Erroneous Arguments Employed in Opposition to 'Theological Replacementism.'

Will Christ's Kingdom Last For "1,000 Years"? Or Is It Eternal?



On one website which vehemently opposes 'Replacement Theology' and sets out to uphold 'Dispensationalism,' I read the following:

"Both the Old Testament and the New Testament support a Premillennial / Dispensational understanding of God's plan for Israel. Even so, the strongest support for Premillennialism is found in the clear teaching of Revelation 20:1-7, where it says, six times, that Christ's kingdom will last 1,000 years..."

Now here right at the start of a (claimed) serious argument against 'Replacementism' and in support of 'Dispensationalism,' we find some pretty flawed reasoning and the imposition of outside concepts upon Holy Scripture. The problem in just these few lines is that just too much is carelessly assumed without true biblical authority. The opening statement, "Both the Old and New Testaments support a Premillenial/Dispensational understanding of God's plan for Israel" is a truly lamentable assumption - yes, it is an extra-biblical assumption. First of all, the concept of a literal 1,000 year millenium can only be based on Revelation 20, in a book which only ever uses numbers symbolically. Most dispensationalists agree that most of Revelation uses numbers symbolically but they insist that '1,000' here must be literal, despite the fact that '1,000' is only ever used symbolically/poetically throughout the entirety of Scripture! They insist on this largely to impose the extra-biblical concept of Darby's 'Dispensationalism.' The writer immediately virtually admits defeat for his/her argument by agreeing that "...the strongest support for Premillennianism is found in the clear teaching of Revelation 20:1-7..." if that is so, then the argument is already defeated since Revelation 20 may easily be interpreted differently and, indeed, was invariably interpreted differently (that is, as a symbolic time period for the church age) by all the great evangelical scholars until the 19th century rise of Darby and Scofield. Then, the reader is informed that "six times" in Revelation 20:1-7 it says that "Christ's kingdom will last for 1,000 years..." It is correct that the phrase "1,000 years" occurs six times here but the Holy Scripture never states "Christ's kingdom will last for 1,000 years" at any point - the first two references in Revelation 20 (verses 1-3), refer to Satan's binding. It is quite clear that this (necessarily) occurred at the commencement of the Church Age. See Luke 10:17-20; the 'binding' of the 'strong man' was never intended as an all-inclusive binding but only that those whom God would call could be added to His Church, as Matthew 12:29 makes clear. Notice also Luke 11:20-23. But to return to Revelation 20: in verse 4 the action obviously switches to heaven itself where we find the 'souls' of believers reigning for 1,000 years. Verse 5 immediately confirms that the current dead in heaven are under discussion, when it states, 'The rest of the dead...' Next, the saved who are obviously in heaven are again referred to in verse 6. Entry into heaven at death is here referred to as the 'first resurrection' - obviously this is not yet the full body and soul resurrection, it is an interim thing, yet believers are still considered to be "reigning with Christ" during this glorious pre-resurrection period. Verse 6 confirms that such people can never be subject to 'the Second Death.' Finally, verse 7 refers to the time when the symbolic '1,000 years' are finished and a period of great world wide trouble ushers in the Second Coming of Christ.

So the claim (offered in all seriousness on a Christian website purporting to give serious and biblical answers to questions on Dispensationalism), that "six times" the inspired text of Revelation 20:1-7 states that "Christ's kingdom will last 1,000 years," we find to be in TOTAL ERROR - sorry about the capital letters but I really have to emphasize this point. Such a statement never occurs - not even once. Christ's kingdom will assuredly not last for only 1,000 years, on the contrary, the kingdom of Christ is now eternal and utterly without end (Isaiah 9:7; Daniel 2:44-45). So it remains true that '1,000' is only ever used poetically/symbolically within Holy Scripture, referring to a very large number, or to a period of time long enough for God to work out His purpose and plan.

UK Apologetics, 2008.

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