Understanding the 1000 Year Reign (Millennial Kingdom)
Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. For this they wilfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.2 Peter 3:4-9
The context of Peter’s comments is the second coming, that which directly precedes the destruction of the world and the close of the gospel age, shutting the door to salvation once for all. No future age follows, this earth will wax away like the old covenant and eternity commence. The Gospel age beginning at the Cross is the 1000 years of Rev20, (1000 representing perfection, not a literal timeframe) in which Christ has destroyed the works of the devil, cast him out and is ruling and reigning with His Saints NOW! Jh12:31-32, Mat12:28-29, Lk11:20-22, Eph1:20-23, 2:6-7. When He returns it will be in flaming fire and vengeance, to put all things under His feet and the Kingdom will be delivered over to the Father. (2Thes1:8-9, 1Cor15:24-25) There cannot be two millennial reigns or two new heavens and new earth, when the last enemy is defeated (death) time will be no more.
The common fallacies concerning eschatology seem to always end up with the results everything being in ‘two’s. Such as 2 houses, 2 physical resurrections, 2 flocks, 2 brides, 2 Gog -Magog wars, two second deaths, 2 kingdoms, (the church & Israel) etc. Yet Peter clearly says that at His coming the heavens and earth are burned up ushering in a New heaven and new earth in which Righteousness dwells. Consequently there will NOT be any mortals remaining to dwell in some ‘imaginary temporal Millennial Kingdom, given a second chance (so to speak) to hear and believe before the great Judgment. (it also sounds suspiciously like the false concept Catholic Purgatory, although the people are dwelling in bodily form instead of spirit) These fallacies were contrived many centuries ago by a Jesuit named Ribera in order to take the heat off the Pope as the anti-Christ, casting the events of Revelation into the far off future, therefore taking the focus off the universal deception the establishment church system had fallen under during the so-called Great awakening. These teaching were imported into the Protestant side of the Church in the early 1800’s when Edward Irving and John Darby took notice of Lacunza’s (another Jesuit priest) re-write of Ribera work. It gained momentum through the likes of Scofield, Larkin, Dallas Theological Seminary, others, and became mainstream teaching by the turn of the 20th Century as Dispensational theology; that introduced the Rapture Cult in which the Church escapes the wrath of the anti-Christ in the great Tribulation while the Jews (God’s supposed chosen people) are cast onto the world scene caught up in the temporary world order that ends with the (second) return of Christ and the commencement of another Millennial reign with Him ruling in bodily form from Jerusalem. BUT this defies reason! Everything in Scripture that testifies of Christ’s return, spells out the end of time as we know it.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 2Pet2:10-13
Against the full weight of scripture concerning the Last Day, Christ’s own words in Matt24:37-39, Lk17:26-30, the proclamation in 2Thess1:7-10, and others, how could there be any hidden meaning in Peter’s words. The earth and everything in it will be dissolved, cease to exist, time as we know it shall be no more, the Gospel age of Grace is finished, door shut. (as on the Ark) In the New heaven-earth only Righteousness dwells, no more sin, corruption, sickness and death, ‘there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away, Rev 21:4. Could there be any question as to what the early Saints believed about the Kingdom, Why would Christ, who has already established the Kingdom, return and set up another ‘temporary kingdom, only to destroy it (again) a 1,000 years later? No where in scripture are such things taught by Jesus or the apostles. The Apostles were not looking for another Kingdom yet to come, but THE KINGDOMestablished in Righteousness forever! As Jesus likened His return to the Days of Noah, where the flood came and swept them all away, so Peter affirms that Day is the Last Day. And then admonishes the brethren:
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation 2Pet3:14-15
Understand that Peter wasn’t looking for Christ to return and rule on THIS earth, rather he saw the return of Christ as a Renewal and restoration of all creation, a place in which the righteous shall shine forth as the sun, after the tares are burned up, Matt13:41-43. As Paul said, ‘the whole creation groans and labours in birth pangs together until now’, Rom8:22. The Saints will not dwell in a place where the Goats-Tares-Leaven still exist, each Kingdom Parable speak in this manner, that the Son of Man will send out His angels and they will gather out of His Kingdom ALL things that offend and those who doeth lawlessness, Matt13:41. It’s the time of separation and Judgment, the final resurrection of
the just and unjust, Jh5:28-29, Dan12:2, raised to everlasting shame or eternal bliss. What kind of ‘comfort would the Saints have looking forward to more corruption and turmoil, another entire Millennial age in which to suffer and die! Are we to believe that resurrected, glorified Saints are walking around on this earth with unredeemed mortals (who some how survived Armageddon) who will again be deceived by Satan and mount another armed conflict against God before they’re finally all cast into the lake of fire with Satan and his cohorts? Utter non-sense, there is no basis to support such notions anywhere in Scripture. The fascination with Jesus returning in bodily form, touching down on the Mount of Olives and setting up His earthly (1000 yr) Kingdom in Jerusalem, (after the great Tribulation) is a scorched earth myth, with the question left unanswered: ‘HOW is it that the earth is utterly destroyed and no mortal remaining (after battle of Armageddon) can there be ‘another interim Kingdom and the whole thing playing out again.
We know that the 1000 years (millennia) is not a literal timeframe, the Gospel age has already run concurrently for 2000 years, therefore how do we measure the (supposed) future Millennial age? The Dispensationalists complicate the matter even further by taking the ‘literal stance on 1000, that instead of representing perfection (or something that has reached maturity) they Chart it on a 7000 year timeframe going back to Babylon, up through the Cross and finally their (fictional) 70th Week of Daniel, separated by 3-1/2 year intervals in which Lacunza’s play book takes place. It’s a stretch but with the hype surrounding the Left behind series (and others) and the craze for end times prophecy their theories have become the biggest cash cow in professed Christendom. Today we have prophets and visionaries crawling out of the wood-work, making predictions and deceiving millions. It’s a confusing maze of error that few can sort out and discern truth from fiction. Daniel said that four things would happen when Christ showed up on the scene, Dan9:24, ‘He would make an end of sin, make reconciliation for iniquity, bring in everlasting righteousness and SEAL UP the vision and prophecy to anoint the Most Holy’, SO, ask yourself, what is it that Christ as Messiah failed to accomplish and must yet be done in a time yet to come? He confirmed the Covenant with Israel, brought an end to the sacrifices and offerings (once for all) and left their (physical Israel) house desolate. (Matt23:38, Lk13:35) The everlasting Kingdom, putting an end to sin is fulfillment of the Covenant made to Abraham, Gen12:7, 23, 13:15, 24:7, Gal3:16-17, (mentioned also by Ezekiel, 33:26-27, 37:26-28, valley of dry bones) a people redeemed from all nations and tongues who would have the law written into their hearts and minds, the True Israel of God, (Gal6:16) His Church (Saints in white robs, Rev19:7-8) united in ONE faith in righteousness and true holiness. In them reconciliation has been made and iniquity abolished.
Judgment Day and the resurrection of the dead is the dividing line between this age and the age to come. The plumb line of truth that was set (from the foundation of the world) to determine such a day. At the Last Trump it is finished,
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1Thes4:16-18 The Day of Salvation is Over, when the last generation of living Saints are caught-up (Raptured) the remainder (Armageddon, Great White throne, Satan cast into lake of fire) will happen in the twinkling of an eye, the time lapse of a thought, (1Cor15:51-52) the ‘final enemy’ (death) is defeated and also cast into the lake of fire forever more, again: And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Rev21:4
This is where His people inherit the Kingdom prepared for them:
Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power 1Cor15:24 The kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, Mat25:34
There is no waiting another 1000 years for Christ to put down His enemies and bring in eternity. The eternal Kingdom follows the great Judgment concurring with His Return, at the final Trump. The Gospel age is the time of Salvation, the long suffering of the Lord, Rom2:4, once the harvest is gathered in, the winnowing fan has separated the wheat from the chaff, TIME shall be no more. Those who have taken part in the first resurrection, the New birth, currently reign with Him in the Gospel age. (Rev20:6) This passage cannot be speaking of the physical resurrection as 1Cor15, because that would separate the resurrection of the Just and unjust by 1000 years (age) and scripture continually speaks of ONE final (physical) resurrection and separation when He returns:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matt13:47-50
The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Matt13:40-43
Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left Lk17:36 (not speaking of a ‘secret rapture of the Saints, but the taking away of the Tares to be burned, as any farmer knows before you harvest the wheat, you winnow out the chaff, the Left Behind teaching has the exact opposite taking place)
And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. Matt25:46 (separation of sheep and goats)
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. Jh5:28-29
Christ is coming to abolish death and destroy the wicked, not to reside over another earthy Kingdom in which death and wickedness remain. No more tares among the wheat, goats among the sheep, the foolish among the wise. To Him every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord over all. (Rom14:11, Phil2:11) It is an absolute impossibility that anyone (mortal) survives at His coming; the living Saints are caught up, the wicked are destroyed, 1Thes4:17, 2Thes1:8-9, the earth is dissolved, 2Pet3:4-9, Satan (and his minions) are cast into the Lake of fire, Rev20:10, and the final Judgment is complete, Rev20:12, 15. What did John say comes next:
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away Rev21:1
The Saints will dwell forever with Him in the ‘heavenly country, Heb11:16, the ‘New Jerusalem’, holy city of the heart, their Tabernacle with God, Rev20:1-2, in which there will be no more death, sorrow, crying or pain. Time will be no more. How can His coming and setting all things in order be delayed by yet another undetermined timeframe (1000 years) with the scenario played out again culminating in a ‘second return, when the Scripture speak so clearly about ONE Coming, ONE Judgment and ONE new earth. This is what the Saints looked for, desired earnestly, hastened and prepared for, the New heaven and New earth in which all wickedness and corruption are vanquished and they dwell with the Lord forever. In this final Day there will be no second chances, no magic glorifications from wicked to righteous, no escaping Judgment. It is declared:
He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still. Rev22:11
Dispensational theology contradicts itself, its pundits cannot explain how the wicked survive after the so-called Tribulation period and go on to dwell in a new/old earth age (take your pick!) wherein Jesus is ruling physically from Jerusalem, with glorified Saints walking around, everyone still subject to death, pain, sorrow and deception. And they cannot harmonize the passages that clearly reveal that the return of the Lord is a Day of vengeance and total destruction of the wicked.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 2Thes2:8
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 2Thes1:7-9
The lure in this line of teaching is the ‘secret Rapture theory, based on the catching away passage in 1Thes4:17, wherein the ‘Church escapes the wrath of the anti-Christ (not appointed to wrath 1Thes5:9) as the world is thrust into the Great Tribulation period. But again this also coincides with His coming, ‘Last Trump‘, 1Cor15:52, Rev11:15, and the Kingdom delivered to the Father, 1Cor15:24, how is it a secret gathering when Scripture says ‘every eye shall see Him and mourn, Rev1:7, the heavens are rolled back like a scroll, Rev6:14, in flaming fire of vengeance… doesn’t sound like an event happening in secret or a launch pad for anything other than final Judgment. Why are these things so important to sort out and understand? Mainly because falling under any deception concerning the return of Christ can lead to greater deceptions and the invention of more fallacies as has been the case since dispensationism was invented by Darby. They also offer a false sense of security and comfort to the professed masses and with the reoccurrence of lying signs and wonders going wild, calling people out of this mess is more difficult than ever before. That’s why its important to understand these things, righty divide scripture and give others a proper accounting of the truth when you are confronted by their errors.
By Mike D
taken from research by Bill W and Mike D