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A Thousand Years of Peace - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
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February 26, 2024 5:00 am

A Thousand Years of Peace - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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February 26, 2024 5:00 am

Pastor Skip examines the period of 1000 years when the church will reign with Christ and Satan will be bound.

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The details of this coming earthly kingdom are only given in summary fashion. There's not a lot of detail put here, just summary fashion.

So the big main points, the framework goes like this. Satan is bound for a thousand years. Nations are not deceived for a thousand years. God's people are ruling and reigning with Christ for a thousand years.

It's a very limited presentation. It does not exhaust all the details of the coming kingdom. And you might ask why.

I hope you do ask why. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Pastor Skip examines the period of one thousand years when the church will reign with Christ and Satan will be bound so no one is deceived. But first, here's a resource to help you understand the state and future of Israel, God's nation. How have conflicts and wars in the Middle East set the stage for a future apocalypse? That's the question Ron Rhodes takes head on in his new book.

Listen to this. What do you see coming in the next five or six years that might do injury to the church? And without hesitation, I said, I really feel like we're going to see an explosion of subjectivism, experientialism, and mysticism, along with occultism and some paganism. How conflicts and wars in the Middle East have set the stage for the end times? This new book by Ron Rhodes addresses issues such as understanding Islam, rebuilding the temple, and the annihilation campaign from the Antichrist.

Here's Ron Rhodes commenting on Middle East events. Did you know that in Revelation 2 and 3, we read about the church 19 times? And then in the discussion on the tribulation in chapters 4 through 18, you don't see the church a single time.

It is gone. In 1 Thessalonians 1 verse 10, we are told that the church is to be delivered from the wrath to come. That word delivered literally means snatched, snatched away from.

We are to be snatched away from the wrath to come, which is a reference to the tribulation period. With your gift of $50 or more to connect with Skip Heitzig, you'll receive a copy of this new book from Ron Rhodes. Your gift will support the production and expansion of the Connect with Skip broadcast. Call 1-800-922-1888 or go online to connectwithskip.com with your donation, and we'll thank you with a copy of Ron Rhodes' new book, How Conflicts and Wars in the Middle East Have Set the Stage for the End Times.

That's 1-800-922-1888 or connectwithskip.com. Okay, let's get going with today's lesson. Skip is in Revelation 20 as we begin. I'm going to begin with a familiar story with a twist. Once upon a time in a faraway country lived Little Red Riding Hood. One day her mother asked her to take a basket of fruit to grandmother who had been ill and lived alone in a cottage in the forest. It happened that a wolf was lurking in the bushes and overheard the conversation. He decided to take a shortcut to grandmother's house and get the goodies for himself. The wolf killed the grandmother, then dressed in her nightgown and jumped into bed to await the little girl.

When she arrived he made several nasty suggestions and then tried to grab her. But by this time the child was very frightened and ran screaming from the cottage. A woodworker working nearby heard her cries and rushed to the rescue. He killed the wolf with his axe thereby saving Red Riding Hood's life. All the townspeople hurried to the scene and proclaimed the woodcutter a hero.

But at the inquest several facts emerged. The wolf had never been advised of his rights. The woodcutter made no warning swings before striking the fatal blow. The civil liberties union stressed the point that although the act of eating grandma may have been in bad taste, the wolf was only doing his thing and thus didn't deserve the death penalty.

The SDS, Students for a Democratic Society, contended that the killing of grandmother should be considered self-defense since she was over 30 and therefore couldn't be taken seriously. On the basis of these considerations it was decided that there was no valid basis for charges against the wolf. Moreover, the woodcutter was indicted for unaggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Several nights later the woodcutter's cottage was burned to the ground. One year from the date of the incident at grandma's, her cottage was made a shrine for the wolf who bled and died there. All the village officials spoke of the dedication, but it was Red Riding Hood who gave the most touching tribute. She said that while she had been selfishly grateful for the woodcutter's intervention, she realized in retrospect that he had overreacted.

As she knelt and placed a wreath in honor of the brave wolf, there wasn't a dry eye in the whole forest. Now the reason a hush has come over the congregation is because this sounds eerily like what is going on in our culture. And it was Isaiah the prophet who, in examining his own culture and the degradation going on, he said, woe unto those who call good evil and evil good.

And when you have a culture that punishes evil or punishes good and rewards evil, you have a very, very similar circumstance. But Isaiah the prophet also looked forward to a time he called the time of righteousness when he said, the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as waters cover the sea. It is that kingdom that we are studying today and next week, a millennial kingdom. And next week, a millennial kingdom. Now you may remember, so this is week 20 of this study on end times. In week number four, so that's a long time ago, our fourth study, we talked about millennialism.

We're not talking about millennials as an age group. We talked about the concept, the theological construct of the millennium, how there are three major positions. You remember those who are all millennialists, they don't believe in a literal thousand years, post-millennialists that we're going to bring in the kingdom, and then pre-millennialists.

And so we gave you that. We're not going to rehash that today, but we are going back to chapter 20 where we began on that study because it is about that subject, the thousand-year millennial reign, years of peace, the reign of Jesus Christ. Now this week, we're going to look at it morally, spiritually you might say. Next week, we're going to look at it politically. So verses one through three, primarily what we want to talk about today, it begins with an incarceration.

Verses four through six, it continues with an administration, the political framework we'll look at next time. What I want to do today with you is give you three notable characteristics about the millennial kingdom. And first, it is a real kingdom. We're talking about the kingdom of Jesus Christ on the earth, literally on the earth, literally from Jerusalem, and literally for a time span of 1,000 years. We're not spiritualizing it. We're not allegorizing it.

We're treating it as though it's a real kingdom. And I draw your attention to verse one. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who was the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. And he cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal on him so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.

But after these things, he must be released for a little while. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.

Over such, the second death has no power. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years. Now, verse 7, when the thousand years have expired, let's stop there. You have noticed that in six verses you have a seven or in seven verses you have a six-fold repetition of the phrase, a thousand years, a thousand years, a thousand years, a thousand years. So it's unmistakable that we're dealing with a period of a thousand years. It is a very precise rendering. There's no reason to spiritualize it.

There's no reason to allegorize it. There's no reason to say that a thousand doesn't mean a thousand. That is just an indiscriminate long period of time. It's a thousand years because every other time in Scripture when numbers are used, including the number one thousand, it always refers to something literal, something real. So for example, in Genesis 20, Abimelech gives to Abram a thousand pieces of silver. Is that literal or figurative? Literal. In Numbers 31, there was a battle and Moses sent people from the 12 tribes of Israel.

He said it says a thousand from each tribe to battle. Figurative or literal? Literal. 1 Samuel 25, Nabal had a thousand goats. Were those figurative goats? Is that a figurative number? It was a thousand. Literal.

1 Chronicles 29, Solomon offers a thousand bulls, a thousand rams, a thousand lambs. Literal? Figurative.

Literal. So when you come to Revelation 20 and it says a thousand years to say, nah, it doesn't really mean that. That's a spiritual number.

You have a problem when you do that. Whenever you spiritualize numbers, you are opening Pandora's box to it meaning anything at all. Because if a thousand doesn't mean a thousand, then what does it mean? And if you notice that in the book of Revelation, there's lots of numbers.

So you have seven churches, 12 tribes, 12 apostles, one-third of mankind, five months, two witnesses, 42 months, 1260 days, five fallen kings, 12,000 furlongs. If none of that means anything it just said, then what do we do in even reading the book? I mean, what does it mean if all those things are figurative? If you say, well, we interpret the Bible literally but not prophesy. We take other genres of Scripture and apply it literally and interpret it that way, but we don't interpret prophecy literally. Well, then maybe if that's the case, 12 tribes of Israel don't mean 12 tribes. Maybe Jesus being in the tomb three days and three nights really doesn't mean three days and three nights. Maybe the six days of creation really don't mean six days of creation. I agree with Vance Havner who said, it's always easier to understand what the Bible says than to understand what someone thinks it meant to say. And that's what happens. You get these people go, well, it says a thousand, but it doesn't mean that.

What does it mean? I don't know, but it doesn't mean that. Now, if you just read the Bible in a straightforward, forward, matter of fact, interpreting it normally kind of fashion, you're going to come up with a real kingdom. By the way, that was the dominant view in the early church for the first three centuries.

You need to remember that. The first three centuries, the church fathers believed in a literal, physical, thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth. It wasn't until the third and fourth century in Alexandria, Egypt, when a guy named Origen and a few others passed that on down to Augustine, where everything got spiritualized all of a sudden. And that group said the Bible, in this case, shouldn't be taken literally. It's just an allegory. They allegorized lots of Scripture, and there are allegories in the Bible, but these guys took it to extremes. And when they did, they were denounced in that time as heretics. So the early church fathers, including Papias, Pseudo-Barnabas, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, all believed in a physical, literal, one-thousand-coming kingdom of Jesus Christ on the earth. In fact, Papias, who we believe was taught by the Apostle John, said, and I quote, there will be a millennium when the kingdom of Christ is to be established on the earth, end quote.

Justin Martyr said Jerusalem will be rebuilt just as Ezekiel and Isaiah declared. And these writings of the early church said all church authorities believe in that except the Gnostics. You remember the Gnostics? That was that aberrant, cultic, theologically aberrant group in the early church.

Something else. We're reading the book of Revelation, and we've noticed a chronology in this book, so let me put this chart up again. We threw this up at the beginning of our series. If you read the book of Revelation as a matter like you read any other book of the Bible, you're going to come up with a chronology, and the chronology is the tribulation begins in chapter 6 of Revelation, goes all the way to chapter 18, actually the beginning part of chapter 19. Then in chapter 19, Jesus comes to the earth to end the battle of Armageddon. If you Skip all the way to chapter 21 and 22, you have the eternal state, new heaven and new earth.

John said, I saw a new heaven and new earth for the first heaven and first earth were dissolved. And between the end of the tribulation, that is the second coming of Christ, and the eternal state, you have a thousand years, a thousand years, a thousand years, a thousand year period of something going on. So if you just read it at a normal chronological way, you're going to come up with tribulation period, second coming, thousand year millennial kingdom, followed by the eternal state of a new heaven and new earth.

Now, I want you to make a note of something. In chapter 20, the details of this coming earthly kingdom are only given in summary fashion. There's not a lot of detail put here, just summary fashion.

So the big main points, the framework goes like this. Satan is bound for a thousand years. Nations are not deceived for a thousand years.

God's people are ruling and reigning with Christ for a thousand years. It's a very limited presentation. It does not exhaust all the details of the coming kingdom. And you might ask why. I hope you do ask why.

You should ask why. Why is it that you have the book of Revelation that gives so many details about the tribulation period, and you get to chapter 20 supposedly talking about the kingdom, and there's not much detail at all? Here's the answer, I believe. Simply because the kingdom, the millennial kingdom, is written about with such incredible, profuse detail in so many other places that every single Jewish believer understood that that time is coming. That is tied to the coming of Messiah, a renewed heaven, a renewed earth, a rejuvenated earth, a kingdom blessing. They all knew it because so much of their Scripture was filled with it. So we have a framework here, but there are many other supplemental texts or descriptive texts.

So here's an example. Second Samuel chapter 7 is a promise about the kingdom of Messiah. Psalm 2, Isaiah 2, Isaiah 11, Isaiah chapter 30, Isaiah chapter 35, Isaiah chapter 65, Jeremiah chapter 23, Jeremiah chapter 31, Jeremiah chapter 33, Ezekiel 34, Ezekiel 40 through 48, Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Hosea 3, Joel 3, Zephaniah 3, and Zechariah chapter 14, and that's just a sampling. If I were to with you study in depth all of the text of Scripture about the coming millennial kingdom, we would be at it for months and months and months, and I would lose you if I did it in that kind of depth. In fact, you could even argue that the coming kingdom of Messiah is the overarching grand theme of the Bible. Remember last week I said the Bible could be boiled down to this? It's about one person, two events.

Remember that? One person, Jesus Christ. Two events, first coming, second coming. Well, there's far more material written about the second event than the first event, and that is about His coming kingdom. Dwight Pentecost, I've been reading a lot of books on this as you can imagine lately, and one of the books I have is several hundred pages by Dwight Pentecost called Things to Come, and he writes this.

We'll put it up. A larger body of prophetic Scripture is devoted to the subject of the millennium, developing its character and conditions than any other subject. This millennial age in which the purposes of God are fully realized on earth demands considerable attention, and yet what mystifies me is that no such attention is given to it in most churches. Many pulpits are absolutely silent when it comes to this. You could ask the average person in a pew, when was the last time you heard a sermon on the millennial kingdom? They might scratch their head and even say, never.

So we have the main framework here. Now I heard a story about two Christians. They were talking together, and one of them said, well, I have a one-way ticket to heaven, and I don't intend to come back.

And his friend said, well, you're going to sure miss a lot. I have a return ticket. I'm not only going to meet Jesus Christ in glory, but I'm coming back with Him in power and glory to rule the earth. Now that is the proper view eschatologically of the coming kingdom.

You have a return ticket. So we have just the basic framework here upon which we can then hang all of those promises found in all of those texts throughout the Bible. We're just going to look at it a little bit today and a little bit next time. Let me give you a second notable characteristic, and that is a restrained con man. It's not just a real kingdom. It's going to be a real kingdom because somebody's going to be locked up. Now in chapter 19, do you remember at the end of chapter 19, the beast, the Antichrist, and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire. But the real problem remains, and the real problem is taken care of in verse one through three. I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit. The word bottomless pit, the Greek word is abasos, not applesauce. Abasos, it just means the bottomless, the bottomless, the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. That's a good place for hallelujah. Hallelujah right there. And he cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up, set a seal on him that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things, he must be released for a little while. Hold that thought. We'll get to it next week.

That's Skip Heitzig. With a message from the series, The End is Near, find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, listen as Skip shares how you can share life-changing teaching from God's unchanging Word with more people around the world. If you're going to hold firmly to biblical truth, then you must study God's Word.

That's why we share these Bible teachings to strengthen you in God's Word so you can stand on his unchanging truth. And when you come alongside this ministry with a gift of support, you do the same for many other listeners around the world. So please consider giving a gift today.

Here's how. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of Skip's message, A Thousand Years of Peace, to hear about the time we're all awaiting and waiting and praying for, God's kingdom come. It's what we've been waiting for. It's what God's people have been speaking about and praying for and yearning for. It's what all the Jewish people throughout their history have been longing for. It's what Jesus said to pray for. Now think of the words of the Our Father. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-26 04:57:16 / 2024-02-26 05:06:01 / 9

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