Sunday, January 29, 2017
Thousand Year Reign With Christ Series #1 – Part 129 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
As we embark on this new series I will share with you what my forty years of researching the riddles, enigmas, esoteric imagery and metaphors of Revelation revealed. During this lengthy research, I also found historical documentation very helpful in defining the outset of the Thousand Year Reign With Christ…and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years…Rev. 20:4. When does this prophecy begin to be fulfilled? This study will answer the question.
Before we delve into what the scriptures reveal about this topic, let’s find out how the mainline denominations address this topic. Those that embrace the modern version – definition – on this topic, believe that first, Jesus returns for His church and secretly swoops them away to Heaven. This is called the Rapture. Next, the 70th week of Daniel’s vision must be fulfilled: the reign of an Antichrist – who will sit as God in the rebuilt temple at Jerusalem and reign over the whole world. They call this seven years of tribulation.
This time of trouble will cause the Jews to flee to the mountains in terror for safety. After the seven years of tribulation are over, Jesus will return again with all the saints in Heaven, and set up His kingdom on this earth for a thousand years. The surviving flesh & blood human beings of the tribulation, will be ruled by the spirit beings that Jesus brings with Him. They believe this is when the thousand year reign with Christ on the earth begins – millennial reign of Christ.
This modern end-time doctrine also states that Satan will be bound and cast into the bottomless pit during this same time period…so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished…Rev. 20:3. I was a very new Christian in the early 70’s when I found holes in this modern end-time doctrine, because it created more questions for me than answers. While I had many questions, one was especially obvious and I didn’t need a theology degree, or extensive Bible knowledge to ask it.
What was the obvious question? The Apostle Peter said that when the Lord returns – day of the Lord – the earth will burn up with all the works in it. How does a thousand year reign of Christ on the earth equate to Peter’s prophecy…the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up…II Pet. 3:10-12? It doesn’t.
While Jesus walked on the earth, He explained how His followers could be ready for His return – He wants us to understand how to enter His kingdom and how to walk in His righteousness. If there really was a secret Rapture wouldn’t He have wanted us to clearly understand, so that we would be ready? After all, He…is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance…II Pet. 3:9.
I also read in the Bible that when Jesus comes back, all believers alive on the earth will be changed in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, while the dead in Christ will rise from their graves, and together, meet Him in the air…I Cor. 15:52-56. My next question: if all the dead in Christ are raised up at His return, fulfilling this prophecy, what happens to those who die during the thousand year reign of Christ? Won’t they be dead in graves? When will they be delivered from their graves?
I will share more of my questions during this series. But I ask the reader, do you not have questions when doctrines of men seem to contradict scripture? If we take the time to research the scriptures and historical documentation, we will find the answers clearly revealed. The scriptures should change our thinking, not the other way around. The Apostle Paul said…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God…Rom. 12:2.
Chapter 20 of Revelation is the only reference to…reigned with Christ for a thousand years. As we read this chapter with new eyes, along with other scriptures, we will find that reigned with Christ a thousand years is inextricably connected to the first resurrection.
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years…but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished…this is the first resurrection…Rev. 20:4-5.
There is a lot to unpack in these two verses, which also need to be put in the proper sequence of fulfillment. Once we scripturally define the first resurrection, the proper sequence of fulfillment will unfold, providing clear understanding of this important historical event. The riddle will be solved.
In what realm – earth or spirit – does this scene take place? Stay tuned…
God’s sheep question the doctrines of men…sheeple follow without question~~~