The Biblical Overview of The Plan of God – Part 13


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The Biblical Overview of The Plan of God – Part 13

How The Elect Will Acquire Power Over The Kingdoms Of The World

Rev 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Introduction

I have no intention of naming the names of the leaders of this world at the time of the return of Christ. Neither will I be foretelling any of the details of exactly how the powers that now rule this world will be transferred over into the hands of “our Lord and His Christ”. I will not be setting any dates for when this incredible event will take place. I will leave all such foolishness up to those who are given by God to “think above that which is written” (1Co 4:6). What we will do is to simply quote, and we will bring together “line upon line, and precept upon precept… that which is written”.

This is how we ended our last study:

“You will notice that the trumpet of the jubilee is sounded on the day of atonement, the day when the scapegoat was offered for the iniquities of Israel. We will stop here for today, and next week we will see what was to take place in the year of the jubilee, and  we will find, as we have already pointed out, that even this goal of the plan of God for all men is accomplished through “the church which is His body… the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”

I had planned to give that study first, but because I have been asked several times ‘How will God give the governments of all the nations of this earth over to His elect?’ I have decided to answer that question first, to the extent that scripture answers it, before we get into the year of the jubilee. The year of the jubilee is the symbol for the final revelation of the completion of the work of God with all of mankind of all time. We dare not to “think above what is written”, but what God has given us to know and to understand is quite sufficient to keep us occupied for quite some time:

This is the rule we will follow as we consider what the scriptures reveal about how the powers of the kingdoms of this world will be handed over to “our Lord and His Christ”:

1Co 4:6  Now these things, brothers, I applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us ye might learn not to think above that which is written, so that ye may not be puffed up, one over the one against the other. (ACV)

So please be patient, and Lord willing, we will see next week what is revealed to us in the commandment to keep a year of jubilee, on the day of atonement, after seven sevens of years. There is great significance to why this is done outside the scope of the three seasons of a single year and there is great spiritual significance why it is done on the very same day on which the scapegoat, along “with the Lord’s goat” is offered for the sins of the people. That day, of course, is the day of atonement. We will save all of that for our final study in this series, and instead today we will share with you how the scriptures reveal the leaders of this world will be led to give the powers of the kingdoms of this world over to God’s elect so they can rule the kingdoms of this world with a rod of iron for a thousand years, all the while building up and increasing the resentment that will be expressed in the rebellion against the Lord and His Christ during the “little season” at the end of the millennium. That rebellion is the predestined, preordained event which will give God the ‘occasion He is seeking’ to destroy all flesh and to thereby destroy death, which we are told is “the last enemy to be destroyed”.

Now we will answer, with the scriptures we are given and with the symbols within those scriptures, how the nations of this world have been given over to God’s elect in the past, and we will also consider the factors which the scriptures plainly state will be be part of what will cause this event to happen again on a global scale sometime in the future.

The governments of the greatest nations on earth have three times already been given over to those who typify the elect of God. Those three instances were 1) Joseph who was given the rulership of all of Egypt, which typifies all of this world. 2) Daniel and his three friends who were given dominion over all the province of Babylon, symbolizing the whole religious world, and finally, 3) Mordecai and Esther, symbolizine “our Lord and His Christ”, who were given dominion over the entire Medo-Persian empire which had conquered and absorbed the kingdom of Babylon.

Joseph and the Pharaoh

Let’s consider what happened to Joseph first. Joseph was given dreams and knowledge which simply was not given to his brothers who were also the seed of Abraham. His brothers hated the thought of their younger brother possibly ruling over them. He had placed his father’s words above the words of his brothers. Joseph had no physical claim upon the double portion of the birthright of the firstborn. That physically went to his oldest brother Reuben. But Joseph’s father loved Joseph more than he loved Joseph’s older brothers, so when Joseph was sent by his father to his brothers they sold him into Egypt as a slave.

Gen 37:2  These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
Gen 37:3  Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
Gen 37:4  And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. 

Gen 37:23  And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
Gen 37:24  And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
Gen 37:25  And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
Gen 37:26  And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
Gen 37:27  Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
Gen 37:28  Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

It does not take great spiritual insight to see how Joseph’s experience with His brothers here typified Christ’s experience with His own people, the Jews (Mat 21:37). But the type continues when Joseph is cast into an Egyptian prison, and after several years there, he is raised up out of prison, typifying death, and is placed on the throne of all Egypt. It all  typifies the death and resurrection of “our Lord and His Christ”, to sit with His Father in His Throne.

But notice how the Lord made this to happen to Joseph. There is a message for us in how this was accomplished by God:

Gen 41:8  And it came to pass in the morning that [Pharaoh’s] spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
Gen 41:9  Then [after Pharaoh’s two very disturbing dreams] spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day:
Gen 41:10  Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard’s house, both me and the chief baker:
Gen 41:11  And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.
Gen 41:12  And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.
Gen 41:13  And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.
Gen 41:14  Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.

God sent two very disturbing dreams to Pharaoh. The Lord caused those dreams to trouble Pharaoh and to make him to feel that something very ominous was about to happen. But Pharaoh had no understanding of his dreams until God had placed an acquaintance of Joseph into a position to bring Joseph to the attention of the Pharaoh. Pharaoh then sent for Joseph to give him the interpretation of his dreams. Once Joseph had given the interpretation of the dreams, then Pharaoh was caused by God to decide that Joseph was the person who was best equipped to deal with the coming famine about which Joseph had interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams to be forewarning.

God was orchestrating Joseph’s entire life, and Egypt and the Pharaoh were all in place for Joseph’s sake, so Joseph could be placed upon the throne of all Egypt “to save much people alive”, which is the very same commission given to “our Lord and His Christ” (Joh 3:17).

Daniel and King Nebuchadnezzar

This is a later revelation of this same event so it includes the symbols of “our Lord and His Christ”. In the story of Daniel we have Christ, symbolized by Daniel, and His Christ, symbolized by Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego, who are placed by God at the helm of the Babylonian empire of King Nebuchadnezzar.

Reading from Daniel one, beginning at verse one:

Dan 1:1  In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
Dan 1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Dan 1:3  And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;
Dan 1:4  Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
Dan 1:5  And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
Dan 1:6  Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
Dan 1:7  Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.

Again, our story begins with God’s elect being slaves to their masters, as we all first are to our flesh and to this world. Then God once again causes the king of Babylon to have another very disturbing dream. But this time, by God’s design, the king cannot even remember the dream, and yet he was so terrified by that dream that he threatens the lives of all of his seers if they do not both tell him his dream and the meaning of his own dream which he has forgotten. This all serves to distinguish Daniel from all the other religious leaders of his day, and to reveal that Daniel is the real thing, and that God is with Daniel, and that He is not with the other Babylonian religious leaders:

Dan 2:2  Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans [Babylonians], for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
Dan 2:3  And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. 
Dan 2:4  Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.
Dan 2:5  The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
Dan 2:6  But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.

Daniel, typifying Christ, is given both the dream and its interpretation, and is then granted to rule with his faithful friends over the entire kingdom of Babylon:

Dan 2:46  Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
Dan 2:47  The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
Dan 2:48  Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. 
Dan 2:49  Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

When God determines to place His children in charge of the kingdoms of this world, He has no trouble at all making it so. He can trouble a king, or He can trouble a whole army of men and cause His will to come to pass (2Ki 19:35). It is not even a challenge for our God.

Mordecai and Esther

To make the picture complete, we first have Christ Himself, symbolized by Joseph, and we then have “our Lord and His Christ” symbolized by Daniel, as the Lord, and his three friends as “His Christ”. But now in the story of Mordecai and Esther, we have the symbol of Christ and His bride being given the kingdoms of this world via the agency of Ahasuerus, the king of the great Medo-Persian empire which had conquered the Babylonian empire.

In this story the Lord actually removes the queen, the wife of the king, in order to place his bride in charge of the affairs of the kingdoms of this world. What that tells us is that the ten horns on the beast will destroy the great harlot before “the kingdoms of this world… become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ”. The way God brought this all about was to cause the king to want to have a party at which he could display all the glory of his kingdom to all of His subjects:

Est 1:1  Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:)
Est 1:2  That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,
Est 1:3  In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:
Est 1:4  When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.

Ahasuerus was a true politician. He entertained the princes and nobles of the provinces for 180 days, and then he entertained the common men for seven days. He even allowed the queen, Queen Vashti, to make a feast for the women in his royal house.

Est 1:5  And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace;
Est 1:6  Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.
Est 1:7  And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.
Est 1:8  And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man’s pleasure.
Est 1:9  Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus.

At this point Queen Vashti, typifying the great harlot who is replaced by the bride of Christ, took it upon herself to decide when or if she would be obedient to her king, just as we all do at our own appointed time.  Her disobedience was the occasion our Lord was seeking to dethrone the unfaithful wife and replace her with a wife who would be faithful to Him in all things.

Est 1:10  On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,
Est 1:11  To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.
Est 1:12  But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.
Est 1:13  Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so was the king’s manner toward all that knew law and judgment:
Est 1:14  And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king’s face, and which sat the first in the kingdom;)
Est 1:15  What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?
Est 1:16  And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus. 
Est 1:17  For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.

To make a long story a little shorter, virgins out of the various provinces were brought to Shushan, and in the end Esther was chosen to be the new queen to replace the unfaithful and rebellious Queen Vashti.

Est 2:17  And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti. 
Est 2:18  Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther’s feast [“the marriage supper of the Lamb” Rev 19:9]; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.
Est 2:19  And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king’s gate.
Est 2:20  Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him

Esther knew who had placed her on the throne of the Medes and the Persians, and she was faithful to her God and to her uncle Mordecai, whom God had used to place her on the throne. Later, when Esther had to lay down her life for her people like the Lord’s Christ who she symbolizes, she did not hesitate to do so:

Est 4:10  Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai;
Est 4:11  All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.
Est 4:12  And they told to Mordecai Esther’s words.
Est 4:13  Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. 
Est 4:14  For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? 
Est 4:15  Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,
Est 4:16  Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

The reason Esther had to appear before the king without waiting to be called into his presence was that an Amalekite named Haman had connived to have all the Jews in all of the Persian empire destroyed, not knowing that Esther was a Jew. This story of Haman typifies the hatred which the churches of Babylon have toward God’s elect. Potiphar’s wife hated Joseph, the Chaldean hated Daniel and his three friends, and Haman hated Mordecai. Like Christ Himself, God’s elect are hated by the very people who claim to be faithful to the king, not knowing that they are, in reality, fighting against the king to their own destruction. It is for ‘the church which is His body’ that our afflictions are suffered just as it was with Joseph, with Daniel and his three friends, and as it was with Mordecai and Esther.

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

This story ends in the salvation of the Jews and the destruction of their enemies who would have destroyed them. This brings us to the question of how the kingdoms of this world will be given over to the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb, who will rule this earth for “a thousand years”. These events all happened and are written for our admonition (1Co 10:11). The story of Esther and Mordecai symbolizes the destruction of the enemies of God’s elect who would destroy them. All of these events foreshadow in some way what will take place in some form before God’s elect will be given to begin their rulership of the kingdoms of this world just as Mordecai and Esther were given dominion over all the provinces of the Medo-Persian empire, after destroying those who would destroy them. Mordecai and Esther were separated from where God wanted them to be, first by Vashti and then by Haman. Both of these people symbolize “the enemies of the cross of Christ”:

Php 3:18  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 
Php 3:19  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame,who mind earthly things.)

This is what we are told will happen at that time when “the kingdoms of this world… become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ”:

Rev 11:1  And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
Rev 11:2  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. [Luk 21:24 “…until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. “]
Rev 11:3  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4  These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Rev 11:5  And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 

See our Revelation series on these verses to understand who these “two witnesses” are, and to understand  what “in this manner be killed” means. [http://www.iswasandwillbe.com/rev-11_5_6/]

Rev 11:6  These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
Rev 11:7  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 
Rev 11:8  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egyptwhere also our Lord was crucified. [Rom 12:1; 1Co 15:31; Gal 2:20]
Rev 11:9  And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 
Rev 11:10  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 
Rev 11:11  And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 
Rev 11:12  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
Rev 11:13  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. 
Rev 11:14  The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. 
Rev 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 
Rev 11:16  And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
Rev 11:17  Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned
Rev 11:18  And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and greatand shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
Rev 11:19  And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

“They that dwell on the earth” (Rev 11:10) are the opposite of those who are seated with Christ in the heavens:

Eph 2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

“They that dwell on the earth” are symbolized by Potiphar’s wife, by the Chaldeans who sought Daniel’s death, and by Vashti and Haman who stood between the king and God’s typical elect. This book of Revelation is a book which has been “signified”, meaning it is a book of signs and symbols, and the killing of others by God’s elect symbolizes what happens to the enemies of God’s elect within them. While it is true that God’s elect have literally died with Christ for the words of their testimony, it is also true that when we read of God’s elect “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them”, this too, is just as symbolic as the two witnesses killing those who would harm them.

Rev 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

Revelation 11 is the chapter which gives us the symbolic order of events surrounding the first resurrection and how that event is connected to the change of administrations from the rulership by the power of the kingdoms of this world to the rulership of the power of “our Lord and His Christ”. This momentous event is being described in spiritual words which hide their message from the multitudes. So we will let the scriptures themselves tells us what is being signified in this chapter.

The resurrection of the “two witnesses” is not a special resurrection for just two men. Two is the number which signifies witness, and the resurrection of the “two witnesses” signifies the resurrection of all witnesses for Christ who have “fallen asleep in Christ” from the time of the resurrection of Christ until the time of the first resurrection. What we need to notice is the message we are being given in the symbolism of this chapter. Here is a link to an article about The Two Witnesses.

“A great earthquake” is not a physical earthquake, but is both a spiritual and a political earthquake which will change the power structure of the entire earth.

Isa 29:6  Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. 
Isa 29:7  And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.

This “earthquake… storm and tempest, and…devouring fire” will destroy “the multitude of nations which fight against” God’s elect, whether it is in the past, at this present time, or in the future. This “earthquake” will shake up the existing power structure without, just as it has been doing inwardly for the past 2,000 years. This ‘earthquake’ will produce great fear, and will prepare the hearts of the leaders of this world to receive those who are about to take over the reins of power of “the kingdoms of this world” from those who have literally or symbolically killed God’s “two witnesses”:

Mat 27:54  Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

“The great city” that falls in this prophecy is “the city wherein our Lord was crucified” of verse 8, and that “city” is the same as the “great harlot” who is sitting on waters which symbolize all the nations of the whole world. That “great whore” symbolizes all religion in opposition to Christ and His Christ in every generation.

Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Rev 17:15  And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

These two verses (Mat 24:34-35) prove that the words of scripture have an application in every generation since Christ, including the last generation before the millennium.

“The tenth part of the city” (Rev 11:13) also is a figure of the flesh because that is what the number ten symbolizes as this article shows. (http://www.iswasandwillbe.com/numbers_ten/).

Being “a tenth part of the city” symbolizes the carnal religious leaders  of that “great city where also our Lord was crucified”. As we have demonstrated with the Old Testament types of Joseph, Daniel and his three friends, and with Mordecai and Esther, it was always the religious leaders who are opposed to Christ and His Christ. “The tenth part of the city fell” because God’s elect are in the process of being established and being given “power over… the kingdoms of this world”.

Rev 2:26  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

“Seven thousand” is not seven thousand men, any more than “two witnesses” is simply two men. Seven is the number which signifies completion, and a thousand signifies all flesh, which in its totality is being given completely over to  “our Lord and His Christ” to rule over this earth for “a thousand years”.

Rev 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Notice the effect which this resurrection of those who have died in Christ has upon those who have slain them:

Rev 11:11  And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

This event does not take place in a vacuum either within or without. People really take note when our old man dies, and it concerns them greatly. With modern technology it is literally possible for this verse to take place on an outward global scale where the resurrection of God’s “two witnesses” could be witnessed worldwide, producing the “great fear” which we are clearly told falls upon those powers who are responsible for the death of God’s elect, just as they feared the resurrection of Lazarus and the resurrection of Christ and all the saints who were “resurrected… after His resurrection”. The turning of the tables which reversed the king’s order to destroy all the Jews in all the provinces of the Medes and the Persians, typified the resurrection from the dead, of those Jews who were as good as dead. It also produced great fear in Haman and his house, just as the resurrection of Lazarus produced great fear among the chief priests in Christ’s day:

Joh 12:9  Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. 
Joh 12:10  But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
Joh 12:11  Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.

The resurrection of Lazarus caused the chief priests to fear for the loss of their influence over the people, because that is exactly the effect a resurrection will have upon the people when that is God’s goal.

Mat 27:51  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 
Mat 27:52  And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
Mat 27:53  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 

Consider the witness and the effect which the resurrection of a symbolic 144,000 will have on a world which will be in the state of mind described in these verses of Luke 21:

Luk 21:24  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem [“that great city where also our Lord was crucified”] shall be trodden down of the Gentiles [Rev 11:2, “forty and two months”] until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Luk 21:25  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
Luk 21:26  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 
Luk 21:27  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

The first resurrection, the resurrection of all the saints of God from the time of Christ to the time of that resurrection, will be a significant part of what will “shake… the powers of heaven” and will bring about the atmosphere and the conditions which will cause the leaders of this world to abdicate their positions and to willingly hand over the rulership of this world to the saints of God, just as Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, and Ahasuerus were made to hand over the power of the kingdoms of Egypt, Babylon and the Medo-Persian empires to those whom God had elected to rule those kingdoms for that time.

“The four and twenty elders”, whom we have demonstrated in our study on Revelation 5 to be just another symbol for the redeemed elect, tell us that the anger of the nations and the wrath of God will clash at this time, and God will simply take to Himself His own great power, and we are told He “has reigned”. These “four and twenty elders” also tell us that this takes place at “the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets and to the saints, and to them that fear you name, small and great”.

Rev 11:16  And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
Rev 11:17  Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned
Rev 11:18  And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and greatand shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
Rev 11:19  And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

“The ark of His testament” is the fidelity and the obedience of those who are “the temple of God”. Those in whom He dwells:

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

There is one other scripture which we need to mention in relation to how the saints will be given the powers of this world and will be made to reign over the kingdoms of this world. That section of scripture is:

1Th 4:13  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 
1Th 4:15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [Greek: precede] them which are asleep. 
1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of Godand the dead in Christ shall rise first
1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

“The dead in Christ shall rise first” means they will be resurrected before those who are alive and remain are changed and are “caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air [in the spirit]”. Revelation 11 reveals that this event will take place at the end of the sixth trumpet and at the beginning of the seventh trumpet. Notice what we are told:

Rev 10:5  And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
Rev 10:6  And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
Rev 10:7  But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

“When he shall begin to sound” demonstrates that these are symbols of a process of our judgment. Revelation 11 supplies more details of what happens at the end of the sixth trumpet and at the beginning of the seventh trumpet, “when he shall begin to sound”:

Rev 11:11  And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into [the dead bodies of the two witnesses], and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 
Rev 11:12  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

God is not playing star wars. When we read “there was war in heaven”, we are not being told that the outcome of that war is in doubt. Christ has been given “all power in heaven and in earth” (Mat 28:18). He controls all of the minds of all men at all time. This is how the world is actually being run even at this moment:

Pro 16:1  The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. 

Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. 
Pro 16:5  Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. 

Pro 21:1  The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. 

Pro 20:24  Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

So when we read “[the two witnesses] ascended up into heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them”, what we are being told is that their enemies are being made aware of who is on earth and who is in heaven, and the next few verses make that point very clear:

Rev 11:13  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. 
Rev 11:14  The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly
Rev 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 

We have demonstrated that the seven trumpets are blown by the seven priests of God:

Jos 6:8  And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.

That is the foundation for the seven angels which have the seven trumpets in Revelation 8:

Rev 8:6  And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

We are plainly told that “the seven stars” in Christ’s right hand are “the angels of the seven churches”.

Rev 1:20  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

These are the same “seven angels” who blow the seven trumpets and who pour out the seven vials. Here is who they all are:

Rev 17:1  And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

Rev 22:8  And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
Rev 22:9  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

These seven priests, these four beasts, the four and twenty elders and these seven angels are, one and all, symbols of God’s elect, our Lord’s Christ, who will be given the kingdoms of this world when He “take[s] to [Himself His] great power, and… reign[s]”. Who needs military might, when, as we have just demonstrated, God has the power over the very thoughts of all men (Pro 16:1)?

That is just how simple it will be for God to take to Himself His own power and rule over the kingdoms of this world:

Rev 11:16  And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
Rev 11:17  Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned
Rev 11:18  And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and greatand shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

God simply takes to Himself His own power, and He reigns, and He gives reward to His servants… the saints… and they shall rule with him a thousand years”:

Rev 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 

We have demonstrated that the way all of this is brought about is through the fear which God places in the hearts of the rulers of this present age, just as he placed great fear in the hearts of the ancients kings of Egypt, Babylon and Medo-Persia. This transfer of power will largely be accomplished not only through fear of “those things which [they are made to see] are coming on the earth” which fear God Himself will bring upon the leaders of this world, but also through their witnessing of the resurrection from among the dead of “them that are asleep in Christ”. Peter, James and John had never met or seen pictures of Moses or Elijah, and yet they were made to know who those men were at the transfiguration of Christ on the mount. The enemies of God’s two witnesses will also be made to know who are all these people who have been raised up from among the dead and who have been “give[n] power over the nations…”

Luk 21:26  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 
Luk 21:27  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. [With those who have fallen asleep in Christ]

Men’s hearts will fail them for fear, and they will see “the Lord and His Christ”, coming to rule over the kingdoms of this world.

That is the atmosphere and the conditions which will be extant when “the kingdoms of this world… become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ”. That is what is a good part of what is written concerning how the transferring of power from the rulers of this age to the rulers of the next age will take place. The kingdom of God will rule through the millennium and through the lake of fire. The little season of rebellion will be put down by God without even breaking a sweat, and then His firstborn, first fruits, as our brother Larry Groenewald has said, will begin the second part of their double portion inheritance by judging angels in something known as “the lake of fire” which, in spite of all we have been taught, is really nothing less than the greatest single work of grace that God will ever perform upon His prodigal children:

1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire [including those in “the lake of fire”]. 

In our next study on the overview of the plan of God we will see how the scriptures reveal the goal of His plan for mankind. What we will see is that God will, in the end, be all in all, and we will see once again, that even this, the final goal of the plan of God will be accomplished by and through His spiritual Israel, His firstborn firstfruits, “the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints”.

Eph 1:18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 
Eph 1:19  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believeaccording to the working of his mighty power,

[Click here for next installment.]

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