NKJV (Isaiah 9: 6) 6 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.
In the previous article we spoke about who the Prince of Peace is and how the Divine relationship is composed. We have also talked about God’s wrath with the opening of the scroll with the 7 seals and how some unbelievers will still be attracted to the God of peace.
For Christians, the world is turning into madness. Behavior which was previously the norm, a stable family, where children grow up in Christian love and respect, that behavior must now give way to other insights with little or no respect for the unborn child.
Theme; Christians who are persecuted and have doubts, herding with an iron scepter and people who get a second chance on the new earth.
Persecution of Christians and to have doubts
Persecution gives tensions. Sometimes we are persecuted by contemptuous smooth talkers who tell lies about Christians. For some will lie about us, so that we will be ignored by others, just because we are Christians:
NKJV (Matthew 5: 11-12) 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This slander, this pain, is not easy to let go. But Jesus asks us to let go of this pain and be pleased to be persecuted as a Christian.
We have the assurance that by bearing the persecution, our reward in heaven will be great.
And we can endure this, because we love the Son of God above all. (Matt. 10:37)
Peace can also easily turn into hatred by people in your immediate vicinity, because you are a Christian. People, of whom you do not expect, can – according to Jesus – be prepared to take our life:
NKJV (Matthew 10: 21-22) 21 Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
Christians can start doubting under pressure and it can get too much. But no tribulation and no persecution can make Christians in despair or without hope:
NKJV (2 Corinthians 4: 8-9) 8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed
In spite of all the tribulation, Christians want to stay connected as branches to the true vine and on that basis, we are allowed to ask what we want in Jesus name:
NKJV (John 15: 4-7) 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
Christians must be cleansed in the last days, they must prove to be faithful:
NKJV (Daniel 11:35) 35 And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.
NKJV (Daniel 12:10) 10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
The apostle John said it once this way:
NKJV (John 15: 2) 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Only Christians with a weak faith will stumble:
NKJV (Mark 4: 16-17) 16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.
Herding with an iron scepter
What is meant by; Herding with an iron scepter?
CSB (Revelation 12: 5) 5 But she gave birth to a Son-a male who is going to shepherd all nations with an iron scepter….
This Son, this male Child, stands for the New Jerusalem, the new heavenly abode in which Jesus and the saints will be taken. (See also: Rev. 2:26-27)
(See: end time 5. Revelation; the pregnant woman https://www.dojc.nl/?p=2243&lang=en )
In Revelation 12: 5, a scepter means a staff as an attribute of a King to designate authority:
NKJV (Hebrews 1: 8) 8 But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. (See also Psalm 45: 6).
Herding means: protect, guard, to look after.
Like sheep being herded by a shepherd.
In Scripture, Jesus is called the good or great Shepherd:
NKJV (John 10:11) 11 I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep..
NKJV (Hebrews 13:20) 20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
In Jesus’ days, sheep and goats were herded with a wooden stick or staff.
The cattle was corrected with a tap of the staff, which was a familiar theme for the Jews.
Herding with an iron staff is, in our opinion, therefore intended as an imagery, as symbolic.
Normally, no shepherd does that. This herding is therefore something completely different.
It can be better clarified in the following section:
NKJV (Matthew 25: 32-33, 46) 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left….. 46 And these (on His left hand) will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Herding with an iron staff is therefore pronouncing a judgment on the wicked people:
NKJV (Revelation 19: 14-16) 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 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. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Jesus will pronounce judgment with ‘the sword of his mouth’:
NKJV (Revelation 2: 16) 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
Also symbolically, with the iron staff or ‘rod of His mouth’, Jesus will pronounce judgment:
NKJV (Isaiah 11: 4) 4 But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
The wicked will certainly die. The scene is symbolically represented as the trampling of grapes in the winepress, with human blood as the juice:
NKJV (Revelation 14: 19-20) 19 So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs. (See also Isa. 63: 1-4)
NKJV (Joel 3: 13-15 ) 13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, The vats overflow– For their wickedness is great.” 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness.
The herding of the wicked is also compared with the crushing or pulverizing the vessels from a potter:
NKJV(Revelation 2:18, 26-27) 18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,…. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations– 27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’– as I also have received from My Father;
NKJV (Psalm 2: 7-9) 7 “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ” (See also Jeremiah 19:11)
Jesus and His angels do not have to execute this pronounced death sentence themselves.
The righteous are taken up into heaven with a spiritual body.
It will be the violence of nature that destroys the unjust on the last day. (Rev. 6: 12-14)
Jesus therefore speaks about the ‘passing away’ of the present heaven and earth:
NKJV (Matthew 24:35) 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
The cosmic planet Earth itself will continue to function as the bearer of a ‘new’ garment or cloak. The only thing that will be changed is the outer layer or the upper layer:
NKJV (Hebrews 1: 10-12) 10 And: “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; 12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.”
NKJV (Psalm 102: 25-26) 25 Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed.
How that change takes place is written in 2 Peter.
The heavens and the earth have been reserved for fire until the Day of Judgment:
NKJV (2 Peter 3: 7,10) 7 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men….. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
The ‘new’ earth will therefore not be a cleansed or refurbished earth, but an unused, brand new earth with a completely new creation.
(For ‘the new earth’, see also: 3. Future https://www.dojc.nl/?p=5428&lang=en )
What happens to people who get a second chance?
We are instructed to approach all unbelievers during the worldwide preaching work, the 2 witness prophecy, because this approach is very important. (Rev. 11: 3-13) (Matt. 24:14)
It is the last chance for them and so it is life-saving work.
Start now with this in your own environment so that the following words can be said:
NKJV (Romans 10:18) 18 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”
The cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars (Rev. 21: 8) will be completely wiped out during Jesus’ second coming:
NKJV (John 12:48) 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him–the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
NKJV (Matthew 13: 40-42) 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
There will be peace not only for the heirs, but also for those who receive a second chance after 1000 years. Those, who have already died before the parousia or second coming of Jesus, but who have not had the opportunity to really get to know God (YHWH) and Jesus.
There is a day determined by God – the last day – in which the books are opened and the judgment is concluded in one go :
(See also: 4. Future https://www.dojc.nl/?p=5480&lang=en )
NKJV (Revelation 20: 11-12) 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. (See also: Matthew 16:27)
NKJV (John 5: 28-29) 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
The righteous deceased ones;
During the day of judgment, the dead in Christ (Gal. 3: 26-28) will hear the voice of the Son (who will sound with joy) and will receive a resurrection of life with a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15: 44), just like the living Christians will get.
The unrighteous deceased ones;
Not only will the righteous, but ‘all’ in the graves will hear the voice of the Son on that Day of Judgment. (John 5:28)
At the resurrection of condemnation there will be no resurrection with a ‘spiritual body’, during that resurrection only the judgment will be communicated.
These spirits in Hades will be temporarily ‘awakened’ and may ‘sleep’ again after a ‘good’ judgment. (Sleeping spirits see: 5. New Jerusalem; part 2 https://www.dojc.nl/?p=3330&lang=en )
Concerning the spirits with a bad judgment, for them it is then over and these will cease to exist and will be erased (Rev. 21: 8).
The Scripture below (Revelation 20: 5) is partly an inserted sentence and is therefore sometimes placed in brackets:
NKJV (Revelation 20: 5) 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished….
This (second) resurrection is meant for the ‘rest of the dead’ with a good judgment, who after 1000 years will receive a physical resurrection on the new earth.
The latter group will have to thoroughly adjust their way of life on the new earth.
They may only under conditions enter the New Jerusalem, which in the meantime has descended to earth (Rev. 21: 2-3).
Only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life may enter the New Jerusalem, only they may take from the leaves for healing.
There on the new earth, in their second chance, there is no further salvation possible for unrepentant wicked people. Their end will come through old age or sickness:
NKJV (Revelation 21:27) 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
NKJV (Revelation 22: 2,14) 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations….. 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
The last attack of the rebellious on the new earth
As mentioned earlier, unfortunately not all will use that second chance:
NKJV (Isaiah 65: 17, 20) 17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind….20 “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
Isaiah 65:20 is clear, whoever is a sinner shall be accursed on the new earth.
There still once will be one more major battle.
After the thousand years, Satan will be released for a short period of time and will mislead many and he will partially succeed:
NKJV (Revelation 20: 7-8) 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
Gog and Magog are indications for opponents of God’s people on the new earth.
(See 9. The visions of Ezekiel https://www.dojc.nl/?p=3976&lang=en)
Many people – who at that time are written in the book of life – will be erased from the book of life unfortunately. They are the ones who have fallen into wickedness.
These wicked ones have evil thoughts in their hearts and want to rob the new land of Israel from God’s people, a people who live carefree having neither bars nor gates:
NKJV (Ezekiel 38: 10-12) 10 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: 11 You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’– 12 to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.
YHWH will no longer allow that his people is under attack and will miraculously save His people by splitting the Mount of Olives in two. (Zechariah 14: 3-5)
On the new earth, the use of metal war equipment will no longer be permitted.
For that reason, the weapons will be (largely) made of wood.
With the weapons of the last attack, burning fire can be made for seven years:
NKJV (Ezekiel 39: 8-10) 8 Surely it is coming, and it shall be done,” says the Lord God. “This is the day of which I have spoken. 9 “Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. 10 They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them,” says the Lord God.
After this last uprising and attack, Satan will be completely erased:
NKJV (Revelation 20:10) 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are.….
The family where children grow up in safety, which has been replaced by many in the current world with a different way of life, will be restored to its former glory on the new earth. (Gen. 2:24)
God’s kingdom will demonstrate its blessings in full glory under the guidance of the Prince of Peace.
Violence and destroying the earth will no longer be accepted on the new earth.
All people will have to use the earth in accordance with the Kingdom government.
A peaceful counsel will be between the God of peace and the Prince of Peace. (Zech. 6:13)
No one will learn war anymore and all nations will live in peace with each other:
NKJV (Micah 4: 3-5) 3 He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore. 4 But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. 5 For all people walk each in the name of his god, But we will walk in the name of the Lord our God Forever and ever.(See also Isa. 2: 2-4)