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The Coming Earthly Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
July 1, 2022 4:00 am

The Coming Earthly Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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July 1, 2022 4:00 am

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We will be involved in the expression of His will. We will be His agents carrying out His wishes, carrying out His will in the world. He will, of course, destroy His enemies, as we know at the end of chapter 19, set up His kingdom. He will become King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but we will reign along with Him, carrying out His will.

It's been said, have no fear of perfection, you'll never reach it. Well, if there's one area of Bible knowledge you've never mastered, it may be figuring out the order of end times and events. Really, though, keeping the events straight is within your reach. The chronology is there in the book of Revelation, and you can get a handle on it. John MacArthur is showing you that in his current study here on Grace to You, the title, When Jesus Comes. Now yesterday, John discussed the one and only time the Bible talks about Satan being bound.

To review the main points about Satan's binding and then move on from there, here's John MacArthur. As you know, we're studying the book of Revelation and we have been doing so for quite a long time. We find ourselves in chapter 20, the coming earthly kingdom of Jesus Christ, Revelation chapter 20. Let's talk about the first point in chapter 20, the removal of Satan.

The first matter of attention for John as he looks at this vision of the kingdom is to see the removal of Satan. Verse 1, And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him so that he should not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were completed. After these things, he must be released for a short time.

Now a simple understanding of that at face value, literally interpreting what was said is very, very clear. An angel comes down, has a key, has a chain, takes hold of Satan, binds Satan, throws him into the abyss for a thousand years, at the end of which for a brief time he is released. Then verse 2, this angel comes down and this has got to be a great moment for this angel, be it Michael or whoever. This has got to be a monumental moment and he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

That is the duration of the Millennial Kingdom. Now it says in verse 3, after binding Satan for a thousand years, this angel...I like the terminology...threw him into the abyss. You have to do that because I guess the angel doesn't want to go down there. Literally the word abistos, by the way, means bottomless. He threw him into the bottomless.

This is the description of this place of incarceration. It's called the bottomless pit. Verse 3 also says that after the angel throws him into the abyss, it says, John saw in his vision and shut it and sealed it over him. He is chained with a great chain. He is locked into the abyss with a key. It is shut and sealed so that the world cannot at all be influenced by Satan.

The whole world will be influenced only by those purposes of Christ. The end of verse 3, after these things, that is after the thousand years of being chained, he must be released for a short time. He must be released for a short time. Why?

Why release him? Well there's one final...final escapade. Satan is going to have the opportunity to collect all of those who would rather be in his kingdom than God's because there will be people born during that time. Remember now, when Jesus returns, He's not going to kill those that are believers. Many will be martyred but many will still be alive. They are the sheep of Matthew 24 who go into the kingdom.

The nation Israel, it's promised a literal earthly kingdom and there will be people in that kingdom from every tongue and tribe and nation and they'll all be a part of that kingdom. They'll all be believers initially and they'll reproduce and they'll have children and the earth will multiply rapidly. The exponential growth over that period of thousand years will populate the earth in the millions. And of all those people born during that thousand years, it says anyone who dies at a hundred years of age dies as a child.

They'll live long and therefore they'll reproduce vastly greater numbers than anything we've ever known in our era of history. Some of them will put their allegiance in the Lord Jesus Christ who is reigning over the earth and some of them because of the love of iniquity will reject Christ. And so Satan comes back to collect the rebels and you see it down in verses 7 and 8, Satan's release from his prison to come out to deceive the nations and to gather them together for the war and the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. Isn't that amazing?

Not too amazing. They didn't reject...they didn't accept Christ when He was here the first time though He walked and talked with them and there will be those who will not accept Him then as well. So we see then the removal of Satan. In the meantime, he is not in chains and we are not to be ignorant of his schemes, 2 Corinthians 2 11 says. So the first element then of the kingdom is the removal of Satan. Let's look at the second element, the reign of the saints, from the removal of Satan to the reign of the saints, down to verse 4, and this is in verses 4, 5 and 6.

And I saw thrones and they sat upon them and judgment was given to them and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the Word of God. And those who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years, the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.

Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection. Over these the second death has no power but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. In verse 4, and then again in verse 6, it says we're going to reign with Him. So the second feature of the kingdom that is delineated here for us is the reign of the saints. Now remember obviously the supreme one reigning is Christ.

Go back to chapter 19 and remind yourself in verse 16 that He has a name written on His thigh, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We're not questioning His sovereignty here when we say that the saints will reign. The Scripture says we will reign with Christ. Somehow we will be involved in the expression of His will.

We will be His agents carrying out His wishes, carrying out His will in the world. He will, of course, destroy His enemies, as we know at the end of chapter 19, set up His kingdom. He will become King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but we will reign along with Him, carrying out His will. He will be in that day the King.

No one can gainsay what He says. In Luke 1 32 we read, He will be great. He will be called the Son of the Most High and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever and His kingdom will have no end. He came as a king. He was rejected as a king.

He died as a king scorned. He will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to reign and we will reign with Him. To understand that, we would simply have to say, all of the world leaders, all of the governors, all of the prime ministers, all of the potentates, all of the judges, all of the chiefs of police, all of those who are responsible for education, all of those who are responsible for the judicial process, all of those who are responsible for legislation, all of those who are responsible for everything that is going on across the face of the earth will be the saints who will have the delegated authority of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to carry out His will everywhere. Then there will be truth in education. Then there will be justice in the courtroom. Then there will be moral standards upheld in every area of human life. Then there will be honesty in the newspaper.

Then there will not be pollution on the book stands. Books will be filled with truth and television will be filled with only that which is true and which carries out the agenda of the Lord Jesus Christ. The saints will be in charge of television, radio, education, social life, the judicial process, the legislative process, every aspect of operation.

The saints will reign with Him. What a world that's going to be, marvelous. And the saints won't have to try to figure out what to do because they'll all be glorified and perfect and so they will perfectly carry out the will of Christ.

What an incredible thought. We won't be having committee meetings or any meetings about any...we won't have to figure anything out, we'll know everything because we will already have been made to know as we are known. We'll simply enforce the King's agenda which will be abundantly and perfectly clear to all of us. And as John then sees the vision of the reign of the saints, he first looks and sees a panorama of all God's people, resurrected, rewarded and reigning with Christ. Verse 4, And I saw thrones.

That's the first thing he sees. Thrones, there's only two kinds of thrones, really. One is a judicial throne, we call that the bench where the judge sits, and there is a regal throne. We say that's where the King takes His place.

It is either a judicial or a regal place of authority. We will rule, that is to say, we will enforce the will of God and we will adjudicate, we will judge. And by the way, there's no need for checks and balances because these leaders and judges are all perfect and righteousness will be executed perfectly and swiftly. And the Lord will rule with a rod of iron which means instantaneous swift judgment. He says, I saw thrones. It's a time of reigning and ruling.

There's no way in my mind that you can make this equate with the current age. Is there in yours? Are the saints ruling, reigning? Are we on thrones? Not on your life. Is Satan bound?

Impossible. This is a completely different world and it is perfectly suited to the destruction of the world which now exists. That's why my ecological concerns are very limited. I want to do my little part to pick up the trash, but I know where this deal's going. And we don't have to save the earth and save the planet.

What we would rather be concerned with is saving the people. I saw thrones, and this is interesting, and they sat upon them. At first, that they becomes an interpreter's nightmare and you say, Lord, couldn't You at least have told us who they are?

I saw thrones and they sat on them. You know why it doesn't say any more than that? Because it's patently obvious who they are. You say, who are they?

Well, to answer the question simply, this is the way I approached it. I saw thrones and they sat on them. All right, then who are they? Well, they're the people that the Lord put on the throne.

Well, that's good. Well, the next question is, who did He promise that He would put on a throne? Because if we can find out who He told He was going to put on a throne, we can find out who these people are. Who did He promise would reign? Who did He promise would rule with Him? Who did He promise would be in His kingdom, glorified and exalted, standing alongside their great King?

Well, go back to the Old Testament, Daniel chapter 7 and verse 18. But the saints of the highest one, or the Most High, will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever for all ages to come. Verse 22, the Ancient of Days came, that's God, judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the highest one, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom. Verse 27, then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the highest one. His dominion, His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom and all the dominions will serve and obey Him. Three times it says the kingdom will be given to whom?

The saints, to the saints. The sovereignty, the dominion, the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the highest one. So first of all, Old Testament saints...Old Testament saints have to be included in they. Let's go over to Matthew and we don't have to limit it just to that in Daniel.

When Daniel says the saints of the Most High, he means all of them, but certainly that includes the Old Testament saints who were reading and hearing what Daniel wrote. Matthew chapter 19, verse 28, Peter is talking to the Lord about the kingdom. He says we've left everything and followed You. What will there be for us?

What's going to be in our future? Peter says not only for himself, but for all of those who follow Jesus. Jesus said to them, verse 28 of Matthew 19, truly I say to you that you who have followed Me in the regeneration, that's another name for the kingdom, the restitution, the regeneration, when the Lord regenerates the whole earth, when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name's sake shall receive many times as much and inherit eternal life.

Hmm. Now Daniel chapter 7 tells us that the Old Testament saints are going to reign. Matthew chapter 19 looks at that sort of period between the Old Testament and the New, the time when Jesus was on the earth, and He says all the apostles and all who have left to follow Me are going to reign. Now let's go to 1 Corinthians chapter 6, 1 Corinthians chapter 6, verses 2 and 3. By the way, if the kingdom is now, how in the world are the saints from the Old Testament reigning? And if the kingdom is now, how are the apostles and all who follow Jesus during His lifetime reigning? And where are the twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel? You see, you have to just ignore any literal interpretation to come up with that view. First Corinthians 6, 2, do you not know, like this is common knowledge, you're not ignorant about this, are you, that the saints will judge the world?

Whoa, that's pretty explicit. Verse 3, do you not know we'll even judge angels? How much more the matters of this life. This is the New Testament saints. Second Timothy 2, 12, if we endure, we shall also reign with Him, reign with Him. First Peter 2, 9, you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession. We are a royal priesthood, royal, regal, reigning priesthood.

So what have we got? Daniel talking about Old Testament saints, Jesus talking about the apostles and all who followed Him, and the apostle Paul saying the saints, the New Testament saints are going to rule and reign. You come to the book of Revelation and repeatedly we hear about that. Revelation chapter 2 and chapter 3 talk much about what is coming. Revelation 2, 26, to Him I'll give authority over the nations, that is to Christ, and He shall rule them with a rod of iron as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces as I have also received authority from My Father, not just for Christ, but He who overcomes in Christ.

That's believers. Revelation chapter 3 repeats the same thing. Revelation 3 verse 21, He who overcomes I'll grant to Him to sit down with Me on My throne. Revelation 5, 10, thou hast made them, that is the redeemed, to be a kingdom and priests and they will reign upon the earth. Revelation 5, 10, they can be more clear, they will reign and they will reign upon the earth. They will reign upon the earth. You say, wait a minute, you left one group out.

That's true. One group is left out, but not for long. Go back to verse 4. And after I saw they, Old Testament saints, those who followed Christ, New Testament saints, and judgment was given to them, and then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the Word of God and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Who are they? Saints from what? From the Tribulation.

And you've got the last group included. He says, I saw their souls, first of all, because they initially hadn't been raised. He said, I saw their souls, those who had been beheaded, those who were martyrs because of the testimony of Jesus and the Word of God, those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand and they came to life. There was resurrection and they reigned with Christ. So you've got resurrected Old Testament saints, you've got resurrected saints who followed Jesus during His lifetime, you've got resurrected New Testament saints, and now you've got resurrected Tribulation saints and it's all the resurrected saints who reigned. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years, the martyrs who had been beheaded. That word beheaded, pelikidzo, it actually means to cut off with an axe.

Technically it can be used to behead someone, generally it means to put to death. Those who had been killed by the Antichrist and his enterprise by Satan during the time of the Tribulation, you find them in chapter 6 verse 9, the martyrs under the altar, you find them in chapter 18 verse 24, you find them in chapter 19 verse 2. All those who were massacred by Satan's enterprise and the Antichrist's reign of terror, he said, I saw them. Those who were killed because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the Word of God, those two marvelous phrases you find in chapter 1 verse 9, chapter 12 verse 17, chapter 19 verse 10, repeated four times because of their testimony of Jesus and because of their devotion to the Word of God, they lost their lives. And they are the same ones who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received the mark upon their forehead or upon their hand. Remember back in chapter 13 and 14 how that the Antichrist demanded worship? He demanded then the false prophet demanded that they worship this image to the Antichrist, this talking idol, and that they receive the mark on their forehead or on their hand.

But these are the ones who wouldn't take it. These are the tribulation saints. They wouldn't take it and so they died. They were faithful to death.

They too came to life. By the way, when it says came to life there, it can't mean anything but resurrection. The same word is used in John 11 25, I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. It's a resurrection word.

That's exactly what the word means and it doesn't mean anything but that. It is used that way in Romans 14 9, Revelation 2 8, 13 14, and it's even used that way in Revelation 20 right here in verse 5. Now they'll have the Old Testament saints in glorified bodies, those who followed Christ in glorified bodies, New Testament Christians in glorified bodies, tribulation saints in glorified bodies, that whole mass of resurrected, rewarded believers reigning in the kingdom. And they reigned with Christ for a thousand years. So during the time of the kingdom then, we carry out the rule of Christ in the world, we reign for Him. It says in 1 Corinthians 15 24, then comes the end and He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father when He abolished all rule and all authority and power, for He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet.

Ultimately, Christ will reign supremely but we will under Christ reign with Him until finally the kingdom is over on earth and He establishes that eternal kingdom where God is all in all. And this is going to be on earth, in the very place where Satan the usurper has ruled and from which he has had to be expelled, the reign of the saints. By the way, as a footnote in verse 5, the rest of the dead didn't come to life until the thousand years were completed. Who would be the rest of the dead? Who are the rest of the dead? If all the saints of the Old Testament are resurrected and all the saints of the period of Christ's time are resurrected and all the New Testament believers are resurrected and all the tribulation saints are resurrected, who's not?

The unbelievers, the ungodly. They're going to have a resurrection too, but it isn't described until the end of the chapter and we'll see it when we get down to verse 11 and following. But He says then at the end of verse 5, this is the first resurrection and blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection. So you know what the first resurrection includes really everybody. Christ is the supreme one, but all the saints of all the ages are in the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection. This is Grace to You with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us. Along with teaching each day on the radio, John also serves as chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary. He's also pastor of Grace Community Church. And his current study is looking at that amazing day in the future when Jesus comes. And you made the point today, John, that Satan will be bound for a thousand years. And of course, that implies he currently is not bound, which has some serious implications for Christians today, doesn't it?

Well, of course it does. He is not bound. He is loose. He goes about, the Bible says, he goes about like a lion seeking whom he may devour. Clearly he is not bound. There are some demons that are bound.

Peter tells us that. Jude tells us that, that they were bound because of sin committed back in the book of Genesis. But there are plenty of demons that are not bound that are running loose over the whole earth operating Satan's kingdom. So Satan is currently not bound. He has free reign within the boundaries that God has established.

In the future, he will be bound. That simply means that he and his satanic system during the thousand-year millennial kingdom will not be able to run across the earth, as it were, as a spiritual army creating havoc. However, that doesn't mean the world will be free from sin. It will be free from Satan's enterprises.

But there will be people born in the millennial kingdom, and many of them will not believe, enough of them, that there's a rebellion at the end of the thousand-year kingdom, and the Lord has to come down and destroy that rebellion. And by the way, at the end, he loosens Satan for a little while, and the forces of unbelievers that have been born and rejected Christ, even in the millennial kingdom, and Satan are once again joined for a final destruction and being cast at that point into the lake of fire. Satan is not bound today.

He is free to move. However, greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. We have nothing to fear from Satan.

He has been sentenced and placed under our feet, and we have complete victory in Christ. Along this line, let me tell you about a book that is one of my favorites. I wrote it some time back. It's called Standing Strong. It tells you how to deal with Satan now.

It's called Standing Strong. We'll send it to you free. It's a couple hundred pages. Serious book. Standing Strong free to anyone who asks if you haven't contacted us before. That's right, and this book will show you the strategies Satan uses against the church, and what your responsibility is in fighting Satan and his demons, and the weapons God has given you for protection. Again, John's book, Standing Strong, is free if it's your first time getting in touch with us. To get your copy, contact us today. You can request your book when you call 800-55-GRACE or go to our website, GTY.org. Standing Strong looks at every piece of the believer's armor, preparing you for any spiritual attack you might face.

It also comes with a study guide at the end of every chapter to help you put into practice what you've learned. Again, Standing Strong is free to anyone who has never contacted us before. Just make your request at our website, GTY.org, and while you're online, dig into the spiritual tools available at GTY.org. One suggestion, the four daily devotionals written by John. They give you an easy schedule to follow for daily Bible reading as they explain important biblical truth in a memorable way. You can also listen to John's latest sermon from his home church. Those Bible study resources and thousands more are available for free at GTY.org. Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson, encouraging you to watch Grace To You Television this Sunday on DirecTV channel 378, or go to our website and see if the program airs in your area. And then join us Monday as John continues his series, When Jesus Comes, with another half hour of unleashing God's truth, one verse at a time, on Grace To You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-28 12:18:16 / 2023-03-28 12:28:47 / 11

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