Message NotesFrom Here To Eternity – Part 23 Page 1
Sunday April 19th 2015
From Here To Eternity
Part Twenty Three
1). We have come to see over our previous weeks of study that the Millennial Kingdom of Christ is a time of both blessing - Ge 22:18 "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,
And a time of judgment - Re 2:26 "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-- 27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'
a). We have seen that it is a time when God’s purpose for the creation of Man with regards to the 7th Day is brought to fulfillment - Ge 1:26 ¶ Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
In that Day there will be human beings once more in the image and likeness of God; having a redeemed spirit, a redeemed soul and a body covered in glory – And God’s 3 firstborn sons, the Christ, Christ’s co-heirs and Israel will rule the earth together in a Theocratic triad of righteousness and justice.
b). And we have also seen that the Kingdom Age is a time when climatic and atmospheric conditions will be restored to those which were set in place with respect to rulership in the days before Adam was created.
c). A time when Israel will be restored to a covenant relationship with God through the establishment of the New Covenant and restored to temple worship with the building of the Millennial Temple – events that themselves mark the restoration of the Theocracy.
d). This will be a time the likes of which will have never been seen before – a time that we must not allow ourselves to miss.
2). 1Co 15:24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
a). Then last time we had seen in these verses from 1 Corinthians Chapter 15 that which is the specifically stated purpose for the Millennial
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Kingdom – it is a time when Christ will put ‘an end to all rule and all authority and power’ and we are told that He must reign ‘till He has put all enemies under His feet’ - When this has been accomplished, ‘then comes the end’, the end of the age, and Christ will deliver the Kingdom to God the Father.
b). And as a direct consequence of all of this, death, the last enemy, will be destroyed – a statement that has the most profound implications for the endless ages that will follow.
c). And so, let’s go to the scriptures and find out what all of this looks like.
3). Re 20:1 ¶ Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
a). The verses here in Revelation Chapter 20 take us back to a time immediately following the Battle of Armageddon, preceding the Millennial Kingdom.
b). We see that Satan is bound with a great chain and cast into the bottomless pit with a seal set upon him for a thousand years. This is then to be his location and condition for the duration of the Millennial Kingdom and we must assume not only just for him but also for the fallen angels who are with him – the one cannot be separated from the other.
c). Now some have wondered how it would be possible for there to be sin on the earth if Satan is bound, but it would be good for us to remember that although Satan is responsible for introducing sin into the human race our resultant sin nature is perfectly capable of acting on its own accord. And for those who are eternally saved this inevitably becomes a premeditated action. Let’s remember that which we find in - Jas 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
d). The desire to sin begins within us and should we choose to act upon that desire and allow it to go unchecked, then it ultimately brings forth death.
e). For those who are not eternally saved there is no opportunity to be led by the Spirit as they have no spiritual life and consequently sin is their natural condition.
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f). During the Millennial Kingdom we have seen that there will be many amongst the Gentile nations who will not avail themselves of the blessings of God, rejecting eternal salvation, rejecting those who bring the good news of this salvation and rejecting the One who makes this salvation possible.
g). Let’s remember that which we saw last time - Zec 14:16 ¶ And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall 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 whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain.
There will be a mandate then for the families of the earth to go up to Jerusalem to worship the King – and many will do just that - Zec 8:22 Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the LORD.' 23 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."'"
But we see from Zechariah Chapter 14 that there will be many who will rebel against this – they will act out of their own authority rather than obeying God’s and set themselves in opposition to the Government of Christ. In one sense these would be the enemies that Christ must put under His feet.
h). And although Satan is bound in the bottomless pit, those who set themselves in opposition to Christ directly align themselves with him and his age old purpose.
4). So, let’s continue in Revelation Chapter 20 - Re 20:7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
a). So at the end of the 1000 years, but before the endless ages of eternity begin, Satan is released from his prison with his fallen angels and sets about doing that which he has always done, deceiving the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog.
b). The word ‘Gog’ simply means a people other than the Jews, therefore the Gentiles and ‘Magog’ means a land other than Israel, therefore the rest of
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the world, the Gentile nations, but most particularly those whom we have talked about who are in rebellion against the Government of Christ.
c). And the deception that Satan brings is not to cause them to be in rebellion as that is a position they already occupy, but a deception that says that together they can have success in destroying the Jewish people and their Messiah – the same thing we have seen with the Assyrian Pharaoh, the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, the endless pogroms over the centuries, the Holocaust and the actions of Antichrist.
d). The following verses we have looked at previously with regards to Antichrist, but as they set out Satan’s purpose they are equally applicable for the events prior to the Millennial Kingdom and these events at the end of the Millennial Kingdom - Ps 2:1 ¶ Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us."
Ps 83:2 For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. 3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones. 4 They have said, "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more." 5 For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You:
Here then is the nature of Satan’s deception, those Gentiles in opposition to Christ are deceived into thinking that they can ‘break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us’ – they are deceived into thinking that they can ‘cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more’.
e). And as a result of believing this lie they form an army whose number is as the sand of the sea, enter the land of Israel and surround the city of Jerusalem for the purpose of destroying the city, the Temple and the Theocracy.
f). And we will no doubt notice the direct parallel here between the events that precede the Millennium and those that follow it. In both instances a vast Gentile army enters the land of Israel and comes against the Jews and their Messiah, surrounding Jerusalem. In both instances the one at the very center of the events is Satan and in both instances the outcome is the same – utter destruction.
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g). At the end of the Millennium though the outcome for Satan is very different to that seen before it - Re 20:10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
h). Satan, along with his fallen angels will then be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet have been waiting for 1000 years and together they will be tormented day and night forever and ever – literally tormented without end throughout all the endless ages which are to follow.
i). And although these 2 events, before and after the Millennium, parallel one another it is the timing of each that is particularly significant.
j). The vast army that comes against Israel prior to the Millennial Kingdom is a continuation, so to speak, of the actions of the Gentile nations under Antichrist during the Great Tribulation and can be seen within the context of a world that has been ruled by Satan and his angels; following the Battle of Armageddon there will be eternally unsaved Gentiles who will enter physically into the time of the Kingdom.
k). During the 1000 years of the Millennial Kingdom all procreated Gentiles will experience the righteous and just rule of Christ’s Government, not the corrupted rule of Satan, and will have heard the gospel, not the deceptive lie, as the entire nation of Israel takes the good news of Christ and His Kingdom to the nations throughout this whole period of time – with Satan and his angels bound in the bottomless pit unable to deceive the nations there can be no deceiving spirits or doctrines of demons to corrupt and distort the truth. Therefore we must conclude that those who are in rebellion against Christ’s Government are acting entirely out of the wickedness of their own heart. They will in effect have deceived themselves through their own pride and arrogance, choosing to exalt themselves above the throne of God.
l). Because of this change in Government and because of the evangelistic efforts of Israel, the binding of Satan and his angels and the time frame involved, as well as subsequent events, we can assume that all those Gentiles who have rejected Christ are the very ones to join Satan, readily receiving his deceptive message of victory over Christ, joining him in his march against Jerusalem. Now this means that when the fire comes from heaven and destroys this army there is no longer any unredeemed person on the earth – all that which has been born of wickedness and aligned with Satan is now completely eradicated. Or to say this same thing another way, the sin of unbelief and its ensuing rebellion is no longer present on the earth.
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m). Here then is when Christ will have put an end to all rule and all authority and power – that seen through the self-exaltation of the rebellious Gentiles.
n). This then is when all of His enemies will have been put under His feet – which must include not only the rebellious Gentiles but also Satan and his angels.
o). And so, with all now in subjection under Him, fulfilling the purpose for the 1000 years, the Kingdom can be delivered to God the Father. It is here that we will find ourselves on the cusp of the endless ages of eternity.
n). And just as there was judgment for all the eternally saved with respect to Christ’s Kingdom prior to its beginning so there must now be judgment for the eternally lost with respect to the endless ages of eternity, prior to their beginning.
5). Re 20:11 ¶ Then I saw a great white throne and Him who 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, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
a). With all that is in opposition to God located upon the earth having just been dealt with v11 takes us to ‘a great white throne and Him who sat on it’ - Joh 5:22 "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,
And the earth and the heaven, this present earth and the place of rulership associated with it, ‘fled away’ from the face of Him who is sitting on the throne and there was no place found for them – beyond the Millennial Kingdom then there is no longer ‘a place’ for the present earth and heaven. This verse pictures the anticipated removal of the present earth and the heavens associated with it that we have read about in Peter - 2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 ¶ Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct
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and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Looking at these verses from Peter it would be remiss to pass by the admonition given to us in them – what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, and to neglect the verse that follows –
2Pe 3:14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation
If we really believe that which we have been learning how could we do otherwise?
b). And so between the present earth and heaven fleeing away and the creation of the new heaven and new earth associated with the endless ages of eternity comes the judgment of all the eternally lost from the whole of human history.
c). Each one must be resurrected in a natural body to stand before the Lord in judgment – not to be judged with respect to their eternal destiny, for that has already been decided - Joh 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Rather their judgment, as with all others, is about receiving a just recompense of reward, receiving exactly what they deserve based upon their actions, which will be eternal in scope, which is exactly what we see in v12 of Revelation 20, where books are opened and their works judged – and as we consider this there are a couple of things that we should take note of – firstly those seen in this verse are the dead, small and great; all those then who have no spiritual life [this is not a reference to physical life as all will have been resurrected] from the greatest of kings to the poorest of beggars – and secondly the works of Man can do nothing to bring about his eternal salvation and so as their works are judged they can only be found to be wanting, of no consequence whatsoever, with respect to their deliverance from their eternal destiny. That which applies to us can equally apply to the eternally lost here - Ro 6:23 For the wages of sin is death,
d). V 13 of Revelation 20 then repeats that seen in v12 with added detail 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
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The ‘sea’, ‘Death’ and ‘Hades’ are all synonymous terms describing the place from which all those without spiritual life from all time will have come.
e). Death and Hades now being empty of their occupants are then also cast into the lake of fire - Re 20:14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
f). It is at this time then that all that is sinful through the rejection of eternal salvation and alignment with Satan’s kingdom is cast into the lake of fire.
g). The present earth in which sin had dwelt will be gone and those who gave their lives over to sin by rejecting God’s provision for eternal salvation are now removed from the glory of the eternal ages into a place of continuous punishment that was never meant to be theirs - Mt 25:41b…….the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
There now remains then only the fully redeemed, those completely apart from sin – and without sin there is no more death as death only came through sin, the last enemy will be destroyed, and without death there is no longer any need for Hades, the place of the dead – that too being cast into the lake of fire.
h). Just as there is a judgment for all the eternally saved prior to the Millennial Kingdom so there is a judgment of all the eternally lost prior to the ages of eternity. And just as following the completion of the judgment of the eternally saved the Millennial Kingdom will begin, so following the completion of the judgment of the eternally lost the Day of God, the endless ages will begin.
6). Re 21:1 ¶ Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
a). Here at the beginning of Chapter 21 we see a new heaven and a new earth, and there is no more sea – and again the use of the word ‘sea’ should be seen in this context as symbolic of the place of the dead – sin will no longer
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exist and therefore there will be no more ‘sea’ – we might also see the use of the word in its other symbolic sense, referring to the Gentile nations as they have existed over the centuries.
b). We see in v3 that there is now God and those who are ‘His people’ – the idea of Gentile nations as we see them today and as will exist all the way to the conclusion of the Millennial Kingdom will simply not be present in the endless ages.
c). And as the endless ages begin we see the New Jerusalem prepared as a bride adorned for her husband coming down out of heaven – the same New Jerusalem from which rulership by Christ and His co-heirs took place during the Kingdom Age – this great ‘heavenly’ city will now reside on the new earth and God will now Tabernacle with men.
d). God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit will now all reside together with fully redeemed Man, they will be His people and he will be their God – absolutely incredible!
e). The center of universal rule will have been transferred from the farthest recesses of the North to its new location.
f). The new earth will now be the location within the ‘heavens’ from which rulership will take place and in this sense the heavens will continue to rule, but there will be no separate heavenly realm to rule the new earth.
g). Christ will no longer rule from His own throne, rather His throne and the Father’s throne will now be one - Re 22:1 ¶ And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
7). We will however continue with this next time – if the Lord is willing.