Zionists Dream of Millennial Reign!
Presently we are under a barrage of radio and television programs which are both religious and political in nature, and promoted by the Zionist movement. Big name entertainers join with religious leader to raise funds for Israel, with the declaration that God will not bless America if we do not help Israel defeat her foes. Joined with the appeal is the teachign of the false doctrine of "Pre-Millennialism," a future "Thousand Year Reign of Christ in Jerusalem."
Rabble-rousing religious racketeers stand on tip-toe, peeping over the transom of Old Testament prophecies, seeking to read dire warning of the imminent coming of the "Millennial Reign," and furtively seek to use any obscure verse that will aid their "scare tactics." And all the while, gullible listeners, as ignorant of God's word as they, fill their coffers with their "smitten conscience offerings," and send them merrily on their way to the bank?
Associates of This False Doctrine
These fright-mongers who deal in "unfulfilled prophecies" spell out a great list of coming attractions that supposedly will accompany the main event - the 'Thousand Year reign of Christ." Along with pre-Millennialism, there is "the Mark of the Beast," the rise of the "Anti-Christ," the "Great Tribulation," the Rapture of the church," the re-building of the temple in Jerusalem, the 'Battle of Armageddon" and other frills and laces! Supposedly, all of these things will usher in the thousand year reign. Germane to all of this is their appeal for more funds for Israel, even though we now send about $4 billion each year to that government.
Basis for Concept of Earthly Kingdom
The foundation upon which the "earthly kingdom" concept rests is the Jews' tradition of a restored "throne of David," with national Israel rising to power and domination among the nations of the world. They longed for a kingdom limited to the Jewish nation, after the order and glory of David's kingdom, who would throw off Roman rule and restore to them the whole territory ruled by King Solomon. They wanted their Messiah to be that kind of King!
Jesus of Nazareth did not fit their mold. Sure, at one time they tried to make Him a king by force: "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, and make him king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone" (John 6:15). But, really , Jesus was not their kind of king. They wanted a worldly king, so they could have worldly glory and power!
They Did Not Accept Their King
"He came unto his own, and they that were his own received him not" (John 1:11). They refused Him, because Jesus did not have the glamour, pomp and circumstance their king should have. But, to cast aspersions on any idea that Jesus of Nazareth could be the long-awaited Messiah, they asked, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" (John1:46).
Although they despised the Romans, the Jews hated Jesus even more! When Pilate presented Jesus to the Jews with the words, "Behold your king," they cried out in return, "Crucify him. We have no king but Caesar" (John 19:14-15). They desired a materialistic reign that would give them personal freedom, political and financial prosperity, and military power and prestige. But Jesus did not offer those benefits!
Presenting a Spiritual Kingdom
The matter of the kingdom was misunderstood by all. "When he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation...behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21). His kingdom was to have its place in the hearts of men - but they misunderstood. Materialistic people could not visualize a spiritual kingdom with their Messiah (Christ) sitting on the throne of David! Materialistic folk still have the same problem.
John the Baptizer, Jesus Christ and all of His apostles taught: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7; etc.). The imminence of kingdom was shown as Jesus taught: "Verily I say unto you, There are some here of them that stand by, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God come with power" (Mark. 9:1). Now, have any of these pre-millennialists seen any 2000-year olds running around lately? Surely, then, that kingdom came over 1900 years ago, as Jesus promised.
Is He, or Is He Not, a King?
As Jesus walked in Palestine, there was a wake marking His going. All were taking sides: some for, some against, but none neutral! Jesus said, "He that is not with me is against me" (Matt. 12:30). Some side with Nathaniel, who said, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art king of Israel" (John 1:49). Host sang out, "Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord" as He entered into Jerusalem (John 12:13).
Jesus did not deny that office. He told Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would ;my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world" (John 18:36-37). The Jews were not willing to accept this, and chided Him, "if he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him" (Matt. 27:42). And they adamantly refused to accept their King!
The Kingdom of Heaven Preached
From John's message in the wilderness to the preaching on Pentecost, the topic was the kingdom: "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it" (Luke 16:16). Many erroneous ideas arose from this preaching, and Jesus had to clarify the matter. "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21).
Crass materialism blinded the Jews against a spiritual kingdom, for they were too mercenary! Whereas the Zionists search, the haven for signs of his coming kingdom, Jesus taught that it was invisible to the natural eyes! Not so when Jesus returns at the last day, for then "every eye shall see him" (Rev. 1:7).
Jesus Reigns Now As King
Peter preached that Jesus reigned as King on Pentecost: "David...being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurre3ctio0n of Christ, that his soul...but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool" (Acts 2:30-35). This declares that Christ was then reigning on David's throne!
And He will reign until this promise is fulfilled: "The cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God...For he must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be abolished is death" (I Cor. 15:24-26). Christ is not going to return to reign - He will return to give up His reign! He said before He left earth, "All authority is given unto me in heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18). This clearly shows that He is now "King of kings and Lord of lords" (I Tim. 6:15)
We should rejoice that God "hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Col. 1:13). Rather than wistfully dreaming about a coming kingdom, rejoice in the kingdom which God has already provided! "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (Heb. 12:28) Saints are now in that kingdom, offering \service to their King, Jesus Christ!
Examining the Millennial Reign
Regarding the whole "Thousand Year Reign" doctrine, we end with: "This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you." Jesus walked and talked with multitudes for over and a half years during His earthly ministry. Yet never once did He mention an earthly reign, or a millennium reign. Jesus sent the apostles to preach the gospel to the whole world, but they never once mentioned an earthly reign. Such is not found in the four gospels, the book of Acts or in any of the epistles! The "thousand years" is found in only one passage of highly figurative language (Rev. 20:1-7) "Thousand times" is used in Deut 1:10-11 to denote an unlimited number. In speaking of "cattle on a thousand hills" (Psa. 50:10), it signifies that god owns all the cattle. "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years" says only that God doesn't count time as man does (2 Pet. 3:8). So, the "thousand years" signifies total duration. And Jesus Christ has dominion during that period - "All authority" as Jesus Himself said (Matt. 28:18)
Looking at Revelation 20:1-7
Here we find an angel from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit, and a great chain. He lay hold on the devil, binding him "a thousand years" and throwing him into the bottomless pit and sealing him there. Next, John saw thrones and judges on them, and "the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus...and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." Now that says nothing about a reign on the earth! And the emphasis is the reign of the martyrs of Christ! And Rev. 20:5 shows that that those who reigned with Christ were dead, not living on the earth! Their reign is the same duration and time as when satan is bound.
Maybe I overlooked some detail, but where does this fit into the wild, hazy notion that Jesus is going to swoop down on the Mount of Olives, stroll across Kidron valley, pass through the walled "Beautiful Gate" of the Temple Wall and settle down on David's literal throne to sit there and reign for a thousand years? Talk about "reading between the lines"! These Zionist-Millenniaries ignore what God has said to revel in the fertile soil o over-active imagination.
In Conclusion: To Be Saved
Jesus set forth the terms of salvation simply and plainly. Turn back and seriously read the book of Acts, as you check just what folk did to be saved as they followed the directives given by the inspired apostles of Jesus Christ. Those who heard the gospel, put their trust in Jesus, repented of their sins, confessed faith in Christ and were then "baptized into Christ" (Rom. 6:3). When they did that, the Lord added them to the church (acts 2:47) - which is the "kingdom which cannot be shaken" (Heb. 12:23, 28).
Friends, why not trust the Lord enough to accept what He said and do His will? It can be your salvation as you follow the "King of kings" - the Lord Jesus Christ.
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