Why Future Events?-Part 9
|By: Dr. Renald Showers; ©2000|
|Dr. Showers presents the second reason for the Enemy’s forces to be gathered in Israel at the time of the Tribulation, and then examine two phases of Christ’s work at evicting Satan and his forces.|
WHY FUTURE EVENTS? PART 9
Our previous article began to examine the first phase of Christ’s work of evicting Satan and his kingdom from the earth—ridding the earth of the political and military aspects of Satan’s world system. We noted that Satan, his Antichrist and False Prophet will use demonic influence to prompt the political rulers of all Gentile nations to gather together with their armed forces against Jerusalem in Israel near the end of the Tribulation. We also noted the first of two reasons that Satan will have for this gathering—through this combined force of Gentile rulers and military he will try to prevent Christ from returning to earth.
This present article will look at Satan’s second reason for gathering this force in Israel. It will also examine the other two phases of Christ’s work of evicting Satan and his kingdom.
Satan’s second reason for wanting all the Gentile rulers and military gathered together in Israel by the end of the seven year Tribulation is as follows: He will use them as his instrument to try to totally annihilate Israel. Zechariah 12-14 indicates that God will not fully crush Satan, end his evil rule, and establish His theocratic kingdom rule over the world until the nation of Israel repents by recognizing and trusting Jesus Christ as its Messiah and Savior (see Acts 3:12-21). To Satan’s way of thinking, if Israel must repent before God will fully crush him, then he can prevent God from crushing him by totally annihilating Israel before it repents.
Through the gathered political and military powers of the Gentile world Satan will destroy two-thirds of the Jews in the land of Israel (Zechariah 13:8). It will look as if all the Jews there will perish. However, before that can happen Christ will come out of Heaven in His glorious Second Coming. When the one-third remnant of Jews that is left in the land will look upon Him and see the wounds of His crucifixion in His resurrection body, they will repent (change their minds) toward Him. They will recognize and trust Him as their Messiah and Savior (Zechariah 12:9-14; 13:9). God will cleanse them of their sin (Zechariah 13:1). Then Christ will go to war (Zechariah 14:3). He will cast the Antichrist and False Prophet into the Lake of Fire and destroy the Gentile rulers and military forces (Zechariah 14:12-15; Revelation 19:19-21).
The second phase of Christ’s eviction of Satan and his kingdom will involve the removal of all the human members of that kingdom. All the unsaved who will be alive on the earth at Christ’s Second Coming will be taken from the earth in judgment. None of these people will be allowed to enter the future theocratic kingdom of God. Christ clearly taught this in two of His Matthew 13 parables of the kingdom.
In the parable of the tares (Matthew 13:24-30) the good seed represent “the children of the kingdom” (the saved people who will be alive on earth at the Second Coming), and the field where they are located represents the world (Matthew 13:38). The tares represent Satan’s spiritual children (the unsaved who will be alive on the earth at the Second Coming) (vv. 38-39). The harvest represents the end of the age (literal translation of the Greek text) (v. 39). This refers to the end of the present pre-messianic age when Christ will come in His Second Coming, not the end of the world (the Greek construction of the disciples’ question in Matthew 24:3 indicates that the end of the age and Christ’s Second Coming will take place at the same time). The reapers represent Christ’s holy angels who will accompany Him at His Second Coming (v. 39; see Matthew 25:31). Christ declared that, just as the tares in the parable are gathered and burned in the fire, so in His Second Coming at the end of the age His holy angels will gather all the living unsaved and cast them into a place of fiery judgment (vv. 40-42). Then the living saved will enter God’s theocratic kingdom (v. 43).
In the parable of the dragnet Christ taught that in His Second Coming at the end of the age His holy angels will separate the unsaved people who will be alive on the earth at that time from the saved. The angels will cast the unsaved into a place of fiery judgment where they will wail and gnash their teeth (Matthew 13:47-50).
Christ taught this again in Matthew 24:37-41. There He indicated that the order of things at His Second Coming will be the same as the order of things in Noah’s day. The order of things in Noah’s day was as follows: All the unsaved who were alive were taken from the earth in judgment by the flood, and all the saved (Noah and his family) were left on the earth in the ark to enter the next period of world history. Christ said, “So shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (v. 39). Then in verses 40-41 He indicated that at His Second Coming all the living unsaved will be taken from the earth in judgment, and all the living saved will be left on the earth to enter the next period of history, the future theocratic kingdom age. Luke 17:37 makes it clear that those who will be taken at His Second Coming will be taken into the realm of death, and their dead bodies will be eaten by flesh-eating fowl.
The third phase of Christ’s eviction of Satan and his kingdom will involve the removal of Satan himself and his evil angels. In conjunction with Christ’s Second Coming Satan will be bound and imprisoned in the bottomless pit for the entire 1,000 year theocratic kingdom age (Revelation 20:1-3), and the evil angels (“the host of the high ones”) will be imprisoned in the pit for the long time that the Lord will reign in Jerusalem (Isaiah 24:21-23).
Together this and the previous article have demonstrated how Christ, through His activities in conjunction with the seven year Tribulation Period and His Second Coming, will complete one of His responsibilities as the Kinsman-Redeemer of mankind’s lost inheritance. He will crush Satan, the usurper of that inheritance, by ridding the earth of him and his entire kingdom. He thereby will accomplish the first future thing that God must do to fulfill His purpose for history before the history of this present earth ends.
The next article will begin to examine the second future thing that God must do to fulfill His purpose for history.