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Sermon No: 42204-Judgements and the bride of Christ



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SERMON TOPIC: Judgements and the bride of Christ

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 25 February 2019

Topic Groups: JUDGEMENT, PROPHECY, FUTURISM

Sermon synopsis: Each one of the Dispensations ends with judgment/s.

There are 3 main judgments that are often confused:
- The Bema judgment
- The Sheep Goat judgment (of the nations)
- The Great White Throne judgment

Israel is spoken of as God’s wife while the Church is seen as the Bride of Christ. These are figures of speech which we call metaphors. So while the Church is not literally Christ’s bride, it is a useful picture speaking of the relationship that exists between the Church and Jesus.
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TIMING OF PROPHECY

While most Christians believe in the future return of Jesus, there are several areas which are hot items of debate. These include:

The timing of the Millennium

Premillennialism Amillennialism Post-Millennialism

The timing of the rapture

Pre-tribulation Mid-tribulation Post-tribulation

The timing of Bible prophecy

Futurism Preterism Historicism

4 VIEWS ON PROPHECY

Preterism

Fulfilled before 70 AD

Futurism

Historicism

Idealism

70 AD

70 AD

70 AD

PRESENT

PRESENT

PRESENT

Fulfilled across history

To be fulfilled

Perpetual fulfillment

Often people ask, “What prophetic event remains unfulfilled to prevent the return of Jesus?”

Well consider this prophecy by Jesus.

“… this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14)

UNFINISHED WORK

NOW ASK YOURSELF:

Has the gospel of the kingdom been preached in the whole world?

Have all nations heard the testimony?

THE 10/ 40 WINDOW

40° N

10° N

Most of these unreached people live in an area of the world nicknamed the “10/ 40 window.” This is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia between 10°N and 40°N latitude.

UNREACHED

An estimated 2.91 billion individuals live in the 10/ 40 Window. The area contains the overwhelming majority of the world’s least evangelized megacities - that is those with a population of more than one million. The top 50 least evangelized megacities are all in the 10/ 40 Window! 1

1 SOURCE: "http:// joshuaproject.net/ resources/ articles/ 10_40_window">http:// joshuaproject.net/ resources/ articles/ 10_40_window

10/ 40 WINDOW FACTS

FALSE RELIGION OR NO RELIGION

The 10/ 40 Window contains four of the world’s dominant religious blocs. The majority of the followers of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism as well as the Non-Religious block live within the 10/ 40 Window. 1

1 Ibid

Source: Global Mapping International

10/ 40 WINDOW FACTS

Jesus has not commanded us to go into “most of the world”, but into “all the world”. In Rev 7:9-10 we are told that the redeemed gathered before God’s throne consist of “every nation, tribe, people and language.”

Despite Jesus’ command to evangelize, almost one third of the world’s population (28%) – 1 in 3 people - have never even heard of his name.

So while we all look forward to the return of Jesus WE HAVE UNFINISHED WORK.

Oswald J. Smith: “We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first.”

UNFINISHED WORK

POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE

Millennium

Present age

7-year Tribulation

2nd Advent

Rapture

PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE

Millennium

2nd Advent

7-year Tribulation

Present age

Rapture

MID-TRIBULATION RAPTURE

Millennium

Present age

Rapture

3½ year Tribulation

2nd Advent

3½ year Tribulation

TIMING OF THE RAPTURE

Pre-trib Rapture

Mid-trib Rapture

Post-trib Rapture

Amillennialism

X

Postmillennialism

X

Historical Premillennialism

X

Dispensational Premillennialism

X

X

Very similar to Mid-Tribulationists is a view called Pre-Wrath. They argue that the Rapture will take place before God pours out his wrath, but they see this point as coming after the beginning of the Tribulation. They accept that we are “not appointed to wrath” but do not view the entire tribulation as a time of God’s wrath.

Proponents of the Partial Rapture view believe that only faithful Christians will be taken in the rapture, while unfaithful Christians are left on earth to suffer through the tribulation (based on the Parable of the Ten Virgins).

END

OF

AGE

Millennium

2nd Advent

7-year Tribulation (Jacob’s Trouble)

PRESENT AGE

Unknown Day

Before Day of the Lord

Righteous removed

Jesus comes alone

Known Day

At the End of Age

Wicked removed

Jesus sends out His angels

RAPURE & 2ND ADVENT

AGE TO COME

Rapture (Blessed hope)

MAN’S WRATH

GOD’S WRATH

RAPTURE & 2ND ADVENT

WHY PRE-TRIB?

Arguments for the Pre-Trib Rapture being a separate event to the Second Advent are:

There were 2 phases to the First Coming. The church is not appointed to (God’s) wrath. The church is not mentioned between Rev 3 and Rev 22:16. The “blessed hope” versus the “Time of Jacob’s trouble”. Who populates the Millennial earth? There is a known day (Rapture) and an unknown day(2nd Advent), the righteous removed (Rapture) versus wicked removed (2nd Advent), the Lord himself (Rapture) versus “with the angels”.

If the Rapture and the Second Advent are the same event then why would we be caught up to heaven when Jesus is coming to earth? Will we be caught up and then make a U-turn as we come back to rule and reign with Christ on earth?

CHURCH AGE (TIME OF THE GENTILES) Lk 21:24)

7 YEAR TRIBULATION

Birth Pangs (Mt 24:5-12)

7 CHURCH AGES

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

7 SEALS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

FALSE CHRISTS

WARS

FAMINE

PLAGUE

PERSECUTION

RAPTURE

7 TRUMPETS

7 TRUMPETS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

7 BOWLS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

CHRONOLOGY OF REVELATION & MATT 24

Great tribulation (Mt 24:21)

IMAGE OF BEAST

Abomination of Desolation (Mt 24:15-20)

1260 DAYS

1260 DAYS

The sign of the Son of Man in heaven (Mt 24:30)

DESTRUCTION OF TEMPLE

Not one stone left on another(Mt 24:2)

JUDGMENTS

JUDGMENTS

Each one of the Dispensations ends with judgment/ s.

Scofield

Larkin

1

Innocence

Edenic

2

Conscience

Antediluvian

3

Human Government

Postdiluvian

4

Promise

Patriarchal

5

Law

Legal

6

Grace

Ecclesiastical

7

Kingdom

Messianic

Judgment/ s

The curse (Adam & Eve, Satan)

The flood

Babel

Ten Plagues

Crucifixion (Judgment of sin & Satan)

Bema + Tribulation + nations + Satan, Antichrist, False Prophet

Final Judgment of Satan, Great White Throne

After the Age of innocence, Adam, Eve and Satan are judged.

After the Age of Conscience, God judges mankind with the Flood.

After the Age of Human Government the judgment occurs at Babel where the languages are confused.

After the Age of promise, God judges the Egyptians with the Ten Plagues.

JUDGMENTS

At the end of the Age of Law we have the crucifixion.

Man’s sin is judged with Jesus taking the penalty.

Isa 53:5 (NIV) But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Col 2:13-14 (NASB) When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

JUDGMENTS

Satan and his forces are defeated by the cross.

Col 2:15 (NIV) And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Hours before his crucifixion, Jesus predicted Satan’s judgment:

John 12:31 (NASB) “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.”

John 16:11 (NASB) “and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”

Who is the ruler of the world?

JUDGMENTS

I will give you all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.

Luke 4:5-7 (NIV) The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.

After the Age of Grace we again have judgments

The wicked are judged by God during the Tribulation.

Rev 6:9-10 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

All believers will be judged at the Bema Judgment.

2 Cor 5:10 (NIV) For we must all appear before the judgment seat (Greek: bēma) of Christ…

“Bema” is the Greek word translated “judgment seat” in the NT.

JUDGMENTS

Millennium

2nd Advent

Tribu-lation

PRESENT AGE

AGE TO COME

Rapture

3 MAIN JUDGMENTS

There are 3 main judgments that are often confused:

The Bema judgment

The Sheep Goat judgment (of the nations)

The Great White Throne judgment

GR E A T WH I T E T HRON E

SHEEP GOAT

BEMA

(1) BEMA JUDGMENT

The Bema judgement (of the righteous) is separated from the Great White Throne judgement (of the unrighteous) by 1000 years (Millennium) .

Rev 20:4-12 (NIV) … They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years… Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it… And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne…

When is this judgment?

The judging of believers will occur after the rapture of the church, but before the Second Coming of Christ to the earth.

Rev 19:7-8 (NIV) “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)

We are told that the bride is clothed with righteous acts. This implies that the church has already been at the judgment seat of Christ because they are ready for the groom. Hence the judgment takes place sometime before the Second Coming of Christ.

(1) BEMA JUDGMENT

We will be individually judged.

Rom 14:10,12 (NIV) For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat… So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

This is not a judgment to determine who will enter heaven. The sins of believers will not be an issue at the judgment seat of Christ - they have already been forgiven.

Psalm 103:10-12 (NIV) he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

(1) BEMA JUDGMENT

Only believers are judged – for rewards

2 Cor 5:10 (NIV) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

2 John 8 (NIV) Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.

(1) BEMA JUDGMENT

The bema is a tribunal for rewards. In the large Olympic arenas, there was an elevated seat on which the judge of the contest sat. After the contests were over, the successful competitors would assemble before the bema to receive their rewards or crowns. The bema was not a judicial bench where someone was condemned; it was a reward seat. Likewise, the Judgment Seat of Christ is not a judicial bench. The Christian life is a race, and the divine umpire is Jesus Christ. After the race is over for each believer, He will gather every member before the bema for the purpose of examining each one and giving the proper reward to each. 1

1 "https:// www.blueletterbible.org/ faq/ don_stewart/ don_stewart_144.cfm">https:// www.blueletterbible.org/ faq/ don_stewart/ don_stewart_144.cfm

REWARDS

All of us will give an account of what we have done after being born again.

1 Cor 3:10-13 (NIV) But each one should build with care… If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.

Not all will be rewarded. Some will suffer loss.

1 Cor 3:10-13 (NIV) If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

This is loss of reward, not of salvation.

(1) BEMA JUDGMENT

We can illustrate the loss of reward in the following manner: Let us say you have recently built a new two story house. While on the second floor, you smell smoke. Looking downstairs you see that the first floor is on fire. You jump out the second story window to save your life. You then watch your new house burn to the ground. Obviously you will have mixed emotions. You’re thankful that you were able to jump and save your life, but you sad because your new house is destroyed. This is similar to those believers who are saved but have nothing to show for it. They squandered their opportunities to live for Christ yet they are enjoying the benefits of heaven with Jesus. 1

1 Ibid.

REWARDS

Be Careful Not To Lose Reward

Behold, I come quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown (Revelation 3:11).

Believers want to appear without shame before this seat.

And now little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (1 John 2:28).

If we live in love, we can have confidence when we face this judgment.

1 John 4:17 (NIV) This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.

REWARDS

REWARDS

The rewards that the believer receives will be proportionate to the faithfulness they show in this life. The key is faithfulness to the gifts God has given.

1 Cor 4:2 (ESV) Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.

Jesus spoke of different degrees of rewards in a parable that he gave.

Luke 19:17 (NIV) ‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities’

But of another servant we read:

Luke 19:19 (NIV) His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities’.

The rewards believers will receive are called crowns. The word in the NT Greek is “stéphanos”.

Strong’s 4735 – properly, a wreath (garland), awarded to a victor in the ancient athletic games (like the Greek Olympics); the crown of victory.

This is contrasted to diádēma, “a royal crown” (Strong’s 1238) which Jesus wears when he comes riding on a white horse (Rev 19:12 “ on his head are many crowns”).

Five crowns are mentioned for believers:

CROWNS

Incorruptible (or Imperishable) Crown given to those who demonstrate self-control.

1 Cor 9:25 (WEB) Every man who strives in the games exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown (stéphanos), but we an incorruptible.

Crown of Rejoicing for soul-winners.

Phil 4:1 (NIV) Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown (stéphanos), stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

1 Thess 2:19 (NIV) For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown (stéphanos) in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?

CROWNS

The Crown of Life for those who persevere under trial and for martyrs.

James 1:12 (NIV) Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown (stéphanos) of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Rev 2:10 (NASB) Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown (stéphanos) of life.

CROWNS

The Crown of Righteousness promised to those who long for the Second Coming of Jesus.

2 Tim 4:7-8 (NIV) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown (stéphanos) of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

CROWNS

The Crown of Glory for Christian leaders who serve well and in humility.

1 Pet 5:2-4 (NIV) Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown (stéphanos) of glory that will never fade away.

CROWNS

Rev 4:4 (NIV) Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns (stéphanos) of gold on their heads.

Some people believe these 24 elders represent Israel, but they are most often identified as representative of the church. They lay their crowns before the throne as an act of worship.

Rev 4: 10-11 (NIV) the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

CROWNS

Those who overcome will be clothed in white, will have their names written in the Book of Life and will be acknowledged before the Father and the angels.

Rev 3:5 (NASB) ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.’

Luke 12:8 (NASB) “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God”

(1) BEMA JUDGMENT

The Judgment of the Nations (Sheep Goat judgment) takes place after Armageddon, when the survivors of the Tribulation will be judged on their fitness to enter the Millennium.

Matt 16:27 (NIV) For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

The Valley of Jehoshaphat is only mentioned in the Book of Joel. There, after the northern army is repelled, God will gather all the nations and sit in judgment on their misdeeds to Israel.

Joel 3:12 (NASB) Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. (cf. Joel 3:2)

2) SHEEP GOAT

The significance of the name Jehoshaphat is that it means ‘Yahweh judges’. Some believe this valley may be the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem.

Zech 14:16 Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty…

These “survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem” are the same as the ‘sheep’ of Matthew 25 and the ‘wheat’ and ‘good fish’ of Matthew 13.

2) SHEEP GOAT

Looking over the Kidron Valley at the Mount of Olives. The southeast corner of the Temple Mount is to the top left.

The parable of the ‘Wheat and Tares’ (Matt 13:39-41) is about this judgment and not about the Bema judgment. The angels gather the wicked at ‘the end of

2) SHEEP GOAT

the age’ to weed them ‘out of his kingdom’ (i.e. the Millennial kingdom).

Likewise the parable of the net (Matt 13:47-50). Note the key phrases again, “end of the age”, and “angels will come and separate the wicked ”.

The Sheep-Goat judgment is also a reference to this judgment of the nations.

Matt 25:31-46 (NIV) “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat… Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed… Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

2) SHEEP GOAT

Daniel 12:11-12 (NIV) “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.”

As the ‘Abomination that causes desolation’ is set up in the middle of the Tribulation and the second half of the Tribulation is 1260 (Rev 12:6) days, the phrase “Blessed is the one who … reaches the end of the 1,335 days” has led some to believe that the Sheep-Goat Nation Judgment may last 75 days (1335 – 1260 = 75).

2) SHEEP GOAT

THE SHEEP-GOAT JUDGMENT

M I L L E N N I U M

2ND A D V E N T

A B O M I N A T I O N

3½ YEAR GREAT TRIBULATION

1260 DAYS

TIME, TIMES & ½ TIME

42 MONTHS

BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO WAITS FOR AND REACHES THE END OF THE 1335 DAYS

30 DAYS

1260 DAYS

1290 DAYS

1335 DAYS

75 DAYS (judgment?)

1260 DAYS

The Antichrist and False prophet are judged at the end of the Tribulation.

Rev 19:20 (NIV) But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur.

Satan is judged at the end of the Tribulation. He is bound “to keep him from deceiving the nations”. This occurs during the period of 1000 years (Millennium) when we shall rule with Christ on earth.

JUDGMENTS

Rev 20:1-3 (NIV) And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended…

He is locked in the Abyss, which is currently a prison for the fallen angels of Gen 6 and in future – for demons (Luke 8:31).

SATAN BOUND

Amillennialism: The entire Church age (starting at the Cross) is the Millennium (not a literal 1000 years). Christ reigns in heaven. Christ returns after the figurative Millennium. Satan is figuratively bound now and has been since the cross.

Postmillennialism: Millennium is a future (or current) literal (or figurative) 1000 years. The Church will reign on earth. Christ returns after the Millennium. Satan will be figuratively / literally bound in this age.

Premillennialism: Millennium is a future literal 1000 years reign by Christ. Christ himself reigns on earth (from Jerusalem) with his Church. Christ returns after the church age (pre, mid or post-tribulation rapture) before the Millennium. Satan will be literally bound in the future age to come.

SATAN BOUND

SATAN BOUND

SATAN BOUND

SATAN BOUND

SATAN BOUND

SATAN IN THIS AGE

Some hold that Satan no longer has access to heaven (as we see in the book of Job).

But Jesus presently acts as our Advocate which implies an accuser. Satan’s name means “accuser”. Christ is “is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Rom 8:34, NIV) and “if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ” (1 John 2:1).

Jesus made it clear that Satan is here to stay until the harvest at “the end of the age”, spending his time sowing weeds who are “the sons of the evil one” (Matt 13:38-41). And if anyone is unsure as to when the end of the age is, Satan being crushed is viewed by Paul as a future event, telling the Romans that “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Rom 16:20).

Satan was originally one of God's angels. But he rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven. That was only the first stage of his judgment. But Satan still had access to heaven. He stood in the presence of God and accuses Job.

Job 1:6-7 (NASB) Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth…”

He also accused the high priest Joshua:

Zech 3:1 (NASB) Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.

SATAN IN THIS AGE

Satan suffered a further setback when Jesus’ disciples drive out demons.

Luke 10:18 (NIV) He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

But shortly before Peter denies him, Jesus warns that “Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat” (Luke 22:31) implying that Satan could still petition God.

Satan’s kingdom was vanquished at the cross (John 12:31–32). Later (at the end of the Tribulation), he will be bound in the abyss for one thousand years (Rev 20:1–3) and then finally he and his angels will be cast into the lake of fire for eternity (Rev 20:10).

But in this Church Age (or Age of Grace) Satan still has access to the Divine Council in heaven.

SATAN IN THIS AGE

SATAN IN THIS AGE

If Satan is barred from heaven now, what do we make of Rev 12, when he re-appears in heaven?

In Amillennial (Catholic) theology Rev 12 is past and Satan was figuratively bound after the cross.

But in Premillennial theology (i.e. Future Millennium) Rev 12 is future and Satan is literally bound after the Second Coming (Rev 20).

Until his final judgment, Satan is “the prince of this world” (John 14:30) and it seems that he still has restricted access to the heavenly realms.

According to Amillennialism Satan is bound now. This belief that Satan was bound at the cross is contradicted by Scripture. After the crucifixion and resurrection, Paul still calls Satan ‘the god of this world’ (2 Cor 4:4, NASB).

Satan hindered Paul from coming to Thessalonica (1 Thess 2:18). He filled Ananias’ heart to lie to the Holy Spirit. (Acts 5:3). He is currently blinding those who do not see the gospel (2 Cor 4:4). He is a ruler over kingdoms of darkness, waging war against the saints. (Eph 6:12) He is “the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Eph 2:1-3).

Only at the Day of the Lord, the kingdoms of this world will be taken by Christ.

Rev 11:15 (NIV) The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”

SATAN IN THIS AGE

Another common mistaken belief is to think that Satan and his angels are presently in hell (by confusing them with the Gen 6 angels imprisoned in hell as per 2 Pet 2:4 and Jude 6).

But the abode of Satan is in the heavenly realm.

Eph 6:12 (NASB) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

We are warned that he now roams the earth.

1 Pet 5:8 (NASB) Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

SATAN IN THIS AGE

SATAN IN THIS AGE

Satan has not been completely driven out of heaven yet. This happens in the middle of the 7-year Tribulation.

Rev 12:7-10 (NIV) Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”

SATAN BOUND

Historic and dispensational premillennialists as well as postmillennialists all concur that this binding must be understood as an action that completely curtails the actions of Satan.

Who can honestly maintain that the present period of history is one in which the millennial binding of Satan is a reality?

As someone well said:

IF SATAN IS BOUND TODAY, THE CHAIN IS TOO LONG.

After the Millennium Satan is released for a short while. Thereafter we have the Final judgment of Satan.

Rev 20:7-10 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations … But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil… was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur…

Then we have the Great White Throne judgment of the wicked.

Rev 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened…

3) GREAT WHITE THRONE

The wicked are raised for judgment.

Rev 20:13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them…

1 Pet 4:5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

The judgment is based on works and those whose names are not in the book of life will be condemned.

Rev 20:13 … each person was judged according to what they had done.

Rev 20:15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

3) GREAT WHITE THRONE

The verdict will be based on whether or not they chose to follow Jesus (the Light).

John 3:19 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

There are 2 choices and 2 destinies. We can choose to accept God’s way of salvation through his Son, Jesus - or to reject it and face the consequences:

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

3) GREAT WHITE THRONE

No believers will be at the Great White Throne judgment, not because of their good works, but because of God’s grace in accepting Christ’s death on the cross as payment for our sin.

Eph 2:8-9 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.

Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. We only go there if we choose to reject God’s plan of salvation in Jesus.

Matt 25:41 (NIV) “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

3) GREAT WHITE THRONE

JUDGMENTS

Bema

Sheep Goat

Great White Throne

Believers judged

Nations judged

Unbelievers judged

For rewards

On fitness to enter Millennium

For punishment

After Rapture

After Tribulation

After Millennium

Judged based on deeds

Judged based on how they treated Israel

Judged based on rejection of Christ

GOD’S COVENANT WITH ISRAEL

GOD’S WIFE

Israel is spoken of as God’s wife while the Church is seen as the Bride of Christ.

These are figures of speech which we call metaphors. The dictionary definition for a metaphor is:

a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else.

So while the Church is not literally Christ’s bride, it is a useful picture speaking of the relationship that exists between the Church and Jesus.

GOD’S WIFE

In the Old Testament Israel is repeatedly spoken of as God’s wife. But Israel was an unfaithful wife:

Jer 3:30 (NIV) But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me," declares the LORD.

Jer 31:32 (NIV) “… because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.

So God “divorces” Israel because she was unfaithful to the marriage covenant.

Jer 3:8 (NIV) I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery.

BRIDE OF CHRIST

Paul says go the Corinthian church, “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.” (2 Cor 11:2, NASB). He instructs husbands to “love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Eph 5:25 (NASB).

John sees “the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Rev 21:2, NIV). Thus the bride speaks of those who will live in the city i.e. the saints.

Rev 19:7-8 (NIV) Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY

Replacement Theology (normally associated with Preterism, Amillennialism and Postmillennialism) says that the Church has permanently replaced Israel.

Proponents of the Replacement Theology view consider the Church as the New Israel, teaching that the many promises made to Israel are fulfilled in the Christian Church, not in literal Israel.

Partial Preterists Gary DeMar and Peter Leithart have said:

In destroying Israel, Christ transferred the blessings of the kingdom from Israel to a new people, the church. 1

1 The Reduction of Christianity, Gary DeMar and Peter Leithart

REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY

Among those who reject Replacement Theology are:

Historical Premillennialists believe that Israel together with the Gentiles are part of the New Covenant. But some also hold that there is a future for Israel. Concerning Rom 11:26, George Ladd writes in The Gospel of the Kingdom:

It is quite impossible in light of the context and the course of Paul’s thought in this passage to understand “all Israel” to refer to the Church… But secondly, there is to be a greater turning to the Lord on the part of Israel after the flesh, of such proportions that Paul can say that “all Israel,” i.e., Israel as a whole, will be saved… When God’s purpose for the Gentiles is fulfilled, so this verse implies, Jerusalem will no longer be trodden down. There will be a restoration of Israel; “all Israel will be saved.”

REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY

Dispensational Premillennialists: God’s covenants are irrevocable and so while there is a New Covenant with Christians, the Old Covenant is still intact (Dual Covenant) and will result in the restoration of Israel. In the context of speaking about Israel’s restoration we read:

Rom 11:29 (NASB) for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Rom 11:29 (NLT) For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.

Rom 11:29 (CEV) God doesn’t take back the gifts he has given or disown the people he has chosen.

ISRAEL’S RESTORATION

The Dispensational view holds to a rigorous distinction between God’s program for Israel and for the Church. They believe that Israel has a separate irrevocable covenant with God and will be restored.

Rom 11:25-27 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

The restoration occurs after the rapture of the church and is played out in the Millennium.

ISRAEL’S RESTORATION

Before Jesus returned to heaven his disciples wanted to know when Israel would be restored. Note in Acts 1:6-7 that Jesus doesn’t tell them Israel will not be restored – he simply says it’s not for them to know the timing.

Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?

It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority

The story of Hosea and his troubled marriage with his adulterous and unfaithful wife is used by God as a type of his similar remarkable love for Israel, even when they turned to other gods.

Hos 3:3 The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods…”

ISRAEL’S RESTORATION

ISRAEL’S RESTORATION

God says of unfaithful Israel: “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her… There she will respond as in the days of her youth… you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master’… I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.” (Hos 2:14-20)

Clearly God has not nullified his promises to Israel.

Rom 3:1-4 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew…? Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God. What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar.

ISRAEL’S RESTORATION

Irenaeus argued that a future earthly Millennial kingdom is necessary because of the land promises to Abraham.

Now God made promise of the earth to Abraham and his seed; yet neither Abraham nor his seed… do now receive any inheritance in it; but they shall receive it at the resurrection of the just. 1

The full territory promised by God to Abraham will belong to Israel i.e. from the River Euphrates to the Nile River.

Gen 15:18 (NASB) On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates…”

1 Against Heresies 5.32

ISRAEL’S RESTORATION

This promised area comprises all of modern Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, part of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

At its largest, Israel under Solomon did not include the Sinai Peninsula and the border was still far from reaching the eastern tributaries of the Nile. Like Irenaeus, Premillennialists today assert that Israel has never held all this territory specified; therefore in order for God to fulfil his promise to Abraham - this necessitates a complete fulfilment in the Millennium.

Irenaeus explains that the blessing to Jacob “belongs unquestionably to the times of the kingdom when the righteous will bear rule, after their rising from the dead”. 1

1 Ibid., 5.33

ISRAEL’S RESTORATION

So the covenants with Abraham and Israel included promises of land that were not fulfilled in the Church, but will be fulfilled in the Millennium.

Replacement Theology dismisses the amazing prophecies that have been fulfilled in the establishment of modern Israel in 1948 and the recapturing of Jerusalem in 1967 (Luke 21:24).

So most evangelical Christians today who actively support the state of Israel, do so because of the positive influence of the Dispensational Premillennial view that national Israel has a future in the plan of God.

Israeli paratroopers stand in front of the Western Wall in Jerusalem (1967)

ISRAEL’S RESTORATION

Prophesying the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus said:

Luke 21:24 “They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

This again invalidates Preterism, because Jerusalem was under Gentile occupation until the Six Day War in 1967.

Some are bothered by the fact that the Jews have returned to Israel predominantly in unbelief with regards to the ministry of Christ. Why hasn’t Israel been restored spiritually en masse yet? The Bible predicts a two-stage restoration of Israel, notably Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones.

ISRAEL’S RESTORATION

Ezekiel is told to prophesy to a valley filled with dry bones. He is told “these bones are the people of Israel” (Ezek 37:11, NIV). Initially the bones assemble but have no life:

I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. (v 7-8)

But God then commands Ezekiel to prophesy again:

So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet - a vast army. (v 10)

ISRAEL’S RESTORATION

So the two phases of Israel’s restoration are:

Land restoration (we have seen the start of this in the 20th century):

… I will bring you back to the land of Israel. (Ezek 37:12)

You will live in the land I gave your forefathers… (Ezek 36:28)

And then spiritual restoration (this will happen in the Mid-Tribulation and Millennium):

I will put my Spirit in you and you will live… (Ezek 37:14)

NOTE 3: By Adam Bishop (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http:// creativecommons.org/ licenses/ by-sa/ 3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)




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