REDEMPTIVE HISTORY IS ESSENTIALLY AMNESTIC IN NATURE
A. History According to Perfect Justice.
Gen. 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God…
Rev. 20:11 I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them… and [man] was judged according to what [they] had done… 22:6 “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End… their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (NIV Genesis 3:6-8; Revelation 20:11-21:8)
- Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit (i.e. Sheol, cf. resurrection), who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy… 8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love…10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities (cf. Gehenna). 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. (ESV Psalm 103:2-12)
B. Amnesticism: the essential difference between “this age” and “the age to come”.
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (NIV Matthew 12:32)
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.” (NIV Luke 18:29-30)
Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away (in the age to come). 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (ESV 1 Corinthians 2:6-8)
Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope— the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority (concerning submission to unjust authority). Do not let anyone despise you. 3:1 Remind the people (“Put them in mind” KJV) to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. (NIV Titus 2:9-3:2)
C. The recompense of the Day of the Lord is coming, not yet being administered.
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then (not before) he will reward (Gk. apodidomi, “repay” ESV/NRSV, “recompense” NASB, “judge” NLT) each person according to what he has done (cf. Job 34:11; Ps. 62:12; 96:13; 98:9; Is. 3:10f; Jer. 17:10; 32:19; Ez. 18:30, etc.). (NIV Matthew 16:27)
Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. (NASB Acts 17:30-31)
But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will render (Gk. apodidomi) to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. (ESV Romans 2:5-8)
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. (NIV Romans 14:10-12)
If any man builds on this foundation (“Jesus Christ”) using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. (NIV 1 Corinthians 3:12-15)
Set your minds on things above (i.e. the government of heaven), not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears (Second Coming), then you also will appear with him in glory (i.e. the resurrection of the dead). 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. (NIV Colossians 3:2-6)
They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead– Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (NIV 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge… 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day— and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing… 14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. (NIV 2 Timothy 4:1-14)
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him (by judging the ungodly). (ESV Hebrews 9:27-28)
Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ (Messiah), and He shall reign forever and ever!” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty (Gk. pantokrator), the One who is and who was and who is to come (governmentally, i.e. dominion), because You have taken Your great power and reigned (“begun to reign” NASB/ESV/NRSV/NIV/NLT; i.e. execution of judgment and maintenance of law). 18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time (implying a previous time of restraint from judgment) of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth.” (NKJV Revelation 11:15-18)
Behold, I am coming soon (i.e. future), bringing my recompense (Gk. misthos, i.e. reward & punishment; cf. Is. 40:10; 62:11) with me, to repay everyone for what he has done (cf. Ps. 28:4; Is. 3:10f; Jer. 17:10). 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 14 Blessed (reward) are those who wash (by the Atonement) their robes (during this amnestic age), so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside (punishment) are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things (Jesus as the coming messianic Judge) for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star (i.e Messiah). (ESV Revelation 22:12-16)
D. Temporal recompense ultimately meant to testify to the Eschatological Recompense.
There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way (temporal judgment)? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (eternal judgment). 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (ESV Luke 13:1-5)
1. The “first death” is ultimately meant to communicate the reality of the “second death” (named accordingly), the culmination of divine recompense.
Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them (at the end of the thousand years), but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (NIV Revelation 20:6)
The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. (NIV Revelation 20:12-14)
He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars– their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (NIV Revelation 21:7-8)
- But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life (i.e. resurrection of the dead, v.5). 23 For the wages of sin is death (i.e. “second death”), but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV Romans 6:22-23)
- Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life (i.e. resurrection of the dead) that God has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” … 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (i.e. “second death”). (NIV James 1:12-15)
2. Judgment in this age is ultimately meant to testify to the judgment in the age to come.
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell (Gk. tartaroo, participial of Gk. Tartaros, cf. Hb. Sheol), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved (“kept” ESV/NRSV, “held” NIV/NLT) unto judgment (cf. Mt. 26:41; Is. 66:24; Rev. 20:14; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly… 9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished. (KJV 2 Peter 2:4-9)
And the angels who did not keep (Gk. tereo, “stay within” ESV/NLT) their positions of authority but abandoned their own home– these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. (NIV Jude 1:6-7)
You (church in Thyatira) tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering (temporal judgment), and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know (i.e. purpose of temporal punishment) that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds (with ultimate reward and punishment, cf. second death). (NIV Revelation 2:20-23)
E. Redemptive history and the coming kingdom are ultimately interpreted amnestically through typology.
When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” (NIV Luke 22:14-16)
In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death (i.e. amnestic offer of forgiveness) until he comes (executing punishment). (NIV 1 Corinthians 11:25-26)
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark… (NIV Matthew 24:37-38)
a) Global judgment with water (Gen. 6:7)
~ Global judgment with fire (2 Pe. 3:7)
b) 1st coming to Noah as warning: Ark as atonement (Gen. 6:13)
~ 1st coming of Messiah as warning: Cross as atonement (Rom. 3:25)
c) Command to build an Ark covered in pitch (Gen. 6:14)
~ Command to build a Church covered in Blood (Mt. 28:18-20)
d) 120 years of Ark building (Gen. 6:3)
~ “Long time” (~2000 years) of Church building (cf. Mt. 24:48; 25:5, 19)
e) 7 day warning before Flood (Gen. 7:4)
~ 7 year Antichrist covenant before Second Coming (Dan. 9:27)
f) Global delusion concerning coming judgment (Gen. 6:2)
~ Global delusion concerning coming judgment (Mt. 24:38-39)
3. Snake on the Pole
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world (the first time) to condemn (Gk. krino, “to judge” NASB/NLT) the world, but to save the world through him (by the atonement of the Cross). 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned (eschatologically), but whoever does not believe stands condemned already (anticipating the eschatological judgment) because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (NIV John 3:14-17)