Elder O. B. Mink
Now In Glory
“In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none: and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve” (Jeremiah 50:20).
“In those days, and in that time ... I will pardon them whom I reserve.” This text is a prophetical reference to the nation of Israel, and the Divine pardon Israel receives when the Lord establishes His millennial kingdom in the earth. The significant factor I want to point out is; the Lord is holding in reserve Israel’s pardon. Israel’s blindness concerning God’s eternal purpose for them will be taken away “in that time,” the decree will bring forth, and that faithful remnant in Israel whom God has reserved will look upon Him whom they pierced, and know “in that time” they have been justified freely by His grace.
Israel does not enter the millennium because a Papal decree has been issued wherein is stated, that the Pope has forgiven Israel for crucifying Christ. Nor is it because they have been given favored nation status by the United States’ government. Israel enters the millennium because God’s merciful decree of eternal and unconditional election included them. “For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins ...as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes” (Romans 11:27-28).
Now, let us note some things that man reserves and then show that God has more of the same in reserve.
Man has his federal reserve bank and insurance companies are required by law to publish their reserve dollar statement. To guarantee the negotiability of his dollar, man must have in reserve a measure of gold. In 1870 the United States banks adopted the gold standard. Simply, this meant that any United States citizen could bring his paper currency to any bank and exchange it for gold. However, this policy did not long endure and found its terminus with the stock market crash of 1929 and the great depression which followed in the wake of the crash. President Roosevelt asked congress to pass legislation which required the American people to turn in all of their gold to the banks. The law was passed and the American people surrendered their gold, receiving in exchange for it $20.67 per ounce in paper money. No sooner had the American public given up their hard earned gold than the government raised the price to $35.00 an ounce, which netted Uncle Sam a handsome profit of three billion dollars. This is just one of many socialistic programs which the popular FDR administration pawned off on the misery stricken people of the early 1930’s. This action was nothing less than political pick pocketing of the unsuspecting citizenry and the ill gotten gain has steadily diminished until there is not enough gold in U. S. reserve to guarantee one fourth of the paper money issued by the U. S. Treasury Department.
While men and nations steal and kill for gold, they need to learn they can never own it nor long possess it, for Almighty God said a long time ago, “the silver is mine and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:8). The gold God has permitted man to play around with in this earth is but an infinitesimal part of the whole, for God has in reserve enough gold to pave every street of the New Jerusalem, “...and the street of the city was pure gold ..., (Revelation 21:21). That which men fight and kill for in this life is predestined to accommodate the feet of the redeemed in glory.
MAN HAS HIS RESERVE ARMIES
“... Pharaoh with his mighty army ...” (Ezekiel 17:17). The world has become one big arsenal. The biggest piece of every nation’s tax pie goes to their defense department. They all cry, “Peace, Peace.” And are at the same time preparing for war. Christ prophesied of this perilous era in which we live when He said, “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars ...” (Matthew 24:6).
The United States has her mighty seventh fleet in the Mediterranean area, held there in reserve, to deter communist advances in that part of the world. The United States has a 49,000 man army in Western Europe committed to the N.A.T.O. alliance, and to maintain a balance of power in Europe. I recently read where Russia has a two million man army, the largest army of any nation in the world.
When I see on television that great Russian army parading in the red square of Moscow displaying their nuclear missiles and other instruments or war, I am caused to wonder at their great deception . Kruschev said, with a smirk on his race and a belligerent fist raised in the air, “If there be a god in the skies our mutniks and sputniks will knock him out of the sky.” Well, Kruschev has learned better, for he has been knocked down to hell by the God of the skies and all of the great atheistic armies or communism are in for a rude awakening.
Be it large or small, every nation has their armies in reserve, standing ready, and waiting for the battle cry. The mighty armies of both the United States and the U. S. S. R. by comparison with the army yet to be mustered by the Anti-Christ at the end of this age, would look like a couple of boy scout troops. The Anti-Christ will amass the largest army this world has ever known. Many Bible scholars believe it will consist of 200,000,000 men. This figure is taken from Revelation 9:16 where it reads, “The number of the army ... were two hundred thousand thousand.” If a person does not take this number to be literal, he must then take it to represent a number beyond human computation. Either way the truth remains, it will be the world’s largest human army.
THE LORD GOD HAS HIS ARMY IN RESERVE
“The Lord shall utter His voice before His army ...” (Joel 2:11).
The King of Kings also has His armies in reserve. Because we do not see His army on T.V., nor hear their marching feet in our streets, nor the rumble of their cannons does not mean they do not exist. In WW 2 General Rommel’s army in North Africa was hard to see or to find, but the allies never doubted for a single moment that the Desert Fox was out there with his mighty army. Joel 2:11 is not a reference to General William Booth, and the thousands of people on the street corners of the cities or the world with tambourines and cups in their hands. No, it is not a reference to the so-called Salvation Army. But it is a reference to those celestial troops held in reserve by the Generalissimo of the skies. The world does not believe they are up there, but don’t you doubt it. They are there awaiting a call from their Commander and Chief, and soon they will hear the trumpet of the Archangel, and “at that time” the world will no longer doubt their existence.
Elisha the prophet of God knew the Lord had this great army in reserve. The King of Syria wanted to get rid of Elisha, for to the King, Elisha had become a pestilent itch and he wanted to scratch him. The Lord had bugged the Syrian king’s council chambers, and had given Elisha a direct line. All the secrets of the King were revealed to Elisha, and he in turn brought the King of Israel up to date on the latest Syrian troop movements. The King of Syria heard that Elisha was in the city of Dothan, and he sent a great army and compassed the city where Elisha was. Elisha’s servant rose up early in the morning and saw that the city was surrounded by a mighty host and he said to Elisha, “How shall we do?” Now, I want you to read and remember Elisha’s answer, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” Can you imagine what ran through the mind of Elisha’s servant? Maybe not, but I know what I would have thought, “This old man has blown his mind. There is no one with he and I, and he says don’t get shook up, for there is more with us than all those Syrian soldiers and chariots.” Elisha saw the fear and doubt in his servant’s countenance, and he prayed, saying, “Lord, I pray thee open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses, and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (II Kings 6:14-17). Christ says to the battle weary, and fatigued saint of this contemporary period, “... Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4).
THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
At the battle of Armageddon, when that massive army of the Anti-Christ goes against Jerusalem (Luke 21:20), and it appears as if the Lord’s remnant in Israel is about to be annihilated, then will that reserve army in heaven be called into action. In viewing this battle, John in the book of Revelation, says, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him wascalled Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean” (Revelation 19:11-14). The Anti-Christ armies are unaware that they are scheduled for a rendezvous with the Lord and His army in Armageddon. The Lord’s victory in this battle is absolute, not suffering a single causality, while the armies of the Anti-Christ are reduced to bird bait (Revelation 19:17-21).
“For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them to the slaughter” (Isaiah 34:2).
I cannot see that invincible army which the Lord holds in reserve, except by an eye of faith. But I know it is there, and one day after awhile, not only will I actually see it, but I will ride with it back to earth, for Christ is the Supreme leader of this army, and he has said to the believer, “... Where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3). And concerning the battle of Armageddon Jude writes, “... The Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints” (Jude 1:14). By the grace of God, I will be somewhere in that heavenly throng.
MAN’S WEAPONRY RESERVE
In spite of the S.A.L.T. talks, and so-called detente with Russia, the arms race goes on unabated. The nuclear powers now gauge their enemy’s strength according to the number of megatons they are able to put into a hydrogen bomb. By this standard Russia has a five to one superiority over the United States. Russia has 25% more ICBM’s than the United States. But we do not want to overlook China. She, too, is in the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles business. It is believed by many in the United States Defense Department that China has an ICBM that can reach the United States.
Russia’s number of Surface-to-air Missiles far exceeds that of the United States. The USSR is ahead of the United States in nuclear missile submarines, interceptor aircraft and has 64 antiballistic missile systems while the United States has none (U.S. News And World Report - April, 1973).
Nations will go on stockpiling their weapons right up to the second advent of Christ to this earth, one nation racing against the other to see which one can have the most in reserve. These things should cause the saint to realize the futility of man’s quest for peace apart from Christ, and alert them to the fact that their “redemption draweth nigh”.
THE LORD’S WEAPONRY RESERVE
“Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? Or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?” (Job 38:22-23).
God says to Job, “Have you seen My arsenal? Have you seen Me us hail stones as guided missiles in battle? I am holding in reserve hail stones for the battle of Armageddon.” (obm Translation)
Most people would laugh if you told them God is going to throw hail stones at the Anti-Christ army in the battle of Armageddon. Well, let them laugh. That is exactly what God is going to do. And I do not believe it is going to be like I heard one preacher say. He said, “The sky is going to freeze over and God is going to nonchalantly walk across the sky, breaking up the ice so as it will fall.” No, it is not going to be like that. God never does anything in a nonchalant manner. Every piece of ice that God sends down in that battle lands on target, for it is directed by His vengeful and omniscient eye.
I imagine Noah’s peers laughed at him also when he told them there is enough water up there in the sky to flood the whole world, and God is going to pour it out on this sin ravaged earth. They did not believe Noah. It had not rained on the earth before, and anyhow, they probably thought, how could there be that much water up there in the sky? When God created the earth He held water in reserve above the earth, “And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament” (Genesis 1:7) We have a sad commentary written in few words telling about the infamous end of the antediluvians, “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the Ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:38-39).
The hailstones with which God bombards the Anti-Christ armies weighs as much as a talent. “And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent” (Revelation 16:21). “And blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horses bridles ...” (Revelation 14:20). Bible scholarship concurs that the weight of a talent is somewhere between 80 and 130 pounds, and the Anti-Christ armies are the inescapable targets of these divine ice missiles. Thus, it is reasonable to believe that under such an outpouring of God’s wrath that the enemy’s blood runs down the valley at the height of a horses bridle for a distance of 200 miles. It is also seen from Revelation 16:8 God has fire in reserve, and is going to use it to scorch men. This fire of God will be of such devastating force that it will make man’s most powerful bomb to appear as a fourth of July firecracker. After the millennium, God uses this reserve fire to purge, and reclaim this earth from the curse of sin, (II Peter 3:10-13). No, the Lord will not reserve His anger forever, (Jeremiah 3:5).
WICKED ANGELS AND MEN HELD IN RESERVE
Lucifer masterminded the first insurrection against the government of God. He, in collusion with a third part of the angelic host, led an unsuccessful coup against God. Lucifer had his angels waiting in reserve for the “I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). He no sooner spoke those words and we hear God say to Lucifer, “Thou shalt be brought down to hell” (Isaiah 14:15). Lucifer was cast out of heaven and is progressively descending into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). God charged the angels that allied themselves with Lucifer in their rebellion against Him with folly (Job 4:18), and Michael and his angels cast them out of heaven (Revelation 12:7-9). And we learn from the Holy Spirit inspired writing of Peter that God NOW has the angels that sinned in tormentious reserve. “For God spared not the angels that sinned but cast them down to hell and delivered them unto chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” (II Peter 2:4). Soon, their reserve period will be over and they will be cast into the lake of fire.
Wicked men are reserved for eternal judgment. “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (II Peter 2:9). “The wicked is reserved to the day of destruction, they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath” (Job 21:30).
The rich man of Luke 16 is in hell, held in reserve waiting to be brought forth to the White Throne judgment of God (Revelations 20:11-15). All that die in their sins go to this place of excruciating reserve to await their sentencing to the lake of fire which is infinitely more terrible. All that die in their sins will go to the eternal lake of fire, but all do not suffer the same measure of torment. The wicked will suffer according to the degree of their sins. And it appears from Scripture that false preachers are the ultimate sinners of all of mankind, being more vile than Cain, Pharaoh, Esau, Hitler, Stalin, Mao and other destroyers of men’s bodies. Paul says the false preacher is under a double curse (Galatians 1:8-9) and Jude likens them to “raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame, wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 1:13), not mere darkness, but the blackness of darkness, the very lowest hell.
On the other hand, we see God has a righteous reserve for whom He has reserved an eternal inheritance. During Israel’s bitter days under their most wicked king and queen, Ahab and Jezebel, God says, “I have reserved unto Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal” (Romans 11:4). We need to remember, “Where sin abounds, grace doth much more abound” (Romans 5:20). This earth is the only hell that God’s innumerable reserve people shall know, and after our earthly pilgrimage we have, “An inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for” us (I Peter 1:4).
God has eternally reserved His people for glory, and He preserves them in time. God would not lay up in heavenly store an inheritance for His people and then let them fail to realize it. This would be failure on God’s part, but we learn from Scripture that “He faileth not” (Zephaniah 3:5).
God’s people are reserved and preserved in His omnipotent right hand and He says, “No man is able to pluck them out of My hand” (John 10:29).
“And he reserveth wrath for his enemies” (Nahum 1:2).
(Sovereign Grace Advocate - 1977)
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