Three Angels Messages Part 30

            Thanks for joining us as we continue to explore Heaven’s last appeal to Planet Earth, Three Angels’ Messages, found in Revelation 14. In the first angel’s message we find the phrase found “The hour of His judgment has come,” and we’ve been seeing how the prophecies of Daniel tell us when the pre-advent judgment began in heaven. We’ve seen that the devil doesn’t want God’s truth to be known, and so he has been busy to introduce false interpretations regarding the prophecy of the 2300 years, which identify when the pre-advent judgment begins, and the shorter 490-year prophecy, which contains valuable way-markers on God’s prophetic timeline. But God will reward the faithful and diligent Bible student with a clear understanding of His truth!
            Having established when the prophecy began, in 457 B.C.; having observed by “two or three witnesses” the confirmation of the prophecy by the events within and concluding the 70 weeks, we are now prepared to determine the closing of the 2300 year prophecy. It is a simple matter at this point, since the 490-year portion of its beginning concluded in A.D. 34. We add to that the remaining 1810 years (2300 - 490) and arrive at the date of 1844.
            Those of the Jewish faith celebrate Yom Kippur as being the biblical “Day of Atonement” explained in Leviticus 16 and 23. “Yom” is the word for “day,” and “Kippur” comes from the verb “to cover, in a special sense.” The “covering” it speaks of is much more than what a blanket or quilt would provide; it means to “cover” in the sense that a soldier would say to his companion, “I’ll cover you,” or an employee would say to a co-worker, “I’ll cover for you,” if they had to be absent. This, of course, relates to the fact that Jesus has “covered” us by atoning for our sins by His death on the cross.
It makes sense that Yom Kippur, held in the fall of the year, would be the appropriate time when this would be fulfilled, since it was that festival that highlighted the final judgment. The date that conservative Kairite Jews observed Yom Kippur in that year was October 22. It was on that date that Jesus entered upon the investigative phase of the judgment. On that date the prophecy of Daniel 7 became reality, when the seer beheld “till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9, 10. That means that today this judgment is in process. This means that even now God is reviewing the names of those who have professed allegiance to Him, to see if their names may be retained in the book of life, or if they must be removed.
            Everyone who has ever entered the service of Christ has had his or her name inscribed in the Book of Life. Jesus said to His disciples, following their successful missionary tour, “Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20. The Lord had spoken through Jeremiah, “those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.” Jeremiah 17:13.
            But there is a review of those names “written in heaven,” before the final making up of Christ’s kingdom. In the Bible we’re told that there was a census of Israel when they left Egypt, enumerating all those who “began the journey.” But not all who “began the journey” completed it successfully because of unbelief, so there was a second census just before they entered Canaan. Numbers 1:45, 46; 26:2,51.
            There was a review of those “in heaven” before the wedding feast was served in Christ’s parable. “When the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.” Matthew 22:11. This process of “seeing” who is qualified (by grace) is what is now taking place in the investigative judgment. We don’t have to understand that people physically will be in heaven and then found to be unworthy and removed. This is speaking figuratively, and means that their cases are reviewed. It is saying the same thing as Daniel 7’s judgment scene, expressed in the parabolic language of a wedding. The names of all who have professed to follow Christ are examined, to see if the “wedding garment,” the righteousness of Christ is present. Though the language is spoken figuratively, the end result will be experienced in stark reality. Tragically, as in the case of the parable, those who are found lacking will be excluded.
            What of those who have never professed faith in Christ? Jesus said, “He who does not believe (which is the same thing as having faith) is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18. We are born “in sin.” If we never take advantage of the gracious gift of salvation offered by God, our “natural condition” of sin leaves us in a position unworthy for heaven. The judgment that takes place before Jesus comes is concerned with those who have claimed to be followers. “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” I Peter 4:17.
            The purpose of this judgment is to “blot out” the sins of the righteous. But notice carefully that there are two types of “blotting out;” there is a “blotting out” process which applies to each person. Either, by His grace and through faith our sins are blotted out, our records are cleaned and our names retained in the Book of Life, or because of our refusal to cooperate with His Spirit, our names will be blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life. Those are the two choices. One or the other will happen. Either our sins or our names will be “blotted out,” or completely removed forever. Peter said, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” Acts 3:19. The Lord speaks of Himself with these words of reassurance, “I even I, am He Who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. Isaiah 43:25.
            This “blotting out” of sins represents the final disposition of iniquity from the hearts and records of God’s saints. Their minds are cleansed and the record of their transgressions is forever banished, represented by what took place on the festival of Yom Kippur. The purpose of that service was to cleanse them, “that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.” Leviticus 16:30. Those who refused to participate in this event were “cut off” from the congregation of the Lord. Leviticus 23:29.
            On the other hand, there is a “blotting out” of the names of those who refuse to comply with the divine plan. This subject came up when Moses interceded on Israel’s behalf following the sin of the golden calf below Mt. Sinai. He said, “‘Yet now, if You will forgive their sin--but if not, I pray blot me out of Your book which You have written.’ And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.’” Exodus 32:32, 33. Jesus’ promise is, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His Angels.” Revelation 3:5. Because of this, the angel cries with fervency and urgency, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come.” With what awe, reverence, humility and penitence we should relate to our God in this solemn hour of His judgment!

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