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SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY ESCHATOLOGY Part 4 of 4

Written by: Hillebrand, Randall    Posted on: 04/21/2005

Category: Theology


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY ESCHATOLOGY

By RANDALL J. HILLEBRAND

OUTLINE:

ESCHATOLOGY


  I.  Hermeneutics and eschatology
      A.  Literal interpretation
      B.  Historical interpretation
      C.  Grammatical interpretation
      D.  Contextual interpretation
      E.  Dispensational interpretation
          1.  Definition of dispensations
          2.  Dispensations (economies)
          3.  Means of salvation in each economy --  By faith

II.  Millennial views
      A.  Postmillennialism
      B.  Amillennialism
      C.  Premillenialism

III.  Rapture views
      A.  Posttribulational
      B.  Midtribulational
      C.  Partial rapture
      D.  Prewrath
      E.  Pretribulational

IV.  Understanding the "Day of the Lord"
    A.  What is the day of the Lord?
        1.  Definition -- Isaiah 13:6-16,14:1-7; 2 Peter 3:10
        2.  Characteristics of the tribulation portion of the day of the Lord.
    B.  When will the day of the Lord occur? -- Mal. 4:5; 1 Thes. 5:1-3;
        2 Thes. 2:1-12
        1.  After the coming of Elijah the prophet -- Malachi 4:5-6;
            Luke 1:13-17
        2.  After the rapture of the church -- 2 Thes. 2:1-3,7-8
        3.  Like a thief in the night -- 1 Thes. 5:1-3

V.  Understanding 2 Thessalonians 2
    A.  Issue: The rapture and the day of the Lord -- vss. 1-2
    B.  Chronology of the onset of: The day of the Lord -- vss. 3-12
        1.  The apostasy must come first -- vs. 3a
        2.  The man of lawlessness is then revealed -- vss. 3b-5
        3.  The man of lawlessness will be revealed after the restrainer is
            removed -- vss. 6-12

VI.  Tribulation Period events
    A.  Chronology from Matthew 24-25
        1.  Chronology of tribulation events: Matthew 24:1-31
        2.  Preparation for the tribulation and related events -- Matthew
            24:32-25:46
      B.  Chronology from the book Revelation and other passages

VII.  Tribulation period progresses like labor pains (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

VIII. Trumpet Issues Relating to End Time Events

IX.  Miscellaneous note on Prophecy
      A.  Pretribulational rapture
      B.  Judgment
      C.  Tribulation period
      D.  Millennial kingdom
      E.  Eternity

VI.  Tribulation Period events
    A.  Chronology from Matthew 24-25
        1.  Chronology of tribulation events: Matthew 24:1-31
              a.  Jesus speaks to disciples about destruction of the temple in
                  A.D. 70 -- vss. 1-2
              b.  Jesus' Disciples wanted clarification on temple, His coming
                  and end of the age -- vs. 3
              c.  Jesus told them about the end of the age and His coming --
                  vss. 4-31

          NOTE: Jesus spoke about the temple's destruction (Luke 21:20-24)
                though Matthew did not record this, though Luke did.

              d.  Jesus describes the first half of the tribulation period --
                  vss. 4-14

                  Some understand verses 4-14 as the time in which we are now
                  living -- as a precursor (what comes before) to the
                  tribulation period.  They do not see it as a description of
                  the first half of the tribulation period itself.  This is not
                  a correct interpretation of this passage, even though there
                  may be some similarities to the days leading up to the
                  tribulation period.

                  1.  First seal judgment -- vss. 4-5 (cf. Rev. 6:2)
                  2.  Second seal judgments -- vss. 6-7a-b (Rev. 6:3-4)
                  3.  Third seal judgments -- vs. 7c (Rev. 6:4-5)
                  4.  Fourth seal judgments -- vs. 7c (cf. Rev. 6:7-8)
                  5.  Fifth seal judgment -- vss. 9-10 (cf. Rev. 6:9-11)
                  6.  Sixth seal judgment -- vs. 7d-8 (Rev. 6:12a)
                  7.  Other events during this time -- vss. 11-14
                      a.  Many false prophets will arise -- vs. 11
                      b.  Lawlessness will increase -- vs. 12
                      c.  Ones that endure to the end will be saved -- vs. 13
                      d.  Gospel will be preached to the whole world -- vs. 14
                          (Rev. 7:9,14)
              e)  Jesus describes the second half of the tribulation period --
                  vss. 15-31
                  1)  Desolation of the temple and its results -- vss. 15-22
                      (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 13:11-18)
                  2)  Many false Christ's will arise -- vss. 23-26
                  3)  How the true Christ will come -- vss. 27-28
                  4)  Christ's coming -- vss. 29-31
                      a.  The cosmic events will take place -- vs. 29 (Isa.
                          13:9-13; Rev.  6:12; 6th seal; 8:12, 7th seal)
                      b.  Son of Man will come in the sky -- vs. 30 (Zech. 14:3-
                          4; Rev. 19:11-19)
                      c.  The elect (Israel and those who became believers
                          during the tribulation period) will be gathered --
                          vs. 31 (Isa. 66:18-24)

EVENT
First seal (false Christ)        Matt. 24:4-5 (Rev. 6:2)
Second seal (war)                Matt. 24:6-7a-b (Rev. 6:3-4)
Third seal (famine)              Matt. 24:7c (Rev. 6:5-6)
Fourth seal (death)              Matt. 24:7c (Rev. 6:7-8)
Fifth seal (martyrs)              Matt. 24:9-10 (Rev. 6:9-11)
Sixth seal (earthquake)          Matt. 24:7d-8 (Rev. 6:12a)
People saved from every tribe... Matt. 24:14 (Rev. 7:9,13-14)
Desolation of temple            Matt. 24:15-22 (Rev. 13:11-18)
Christ's second coming 
          Cosmic events          Matt. 24:29 (Rev. 6:12; 8:12)
          Christ's return          Matt. 24:30 (Rev. 19:11-19)


        2.  Preparation for the tribulation and related events (note: these
            are warnings to the "generation" that will see these things) --
            Matthew 24:32-25:46; Rev. 16:15
            a)  Jesus speaks in parables about being prepared for the end
                time -- vss. 24:32-51
                1)  Parable about the fig tree -- vss. 32-44
                    a.  Recognize that the time is near -- vss. 32-35
                    b.  Only the Father knows when this will occur -- vs. 36
                    c.  His second coming will be like in the days of Noah --
                        vss. 37-44 (cf. Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43; 47-50)
                2)  Parable of the slaves -- vss. 45-51
                    a.  The faithful slave who awaits Christ's return will be
                        blessed -- vss. 45-47
                    b.  The evil slave shall be punished -- vss. 48-51
                3)  Parable about the ten virgins -- vss. 25:1-13
                    a.  Five foolish virgins were not prepared for Christ's
                        coming -- vss. 1-9
                    b.  Five prudent virgins were prepared and entered the
                        wedding feast -- vs. 10
                    c.  One needs to be prepared -- vss. 11-13
                4)  Parable about the talents -- vss. 25:14-30
                    a.  Three slaves were given responsibility by their
                        master -- vss. 14-15
                    b.  The actions of the slaves after their master departed --
                      vss. 16-18
                    c.  The first slave (5 talents) -- vs. 16
                    d.  The second slave (2 talents) -- vs. 17
                    e.  The third slave (1 talent) -- vs. 18
                    f.  The results of the slaves upon their master's return --
                        vss. 19-30
                        1.  The first slave was rewarded -- vss. 19-21
                        2.  The second slave was rewarded -- vss. 22-23
                        3.  The third slave was punished -- vss. 24-30
            b)  Jesus speaks about the sheep/goat judgment of the nations at
                His coming -- vss. 25:31-46
                1)  Jesus will separate the believers from the unbelievers --
                    vss. 31-33
                2)  Jesus will reward the believers with life in the kingdom --
                    vss. 34-40
                3)  Jesus will punish the unbelievers with eternal punishment -
                    - vss. 41-46

    B.  Chronology from the book Revelation and other passages


        1.  Rapture (resurrection) -- 1 Thes. 4:13-18; 2 Thes. 2:1-2; 1 Cor.
            15:50-52
        2.  In heaven: Bema seat judgment of Christians -- 2 Cor. 5:10; cf. 1
            Cor. 3:10-15
        3.  Antichrist signs agreement with Israel -- Rev. 6:1-2; Dan. 9:24-
            27; cf. 2 Thes. 2:3
        4.  Two prophets arise -- Rev. 11:1-14 (placed in ch. 11 due to the
            timing of their demise)
        5.  Six seal judgments - Rev. 6:1-17
            a.  1st False Christ
            b.  2nd War
            c.  3rd Famine
            d.  4th Death
            e.  5th Martyrs
            f.  6th Terror on earth (including an earthquake where
                                mountains and islands moved out of their place
                                like the 7th seal) (Attempted invasion of
                                Israel by Russian alliance, Ezek. 38-39; cf.
                                38:11,14, 19)
        6.  144,000 Jews sealed -- Rev. 7:4-8
        7.  Seventh seal judgment - Rev. 8:1
            7th  Earthquake (mountains and islands moved out of their place;
                  lightening and peals of thunder); also a preparation for the
                  seven trumpets (cf. Rev. 8:1)
        8.  Midtrib: THE GREAT TRIBULATION BEGINS (cf. Mat. 24:21) -- Rev. 12-
            13
            a.  Satan cast out of heaven -- Rev. 12:7-12 (cf. Job 1:6-7; 2:1-2)
            b.  God protects Israel -- Rev. 12:13-17
            c.  Ultimate rise of the Antichrist and the rise of his False
                Prophet -- Rev. 13:1-18; cf. Dan. 7:23-25; 2 Thes. 2:3
                (Antichrist revealed)
        9.  144,000 martyred are with Christ in heaven -- Rev. 14
        10.  Six trumpet judgments -- Rev. 8:6 - 9:21 (cf. Matt. 24:1-10
            [seals], 21 [great trib.]; 1 Thes. 5:3)
            a.  1st Hail, fire and blood
            b.  2nd One third of the sea and its life and ships
                                destroyed
            c.  3rd Wormwood: One third of drinking water made
                                bitter
            d.  4th One third of the sun, moon and stars darkened

        INTENSITY OF TRIBULATION INCREASES FROM THIS POINT ON -- cf. 8:13

            e.  5th Demons released upon the earth (First woe; cf.
                                8:13) (cf. Luke 8:31; Jude 6)
            f.  6th Army from the East  (Second woe; cf. 8:13)
        11.  Seventh trumpet judgment -- Rev. 11:15-19
            7th  Earthquake and great hailstorm (lightening and peals of
                  thunder)
                  (third woe; cf. 8:13) 7th trumpet depicts Christ as reigning
                  in His kingdom
        12.  Seven bowl judgments -- Rev. 16:1-21 (these judgment intensified
            from trumpet judgments)
            a.  1st Loathsome and malignant sores
            b.  2nd Sea turned to blood and everything in it died
            c.  3rd All drinking water turned to blood
            d.  4th Men were scorched with fierce heat
            e.  5th Kingdom of the beast darkened and great pain
            f.  6th Euphrates dried up for the kings of the East to
                                advance
            g.  7th Great Earthquake (islands and mountains gone)
                                with hailstorm 100 pounds each) (lightening and
                                peals of thunder)
        13.  Judgment of religious Babylon -- Rev. 17:1-18
        14.  Judgment of economic Babylon -- Rev. 18:1-24
        15.  Invitation to the marriage of the Lamb -- Rev. 19:7-10
        16.  The second coming of Christ
            a.  He returns on horseback with His saints and angels -- Rev.
                19:11-19 cf. vss. 7-8; Matt. 16:27)
            b.  Battle of Armageddon -- Rev. 16:13-16; 19:11-19; Jude 14-16;
                Dan. 7:25-26
            c.  Antichrist and false prophet judged -- Rev. 19:20-21
            d.  Jesus enters Jerusalem to set up His kingdom -- Zech. 14:1-7
            e.  Judgment of the nations -- Matt. 13:41-43,49-50; 25:31-46
            f.  Judgment of Israel -- Ezek. 20:33-38
            g.  Satan bound -- Rev. 20:1-3
            h.  Resurrection of tribulation saints -- Rev. 20:4-6
            i.  Resurrection of believing Israel -- Dan. 12:1-3; Ezek. 37:1-14
        17.  The millennial kingdom
              a.  Millennial kingdom begins -- Rev. 20:5-6; Zech. 14:8-11;
                  Ezek. 37:15-28; Dan. 7:27
              b.  Jews are returned to Israel -- Isa. 11:11-12; Ezek. 20:39-44;
                  36:24-27; 37:21-22
              c.  Marriage feast of the Lamb -- Matt. 22:1-14; 25:1-13; Luke
                  14:16-24
              d.  Satan loosened, unbelievers rise up against Christ -- Rev.
                  20:7-1
        18.  Heavens and earth destroyed -- Rev. 20:11; 2 Pet. 3:10
        19.  Great white throne judgment -- Rev. 20:11-15
        20.  Angels are judged -- 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6
        21.  New heavens and earth -- Rev. 21:1
        22.  New Jerusalem -- Rev. 21:2 - 22:5

VII.  Tribulation period progresses like labor pains (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

      This information has been provided to help the student understand the
      theory presented that the 7th seal judgment contains the 7 trumpet
      judgments and that the 7th trumpet judgment contains the 7 bowl judgments.

      6th seal    Rev. 6:12 (an earthquake where mountains and islands
  moved out of their place)
      7th seal   Rev. 8:5 (lightening and peals of thunder, and earthquake)
      7th trumpet  Rev. 11:19 (lightening and peals of thunder, great
                  earthquake and hailstorm) 7th trumpet depicts Christ as
                  reigning in His kingdom
      7th bowl   Rev. 16:18 (lightening and peals of thunder, great
                  earthquake where mountains and islands are gone and
                  hailstorm with 100 pound hailstones)

      So we see that the 7th seal, the 7th trumpet and the 7th bowl all end at
      the same time with an earthquake.


VIII.  Trumpet Issues Relating to End Time Events

      A.  Matthew 24:31

          "And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they
          will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of
          the sky to the other.

          This trumpet will sound at the end of the tribulation period.  This
          trumpet signals the gathering of the children of Israel and
          believers from the tribulation period to Jerusalem.

      B.  1 Corinthians 15:51-52

          "Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will
          all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last
          trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised
          imperishabe, and we will be changed."

          This trumpet will be sounded at the rapture, just before the dead in
          Christ are raised.  See 1 Thessalonians 4:16 below.  We see that it
          is the last trumpet.  How is it the last trumpet?  Let's look at
          three possibilities.

          1.  Some see this as the last of the trumpet judgments -- the
              seventh trumpet -- therefore holding to a rapture and
              resurrection that takes place during the tribulation period. 
              For the reasons stated above, Scripture clearly shows that the
              rapture will take place before the tribulation period, so this
              trumpet cannot be referring to the seventh trumpet judgment. 
              Also, this trumpet has nothing to do with judgment as the
              seventh trumpet does in the book of Revelation.

          2.  Another view is that this trumpet coincides with the Jewish
              Feast of Trumpets, and that the church's removal from the earth
              will coincide with this feast.  The feast of trumpets had three
              facets to it.  It says in Leviticus 23:23-25 about this feast:

              "Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the sons of
              Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month on the first of the month
              you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy
              convocation. 'You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall
              present an offering by fire to the LORD.'"

              We see in this passage that the three facets of the feast of
              trumpets are:

              a.  A time of rest
              b.  A holy convocation or assembly
              c.  A time to present an offering

              Therefore when the final trumpet is blown, the church will then:

              a.  Experience her rest -- Heb. 4:9-10
              b.  Be assembled together in heaven -- 1 Thes. 4:16-17
              c.  Be offered to the Lord Jesus Christ -- Eph. 5:25-27

          3.  Another view is that the last trumpet represents the church
              being summoned to assemble in heaven (cf. Num. 10:2; Joel 2:15)
              to meet God as when the children of Israel met God in the
              wilderness (cf. Exo. 19:16-17).

          4.  A final view would be that the last trumpet represents a call of
              victory to a victorious church who is being called home because
              it has completed its purpose in the plan of God.


      C.  1 Thessalonians 4:16

          "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with 
          the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead
          in Christ will rise first."

          This trumpet will be sounded at the rapture, just before the dead in
          Christ are raised.

IX.  Miscellaneous note on Prophecy

    A.  Pretribulational rapture

        1.  People from every nation, tribe, peoples and tongue will be saved
            before the tribulation period -- Rev. 5:9-10
        2.  Imminent return of Christ -- Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:3, 10, 13; Matt.
            24:32-50; 25:1-13; Mark 13:28-37; Acts 1:6-7; 1 Thes. 5:1-3,6 (cf.
            2 Pet. 3:10)

    B.  Judgment

        1.  Saints will judge the world -- 1 Cor. 6:2
        2.  Jesus is the ultimate judge -- John 5:22, 27; Acts 17:30-31; Rom.
            2:16; 2 Tim. 4:1
        3.  Eternal punishment will be in proportion to one's wickedness --
            Rom. 2:5-6; Rev. 20:12-13; Psa. 62:12; Mark 12:40

    C.  Tribulation period

        1.  The Day of the Lord is from the beginning of the tribulation
            period through the destructio

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