The Destiny of the Faithful
The first and most pleasant study, is the destiny of the faithful. Revelation spends much time on the destiny of those who choose to follow Jesus all of the way, and what a destiny it is! "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.' Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.'" Revelation 21:1-5. In John's panoramic view of the history of the world from his time until the close of all things, he is carried away into the consummation of the hopes and dreams of the faithful of all ages. He sees all of the calamities and catastrophes of this wicked world wiped away, never more to rise again. He sees all things new. How great the thought! Humans seem to like new things, no matter what they are. To some, there could be nothing better than driving a new car off the lot. To others, bringing home a new outfit will make their day a delight. Others still, can get great enjoyment out of little things such as new tools or kitchen decorations. Both men and women love new things, but John sees the greatest new thing of all time-an entirely new world. Not just a new house, car, or dress, but absolutely everything is new! The great destiny of the faithful is an entirely new inheritance.
In order to endure the trials and difficulties that we encounter here, it is necessary to keep our mind focused on this final destiny of the faithful. Jesus did this, and it was this very thing that enabled him to endure the terrible anguish through which He passed. "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2. When Jesus was in the midnight darkness of the cross, He focused on the joy that was to come. He thought of the millions of souls who would be saved as a result of His sacrifice. With the precious thoughts of victory in the future, He was braced to endure the superhuman agony. It is the same in our trials. If we are going to endure the crosses that we are called to bear, our minds must be focused on the blessed destiny of the faithful. When Paul was heavily pressed with temptations and trials, his thoughts turned upward and enabled him to manfully fight the battles of the Lord. "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18. His mind anticipated the glory to come, and he realized that the sufferings and trials of this life were nothing in comparison. So we, if we are going to experience that glorious destiny, must turn the channel of our thoughts to the spectacular age to come.
There are some individuals who simply do not have a desire to take part in the destiny of the saved. I have talked with individuals who have said that it sounds like a good idea, but they would rather have this poor, sinful world. Others do not care about religion because they have no desire to go to such a boring place as heaven. They can see no enjoyment in sitting on imaginary clouds, listening to imaginary music, with imaginary ears, played from imaginary harps. It sounds more like a torture chamber than a blessed destiny. Others feel that they will be twiddling their thumbs from boredom, so have no desire to deny themselves here in order to experience an eternity of inactivity later on. In all truthfulness, I do not think that I would enjoy such a land either; but that does NOT correctly portray the destiny of the faithful!
"'For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind…. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands…. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,' says the Lord." Isaiah 65:17, 21, 22, 25. Far from a land of boredom and inactivity, it will be the most joyous fulfillment of our brightest imaginations and the consummation of all our desires. It will not be a place of idle indifference. Never will an inhabitant say, "I am bored." The Lord has provided thousands of things to interest our mind and give delight to our hands here on this earth. How much better will it be when the Lord recreates this earth. It will not be an imaginary land of clouds. The Bible teaches that it is going to be a real place with real things. If you enjoy hiking, there will be unmapped territory to explore. If you enjoy gardening, there will be the most fertile land you have ever worked with to cultivate. If you enjoy traveling, there will be hitherto unknown worlds to which you may journey. If you enjoy music, there will be the finest choirs with whom to sing, and instruments that emit the most beautiful chords. If you enjoy history, there will be the eyewitnesses and God's unerring records to consult. If you enjoy socializing, there will be millions of the most wonderful Christians you have ever met to socialize with. If you enjoy worshipping the Lord, there will be countless hours spent in giving praise and honor to our everlasting King. Indeed, the blessed destiny of the faithful is the choice to make.
"And you, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem." Micah 4:8, KJV. The Lord has promised the restoration of the first dominion to the faithful. What is the first dominion? "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air; and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'… Then God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'" Genesis 1:26, 28. The first dominion is none other than the beautiful garden that God prepared for mankind in the beginning. It is this dominion that God is going to restore! It is not a make believe world, but a restoration of what man lost in the beginning, only with added benefits! The Garden of Eden was not an imaginary place with imaginary beautification; it was a real, physical world. "So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good…. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good…. And God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Genesis 1:21, 25, 31. As you look around the world today, it all came from the hand of God. The trees and flowers come through a long line from the very plants that sprung forth at the Creator's command. The rocks along the rivers and oceans are the very rocks that God created. The waters that moisten our ground, and gurgle through the streams, and rush through the flowing rivers into the mighty oceans are the very waters that our Lord created. The animals that play in grasses and frolic in the forests are descended from the very animals that God lovingly gave to Adam and Eve, and if a person were to trace it back he would find that Adam and Eve were his great, great, etc. grandparents. By looking around at the beautiful world that God has so graciously given to us, we can see that He is a lover of the real. In the beginning God created a real, physical, tangible world, and when He restores the first dominion, it will be a real, physical, tangible world.
In this great destiny, the afflictions that are so common here will all be passed away. "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing…. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isaiah 35:5, 6, 10. All the physical ailments and pain shall be passed away. All will be joy and gladness. Tears will be turned into rejoicing and sorrow will give way to joy. Imagine the choir that the dumb will form. I am sure that they will sing the loudest hosannas to our King. Think of the lame dancing for joy to the glory of God. The pain and suffering of this old, wicked world will be forever passed away. "And the inhabitant will not say, 'I am sick'; the people who dwell in it will be forgiven their iniquity." Isaiah 33:24. There will be no doctor's clinics, no hospitals, and no funeral homes. Never once will you hear someone say that he is not feeling well; that he has a headache, that his joints are bothering him. All sickness and physical affliction will be forever gone.
The beauty of the final destiny of the righteous is indescribable. "And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. And her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel… and the construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass." Revelation 21:10-12, 18-21. The Lord is a lover of the beautiful. He created the delicate flowers and the colorful birds for the delight of our eyes. The rivers, hills, valleys, and mountains all testify of God's great love of the beautiful. God created a beautiful world for His people, and when He redeems His faithful from the earth, He spares no effort to recreate the most beautiful habitation ever known to the universe.
The greatest fact of all about the destiny of the faithful is that they shall see their Lord and Saviour for themselves. The faithful have spent hours learning of their Maker from His Word. They have spent entire nights in prayer talking with their Redeemer and Friend. They have told all their acquaintances about Him. They have grown to know Him more closely than any earthly friend, for "This is life eternal, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." John 17:3. They have eternal life because they are intimately connected with Him; but for the first time they shall see Him face to face. "And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on there foreheads." Revelation 22:3, 4. The greatest thing of all is that the faithful shall look upon the face of their Lord. "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known." I Corinthians 13:12. Through our long pilgrimage here on this earth, we have seen Him dimly and in part, but then it shall be face to face. How great the destiny of the faithful!
Although the Bible gives the most vivid descriptions, and our minds anticipate with brightest expectations, it will infinitely exceed our grandest hopes and dreams. "But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'" I Corinthians 2:9. Eye has not seen, nor will not see, the beauty that shall be revealed in the inheritance of the faithful. Ears will never hear, in this life, the beautiful strains which shall meet the faithful. The mind can never come close to grasping the unending splendor of the greatest destiny imaginable. Is there anything in this world that can compare with the reward of the saints? Do the things of this world hold any attraction when we see the destiny that is coming? Is there anything that we will allow to hold us back from following Jesus all the way to the gates of the Holy City? Let us remember the destiny that the Lord has promised to those who are willing to give up anything and everything for Him and press on the upward way regardless of the cost.
The Supper of the Faithful
With each of the two destinies, there is a supper to usher the destiny in. There is a supper for the faithful and there is a supper for the unfaithful as well, but the difference between these two suppers is as far as the east is from the west.
The supper of the faithful is referred to in Scripture as the marriage supper of the Lamb. "And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.' And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, 'Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' And he said to me, 'These are the true sayings of God.'" Revelation 19:6-9. The faithful are going to be a part of the greatest wedding feast of all time. Everyone enjoys weddings, and for most people it is the happiest day of their lives. But this marriage feast will far exceed even the most elaborate wedding here on this earth. This wedding feast will be the great celebration of the heavenly marriage between Christ and His church. It will be the grand opening of eternity.
In our weddings, the bride and groom are married and then the reception follows. So the marriage supper of the Lamb immediately follows the marriage of the Lamb. The bridegroom in this great wedding in none other than Jesus Himself. "You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.' He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled." John 3:28, 29. John the Baptist recognized who the true Bridegroom was. He said it was Jesus whom his disciples were complaining about. If Christ then is the bridegroom, who is He married to? Surely there can be no wedding without a bride. "Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth," "For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." II Corinthians 1:1; 11:2. This great marriage, that is so soon to take place, is the marriage between Christ and His church! What a marriage and what a marriage supper that will be! Surely, there could be no greater marriage and there could certainly be no greater celebration and rejoicing than will take place at that marriage supper.
Why has this marriage not already taken place? "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." Revelation 19:7. We are not waiting on Him; the Lord Jesus is waiting for us, His church, to get ready. As soon as the church is ready for the greatest marriage of all time, it will come. In order for the church to be ready, she must have on her wedding garment. If she presumes to come to the wedding without the wedding garment that her groom has provided for her, she shall be a part of a much worse supper and destiny. "But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:11-14. Christ's bride must be clad in that precious wedding garment of character that Christ Himself has provided. Many claim to be Christians. Many claim to be the bride of Christ, but few are chosen. Why are few chosen? Because few consent to wear the wedding garment of Christ's character. They cling to their own ideas, and their own ways, and do not let the Lord change them into His likeness. The wedding garment that the true church will wear is not spotted with sin and selfishness, but it is completely cleansed from all of sin's defilement. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:25-27. Never does a bride come to the wedding in a gown that is wrinkled, smudged, and torn; and the Lamb's bride is not going to come to her wedding like that either. She must have allowed Christ to cleanse and sanctify her from all sin so that she may be pure and undefiled on her great wedding day. All who submit to the cleansing process will be a part of the bride of Christ and partake of the great marriage supper, but all who refuse to be joined to the Lord (I Corinthians 6:17) are destined for a much less desirable supper.
"Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!" Revelation 19:9. Indeed, blessed are those who are called and are ready for this great marriage. Only those who have allowed Christ to cleanse and purify their characters will partake of this joyous supper, for without holiness, "no one shall see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14. "And I say to you that many will come from the east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 8:11. For those who have put on the wedding garment of Christ's spotless character, will come and sit down with the prophets, apostles, and holy men and women of all ages. They will then sit down and eat and drink at Jesus table. (See Luke 22:30.) Christ has been waiting for this great reunion supper for millennia. Shortly before Jesus was taken from His disciples, He promised them, "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." Matthew 26:29. He has been waiting nearly two thousand years to drink of the pure grape juice with His children at the great marriage supper of the Lamb. I imagine, that just as He did at the Lord's Supper, He will again serve His faithful children with His own hand. What a supper that will be! The church perfected and all the trials and heartaches passed away. Sitting as one big, happy, united family at the table of God in the kingdom of heaven, and Jesus with His own hand serving the precious bounties of the heavenly kingdom. What a supper! What a destiny!
The Destiny of the Disobedient
There is more than just one destiny, though. As there are two marks, two choices and two suppers, there are two destinies, as well. The destiny of the faithful and obedient, is the best destiny imaginable, but not so for the disobedient. The destiny of the disobedient is as fearful as the destiny of the obedient is joyous.
"For the wicked are reserved for the day of doom; They shall be brought out on the day of wrath." Job 21:30. The day of doom is coming for those who have turned from God's holy Law and gone after their own way. A day of doom and a day of wrath is the destiny that is stealthily creeping in upon them. Fearful was the account given by the prophets when they saw this day. So fearful that they could hardly give utterance to their words. When Ezekiel saw this fearful day of doom, he exclaimed, "A disaster, a singular disaster; Behold, it has come! An end has come, the end has come; it has dawned for you; behold, it has come! Doom has come to you, you who dwell in the land; The time has come, a day of trouble is near, and not of rejoicing in the mountains. Now upon you I will soon pour out My fury, and spend My anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will repay you according to your ways, and your abominations will be in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord who strikes." Ezekiel 7:5-9. For the disobedient, their destiny is far from a day of rejoicing. It is a day of sorrowful lamentation. The destiny of doom is soon to fall upon the despisers of God's grace. They may put it off. They may think that it will not fall on them, but their hopes are in vain. "Woe to you who put far off the day of doom," Amos 6:3. Millions today are saying, "It will not come, or if it does come it will be many years in the future." The Bible says, "Woe to you who say such things, Woe to you who put off the day of doom. It will come; it will surely come. God has sworn and will not relent, the day of wrath is coming."
When does this day of wrath begin? "Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete." Revelation 15:1. The day of wrath and doom begins with the pouring out of the seven last plagues. Those who have persisted in following their own course of disobedience to God's Word and His Law begin to experience the destiny that they have purchased for themselves, and far from sweet it is. "The way of transgressors is hard." Proverbs. 13:15, KJV. Now transgression seems easy. Now the road of disobedience appears to be the road to riches and honor, but the day of doom will reveal the true character of each path. The day of doom will reveal how hard the destiny of the disobedient really is.
"So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image." Revelation 16:2. Notice who it is that receives of the dreadful seven last plagues? It is those who have the mark of the beast. Those who have been obedient to all of God's Law have the seal of the Living God and are preserved from these terrible plagues. (In Steps to Life's booklet Two Marks both the mark of the beast and the seal of God are positively identified.) The faithful have a different destiny than the day of wrath and doom. They are present during the day of wrath and doom, but God mercifully shields them and gives them another better destiny.
God holds before us two destinies. The one so full of joy and contentment that it surpasses our brightest imaginations. The other more terrible than man can describe, but tragically the majority chooses the dreadful destiny of doom. Jesus has warned us, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:13, 14. Because of the cross involved in following Jesus, few go by the narrow way. The vast majority of the world takes the broad easy way, but too late they find out that they have gone the hard way. Even though there are the most solemn warnings in all of the Bible against following the beast, yet prophecy tells us that all of the world will follow the beast power. "I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast." Revelation 13:3. Although it is only those who were deceived into following the beast power that receive of the seven last plagues, that is almost the entire world. It is just a small but obedient group that are delivered from these dreadful scourges.
No human can describe the terrible consequences of these seven final plagues. These plagues are the final retribution to those who have refused to follow the Lord all the way. There are terrible sores worse than any human has ever experienced before that will befall upon those who receive the mark of the beast. (Revelation 16:2.) Then the Lord will give those who are seeking to kill His people blood to drink. (Revelation 16:3-7.) Next the sun scorches them with heat hotter than the hottest place on this earth. After the sun scorches with white hot heat, the Lord turns off the sun and the men gnaw their tongues for the great darkness. (Revelation 16:10.) The support of the beast dries up under the sixth plague. (Revelation 16:12-16.) Then the final plague finishes the destructive judgments by pelting the earth with sixty pound hail. (Revelation 16:17-21.) The destiny of the disobedient is far from pleasant, but this is not the end, there is more and worse still to come.
"Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the might men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?'" Revelation 6:14-17. The seventh plague is none other than the second coming of Jesus, and what a day of terror it is for those who have received the mark of the beast. Instead of Jesus' appearing being a day of joy and gladness, it is one of gloom and sadness for those who have turned their backs on Jesus and taken the "easy way." "The day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains." Joel 2:1, 2. (KJV.) Those who have not loved Jesus enough to keep His words (John 14:23) are filled with terror as they see the One whom they know they have rejected. "She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness." Nahum 2:10. (KJV.) The horror is irrepressible. It shows in the countenance and the knees knock for fright. It is a day of hopeless agony. They recognize the Lord. They know His voice, but they have refused to heed His call. "That voice which penetrates the ear of the dead, they know. How often have its plaintive, tender tones called them to repentance. How often has it been heard in the touching entreaties of a friend, a brother, a Redeemer. To the rejecters of His grace no other could be so full of condemnation, so burdened with denunciation, as that voice which has so long pleaded: "Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?" Ezekiel 33:11. (KJV.) Oh, that it were to them the voice of a stranger! Says Jesus: "I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof." Proverbs 1:24, 25. (KJV.) That voice awakens memories which they would fain blot out--warnings despised, invitations refused, privileges slighted." The Great Controversy, 642. The second coming which delivers the righteous strikes abject terror into those who have refused to keep all of God's commandments.
The glory that is revealed from heaven as Jesus comes in His own glory and in the glory of His Father and in the glory of all the holy angels (Luke 9:26) not only fills the disobedient with terror, but the glory is as a flame of fire devouring them. "And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power," II Thessalonians 1:7-9. The glory that fills the sky is so much brighter than the sun that it slays those who have neglected to follow Jesus all the way. "And the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming." II Thessalonians 2:8. Those who have persisted in breaking God's Law are unfit to stand in God's presence and are smitten by the brightness and the glory as it is revealed from heaven. There will be those who have thought that they were keeping the Law, but find out too late, and they too will share in the same fate. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart form Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" Matthew 7:21-23. There will be those who pick an argument with the Lord, but they will share in the same fate as those who called for the rocks to fall upon them. They thought that they were saved. They thought that they were saved so much so that they appealed the decision that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords has made, but they were sadly deceived. They thought that they had a one way ticket to heaven, but too late they find out that there name was blotted from the records and there is nothing that they or anyone else can do. They are counted with the unbelievers and are destroyed by the brightness of the Lord's coming. What a day of terror! What a day of destiny!
The fate of all those who have refused to follow all of the Lord's commandments is awful indeed. Most people agree with most of the commandments, but usually there is one or two that cut directly across their path, and they decide that it isn't important to keep all of them, but that decision if stubbornly held to will fix their destiny on the wrong side. "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, 'Do not commit adultery,' also said, 'Do not murder.' Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty." James 2:10-12. If a person keeps most of the Law, yet refuses to keep one part of it, it is just as if he has disregarded the entire Law. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:13. It is the whole duty of man to keep all ten of God's holy commandments, for in reality they are ten simple promises of love. Jesus puts it as simply as possible, "If you love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15. Tragically the entire world is breaking at least one of the commandments and is destined in the wrong direction. They will go on thinking everything is all right, but find out too late that they have been duped and will be consumed by the brightness of Jesus' second coming. Then will be fulfilled the words of Jeremiah, "And at that day the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground." Jeremiah 25:33. The righteous will rise to meet their precious Saviour in the clouds of glory, but the disobedient will be slain by the brightness of Jesus' second coming and be as refuse upon the ground. Then commences the awful supper of the disobedient.
The Supper of the Disobedient
"Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, 'Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.' And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh." Revelation 19:11-21. As awful as it is, it is the Word of God. Jesus is pictured as returning to earth as a King of Kings and Lord of Lords. No more does he wear the crown of thorns. No more is He cradled in a lowly manger. He returns as who he rightfully is, the conquering King. Then the angel makes the most awful pronouncement. He tells the birds that it is supper time. It is the supper of the great God. Those who have refused to wear the robe woven in the loom of heaven for them, those who have refused to make the necessary preparations to come to the marriage supper of the Lamb receive their part in the supper of the great God. Instead of being fed by Jesus' own right hand, instead of sitting at the table of God with the holy men of old, they become supper for the birds of heaven. They have refused to keep God's Law, and so consequently they have received the most awful visitations of God's wrath imaginable, and now they become food for the vultures and scavengers of the earth. How awful and terrible a fate, but "it is their just due." Revelation 16:6. They have "counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace," (Hebrews 10:29) and now they receive the reward of their works. How careful we need to be that we have chosen the right supper and the right destiny.
The Decision of Destiny
Reader, you have a decision to make. Every person alive today has a choice to make. Which choice will you make? There are two choices and two destinies. Your decision will determine which supper you are a part of, whether you eat with the saved of all ages, or if you are eaten by the birds of heaven. It is a gruesome thought, but it is better to think about it now before it is too late. A time is coming in which it will be too late. A time in which every decision will have been made for or against eternity. "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still." Revelation 22:11. Very soon this decree will be made and it will be forever too late to change sides. You will then be on one side or the other and your destiny will be sealed. It is sooner than you think; it is sooner than I think. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." II Corinthians 6:2. Do you hear His voice calling you? Please don't put it off. I have talked with many precious souls who are hoping and desiring to be saved. They believe the Word of God. They believe His Law, but they have difficulty following one commandment. It may be their job. It may be their family. It may be their own desires that they have to deny. When it gets a little easier, then they say they will keep all of the Law. When they get their house paid off, after they retire, then they will follow Jesus all of the way. I have appealed and appealed to such, but to no avail. They really want to be saved. They know what they need to do, but they do it not. Friend, don't make that mistake. You know what you need to do. Are you going to do it? You have a decision to make. Are you going to make it? Which supper do you want to be in? Which destiny do you prefer? Is there any part of God's holy Law that you are ignoring? Don't delay! Delay is from the devil. Which mark will you receive? It will determine which destiny you will find. It will determine which supper you attend. The last generation will attend one or the other, that is not the question. The question is, which one will you be in? Contemplate the glories of the heavenly destiny. Consider the fate of the destiny of the disobedient. Is there anything in this world that holds you back? Is there anything that keeps you from making the leap of faith to keeping all of God's Law? Is it worth it in the end? Is whatever the hindrance may be, more important to you than your final destiny?
Are you with the multitudes still in the valley of decision? "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision." Joel 3:13. Brother or Sister, not one soul will be saved in the valley of decision. Not one soul! Those who hang around the valley of decision too long, end up being pushed over the precipice of destruction. Have you weighed the Bible evidence for your faith? You know what the Bible says. Will you make the choice to leave the valley of decision and dwell in the secret place of the Most High? Will you be certain that the seal of the Living God is placed in your forehead? Will you have His name written in the tables of your mind? You must make a decision, whether you want to or not. All who do not make a decision will be counted with the unbelievers. Which side will you be on? "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live." Deuteronomy 30:19.
All emphasis is the author's, unless otherwise stated.
All texts from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
The Great Controversy, Ellen G. White, 1911.
Copyright © 1999 by Steps to Life
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