Revelation - Lesson 9
The Millennial view and the Kingdom Concept
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can draw a chart depicting the pre-millennial view of last things.
- The student can use key scriptures to show the fallacies of the pre-millennial view.
- If you choose to use them, have ready your visuals-overhead projector and transparencies, PowerPoint, or chalkboard.
- Have enough copies of the chart on pre-millennialism ready. It is on a separate document for downloading.
- Have enough copies of the worksheet for Lessons 9 available. You will begin using these today and continue using them for three more lessons.
- Have copies of the Story of Revelation Worksheet with certain questions noted for answering. You may pick them yourself or you may select the following questions: Act I-A 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. B-1, 2, 3; C. Act II A 4; D 6; E 2. Use your completed copy to grade the papers.
- Have pens/pencils ready for use.
- All students should have access to a Bible.
We should know the general outline of the often discussed, pre-millennial view of the second coming and be able to present scriptures that show its fallacies.
Lesson Plan for Conducting Class
Introduction: (10 minutes)
- Make the test available to students as they enter, if you wish.
- Call the roll, welcome visitors, and make any necessary announcements.
- Songs (as desired)
- Earth Holds No Treasures
- Soon and Very Soon (Discuss what to mean here by "soon."
- To Canaan's Land
- Prayer of thanks to God for His wonderful plan of salvation which makes it possible for us to go to heaven and a request for help that we will all live so He can take us there.
- Give answers to test. See above.
- Ask students to get their diagrams and Bibles ready.
Learning Experiences: (30 minutes)
- Q: What are some of the things you hear often about matters connected with the second coming of Christ? (rapture, Armageddon, thousand-year reign, anti-christs.) Q: Have you heard of the series of books about "left behind? (These are based on the pre-millennial view of the second coming and are a great promoter of that view.)
- In this lesson we want first to get a clear view of this theory and how its various parts fit together. Then we will compare these teachings with scripture. Here is a copy of a chart showing the parts of the pre-millennial view and how they fit together. We want to get a clear and correct understanding of the view before we begin discussing it. So we will proceed through the chart without commenting on what the Bible says about any of this. After the view is in our minds, we will begin to learn some scriptures that show the view in not in harmony with the Bible. It is very important to understand this view because we hear so many things about it-movies, novels, sermons, and even politicians and newscasters who use the term Armageddon. The foreign policy of the US is affected by this theory because it affects our view toward the nation of Israel.
- Let me give you a quick overview of the chart. Visual. Look at yours (and the one on PowerPoint, if you are using it) as we go. Starting at the left.
- The view says that when Christ came to earth the first time, he came to do two things, primarily: die for the sins of the people and establish a kingdom on earth. Jesus did die as he had planned, but, according to the view, He did not get to establish an earthly kingdom because the Jews rejected Him as their king. So, someday He must return and establish a kingdom on earth.
- Next comes "signs." This part of the view says that Matthew 24:4-14 provides a list of signs by which we can tell when the earth is about to end. Q: From these verses, what are some of the events which some consider to be signs of the coming end of the world? (earthquakes, famines, persecution of Christians, wars and rumors of wars) And, they say, since there seems to be an increase in these signs, we must be nearing the end today. We'll come back to what these mean later, but for now just remember that the view we are studying says these are signs by which we can tell when the end of the world is near.
- Then comes "the rapture." This teaching says that at a point exactly seven years before His real second coming, Christ will come to receive His church. The word rapture, they say, means "snatch" and so Christ will snatch His people from the earth. Those who are living Christians will be transformed into their new bodies and those who are dead Christians will be raised in their new bodies. Someone read 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. Q: Do these verses say that the dead in Christ and those Christians who are living will be taken into the air to be with Jesus? (yes-but we'll come back to this passage later.) These together will go to heaven with Christ for seven years which allows them to escape the terrible things that will be happening on earth during this seven years. Remember-only Christians-living and dead-go up with Christ in the rapture.
- At the time of the rapture, there will come two anti-christs-one a political leader and one a religious leader. The political one comes from the European Common Market which is a revival of the old Roman Empire, they say. The religious one is a Jew from the World Council of Churches. These two together will control the world.
- Among the things these anti-christs will do is to sign a pact to rebuild the old Jewish temple in Jerusalem. This, they say, is an Old Testament prophecy which has yet to be fulfilled.
- The seven years following the rapture are called the Tribulation. During the first half of this time, the temple will be rebuilt. During the last half of the seven years, there will be war in the middle east over Israel. First Egypt and its Arab allies will conquer Israel. Then Russia and its Arab allies seek to drive them out. Then comes China with 200,000,000 soldiers to join the fight. Someone read Revelation 9:14-16. Q: How many soldiers are coming from the east-the direction of China? Finally the Roman anti-christ comes with 100,000,000 soldiers to join the fray. Think of it-over 300,000,000 soldiers in a nation the size of New Hampshire. Only one million were involved in the Desert Storm war and in this one, according to those holding this theory, there will be 300 times that many. This war will climax in the "battle of Armageddon" which, according to the theory will be a terrible conflict centered in the valley beside the hill of Megiddo. As the fighting reaches a terrible climax, Jesus will return and subdue the fighting.
- Christ's second coming will put down all the fighting. Hewill bring back with Him those who were raptured. They were in heaven for seven years and now return to earth. Also at the time of His second coming, the Old Testament good are raised (the second group to be raised from the dead) and there will be the judgment of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 25-the sheep and goat judgment. This is not the final judgment, they say, but a judgment of those who have lived during the tribulation to see if they are worthy to go into the thousand-year reign. Those who are "sheep" will enter the new kingdom; those who are "goats" will go to their punishment.
- Now comes the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth. Since, the theory says, Jesus did not get to establish His kingdom when He came the first time, He will now get to do that, thus fulfilling Old Testament prophecies about the kingdom. It will be a glorious time on earth. Those participating in the reign with Jesus will be those raptured who have now returned to earth and the Old Testament good, who have been raised. These will be in their resurrected, eternal bodies. Also participating in the reign in their human bodies which will have prolonged life, will be the "sheep" who were judged in Matthew 25.
- At the end of the thousand years, will come the final judgment, pictured in Revelation 20, before the great white throne. The bad dead will be raised and stand before God's throne. Only the wicked will be judged on this occasion. Following this judgment will come eternity when the righteous enter heaven and the wicked go to hell.
- Now that we have this theory in front of us, we are going to study, today and in the next three lessons, about 15 verses that will show the fallacies in this theory. If you will note these verses in the back of your Bible or will keep Worksheets 9 through 12 available, you will be able to discuss these issues in a helpful way with those who hold this theory. Today we'll look at Worksheet 9: Jesus and His Kingdom.
- What did the theory say Jesus intended to do when He came to earth the first time but failed to do? (Establish an earthly kingdom.) Q: Why did He fail to do this? (Because the Jews rejected Him.) Q: Did Jesus try to establish an earthly kingdom but was unable to because the Jews would not let Him do that? (No.) No. l. Someone read John 6:15. Q: Who turned whom down? (Jesus turned them down.) Q: Did Jesus come intending to establish an earthly kingdom? (No.)
- No 2. Someone read John 18:36. Q: What type of kingdom does Jesus say He came to have? ( Jesus intent was always to establish a spiritual kingdom and He did this.)
- No. 3. Someone read Colossians 1:13. Q: What does this verse say about Christ's kingdom? (It exists and the Colossian Christians were in it.) The Old Testament prophecies about a coming kingdom are about a coming spiritual kingdom. This is what Jesus came intending to do and He did it. Any theory that makes Christ's coming to earth a failure to do all He came to do is mistaken.
- No. 4. Let's all turn to Daniel 2:44 and someone read it. Here is the best known of the Old Testament predictions that Christ will establish a kingdom. Q: What does "in the days of those kings" mean? (Earlier in the chapter Daniel had seen an image depicting four kingdoms generally agreed to be the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman. In the days of the last of these, God will establish a kingdom.) Q: How does this relate to the theory that Christ came to establish a kingdom at His first coming but failed to do so? (The time element of the prophecy is just as important as the kingdom element. So if Jesus did not establish the kingdom at the time predicted, the prophecy failed.)
Application: (4 minutes)
- Q: How should the fact that we are citizens in a kingdom over which Christ is King affect our behavior? (We should expect the King to give us commands; we should obey these commands; we are not in a democracy where the citizens decide the rules; we should honor and worship the king; we should feel proud of our citizenship; we should look forward to the benefits of being citizens.
- At the beginning of class next time, you will be given a copy of the chart we have studied today with some of the elements missing. You will be asked to fill them in.
- Also you will be asked what verses you might use to establish the points about the kingdom we studied today.
- Quiz over the material at the next class meeting.
For more material and a deeper study of the topics considered in the lesson today, you may wish to obtain a copy of the book Armageddon Again? by Stafford North which deals with these issues. It is available from Landmark Books in Edmond, Oklahoma at 1-800-377-3164. This book reviews pre-millennial theory as presented in books by Hal Lindsey and then has a chapter on such topics as the rapture, anti-christs, the kingdom, Armageddon, and the thousand-year reign.
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