The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Some Thoughts on the Millenium

There is much unnecessary quibbling in many of today's theological circles over what is meant by the phrase 'the thousand years', as it is found in Revelation 20:3, in reference to the binding of Satan, who was bound for 'a thousand years'. This 'thousand years' is most commonly referred to as 'the millenium', and has been the instigation behind cult and sects, even splitting the Body of Christ into premillenials ( of which there are differing versions ), who believe that Christ will return prior to the millenium, the postmillenials, who believe that He will return at the end of the millenium, which will be the end of time, and the amillenials, who believe that it's all figurative. All, or most of these, anyway, can be classified as 'futurists', in other words, they believe that Christ will return bodily, in our future. We, as believers in fulfilled eschatology, realize that Christ returned in judgment on His covenant people in AD70, and was revealed as God Himself!

As you know; the term 'millenium' is not to be found within the pages of Scripture, but is a contrivance of man, meant to describe a period of time.As we all know, particularly in the Hebrew Scriptures, the term 'thousand' was often employed to describe, not any certain amount ( although this was sometimes the case), but, more often than not, a great, or even innumerable amount, such as that famous passage from Psalm 50, about God owning the cattle 'on a thousand hills'; I have quipped before, concerning this phrase, 'who owns the cattle on the thousand and first hill?' Stupid question, I know, but it just goes to show where a strict literalism can lead.

As John borrowed most heavily from the Hebrew Scriptures when he wrote the Revelation, it should not take long to see that he was not speaking either, of a 1,000 year period, but was, like the prophets of old, using a sort of symbolic, even hyperbolic, maybe, language to describe the period of God's judgment of His covenant people. This is also referred to, in some circles, as the 'transition period', between the crucifixion ( 69th week of Daniel 9 ) and the Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and the Revelation of Jesus the Christ ( 70th week ).

Some have objected to this, even with the understanding of the term's symbolic usage in the Hebrew Scriptures, that the approximate 40-year period between the cross and the Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple was too short a period of time to be classified as 'a thousand years'. It does seem to be a rather short period for John, or Jesus, actually, to call it 'a thousand years', doesn't it? Maybe now, though, would be a good time to look at the covenantal context of the word. Most famous, probably, and interestingly, also one used most often by these same 'futurists', is II Peter 3:8, where Peter told his audience, 'do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day'. This most often is referred to the idea that, since Jesus has not returned ( as 'they' see it ), that His use of words like 'soon', 'near' and 'quickly' refer to even thousands of years in the future.This, it should be plain to see, was simply Peter's way of reminding his readers that God was not constrained to time as we know it, but would return and visit His judgment in the fulness of time, when the harvest was ripe. Peter was merely using the same sort of language that he, as a Jew had grown up with, that he was used to hearing every sabbath day in the synagogue, no doubt.

As we continue to spread the Good News of Good's Kingdom; let us remember that it only leads to these kinds of disagreements, and tends to take our focus off of what we should be doing instead, when we quibble over silly matters like whether the 'thousand years' of the Revelation is. Instead; we should remember what the Revelation is all about: Jesus the Christ, the Son of God!

With the 'thousand years' in the past, whatever your particular view of it is; let's live the eternity that we have been given in service to the Kingdom of God!


Prabhu Das said...

Great thoughts & Good stuff brother! I can't wait to translate it into our Telugu language. Love you bro..!

Charles Shank said...

Thanks, brother; I appreciate that: love to you also!