Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Millennial Reign - Part 2

(Click here for Part 1)

Prior to the fulfillment of prophecy, thousands of theories swirl about. I have seen people prove that many people in history and in the present are the antichrist, and they make good cases as to why. Indeed, on this side of fulfillment, our best is guesses, but some are better than others of course, and some are plain illogical.

I admit that post-millennialism has a tough time navigating Revelation and other prophetic books, but I'm only stating my points insomuch as they make sense, and pointing out where contrary beliefs don't make sense.

It is difficult to know whether we are to read Revelation from a Gentile perspective, a Jewish perspective, or to see no difference in perspectives. For instance, perhaps the establishment of the State of Israel (1948) could be the beginning of the Kingdom of Heaven being set up on earth. In fact, most pre-milleniallists believe this is true. However, a Jewish perspective would say that many "woes" have passed in order to get to that point, and more "woes" would come to bring about Armageddon and the coming of Messiah. They may see the Holocaust and the horrific World Wars in Revelation (if they accepted it as a prophetic book, and many do). When you think about it, how could the greatest single genocide in Jewish history be completely un-foretold? How could Hitler not be an antichrist figure? How could two monumental, all-encompassing wars not make the cut? And how could the wealthiest and most powerful nation to ever exist also go un-prophesied (USA)? We have to consider that some of these must be in the Book.

Perhaps some woes have passed. From the Jewish perspective, perhaps the "Harvest of the Earth" was the Holocaust. Indeed, the murder of 6 million Jews was instrumental in bringing about the establishment of the modern State of Israel, and the capture of Jerusalem, from which Messiah will rule the world.

Maybe the things of Revelation that don't seem to have happened yet will take place over a longer time period than we think, like from the time of the release of Lucifer (if we suppose he was released to decieve the nations as the Holy Roman Empire came to a close around 1800). Or perhaps from the beginning of the 20th century when Zionism took form and world wars began occurring.

One of the other points I'd like to make concerns the logic that pre-millennialism projects into the future. If we suppose Christ returns to earth in body form, and in his coming, all of his enemies are destroyed, then we are to presume the 1,000 years on earth will be a continuation of the faithful on the earth, whether dying and procreating, we don't know. 1,000 years of Christ in person, a glorious, perfect reign without an enemy in sight. Virtually heaven on earth.

Then Satan is released and is allowed to attempt to deceive those who live on the earth. Revelation doesn't say that Jesus leaves earth, and it doesn't say that Satan manifests visibly. So how is this deception supposed to happen? If both are present physically, Jesus could not be countered without the ability to tell the Truth. If both are present spiritually, we have a bit of a probability! In fact, deception takes place in the realm of "belief".

Satan must be given quite some time to do his deceptive work, because he marches against Jerusalem for the battle of Gog with an army of millions. This would not be possible, I imagine, with Christ present physically on earth. And if Christ were to leave for this deception to take place, would he not take his perfected saints with him? And who would be left for him to deceive? And moreover, who would be left for Satan and his hoarde to fight against? It just doesn't make sense.

Pre-millennialists need not expect a mass-resurrection nor a mass-judgment at this return of Christ, if they are correct. Both of these occur after the 1,000 year reign and permanent defeat of Satan. The New Jerusalem also comes down then. To them, we are nowhere near these events, but their chatter would make you think otherwise.

The idea of patron saints comes up when you consider that Christ possibly reigned over the earth vicariously through the papacy (obedient popes or not...) in the HRE. Revelation 20 says that those who had died in the name of Jesus and had not partaken in the kingdom of the Beast were with Christ to reign and judge the earth for a thousand years. In other places, Jesus would speak of this person being given charge over ten cities (and so on), and we can begin to see that perhaps the unbelievable acquisition of power over all the earth by the office of the popes had some bearing in the parellel spirit world. Christians known for miracles and who had other fruits of being close with the King were canonized by the papacy and named as spiritual rulers of cities. Indeed, as it was when Satan ruled, prior to the victory of Christ (see Daniel 10:13), so it was with Christ where powers and principalities were acquired and new, good rulers were put in the place of the evil predecessors.

I find it astounding that the papacy came to such power and held it for so long. How could the bishop of Rome be brought to such heights - the heighest earthly height - apart from the conquest of Christ over the powers that reigned previously? And what do we call His reign if not the Thousand Year Reign?

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