Participants: Pr. Stephen Bohr
Series Code: SOD
Program Code: SOD000011
00:01 If a man dies, shall he live again?
00:07 What does it mean to be absent from the body
00:09 and present with the Lord?
00:13 Did Jesus go with a thief to paradise on Good Friday?
00:19 Did the souls of dead people
00:21 really cry out from below the altar?
00:25 Pastor Bohr answers these questions
00:27 and more in the amazing series.
00:34 Shall we bow our heads for prayer?
00:38 Father in Heaven, once again
00:39 we thank You for the awesome privilege
00:43 of coming into Your presence
00:45 to open up the book that You inspired
00:48 through ministration of Your Holy Spirit.
00:51 Father, we're gonna speak about
00:53 some very solemn things this evening
00:56 and there fore we need
00:57 the guidance of your Holy Spirit.
01:00 We ask Father, that You will remove
01:03 any preconceived notion that we have in our minds
01:05 and in our hearts
01:07 that would keep us from hearing Your voice.
01:10 Help us to understand Your word.
01:13 And we thank you Father,
01:14 for hearing and answering our prayer
01:15 for we ask it in Jesus name. Amen.
01:21 We are going to talk about today--
01:25 the Undying Worm and the Unquenchable Fire.
01:32 Now, when we deal with this topic a question comes up.
01:37 You know, those who have watched
01:38 the previous presentations in the series say okay.
01:42 So you are saying when a person dies
01:45 they're dead until the resurrection.
01:47 When they resurrect
01:49 if they were good they will go to heaven
01:51 and if they were wicked
01:53 they're not going to live forever they will to hell
01:55 and they will burn for a while and then they'll burn out.
01:59 So how do you explain
02:01 those difficult passages of scripture
02:04 that speak about the everlasting fire,
02:07 everlasting destruction, the worm that doesn't die,
02:12 the fire that is not quenched?
02:14 You see, we can't finish the series
02:16 with out dealing with these very difficult passages.
02:20 We're not trying to sweep
02:22 the difficult passages under the rug.
02:25 We have to face these
02:26 and we have to resolve the problems
02:29 that they bring forth.
02:31 I'd like to invite you to open your Bibles with me
02:34 to Matthew 25:41.
02:37 We're going to examine four of those difficult texts
02:41 as we begin our study today.
02:44 Matthew 25:41,
02:47 its speaking now here about the goats that Jesus placed
02:50 at His left side in the Day of Judgment.
02:53 It says, "Then He will also say to those on the left hand,
02:58 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire
03:04 prepared for the devil and his angels'."
03:08 So you say clearest day,
03:10 they're cast into the everlasting fire.
03:13 What part of that don't you understand?
03:16 Then we have Matthew 25:46,
03:20 speaking once again about the goats,
03:22 we are told "And these will go away
03:26 into everlasting punishment,
03:30 but the righteous into eternal life."
03:33 So people will say, see they go into everlasting punishment.
03:37 They're gonna be punished forever and ever and ever.
03:41 And we notice that they're going to be
03:43 burn with everlasting fire.
03:45 Now, what part of that don't you understand people say?
03:48 Well, you see things are not always
03:51 as they might appear on the surface.
03:53 We have to look at these expressions carefully.
03:56 2 Thessalonians 1:9, 10.
04:02 2 Thessalonians 1:9, 10
04:05 it's another one of these difficult expressions.
04:09 Speaking about the wicked it says,
04:11 "These shall be punished with everlasting destruction
04:17 from the presence of the Lord
04:19 and from the glory of His power."
04:21 Notice once again everlasting destruction.
04:25 And so some people say,
04:27 see the wicked are going to be destroyed forever and ever
04:31 because they're punished with everlasting destruction.
04:35 Let's notice one further passage.
04:38 This is found in Mark Chapter 9 beginning with verse 43
04:43 and it continues till verse 48
04:46 but I am only going to read a few verses at the beginning
04:49 because the rest of the verses merely repeat the same idea.
04:54 See it begins by speaking about the right hand,
04:58 then it speaks about the foot,
05:00 finally it speaks about the eye.
05:01 I am only gonna read about the right hand
05:03 because every bit is the same,
05:05 same thing about the foot and the eye.
05:07 Notice what it says there,
05:09 "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
05:14 It is better for you to enter into life maimed,
05:18 rather than having two hands, to go to hell."
05:22 That is to gain up.
05:23 "Into the fire that shall never be quenched."
05:27 Now I must tell you that,
05:29 that word never doesn't appear in the Greek language.
05:33 It is added by the translators.
05:36 In the Greek it simply says,
05:38 "Into the fire that shall not be quenched"
05:42 or "that is not quenched better."
05:45 The word never is not there.
05:47 And then it says in verse 44
05:49 "Where 'Their worm does not die,
05:52 and the fire is not quenched."
05:55 Notice that it doesn't say that "the worm will never die
05:58 and the fire will never be quenched."
06:00 It says, where the worm does not die,
06:03 while it's eating and the fire is not quenched
06:07 while it is burning.
06:10 Now, the greatest problem text of all
06:12 is found in Revelation 20:10, Revelation 20:10.
06:20 This is speaking about
06:22 the final punishment of the devil especially.
06:25 And it says speaking about the devil
06:28 "The devil, who deceived them,
06:30 was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone
06:34 where the beast and the false prophet are."
06:37 Actually a better translation is
06:39 where the beast and the false prophet were cast
06:43 before the thousand years.
06:45 "And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."
06:50 See somebody says see there is gonna be
06:53 torment forever and ever.
06:56 Now the question is how do we deal
06:58 with these difficult expressions?
07:00 Everlasting fire, everlasting punishment,
07:03 everlasting destruction--
07:05 the fire that is not quenched, the worm that that doesn't die.
07:09 They shall be torment forever and ever.
07:11 How do we deal with these expressions?
07:14 The fact is that when we study scripture carefully
07:17 there is an explanation different
07:19 than the explanation that most Christians
07:22 give to these expressions.
07:24 Let's solve first of all
07:26 the issue of the everlasting fire,
07:29 the everlasting destruction.
07:32 Go with me
07:35 and we'll also read verse 28.
07:38 Genesis 19:24 and then we will jump down to verse 28.
07:43 It's speaking here about
07:45 the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
07:47 and we find the following words.
07:50 "Then the Lord rained" fire or "brimstone
07:55 and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah,
07:59 from the Lord out of the heavens."
08:01 Now, notice the expressions brimstone, fire
08:05 where did it come from?
08:07 From the Lord. Out of where?
08:09 Out of the heavens, remember that.
08:11 Verse 28 this is the aftermath of the fire.
08:16 It says there that,
08:18 "Abraham looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah,
08:22 and toward all the land of the plain,
08:25 and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land
08:29 which went up like the smoke of a furnace."
08:34 So you have this fire and brimstone
08:36 that comes from the Lord out of heaven
08:39 it falls on Sodom and Gomorrah
08:41 and then the smoke ascends like the smoke of a furnace.
08:47 Now go with me to Jude 7 where the quality of fire
08:51 that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah is spoken off.
08:54 Jude 7.
08:56 We only mention the verse
08:58 because this book has only one chapter.
09:01 So it says there in Jude 7 "As Sodom and Gomorrah,
09:05 and the cities around them in a similar manner to these,
09:09 having given themselves over to sexual immorality
09:14 and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example,
09:18 suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
09:23 What kind of fire burns Sodom and Gomorrah?
09:27 The Bible says that it was eternal fire
09:29 that burned Sodom and Gomorrah.
09:32 And yet we find some thing very interesting in 2 Peter 2:6.
09:38 Go with me there to 2 Peter 2:6
09:41 just a few pages before Jude 7.
09:44 It says there,
09:46 "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah."
09:49 Into what?
09:51 "Ashes, condemned them to destruction,
09:54 making them an example
09:56 to those who afterward would live ungodly."
10:00 So you've the strange paradox.
10:02 The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
10:03 were destroyed with eternal fire.
10:06 And yet the Bible says that they were reduced to what?
10:09 They were reduced to ashes.
10:12 Now let me ask you what are ashes?
10:14 Can you burn ashes?
10:16 No you can't burn ashes.
10:18 Ashes are the result that comes from
10:22 when the fire has already done its complete work.
10:25 In other words, when there is nothing more
10:28 to be burned you have what?
10:30 You have ashes.
10:31 So you'll say, how could Sodom and Gomorrah
10:33 have been burned with eternal fire
10:36 and yet be reduced to ashes
10:39 and at least have the fire go out
10:41 when Sodom and Gomorrah were burned up.
10:44 How do we explain this?
10:47 Well, generally the explanation that is been given
10:50 even with in the Adventists church
10:52 is that the fire was eternal in the results that it produced.
10:56 In other words, the fire produced eternal destruction.
11:01 In other words, it produced complete destruction.
11:05 But I believe that we need to go one step beyond this.
11:10 It is true that the fire reduced Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes.
11:15 In other words, Sodom and Gomorrah
11:16 didn't continue burning the fire there went out.
11:20 But, what I want to show you now
11:21 is that the fire that burned Sodom and Gomorrah
11:24 actually never went out.
11:25 Sodom and Gomorrah did
11:27 but the fire that burnt them did not.
11:29 You'll say, now what're you talking about?
11:32 You're contradicting yourself.
11:34 Well, let's notice what the Bible has to say.
11:37 Deuteronomy 4:23, 24,
11:41 Deuteronomy 4:23, 24.
11:46 Here God is speaking to Israel about the dangerous idolatry.
11:50 "Take heed to yourselves,
11:52 lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God
11:55 which He made with you, and make for yourselves
11:58 a carved image in the form of anything
12:01 which the Lord your God has forbidden you."
12:03 In other words, don't practice idolatry.
12:05 And now, notice verse 24
12:08 "For the Lord your God is a consuming fire,
12:13 a jealous God."
12:15 What is the consuming fire?
12:17 God is the consuming fire according to this.
12:22 How long has God been a consuming fire?
12:25 Only since He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah right?
12:28 Was God a consuming fire before that? Yes.
12:31 Is He a consuming fire after that? Yes.
12:35 Notice Hebrews 12:28, 29, Hebrews 12:28, 29.
12:41 It's saying same basic thing
12:43 that we noticed in Deuteronomy 4:23, 24.
12:48 It says there "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom
12:52 which cannot be shaken, let us have grace,
12:55 by which we may serve God
12:57 acceptably with reverence and godly fear."
13:01 Now, why should we serve God with reverence and godly fear?
13:05 Verse 29 "For our God is a consuming fire."
13:12 Who is the fire?
13:13 God is the fire according to the scripture.
13:16 So you are saying, are you saying Pastor Bohr,
13:18 then that God is a bunch of flames? No.
13:22 You see the fire is an illustration
13:25 of something that God is in His person.
13:29 You'll say, what is that? Go with me Exodus 24:15-17.
13:35 Exodus 24:15-17
13:39 it's speaking about Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai.
13:43 And we're told about how Moses
13:46 went up to the top of the mountain.
13:48 It says there in Verse 15
13:50 "Then Moses went up into the mountain,
13:53 and a cloud covered the mountain."
13:56 Now, notice this,
13:57 "Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai."
14:01 What was it that rested on Mount Sinai?
14:04 "The glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai,
14:07 and the cloud covered it six days."
14:09 Praise the Lord, because if the cloud
14:11 hasn't covered the mountain,
14:12 nobody would've remained alive among the Israelites.
14:15 Continues saying, "And on the seventh day
14:18 He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud."
14:22 Verse 17 "The sight of the glory of the Lord
14:26 was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain
14:31 in the eyes of the children of Israel."
14:33 Let me ask you, what--
14:35 in what sense is God the consuming fire?
14:39 Verse 17 says "The sight of the glory of the Lord
14:43 was like a consuming fire."
14:45 So what is the consuming fire aspect of God?
14:50 It is His what? It is His glory.
14:54 You see the Bible says that
14:55 God is surrounded by a glorious light
14:58 which is unapproachable to sinful human beings.
15:02 In fact if you go with me to Revelation 15:2
15:06 you will find a description of the place
15:08 where the throne of God is found.
15:11 Right before the throne is a sea
15:13 that looks like glass mingled with fire.
15:15 Now have you ever seen a sea that's so crystal clear
15:19 that it looks like it's mingled with fire?
15:22 Doesn't seem to make sense,
15:23 water and fire don't mix, right.
15:25 Notice Revelation 15:2,
15:28 "And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire,
15:33 and those who have the victory
15:34 over the beast, over his image and over his mark
15:36 and over the number of his name,
15:38 standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God."
15:42 In what sense was the sea of glass mingled with fire?
15:45 Well, if you read the context
15:47 you will notice that the throne of God
15:49 is above that lake of water or that sea of glass
15:55 and the glory of God reflex in the sea of glass
15:58 and it makes it look like it is glass mingled with fire
16:05 because of the glory of God that shines in it.
16:09 So my question is, when we are told
16:13 that Sodom, Gomorrah were destroyed with eternal fire
16:18 is the fire that burned Sodom and Gomorrah
16:21 still burning today? Of course it is.
16:26 Because who is the consuming fire?
16:29 God is the consuming fire. What is not burning is what?
16:33 Sodom and Gomorrah, they went out.
16:37 You'll notice that the expression everlasting fire
16:41 does not say that those who are being burned are everlasting
16:45 it is the fire that is everlasting.
16:47 Because the fire is God's what? God's glory.
16:51 Are you with me or not?
16:54 What does everlasting punishment mean?
16:56 It simple means that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed
16:58 and they'll never rise again.
17:00 Their punishment lasted forever.
17:02 Its not that they are being punished
17:04 and punished and punished continually forever and ever
17:07 the Bible simply is saying that they were punished
17:10 and they stayed punished forever.
17:12 In other words, their punishment was eternal.
17:15 And as to the expression, everlasting destruction
17:18 it means that they were destroyed
17:20 and they were remained destroyed forever.
17:23 It's not the process of destruction,
17:25 it's not the process of punishment that is eternal
17:28 it's the result of the punishment.
17:31 It's the result of the destruction
17:33 which lasts forever.
17:35 Now, what about the unquenchable fire?
17:39 The unquenchable fire is mentioned in Matthew 3:12,
17:45 Matthew 3:12, here it's--
17:50 it's describing the work of John the Baptist his preaching
17:54 and you will notice here
17:56 that we are told in this verse speaking about the Messiah.
18:01 "His winnowing fan is in His hand,
18:05 and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor,
18:10 and gather His wheat into the barn,
18:13 but He will burn up the chaff with." What?
18:16 "He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
18:22 Do you know what chaff is?
18:25 Chaff is like dry grass,
18:29 dry weeds that you like fire to.
18:33 Let me ask you do they eventually burn out?
18:36 You better believe they do.
18:38 The fire rages it's not quenchable
18:41 because you can't put it out
18:43 but eventually you don't have to put it out
18:45 because it goes out because it's consumed
18:47 everything that is consumable.
18:51 Let me illustrate, some of you might remember
18:54 that day several years ago
18:56 when the Branch Davidian complex was burnt up in Waco.
19:01 I know I watched that on television.
19:03 There was this very strong wind that was blowing.
19:07 When that thing started when the fire started
19:11 there was no fire department in the world
19:13 that could have put out that fire
19:14 until that fire finished its work.
19:16 Because the fire just raged all of a sudden,
19:18 it took over all of the complex all of the building.
19:21 Let me ask you, was that fire unquenchable? Yes.
19:24 You will never find that the Bible says that it is--
19:27 that it is eternal unquenchable fire.
19:30 It says that while the fire is burning it is unquenchable.
19:34 The fire that burnt the Branch Davidian complex
19:37 was unquenchable fire.
19:39 It doesn't mean that it was going to burn forever
19:41 it means that it couldn't be put out
19:43 until it finished its work.
19:45 By the way the Battle Creek Sanitarium in 1903
19:49 was burnt with unquenchable fire.
19:52 The fire chief, his last name was Weeks
19:54 wrote an article in the newspaper
19:56 after the sanitarium burned down
19:58 because the Review and Herald also burned down.
20:01 And he said, you know, these Adventists fires
20:03 are very, very strange
20:04 because when you pour water on them
20:06 it acts more like gasoline.
20:09 And Ellen White has seen an angel of God
20:11 with a sword of fire standing above Battle Creek.
20:13 In other words, that was a judgment of God.
20:16 And no one could put them out
20:17 until they had burned to the ground.
20:20 By the way, Eusebius the great church historian
20:23 mentions four individuals who are martyred.
20:26 Their names were Cronion,
20:28 Julian, Epimachus and Alexander.
20:32 And Eusebius says
20:33 that these martyrs's were slain with unquenchable fire.
20:39 So are they still burning today somewhere?
20:41 Of course, not.
20:42 They were burned with fire that could not be what?
20:49 No where does it say eternal unquenchable fire.
20:53 That's an assumption that people make.
20:56 Now let's talk about the wicked being devoured.
21:00 Notice Malachi 4:1-3, Malachi 4:1-3.
21:07 You tell me if this sounds like the wicked
21:09 are going to burn and burn and burn forever and ever.
21:13 It says there, "For behold, the day is coming,
21:16 burning like an oven, and all the proud,
21:20 yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble."
21:24 Stubble burns real nice.
21:26 "And the day which is coming shall burn them up,"
21:31 What part of that don't you understand,
21:32 shall burn them up.
21:35 "Says the Lord of hosts,
21:37 'That will leave them neither root nor branch."
21:40 By the way, the root is the devil
21:41 and the branches are his followers.
21:44 Verse 2 "But to you who fear My name
21:47 The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
21:49 With healing in His wings
21:50 and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves.
21:55 You shall trample the wicked,
21:57 for they shall be", now notice this
21:59 "they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet
22:03 on the day that I do this,' says the Lord of hosts."
22:07 What are the wicked gonna be reduced to? Ashes.
22:10 So how can they be burning forever
22:12 if they're going to be reduced to ashes?
22:14 The Bible says that they're gonna be burnt up.
22:17 The Bible says, they're gonna be like stubble.
22:20 "Neither root nor branch will be left."
22:27 about the destruction of the wicked.
22:29 it says,
22:33 "They went up on the breadth of the earth
22:35 and surrounded the camp of the saints
22:38 and the beloved city.
22:39 And fire came down from God
22:42 out of heaven and devoured them."
22:46 Let me ask you what happens when you devour something?
22:49 Is there anything left? No.
22:51 You know, I use to devour Snickers bars by the dozens
22:59 because I think they are delicious.
23:01 Now I don't because it gave me a headache.
23:04 But I tell you what, when I open the wrapper
23:07 and I took out that snickers bar
23:09 and I devour that thing
23:10 there was not a crumble that Snickers bar left.
23:14 And that's what is been said about the wicked.
23:16 The fire devoured them.
23:18 By the way if you go with me to Matthew 13:4
23:21 you will notice another text
23:22 that uses the very same word 'devour.'
23:25 Speaking about the Parable of the Sower,
23:27 it says, "And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside
23:32 and the birds came and devoured them."
23:35 Let me ask you, how many seeds are left
23:37 after the birds devour them? Absolutely none.
23:40 And so where the Bible says that
23:42 the wicked are going to be devoured
23:43 it means that nothing is going to be left.
23:47 also speaks about
23:51 what is gonna happen with the wicked.
23:53 Revelation 21:8 it says, "But the cowardly, unbelieving,
23:58 abominable, murderers, sexually immoral,
24:02 sorcerers, idolaters,
24:04 and all liars shall have their part in the lake
24:07 which burns with fire and brimstone,
24:10 which is the second death."
24:15 By the way, second death means
24:16 a death from which there will be no resurrection.
24:21 Everyone except those who will be translated
24:23 from the living will die the first death.
24:27 First death is not the problem.
24:29 You see when you die the first death
24:31 we have noticed that the result is that you asleep,
24:34 you're unconscious until the moment of the resurrection
24:37 and then you resurrect to the resurrection of life.
24:40 But the Bible says, that those who did wickedly will die
24:43 they will resurrect in the second resurrection
24:46 after the thousand years.
24:47 And then the Bible says that they will suffer second death
24:51 that is the death from which there will be no resurrection.
24:56 By the way, what I'm gonna to say now
24:57 might surprise many of you.
25:00 Do you know that the Bible teaches
25:01 that it's not the wicked
25:03 who are going to dwell in the fire forever?
25:06 The Bible teaches that it's the righteous
25:08 who are going to live in the flames forever.
25:11 You'll say, now pastor what kind of heresy is this
25:13 that you're teaching us.
25:14 Well the Bible says so, the wicked can't live
25:17 in the mist of the glory of God,
25:19 who is a consuming fire
25:21 because they're consumed they are devoured.
25:23 But the righteous, who have a fireproof character
25:27 who have given their lives to Jesus
25:29 will be able to dwell
25:30 in the presence of the glory of God
25:32 and not be consumed. Let me prove it to you.
25:34 Isaiah 33:14, 15, Isaiah 33:14, 15 it says,
25:42 "The sinners in Zion are afraid,
25:44 Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites,
25:48 'Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?'"
25:51 Notice the question,
25:52 "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?
25:56 Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?"
26:00 Notice with everlasting burnings.
26:03 Notice the answer,
26:04 "He who walks righteously and speaks the truth,
26:10 he who despises the gain of oppressions,
26:13 Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes,
26:17 Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed,
26:20 And shuts his eyes from seeing evil."
26:24 Isn't that interesting?
26:26 Who are the ones who are going to dwell
26:29 with the devouring fire
26:31 and are going to live with the everlasting burnings?
26:35 It is not the wicked but the righteous.
26:37 The majority of the churches have it the wrong way around.
26:43 But the question still remains,
26:45 how long are the wicked going to burn?
26:49 Because the Bible does teach
26:51 that wicked will be destroyed with fire and brimstone.
26:54 But the big question is
26:55 how long are the wicked going to suffer.
27:00 The fact is folks that the Bible teaches
27:02 that there will be varying lengths of punishment
27:06 because the punishment will be
27:08 according to the deeds done in the body.
27:11 Let's read a couple of passages that speak about this.
27:14 Go with me to Luke 12:47, 48, Luke 12:47, 48
27:22 its speaking about the servant who did the master,
27:25 who did not do the master's will.
27:28 It says there, "And that servant who knew his master's will,
27:33 and did not prepare himself or do according to his will,
27:39 shall be beaten" with what?
27:41 "Many stripes, but he who did not know,
27:44 yet committed things deserving of stripes,
27:47 shall be beaten" with what? "With few.
27:50 For everyone to whom much is given,
27:52 from him much will be required
27:54 and to whom much has been committed,
27:56 of him they will ask the more." Let me ask you.
27:59 Is punishment according to your works?
28:03 It more certainly is.
28:04 Notice also Revelation 20:13, Revelation 20:13, it says here
28:12 "The sea gave up the dead who were in it,
28:15 and Death and Hades delivered up the dead
28:18 who were in them.
28:20 And they were judged,
28:22 each one according to his" What?
28:27 "According to his works."
28:30 Let me ask you would it be
28:31 just for God to punish Adolf Hitler
28:33 in the same way as a common ordinary sinner
28:37 that never hurt anyone?
28:39 Would that be justice? That would not be justice.
28:42 You see God is a God of strict justice.
28:45 And God will meet out the punishment
28:48 according to our works.
28:52 In other words, there will be varying degrees,
28:57 lengths of punishment
28:59 depending on the degree of sinfulness of the person.
29:03 Go with me to Isaiah 66:22, 23
29:07 This is a passage that Adventist love to read
29:10 but unfortunately we always stop at verse 23
29:13 and we never read verse 24.
29:15 And we're hoping that people don't see verse 24.
29:18 You gonna see why in a moment.
29:20 Isaiah 66:22
29:23 "'For as the new heavens and the new earth
29:25 which I will make shall remain before Me,' says the Lord,
29:28 'So shall your descendants and your name remain,
29:31 And it shall come to pass
29:33 That from one New Moon to another.'"
29:35 By the way that means from one month to another,
29:37 "'And from one Sabbath to another,
29:39 all flesh shall come to worship before Me,' says the Lord.'"
29:43 See an Adventist say hallelujah or Amen.
29:46 We're gonna worship before the Lord, every Sabbath
29:48 and I'll say Amen to that also.
29:51 But then we're hoping that people won't see
29:53 the very next verse, verse 24 because that's a problem verse.
29:58 Actually Jesus got it or what he said
30:01 in Mark 9:43, 48
30:05 and let's read it,
30:06 And, is this a continuation of the previous verse? And?
30:11 Yes, and they go from month to month
30:13 and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
30:15 and it says "And they shall go forth"
30:18 that was after worshipping,
30:19 it says, "they shall go forth and look upon the corpses."
30:24 The King James says carcasses
30:25 "of the men who have transgressed against Me.
30:29 For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched.
30:34 They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."
30:37 You say, pastor are you saying,
30:38 that we are gonna go from month to month
30:40 and from Sabbath to Sabbath to worship before the Lord.
30:43 And then when we turn around and go forth
30:45 we're gonna see outside the city this grotesque scene
30:49 for week after week and month after month.
30:52 That is what the Bible says.
30:58 We might not like it as Adventists.
31:01 We might not like it at all even if we're not Adventists
31:05 thinking that for a while at least for a period of time
31:08 those inside the city
31:09 after they worship the Lord will go out
31:11 and they will see
31:13 this grotesque scene outside the city.
31:16 Now, in a moment I'm going to explain exactly
31:19 what the length of punishment will be
31:22 and what will determine the length of punishment.
31:27 this is our big problem verse
31:30 that we looked at, at the beginning.
31:32 "The devil, who deceived them,
31:37 was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone
31:40 where the beast and the false prophet are over cast.
31:44 And they will be tormented day and night." How?
31:49 "Forever and ever."
31:52 Let me ask you, does that sound like
31:53 a pretty long period of time
31:55 in which they are going to be tormented?
31:56 That word 'torment' by the way is the Greek word Basanizo.
32:01 And it means conscious torment,
32:05 no matter how you want to work your way around
32:07 and say well its not really torment or its this or that.
32:09 That fact is when you look up that word
32:11 in the New Testament it means torment.
32:14 And it says here forever and ever.
32:16 Now don't get nervous on me.
32:18 We're gonna study what that forever and ever means.
32:22 Now, go with me to Isaiah 34:9, 10
32:25 its speaking here about
32:26 the destruction of Edom in Old Testament.
32:29 We're gonna start catching a glimpse
32:32 of what the expression forever means.
32:36 Isaiah 34:9, 10 it says, "Its streams."
32:42 That is of Edom "shall be turned into pitch,
32:47 And its dust into brimstone,
32:51 Its land shall become burning pitch.
32:55 It shall not be quenched night or day
33:01 its smoke shall ascend forever."
33:05 And then we have an explanation of what forever means.
33:08 It means "From generation to generation
33:11 it shall lie" what "waste.
33:14 No one shall pass through it forever and ever."
33:20 Now, let's analyze that expression
33:23 forever and ever from Revelation 20:10.
33:29 I decided sometime ago
33:31 that I would go a seminary at Andrew's University
33:34 and go to the seminary library
33:36 and look at what scholars had to say about this expression
33:39 forever and ever in Revelation 20:10.
33:43 And I discovered something very interesting.
33:46 Scholars, and I'm not talking about
33:48 Seventh-day Adventists scholars,
33:49 I'm talking about scholars who are not members
33:51 of the Seventh-day Adventists church
33:53 say repeatedly that, that expression forever
33:57 does not necessary mean never ending.
34:03 It means along period of time,
34:06 whose end can not be seen from where you are at.
34:10 Allow me to read you a couple of statements
34:13 and by the way for those of you who are interested
34:15 you can get a two page document
34:16 that I wrote where we have
34:18 all of these quotations from scholars
34:19 and an explanation of Revelation 20:10.
34:23 Allan MacRae who is President
34:26 and Professor of Old Testament theology
34:28 at the Biblical School of Theology in Hatfield,
34:31 Pennsylvania states this, the Septuagint
34:35 which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament.
34:37 "The Septuagint generally translates olam"
34:40 that's eternal in the Old Testament olam
34:42 "generally translates olam by aion."
34:46 That's the word everlasting in the New Testament.
34:50 By the way we use the word 'Eon.'
34:52 Oh, that took eons,
34:54 well, that's where we get the expression from.
34:56 So it says the "Septuagint generally translates olam"
35:00 that is the Hebrew word "by aion"
35:02 which is the Greek word,
35:04 "which has essentially the same range of meaning."
35:06 In other words, they mean the same thing
35:08 in different languages. Then he says.
35:10 "That neither the Hebrew nor the Greek word itself
35:15 contains the idea of endlessness is shown both by the fact
35:21 that they sometimes refer to events or conditions
35:24 that occurred at a definite point in the past,
35:29 and also by the fact that sometimes
35:32 it is thought desirable to repeat the word,
35:34 not merely saying 'forever,' but 'forever and ever.'"
35:39 In other words he is saying that the word itself
35:42 does not necessarily contain the idea of endlessness.
35:48 In another quotation this is by Moulton and Milligan,
35:51 they wrote a very famous lexicon of the New Testament.
35:54 They say this, "In general the word aion,"
35:59 the Greek word in the New Testament
36:01 that is translated forever.
36:03 "In general, the word depicts
36:05 that of which the horizon is not in view.
36:09 As you can't see the horizon,
36:12 whether the horizon be at an infinite distance
36:16 or whether it lies no farther than the span of Caesar's life."
36:21 In fact the word is used
36:23 to speak about the span of Caesar's life.
36:26 So it can mean a very long period of time,
36:30 but a period of time that is indefinite
36:33 because you can't see the end of it.
36:35 But it doesn't mean that there is not necessarily
36:37 going to be an end.
36:39 One further scholar
36:42 who is writing in the very famous
36:45 theological wordbook of the Old Testament
36:47 edited by Gerhard Kittel,
36:49 this is used by all students in the seminaries of the world.
36:55 The author says this, "In the plural aion formulae"
37:00 in other words, where the word aion appears.
37:04 "The meaning of aion merges into that of a long
37:09 but limited stretch of time."
37:11 So what does that mean?
37:12 A long but what limited stretch of time.
37:16 "In particular, aion in this sense
37:20 signifies the time or duration of the world."
37:24 So eon means the time or duration of the world.
37:27 "Time as limited by creation and conclusion."
37:33 Interesting that word forever
37:35 would be used for the period between creation and conclusion.
37:38 He continues saying, "At this point we are confronted
37:42 by the remarkable fact that in the Bible
37:45 the same word aion is used to indicate two things
37:50 which are profoundly antithetical.
37:53 Namely, the eternity of God and the duration of the world.
37:58 This twofold sense,
38:00 which aion shares with the Hebrew olam,
38:04 points back to a concept of eternity
38:07 in which eternity is identified
38:10 with the duration of the world."
38:14 And I found statement after statement
38:16 where the scholars say that the word aion,
38:18 the word olam in the Old Testament
38:20 does not necessarily mean endless
38:23 forever and ever that will never have an end.
38:26 It can refer to a long period of time
38:29 whose end cannot be seen in the distance
38:32 because it is so long.
38:34 So, you're saying Pastor Bohr,
38:35 you're saying that the devil
38:36 is going to suffer an awful longtime?
38:38 Yes, that's exactly what I am saying.
38:40 Much longer than what we have generally thought
38:44 even as Seventh-day Adventists.
38:46 By the way, even the though the devil will burn long,
38:50 he will eventually go out.
38:54 You'll say how do we know that?
38:56 Doesn't it say that he is going
38:57 to be cast in the fire and he is gonna--
38:59 he is gonna to be tormented day and night forever and ever.
39:03 Well, but the Bible says something else
39:04 that proves that the word forever doesn't mean endless.
39:08 Go with me to Ezekiel 28:19, 20,
39:12 Ezekiel 28:19, 20
39:14 and while you are looking for that let me ask you
39:16 what do you mean when you'll say to your wife,
39:18 "I love you forever and ever."
39:20 It means that you are never going to die, right.
39:23 Of course it doesn't.
39:24 It means I'm gonna love you as long as I what?
39:27 As long as I live.
39:28 It's going to be a long time I don't know how long
39:30 but I'm gonna love you forever and ever.
39:34 Are you understanding what I am saying?
39:36 Now let's go to Ezekiel 28:18, 19
39:40 which is speaking about the destruction of the devil.
39:43 It says, "You defiled your sanctuaries
39:46 By the multitude of your iniquities,
39:48 By the iniquity of your trading,
39:50 Therefore I brought fire from your midst
39:53 It devoured you." Notice the expression.
39:55 "It devoured you, and I turned you to." What?
39:59 "To ashes upon the earth
40:01 In the sight of all who saw you."
40:04 What is the devil gonna reduce to? Ashes.
40:06 Then forever and ever it cannot mean endless
40:09 that is never going to end,
40:10 or else the Bible contradicts itself.
40:12 Are you with me?
40:13 Verse 19 "All who knew you
40:17 among the peoples are astonished at you,
40:20 You have become a horror,
40:22 And shall be no more forever."
40:27 Now, what part of shall be
40:28 no more forever don't you understand?
40:30 To be or not to be that is the question.
40:34 Is the devil going to be after his reduce to ashes?
40:38 No, the Bible says, "you will be no more."
40:43 Let's read Malachi 4:1-3
40:46 once again, Malachi 4:1-3
40:50 "For behold, the day is coming,
40:52 burning like an oven, and all the proud,
40:54 yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.
40:57 And the day which is coming shall burn them up,"
41:00 Says the Lord of hosts,
41:01 "That will leave them neither root nor branch.
41:05 But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness
41:09 shall arise With healing in His wings,
41:11 and you shall go out and grow fat
41:13 like stall-fed calves."
41:15 Now notice, "You shall trample the wicked,
41:18 for they shall be ashes
41:20 under the soles of your feet on the day
41:22 that I do this, Says the Lord of hosts."
41:25 Let me ask you.
41:26 Is root or branch or our root or branch
41:30 going to be left after the destruction?
41:32 No, the devil is the root
41:34 and his followers are the branches.
41:35 You remember Jesus says,
41:37 "I am the vine, you are the branches.
41:39 Well, the devil also has branches
41:41 and the Bible says "that the root
41:43 and the branches both will be." What?
41:45 "Will be destroyed and reduced to ashes."
41:49 Now, allow me to read you
41:50 a couple of very significant statements
41:53 from the pen of Ellen White
41:54 she caught this, she understood this
41:57 that some wicked people are gonna
41:58 suffer longer than the others
41:59 and the one who had suffered a longest is Satan.
42:01 And you would say. well how could God do this?
42:04 Let me ask you. What's worst?
42:05 Believing that God is going to cast sinners into hell
42:08 and they're going to burn forever
42:10 or is it much more palatable to believe
42:13 that they'll be cast into the fire
42:15 and they'll burn the amount of time
42:17 that is necessary to satisfy justice.
42:21 See people don't have any trouble saying,
42:23 Oh, I believe that the wicked
42:25 are going to burn forever and ever.
42:26 But the minute you say,
42:27 you know, that some sinners
42:29 are going to burn longer than others.
42:31 Oh, well you know that doesn't sound--
42:33 that doesn't sound fair, that doesn't sound like
42:35 something that God would do that he would burn people
42:37 especially among Adventists.
42:39 But the fact is that God is a God of infinite justice,
42:42 and the justice of God demands
42:44 a certain length of punishment
42:46 according to the works that were done in the body.
42:49 The first statement that we find is
42:51 in Early Writings, page 290.
42:54 Ellen White says this.
42:56 "Then I saw thrones,
42:58 and Jesus and the redeemed saints sat upon them,
43:02 and the saints reigned as kings and priests unto God."
43:06 This is during the thousand years.
43:07 "Christ and unison with His people,
43:10 judged the wicked dead."
43:11 Remember that the Bible says,
43:13 that we will judge the world not only wicked dead.
43:17 She continue saying,
43:18 "comparing their acts with the statute book."
43:21 The Word of God.
43:22 "And deciding every case
43:23 according to the deeds done in the body.
43:27 Then they meted out to the wicked
43:30 the portion which they must suffer,
43:33 according to their works."
43:35 Is this Justice yes or no? Yes.
43:38 Now notice, "And it was written
43:40 against their names in the book of death.
43:43 Satan also and his angels were judged
43:45 by Jesus and the saints." Is that biblical?
43:48 1 Corinthian 6:3
43:50 "Do you not know that we shall judge." What?
43:53 "Angels" And so it says here,
43:58 "Satan also and his angels were judged
44:02 by Jesus and the saints."
44:04 And here comes the key portion
44:06 "Satan's punishment was to be far greater
44:10 than that of those whom he had deceived.
44:14 His suffering would so far exceed theirs
44:19 as to bear no comparison
44:24 after all those whom he had deceived had perished.
44:28 Satan was still to live
44:31 and suffer on much longer."
44:36 In another statement,
44:38 Early Writings, 293 and 294 she says this,
44:42 and by the way I'm gonna give you the biblical rationale
44:44 from what she says in a moment.
44:47 She says, "I saw that some were quickly destroyed."
44:50 Speaking about the wicked. "While others suffered longer.
44:55 They were punished according to the deeds done in the body."
44:58 And now notice this,
45:00 "some were many days consuming."
45:04 Some of the wicked what were many what?
45:07 "Many days consuming
45:10 and just as long as there was a portion of them unconsumed,
45:13 all the sense of suffering remained."
45:15 Now, I've find it impossible to explain that.
45:19 "Said the angel, the worm of life shall not die,
45:24 their fire shall not be quenched,"
45:25 she is quoting the angel is quoting scripture,
45:28 "as long as there is the least particle for it to prey upon.
45:34 Satan and his angels suffered long."
45:38 She says, Satan bore, now why did--
45:40 why did they suffer long.
45:42 Notice Satan "Satan bore
45:43 not only the weight and punishment of his own sins,
45:47 but also of the sins of the redeemed host
45:50 which had been placed upon him
45:53 and he must also suffer for the ruin of the souls
45:56 which he had caused."
45:59 Amazing, "Then I saw that Satan,
46:02 and all the wicked host were consumed
46:05 and the justice of God was satisfied,
46:09 and all the angelic host, and all the redeemed saints,
46:14 with a loud voice said, Amen!
46:17 Said the angel, Satan is the root,
46:20 his children are the branches.
46:22 They are now consumed root and branch.
46:25 They have died an everlasting death.
46:28 They are never to have a resurrection
46:31 and God will have a clean universe."
46:37 Some people will say, how could God
46:39 do this to the wicked?
46:40 The fact is God isn't doing this to the wicked
46:42 the wicked did it to themselves,
46:44 by their choices, by their sins.
46:47 Now you say, where does Ellen White get this idea
46:50 that the devil is going to suffer much longer
46:53 and there is other wicked people
46:54 who are gonna suffer many days
46:55 and some that will be extinguished very quickly.
46:58 Where does she get that idea?
47:00 Well, the Bible says,
47:01 that everyone will be punished according to their works.
47:04 But with regards to the devil
47:06 the reason why the devil
47:07 is going to suffer such a long time.
47:09 A very long period
47:11 whose end cannot be seen in the distance,
47:14 that's what forever and ever means
47:17 according to the scholars a very long period of time
47:21 much longer than we have ever imagined.
47:24 Well outside of the city worm will not die,
47:26 the fire will not be quenched as we go from week to week
47:30 and month to month to worship before the Lord.
47:34 Now where does Ellen White get this from?
47:36 I'll go through it quickly.
47:39 Through out the course of the year in Israel
47:44 the people could come and sack
47:46 and place their sins upon an animal.
47:50 The animal was slain
47:51 and then the sin was introduced into the sanctuary
47:54 through the blood of the animal.
47:57 In other words, their sins
47:58 were transferred from them to the victim
48:01 and through the victim into the sanctuary.
48:04 As long as there are sins and to the sanctuary
48:06 covered by the blood they were safe.
48:09 There was nothing dangerous
48:11 or nothing risky about having their sins in the sanctuary.
48:14 It was a blessing for them to have their sins
48:16 covered by the blood in the sanctuary.
48:18 Those who needed to worry
48:19 were those that hold on to their sins
48:21 and didn't put them in the sanctuary
48:23 through the blood of the victim.
48:25 And on the Day of Atonement
48:26 the Bible tells us that two goats were chosen.
48:30 One goat was sacrificed.
48:32 It was the goat for the Lord
48:34 and that goat atoned for the sins of God's people
48:38 it cleanse the sanctuary from all of our sins
48:41 that had entered the sanctuary
48:42 through out the course of the year.
48:44 Only the sins that have been confessed
48:47 and enter the sanctuary through the blood
48:50 were taken out by that same blood.
48:52 Where taken out the sanctuary was cleansed the Bible says,
48:55 that these sins of all the righteous,
48:59 all of the sins that had been confessed were taken out
49:03 and placed upon the head
49:04 of a scapegoat called the Azazel.
49:08 By the way, do you know
49:09 that the sins of the wicked were not placed on Azazel
49:12 because in Leviticus 23:29, 30
49:16 it tells us that whoever didn't sympathize
49:19 with the work that was done on the day of atonement
49:22 they were to be cut off from among the congregation.
49:25 In other words, they were cast outside the camp of Israel.
49:29 They were no longer part of God's people. Let me ask you.
49:31 Where are the wicked after the thousand years?
49:34 Are they inside with the camp
49:35 of the saints or are they outside?
49:37 They are actually outside.
49:39 They have been exiled
49:40 because they didn't place their sins, where?
49:42 In the sanctuary.
49:43 So the only sins
49:44 that are taken out of the heavenly sanctuary
49:47 and placed on the head of scapegoat
49:49 are the sins that God's people
49:50 put into the sanctuary
49:52 through the ministration of the blood.
49:56 And all of those sins are gonna be
49:58 taken out of the sanctuary
49:59 and they're gonna be placed upon the perpetrator
50:02 and the originator of sin.
50:05 Are you understanding what I'm saying?
50:07 The Bible tells us
50:09 that this scapegoat was then sent
50:12 to the wilderness to a non-inhabited land.
50:16 Do you know where in the Bible this ceremony is fulfilled?
50:19 The Bible says in Revelation Chapter 20,
50:23 that a great angel came down from heaven
50:25 with a chain in his hand.
50:28 And he chained the devil and Satan to the earth
50:31 to the Abyss to the earth
50:34 without form and without void, and void.
50:38 And it also says there
50:40 that all of his followers are dead
50:42 because the rest of the dead did not live again,
50:44 until a thousand years were finished.
50:47 So that the devil is sent to a land
50:50 that is like a wilderness the earth
50:52 without form and void
50:53 and he is also sent to a world
50:55 where there are no inhabitants.
50:57 Because all of his followers are what?
50:59 All of his followers are dead.
51:04 Now let me ask you, let's do a little bit of math here.
51:08 If some wicked people suffer many days for their own sins,
51:16 how long do you think the devil is gonna suffer
51:19 bearing the sins of all of the righteous
51:22 through out the history of the whole world?
51:27 Just do the math. I hate to say centuries.
51:33 But you know the Spanish version
51:35 instead of saying forever and ever
51:36 it says "Por los siglos de los siglos."
51:40 For centuries and centuries of translation in English says
51:44 'unto the Ages of the Ages.'
51:48 And Ellen White says, that
51:49 while this is happening outside the city
51:51 God's people will live safely inside the city.
51:55 But now listen up,
51:57 eventually after this long
52:00 but indefinite period of time
52:02 God's justice will be satisfied
52:05 and the devil and his angels will also be reduced to ashes.
52:09 By the way, does the Bible say
52:11 that the fire falls upon the earth?
52:14 Where are the wicked
52:15 when they surround the holy city?
52:17 They are on the surface of the earth, aren't they?
52:19 And the Bible says that fire and brimstone
52:21 falls from heaven upon them.
52:23 In fact let's read that in Revelation 20:7-10 says,
52:28 "Now that the thousand years have expired,
52:29 Satan will be released from his prison
52:32 and will go out to deceive the nations
52:34 which are in the four corners of the earth,
52:36 Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle,
52:39 whose number is as the sand of the sea.
52:41 They went up on the breadth of the earth."
52:43 So are they on the earth yes, or no?
52:45 Outside the city? Certainly.
52:46 It says "They went up on the breadth of the earth
52:48 and surrounded the camp of the saints
52:50 and the beloved city."
52:51 And now, notice, "And fire came down
52:54 from God out of heaven and devoured them."
52:59 So does the fire that comes from God
53:01 does it fall upon the earth? Of course.
53:04 Can that fire burn forever and ever and ever?
53:07 No. Do you know why?
53:09 Because the bible says that God is gonna make
53:10 a new heaven and a new earth.
53:13 If the wicked were outside the holy city
53:15 burning forever and ever,
53:17 how could God make a new earth?
53:20 The fact is that the Bible teaches
53:23 that they are going to burn out
53:26 and then God is going to make a new heaven and a new earth
53:30 and He will have a clean universe.
53:34 Allow me to read a passage in closing
53:38 that comes from Desire of Ages,
53:39 pages 107 and 108 and this will be a call to us.
53:44 Ellen White says, "To sin, wherever found,
53:50 our God is a consuming fire."
53:52 What is God to sin? A consuming fire.
53:56 Then she says, "In all who submit to His power
54:01 the Spirit of God will consume sin."
54:05 You submit to God the spirit of God will consume sin.
54:09 "But if men cling to sin, they become identified with it.
54:16 Then the glory of God."
54:18 Notice "The glory of God
54:20 which destroys sin, must destroy them.
54:25 Jacob, after his night of wrestling with the Angel,
54:28 exclaimed, 'I have seen God face to face,
54:31 and my life is preserved.'
54:34 Jacob had been guilty of a great sin
54:38 in his conduct toward Esau,
54:40 but he had repented.
54:43 His transgression had been forgiven,
54:46 and his sin purged,
54:49 therefore he could endure
54:51 the revelation of God's presence.
54:55 But whoever,
54:56 but wherever men came before God
55:00 while willfully cherishing evil, they were destroyed.
55:04 At the second advent of Christ the wicked shall be consumed
55:08 with the Spirit of His mouth,
55:09 and destroyed 'with the brightness of His coming.'
55:12 The light of the glory of God.'" Notice what the fire is.
55:16 "The light of the glory of God
55:18 which imparts life to the righteous,
55:21 will slay the wicked."
55:25 You know today in this world
55:26 nobody wants to talk about the justice of God.
55:30 To all the God is loving He is gonna save everyone.
55:32 You know the idea of universalism.
55:35 The fact is that God is merciful but God is a just.
55:39 And by the way His destruction of the wicked
55:41 is an act of mercy not only justice.
55:44 The Bible says that the wicked
55:45 are gonna beg God to destroy them
55:48 because they can stand the idea of living
55:50 in the presence of the holy God
55:52 whose lifestyle they cannot stand.
55:55 You see they haven't learned to live the lifestyle of heaven
55:59 and therefore in heaven there would be miserable.
56:02 And so they beg God to destroy them.
56:06 And God accedes to their wishes.
56:09 Not wanting to torture them
56:11 through out eternity living in His presence
56:14 when they don't love Him
56:16 and when they don't enjoy the lifestyle
56:20 that God has prepared for those who love Him.
56:25 So, God is not going to arbitrarily
56:27 destroy the wicked.
56:29 He is not gonna to destroy them with Joy
56:31 and with glee it is with sadness
56:34 and with sorrow that God will destroy Satan,
56:39 his angels and the wicked.
56:41 It is with tears in His eyes along with the tears
56:45 of those who were in the city.
56:47 But after the wicked are destroyed
56:50 the Bible says that God will wipe away
56:53 all tears from their eyes.
56:55 And there must be no more sorrow,
56:57 there will be no more suffering,
56:59 there will be no more crying out,
57:02 there will be no more pain,
57:04 and there will be no more death.
57:06 If the wicked still burning out side the city
57:08 death would have never come to an end
57:10 because they would continuously be dying.
57:12 But the time is coming
57:13 where there will be no more death.
57:16 May we receive Jesus as our Savior,
57:19 send our sins into the sanctuary
57:21 covered by the blood
57:22 so that we might live eternally with Jesus
57:25 in the New Jerusalem the Holy City.