The Promise of Another World Order
In his famous Utopia, Thomas More imagined a society that he considered the best possible state of a “commonwealth,” describing the political, religious and social practices of the people and the leadership functions of the “learned men.” While the message of the book has been variously interpreted, the work remains a notable contribution to the search for lasting solutions to the diverse problems that plague the world. These global perils, which have become more frightening since More published his book in 1516, have always been a concern of great visionaries and were part of the human condition that shaped the notable promise of Jesus Christ:
Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life (Matthew 19:28–29).
This is indeed one of the most remarkable promises that Jesus Christ made. It is the promise of a global “regeneration” that offers hope to the world in the midst of present crises and the apprehension of the predicted Apocalypse. The promise of this global rebirth actually gives us reason to believe that an ideal global society, of the kind that Thomas More and other ambitious minds have attempted to portray, is within the realms of the realizable. It is noteworthy that Christ also envisioned this promised era of global renewal as a time of extraordinary earthly reward for His followers, including the reward of political leadership. This not only gives greater meaning and incentive to the pursuit of faith, but as will be borne out in this book, it also underscores the prophetic significance of Thomas More’s idea of an ideal society governed by its “learned men.”
The personal dominion of Christ during this coming time of global rebirth will not be limited to the nation of Israel, as might be supposed from the way He put His promise. The big picture was unveiled in a latter version of the promise:
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them (Revelation 2:26–27).
As this latter Scripture reveals, the coming earthly dominion of Christ will be over all nations and executed by His followers. This global extent of the dominion was confirmed by another biblical witness: “His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10).
The Idea of the Millennium
The biblically predicted era of the global kingdom of Christ and His saints is often referred to as the Millennium because of the apostle John’s testimony in the Revelation: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them…and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4). As will be revealed in this book, however, these thousand years, the Millennium, will only be the inaugural phase of the promised kingdom. It will be a time during which the execution of an awesome aspect of the divine agenda will be spearheaded by the Anointed One and His redeemed saints. The ultimate goal is the radical reordering and post-Apocalypse rebuilding of the entire earth, the conquest of mortality, and the ushering in of eternity. This destiny of our world and planet should not sound fantastic, for Christ’s promise of the coming global reinvention includes the inheritance of “everlasting life.”
I would like to note from the outset that the view of the promised Millennium that underlies the message of this book is not a unanimous one. The subject of the Millennium has been extensively studied and debated and three major views have emerged. Very briefly, the three views are as follows.
Postmillennialism: This is the belief that the biblically predicted Second Coming of Christ will occur after the “thousand years” of Revelation 20:4. Here, the Millennium is considered as a metaphor of the present Christian era — or at least its last 1000 years — during which Christians and Christian values will gradually gain prominence in global affairs until they become the dominant force, thereby establishing the promised Kingdom of Christ. The realities of the present world have, however, severely discredited this view and it only continues to exist on the fringes.
Amillennialism: The word literally means no Millennium. Adherents of this view basically believe that there will be no thousand-year reign of Christ and His saints, and consider Revelation 20:4 as a metaphor of the eternal dispensation of the New Heaven and New Earth. The problem with this idea is that it suggests that unbelievers will be part of the eternal dispensation, or conveniently ignores numerous Scripture passages, some of which will be highlighted in this book, that clearly describe the personal reign of Christ with His saints over a larger global population.
Premillennialism: This is the belief that the Second Coming of Christ will precede His thousand-year reign with His saints that Revelation 20:4 envisions. In other words, Christ will be personally present on the earth during the Millennium, just as His personal promise that we considered above indicates.
Premillennialism, to which this book subscribes, was the belief of the followers of Christ during the first three centuries of the Christian era, before other views of the Scriptures began to emerge. The teaching remains dominant among present-day fundamental and evangelical Christians. Overall, it is the most faithful to the various Scripture passages related to Revelation 20:4, including the personal promise of Christ in Matthew 19:28–29. Nevertheless, considering this book’s idea of the Millennium as the inaugural phase of the eternal dispensation, its message — including the discussion of the millennial significance of the present experience of the Christian Church, and the progressive global reinvention, reconstruction and evangelism that will take place during the Millennium — will go some way in reconciling postmillennialism, amillennialism and premillennialism. May I also note that, while this book assumes a literal Millennium of a thousand years, the implied era of the reign of Christ and His saints would not have to span exactly that number of years for the essential message to hold.
The Game Plan
In undertaking this exploration of the biblical promise of the Millennium, I will not be engaging you in a mere theological exercise. We will be looking closely at the Scriptures all right, but they must come alive. This is what I call a stimulated vision — a vivid vision that breaks forth from closely considering the testimony of the Scriptures. It is what the apostle meant by “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18).
But I will not be engaging you in the Scriptures only. To create a vivid picture of this coming time that you can readily relate to, I will also be calling on several contemporary and secular witnesses. While some of these witnesses are well known and have been celebrated, others have been regarded with suspicion; and there are those that we would not have thought had something to say about the biblical idea of the Millennium. Yet they all bear witness, knowingly or unknowingly, to the reliable biblical forecast of amazing things “which must shortly come to pass,” to use the words of the Revelation.
This book is the first in a series on the Millennium. Its focus is the people behind the noted destiny of our world and planet that will be fulfilled during the Millennium — that is, the divine agents of the radical reordering and post-Apocalypse rebuilding of the entire earth, the conquest of mortality, and the ushering in of eternity. These global destiny people, who will be the powerbrokers of the new global order of this coming time, are none other than Christ and the saints who have been promised “power over the nations.” Daniel wrote, “And the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom… And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High” (Daniel 7:22,27).
In this book, we will examine the millennial organization, makeup and operations of these global destiny people, also known as the Armies of Heaven (Revelation 19:11–14). In addition, we will discover how they are prepared for their millennial exploits and the great secret behind their awesome power. In the process, we will be glimpsing some aspects of the new global order of the Millennium, which will be the focus of the second book of this series, The Global Destiny Program.
May I also note that the detailed portrait of the Millennium presented in this book is not offered as a rigid interpretation of Scripture. While the message represents my best insight into the subject, our understanding of the Scriptures, especially the prophetic Scriptures, is “as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). There is always room for more to be learned about biblical prophecy as long as the predicted events remain ahead of us. The primary purpose of this book is to inspire the believer and challenge the skeptic with the awesome possibilities of the biblical promise of the Millennium.
Brace yourself for the task of broadly exploring this extraordinary time ahead of the world. By the time we are through, you would be able to see how almost every aspect of the present world order, including the personal experience of the follower of Christ, testifies about the promise of another world order that is incomparably better and approaching.
(This article is the introduction of my book The Global Destiny People: Rediscovering the Armies of Heaven and the Biblical Promise of the Millennium. You can get the paper book or e-book on Amazon.)
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.