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  • Writer's pictureBrian O'Kelly

46 - End Times - The Millennial Kingdom - 4 Christian Views of the End (Part 5)

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

1) What is the Millennial Kingdom?

a. Rev 20:4-6 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for [a]a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

End Times - Four Christian Views - The Millennium
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b. The dispensationalists and other pre-millennialists see this as a literal 1000-year kingdom on earth. They make a claim of being committed to biblical literacy as a reason.

c. Seen as the culmination of the promises made to Abraham and to Israel which they see yet unfulfilled.

i. Promises made to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 and repeated elsewhere numerous times.

ii. What were the promises made?

1. Gen 12:1-3 Now the Lord had said to Abram:

“Get out of your country,

From your family

And from your father’s house,

To a land that I will show you.

2 I will make you a great nation;

I will bless you

And make your name great;

And you shall be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you,

And I will curse him who curses you;

And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

2. To a land I will show you

3. A great nation

4. All families of the earth blessed

iii. Must be carried through to Isaac and then to one of his two sons Jacob or Esau (or both) but we know that Jacob was the heir to the promise and his name was changed to Israel while Esau went out and became the father of the Edomites.

d. Seen as the fulfillment of the great Kingdom passages of the Old Testament. For our purposes today it won’t make sense to read all of that Scripture to you. I could take the whole program reading just the great kingdom passages. All the prophets except for perhaps Jonah and Job had great kingdom passages in their prophecies. I’d like you to consider that while these things were spoken of as future from the prophet’s point of view and from their time of writing, that this doesn’t mean they are future from our point of view. After all we know of many prophecies about the life of Jesus that were future from the point of view of the authors, but we know are now past from our point of view. We are only concerned here with the question of whether these promises have been fulfilled or are yet to be. We will look at a few of these today starting with part of what are known as the great kingdom Psalms. Those Psalms are Psalm 2, 45, 72 and 110. Of those were to look at part of Psalm two just to give you a flavor of what we are talking about.

e. Psalm 2:7-12 “I will declare the decree:

The Lord has said to Me,

‘You are My Son,

Today I have begotten You.

8 Ask of Me, and I will give You

The nations for Your inheritance,

And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

9 You shall break them with a rod of iron;

You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ”

10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings;

Be instructed, you judges of the earth.

11 Serve the Lord with fear,

And rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,

And you perish in the way,

When His wrath is kindled but a little.

Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

f. All these great kingdom passages speak of future glorious kingdom where Jesus rules in justice with a rod of iron. None of them speak of the thousand years. In fact in every case where there is any length of time mentioned is always mentioned as forever.

i. Exodus 15:17-19 17 You will bring them in and plant them

In the mountain of Your inheritance,

In the place, O Lord, which You have made

For Your own dwelling,

The sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.

18 “The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”

ii. Daniel 7:13-14 “I was watching in the night visions,

And behold, One like the Son of Man,

Coming with the clouds of heaven!

He came to the Ancient of Days,

And they brought Him near before Him.

14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,

That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion,

Which shall not pass away,

And His kingdom the one

Which shall not be destroyed.

g. It is the position of the amillennialist (and my position that the kingdom of Jesus is not in the future for 1000 years, it is now and forever. It is a spiritual kingdom.

h. Because of all the references to a future kingdom in the Old Testament and the references to a kingdom of the thousand years in Revelation 20 premillennialists equate the thousand-year kingdom of Revelation with the kingdom spoken of by the prophets. All four views of the end times equate these two and it appears to be the correct understanding since there is no camp that separates them.

i. From the premillennialist point of view Jesus must return in his second coming for this to happen. The premillennialist believes that Jesus reigns in Israel as a necessary fulfillment of the promises to Abraham and that this kingdom will be an earthly kingdom ruled by Jesus from Jerusalem. Most believe that there will even be non-Christians alive at the time and that Jesus will use his rod of iron to force them into submission. They believe that people make pilgrimages to Jerusalem on holy days including the feast of Tabernacles, etc. This makes the future kingdom of Jesus into a religio-political kingdom something like the kingdom of David. They say that Jesus will sit on a literal throne which is the literal throne of David in Jerusalem.

2) Premillennialists take Revelation 20 in a literal fashion while amillenniallists claim to take it in a more symbolic fashion. To be sure both take some things literally and other things symbolically, but the dispensationalist does take things in a more literal manner. The question then becomes why take these things one way or the other? The amillennialist sees many recognized symbols in Revelation 20. Because of this the amillennialist looks at the teachings of Jesus and of the apostles and sees much of the Old Testament prophecy as also being symbolic. In fact, much of the book of Revelation is very similar in its symbolism to the book of Zechariah.

3) Let’s examine one of these great kingdom passages in the OT.

a. Isaiah 2:2-4

2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days

That the mountain of the Lord’s house

Shall be established on the top of the mountains,

And shall be exalted above the hills;

And all nations shall flow to it.

3 Many people shall come and say,

“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

To the house of the God of Jacob;

He will teach us His ways,

And we shall walk in His paths.”

For out of Zion shall go forth the law,

And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

4 He shall judge between the nations,

And rebuke many people;

They shall beat their swords into plowshares,

And their spears into pruning [a]hooks;

Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,

Neither shall they learn war anymore.

b. So let’s break this down:

i. 2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days – A reference to the future Kingdom

ii. That the mountain of the Lord’s house

Shall be established on the top of the mountains,

And shall be exalted above the hills;

1. Mt. Zion, where this is described to be in verse 3, is not the highest hill or mountain in the area. God is going to have to raise that mountain up a lot higher. Or if you notice that language is says that the mountain shall be established on top of the mountains. So God will have to lift up Mt. Zion and place it on top of the other mountains. Now God can do that, but is that what we are supposed to take from this?

2. I don’t think so. I think we are supposed to see the idea that the height of the kingdom is higher than all others.

3. Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

4. Galatians 4:24-26 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

5. Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,

iii. And all nations shall flow to it.

1. Should we believe that there is a literal building on top of this mountain and that every nation literally comes to it? It doesn’t say they leave, should we take the “to” as literal?

2. Nations whenever we see it in the Old Testament does not mean “nation states” as we think of them today. Nations always means those outside of Israel, the Gentiles.

3. Is it more reasonable to see that the nations, the Gentiles, have been flowing to the church ever since the gospel went out from Jerusalem to the rest of the world. People from every tribe tongue and nation have been joining the church and becoming followers of Jesus. This explains both the nations and the “to”.

iv. 3 Many people shall come and say,

“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

To the house of the God of Jacob;

1. What is the Lord’s house?

2. Is it the church building? The Temple?

a. 1 Tim 3:15 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

b. 2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

c. Gal 3:17 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith

d. 1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

v. He will teach us His ways,

And we shall walk in His paths.”

1. That’s certainly been happening since the beginning of the church age, the Holy Spirit has been sent to teach us and we have been taught his ways and many of the true church of Jesus have been and will continue to walk in his paths.

vi. For out of Zion shall go forth the law,

And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

1. Hasn’t this happened? Isn’t the new law, the new commandment, the new covenant and the word of the Lord have been going forth and proceeding from it’s origin in Jerusalem to the rest of the world since the resurrection.

2. I haven’t made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to learn the ways of the Lord. Chances are that you haven’t either. Furthermore, it’s not necessary to go to Jerusalem to learn the ways of the Lord.

vii. 4 He shall judge between the nations,

And rebuke many people;

1. Isn’t Jesus already judging the nations? Nations again meaning those who are not Israel and isn’t he rebuking many people now?

viii. They shall beat their swords into plowshares,

And their spears into pruning [a]hooks;

Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,

Neither shall they learn war anymore.

1. This is spoken of as a time of great global peace

2. Now if people are beating their swords and spears into farming implements there won’t be many of these farming implements that exist. Almost no one has a sword or spear anymore.

3. It seems that if this were to happen it would be modern weapons that would be used as well as modern farming implements. The dispensationalist almost always says that these are representative of modern weapons. But then they’re not taking the Bible literally are they? So the question is, since when I could take at least this verse literally, what is its best symbolic meaning? Additionally, if this verse at least has some symbolism in it, why take the rest of the passage in the literal sense?

4. The millennialist looks at this passage and sees that the Christian ceases from his warfare against his neighbor and becomes a man of peace. He turned his efforts from violence to cultivation. Some will say that the church has been a great source of violence. They are correct if they quit the church with the man-made physical institution. But the true Christian is not a person of conflict. Remember Jesus said that we are to be known by our love. The mark of the Christian is the love we have one for another.

4) The amillennialist sees the promises made to Abraham and the promises of a future kingdom in a symbolic or spiritual fashion. The dispensationalist objects to this entire way of thinking. They would say that in spiritualizing this we are taking away the hope from Israel, making God a liar. They would call the theology of the amillennialist “replacement theology”. They claim that in making the church the inheritor and fulfillment of the promises the amillennialist is replacing Israel with the church. In some sense this is true. The doctrine is called supersessionism and is the idea that God always has a faithful remnant who live according to faith and are obedient to God. Today, anyone faithful to God is called a Christian. Being part of the people of God, the true Israel of God has never meant being descended from Abraham. Abraham had many children but it was only through Isaac and his grandson Jacob that the promises of God were carried. We also know that many Jews who had the right parentage apostatized and left the people of God. Others such as Ruth and Rahab joined the people of God by becoming obedient to God.

a. So when is a Jew by parentage not part of Israel? Is it necessary to come from the loins of Jacob who was renamed Israel to be part of the Jewish people?

i. Matthew 3:9 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.

ii. John 8:39-41/44 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.” (44 You are of your father the devil)

iii. Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart,

iv. Romans 9:6-8 6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.

v. Rev 2:9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

vi. Rev 3:9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not,

vii. John 8:44 You are of your father the devil

b. Sometimes a gentile is a Jew

i. We already mentioned Ruth and Rahab

ii. John 10:16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

iii. Gal 3:7-9 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

iv. Gal 3:13-14 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

v. Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.

vi. Gal 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

vii. Romans 9:8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.

viii. Ephesians 3:6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,

ix. Ephesians 2:19 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

c. Salvation is by Faith in the OT as in the NT

i. Read chapter 11 of Hebrews. I’m not going to recite it here but over and over it says “by faith” By Faith Abel…By Faith Enoch…by faith Noah…by faith Abraham…by faith Sarah…by faith Isaac…by faith Jacob…by faith Joseph…by faith Moses…David and Samuel through faith

ii. If you have faith you are a Christian and if you are a Christian you are an heir of the promise.

d. The dispensationalist will say that all of this is taking the promises made to Israel and giving them to the “Gentile church”. The apostles never knew of such a thing as a “Gentile church”. The reason for this is there is no such thing as a Gentile church. There is only the church. When a person of Jewish ethnicity becomes part of the faithful remnant and obedient to God we call them a Christian. Everyone today who is faithful to God is a Christian.

i. Gal 3:28 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

e. Furthermore we can see that in the Old Testament there were great number of Jews who were not saved by their ethnicity.

i. Elijah says in 1 Kings 19:10 “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.

ii. Psalm 50:16-17 But to the wicked God says:

“What right have you to declare My statutes,

Or take My covenant in your mouth,

17 Seeing you hate instruction

And cast My words behind you?

iii. Matthew 21:43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.

5) The dispensationalist will claim that because the Jews understood it to be an earthly kingdom, we need to have the same understanding as the Rabbis did.

a. Luke 24:44-45 44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. No one needs to have their understanding opened to understand a literal meaning.

b. 2 Cor 3:14-16 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

c. John 18:36 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

d. John 3:3 Jesus says to Nicodemus “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

e. Luke 17:20-21 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

f. Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.

g. Mark 4:11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables,

h. The Jews had a veil over their understanding. We should not be taking the ideas of the kingdom from the Rabbis but rather from Jesus himself and his authorized representatives the Apostles.

i. 1 Cor 2:14 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

j. 1 Peter 1:10-12 10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.

6) Has the kingdom come and have the promises of God to Abraham been fulfilled?

a. Matthew 21:43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.

b. Mark 9:1 And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

c. Hebrews 1:1-2 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things

d. 1 Peter 1:20 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

e. Hebrews 6:13-15 13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

f. Hebrews 12:28 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

g. Luke 11:20 But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.

h. 2 Corinthians 1:20 20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

i. Gal 3:19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.

j. Ephesians 3:21 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

k. Joshua 21:43 43 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.

l. Joshua 21:45 45 Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

m. 1 Peter 2:9 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

n. Ephesians 1:3 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

o. Acts 2:16-17 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,

That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;

p. Acts 3:24-25 Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. 25 You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’

q. Col 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love

r. Rev 1:9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom


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