How will God accomplish the first future thing that he must do
in order to fulfill His purpose for history before the history of this
earth comes to an end? How will He crush His enemy, Satan, and remove
him and his entire kingdom from the earth? The Scriptures reveal that He
will do it through the combination of the seven year Tribulation Period
(70th week of Daniel 9:27) and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to
earth after the Tribulation. This article will begin to focus attention
on this combination.
Jesus Christ will play the key role in the crushing of Satan.
His work of redemption through His death on the cross in His First
Coming gives Him the authority to do this future work as mankindís
Kinsman-Redeemer. The Scriptures declare the following concerning
Christ: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and
blood, he likewise took part of the same; that through death he might
destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil"
(Hebrews 2:14), and "For this purpose the Son of God was
manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
Seven years before His Second Coming to earth Christ will take
the sealed scroll (the deed of purchase for mankindís forfeited
inheritance of tenant possession of the earth) from Godís hand in
Heaven. He will begin to open the scroll by breaking its seven seals one
at a time. He thereby will unleash three series of divine judgments upon
planet earth: First, seven seal judgments (Revelation 6-7); second,
seven trumpet judgments (Revelation 8-11), and, third, seven vial or
bowl judgments (Revelation 12-18). These judgments will involve an
outpouring of Godís wrath upon Satanís domain. They will wreak havoc
on large areas of the earth and great masses of humanity. Just as a
modern-day armed force inflicts a heavy, prolonged bombardment on an
enemyís domain before it invades, so Christ will inflict this heavy,
seven year bombardment on Satanís earthly domain in preparation for
His invasion of it at His Second Coming.
In conjunction with this, the Apostle John recorded something
dramatic that will transpire when the seventh trumpet judgment will be
administered. The seventh trumpet will be the last of the second series
of divine judgments. The seven seal and first six trumpet judgments will
have already transpired before it. The seventh trumpet will consist of
the entire third series of judgments (the seven vials or bowls). This is
significant, because, when the seventh trumpet is administered, it will
unleash the last series of judgments that will complete the bombardment
of Satanís domain and culminate with the Second Coming of Christ, the
complete end of Satanís rule, and the establishment of Godís future
theocratic kingdom on earth.
Because of this significance of the seventh trumpet, when
Godís creatures in Heaven will see it unleashed, they will be so
excited in anticipation of the dramatic change that this will trigger
for the world that they will burst forth with the following cry of
victory: "The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our
Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever"
(Revelation 11:15). The verb translated "is become" is a
proleptic aorist (Robert Thomas, Revelation 8-22, p. 106). This
means that, although Godís theocratic kingdom rule over the world
system will not be established until after this last series of judgments
has run its course, it will be so certain to happen that Godís
heavenly creatures can regard it as already accomplished.
The Second Coming.
After Christís Tribulation bombardment of Satanís earthly
domain has ended, He will invade that domain by coming out of Heaven to
the earth with His holy angels in His glorious Second Coming (Matthew
24:29-30; 25:31). He will come initially to complete the work of
crushing Satan by ridding the earth of him and his entire kingdom. Thus,
He will come in righteousness to "judge and make war"
As a result of having broken all seven seals during the
Tribulation, Christ will have the scroll deed open by the time of His
Second Coming. At that time He will read the contents of the scroll
publicly as the legal evidence that He is the true Kinsman-Redeemer of
mankindís forfeited inheritance and, therefore, has the right to evict
Satan and his kingdom and to take tenant possession of the earth (Psalm
2:7-9; Revelation 5:4-5).
After presenting this evidence Christ will fully exercise that
right. His work of evicting Satan and his kingdom from the earth will
involve three phases. First, He will rid the earth of the political and
military aspects of Satanís world system. When the sixth vial judgment
will be poured out upon the earth, Satan, the Antichrist (Satanís
ultimate political world ruler) and the False Prophet (the religious
leader who will lead the world in the worship of the Antichrist)
(Revelation 13) will send demons throughout the world to prompt the
political rulers of all Gentile nations to gather together with their
armed forces to one location (Revelation 16:12-16). Zechariah 12-14
indicates that the land of Israel will be that location and that these
rulers and armed forces will come against Jerusalem and will begin to
destroy it. Since the sixth vial judgment will be the next to the last
judgment of the Tribulation, this indicates that these rulers and armed
forces will not begin to gather to Israel until near the end of that
seven year period.
Why will Satan want the combined might of the rulers and armed
forces of the entire Gentile world gathered together in the land of
Israel at the city of Jerusalem by the end of the Tribulation? For two
reasons. First, as a result of Christís bombardment of his earthly
domain throughout the Tribulation and his confinement to the earth for
the second half of that seven year period, Satan will recognize that his
time is growing short before Christ will finish His judgment of him
(Revelation 12). Zechariah 14:3-4 reveals that, when Christ will come in
His Second Coming, He will descend first to the Mount of Olives in the
immediate vicinity of Jerusalem. In light of this, Satan will want the
combined might of the rulers and armed forces of the Gentile world
gathered in the very vicinity to which Christ will come in order to help
him try to prevent Christ from returning to earth. He knows that, if
Christ gets back to earth, his rule will be finished on this planet.
Thus, Revelation 19:11, 19-20 indicates that, when Christ will come out
of Heaven, the Antichrist, the False Prophet, the political rulers and
armed forces of the entire Gentile world will be gathered together to
make war against Christ and His heavenly army (see Psalm 2).
The next article will look at Satanís second reason for
wanting the combined might of the rulers and armed forces of the entire
Gentile world gathered together in the land of Israel by the end of the
Tribulation. It will also examine the other two phases of Christís
work of evicting Satan and his kingdom from the earth.