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Old 11-19-2009, 04:24 PM
Location: Seattle, Wa
5,302 posts, read 5,684,961 times
Reputation: 422


The Thousand Years

Psalms 90:4 - 4For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.

2 Peter 3:8 - 8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Revelation 20:2-7 – Describes the thousand year reign of Christ and the binding of Satan.

Thousand year reign” of Christ is a period of approximately 40 years beginning during the Ministry of Christ just prior to the cross event, and culminating in the events leading up to and including 70AD. It is my belief that the thousand year period is a direct reference to the “generation” to which Jesus predicted all the events of Matthew 23:36 and 24:34, and the same generation in which Jesus began to “bind the strong man” as recorded in Matthew 12:28-29 and Luke 10:17-20. It is this binding which is recorded in Revelation 20 with the “binding of Satan,” using John’s infamous apocalyptic imagery. It is also a period of time in which the “night” would be in the world where Jesus would not be with His people anymore, marked by the statements in John 13 where we are told by Jesus Himself that the hour had come for Him to leave the world to be glorified at once. When He left the room we are told that “it was night.”

Now, it’s possible that John was writing an obscure, pointless statement here about the time of the day, but I think it’s much more likely that John intentionally placed this statement here to declare that Jesus was leaving the world and His presence with them until a later period of time. This would mark the beginning of the re-gathering period, or the great commission which was to go to Israel, Judah, and then ends of the world including the gentiles. This re-gathering period began at the very beginning of the “thousand year” period, and this “binding of Satan” is the very binding which allowed the Gospel to be spread over the whole world during the Apostles’ ministry until nearly a full 34 years later when the first fruits church would then be persecuted and many would even be put to death under the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero in cohorts with those Jews already persecuting the Christians. This persecution period I believe is the tribulation period, which marked the time when Satan was to be loosed for a short time to deceive the nations to fight against the Saints until his utter destruction.

To properly understand the idea of the “thousand year” generation, we need to understand the Old Testament idea of this period, and also how the New Testament writers applied this idea, and we also need to understand how and why the writer John chose this phrase and applied it to this period of time (approximately 34-40 years; a near complete Jewish generation). Something to always keep in the back of your mind concerning this period is that it is nowhere mentioned specifically in the New Testament until we read about it in the book of Revelation. This is very critical since “all” of the things that Jesus spoke about during His ministry “should” have included everything up to and including His final return for judgment and the establishing of His Kingdom. For Jesus to speak of these events, but to intentionally leave out the “millennial” period as though it is an afterthought is quite revealing about the nature or actual interpretation of the 1000 years period. While it is not specifically addressed, I believe the primary reason for this is because John the revelator took what he already knew to be a theological fact (the binding of the strong man by Jesus) and used this imagery along with other apocalyptic images and numbers to describe something that the first century audience would have quite readily understood and applied in a correct manner. A question that any reader should ask concerning the 1000 years period is “is it likely that John revealed something entirely new which no other Gospel writer or Old Testament Saint or Prophet ever knew or spoke about, including Jesus Himself?”

The Night and the Day

To first understand the “time” context of the generation which Paul lived in, and the expectation that he and the other Christians and Apostles were eagerly awaiting, we must turn to Romans 13. In this passage Paul is going to make a reference to John 9:4-5, in addition to Psalms 90:4 to develop his primary point to the Romans.
Romans 13:8-14, 8Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 11Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Now, first we must understand the context of Paul’s arguments throughout his letters in that he continually had to repel the idea that following the Law of Moses would continue as part of the New Covenant being brought in during this period of time. Many of the Jews believed that they could follow the Law of God, and then continue sinning in their flesh believing that obedience to the Law would justify them and cover their sins. This was the “darkness” which Paul speaks about. Given this context, it makes perfect sense that Paul begins by explaining what the “Law” truly is. Following the Law would no longer contain the old ordinances, or the Temple sacrifices, or any of those old elements or rudimentary rituals. Those things simply pointed to the Spiritual reality in Christ. In the New Covenant, following the Law would consist of loving one another with a pure heart, and from this all other things that are good flow from this love. This is why we are told that in the New Covenant God’s Law would be written on our hearts.

Then, Paul makes some very clear statements that form a time context in which we must closely pay attention. Notice in vs. 11 that Paul says, “…you know the time, and that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep.” It is clear in this passage, without developing this idea in full, that Paul is specifically referring to the end of the Old Covenant system, and that those who were once “asleep” in the earth were going to “awaken” because the time was at hand; literally that the “hour has come.” Then Paul says that “salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” How so many commentators miss this statement is strange, since whatever salvation Paul is talking about it is definitely something that is progressive, and it is something that in only 25-30 years after Christ died and rose again has become “nearer” to them than it was since they had first believed. This statement truly harkens the reader to Hebrews 9:28, “so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but for salvation to those who are eagerly waiting for him.”

So again, we must see that Paul’s primary focus thus far is to direct his reader’s minds to the “hope” of God’s people being “awakened” from sleep, and also towards their great hope of Christ’s return, which they eagerly waited for and believed would commence any moment and within their lifetime. Indeed, Jesus Himself said that He would return within their generation, and so they expected as much. With this in mind Paul then goes on to say that “the night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Now, the question must be asked here, why would Paul use this phrase to describe the idea of the “hour which has come”? Surely this phrase isn’t simply a meaningless analogy that Paul uses. When we turn our attention to John 9:4-5, I believe that our suspicion becomes much clearer.

John 9:4-5, 4We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Notice here that in John’s Gospel Jesus declares that the “night is coming, when no one can work.” It’s very clear based on His statement that the “night” is the time when He wouldn’t be with them anymore as He currently was. This “night” is a specific reference to the “works” of Christ not being performed (miracles, healing, raising the dead, teaching the Gospel, etc.). So we have as a brief time frame that Jesus would not be with them from the time that Judas left the room in John 9, until the resurrection of Jesus, when he once again performed miracles for 40 days among them. But then notice what Paul says approximately 30 years later in Romans 13:12, “the night is far gone, the day is at hand.” Peter also emphasizes the same idea when he says in 2 Peter 1:19, “And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” So we see here that both Peter and Paul have as a current reality for them that they lived during the time of “darkness” in which they were to be “lamps” shining in a dark place.

So we may conclude then that after Jesus ascended to heaven in Luke 24 and Acts 1, He had promised them the “helper” who would be with them until the end (John 9). This was a promise of the “light” in the midst of darkness. However, even after receiving the Spirit at Pentecost the Apostles and disciples eagerly looked forward to a time very soon in the future which would only rise as the day or “morning star” when the prophetic word of Christ’s return was fulfilled. So then, when Paul declares that they must “cast off the works of darkness” and put on the “armor of light,” it is in the context of the time in which they lived; that is that they expected and believed that they would soon enter into the “new day” in which their Lord would bring them the fullness of salvation and into the light, apart from the works of darkness, which, if you remember, was living in coexistence with the works of the Law and its’ ordinances during the time when “the light” was only being revealed to those who believed.

A Watch in the Night

Given what we have already seen from John, Paul, and Peter’s statements, what we truly need to address is an Old Testament statement in Psalms 90:4 which says, “a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.” The critical nature of this statement is twofold. Number one, the writer says that a thousand years to God are like yesterday “when it is past.” The reason this is important is because the idea being expressed here is that “yesterday” must pass before God sees it as a thousand years being completed. Or to put it another way, the thousand years is not completed until the previous day has passed. What is even more interesting about this is that a Jewish “day” never begins until sundown, or evening. The Day lasts from sunset until the following sunset, and so the Psalmist clearly utilizes the idea of the “watch in the night” to reveal that this “thousand year” period is essentially like the time from sunset to dawn of the following morning. Number two, the writer says that this thousand year period is also “as a watch in the night.” Now this statement is crucial because it establishes a precedent for us to understand the idea that however long the period is (whether very long, or very short), in God’s terms and in His grand scheme a thousand years is compared to “a watch in the night,” and so the two terms or ideas may be used interchangeably.

The basic idea to this point is that to God time is of no regard in His eyes, however, in our eyes time is everything. Therefore, when Paul penned the letter to the Romans in or around 60-62AD (according to most credible scholars), Paul sees that the time since Christ left until the writing of this letter was to him as “yesterday when it is passed” or a “night far spent.” Therefore, if the night was far spent, and the day was at hand according to Paul and Peter, doesn’t this imply and necessitate that each of these men expected Christ to return very soon at His coming, in which He would be the light of the world? Of course, most futurist paradigms have us believe that the “night” is still here today, and that it is a period lasting so long that no one can ever truly know when the “dawn” might arise.

With the idea of the “watch in the night” in your minds, a brief dialogue on 2 Peter 1:19 might be helpful. The “day dawning” or the “day star rising” is an obvious allusion to the near end of the “night” which we have already discussed, and which the whole of this section (2 Peter 1:13-20) makes abundantly clear. Therefore, the idea of the “day dawning” is a direct reference to the second coming which they eagerly looked forward to happening in the near future. It is also important to make the connection that Peter’s allusion is referring to when he speaks about the “day star rising in their hearts.” The “day stars” are equivalent to the “morning stars” which, according to Job 38:7 are the “sons of God” singing together for joy. In speaking of the “morning stars” it is spoken of Jesus that He is the “bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16). Therefore, we are quite certain that the “day star” rising has everything to do with the day when Christ would come again and when those Christians would become the “sons of God” and when His glory would then be theirs.

It is also important to note the significance of the passage in John 14:2-5 in which Jesus tells them the following:

“2In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4And you know the way to where I am going.”

Jesus is quite clear that He was going to leave and that He would be “preparing many mansions” for them while He was gone. But He promised to return to them, and that “the way” to where He was going had already been revealed to them. And so we are confident to make the connection the time when Jesus would be gone is also this same time of “the night” until His return.

A Day as a Thousand Years

Now before we get to the meat of the matter (what is the thousand years?) we must consider a crucial statement made by Peter in his second letter. In this letter Peter makes the following comments:

2 Peter 3:8-10, 8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day [when it is past] is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day [when it is past]. 9The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief [in the night], and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Two critical elements of this passage must be seen. First, when Peter draws from the analogy of the thousand years is as a day, he is clearly quoting from Psalm 90:4. Peter didn’t just make this idea up. And so, when we see that this “day” is a direct allusion to a “watch in the night” we might infer that this “thousand years” in God’s eyes is actually a very short period of time (i.e.- as a watch in the night, or the time from sunset to dawn). Since there is no doubt that the New Testament writers, including Jesus Himself, used this analogy and drew from this idea to express the time of the “night” and the “coming day,” it is very likely that Peter is also doing the same thing here.

The strength of this argument becomes even stronger when we see Peter also reference the idea of the Lord coming “like a thief.” What other Scriptures draw on this analogy or idea, and how do they apply it? Job 24:14, Matthew 24:43, and 1 Thessalonians 5:2 all specifically use the idea of the thief coming and they each describe this event as one which happens “during the night.” Therefore, in one chapter, and in only three verses, Peter describes the thousand year period as “the day passing” and also alludes to the “thief coming” theme, which to any observant reader would recall the readers’ mind to the same idea that Jesus would come at the “end of the night.”

Now, what is often said about this passage is that it may be making an argument that since a day to the Lord is also as a thousand years, that when God speaks of time in the Bible He really means “in His eyes” it might be a “soon” or “near” event, but not really in man’s eyes. But does this idea really hold any weight? Consider for just a moment that this is even possible. How do we know which idea Peter is putting forth? Is Peter saying that God would come “very soon” (as the night), or was Peter saying that while it appears soon, a single day is like a thousand years and so it is actually far off? Well, what does Peter himself (a man led and inspired to speak by the Holy Spirit) say about this? Again, in this very passage Peter says, “9The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

You see, many of the Judaizers were mocking Peter and the Apostles (ref. 2 Peter 3:1-5; Jude 18) and were saying that the promises made by Jesus were “not happening” since He had first made the predictions. Remember, Jesus said that in “this generation” these things would happen? Now, more than thirty years later these same Jews who were denying and mocking the words of Jesus were now doing the same thing to Peter and Paul. But notice Peter’s response. Peter tells his audience that he formerly told them that these things must happen before the coming of the Lord, and now in this second letter Peter “stirs up their remembrance” to let them know that while some of them were impatient, thinking that Jesus was taking far too long, God does not look at time as they did, and that He was going to wait until the very last possible moment before He came. And so what appears to be a long time in “their eyes” is not at all a very long time in “God’s eyes.” Do you see the method of interpretation that Peter uses concerning “which” idea he has in mind about the “thousand years”? Just to be very clear I will pose the question again as I had asked before.

Question: Is Peter saying that God would come “very soon” (as the night passing), or was Peter saying that while it appears soon, a single day is like a thousand years and so it is actually far off? Was Peter telling them that God was going to come soon even though they felt as though it was taking too long? Or was Peter telling them that although they feel that it is taking too long, to God time is not an issue, and so He can take as long as He wants?

Do you see the problem when the second option is preferred? Is this really the immediate context of this passage, and is this what Peter has in mind when is addressing his audience? Once again, I think that any astute scholar or unlearned student who has even the remotest amount of common sense can clearly see that Paul’s audience, and the context of his statement is dealing directly with the immediacy of the coming of the Lord and that their expectations will be fulfilled soon, although they are eagerly waiting for it and acting impatient. You can sum up Peter’s argument with the following paraphrase:

“You see brethren, while you think it’s taking a very long time because this generation is coming to an end, and since you see the things happening which Jesus promised would happen when He comes, don’t think that Jesus is going to take forever just because you are impatient about it. You see, Jesus doesn’t live in the realm of time as we do, and so for Him to wait to the very last minute of this generation is for the simple fact that He wants as many as possible to be saved. So don’t worry, it’s coming soon.”

The Early Church and the Millennium

Given all of the above information to this point, this author is inclined to argue therefore that the “thousand year period” or the “millennium” is not a period of time that is to span an exact 1000 year period, nor is it a long period of time which spiritually or supernaturally speaking may last many thousands or even hundreds of thousands, or even millions of years, and certainly it is not speaking of a yet future time for us today which has not yet been inaugurated and so we are here waiting and looking forward to its beginning. Why then do so many people today in the Church hold to so many vastly different and varying views on not only “how long” this period of time is to last, but also “when it is to inaugurate or begin” in the first place? The question must be asked, is the “thousand year period” a past event, or is it an event currently in our midst and underway, or is it still yet a future event for us today which we look forward to? For various reasons, of which there are far too many to indulge or discuss here, the Church has at various times and throughout its’ history held to many different views on this subject, and this fact is also true of the very early Church.

With this in mind, we must then understand “why” so many people have such a hard time understanding the “correct” view about this very subject. You see, if the early Church fathers disagreed about this subject in its’ infancy, then it would reasonably follow with clear logic that most, if not all Christians after the fact would likewise blunder or have a difficult time understanding the “true” or “correct” nature of understanding a proper interpretation of the “thousand years.” And so it is that we come to a basic background on the post AD 70 early Church.

In the age of Constantine a radical change began to take place concerning the teaching of the 1000 year millennium and reign of Jesus. Now only two centuries removed from the time of Christ and the complete destruction of Jerusalem, the Roman Empire was beginning to reach not only the poor and oppressed; it was also reaching the wealthy and those in power and with authority. Contrary to all expectation, Christianity triumphed in the Roman Empire and was embraced by the Caesars themselves by the early part of the 4th century. The millennial reign, instead of being anxiously awaited and prayed for as had been the case by so many in the previous two centuries, began to be dated back to the first appearance of Christ, or to the conversion of Constantine (take your pick was the common theme). It was generally regarded as a current reality in the glory of the dominant, imperial state-church.

From that time the doctrine of chiliasm (the view of a literal, physical 1000 year period on the earth, with Christ spiritually reigning on His throne) came to be defined as the hope of a golden age of the church on the earth, and of a great Sabbath or peace of the world after the hard labor of the world’s history, but in its distorted Ebionistic form (the beliefs of a Judaistic Christian Gnostic sect of the 2nd century, especially partial observation of the Jewish law, the rejection of St. Paul and gentile Christianity, acceptance of only one gospel – Matthew – and an early adoptionist Christology), took its place among the heresies, and was rejected subsequently even by the Protestant reformers as a Jewish dream (ref. Schaff’s History, pg. 299-301).

The following writers are a historical proof that there were many aberrant and various Christian teachings as early as the second century regarding the millennium. The fourth century writer Epiphanes (A.D.315-403), in his work against heresies said that “There is indeed a millennium mentioned by St. John; but the most, and those pious men, look upon those words as true indeed, but to be taken in a spiritual sense” (Heresies, 77:26.). Eusebius (A.D.325) writes several opinions concerning this matter. “This same historian (Papias) also gives other accounts, which he says he adds as received by him from unwritten tradition, likewise certain strange parables of our Lord, and of His doctrine and some other matters rather too fabulous. In these, he says, there would be a certain millennium after the resurrection, and that there would be a corporeal reign of Christ on this very earth; which things he appears to have imagined, as if they were authorized by the apostolic narrations, not understanding correctly those matters which they propounded mystically in their representations. For he was very limited in his comprehension, as is evident from his discourses; yet he was the cause why most of the ecclesiastical writers (up to this point), urging the antiquity of man, were carried away by a similar opinion; as, for instance, Irenaeus, or any other that adopted such sentiments. (Book III, Ch. 39)

From this work Eusebius clearly states that he believed that the primary root cause of an “earth based literal 1000 year millennial reign” teaching was that of Papias, and that it influenced Irenaeus, as well as many other early church writers. He argued that this primarily impacted all future ecclesiastical writings on this issue. It is no doubt that Epiphanes agreed with him during this same time period. Eusebius further states, “But Cerinthus, too, through revelations written, as he would have us believe, by a great apostle, brings before us marvelous things, which he pretends were shown him by angels; alleging that after the resurrection the kingdom of Christ is to be on earth, and that the flesh dwelling in Jerusalem is again to be subject to desires and pleasures. And being an enemy to the scriptures of God, wishing to deceive men, he says that there is to be space of a thousand (literal) years for marriage festivities…One of the doctrines he taught was that Christ would have an earthly kingdom” (Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History, Book III, Chapter 28). He then states in this same work in Book V, Chapter 24, that while John was at Ephesus, he entered a bath to wash and found that Cerinthus was within, and refused to bathe in the same bath house, but left the building, and exhorted those with him to do the same, saying, “Let us flee, lest the bath fall in, as long as Cerinthus, that enemy of the truth, is within.” Also speaking about Cerinthus he states in Book III, Chapter 28, “Cerinthus required his followers to retain part of the Mosaic Law, but to regulate their lives by the example of Christ: and taught that after the resurrection Christ would reign upon earth, with his faithful disciples, a thousand years, which would be spent in the highest sensual indulgences.”

This mixture of Judaism and Oriental philosophy was calculated in order to make many converts, and this sect soon became very numerous. They admitted a part of St. Matthew’s Gospel but rejected the rest, and held the epistles of St. Paul in great abhorrence.” (Gregory and Ruter’s Church History., Page 30.) In speaking of the Kingdom of God, Justin Martyr (A.D.150) said, “And when you hear that we look for a kingdom, you suppose, without making any inquiry, that we speak of a human kingdom; whereas we speak of that which is with God, as appears also from the confession of their faith made by those who are charged with being Christians, though they know that death is the punishment awarded to him who so confesses. For if we looked for a human kingdom, we should also deny our Christ, that we might not be slain; and we should strive to escape detection, that we might obtain what we expect. But since our thoughts are not fixed on the present, we are not concerned when men cut us off; since also death is a debt which must at all events be paid.” (First Apology of Justin Martyr, Chapter 11) Justin continued to state that, “Chiliasm found no favor with the best of the Apostolic Fathers…the support from the Apologists too, is extremely meager, only one from among their number can with reasonable fairness be claimed” (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, v. 25 - 36 ).

Victorinus, a third century Christian writer, states that, “Even though the floods of the nations and the vain superstitions of heretics should revolt against their true faith, they are overcome, and shall be dissolved as the foam, because Christ is the rock by which, and on which, the church is founded. And thus it is overcome by no traces of maddened men. Therefore they are not to be heard who assure themselves that there is to be an earthly reign of a thousand years; who think, that is to say, with the heretic Cerinthus. For the kingdom of Christ is now eternal in his saints” (Commentary on the Apocalypse).

Therefore, based on the clear evidence that the early Church was not able to agree on one of the most essential “end times” or “eschatological” issues in the Bible, how is it then not possible that most people today do not have it right, or at least do not have a very good grasp of what this issue is really all about? I would charge that in fact the vast majority of Christians today are in the same category as the early Church and that so little consistency is ever achieved on the issue of the thousand year period that one can only imagine if the Church will ever figure it out, and whether or not the Holy Spirit has ever maintained any true perspicuity on this issue in the divine Word of God; i.e.- the Holy Scriptures? This author believes that the Word of God is very clear on this matter, and that a consistent and accurate teaching can be found within this great book we call “The Bible.”
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:28 PM
Location: Seattle, Wa
5,302 posts, read 5,684,961 times
Reputation: 422
Making the Case for a 40 Year Millennium

I have already provided a large foundation for the basis of the “thousand year period” being that period of time in which the disciples and Apostles lived and ministered, expecting that its near end was imminent and that it would soon bring in the “new day.” This would place the “thousand year period” then at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry to approximately the time of the Neronian persecution of the Christians, and specifically just before the Roman armies first surrounded Jerusalem on or about AD 67. Arguably, the ministry of Jesus began on or around the year AD 29 (accepting the date of His death at the cross to be around AD 32, and a three year ministry leading up to this event). Given this information, we are to conclude that the “millennial period,” as it is often referred to, was the period of time from AD 29 to about AD 67; a period of 38 years. Given the near unanimously accepted tradition by Hebrew scholars that a Jewish generation was equivalent to a forty year period, and that Jesus Himself declared that “this generation shall not pass away till all these things take place” (Matthew 12:41-45; 23:36; 24:34; & synoptic passages), it is very clear that this period of time fits very nicely with the Biblical description of the period of “the night” and the “day passing” as the “thousand year period.”

So someone may ask, “You mean to tell me that the ‘thousand years’ is really only ‘forty years’”? At the outset to many people this might seem ridiculous, that is until one looks at the Biblical language and Scriptural precedent for this possibility being a very real one. Remember, the idea of the thousand year period wasn’t something John the revelator simply made up, nor was it just some vision that he received without any knowledge of what he was writing about or seeing. The fact that the Book of Revelation is the most Hebrew New Testament book is not disputed. Nor is it disputable that nearly two thirds of this book is either a direct quote or an allusion to an Old Testament idea, theme, or passage. Its structure and style in the Greek is likely to have first been written in Hebrew or Aramaic and then translated into Greek, or at least the writer was so familiar with Hebrew thought that he drew from this knowledge to write the book, and it is also very intentional in the way it is grouped and written. It is the belief of this author that the writer of the Book of Revelation was none other than John Lazarus himself, a Jewish Priest or Rabbi and brother of Martha (John 11). It is also my opinion that John Lazarus wrote the Gospel of John, and 1, 2, 3 John as well (see “The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved – Who Wrote the Fourth Gospel” by David Curtis of Berean Bible Church). If this is true then it is very likely that the writer of this book drew from the many symbols, ideas and themes of the Old Testament, and also of his contemporaries of the time (the disciples and Apostles) in using the phrase, “the thousand years” of Revelation 20.

The clear coherency of Scripture on this issue is so simple to see once all things are viewed in light of the rest of Scripture that it almost seems absurd that so many Christians in Church history have missed this, and yet it isn’t. The hard and fast western mind with all of its physical, clear cut interpretations, or even to an eastern philosophical mind with all of its seemingly spiritual or mystical interpretations, these concepts would be completely foreign and easily misunderstood. But to a Jewish audience of the first century the idea that I have presented to you here would not have been a foreign concept at all. Or if it had been then surely the great expectation and eager waiting that took place for Christ to soon appear at His second coming was an ill advised one on the part of the disciples and Apostles those first century Christians, and one that few people today would be able to figure out except for the fact that we are sure to know that their concept of a “generation” and the “watch in the night” and the “day rising” and the “thousand year” period was all one and the same.

Revelation 20

Matthew 12:28-29, 8But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 2Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.
We see here Jesus first giving us a glimpse into the “binding” which was currently taking place during His ministry. Jesus proclaimed that what He was doing was by the Spirit of God, therefore, the Kingdom of God was upon them, and thus, the strong man’s house was being plundered through His ministry. However, the time had not yet come for this “strong man” to be completely plundered, but it would. And so we come to Revelation 20, the great passage of the thousand year period.
In Revelation 20, verses 1-3 John describes the coming down from heaven of a mighty angel who lays hold upon the Devil, and binds him and casts him into the bottomless pit, “till the thousand years should be fulfilled,” after which “he must be loosed a little season”; and verse 7 says: “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.” When reading this passage concerning the “binding of Satan” we must regard this act as either a complete or a partial depriving of Satan of his power. There are two primary reasons that this “binding” period was only a partial deprivation of Satan and his powers. The first reason that this binding was not a complete deprivation of Satan’s powers was that after the period of the “thousand years” Satan is THEN subjected to the final judgment after he deceived the nations for the period of a “little while.” During the time of a “little while” (Rev. 20: 3), Satan is given complete control to be able to “deceive the nations.” Prior to this time the purpose of being bound was to prevent him from “deceiving the nations.” It is of note here to consider that the “nations” Satan was going to deceive were the nations that would “surround the camp of the Saints and the beloved city” (Rev. 20:7-9). This was a perfect description of the Roman armies that surrounded Jerusalem and destroyed the city and fought against the Jewish rebellion from AD 67-70 (the 3 ½ year Jewish War).

The fact that Rome actually limited Jewish persecution against the Christians prior to 64 A.D. tells us that the “deceiver” was indeed limited in his power, because he did not have power to deceive the Roman government, nor to stop the Gospel from spreading throughout Syria, Judea, and to the ends of the earth. As reported by Paul in his own letters, and also Luke records says about Paul’s ministry that his Roman citizenship protected him from Jewish persecution (Acts 26). In the last verse in the book of Acts (Acts 28:31) Luke records for us that Paul was able to preach the Gospel to the whole world with boldness and without hindrance up until the end of his recorded ministry. Given that the book of Acts was written in or around the years of AD 60-62, we have grounds therefore to say that the Biblical account is in agreement that from the time of Christ to the period of the Neronian persecutions, there was little resistance keeping the Christians from expanding and performing the Great Commission (a period lasting about 34-38 years). Could it be that the reason Paul was uninhibited up to this point was because Satan had been bound and had no power over his ministry and the ministry of the Apostles and disciples?

Also, remember that “something” was holding back the “man of sin” according to Paul (2 Thessalonians 2) in his own day, and that the disciples knew who he was, or at the very least that he was alive and that they were aware of who or what was holding him back, but he would not be revealed until “the rebellion comes” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). Anyone familiar with Jewish history knows that this rebellion took place in 66A.D. and that it culminated in the final destruction of the national people of Israel and the Temple at the hands of the Roman armies. The binding of Satan was therefore something less than a complete taking-away of his power during this period because Paul, during his own ministry, said that he still fought against principalities and powers, and he said that Satan would “soon be crushed under your feet” (Romans 16:20) during that time. If being bound completely prohibited Satan from any action, there would have been nothing for Paul and the Apostles to have fought against during this time, however, the power of the great Prince (Jesus Himself) gave them strength through the Holy Spirit to overcome so that no evil would defeat them or overpower them.

The strong man is Satan; no commentator I am familiar with disagrees with this. The one who is strong enough to bind Satan is none other than Jesus. But Satan is not so bound as to have no power at all as I have previously stated. It is the limitation of his power, a lessening of his influence and activities which cannot be overcome since the “stronger” man has all power. The binding period therefore was not a complete wiping out of Satan’s powers; it was however a complete prohibition of his powers through the ministry of Jesus Christ, and through the power that was given to the Apostles over Satan and his works. This was necessary in order that the Gospel be spread to the entire world. Jesus commanded them to do so, and if Satan had been allowed to deceive the nations, and also to wreak havoc on the Christians (prohibiting them from spreading the Gospel message), this feat would not have been accomplished.

A passage in Hebrews will help us at this point: “For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through (His own) death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the Devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:14-15). This clearly refers to the same truth as that declared by Christ in Matthew 12:29; for the one whose power was destroyed by Jesus is expressly said to be “the Devil,” and those who are delivered from his power, “the children,” are “the goods” of which Jesus, by His death, has stripped him of his former powers. It is evident too, that “destroy him” does not mean the complete deprivation of his power, nor his final judgment, for he still exercises the power of death in the Law after Jesus dies and is resurrected (i.e.- the Temple and Jewish nation, and the legal ordinances still stood after the crucifixion), and on a large scale; but it means the crippling and limiting of that power, which Satan could then exercise only on those who chose not to believe in Jesus Christ.

The above statement is in full agreement with the words of Christ to the seventy, when they returned to Him with joy, saying, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through your Name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19). Here was the binding of Satan, in that his power was greatly restricted as well through the Apostles works. In John’s vision the binding of Satan was done by the instrumentality of an angel from heaven; and by the passage in Hebrews we learn that the effective cause of the breaking of his power was the death of Jesus Christ. It is pertinent therefore to recall that, on the morning of His resurrection, “the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door” (Mat. 28:2). There is a suggestive correspondence between the action of opening the door of the tomb of the Lord Jesus, rolling away the great stone by means of which His body had been sealed therein, and the action of shutting Satan up in the abyss and setting a seal upon him. It suggests that both actions were performed by the same mighty angel and at the same time.

That Satan’s power is greatly limited during the ministry of the disciples, but not wholly destroyed, is certainly the fact. Consider that Jesus said as He approached His death on the cross, ‘Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out’ (John 12:31, 16:11). But He did not cast him out in every sense; for He said afterward, “The ruler of this world is coming, and he has no claim on me” (John 14:30). Here are conceptions of the limiting of Satan, or the casting out of Satan, that should guide us in interpreting Revelation 20. If now we have reasoned correctly up to this point, it is easy to say what ‘the thousand years’ signifies. It is quite surely the time from the binding of Satan (the beginning of Jesus ministry), through the period of time in which Paul and the Apostles preached and had authority over Satan in Jesus name, and up until the time that the “deceiver” was allowed to go out for “a little while” (i.e.- AD 66-70) to deceive the nations (i.e.-Rome and her armies), and to bring about the destruction that came upon the Jewish nation and Jerusalem, and the temple itself.

Consider the following interpretation for the events in the 20th chapter of Revelation (comments in PARENTHESIS):

Revelation 20:4-10, 4Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (This group are those Christians who received salvation during and after the ministry of Christ and who were also killed for their faith during this 40 year period).
5But the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years. (Vs. 5 of this passage is actually an afterthought, or a mid-sentence separator indicated in the Greek that this group is not part of the former group until after this period of time. This is indicated by the word “but” at the beginning of vs. 5. In other words, the writer is telling you that this “first resurrection to life” which the New Testament Saints were experiencing would not be experienced for the “rest of the dead” until after this period of the “thousand years.” We are then told that the ones who share in this “first resurrection” are blessed and Holy and that will reign with Christ during this period of time over their enemies).
7And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the holy people and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (This passage is really very clear in light of history, and Jesus’ own statements pertaining the “surrounding of the holy city by armies” Luke 19:43, 21:20; Daniel 9:27. After this “40 year period” also known as the “thousand years” the nations, i.e.- the Roman government and their armies, would be given over to deception at the hand of Satan and surround Jerusalem and the holy people of Israel, i.e.- the same holy people of Israel as Daniel 12 predicted would be completely shattered during these events, and then the final judgment would take place for all these people, and Satan, and the beast, and the false prophet to be tormented forever).

Concerning the “first resurrection” of Revelation 20 there is also strong evidence that the first Christians were experiencing it during Jesus’ ministry and after Jesus’ ascension (John 3:16; 11:17-27; Romans 6:4,11-13; 8:11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:19; 6:15; Ephesians 2:1-6; 4:22-24; 5:14; Colossians 2:12,13; 3:1-3,10; 1 Peter 2:24). Revelation 20 specifically says that during the thousand year period those who experienced this “first resurrection” would be those who reigned with Christ until the loosing of Satan and the final judgment of the city of Jerusalem, the beast, the false prophet, and Satan himself. Jesus even predicted this wrath, or Day of Judgment, and said it would come upon “that generation.” In Matthew 3:7 Jesus condemned the Pharisees and Sadducees and asked them who warned them of the wrath they would soon face? Matthew 12:41-42 also describes this wrath and says that something greater than Solomon and Jonah was present with them, and yet they rejected Him, and so “that generation” would be judged for it.

If their wrath was to occur in their own lifetime, how could the thousand year period be anything other than the generational period of 40 years between AD 29 – AD 70?

If there is any doubt as to whether or not the historical account of the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the nation of Israel and the temple in AD 70 does not fit the description above as I have interpreted it in Revelation 20:1-10, I suggest a quick reading of the account as delivered by the historian Josephus in his “War of the Jews.”

Josephus, War of the Jews, Book VI, Chapter 5:1-3

1. WHILE the holy house was on fire, everything was plundered that came to hand, and ten thousand of those that were caught were slain; nor was there a commiseration of any age, or any reverence of gravity, but children, and old men, and profane persons, and priests were all slain in the same manner; so that this war went round all sorts of men, and brought them to destruction, and as well those that made supplication for their lives, as those that defended themselves by fighting. The flame was also carried a long way, and made an echo, together with the groans of those that were slain; and because this hill was high, and the works at the temple were very great, one would have thought the whole city had been on fire. Nor can one imagine anything either greater or more terrible than this noise; for there was at once a shout of the Roman legions, who were marching all together, and a sad clamor of the seditious, who were now surrounded with fire and sword. The people also that were left above were beaten back upon the enemy, and under a great consternation, and made sad moans at the calamity they were under; the multitude also that was in the city joined in this outcry with those that were upon the hill. And besides, many of those that were worn away by the famine, and their mouths almost closed, when they saw the fire of the holy house, they exerted their utmost strength, and brake out into groans and outcries again: Pera did also return the echo, as well as the mountains round about [the city,] and augmented the force of the entire noise. Yet was the misery itself more terrible than this disorder; for one would have thought that the hill itself, on which the temple stood, was seething hot, as full of fire on every part of it, that the blood was larger in quantity than the fire, and those that were slain more in number than those that slew them; for the ground did no where appear visible, for the dead bodies that lay on it; but the soldiers went over heaps of those bodies, as they ran upon such as fled from them. And now it was that the multitudes of the robbers were thrust out [of the inner court of the temple by the Romans,] and had much ado to get into the outward court and from thence into the city, while the remainder of the populace fled into the cloister of that outer court. As for the priests, some of them plucked up from the holy house the spikes that were upon it, with their bases, which were made of lead, and shot them at the Romans instead of darts. But then as they gained nothing by so doing, and as the fire burst out upon them, they retired to the wall that was eight cubits broad, and there they tarried; yet did two of these of eminence among them, who might have saved themselves by going over to the Romans, or have borne up with courage, and taken their fortune with the others, throw themselves into the fire, and were burnt together with the holy house; their names were Meirus the son of Belgas, and Joseph the son of Daleus.
2. And now the Romans, judging that it was in vain to spare what was round about the holy house, burnt all those places, as also the remains of the cloisters and the gates, two excepted; the one on the east side, and the other on the south; both which, however, they burnt afterward. They also burnt down the treasury chambers, in which was an immense quantity of money, and an immense number of garments, and other precious goods there reposited; and, to speak all in a few words, there it was that the entire riches of the Jews were heaped up together, while the rich people had there built themselves chambers [to contain such furniture]. The soldiers also came to the rest of the cloisters that were in the outer [court of the] temple, whither the women and children, and a great mixed multitude of the people, fled, in number about six thousand. But before Caesar had determined anything about these people, or given the commanders any orders relating to them, the soldiers were in such a rage, that they set that cloister on fire; by which means it came to pass that some of these were destroyed by throwing themselves down headlong, and some were burnt in the cloisters themselves. Nor did any one of them escape with his life. A false prophet was the occasion of these people's destruction, who had made a public proclamation in the city that very day, that God commanded them to get upon the temple, and that there they should receive miraculous signs of their deliverance. Now there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose on the people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God; and this was in order to keep them from deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and care by such hopes. Now a man that is in adversity does easily comply with such promises; for when such a seducer makes him believe that he shall be delivered from those miseries which oppress him, then it is that the patient is full of hopes of such his deliverance.
3. Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend nor give credit to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future desolation, but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them. Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year. Thus also before the Jews' rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month Xanthicus, [Nisan,] and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskillful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes, as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it. At the same festival also, a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple. Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner [court of the] temple, which was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. Now those that kept watch in the temple came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who then came up thither, and not without great difficulty was able to shut the gate again. This also appeared to the vulgar to be a very happy prodigy, as if God did thereby open them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the advantage of their enemies. So these publicly declared that the signal foreshowed the desolation that was coming upon them. Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, "Let us remove hence." But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for everyone to make tabernacles to God in the temple, began on a sudden to cry aloud, "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!" This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city. However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say anything for himself, or anything peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words which he cried before. Hereupon our rulers, supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator, where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet he did not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" And when Albinus (for he was then our procurator) asked him, who he was and whence he came and why he uttered such words? He made no manner of reply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty, till Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him. Now, during all the time that passed before the war began, this man did not go near any of the citizens, nor was seen by them while he said so; but he every day uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premeditated vow, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" Nor did he give ill words to any of those that beat him every day, nor good words to those that gave him food; but this was his reply to all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of what was to come. This cry of his was the loudest at the festivals; and he continued this ditty for seven years and five months, without growing hoarse, or being tired therewith, until the very time that he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, when it ceased; for as he was going round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force, "Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house!" And just as he added at the last, "Woe, woe to myself also!" there came a stone out of one of the engines, and smote him, and killed him immediately; and as he was uttering the very same presages he gave up the ghost.

The Days of Vengeance

In addition to the above Biblical and historical evidences for the 1000 year period being prior to AD 70, consider these additional evidences. Luke 21:20-24 says that the days when Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies were the “days of vengeance” to “fulfill all things that were written.” If the book of Revelation is a prediction of only the things spoken of by the prophets in the Old Testament, then it must be included as the “all things that were written.” Unless we are to believe that this book was a new writing and that the Old Testament does not speak to its contents (which few scholars believe or even lend credence to), then it must follow that that contents which are found in this book are in fact those which the Old Testament prophets spoke about. Therefore, when the book of Revelation includes the thousand year period spoken of by John, it follows that the days in which vengeance came upon Israel when Rome surrounded the city and destroyed it were in or shortly after this “thousand year period.” In addition to this, John begins the Revelation in verses 1:1-3 and also closes the Revelation in verses 22:6-7 and verse 20, that it is the Revelation of things “which must soon take place” because “the time is near” and that “He comes quickly.” If John wrote this book before AD 70 (see Gentry’s “Before Jerusalem Fell” for a complete exposition on this argument) then the events clearly describe this “thousand year period” as being a period of time before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70A.D.

Also, in Revelation 1:19 John is told to write “things that were, things that are, and things which must soon take place.” In either of the three of these periods John describes, the thousand year period is either a period of time limited to John’s past, or it is limited to John’s own day in which he is writing this Apocalyptic letter, or it is limited to John’s very near future. Most scholars admit that the book of Revelation was written no earlier than AD 64, and no later than 96A.D. If this book was written prior to AD 70 then John’s words concerning the thousand year period could not have been a period of time “about to take place” since this would limit the “thousand years” to no more than approximately 3-7 years prior to AD 70. Surely a long period of time in any interpretation could not have been limited to a period of seven or fewer years. And if it was there is no literary or Scriptural or historical precedent to show that this is so. If however, this book was speaking of a period of time concerning John’s own day (i.e.-write about “things that are”), it could quite easily fit the description of the time discussed earlier in this presentation, that it is the time between AD 29 to AD 67 (approximately); literally a near complete 40 year period or generation in the Jewish system. If this is the case, then John is indeed writing about a thousand year generational period which will shortly be over when he writes the book of Revelation and will culminate in the loosing of Satan, and the ultimate judgment of Jerusalem and the coming of the Lord (which the book itself says was about to take place when John wrote it).

In the Bible there are many passages that deal with the “resurrection” where it is associated with the “final judgment.” The reason this is so important to take note of is because the “thousand year period” is supposed to occur BEFORE the final or second resurrection and judgment period. Therefore, if it can be shown that the Apostles and first century disciples expected this final resurrection and judgment to happen very soon, we can then determine that the thousand year period must be something other than a literal rendering of the number 1000 in actual, physical 365 day years, and that they understood the thousand year period to be something other than a very long period of time (much longer than 40 years anyway), since we already know that a very near occurrence of the resurrection and judgment for the disciples requires a limited span of forty or fewer years during their ministries. We would surely not accuse the disciples of being liars, confused, or uninspired when they wrote about these events, would we? Certainly they were aware of the “thousand year” language, and yet they still chose to accept that its fulfillment was near (as nearly all the New Testament letters and epistles indicate). This fact alone is strong evidence that the language of a thousand year period is certainly not a physical period of an exact number of one thousand years or more, but rather, that this phrase was used in its “occasional” and “literal” sense, meaning that it was a symbolic phrase used in a symbolic book, written in coded form with vast amounts of representative imagery throughout.

Matthew records in chapter 12:41-42 that the faithful ones of the Old Testament would “rise up” in that generation to judge them because they rejected Jesus. Again, if the thousand year period does not speak of the forty year period ending in AD 70, how could this have been possible to say? Even Felix was warned about the “coming judgment” in Acts 24:25. Paul told him of those things that were going to happen and Felix was alarmed at the news of what he had been told. James likewise warned that while they were suffering greatly, those Christians were not going to have to wait long for their vindication because the Lord was “standing at the door” and that the “coming of the Lord was at hand” (James 5). Paul also, in writing 2 Thessalonians 1, speaks of their suffering, afflictions, and persecution and he tells them that “those who persecute you” would be repaid with vengeance for what they had done to them. Jesus told His disciples that “These are the days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written” (Luke 21:22). The writer of Hebrews also declared this same judgment upon those who killed and rejected Jesus by saying that Jesus would judge His people for what they had done (Hebrews 10:29-31). The Gospel of John tells us that the same resurrection of life would be accompanied by a resurrection of judgment. This resurrection time after the thousand year period was completed would be in the “last day” (John 6:39-54; 12:48).

A very strong evidence that the resurrection was about to occur during this period of time (after the book of Acts was written in or about AD 62-64) is the statement made by the writer Luke in Acts 23:6 concerning Paul, “It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” Concerning this resurrection Luke then records in Acts 24:15, “…having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there is about to be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.” What an amazing statement! Luke records that the very thing Paul defended and explained to Felix was the very thing that he believed was “about to” happen, that is the resurrection, and the coming judgment. The word Paul uses in the Greek text is “mello,” and it means an eager expectation of imminence at the appointed time.

The church in Smyrna was promised a crown of life that would not be hurt by the second death (Revelation 2:10, 11). Paul expected this crown also (1 Corinthians 9:25) and even associated his receiving it at the coming of Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Timothy 4:8). Peter also associated this awarded crown with the coming of Christ (1 Peter 5:4). Why did they seem to expect all of this at the coming of Christ very soon in their lifetime? Because Jesus told them that when He came in His glory that He would reward every man according to his works and then He told them that some of them would be alive when this occurred (Matthew 16:27,28)! When do we see this event occurring? Revelation 20:6-15 and 21:8 places this award at the end of the book where the definition of what the “second death” is also given. Thus, the reward of the crown for those still alive, and for those dead in Christ, along with the second death are associated as occurring at the same time, and that time is the coming of Christ, and that is all tied together in Matthew 16:27-28. Again, if their expectations were for these events to occur in their lifetimes, were they wrong? Was their idea of the thousand year period of time wrong or so completely foreign that they did not understand it? Is their inspiration and divine authorship to be rejected as faulty, uninspired, and not divine? I think not! I would rather reconsider my own presuppositions concerning the second coming, the thousand year period, the binding and loosing of Satan, and the resurrection, before I fall into the category of rejecting Scripture simply to fit my own paradigm of these events.
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:29 PM
Location: Oak Point, TX
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Christy no longer holds the record for longest post.
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:32 PM
Location: Seattle, Wa
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Originally Posted by little elmer View Post
Christy no longer holds the record for longest post.
A long and lengthy study I have taken part in with many of my peers throughout the Preterist network
Please feel free to rip it apart, but this 1000 years is completely symbolic IMO of course.

Last edited by sciotamicks; 11-19-2009 at 04:32 PM.. Reason: Thank goodness for Microsoft Word...other wise I would be here forever and get nothing done
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:15 PM
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Default One Thousand year reign YET TO COME.

One thousand year reign begins after the collapse of anitchrist, the false prophet and the harlot of babylon after the second coming of Jesus Christ. People will not see Jesus when he comes but the effect of his work will be unbelieveable. In that time the body of Christ will be restored supernaturally. Before this the body of Christ will be killed and murdered or sent into hiding by the Lord. Bible Said the women about to give birth will be sent to the wilderness for the duration of the end of this age, three and a half years Lord said blessed are thoughs who live one month longer than three and one half years. The women about to give birth are christians or the body of christ. The body of Christ will be resurrected from the dead, It will be the greatest miracle of the known and unknown history of the heavens and the earth. Then after one thousand year reign the judgement day will come and all people who ever lived will see the Lord God and Jesus Christ the son of God will Judge all who ever lived and all works of his Children. NO prophecy about the earth after that day are known.
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:47 PM
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The problem with your scenario is that for the duration of the 1000 years the 12 apostles must judge the twelve tribes of Israel with Christ. By "judge" I don't mean "adversative judgment" but they are to be the twelve tribes' judges to set matters right.

Another thing you fail to realize is the secret given only to Paul to reveal to us as to when Christ will come back. It is to be found in Romans

Rom 11:25-26 For I am not willing for you to be ignorant of this secret, brethren, lest you may be passing for prudent among yourselves, that callousness, in part, on Israel has come, until the complement of the nations may be entering." (26) And thus all Israel shall be saved, according as it is written, Arriving out of Zion shall be the Rescuer. He will be turning away irreverence from Jacob."

The above had to take place PRIOR to the 1000 year kingdom being set up. It has not occurred. Last I looked I was saved by grace, not by works and I have been added to the complement of the nations' believers. The full complement of the nations has not been reached yet.
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:09 PM
Location: Seattle, Wa
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Originally Posted by Eusebius View Post
The problem with your scenario is that for the duration of the 1000 years the 12 apostles must judge the twelve tribes of Israel with Christ. By "judge" I don't mean "adversative judgment" but they are to be the twelve tribes' judges to set matters right.
First off, you have failed in the interpretation of Matt 19:28...this judgement is when in Rev 20? After the 1000 years

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

You see. in Rev 20:4...judgement is given to them, but they have not judged yet until verse 12...after the 1000 years are finished.

Another thing you fail to realize is the secret given only to Paul to reveal to us as to when Christ will come back. It is to be found in Romans

Rom 11:25-26 For I am not willing for you to be ignorant of this secret, brethren, lest you may be passing for prudent among yourselves, that callousness, in part, on Israel has come, until the complement of the nations may be entering." (26) And thus all Israel shall be saved, according as it is written, Arriving out of Zion shall be the Rescuer. He will be turning away irreverence from Jacob."
Imminence...at hand....quickly...what part of these phrases are you having trouble with? Israel was judged in 70 AD, hence their demise and the scattering of the nation fulfilling the prophecy:

Deuteronomy 28:52-58

52 “They shall besiege you in all your towns, until your high and fortified walls, in which you trusted, come down throughout all your land. And they shall besiege you in all your towns throughout all your land, which the LORD your God has given you. 53 And you shall eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your sons and daughters, whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you. 54 The man who is the most tender and refined among you will begrudge food to his brother, to the wife he embraces, and to the last of the children whom he has left, 55 so that he will not give to any of them any of the flesh of his children whom he is eating, because he has nothing else left, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in all your towns. 56 The most tender and refined woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because she is so delicate and tender, will begrudge to the husband she embraces, to her son and to her daughter, 57 her afterbirth that comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears, because lacking everything she will eat them secretly, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in your towns. 58 “If you are not careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, the LORD your God.

The Jews were scattered, and fulfilling this prophecy that they would return to Egypt, where many of the Jews were not of any use to the Romans as slaves, therefore sent back to Egypt as slaves.

The underlined above in Deut is recorded here in Josephus' work:

Josephus writes of the apparent fulfillment of this prophecy The Jewish War Book 6. Chapter 3.4

Among the residents of the region beyond Jordan was a woman called Mary, daughter of Eleazar, of the village of Bethezuba (the name means “House of Hyssop”). She was well off, and of good family, and had fled to Jerusalem with her relatives, where she became involved with the siege. Most of the property she had packed up and brought with her from Peraea had been plundered by the tyrants [Simon and John, leaders of the Jewish war-effort], and the rest of her treasure, together with such foods as she had been able to procure, was being carried by their henchmen in their daily raids. In her bitter resentment the poor woman cursed and abused these extortioners, and this incensed them against her. However, no one put her to death either from exasperation or pity. She grew weary of trying to find food for her kinsfolk. In any case, it was by now impossible to get any, wherever you tried. Famine gnawed at her vitals, and the fire of rage was ever fiercer than famine. So, driven by fury and want, she committed a crime against nature. Seizing her child, an infant at the breast, she cried, “My poor baby, why should I keep you alive in this world of war and famine? Even if we live till the Romans come, they will make slaves of us; and anyway, hunger will get us before slavery does; and the rebels are crueler than both. Come, be food for me, and an avenging fury to the rebels, and a tale of cold horror to the world to complete the monstrous agony of the Jews.” With these words she killed her son, roasted the body, swallowed half of it, and stored the rest in a safe place. But the rebels were on her at once, smelling roasted meat, and threatening to kill her instantly if she did not produce it. She assured them she had saved them a share, and revealed the remains of her child. Seized with horror and stupefaction, they stood paralyzed at the sight. But she said, “This is my own child, and my own handiwork. Eat, for I have eaten already. Do not show yourselves weaker than a woman, or more pitiful than a mother. But if you have pious scruples, and shrink away from human sacrifice, then what I have eaten can count as your share, and I will eat what is left as well.” At that they slunk away, trembling, not daring to eat, although they were reluctant to yield even this food to the mother. The whole city soon rang with the abomination. When people heard of it, they shuddered, as though they had done it themselves

The above had to take place PRIOR to the 1000 year kingdom being set up. It has not occurred. Last I looked I was saved by grace, not by works and I have been added to the complement of the nations' believers. The full complement of the nations has not been reached yet.
You are very incorrect...sorry...nice try, but you failed again brother.
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:17 PM
Location: Seattle, Wa
5,302 posts, read 5,684,961 times
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Originally Posted by Eusebius View Post
Rom 11:25-26 For I am not willing for you to be ignorant of this secret, brethren, lest you may be passing for prudent among yourselves, that callousness, in part, on Israel has come, until the complement of the nations may be entering." (26) And thus all Israel shall be saved, according as it is written, Arriving out of Zion shall be the Rescuer. He will be turning away irreverence from Jacob."
I thought I took care of this issue with you...guess I will have to repost so you can soak it in a little more...but from what I have seen with you as of late, you avoid replying back to things that you cannot sink your teeth into...just try it Eusebius...you will learn alot.

all Israel" is the dead...those saints in Hades and the elect Jewish Christians of the first century....the 144k....and the ethnic nation, people of Israel...being delivered.

οὕτω(ς) so, accordingly.....and continues the thought of what precedes or draws out its implications πᾶς Ἰσραήλ all Israel...this only refers to the forgiveness of the "whole" Jewish people or nation, the whole ethnic group in contrast to the saved remnant of the Jews in Paul's day.

γέγραπται - future indicative and passive γράφω to write - the prefix indicates the abiding authority of the document - ἥκω - future indicative action ἀποστρέφω to turn away ἀσέβεια from Jacob...to come, and in the present tense, to be present. ῥυόμενος present middle deponent participle ῥύομαι - the deliverer, Christ, the realization of the New Covenant, as the eradication of the worship under the Mosaic system, which is where we see the tie, since these two verse cannot be separated in verse 27

27 For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

This is in direct reference to the realized abolishment of the Temple worship in 70 AD.

διαθήκη - this undoubtedly refers to the New Covenant in Christ, the one spilt by His blood, the God Man Christ Himself, who bore the sins of not only the world from beginning to end, but especially to those that have perplexed the Jewish nation since their stiff necked rebellion/transgression in the wilderness.

ἀφέλωμαι - an aorist subjunctive middle - ἀφαιρέω - that He, Christ has taken away, resolved for them, the Jewish nation, from their debt to God.

verse 28 expounds on the benefits from the Gentiles in that they were not bound by the Law, they are blessed, and were never under the subjection of the Old Covenant, the rebellion that had brought this nation of the jews to their demise, and the loss thereof from their standing, as a lamp stand to the world...this lamp was removed Rev 18:23, for "your advantage", the Gentiles advantage....their freedom from the Law.

ατὰ μὲν τὸ εὐαγγέλιον - according to the Gospel... the relation is thereby designated according to which they, the Gentiles, are enemies, as the Jews, under Mosaic Law, are enemies to the gentile, as they persecuted Jewish and Gentile Christians since Christ's death...this ἐχθρός points to the rejection of Israel with which Paul is dealing with throughout this entire chapter....δι᾽ ὑμᾶς ...because of you..."for your advantage"...preposition with accusative is extended to the final cause - ἀγαπητός - those beloved.

This passage, and especially this chapter revolves around Christ's sacrifice in terms with the Jewish nation...that they, as a wife, the bride of the Old Covenant, was now under the new Covenant in Christ, and that Law, was passing away....Hebrews 8:13 By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear...for the Jewish nation...and the gentiles were the lucky ones who had never had the burden of that Law....Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

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Old 11-19-2009, 07:23 PM
7,374 posts, read 7,743,996 times
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Wow ... This is going to take me some time to go through ... I may not be able to respond tonight, but i will read through this and give you my thoughts.

Right now i am working on four different views of concerning the prophecies of the gospels and revelations. Some of the old testament prophecies fit into these studies as well obviously. The historicist, the idealist, the preterist, and the futurist interpretations of prophecy. I am open minded though i was raised with a dispensationalist view, which is hyper futurist. While you seem to be on the opposite end of the spectrum of that with an hyper preterist view. Something tells me the truth may be somewhere in the middle ...

Anyway ill get back to you on this when i have had time to read through it all ...
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:48 PM
Location: Somewhere Out West
2,284 posts, read 2,290,062 times
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Originally Posted by little elmer View Post
Christy no longer holds the record for longest post.
So long in fact I won't read it. It is longer than my sermons
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