MILLENNIAL QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
There are several assumptions that must be made concerning the millennium due to the lack of conclusive scriptural facts.
1. Are earth people left alive after the plagues of God and the battle of Armegeddon have devastated the planet?
First, there is no actual battle of Armegeddon. This is most likely symbolic of God’s divine plan to eliminate armies, weapons of war, and war in general.
The Revelation is not a map or playbook of some supposed seven year tribulation period. It is a prophetic history of the Church and most has already been fulfilled. Historically, we are now at the destruction of Mystery, Babylon. The book of the Revelation was written in a symbolic and/or metaphoric manner.
When the Bible (the little book) was finally printed in a vernacular language, the Reformation preachers discovered it to be a historical document although they did not completely understand it.
The idea of a dispensational platform was first written by a Catholic priest to alter the Reformers understanding of the Pope as the beast. Soon afterward, Darby expended the idea and delivered it to Cyrus Scofield. It was then taken up by the Dallas Theological Seminary as a primary teaching point and now it is almost decreed doctrine in most American churches.
2. Do the raptured dead and living return to the earth or stay in the heavenly realm?
There is no one in heaven other than God (the Christ, the Holy Spirit) and there will never be any human there permanently . Transfigured entities such as angels can now enter the heaven of God and the ones receiving the first resurrection will also be able to enter heaven although they will primarily be on the earth as judges and administrators.
3. All sea creatures are destroyed and most likely all land animals due to the non-drinkable water of the plagues as well as vegetation. Is there a re-creation at the beginning of the millennium?
Most of that description is metaphoric and not completely literal, although many sea creatures and land animals are currently dying out with some becoming extinct. The Millennial administrators could possibly re-create many past life forms through enhanced DNA methods.
4. Will cities and towns be rebuilt such as Jerusalem or will the New Jerusalem descending from heaven at the end of the millennium be the center of life?
Although many areas of the world are currently being destroyed, it is assumed that life will continue as it is. There should be major scientific breakthroughs and the quality of life will be greatly enhanced. The New Jerusalem may be the center of life at some point after the Millennial kingdom is completed.
5. Will Jesus rule with a rod of iron on an actual earth with an actual population for 1000 years? If so, why will a rod of iron rule be necessary if everyone is a raptured believer with a transformed angelic body?
Only a certain number of the saints of the Lord God of Heaven (Daniel 7) will be resurrected prior to the beginning of the Kingdom of God (Millennium). These saints/elect/overcomers will have a transformed body. The remainder of the population alive at the time of the resurrection of the elect will remain as they are. However, scientific and medical advances and developments will allow people to live much longer than the current average lifespan.
Jesus will not literally rule with an iron rod, however, earth’s inhabitants will be expected to obey the laws of God.
Premillennialism (Or Chiliasm)
Within the writings of the early Church fathers, one quickly learns that they believed that Christ will establish a temporal kingdom on earth after His return that will endure for one thousand years. There are virtually no early church documents prior to AD 325 which support a different view.
The most striking point in the eschatology of the ante-Nicene age (prior to the council of Nicea) is the premillennial view, that is the belief of a visible reign of Christ in glory on earth with the risen saints for a thousand years, before the general resurrection and judgment. The historical evidence indicates that the premillennial view, (as it is called today) was the predominant belief of the church for the first three centuries. That is, the Millennial kingdom of Christ was the general doctrine of the Primitive Church, from the times of the Apostles to the Nicene Council.
After the Nicene Council of AD 325 there was a prominent shift from the expectation of a millennial reign following the return of Christ to a spiritualized kingdom of unlimited duration before the return of the Lord. This amillennial view holds that “at the second coming of Christ the resurrection and judgment will take place, followed by the eternal order of things”. This view sees the current church age as the millennium.
There are two differing views within this camp concerning the believer’s 1000-year reign with Christ spoken of in Revelation 20:4-6. One group sees this as speaking of the intermediate state of believers between death and resurrection. It refers to the reign of the souls of the blessed dead with Christ in the intermediate state. The second group holds that the entire church age, from the first coming of Christ until His second coming, is to be equated with the Millennium and that the active and aggressive church leaders on earth is now reigning with Christ.
This shift to what is now called amillennialism began slowly during the second and third centuries, and then picked up speed until by the middle of the sixth century there were only a few remaining pockets of belief in a literal thousand-year kingdom on earth. The dominance of amillennialism continued up to and beyond the Reformation, and only in the 19th century was the view of a literal thousand-year reign upon the earth revived.
This view holds that the kingdom of God is a present reality which began with Jesus, and that its purpose is essentially to usher in the reign of Christ. It is expected that all nations will be converted to Christianity followed by approximately one thousand years of peace before Christ’s return. It isn’t until after the thousand years of peace that there will be an outbreak of apostasy and rebellion against God and it will be during this time that the Antichrist will become active before he is vanquished by the return of Christ.
Two Prophecies Of The Millennium.
There are a few expositors (maybe more) who have discerned there are two prophetic views concerning events after the non-existent Armageddon. One describes earthly and human life as highly enhanced but still containing elements of normalcy such as: birth, old age, death, eating, drinking, cohabitation, physical events, and work (manual labor). This earth age will be the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ. Life spans will be enhanced, crops will be abundant, water will be pure, animals will be docile grass eaters, and there will be no government agencies or any type. There will be some burdens but only in limited forms.
The second and last age will be eternal. The New Jerusalem will descend from God from the heavens and will be the eternal residence of all people who will be as the angels. There will be no birth, old age, sin, sorrow, or death. If there is any eating or drinking, it will be from the trees and waters of life.
In many prophetic instances, both of these ages are presented within the same passage of Scripture. Such an interpretation recognizes that the writers of Scripture often arranged their materials in a topical rather than a chronological order. That is, the eternal state may be addressed prior to the reign of Christ age. Isaiah 65: 17-19 is describing the eternal state but then Isaiah 65: 20-25 breaks the chronological order expected in the chapter and interjects a related note about Jerusalem during the 1000 year millennium
Almost universally the early church believed Revelation 20:1–6 to represent a period of time as the 1000 year millennium or reign of Christ. This period would begin with a resurrection of the righteous dead in Christ and conclude with a resurrection of all the dead. At the end of this period (the 1000 year reign of Christ), Satan would be loosed for one last opportunity at opposing God before being finally and forever vanquished.
1 The Eternal State: Isaiah 65: 17-19
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. (18) But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. (19) And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
2 The Millennial State: Isaiah 65: 20-25
20) There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. (21) And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. (22) They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. (23) They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. (24) And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. (25) The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
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