes. 

Going Green

The poor condition of our planet has created a lofty platform to launch many political campaigns.  The cry that we must save our planet for the next generation is resounding–particularly in America.  Past generations have had to relocate to find a place on earth in a pristine condition; however, it is our generation that has had to lower our expectations as we redefine pristine.  It is obvious that we are consuming our natural resources at an alarming rate.  We have failed as good stewards of the land; however, it is foolishness to think that this will catch God unaware.

The Creator established our home to be inhabited and has repeatedly promised to sustain our planet until the end. 

Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.  

Nehemiah 9:6

I trust God.  I also believe that an over concern for the condition of the planet could be a true indicator that all our personal treasure is invested in this world.  Consider instead the possibility that the condition of our planet, including what many consider to be over population, is an indicator that we may be living very close to the end of our world as we know it.  If this is true, then without adequate preparation, our children are in a greater danger of losing  a larger legacy than the planet.

Leaving a Legacy

The whole world, particularly America, is  busy striving for all the things of the world.  When we are not striving for the accolades of mankind and vying for attendance at their celebrations, we chase the dream looking to become richer than we currently are.  Our current credit crisis is a result of our demands to have it all now.  We don’t know what it means to be truly rich and neither do we know how to wait.   Our age has been recognized as the me generation, but I propose that we are the im-me-diate generation.  Instant gratification is expected in all aspects of our lives from pudding to pay raises forgetting that  good things come to those who wait on God.

Across the globe parents and grandparents are investing their revenue in the future of the next generation.  Their children and grandchildren are striving to take their place in tomorrow’s world.  We are exhausting our savings to send them to costly educational institutions that we hope will prepare them as leaders in the local and global community.  We willingly consume our personal resources believing that the high price is right for the secular preparedness of our children basing our decisions on the assumption that there will be a tomorrow for planet earth.  Considering history, this is a good assumption.  The sun went down yesterday and came up today and has been doing so faithfully for many generations.  We have every reason to believe that all things will continue as they have and to suggest anything else is considered ludicrous by most.  I too have encouraged my children to seek an education and prepare for a life’s work because we do not know the day and hour of God’s arrival.  Like the rest of the world, I am probably too caught up in occupying my place in this world. 

We should remind ourselves and our offspring that Jesus promised He would come again; and we can believe Him.  If I go and prepare a place for youI will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  John 14:3 The promise to come again is unconditional.  He will come again.  However, the promise of preparing a place for us is prefaced by the word if indicating that this promise has a condition.  Relationships are built because both parties willingly travel a two-way street.  Jesus has willingly for our sake traveled the road to Emmaus, but the sons and daughters of men are prone to choose another path or worse, fail to recognize Him when they see Him.  Luke 24:13-46  Preparing our children to take their place in this world has merit since we are to occupy until Christ returns; however, preparing them to take their place in the world to come is a greater priority. 

Our children are invited to occupy the place Christ prepares for them, but they are not bound to receive the invitation.  Postponing the submission of their RSVP is a failure to say yes and is equivalent to saying no.  If a place is not prepared for your child, they will not have a place. 

Then 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

Revelation 20:11

The King is Coming

In Revelation 1:8 Jesus describes himself as who is and who was, and who is to come.  In Revelation 4:8 the living creatures describe God as who was and is and is to come.  In the King James version we see this one more time in Revelation 11:17; however, the who is to comewas not part of the original text but was added by the translators of the King James version.  Since the phrase who is to come is not in the original text from Revelation 11:17, some versions of the bible like the NIV have excluded it. 

In Revelation 11:15-19 we are witnessing the sounding of the seventh (and last) trumpet announcing the coming of Jesus.   The absence of the phrase who is to come in translations other than the King James is explained by the fact that these verses describe His coming.  We also see the Heavens parted to reveal the Father in Heaven, sitting on His throne (the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant, verse 19) and eagerly awaiting the arrival of His children.  The coming of Jesus brings two things almost simultaneously–wrath and reward.  Those untouched by the wrath, reap great reward.  Let us determine to partake of the reward.

Revelation 11:15-19–The Seventh Trumpet 

Then the seventh angel sounded:  And there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever

And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying:
We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants thy prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament:  and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

He who testifies to these things says, Surely I am coming quickly,”  Amen.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 

Revelation 22:20-21

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and  a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 

2 Peter 3:9-14

Some believers eagerly await the coming of Jesus because they are anxious for Him to set up His kingdom on earth when He comes.  However, according to the scriptures we just read in 2 Peter, it appears that when Jesus comes he is in full destroyer mode.  He is going to completely destroy all the works of man’s hands including all the cathedrals, the Dome of the Rock and yes, even the temple should it be rebuilt. This information will be shocking to some, but there will not be a man made temple in the New Earth.  Revelation 21:22  Think about it.  There will be no sin so there will be no sacrifice.  Our salvation will not be found in the shed blood of bulls and goats, but in the Father and the Son.

During the time that God is offering reconciliation to the world, Satan will appear in the flesh.  He is the great delusion and will lead many to refuse reconciliation.  He will come in peace pretending to be a savior during a time of duress.  His desire is not to save any people but to destroy us by our unbelief.  His desire is for the earth.  He has long coveted the planet.  He lived here before Adam.  God placed him here in the garden to work with man and teach him the ways of God.  Satan was greedy. and when God gave Adam dominion over a place that Satan considered his, he despised the man and determined to destroy that which Adam loved most–Eve.

Satan wants to preserve the planet and all it contains because he is not a creator god.  He can not create ex nihilo.  However, he is the greatest imitator and he thinks he can restore the entire planet back into the garden.  He has many followers who also believe we can restore the natural conditions of the planet through preservation.  I am not for destroying the earth and neither is God.  Man was commanded from the beginning to tend the garden; however, there are limits to our ability to sustain a planet ravaged by the effects of sin.  This concept escapes us, and apparently Satan does not get it either.  We underestimate the majestic power it takes to calm the sea and quite the storm. 

The sum of the matter is that Satan wants to preserve the planet and destroy the man that will not succumb to him.  He even wants to deny the ones that serve him of their God given right to reign in the world God gave to mankind.  In contrast, Jesus wants to preserve the people.  We are His primary concern, the planet is secondary.  He is a creator God and can create ex nihilo.  The world can not be in such a state that God is prevented from turning it back into a garden.  Satan wants the planet and will fight to the end to keep it even if destroying all of us is the result.  However, Jesus is a conqueror, and it is determined that He will conquer Satan.  He will come to the earth and take His people out of the snares of Satan.  Satan will resist and in the process the planet and the people he wants to possess will be destroyed in the fight.  It is not the coming of Jesus that will destroy our place and the people in it.  It is the resistance of Satan.  We could all be reconciled if the devil was not determined to deny us our destiny.

Rest from Wresting

There is a promise in 2 Peter of a New Heaven and a New Earth.  The question is when does it happen?  I believe the scriptures clearly state that the New Heavens and the New Earth are created after God destroys the work of man’s hands.  The question is how much time lapses between the two events.

When Jesus comes in wrath bent upon destruction, He is coming as a savior to the believers.  The only thing on this planet He desires to save are the believers.  He will take us to Heaven where we will reign with Him for 1,000 years.  Revelation 20:6  It is a well deserved respite from the ravages of living in a war torn area.  Jesus will use this time to speak to us face-to-face without the interference of the wiles of the devil.  Lucifer was placed in the garden to impart Heavenly wisdom to us.  Instead he persuaded us to partake of the tree of both good and evil.  Jesus will spend 1,000 years imparting the understanding to us since Lucifer did not do as commanded because we have many matters to consider before dominion is restored to the saints.

After the 1,000 years the ungodly will be raised in the second resurrection.  The first event is blessed and holy, but the second event is a curse.  This is the time when every person that has ever lived will be alive at one single point in time.  Every person raised in this resurrection is beloved by someone in the city and greatly beloved by God.  Hell was created only for Satan and the demons, and it grieves the heart of God that the sons and daughters that He longed to preserve would have chosen the devil’s destruction. 

This is a weighty matter since ultimately God is on trial.  He wants us to judge the world and make a determination that His decision regarding these individuals, both man and angels, is righteous.  He will give us full access to the throne where we can present our questions and our concerns.  We will have full access to the patriarchs and the prophets so we can question them about God’s character.  In addition, He will give us full access to the books of deeds and the Heavenly Host so we can examine the lives of our loved ones in the light of their day.

The ungodly raised in the second resurrection will have to stand before the great white throne to receive their sentencing while the saints witness the condemnation of their loved ones.  The ungodly were judged prior to their sentencing by a judge, their own attorney and a group of their peers.  They were judged by the Father from the creation of the world when He wrote the names in the Book of Life and sealed it up.  They were judged by the Son when He did not call their name during the first resurrection.  When they stand at the great white throne, the saints will have also already judged them and the wicked angels. The saints spend 1,000 years in Heaven going over the books of deeds.   1 Corinthians 6:2-3  That is why the saints are given thrones and the right to judge at the beginning of the 1,000 years.  Revelation 20:4-6

In Corinthians we are told that the saints will judge the world and the demons; however, certain things must come to pass so the saints will be prepared for this task.  They are as follows:

  1. The saints must experience the change that happens at the coming of Jesus in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.  This change is necessary so we judge according to the Spirit and not in the flesh.
  2. We must examine the records; however, the saints are not searching for misdeeds.  That is easy to do since we have all sinned and fallen short.  Their commission is to satisfy their heart and mind that each person condemned to die had ample opportunity to partake of life and refused the offer.
  3. We must spend time in the presence of Christ.  Before the reigning king of a nation will turn his authority over to his heir, they co-reign for a time.  This prepares the prince(ss) to take over as regent.  The 1,000 years we spend in Heaven in the presence of Christ will prepare us to receive dominion over the New Heaven and New Earth just as Adam and Eve were once given dominion in the garden.  Our first act as kings and priests of the New Earth is to proclaim God righteous in His judgment of the rebellious ones.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:  fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath:  fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.  For evildoers shall be cut off:  but thosethat wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. 

Psalms 37:7-9

Waiting on the Lord is never easy.  We want things now, not later.  It is the nature of man to be impatient.  We and all of creation eagerly await the redemption of man.  We also eagerly wait for the recreation of all things.  While the saints are in Heaven, Satan is bound to the earth because he was cast to the earth.  He wanted to usurp the planet from the saints and God.  Satan will have absolute authority over the earth during that 1,000 years.  The irony is that while Christ and the saints coreign in Heaven, Satan’s subjects are dead and the planet is devastated.  The lesson is to be leary of your heart’s desires because you just may get them.  During the 1,000 years Satan completes his reign over a destroyed planet where none of his subjects can hear his voice because they are all dead waiting judgment.  The earth will rest during this time of inactivity.  There will be no sowing, reaping, building, mining, etc.  Yet, the natural forces will rise up during this time and consume deep in the pits of the earth all the works of man’s hands.  None of the magnificence of the monuments will remain or be remembered, but the works of the Lord will abide forever.