[From Part 2]
God’s purpose for history and therefore the ultimate purpose is to glorify Himself by demonstrating the fact that He alone is the sovereign God of this universe.
Now, the Scriptures indicate that in order for God to accomplish that purpose, there are three significant things God must do before the history of this world comes to an end.
- Number one, God must crush His enemy Satan and get rid of him and his kingdom rule and his forces from this planet altogether.
- The second thing God must do is this. After He does crush Satan, God must restore His theocracy back to this planet in which once again God will have a man, an Adam, as His representative administering His rule over this entire earth.
- But then the third thing God must do to fulfill His purpose for history is this: when He does restore that theocracy through His Son, Jesus Christ, God must lift the curse of man’s sin off of nature and restore nature back to the way it was before the Fall of man took place.
Now, how will God accomplish these three things?
How will He accomplish the first thing, crushing Satan and getting rid of him and his kingdom rule from planet earth altogether? Well, He’ll accomplish that first thing through the combination of the seven-year tribulation period and second coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. When you study Revelation 6-18, which cover the major events of the future seven-year tribulation period, you will find that throughout that seven-year span of time, God will pour out three series of judgments here on planet earth. First, there will be seven seal judgments. Then, seven trumpet judgments. And finally, seven bowl or vial judgments. Why is God pouring out these judgments upon the earth during the seven-year tribulation period? The reason is this: this is His means of beginning to systematically attack and tear down or crush Satan’s kingdom rule here on planet earth.
Let me read to you a very significant thing that the apostle John recorded for us by revelation of God in Revelation 11:15. John is recording here a significant thing that will transpire when the seventh trumpet judgment will be unleashed on planet earth. Now, keep in mind again, there will have already been seven seal judgments and six trumpet judgments. So this is the last of the second series of judgments. And if we could read on beyond chapter 11 of the book of Revelation, we would find that the seventh trumpet consists of or contains within itself the whole third and final series of judgments—the seven bowls or vials are wrapped up in the seventh trumpet. That’s very significant because that means that when the seventh trumpet is sounded and that judgment unleashed upon the earth, that will begin the final series of judgments which will culminate with the second coming of Christ and the ending of Satan’s rule on planet earth.
In light of that, here’s what John tells us in Revelation 11:15: “And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.’” Does that sound familiar? Handel’s Messiah. And it’s from this particular passage that Handel derived that tremendous refrain. Bless your hearts! Do you realize what that is? That’s a tremendous cry of victory! God’s creatures in heaven, when they see God unleashing the last series of judgments which will end His enemy Satan’s rule on planet earth, they get so excited in anticipation of what this means that they can’t hold in their excitement. And they cry forth that tremendous expression of victory: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. And He shall reign forever and ever.”
It’s almost as if they say, “Finally, after God in His sovereignty, for His own purposes that only He can understand, has allowed His enemy and His enemy’s forces to dominate this world that God created for ages, God is finally bringing Satan’s rule to an end. And God and His Messiah, His Christ, are going to take back the rule of the earth for the honor and the glory of God. So God, through the seven-year tribulation period, will be systematically attacking and tearing down Satan’s kingdom rule through these three series of judgments.
So, immediately after the tribulation, the Lord Jesus as the last Adam will come out of heaven in His glorious second coming, this time down to planet earth to take back the rule of the earth on behalf of God. And so, in chapter 19 of Revelation, John records the second coming of the Lord Jesus and he sees heaven open and Jesus comes riding out of heaven on the back of a white horse.
Now, in John’s day, in that part of the world a rider on a white horse symbolized a victorious conqueror. So that when Jesus will come out of heaven in His second coming on a white horse, He’s returning to the earth as God’s victorious conqueror to finish the job of crushing Satan and getting rid of him and his kingdom rule from this planet altogether.
John saw, down on planet earth, pitted against the Lord Jesus, Satan’s ultimate man, the Antichrist, a false religious leader under Satan’s direction, the false prophet, the rulers and the armies of all the world gathered together in the land of Israel and they’re gathered there for one purpose: to try to prevent the second coming of Jesus Christ from taking place here on planet earth. Satan realizes that if Jesus gets back here, it’ll be all over for him. And so he’s played a role in pulling all the armies and rulers of the nations of the world together to the land of Israel to try to prevent Christ from coming back.
He knows, according to Zechariah 14:4 that the first place that Jesus’ feet will touch down on the earth will be on the Mount of Olives just outside of Jerusalem. So that’s why Satan gathers the armies there into Israel around Jerusalem to try to prevent Christ from coming. And John indicates that the Lord Jesus will have the Antichrist and the false prophet removed from the earth, cast into the eternal lake of fire where they’ll be tormented day and night under the judgment of God, and then he sees the Lord Jesus destroying the rulers and the armies of all these godless nations that are there. So there, Jesus crushes Satan’s forces.
Then, in Revelation 20:1-3, John saw an angel come down from heaven, binding Satan with a chain. Satan is removed from the earth and is cast into the bottomless pit or the abyss where he will be confined or imprisoned by God for the next 1,000 years.
In Isaiah 24, at the end of that chapter, Isaiah received revelation to the effect that at that same time, all of the demons or evil angels will also be cast into that same pit and imprisoned so that you see that through this seven-year tribulation period and the second coming of the Lord Jesus, Satan and all of his forces will be crushed and will be removed from planet earth altogether and will not have one influence of any kind whatsoever on the earth throughout the last thousand-year period of world history, which is called “The Millennium.”
So God will accomplish His first purpose, or I should say, the first thing He must do to fulfill His purpose for history, namely, crushing Satan and getting rid of him and his kingdom rule from planet earth, God will accomplish that through the combination of the seven-year tribulation period and the second coming of the Lord Jesus.