Sep 06

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The word “millennialism” refers to a teaching about a so-called “Thousand year reign of Christ on earth.” There are a number of such teachings, so it is impossible to cover all of them or even a few of them; as they differ in so many details. Yet, certain points are the same in most, if not in all of them. In this series of articles the general points of agreement will be studied.
The first thing each has in common is the starting place; Jesus will return to earth and set up an earthly kingdom in Jerusalem. It comes as an absolute surprise to the “millennial” folks that the New Testament never, not even one time, speaks of Jesus returning to this earth! It does, of course, speak of his coming! Note the words of Paul: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16-17). Missing in this beautiful text is the so commonly heard word, “earth!” The dead will be raised first, then, those who are alive at Jesus’ coming. This simple truth, the word “earth” and the Lord’s return are never found together and should be enough to question the very heart of the “millennial” teaching.
It is critical to the “millennial” teaching, that Jesus come to the earth, as Jerusalem is part of this earth and it is said that he will set up his earthly kingdom in Jerusalem. Two points are now brought into question: 1) Jesus is never said to be returning to the earth; and 2) if he is never going to come to the earth, he cannot set up his earthly kingdom in Jerusalem, from which he is said to then, rule the world. These simple truths, before an examination is even started, are death blows to the heart of the “millennial” teaching. Now, take a look at the text of Revelation 20, verse 4: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Here we find the words, “they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years,” but the words which are the “heart and soul” of the “millennial” teaching are missing in the text. Not one word about Jesus coming to the earth; and not one about Jesus setting up an earthly kingdom. It may not seem important to those who believe and teach the “millennial” doctrine, but did you notice who it is that “lived and reigned with Christ?” John wrote: “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus … and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Now, if we are going to take these words literally, and the “millennial” folks must, if their teaching is true, then, only those who were “beheaded for the witness of Jesus” are said to live and reign with Christ.
Now, where did these “souls” live and reign with Christ? They are “souls” out of the body, not “souls” in the body as they have been “beheaded;” therefore, there are no physical bodies said to be living and reigning with Christ. Yes, the “souls” beheaded for the witness of Jesus are said to “lived and reigned with Christ,” but not one word about it being on the all-important earth!
If the “millennial” folks can be so wrong about all these words being literal; as they must have physical bodies living and reigning on the earth; what about the key words, “a thousand years,” also being literal? Is it possible that they just might be wrong here also? Finally just here, it is important to notice another point about the words, “they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” The pronoun “they” is the third person pronoun, while our “millennial” friends use the pronoun “we” which is a first person pronoun. “They lived and reigned with Christ” is past tense and once more our “millennial” friends change these words to the present tense: “we shall live and reign with Christ.” Just how much is allowed to be changed in the text, in order to make it teach what it does not teach?
Friends, the New Testament does not teach the “millennial” doctrine, be it pre-millennial, or post-millennial. Don’t be fooled by it!

— Frank R. Williams

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