A study by Gavin Finley
endtimepilgrim.org Feb. 2003
Painting by English artist Margaret Tarrant, 1888-1959.
REVELATION 20 TELLS OF OUR MESSIAH COMING
AGAIN TO ESTABLISH A MILLENNIAL KINGDOM
AND A NEW AGE ON THIS EARTH THAT WILL LAST
ONE THOUSAND YEARS THESE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY
REFUTE THE DOCTRINE OF AMILLENNIALISM.REVELATION 20. King James Version
1. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 4. And I saw thrones, and they sat 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 worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years .
A MUSICAL VIDEO ON THE LIFE YHVH-GOD BROUGHT INTO
HIS CREATION THAT WILL BE BROUGHT INTO PERFECT BEAUTY
AND HARMONY DURING THE COMING MILLENNIUM OF MESSIAH.
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES SPEAK CONCERNING THE FUTURE MILLENNIUM OF MESSIAH.The scriptures speak clearly and repeatedly concerning a coming reign of Christ upon this earth. This is called the Millennium of Messiah or Kingdom of God. In Revelation 20 above we see mention of one thousand years. The Holy Spirit gives us six references to this thousand year period. God wants to make sure that we don't miss it. Let us look carefully at what each reference to this thousand years has to say to us.
Vs. 2 The Devil, Satan during this thousand year period will be bound.
Vs. 3 The Devil will be cast into the bottomless pit/Abyss, shut up and sealed so that he cannot deceive the nations until this thousand year period is over. Again we need to ask ourselves the question. Have we seen this period of time when the Devil is not out there deceiving people? Then the Devil will be released for a "little season". This is probably a few weeks after the end of the Millennium in which a Millennial Rebellion will be allowed to occur. Those millennial people who rebel at the end will be judged and condemned. Then comes the final consummation and the Great White throne judgment. This final judgment will come after this one thousand years and after the Millennial Rebellion has ended.
Vs. 4 Here we see martyrs of the future Great Tribulation. These are those saints who had died and not taken the mark of the beast. And they entered into a reign with Christ for a thousand years. This is what the Bible says. So it stands to reason that the thousand years referred to here must string out in time after the coming Great Tribulation, the time when these dear martyrs were killed. There is no other conclusion that we can come to unless we allegorize the text or religiously "vaporize" the clear words of God.
Have we seen any glorified saints come from a resurrection-rapture yet? Have we seen any saints in spiritual bodies reigning with Christ flitting across the earth's atmosphere and ministering to mortal men across this earth? Have we seen glorified saints come and minister to us as we walked along the road? Jesus ministered to mortal men in His glorified body. Remember He came alongside some of his disciples and opened the scriptures to them as they walked on the road to Emmaus? Will His glorified saints minister in similar fashion during the future Millennium of Messiah? Perhaps they will.
Vs. 5 The rest of the dead, those not glorified at the end of this age, stayed dead and in the grave and "lived not again until the thousand years was finished." This verse is clearly telling us that there will be two resurrections spaced one thousand years apart.
Vs. 6 Here we see the glorified saints coming out into the heavenly realms from the end of this age. Here in this verse we see them ministering as priests of God and reigning with Him for a thousand years. This is wonderful news for those who have died for the faith. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
Vs.7 "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison", Then, as we saw above, he will go out to deceive the nations who having embraced the flesh are ripe for deception. During the glorious Millennium of Messiah the only enemy will be the flesh. In this present evil age we have three enemies. They are the world (the present system of evil), the flesh, and the Devil. In the Millennium the world system will be Messiah's glorious righteous and peaceful system. The devil will be bound for the thousand years. It will only be the flesh that will be tripping people up. In those days the records will show that mankind cannot blame all their misfortunes on the Devil or "the system". Humankind even without the Devil and in a perfectly righteous world system will still choose evil. That story must be told for the watching angels. The Millennium will do that.These 6 verses above and a plethora of Old Testament poetry about the glorious age of Messiah yet to come were allegorized away in the early days of the church and are still being vaporized away today. Amillennialism is still the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church and most of the Reformed and older Protestant churches. Bible revering evangelicals have held that these references to a future one thousand years under Messiah is literal truth. A faithful rendering of the scripture shows that a magnificent peaceful Millennial rule under Jesus our Messiah awaits this poor sin sick, war-ravaged, polluted diseased planet. This thousand year period is yet future. May the Gnostic fog and mist clear from our vision.
Our Messiah is at work here below. Jacob's ladder traverses the chasm between heaven and earth. - Gen.28:12 And the angels of God ascend and descend upon the Son of Man. - John 1:51 Jesus is the Bridge over troubled waters. He alone is the Way to heaven. And He will bring His heavenly Kingdom into this cosmos and onto this earth. Messiah, Emmanuel, 'God with us' will surely come. He will minister to the sheep of His pasture. Here on this planet in rebellion He will bring His peace/shalom. He will tabernacle, or 'camp out', with His people for a thousand years. He will restore this created order and establish the peace on earth that we all long to see. Shall we join the kings of the 19th century who stood to their feet when Handel's Hallelujah Chorus was sung? TEven in this inspiring music the message came through. And European royalty recognized that the Messiah, the King of Kings, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Son of David, would come.
He is the Messiah.
And He will surely bring His glorious Millennium to this earth.
THE LONG CAMPAIGN OF SPIRITS OF DARKNESS AGAINST THE COMINGWithin the Church, as in the world, and even inside Israel there is a spirit which is hostile to the coming Christ or Messiah. Pagan Gnosticism both outside the Church and inside the Church is conducting an information war against the coming of the Messiah into this cosmos. It wars against the promised coming of Christ as God in the flesh. Gnostic paganism, and Gnostic Christianity as well wants to keep the God barricaded away from mankind. They would keep Christ as Messiah locked up in heaven or at least well cloaked in vague stained glass religious mysticism. Gnostic spirits are in rebellion against God. They do not understand Him or love Him in the way God's covenant people do.
OF MESSIAH INTO THIS COSMOS AND INTO THE AFFAIRS OF MEN.
Here is the crux of the matter. The principalities and powers, the rulers of this world, both angelic and human, are in rebellion. They do not want God's Throne, the Throne of David, to come to earth. They do not want His rule in human hearts. And they do not want His rule over this planet. This hatred of the coming rule of Christ upon this earth and hatred of the Throne of David is the Root of Anti-Semitism.
There is no question about it. The UN, and the nations, and most of their hired religious leaders would refuse entry of Christ, the Son of David into his Holy City of Jerusalem. Like the Arab ruler Suleiman the Magnificent, (who bricked up the Eastern Gate against the coming of the Messiah), our western political and religious leaders also want to deny the return of Messiah to rule.
But they have a problem. What they have ruled in the UN and in their state departments runs counter to what the Sovereign Ancient of Days has ruled. It seems that our international politicians today have a bad attitude. They are in rebellion. Jesus Christ/Yeshua Hamashiach is the Anointed One, the Christ, the expected and coming Messiah. He will return to this earth just as He has said He would. At His second coming He will destroy the wicked. He will deliver His Jewish saints from Jerusalem (Joel 2:28-32) at the Battle of Armageddon. The rest of His covenant people in their place or places of Exile on the far side of the world will see His coming as well. They too will see His salvation in the awesome Bozrah Deliverance. (Mic.2:12-13) Then He will establish His Kingdom here on earth. His reign will last for a literal 1,000 years. - Rev. 20:1-7
The return of Messiah will come at a time of high drama. As the 'Lion of Judah' He will roar from Zion and utter His voice from Jerusalem. The heavens and the earth will shake. - Joel 3:16 He will come to earth to sit upon the Throne of David. - Isa.9:6-7 He is God Incarnate who came down from heaven in the flesh. As the God of Israel He descends on Jacob's Ladder to abide with His covenant people in this cosmos. Gnostic religion seeks to institute a permanent buffer of priest craft, ritualism, magic, and an aura of mystery and hocus pocus between heaven and earth. Gnostic worldly religion stands at the bridge between heaven and earth as a troll. The principalities and powers of this world, both angelic and human, seek to prevent His coming to us and our going to Him. But Christ will be victorious. He will come to us as He left, From the Mount of Olives. He will be in His resurrected spiritual body. He will be in the solid body that Thomas discovered.
Our God is even now at work down here on this sorely corrupted earth. Right now He is assuming rule in the hearts of His people. The last day of this present evil age will see His return. In His resurrection body He will rule upon this earth. His Millennial rule will be very real.
What is the political and religious response to this message? Do the angelic rulers and human rulers like His coming? No, they do not. They don't like it one bit. Both secular humanism and ecumenical religious humanism resent this coming Millennial rule of Messiah very deeply. They consider this an unwelcome intrusion by the cosmic Christ into earthly realms which they consider ’their territory’. They consider this an intrusion by Christ into "human affairs". Messiah has come once. And what happened then? The princes of this world crucified Him. (2Cor.2:8) Now He has said that He will come back again. What is their response this time?
There are no surprises here.
The powers that be have not changed in their bad attitude.
They want Messiah to stay away!
Even though they know that their time is short, The angelic rulers want their human underlings to lock Christ the Messiah away from men. They want Him kept locked away in the realms of religious reveries and ritualism. And the Church, like Sleeping Beauty, is asleep.
The spirit of Antichrist is at work here. This is the spirit of rebellion. It is a rebellion against our God as He takes on flesh and comes into this cosmos. Our Messiah is Emmanuel or 'God with us'. This rebellion against the cosmic Christ goes on in religion just as it does in the secular politics of this world. The Spirit of Antichrist is that hidden principle of rebellion which denies that Christ has, and will, come on the flesh. (1John 4:3, 2John 1:7). This evil religious spirit, Infiltrates the Church. Evil religious spirits are even now operating through established religious systems They throw up a lot of religious “noise” to try to drown out The Message of Christ’s Second Coming. They try to prevent the Good News of His return from being made known.
This explains the campaign of this world system against national Israel, a little nation of just 4 million souls. Here lies the hated “Throne of David”, the object of all Anti-Semitism. It also explains the campaign against the evangelical outreach and the news blackout on the real truth of end-time events as wee them laid out in Holy Scripture. Also cloaked in secrecy is the future Millennium of Messiah. This world simply does not want Christ to come back to this earth. They want to keep Him locked up 'in heaven' or cloaked in religious ritual or filtered out behind stained glass.
This resentment against Christ and His return and hostility towards the Throne of David has led to the insertion of a lot of magical and Gnostic distractions. In place of the returning Christ we have seen all manner of earthy humanistic heroes emerge into the culture. The Cross of Christ has been magically transformed into the sword and the gun. In place of His Kingdom we have seen the 'almighty dollar' on the political right and 'big brother' on the political left. In place of the cup of Christ we have seen the mystique of the 'holy grail' spawning a host of Arthurian legends into western literature and films.
There has been a lot of religious magical spells cast as well. A key transformation has been the magical transformation of the word "Israel" to mean "The Church". This is replacement theology pure and simple. Also allegorized away are scriptural references to the "one thousand years" in Revelation 20. The principalities and powers seek to obfuscate the Holy Scriptures in an attempt to deny that Christ will return to this earth to rule. The message in God's Word concerning the glorious future Millennium of Messiah is thereby replaced with an unscriptural "Jesus has come and He has come to rule this world in and through the Church" story. This is harlotry. And it opens the door to the Kingdom Now movement and its cohort Restorationism and Dominion Theology. This explains the new militant crusading warrior mentality we now see emerging in the Church.
This has sinister overtones for national Israel and the Jews. This "anti-Throne of David" spirit is the essential wicked energy behind Anti-Semitism.
This is more than just a racial issue. Anti-Semitism manifests socially and politically. But it is intensely spiritual at its root. This evil spirit has been around for quite a long time. It first turned up inside Israel itself. - 2Sam.20:1, 2Chron.10:16, 1Kings 12:16 As part of the 'Mystery of Iniquity' it is the real driving force behind Anti-Semitism in the gentile nations. Anti-Semitism is not just racial. It is essentially a spiritual force. Any religious spirit that rages against the Throne of David is not just anti-Jew. It is also the spirit of Anti-Messiah, or Anti-Christ.
This hostility to the Throne of David in favor of loyalty to the princes and powers of this world is the main spiritual sickness of organized or institutionalized Christianity. The state licensed and controlled churches of Christendom are united at the top with the other hierarchies. So they are invariably affected by the mores of this world. Whether acting out through the mobs in the streets or cloaked in the vestments of the Church, Anti-Semitism at its root is a hatred of the Throne of David. It is a resentment against the Son of David and His coming rule upon this earth. Indeed it is a combined attempt by secular humanism and religious humanism to prevent or to deny the glorious future rule of Christ upon this earth. This "controversy of Zion" over the Throne of David is at the center of the end-time drama at the climax of this age. Indeed this is what the final epic Battle of Armageddon is all about.
ORIGEN, AUGUSTINE, AND REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY OPEN UPAs the apostles passed from the scene the Christian leaders who followed them handled the scriptures with less and less respect and holy fear of God. Amillennialism is a doctrine which began with Origen (185-254 A.D.). It was further refined by Augustine (354-430 A.D.). They even came to believe it was permissible to take the literal words, the Biblical text, and "allegorize" certain key words to convey a meaning quite different from the usual grammatical and historically understood meaning of those words. So instead of considering the literal interpretation of the text first and foremost they immediately darted off into an alternative interpretation based on an allegorical replacement meaning which they themselves had decided to place on those key words. So abracadabra, "Israel" came to be understood as "the church". This was perhaps the most notorious allegorization. It gave birth to a "replacement theology". This was not just an academic or theological matter. The "church" was now, according to church doctrine the "Israel of God". This opened the door to a church tradition which transferred the all the blessings of Israel to the church. The curses and the alienation and rejection was reserved for the Jews.
AMILLENNIALISM. THIS SETS THE THEOLOGICAL SCENE FOR
ALIENATION OF ISRAEL AND CHURCH SPONSORED ANTISEMITISM.
This is a complete and total tissue of lies. Although the Jewish people will repent late (-Zech 12:7-13:1, Rom.11) they are still in the calling of God and the royal House of Judah is listed in Revelation 7 as being in the covenant people of God. Armageddon will showcase the story of the inhabitants of Jerusalem repenting and being saved spiritually and militarily. And Zechariah 12 clearly describes the salvation of the Jewish house at the end of the age. But the church has all too often been inclined to cut off the Jews. This church gargoyle of replacement theology still perches on the church rooftops. Down through time this evil religious doctrine has led the people on to anti-Semitism inside and outside the church. Church history is stained with Jewish blood. Dominion Theology raised its ugly head to manifest itself in the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the pogroms of eastern Europe and the Holocaust of Nazi Germany. Replacement theology based on allegorization has been at the root cause of these shameful chapters in church history.
The word "Israel" was not the only word allegorized. The words "thousand years" which tell of the future Millennium under Messiah were given the same treatment. One thousand years no longer meant a literal one thousand years. Rather the words "thousand years" were "vaporized" as well. Gnostic priest craft has always been hostile to the evangelical concept of the inner rule of Christ enthroned in the hearts of men. They are just as hostile against any notion of a returning Messiah actually coming to STAY for a thousand years. They hate the thought of their Latin Jesus breaking through the stained glass and returning in his resurrected body. But the angels said He would return in like manner as He left here when He ascended into heaven 2,000 years ago. Our Jesus, who also happens to be our Jewish Messiah, the Son of David, is set to be enthroned in the New Jerusalem. And He will reign upon this earth from the Throne of David.
The princes of this world shudder and tremble at the thought of this. They lean upon their hired Church leaders to stop this message from getting out to the people. This is why church teachings were "adjusted" so that "one thousand years" now meant "years of the church age". This religious sleight of hand was hardly noticed by those sitting in the pews. But this "bait and switch" effectively did away with a future Millennium under a Jewish Messiah, the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
The coming of Messiah was an embarrassment to church leaders beholden to earthly kings. They didn't want to have to tell their sovereign prince and benefactor that he would be supplanted one day by their coming "King of Kings". The title of Christ as "Son of David", the One destined to rule upon the "Throne of David" has been known from ancient times. But formal religion has tended to keep this hidden and under wraps. So at its heart this "replacement theology" along with the doctrine of Amillennialism is a rebellion. It is an action of disinformation conducted against the Throne of David. This anti-Judah, anti-Jewish hostility is also understandable given the predominantly gentile nature of the church. But this 'anti-Throne of David' spirit that came into the church to deny the future Millennium was by it's very nature "anti-SON of David". Therefore we do not have to do any second guessing here. Amillennialist Christians can be among the most saintly people. But they have been deceived. Amillennialism was and remains today a doctrine driven was the spirit of anti-Christ.
THE HEBREW ROOTS OF THE CHURCH BEGAN AT PENTECOST.The church we know today began in the summer of 32 A.D. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell on the 120 in the upper room. The Body of Christ which spread out from Jerusalem on that epic Day of Pentecost began as a Jewish church. Unfortunately the Latinized and Europeanized church today has downplayed her Hebrew roots. She has even forgotten that her redemption in the atoning blood of Israel's promised Sacrifice Lamb is the eternal covenant of the Hebrews. Indeed the 'church'/'ekklesia'/'called our congregation' of God began with Abraham 4,000 years ago. - Eph.2:12-13, Gal.3:29 The church to this day does not seem to realize that the returning Christ is the Lion of the Jewish Tribe of Judah. They do they see themselves as fellow citizens with the saints of old and saved in the same Holy Spirit that overflowed Israel on the Day of Pentecost. Nor do they realize that under the blood of Israel's Messiah they are now holding a new passport in the Commonwealth of Israel.
THEY WILL BE REDISCOVERED AGAIN AT THE CLIMAX OF THIS AGE.
HOSTILITY TO THE THRONE OF DAVID IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF ANTI-SEMITISMThis rejection of the Throne of David, the chosen office of God's future righteous rule upon this earth is not limited to the gentiles. It has been seen repeatedly throughout holy history. In fact it was seen inside Israel itself. Here in the scripture below is a record of it back in the time of King David. Here we have proof that the word "anti-Semitism" is actually not specific enough a term to help us understand what is really going on. The word "anti-Semitism", meaning anti-Jew, or even anti-Arab is far too vague. It does not tell the real story. This abominably evil spirit we call "anti-Semitism" is hiding itself in a smokescreen of misleading terminology. At its core anti-Semitism is actually an spirit of rebellion which is "anti-Throne of David". Here is our scripture.2SAMUEL 20:1This rebellion against the Throne of David was seen again in Israel in the following century after the death of Solomon. In the days of Jeroboam the northern 10 tribes had split off from Judah. The very same bitter words were spoken against the Throne of David then.
And there happened to be there a rebel,
whose name was Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjamite.
And he blew a trumpet, and said:
"We have no share in David,
Nor do we have inheritance in the son of Jesse;
Every man to his tents, O Israel!"1KINGS 12:16Rebels hate the Throne of David. They always have. And they always will. But that office and that throne is the essential reality of the future Millennium under Messiah. Enmity against the Throne of David is seen in the worldly principalities of gentile nationalism, gentile socialism, gentile mercantilism, and gentile tyranny and anarchy.
Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying: "What share have we in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
To your tents, O Israel!
Now, see to your own house, O David!"
Kings and rulers are not totally the ones at fault here. The rejection of the House of David reflects the carnal desires of the people, the nations, the gentiles, the heathen. This is why Barabbas was released and Jesus, Son of David, was delivered up for execution. This is why the crusaders sought the title, "King of Jerusalem". This is why Suleiman the Magnificent bricked up the eastern gate of Jerusalem in the 1530's to prevent the Messiah from coming into the holy city. This is why the so called Palestinians (who are really Arabs, Egyptians and others) want to stop Judah from gaining a foothold in the land of Israel. This is why half of U.N. condemnations and sanctions are aimed at little Israel and why our western state departments want to stop the House of Judah from making Aliyah and returning to the Land of Israel. This same humanistic anti-Judah/anti-Throne of David sentiment is how we got Amillennialism. At its root, Amillennialism is is 'anti-Throne of David'.
AMILLENNIALISM TURNS THE SPOTLIGHT AWAY FROM THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST AND REDIRECTS OUR ATTENTION TO THE RELIGIOUS POLITICS OF THIS WORLD. THE COMPROMISE OF MODERN CHRISTIANITY IN THE DIALOGUES, ROUNDTABLES AND FINANCIAL DEALINGS WITH THE EMERGING NEW WORLD ORDER IMPLICATES THEM IN THE ENDTIME CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE COMING KINGDOM OF GOD. Is Amillennialism so bad really. Unfortunately it is. This doctrine of the latter days effectively robs or usurps the glory of Messiah's future Millennium. The religious spirit behind this religious alchemy effectively steals the Millennial glory away from our coming Messiah. Then it proceeds to apply all this self esteem and glory to "the church itself", the established ecclesiastical order of this present evil age. Is this doctrine of Amillennialism or "no Millennium" founded on scripture? If it is not and if, as we see above, it is refuted by Rev. 20 and the Old Testament millennial prophetic poetry as well then much of the established church is in some very deep trouble here. Our eyes are not on Christ. Instead our eyes are being redirected to the principalities and powers and the politics of this world.
We can see this process going on in the ecumenical movement. All the roundtables and dialogues by leading churchmen with the emerging powers of the new world order are compromising the faith of our fathers. In their dealings with mammon they are selling the holy things of God down the river. This is quite obvious to those who have eyes to see. See Watch unto Prayer.
This is a very serious matter. Because in this world there is, and always has been, a conspiracy against the coming reign of Messiah. But it will not do well. God Almighty, seated in the courts of the third heaven is dead set against it. In fact He is highly amused by this end time culmination of secular and religious humanism. The attempt by New World Order to rebuild the Tower of Babel is a huge joke to the Sovereign Lord, the Ancient of Days. The One seated in the heavens laughs in derision at the kings and world rulers who would try to prevent or deny the coming rule of His Messiah upon this earth. Then He rebukes them in His fierce fury and terrifies them in His wrath. So these rulers are not healthy company for church leaders to associate with. 3,000 years ago King David wrote a song about this end time conspiracy. He saw Almighty God laughing at these Utopian globalists in their futile attempts to rule this world without His Messiah.PSALM 2. New Living BibleGod's wrath would also be directed at a church system beholden to these temporal rulers. Churchmen hired out to the princes of this world and who show no respect for the coming King of Kings will be terrified by God Himself when they realize what they have been doing. God help them to repent as soon as they see the error of their ways.
1 Why do the nations rage? Why do the people waste their time with futile plans? 2 The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against his anointed one. 3 "Let us break their chains," they cry, "and free ourselves from this slavery." 4 But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury. 6 For the LORD declares, "I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, my holy city." 7 The king proclaims the LORD's decree: "The LORD said to me, 'You are my son. Today I have become your Father. 8 Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your possession. 9 You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.'" 10 Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! 11 Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Submit to God's royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of your pursuits – for his anger can flare up in an instant. But what joy for all who find protection in him!
AMILLENNIALISM.If, as the Amillennialists argue, there is no Millennium and the church age we are now in embodies the millennium then this calls for an explanation. When was there a period in past church history that might be considered worthy of being labeled as the Millennium? We see all the wonderful old testament poetry of the glorious peaceful happy future Age of Messiah. We see it in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and a host of other places. When has the church exemplified this glory? In what part of church history was this splendor manifest? When did we see it? Was there ever a thousand years of such magnificence, such majesty and such righteous rule and peace? Are we in that thousand years time period now as we approach the end of this age? Have we seen the Devil locked up in the Abyss for a thousand years? If he is chained up right now, then, (as the classic argument goes), he must have a very long chain!
IS THE CHURCH THE SUM TOTAL OF GOD'S KINGDOM ON THIS EARTH?
HAS IT EVER BEEN? WILL IT EVER BE THE FULFILLMENT OF ALL THE PROPHECIES?
COULD THE CHURCH FULFILL ALL THAT IDYLLIC MILLENNIAL OLD TESTAMENT
POETRY BEFORE MESSIAH COMES BACK AND STRAIGHTENS THINGS OUT HERE BELOW?
WHO IS THE REAL CHAMPION OF GOD'S KINGDOM?In 325 A.D., soon after this Amillennialist usurpation of the Millennium entered the church, the elders were invited to "go up" to Nicaea. There they supped at table with the Roman Caesar Constantine. There, at that place and time, he became the secular champion and protector of the church. The church, as the quintessential damsel in distress, in effect took the cup Caesar had offered her and drank deeply. Then leaning across the table she kissed her worldly prince. Then she reached out and laid her hand on Constantines sword. In the Arthurian spirit of chivalry he would become the church's first "defender of the faith". At that time Constantine had made no profession of Christian faith at all. But some years before, at the battle of Milvian Bridge (312 A.D.) he had seen a vision of a cross in the sky. In Constantine's vision the cross was transformed into a sword because he said he heard the words, "In this sign conquer". Were these words from God?
WHO IS OUR MASTER? GOD? OR CAESAR?
Or were they perhaps from the darker angelic realms?
Let the reader be the judge here.
At Nicaea the established church struck a compromise with pagan Rome. This sinister turn in the road would take Christendom into the Dark ages for a thousand years. Should this be any surprise to us?
Could Christendom in the middle ages have possibly been the Millennium? History shows us that this period of time was in actual fact the heyday of the Arabs. After 700 A.D. they dominated trade in much of the Mediterranean. The Moslems swept the church out of north Africa and tackled the crusaders in the holy hand, defeating them at Acre in 1291. The Moors took over southern Spain ruling peacefully until being driven out in 1492. Plague took the lives of half the population of Europe in the 1300's.
There was very little spiritual peace for God's people either. In the 1400's and 1500's Bible translators were being burned at the stake by the church. At the same time Anabaptists numbering in the millions were being persecuted and killed. In the 1500's while central Europe was in the midst of the 30 years war trouble came from the east. The Turks were at the gates of Vienna. In the wake of all these miseries came famine. So medieval Europe was far from peaceful. There was little spiritual peace either. Christendom in the middle ages was a hellhole of hobgoblins, psycho-sexual medieval fantasies and a whole culture based on mixed pagan-Christian religious superstition. The cross had been substituted by the sword. Baptism of infants was the passage into citizenship and the true Christian faith was diverted into the religious idolatry of ritual, relics, and indulgences. Even the communion cup of our Lord Jesus was spirited away to be profaned in freemasonry and the occult with legends of the holy grail.
This was a great tragedy. The Holy Scriptures were locked up in the monasteries. And so the devotion of God with His people faded from the scene to be replaced with earthy Arthurian tales and romances that have stretched out all the way from Camelot to Star Wars. The Word of God, in Spirit and Truth was as a flickering candle in the medieval darkness. The priests were just as ignorant in most cases. The only access to the scriptures was through the dying Roman language of Latin. But the Bible remained locked up behind the closed doors of the medieval monasteries. Did the Middle Ages witness or showcase the glorious Millennium of Messiah?
HOSTILITY TO THE THRONE OF DAVID AND HIS GRACIOUS RULE IN OUR HEARTS IS SEEN IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLES TODAY. AN ANTINOMIAN CHURCH CULTURE HAS TURNED "GRACE" INTO "LICENSE" AND FLOUTS THE PRECEPTS OF GOD.The people of the secular world are not the only ones to see the rule of Christ as chains against their flesh and oppression against the desires of their ego and their precious "self-esteem". Christian believers are caught up in this antinomian repugnance to God's righteous rule and law as well. Western Churchianity has in fact created a false dichotomy between law and grace. Typically we embrace grace for ourselves and execute or dump the law off on others. As a result of this many professing Christians manifest lifestyles not much different from the pagan milieu in which they live. Grace among Christians has unfortunately become a "license to sin". But Jesus said that he had come not to destroy the law but to fulfill it. -Mat.5:17 Does this mean we need to join the Puritans and Victorians and crack down even harder on the legalistic front? Far from it. That approach is actually counterproductive.
How then do we deal with the problem?
THE THRONE OF DAVID IN THE HEARTS OF MEN.The answer is in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ fed by the Holy Scriptures and walked out with Him under the guidance of His Holy Spirit. Unfortunately many Christian believers have not known Jesus Christ in this intimate way nor walked with Him daily in the bonds of His love. They have not been filled with the Holy Spirit. Nor have they followed His gracious leading. They have not known the joy of His law being "written in their hearts". These realities must be experienced to be believed. So people who do not know the indwelling Christ cannot imagine how God's rule can be anything other than a grievous encroachment on their "freedom".
A SERENDIPITY AWAITING OUR JOYFUL DISCOVERY.
The finger wagging of Christians and Jewish religious legalists have unfortunately done a lot to foster this view. So it is quite understandable. But our God is not a harsh cold legalist. Even in Old Testament times all that God was really seeking of His people were hearts that were warm and responsive towards Him. -Psalm 51 He told them through Moses that this walk of faith and obedience was not impossible for them.
God has a wonderful serendipity awaiting those who surrender their lives to Him. His law, His righteous rule, His Torah, His teachings are not a grievous burden at all. His grace provides the desire, the means, even the delight, to walk in His ways. Here is how it happens.JEREMIAH 31:33
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:
I will put My law in their minds,
and write it on their hearts;
and I will be their God,
and they shall be My people.
Grace and shalom to all the saints.
Some more devotional articles on apocalyptic Biblical themes for the inquiring Christian.