Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: The Consummation

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Consummation

The Consummation
The events that will take place when Satan is loosed from the pit

Although the Millennial Kingdom will have very remarkable beginnings accompanied by miraculous changes in the Earth’s ecology and topology, these things will be nothing more than history lessons for those born into the Kingdom of King Jesus.  Those born into the Kingdom Age will have very little knowledge of aspects of the curse such as sickness, aging, and death.  The vast majority will live throughout the whole thousand years of the Kingdom of King Jesus.

“7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:7-10).

During the Kingdom Age, millions (probably billions) will be born to those who enter it after surviving the Tribulation in their natural (non-glorified) bodies.  This number of people does not include any of those that were resurrection from the dead and glorified.  The survivors of the Tribulation will still possess a sin nature and will produce children with sin natures.  Those raptured (translated without dying) and those resurrected out from the dead will be given glorified bodies.  These two groups of people will co-exist during the Kingdom Age.
Tragically, at the end of the Kingdom Age and the thousand-year reign of Christ on Earth, Satan will be loosed from the Abyss and will deceive many of these people born into the Kingdom Age.  The tragedy is that so many will be deceived and follow him.  These people will follow Satan in rebellion against Christ.  These individuals only emphasize the depravity of the fallen nature.  Living in an almost perfect and moral society, they rebel for want of sin.  As these rebels surround the “Camp of the saints” and the “beloved city” from where Christ reigns, as they shake their fists of “enmity against God” and His righteousness for one last time, the consuming fire of God descends upon them from heaven and devours them alive.  Here, prophecy gives us a vision of the end of the world and the dissolution of the first creation.

“3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (II Peter 3:3-7).

There will be “scoffers” in every age, including the Kingdom Age.  There will be those born during the Kingdom Age who will have no experiential knowledge of the horrors of the Tribulation judgments.  These people will begin to think of the then historical devastation of the Earth only as myths and fairy-tale stories of old people.  Even in a world occupied and governed by the incarnate Jehovah (King Jesus) and where false doctrine and false worship practices will not be tolerated; even in this, environment unbelief will grow due to the fallen nature of humanity.  Even with those born into the Kingdom Age dwelling alongside resurrected and glorified believers, unbelief will continue.  In the hard-heartedness of lost and fallen beings to the truths of God’s Word, the spiritual realities of death and condemnation will be ridiculed while rejecting the gift of God’s grace.  Peter then reassures believers with a simple truth.  God operates outside of our time/space/matter continuum.

“8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (II Peter 3:8).  

Although this text teaches that God does not operate according to our time-table, the reference to the fact that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” is actually referring to the Day of the Lord.  The Day of the Lord began at the beginning of the Tribulation and extends through the Kingdom Age. The Kingdom Age is the one-thousand-year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ on Earth.

The understanding of natural, unregenerate people is to see what appears to be God’s inactivity as God’s absence.  What they interpret as God’s inactivity is actually God’s long-suffering.  Then, in the next leap of unregenerate logic, they see God’s inactivity as God’s non-existence.  These people will know nothing outside of the scope of their own sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing (I Corinthians 2:9).  The point is that having known no other existence than the one in which they live, they think the way it is to them then is the way it has always been.  Even though they will have the glorified Jesus Christ and glorified believers from all ages as their neighbors, they will not believe or understand the supernatural nature of the existence in which they live.

We really are no different.  We say we believe, but we do not live and pray as if the spiritual existence that God describes in the Bible exists.  If we really believed, we would live differently and we would pray differently.  The point of all of this is that even though people can profess to believe in God and believe the Bible, they can also live in a type of spiritual limbo that never really connects them to the supernatural existence into which they have been “born again” of the Spirit of God.  If we were to be honest, we would understand that this describes most of us that call ourselves believers.  Though we believe in God, we do not live to really gain the heart of God and the mind of God in our living.  The potential for what Christ said in John 14:12-14 has been seldom realized during the Church Age.  There is a faith disconnect to the potential of which Christ speaks in this text.

“12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:12-14).

Faith is intended to connect our minds and our lives to the spiritual existence of God and His will for us.  To understand and believe that God is our Creator is to understand and believe He has sovereign authority over our lives.  In other words, God has the authority, the right, to tell us how He expects us to live under His sovereignty.  He expects us to want to obey EVERYTHING He says and live as His subjects.  His grace offers to provide us both the choice and the power for both.  Faith is a choice.  However, faith is more than a mere choice to believe. 

Faith is a choice to believe in the God of the Bible that is accompanied with seeking to live for Him, worship Him, and seeking to please Him in all we think, say, feel, and do.  To believe God is different than believing in God.  To actually believe God connects the person believing in God to another dimension of existence that is supernatural.  To believe God is to believe that God will do all that He says He will do and the things God says He will do can be considered promises.  To live within those promises as if they might happen at any moment is the life of faith.

“9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (II Peter 3:9-10).

The idea that God forgets His promises and His prophecies, because it seems to take so long for many of these prophecies to be fulfilled, is foolishness.  What is a thousand years compared to eternity?  “The day of the Lord will come”!  This is a reality for which every Christian should live every moment of his life.  If we are consciously aware of the fact that we live within a doomed and cursed creation, it should govern the way we live our lives before the eyes of the Lord.  The point of II Peter 3:9-10 is that what we know now only by our five senses will all culminate in accountability before the Lord Who created it all.

If we can conceive of, and believe in, an existence outside of the time/space/matter continuum we presently know, we then MUST live in a manner that is governed by principles far beyond the simplistic principles of our present corrupt civilizations.  II Peter 3:11 speaks of “holy conversation and godliness.”  In other words, we need to begin to think in terms of being like God.  Most people, including most Christians, just cannot seem to grasp God’s expectations regarding the way we live our lives.  II Peter 3:11-18 defines God’s expectations very thoroughly.

“11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (II Peter 3:11-18).

Throughout the Kingdom Age, the faithful Church Age believers will live and rule with Christ in their glorified bodies.  Uniquely, they will be the Priesthood of Christ that will rule the Kingdom Age as kings and priests judging the world according to the righteousness of God.  This judgment is referred to in Scripture as a “rod of iron” (Revelation 2:27).  Paul speaks of this judgment in I Corinthians chapter six as he rebukes the church at Corinth for seeking judgments upon other brothers from the civil courts rather than bringing these matters to be decided by the Church.  This certainly silences the argument of the judge me not Christians of our present days.

“1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren” (I Corinthians 6:1-5)?

At the end of the Kingdom Age, the “devil” is immediately cast into the “lake of fire and brimstone” where the “beast” and the “false prophet” are, having already spent a thousand years there in torment.  Then God will call every lost rebel from among humanity before His Great White Throne to be eternally judged.

“36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father {the new Heaven/Earth}. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 13:36-43).

“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch” (Malachi 4:1).

The passing away of heaven and earth will begin at this same time and is what is referred to in Malachi 4:1.  This is defined in the following Scriptures:

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them” (Revelation 20:11).

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea” (Revelation 21:1).
“26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved {the new Heaven/Earth}, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:26-29).

“10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Peter 3:10-13).

The dissolving of the first creation, the “heaven” and the planets, all begins in Revelation 20:9.  From our perspective of time today, this cannot take place for at least one-thousand and seven years.  This includes the seven years of the Tribulation and the one-thousand-year Kingdom Age.  The end of the world is NOT Armageddon.  Those who speak of Armageddon as the end of the world simply expose their ignorance of Bible prophecy.

“And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them” (Revelation 20:9).

At the end of the Kingdom Age and as the consuming fire of God’s glory devours the rebels that follow Satan in his final insurrection against God, the fire will spread from Jerusalem throughout the earth, into the solar system, and finally into all the universe.  The whole of God’s temporal creation (time and space) will be destroyed.  It will not exist any longer.  It will have passed away.
The only things that will still remain from that first creation will be the souls of mankind.  Every one of these souls are eternal.  Some will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8).  Sheol is part of this creation and will no longer exist after the consummation of God’s final act of judgment in the Curse.  The Redeemed (Revelation 21:7) will spend eternity with their God in a newly created heaven and earth.  “New” does not necessarily mean that it will be the same in form or physics as the former.  Just as the human body must be changed and glorified (I Corinthians 15:50) to live in the presence of God in the spiritual realm of His existence, the earth and heavens must be re-created so that God can live with the redeemed (Revelation 21:3).  This will be the Kingdom of God.  Of course, the eternal Word of God will also remain and become living in every one of God’s redeemed.

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

Some suggest a difference between the Great White Throne and the first Throne in Revelation chapter four.  There is no difference between these two Thrones.  The subject matter is not the Throne itself, but what will be done by God while upon that Throne.  God will judge every individual in perfect righteousness according to His revealed will (the Word of God or the “book . . . of life”).
At the completion of the second resurrection, all these individuals, already “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), will stand before the Throne of God.  Although we are not informed of this, the redeemed of the Kingdom Age will be translated into glorified bodies.  This Throne will be the Great White Throne because of what will take place there.  These are all those resurrected out from the realm of the dead (fallen creation).  Some will have died physically.  Others will have lived through the Kingdom Age.  All the “works” of these individuals will be judged, just as the works of the saints of the Church age are judged at the “Judgment seat of Christ.”
There are “books” and a “book . . . of life.”  The “books” most probably refer to records of the works (good and bad) of the lives of these individuals.  The idea is one of individual accountability for the eternal consequences of each individual life.  The “book . . . of life” is later revealed in Revelation 21:27 as the “Lamb’s book of life.”  It is the record of every individual who ever put trust in the finished work of redemption of Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Those recorded in the “book . . . of life” will be all the saved of all ages.  These individuals will live in the New Heaven\Earth.
In Revelation 20:13, “hell” is from the Greek word hadesHades refers to the holding place of the lost from the beginning of time to the end of the world (Revelation 20:9).  The final judgment is recorded in Revelation 20:15. The final judgment is expanded upon in Revelation 21:8-27.  The ultimate judgment is the judgment of condemnation.

“But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things” (Romans 2:2).

“Who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Romans 2:6).

“For there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11).

“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (Romans 2:16).

“10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:10-19).

“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

After the consummation of the fallen and cursed first creation, only the redeemed will enter the final New Creation and the New Jerusalem.  These are those who have their names recorded by the Lamb in the “Lambs book of life.”  The balance will be cast into the eternal Lake of Fire prepared for Satan and his angels.
The two divisions of Revelation chapter twenty-one are verses 1-8 and 9-27.  The first eight verses introduce the New Jerusalem, while the rest of the chapter expands upon this and gives a more thorough description and examination.  This follows in the chronology beginning in Revelation 19:11 with numbers of “and I saw” statements that began at the second coming of Jesus and go through to the consummation.

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war” (Revelation 19:11).

“And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God” (Revelation 19:17).

“And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army” (Revelation 19:19).

“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand” (Revelation 20:1).

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them” (Revelation 20:11).

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea” (Revelation 21:1).

Why will there be no more sea in the new earth?

There will be no need for separation in the New Heaven/Earth.  The New Heaven/Earth will not be like the old heavens and earth. We will all be one people (Revelation 21:3), united by one Lord, one faith, and part of the New Creation through one baptism.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).

The next event after the White Throne Judgment will be the creation of a new Heaven and New Earth.  The previous heaven and earth has been consumed by the judgment fire of God.  The New Heaven\Earth will not be a re-creation of the old.  It will be “new” (kainos, kahee-nos') in kind.  The details of this new, but different Heaven\Earth are given in Revelation chapters twenty-one and twenty-two.
According to Revelation 21:3, what makes Heaven a Heaven?  Heaven is Heaven because God dwells there.  Everything else is just extensions and blessings of His presence.  The fullness of the Godhead will dwell in the glorified Body of Jesus Christ.  Notice that the Godhead will be unified in Christ.  This proves that God is not three individual Gods (Tri-theism), but one God in three parts (Personages).  He is a Tri-unity.  In the New Heaven (when we see God), we will see Him in the Person of Jesus Christ “the Lamb” (Revelation 21:5-7; Revelation 21:22-23; and Revelation 22:1 and 3).
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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

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