Posts Tagged ‘Revelation 19’

The enemies of Christ must be cast into hell before the new creation can be inaugurated. Hell is not part of the new creation.

Unity can’t exist between God and those who will not willingly submit to his headship (though all will submit, willingly or unwillingly). Not all who are born of Adam will be reborn in Christ and receive all the good that comes with being united to God and others (in Christ).

Hell is not part of the new creation. Those who are cast out out of the presence of God have no place in the union of the new creation. At the end of Revelation 20 the Bible describes the final judgement after the last war. All those who will not bow the knee willingly are thrown into the lake of fire (hell). This is to ensure that they are dealt with before the union of the new creation is inaugurated. If they are judged after the new creation is inaugurated this will restart the cycle of a divided creation making perfect unity in Christ impossible.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
(Revelation 20:11-15 ESV)

God will have his day in court. There is only one justice, the justice of God. In unity justice for one is justice for all. Only those who are united in him will be vindicated. Those who are not united in Christ will be condemned by their own actions.

The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.
(1 Timothy 5:24-25 ESV)

All that will matter on that day is unity in Christ. God will separate the sheep from the goats, the faithful from the unfaithful. Those who actively and faithfully live out their union in Christ will be set aside to live in union with God forever, in the new creation. By this shall all mankind know the faithful who are in Christ, that they loved one another. Christians will be distinguished by their love in unity, glorifying God by living out their unity in Christ.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
(Matthew 25:31-40 ESV)

The Glory of God is in his oneness/unity. There can be no greater pursuit or life of value than a life lived in union with God. In unity mankind was designed to reflect to glory of God, glorifying him in every action.

Those who will not unite in Christ will be cast out forever. All benefits of unity (in God) received in the present age (though they were not united to him) will be removed forever (the love of family, any good thing, etc). Their fate will be one of eternal torment, beings created to exist in unity with God and one another yet unable to achieve this in the slightest. There will be no hope of reprieve from this torment, no death to look forward to. In that day they will know their own actions condemned them. God will glorify himself by condemning those who will not unite in him, vindicating himself before all.

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For iI was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
(Matthew 25:41-46 ESV)

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There is a war coming between sons of Adam and the sons of God. This is a war between the old and new creations, between the broken union of man and the new humanity in Christ. This must happen before the new creation is established. The amnesty of the present age is passing and when it does the sons of God will unite for the last human war. This is a human war because mankind was given authority over creation (in the beginning), so at the end of the present age mankind will regain its place over creation, in Christ. Order will be reestablished.

Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
(1 Corinthians 15:24-28 ESV)

This war is necessary. Christ, who is head of this new human union (and new creation), must subjugate every other government and authority who does not subject themselves to his rule willingly. So that all may be brought to account under the good order that God established in the beginning.

In the process of uniting all thing under his authority Christ will dominate death and raise all from the dead. Just as mankind is united in death the sons of God be united in life. Once Jesus Christ has put all things under his feet he will then put himself under the authority of God the father. The phrase “…that God may be all in all” (vs28) is the language of unity, a union that all Christians will share in as part of the new creation. This is an image of complete consistency with and submission to the authority of God the Father, where no part of creation is in revolt or rebellion against God. The kingdom of God is a perfect union under the order, rule and authority of God the father. Christ will hand over all authority to God so that all things will be subject to God. Never again will mankind seek to wrestle control of creation from God because Christ who is the head of all will not fail where Adam failed, to do so will require him to rebel against himself (he is God also). In this way the future of the new creation will be secure in Christ.

During this last war, creation will unite in rebellion against God one last time. Seeking to destroy their common enemy, God’s chosen king (Christ). They will not prevail, they will be defeated swiftly and without mercy.

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.  And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.
(Revelation 19:11-21 ESV)

Those who will not unite in Christ willingly have no place in the new creation, this is why hell is so important (more on this later). At the end of the book of Matthew describes the final judgement of God where he will separate those who are united in Christ (the sheep) from those who would not submit willingly (the Goats).

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
(Matthew 25:31-34 ESV)

While similar in some respects, sheep and goats are not the same species and as such they have no place coexisting, the goats must be separated out. Note that this distinction between species is not made effective until the final judgement and it is God who makes this distinction not man. So in the present age while there is still time Christians must strive to make Christ known and leave the judgement and punishment of the goats to God at the time of his choosing.