Know Your Bible
December 1999

1,000 Year Reign And Revelation 20

Revelation 20 is a "hot bed" for all types of ideas and beliefs: (1) Thousand year reign of Christ on earth (2) The Rapture (3) The Battle Of Armageddon (4) More than one resurrection at Christ's return, etc. Many of these ideas are contained in the theory of "Pre-millennialism". If there is ever a verse quoted from the book of Revelation in support of these theories, chances are it will be from chapter 20.

There are some things we need to remember about the book of Revelation: (1) It uses signs and symbols to reveal its message. The reason for this is John wrote during troublesome times. The personal safety of both the writer and reader were in danger if the enemy understood the true meaning of the book. The proper way to understand symbols is like that of understanding parables: find the main point and let the details fit in the most natural way. (2) Revelation CONCEALS and REVEALS: Conceals the message from the enemy and reveals the message to the people of God. (3) No interpretation of Revelation is correct if it is meaningless and fails to bring practical help and comfort to the Christian's of John's day. (4)The main point of Revelation is: Despite persecution and oppression, from whatever it's source, if we will remain true and faithful to the Lord, the victory will ultimately be ours through Christ. "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." (Rev. 5:12)

The Bible is the best commentary we can use. So, let's allow the Scriptures to interpret themselves. Revelation 20 is similar to Ezekiel 37-39:6. In Ezekiel 37 we have the restoration of Israel out of Babylonian captivity being compared to the resurrection of a valley of dry bones. However, neither passage is talking about a bodily resurrection. It is symbolical: As God resurrected Israel from the captivity of Babylon, He would resurrect the martyred saints who had been killed by the beast.

Gog of the land of Magog were ancient enemies of God's people. (Ezek. 38:17). Thus, the Holy Spirit could have no better way to describe enemies against Christians in John's day than to describe them as "Gog and Magog" in Rev. 20:8. The battle of Armageddon was not a final "war to end all wars" in Ezekiel and neither is it here in Revelation 20. No sooner than Satan is "bound" by defeat until he is "loosed" to begin his work of deceiving again. No sooner is Satan defeated than he is out again to "make war" against God's people. It was true in Old Testament times and it continues to be true of Christians in the past as well as present. This will continue to be so until the final and ultimate destruction of the Devil in "the lake of fire and brimstone". (Rev. 20:10; Matthew 25:41.)

Revelation 20 says nothing about: (1) Christ setting up a kingdom (2) Christ reigning on earth a thousand years. (Does not mention "reign of Christ" but "reign of souls with Christ" (3) A rapture (4) A bodily resurrection (5) All Christians reigning. (6) Second coming of Christ (7) Throne of David, or any other throne on earth (8) Jerusalem or Palestine (9) Us.

There is a reign which the inspired apostle Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 15. Let us examine the contrast in this reign and the one in Revelation 20:

Revelation 201 Corinthians 15
A. Christ reigns with beheaded souls.A. Christ reign with all saints.
B. Christ reigns where souls are.B. Christ reigns on David's throne.
C. Reign began when souls were beheaded and Satan was bound.C. Reign began on Pentecost - Acts 2:30-35
D. Reign continued until Satan loose out of prison for little season.D. Reign continued until last enemy is destroyed.

The book of Revelation stands to assure us that if we are "faithful unto death", we will be given a "crown of life" (2:10). If we "do His commandments", we can have the "right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (22:14).

---E.R. Hall, Jr.

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1. Denies Christ Is Reigning Now! Rev.1:5,6;5:8

2. Annuls This Dispensation To Be "Last Days"! Heb.1:1

3. Makes God False To His Promises! Mk.1:14,15; 9:1

4. Alternates Judaism And Christianity! Heb.8:5-7; 9:9,10

5. Minimizes Gospel - Belittles Church! Eph.3:9-11

6. Revokes The Great Commission! Matt.28:19-20

7. Nullifies Salvation To Gentiles Now! Heb.15:14-18

8. Demotes Christ From Throne In Heaven To The Earth, His Footstool! Heb.1:3-13

9. Makes Christ's First Coming A Failure! Gal.4:4,5;Jn.17:1-14

A Mere Theory Based On Speculative Interpretations!

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Alexander Campbell And The Church

I have been asked if I knew that Alexander Campbell started the church of Christ. I always reply, "No! I didn't know that and apparently the apostle Paul didn't know it either because in Romans 16:16 he said, ...The churches of Christ salute you.'"

How could Paul have written the book of Romans in approximately 60 AD and refer to the Lord's church as "the churches of Christ" and Alexander Campbell wasn't born until 1788 AD?

Something else of interest is a picture I have in my possession. It is the tomb rock of a "William Rogers born in Campbell Co. Va. July 7, 1784, removed with his father to Cane Ridge Bourbon Co. April 1798. United with the church of Christ at Cane Ridge in 1807. Died Feb. 15, 1862. In the 78th year of his age." Alexander Campbell would have only been 19 years of age when Mr. Rogers became a member of the church of Christ at Cane Ridge, Ky. The truth: Alexander Campbell did not start the church that is of Christ.

---E.R. Hall, Jr.

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