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Purpose of Today’s Class: to understand…
The Millennial Kingdom as the fulfillment of the prayer taught by Jesus, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth…”
The time of fulfillment of Israel’s unconditional
covenants: Israel is spiritually regenerated (New covenant), back
in her Land (Land covenant), with her Davidic King ruling from
Jerusalem (Davidic covenant), and all the earth is blessed
God’s unique demonstration of righteous government by man on earth through the Son of Man, the Prince of Peace.
A reversal of many, but not all, aspects of the curse brought about by The Fall of man.
A distinct time from the eternal state.
Before we go to the text
The Millennial Kingdom by John Walvoord.
Spiritual vs. Material: a false dichotomy
Some hold that spiritual is good and material is bad.
The present spiritual kingdom is good.
Anything else, especially something material, could not be of God since ‘spiritual’ is equated with ‘better’ or ‘superior’ to that which is material.
material is not inherently bad
Materialism stained by sin: "Get all you can, can all you get, bury the can."
Who created the material? God! What did He say about it?
Ge 1:31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed [it was] very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Full-orbed blessings of God integrate the spiritual and the physical or material. Good and evil attend both spiritual and physical domains.
The millennial kingdom is a time when spiritual and physical/material blessings will achieve full integration, much like conditions in the Garden prior to the Fall of man.
The Old Testament Predictions
The Predicted Kingdom2
Ps. 2:6-12, the nations and the ends of the earth as His inheritance
Dan. 2:42-44, the stone smashes Nebuchadnezzar’s statue of sequential Gentile powers and replaces them with an eternal kingdom
Isa. 9:6-7, on the throne of David, not at the ‘right hand of the Father’
See also Luke 1:32-33 where Gabriel echoes this passage
When is the Kingdom Received?
Daniel 7:19-27, after the antichrist loses his dominion
This same sequence is seen in Rev. 19 and 20
This event is also recorded in Rev. 11:15
A time of universal peace
Isa. 2:1-4, world peace
Isa 2:4 He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.”
"the U.N. Building displays these words: 'And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more' (Isa 2:4). A verse taken out of its context is only a pretext however. The first part of this verse reads, 'And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people.' Until Christ the Messiah sits upon the throne of His glory and rebukes and judges the nations, there will be no permanent peace." Christian Research Journal (Santa Marguarita, CA: Christian Research Institute), vol 24 no 2, p. 38. <http://www.equip.org>
Isa. 11:1-12, the reign of Jesse’s offspring
Isa. 11:6-7, peace among animals
Also Isa. 65:25; Hos. 2:18
The reversal of the post-flood giving of animals as food (Gen. 9:2-3)
The confusion which results when literal passages are spiritualized:
“A representation of the change that will take place under the reign of the Messiah in the natural disposition of men, and in the aspect of society; as great as if the lion were to lose his natural appetite for blood, and to live on the usual food of the ox. This cannot be taken literally, for such an interpretation would suppose a change in the physical organization of the lion - of his appetites, his teeth, his digestive organs - a change which it would be absurd to suppose will ever exist. It would in fact make him a different being. And it is clear, therefore, that the whole passage is to be interpreted in “moral” sense, as denoting great and important changes in society, and in the hearts of men.”3 [In response, we would observe that changing the constitution of a lion no more ‘absurd’ than making men live together in peace.]
“Isa 11:7 - And the cow and the bear shall feed,.... That is, together, in one church state, at one table, or in one pasture, upon the wholesome food of the Gospel, the salutary doctrines of Christ; who though before of different dispositions, the one tame and gentle, useful and profitable, dispensing the milk of the divine word, and gracious experience; the other cruel and voracious, barbarous and inhuman, worrying the lambs and sheep of Christ; but now of the same nature, and having no ill will to one another, and being without fear of each other: their young ones shall lie down together; those like the calf and the young bear, shall lie in the green pastures of Gospel ordinances, and do no injury, the latter to the former, being of one mind, and agreeing in doctrine and practice: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; kings shall be nursing fathers to the church, and feed on the same Gospel provisions; and there shall be a great agreement between them who were before comparable to lions for their strength, power, and cruelty, and ministers of the Gospel, who are compared to oxen, for their strength and laboriousness, 1Co_9:9 "straw" here denotes true doctrine, though elsewhere false, see 1Co_3:12.”4
“Men because of their wicked affections are named by the names of beasts, in which the same affections reign: but Christ by his Spirit will reform them, and work in them such mutual charity, that they will be like lambs, favouring and loving one another and cast off all their cruel affections”5
Different from the Eternal State, Isaiah 65:17-25
Sin, Isa. 65:20
Eze 45:20, atonement for sin in Ezekiel’s temple.
Zec 14:17, some nations neglect going to Jerusalem in worship and rain is withheld.
Birth and death, Isa. 65:20, 23
If the rapture is after the tribulation (at the 2nd coming of Christ) and all the righteous are given resurrection bodies, who is left to give birth in the millennial kingdom?
Centrality of Israel and Jerusalem
Zec. 14:2, 14-21, nations come to Jerusalem to worship, keep feast of Tabernacles
Isa. 62, Jerusalem to be a praise in all the earth
The Teaching of Jesus
Mt 19:28 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Why a regeneration needed?
Regeneration (paliggenesia), from palin (again) and gene (to birth or generate). A renovation or recreation. often used to denote the restoration of a thing to its pristine state6
The world we know ruined:
By judgment, especially during the Tribulation when God pours out His wrath on the ‘earth dwellers’ and that which they worship (nature).
Mat. 25:31-34, live people enter the millennial kingdom at the second coming
“His throne,” the Davidic throne (Luke 1:32-33)
Enter the kingdom prepared for you…
Acts 1:6-7, the expectation of restoring the kingdom to Israel
Acts 3:19-21, Jesus will remain in heaven until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouths of all His holy prophets since the world began
The importance of observing sequence
When does Jesus come again? Rev. 19
When is the beast destroyed? At Jesus’ second coming (Rev. 19:20)
Could the beast be Nero (who committed suicide in 68 A.D. according to Encyclopedia Britannica) if Christ has not yet come? NO!
What happens after the second coming? A kingdom is set up.
Why does this sound vaguely familiar? Daniel 7!!
Rev. 20:1-4, The binding of Satan7
the death knell to amillennialism which claims we are effectively in the millennium now
scripture makes it plain that Satan is not bound. Although Jesus defeated him legally at the cross, Satan still has free access in this world8
Rev. 20:4-6, the Saints reign with Christ
Rev. 20:4, two groups
One group already seated on thrones
Judgment was committed (edothē) or ‘given’ by God (Dan. 7:22)
The implication is that those in the first group were either raised previously (at the rapture) and returned with Christ or have not yet died (the sheep of Mat. 5:31 who enter the kingdom in their natural bodies).
A second group who have been martyred for their witness to Jesus and to God’s Word.
The second group of souls (psychas), about to be resurrected.
lived and reigned for the 1,000 years.9
Lived (ezēsan), ingressive aorist meaning ‘began to live’ or ‘lived again’. The aorist is used in this same way in Rev. 2:8.
The second group is raised at this time, now that their number is complete (Rev. 6:11).
Both groups share in Christ’s future reign (Rev. 2:26-28; 3:12, 21; 5:10; cf. 1Cor. 6:2-3)
millennium: “A thousand-year period of holiness mentioned in Revelation 20, during which Jesus and his faithful followers are to rule on earth.”10
Rev. 20:5-6, two categories of resurrection, the just and the unjust11
Joh 5:28-29 "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.
Both resurrections are physical 12
All believers fall within the category of the first resurrection or else they would be subject to the power of the second death, a logical impossibility.
Rev. 20:7-10, The Satanic Rebellion at the end of the Millennium
This would appear to be a different scenario than that described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 (see israel_02_11_notes.doc for reasons why).13
Where do the unbelievers who follow Satan into rebellion come from? (They are the descendents of the righteous who entered the kingdom and had children, Mat. 25:31.)
What are the purposes of this last rebellion?
A demonstration that in every age (dispensation), when man is left to his own devices, he will always fail. Even with an ideal environment, ideal government, and an ideal start (no unbelievers) with Christ reigning in Jerusalem in our midst, we will still turn away.
To test and purge out unbelievers prior to the eternal state.
All God’s promises to Israel find a future literal fulfillment in the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ on earth from Jerusalem.
The millennial kingdom is a precursor to the eternal state, a ‘living demonstration’ of righteous rule on a regenerated earth. Physical promises will be physically fulfilled at this time (abundance, peace, health).
The character of the millennial kingdom is uniquely Jewish and centered on Jerusalem in Israel. Although at that time all nations shall know the Lord, Jerusalem and Israel attain a special status because of the many promises God has already made concerning them. Promises which He intends to keep.
Questions and discussion
2 "But strangely enough, some of the very men who are so scornful of the alleged 'materialism' of a millennial kingdom, are the most insistent that the Church today must make effective in society what they call the social and moral ideals of the present kingdom of God. Thus, it is our duty to vote the right ticket politically, give to the Red Cross, help the Boy Scouts, support the United Nations, endow hospitals, etc. But if a 'spiritual' kingdom can and should produce such effects at the present time through the very imperfect agency of sinful men, why cannot the same thing be true in larger measure in the coming age when the rule of God will be mediated more perfectly and powerfully through the Eternal Son personally present among men as the Mediatorial King? ... The reasoning of such men at times seems very curious. If physicians conquer disease, if scientists eliminate certain physical hazards, if by legislation governments improve the quality of human existence, if wise statesmen succeed in preventing a war, etc.,--these things are often cited as evidence of the progress of a present Kingdom of God. But if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself returns to earth in person to accomplish these same things, more perfectly and universally, then we are told that such a kingdom would be 'carnal.'" Alva J. McClain, The Greatness Of The Kingdom (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1974, c1959), pp. 520-521.
3 Albert Barnes
4 John Gill
5 Geneva bible
6Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Test of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurence of Each Word in Regular Order. electronic ed. Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship., 1996.
7 "If this language does not mean that the immobilization of Satan is complete, so far as his deception of the nations (Grk. ethne) is concerned, then there is no way to express the idea." Alva J. McClain, The Greatness Of The Kingdom (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1974, c1959), p. 481.
8 Ac 5:3; 1Co 7:15; 2Co 4:3-4; 11:14; 12:7; Eph 4:26-27; 6:12; 1Th 2:18; 2Th 2:9; 1Ti 1:20; Jas 4:7; 1Pe 5:8-9; 1Jo 3:8-10; Re 20:3
9 Amillennarians attempt to interpret this as a ‘spiritual resurrection.’ “But this ignores the obvious contextual indicator that it refers to the martyrs of the earlier part of v. 4. People who have died for Christ can hardly experience a spiritual resurrection. They are already spiritually alive.” Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8-22: An Exegetical Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1995), Rev. 20:4.
10 American Heritage Dictionary
11 Da 12:2; Lu 11:31-32; 14:14; Joh 5:28-29; 11:24; Ac 24:15; 2Ti 2:18; Heb 11:35; Re 20:5,13
12 "If, in a passage where two resurrections are mentioned where certain souls lived at the first, and the rest of the dead lived only at the end of a specified period after the first,--if in such a passage the first resurrection may be understood to mean spiritual rising with Christ, while the second means literal rising from the grave;--then there is an end to all significance in language, and Scripture is wiped out as a definite testimony to any thing. If the first resurrection is spiritual, then so is the second, which I suppose none will be hardy enough to maintain: but if the second is literal, then so is the first, which in common with the whole primitive Church and many of the best modern expositors, I do maintain, and receive as an article of faith and hope." Alford, Henry. New Testament for English Readers.
13 “the present passage differs from Ezekiel 38-39 in a number of ways that are sufficient to show this is not the specific occasion foreseen by Ezekiel” Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8-22: An Exegetical Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1995), Rev. 20:8.
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