WE BELIEVE IN A PERSONAL, IMMINENT RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST, THAT HE SHALL DESCEND FROM HEAVEN WITH A SHOUT, THAT THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST, AND THEN THE ALIVE IN CHRIST SHALL RISE TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR. THIS WILL BEGIN A PERIOD OF SEVEN YEARS OF TRIBULATION TO BE ENDED AT THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON AT WHICH TIME CHRIST SHALL BODILY DESCEND TO THE EARTH TO TAKE UP THE THRONE OF HIS FATHER DAVID, PUT DOWN ALL OF HIS ENEMIES, RULE WITH A ROD OF IRON, TRIUMPH OVER SIN, AND GIVE THE WORLD AN EXAMPLE OF RIGHTEOUS GOVERNMENT DURING HIS 1,000 YEARS OF PERSONAL REIGN ON EARTH. AT THE END OF THE 1,000-YEAR REIGN, THE DEVIL SHALL BE LOOSED AND THERE WILL BE A BATTLE OF GOD AND MAGOG, WHERE CHRIST SHALL UTTERLY CONSUME HIS ENEMIES. AT THIS POINT THE DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SIN SHALL BE RAISED AND BROUGHT BEFORE THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT AND THERE FACE THE JUDGE OF THE QUICK AND THE DEAD. AFTER THIS JUDGMENT, WHICH IS NOT FOR SALVATION, BUT FOR DEGREES OF PUNISHMENT IN THE LAKE OF FIRE, THEY WILL BE CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE. THEN THE END SHALL COME WHEN CHRIST DELIVERS UP THE KINGDOM TO HIS FATHER.
I. There are two main views of the world to come.
A. Preterism is a belief that the prophetic events of the Bible were completed in 70 AD when Judah fell to Titus.
1. Partial Preterism.
a. Partial Preterism teaches that prophecies such as the destruction of Jerusalem, the Antichrist, the Great Tribulation, and the advent of the Day of the Lord as a “judgment-coming” of Christ were fulfilled in 70 AD when Titus destroyed Jerusalem and stopped the daily animal sacrifices. It identifies “Babylon the great” (Revelation 17-18) with the ancient pagan City of Rome or Jerusalem.
b. Most partial preterist believe the Biblical term “the last days” does not refer to the final days of this earth, but to the end of the covenant God made with Israel.
c. Most partial preterists believe the Biblical term “last day” refer to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to rule the new heaven and the new earth and the resurrection of the just, and the judgment.
d. Almost all partial preterists are amillennialists or postmillennialists.
2. Full Preterism. (Consistent Preterism, Hyper Preterism, or Pantelism)
a. Full preterism teaches that all the prophecies of the Bible were fullfilled when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD.
b. The second coming of Christ and the resurrection took place when the place of the believing dead was moved to heaven when Christ was raised from the dead.
c. The second coming of Christ and the resurrection is ongoing as it takes place with each individual when they die.
a. The Historicist viewpoint of eschatology is very similar to the preterists viewpoint as they generally believe the Great Tribulation is past, and applies only to the Jews, not the entire world.
b. Historicist believe the Battle of Armageddon applies to the entire world, not just to the Jewish nation.
c. Perterists generally believe that all prophecies are fulfilled in the past, but historicists see prophecies continuing to be fulfilled since Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD.
d. Historicists do not look for a single Anti-Christ, who will rule the world during a future tribulation period, instead they believe the Anti-Christ is present and active in the present world, that the Great Tribulation is a continuing event for the Jewish nation.
e. Many of the reformers (such as John Calvin, and Martin Luther) were historicists, believing the tribulation was the same as “the times of the Gentiles”.
f. Historicists would include all persecutions against Israel as a part of the Great Tribulation, whether that persecution was by Rome when millions of Jews were killed, or by Hitler during the holocaust.
g. Historicists generally believe the tribulation or the “times of the Gentiles” ended when Israel became a nation in 1948, or when Jerusalem was returned to Israelite control in 1967.
1. This interpretation of Eschatology events places the prophecies of Revelation and Daniel as future, literal and global.
2. Most eschatology ideas come under the heading of Futurism.
a. Pre-millennialism is divided into various groups which relate to the tribulation period. The tribulation period is often called “The Great Tribulation”, or the time of “Jacob’s Trouble”. Most pre-millennialists believe the tribulation is a seven-year period of time in which the anti-Christ will be revealed prior to the coming of Jesus to establish his earthly reign. Most pre-millennialists teach that Christians will not experience the tribulation but will be raptured.
1.) Dispensational pre-millennialism is the belief that the second coming of Christ is literal and occurs in two stages.
a.) The first coming involves the rapture of all believers (before the Great Tribulation) as the Lord Jesus Christ comes in the air to remove his children before his coming judgment on all unbelievers.
b.) The second coming of Jesus Christ occurs seven years later (after the Great Tribulation), when Christ physically returns to the earth with his bride and all believers, to rule the earth during the millennium and for all eternity.
2.) Pre-Tribulationism is the belief that the church of the Lord Jesus Christ will not go through the tribulation but will be raptured away to heaven before the tribulation begins. The tribulation is specifically to break the will of Israel and save them as a nation. The world will endure the judgments of God found in the book of Revelation, and other Old Testament prophetic books.
3.) Partial rapture is the belief that only those who are watching, waiting, and preparing for the return of Christ, will be raptured.
4.) Pre-wrath pre-tribulationism is the view that the church will endure much of the Great Tribulation to purify and perfect the bride, but will escape the wrath of God during the worse part of the tribulation.
5.) Mid-Tribulationism is the belief that the church will be raptured out in the middle of the Great Tribulation (the middle of the 70th week of Daniel), before the Anti-Christ goes into the temple and declares himself God; approximately 1,260 days before Christ comes back.
6.) Post-Tribulationism is the belief that Christ will return at the end of the tribulation and believers who are alive at that time will be raptured. There are 4 views within this position as well. Classic, semi-classic, futurist, dispensational.
b. Post-millennialism – The belief that Christ returns after the millennium: there is no distinction between the rapture and second coming: it is one event. Post-millennialism teaches that the Church, by the preaching of the Gospel, will be enabled to reconstruct the culture around biblical laws.
c. Amillennialism teaches there is no literal millennium before or after Christ returns to earth. This idea uses an allegorical or symbolic approach to prophecy. The foundation of amillennialism is that the kingdom of Christ is spiritual rather than literal and physical.
II. It is almost impossible to categorize all the various views of eschatology, there are so many of them, and so many variations of each view.
A. It is not our purpose to give a detailed analysis of each eschatology view; rather we have given a brief summary of the major components.
B. There is no doubt that there is much “overlapping” of eschatology beliefs as far as men are concerned, but God knows exactly how everything will work out, as he has established this entire world and watches over it for our good and his glory.
1. Our part in eschatology is to read the Bible and trust God to work out all the details of his soon return and the destruction of this present world.
2. Revelation 1:3 gives this promise: Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
The Belief Of Independent Baptist Church
I. WE BELIEVE IN A PERSONAL, IMMINENT RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST, THAT HE SHALL DESCEND FROM HEAVEN WITH A SHOUT, THAT THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST, AND THEN THE ALIVE IN CHRIST SHALL RISE TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR.
A. I Thess 4:16-18 states, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1. Jesus Christ will return to take his saints out of this world.
a. He will not leave this precious duty to any angel, or arrange for us to travel to be with him by ourselves.
b. Luke 16:22 reveals that the angels came to carry Lazarus into the presence of Jesus Christ, but the rapture is not death.
2. Christ shall come with a shout as recorded in Psalm 50:3-6, Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. 4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. 5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. 6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.
a. Christ is a silent God today, but he will soon break his silence by shouting for all his saints to come to him.
b. There was also 400 silent years between the prophecies of Malachi and the coming of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus Christ.
3. If unbelievers hear they will not understand what happens when the rapture occurs.
a. John 12:28,29 reveals that shortly before his crucifixion, Christ was troubled, which caused his father to speak to him. The people that stood by and heard it thought it thundered.
b. Acts 9:7 states that when God spoke to Saul and saved him, those that stood by heard a voice, but saw no man.
c. Unbelievers will know something happened at the rapture, but they will not understand it because the rapture has nothing to do with them.
4. The order of the rapture.
a. The dead in Christ shall rise first.
b. After the dead in Christ are risen, we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the air.
5. We shall meet the Lord in the air, not upon this earth.
a. We shall ever be with the Lord from that time forever more.
b. After the tribulation period is ended, Christ shall put his feet upon the Mount of Olives as he returns to the earth in fulfillment of Acts 1:11.
6. It is very apparent that Paul was looking for Christ to come back in the rapture before he died, as he expected to be alive when the rapture occurred.
7. Our hope is not in dying but in earnest expection of the rapture.
B. I Corinthians 15:32 declares, If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
1. If there is no resurrection, there is no need to be true to God and his word.
2. If there is no life after death, there is no need to struggle against wickedness, sin, or our own corruption.
3. We should simply eat and drink, and enjoy the sin of this world.
II. THIS WILL BEGIN A PERIOD OF SEVEN YEARS OF TRIBULATION AT WHICH TIME CHRIST SHALL BODILY DESCEND TO THE EARTH TO TAKE UP THE THRONE OF HIS FATHER DAVID, PUT DOWN ALL OF HIS ENEMIES, RULE WITH A ROD OF IRON, TRIUMPH OVER SIN, AND GIVE THE WORLD AN EXAMPLE OF RIGHTEOUS GOVERNMENT DURING HIS 1,000 YEARS OF PERSONAL REIGN ON EARTH.
A. This will begin a period of seven years of tribulation.
1. Daniel 9:24-27 reveals, Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
2. The seventy weeks of Daniel 9 is divided into three different sections.
a. Seven weeks, plus 62 weeks = 69 weeks or 438 years. (69 weeks x 7 years = 483 years.)
b. The street and wall shall be build during the first seven week period (49 years).
c. 62 weeks after this (62 weeks x 7 years = 434 years), Messiah (Christ) shall be cut off, or crucified.
d. After Messiah is cut off, Titus, which is a type of the anti-Christ of Revelation, will come and destroy Jerusalem.
e. The Anti-Christ of Revelation will agree to some type of seven year covenant with the Jews, but will break that agreement after 3 ½ years.
f. The seven year covenant between the Anti-Christ and Israel will take place during the tribulation period.
3. The commandment to rebuild and restore Jerusalem was made by Cyrus, King of Persia in the year 536 BC, as revealed by Ussher, in his Annals of the World, page 118, column 1, paragraph 950.
a. II Chronicles 36:22,23 confirms that Cyrus made the proclamation to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
b. Ezra 1:1-4 is another scripture that confirms the commandment of Cyrus.
c. Isaiah 44:24-28 is still another scripture that confirms that Jerusalem will be restored by Cyrus.
d. Isaiah 45:1, 13 is yet another scripture that confirms that Cyrus will return the inhabitants to Jerusalem.
4. There are 483 years from the command made by Cyrus to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Christ.
5. The seven years of the tribulation period completes the 490 years of Daniel’s prophecy.
B. To be ended at the battle of armageddon, whose location is unknown, but supposed to be on the west side of jordon.
1. Zechariah 14:3-7 states, Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 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 toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. 6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
a. When Christ comes in the rapture, he will not come to the earth.
b. When Christ comes after the tribulation period, he will set his feet on the Mount of Olives, and will fight for his saints as he fought in the day of battles recorded in the Old Testament.
c. The Mount of Olives will split in half, and purifying water will come from the midst of the mountain, going into all the world, cleansing the waters of the entire world.
d. If Christ would not return to the earth, it seems all Israel would be destroyed and Satan would have his way with all the inhabitants of the earth.
2. Zechariah 14:12-16 declares And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. 14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. 15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague. 16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
a. This is a very vivid description of the destruction at the Battle of Armageddon.
b. All the nations of the world will be gathered together against Jerusalem, attempting to wipe them from the face of the earth.
c. The flesh of the invading armies will be dissolved while they stand upon their feet.
1.) It is likely this is a description of the swiftness of their destruction.
2.) It should also be noticed that these rebels stand upon their feet until their death.
3.) Isaiah 45:23, Romans 14:11 and Philippians 2:10 all reveal that every knee should bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
4.) Those that fight against Israel at Armageddon will stand, showing their rebellion against God until their death.
5.) The Great White Throne Judgment occurs after the death of all unbelievers, and it is there they will bow their knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
d. After the victory of Armageddon, Christ will establish his kingdom at Jerusalem, where he will reign with a rod of iron for 1,000 years.
3. Revelation 16:16 states, And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
a. The location of Armageddon is uncertain, but it is supposed the battle will take place somewhere around Jerusalem, as that city is what the battle over.
b. There is a day of judgment for every sin.
c. Unbelievers will not submit themselves to the mercies of God, therefore they must endure the wrath of God.
4. Revelation 14:20 declares, And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
a. Isaiah 63:3 declares that it is Christ that treads the winepress alone.
b. Comparing Revelation 19:13 (Christ being clothed with a vesture dipped in blood) and Revelation 19:14 (the armies in heaven clothed with fine linen, white and clean) reveals again that Christ will tread the winepress alone.
c. Believers do not do the work of Christ, but glorify him for the work he does.
C. AT WHICH TIME CHRIST SHALL BODILY DESCEND TO THE EARTH.
1. Job 19:25,26 reveals the desire of Job, For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
a. Job lived during the time of Jacob and Esau, yet believed in the physical resurrection of believers, and the physical appearance of God.
b. Acts 23:6, Acts 24:15 and I Peter 1:3 reveals that if there is no resurrection, there is no hope.
2. Isaiah 9:6,7 states, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
a. Christ not only came as a baby, to grow up and take the sins of the world upon him, he also came to take the throne of David to himself.
b. When Christ begins his kingdom, it will never end, but will continue for all eternity.
3. Zechariah 14:4 declares 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 toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
a. Many have waiting and longed for the day when Jesus once against plants his feet on the Mount of Olives.
b. There is coming a day when this will happen, then all our desires will be fulfilled.
4. Malachi 4:2 reveals But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
a. The Old Testament ends with this prophecy, which many desired to see fulfilled.
b. God will give healing to all those that fear his name and desire his righteousness.
5. Acts 1:11 states, Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
a. The early church watched Jesus ascend into heaven, doubting what it could mean.
b. The angel told them Jesus would come again, just as he went into heaven.
c. This passage is not speaking about the rapture, but the physical return of the Lord to this earth to establish his eternal kingdom.
6. Revelation 1:7 declares, Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
a. This passage refers to the second phrase of the second coming of Christ.
b. It is not referring to the rapture.
c. Every eye shall not see Christ at the rapture, but every eye will see him when he physically returns to the earth.
d. Years ago, it was not know how every eye would see Christ when he returns to the earth, but today with satellites and world-wide television, it is easily understood.
D. TO TAKE UP THE THRONE OF HIS FATHER DAVID.
1. Luke 1:31-33 states, And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
2. Christ came the first time to grant salvation and eternal life to all who would believe.
3. The Jews rejected Christ because they were looking for a king, not believing they needed a Saviour.
4. The second time, Christ comes as king over all the earth, not just Israel, or Jerusalem.
E. PUT DOWN ALL OF HIS ENEMIES.
1. Matthew 25:31-34 declares, When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
a. There is a coming judgment of all nations, who will be judged according to how they treated God’s chosen nation – Israel.
b. There will be no lawyers at this trial, and no appeals to a higher court.
c. There is no higher court and Jesus Christ.
2. Revelation 19:11-21 reveals And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 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. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
3. II Peter 3:10 continues, But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
a. This verse speaks of the final outcome of the wrath of God upon this universe.
b. The context of this passage does not void other Biblical passages that reveal the time frame of eschatology.
4. Revelation 19:20 confirms, And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
a. In order for Christ to rule this earth, his enemies must be destroyed or put away.
b. The beast (the Anti-Christ), and the false prophet (the Unholy Spirit of the Anti-Christ), are both cast alive into the Lake of Fire.
c. They are not judged as humans are judged, but are already judged for their wickedness.
d. Jude 1:6 declares the angels are reserved unto the judgment (condemnation) that will come upon them.
5. Revelation 20:1-3 verifies, And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him 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.
a. Satan’s kingdom is broken by the KING of Kings and the LORD of Lords.
b. When the Anti-Christ and the Unholy Spirit of the Anti-Christ is cast into the Lake of Fire, Satan is cast into the bottomless pit for 1,000 years.
c. The bottomless pit is exactly that, a pit with no bottom.
d. It is impossible for Satan to get out, or for anybody to get to him.
e. Satan will be unable to tempt any person or cause any person to sin for 1,000 years.
6. Revelation 20:10 confirms, And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
a. After the thousand years are ended, Satan shall be loosed from the bottomless pit, and will go out to deceive the nations of this earth.
b. He shall gather a vast army, which no man can number, which will attack Jerusalem in an attempt to destroy the city, but God will send his fire from heaven upon them, and Satan’s army will be destroyed.
c. It is amazing that people will live under the perfect rule of Christ for 1,000 years, then when Satan is released from the bottomless pit, they will freely and willingly follow him to their eternal destruction.
d. People are indeed lost and blind without the light and life of God.
F. RULE WITH A ROD OF IRON.
1. Zechariah 14:16-21 states, And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.
a. Christ will have to force unbelievers to yield to his kingdom, even during his millinnium reign.
b. Believers will be more than happy to yield themselves, as this is their pleasure.
c. Unbelievers will not willingly come to Jerusalem to worship, but they will suffer the plagues of Egypt of they do not.
d. In this present world, the mark of Satan and his Anti-Christ are everywhere, but in the Millennium, the mark of Christ will be everywhere.
2. Ezekiel 38:23 reveals, Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.
a. Christ will “force” unbelievers to see his goodness, and live under his righteous reign, but they will not like it.
b. Christ will be magnified and glorified in their sight, as they will live the “good life” under the authority of Christ, but they will not like it.
c. All nations will know that Christ is God, but they will not willingly honor him as God.
d. This shows that people are sinners.
e. They do not need Satan to lead them into wickedness, as Satan led the woman in the Garden of Eden.
G. TRIUMPH OVER SIN, AND GIVE THE WORLD AN EXAMPLE OF RIGHTEOUS GOVERNMENT DURING HIS 1,000 YEARS OF PERSONAL REIGN ON EARTH.
1. Isaiah 9:7 states, Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
a. The reign of Christ is an everlasting reign.
b. Christ will begin his reign during the millinnium on this present earth, and will continue to all eternity on the new earth.
c. Christ will sit upon the throne of David, whose throne will be extended into eternity.
d. The rule of Christ will be with perfect judgment and justice forever.
e. Nothing will be able to spoil in that holy reign.
2. Zechariah 14:8-11 states, And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. 10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. 11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
a. These verses describe some of the physical perfections of the day.
b. Living waters shall proceed from the Mount of Olives, which split in half when Christ returned to this earth, and shall go into all the world to purify all the waters of the earth.
c. Christ shall be supreme ruler, and land that was formerly inhabitable will be inhabited with prosperity.
d. Men will be safe because Christ will stop destruction, large and small, personal and public.
III. AT THE END OF THE 1,000-YEAR REIGN, THE DEVIL SHALL BE LOOSED AND THERE WILL BE A BATTLE OF GOD AND MAGOG, WHERE CHRIST SHALL UTTERLY CONSUME HIS ENEMIES.
A. AT THE END OF THE 1,000-YEAR REIGN, THE DEVIL SHALL BE LOOSED
1. Revelation 20:7 states, And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
2. The millinnium will be very peaceable, only because Christ will not allow rebellion.
3. At the end of the millinnium, Christ will allow Satan to be freed from the bottomless pit, where he will gather a vast army in a final attempt to destroy Jerusalem.
4. Why would Christ allow Satan to be freed when he knows what Satan will do?
a. There will never be a doubt as to the justice of God.
b. There will never be a doubt as to the mercy of God.
c. There will never be a doubt as to the personality of Satan, and his desire to destroy.
d. There will never be a doubt as to why sin came into the world.
e. There will never be a doubt concerning the proper judgment of sin.
f. There will never be a doubt concerning the patience and longsuffering of God in dealing with sin.
g. Christ will be magnified and glorified above all.
B. AND THERE WILL BE A BATTLE OF GOG AND MAGOG, WHERE CHRIST SHALL UTTERLY CONSUME HIS ENEMIES.
1. Ezekiel chapter 38 reveals this truth.
a. It is amazing to understand that Gog and Magog are very old nations, yet they will continue throughout the millinnium, and would continue farther, yet their sin causes them to be destroyed.
b. The prophecies of this chapter will finally be fulfilled at the end of the millinnium.
2. Revelation 20:7-10 states, And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 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. 9 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. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
a. Satan is loosed from the bottomless pit, and will go to all the nations of this earth and gather a great army, whose number cannot be counted.
b. This evil army will surround the people of God and Jerusalem.
c. The fire from God will quickly and surely end this evil campaign.
d. The armies will descend into hell when they are destroyed.
e. Satan will be cast, without a judgment, into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone where he will be tormented forever.
f. Here is a quick end to an inglorious career of destruction.
IV. AT THIS POINT THE DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SIN SHALL BE RAISED AND BROUGHT BEFORE THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT AND THERE FACE THE JUDGE OF THE QUICK AND THE DEAD.
A. Revelation 20:11-15 reveals, And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
1. There are two judgments: The Great White Throne Judgment for the lost, and the Judgment Seat of Christ for the saved.
2. The dead are the lost, who will be gathered before the Great White Throne.
3. All will be gathered.
a. No lost person shall escape this judgment.
b. Bodies that were cast into the sea and eaten and bodies that were burned and the ashes scattered to the four-corners of the earth will be re-established and reunited with the soul and brought before this final judgment.
4. It is surely a terrifying thing to die without Christ, but it will be more terrifying to stand before the righteous judge in eternal judgment.
5. Christ will use his Bible to judge every person according to their works.
6. The lost are carnal, dead in trespasses and sins, and have never done anything good in the eyes of God, therefore all their works are evil.
7. Every person who is judged at this judgment will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
B. II Timothy 4:1 reveals, I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
1. This verse explains that Christ is the eternal judge.
2. The quick are the saved – those who have been quickened, according to Ephesians 2:1.
3. The dead are the lost.
4. The judgment of the saved will be at the appearing of Christ.
5. the judgment of the lost will be at the kingdom of Christ – at the end of the millinnium.
V. AFTER THIS JUDGMENT, WHICH IS NOT FOR SALVATION, BUT FOR DEGREES OF PUNISHMENT IN THE LAKE OF FIRE, THEY WILL BE CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE.
A. AFTER THIS JUDGMENT, WHICH IS NOT FOR SALVATION, BUT FOR DEGREES OF PUNISHMENT IN THE LAKE OF FIRE
1. There is no judgment to determine whether a person is saved or lost.
a. There are two judgments – one of the saved, and one of the lost.
b. Eternal life is determined in this life while both judgments are after this life.
c. Those who believe we are saved if our good works outweigh our bad works have no scriptural foundation for their belief.
2. I Corinthians 3:8 declares, Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
a. This passage is specifically speaking about the saved, who are judged according to their own works.
b. The judgment of God on his people is completely righteous and just.
c. Christ understands all the various situations of our life, all our background and all our opportunities for good and evil.
d. Christ will take all these various situations into account in our personal judgment.
e. Christ will make no mistake when he judges us, and will show exactly the proper amount of justice and mercy.
f. Any reward received by the righteous will be much more than any of them deserve.
g. Any loss experienced by the righteous at the judgment will be much less than any of them deserve.
3. Revelation 20:13-14 states, And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
a. This passage is specifically speaking about the lost, who are judged according to their works.
b. Every lost person will be reunited with their body to stand before Christ at this final judgment.
c. Lost people will not be judged to see if they are going to heaven or not, because no lost person will ever go to heaven.
d. Lost people are going into the Lake of Fire.
e. This judgment is to determine the degree of suffering they will experience.
f. Christ knows all about every lost person.
g. Lost people who have not heard the gospel, or have heard very little of the gospel, will not suffer as much as the lost person who has heard the gospel story all heir lives.
h. Christ knows the intensity of the Holy Spirit drawing in every lost person and will judge them according to that intensity.
B. THEY WILL BE CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE
1. Revelation 20:15 states, And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
a. All those whose names are not found in the book of life will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
b. The names of all the elect of God were written in the book of life by Christ before the foundations of this world.
c. There is no working for salvation, but a working because of salvation.
d. Salvation is a gift of God, not a wage we have earned.
e. The Lake of Fire is just that – a lake of fire instead of a lake of water.
2. Romans 6:1,2 confirms, What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
a. This verse confirms that believers should not continue in sin.
b. Saved people are dead to sin, alive to God, and should live a victorious life without sinful failures.
VI. THEN THE END SHALL COME WHEN CHRIST DELIVERS UP THE KINGDOM TO HIS FATHER.
A. I Corinthians 15:24,25 reveals, Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
B. The end of this present experience (the entire universe, including time and all the other elements that make up this universe) shall come only when Christ delivers up the kingdom to God.
1. The ultimate end is when we see God who is Christ instead of seeing Christ who is God.
2. Today, we cannot stand to look upon God the Father, but when the end comes, we will not need to see God through Christ, any more than we will need faith, for all things will then be fulfilled.
C. Christ must reign until he has conquered all his enemies.
1. The enemies of Christ begin with Satan, but include the fallen angels.
2. The enemies of Christ also include the lost, who are in constant rebellion against him.