Revelation; "Thousand Year Kingdom"?

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posted on Feb, 6 2011 @ 04:16 PM
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I want to offer some thoughts on Revelation ch 20 vv1-10.

This covers the period of one thousand years when Satan is bound, and Christ is reigning with the saints.

So I'm going to be asking the question; what's the meaning of this "Millennium"?

In the context of the Revelation story, it's an interval of peace after the destruction of the Beast.
The peace is then broken by one final assault from God's enemies.
We can find parallels for this in other parts of the Bible.
In Daniel ch7, after the Fourth Beast has ben destroyed, the other kingdoms are allowed to continue;
"Their lives were prolonged for a season and a time"- Daniel ch7 v12
Ezekiel forecast a time when God's people had been brought back from exile.
Ther homeland had become "a land of unwalled villages", inhabited by "the quiet people who dwell securely"- Ezekiel ch38 v1
Nations are then brought up against the land by "Gog of the land of Magog".
Revelation highlights the parallel by using the same names ("Gog and Magog") for the nations of the world that come up against "the camp of the saints".

The thousand year period is defined from the moment when Satan is "bound", to prevent him from deceiving the nations.
So the crucial point is to establish exactly when that happens.

One option is that Satan has been bound by an event in the past.
Which implies that the reign of Christ has already begun.
This is the option which has been labelled, a little unfairly, as "Amillennial" (= "there is no millennium").

The classic explanation comes from St Augustine in the "City of God" (Book 20, ch7).
He equates the binding of Satan with the "binding of the strong man", as announced by Jesus in Mark ch3 v27, and thus with the work of Jesus himself.
He does hesitate between two different ways of interpreting that "one thousand".
He has half a mind to take it as a literal number (which would be a mistake, we now realise, because more than a thousand years has elapsed since Augustine's time).
His alternative opinion is that John "used the thousand years as an equivalent for the whole duration of the world, emplying the number of perfection to mark the fullness of time. For a thousand is the cube of ten."
(I've used the "ten-cubed" interpretation myself in previous threads. I must have picked it up from "City of God", though the borrowing was unconscious)
Either way, the beginning of his thousand year kingdom is marked by the life and death of Christ and the introduction of the gospel.

This is an attractive solution, taken in isolation.
The problem is fitting it into the overall structure of Revelation.
If the beginning of ch20 represents the work of Christ, then the events of the previous chapters would need to be taking place before that time.
But the starting point of this book is the persecution troubling the church of John's time, and it then looks forward in the expectation of relief.
So this chapter comes much too late in the story to be identified with the beginning of the Church's life.

Another option is that Satan is being bound by the advance of the gospel.
This is the option which has been labelled "post-Millennial", because Christ is expected to return once the process has been completed.

There's a natural connection between this theory and mission work.
I'm sure it owes much of its popularity to the fact that taking the gospel to every part of the world was becoming a practical possibility from the eighteenth century onwards.
But it seems to me that it's vulnerable to the same objection as Augustine's approach.
The "time of tribulation" events of the previous chapters should have been taking place before Satan was bound.
And the explanation that "they all took place in the first century" doesn't really work for the global catastrophe of the Trumpets and Vials.
So the difficulty, once again, is reconciling this theory with any consistent chronology of Revelation.

One more option is that Satan will be bound, when Christ returns.
This is the option which has been labelled "pre-Millennial", because Christ comes before the MIllennium starts.

At first glance, it appears to be following the chronological sequence of Revelation.
So it's a very natural interpretation for anyone who's focussing their attention on the book.
Nevertheless, there are difficulties which need resolving.
In the rest of the New Testament, in the teaching of Jesus about the "coming of the Son of Man", and in the teaching of Paul about the "Day of our Lord Jesus Christ", the Return of Christ is associated with a time of judgement.
But the time of judgement, in this chapter, comes after the thousand-year kingdom.
"The Day of the Lord", the time when Jesus comes "like a thief", is associated with the time when "the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved", in 2 Peter ch3 v10.
Bu the flight of the earth and sky, in this chapter, comes after the thousand-year kingdom.
And in the rest of the New Testament there is no suggestion of any subdivision of the period following the Return of Christ.
Paul simply says "So shall we be always with the Lord"- 2 Thessalonians ch4 v13. End of story.
So there seems to be good reason, after all, to place the Millennium before the Return of Christ.

My own solution to this problem rests on the belief that this book is addresssing two sets of readers at the same time.
John was writing, in the first instance, for the benefit of the church of his own time, suffering harassment and worse from the Roman authorities.
At the same time, though, his message can be taken up for a later church suffering the same kind of experience.
This leads me into the thought that there ought to be two fulfilments of the Revelation prophecies.
One would be for the benefit of the church suffering in the end-time.
But the church of John's time would be getting nothing out of this prophecy, unless there was going to be a fulfilment which could be applied to their own condition.
I'm going to offer the suggestion that this "thousand-year kingdom" represents the interval between these two fulfilments of prophecy, thus coming after the first fulfilment and before the second.

This would be my brief summary of the Revelation events which would need to be "fulfilled";
1. A persecution of the church, implied in the background of ch1.
2. The great crisis of ch6, the "4 Horsemen" episode. I took this to be God's reaction to the previous persecution.
3. The rise of the two "Beasts" of ch13, the great world-state and its leader. This implies a recovery from the events of ch6, so I suggested that the Beasts might rise to power on the strength of leading the world out of that crisis.
4. The renewed persecution of the church by the Beast.
5. The destructive catastrophe of the Trumpets and Vials.
Finally, the events of ch19- the intervention of the "white horse" and the battle of Armageddon.

Now, it seems to me that a version of this pattern can be found in the later history of the Roman Empire.
1. The persecution had already started in John's time.
2. The Roman Empire came close to collapse in the third century, under the impact of invasion, secession, and civil war.
3. The empire recovered under a series of stronger emperors, culiminating in the work of Diocletian. This earned him the nickname PARENS AUREI SAECULI ("Father of the Golden Age").
4. Diocletian and his colleagues then launched a campaign to eradicate the Christian church. Since the Christian faith was then limited to the Roman world, this was the nearest approach to "universal" persecution that the church has ever experienced.
Finally, there was a version of the "white horse" in the shape of the emperor Constantine, and a version of Armageddon can be found in the battle of Milvian Bridge, which was fought, according to legend, under the banner of the Cross.
So these events fulfilled, in a sketchy way, most of the expectation of Revelation- the final catastrophe of the Trumpets and Vials is the only important element that doesn't have a parallel.

The consequence of Constantine's victory was that persecution came to an end, thus answering the church's prayers from chapter 1, when the problem was Roman oppression. That is the first fulfilment of prophecy.
But, of course, history did not come to a close. Events have continued.
The common assumption about the Fourth Beast in Daniel's vision is that it represents Rome, since it seems to follow the empires founded by Alexander
But if the Fourth Beast really is the persecuting power of Rome, Constantine's victory would show how that Beast could be overcome by the intervention of Christ, while the other kingdoms were allowed to continue.
It also provides an explanation of the binding of Satan.
Satan appears in Revelation mainly as a promoter of persecution, which is his motive for giving power to the Beast of ch13.
But Constantine's victory, and the policy of toleration which followed, meant that Satan had been "bound" as a persecutor. The "binding" remains in place, in the sense that the "total" persecution which was attempted in Diocletian's time has never been resumed.
(Satan has also been "bound" as an Accuser of Sin, by the current freedom to preach the gospel)

So the period since Constantine has been a time of comparative peace for the church, a time when the church has been "dwelling in unwalled villages", as it were.
The episode of "Gog and Magog" would then describe the end of this period of peace, when Satan has been liberated to attack the gospel and to stimulate attacks on the church.
I suggest that this would take the form of a second, more complete, more final fulfilment of the first nineteen chapters of Revelation
This would then be followed by the Return of Christ, and by the time of judgement described at the end of the chapter.

In other words, I'm returning to Augustine's view of the thousand-year kingdom- that it refers to the currrent age of the church. Except, of course, that I'm giving it a later starting-point than he did.
The implication is that Christ is already reigning, and he's reigning in the company of the saints.
Special reference is made to the martyred saints, but they're not, if we look closely, the only saints in this picture.
For John says that he saw those "to whom judgement was committed" and also the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony.
There's reason to think that the first-mentioned group includes Christians in general;
"God has... raised us up with Christ and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus"- Ephesians ch2 v6
We're told that the "second death" has no power over these people, but this is obviously true about all those whose names are written in the Book of Life.
So Augustine does not limit the "first resurrection" to the martyrs, but simply identifies it with the spiritual and eternal life which is promised in John's gospel;
"He who hears my words, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgement, but has passed from death into life"- John ch5 v24

Perhaps we should, in deference to the text of Revelation, at least allow a place of honour to the martyrs.
With that qualification, the "millennial kingdom" appears to have this meaning;
That there is a sense in which Christ is already reigning in the world.
And that those who belong to Christ are already reigning with him.








edit on 6-2-2011 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)
edit on 6-2-2011 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 6 2011 @ 04:22 PM
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If God is all powerful, why doesn't he just eliminate the adversary and be done with it?



posted on Feb, 6 2011 @ 04:25 PM
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Very interesting...

I am reading the whole of Revelations at this moment;

it has a very peculiar connection to Nibiru, the Annunaki, and Mankind...



posted on Feb, 6 2011 @ 04:28 PM
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reply to post by EssenSieMich
 

The Bible describes a preference for indirect and gradual action.
I don't have the knowledge to second-guess his reasons for doing it that way,and neither does anybody else.



edit on 6-2-2011 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2011 @ 04:31 PM
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reply to post by Colton
 

Thank you for that comment.
I dont know if you realise that this thread is part of a series covering the whole of Revelation, which is nearly completed. Other threads can be found in my profile.
I found no reference to Nibiru, though, so it got no mention.

edit on 6-2-2011 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2011 @ 06:41 PM
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Originally posted by EssenSieMich
If God is all powerful, why doesn't he just eliminate the adversary and be done with it?


He is. And He will. Just wait for it...

"There will be no peace on Earth until My Son's Kingdom. I will crush every kingdom now standing and rock the earth off its foundation. I Yahweh will destroy every enemy to My throne, and who can stop Me? Who can turn back My anger? No one." - Yahweh

Matthew 10:34 "Don't assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

Exodus 15:3 "The LORD is a warrior; Yahweh is His name."



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 12:45 AM
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reply to post by ReginaAdonnaAaron
 

Thank you for that support.
I would not recommend those links in your signature, though.
They are very dubious sources of information, from the Christian viewpoint..

edit on 7-2-2011 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 03:28 AM
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So you wish to know when the Millennium starts? Well, here is the simple answer with a complicated explanation.

The Millennium starts 2000 years after the death of John the Baptist.

Now how do I get that answer? It's because I'm aware of the curse of Malachi. And I'll explain it to you here.

To start with the verses in question.

Malachi 4
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Matthew 17
0 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

When Herod killed John the Baptist he triggered this curse. Then it just a matter of looking it up and figuring out the details. And I already did the hard work so here is the explanation of it.

Curses under Judaism have to be referred back to Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Specifically Leviticus 26. The agreement made by God with the descendants of Israel during their wandering in the desert for 40 years. Specifically it details the benefits of complying with the agreement and the penalties for disobeying.

The ultimate penalties are the destruction of your cities and country and death and slavery of your people.

Then you need to find the declaration of the curse. I found it in the book of Hosea. The entire book is about the curse but here it is condensed into a couple of verses.

Hosea 3
4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:
5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.

Hosea 5
3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled.
2 Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.
13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.
14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him.
15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.

Hosea 13
6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.
7 Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them:
8 I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.
9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
10 I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?
11 I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.


And that is the declaration of the curse. Here is verse with the time frame. And remember per 2nd Peter 3-8 those days are thousand year periods of time.

Hosea 6
1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

The Jews and Israelites of the first century AD were slapped with a 2000 year top level Leviticus 26 curse. To be followed by a thousand year "day of Jezreel". This day of Jezreel after looking at it is probably the Millennium by a different name.

And that is the explanation of your question.
edit on 7-2-2011 by ntech because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 03:44 AM
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Originally posted by ntech
The Jews and Israelites of the first century AD were slapped with a 2000 year top level Leviticus 26 curse. To be followed by a thousand year "day of Jezreel". This day of Jezreel after looking at it is probably the Millennium by a different name.

Thank you for that contribution.
One problem with your explanation is that Christ is supposed to be ruling in this chapter in company with the Christian saints.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 03:50 AM
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reply to post by EssenSieMich
 


If he done that, It would not turn out to be interesting for him to fking enjoy on his high fking throne.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 04:01 AM
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a thousand year kingdom??

THE FOURTH REICH....thousand yr plan



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 04:05 AM
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reply to post by thePharaoh
 

Hitler's idea that his "Third Reich" would last for a thousand years was stolen from Revelation.
The "Fourth Reich" idea is based on Hitler's, so it's a copy of a copy.
Better to stick with the original.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 08:58 AM
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A design note:

The holy place of the tabernacle in the wilderness was 2000 cubic cubits.

The most holy place of the tabernacle in the wilderness was 1000 cubic cubits.

The church/pentecost age has continued for nearly 2000 years.

The millenium/tabernacles age is almost here.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 09:15 AM
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reply to post by Lazarus Short
 

An interesting theory, but where are you getting your figures from?
Exodus ch36 vv20-30 has measurements for the tabernacle;
It is made from frames one-and-a-half cubits broad, ten cubits long. I take it that the frames are standing upright, so that ten cubits is the height of the structure.
The ground measurement is 20 frames x 6 frames- or 30 cubits x 9 cubits.
To me, this gives a cubic measurement of 30x9x10 cubits, = 2700 cubits.
How are you making your measurement?



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 10:12 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


I think I got that from either Stephen E. Jones or James Bruggeman, either a book or an audio tape. The numbers stuck in my mind. Both men work a lot from the concept that the OT is prophetic, and not just in the explicit prophecies.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 10:16 AM
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reply to post by Lazarus Short
 

Ah well, I suppose we'll have to ask those men where they got their figures from.
Thank you for the contribution, anyway.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

Well, the problem is that to put it simply is that there is still unfinished old testament business on the schedule. Because the curse of Malachi was triggered that would mean the 70 week prophecy in Daniel 9 is yet unfinished. The 70th week is still on hold for the end of the 2000 year curse. By my best guess that would be the late teens to the 2020s. Last possible date of the thousand year reign of the saints is probably May of 2028. 80 years from the rebirth of Israel in 1948 and approximately the 2000th anniversary of the death of John the Baptist.

Also per Matthew 24 and Luke 21 there was 2 events that had to be completed before his return. In Luke 21 it's the times of the Gentiles. Which is still a unfinished event because there is still Gentiles (Muslims) in control of parts of Jerusalem.

2nd event is in Matthew 24. Verse 24-14 states that the gospel of the kingdom to come had to be preached to all nations/ethnic groups of the world before the end would come. My best guess based on the rebirth of Israel in 1948 and that verse 24-6 stated that it would not occur during a war is that it occurred between 1945 to 1948. Starting the generation of the fig tree then.

And thats my view of the situation at present.
edit on 7-2-2011 by ntech because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 01:42 PM
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the current age will continue until the rapture of the saints (imminent) and the seven-year tribulation.
at this time the antiChrist will rule an international kingdom and war against Christians and Jews.
unprecedented global catastrophes will occur.
at the end of the 7 years Jesus will return wi the saints; satan/devil will be arrested & confined, as all his minions
God will cleanse the earth and establish a global kingdom, centered in Jerusalem. Jesus will be King; the saints will be sub-rulers.
at the end of this thousand years / millenium the devil will be released 'for a season' and tempt the world again. he will form a mass army and attack Jerusalem; he and his army will be zapped, making way for final judgment, new heaven/earth, and eternity.

the millenial is when 'the lion will lay down with the lamb'. earth will be a paradise.

that is the traditional interpretation.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 02:04 PM
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Originally posted by works4dhs
the current age will continue until the rapture of the saints (imminent) and the seven-year tribulation.

Not all of this is traditional.The "rapture" is a comparatively recent doctrine, and I've had no occasion to mention it in any of these discussions.


at the end of this thousand years / millenium the devil will be released 'for a season' and tempt the world again. he will form a mass army and attack Jerusalem; he and his army will be zapped, making way for final judgment, new heaven/earth, and eternity.

But if the reign of "Christ and the saints" has already begun, which would be the Augustinian teaching, then this "release of Satan" could be identified with the forthcoming tribulation. They would be the same thing.



posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 04:25 PM
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This next thread in this series will be on the topic of the "New Jerusalem" in chs21&22, which will complete the process of working through the chapters of Revelation.





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