Friday, October 11, 2013

P5 - Ezekiel's vision of the Millennial Kingdom - Conclusion

Ezekiel 48:35 The city shall be 18,000 cubits round about; and the name of the city from that day shall be, ‘TheLord is there.’”

One final look at the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ in Ezekiel
As we close out Ezekiel's prophecies today, the main point of everything Ezekiel has been writing about in Ezekiel 40-48 is seen clearly: predicting what will be the place of worship in the Millennium - the Temple (47:1-12), the promises of God fulfilled to His people in the allotment of land (47:13-48:35) and the Person of the Messiah ruling from Jerusalem over the earth (48:21-22). 

Main reasons to believe why the Millennium will be a literal, future, 1,000 year reign
God had originally promised or covenanted to Abraham back in Genesis 12 that through Him God would bless all of the families of the earth. God keeps His promises and is ever faithful, even though we at times may be faithless. (2 Timothy 2:13) Israel had never came to full possession of Canaanland in the Old Testament. Undoubtedly her enjoyment of her relationship with God in the land was conditioned upon how well she obeyed His Word as given through Moses at the Covenant at Sinai. (Exodus 19-20) Nevertheless what brought salvation to the Jewish people was not law-keeping, but in believing on the promises of God given initially to Abraham, then repeated to David and then finally reaffirmed in the New Covenant as found in Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 26-27. 

The detailed description of the land, the temple and the Messiah Prince in Ezekiel 47-48 cannot be spiritualized or symbolized away. The question is: when will all these things take place? The only answer that can satisfy is what the Bible reveals to be the future 1,000 year reign of Christ on this earth - what Bible teachers call "The Millennium". In the Millennium, earth will be refurbished, Christ will had returned to set up His Kingdom, the nation of Israel will had been saved upon her reception of the Messiah by grace-given faith, and Christians in glorified resurrection bodies will be reigning with Messiah on thrones. (Revelation 20:1-6) 

Such a reality will take place following the close of this age in the Great Tribulation, which will entail Christ's catching away of His church, judgment of this world and salvation of Israel at His second coming. 

Christ's second coming will be a pre-millennial return
The sequence of events that I am suggesting in this blog corresponds to what is called a "pre-millennial" view of Christ's second coming.  The prefix "pre" means before.  Before what? The Millennium or 1,000 year reign that we have been discussing this past week.  In Pre-millennial thought the idea is that the millennium is yet to come and characterizes what will be the earthly stage of Christ's reign in Jerusalem.  Among Pre-millennialists there is difference of opinion as to whether or not Christ is reigning spiritually now in heaven with that reign being brought to earth to begin the millennium or whether the official beginning of His reign will occur when He returns. Other viewpoints on the millennium exist and I have put them in the footnotes below for the reader to peruse.  For this writer, though Pre-millennialism has its own challenges to overcome in the interpretation of Ezekiel's prophecies, yet it seems to best explain the material we find in Ezekiel's prophecies. More could be written, but the point is that Ezekiel 40-48 helps us understand many of the events that will be occurring following the literal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ to this planet after the great tribulation period. 

We have spent the past five days exploring Ezekiel's prophecies about the Millennial Kingdom.  Among the fascinating details that we have explored, the value of such a study is being able to see the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in another section of scripture that we may not otherwise study.  Truly getting to know Jesus better and understanding what He is going to do to bring about the completion of God's purposes is supremely valuable.  My prayer is that these past several posts have been both edifying to you as a Christ-follower.  If you are not a Christian and are reading this post, now is the time to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and acknowledge Him as your Savior, Lord, Treasure and soon coming King.  

We could certainly mention two other viewpoints real briefly. A-millennialism teaches that Christ's reign on David's throne is right now and is all spiritual, with His return taking us straight into the final judgment and eternity. The reason for the name "A-millennialism" is because there is no belief in a literal 1,000 year reign (as the prefix "A" usually signifies the meaning "no"). 

The other viewpoint is what is termed "post-millennialism" and teaches in similar fashion that Christ's reign is mainly spiritual, however it believes that through the church's evangelistic efforts - the vast majority (not all) of people in every nation will be converted and that Christ will return at the end of a yet to come golden age.  In that golden age of Post-millennial thinking, the vast majority of the world will be Christianized - hence Christ will return at the end or "post" the predicted millennial period that will had come upon the earth.  

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