Think of all the miracles the children of Israel saw from the moment Moses arrived to free them from Egypt to the time they were wandering in the wilderness. God brought ten plagues on Egypt. After that, He sent a pillar of fire to blind Pharaoh’s pursuing army and then parted the Red Sea for them to cross. The fire guided them at night and the cloud of His glory guided them by day. Moses struck a rock and water gushed out for them to drink. The Lord provided food for them in the form of manna every day. Meanwhile, their clothes and shoes never wore out. Deuteronomy 29:5: And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot.
One would think that after seeing so much divine provision, they would never doubt the Lord again. But sadly, this proved not to be the case. Not only did they constantly accuse Moses and God of leading them into the wilderness to die of thirst, they had a tendency to yearn for the “abundance” they had in Egypt. It’s amazing how the devil can twist our minds and rewrite memories of life in bondage as something to miss.
The Lord had brought the Israelites out of Egypt. But to get Egypt out of the Israelites would require 40 years in the wilderness, where they would learn to rely completely on His miracles for their very survival. Only then would they be in the spiritual condition to conquer Jericho. Furthermore, the entire older generation had to die out to rid the spirit of doubt from God’s people. Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me (Numbers 14:29).
As a classic example of how rebellion and stubbornness can blind people, Numbers 11 starts with God punishing people for grumbling. Verse 1: And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. This should have been enough to make people think twice before complaining, but literally in the next verse, they start again. And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat (verse 4)?
The Lord was gracious in providing miraculous food made from heaven. But over time, the Israelites got tired of eating the same thing over and over again. They wanted meat. But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes (verse 6).
Had they merely asked the Lord for greater provisions, perhaps this wouldn’t have been a problem. But the Bible is specific in letting us know that they yearned for the old foods that they had in Egypt (which didn’t just include meat). We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: (verse 5). They were looking back and remembering the food, but forgetting about the brutal labor and lack of freedom. They were looking at slavery through rose-colored glasses.
When we look back at our lives of sin and miss the “fun” we used to have, forgetting about the misery and bondage we were under, we are doing the same thing.
The Lord gave them what they wanted. But it was in the form of judgment, not blessings. Verse 31: And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. Dead quail fell out of the sky, so many that it took all day for the children of Israel to gather them all. Yet we don’t have any record of a single one of them thanking God. They were quick to complain and accuse Him, but never praised Him. And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague (verse 33). The meat was tainted, and thousands died in the wilderness. In hell they lifted their eyes.
Mark 6:6: And he marvelled because of their unbelief. Is God marveling at your unbelief despite all you’ve seen Him do?
In Revelation, we see this phenomenon taken to the most extreme degree. Despite the term “Armageddon” being synonymous with “The End of the World,” we actually find that some will survive the great final battle against wickedness. And cast him (Satan) into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season (Revelation 20:3). After the antichrist and his armies are defeated, Satan will be chained in a pit for the thousand year period following the seven years of Tribulation. New Jerusalem will be established, and God’s people will return from heaven to reign with Christ on the earth. There will be no death. Revelation 21:1,4: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 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.
However, not all people alive during the Millennial Age will be children of God. All around the world will be nonbelievers who survived the Tribulation. We know this because immediately after the thousand years are up, the devil freed from the pit, and still has the power to deceive. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea (Revelation 20:7-8).
Who are the nations? Obviously it’s not people with the mark of the beast, because they have already been destroyed. If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: (Revelation 14:9-10). Most, if not all of those with the mark are in hell by the end of the Tribulation. Therefore, those left are still undecided. They never took the mark but never received Jesus, either. And they will have a thousand years to decide: Jesus or Satan.
An amazing number of them will choose Satan when he is unleashed from the pit. These are the “nations” he deceives in Revelation 20:7-8. They are in the four quarters of the world. They are still in Gog and Magog (Germany and Russia). One might call them “the undecideds.” But eventually, they become “the unrepentant.”
Just like with the children of Israel in Numbers, this is incredible when we list all the reasons they shouldn’t be unbelievers. These are people who have seen the Rapture, as Christ returned to take back all His children in a moment, in the blinking of an eye. Then they watched Revelation unfold. The antichrist came and introduced the mark, just like the Bible said. Then God reigned 14 horrible judgments on the planet earth, wiping out most of the human race. Then they saw the antichrist defeated at the great slaughter of Armageddon. They watched as Jesus came down, brought a new heavenly city, and reign with His people for 1,000 years. No one could die, and there was no need for the sun, because He lit the entire world. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof (Revelation 21:23). They had a millennium to make up their minds. Yet they remained undecided to the very end, and were ultimately deceived into choosing the devil over God.
Here, then, are two examples for us to consider. Some people will never repent. God will do everything within His power to prove Himself to them, but even He has a cutting off point. When they are determined not to believe in God, no amount of evidence will ever change their minds.
But are we so different today? Consider how many Christians backslide on God, even despite experiencing many miracles, healings, and salvation. How could they do it?
What about you? Are you doubting God? Has He given you a Word, yet you don’t think He will keep His promises? Has He saved you? Healed you? Brought you through? What reason has God ever given you to doubt Him?
We are living in a dangerous hour. The deceit of the devil is stronger than ever before. If you are undecided after God has proved Himself time and time again, you are in danger of transitioning from an undecided to an unrepentant. And your fate will be the same as the nations Satan deceives at the end of the Perfect Age. Revelation 20:7-8 tells us that Satan will deceive the undecideds left in the world. In verse 9, we find out that they will be gathered as a great army, foolish enough to think that they can destroy God’s children, finishing the work the antichrist started. But they will meet their end: And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.