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MEASURES IN THE MILLENIUM
THE PARTICULARITIES OF THE MILLENIUM
See also Department of Bible ... Vol. 2, Ch. 1, Ch. 10, and Vol. 3. Ch. 10
The millenium is near the last state; we need to begin with the first and then see it in perspective.
Man to Sin
The millenium is a period of grace in this world which contrasts with every other preceding period. In the beginning, there was innocence - a magnificent creation of man in an environment of care and test, opportunity and relish. But he lost no time in introducing divorce proceedings from God (Genesis 3, Romans 5). It was not done openly, but in secret, followed by hiding, as is often the way with criminals.
The curse on the earth resulting from this evil enterprise on the part of man, made sin payable, up front, so that women had this notable internal pain in child-birth and men that in facing overcoming a now more hostile environment, one now designed to test patience, help penitence and humility, and rebuke exaltation. To exult in the Lord is one thing, to exalt yourself to His level, which was really what was being done, is a form of spiritual madness. It simply is not, and could not be so. But the temptation of thoughtless recklessness and spiritual fecklessness could be, was and proved successful, except in the folly on the one hand, and as in much of this type, the cost ...
Man connived with the devil, not
directly, but by following Eve who had followed a deceitful pretence of the
devil that God was withholding wonders that could place man right up there with
Him, so that to obey would be foolish; not to breach the conditions of a
wonderful life, with knowledge and wonder on all sides, was just too dull. How
soon they fell! How often do men soar up in a sort of spiritual stupour,
as if all this came from nothing, like some children born so rich that to ruin
seems a mere shaving, not a coarse misuse of what has been prepared with care,
as was the creation.
Man in Sin
True, man now does not sin in the same way, for none are born innocent now, errors being endemic; but neither are they born without hope. Actually, to have THIS certainty which is freely available, leaves mere hope far behind. Yet the man-traps are so subtle and so many that despite the wonder of the opportunity for restoration now given by God, amid mankind, few find the door to eternity or the way to God (Matthew 7:15ff.), the CONTINUATION of sin now appearing to many as delicious and vibrant as its ENTRY was for the first created pair of our type of being (cf. Romans 5, Proverbs 1).
What makes the situation worse is this: the curse is not only of the ground and the nature of procreation leading in partuition to women's pain, but it has a spiritual counterpart. To bear a child is one thing, and it hurts; but to bear a loss is another, and when it is not only the stress to an organ, the womb and surrounds, and the whole system in the process, but loss of the soul and spirit to an anomalous position, a kind of spiritual anomaly and vagranty, it can hurt much more!
Aggravating the situation is this. The opposition to God is not only in sin but in Satan, the adversary, the taunter from the first, and the ranter to the last. God is great with the grant of freedom, but it is tested to the uttermost.
Having made us ABLE to consider and envisage even concerning Himself is a gift out of all proportion to our smallness and vulnerability; but He did it. It requires trust towards Him who gave us this capacity, both to live, to will and to imagine, to seek and to find; but it is what HE has provided in the first place, and man to this day cannot, a freely roving spirit, which is involved and to imagine one making in order to gain oppression is merely to export man's follies to the One who needing nothing, and there always instead of nothing, that ANYTHING made might, where they are logically impossible. It is an act of the will, not to trust Him, and it is deadly. Even with a dog, the implications to the owner can make of it a mere cur.
Of course, moreover, the greater knowledge and wisdom is also obvious when it comes not merely to an elder and more sophisticated mind, as in an instructor, but to the mind of the One who ALONE made mentality, and logic, system and significance, unity of many things in imagined and created objects, and the fabrication of the same in immense outpourings of wit and power, much residing to this day in the very NATURE OF MATTER (hence the atomic bomb basis) and in the NATURE OF DNA, where the commands are written out, concerning the generations to come.
One who made the mind with its
logical systems and man's spirit with its imaginative ideas and constructive
abilities, not only in comprehension, but in apprehension and application is not
only freely available, but with all condemnation removed because what we
deserve, He bore and took it for every one who would come to Him, knowing who
are His and keeping them (II Timothy 2:19, John 6:62).
In review, thus the second phase for man came to its heyday with salvation, foreshadowed from the first as in Genesis 3:15, culminating in the cross and resurrection of the body of Christ. This made things very simple in remedy: not to a vain and rebellious will that found it cute to dispute and thrilling to be unwilling, but to the poor, meek, humble, dispirited, seeking God, brought low and yet seeking the God who was there from the first it was like a bank draft from the Arctic. What had seemed hopeless, became shrouded with reality, and the products of the passions of the human spirit, became obvious for what they were. Such has been the way of many, and all who come have repented of their sin and relished the redemption, when One died for all, so that those who receive Him in this saving grace of God, may freely being adopted, become children of God.
All this comes only by the mercy of God to any; but it comes also without loss of man's responsible and real choice, God providing for his restoration, the grounds of it in His ransom (Matthew 20:28), the hope of it in His resurrection (Romans 10:9) and the certainty of it in His word (John 10:9,27-28), by which we were constructed, written up, propounded and produced in the first place.
Indeed, if even the will of man were by sin impeded and misdirected (I Cor. 2:14), yet this was known before its pollution towards God by the bruises and ruses of sin, before time was, and so before any fall likewise; and God knows His own.
Wanting all to come back, and having provided the way for this (Colossians 1:19ff.), God yet knows who is of a different preference in heart, and neither draws in the deceitful, deviously seeking a false return, nor omits the weak, troubled in a muddied mess of false environment, culture, training and the like. He misses none. He forces none. Love requires liberty; and where it is a pretence, it is horror; and where sincere it is a wonder; and its source, it is God who gave life and its recovery module, indeed its Redeemer who putting sin in place, on His own life, died with it and for sinners, bearing the guilt of as many as would come (as in Isaiah 53:1-6). The alternative is as it has been, to die with your sins, being too attached to prefer God to the misuse of what He has provided.
Man's Conceited Clash, Man against
and Most against God,
comes to its Climax in Confrontation,
and its Stay of Final execution,
in the Millenium.
Then this second phase comes to a culmination, with the aggregating and aggressive powers of evil, mistrust, deviation, declination forming and forging force on the entire earth, to rule it recklessly, to dispossess the children of God entirely and for ever, and banish God even from the mind! (cf. II Thessalonians 2:4-10). Delusion readily comes to those who reject the truth, like blood to a limb which is hammered.
Just as so often the brash, the corrupt and the godless persecuted Christians amid their freedom, before that climax to come, so now comes the climax, in a way like winds of 360 kilometres an hour; but that threatens only the body, this the soul. That touches some, this challenges all.
In the predicted domain of progress in regress on a failing world (cf. John 16:2, Acts 20:28-30,, II Peter 2), the thing comes to a clashing climax (II Thessalonians 1 and 2, Revelation 19, Deuteronomy 32, Isaiah 59, 66) with various domains operative. Now under direct divine confrontation, the forces leading to the overthrow of truth by tyranny, meet that of tyranny by truth, of fraud by wisdom and of merely mortal power by its divine source from the first, so that in the onset, Satan is impounded for a millenium (Revelation 20:1-6, Isaiah 65, Psalm 72).
The millenium of Revelation 20 has arrived, the conditions of the Psalm appear, the portent of the prophet becomes the path of life.
On this topic of the millenium, see the progressive exposition of Revelation leading on to Ch. 20, and the content of it in Sparkling Life Ch. 10 and The Holocaust of Morality ... Ch. 4.
The millenium ? A considerable period allowing every attribute described in the Bible for it, to occur to the uttermost.
Time is not a matrix here, since time is in itself involved in deep symbolism in Revelation at the arithmetical level. Thus the 1260 days, 42 months combination found in the book of Revelation, relates to Daniel 9, where 69 sevens took us from a given starting date, with a half added to the death, of what ? Of the Messiah. That left one half seven, or 42 months in calendar terms, for the fulfilment of prophecy and the work of everlasting righteousness and the end of sins. That is the Messianic and last of the sevens, which from Daniel also set the date for Christ's death around A.D. 30, in our present timing schedule. The first half of 3 and one half covered the time of His ministry, that number of years, but the last half became His (cf. Acts 1), not to be revealed since His murder, to the time comes (cf. Matthew 24:36ff.). THAT is not least so that no one can count on the coming in judgment, like a date; just as one COULD count on the time of His coming to save, as a confirmation, and then it was that He DID come.
On these matters, the reader may wish to read more, such as is found in SMR concerning the key to the code, and the placement of the date in its setting. On the prediction of the date of the first coming of Christ is an important part of His prophetically supplied identikit, so that there is much to read and study, but the elements are not difficult once you are conversant with the plan of action presented.
For death date, and surrounding considerations see:
Christ the Citadel ... Ch. 2,
The Christian Prescription Ch. 2,
Mini Messages with Maxi Point Ch. 10,
Highway of Holiness Chs. 4, 7,
SMR pp. 886-900, pp. 943-946, pp. 959ff..
cf. SMR Ch. 9,
The Kingdom of Heaven 2,
and A Spiritual Potpourri 18,
In Revelation 11 this covers (in the 1260 day format), the entire Gentile period in which Jerusalem is 'trodden down' as Christ put it, by them. However, in Daniel 7 this same symbolic period is attributed to the height of the climax of the confrontation, with the furnishings of the finale, with the 'little horn' or mouth to decry God at the end, taking his ultimate place, and this for that same period (Daniel 7:24), just as in Revelation 13:5, this same period is attributed to the time for the same oppressive mouth including a complete financial control of all transactions, a terminal intensity.
The term signifies not only the very last part of history, in the 4th and final Empire, the three and one half times, but ALSO the final calamitous, universal pressure. It becomes a symbol in this extension, of a crucial clash of an ultimate kind, whether for an Age or a stage within it. Hence the thousand years, the millenium, in a book extensively using deeply symbolical language, assuming knowledge of extensive background in the Bible, is not to be gauged simply in this case, in terms of years. Rather it is as characterised, a period EXTENSIVE enough to include all the features of the millenium as stated, without omission or invasion by contrary thought. The symbolism is not to evacuate meaning, but to convey it at a depth which develops understanding, as in much good teaching in principle.
Thus the extent, expanse of the millenium will be vast enough to bring to light what is in view whether in Psalm 72, or Isaiah 59, or Revelation 20, or in Isaiah 65 or 11, for that matter, or indeed in Habakkuk 2:14 and Zephaniah 3:12-20. Not only will the substantial conversion scenario of Israel (Zech. 12-13) lead to its liberation, but the conversion being to the ONE CHRIST with ONE GOSPEL (Isaiah 42:6,49:6, 66:2-3), it will be a liberation for all who love God, and an exhibition tour of the Almighty ... with one important additional feature as in Revelation 20:3.
Speaking of the devil ...
THE DIABOLICAL DIFFERENCE -
LIKE A TOOTH EXTRACTION
The devil, we read, is to be bound during the millenium. What effect will this have ? It would be roughly like a rotten tooth extracted, in the time before on the one hand, and the time during the millenium on the other.
Gone will be his leading in deceiving the nations, we read (20:3 of Revelation). HOW does the devil now do this, being at present not bound as he will be ?Just as now he is not excluded from his unconscionable ravages on the faithful and on goodness which relates to God in truth, so then, himself harassed and imprisoned, he will be.
Even now (cf. Hebrews 2:14-15), faith can exclude his sinuous slitherings (cf. Luke 10:15-20). Now in principle and through promise the children of God escape the clutching for ravishing that so animates the devil, as nations destroy or devastate each other, citing pride, or power, or prestige, or comparative worthiness for fear or respect, or wanton destructiveness or hatred or revenge or lust for control, management of others and the like.
Yet most are not in the power and Gospel purification of the devil, and many who name themselves Christians, are not so, as the prediction shows (II Peter 2, II Timothy 3). They neither heed nor care about the very explicit prohibition on Church physical fighting for control at the secular level, so that Christ rebuked good friend Peter for using a sword to protect Him, and declared the principle to Pilate (Matthew 26:23-25, John 18:36). Many even join in the mutual extermination posturings and impoverishment parades. But the people of the Lord are taught better. We endure as He did who for the joy that was set before Him, suffered shame in the shambles of His appallng execution, so granting the appealing open door as the sacrifice intended, to those who put their trust in Him, their sin on Him and their hearts in His purifying and pardoning hands.
Thus the imprisonment of Satan, to come in the millenium, will have a vast effect on the sufferings of the faithful and the rigours of unrighteousness.
There will, in effect, be a cutting off of Satan's power supply and application points. The nations are now no more deceived by that appalling liar (Revelation 20:3, John 8:42-44). As the former text is translated in the Revised Berkeley Version:
"He hurled him into the abyss, which he shut and sealed above him,
that he might lead astray the nations no more
until the thousand years are completed."
Indeed, in the millenium, the whole atmosphere changes vastly, just in that one step of Satan's impounding, quite apart from the many other blessed changes. No more in that period, do we have to marvel how nations could POSSIBLY forget their needs and wants and poverty-stricken masses and pain and suffering, and self-control as they give way to wantonry on massive scales. No more do we, in this select and tutorial period, vindicating the righteousness of God as in a prepared experiment, and showing the woes of deceit and deviousness, in which Satan specialises, find the practice of lying amid the nations, threats and foolish fiascos of cunning. Now, by their exclusion in terms of that vicious cheer-leader for those thrust forward to death, we find another testimony. Freedom has had its licensed day, and has shown what it can do when it seeks to lease the power of God to its corrupt purposes. Now in the presence of the Returned King, the evil dynamic is imprisoned, the day of sin is culled, the way of unrighteousness is dismissed.
Now the dreams for conquest, the agitation for appearance's sake, the buttresses for protection by harsh actions which bring revenge, the delusive shift into vengeful and egotistic pretensions is stilled, and things are made to appear very much as they are in the available grace of God, now ruling, not as mischievous imagination would vauntingly profess. Now self-esteem as an aim is seen as a mere bauble of the personality: for estimability is not gained by unworthy motives or self-preoccupation with such things as relative height.
The change is vast, but not yet final. How hard it is for man to find God, in the midst of his wanderings, seduced or seductive or both.
It must be admitted that at one stage of their discipleship, indeed when the cross was not very far off, some of Christ's friends were actually having an argument about who would be the greatest! (Luke 22:23-30).This is very different from what, with Judas' exception, they became.
To be sure, that conversation may have been started by the thoughts stirred by their knowledge that ONE of THEM would even BETRAY Christ (Matthew 26:20-22).
Nevertheless, they so descended, to be awakened again to reality by Christ Himself, both in word and in deed (Luke 22:27ff.,39-46). Indeed, apart from the fact that Christ explicitly named Satan as back of Peter's ideas about how God should act (Matthew 16:22-23), it is apparent that great as Satan's power. Mercifully it is completely under the power of God for those who know Him (I John 4:4-6) ; but this does not change the hearts of the nations or the governments of man, except in times of refreshing or deliverance, of which the millenium is an extended season under regal rule.
it is not the ONLY evil of the devil, of course. Evil in man himself, though much sparked by the fickle flames of Satan, has to co-operate with Satan, for evil to happen; and this Christ DID NOT DO, citing the word of God, the Bible, sharply, crisply and with finality, at the time of His own temptation (Matthew 4); and many are those who would benefit in dealing with the evil dalliances which try to take over godly works, to do just that! Nevertheless, with the presence of the Great Shepherd and the constitution of goodness, there will be an enormous thrust to the celestial concepts and conduct on this earth, during the blessed millenium, till the final flush of folly comes, on the release of Satan in its time.
What then of this blessed millenium ? The Sermon on the Mount will now not be a vacuous wish for those who know neither its peace nor its power, nor indeed its very meaning; but rather like
the Old Testament 10
the Christmas scenes, in such
abrupt discord with what Australia has been,
it will be the reverse. Reformation, not continuation will accrue like heavy crops in splendid weather.
Indeed, like the weather now for many, these spiritual realities will become a primary consideration. It will be more important than learning the 12 times table was in my own day (and amazingly, there is now a movement back towards learning it in that pleasantly interesting rote method of former times, when its security and oft-repetition was satisfying, giving the mind opportunity to consider it, and compare elements as it went, if so desired). It will be vital, it will come with the day.
Peace will be seen not as an oddity, proscribed by the lovers of violence and the seducers of rape, physical, mental and spiritual, such as are now so very common, even more especially in the two latter categories; nor will it be felt as a virtual breach of the massive deception of the current time (though some at last are beginning to awaken to this). To seek peace and pursue it will become like seeking air.
In that time, violence and abrupt force no more make ANYTHING even begin to appear fine and splendid. With and kindred types of deception gone, so too will be ONE of the many promptings of pride, which wasso important in some nations, to name one outstanding time for it, before the first World War. WHO is the greatest ? WHO will show the world ? WHO will parade progress and SHOW it to the decadent and the lesser!
Then poverty has some relief, folly has less scope (Psalm 72), the majesty of God is in quite apparent rule, relief is given to many. Access to the Shepherd over all will be manifest, and all that man has been seeking to do for so long in so very many ways with such indifferent success and frequent oblivion in failure, will occur in a way natural, being based on purity, love, grace and power; in the presence of the Messiah, the very majesty of God in the very atmosphere (instead of radioactive pollutions).
To be sure, this period - for God does not dictatorially MAKE people love Him, rather showing the reason why they should, will end. It is a phase on the way to the culmination (to come in its time, as in Revelation 6:9-11).
Revelation 20:7-10 represents the last, bold, naked, self-preoccupation with power and glory, which the Satan, being at last released shows, confirming his corruptive and corrosive ways to the end.
When that final flare is ended, the judgment proceeds, some as in the Book of Life, inscribed from the first (Ephesians 1:4, Revelation 20:11-15), some in the book of works, always inadequate for unchanged hearts with mixed motives, exposed. Having resisted to the end, whatever God does, in whatever way, for whatever reason, they receive their desire, an ultimate horror from inexorable ill-will where love is free, and never dictated.
Thus they can be themselves, like
cylinders, proudly at the side of the road, telling how glorious they are,
forget that they are void if detached...
But what is that state ? It is this: to be made by God, for God, and given free restoration back to God, through the sacrifice of God, accomplished in His own Person (Acts 20:28), the Christ sent on time, and available all the time; and then not to be with Him. Sent by the Father, the Son has done all; and those who miss it, preferring darkness in the very face of God who so loved the world and so provided for the reconciliation of ALL things, yes in heaven or on earth, despite the grace of the Trinity, these inherit their desire (John 3:36).
THE DELIGHTFUL CONCLUSION
From first to last, He who IS first and last, does not change. He makes things good; He gives opportunity for recovery when they are marred; He personally provides the extreme sacrifice appropriate for the One who made man in His own image. Indeed, He dismisses death, both in the Messianic ministry, as with Lazarus, and in His own case, having predicted both the manner of His murder and the time for the resurrection of His body. Having given to man and nations extreme scope in freedom amid the extreme offer of the Gospel, He then takes those freely His own, and in His presence in everlasting joy, since the joy of the Lord is the natural thing for those given the scope to appreciate His nature, receive His power for living and know the peace which does not rely on pace, but on the Prince of peace. As to this, the eternal word of God made flesh, peace has always been His, and He has provided for it to be found, as air is given for the lungs, for those who find it, even to the spirits of those who love Him.
But a new body, and a place, an abode for living, for eternity in the presence of the God of glory in peace! It is this which ensues (John 14, II Corinthians 5, I Corinthians 15). It has been a long way, and a wrong way for many. But the way is sure, and the result is certain (Isaiah 35:8-10, 51:11): so it will be, just as the suffering of the present time tests loyalty and gives opportunity for the love of God to be shown, irrespective of reward, by faith, so there it will be realised to the uttermost in the ultimate, the intimate, the First and the Last.