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PROPHECY

Preparation for the Eternal Kingdom

While the Word of God does not give a great mass of detail concerning the eternal kingdom, sufficient is given to give the child of God a full assurance of the glorious expectation that awaits him in his eternal relation to the Father and the Son.

The Purging for the Eternal Kingdom

There are three events predicted in the Scripture that may be viewed as acts of purging the universe of the remnants of the curse so that the eternal kingdom may be fully manifested:

I The release of Satan and the satanically led revolt.
II The purging of the earth by fire.
III The judgment on sinners at the great white throne.

THE RELEASE OF SATAN AND THE SATANICALLY LED REVOLT

Scripture: Revelation 20:2-3, 7-9

The "LITTLE SEASON" in which Satan is loosed is after the thousand year reign is completed, prior to the union of the theocratic kingdom with the eternal kingdom. Rev. 20:7

THE PURPOSE
The purpose for which Satan is released is readily discerned from his activity at the time of his loosing. He goes forth to deceive the nations, in order to lead a final revolt against the theocracy of God. There is yet one more attempt on the part of Satan to reach the goal of his first sin. The release of Satan is viewed in Scripture as the final test that demonstrates the corruption of the human heart. God has subjected fallen humanity to numerous tests in the development of His program of the kingdom and of redemption. Man has failed under every test.
A. Under goodness.
B. Under government.
C. Under Law.
D. Under Grace.
E. Under glory.
Note: While those going into the millennium were saved, they were not perfected. The children born to them during the millennial age were born with the same fallen sin nature with which their parents were born and consequently needed regeneration.

WHO IS GOG AND MAGOG?

Ezekiel’s prophecy of Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38,39) refers to the attack made by Antichrist on Israel before the millennium: but this attack is made after the millennium, so that "Gog and Magog" are MYSTICAL NAMES representing the final adversaries led by Satan in person.

Ezekiel’s Gog and Magog come from THE NORTH, but those here come "FROM THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH".
The purpose of this attack is still the same, in that it is to destroy the seat of theocratic power and the subjects of the theocracy.

WHY THE REVOLT?

Apart from some comprehension of the depth of the depravity of the human heart there is no understanding how a multitude, "the number of whom is as the sand of the sea" (Rev. 20:8), could revolt against the Lord Jesus Christ, when they have lived under His beneficence all of their lives. But in this rebellion it is demonstrated once again that God is just when He judges sin. And the judgment comes in the form of physical death, through the pouring out of *fire, on all the rebels assembled under Satan’s leadership (Rev. 20:9). In this manner God removes all unbelief from the theocratic kingdom in anticipation of its merger with the eternal kingdom of God.

*fire
There is a comment on the thought of this battle with God and Gog and Magog, found in the Jerusalem Targum and the Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel on the passage found in Numbers 11:26.
"And both of them prophesied together (Eldad and Medad), and said: Behold,a king will arise from the land of Magog, at the end of the days, and will assemble kings crowned with crowns, and captains wearing armor, and him will all nations obey.  And they will set battle in array in the land of Israel against the children of the captivity; but already is it provided that in the hour of distress all of them shall perish  by the burning blast of the flame that cometh forth from beneath the throne of glory".

THE PURGING OF THE EARTH BY FIRE

Because of Adam’s sin in the garden a curse was placed upon the earth by God, as He said:

"Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee" Gen. 3:17-18
Compare 2 Peter 3:10-13 and Matthew 24:35 and Hebrews 1:10-12 and Revelation 20:11

THE DAY OF THE LORD

The Day of the Lord includes the whole program from the beginning of the tribulation period through to the New heaven and the new earth which come after the millennium.  Fire may be a means of Divine visitation without making every use of it necessarily come within the same event. Fire is used throughout Scripture as a symbol of judgment and since this event is judgment upon a cursed earth it is fitting to see the purgation by fire at the time the earth is to have every blot of the curse removed from it.
And again, since the millennial earth merges with the new heaven and new earth at the end of the age, Isaiah (Isa. 66:15-17; Ezek. 39:6; Joel 2:1-11; 2 Thess. 1:7-10) and others may well describe the millennial scene in view of its eternal dwelling place, the new heavens and new earth.

THE JUDGMENT ON SINNERS AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE.

 THE BASIS OF THIS JUDGMENT

Two things may be said as to the basis of this judgment:

1st: These will be judged "out of the things written in the books" (Rev. 20:12). The "books" are,  no doubt, the books of the Bible, especially the words of Christ as revealed in those books,  Jesus said "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him:
THE WORD THAT I SPAKE, the same shall judge him in the LAST DAY" (John 12:48).   Paul says God will judge men in the day according to his GOSPEL (Rom. 2:16).
2nd: But besides the "books" we read of "another book," and this book is defined as "the book of life" (Rev. 20:12). This is, no doubt, the book of divine grace, in which the names of the heirs of grace are recorded (Ex. 32:32; Luke 10:20; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27).
These will be judged according TO THEIR WORKS. The believer will be rewarded according to his works; but the unbeliever will be judged according to them.

THE DESTINY OF THE LOST

The destiny of the lost is a place in the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20; 20:10, 14-15; 21:8). This lake of fire is described as everlasting fire (Matt. 25:41; 18:8) and as unquenchable fire (Mark 9:43-44, 46,48), emphasizing the eternal character of the retribution of the lost.

As heaven is a place and not a mere state of mind, in like manner those reprobated go to a place. This truth is indicated by the words Hades (Matt. 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23; Rev. 1:18; 20:13-14) and Gehenna (matt. 5:22, 29-30; 10:28; James 3:6) a place of "Torment" (Luke 16:28). That it is a condition of unspeakable misery is indicated by the figurative terms used to describe its sufferings- "everlasting fire" (Matt. 25:41; "where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:44); "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev. 21:8; "bottomless pit" (Rev. 9:2); "outer darkness," a place of "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 8:12); "fire unquenchable" (Luke 3:17); "furnace of fire" (Matt. 13:42); "blackness of darkness" (Jude 1:13), and "the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night" (Rev. 14:11).

THE CREATION OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH

After the dissolution of the present heaven and earth at the end of the millennium, God will create a new heaven and a new earth (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1). By a definite act of creation God calls into being a new heaven and a new earth. As God created the present heavens and earth to be the scene of His theocratic display, so God will create the new heavens and earth to be the scene of the eternal theocratic kingdom of God.

WHAT ABOUT ISRAEL

Israel’s covenants guarantees that people the land, a national existence, a kingdom, a King, and spiritual blessings in perpetuity. Therefore there must be an eternal earth in which these blessings can be fulfilled. By a translation out of the old earth Israel will be brought into the new earth, there to enjoy forever all that God has promised to them. Then it shall be eternally true:

"Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God"   Revelation 21:3

THE FINAL PREPARATORY ACT

The creation of the new heavens and new earth is the final preparatory act anticipating the eternal kingdom of God. It is now true that God has a kingdom "wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13).

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CHURCH?

The relation of the eternal destiny of the church is primarily related to a Person (Jesus Christ) rather than a place. While the place looms with importance (John 14:3), the place is overshadowed by the Person into whose presence the believer is taken. See Col. 3:4 and I Thess. 4:16-17; I John 3:2.

THE HEAVENLY CITY NEW JERUSALEM

Some interpret the city as referring to Israel in her relation to Christ. Some take this as a literal city and others as a reference to the church in relation to Christ and others as a symbolical representation.

WHERE DOES REVELATION 21:9 to 22:7 FIT INTO THE PROPHETIC PICTURE?

 The final subject of prophecy is the New Jerusalem.

Needless to say, the New Jerusalem must be distinguished from both the New Heaven and the New Earth, (Remember 3 stands for completion Father,Son,Holy Ghost, Body,Soul,Spirit, Trinity of Hell), for it is represented as coming DOWN OUT OF HEAVEN, and the kings of the earth are said to bring their glory into it (Rev. 21:2,24).

Some hold that this city appears over the earth during the Millennium, and is the home of the saints who are already with Christ; but the mention of the appearing of the New Heaven and the New Earth in the preceding verse, makes it seem improbable that the writer is here going back to the beginning of the Millennium.

ITS CHARACTER

There is abundant reason for holding that this is a literal city. It has foundations, gates, walls, and streets. It is a cube, (Rev. 21:15,16).

Seiss says: "But the golden city for which the Church of the first-born is taught to look as its eternal home (John 14:2,3), is 1500 miles square; for 12,000 stadia make 1500 miles ... Here would be streets over streets, and stories over stories, up, up, up, to the height of 1500 miles and each street 1500 miles long."

Scripture tells us that:

Its twelve foundations are garnished with "all manner of precious stone" (Rev. 21:10,20).
It has twelve gates, bearing the names of the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 21:12,13);
The twelve foundations bear the names of the twelve apostles (Rev. 21:14; compare Eph. 2:20).
The wall is of Jasper and city is of pure gold (Rev. 21:18).
Every gate is a pearl (Rev. 21:21).
We are told that the gates are never closed (Rev. 21:25);
Twelve angels stand before them (Rev. 21:12).
Its street is of pure gold (Rev. 21:21).
In the city is the river of life and the tree of life (Rev. 22:1,2).
It has no need of sun or moon; "for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp thereof is the Lamb"  
(Rev. 21:23).

ITS INHABITANTS

The New Jerusalem is said to be as a bride (Rev. 21:2, 9, 10 & compare John 14:2). And yet it is evident that this is metonymy (a figure of speech consisting of the use of the name of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is associated ); for people live in it (Rev. 21:27; 22:3-5).

Mystery Babylon had a city; so the true Church has a city. Perhaps this is the city that Abraham looked for (Heb. 11:10; compare vs. 15,16); it is the one that believers today seek (Heb. 12:22,23; 13:14).

The city has no need of a temple: "for the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple thereof" Revelation 21:22

While it would seem to be the home of the Church, it is clear that it is also the eternal resting place of God:

Immediately we see the new heaven and new earth and the New Jerusalem descending to the new earth (Rev. 21:1,2), we are told, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men" ... The object of the new heaven and earth is to bring about this - THAT GOD SHALL ETERNALLY HAVE HIS HOME in this capital city of the new creation.
No other eternal habitation of God is seen than this of the New Creation’s capital.
This heavenly city has the glory of God (Rev. 21:11,23; 22:5).
It also has the THRONE OF GOD, and that "service" of Rev. 22:3, properly called priestly service, or spiritual worship.
They shall see His face.....This, therefore, must be the place of God’s rest forever.

ITS BLESSEDNESS

The saved nations are said to walk in the light of it, or "amidst the light of it" (Rev. 21:24). Thus it would appear that the city will be suspended over the New Earth.

Nowhere does Scripture give details of the life in the eternal kingdom of God. Occasionally the curtain is drawn back to give a slight glimpse of that life:

1. A life of fellowship with Him. (I Cor.13:12;I Jn.3:2;Jn. 14:3;Rev.22:4).
2. A life of rest. (Rev. 14:13)
3. A life of full knowledge. (I Cor. 13:12)
4. A life of holiness. (Rev. 21:27)
5. A life of Joy. (Rev. 21:4)
6. A life of service. (Rev. 22:3)
7. A life of abundance. (Rev. 21:6)
8. A life of glory. (2 Cor. 4:17; Col. 3:4)
9. A life of worship. (Rev. 19:1; Rev. 7:9-12)

THE RIVER OF WATER OF LIFE

Rev. 22:1 is evidently a reference to the GARDEN OF PARADISE, and the river by which it was watered; and there is also a reference to the account, Ezek. 47:7-12.

THE TREE OF LIFE

Because of man's sin, the right to the tree of life was removed from the earth.

Genesis 2:9  [Amplified]
"... the tree of life also in the center of the garden ..."

Because of the sacrifice of the son of God, access to the tree of life is restored.

Revelation 22:2  [Amplified]:
"Through the middle of the broad way of the city; also, on either side of the river the tree of life with its
twelve varieties of fruit, yielding each month its fresh crop;
and the leaves of the tree were for the healing and restoration of the nations"

THE END OF THE MATTER IS:

"Behold, I am coming soon, and I shall bring My wages and rewards with me ...
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the last (the Before all and at the End of all).
Blessed (happy and to be envied) are those who cleanse their garments that they may have the authority and right to [approach] the tree of life and to enter in through the gates to the city."

Revelation 22:12, 13, 14    [Amplified}

 

Bibliography

 


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