- Category: Kingdom of Heaven
Theme Text– '‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Biblical prophecies predict that the resurrection of all the dead will occur at the return of Christ. The Bible also forecasts the resurrection to be of two types - the first and the second. Let us look at the sequence of events that are to happen then.
1. First Resurrection & Bema Seat Judgment
Those of the first resurrection (the Elect) would receive their rewards at the Bema Seat Judgment.
For all of us must appear before the (Greek: Bema) judgment seat of the Messiah, so that each of us may receive what he deserves for what he has done in his body, whether good or worthless. 2Corinthians 5:10 ISV.
Bema Seat is from the ancient Olympics, where judges would sit on the Bema Seat at the finish line to give out the appropriate rewards based on positions.
Jesus explains this in the Parable of the Talents -"A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return… He was made king, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. "The first one came and said, `Sir, your mina has earned ten more.' " `Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. `Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.' "The second came and said, `Sir, your mina has earned five more.' "His master answered, `You take charge of five cities.'” (Luke 19:12-19).
Yes, Jesus is to distribute to his Elect rewards of authority over cities/nations as he promised -‘To the one who does my will to the end, I [Jesus] will give authority over the nations - that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’ —just as I have received authority from my Father.’ Rev 2:26-27.
This Bema Seat Judgment should not be confused with the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-15, Matt 25:31-46).
- BSJ is for the Elect whereas WTJ is for the rest of mankind.
- BSJ is a distribution of rewards of authority to the Elect, whereas WTJ is a separation of the rest of mankind into sheep (for life) and goats (for second death) during the Kingdom reign of the Elect.
2. A Time of Great Distress & Armageddon
Meanwhile, there will be a time of great distress on earth.
There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. Daniel 12:1.
The world will fight Jerusalem culminating in the Battle of Armageddon.
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; Zechariah 14:2.
Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. Revelation 16:16.
3. End of the Present Age
Worldly powers - political institutions and false religious systems will be destroyed - The beast was captured, and with it the false prophet. The two of them were thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Rev 19:20.
The world as we know today will cease to exist as it did in Noah’s flood.
The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare…as you look forward to the day of God. 2Pet 3:10-12.
Long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 2 Peter 3:5-7.
This signifies the end of the present age leading to the dawn of the next age – the Millennial Age.
4. The Millennial Age & The Binding of Satan
Significant events would commence the next age leading up to the second resurrection. The most important thing to happen first in the Millennial Age is that Satan would be made powerless. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. Revelation 20:2.
5. Restoration of Earth to its Edenic state
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Rev 21:1. See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. Isaiah 65:17. Creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. Romans 8:21-22.
6. Second Resurrection & The “Krisis”
The rest of mankind (the ‘unjust’ unbelievers) will resurrect on earth in perfect bodies (no genetic sin) to a ‘krisis’ (John 5:29). 'Krisis' is a Greek word mistranslated as damnation in KJV, but actually means trial/Judgment.
Note: Rev 20:5's spurious first part - that says the rest of the dead did not come to life till the 1000 years ended - is not in original manuscripts, so it's shown within () in most bibles (Eg. NIV).
Essentially someone inserted it during medieval times. The rest of the dead do come to life when the thousand years begin because otherwise Jesus and his Elect would be ruling an empty earth!
So the rest of mankind rise to a “Krisis”, i.e. to face a trial/Judgment. What is that exactly?