A Brief History Primer
God had crowned man with glory and honor and intended for him to be king over God's creation, to subdue the earth and have dominion over all the works of His hands. But now, because of Adam's sin and rebellion, death entered into God's very good creation (Romans 5:12). Instead of Adam reigning, death now reigns (Romans 5:14, 17), not only over Adam, but his offspring and all his dominion. Because of Adam's sin, a curse came upon the dust or the very elements from which they were formed (Genesis 2:7, 19; Ecclesiastes 3:19-20) so that man would eventually decay back into those basic elements from which God had formed them.
When Adam sinned, He became dead to God, and eventually died and decayed back to the dust of the ground, and Satan, who is the ultimate author of sin and death, usurped the rule of Adam over the earth so that now He is called “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is this world's “prince” (John 12:31, Ephesians 2:2) and we are told that now, the whole “world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). He is that “wicked one” (1 John 5:18), our deadly adversary who “as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The whole world has been given over to the influence of the Devil, and just as he “beguiled Eve through his subtlety” (2 Corinthians 11:3) so to, he now “deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9), who are so led according to his will (2 Timothy 2:26).
When Satan came tempting Jesus we find out that he has great influence over the kingdoms of this world. “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.” (Luke 4:5-6). Many there have been that have yielded to his infernal devices. He possessed many kings down through the annals of history, the king of Babylon, and Assyria, and Pharaoh. He possessed Judas and in the near future will possess Antichrist.
This world just ain't what it used to be. Paradise was lost to Satan, the prince of darkness (Ephesians 6:11-12). Isaiah said, “darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people” (Isaiah 60:2). We have become alienated from God by wicked works just like Cain (Colossians 1:21; 1 John 3:12), under the dominion of Satan. The apostle Paul called it, “the times of this ignorance” (Acts 17:30). The earth had become engulfed in the “shadow of death”, yet God, who “commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6) “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2)
Although man fell into deep depravity, Adam's posterity was not left without hope. While Satan may have usurped the rule over the earth from Adam, God had said to the Serpent, “I will put enmity between thee [the Serpent] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it [her Seed] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) Although a spiritual war had now begun (Ephesians 6:11-12), which we can see in the first two children born to Adam and Eve (Cain and Able), Satan, the leader of the rebellion against God, would ultimately receive a death blow to the head by the Seed of the woman. But until that time, death has the rule over Adam and his domain.
In the book of Romans we are told, “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:20-23) The promise of deliverance to God's people would also be extended to the whole creation which came under the effects of man's bondage to sin and corruption.
Sin and death entered into the world by Adam (Romans 5:12). Because of Adam's sin, the whole of creation became subject to vanity, so that death now reigns (Romans 5:14, 17). Adam transgressed the commandment of God and yielded to Satan. Adam died and Satan usurped his reign over the earth. Satan was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). He is really “the angel of death” and is the ultimate author of death, that led the whole of creation, both Adam and all his dominion into the bondage of corruption. This is all the works of the Devil, and many today, like Cain, have willfully chosen to follow Satan in His rebellion. They love death (Proverbs 8:36) and have chosen Death over Life (Deuteronomy 30:19). They love “darkness rather than light”, they hate the light and will not come to it (John 3:19-20). They are the “seed” (Genesis 3:15) of the Devil, whom Christ called a “generation of vipers” and “tares” (Matthew 13:38), who will ultimately follow Satan right into hell (Matthew 13:40).
Jesus said to the unbelieving Jews of that time, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44) “The Bible tells us, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). This has been the hope of believers since the Fall of man. All their lifetime they had been waiting for the manifestation of the Son of God who would come and redeem mankind back to Himself. And in the fullness of time, this He did. He came to die in the place of man, to pay the horrible price of sin, purchasing them with His own blood, and then victoriously conquered death by rising from the dead for their justification, that He might redeem them and purify them a peculiar people unto Himself.
Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again, according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) and has become the hope of His people. It is Satan who had the “power of death” (Hebrews 2:14) and since the Fall of man, they have never been able to overcome the “power of the grave” (Hosea 13:14), but Jesus, by the “power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10), has destroyed the works of the Devil, so that now, “death hath no power” (Revelation 20:6) over His people, for our Saviour Jesus Christ “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 2:10). Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24) The Bible tells us, “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) The Bible tells us we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, and are saved by His life (Romans 5:10).
Now when He died, He descended down to the lower parts of the earth, down to Hades, where those who died in the faith, were in “Abraham's bosom” (Luke 16:19-31). These were “prisoners of hope” (Zechariah 9:9-12), and Christ rescued them from the pit. Their debt He had paid in full and was now able to set them free. When He ascended back to His Father's house, he led them back to heaven with Him in one great victory parade (Ephesians 4:8-10, Colossians 2:13-15).
The reign of Satan and death shall not go on forever. God's purpose was for man to have an everlasting kingdom of righteousness here on earth. The writer of Hebrews says, God has “put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him” (Hebrews 2:8). Sin, death and chaos has invaded the realm of man's dominion so that we do not yet see all things put under him. But we have the promise of The Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-49), the One who would conquer sin and death and the Devil, the victorious Son of God, the Seed of the woman, who would enter the human race via the miracle of the virgin birth. The writer of Hebrews goes on to say, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
He is indeed, the “Captain” of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10). “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:8-11)
Hallelujah, for our God reigns. He will not leave His people forever groveling in the pains of sin, death and suffering, No! Not at all! Although they must for a season reap what they have sown, according to God's purposes, but they are not left without hope for He that is faithful has promised, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.” (Hosea 13:14) “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 25:8)
Now Christ promised to return and restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6-8). In parable He said He would depart “to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return” (Luke 19:12).This is what we see in the book of Daniel, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14)
This world is presently in rebellion against its Maker. The rulers and kings of the earth, under the influence of the Devil, are trying to build their own kingdom, for their own glory, to the exclusion of Christ and God. They have foolishly declared, “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:3) They have insanely determined to sever all ties with their Creator who is the Maker and Owner of all things and the true Heir of all things. God had given the earth to man (Psalm 115:16), but Adam lost his dominion to Satan, and only a near kinsman could redeem it back (Leviticus 25:23-25). Christ became the Son of man and hath purchased the lost world with His own blood (1 Peter 1:18-20, Ephesians 1:7). He is the true heir, but the complete redemption of the purchased possession (Ephesians 1:14) will not take place to the rightful heir returns to purge the land of its invaders, their evil Adversary and his followers, so that the rightful heirs can return to the land.
When He returns, it will not be to speak to them the glorious gospel of Christ, no, then shall “He speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure” (Psalm 2:5). When He returns, “He will miserably destroy those wicked men” (Matthew 21:40-41). When He returns, it will not be as the suffering Servant of Jehovah. The “Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” (1 Thessalonians 1:7-10)
Salvation is nearer than we think, but for now, the Devil as a roaring lion, roameth about the earth seeking whom he may devour (Job 1:7, 1 Peter 5:8). Most are oblivious to the real conflict and battle that is taking place here on earth as they live their life without Christ and in ignorance of His Word, for the great deceiver has blinded the minds of them that believe not lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3-6). Lies and deception are on every front, and they just cannot see through to the Truth of God concerning our redemption that is in Christ Jesus, the purpose of His creation and the coming Kingdom that is soon to be revealed in us (Romans 8:18, 32).
Christ is coming back, and it will not be as a Lamb to suffer and die for the sins of the world. When He returns we are told, “in righteousness he doth judge and make war” (Revelation 19:11). The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein (Psalm 24:1-2; 89:11), and these God has given to His Son (Psalm 2:8). The Son of Man is He whose right it is to reign over all the earth (Ezekiel 21:26-27) and His dominion shall be from sea to sea as the waters cover the earth (Psalm 72:8, Zechariah 9:9-10). When He returns He is coming to put down evil, and to destroy sinners out of the earth (Isaiah 13:9, Psalm 104:35), to bind up Satan (Revelation 20:1-3), before he is forever cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10) which was prepared for him (Matthew 25:41). Jesus Christ is the rightful heir and the usurper shall be banished and destroyed along with all those who follow him (Revelation 20:13-15) and obey not our Lord Jesus Christ, and they shall not “escape the damnation of hell”. (Matthew 23:33, Luke 19:27)
Like the prophet Jeremiah said, “the nations are mad” (Jeremiah 51:7). They think that they can thwart the plans of God. When Christ came the first time, “they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance” (Matthew 21:38), and they “crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). But what does the Lord say to this? “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision” (Psalm 2:4). By His death came our salvation, “which God ordained before the world unto our glory”. To the saved, the preaching of the cross is the power of God, but unto them that are lost and perishing, it is foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18-21), thereby “confounding the wise” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29). And while the kings and “the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Ephesians 6:12) think they may have seized on His inheritance while they build their kingdoms here on earth, God has decreed, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” (Psalm 2:6-8)
Jesus Christ is “the first begotten of the dead” (Revelation 1:5). He is “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4, Acts 13:32-33). By “the power of an endless life” (Hebrews 7:16), “because He continueth forever” (Hebrews 7:24), is able to establish an everlasting kingdom and dominion here on earth (Daniel 7:14), because He is “alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:18).
When He returns, the plans of the kings and rulers of this world shall come to an end. “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” So He gives them this very valuable information. It is Words of wisdom that shall make the difference between life and death, heaven or hell, wrath or grace, peace or war, lovingkindness or vexation of spirit, fullness of joy or wailing and gnashing of teeth. “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (Psalm 2:10-12)
So, in a brief summation, Christ has conquered death and is risen from the dead. He is gone into heaven to receive for Himself a kingdom and to return. His Father promised Him, “I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” (Psalm 2:8) The title deed to world are in His possession as He is the Creator and Maker of all things, and therefore the owner of all things. The earth has been given to man, but he sold out to sin and is now in debt. Evil invaders are now occupying man's dominion, but Christ, as man's the near kinsman Redeemer, came into the world to pay the debt of sin. He has purchased the world with His own blood and rose from the dead proving Him to be the rightful heir. The evil invaders, having proved their allegiance to the Devil now need to be expelled. This is very important to understand as we get back to our study in the Revelation.
Christ is said to be given the “heathen”, that is the Gentiles, for His inheritance. It must be understood that God has a plan for both the Jew and the Gentiles. Concerning Christ it is said, “It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)
Israel shall be “restored” during Daniel's Seventieth Week (Daniel 9:24-27) when they shall find repentance and believe on Christ (Acts 3:18-21), but in the mean time, Christ has come a “light to the Gentiles”, “to take out of them a people for His name” (Acts 15:14). Israel has been “blinded in part”, and for the moment, has been set aside. But God is now taking out of the world a Gentile Bride who shall be called by His name. This is what happens when a man and woman are married, the bride takes the name of the man. When Christ is done building His Church, He has another building plan. “After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up” (Acts 15:16). Because many do not understand the difference between these two people groups, God's dealings with each of them, and the proper sequence of events, much false doctrine has arisen in these latter days.
Christ will come again, and He gave us an example how we ought to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done... in earth... deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:2-4). This “present evil world” (Galatians 1:4), where “evil men and seducers ... wax worse and worse” (2 Timothy 3:13), shall be interrupted by the glorious return of Christ. When He returns He will restore the Kingdom to Israel, He will build again the tabernacle of David. But before this, He will first come to take His Bride, the Church, those who have believed on Him who rose from the dead (1 Thessalonians 4:14). When He comes again, He first returns to the upper atmosphere to take His Bride out of the danger zone. Now Christ has also been given the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. Out of the Gentiles He has been given a Bride. He has been calling out of the world a people for His name, and one day He shall give a “shout” and call them “up” and they shall depart out of this world to be with Him forever. They shall inherit all things with Christ, and live and reign with Him as kings and priests (Romans 8:17; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, Revelation 1:6; 2:26-27; 3:21; 5:10; 20:4, 6, Matthew 19:28, Luke 19:17, 19, Isaiah 32:1).
Now what is the scroll that Christ takes from His Father (Revelation 5)? It is His inheritance, the title deed to the earth, where He shall establish His everlasting kingdom and dominion, where He shall reign with His Bride, the Church (2 Timothy 2:12, Romans 8:17, 1 Corinthians 6:2, Revelation 3:21; 5:10; 20:4). Before He took the scroll, He had already taken His Bride to be with Him (Ephesians 1:9-11). He has rescued her out of harm's way, and now He begins His assault on the heathen, who have willfully rejected Him. He then begins opening the seals on the scroll. Each seal that is open is a judgment from Christ, for the Father “hath given him authority to execute judgment” (John 5:27). Today the world is heaping up judgment. The apostle Paul said, “after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:5). During the Lord's longsuffering, the world has been treasuring up wrath, and when Christ starts opening the seals, “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).
God said He “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31) When Christ takes the scroll the Day of Judgment, “the day of wrath” begins, it is the Day of the Lord (Zephaniah 1:14-17). “For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.” (Ezekiel 30:3). It is the time of “the indignation of the LORD ... upon all nations” (Isaiah 34:20). This is when He begins to pour out His wrath on the heathen, that is the unbelieving Gentile nations, and the world of the ungodly. His judgments increase like birth pangs in intensity and frequency, until He returns for the final assault on the wicked at Armageddon, where “the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army” (Revelation 19:19).
The heathen by this time are gathered around Jerusalem to annihilate the Jews, then shall they cry, “Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.” (1 Chronicles 16:35). It is then that He shall hear their voice and shall return and gather them as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:29-31)
God had told Israel many times in the Old Testament that He would gather them together (Deuteronomy 30:3-5, Jeremiah 29:14; 31:10; 32:37-44, Ezekiel 34:12-13; 36:24), and as He promised Judah long ago, “unto him shall the gathering of the people be” (Judah 49:10).
Remember the order. God has set Israel aside in blindness while Christ takes for Himself a Gentile Bride. When the fullness of their number is come in they shall be caught up together with Christ. Then He shall turn again to Israel, His elect, for their Salvation. “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.” (Romans 9:25-28)
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.” (Jeremiah 23:5-8)