Biblical Reflections – Lake of Fire

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By Rev Willem J.J. Glashouwer.. “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have You come here to torture us before the appointed time?” (Matthew 8:28-32) “Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41) “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10) “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12).

Things that are happening on planet earth sometimes find their origin in the heavenly realms that surround us. In the unseen world. Powers of darkness inspire political leaders and governments. Demonic forces play their game. Behind the political power of Persia is the prince of the Persian kingdom, says the angel who came to Daniel. And only because Michael, one of the chief princes came to the rescue in this battle, I was able to come to you to share with you the vision about the future, the angel explains, Daniel 10:12-14. And after this I have to return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come, Daniel 10:20Revelation 16:13-16 speaks about evil spirits who go out to the kings of the whole world to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. ‘Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon’. The valley of JehoshaphatJoel 3:1-3, a valley that runs across Israel from North to South.

With that in the back of our minds, let’s look at events of today. Things that are happening in and around Israel against IsraelJerusalem and the Jewish people should always draw our attention. We should learn to look at the developments in the world from the perspective of Israel and Jerusalem. Put our feet there and then look at the map of the world and the behaviour of the nations. Why do the nations rage? Psalm 2 (NASB) has the answer: “Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!” That is why the nations rage. It is against Almighty God and His Anointed One. And against His City of Jerusalem and against His land and against His people IsraelPsalm 83:2-8 (NASB) says: “Your enemies make an uproar, and those who hate You have exalted themselves. They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones.
They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.” For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; They have become a help to the children of Lot.”

But Psalm 2 continues to say: “He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

All the events of our days point towards the Coming of the Prince of PeaceChristianity celebrated Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. In many churches the beautiful passage of Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV) has been read: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice. From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” What does that mean: ‘unto us’? Who are these ‘us’? It means Israel. It means the Jewish people. Like in Psalm 105:7-11 (NKJV): “He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac, And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant, Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the allotment of your inheritance,” Us means them. A Child is born to them. And His beautiful names are: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of course, this Saviour has become our Mighty God as well. But He was given to Israel in the first place.

And one-day – who knows how soon- the decree of the Lord will be executed. As Psalm 2 continues: “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’” He is the Mighty One of Israel. He will break down all the resistance of the raging nations. Therefore Psalm 2 gives this solid piece of advice: “Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”

The powers of darkness fear Him. They know that one-day they will be thrown into the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels. When Jesus came these powers of darkness started to scream: “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have You come here to torture us before the appointed time?” They know that one-day they will be tortured, and that the Son of God has everything to do with that. The only thing they did not understand was this: is it already now? Before the appointed time? And they were right, so Jesus gives them permission to enter into the pigs and they rush the whole herd off into the lake of water, not yet into the lake of fire. But one-day He will cast them into the lake of fire. And they know it. They understand that the return of the Jewish people back to the Promised Land and the restoration of the Jerusalem – the City of the Great King (Matthew 5:35, Psalm 48:2) – is pointing towards the Coming to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. And the demons hate that. They hate His Coming in Glory. Because it is the beginning of their end. So they will try every trick in the book to prevent that to happen, by turning the nations against Israel and the Jewish people and the City of Jerusalem. And if they cannot ultimately prevent this to happen, then at least postpone it as long as possible. By all kind of political tactics and ultimately war.

But He Who sits in the heavens laughs. And one-day Jesus will come to fulfil the promise that the angel Gabriel gave to His mother Mary (Luke 1: 32-33, NIV): “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.”

 


Amersfoort 27th December 2017
Rev. Willem J. J. Glashouwer
President Christians for Israel International

 

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