“LORD, WHO shall abide in Thy Tabernacle? WHO shall dwell in Thy holy hill?” – Ps. 15:1
“WHO shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or WHO shall stand in His holy place?” – Ps. 24:3 [Ps. 65:4-5]
WHO? This question is critically important. This question is asked and answered to enforce upon the mind a most critical issue of discernment pertaining to the perseverance of all believers. For, only those who were truly right with God were lawfully allowed to ascend Mount Zion or inhabit the City of Jerusalem. This proves true for both the Old Testament and the New Testament - pertaining to both the Gentile Church Age (Zion & Jerusalem) and the afterlife (Zion & Jerusalem). In other words, this is how it was, how it is, and how it will be. These rules of conduct and holiness were required of all true Jews or Christians in their respective Covenants. Therefore, how one measures up to the question posed is the difference between HEAVEN and HELL.
Notably, the questions don't cease in the Psalms. The issue raised doesn't quietly move to the background in later generations. Such questions are much more necessary after a growing declension over the course of many generations leads to a Tribulation Period. However, necessarily, the question is rephrased to suit the peculiar occasion at hand.
“Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and WHO may stand in thy sight
when once thou art angry?” – Ps. 76:7
when once thou art angry?” – Ps. 76:7
Tribulation Periods were times when the God of Israel was extraordinarily angry with the Jewish People. Such times include what God did through Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Nevertheless, one national emergency stands head and shoulders above the rest, and that's Babylon. Moreover, what God did through Babylon of old in history is going to be repeated anew in futurity. Bearing witness to this, the apostle John foresaw "Mystery Babylon the Great" (Rev. 17) as a future threat in the Last Days. Make no mistake about it, my reader! Your understanding of this matter is of critical importance. For, in speaking of the redemptive operation at work in Tribulation Periods, the same question was asked and answered: WHO?
“...WHO is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.” – Hos. 14:7-9 [Psalm 91:1]
“WHO among you will give ear to this? WHO will hearken and hear for the time to come? Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.” – Isa. 42:23-25
“WHO is the wise man, that may understand this? and WHO is he to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through?” – Jer. 9:12 [Jer. 6:10, 23:18-22]
“WHO can stand before His indignation? And WHO can abide in the fierceness of His anger?” – Nah. 1:6 [Isa. 64:1-5, Micah 1:3-4]
“And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and WHO can abide it?” – Joel 2:11
The divine intervention at hand in question is very controversial among backsliders of every age. What God chooses to do to punish and purify the backslidden Church is very offensive. For, God's choice of Babylon as a divine instrument is a radical circumvention of Covenantal Idealism through the normal use of Church Officers to do judgment. Yet, in using Babylon, God is able to accomplish the same objectives of the Covenant (Ezek. 20:33-44). Church Officers are unused simply because they are unavailable and unfit because of their longstanding neglect of statutory judgment (Jer. 5:1-5, Ezek. 9:1-11).
God is pleased to employ prophets as commentators and interpreters of the work of God in Tribulation Periods. Men like Jeremiah and Ezekiel are foremost examples of what the Two Witnesses will prophesy about in the work of God through Babylon in the Last Days (Rev. 11:1-12). Through their prophetic ministry we can come to understand the wisdom of God in the divine employment of Babylon for redemptive purposes as foretold in the Book of Revelation.
“But WHO may abide in the Day of His coming? And WHO shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like a fullers’ soap…” – Mal. 3:2-3 [Mal. 3:16-4:1]
“WHO then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?” – Matt. 24:45 [Lk. 12:42, Rev. 12:6, 14]
“And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the Great Day of his wrath is come; and WHO shall be able to stand?” – Rev. 6:16-17 [Lk. 21:34-36]
It would be exceedingly careless for us to leave these divine questions unanswered. These questions are equally as important as Psalm 15:1 & Psalm 24:3. This is the difference between HEAVEN and HELL. Therefore, we need wisdom (Prov. 4:7) to understand God's backup plan to purify His people through BABYLON. Only then will we be able to glorify God and do exploits in the Great Tribulation (Dan. 11:32-35, Isa. 28:2, 5-6). According to Biblical Prophecy, the foremost characteristic we need is wisdom - an understanding of redemption amidst the throes of divine anger (Dan. 12:1-4, 9-10; Prov. 22:3, Micah 6:9 [Isa. 11:4], Isa. 27:11). Oh, to stand before God in the day of His anger (Ps. 76:7)! Rather than being destroyed for our foolishness under the punishing blows of divine wrath! Remember, the foolishness of God's people is what warrants the coming of Babylon as a punishment to backsliders in the first place (Isa. 5:13, Jer. 4:19-22, 5:1-5, 6:10-15, 8:5-9 [Hos. 4:1, 6, 6:6], Matt. 25:1-13). Therefore, let us take heed.