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Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 02/12/06
The Angelic Conflict. Part 9.
The final part of the appeal trial is the verdict and the sentencing being executed.

In our study of the Angelic Conflict, we have been noting how the terminology of our U. S. jurisprudence system provides analogies for the appeal trial of Satan and this angelic conflict. The structure of a trial, in its three phases, can be identified with human history. In the Angelic Conflict, there is the first phase, the formal presentation of the case, in which the prosecution [God] presents His case, followed by the defense [Satan and the fallen angels] presenting their side. Second is the rebuttal phase, in which the rebuttal arguments of the prosecution, God, brings to the witness stand TLJC and winner believers of the Church-age. This is followed by the rebuttal arguments of the defense where Satan cross-examines those witnesses. In the second phase evidence and arguments are offered by both sides. In the third and final phase of the trial there are the closing arguments and summary of the prosecution. This includes the Second Advent and the Millennial rule of Christ where 1000 years of perfect environment on the earth exists. This is when God's man, the God-man, rules the earth like Satan and the first Adam were unable to do. This duplicates the conditions before the fall of Satan and before the fall of man in the garden (1CO 15:21-26; 1CO 15:45-49).

REV 20:1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss [the fourth compartment of Hades, the prison for fallen angels] and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,

We might think that anyone who went to jail for a thousand years would learn something; however we see that is not the case here: Rev 20:3-6, and [he] threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them [this is a Millennial reward for Tribulational martyrs]. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years [These are the winner believers who were willing to be martyred for the cause of Christ during the Tribulation period]. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed [a reference to the second resurrection which is for unbelievers only and happens at the end of the Millennial reign of Christ]. This is the first resurrection. Blessed or happy and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power [the second death is when unbelievers are raised from the dead and stand before God and then are thrown into the eternal lake of fire], but they [Tribulational winners] will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

In verses 7-10 Satan's last revolution in the angelic conflict has been our subject, REV 20:7-8, And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war;

While Satan is a genius, he has not learned the simplest lesson of society: The power of God is infinitely greater than the power of man or any angelic creature. However, God is not only very gracious to His own people but God is also very gracious to the unbeliever, Mat 5:45, "for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." Even when God is judging the unbeliever, He is treating him in grace. Judgment by pain is the last call to the person who has rejected the gospel many times, and the pain is designed to bring him back to objectivity. One of the most phenomenal demonstrations in all of history of God's grace toward the unbeliever is found in the Millennium. Instead of judgment by pain, it is warning by perfect environment. The unbeliever in the Millennium shares in the perfect environment that God provides. Jesus Christ will rule the earth from the capital of Jerusalem, and He will rule over believers and unbelievers for 1000 years.

The unbeliever will be the beneficiary of the most phenomenal things in the Millennium, yet they reject the gospel. They refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, who is not only ruling the world at that time, but in the First Advent went to the cross and was judged for their sins. This is a manifestation of the greatness of grace, God's marvelous patience toward the unbeliever, 2PE 3:9, The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. At the end of 1000 years of perfect environment, when Satan is released from prison, the unbeliever who has had the most magnificent opportunity through evangelism will turn to Satan and join the Gog and Magog revolution. This is one of the greatest manifestations of total depravity and evil: man's rejection and distortion of the grace of God. As in the case of the prehistoric angelic conflict so it is in human history that certain creatures are not content to live under perfect rulership and a perfect plan. Remember that our Lord's rulership was rejected by certain angels, REV 12:4-8; His rulership is rejected by believers in the Church-age who reject His perfect plan, and so His rulership will be rejected in the Millennium.

Having no capacity in the Millennium for the perfect environment will be just like our original parents, Adam and the woman, who had absolutely no capacity in the Garden. Today, many believers are looking for things to be like they were in the Garden of Eden, looking for perfect environment, not being content with what God has given them and where God has placed them. The best environment in all of history occurs at the time of the Millennial reign of Christ and there will be a tremendous revolution against it. When every desire, every lust, every drive has been satisfied mankind still wants more. This means that the carnal believer of the Church-age and the unbeliever of the Millennial reign of Christ have one thing in common, an arrogance which destroys capacity for life. So the Millennium will demonstrate two things: 1) No matter what mankind possesses, he cannot be satisfied without a personal relationship with TLJC. 2) Believers can use B.D. and remain faithful even in prosperity. Very few believers ever survive their first prosperity test; they usually lose their concentration on B.D.

The fact that man has 1,000 years of perfect environment and he revolts against perfect environment is a demonstration of the principle that environment is not the solution to man's problems. Environment is not even the basis for happiness. It is the individual's soul that counts, not the environment. MAR 8:36, "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" Satan seeks to overthrow the rule of Christ by violence because he could never meet the wonderful administration of our Lord's rulership over the world, which has been a perfect rulership with perfect administration. Satan has no argument and therefore resorts to violence. A member of the human race, TLJC, has done what Satan could not do; rule the earth and bring glory to God. REV 20:8, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog [leader of the revolution who is Satan] and Magog [the followers], to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.

The revolutionary army numbers in the millions. Millions of people reject Christ as Savior in a perfect environment. Remember, Satan has one goal in the life of every believer and that is to lead all believers astray from the real plan of God. Any area that you do not have sound doctrine in, is an area open to deception. Satanic deception is so powerful because it offers so much obvious and outward proof. TLJC warned us about deception in MAT 22:29,"You are deceived, not understanding the scriptures, or the power of God." Note that deception comes from not understanding the scriptures or the power of God.

REV 20:9, And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, During the Millennium there is no military establishment (ISA 2:4; HOS 2:18; Mic 4:3; PSA 46:9) and it is not necessary. This is parallel to the nation of Israel when they became the first client nation to God and they were leaving Egypt and they were threatened at the Red Sea. The threat to Israel, Pharaoh's chariot army, was the best organized armored force of the day, and the Jews were trapped, EXO 14:9. They have their backs to the sea, mountains to the north and south, and Pharaoh's army to the west. The Jews were just delivered from slavery and they have just seen the fantastic power of God in delivering them through the 10 plagues. They have seen with their eyes the wonderful things God did on their behalf. And so, their leader Moses gives them one command, EXO 14:13-14 But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear! Stand by and see the deliverance of the Lord which deliverance he will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent or shut your mouth."

The Jews had already forgotten the grace and power of God, but God will accomplish His will, not what we will! Here's the point, what the Lord did for Israel is exactly what He's going to do in Rev 20; the Lord will do the fighting and our Lord has no need of an army. When you're in a hopeless situation that's when you need to also think; the Lord will fight for you while you will keep your mouth shut. That's the whole concept of the faith-rest drill: in grace, the Lord fights our battles, like He did for David in 1SA 17:47, and does for the church in ROM 8:31, What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? The world, and those in it, are held together by the deity of Jesus Christ, COL 1:15-17. Even when TLJC was a baby He was still God holding the universe together,HEB 10:5. Even on the cross, TLJC was holding the universe together so that He could suffer in His humanity for the sins of the entire world. Therefore, TLJC our Savior is the member of the Godhead who, by the word of His power, preserves and sustains the universe, HEB 1:3. And you must remember this every time you go through something in your life. He's there. He's in control. He's in charge! MAT 28:20 "I am with you always, even to the end of the age." HEB 13:5  "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you," There will come a time when the universe with its matter, energy, and operating laws will not exist as it does presently, but that is also a matter of the deity of Christ, 2Pe 3:10-12, But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat.

Jesus Christ is holding the universe together to resolve the angelic conflict in human history and to bring many sons into glory, HEB 2:10. He is holding the universe together in order to allow grace, which began with the Holy Spirit radiating heat over the ice pack, to run its full course until He destroys the universe by nuclear fission at the end of history. And though someday the universe will be destroyed, the word of God will survive the destruction of the universe, 1PE 1:25; MAT 24:35, as will the believer in resurrection body, HEB 12:26-29 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven." And this expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

In fact, the Lord controls the sea, JOB 26:10; PSA 33:7. He controls the storms, PSA 65:7; PSA 107:29. He controls the wind, Psa 148:8; MAR 4:39. He controls the rain, GEN 7:4. He controls the thunder and hail, EXO 9:33. He tells the snow to come upon the earth, JOB 37:6. He makes the lightning, JER 10:13. In other words, He is in total control of even every insignificant detail in life. Mat 10:29-30, "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And {yet} not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Now, if He can control all these things and He knows every minute detail in the universe, He can sure take care of you and your problems, "O Ye of little faith!"

In REV 20:8 notice how many people have joined Satan in his rebellion, the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. Superior numbers are inconsequential against God's plan and God's people. LEV 26:8 five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword.The Millennium is a final demonstration that the majority is not right. The majority are in the revolution. But, absolute truth and/or Bible doctrine is right whether one person believes it or a million.

The end of the anti-Christ revolution is found in verses 9-10. REV 20:9-10  And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone [sulfur]. The judgment of Satan, who has already been tried and found guilty before human history began, is now executed! And he will be judged before all fallen angels who are still in Hades at this time. However, two members of the human race precede him, the beast and false prophet. It must be very humiliating to Satan to be the third to arrive in the lake of fire.

The lake of fire is literal and eternal. It's a place of unspeakable misery indicated by the term, "everlasting fire,"MAT 25:41. It's a place where the worm [human conscience] never dies and the fire is never quenched, Mar 9:44. It's a place where fire is unquenchable, LUK 3:17. It's called a furnace of fire, MAT 13:42. In MAR 9:49 "For everyone will be salted with fire." It is said about those suffering in it that, REV 14:11 "the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever and they have no rest day or night" It is the eternal abode of the fallen angels and all unbelievers of the human race. All unbelievers of human history will occupy the lake of fire because their names were not found written in the book of life because they rejected Christ as Savior. To the unbeliever HEB 9:27applies, "it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment," The judgment is the great white throne judgment and then they are thrown into the lake of fire just like Satan.

REV 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast [the dictator of the revived Roman empire] and the false prophet [the false messiah and dictator of Israel] are also; The two great dictators of the Tribulation are mentioned here, the beast dictator who is the ruler of the revived Roman empire and the dictator of Israel known as the false prophet. These are the first occupants of the lake of fire.

So we have a strange trio, the unholy Trinity: Satan, the beast, and the false prophet. The beast and false prophet represent the two racial categories, Gentiles and Jews respectively. The Bible only recognizes two races, Jews and Gentiles. During the Tribulation the beast is a political dictator of the revived Roman empire and the religious leader of ecumenical religion, while the false prophet is a political dictator of Israel and a religious leader of revived Judaism. At the Second Advent and prior to our Lord's Millennial reign both the beast and the false prophet were thrown into the lake of fire, so they've been in there for 1000 years before Satan. Rev 19:20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. For all eternity they are united in a common punishment with Satan. We all should ask them MAR 8:36-37 "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Satan gained the whole world and lost his own soul. The beast gained a great portion of the world and lost his own soul. Even the false prophet gained an astonishing chunk of the world and lost his own soul.

In verse 10, we have the eternal punishment mentioned in a very specific way because a lot of people try to rationalize hell or say that there's going to be some way in which you can get out of hell, as in the concept of purgatory which is not true. Prayers for the dead began around the year 300 AD, and the Doctrine of Purgatory was established by Gregory I in 593 AD; neither of which is found in the Bible, but HEB 9:27 is; "it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,"  Everyone will be alive in the lake of fire. To be tormented forever one must live. Hence, physical death is not the end for the unbeliever.

And so the final part of the appeal trial is the verdict and the sentence being executed. The Gog revolution was suppressed by our Lord and the appeal is denied. In fact all of human history demonstrates that the appeal should be and is denied. Everything that Satan's appeal was based upon, human history reveals there were no grounds for the appeal. The original sentence which is stated briefly in MAT 25:41 is carried out. Satan and all the fallen angels are cast into the lake of fire forever and ever.

REV 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. And 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. Planet earth and the universe used for the courtroom is destroyed. God creates a new heaven and a new earth to be enjoyed forever by both the elect angels and regenerate human beings.

In the closing arguments and summary, the answer to Satan's appeal is twofold: a) The perfect and eternal character of God cannot be unfair or prejudiced, and cannot pass a false sentence. b) The negative volition of Satan and all fallen angels demands punishment from the perfect righteousness and justice of God. In light of all this, you should start to become aware of something. Your life has very definite purpose, meaning, and definition in this angelic conflict, especially in the Church-age. Never before in history is there anything as important as the Church-age and its unique features: the baptism of the Spirit which results in the creation of a new spiritual species and the Royal Family of God, the predesigned protocol plan for the Royal Family of God, the phenomenal portfolio of invisible assets which belongs to each one of us as Royal Family of God. For the first time in history, every believer, regardless of his background, attainments or lack of attainments, handicaps, success, or any other distinguishing human factor, has equality given by God Himself. Never before in history is there anything as important as our unique royal commissions: royal priesthood and royal ambassadorship. Never before in history is there anything as important as the unique mystery doctrines of the Church-age. Never before in history is there anything as important as every member of the Trinity indwelling every believer. This never existed before in history! Never before in history is there anything as important as the unique availability of divine power which we all have. Never before in history has divine omnipotence been available for use to every believer. This is the first time in history when there are no prophecies to be fulfilled, during the Church-age. Never before in history is there anything as important as the dispensation of invisible heroes. Invisible heroes are believers who execute the PPOG. No believer ever advances in the predesigned plan of God apart from dispensational orientation. We live in the dispensation when the ordinary believer is important. In eternity you will realize that the things you considered important were not important at all. If you do not realize these fantastic things you cannot lose your salvation, but you are a loser. A part of the agony of the sin unto death is to realize that you had an opportunity to make your life count in a fantastic way, but instead, you chose to follow the plan of Satan for human life on this earth.

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