Millennial Views

The English word millennium comes from the Latin words mille and annum. Mille  means thousand while annum means year. Therefore millennium means one thousand years. The word is used only in the Scroll of Revelation in the entire Bible. The Greek equivalent is used six times in chapter 20 of  the Scroll of Revelation. An angle came down from heaven and laid hold on the Dragon, that old serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years(Rev.20:2). And the angel imprisoned Satan till the thousand years were fulfilled(Rev.20:3). It is written: and I saw thrones, and they sat that upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for  the word of God, and which had not worshipped the Beast, neither his image, neither received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years(Rev.20:4). Speaking of the resurrection of the dead, John the revelator wrote, the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished( Rev.20-5). Those who participate in the first resurrection shall reign with Christ a thousand years. And when the thousand years were fulfilled, Satan shall be loosed out of prison(Rev.20:6,7). As we can see here, six times in six verses in Rev.20, the phrase thousand years is mentioned in connection with the reign of Christ. Whilst the Scroll of Revelation is the only place in the whole of the Scriptures where the the duration of the reign of Christ is mentioned, the concept of the reign of Christ is evident in the whole of the Scriptures. It is evident that a glorious and golden age will be ushered in at the expiry of the sixth millennium.

And it shall come to pass in those days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many shall go and say, come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of His ways, and we shall walk in His paths; for out Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge smong the nations, and shall rebuke many peoples; and they beat their swords in plowshares, and their spares into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more(Isa.2:2-4).

The concept of the millennium originates in creation itself: for God created the whole earth in six days. He rested on the seventh day and hallowed it(Gen.2:3). Each of those seven days represent a millennium. After creation God leased the Earth to Adam. And God blessed Adam, and God said unto them, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the foul of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth(Gen.1:28). Adam became God’s representative on Earth. Adam became as it were the god of this Age.  Note, Adam was never the god of this world(cosmos), but he was the god of this age( aeion). In Judaism, there is the concept of this age(olam haba), and the age to come olam haze. The lease to Adam will last till the expiry of the present age which occurs at the end of the sixth millennium. At the end of the sixth day or millennium, the rulership of Earth will revert back to God who is the  true owner of the Earth. Adam never had the title deed of the Earth. God is the possessor of the Earth. Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of the heavens and the Earth(Gen.14:19,22). The title deed of the Earth is in the Throne Room of the temple in heaven. It is the seven-sealed scroll of Revelation 5,6,10.

Because God is a spirit being without a physical body, He cannot rule the World directly because He had no physical body with which to relate with the external physical environment. The physical body is a transducer that enables a spirit being to relate with the external physical environment. Adam too is a spirit being, but he had a physical body. Therefore he can relate with the external physical environment. But the present physical body has limitations. One of such limitations is that it confines the bearers to a particulate location. And God cannot be confined to a particulate location. Therefore God rules  the world by proxy. Satan too is a spirit being without a physical body. So he too rules the world by proxy. For a spirit being to function in this physical world, it must possess a physical object. Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit(2 Pet.1:21). The Greek translated move is entheos. It means God inside. The prophets and writers of the WORD OF GOD were possessed of God. In other words, God was inside them, directing them from within. Satan and his fallen evil angels do the same with those they possess. Some madmen are possessed by evil spirits. There are also some supposedly normal human beings that are possessed by evil spirits. By their works ye shall know them. Adam’s lease would last for six days or six millennia. A day is like a thousand years in the eyes of God when it is past, and vice versa(2 Pet.3:8). Adam lost the lease to Satan when he and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Adam sold out Satan; it was legal transaction and therefore binding. Adam had the legal right to do that but not the moral right. Right now Satan has the tenure of the lease to Adam, but not the title deed of the Earth. Satan’s rule over the Earth will end at the expiration of Adam’s lease which is the end of the sixth millennium.

God created the Earth in six days. On the seventh day He rested from all His works. God rested the seventh that and He sanctified and hallowed it. Therefore the seventh day is the Lord’s Shabbat. At the expiry of the sixth day or sixth millennium, at the end of the present age, the ruleship of the Earth will revert back to the Amighty God. But neither God the Father nor the Holy Spirit can rule the Earth directly because neither of the two possess a physical body. God the Son, the second person of the Godhead has a physical body having previously incarnated, died and was buried, and is risen from the dead with a new eternal immortal physical resurrection body. The first man is of the Earth, earthy: but the second man is the Lord from the heavens(1 Cor.15:47). The Lord Jesus the Christ, the second man, the last Adam,  will be God the Father’s point man here on Earth in the millennium. He will be God’s representative here on Earth, in the earthly realm  of His universal kingdom in the millennium. The prophets are equivocal in proclaiming the rulership of the Christ over the earthly realm of God’s universal kingdom in the millennium. And I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the some of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him a dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, and that all people , and nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed(Dan.7:13,14). And the prophet Zechariah wrote: And the Lord shall be king over all the Earth; and in that day, there shall be one LORD, and His name one(Zechariah.14:9). The prophet Isaiah wrote: for unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince Of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end , upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for every. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this(Is a.9:6,7). At the Council of Jerusalem, James, the half brother of the Lord Jesus the Christ affirms the establishment of the millennial kingdom. Someon hath delared how God first did visit the nations, to take out from them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the proohets, as it is written: After this I will return, and I will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again it’s ruins, and I will set it up; that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, who doeth all these things(Acts 15:14-17). There is a similarity between the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall perform this, and the Lord who doeth these things.  Besides the above quoted Scriptures, there are myriads of others that speak about the coming of this kingdom(cp. Isa.4; 11; 32; 34; 52:1-12; 61:2b-11; 66:10-21; Amos 9:11,12; Zech. 12:8,9; 14:16; Matt.16:28; 26:29; Jon.18:36; 2Pet.1:11).

Millennial Views arose as a result of how biblical scholars view the coming of the Lord in relation to the millennium. Broadly there are two views, millennialism and amillennialism.  In the Greek language, the letter a  added to a word as preface, negates the meaning of that word. Therefore amillennialism literally means no millennium. Amillenialism is the view that there will be no literal millennium. Amillenialists posit that Christ reigns now in the hearts of those who believe in Him between the first and the second advent. Millennialism is the view that there will be a literal one thousand years reign of the Christ. Whereas amillennialism is one and only one view, millennialism has two different facets.  Premilleninialists are those who not only believe in a literal one thousand year reign of the Christ, but believe and teach that the millennium is only realisable after the coming of the Christ. In other words that Christ Himself shall usher in the millennium. Postmillennialism teaches that the Christ will come after the spread of the gospel has ushered in the kingdom. Amillennialism preaches a spiritual kingdom. We must remember that falsehood is sometimes truth stretched beyond its elastic limit. It is true that Christ reigns now in the hearts of those who believe in Him. This the mystery form of the kingdom. In the eschatological timeline, the prophetic gap which is called the Church Age, the gentile interlude, or the timiless period,  between the 69th and the 70th seven of Daniel’s 70 seven prophecy is also called the mysterion. It is aptly so called because it is the mystery form of the kingdom of God. Had the Jews accepted Jesus as their Messiah, the kingdom would have been established immediately. On their rejection of the Messiah, the kingdom was postponed, and a mystery form established. In the mysterion, there are no physical earthy borders, Christ reigns in the heart of His disciples irrespective of ethnicity, whether they are Jews or gentiles, and whatever their earthly nationalities. But this is only half the truth, because there is a literal physical earthly kingdom over which the Christ will reign. As a matter of fact,  a literal physical earthy kingdom is not possible with the coming of the Messiah. The first man is of the Earth earthy, the second man is the Lord from the heaven. Besides, the millennium is the Shabbat of the LORD. God must rule the Earth through His mediatorial representative, the Son of Man. Only Jesus bears this appellation. It has a direct relevance to His rulership of the Earth. The title deed of the Earth belongs only to God. He is the creator and possesor of the heavens and the Earth. In Revelation chapter 5, the Son of God, who prior to this time has been sitting at the right hand of the Father, The Majesty in the Heavens, stands as the slain  Lamb of God, accepts the seven sealed scroll from the Father, which is the title deed of the Earth, because He is about to revisit the Earth, to reclaim His rule and physical possession of the Earth. So, amillennialism is a half truth and therefore a false and wrong view of the kingdom.

Amillennialism was developed by Saint Augustine(354-425 A.D.) in the fourth century. He was strongly influenced by Ambrose of Milan, a church leader who argued that the Jewish people were irrevocably perverse and not worthy of any good thought. He made use of Origen’s allegorical method of interpretation to formulate the system of millennial view we call amillnnialism. Augustine’s book, The city of God, still influences the Church today. He also wrote Tract Against The Jews in which he argued that Jewish people should be treated unmercifully because they have no value and are  undeserving of any consideration. Initially Augustine was convinced that the literal one-thousand years kingdom which the Bible spoke about would occur between the first and second advent of Christ. Over time, he became disillusioned because the description of the kingdom in the Bible did not match the reality of the world in which he lived. Therefore he decided that the kingdom could not be literal, but a spiritual kingdom, if it were to occur between the first and the second advent of Christ. The kingdom of God, he declared, was in the hearts of faithful men, not in an actual literal kingdom on Earth over which Christ would reign. The allegorical method of interpretation resulted in the spiritualization of everything in the Bible. Israel was no longer Israel; Jerusalem was no longer Jerusalem; and one thousand years was no longer one thousand years, and so. Who had the authority to determine what they were; every interpreter was at liberty to give his own spiritual meaning to anything in the Bible. The Bible became a subjective patchwork which could be made to say anything that anyone wanted it  to say. Besides it had the added benefit of aiding the nascent antisemitism in the Roman Catholic church at that time. John Chrysostom(347-407 A.D.), a contemporary of Augustine, a famous preacher and great orator, preached a series of sermons against the Jewish people, accusing them of murdering their offspring, and worshipping demons. He called their synagogues brothels and den of robbers, and claimed God hated the Jewish people, because, in his view, they murdered Jesus. His conclusion was that God hated the Jews, and Christians were obligated to hate them as well. Do you want to be a  good Christian? Then you had better hate the Jews, he said, because God does. Amillennialism is allied to replacement theology, both of which breed antisemitism. Unfortunately, when the reformers broke from Rome, the battle was fought over justification by faith. And when the protestants and reformers left, they carried in their baggage, the Augustinian amillennial view of prophecy and allegorical method of interpretation. Tragically, most protestant denominations track their origin back to the reformation and remain amillennial in their views.

Whereas amillennialism is a partial and half truth, postmillennialism is totally false. The facts of history belie this view. A morally totally deprave humanity is incapable of such a glorious achievement. Postmillennialism is of more recent origin. It is the brainchild of Daniel Whitby, a 17th century unitarian minister. Whitby was convinced, the gospel like yeast would permeate the entire world with its purifying effects on the hearts of men. As time went on, things would get better and better, until eventually everything would be alright , after a thousand years of man’s progressive improvements, Christ would return.  Postmillennialism was by far the most popular view prior to the first World War. Postmillennialists believed the first World War was the war to end all wars. The peace that would follow they believed would be the evidence the gospel was doing its good job of purifying the hearts of men. However,  after the Second World Wars, it fell into obsolescence, because the second World War dashed the hopes of most postmillennialists, and their adherents diminished in number. The dept of the pit of moral turpitude to which man had fallen was unveiled a bit by  the horrors of the two World Wars, especially the second World War in which up to 60 million of the Earth’s inhabitants perished, including 6 million Jews who perish in the gas ovens and crematoria which Adolf Hitler built all over Europe, 2 million of whom were children, whose lives were snuffed out in the embryo. Of late, the works of some credible advocates have given posmillennilism a new resurgence. Nevertheless, major theological obstacles remain intact. Twenty hundred years of church history argue against this position. There is no evidence that the Church, through the gospel, is purifying the world; but rather, the world is squeezing the Church into its own mold. The upsurge in antisemitism in Europe,  horrors of Kosovo and Srebrenica and Albania, the rise of al Qaida, 9/11, the Arab Spring, Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists, and most recently ISIS and its inhuman treatment of Yazidis, Kurds, Iraqi and Syrian Christians and captured Iraqi and Syrian soldiers leave no one in doubt as the the absudity and  practical impossibility of the concept.

Clearly, premillennialism was the position of the early church for the first four centuries of its existence. The evidence for that fact is considerable and convincing. Whilst that evidence is weighty, it alone cannot be determinative. Premillennialism is based on literal normative interpretation of prophetic scriptures. Words are taken in their ordinary everyday usages, whilst at the same time allowing for figures of speech. The simple and basic thesis of premillennialism is that Jesus will return to the Earth, and will literally reign over the Earth for one thousand years. In other words, Christ will inaugurate and rule over the millennial kingdom.

Avraham Shallom.

Published by midgdal

I believe the saints will go through the Great Tribulation before being evacuated from the Earth in the rapture.

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