God’s “Shall’s” and “Will’s”



Joseph Irons wrote a hymn on this subject of the “shalls and wills of God” and one of the verses reads:-



“Delightful words!  The King’s decrees!


Which rule all heaven, and earth, and seas;


All things in time, till time shall end,


Upon His SHALLS and WILLS depend



The hymn concludes with the poet writing of laying aside his own IFS and BUTS, and confiding in the SHALLS and WILLS of God.



The [following] passage of Scripture … includes the word “Shall” five times and it could have been more:-



“In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians.  In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, ‘Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance:’” Isaiah 19: 23-25.



The countries of North Africa have been very much in the news during 2011 and the Middle East has been included in news items over the years.  In the chapter from which our text comes (Isaiah 19: 12) God says, “Let them know what the LORD of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt  That phrase indicates two things - (1) that Jehovah has a purpose for Egypt, and (2) that He intends people (especially God’s people) should know that purpose.  We know too, that what God purposes, He accomplishes.



In the light of such statements in God’s Holy Word, it is surprising that so many who profess to be Christians take such little interest in prophetic truth.  In addition, when the lands around the Mediterranean Sea are in such turmoil, it is amazing that many have no desire to see what God has said about the future of these countries.



It would be a profitable exercise to go through the whole Bible looking for, and even underlining, all the times these words; “shall” and “will” - are used by the Lord in promises that He has made [which must be literally fulfilled in the future when Messiah Jesus returns]*.  Turning to just one Old Testament chapter, Zechariah 14, and only selecting very few of the times these words occur, we find the following:


[* We often hear it said that there is NOTHING which God cannot do because He is all-powerful!  Well, when I hear that being said to little children, I often think of the one particular thing which God cannot do!  God cannot LIE about what He has said He will do in the future!]



“I will gather all nations against Jerusalem, to battle” (verse 2).  “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations” (verse 3).  “His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives” (verse 4).  “The LORD shall be king over all the earth” (verse 9).  “Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited” (verse 11).  “It shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which come against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (verse 16)  “Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts” (verse 21).



In Judges 2: 1, God affirmed what He had said to the Jewish nation, “I will never break My covenant with you



Frances Ridley Havergal wrote, -


‘Jehovah’s covenant shall endure,

all ordered, [‘age’-lasting and] everlasting, sure



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Some Future Events that Precede the “Day of the Lord”



(Taken from an article published by Hunt Barnard & Co approximately 100 years ago.)








The following events precede and lead up to the “Day of the Lord”:



1. Return of the Jews to their own land in unbelief.  Temple rebuilt and sacrificial worship re-established.



2. Formation of the Ten Kingdoms of the Roman Empire, involving the revival of the eastern half, the rebuilding of Babylon, and other great cities.



3. Rise of [the] Antichrist as servant of the great latitudinarian system, which he afterwards destroys, assuming complete control of the Ten Kingdoms up to the end of the [evil] age.



4. Development of the Christian testimony in Jerusalem referred to in Revelation 12, which will be widely extended and blessed (Revelation 14: 6-7; 7: 9, 14), but will be persecuted and finally crushed by Satan and Antichrist, when Antichrist destroys “the woman” (Revelation 17: 16, 17) in the middle of the last seven years (Revelation 12: 17; 13: 7; Daniel 7: 21, 25; 8: 10).  At this time antichrist will command all his subjects to worship him and his image on pain of death, (Revelation 13: 14-15).



5. After the rise of Antichrist the last Hebdomad of Daniel 9: 27, will commence.  The seventy Hebdomads, or “Sevens,” commenced when the decree was given to Nehemiah to build the wall of Jerusalem, in the 20th year of Artaxerxes, B.C. 454 or 455.  Sixty-nine Hebdomads, or 483 years, were completed at the death of Messiah (Dan. 9: 25-26).  The remaining Hebdomad or seven years, commences when Antichrist makes a covenant with Israel, and ends by wrath being sent upon the Desolator, and blessing on Jerusalem.  This covenant will be broken by him at the end of three and a half years.  He will cause the daily sacrifice to cease and become a scourge to Israel.  This will be “the time of Jacob’s trouble;” or “the Great Tribulation  It will last for three and a half years (Dan. 9: 27; 8: 11-12; Isaiah 10: 5, 6, 28; 15-18; Jeremiah 30: 7)



6. A little remnant of Jews will be preserved through this time of trouble.  They will refuse to worship the beast, and will be protected and instructed by the Two Witnesses who arise about this time.  This little remnant will be converted at Christ’s coming, and will form the nucleus of the millennial nation that will occupy Jerusalem and the holy land under the personal reign of Christ (Isaiah 10: 20-23; 24: 23; Joel 3: 16-17.)



7. The Two Witnesses will begin their sackcloth testimony in Jerusalem, and continue for three and a half years, or forty-two months, or 1260 days (Revelation 11).  It is to this period that the greater part of the Book of the Revelation refers.  Human evil will reach maturity, and God’s judgments be abroad in the earth.  Then the final blow will be given at the coming of Christ (Revelation 6: 12-17).  The gathering of Asiatic hordes against Babylon (Isaiah 13; Jeremiah 51; Daniel 11: 40-45).  Antichrist, marching from Armageddon will seek to destroy Jerusalem and blot out Israel on his way to defend Babylon (Psalm 2: 1; 83: 1-7; Zechariah 12).  This will form the gathering of the nations referred to in Joel 3: 9; Daniel 11: 45; Revelation 16: 13-14.  These will be destroyed by Christ, coming in [manifested] glory.



8. Signs of the Lord’s Return; “the Day of the Lord  This day will be heralded by signs in the heavens, by earthquakes, by the shaking of the earth and the heavens (Hebrews 12: 26, Isaiah 2: 19).  It is this day for which Christ tells us to look, “and when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21: 28).



*            *            *            *            *            *            *



When Reading Prophecy, remember that:







ZION means ZION and not THE CHURCH;






EGYPT means EGYPT and not THE WORLD;








AGE means AGE and not ETERNAL;





“Be diligent to present thyself to God AN APPROVED WORKMAN, unashamed, rightly treating the WORD OF TRUTH” - {Translated literally: ‘cutting straight the word of the truth} -

“But profane, empty declarations avoid; for they will further

promote impiety:” (2 Timothy 2: 15, 16).



Warning: Do not attend a church which prefers science to Scripture, reason to Revelation, theories to Truth, culture to Conversion, benevolence to Blood, goodness to Grace, sociability to Spirituality, play to Praise, profession to Possession, programmes to Power, reformation to Regeneration, good to God, speculation to Salvation, jubilation to Justification, feeling to Faith, paralysis to Peace, politics to Precepts.



*       *       *



Can We Take the Prophecies Literally?





(Mr. Houghton was, for many years, the editor of “The Gospel Magazine”.  In fact, we understand that there has only been one other editor, through the long years of the magazine’s history that has held the post for a longer period than Mr. Houghton.  He used to speak regularly at the conferences of the Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony, and, following his being called home [to be with the Lord, (See Psalm 139: 8b. cf. Luke 16: 23; Acts 2: 34, R.V.)] in January, 1951, many of these messages were printed together in a book entitled “The Faith and Hope of the Future.”)




Amongst “Present-Day Prophetic Problems” is the question, “Can we take the prophecies literally  The prophecies referred to are those which came not by the will of man, but which “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost  Can we explain them, not in a figurative sense, but in their plain, exact and grammatical meaning?  Figurative language is, of course, sometimes used in prophecy.  Joseph dreamed a dream which represented him and his brethren binding sheaves in a field, and his sheaf stood upright and their sheaves made obeisance to his sheaf.  The language was figurative, but it predicted a time when Joseph’s brethren would “bow down themselves before him with their faces to the earth” (Genesis 42: 6, 9).



Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a great image, consisting of gold, silver, brass, iron and clay was figurative, but Daniel’s inspired interpretation showed that it pointed to four great literal empires which should arise.  To the king he said, “Thou art this head of gold” (Daniel 2: 38).  Figuratively the king was represented by the head of gold which denoted the Babylonian empire.



The First Prophecy



A great many of the prophecies of the Bible are literal in their language and in their fulfilment.  This may be said of the first prophecy, which occurs in Scripture.  God, having put Adam into the Garden of Eden, said to him, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2: 16-17).  Here we have a literal prediction which for about six thousand years has been literally fulfilled.  It is a prediction which referred to Adam and his posterity.  “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned i.e., sinned in Adam (Romans 5: 12).  All men are sinners by imputation, sinners by nature, and sinners by practice, and “it is appointed onto men once to die” (Hebrews 9: 27).  It was appointed and predicted in the Garden of Eden, and the prediction has been, and still is, literally fulfilled.



In Genesis 5 the words “And he died” occur eight times.  Adam lived for 930 years, but at last “he died  Methuselah lived 969 years, but “he died The world of the ungodly all died in Noah’s time through the flood which overwhelmed them.  The patriarchs died; Moses died; all the saints of God in the Old Testament days, except Enoch and Elijah, died.  Death has been literally experienced ever since the fall.  Often it comes gradually through disease, accident, or old age.  Often it comes to large numbers at a time, through war, pestilence, famine, earthquakes, and shipwrecks.  The same process, however, literally goes on according to the Divine prediction.  We are especially impressed with its literal fulfilment in times of war, famine, and pestilence, but the only difference is that in times of war, millions may be carried off in a short time, whereas in normal times the numbers affected are comparatively small and death takes place more gradually



The Prophecy of Abraham



God said to Abraham, when he was 75 years old, “Unto thy seed will I give this land” (Genesis 12: 7).  At that time Abraham, was childless.  Before the prophecy was fulfilled Abraham reached the age of 100 years, and Sarah was 99.  At that time its fulfilment seemed impossible, but “the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as He had spoken” (Genesis 21: 12), and Abraham was so strong in faith that he was fully persuaded that what God had literally promised He was able to literally perform. Sarah “judged Him faithful Who had promised” (Hebrews 11: 11).  We need to follow her example.  All the promises or prophesies of God are Yea and Amen.  He says, “I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure … I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have proposed it, I will also do it” (Isaiah 46: 9-11).



Prophecies Already Fulfilled



Firstly, we can take prophecies literally, because many literal prophecies have already been literally fulfilled.



This is true of the prophecies concerning our Lord’s first coming.  The place of His birth was literally foretold and literally fulfilled.  The wise men asked, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews  To answer this question Herod demanded of the chief priests and scribes where Christ should be born.  Their answer was “In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet.  And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule My people Israel” (see Matthew 2: 1-6; Micah 5: 2).



His being Divinely anointed with the Holy Ghost was literally predicted and literally fulfilled.  Prophecy said, “The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him  God said, “I have put My Spirit upon Him  He Himself said in prophecy, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me; because the LORD hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek” (Isaiah 11: 1; 42: 1; 61: 2).



At His baptism this was literally fulfilled, and immediately thereafter He is described as “being full of the Holy Ghost” (Luke 4: 1).  Later, Peter said of Him, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power” (Acts 10: 38).



His miracles were literally predicted and literally wrought.  “Behold your God will come … Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.  Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing  When John asked, “Art Thou He that should come?” the Lord pointed to the literal fulfilment of this prophecy in proof that he was the predicted Messiah.  “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear” (Isaiah 35: 4-6; Matthew 11: 3-5).



His prophetic office was literally predicted and literally held.  Prophecy said, “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren … and will put My words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him



The fulfilment is seen to be literal when we read, “He Whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him  “I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me  “God … hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son  “This is of a truth that Prophet that should come into the world  “A prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people” (Deuteronomy 18: 18; John 3: 34; 17: 8; Hebrews 1: 1, 2; John 6: 14, Luke 24: 19).



His priestly office was literally predicted and literally assumed.  To Him prophecy said, “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek As the High Priest of good things to come He “through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God” and by this one offering “perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Psalm 110: 4); Hebrews 9: 11, 14; 10: 14).



His kingly office was literally predicted and literally claimed.  Prophecy said, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee … lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” (Zechariah 9: 9).



How literally this was fulfilled!  “Ye shall find an ass, and a colt with her.  Loose them, and bring them unto Me  Both animals were brought, but “Jesus when He had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it was written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt” (Matthew 21: 2, 7; John 12: 14, 15).  What was the cry of the multitude who accompanied Him as He rode into Jerusalem?  “Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (John 12: 13).



The details about His mission, His rejection and crucifixion were literally predicted and literally fulfilled.  Prophecy said, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53: 3).  History says, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1: 12).  They “led Him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong” (Luke 4: 29).  “They took up stones to cast at Him” (John 8: 59).  They took counsel together to put Him to death.  They brought Him in as guilty of blasphemy and said, “He is guilty of death” (Matthew 26: 66).  The penalty of blasphemy was stoning.  Why did they not stone Him to death?  Because prophecy had literally predicted His crucifixion.  It said, “They pierced My hands and My feet” (Psalm 22: 16).  Hence His hands and His feet were literally nailed to the cross.  When He was dead “they break not His legs: but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side  Why?  Because prophecy had literally predicted that “a bone of Him shall not be broken” and “they shall look oh Him Whom they pierced” (John 19: 33-37).  Prophecy said literally, “They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture” (Psalm 22: 18).  History records that this prophecy was fulfilled to the very letter (John 19: 23-24)  His resurrection was foretold and typified, and it literally took place.



His ascension was literally foretold and it literally took place.  “Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive” (Psalm 68: 18), said prophecy.



Prophecy foretold His ascension to the right hand of God.  History records that He is on the right hand of God, crowned with glory and honour (see Psalm 110: 1; 1 Peter 3: 22; Hebrews 2: 9).



Prophecies to be fulfilled



Secondly, we can and should take the prophecies literally in regard to our Lord’s Second Coming.



That coming will be personal.  “I will come again” (John 14: 3).  “This same Jesus … shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1: 11).  “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout” (1 Thessalonians 4: 16).



His coming will be public, not secret.  “If they shall say … Behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.  For as the lightening cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24: 26-27).  “Every eye shall see Him” (Revelation 1: 7).



His coming will be at a predestined time, not at any moment.  God His Father has said, “Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool  Hence, too, the Epistle to the Hebrews says, “This man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool” (see Psalm 110: 1; Acts 3: 21; Hebrews 10: 12-13).



He will thus literally come in person, publicly manifest His presence, and He will not come until His predicted hour has come.



Further, His coming will be predicted by remarkable literal signs and events.  Our Lord teaches us that immediately after the great tribulation, and before His visible coming, “shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken” (Matthew 24: 29).



Instead of taking this prophecy literally it is said that “Nearly every expression will be found used of the Lord’s coming in terrible national judgments” (Dr. David Brown in Jamieson, Fausset and Brown’s Commentary on Mark 13: 25).  We hold, however, that this predicting of our Lord can be, and should be taken literally.  In Luke’s Gospel our Lord says, “There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken” (21: 25-26).



Thus the signs of the heavenly bodied, the distress of nations, the perplexity due to the roaring of the sea, the fainting of men for fear, and the expectation of things coming on the world, will all be due to the shaking of the powers of the heavens.  “For the powers of the heavens shall be shaken  Grimm’s Greek Lexicon of the New Testament explains these powers of the heaven to be “the hosts of heaven, the stars



Moses speaks of “the host of heaven” as all the heavenly bodies.  He says, “Lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them” (Deuteronomy 4: 19).  The powers of the heavens, then, even all the heavenly bodies, shall be shaken immediately before the Lord comes.  The shaking of the heavenly bodies will cause the sun to be darkened and the moon not to give her light, and the stars to fall from their present places.  Such remarkable phenomena will cause distress of nations, perplexity, fainting for fear, and will be thought to signify terrible things coming on the world.



But why doubt the literal shaking of the heavenly bodies?  The earth is a heavenly body, and earthquakes or shakings of the earth have taken place very frequently, and God has definitely predicted in simple and literal language the shaking of the heavens.  When He descended on Sinai, “the whole mount quaked greatly” (Exodus 19: 18).  “Whose voice then shook the earth (a heavenly body) but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.  And this word, yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things that cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12: 26-27; Haggai 2: 6-7; Joel 3: 16).  Immediately following the shaking of the powers of heaven we read, “Then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for our redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21: 27-28).  The things which will cause fear and distress to the ungodly are intended to cheer the hearts of the godly.  They are bidden to look up, for their redemption draweth nigh.



Resulting from the Lord’s coming will be the resurrection glory of His people, the literal overthrow of the Antichrist and all his adherents, the conversion of Israel and the Lord’s millennial reign.  Prophecies of the blessings associated with [His reign and “the glories” (1 Pet. 1: 11, R.V.) which must take place at] that period will, we believe, be literally fulfilled.



The first resurrection will be literal.  We are not dependent on Revelation 20 for the doctrine of two resurrections.  The apostle Paul says, “there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust” (Acts 24: 15).*


[* This 15th verse, translated literally from the Greek, reads: “ … having a Hope in the God, which even they themselves are looking for, a resurrection about to be {of dead ones,} of just {or ‘Righteous’} ones and {understood as a disjunction; presumably 1,000 years later} also of unjust {or ‘Unrighteous’} ones  See Lk. 14: 14; 20: 35; Rev. 20: 4-6, etc.]



The great resurrection chapter in 1 Corinthians speaks only of the first resurrection - the resurrection of the just: “Every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming” (15: 23).  They that are Christ’s are they who will be raised “at His coming  “Then cometh the end,” presumably at the end of the thousand years [when “Hades gave up the dead” (Rev. 20: 13, R.V.)].  During that period Christ puts down all His enemies, “and the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (15: 26).  In other words, death and hell [Gk. “Hades”] will be cast into “the lake of fire” after the final resurrection takes place (Revelation 20: 11-14).



In 1 Thessalonians, the apostle again speaks of a literal resurrection of the just [or righteous].  When the Lord descends from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God “the dead in Christ* shall rise first” (4: 16).  The risen and changed saints will be literally caught up to meet the Lord in the air and will forever be with their Lord in the heavenly mansions.  They will literally reign with Him when he takes to Himself His great power and reigns.


[* Take care not to add the word “all” to this clause!  The text does not say “ALL ‘the dead in Christ shall rise first’”!  According to our Lord’s teaching, it will be only “they that are accounted worthy to attain to that age, and the resurrection from the dead” (Luke 20: 35, R.V.), who “shall rise first  Scripture must be interpreted by Scripture: and the inspired Word of God is never contradictory!]



All Israel shall be literally saved as a result of the coming of their Divine Deliverer.  Their sun shall then no more go down; neither shall their moon withdraw itself.  The LORD shall be their everlasting light; and the days of their mourning shall be ended (see Isaiah 60: 20).



The man of sin will be literally consumed with the brightness of Christ’s coming.  Together with all his adherents judgment will be visited upon them (2 Thessalonians 2: 8-12).



All nations shall then flow into Zion.  They will go up - perhaps representatively - to the house of the God of Jacob and He will teach them of His ways and they will walk in His paths.  He, the LORD Jesus Christ, shall exercise, kingly and judicial functions among the nations, and “they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn way any more  The government shall be upon Christ’s shoulder [( see Isaiah 9: 6)].*  With judgment and with justice He will reign [literally, and in manifested glory, upon this soon to be restored earth, (Romans 8: 20-21, R.V.)].


[* Christians hear these prophetic words being read over and over again during the Christmas Season: but do they really understand their meaning?  Is this Divine Truth being taught today at your gatherings?]



There will be a special and literal manifestation of His kingly power.  Without leaving His throne in the heavens He will be King over all the earth.  All people, nations, and languages shall serve Him.  His kingdom will nor be destroyed.  He will reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and His dominion shall be “from sea to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth  “Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him: all nations shall serve Him  “All the ends of the earth shall serve Him” (see Isaiah 2: 2-4; 9: 6-7; Daniel 7: 13-14; Isaiah 24: 23; Zechariah 9: 10; Psalm 72: 8, 11; 67: 7).



There will be a literal change in the dumb animals.  “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid … the lion shall eat straw like the ox” (Isaiah 11: 6-7).  Why should we object to the literal fulfilment of this prophecy?  Before the flood all the dumb animals were vegetarians.  They did not then devour each other (See Genesis 1: 30; 9: 2, 3, 5).



Finally, Satan will be literally loosed from his prison for a season, at the end of the thousand years of the reign of Christ and His people.  He will lead a final rebellion against God.  But he will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone “and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20: 3, 7-10).



Then follows the final resurrection, and whosoever will not be found written in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire.  The present heavens and the present earth will then be destroyed.  The earth and the  works that are therein shall be burned up.  The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.  We believers, however, “according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness  Then the great prophecy shall be literally fulfilled, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (see 2 Peter 3: 7, 10, 12, 13; Revelation 20: 11-15; 21: 1-4).



“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless,” and “comfort one another with these words” (2 Peter 3: 14; 1 Thessalonians 4: 18).






“For all the promises of God in him [i.e., in ‘the Son of God, Christ Jesus’ (v. 19, R.V.] are yea, and in him Amen …:” (2 Corinthians 1: 20).


“Who through faith … obtained the promises:” (Hebrews 11: 33).






“The precious promises of our great God are expressly intended to be taken to Him, and exchanged for the blessings which they guarantee.  Prayer takes the promise to the Bank of faith, and obtains the golden blessing.  Mind how you pray.  Make real business of it.  Let it never be a dead formality.  Some people pray a long time, but do not get what they are supposed to ask for, because they do not plead the promise in a truthful, business-like way.  If you were to go into a bank, and stand an hour talking to the clerk, and then come out again without your cash, what would be the good of it?  If I go to the bank, I pass a cheque across the counter, take up my money, and go about my business: that is the best way of praying.  Ask for what you want, because the Lord has promised it.  Believe that you have the blessing, and go forth to your work [for Him]* in full assurance of it.  Go from your knees singing, because the promise is fulfilled.  It is not the length of your prayer, but the strength of your prayer which wins for God; and the strength of your prayer lies in your faith in the promise which you have pleaded before the Lord.” - C. H. Spurgeon.


[* It would be the height of folly, if Christians expected God to give them anything which could not be used to bring praise and glory to His Name!]



I have a never-failing bank,

A more than golden store,

No earthly bank is half so rich,

How can I then be poor?



Sometimes by Banker smiling says:

“Why don’t you often come?

And when you draw a little note,

Why not a larger sum?



Why live in niggardly and poor?

Your bank contains a-plenty;

Why come and take a one-pound note*

When you might have a twenty



Since then my Banker is so rich,

I have no cause to borrow;

I’ll live upon my cash to-day,

And draw again to-morrow.



[*When this poem was written, a “one” and “twenty” pound bank-note was a substantial amount of money.  Many a hard working, skilled labourer and tradesman was being paid less than twenty pounds per week!]