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Death, Resurrection and the Intermediate State


As we consider our selves and the look objectively at life with spiritual discernment, we understand that there is more to our lives than simply our physical existence. As we approach the Scriptures on the matter, we find that we indeed are spiritual creatures designed by our creator to be able to relate to Him. In consideration of this, we consider passages as 1Thess. 5:23 we realize that we are three part creatures.  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess 5:23 (KJV)

Again going to the Scripture in 1Cor 6:19 and 20 we find some revealing instruction form Paul the apostle of the Gentiles regarding the tri-part make of our being. There in verse 20 he tells us to “…glorify God in our body and our spirit which are God’s.”  Being a direct command, we understand that the subject of a direct command is understood to be “You.”  The subject of this verse is “you”. The real “you” is not your body but your soul. You are a soul who has a body and who also has a spirit and (according to this passage) all three belong to God. Figure 1 (attached) illustrates the function and relationship of each of these parts of our make up. As far as awareness is concerned, each of these parts of our make up gives us a different consciousness. Our body gives us each a world consciousness to enable us to function in a physical world.  Our soul then is the real person is our real identity. The soul is what gives us a self consciousness. It is what makes us who we are. Our spirit then is that part of our make up that gives us a consciousness of God. According to 1Cor 6:20, you (your soul) is that part of us that determines what you will do with your body and what you will do with your spirit.

Death in Scripture has several different meanings but the most basic root meaning carries the idea of separation from some one or from something. The scripture speaks of several kinds of death. Physical death is Scripture is defined for us in Gen.35:18 where it is said of Rachel “And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died)…”  We understand from this passage that physical death is separation of the soul from the body. Spiritual death is also a separation. We find spiritual death illustrated in Gen 2:17 when God said regarding the forbidden fruit “…in the day that thou eateth thereof thou shalt surely die.” In actuality, when they did eat of that fruit, they did not die physically but they did die. The death they died there was a spiritual death that resulted in them being separated from (estranged from) God. Spiritual death is separation from God and spiritual life is union with God.

Life in Scripture carries with the idea of union much as death carries with it the idea of separation. Physical life is the union of the soul and spirit with the body. Spiritual life then is the union of the soul with Christ the source of all life (John 1:4; 3:36).  Union with Christ is produced today in the dispensation of grace only by the work of the Holy Spirit as He joins individual believers to Jesus Christ at the moment that person believes (1Cor 12:12 & 13; Rome 6:4-6; Gal 3:26; et. al.). The moment that one believes in the death burial and resurrection of Christ for the complete remission of sins, that person has (as a present possession) eternal life. The believer will one day die physically (unless the rapture happens first) but that soul and spirit have been redeemed and has eternal life and is waiting for the resurrection (at the rapture) for the redemption of his/her body (Rom 8:23). Resurrection in Scripture is the final stage in the redemption process. Resurrection is the reuniting on the soul and sprit with the body but not the body that was put off at death. Rather, the resurrected body will be fashioned after Christ’s resurrected body (Phil 3:21). While our present bodies are mortal, that body which we shall have will be immortal (1Cor. 15:54). While this body is corruptible, that body will be incorruptible (1Cor 15:42). Finally, while this body is terrestrial (subject to gravity), that body will be celestial; i.e. capable of functioning in the heavens (1Cor 15:40).

Resurrection life in Scripture is the believer’s real life. Since death is a fact of life, resurrection is the real hope for the believer. It is the resurrection of Christ from the dead that assures us of our resurrection. In fact there are several important items that the bodily resurrection of Christ proves for us. It proves:

  1. He is who He claimed to be (Rom 1:4; Heb 1:5-12; 7:16&17)
  2. His payment for our sins was accepted of the Father (1Cor 15:16-20; Rom 4:24&25).
  3. We too will have a resurrection (1Thes 4:14 & 15; Phil 3:20&21).
  4. We can reckon ourselves to be dead indeed to the old man – the sin nature and alive unto God so as to live a different kind of life (one of spiritual resurrection) than before we were saved (Rom 6:1-4; Phil 3:11; Rom 8:11).

Eternal life speaks not only of the duration of it but also of the quality of that life. As believers, we have resurrection life in our spirits from the moment that we believe onward. Rom 6:4&5 and Eph 2:5&6 speaks of the fact that we have been raised up together with Christ so that we can start living resurrection life now while live in our present mortal bodies. Rom 8:11 speaks of the pact that God will quicken our mortal bodies by His Spirit that lives in us. That is to say that He will enable us to live the life of Christ out in our present body while we wait for the rapture.

This Study is set up to bring the verses pertaining to the state of the dead (both of believers and unbelievers), the resurrection of people of the various dispensations, and the eternal purpose of God together to facilitate their study. The annotations below are referenced from the accompanying chart (See figure 3). The chart is a time line showing time on earth. The chart also shows the corresponding events in heaven and in hell while the time progresses on earth.

Understanding the Chart (See chart on Figure 3)

Figure 3 is a time line showing time on earth. It is laid out to show the different dispensations of God’s dealings with men. Follow the numbered annotations to see the comments on the time line. The comments also contain the Scripture references that will enable you to study the significance of the events for yourself. Let the Scripture be your final authority in your study. As you study the passages, be sure to study them in their context.

  1. The horizontal figures represent the souls of people that have died. The vertical figures represent the souls of people that are alive on earth during the time period represented.
  2. The orange figures represent the unjust (lost) people of the various ages (Ezekiel 18:24). Though the bodies of the dead are in the grave-returning to dust, the soul (the real of the person) is elsewhere.
  3. The figures in blue represent believers of the Old Testament, the gospel era, and the tribulation. These saints were believers- they believed the message that God revealed to them. They also, along with believing what God said, walked righteously according to the standard of righteousness required of them. See the study “The Righteous, the Wicked, and the Justified.”
  4. The Green represents our Lord’s work in redemption. After His death on the cross by which He personally settled the account of sin on behalf of the just and justified believers, He spent three days and three nights in paradise (Luke 22:43) in the heart of the earth (Mt 12:40).
    • While there, “He preached unto the spirits in prison which some time were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing…” (1 Peter 3:18, 19). Peter refers to these spirits as “the angels that sinned…” (2 Peter 2:4) and says they are “chained” in hell (Tartarus). Jude in Jude 6 refers to them as “the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness…” These are apparently the “sons of God’ (cf Job 1:6) of Gen 6:2 who married the “daughters of men”
    • Comparing Psalm 16:10 with Acts 2:27 we see that Christ spent those      days in hell (Sheol- Psalm 16; Hades-Acts 2:23-27) and was raised again to sit on the throne of David. The terms Sheol in the Hebrew (Old Test.) and Hades in the Greek (New Test.) refer to the same place – the place where souls of all departed (deceased) people were held up until our Lord rose from the dead. Hades (Hell) at that time contained two compartments; Torments and Abraham’s Bosom (also called Paradise – Lk 23:43). Since His resurrection, Paradise is in the third heaven (2Cor 12:2-4). See the attached information “Notes on the Doctrine of Hell” for additional information.
  5. After His resurrection, our Lord spent 40 days giving His disciples instructions on the prophecy of His death and resurrection (Luke 24:26-27;Acts 1:1-4) , and it’s place in prophecy and the kingdom (Acts 1:3). After those 40 days, He ascended back to heaven (Acts 1:11) to sit at the Father’s right hand (Col 3:1, Mt 22:44; 26:64; Mk 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:25, 33-35; 5:31; 7:55-56; Romans 8:34; Eph 1:20; Heb 1:3; 1:13; 3:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1Peter 3:22)
  6. Paradise today is no longer in the heart of the earth, but rather it is in the third heaven (2Cor 12:2-4). The “heavenly places” is the eternal home for us members of the church, which is His body (1Cor 5:1-52 Tim 4:18; Eph 6:28). While we as believers live out our lives on earth, we do so by the work that the Word of God does on our spirit that the Holy Spirit regenerates the moment that we trusted Christ as Saviour. See Figure 3 for an illustration of this work of the Holy Spirit.
  7. 1Thes 4:13-16 and 1Cor 15:51 both speak of an event that we call the rapture. The word “Rapture” is from the Latin word “Rapto”, meaning to be “caught up” or “caught away in joy and ecstasy.” Paul says in 1Thess 4:17 that “..we which are alive and remain … shall be caught up together with them [the resurrected saints] to meet the Lord in the air…” The apostle Paul is the only Bible writer to speak of the rapture. The passage in Mat. 24:40 & 41 have been erroneously applied to the rapture. Mat. 24 is speaking of the unbelievers of Israel which are taken in judgment (cf “He shall throughly purge His floor” of Mat. 3:12) so that the believers of Israel are left to go into the kingdom. This will happen at least 7 years after the rapture. The eternal destiny for the redeemed of Israel is the kingdom of Heaven (Dan. 2:44) set up on the earth while the eternal destiny of the Body of Christ, the one new man of Eph 2:15, is the heavenly places. Prophecy had always focused on God reclaiming this earth to Himself. The mystery revealed by our Lord through Paul focuses on the fact that God is calling out another body of believers by which He will one day reconcile the heavens to Himself. The result of the revelation of this secret (mystery) is that now both men and angels know (Eph 3:10) that God will one day reconcile everything in heaven and on earth to Himself (Col 1:20) so that in all things (i.e. things in heaven and in earth) Christ might be pre-eminent (Col 1:17).
  8. In 1Thes 4:16 we see that the Rapture is accompanied by
    • A shout from the Lord- as in “Lazarus come forth” (Jn 11:4). This is the call to raise the saints from the dispensation of grace from the dead.
    • The voice of the Archangel- Michael the warrior angel (Dan 10:12, 13, 20, 21; Rev 12:7-9). He will be needed because the Body of Christ will be raptured through Satan’s domain (Eph 2:2; 6:12)
    • The trump of God- This is God’s call of arms for the angelic host. It cumulates in Satan being expelled from heaven (Rev 12:7-9) and the defeat of the antichrist and Satan at Armageddon (Rev 16:16).
  9. When the rapture occurs, the dead in Christ shall rise first (1Thes 4:16) then “we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (raptured) together with them in the clouds (i.e. A great company of angels as in Mt 24:30 & 31) to meet the Lord in the air (i.e. the unseen realm in which Satan today reigns – Eph 2:2) and so (i.e. in the unseen realm of heaven) shall we ever be with the Lord.
  10. Immediately after the rapture, an event that is described in 2Cor 5:9 & 10 cf Rom 14:10 takes place in the air- the unseen realm. That event is the judgment seat (Bema in the Greek) of Christ. This is one of the seven judgments referred to in Scripture (see notes 15 & 21). This one is the judgment of believers – members of the Body of Christ. The issue of this judgment is not sin, sins of the believers were judged in Christ on the cross. We understand from Rom. 4:8 that the Lord will not impute sin to the believers account because He has already imputed it to Christ. Rather this judgment has to do with what we have done in the body as a member of Christ. Note carefully the wording of 2Cor 5:10 “…that every one may receive the things done in his body…” The result of this judgment will determine rewards or loss of rewards that might come to the believer (1Cor 3:14-15). The basis of judgment will be things such as soundness of doctrine (1Cor 3:9-13), willingness to suffer for the truth (2Tim 2:9-13), and the testimony of our conduct (2Cor 5:9). After the “Bema” seat judgment, the body of Christ will occupy positions of responsibilities in the heavens (2Tim 2:10) in which we will judge angels (1Cor 6:3). We will then fully occupy our positions as citizens of heaven (Phil 3:20) in celestial bodies capable of functioning there (1Cor 15:40). Contrast this with Luke 19:15-27 where we see that the rewards for faithfulness in Israel’s program have to do with ruling over cities on earth.
  1. After the rapture of the church, and while the judgment of members of the Body of Christ goes on in the heavens, the first half of the seven year tribulation period gets underway in the earth. This is the seventieth week of Dan 9:27. This seven year period begins when the antichrist “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…”  Israel’s sacrificial system is again set up; apparently by the covenant with the antichrist. Isaiah 28:15-18 refers to this covenant as a “covenant with death”. In fact, the antichrist is referred to as “death”. In the middle of the 70th week, the antichrist breaks the covenant. This event in the middle of the seventieth week marks the beginning of the “great tribulation of 3.5 years (Mat. 24:21). Our Lord refers to this event as “the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place…” (Mat. 24:15 cf Dan. 9:23). Paul refers to this event in 2Thes 2:4 saying of the antichrist, “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God,  or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God”. Israel will know where they are at in the prophetic time clock when this event occurs. Dan 12:11 identifies the time when “the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up…”, as the benchmark of time.

From there to the end of the tribulation               1260 days (Dan 12:7)

to the purifying of temple                               1290 days (Dan 12:11)

to Daniel’s resurrection                                   1335 days (Dan 12:13)

  1. The setting up of the abomination of desolation was preceded by an event that took place in heaven as prophesied in Rev 12:7-9”And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him”. This event is what triggers the “great tribulation” as Rev 12:12 says “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Our Lord saw this event in the future (Luke 10:18). This is a fulfillment of Isaiah 14:12. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning? How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations?” (See also Is 34:5-9). With the heavens being purged by Satan and his hosts being expelled, the Church the Body of Christ assumes its position of leadership in the heavens.
  2. The great tribulation closes with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth, to establish His kingdom on the earth, as Israel’s deliverer and Messiah. This is the event that He speaks of prophetically in Matthew 24:27-30. Verse 30 says, “ they  shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” The term “cloud” refers to a large company of angels or people. In Heb 12:1, the great men of faith cited in chapter 11 are referred to as “a great cloud of witnesses”. When our Lord ascended, ” a cloud received him out of their sight”. (Acts 1:9), in Matthew 26:64, our Lord tells the unbelieving nation of Israel, “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven”. These are two separate appearances. The first happens in the middle of the tribulation period (Rev 6:16&17) when the unbelievers on the earth say “to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” The second appearance referred to in Matt 26:64 is when He comes to earth with all His holy angels with him. (Matt 25:31), to fight with the armies of the earth (Zach 1:9-21; Is 34:9; Rev 16:13-21) to establish His kingdom. This (Mt 26:24) is the appearance that Rev 1:7 speaks of: “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.”
  3. After Armageddon is over, an event spoken of prophetically in Deut 32:22 will transpire. “For a fire is kindled in mine anger and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.” There will be a fire kindled on the earth when the Lord returns to set up His kingdom. This fire will literally melt the elements of the earth and burn down to Sheol (Hades-Hell in English) in the heart of the earth. Hades at this time contains only the place of torment where the damned of the ages are held pending a bodily resurrection to go to the Lake of Fire (Rev 20:12-15). Remember that Paradise was moved to the third heaven (see notes 4&5). This will be a special manifestation of hell in which both the body and soul can be destroyed. Today, a lost person must die physically to go to hell (Hades). However, then, a person could go physically into hell (Gehenna). In any Bible passage where we find a reference to destruction of both body and soul in hell, the Greek word used is Gehenna. Matt 10:28 is an example, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna).” Mark 9:43, 47 are another example. Matthew’s gospel speaks much of this event. (Matt 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 23:15, 33). We see this fire burning already at the judgment of the nations when Christ separates the sheep (believing Gentiles) from the goats (unbelieving Gentiles) after Armageddon and before the beginning of the Millennium (Mat 25:41). Luke 12:5 is another reference to this Gehenna fire. The name means literally “the valley of Hinnom”. There are many references to this valley in the Scriptures. (Josh 15:8; 18:16) It is also called Topheth (2 Kings 23:10), and is renowned for the fact that the children of Israel went into terrible apostasy and (Jer 32:5) sacrificed their children to the god Moloch there (2Chr 28:3, 33:6). This valley will be a burial place for many that die in the great battle of Armageddon (Jer 7:31-32). Jeremiah prophesied of this place (Jer 19:1-6). Gehenna will stay as the means of capital punishment during the Millennium (Isa 66:24). While today it takes faith to believe in a literal hell, then, people will be able to go to Jerusalem to the valley of Hinnom southeast of the city and see it.
  4. There are a number of events that will happen in rapid succession after the Battle of Armageddon.

They include:

1) The judgment of Israel (Matt 25:14-30 & Lk 19:13-27)

2) The judgment of the nations (Matt 25:31-46)

3) The first resurrection of Prophecy (Mt 24:15; Rev 20:5-6; Dan 12:13; Luke 14:4; Acts 24:15).

The judgment of Israel has to do with the believers in the nation who come to faith in Christ between the time of the rapture of the church and the Lord’s physical return to the earth. The story of Zaccheus in Luke 19:1-10 and the account of the ten servants and the ten pounds in Luke 19:11-27 add much insight into this judgment of the nation. The issue is how the believers of the nation functioned while the Lord was absent from the earth (Luke 19:12, 13). The goal of the judgment is to determine fitness for Israelites individually to be a part of the governing nation (Israel) through which Christ would establish His reign on this earth (Jer 23:5; Isa 1:6-7; Deut 32:8; Rev 5:10; Isa 60:3;45:23; Isa 32:8; Isa 2:4; Micah 4:3, etc). The result of this judgment is that those of the nation proven to be fit will reign over nations upon this earth during the earthly kingdom of heaven. In the two accounts (Luke 19 & Matt 25), we see a performance-based acceptance system being employed as the basis upon which God judges Israel. (note Matt 25:29-30). This is because every aspect of life on earth operates on that basis and therefore Israel through her history has been under such a system (of Ezek 18). The end result is that those of the nation that proved themselves faithful will reign over the various cities of this earth.

It should be noted that there are seven judgments clearly identified in Scripture:

1.     The cross (Rom 3:21-25;2 Cor 5:21)

2.      Self-judgment (1Cor 11:31)

3.      The Judgment Seat of Christ for the Body (2 Cor 5:10; Rev 14:10)

4.      Israel’s Judgment (Matt 25:14-30)

5.      Judgment of the nations (Matt 25:32)

6.      Great White Throne (Rev 20:12-14)

7.      Judgment of the Fallen Angels (2Pet 6:2)

See also note 21

The judgment of the Gentile nations takes place after the judgment of Israel. While the judgment of Israel determines who of that nation will rule over the nations (Gentiles) with Christ, the judgment of the nations determines who of the Gentile nations left at the close of the Tribulation period will go into the kingdom. During the tribulation period, Israel (the real Israel of God) will be “hated of all men for [Christ’s] name’s sake” (Matt 10:22). But some among the nations will realize and understand that the nation of Israel is God’s chosen nation, that Jesus Christ is Israel’s Messiah, and that their real hope lies in Christ and Israel. These Gentiles will treat Israel well and protect the Jewish evangelists (the ten virgins of Matt 25:1-13; cf Rev 2:14, 20; Rev 14:4-6; Is 62:1). The fornication in view is religious fornication represented by the woman in Rev 17:1-18. “the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth” (Rev 17:5). The sheep in Matt 25:31-46 are those Gentiles that treated the Lord’s brethren-Israel (Matt 12:48-50; 25:40; 28:10) well. These people will be exercising great faith in doing so because they will do so at great personal risk. God will purge the unbelieving of the nations by this judgment so that only believers go into the kingdom. The unbelievers (the goats on the left side) will have to “Depart…into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”. (Mat 25:41). This is the Gehenna fire (see note 14).

  1. When the kingdom of heaven(Dan 2:44) is set up on the earth, three classes of people will go into that kingdom:

1.      Resurrected Old Testament saints and those who died having believed the “gospel of the kingdom” in the New Testament. This will include those who were beheaded for their testimony during the tribulation. (Rev 20:5, 6; Dan 12:13; Luke 14:14; Acts 24:15). This is “the resurrection of the just” (Acts 24:15).

2.      The believing Gentiles -the sheep of Matt 24:40

3.      The redeemed of Israel. Those living on earth who believe the gospel of the kingdom and remain faithful through the entire Tribulation period.

An interesting study can be made of the state in which each of these go into that kingdom.

1. The resurrected saints go into the kingdom in resurrected bodies in which “they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven (Mat. 22:30).Their resurrection bodies are “flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39).

2. The Gentiles who go into the kingdom are flesh and blood people who have not died and been raised nor have been changed as those who were raptured were (1Cor. 15:51-52). They are believers who will be bearing children in the kingdom. However, as they procreate, they will procreate a sin nature, as is evident by the fact that they fall to the temptation of the devil after the devil is loosed from his 1000 years of bondage in the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:2-3, 7). These believing Gentiles are those that will “…come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 8:11). These will ”… take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, we will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (Zech. 8:23).

3. The believing Jews who “endure to the end” (Mat. 10:22) will enter the kingdom neither having died nor being resurrected but who are changed so that God will “turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Rom 11:26). This is Israel’s real “Day of Atonement” (Lev 23:26&27). This is when the new covenant takes effect for Israel (when they “…shall teach no more every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them…”) (Jer 31:34). God will remove the sin nature (Ezek 11:19; 36:26), so that as they procreate, they will not procreate a sin nature (Isaiah 64:4). It will be then that the Gentiles will be truly blessed in Abraham’s multiplied seed of Israel (Gen 22:17&18; 26:4).

Note that members of the Body of Christ are not included in the number of those that will be in the earthly kingdom of heaven, but rather are in God’s heavenly kingdom (II Tim 4:18). We members of the Body of Christ look forward to having raptured bodies that are celestial in nature (I Cor 15:40) which will be “eternal in the heavens” (II Cor 5:2). The resurrection body for us in the dispensation of grace will be fashioned after Christ’s resurrection bily (Phil 3:21).

  1. The millennium is a one thousand year period described in Rev 20:2-4. We do not find a reference to a thousand year period anywhere else in Scripture outside of the Revelation, but we do find many references to the kingdom of heaven. What we have in Rev 20:2-4 is a 1000-year introduction to the kingdom. This is added information that the Lord gives through John to give more light to the Scriptures which prophecy of the kingdom of heaven (e.g. Mt 6:10). The kingdom of heaven (so named because of Dan. 2:44) has been prophesied by God since the creation of Adam and the commission given to him to have dominion over the earth. We see some of the progression of  this prophecy in the following:
    • Gen 13:14-18 God promised Abraham eternal life on a specified land.
    • Gen 15:17-21; 17:5-10 Abraham understands that he would die and be raised to enter that land.
    • Ps 2:8-12 Israel will have the heathen for an inheritance.
    • Ps 22:25-31 All nations will then worship Israel’s Messiah
    • Ps 45:1-6 Speaks of Israel’s remnant awaiting their king.
    • Ps 72:1-20 Speaks of Christ the Righteous King in the kingdom
    • Ps 110:1-10 Speaks of a temporary delay in setting up the kingdom.
    • Isa 2:1-5 Israel as the House of God
    • Isa 9:6-7 Christ will reign on the earth
    • Jer 23:5 The kingdom will be established in the earth
    • Joel 2:15-18 Tribulation will precede its establishment
    • Joel 3:16-20 Earthly blessings will come to Israel in the Kingdom
    • Amos 9:11-15 Israel will never again leave the Land
    • Zech 14:1-21 Messiah’s Feet will step down on Mount of Olives
    • Luke 1:30-33 Throne of David will last forever under the reighn of Messiah.
    • Mt 19:28 Twelve apostles will sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes (cf Isa 1:26)
    • Luke 12:31-32 & Mt 21:43 Tells us that the Kingdom given to the little flock (the believing remnant of Israel).
    • Rom 10:19 The believing remnant is the “Foolish nation”, “Righteous nation”, the “Little Flock”
    • 1 Pet 2:9 The believing remnant will be a holy, chosen nation
    • Isa 1:25-26 God will then restore Israel to glory.
    • Jer 30:9 David raised to reign in the kingdom
    • Deut 32:7-9 12-fold division of the earth over which the 12 tribes of Israel will reign
    • Deut 28:13 Israel will rule the earth

The Government of the Kingdom:

1.      The Lord Jesus Christ will be  King of Kings (Matt 25:31; Jer 14:21; Luke1:30-33.

2.      King David reigns over Israel (Jer 30:9; Ezek 34:23-26; Isa 32:1; 55:3-4; Hosea 3:4-5; Acts 7:8; Num 1:16;  1Chron 22:16ff).

3.      Twelve Apostles on Twelve Thrones over Twelve Tribes (Mt 19:28; Isa 1:25-26).

4.      Twelve Tribes over a Twelve fold division of the Gentile nations (Deut 32:8; Luke 19:11-19).

5.      Angels carry instructions from Christ to the Body of Christ, which is now (at that time) in the heavens (Gen 28:12-17; John 1:51; 2 Tim 2:10-12; 1 Cor 6:2; 1 Thes 4:15; 2 Cor 5:1&2).

6.      All things in heaven and earth will be reconciled back to God through Jesus Christ (Col 1:20).

7.      Ultimately, all things will be delivered to the Father in a reconciled state (1 Cor 15:24).

18.  Life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

There are many facts about the coming Kingdom of Heaven that we glean from the Scriptures that prophecy of it. We list a few:

1.      It will be set up on the earth.

·         Ps 2:8 “I shall give thee the… the earth for thy possession”   

·         Is 11:9 “The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord”

·         Jer 23:5 “A king shall reign and prosper and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.”

·         Is 42:4 “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth”.

·         Mt 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”.

·         Mt 6:10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Though it is called the “kingdom of heaven” (Mt 3:1, 2; 4:17; 10:5-7), it will be set up on the earth (Dan 2:44).

2.      It will be a theocracy on earth in which God reigns in the person of Jesus Christ.

·         Is 7:14 “They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is God with us “.

·         Is 9:6 “His name shall be called…the mighty God”

·         Zech 14:9 “The Lord shall be king over all the earth” (cf vs 16)

3.      Jerusalem will be the capital city.

·         Isa 24:23 “The Lord of hosts shall reign in Mt. Zion, and in Jerusalem”.

·         Isa. 2:3 “Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem”.

·         Jer 3:17 “At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord”.

·         The Lord will rule over Israel (Mic 5:2), and He will reign on the throne of David (Lk 1:32,33; cf Mt 2:1&2; 19:28)

4.      The kingdom will extend to the entire earth through Israel.

·         Ps 72:11 “All kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him”.

·         Dan 7:14 “And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him”.

·         Zech 8:22 “Many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord”.

5.      All Israel shall be saved.

·         Jer 31:34 “They shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them”.

·         Ezek 37:23 “I will save them…and will cleanse them. So shall they be my people, and I will be their God”.

·         Rom 11:26 “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob”.

6.      Israel will be a blessing to the nations.

·         Isa 60:3 “The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising”.

·         Zech 8:13 “And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen,…so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing”.

·         Gen 22:17-18 “In [Abraham’s] seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed”.

7.      Governments will Deal True Justice.

·         Isa 11:4 “with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equality for the meek of the earth”.

·         Isa 61:11 “…the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all nations”.

·         Jer 23:5 “A king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth”.

8.      There will be no wars.

·         Isa 9:6 “His name shall be called…the Prince of Peace”.

·         Isa. 2:4 “…They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more”.

9.      Health will be restored to the human race.

·         Isa 35:5-6 “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb speak”.

·         The only deaths will be due to and the result of sin.

·         Isa 65:20 “There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days, for the child shall die an hundred years old, but the sinner [the one who died] being an hundred years old shall be accursed”.

10.  The wild animals shall be tame.

Isa 11:6-9 “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb…the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the wolf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox… They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.”

11.  The vegetable world will flourish.

Isa 35:1,2,6,7 “The desert shall rejoice and blossom as a rose”. “The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water…”

  1. Rev 20:1-3 speaks of Satan being bound with a chain and “cast 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.” In verse 7 we read, “and when the thousand years were expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, …”  A question that comes to mind is: “Why does God loose Satan after the thousand years of blessing that the earth enjoyed without him on the loose?” The answer is that God is allowing man to demonstrate to himself something about the natural heart of man. Though only believers go into that thousand year period of the kingdom, there are many children from among the nations that are born during those 1000 years who have never been subjected to the tempting of Satan. Some of those born during that period are believers, but others are not. Satan is loosed for the purpose of revealing who is a genuine believer and who is not. It will be a testimony to the hopeless condition of the natural man that after a thousand years of blessing from God, they still will choose to follow Satan when the opportunity comes again to rebel against God. This is the tenth time that man proves his natural bent.

1.      In innocence in Eden, he follows Satan, believing Satan’s lie that he can be as gods. Gen 3

2.       From Eden to the Flood, man is taken in by the eruption of angelic intermarriage and demonic activity in the human race. Gen 6

3.      From the Flood to Babel, man rejects God’s command to scatter and instead builds an idolatrous tower to exclude God from man’s future. Gen 11

4.      From Babel to Abraham, man falls into universal idolatry. Joch 24:3

5.      From Abraham to Moses, Abraham’s seed was to occupy the land but instead were in bondage in Egypt until God brought them out.

6.      From Moses to Christ, Israel failed to keep the law and had to be chastened often.

7.      From Christ to the stoning of Stephen, Israel failed to respond to the offer of the kingdom. Three murders prove Israel’s heart of rebellion.

          John’s death-they allowed it

          Christ’s death-they demanded it

          Stephen’s death-they committed it

8.      From Paul to the Rapture, evil men and seducers wax worse and worse as men reject grace.

9.      From the Rapture to the Revelation, men follow the Antichrist and fight against Christ at His coming to earth.

10.  After a thousand years of millennial blessings, man again chooses Satan over Christ.

But in every case, a remnant believed and was saved.

  1. In Rev. 20:7-9, we find man’s (and Satan’s) last battle in their rebellion against God. This is the battle of Gog and Magog. It takes place after the 1000 year reign is over. It is precipitated by Satan after he is released from his 1000 years of imprisonment. The nations are deceived by Satan and follow him to battle against the beloved city Jerusalem. However, the outcome is quick and decisive. “Fire came down out of heaven and devoured them.” It is after this final defeat of Satan that he is cast into the Lake of Fire, where the Beast and the false prophet had been for over 1000 years by then. This passage takes us back to Ezek. 38, where God, through Ezekiel, prophesies about this event. Gog is the prince of a land referred to as Magog. Bible scholars believe this to be Russia, based on its description as being from the north. (Ezek 38:6, 15; 39:2, etc.) Looking at a globe, we find Moscow as being exactly north of Jerusalem. The name Meshach is possibly a reference to modern-day Moscow, while the name Tobal is probably a reference to modern-day Tubolsheck around Moscow. In Ezek. 38:8, we see this alliance of Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer (Germany), and Togormah (Turkey) with Magog coming to battle against “…A land that was brought back from the sword, and that is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste; but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely.” This is the state of Israel during the Millennium. Note in verse 11 that they dwell safely without walls (defenses). Magog’s intent is “to take a spoil” from the nation of Israel, which had gotten many material blessings from the Gentile nations during the Millenium (Isa 60:9, et. al.) Note also that they came “riding upon horses (verse 15). Note also that their weapons are bucklers, shields, and swords (Ezek. 38:4 & 5) and helmets. This is because they are coming out of the Millennium when men will have beaten the swords (weapons of warfare) into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks (Isa 2:4). The destruction of this army will be by a great earthquake (Isa 38:19-20) and by fire and hail from heaven (Rev. 20:9) and by confusion in which the soldiers of this army fight each other (Ezek. 38:21; 39:6). It will take seven years to pick up the weapons, and 2 months to bury the dead (Ezek 39:9, 12).
  2. Seven judgments are seen in Scriptures. The Great White Throne is the last of them. When the seven judgments are completed, God’s reign over the universe (heaven and earth) will be complete (i.e. All rebellion will be ended.)

The seven judgments are:

Past                1. The Cross –             Rom 3:21-25, Jn. 5:24, Jn. 12:31, Cor. 5:21, Gal.3:13, 1 Pet 2:24

Ongoing          2.  Self –                      1 Cor 11:31,32; 5:5, 1Tim 1:20,1 John 1:5-7

Future             3. Body of Christ —   1 Cor 3:5-16, 2 Cor 5:10, 1 Cor 4:5, 2Tim 2:10-12

                      4. Israel                       Mt 25:14-30, Lk 19:13-27

                      5. Of Nations              Ezek 20:30-44; cf Psa 50:16-21, Matt 25:31-46, Lk 19:11-27

                      6. Fallen Angels          Jude 6, 2 Pet 2:4, 1 Cor 6:3

                      7. Great White Throne – Rev 20:11-15 cf  Acts 24:15

The Great  White Throne Judgment is the judgment of all of the lost souls of the ages. The basis of the judgment is given in Rev. 20:13 “And they were judged every man according to their works.” None of those who stand before this great white throne are or ever were “redeemed”. They are people who trust in their own works, rather than in the redeeming work of God. The works that we find good are not the “good works” that they may have done, but the “works of iniquity”. The retribution that will be meted out will be proportional to the wickedness of their deeds and the motives of the heart for “…Man looketh on the outward appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). A major factor in this judgment is the amount of knowledge that a soul was privy to (James 4:17; Luke 12:47-48). Works alone never saved anyone (Rom 3:27). Under the Law of Moses, works were required manifestation of faith (James 2:22). Today, in the dispensation of the grace of God works are a result of justification (Eph 2:8-10). The awesomeness of this Great White Throne, and Christ who sits upon it, is seen and understood by the fact that both the material earth and the material heaven fled away from it. These inanimate objects, simply because of the stain of sin upon them, could not stand before the throne. Yet, the sinners themselves must stand before them, with no place to run and hide, though they would greatly desire to do so.

There are two sets of books present at this Great White Throne judgment. One set is the book of the works of men. Our Lord tells his disciples, “That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Mt 12:36). The other book there is the Book of Life. All whose names are not written in the Book of Life are cast into the Lake of Fire. This Book of Life is a list of all of the Believers of the ages. Other references to it are in Phil 4:3, Rev 3:5; 13:8; 17:8. The Lord, who knows the end from the beginning, knows those who, of their own free will, believe Him, and writes their names in the Book of Life. There is yet another book called “The Book of the Living” (Psa 69:28). This is a running inventory record of all of those who are alive on earth at any one given point in time. There is yet another book that Moses refers to in Ex. 32:32. This book is God’s plan for the ages; i.e. the Bible.

  1. Here for the first time in Scripture we find the Lake of Fire so named. We find it throughout the Bible though by other references. We find it referenced in Mt 13:40. In Mt 25:11 we find that it is the “Everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels”. The original purpose for it was for the final deposition of the Devil and the angels that followed him in rebellion. This fire therefore would have been started before the creation of man in Eden. However, even though it had been kindled then, there is no one (neither angels nor man) who is in it today. Unsaved people today are in Hades in torment and the angels that “kept not their first estate” (Jude 6) are “… reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” in Tartarus (The Greek word translated “hell” in 2 Pet 2:4). Satan and the rest of his fallen angels are still free to go to and fro in the earth (Job 1:7) and to also be the principalities and powers in heavenly places (Eph 3:10) who actively oppose believers in the world today ( Eph 6:12) and who work to keep unbelievers in darkness (Eph 2:2). The Lake of Fire, however, will be the final destination of all lost men and fallen angels and even death and hell itself.
  2. The New Heaven, the New Earth, and the New Jerusalem. All Things New (Rev. 21:5). The Bible closes with God making all things new. Remember that after God created all things in Genesis, that He put a curse on His creation whereby He introduced the decay principle. This is what we call in science the second law of thermodynamics. We understand from this law that presently governs God’s universe that the universe could not have always existed. This second law stated simply is the in every energy transformation process, a certain amount of energy goes into it’s waste form (ie into heat). If the universe had always existed, then all of the energy should have gone into the form of heat by now. Unless energy is on the same level, no motion is possible. Since there is still motion in the universe, there would have had to be a point in time of the beginning. Since the new earth is to last forever, God has to recreate it to remove the second law of thermodynamics. He also will at the same time remove all of the stain and effects of sin from His creation. This new creation will be inhabited only with believers.

24.       The Dispensation of the Fullness of Times (Eph 1:10). There will always be three spheres of glory. There will be the new heaven, the new earth and the New Jerusalem. It is important to understand that there will be a “…dispensation of the fullness of times…” in which God will “…gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him.” This takes us back to an important passage of Scripture (Col. 1:12-20) where we find God’s eternal purpose worked out whereby all things that were created by Christ and for Christ are reconciled back to Christ by His work of redemption on the Cross of Calvary. It is by the cross that Christ reconciles the nation of Israel to Himself to be the nation by which He establishes a kingdom on earth. It is also by the cross that Christ reconciles the Church which is His Body to Himself to be the agency by which He reconciles the heavens to Himself.

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: Col 1:12-22 (KJV)

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