IS THE MILLENNIUM NEXT — OR NEVER?
One of the most misunderstood and controversial elements in Scripture is the Millennium. The doctrine that there will be a 1000 year reign of Christ on earth, before the Judgment of the wicked, is one that comes from the doctrine of Dispensationalism. What is most interesting when studying dispensationalism, I found that this theory originated from the same roots as the Pre-tribulation Rapture. They go together like a hand in glove….and it seems one really cannot have one without the other. We find these roots to be two Jesuit priests, the same that developed the pre-trib theory, and then brought down into modern times and the modern church by the likes of John Darby, and C.I. Scofield…..so in all actuality they are the twin pillars of false doctrine, from the same source, and what seems to be holding up all the false doctrines in the church, today.
I found a really good study on this done by H.C. Heffren, which I am including here. I think you will find that if man had not divided the Bible and the Scriptures into man conceived periods of time and events, then maybe, there would not be so much confusion and division of the Truth of God and His plan for the ages. It is so very refreshing to finally be able to see the whole picture, not some divided up concepts that actually end up keeping us from the Truth, instead of leading us toward it.
Link of article or video : http://www.heart-talks.com/millenium.html
IS THE MILLENNIUM
By H. C. Heffren
Do you know whether the Millennium is the next event in
Divine history or do you think there will never be a millennium?
This is an important question. Some people confidently assure
us that a glorious earthly millennium is about to break upon this
troubled world, while others are equally confident that the Bible
teaches no such thing. Only one faction can be right because
the views are based on entirely different interpretations of the
Bible. Therefore, one must be an error. Only one can be truth.
Are you positive you know which is right?
Some people say it doesn’t matter which way you believe
because this doctrine does not affect your salvation anyway.
This is only partly true. The Jehovah’s Witnesses and many
Dispensationalists do teach a form of salvation AFTER the
coming of the Lord and the so-called rapture of the believers.
A theological controversy rages among professed Christians
concerning which is the right interpretation of the Kingdom of
God. Dispensationalists confidently assure us that the
millennium is next. Amilennialists affirm with equal conviction
that there will never be a millennium. You must decide which is
right. Our task will be made easier if we know exactly what the
basic issue is. This we shall proceed to reveal.
The Question Stated
To begin with, there are two questions that must be asked
and answered. The first is, “Where and when did
Dispensationalism originate? The second is, “How will it end?”
The first question directs us to the foundation on which the
doctrine rests. The second causes us to ask what conditions
entitle one to participate in its blessings, and what ultimately
happens to the millennium itself. It should not be difficult to find
a satisfactory answer to these valid questions.
Dispensationalism originated in England about the year
1840. Several prominent names such as Irving, Maitland and J.
N. Darby were among the first ones to preach and publish
articles and books on the subject. In America it engaged such
outstanding men as Dr. C. I. Scofield, James M. Gray and Harry
Ironside, all of whom were connected with Moody Bible Institute
and who contributed tremendous influence to its propagation.
A natural question at this point is, “Where did J. N. Darby and
his group discover the doctrine?” Dispensationalists would
have us believe that it came as a result of discovering new light
on the Bible itself, but the facts lead us elsewhere.
The real source of the doctrine came from a book that was
written much earlier by two Jesuit Priests by the names of Ribera
and Alcaser. These men were commissioned by the Pope to
publish a teaching that would counter-act the prevalent
Protestant belief that proclaimed the Pope as the Antichrist.
Eventually this book fell into the hands of Irving and from its
interpretation of the Bible Dispensationalism was born.
The Antichrist of the Reformation
History makes it very clear that the very heart of the
Reformation preaching attacked papal claims of supremacy
and as a result of this onslaught they rocked Catholicism to its
very foundation. Luther, Zwingli and Calvin, as well as countless
other Reformation preachers opened up the Word of God and
fearlessly proclaimed that the Pope was the Antichrist of
prophecy, the Beast that overcame the saints mentioned in
Revelation. As a result the strangle hold of Papal authority was
gradually weakened and Papal power began to topple and
crumble as multitudes embraced this liberating truth.
It is interesting to note the meaning of Antichrist in Webster’s
Unabridged Dictionary. It is described as: “pretender to
Christhood; a false Christ.” Webster also mentions the fact of
history that Wycliffe and Luther identified the Pope as the
Antichrist and that the real meaning of Antichrist is, “an OTHER
Christ.” In view of the fact that the Pope assumes the title of
“Vicar of the Son of God,” it gives further evidence that the
Antichrist is a false Christ. Webster’s meaning of Vicar is: “A
substitute, a proxy or representative.” He adds this illuminating
information that “The Pope is the Man of Sin heralded by the
Reformation preachers.” The Antichrist not only means a false
Christ, and an OTHER Christ, but also as one “Who takes the
place of Christ as Head of the church.”
It is easy to see the task that confronted Ribera and Alcaser.
However, they cunningly conceived a plot to rival the
interpretation by the Protestants. They sought to prove that
Luther was wrong about the Antichrist being the Pope. To
accomplish this they speculated on a future Antichrist who
would oppose Christ with all the infernal powers under his
control. Dispensationalism adopted the Futurist theory with its
future Antichrist and future millennium. It should be pointed out
that there is nothing in Dispensationalism that in any way
identifies Catholicism with its place in prophecy. History labels
their long tyranny over man as the Dark Ages. The Bible says
“They made war on the saints.” The Reformation was born with
the proclamation of the Papal Antichrist. Dispensationalists
have relegated all the Scriptures relating to the Antichrist to a
mysterious creature of horror in some unknown future. When a
substantial segment of the Protestant faith accepted this
interpretation, the Jesuits accomplished their purpose far
beyond their fondest hopes.
Dispensationalists maintain that God divided His government
of the world into seven dispensations, each of approximately
1000 years duration. Five, they say, are already past. We are
now in the sixth, namely the age of grace. According to their
theory the millennium is next. However, there is no place in the
Bible, or even in the Scofield notes, that Scripturally indicates
seven dispensations. Try to find them! Jesus Christ made no
reference to seven dispensations. The Bible says there are two,
namely the Old Testament and the New Testament. Where then
did the teaching of seven dispensations originate?
The first proponents of this novel interpretation came from these two Jesuit priests. Their purpose was to blunt the attack of the
Reformers on the Papacy and direct it to some future mysterious Antichrist. In this subtle manner Satan accomplished his objective by infiltrating the ranks of Protestantism with the doctrine that offers a glorious earthly millennium filled with carnal delights and the possibility of getting saved under more favorable conditions, leaving a purgatory as an escape from hell for the Catholics.
The Acid Test of Truth
Any doctrine based on an erroneous foundation cannot
support its ultimate conclusions. The farther error is pursued, the
more difficult it is to maintain. This is one reason for the
multiplicity of different interpretations among Dispensationalists
themselves. It also accounts for the necessity of introducing
plural resurrections and judgments, and many other
complications such as restoring the ancient animal sacrifices
during the millennial age as well as the racial barrier between
Jew and Gentile. Even a causal Bible reader will be well aware
of these distinctions having been removed by the Cross. Truth is
simple and profound. Error is complicated and mysterious. As
we deal with the second question this will become more
Who Will Inhabit the Millennium?
Some years ago I posed the question, “Who will inherit the
millennium?” to the editor of Our Hope Magazine. The answer
given will be found on page 557 of the March 1957 issue and
reads as follows: “The question doubtless concerns the people
who will inhabit the earth during the millennial reign of Christ.
“The Scriptures clearly teach, we believe, that when the Lord
returns in glory to this earth, THEN Israel as a nation WILL BE
SAVED. (Caps mine). Rom. 11:25-27. Preceding this, as the
result of the preaching of the Jewish remnant saved at the
beginning of the tribulation period, a great number of Gentiles
will have been saved and will manifest that salvation by
befriending the Jewish remnant, our Lord’s brethren according
to the flesh. Matt. 25:31-46. This same passage shows that
when the Lord returns, He will judge the nations then living upon
the earth, and only the saved from among them will enter the
kingdom, though, of course, children will be born to the
inhabitants of the earth throughout Christ’s thousand year reign.
These, in order to be saved must be “born again,” just as is the
case in the present age. Now all of those born into the world
during the millennium will receive the Lord Jesus, though fear of
swift judgment will keep them from openly manifesting their
hatred of the King. At the end of the thousand year reign of
Christ, when Satan is loosed for a litter season, he will find a
great multitude ready to follow him.” (End of quote).
It is difficult to understand how this learned writer could
impose so many errors in such a small compass of words. First,
he misquotes Rom. 11:26, by saying that it teaches at the Lord’s
return, THEN, all Israel will be saved. The passage reads, “SO”
shall all Israel be saved. “Then” is an adverb of time, but “SO” is
an adverb of manner. Rom. 11:26 does not offer fleshly Israel a
future salvation. “Then,” by the ushering in of a glorious earthly
millennium, but clearly says she will be saved “SO,” as the
context amplifies by being grafted into the true olive tree,
which is Christ. On this basis of saving faith “So all Israel will be
saved.” While this writer has asserted that only saved Jews and
Gentiles will enter the millennial kingdom, it should be observed
that both classes get saved AFTER Christ’s return to earth.
The above statements are too vital to go unchallenged. You
must remember that the church is raptured to be with Christ–
“Forever with the Lord,” prior to the millennial age. Only
unbelieving Jews and unbelieving Gentiles are left. Now, if the
righteous dead are resurrected in their glorified bodies, and if,
the living are changed in the twinkling of an eye to their
glorified bodies to be forever with the Lord, then the only way
anyone can inhabit the millennium is to be an unbeliever when
the Lord comes. This is crystal clear. The editor just quoted, is a
leading exponent of Dispensationalism and he asserts that the
unbelieving Jews are Christ’s brethren according to the flesh.
The Bible says the “Flesh profiteth nothing.” “God is able of
these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” “Wherefore
henceforth (from now until all future time) know we no man
after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the
flesh, yet now HENCEFORTH, know we Him no more.” 2 Cor.
5:16. An abundance of texts will confirm this relationship and
the severing of fleshly ties in Christ. Common human decency
will cause a person to manifest friendship to Jewish people and
does not indicate the fruit of salvation. A further statement from
the quotation claims that the children born during the
millennium will not all get saved–in fact the unbelievers are
described as a great multitude ready to follow Satan when He
is loosed. This is an understatement for the Bible says the
number is as the sands of the sea. Rev. 20:8. A millennium
filled with unbelievers to this degree could scarcely be as
glorious as some people would lead us to believe.
The Chosen People Are All Believers
Quite obviously, this poses more questions than it does
answers. In the first place, God has no CHOSEN people in
UNBELIEF. The fate of unbelievers in the Bible is too well
determined to require further substantiation. Furthermore, God
has no special salvation for anyone except the atonement
made on Calvary. “God who at sundry times and in divers
manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
(The Old Testament Covenant), hath in these last days spoken
unto us by His Son…” (The New Testament Covenant) Heb. 1:1.
This is final. How could the Jews conduct such a successful
worldwide revival without the aid of the Holy Sprit Who is taken
out of the world with the church? Before the Holy Sprit came on
the day of Pentecost the disciples all fled even with Jesus
amongst them. If the devil is bound during the thousand years,
how are the children born during that time tempted and
deceived in such colossal numbers? Millennialists tell us that
people will live to a great age, but some will die during that
If only those who are saved from “among the nations” enter
into the millennial kingdom, what becomes of those still living,
but have rejected this overture? Since the judgment of the
wicked is deferred until after the millennial reign, what will these
people do during that thousand years? Did not Christ say that
those who do His will, are His brothers and sisters, rather than
earthly kinship? Matt. 12:48-50. Did not Christ assert that the
unbelieving Jews were of their Father, the Devil? John 8:44.
Dismal Prospects for the Millennium
Dispensationalists portray a very bleak millennium after all
their efforts to make us believe in one. According to the writer
just quoted, it will contain unsaved individuals who only subdue
their hatred because of fear of swift judgment. There will be
sickness for some and even death for the advanced in age
according to their writers. Imagine if you can, Christ officiating
at a funeral! To what lengths must error go? At the end of the
millennium we are told that Satan will be loosed again and will
marshall the enemies of the Lord who are described “as a great
multitude ready to follow the Devil,” even though they have
been in the millennium for a thousand years under Christ’s rule.
To cope with this futile uprising, Dispensationalists portray Christ
riding a white steed and plunging His unsheathed sword into
human bodies until the blood reaches the horse’s bridle. This
blood-curdling horror, which is to cause swirling rivers of blood,
cannot be the act of the Christ Who said, “For all they that take
the sword shall perish with the sword.” Matt. 26:52. It merely
shows the extreme to which error is driven to sustain its false
interpretations. The Second Person in the Divine Trinity, does not
have to rely on a carnal sword to achieve His victories. Did He
not explicitly say, He had twelve legions of angels at His
command? Is not the silent sleep of death to the armies of
Sennacherib sufficient evidence of His power? Christ’s triumph
came at Calvary where He said, “It is finished.”
The Simple Gospel of Christ’s Kingdom
Jesus gave us a simple gospel that even a child can
understand. His kingdom requires the new birth in order to pass
its portals. Then follows our walk of obedience and eventually
the call of death or the Coming of the Lord, which will usher in
eternity and the Judgment.
NONE OF THE EARLIEST CREEDS CONTAIN EVEN A HINT OF A MILLENNIUM. Without exception they state simply that: “Christ rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father, Almighty, From whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead…” Since the Apostle Paul expounded the Scriptures to the Jews continually wherever he went, and heralded the message of God’s kingdom all over the Roman Empire, does it
not seem strange that the Dispensational interpretation only
came to light more that eighteen hundred years later?
We take issue with Dispensationalism because they maintain
that unbelievers, that is, the unbelieving Jews, are God’s
chosen people. Jesus said, “The kingdom shall be taken from
you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” Matt.
21:43. The Pharisees made no mistake of His meaning. V. 44.
No one has the right to offer a kingdom different in kind or on
different terms than what Jesus specified. Only Christ has the
authority to establish a doctrine that is binding upon His Church.
His words shall judge us in the last day. No one has the right to
propound a doctrine that offers salvation AFTER Christ comes.
His last will and testament was sealed at Calvary and the terms
are clear. It is a mistake to suggest that Christ only partially
fulfilled the promises in His first coming. The only way Christ
could be the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament was to fulfill
every prophecy concerning Himself. To have failed in any
particular would have convicted Him as an imposter. Even a
postponement of the promises would invalidate His claim
according to Deut. 18:22. “When a prophet speaketh in the
name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that
is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet
hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him.”
Invariably Christ substantiated His claims to being the Messiah
by referring to how Scripture was fulfilled in His ministry. It is
possible to conceive the hatred and persecution unto death
against Christ and Paul if they were preaching a kingdom of
Jewish pre-eminence with all the earthly carnal delights of
Dispensationalism? Was not the opposition generated because
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world?” Has the Christ
Who is “the same, yesterday, today and forever,” changed?
The millennium is not next. Why was Christ silent about such
a kingdom in His messages? Why is there no hint of a thousand
year reign from Genesis to Jude? Why was something so
important as this interpretation of the kingdom discovered until
1840? Revelation 20 is the only place in the Bible that mentions
a thousand year reign and it does not say it will be on earth, but
that souls of the martyrs will be with Christ. There is no reference
to the Jews in this passage; nor, to an earthly millennium. Then
what is next? Peter removes all doubt when he said, “Looking
for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God…” The
entire third chapter of Second Peter should be read to get the
full impact of coming events. These include the Coming of the
Lord, the resurrection of the dead, the Day of Judgment and the
eternal rewards meted out to both believers and unbelievers.
Then, eternity in the place to which Jesus has gone to prepare.
Surely this truth is more attractive than a temporary
millennium that ends in such terrifying carnage as
Dispensationalists propound. “Jesus came and spake unto
them, saying, ALL power is given unto Me in heaven AND IN
EARTH.” Matt. 28:18. Jesus reigns now at the right hand of God
over the universe. Instead of a band of unbelieving Jews
receiving the kingdom when Jesus comes, our Lord’s final
irrevocable ultimatium was, “Therefore say I unto you, the
kingdom of God shall be taken FROM you…” Matt 21:
Instead of God regarding them as the Chosen People marked
for Divine favors we read, “Behold your house is left unto you
desolate.” Matt. 23:38. To be desolate means to be forsaken
by God. Far from the bright future prospects which
Dispensationalists anticipate, Paul said, “They please NOT God
and are contrary to all men…For WRATH is come upon them to
the UTTERMOST,” meaning to the end of time. 1 Thess. 2:15, 16b.
Instead of Jesus postponing His kingdom to some mysterious
future under more favorable circumstances, He said, “Fear not
little flock (of believers) it is your Father’s good pleasure to GIVE
YOU the kingdom.” Luke 12:32. We need to be born again to
SEE it and to ENTER it. John 3:3, 5. Jesus said His kingdom
comes NOT with observation and that it is NOT of this world.
How can you reconcile these plain statements with the type of
kingdom portrayed by Millennialists? Jesus has a kingdom
NOW. When He comes again it is not to SET up His kingdom but
to DELIVER it up to God the Father. 1 Cor. 15:24.
Dispensationsalists say the Millennium is next. The Lord Jesus
Christ said He is coming again to JUDGE the world and take His
own to the place He has gone to prepare. Jesus offers us
heaven. He commissioned His followers to “Go into all the
world and preach the GOSPEL.” The urgency of this evangel is
stressed by these words, “Behold now is the accepted time,
behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor. 6:2b.
This is the last time and it will end on the LAST day with the sound of the LAST trump. There is no day after the LAST day. God offers salvation today and eternity next. Millennium?
It is a wonder that we are not all taken in by these false doctrines as it seems the majority of churches and most believers all see both of these man-made theories to be the Truth. How very sad is that!! Jesus is coming soon, and it will be His Second Coming, and He is coming in Judgment, not to take a few special people to heaven, or to save anyone in some last time period, after these people are gone.
Jesus is Coming and His reward is with Him….a New Earth, AND all His chosen will live in New Jerusalem, His Holy City. Jesus is bringing Heaven to earth, he is not taking us to heaven. How did all this Truth get so perverted and then believed by so many?? Man, did this, evil man, all the antichrists down through the ages. Well, soon there will be time no more, and this old world will come to an end, and all who have not been deceived and fallen away from the Truth, and still have Faith in what Christ accomplished, and stand to the last day, will take part in this reward that Jesus brings with Him.
If we each just read the Bible without having these two pillars of false doctrine as a guide, we would see that it becomes increasing clearer to understand God’s Plan for mankind. As always, I encourage everyone to do so, and find out for yourself.
JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!!!