The Millennium: Not Just in Revelation 20

Part 1 — The Rapture • Part 2– The Tribulation

Part 3–The Millennium • Part 4–Israel

The Millennium

Part Three of IssuesEtc Discussion of the End Times with Dr. Kim Riddlebarger
July 13

Dispensationalists base their whole system of end times teachings on six unclear verses in the Bible, Revelation 20:1-6, disregarding all other clear teachings about the end times:

  • That the “last days” is the whole period between the two comings of Christ.
  • That this period is the so-called “thousand years” and “tribulation period.”
  • That the book of Revelation, being an apocalyptic book, is necessarily a book of symbols majorly, and mostly not to be taken literally. Revelation 20:1-6 is a great example. Why can’t this passage be taken literally? Do you think Satan could be literally bound by a chain? Do you think he could be locked up for one thousand years in a “bottomless” pit? Is there really such a thing as an infinitely deep pit? Why not? Is Satan a physical being like us, who could be bound hands and feet by a chain and locked up in prison? If these are all symbolic, how can the “thousand years” be not symbolic?
  • Here are some other examples: (1) Is there really going to be such a huge woman “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1)? (2) Can you imagine humongous angels with humongous bowls pouring out God’s wrath on the earth and the sun? (Rev 16)? (3) Most numbers in the book — 2, 4, 7, 10, 12, 1,000 — are symbolic as seen, for example, in (a) “the seven spirits who are before his throne” (Rev 1:4); (b) a beast “with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns” (Rev 13:1); and of course, (c) the “thousand years” of Revelation 20 (see Exod 20:6; Psa50:10; Eccl 6:6; 2 Pet 3:8).
  • Practically all of this book is apocalyptic symbolism, with the exception of the seven churches in Asia Minor, which we know were historical churches. But alas, dispensationalists again turn the book on its head, making the real seven churches symbolic, and the symbolic numbers, characters and events real!

For a good article on the sound understanding of Revelation, click here.

Next week: Part 4–Israel

Part 1 — The Rapture • Part 2– The Tribulation

Part 3–The Millennium • Part 4–Israel


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3 thoughts on “The Millennium: Not Just in Revelation 20”

    To say there are no dispensations in the
    Bible is to deny God.  Hey…we are longer to be running around
    naked in a garden.    Perhaps you have heard of this…dispensation?
    The one for the body of Christ today:
    Eph 3:2
    1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
    2 If ye have heard of the DISPENSATION of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
    3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
    4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
    5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
    6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

    1. Aha! See, Ephesians 3:2 mentions “dispensation,” so “dispensationalism” is Biblical! This is one of the most fallacious—if not hilarious—claims by dispensationalists. “Dispensation” in Ephesians 3:2 has absolutely nothing to do with “dispensationalism” that is being taught today.

      The Greek noun used here is oikonomia, which means the management, oversight, administration, or stewardship of household affairs. This is why it is translated “stewardship” in ESV and NASB, “administration” in NIV and Holman. Only in the KJV it is translated as “dispensation.”

      In Ephesians 3:2-3, the most accurate translation is “stewardship”: “assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly.” Paul says that God made him a steward of the mystery of the gospel by revealing this mystery to him. What is this mystery? It is “that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (Eph 3:6).

      In many other NT texts, “stewardship” or “plan” is the best translation:

      1 Corinthians 9:17: For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship.

      Colossians 1:25: of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,

      Ephesians 1:10: as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

      Ephesians 3:9: and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,

      1 Timothy 1:4: nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.

      According to dispensationalist Charles Ryrie, God’s plan for saving mankind differs from one dispensation to the next, “Here is unquestionably a distinguishable and different way of running the affairs of the world.” So most dispensationalists chop up the Bible into law and gospel. Many of them believe that the OT saints were saved by law and NT saints are saved by grace!

      For example, the most famous dispensationalist of all, C. I. Scofield, has this scheme for man’s salvation: (1) dispensation of innocence—not eating the forbidden fruit; (2) conscience—do good and do not do evil, obeying the conscience; (3) government—believe God by building the ark; (4) promise—believe God’s promise; (5) law—obey the Ten Commandments; (6) grace—faith in Christ; (7) millennium—under Christ’s reign. How foolish I was (when I was a dispensationalist) to have believed such nonsense!

      Jesus destroys this idea of different “dispensations” when he says that God has one unified redemptive plan even before the creation of the world, “‘Everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:44-45). This plan was progressively revealed throughout Biblical history through Moses, the Writings, and the Prophets. Salvation, from Adam all the way to the end of the world, is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone!

      So the reason why we don’t run around naked anymore is because of Adam’s sin. And the reason why we don’t butcher bulls and goats anymore is because Christ was the once for all sacrifice that destroyed Satan, sin and death. It’s not because God planned to save Adam and Eve by butchering an animal to clothed them, but because the butchered animal was a type of God’s promise to Eve that her Seed would crush the devil’s head.

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