Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Proverbs 20:8 commentary

8 ¶ A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.

This is a great prophetic verse. Of course, it has a literal and practical application to the ancient Hebrew. Over and over again, God reinforces to them the power of monarchy which they had demanded in opposition to God’s will and God’s own rule directly over them. See 1 Samuel 8:7 and context.

But fast forward to the end of history. Christ, the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), sits on the throne of Heaven and all people who were not of those who had trusted in or believed Him stand before Him to be judged (John 12:48; Matthew 28:18; John 5:22), just as believers in Him had been judged previously (Romans 14:10; 2Corinthians 5:10).

Revelation 20:11 ¶ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Now, let’s go back into the Bible and review some things.

Job 15:15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.

Job 25:5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.

The universe, corrupted by man’s rebellion and Satan’s iniquity, is waiting to be remade. And as was promised in Isaiah 65:17;

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

So, the very next verse after the group of verses I quoted above in Revelation says;

Revelation 21:1 ¶ And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

The nature of the new heaven and the new earth are different than the corruption we know now.

2Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Evil, iniquity, and sin are an affront to God. He won’t tolerate them beyond the time they are to be judged. God will scatter all unclean things; a fallen universe and fallen mankind, with His eyes.

Revelation 20:11 ¶ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

We don’t know when this will be but we do believe, like the early Christians, that the Bible makes it clear that the church, the people who have believed on Christ, will be removed from the world first in what we call “the Rapture” (1 Thessalonians 1:10 with Revelation 11:18; 2 Corinthians 5:8 and context; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and context), then a Great Tribulation will occur during which 144,000 Christ believing Jews will evangelize the earth, then Christ returns and takes over the world and reigns for a thousand years. At the end of the thousand years, Satan, who had been bound when Christ returned physically, is released and for a short time the kings of the earth who have ruled at Christ’s permission, will rise up against Him in one last, dying gasp, only to be destroyed. Then judgment; Satan, death, and Hell are cast into a lake of unquenchable fire for eternity. (Just read the Book of Revelation).

His end purpose is to restore all things to the way they were meant to be.

We talk about the rapture or translation of the church as did Shepard in 150AD, Victorinus in 240AD, Cyprian in 250AD, and Ephraim the Syrian in 374AD or thereabouts. We talk about the anti-Christ, the beast of Revelation as did Justin Martyr writing between 110 and 165, Irenaeus around 170AD, Tertullian writing between 190 and 210AD, and even Origen, writing around 230AD. Many of these writers wrote about the coming Millennial reign of Christ on earth. In fact, historians tell us that the predominant view of the end of history in the Christian church for the first three centuries was called Chiliasm; the belief that Christ will reign on earth for 1,000 literal years before the end.

It wasn’t until a branch of the church was legitimized by a Roman Emperor and the church and state were united that preachers began talking about the belief that Christ was ruling the earth now through the church and that a millennium just meant a long period of time. As a portion of Christian believers assumed earthly power they began to alter the common faith to justify their lust for control and moved away from the Bible and the teachings of the Apostles, murdering millions of Christians who still held to the faith “once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3). This was done in spite of the Bible’s clear admonitions for Christians that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh)” (2 Corinthians 10:4). This was done in spite of the fact that Christ said that “my kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36) and that the kingdom of God is invisible and lies within the believers (Luke 17:20, 21).

This was so much a part of the early church that it was said that being an emperor or even a soldier was inconsistent with being a Christian. And yet, the branch of Christianity that wielded physical power grew and dominated the European world for many centuries while the Christians who believed the old way, Christ’s way, lived among them and also separate from them. There was always a remnant within the larger group and among those who chose to live as separately as they were capable of doing without being slaughtered (but not immune to martyrdom) who believed in the Bible they had and the teachings of Christ and the Apostles.

In the end, evil will be scattered by the king of all the universe’s look, and all things will be remade. We Christians have a choice to make; to believe in the Bible’s clear and literal teaching or in the doctrines of churches even among those who claim to believe in “the old paths” that make it up as they go along to justify their situation and desires. We shall see.

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