Dispensational Distortions – The Second Humiliation of Christ Part 1

03Jan12

The theme of the current discussion of Dispensational Distortions is a concept called the Second Humiliation of Christ. I am indebted to the late Dr. Greg Bahnsen for introducing me to this concept several years ago. It was, in fact, the “nail in the coffin” for my transition from dispensational thought to a more Reformed understanding of eschatology.

A casual understanding of the “timeline” of Dispensational events is all that is needed as a precursor to grasping the concept of how and why the Dispensational model humiliates Christ a second time. It must first, though, be understood that Christ was humiliated the first time when He took on human flesh, dwelt among those that hated Him and withstood the pain and sacrifice of a cross that was not His. His humiliation leads to His great vindication (the Resurrection) and His enthronement (Acts 2, Dan 7). It is at that appointed time in history when the Christ is seated at the right hand of the Ancient of Days and receives power, glory and honor. These are bestowed immediately upon the Christ and are not subject to a future enthronement as we have seen.

This then leads us to the timeline of the Dispensational model and how Christ is humiliated for a second time. Below are the events in the Dispensational timeline order.

  • The Rapture of the Church
  • The Seven Year Great Tribulation
  • The First Resurrection in conjunction with the literal, physical Second Coming of Christ
  • The Binding of Satan for 1000 years
  • Millennial Kingdom – 1000 literal years – centered in Jerusalem
  • Loosening of Satan at the end of the Millennium
  • Satan raises up an army and surrounds the city of Jerusalem
  • God send fire from Heaven to destroy Satan and his army
  • The Great White Throne judgment

The above is such a firmly and commonly help presupposition that to call it into question is a great surprise and outrage. In fact, for those that have gone to sermonaudio.com to listen to the audio of this class may hear a gentlemen question whether I believed the Bible because I challenged the above timeline.

We will do a much deeper study of the timeline in question when we study the concepts of the first and second resurrection, but for now we will work through the above timeline to see how it comports with Scripture. The first few items that make up the timeline are questionable and will receive a deeper treatment as those subjects are brought up later, and do not necessarily impact the question at hand, which is the second humiliation of Christ.

Suffice it so state at this time that there is no one single passage in all of Scripture that teaches a Rapture of the Church followed by a 7 year tribulation…this is admitted to even by leading dispensationalist like Tim LaHaye. It is presupposed and later inferred and placed into the timeline at this point.

Likewise there is no passage that states the Rapture and the physical Second Coming are two separate events separated by any length of time, let alone seven years. It must also be stated here that no where can one argue that the Old Testament saints are resurrected at a different time than the New testament Church. In fact, in a previous post we showed how that simply cannot be the case Biblically. So we are left with the following.

  1. What is the Binding of Satan
  2. Where is Christ during the Millennium
  3. Does Satan lead an attack against the city of Jerusalem
  4. What is the fire from heaven

The first two will be discussed in the current posting while the final two will be dealt with in a following blog.

THE BINDING OF SATAN

The Binding of Satan is found in the first four verses of revelation chapter 20.

Rev 20 1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

Please note right off exactly what the exclusive nature of the binding is limited to. It is for the express purpose that he may no longer deceive the nations. There is no mention that his binding eliminates his ability to tempt, cause havoc or introduce evil. He simply no longer has the ability to deceive the nations. This is quite evident that from the time of Christ’s first coming, a time in which the Gospel was limited to a nation called Israel, that the gospel is now available to all nations and that the nations are no longer utterly deceived. This binding allows the gospel to flourish and extend beyond the small, physical boundaries of the nation of Israel.

The question then becomes as to the timing of the binding. Though there will be a deeper exposition of this issue as we deal with the concepts surrounding the Millennium, a quick glance at Matthew 12 will be beneficial here.

Matthew 12:22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” 25Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29“Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first binds up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.

Notice here that Jesus is claiming that one can only rob the strong man’s house once the strong man has been bound! The robbing of the strong man is represented by spread of the influence of his enemy (Christ) by stealing that which belongs to the strong man. And also note what event proves the strong man has been bound…the casting out of demons. This proves that the strong man is bound and that the Kingdom of God had arrived. This is said IMMEDIATELY after Jesus had cast out demons.

So, here you have the arrival of the kingdom, the binding of Satan and the expanse of God’s kingdom at the expense of the strong man. This is a past event and has been shown true throughout history as the gospel has expended to all the nations.

WHERE IS CHRIST?

The assumption is made by the Dispensationalist that Jesus is physically present on earth during this Millennial time. There is nothing in the passage that states Christ is present on earth at all, let alone in some rebuilt temple in Jerusalem physically reigning over some established physical kingdom. It is simply presupposed and assumed. In fact, let us consider the presence of Christ in the passage at it relates contextually to the other parts of Revelation. Here is the Rev 20 passage in question.

Rev 20: 4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God…

Where is this? According to Dispensationalist, Christ has already returned to earth, bound Satan and set up His earthly kingdom. So to remain consistent the Dispensationalist must argue that picture described here is somewhere on earth…the temple maybe? But what does the above picture really describe? Haven’t we seen this somewhere before? Let us compare Scripture with Scripture!

Rev 4:4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.

The throne room according to Revelation is in Heaven. This is the same place described in Revelation 20. Not only that, but Rev 20 also mentions the martyrs. Where are they located?

Rev 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain the witness they had borne for the word of God and for

Again, we are in heaven. Jesus simply cannot be reigning on earth as the Dispensationalist argue, the passage and the corresponding texts disagree. Jesus remains seated at the right hand of the Ancient of Days (Dan 7) UNTIL His enemies are made His footstool (Psalm 110)

The final two points take much more time than can be allowed for this post. In the next posting we will take a look at the loosening of satan and exactly what city is he attacking, and we will look at what the fire from heaven represents and how it fits into the rest of scripture.

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