Why Future Events?-Part 1
|By: Dr. Renald Showers; ©2000|
|“Why has God scheduled future events for planet earth? Why will there be a period of tribulation, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and a millennial reign of Christ?” Dr. Renald Showers explains that “There has to be a reason for these future events, because God never does anything without a purpose.”|
WHY FUTURE EVENTS? PART 1
Why has God scheduled future events for planet earth? Why will there be a seven year period of tribulation, followed by the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and then the 1,000 year millennial reign of Christ and His saints over all the earth? There has to be a reason for these future events, because God never does anything without a purpose.
In order to understand the purpose of these significant events that will transpire near the end of this present earth’s history, we must look at significant things that took place near the beginning of its history. The reason for doing that is this: The events that will transpire near the end of history are based squarely upon those that took place near the beginning.
Back in eternity past God determined to have a kingdom over which He could rule as a sovereign king. This kingdom was to be known as The Kingdom of God. God decided to create two major kinds of personal subjects to serve Him within His kingdom.
First, God created an enormous host of beings called “angels” to serve Him primarily in the heavenly realm of His universal kingdom. The Apostle John recorded the fact that he was privileged to see ten thousands times ten thousands and thousands times thousands of holy angels surrounding the throne of God in Heaven (Revelation 5:11)(in the Greek text all these numerical words are plural in number). One 10,000 times one other 10,000 equals 100,000,000, but John saw ten thousands (plural) times ten thousands (plural) plus thousands (plural) times thousands (plural) more. The Prophet Daniel saw a similar thing (Daniel 7:9-10). The implication is that God created multiple hundreds of millions, perhaps several billion, angels for His kingdom.
It appears that God created the angels with different degrees of intelligence and power and established various ranks of angels on the basis of these differences. This is implied by the fact that the Bible applies various terms, such as cherubim (Ezekiel 10:1-22), seraphim (Isaiah 6:1-7), archangel (1 Thessalonians 4:16), prince (Daniel 10:13, 20, 21; 12:1), thrones, dominions, principalities and powers (Colossians 1:16) to angels.
It also appears that God organized the angels according to rank similar to the way armed forces are organized. One indication of this is the fact that God is called “LORD of hosts” numerous times in the Old Testament (for example, see Psalm 84). The Hebrew word translated “hosts” means “armies”; thus, God is “LORD of armies” (John E. Hartley, “sebaoth,” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Vol. II, p. 750).
The Bible indicates that the holy angels constitute a powerful heavenly army or armies that carry out God’s commands (1 Kings 22:19; Psalm 103:20-21), serve as His chariots (Psalm 68:17), and are divided into legions (Matthew 26:53). In light of this, God’s title “LORD of armies” indicates that He is the Commander in Chief of the angelic armies of Heaven.
Another indication of holy angels arranged according to rank as an army is the fact that some angels are under the command of other angels. For example, the archangel Michael (Jude 9) has angels under his command for the purpose of waging angelic warfare (Revelation 12:7). After God brought the angels into existence He made planet earth. Job 38:4- 7 indicates that the angels (referred to as “the morning stars” and “all the sons of God”) were present to witness God’s creation of the earth (The book of Job refers to angels as “the sons of God” [Job 1:6; 2:1], thereby indicating that God was their source. He created them — Franz Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Book of Job, Vol. I, p. 53). They sang God’s praises and shouted for joy when they saw God perform this mighty work.
After God made planet earth, He then created man, the second kind of personal subject to serve Him within His universal kingdom. God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6). Since God is a spirit being by nature (John 4:24 – “God is a Spirit”), and since spirit beings do not have physical bodies (Luke 24:39 – “a spirit has not flesh and bones”), the fact that God created man in His own image cannot refer to the physical aspect of man’s being. Instead, it indicates that God created man to be a personal being (with intellect, emotions and will) and a morally responsible being, just as God is a personal and moral being.
When God created man, He gave him dominion “over all the earth,” including its plant and animal life (Genesis 1:26-29). The fact that God gave man this dominion reveals the original form of government that He ordained for planet earth. That government was a theocracy. The term “theocracy” means “God-rule” and refers to the form of government in which God’s rule is administered by a representative (“theocracy,” WEBSTER’S NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, Second Edition, Unabridged, p. 2619). God created the first man, Adam, to be His earthly representative, responsible to administer God’s rule in accord with His will over this earthly province of God’s universal kingdom.
In order to represent God to the rest of the earthly creation, Adam had to be in God’s image. He had to be a personal being with the kind of intellect that could understand God’s instruction concerning how His rule was to be administered, and that could make communication between him and God possible. In addition, Adam had to be a morally responsible being who would administer God’s rule in accord with His moral nature and character. Once God had created and established man on earth, His universal kingdom was complete. “God saw every thing that he had made,” and His evaluation was that “it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). In other words, no part of His created kingdom had gone against Him yet. As we shall see in our next article, it did not remain that way very long.
Note: An in-depth study of what the Bible teaches about angels could be obtained by ordering my book Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels.