The Death of Man's Hope: God's Hope for Man - The True Millennium - Part 3

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The Death of Man's Hope

God's Hope for Man - The True Millennium - Part 3

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Millennial political movements? Yes. The concept in modern times began during the communist revolution in Russia with the societal application of the theory of evolution: Social Darwinism. Originated by Karl Marx, communism was viewed as a historical movement in which the fully communist world would evolve into a millennial-type utopia.

Social Darwinism laced with millennial references from the Bible was applied to the NAZI party in Germany leading up to World War 2. Adolph Hitler spoke of the party ushering in the German Third Reich as a revival of the Holy Roman Empire. He referred to it as “das thousande jahre reich” (the thousand-year kingdom), a millennial golden age.

Even Great Britain echoed their own version of millennial thinking of its historical destiny in the words of Prime Minister Winston Churchill (at the beginning of the Battle of Britain in June of 1940), “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years , men will say, ‘This was their finest hour.’” 

Millennial thinking is woven deeply into humanity’s secular and religious longing for the ultimate age of peace. It reflects how when God made mankind, He “…put eternity in their hearts…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 Ecclesiastes 3:11He has made every thing beautiful in his time: also he has set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end.
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). Humanity seeks—however imperfectly—an age of peace as either spiritual salvation or at least a physical counterpart.

The religious Millennium

Parts one and two of this series showed how prevailing, mainstream Protestant, millennial thinking at the turn of the 20 th century died at the beginning of the First World War. That branch of Christianity believed that through advancement of human thinking coupled with the preaching of the gospel, would create the prophesied 1000 years of man-made peace on earth—and afterward, Jesus would return to earth. Unfortunately for them, beginning in August 1914, the Great War obliterated their hoped for a millennium. That doctrine is called “post-millennialism” and has since been largely abandoned.

Human nature rationalizes disappointment and seeks a new idea or belief to replace the old. Consequently, most of Protestantism began to adopt what had been the Roman Catholic thinking about the millennium since Bishop Augustine of Hippo articulated it in about 400 A.D. His conclusion was that there is no literal Millennium taught in the Bible. His rather hopeless doctrine is called “amillennialism.”

However, Augustine was wrong because Jesus Christ did inspire the apostle John to write a very specific prophecy in the book of Revelation about the time in the future when the resurrected saints “…lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4 Revelation 20:4And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to 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 on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
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). In a nutshell, neither social-Darwinism, post-millennialism nor amillennialism is the teaching of Scripture.

The true doctrine of the biblical Millennium has been labelled “pre-millennialism” because Christ’s second coming will occur before (pre) the Millennium begins. It will not be man’s hope that prevails; rather it will be God’s hope for mankind. Mankind does not know the way to peace (Isaiah 59:8 Isaiah 59:8The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whoever goes therein shall not know peace.
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). True world peace will only happen when Jesus Christ returns and personally establishes the rule of the Kingdom of God on earth for 1000 years. He is in fact, the King of Kings of that divine Kingdom (see Revelation 19:11-16 Revelation 19:11-16 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a clothing dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he has on his clothing and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
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)!

God’s plan for all of mankind

God has always had a plan for humanity. He created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27 Genesis 1:26-27 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
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). We are therefore identifiable as His children, and human life is thus more valuable and precious than that of any other creature on earth. The humanly created theory of evolution has no such premise and has thus truly befuddled the “educated” thinking of modern mankind. Bottom line: the true record of mankind is the Bible, and it alone is the source of our knowledge of God’s plan of spiritual salvation for all people who will accept it. The true Millennium is a vital part of that plan.

Before He created humans, God created the angels, the heavens and the earth. The angels had to choose good and reject evil, and at a certain point long ago, they did. One great angel named Lucifer rebelled against God and convinced a third of the other angels, now called demons, to follow him (see Revelation 12: 4, 9). His name was changed to Satan (meaning: adversary) and Devil (meaning: accuser or slanderer). Satan was and is against all that God is doing and tries to thwart and destroy God’s plan for mankind.

Although humans were the highest physical life form on earth, God made man “…a little lower than the angels…” (Hebrews 2:7 Hebrews 2:7You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, and did set him over the works of your hands:
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). However, His plan was for us to choose right and reject wrong—that is, choose God’s way and live it—and then God would have humankind “…crowned with glory and honor…” Jesus Christ as God came to earth to live a human life, die a holy death to pay for the sins of all mankind, and then be crowned with that eternal glory (Hebrews 2:9 Hebrews 2:9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
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).

The incredible human potential and destiny is to live forever with God the Father and Jesus Christ in the divine family known as the Kingdom of God. That means we must first be resurrected to eternal life. This physical life that all people have lived, are living or will live is a testing time designed to complete our creation by God. In bodily form and shape we were physically made in His image, but our spiritual creation requires our active involvement through repentance and conversion to God through Christ during our human lives (see Acts 2:37-38 Acts 2:37-38 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brothers, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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).

The Millennium and the Sabbath

God’s historical plan for man unfolds from the time of the Garden of Eden. Before that, however, Satan attempted to destroy the earth as it existed from its original creation (Genesis 1:1-2 Genesis 1:1-2 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters.
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). In six days, as recorded in Genesis 1, God re-created the earth as He desired it for human habitation (there were no humans before Adam). Then on the seventh day of that creation week, God created the Sabbath as a day of rest for all people (Genesis 2:1-3 Genesis 2:1-3 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
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). Seventh-day Sabbath keeping is an integral part of God’s law as the fourth of the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11 Exodus 20:8-11 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
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).

Sad news came from the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve rejected God’s rule over them, choosing instead to be directly influenced by the Serpent (see Genesis 3). It was the same song, second verse, “…that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world…” (Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
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) who is presently the “…god [or, ruler] of this age…” (1 Corinthians 11:4 1 Corinthians 11:4Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.
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).

The creation week by clear implication serves as an outline for human history leading to the Kingdom of God. Based on the principle that “…with the Lord one day is as a thousand years…” (1 Peter 3:8 1 Peter 3:8Finally, be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brothers, be pitiful, be courteous:
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), man has had six millennium-long “days” to create a society according to his choices. Then for the final thousand years, the Millennium, Jesus Christ returns to rule the nations and shape society according to God’s law and purpose. Thankfully, immediately after Christ’s return, Satan will be “bound,” that is, restrained from access to mankind for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3 Revelation 20:1-3 1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
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).

“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9 Hebrews 4:9There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.
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). Here, the word “rest” literally means “Sabbath-rest” and is understood by the context to be the age of God’s intervention in human history to bring, in contrast to man’s war-torn millennia, an age of Sabbath-like rest. In other words, the true Millennium will be a time of peace and truth because Christ will with His resurrected saints rule over the then severely reduced population who survive a world war of unprecedented violence and destruction that is prophetically called the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22 Matthew 24:21-22 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
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).

The resurrected saints will have the wonderful mission under Christ to guide the rebuilding of the nations to live in peace and truth for the thousand years of the true Millennium. The Old Testament prophets were inspired to eloquently visualize the beauty of that world tomorrow where all mankind worships the true God, enjoys His blessings and doesn’t even study war! Perhaps the most vivid millennial prophecy is from Isaiah:

“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:2-4 Isaiah 2:2-4 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come you, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
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).

Mountains and hills are biblical symbols for governments or nations. God’s supreme government will be administered from Jerusalem. God’s law will be the law for all nations and peoples. Jesus Christ working through His resurrected saints will judge or govern all the nations—and they will live in profound and wonderful peace in spirit and in truth. Everything societally wrong in our age will be replaced by the right ways during the incredible, true Millennium! One of God’s annual festivals, the Feast of Tabernacles, pictures this phenomenal time in history (Leviticus 23:33-44 Leviticus 23:33-44 33 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. 35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein. 36 Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation to you; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and you shall do no servile work therein. 37 These are the feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing on his day: 38 Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD. 39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast to the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 40 And you shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. 41 And you shall keep it a feast to the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. 44 And Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.
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).

God’s hope for man

God offers a great hope or potential for every human being who ever lived or will ever live—to be raised to eternal life in the God family of the Kingdom of God. The 1000 year rule of Christ will begin here on earth in the not-too-distant future. Many prophecies of trouble like never before must first come to pass because of mankind’s rejection and violation of God’s law and way. Then, in man’s darkest hour, Jesus Christ will dramatically return to the earth (see Matthew 24:29-31 Matthew 24:29-31 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
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), vanquish the human forces of evil, restrain the devil and his demons (Revelation 20:1-3 Revelation 20:1-3 1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
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), and begin His rule over mankind for 1000 years of peace and truth.

Amillennialism and post-millennialism are not sound doctrines. Number one, there will be a true, biblical Millennium of Jesus Christ’s rule on earth—and it will be for a thousand years. Number two, He must come before the Millennium because man does not know the way to peace. It is the time, not merely of man’s limited hope, but a time of God’s great and wonderful hope for man in His great Kingdom. 

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