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Millennialism, End Times, and the Reign of Christ (Part 01) - Intro, The Binding of Satan

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For a master copy of the outline, click here: Millennialism

I. The study of end times is referred to as eschatology.
1. Eschatology - The department of theological science concerned with ‘the four last things: death, judgement, heaven, and hell’.
2. This is a much debated topic among professing Christians.
3. Errant views on eschatology are very dangerous since they influence the political policies of our government, both domestic and international.
II. Different beliefs regarding eschatology (taken in part from http://www.christianciv.com).
1. Historical Premillennialism
A. This is the belief that the Second Coming of Christ will precede the millennium.
B. This belief is summed up by the following:
i. Also known as Chiliasm from the Greek word for "thousand".
ii. The millennium is a literal 1000 years.
iii. The Second Coming of Christ, which begins the millennium, happens after the tribulation.
iv. The resurrection of Christians occurs at the beginning of the millennium, the resurrection of the unsaved at the end of the millennium.
2. Dispensational Premillennialism
A. This is the belief that the Second Coming of Christ will precede the millennium and the "rapture" will occur before the tribulation (pre-trib rapture).
B. This belief is summed up by the following:
i. History is divided into several distinct dispensations, or ages in which God relates to mankind in a different way.
ii. The most important distinction is between Israel's Age of Law on the one hand, and the Church's Age of Grace on the other.
iii. Jesus failed to setup his kingdom and failed to assume the throne of David at his first coming because of the Jews' rejection of him.
iv. Dispensationalism is pretribulationist and premillennial.
v. The Second Coming of Christ will be in two stages, one secret and invisible, and one open and visible seven years later.
vi. Jesus will come back secretly and resurrect the righteous dead and rapture the church up to heaven prior to the great tribulation on earth.
vii. The Church Age ends and God's plan for Israel resumes when the Church is raptured at the beginning of the tribulation.
viii. Jesus comes back at the end of the tribulation to destroy the kingdom of the antichrist, bind Satan, and to set up his kingdom on earth for 1000 years.
ix. The millennium is Israel-centered: It rules over all other nations and animal sacrifices are performed in the Temple as in the Old Testament.
x. At the end of the millennium Satan is loosed and gathers the nations to make war with Jesus Christ who destroys him and resurrects the wicked dead and casts them into the lake of fire.
3. Postmillennialism
A. This is the belief that the Second Coming of Christ will come after the millennium.
B. This belief is summed up by the following:
i. There is an increase in the spread of God's rule in every area of life through the preaching of the gospel which ushers in a millennium of peace and justice.
ii. Through the reforming effects of the gospel on men, Christ will return to an almost fully Christian world at the end of the millennium.
iii. Some postmillennialists believe that the world will be reformed by bottom-up grassroots efforts of changing the hearts and minds of people.
iv. Postmillennialists who subscribe to Christian Reconstructionism or Dominion Theology believe that the millennium will be commenced by a top-down approach in which Christian legal and political institutions will be set up. (This type of authoritarian pseudo theocracy would likely usher in the tribulation, rather than an age of peace and prosperity.)
4. Preterism
A. This is the belief that all prophecy, including the Second Coming of Christ, was fulfilled by 70AD.
B. Preterism teaches that all the events in the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation were fulfilled in the first century in the destruction of Jerusalem and in the persecution of Christians by the Roman empire.
5. Amillennialism
A. This is the belief that the millennium is the time period between the resurrection and Second Coming of Christ.
B. This belief is summed up by the following:
i. Satan was bound by Jesus Christ at His resurrection, at which time Jesus began reigning on David's throne in heaven.
ii. The millennium is figurative, representing the whole amount of time between the resurrection of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ.
iii. The kingdom of God/heaven is the institution of the local church through which Christ reigns over the earth from heaven.
iv. There will be one resurrection on the last day of both the righteous and the wicked.
v. Christ will return bodily, visibly, and audibly at the end of the millennium (at the end of time) and will completely destroy Satan and his kingdom, destroy the earth and heavens by fire, judge all men, cast the wicked into the lake of fire, take the righteous into glory, and create a new heaven and a new earth where the redeemed will dwell forever.
III. The need to properly interpret the Bible to come to a correct understanding of end time events.
1. The doctrines of Dispensationalism, Premillennialism, and Postmillennialism are all largely based on a faulty interpretation of Revelation 20 and of the OT prophetic books.
2. The book of Revelation is an allegorical book of signs and symbols.
A. We are told this in the opening verse (Rev 1:1).
B. Signify v. - 1. a. trans. To be a sign or symbol of; to represent, betoken, mean.
3. The rest of the NT is characterized by great plainness of speech (2Co 3:12).
4. When a concept is expressed in figurative language, the meaning is hard to discern, and it therefore needs to be compared with parallel teaching in plain language (Joh 11:11-14; Joh 16:25-30).
5. Therefore obscure passages in Revelation and in the OT prophets need to be understood in light of plain passages in the NT.
IV. The Biblical view of end time events (very similar to Amillennialism).
1. Rather than first spending time analyzing all the counterfeit positions on the millennium and end times, let's first take some time to understand what the true, Biblical teaching is.
2. The following are the events of end times:
A. The first coming of Christ
B. The death and resurrection of Christ
C. The binding of Satan
D. The setting up of the "millennial kingdom" and the reign of Christ on David's throne
E. The tribulation
F. The loosing of Satan
G. The Second Coming of Christ
H. The resurrection
I. The "rapture" (the word rapture doesn't appear in scripture)
J. The destruction of the Devil and the armies gathered against Christ
K. The destruction of the heavens and the earth
L. The final judgment
M. The creation of the new heaven and the new earth
3. The death and resurrection of Christ
A. The death and resurrection of Christ dealt a deadly blow to Satan and his kingdom.
i. The devil and his minions didn't know that crucifying Jesus would be their undoing (1Co 2:8).
ii. They actually fulfilled the scriptures in orchestrating His condemnation (Act 13:27).
iii. The defeat of Satan by Jesus Christ was prophesied about 6000 years ago (Gen 3:15).
B. When Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead He spoiled principalities and powers (Col 2:14-15).
i. Spoil v. - I. 1. a. trans. To strip or despoil (a dead or helpless person); esp. to strip (a defeated or slain enemy) of arms and armour.
ii. Satan is the prince of the wicked principalities and powers (Mat 12:24).
iii. Beelzebub - The Devil; a devil;
iv. Therefore, Jesus spoiled Satan by His death and resurrection.
v. Jesus destroyed Satan and his works through His death (Heb 2:14; 1Jo 3:8).
4. The binding of Satan
A. In order for Jesus to spoil Satan, He must first have bound him (Mat 12:29).
B. Jesus is the angel who bound Satan at His first coming (at His resurrection) (Rev 20:1-2).
i. Jesus is called the messenger (angel) of the covenant (Mal 3:1).
ii. Angel - I. 1. a. A ministering spirit or divine messenger
iii. Jesus has the key of the bottomless pit (hell and death) (Rev 1:17-18).
C. Though Satan is bound, he is not completely immobilized.
i. A person can be bound and yet still have a measure of liberty, such as in the following cases:
a. Paul in Roman custody (Act 24:23-27)
b. Joseph in prison in Egypt (Gen 39:22 c/w Gen 40:3-4)
c. Marriage (1Co 7:27)
ii. This is the case with Satan; his binding is specific: "that he should deceive the nations no more" (Rev 20:3).
a. The nations is synonymous with the Gentiles in scripture (Rom 15:10 c/w Deu 32:43).
b. Prior to the coming of Christ, God only dealt with one nation, Israel (Psa 147:19-20).
c. All the other nations were left to walk in darkness (Eph 2:12; Eph 4:17-18)
d. At that time the Gentiles were devil worshipers (1Co 10:20).
iii. With Satan bound so that he could deceive the nations no more, the gospel then went to the Gentiles (Mat 28:19).
a. Prior to the coming of Christ, God turned a blind eye to Gentile idolatry, but now commands all men everywhere to repent (Act 14:16; Act 17:29-30).
b. With Satan bound, the Gentiles can be converted from the grip of his power unto God (Act 26:18).
D. Satan is said to be bound for 1000 years (Rev 20:2,7).
i. As was pointed out before, the book of Revelation is signified (Rev 1:1).
ii. Therefore, the 1000 years is not necessarily to be taken literally.
iii. The number 1000 is used figuratively elsewhere in scripture to refer to a large and complete number of something (Psa 50:10; Psa 105:8; 1Ch 16:15-17).
iv. As will be proved later, the 1000 years during which Satan is bound is the period between the resurrection of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ, less "a little season" (Rev 20:3).

For a master copy of the outline, click here: Millennialism