Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all. Jude 14, 15.
At the close of the thousand years, Christ again returns to the earth. He is accompanied by the host of the redeemed and attended by a retinue of angels. As He descends in terrific majesty He bids the wicked dead arise to receive their doom. They come forth, a mighty host, numberless as the sands of the sea. What a contrast to those who were raised at the first resurrection! The righteous were clothed with immortal youth and beauty. The wicked bear the traces of disease and death.
Every eye in that vast multitude is turned to behold the glory of the Son of God. With one voice the wicked hosts exclaim: “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!” It is not love to Jesus that inspires this utterance. The force of truth urges the words from unwilling lips. As the wicked went into their graves, so they come forth with the same enmity to Christ and the same spirit of rebellion. They are to have no new probation in which to remedy the defects of their past lives. Nothing would be gained by this. A lifetime of transgression has not softened their hearts. A second probation, were it given them, would be occupied as was the first in evading the requirements of God and exciting rebellion against Him.
Christ descends upon the Mount of Olives, whence, after His resurrection, He ascended, and where angels repeated the promise of His return. Says the prophet: “The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof, … and there shall be a very great valley.” “And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.” Zechariah 14:5, 4, 9. As the New Jerusalem, in its dazzling splendor, comes down out of heaven, it rests upon the place purified and made ready to receive it, and Christ, with His people and the angels, enters the Holy City.
Maranatha p. 336
One of my favorite stories when I was a little girl was what I called “The Breadbasket Story.” I begged for it About 1900, my grandfather, Edwin Harmon, joined in the National Guard. Things were different in those days. It was not just a “weekend adventure.” It was like joining any other branch of the armed forces. The camp was completely made of tents instead of having buildings.
My grandfather and his tentmate Moon, couldn’t sleep one night. They were hungry. Somehow their supper had not been sufficient to hold them until breakfast. As they talked about their plight, they decided to do something about it. They planned to sneak into the tent that housed the kitchen and find something to fill their growling stomachs. The moon was shining brightly, so they had to be very careful not to be seen, because there were guards who walked all night between the rows of tents and made sure everyone stayed in their tent and that all was well. Ed peeked out of the tent door and looked carefully. He saw no one. He went outside for a better look but still saw no one. Moon joined him. Quietly the two young men tiptoed toward the tent kitchen.
When they were almost there, a guard saw them. He shouted, “Halt! Who goes there?” Ed and Moon took off running. They were in big trouble if they were caught. Disobeying an order to halt brought hard punishment but so did being outside of the tent at night. Soon more guards came running. The commotion awakened the sergeant, who joined in the chase.
Finally, the young men reached the kitchen tent and dove under the side. Once their eyes adjusted to the semi-darkness, they tried to find a place to hide. Moon went one direction and Ed the other. In one corner of the huge white tent was a large wicker basket. Inside this basket were loaves of unwrapped bread. Ed lifted the lid and found that the basket was about three-fourths full. Carefully he climbed inside and closed the lid. Then he wiggled down into the middle of the loaves and waited. Soon he could hear the soldiers enter the tent. He held motionless. He could hear the sergeant “barking” orders to his men. They were searching everywhere.
Suddenly the older man’s eyes lit up. “The breadbasket, of course!” Walking over to the huge wicker basket, he drew his sword. “If he’s in there, I’ll find him.” He proclaimed. He stuck his sword into the basket many times in many different directions. My grandfather remained motionless. He could feel the loaves move as the sergeant pierced them near his head. Once, the flat side sword blade slid across his belly. Still Ed did not move. After what seemed liked hours, the sergeant said to his men, “Well, I guess he isn’t in there after all.” The guards left. Still Ed did not move. He listened intently for any sound that might indicate that the guards were outside waiting for him. Finally, when he was sure everyone had gone, he wriggled up enough to lift the lid slightly and peer into the now-empty kitchen. Sneaking out of there and into his tent, was not an easy matter for the guards were on the alert, but Ed finally reached his destination. There sat Moon on his bed grinning at him. Ed asked him to tell of his adventure and where he had hidden, but Moon would not. His only comment was, “I’m not telling. I might need to hide there again sometime.”
Often we have trials of our own making. Often it is because of our own sin that we must suffer. Even though my grandfather did not get caught, there were still consequences. Because of his little escapade, my grandfather had to go about his duties after hours of lost sleep without showing any tiredness. The sergeant, no doubt had known that he was in that basket and was careful how he used his sword, but still he could have accidentally stabbed my grandfather. In those far-off days, that could have been fatal. Not only did Ed have to eat dirty bread, for the dirt on his shoes had ruined many loaves, but so did most of the other men. When the cook had seen the dirty bread, he was going to cut away that part, but the sergeant would not allow that. He walked up and down between the long tables of men and watched carefully to see who was not eating bread that morning. He knew that that would be the man who had dirtied them. My grandfather and Moon ate the bread, dirt and all!
God’s Word says, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal 6:7-9 This is a principle that deals with every aspect of our life. Whether it is mild reaping like my grandfather’s experience, or whether it is of much graver consequences, this principle holds true. May we keep so close to our Dear Saviour, that our sowing and reaping will be within His will.