When the disciples asked Jesus; “...Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6), what did they mean? If one was to ask such a question today in the vast majority of the theological colleges across the Western world, one would receive an answer that would be far from adequate in explaining the true nature of the disciple’s inquiry. You see, for many today, the concept of a millennial kingdom does not even figure into their eschatological thinking. For the amillennialist, the future kingdom of God is the present kingdom of God, and any hope of a golden age of righteousness and peace upon the earth is certainly not realised in some distant event, but in the last 2000 years of Church history as the gospel has been being preached in all the world. For the postmillennialist, they would acknowledge a coming golden era of some arbitrary length, but they would argue that this “millennium” of triumphalism will be ushered in by the Church and not the Lord Jesus at His Coming! Both groups would undoubtedly, deny that God has any future purposes for Israel during this time, which runs totally contrary to what the disciples thought when putting the question to Jesus, “...Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”
In this teaching, we examine the position of premillennialism in light of Revelation 20:1-6, and try to understand the role of the Church and the place of Israel in this coming future kingdom, over which shall rule Messiah at His Second Coming.
There are some Christians who never mention the name of our adversary, for fear of giving him undue attention. You’ve all heard I’m sure, the well-meaning sentiments of a dear soul that has said in their enthusiasm; “I don’t give HIM any glory by even mentioning his name!”. Now I do understand the thinking behind such a statement, but the question is, is it Biblical? I was a teacher for a number of years, and when a pupil was playing the fool in class—seeking for attention and would-be followers—I usually didn’t give them the satisfaction of playing their game by bringing “undue attention” to them. Instead, I would choose at times to employ the strategy of “ignorance”, and sure enough, they soon got tired of the show when they saw that they were not getting the crowd they’d hoped for! However, what if, that pupil was to pull out a knife, am I still going to play dumb? It’s one thing to have an irritant in the class, and quite another to have a potential murderer!! The Bible doesn’t portray the devil as an irritant (far from it!!). Jesus called him a “murderer” in Jn. 8:44, and identified him as the “wicked one” in Mt. 13:19. Peter tells us that he’s a “roaring lion”, roaming about, seeking whom he may devour! (1 Pet. 5:8).
It is imperative that we understand the wiles of our enemy and prepare ourselves for the day of his attack in order that we might not give him any place!
All that has gone before us in past chapters, is preparing us for the one pinnacle, supreme event that is to appear in this chapter, namely the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The single greatest event in history without exception, to which the prophets of old bore witness, was Messiah’s first coming. The single greatest event to take place after this, to which again, the prophets of old bore witness, is Messiah’s Second Coming! It is for this momentous event, that all of nature and history awaits, not least those of us called and chosen in Him!
In this twenty-ninth teaching part, we look at this fascinating topic and its timing. Come, Lord Jesus, Maranatha!