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The purpose and intent of this site is twofold:

1. Share the Word of God as found in the Bible.

2. Comment on current events as they relate to Bible prophecy


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Millennial Assumptions



MILLENNIAL ASSUMPTIONS



There are several assumptions that must be made concerning the millennium due to the lack of conclusion based scriptural facts.



1.   Are earth people left alive after the plagues of God and the battle of Armegeddon have devastated the planet?

2.  Do the raptured dead and living return to the earth or stay in the heavenly realm?

3.   All sea creatures are destroyed and most likely all land animals due to the non-drinkable water of the plagues as well as vegetation.  Is there a recreation at the beginning of the millennium?

4.  Will cities and towns be rebuilt such as Jerusalem or will the New Jerusalem descending from heaven at the end of the millennium be the center of life?

5.  Will Jesus rule with a rod of iron on an actual earth with an actual population for 1000 years?  If so, why will a rod of iron rule be necessary if everyone is a raptured believer with a transformed angelic body?



PREMILLENNIALISM (or Chiliasm)

In reading the early Church fathers, one quickly learns that they believed that Christ is going to establish a temporal kingdom on earth after His return to endure for one thousand years.  There are virtually no early church documents prior to AD 325 which support a different view.


The most striking point in the eschatology of the ante-Nicene age (prior to the council of Nicea) is the premillennial view, that is the belief of a visible reign of Christ in glory on earth with the risen saints for a thousand years, before the general resurrection and judgment.  The historical evidence indicates that the premillennial view, (as it is called today) was the predominant belief of the church for the first three centuries.  That is, the Millennial kingdom of Christ was the general doctrine of the Primitive Church, from the times of the Apostles to the Nicene Council.



AMILLENNIALISM

After the Nicene Council of AD 325 there was a prominent shift from the expectation of a millennial reign following the return of Christ to a spiritualized kingdom of unlimited duration before the return of the Lord.  This amillennial view holds that "at the second coming of Christ the resurrection and judgment will take place, followed by the eternal order of things".  This view sees the current church age as the millennium.



There are two differing views within this camp concerning the believer's 1000-year reign with Christ spoken of in Revelation 20:4-6. One group sees this as speaking of the intermediate state of believers between death and resurrection. It refers to the reign of the souls of the blessed dead with Christ in the intermediate state. The second group holds that the entire church age, from the first coming of Christ until His second coming, is to be equated with the Millennium and that the active and aggressive church leaders on earth is now reigning with Christ.


This shift to what is now called amillennialism began slowly during the second and third centuries, and then picked up speed until by the middle of the sixth century there were only a few remaining pockets of belief in a literal thousand-year kingdom on earth. The dominance of amillennialism continued up to and beyond the Reformation, and only in the 19th century was the view of a literal thousand-year reign upon the earth revived.



POSTMILLENNIALISM

This view holds that the kingdom of God is a present reality which began with Jesus, and that its purpose is essentially to usher in the reign of Christ. It is expected that all nations will be converted to Christianity followed by approximately one thousand years of peace before Christ’s return.   It isn’t until after the thousand years of peace that there will be an outbreak of apostasy and rebellion against God and it will be during this time that the Antichrist will become active before he is vanquished by the return of Christ.



TWO PROPHECIES OF THE MILLENNIUM



There are a few expositors (maybe more) who have discerned there are two prophetic views concerning events after Armageddon.  One describes earthly and human life as highly enhanced but still containing elements of normalcy such as:  birth, old age, death, eating, drinking, cohabitation, physical events, and work (manual labor).  This earth age will be the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ.  Life spans will be enhanced, crops will be abundant, water will be pure, animals will be docile grass eaters, and there will be no government agencies or any type.  There will be some burdens but only in limited forms.



The second and last age will be eternal.  The New Jerusalem will descend from God from the heavens and will be the eternal residence of all people who will be as the angels.  There will be no birth, old age, sin, sorrow, or death.  If there is any eating or drinking, it will be from the trees and waters of life.



In many prophetic instances, both of these ages are presented within the same passage of Scripture.  Such an interpretation recognizes that the writers of Scripture often arranged their materials in a topical rather than a chronological order.  That is, the eternal state may be addressed prior to the reign of Christ age.  Isaiah 65: 17-19 is describing the eternal state but then Isaiah 65: 20-25 breaks the chronological order expected in the chapter and interjects a related note about Jerusalem during the 1000 year millennium. 



Almost universally the early church believed Revelation 20:1–6 to represent a period of time as the 1000 year millennium or reign of Christ.  This period would  begin with a resurrection of the righteous dead in Christ and conclude  with a resurrection of all the dead.  At the end of this period (the 1000 year reign of Christ), Satan would be loosed for one last opportunity at opposing God before being finally and forever vanquished.



After laboring to sort out the seemingly contradictory millennial statements in the Revelation and the Old Testament prophets, the concept of two final ages makes perfect sense to me.  It may not be correct, but I am willing to live with it until (or if possible) a more satisfactory concept is brought forth.



The Eternal State:  Isaiah 65: 17-19

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.  (18)  But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.  (19)  And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 



The Millennial State:  Isaiah 65: 20-25

20)  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.  (21)  And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  (22)  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.  (23)  They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.  (24)  And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.  (25)  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

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