God’s Guiding Hand On The Nations

In every age throughout history men and women have spoken and written their beliefs, philosophies and opinions about the origin and purpose of mankind. Very few of these works have given any hope for the future. It is only when we open the sacred Scriptures of the Bible that we find the truth.

God’s original purpose for creating the human race has a glorious destiny. But, beginning with Father Adam and Mother Eve everything seems to have gone awry (askew/wrong/amiss). According to modern theology, God’s plan for Adam and all his children was thwarted at the beginning in Eden. If this is true, what does that say about God’s wisdom and foreknowledge regarding the future? Doesn’t it imply God doesn’t really know what He was doing when He created planet earth or how it would all turn out in the future? What a slander against our Creator’s Omniscience!

According to today’s Christian version of what happened, things got so out of control that God had no other option left but to destroy the whole human race at the time of the flood, except for one single family He found righteous enough to start over with again. Once again organized religion’s theology blames God for the flood. Is it possible, my friend, that God permitted mankind to bring the deluge upon themselves? Listen to the testimony of God’s word:

“?Quieres tu seguir la senda antigua Que pisaron los hombres perversos?” “Will you keep to the old way which wicked men have walked? Who were untimely snatched away…by a deluge? (Now notice what they said to God) They said to God, ‘Leave us alone,’ and ‘What can the Almighty do for us? Yet it was He who filled their houses with abundance.”

Job 22:15-18. Cf. (compare) Isa. 54:5-10 where the Lord says that “In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment.” In the Bible “wrath” always refers to God taking His hands off or removing Himself from a situation as we read in Rom. 1:18-28 where Paul defines the wrath of God as when “God gave them up.” Psalm 78:49 explains that the plagues on Egypt came as a direct result of the work of evil angels who were permitted to wreak havoc because of the King’s rejection of the God of heaven. So, the word wrath in the Bible does not indicate that God is striking someone dead by sending down a lightning bolt but that a person or nation is rejecting the protection of the Almighty and allowing Satan to take over. This is how the flood came and how the seven last plagues are coming today.

Of course, after the flood Noah’s descendants were no better, perhaps even worse. God would have wiped them all out again, so the theory goes, except God’s Son, Jesus, pled for humanity, offering His own life as a sacrifice to pay for their sins. God the Father reluctantly agreed to this, for He was totally fed up with humanity. Although part of this is true this idea blasphemes the Father’s Name/character by making Him out to be a cruel, vindictive despot. Jesus came to reveal the Father’s love so as to dispel this very notion that God is an unloving, angry, vengeful judge.

So, Jesus came and died. All who accept His sacrifice on the cross will go to heaven when they die or at the time of the rapture event of which there are several theories. This false doctrine of going to heaven at death along with the false Sunday-Sabbath is what will soon unite all professed Christians in the coming time of trouble which is even now stealing upon us. However, at this time there are many divisions among the various religions.

But on one point all of Christendom are in total agreement. And that is, that God the Father’s anger is being held in check only by Jesus’ death. And according to some, Jesus Himself is now running out of patience too. Catholic theology today is emphasizing more than ever that Mary is now the only hope of the human race. But even she cannot hold back God’s wrath much longer. You might be surprised how many Protestants are on the verge of agreeing with them due to the worsening condition of the world. It would seem that they all agree that very soon God is going to have to punish planet earth with the most terrible plagues and judgments known to man. One tabloid even published the third part of the Fatima vision which teaches this very doctrine. It predicts that very few will survive. In the final analysis only a small percent of the human race will eventually be saved and go to heaven.

Amazing though it may seem some of this theology sounds familiar enough to many SDAs who do not believe the truth about God’s character that they are inclined to agree with part or most of these ideas except for the parts about Mary, the rapture and the dead going to heaven when they die. It just depends on how well they know their Bibles.

The Lord tried to correct this false concept in 1888 but most of the leaders and ministers rejected it. So, except for a small minority, the church at large, has been in darkness ever since. As a result of this “angry God” doctrine, God Himself has been and continues to be on trial, judged (Rev. 14:7) before the universe for creating us and allowing Satan to continue on so long and lead so many astray. Revelation speaks about the judgment of God…that God Himself is on trial. “The hour of his judgement or trial has come.” This is both the theme and focus of Job 1-3 where we find our Creator, Michael, (Dan. 12:1) standing up for Job (and thus defending the entire human race) against the unrelenting accusations of Satan, who it turns out has been doing this from day one. Rev. 12:10.

Yet, our Lord has raised up PR agents (prophets) to explain what is going on. Much of this is written in codified prophecies, esoteric parables and, as if this were not difficult enough to decipher, written in ancient Hebrew. Fortunately, the original manuscripts have been well preserved and their integrity authenticated by modern scholars. So, in spite of different translations and controversy over certain words the original message God intended is clear for those who are willing to humble themselves before God and ask the Holy Spirit to guide them in their search for the truth.

One of the most famous writers was the author of most of the Psalms, a shepherd boy named David who was anointed to be king at 17. In Psalm 8 he declares that God’s Name is “majestic” in all the earth. And above the heavens our Creator’s Name is being revealed and even “chanted” reads the RSV, no doubt referring to the stars which “declare the glory (character) of God.” Psalm 19:1. David also reveals how God silences His enemies who are always complaining about His act of creating man, whom Satan and his many stooges have accused before our God “day and night” Rev. 12:10. David tells us that through weak little babies, both infants and children God “has founded a bulwark because of thy foes, to still (silence & shame) the enemy and the avenger.” Ps. 8:2 RSV.

This had a remarkable and most profound fulfillment in the life of Jesus (the second Adam & Son of David) just one week before His resurrection, which is traditionally known as “Palm Sunday.” Cf. John 12:1-19, DA 569. The chronology is a fascinating study in and of itself. The main point I want to make is Jesus’ reference to Psalm 8:2 in answer to the priest’s complaints and accusations when the little children were praising him. These were similar to Satan’s accusations in heaven. “The blind and the lame came to Him in the temple and He healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes noticed the wonderful things He did, and the children shouting in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ they were indignant and said to Him, ‘Do You hear what they are saying?’ Jesus answered, ‘Yes, Did you never read, ‘From the mouth of babes and nurslings Thou hast perfected praise?’ And leaving them He went outside the city to Bethany, and there He spent the night.” Matt. 21:17. The BC 5, 471 takes the position that the above event took place on Sunday but the casting out of the money changers took place the following day. Cf. DA 581. The priests denounced Jesus as a leader of a rebellion who was about to take possession of the temple, and reign as king in Jerusalem. But this was not true and the Holy Spirit helped Jesus to answer these charges.

“But the calm voice of Jesus hushed for a moment the clamorous throng as He again declared that He had not come to establish temporal rule;…These words Jesus spoke with sadness and with singular power. The Roman officers were silenced and subdued. Their hearts, though strangers to divine influence, were moved as they had never been moved before. In the calm, solemn face of Jesus they read love, benevolence, and quiet dignity. They were stirred by a sympathy they could not understand. Instead of arresting Jesus, they were more inclined to pay Him homage. Turning upon the priests and rulers, they charged them with creating the disturbance. These leaders, chagrined and defeated, turned to the people with their complaints, and disputed angrily among themselves.” DA 581.

The next day as He made His way to the temple He passed by the fig tree which had no fruit but only leaves. He did not curse it, but simply stated, “Let no fruit grow on this tree from this day forward.”

That is not a curse but an acceptance of its condition, a symbol of the Jewish nation itself which bore no fruit nor had any desire or inclination to ever change. The servant of the Lord has declared there is a parallel today between that ancient nation and the professed people of God who have been repeating the history of Israel now for over 100 years. DA 581 states that Jesus had spent the entire night in prayer before returning to the temple on Monday morning at which time He cleansed it for the last time. We know the rest of the story only too well as it is the last week of His earthly sojourn, His week of passion, not only for His own people but for the world. For He Himself declared, “And I, if I be lifted up (crucified) from the earth, will draw all (men) unto me. This he said, signifying what death He should die.” John 12:32, 33. Please notice that the word “men” is in italics to show that it is an added word in the original text which simply read, “will draw all unto Me.” This included not only all the people of the earth but the universe as well.

One thousand years prior the Psalmist had predicted, “All the nations thou has made shall come and bow down before thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy Name (character).” Ps. 86:9. And again: “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before Him. For dominion belongs to the Lord, and He rule over the nations. Yea, to Him shall all the proud of the earth bow down; before Him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and he who cannot keep himself alive.” Cf. Phil. 2:6-11, Rev. 5, 15:1-4.

In Acts 17:26 we read: “And He made from one (man, Adam) every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel (seek) after Him and find Him.” Jere. 3:17 also foresaw the day when “all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart.” Isa. 40:5 indicates that God’s character will be revealed “and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isa. 40:5. Actually, this was the promise and prediction given to the patriarch Abraham. Listen: “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In thee shall all the nations be blessed.” Gal. 3:8.

In the fall of 1956 I entered Walla Walla College. One of the most famous and popular teachers was Dr. H. E. Westermeyer, a distinguished professor of history for many years. Behind his desk was a quote each of his students could read every time they sat in his class. This quote made a deep impression on my mind as a young theology student regarding God’s hand on the nations. I have never forgotten it. Isn’t it amazing how just one quote can affect and mold a person’s thinking! Until yesterday I never knew the reference for that quote although I knew it was from the pen of EGW. Now, I want to share it here with you because it explains precisely what I now have come to believe. And that is, that the Creator God of the universe, Jesus Christ, has from the beginning, knowing all things, planned, permitted, guided and orchestrated the entire Great Controversy just as he guided and controlled His own life, trial, crucifixion and resurrection. Please read the following carefully:

“In the annals of human history, the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as if dependent on the will and prowess of man; the shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, above, behind, and through all the play and counterplay of human interest and power and passions, the agencies of the All-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will.” Prophets and Kings, Page 499, 500. In the next paragraph the author pursues this thought further by quoting Acts 17:24-27 to prove God’s “Divine Purpose” and guiding hand not only in the creation of the nations (including every human life) but in their distribution or location on the planet. In other words, our beautiful and magnificent God has been and still is involved in the year by year, day by day and even the hour by hour and minute by minute activity of every event, every scenario in this earth. He not only controls and limits but shapes and guides events in every realm of life from the cradle to the grave. “Above the distractions of the earth He sits enthroned. All things are open to His Divine survey and from His great calm eternity He orders that which His Providence sees best.” MH 417. This is not the belief of Christianity today. As a result of the false teaching of an angry God the world has been going down here for centuries. But slowly, God is bringing them back to the point where one third of the human race will come to understand the truth about God. See Zech. 13. The final test is coming on the world slow but sure. Are you ready? Do you know, understand and realize what is going on right in front of your eyes? If you don’t pray and ask Jesus to anoint the eyes of your understanding with the heavenly eyesalve and He will.

Look at what has been happening in our own nation of late. The current president of the USA has gone on national TV and not only confessed to private indiscretions with a young intern but apologized and asked for forgiveness…not just once but several times. This has never happened before in the history of our nation. Yet, it is a dress rehearsal or dry run, as it were, for what lies just ahead which I want to share with you. Presently the public at large, even the church are in a deep sleep or stupor. They do not realize the meaning of the events now transpiring, just as Dan. 12:10 predicted. “The wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”

Consequently most of these people are not really too upset as the president’s immoral actions do not seem to affect their personal lives. But this is an illusion for everything is going to change in the near future. Despite fluctuations in the stock market America’s economy seems to continue to prosper. This also is an illusion. Starr’s revelations are no more startling than the daily soap operas or latest Hollywood movie. It is lies, fornication, deception and cover-up as usual. Besides we now know from confessions of former lovers that Roosevelt, Kennedy and possibly others had affairs during their time in office. Even staid J. Edgar Hoover is reputed to have been a compulsive gambler, protector of the mafia and closet homosexual. So, the public at large are not overly shocked although they are disappointed that such a charismatic and talented man has lied to them. The bible tells us: “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.” Luke 12:2. Jesus also predicted that the leading sign of the end would be deception and men and women would betray one another in the final age which brings me to the quote I want to share with you regarding what is just ahead for those who are leading the people astray in regard to the truth about God, His law and His character.

In chapter 41 of the book, “The Great Controversy,” we read on page 654 that when the voice of God “Turns the captivity of His people, there is a terrible awakening of those who have lost all in the great conflict of life…Ministers and people see that they have not sustained the right relation to God…No language can express the longing which the disobedient and disloyal feel for that which they have lost…Men whom the world has worshiped for their talents and eloquence now see these things in their true light. They realize what they have forfeited by transgression, and they fall at the feet of those whose fidelity they have despised and derided, and confess that God has loved them. (See Rev. 3:9). The people see that they have been deluded. They accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all united in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers. Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who keep it holy. Now in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception.” GC 655, 656. Of course, this confession will be covered by all of the networks and be much more dramatic than President Nixon’s or Clinton’s confession. Notice what the reaction of the people will be.

“The multitudes are filled with fury. ‘We are lost!’ they cry. ‘And you are the cause of our ruin;’ And they turn upon the false shepherds…The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to slay God’s people are now employed to destroy their enemies. Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed.” Then Jere. 25:31 is quoted.

Beloved, why do I bring this up? Because unless you know and share the truth about God’s true character you are most likely to be deceived and in turn deceive others and eventually end up being slaughtered. Ezek. 9. So, to avoid that eventuality I am appealing to you to pray for guidance and study the true character of God, in other words, the really good news of the Gospel. This you must study now while there is still time because the events which will soon engulf our planet are going to be so devastating that the majority of people will want to die. Many will commit suicide or hire doctors to do it for them. Others will lose their minds and go to institutions. Still others will be so angry they will begin breaking the law and be put in prison. The only ones who will survive will be those who truly know the good news of the gospel.

LET’S ANALYZE THE GOOD NEWS

In the light of Catholic, Jewish, Evangelical and even Adventist theology how could all the nations of the earth be blessed if, in fact, most of the nations are going to be burned up in an eternal fire or at least incinerated in a lake of fire until they no longer exist? There is certainly no good news in such a negative, theological doctrine. But the real truth of the gospel is that everyone who gets the victory or “overcomes and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” Rev. 2:26. Verse 27 even promises that these special, chosen and elect persons will rule the nations with a rod of iron and break them (the wicked) as a potter breaks marred vessels so he can mold them anew to perfection. This is the prophecy of Psalm 2 which Jesus is referring to here in Rev. 2:27. So, this is the means by which God will guide the nations in this final hour of earth’s history…through His righteous nation or kingdom He calls Zion (144,000). Even now, as you read this, He is forming this nation. By faith we can believe that God is calling us to be a part of this end time military action on a very high spiritual plane where the weapons of our warfare will not be carnal but spiritual to pulling down of strongholds, (evil angels) as Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 10:4, 5.

These promises are so incredible it truly takes a lot of faith to take them at face value (literally) let along believe they could apply to one’s personal life. In former articles we have studied on the subject of the 144,000. If one were to take Jesus seriously to become part of His end-time assault group on the powers of darkness by striving with all of our might to be one of His soldiers, what must we believe to be among the number of this final army? This question could best be answered by sharing with you an article I recently edited and added to regarding the beliefs of the 144,000. Sometime back one of my supporters from the south, a 90 year old spiritual and intellectual researcher, sent me a four page letter outlining some of her latest findings. She wanted me to go over it, correct it and add to it before she shared it with her loved ones and friends.

When I first read it over a few months ago I didn’t think much about it and laid it aside. But as I was looking for a certain letter one day to fill an order I was impressed to read Esther’s letter again. This time the Lord spoke to me. I want you to expand this letter into a special article on my power to reconcile all my creatures back to Myself. I was not able to finish the project in a few hours or even a day as there are always interruptions of different kinds. Actually, it took several days. I finally ended up with about six or seven pages which I copied and began sending out to various people. Then one day as I was driving to Portland the Lord began speaking to me about the word “ashes,” in Ezek. 28:18 and Mal. 4. This turned into some of the most fruitful research the Lord has ever led me through. I now share with you Esther’s original four page study which, of course, includes my expanded comments and notes joined and blended together with hers without comment or distinction. Esther has read and approved it so we now share it with you for your consideration with our sincere prayer that God will richly bless you as He has yours truly and many others.

A STUDY BASED ON ACTS 3:21

“And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:21. The NEB translates this verse as UNIVERSAL RESTORATION. So, that is what I want to talk to you about today.

Because of this verse and many others I hope to share and tie in with it I have, for some time now, believed in the reconciliation (restoration) of all things. Peter states in this text that “all of the prophets” have been speaking or preaching about this since the beginning of the world. This led me to an in-depth study of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel together with the rest of the Bible and SOP writings, i.e. EGW’s writings. From this study I learned that we serve a God who has all power, (Matt. 28:19, 20) whose love is everlasting, treats all of His children the same, showing partiality to none. Truly, there is nothing He cannot do. Regardless how wicked a nation or an individual had been His hand was always reaching out to them. Col. 1:20 says: “And having made peace through the blood of the cross to reconcile ALL THINGS to Himself, by Him, I say, whether they be things on earth or things in heaven.” When He says ALL THINGS I believe He means just that…all things. The Holy Spirit led Paul to repeat his thought, thus emphasizing it.

Eph. 1:9, 10 also speaks of this same event as being a MYSTERY…”The mystery of His will.” “According to His good pleasure that He hath purposed to Himself that in the dispensation of the FULLNESS OF TIMES He might gather together in One, ALL THINGS which are in heaven and which are in earth, even in Him.” (v 11. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,)

Let us think for a moment what things are here in earth for God to gather together as one when the fullness of times is completed? Well, we have the whole human race, both good and evil…righteous and holy, dead and alive. Then we have all the good angels who are protecting us and doing God’s will and lastly we have all of the fallen angels with Satan who are still in rebellion against God.

I’m sure someone is going to ask the question: Where does it say God will be successful in bringing them back into His kingdom and under His dominion and rule? Good question. And we have a good answer in I Cor. 15:24-28 which I will quote in part and you can read all of it yourself in full. “When He (Father) shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Notice in v. 28 the phrase ALL THINGS is repeated. “All things shall be subdued (subject or obedient) unto Him…that God may be all in all.”

Notice also that death itself will be destroyed. It is the last enemy God will do away with in the lake of fire. Rev. 20:14. How could death be totally destroyed if even one of God’s creatures goes into eternity “lost” and not redeemed, dead and not alive. If anyone is eternally dead or destroyed then death has not been destroyed but has won at last. This is impossible for a God who says that nothing is too hard for him and that with Him all things are possible. This same God who in I Cor. 13:7 declares that He “Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endureth all things,” and if that were not strong enough and proof enough He adds in v. 8 that “love never fails.” And I will tell you now that this is only a little part of the truth of this subject, for we have barely scratched the surface.

Isa. 53:11 tells us that Jesus will see the travail of His soul and will be satisfied. How could our Blessed Redeemer be satisfied with less than total victory? He predicted in John 12:32 that He would DRAW ALL back to Himself. I Cor. 3:15 is further proof God will save all because He says: “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” This revelation of truth is the “Grace of God,” Paul tells us in Titus 2:10 that “Has appeared to all men.” In I Tim. 4:9-11 Paul further tells us that the “Living God” is indeed “The Saviour of all men.” And Paul admonishes Timothy to command and teach these things.

After I began studying more deeply into this subject, noticing what the Bible really says about a God who has all power and who loves us with an everlasting love, (Jer. 31:3,) who is never unfair or impartial and forgave all of His enemies on the cross (Father forgive them for they know not what they do) that this same marvelous Creator God would somehow, some day, some way find a way to win His first rebellious angel back to His throne. In fact, this is the theme of 2 Pet. 3:9 where we read that it is not in the will of God that any ever perish but that all should come to repentance. Then in Eph. 1 we read about how irresistible, all encompassing and impossible it is to defeat the will of God. That He does His own pleasure and none can stay His hand, as the mighty King Nebuchadnezzar found out, as we read his very own personal testimony in Dan. 4. So, the evidence is really overwhelming if a person is willing to be totally honest in viewing the facts.

For example, look at Phil. 2:5-11, where Paul declares beyond all reasonable doubt that every knee will bow and every tongue will at last confess. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2:10, 11. How could such a confession bring glory to God if it were forced or faked? In fact, the Greek word “confess” is actually stronger in the original…meaning “to avow.” So, this proves that God never forces the free will or power of choice of man, even in the final day but gives sufficient time for every man and angel to choose to come to Him of His own volition. Those in rebellion will eventually go through enough “Whirlwinds” (punishments) which Satan and man will have brought upon themselves.

Jer. 23:18-20 shows why “whirlwinds” come on us, who they will hit the hardest, how long they will last and when we will know what these things mean. “Who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord? Who hath perceived (known or understood) and heard His word? Who hath marked His word and heard it? Behold (look or stare), a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth, even a grievous whirlwind, it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord shall not return (stop) until He hath PERFORMED the THOUGHTS of His heart. In the LATTER DAYS ye shall consider (understand) it PERFECTLY.” We can see or hear about these whirlwinds coming some place daily in the form of fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, wars, mass murders by teens in schools, kidnappings, rapes, bank robberies, arsons, race riots, etc. Yet, God inspired the prophets to put the responsibility or blame on Himself for what He allows Satan and man to do. So, the wrath of God is simply when He lets go, allowing us to go our own way and do our own thing, until we are ready to do what is right, after we have suffered enough to bring us to our senses and realizing that we brought our troubles on ourselves by our own disobedience, rebellion and stubbornness.

For over two years I earnestly prayed and studied on these things God had shown me concerning the wicked and Satan and his angels. I did not even tell my best friends because I knew how much they hated Satan. Of course, I hated him too for causing all of the suffering in this world, especially to Jesus on the cross. We were all looking forward to the day when he will be burned to ashes and never exist again. Then one day the Lord helped me to see something I had never seen or thought of before. The prophet Ezekiel predicted the final end of Lucifer in chapter 28 of his book. From vs. 9 to 19 we read about the death of a being that once was in the garden of Eden, and was the “anointed cherub that covereth,” v. 14. Obviously the prophet is speaking directly to his first angel, Lucifer, (now Satan) under the title of the “Prince of Tyrus,” an earthly prince who was never in Eden or called the covering cherub nor wiser than Daniel, v. 3. But Ezekiel prophecies the utter end of this first sinner and master deceiver. “Thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.” v. 19.

Through my investigation of this subject the idea of Satan being brought to ashes has been brought to my attention. This raises a number of questions. Lucifer, Satan, is a spirit being, so how could he be literally burned up or brought to ashes without a body? It finally occurred to me that the word ashes is being used here as a symbol for something else and is not to be understood literally, just as the word “fire” in the Bible is symbolic of truth and righteousness and love. For example, Jesus said, “I have come to bring fire on the earth.” What he meant was that His coming would bring light, truth, righteousness and love but there would also be a “fiery” reaction of anger, hatred and rejection of the truth leading up to His trial and crucifixion. Jesus truly did start a lot of fires in this earth. But the way He used the word fire is obviously not meant to be interpreted as a literal fire, per se. So, it is with the fire that brings Lucifer to ashes. “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries (palaces or dwelling places, such as the souls of men) by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick (evil works or business): therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, (Satan) and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.” Ezek. 28:18, 19.

Now, let’s go back to Ezek. 28 regarding the fire (a fiery revelation of truth from the Panoramic view in the sky) that Jesus predicts He will bring forth from the midst of Satan that will set off this whole chain reaction of dying to self and then being resurrected in newness of life after he bows down and confesses and has a genuine conversion experience. This will all be done publicly before the universe. Jesus tried to warn Lucifer (Satan) that this would happen but he wouldn’t listen. The prophet Isaiah also predicted that Lucifer’s pride would lead him down to hell. Five times he uses the vertical pronoun “I” in his selfish, egotistical campaign to exalt himself above the stars of God to become like the most high. “Yet thou shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof;” Isa. 14:12-17. Notice the phrase, “thou shalt be brought down to hell” which is simply the grave or death. But it is not a literal death but a death of the ego for him which v. 18, 19 proves by stating that although all the kings of the nations are dead and “lie in their glory…thou shalt not be joined with them in burial.” Satan will be “entombed” as it were, in this bombed out crater of a planet lying in ruins which he caused. He will remain here in “chains” (circumstantial chains) for 1,000 years to stew in the remembrances of his many failures and defeats during his long rebellion against Christ and His saints. This will be his “quiet time” as it were for him to consider all of his evil deeds. So, being brought down to “hell” or the grave fits in perfectly with the idea of a resurrection from the grave which Paul uses to illustrate the meaning of baptism. Of course, Satan does not bow down right away. It takes awhile. After the 1,000 years and the resurrection of the wicked he once again incites them to rebel and even leads them in an assault on the holy city, New Jerusalem. But that is when God “Brings forth a fire from inside of him (from the midst of thee).” This is what brings all of the wicked human race outside the city to their knees and according to GC 666 this same panoramic view or movie in the sky also brings Satan (and all of his angels) to their knees as well. This movie in the sky is a history of the human race specifically detailing God’s loving watchcare and efforts to reveal His love through various means, especially through the earthly ministry of Jesus. EGW goes into great detail about this movie in the sky explaining that when Jesus’ eyes look upon all of the sinners standing outside the city they become conscious of every sin they have ever committed. Whether they all bow at the same time or at different times is not relevant to the final, bottom line. Eventually they will all bow down and confess or avow and come back to their Creator. But it is this revelation of love, inside of every heart, even in Satan that causes him to become remorseful, sorrowful and grieve over his sins to the point that even he bows before the throne of God and confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord. Thus, he is led him to ashes or repentance.

So, when Satan truly repents he will never be Satan again but will be reborn or born again into the kingdom of God as what God created him to be in the first place, his covering cherub, Lucifer. So, it is true after all, Satan will never enter heaven. But after he truly repents, and is born again, he will have the same right to be in heaven as the thief on the cross for God’s forgiveness has no limits or expiration dates. We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God but when we repent, like the prodigal son we are welcomed back with open arms. And Lucifer is the first prodigal son and the last to finally come back home. This is probably a good place to answer a question that I know that I have had and I am sure many others have had as well. It has to do with what EGW says in Early Writings about how the wicked die in the second death. “Fire from God out of heaven is rained upon them, and the great men, and mighty men, the noble, the poor and miserable, are all consumed together. I saw that some were quickly destroy, while others suffered longer. They were punished according to the deeds done in the body. Some were many days consuming, and just as long as there was a portion of them unconsumed, all the sense of suffering remained. Said the angel, ‘The worm of life shall not die; their fire shall not be quenched as long as there is the least particle for it to prey upon. Satan and his angels suffered long. Satan bore not only the weight and punishment of his own sins, but also of the sins of the redeemed host, which had been placed upon him; and he must also suffer for the ruin of souls which he had caused.” EW 294, 295. What Sister White saw in this vision of the future punishment of the wicked after the 1,000 years is the suffering and consuming of the sin (the worm of sin, Mark 9). Some will be beaten with few stripes while others will be beaten with many stripes. Nothing is said about eternal burning or eternal extinction, etc. EGW was not shown the concept of Universal Reconciliation as it was not time for this message to be brought out. But the consuming and suffering she was allowed to see was real but it was not a literal death anymore than the ashes of the wicked are literal ashes or the fire from God out of heaven is literal fire. All these are symbols. Once you understand this it is much easier to fit the puzzle together so it makes sense. Of course, I know someone will raise the objection that EGW in the book “THE GREAT CONTROVERSY,” wrote against the concept of Universal Salvation. Yes, I am familiar with this portion of GC and have answered this objection on a cassette tape many years ago. Let me say here that EGW did not claim to know everything nor did she claim infallibility for her writings or spoken words. Her writings are not a part of the cannon of Scripture although many SDAs act like they are by placing her writings above the Bible. They also pit one statement against another for in the process of growing in her knowledge EGW often seemed to contradict earlier statements. An example of this can be found in Vol. 1 where she wrote that a man should not speak out against eating pork. This was about 1858. Haskell for one was preaching against pork eating and she rebuked him for it saying it would divide the flock. But about five years later she herself began preaching against pork. When Haskell asked her why she had reversed herself she explained that there is a time for every true message from God. We can see this same progression in the Old Testament with Elijah and with John the Baptist and even Peter in the New Testament. They all were growing and developing. Sister White was no exception. In fact, she continued to eat flesh food herself beyond 1863 until about 1900 or 1901. The story in Great Controversy re: Universalism is about a minister who preached a young man straight to heaven even though he was not a Christian. Of course, such a sermon is wrong. This is not the truth about Universal Reconciliation but the authors of Great Controversy felt this was a good way to refute what they believed to be a false doctrine. EGW is often credited with writing all of Great Controversy but we now know J. N. Andrews, Uriah Smith and probably James White all contributed to this wonderful book “The Great Controversy.” It was a 19th century production with 19th century theological ideas. In spite of this the main thrust and message of the book is still a powerful witness in our world today. But to try and refute Universal Reconciliation with just part of this great book is like trying to use the message of John the Baptist to refute the teachings of Jesus which were far in advance of John the Baptist. Other illustrations could be used but I think this is sufficient for now.

As I was reading in the book, “The Story of Redemption,” I read where Satan asked Jesus to let him go back to heaven, saying he was sorry and had repented. I also read that Jesus wept. This helped me to realize Jesus still loved Lucifer. Why else would He weep? In His weeping I saw a future hope for Lucifer. Just as Jesus wept over Jerusalem and the lost Jews of His days and no doubt over you and me at times. An understanding of the word “Aion” or age and ages has helped me to understand how the word eternal and everlasting refer to only one time segment or age of history. So, Jesus saw into the future that Lucifer was lost for the age of this world and it made Him sad and He wept for His first created angel. But in the great age of the ages after the 1,000 year age Lucifer will repent and come back home. But when I read those words, “Jesus wept” my heart was touched, causing me to change how I felt toward Satan. It was then that I was able to see that it is the sin in Satan, as well as all sinners, including each of us, that makes Jesus weep. And that is why He hates the sin but loves the sinner. God is no respecter of persons, James tells us. He loves each of us the same always holding out his hand to us. No, Jesus does not hate Satan, nor should we. He is a fallen son like the prodigal whose Father yearned every day for his return, looking and longing for him to come home. Is it possible God’s heart is filled with a lot more pain than we could ever realize? Jude 9 tells us that when Satan disputed over the body of Moses Jesus refused to make any “railing accusations” against Satan. Nor should we for even the holy angels, “which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.” 2 Pet. 2:11.

Because of what we are told in TM 106 regarding being careful in presenting new views of Scripture I was slow in telling others what I had learned. We are counseled that we should study carefully first and be prepared to sustain them from the Bible so that the evidence is clear and will not cause dissension but will be plain that God is bringing forth a “special message for this time.”

Then I read in Selected Messages 355. “The understanding of the people of God has been blinded, for Satan has misrepresented the character of God. Our good and gracious Lord has been presented before the people clothed with the attributes of Satan and men and women who have been searching for truth have so long regarded God in a false light that is difficult to dispel the cloud that obscures His glory from their view.” So, this plus what I read in COL 414, 415 really put me on fire to tell others about God’s true character of love. “It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing the knowledge of his character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message of God is to be proclaimed…His character is to be known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy and truth.”

Here are some other statements that also made me want to tell others this wonderful message of truth: “Do not trust the wisdom of any man, go to the Scriptures for your self, search the inspired word, lay aside your preconceived opinions.” R & H Mar. 25, 1890. In TM 105 EGW made it clear that we are not to put doctrinal positions and ideas in concrete. She advised that “an idea once advocated can not under any circumstance be relinquished. There is only one who is infallible—He who is the way, the truth and the life.”

“Some matters have been opened before me will be fulfilled ere long. We are to know more than we do at the present time. We are to comprehend the ‘DEEP THINGS’ of God. There are themes to be dwelt upon that are worthy of more than a passing notice—as we near the closing scenes of this earth’s history STILL MORE WONDERFUL PRESENTATIONS WILL BE MADE.” Manuscript 75, 1890.

Notice carefully what our prophet said before she died in 1915…There are some “HIDDEN THINGS” in the inspired writings. Isa. 48:6 says, “Thou hast heard, see all this, and will ye not declare it? I have showed thee ‘NEW THINGS’ from this time, even ‘HIDDEN THINGS’ and thou didst not know them.” In this age, will He not show us these hidden things? I think He will and already has.

Evidently, one of these hidden things is in Jer. 31. Several times I had read this chapter without noticing or understanding what it really says. “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying: Yea, I have loved thee with an EVERLASTING LOVE, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee. Again I will build thee… and thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets and shall go forth in the dances of them that make merry.”

Lucifer was the only angel I ever read in the bible about who was adorned with those beautiful stones and the “Workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee the day thou was created.” Therefore, I believe Jer. 31:4 is referring to the reconciliation of Satan. Let’s look also at v. 9. “They (all the lost) shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.” This reference to Ephraim has two important applications. First of all, I believe this is a direct reference to Lucifer for he also is the first born of the angels. Secondly, Ephraim was the first born of Joseph yet his tribe is excluded from the 144,000 because his character was flawed. Read about it in Judges 19 regarding the homosexual affair. Furthermore, in verses 18-20 we can see there are two individuals talking. “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord.” Hosea 7:8 refers to Ephraim as a “cake not turned.” In other words Ephraim has not been thoroughly cooked, not ready to eat. He is not perfect or complete, a symbol of how God looks at all of the lost, human beings and angels as well. Ephraim is referred to throughout the book of Hosea. “How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I set thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together. I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One (Jesus) in the midst of thee:” Hosea 11:8, 9.

I know this is entirely different from what we have believed and taught in the past but COL 108, says, “In every age there is a new development of truth. A message of God to the people of that generation. New truths are not independent of the old but an UNFOLDING of it. It is as the old truths are understood that we can comprehend the new.” Cf. Ezek. 16:53-55; 47:9. (Editor’s Note: The healing of the “desert and sea” here are referring to people who are thirsting for Jesus, the water of life. The sea here is also the “dead sea.” And Ezek. predicts the “waters” or people will be healed. The waters issuing from the house in v. 1 and 9 represents the saints flowing out of the New Jerusalem after the 1,000 years to heal the wicked who are outside of the city. This will be their special work in the future life.

Knowledge is progressive from age to age. Science alone proves this with the airplane, automobile, radio, Tvs, computers, etc. Anyone born before WW II can remember the days when we had no TV and those born in the 50’s and 60’s remember what it was like without computers. Knowledge is being increased rapidly as the end approaches just as Daniel 12 predicted.

So, it is also in the spiritual realm. We know that the New Testament gives us much more information about God, especially about His character, than the Old Testament. Sister White, living 1900 years later, in the very last segment of time, gives us even more truth and expands on that which was given in the New Testament. This is the “Gift of Prophecy” Rev. 19:10 refers to which the Lord has given (showers of spiritual rain or knowledge of God’s character so we can be like Him) to ripen the harvest in this last hour. Eleventh Hour workers are needed to go into the vineyard to finish the work. In order to receive these showers we must be willing to let go of our preconceived ideas and beliefs and allow the “still small voice” of God’s Holy Spirit to teach us. GW 310 says: “While we must hold on to the truths we have already received, we must not look with suspicion upon any new light He may send.” This is what the Jewish leaders in Christ’s day did and look what happened to them. It is a terrible thing to reject light. We have not yet seen, felt or experienced the full results of the sin of rejecting the light in 1888. But it will soon be known.

Now, I am coming to the end of this study and have a few closing thoughts I wish to share. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever thought of how Jesus will feel, being a God of love, when at the end of the 1,000 years of the Millennium, when He has to say “Good-bye” not only to all the wicked, lost souls of this earth but to all his lost angels as well? He created each one of them and knows them all by name. How could He stand the pain? Jesus came to give the “Good News” of the gospel. Certainly this would not be good news at the very end of the judgment. Yet, in our hard heartedness this is the doctrine the SDA Church is teaching to the world about how God will deal with sin and sinners in the final day. This is not only bad news, it is the most horrible news one could imagine, similar to the hell-fire doctrine of the Catholics and Protestants. The messages of 1888 and all that have come since that time were sent to correct these false teachings. I wish there were more time and space to develop these ideas for volumes more could and should be said on this point as it is a terrible slander against the Name or Character of God. This is the issue and what is really at stake here. How can we continue to blaspheme His holy Name like this?

Now, another thought. Why would Jesus, being the epitomy of love and caring, keep all the evil angels alive for 6000 years if He only planned to kill them in the final judgment anyway? Our teaching has been that their fate was sealed long ago so the only reason God has continued their existence to the final judgment is to prove that He is right and they are wrong. He wants all the universe to watch them suffer and die so as to impress all the saved that you better obey my rules and regulations or the same will happen to you in the future. I think it would make an impression all right…a very bad impression. Every heart would be filled with fear. What kind of a God are we presenting to the world my friends? A God who would bring back all our dead loved ones who never accepted Him for one reason or another that only God knows…and here He is bringing them all back to put them through one last final mental and physical torture to teach everyone the final lesson that you better not mess with this God because He has the power to not only kill you but make you very, very sorry you ever existed. And all of this just to prove that He is right! And all along He knew full well ahead of time that not even one of them would respond to any final appeal. What could His motive possibly be? Would it be only to show the righteous that His way is superior? And to give them the satisfaction and reward of seeing all of their enemies burn and squirm in the horrible lake of fire? These are questions directly bearing on the character of God. What would your answers be? Well, let me tell you how I have answered these hard questions for myself. The more I have thought about all of this the more it has bothered me. This could not be the way a God of love would operate. And the idea of the lake of fire being a literal lake of fire is another false doctrine that blasphemes God’s character. Lake is water and water represents people. Fire in the Bible represents love, truth and righteousness. When it is rejected it represents pain and suffering. These are important concepts to understand. Look up all the words in your concordance on fire and find out for yourself how the word fire is used, especially in Revelation.

God has known and planned from eternity past that, as Paul says, In the dispensation of the FULLNESS OF TIME, He will, without force or coercion or fear tactics, but only with love, bring ALL CREATION to a true repentance. That every knee will bow and every tongue confess, avow and rejoice when they see how wise and kind and loving God really is. This is what will truly bring glory to our Creator God, Jesus Christ. No wonder all nations will gather around His throne to give Him praise and honor and thanks, Rev. 15.

One of the last and best books EGW wrote is “The Desire of Ages.” Listen to this quote from her pen toward the last of the book. “The gospel is to be presented, not in a lifeless theory, but as a living force to change the life. God desires that the receivers of His grace shall be witnesses of His power. Those whose course has been most offensive to Him He freely accepts; when they repent. He imparts to them His Divine Spirit, places them in the highest positions of trust, and sends them forth into the camp of the disloyal to proclaim His boundless mercy. He would have His servants bear testimony to the fact that through His grace men may possess Christ-likeness of character, and may rejoice in the assurance of His great love. He would have us bear testimony to the FACT THAT HE CANNOT BE SATISFIED UNTIL THE HUMAN RACE ARE RECLAIMED AND REINSTATED IN THEIR HOLY PRIVILEGES AS HIS SONS AND DAUGHTERS.” DA 826.

In this amazing statement during the final days of her ministry Ellen G. White penned this eye-opening statement. It is my firm and growing conviction that this truly is part of the EVERLASTING GOSPEL for it certainly is the best news I have heard so far. That is why I am telling it now to all who will listen. This statement seems to be a comment on Isa. 53:11 which predicts that in the ages to come, Jesus will at last “See the travail of His soul and be satisfied.” For my own part, I will not be satisfied until our great shepherd of the flock, has gathered safely into the fold that one last lost sheep. What if it were your son or daughter, or your beloved husband or wife? I will leave you with this thought and hope that you will pray and study on your own in the days to come until your heart is fully satisfied that you know the truth. Good bye for now and God bless you each one, Esther Belcher.

ADDITIONAL NOTE:

As we have already noted the word “Ashes” is not to be taken literally but is symbolical for Sorrow, grief, pain, mourning and repentance. I recently learned from the SDA Bible Dictionary the true meaning of the word “Ashes” and how it is used in the Bible. Notice: “Among the ancient Hebrews, to put on sackcloth and ashes, or to lie in them, or to sprinkle ashes on the head was a token of grief and mourning (2 Sam. 13:19; Est 4:1, 3; Job 2:8; Neh 9:1). TO SIT IN ASHES WAS A SIGN OF PENITENCE (JONAH 3:6; CF. JOB 42:6). SDA Bible Commentary, page 84. In addition to this the traditional symbolical meaning of “Ashes” according to “DICTIONARY OF SYMBOLS,” by Jack Tresidder means, “Extinction, bereavement, renunciation, penitence and, in some cultures-particularly Native American, a symbol also invoking a phoenix-like rebirth.” Page 17.

What a revelation! Now, with this new understanding let us go back to Ezek. 28 and substitute the word “repentance” and even “grief, sorrow and mourning,” in place of the word ashes. Notice how much clearer and easier to understand it becomes to our western, occidental minds. “I will bring thee to repentance (and grief, sorrow and mourning for your sins) upon the earth (at the time of the final judgment when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess) in the sight of all them that behold thee.” Ezek. 28:18.

With this insight we can better understand Numbers 19 where the sacrifice of the Red Heifer is explained in detail. This sacrifice was utterly different than the regular offerings. It is the only sacrifice which was made outside of the gate and the only one in which the ashes of the animal were saved to be used in a future ceremony of purification for sins in the future regarding contamination by having any kind of contact with dead people, which included just being in the house where a man died. So, how much more was this necessary for those who were involved in killing the enemy during times of war, etc. I have an idea that Israel did not observe this law of the Red Heifer very carefully or very often. This is the only sacrifice in the entire ceremonial system that made provision for sins in the future. Someone may protest that the ceremonial system and its symbolical meanings ended at the cross when Jesus died and nailed the whole system to His cross. That is only partially true. At least one other aspect of the ceremonial system takes God’s people into the future. What was that? It was the ceremony of the two goats…the Lord’s goat, representing Jesus and the Scapegoat which represented Satan. The goat which represented Christ was killed but the Scape goat was led into the wilderness by a “fit” man.

This word “Fit” in the original Hebrew is ‘ittiy (ittee) from Strong’s 6261. It means “Timely or Fit.” From previous studies we have learned that the 144,000 are spoken of in the Bible as ONE. An example of this is found in Hosea 11:1 where the entire nation of Israel is referred to as one person…i.e. a son. Matt. 2:15 reinterprets this verse to apply to Jesus. Rev. 11:15 reveals that the Lord (Jesus) has a Christ or Christos through whom He is doing His final works in the earth in the last days of this age (aion or eon). This Christos is the 144,000 which is also referred to in Rev. 12:10. This is also the “KING” and “SON” in Psalm 2:6-12. Cf. Ps. 110:1. Every verse that applied to Jesus at His first coming now applies to the 144,000 in these last days just before the second advent of our Lord. So, the 144,000 come on the scene just at the right time…the TIMELY AND FIT MAN, who will lead Satan into the wilderness by this powerful message of love God gives to them to give to the world. This is the powerful light of truth which even now is beginning to destroy the darkness…the dark shroud of death Satan has cast over the earth. But as Babylon begins to fall less and less of the supporters of Babylon will continue to support Satan, even of his own angels. Why else would Dan. 11:45 predict: “He shall come to his end and none shall help him.” None would include all of the evil angels who not only watched Jesus in Gethsamane and on the cross but are also watching us today (Eph. 3:10). We are told the evil angels hate and war against each other. So, Satan’s kingdom is always on the edge of disaster and collapse. Just as God, in His great mercy, saved Satan and his angels from perishing during the flood (which they caused) so Jesus is also preserving the evil angels through these last days. Notice what Jude 6 says about them: The angels which kept not their first estate, (principality) but left their own habitation, He (Jesus) hath reserved in everlasting chains (chains circumstances that last until the final eons or ages) under darkness unto the judgment of the great day (final day of judgment or at the time of the panoramic view, GC 666).

The final message is a “Revelation of His character of love.” COL 414, 415. This is predicted in Rev. 18. “The light which attended this angel (Rev. 18) penetrated everywhere (via the internet & Television) as he cried mightily, with a strong voice, ‘Babylon the great if fallen, is fallen,…’ The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great of the third angel’s message as it swells into a loud cry. And the people of God are thus prepared to stand in the hour of temptation, which they are soon to meet. I saw a great light resting upon them, and they united to fearlessly proclaim the third angel’s message.” EW 277. Then on page 280 we read: “In that fearful time, after the close of Jesus’ mediation, the saints were living in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor. Every case was decided, every jewel numbered. Jesus tarried a moment in the outer apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and the sins which had been confessed while He was in the most holy place were placed upon Satan, the originator of sin, who must suffer their punishment.” Notice here the phrase, “Every jewel numbered.” This is a direct reference to Mal. 3:17 where God declares that there is a “day” (short time frame or period; same as “day of the Lord”) when God is going to “make up my jewels.” Mal. 3:17. This phrase “make up” is translated “act” or “appoint” in RSV and NEB respectively. So, the 144,000 come on the scene of action at exactly the right time as the “Timely or Fit” man to give the final message which leads Satan into the one thousand years, alone and bound by chains of circumstances of his own making by his own persistent rebellious actions. “He shall come to his end and none shall help him.” Dan. 11:44.

Now, let’s go into the millennium itself. In contrast to the wilderness of this world (Jer. 25:31-33, Isa. 14) which is a vast graveyard for all the dead Satan is responsible for killing, let us go up to heaven where all the righteous are rejoicing and “growing up as calves of the stall.” Mal. 4:1-3. Please notice how the righteous saved in heaven are referred to as “calves,” the same animal symbol used in Num. 19 for the offering of the Red Heifer. As I researched the difference between a calf and a heifer I discovered a calf is up to one year old but a heifer is up to three years old. I then thought that in terms of eternity that a thousand years could be considered a short span of time, just enough to mature these “calves of the stall” into Red Heifers at the close of the one thousand years…just in time for them, like Jesus, to be willing to sacrifice themselves to go out among the wicked and sprinkle the ashes of the red heifer on them (tell them about Jesus’ great love and how the Father is waiting for their return) and thus bring them the true water of life so they can be healed, which is what Ezek. 47 tells us will happen. The waters (people) flow out of the house (city of New Jerusalem) into the desert and bring healing. Ezek. 16:53-55 also predict that Sodom and her sisters will return to their first or original estate or condition God intended for them.

Rev. 21:25 clearly states that “the gates of it (city) shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.” So, these waters (saved people) going out of the city out into the desert wilderness of this world will be successful in returning with their friends and loved ones into the city whose gates are never closed. As I was praying and studying about all of this for several days the Lord spoke to me one day while I was driving to Portland and reminded me that when the prodigal son returned home his father killed the fatted calf. Because this is a symbol of the vicarious and atoning death of Jesus the killing of the fatted calf could represent the same thing as the red heifer which was killed and burned to ashes so the ashes could be sprinkled in the future on all who became contaminated and ceremonially unclean by having contact with dead bodies.

So, who will be in more need of purification with the ashes of the red heifer than the wicked outside of the city? Only Satan himself with all his unholy angels. So, as the devil and his angels watch God’s people go out and sprinkle the ashes of the fatted calf or red heifer on their lost friends and relatives…i.e. offer them the gift of salvation and watch them, as they, little by little, begin to go into the city and drink of the water of life and eat of the tree of life because they are so thirsty and Jesus and the saints are offering it to them. Can you imagine what joy and rejoicing that would bring…what a celebration there would be every time a lost sinner came into the city and began the process of healing by eating of the leaves of the tree of life!! And what do you suppose these new born Christians would want to do? Why they would want to go back out into the dark world and show their friends, relatives and loved ones their new bodies and encourage and convince them to come in with them. So, on and on it will go for years and years until all of the wicked are renewed and saved. It could take 100 years or more. Cf. Isa. 65:20.

But then Satan and his angels are still out there in their same miserable condition. They are angry, frightened, even terrified. Why? Because, now that God has all of His children back in the fold He is going to make them suffer a long and torturous death. Of course, that is what most Christians are looking forward to isn’t it? I mean, I must admit that I certainly was looking forward to it as my hatred for Satan and all the wicked was so great. But that is not God’s character. This very idea is a doctrine of devils. Here let me prove that to you by quoting the very words of the demons to Jesus in Mark 1:23, 24. “A man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, ‘Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.” In Matt. 8:29 two possessed of devils came out of a graveyard or the tombs. “So ferocious were they that no one could travel on that road. They shouted: ‘Son of God, what business is it of yours to bother us? Have You come here to torture us ahead of time?” God has never hurt, injured, or even spoken a harsh or slanderous word to or against these fallen angels, let alone hurt or killed one of them. 2 Pet. 2:9-12 and Jude 9 indicate that neither Jesus nor his angels even give bad reports against these evil angels who wreak havoc upon the earth daily. But, they are only doing what they are allowed to do by God’s permissive will. Amazingly, God calls them His angels and wicked, demon possessed men His sword. Ps. 17:13; 35:5, 6. God has been “reserving” them until the final day of judgment when He will reveal Himself to them through the panoramic view in the sky, as well as by the 144,000 and the saints who are willing to go out of the city to try and minister to lost humanity, the lost angels including Satan himself.

After having successfully converted all of the lost humanity and brought them safely into the New Jerusalem, the 144,000 and many of the saints will be very experienced soul winners…so much so that they will be very capable of going outside of the city to talk to the fallen angels. The Bible says that all of God’s creatures will eventually bow so naturally, this would include all of the evil angels as well. All you would need is a few of the evil angels to come into the city and be renewed to their original estate and condition and you would have soul winning angels willing, ready and eager to go back out into that dark world they just left behind so as to show their fallen comrades their restored angelic beings, radiant once again with the light and love of their Creator-Redeemer Jesus. Is this good news or what? How good can the good news get? It certainly is good to those who have the mind of Jesus and will not be SATISFIED (Isa. 53:11) until every last one of His creatures is restored to His throne.

In addition to this Paul tells us who the real enemy is and how it will be destroyed. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” I Cor. 15:26. How could that possibly come to pass if God destroys any or all of the wicked and the evil angels along with Satan? Death would not be destroyed but immortalized. But the Bible clearly tells us that even “death and hell (hades or the grave) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Rev. 20:14. What better way of destroying all death and dying than bringing everyone back to fullness of life, health and righteousness. Whenever I speak about this to people many will say, Oh, I wish that were the way it would turn out but God cannot force the free will of man. Most people do not want to go to heaven anyway. This is not true. The only reason anyone in this world does not want to go to heaven is because of the false and hypocritical way heaven has been presented to them. Most religious people who are trying to convert people to believe in God and join some kind of church are teaching eternal hell fire and extinction. Most intelligent people can see through such a sham religion. They don’t want a God who is threatening them with eternal torture or eternal non-existence after a certain amount of torture because they did not believe in every detail of their religion. When Jesus and heaven are presented in their true character no one in their right mind would reject it anymore than a person would reject a free cadillac or winning lottery ticket worth $100 million ($100,000,000.)

Because of the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination later generations of theologians such as Jacob Arminius and others went to the other extreme and developed the concept of free will to the extent that man’s will was greater than the ultimate will and intentional will of God Himself. The simple truth of the matter is that God knows how long it will take and what it will take to bring everyone of His creatures to repentance so they will return to Him in loving obedience of their own volition or free will. He knows when the first harvest of the 144,000 will be ready and He also knows when the final harvest after the 1,000 years will be ready. All time and all souls are in the hands of God, Ezek. 18. Jesus is “Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.

Perhaps you, like many reading these words, are very careful not to take God’s holy Name in vain or to blaspheme His holy Name. But, my friend, just think about this. Are we not taking His Name in vain when we refuse to believe His Word and agree with His plan and line up with His plans, thus having the mind of Christ, Himself, who wills that all men be saved? When Sarah laughed and actually made fun of the idea that she could get pregnant and have a son at her advanced age Jesus read her mind and asked her why she had laughed. “Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” Gen. 18:12-14. So it is also with all of the souls who do not go to heaven this side of the 1,000 years. Time is not a problem with God. Does not our Creator declare that “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” After the rich young ruler walked away from Jesus and His offer to become His disciples Jesus began explaining how hard it is for rich people to get into heaven. “Who then can be saved?” was their question to Jesus. Notice His all encompassing answer. “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Luke 18:27. And this is directly bearing on the subject we are discussing…the salvation of all men and angels. One day back in the early 70’s I happened to be visiting in the city of Spokane, Wash. and went to a park to meditate and pray. I also had my Bible with me and was reading when the Lord impressed me to memorize I Cor. 13. So, I started in and completed it in about an hour or more by repeating the verses over and over again until I could say them without looking. There was one verse that bothered me a great deal. It read: “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity (love) never fails.” V. 7, 8. What bothered me was the idea that if God truly could believe, bear, hope and endure all things so that His love would never fail why was it that most of the human race were lost beyond any hope of redemption? This bothered me a great deal and I wept over the situation many times. Later I wept for joy when I learned the truth that has changed my life like nothing else ever has.

Of course, at that time I did not believe in Universal Reconciliation. In fact, I did not even know such a doctrine had ever been taught in the early church. If anyone had tried to explain the concept to me I would not have accepted it as it was not time for me to hear it. And years later when the idea was expressed to me during a Bible study I was presenting on a video tape I reacted to such an idea. But the seed was planted and took root and began to grow. It took me three months of agonizing prayer and Bible study before I was ready to accept it as a true doctrine of the Bible. Then the Lord had a lady from Seattle send me a copy of Pridgeon’s book, “IS HELL ETERNAL OR WILL GOD’S PLAN FAIL.” I had already looked at that book and told this lady I was not interested in reading it let alone reprinting it for distribution. But here it was right in front of me despite my protests. So, I opened it and scanned the table of contents until I came to chapter 26, “CONCERNING THE SALVATION OF ANGELS AND DEMONS.” I told the Lord that if, after reading that one chapter, I was convinced that He was able to win back and convert the evil angels and the devil himself, then I would believe in Universal Salvation. I started reading on page 259 and when I finished on page 277 I was convinced that Jesus not only had planned the salvation of all of His creatures from eternity past but was in the process of carrying it out even now because everything was happening just as He planned it. My life began to change very dramatically.

In his book, “Christ Triumphant,” Thomas Allin speaks to this idea that God does not have the power to bring all of His creatures to repentance. This God is not even Lord in His own house; for the worst and feeblest of His creatures can defeat His most cherished plan; can paralyze the Cross of Christ. He also speaks about those who picture God as having eternal love until the sinner dies and then that same eternal love is turned into an eternal hate which casts the sinners into an ever burning hell-fire, sometimes forever and sometimes for only a little while. He concludes that all this is not only morally repulsive, but a plain contradiction in terms. I also like Thomas Erskine’s statement. The notion, which is in fact that of the popular creed, i.e., that God is in the Bible detailing the story of His own defeat, is telling how sin has proved too strong for Him; this notion is worse than absurd. Assuredly the Bible is not the story of sin deepening into eternal ruin—of creation darkened forever by a ghastly hell—of god’s own Son worsted in His utmost effort. It is from the opening to the close the story of grace stronger than sin—of life victorious over every form of death—of God triumphing over evil. Page 310.

By means of the computer in these last days men are claiming to be able to decipher hidden messages or codes in the Bible, the Old Testament at least, as I understand it. They say that when God wrote the old testament He put names and events in number formulas such as the name of Rabin every so many letters and the time and name of his assassin are also spelled out by mathematically counting so many letters in a certain pattern. More and more people are talking about this and believing it. If this kind of mathematical precision can be proved to be in the very fabric and structure of the Hebrew text of Genesis and/or any other book of the Bible what does this say about our Mighty God…our everlasting Creator, Jesus Christ? Does it not tell us that He is awesome beyond our wildest dreams? Does it not tell us that when He says He is God and there is none else, that He knows the end from the beginning and wills to save all mankind that we should not doubt His word lest we find ourselves fighting against His plans and blaspheming His Name as surely as the Jews did when they rejected the idea that God loved the Gentiles just as much as them and planned to bring them into the kingdom as joint heirs. Even Peter had a hard time accepting this and had to be rebuked by Paul for not standing firm on the right side of this issue in front of the brethren.

Beloved, let me speak to you very seriously about this matter for a moment. As I have been sharing this wonderful concept of the, Plan of The Ages, as Charles Pridgeon referred to it, for the last ten years I have observed something very consistently with people who choose not to believe it. If I were to make up a psychological profile to describe these people their number one characteristic would be that they have hidden anger and secret rage and revenge in their heart for certain people they wish were dead right now but because God is in charge of their lives nothing can be done but only wish they were dead. And so this foul spirit of hatred persists and a person can become very legalistic, going to church, obeying the law, paying tithe, etc. but all the time still looking forward to that very special time in the future when God Himself will torture and burn these people (your enemies) in the lake of fire until they are totally consumed. Just the very thought of it gives them such carnal satisfaction that they are not about to give it up because it is such a “comforting” idea. They often are people who have accepted the first level or two of the character of God that God does not destroy. They really like that concept, but when you go deeper into the heart of God they revert back to their former attitude and spirit which empowers and enables them in their mind to reject the truth that God’s love extends even to their worst enemies. Thus they steel their heart and mind against this precious new light that could transform their lives. They may have been praying for a deeper experience in the things of God but they do not recognize the answer to their prayers. There is a price to pay for such unbelief and lack of faith. I think of a man who had prayed for years for a child. But when the Lord sent a messenger to inform him that his prayers had been answered he refused to believe. This man’s name was Zacharias. He was an elderly priest who served in the temple. His wife’s name was Elizabeth. Luke tells us they were both stricken in years or very aged like Abraham and Sarah of old. His job was to burn the incense in the temple. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared before him standing on the right side of the altar of incense. Zacharias was troubled or shocked and very afraid. The LB says “terrified.” The angel told him not to be afraid for he had come to tell him his wife was going to have a son who would be a great preacher like Elijah and prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah changing many people’s mind from disobedience to the wisdom of the just.

Just think of it. An angel of the Lord…Gabriel appearing. But what was this priest’s reaction? First of all, he was afraid. The purity and holiness of the spirit of this Divine messenger exposed the shallowness of his legalistic spirit and his carnal fear overwhelmed him so much a spirit of unbelief took control of his mind as he asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this?” NIV. Another says, “But this is impossible!” Gabriel is shocked by this unbelieving attitude and informs Zacharias who he is…Gabriel, who stands in the very presence of God Himself as the highest ranking angel in heaven who took the place of Lucifer. The name of Gabriel is mentioned in Dan. 8 and 9 so Zacharias knew who this angel was. Jewish legalism had replaced genuine faith in the things of God to the extent that He was not able to sense and recognize the true Spirit of God when it appeared to him in person. If we do not have daily communion with the spirit of God we will not recognize the truth when it is presented to us in the most convincing matter. Contrast this scenario with Gabriel’s appearance to Mary. He did not tell her his name for she had a believing spirit. She asked a simple and legitimate question which Gabriel answered without rebuke. Then Mary responded, “Here I am, the Lord’s bondslave. Let it be with me as you say.” Luke 1:38. She was very happy and shared her experience with Elizabeth who then told her Gabriel had visited her husband who could not relate the experience because he had lost his power to speak. Perhaps the lesson for us today is that if we do not accept light when it comes to us we lose our power to witness.

From what we have now learned let us go to another hard text which should fall into place and be easily understood in the light of what we have already learned about the fire of God, its nature and His intent in showering it down upon His creatures…the fire of His love. Cf. Song of Solomon 8:6. In earlier studies we learned from Mal. 3:17 and 18 that God’s Jewels (His special treasure) are the 144,000 whom He will spare or keep alive in the last days as an instrument in His hand to be with Him and then “return and discern between the righteous and the wicked.” In the original Hebrew there were no chapter divisions so the next verse of chapter 4 is a natural continuation of the last idea of Mal. 3:18 and flows on into Mal. 4:1. Notice: “For, (or because or as a result of this discerning by the 144,000) behold (look or stare or consider) 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 or branch.” Question: How does an oven burn? It burns on the inside. So, it is that the wicked will be burning in their hearts and consciences because of the truths that are being brought forth via God’s Christos or chosen Son, King and servant. This is a fire that will burn in their bones…a message of truth and righteousness which they will reject on this side of the millennium but which will eventually, on the other side of the 1,000 years, burn them up (consume all of their dross and sins so they become new creatures in Christ Jesus). And that is the message of Mal. 4:2…predicting the preaching message from Jesus to all those who “fear His Name” (know His character). They are going to bring healing to all those who accept him on this side of the millennium. Then during the 1,000 years the redeemed will “go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” During the 1,000 years all the righteous will come to a full and complete understanding of the Mystery of His will so at the close of the 1,000 years they will “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.” Remember, beloved, that ashes are a symbol of grief, mourning and repentance and transformation as well. This looks forward to renewal via the resurrection and all that transpires after that.

In I Cor. 15:22 Paul predicts: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive.” Beloved, plain logic tells us that in order for the first “all” to be valid and true the second must also be equally true for this is a Pauline parallelism. Then Paul continues on showing the different harvests of souls…”But every man (human being) in his own order: (which God alone has determined without interfering with His free will). Christ the firstfruits; after ward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” This will include the 144,000 and the great multitude or one third of the human race. Zech. 13. So, we still have two thirds of humanity dead in the earth and one third of the evil angels with Satan stuck here on this planet during the 1,000 years, bound by a chain of circumstances they have created themselves. Now watch v. 24. “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” So, how does He do this? By destroying them with literal fire? That is what we always believed. But now we know that is not true at all. No. The way He will put down all rule and authority and power who have rebelled and rejected Him is to reveal Himself in the panoramic movie in the sky described in GC 666. This will bring all to their knees and to true grief, sorrow and repentance…IN OTHER WORDS…TO ASHES IN THE SIGHT OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE. What a fitting climax to the great controversy. Now, notice what Paul says in the next verse for He is writing this scenario in sequence as the Holy Spirit gave it to him. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” v. 26. Cf. Heb. 2:14 and Rev. 20:14.

Now, we come to the verse which will help us clearly see the meaning of Mal. 4:2 regarding walking on the ashes of the wicked. “For he hath put all things under his feet.” This began at the death and resurrection of Jesus. Remember His words in Matt. 28:18. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” And what is the final bottom line or goal Jesus is after… “That God may be all in all.” I Cor. 15:28; Cf. I Pet. 3:22. Now, we can see that the righteous walking on the ashes of the wicked is a Hebrew parallelism meaning to get the victory over your enemy by loving them to repentance…destroying the enmity through love. If your enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him drink and by doing this you are putting coals of fire on his head or burning him up…reducing him to ashes…sorrow, grief and repentance. Paul also speaks of this in Heb. 2 where he specifies that he is talking about the world to come. He makes it clear in v. 5 and on that in the world to come angels will not be the rulers in control. He is quoting from Psalm 8 but he puts it in the context of the future whereas David had put it in the context of the original creation with Adam. In v. 4 David asks the curious question as to what or who man is that God would take time to visit Him, from time to time in the Old Testament, and then in the person of Jesus, the Creator Himself. Notice the answer: “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands: THOU HAST PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET:” V. 6. This text is apropos or pertinent to our theme here as it helps us to see that when the righteous are symbolically pictured as walking on the ashes of the wicked it simply means that they, like the prodigal son, have been reinstated in their holy privileges to once again rule over the earth as God intended from the beginning. Cf. Gen. 1:27-29. DA 826. In the Bible the idea of God’s feet resting on His footstool while He is seated on His throne is a Hebrew poetical expression used symbolically to predict God’s total victory over all His enemies. This metaphorical expression was well understood in the ancient world, for pictures of bound enemies were painted on, or carved in, the footstools of kings. The throne of Tutankhamen in the Cairo Museum is an example with its footstool at the base of the throne decorated with figures of captive enemies. But, how does God conquer His enemies? By force? No. DA 759 makes this crystal clear amplified by the life of Jesus Himself. God allows His enemies to destroy themselves but in the process uses their self-destruction to teach them and the universe (DA 1) lessons regarding Himself and His character. He proves that He has the power and wisdom to overcome all of His enemies without hurting or killing them.

Was it God’s original plan for Satan and his angels to rule this planet as they have been doing for the last 6,000 years? Or has their so-called “control” only been an illusion? Is it possible that the Master Creator in His great wisdom and foreknowledge used their manipulations, machinations and deceptions against Adam and Eve and their descendants as part of His “class room techniques” for bringing His creation to perfection? Many say it was His permissive will, not His perfect will. But the deeper we go into the character of God and His foreknowledge the more understanding we have of His plans and methods. The fact that all of His creatures will eventually praise and glorify Him when they see all things as He sees them would tend to lead us to conclude God’s perfect will is in reality being done at every step and stage of the Great Controversy. This is why we are counseled to praise Him for all things just as He gave glory for the sickness and death of Lazarus. And just as Lazarus and his family gained tremendous insights through their experience so it is that God’s people in this last age are growing and learning through difficult experiences of various kinds. Jesus, our Master-Creator knows we cannot survive these last days unless we have His mind “THE MIND OF CHRIST.” Through every trial He is “growing us up” to His own stature so we may respond as He responded and see the final end of all things even as He sees them. This is necessary for our mental, physical and spiritual survival in the days just ahead.

Although it is true that Satan wrested the right of dominion away from Adam and Eve, taking it for himself, and has through the centuries been successful in leading many people to make laws that were not for their own good, so they became, De Jure (“by law”), under the law of the state; the Creator, knowing all things in advance, simply used all of these events as props, as it were, in the Great Controversy Drama as the human family, century by century trod their way through this valley of sweat, tears, blood and death. Yet, it was for the purpose of perfecting man to the point where he would be mature enough to assume the right to reign and rule with His Creator. Paul speaks of this in Gal. 4. “So long as the heir is a minor, he is no better off than a slave, even though the whole estate is his; he is under guardians and trustees until the date fixed by his father. And so it was with us. During our minority we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe, (Evil Angels) but when the term was completed, God sent His own Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to purchase freedom for the subjects of the law, in order that we might attain the status of sons.” Gal. 4:1-5. So, when the first fruits, the 144,000 demonstrate that through the power of Jesus they have grown beyond the tyranny of angels and Christ has reproduced His very own character in them…that is when He will come to claim them as His own. This will be the first fruits harvest. May that day come soon is my sincere and earnest prayer. Truly your friend and servant in Christ, our Lord, Pastor Mike Clute.

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