Saturday, September 26, 2015

BIBLE STUDY: DANIEL, EZEKIEL, and REVELATION WEEK # 8

Date:  9/26/15
Part III           Continue:                   Revelation:

Second Coming:        Jesus comes with the Church:

The Victor:
Our daily news is filled with accounts of geo-political maneuvering and intrigue as nations compete for place and power. When Christ returns He will come as King of kings and Lord of lords. He will balance the scales of judgment and justice for a final time. As I read the book by Dr. David Jeremiah, I see there are many things to discuss concern this topic, but we want have time to go into detail as I wish. Let's talk about the purpose of His return, the punishment at His return, and the penalty at His return.  The purpose of Christ's return is summarized in Revelation 19:11: "In righteousness He judges and makes war." The means of His judgment and war is the "sharp sword" proceeding from His mouth (Revelation 19:15). The "sword" does not represent the Word of God but is symbolic of an instrument of war with which He will destroy the nations who are in rebellion against God and by which He will establish His rule.  Jude describes Christ's purpose as "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him" (Judge 15). "Ungodly" appears four times-a dramatic picture of what Christ will find when He returns to earth.  The gruesome image of Revelation 19:17-18, 21-calling the birds of heaven to come and feast upon the bodies of men and animals after the final battle-suggests the nature of the punishment Christ will mete out upon the earth. Romans 6:23 says "the wages of sin is death." And that is the punishment Christ will deliver upon those who, by their insistent rebellion against God, have sinned against Him.  The word for "birds" in Revelation 19:17 is literally the word for "vultures." Imagine the scene-countless vultures the world over feeding on the carcasses left after Christ's victory over the armies of the world.  Revelation 19:20-21: "Then the Beast was captured, and with him the false prophet. . . .These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse." The word "captured" literally means "to grab" or "to snatch." When Christ returns He will grab the Antichrist and the False Prophet and send them straight into hell-the place "prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). Satan will join them there at the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth (Revelation 20:10). For all eternity, the unholy trinity-Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet-will be "tormented day and night forever and ever" (Revelation 20:10).  Revelation gives us a sobering look at what happens when Christ returns.  Every person alive today should make sure they are part of the armies of Christ, instead of this world's armies, when He returns to balance the scales of justice.  We have a Supreme Commander who has never lost a battle. He will descend and crush the forces that have invaded His world. Because He is "faithful and true," "we can rest assured that He will be "The Victor."

The Millennium:
The millennial kingdom is the title given to the 1000-year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. Some seek to interpret the 1000 years in an allegorical manner. They understand the 1000 years as merely a figurative way of saying "a long period of time," not a literal, physical reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. However, six times in Revelation 20:2-7, the millennial kingdom is specifically said to be 1000 years in length. If God wished to communicate "a long period of time," He could have easily done so without explicitly and repeatedly mentioning an exact time frame. The Bible tells us that when Christ returns to the earth He will establish Himself as king in Jerusalem, sitting on the throne of David (Luke 1:32–33). The unconditional covenants demand a literal, physical return of Christ to establish the kingdom. The Abrahamic Covenant promised Israel a land, a posterity and ruler, and a spiritual blessing (Genesis 12:1–3). The Palestinian Covenant promised Israel a restoration to the land and occupation of the land (Deuteronomy 30:1–10). The Davidic Covenant promised Israel a king from David's line who would rule forever—giving the nation rest from all their enemies (2 Samuel 7:10–13).  At the second coming, these covenants will be fulfilled as Israel is re-gathered from the nations (Matthew 24:31), converted (Zechariah 12:10–14), and restored to the land under the rule of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Bible speaks of the conditions during the millennium as a perfect environment physically and spiritually. It will be a time of peace (Micah 4:2–4Isaiah 32:17–18), joy (Isaiah 61:710), and comfort (Isaiah 40:1–2). The Bible also tells us that only believers will enter the millennial kingdom. Because of this, it will be a time of obedience (Jeremiah 31:33), holiness (Isaiah 35:8), truth (Isaiah 65:16), and the knowledge of God (Isaiah 11:9Habakkuk 2:14). Christ will rule as king (Isaiah 9:3–711:1–10). Nobles and governors will also rule (Isaiah 32:1Matthew 19:28), and Jerusalem will be the political center of the world (Zechariah 8:3).  Revelation 20:2-7 gives the precise time period of the millennial kingdom. Even without these scriptures, there are countless others that point to a literal reign of the Messiah on the earth. The fulfillment of many of God's covenants and promises rests on a literal, physical, future kingdom. There is no solid basis for denying the literal interpretation of the millennial kingdom and its duration being 1000 years.

The King:
After the Tribulation and the Battle of Armageddon, Jesus will establish His 1,000-year Kingdom on earth. In Jeremiah 30, God promises Israel that the yoke of foreign oppression would be cast off forever, and "instead, they will serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them" (verse 9). Speaking of the same time, God says through the prophet Ezekiel, "My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees"(Ezekiel 37:24). From the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, some have concluded that King David will be resurrected during the Millennium and installed as co-regent over Israel, ruling the Kingdom with Jesus Christ.  Jeremiah's and Ezekiel's prophecies should be understood this way: the Jews would one day return to their own country, their yoke of slavery would be removed, their fellowship with God would be restored, and God would provide them with a King of His own choosing. This King would, in some way, be like King David of old. These passages can refer to none other than the long-awaited Messiah, the "Servant of the Lord" (cf. Isaiah 42:1). The Jews sometimes referred to the Messiah as "David" because it was known the Messiah would come from David's lineage. The New Testament often refers to Jesus as the "Son of David" (Matthew 15:22Mark 10:47).
There are other reasons, besides being the Son of David that the Messiah is referred to as "David." King David in the Old Testament was a man after God's own heart (
Acts 13:22), he was an unlikely king of God's own choosing, and the Spirit of God was upon Him (1 Samuel 16:12–13). David, then, is a type of Christ (a type is a person who foreshadows someone else). Another example of this kind of typology is Elijah, whose ministry foreshadowed that of John the Baptist to the extent that Malachi called John "Elijah" (Malachi 4:5; cf. Luke 1:17Mark 9:11–13).  David will be resurrected at the beginning of the Millennium, along with all the other Old Testament saints. And David will be one of those who reign with Jesus in the Kingdom (Daniel 7:27). However, all believers will rule the nations (Revelation 2:26–2720:4) and judge the world (1 Corinthians 6:2). The apostle Peter calls Christians "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation" (1 Peter 2:9). In Revelation 3:21, Jesus says about the believer who conquers, "I will grant him to sit with me on my throne." In some sense, then, Christians will share authority with Christ (cf. Ephesians 2:6). There is some biblical evidence, as in the Parable of the Ten Minas (Luke 19:11–27), that individuals will be given more or less authority in the Kingdom according to how they handle the responsibilities God has given them in this age (Luke 19:17).  Jesus is the King of kings (Revelation 19:16). Humanly speaking, Jesus is from the Davidic dynasty; but in power, in glory, in righteousness, and in every other way, He is rightly called the Greater David. "The government will be on his shoulders" (Isaiah 9:6). The Old and New Testaments reveal that the future King during the Millennium and all eternity is Jesus Christ and Him alone (Jeremiah 23:5Isaiah 9:7;33: 22Revelation 17:14;1 Timothy 6:15).

The Judge:
The great white throne judgment is described in Revelation 20:11-15 and is the final judgment prior to the lost being cast into the lake of fire. We know from Revelation 20:7-15 that this judgment will take place after the millennium and after Satan, the beast, and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10). The books that are opened (Revelation 20:12) contain records of everyone's deeds, whether they are good or evil, because God knows everything that has ever been said, done, or even thought, and He will reward or punish each one accordingly (Psalm 28:462:12Romans 2:6Revelation 2:23;18:6;22:12). Also at this time, another book is opened, called the "book of life" (Revelation 20:12). It is this book that determines whether a person will inherit eternal life with God or receive everlasting punishment in the lake of fire. Although Christians are held accountable for their actions, they are forgiven in Christ and their names were written in the "book of life from the creation of the world" (Revelation 17:8). We also know from Scripture that it is at this judgment when the dead will be "judged according to what they had done" (Revelation 20:12) and that "anyone's name" that is not "found written in the book of life" will be "thrown into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15). The fact that there is going to be a final judgment for all men, both believers and unbelievers, is clearly confirmed in many passages of Scripture. Every person will one day stand before Christ and be judged for his or her deeds. While it is very clear that the great white throne judgment is the final judgment, Christians disagree on how it relates to the other judgments mentioned in the Bible, specifically, who will be judged at the great white throne judgment. Some Christians believe that the Scriptures reveal three different judgments to come. The first is the judgment of the sheep and the goats or a judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:31-36). This takes place after the tribulation period but prior to the millennium; its purpose is to determine who will enter the millennial kingdom. The second is a judgment of believers' works, often referred to as the "judgment seat [bema] of Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:10). At this judgment, Christians will receive degrees of reward for their works or service to God. The third is the great white throne judgment at the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:11-15). This is the judgment of unbelievers in which they are judged according to their works and sentenced to everlasting punishment in the lake of fire. Other Christians believe that all three of these judgments speak of the same final judgment, not of three separate judgments. In other words, the great white throne judgment in Revelation 20:11-15 will be the time that believers and unbelievers alike are judged. Those whose names are found in the book of life will be judged for their deeds in order to determine the rewards they will receive or lose. Those whose names are not in the book of life will be judged according to their deeds to determine the degree of punishment they will receive in the lake of fire. Those who hold this view believe that Matthew 25:31-46 is another description of what takes place at the great white throne judgment. They point to the fact that the result of this judgment is the same as what is seen after the great white throne judgment in Revelation 20:11-15. The sheep (believers) enter into eternal life, while the goats (unbelievers) are cast into "eternal punishment" (Matthew 25:46).  Whichever view one holds of the great white throne judgment, it is important to never lose sight of the facts concerning the coming judgment(s). First, Jesus Christ will be the judge, all unbelievers will be judged by Christ, and they will be punished according to the works they have done. The Bible is very clear that unbelievers are storing up wrath against themselves (Romans 2:5) and that God will "give to each person according to what he has done" (Romans 2:6). Believers will also be judged by Christ, but since Christ's righteousness has been imputed to us and our names are written in the book of life, we will be rewarded, but not punished, according to our deeds. Romans 14:10-12 says that we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and that each one of us will give an account to God.
A New Heaven and New Earth:
Many people have a misconception of what heaven is truly like.  Revelation 21-22 gives us a detailed picture of the new heavens and the new earth. After the events of the end times, the current heavens and earth will be done away with and replaced by the new heavens and new earth. The eternal dwelling place of believers will be the new earth. The new earth is the "heaven" on which we will spend eternity. It is the new earth where the New Jerusalem, the heavenly city, will be located. It is on the new earth that the pearly gates and streets of gold will be. Heaven—the new earth—is a physical place where we will dwell with glorified physical bodies (1 Corinthians 15:35-58). The concept that heaven is "in the clouds" is unbiblical. The concept that we will be "spirits floating around in heaven" is also unbiblical. The heaven that believers will experience will be a new and perfect planet on which we will dwell. The new earth will be free from sin, evil, sickness, suffering, and death. It will likely be similar to our current earth, or perhaps even a re-creation of our current earth, but without the curse of sin. What about the new heavens? It is important to remember that in the ancient mind, "heaven" referred to the skies and outer space, as well as the realm in which God dwells. So, when Revelation 21:1 refers to the new heaven, it is likely indicating that the entire universe will be created—a new earth, new skies, a new outer space. It seems as if God's heaven will be recreated as well, to give everything in the universe a "fresh start," whether physical or spiritual. Will we have access to the new heavens in eternity? Possibly, but we will have to wait to find out. May we all allow God's Word to shape our understanding of heavens, Amen.

DID YOU KNOW?
Two terms are used in contemporary theology to describe the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth. The most common is "Millennium," a non-biblical word derived from combining two Latin word; mille (thousand) and annum (year). The less-common term is "chiliasm," based on the Greek word for thousand (chilioi) as found in Revelation 20:1-7. Chiliasm teaches that the thousand years in Revelation 20:1-7 are a literal period of one thousand years. The opposite view held by some Christians is amillennialism which interpret "thousand" spiritually rather than literally.  Amillennialists interpret the thousand years of Christ's reign in Revelation 20:4-6 as being symbolic of the saints reigning victoriously with Christ forever.

QUESTION:       WEEK # 8
1.   Explain when Jesus will come back to earth, and what is the Second Coming.
2.   Explain Christ as the Victor.
3.   Explain the purpose of His return
4.   Explain the punishment at His return
5.   Explain the penalty of His return.
6.   Who is our Supreme Commander?
7.   What does the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the present age signify on a large scale? (Romans 8:19-23)
8.   What did God do to put an end to the ungodliness? (Genesis 6:7-8)
9.   How does Enoch's description of mankind (Jude 14-15) fit both is own era the era of the Tribulation?
10. Why will Christ's judgment when He returns be justified?
11. How long has men had to respond positively toward God?
12. What does Romans 1:19-20 say about any excuses man might offer when Christ's judgment begins?
13. How does the vision Daniel saw in (Daniel 7:13-14) parallel with what John saw in Revelation 19:11-14 and 20:1-4?
14. Describe what you imagine it will be like to live for a thousand years on an earth over which Christ has total dominion.
15. How did Zachariah and the angels confirm one another's words about where Christ would return? (Zachariah 14:4; Acts 1:9-11).
16. What will happen to the Mount of Olives when Christ stands upon it? (Zechariah 14:4).
17. How do you know whether or not you will be part of the "armies" that follow Christ from heaven to earth? (Revelation 1:14)
18. Explain what you have learn about the millennium.

SALVATION PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess that I have sinned against You and need Your salvation. Please forgive me. I believe Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead.  I receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, fully trusting in the work He accomplished on the cross on my behalf.  Thank You for saving me, accepting me, and adopting me into Your family. Guide my life and help me to do your will, and walk in close step with You, amen.

In your name, Amen:

Reading Assignment:  Memorize the Twelve Tribes of Israel and books of the Bible:

Prayer Time

Prayer Time
Praying for Peace