MYSTIC MILLENNIUM Idealism, Preterist-Idealism
This view holds that the Millennium (1000 years) of Revelation 20:1-7
- HAS NO BEGINNING OR ENDING DATES IN HISTORY.
- IT IS STRICTLY A PERSONAL JOURNEY IN CHRIST.
(In essence, Idealism cannot see the difference between the application of prophecy's lessons and prophecy's historical fulfillments).
It incorporates the following errors:
- ERROR I: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 starts before Christ's Return"
- ERROR II: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 is not an actual 1000 years"
- Asserts that the Resurrection of blessed & holy ones in Rev 20:4 is a past experience in the life of a Christian, that it is, therefore, not a bodily resurrection.
- So Idealism erroneously concludes, then, like "Full" Preterism, that the Resurrection of Rev 20:4 is a "coming to covenant life," (born again).
- But this logically drives the conclusion that the Resurrection of Rev 20:5 is the "coming to covenant life" of the rest of the dead, as well, since it uses the same words in an adjacent verse.
- So, whether one lives and dies as a "blessed & holy" martyr for Christ (Rev 20:4) or as "the rest of the dead" (Rev 20:5), he "comes to covenant life," nonetheless. Such doctrine renders obedience to Christ irrelevant to one's eternal fate. And that, again, lends support to the cancerous doctrine of Universalism.
Despite Idealism, Rev 20:4 is not equivalent to being born-again. Rev 20:4 is the same event as 1 Thess 4:17. Rev 20:4 is the Resurrection of the Just, the Blessed & Holy ones, the coming to life again of the dead in Christ and their being changed into a bodily form just like what Jesus enjoys.
Notwithstanding, while I do see some measure of value in some of the the Idealist approachs to the Scriptures, (the renewed focus upon personal relationship-obedience to Christ, for instance), I also see some room for caution with the Idealist approach to prophecy & history. It should not be taken too far.
And while I agree with Idealism that God's movements in the unseen realm are to be the centerpiece of Man's attention, I also concede that God's unseen movements have very real impacts upon the seen realm. This is why the historical does, indeed, still have some merit. Still, it takes faith to see the hand of God moving through our lives and, indeed, through the histories of the lives of men, nations & civilizations.
Even as Jesus would use parables to describe heavenly concepts with very earthly object lessons, God works through history, intervening in our physical reality, to give us confirmable evidence as to His invisible rule from the spiritual realm.
So I think it important to not lose our awareness of landmark, documentable, historic points of contact between God & Mankind, fulfillments of prophecy. Because if we take the Idealism too far, to the point where we lose all mooring points between our theology and documentable reality - then all we have left is a story that makes us feel better. Whether the story is true or not, it is no longer objectively confirmable - we only have the subjective witness of an inner, personal feeling. Some may call that "faith", but faith is blessed and stimulated by the witness of reality, too, Romans 1:1-4 & Romans 1:19-20. This is also why many believed following the miracles of Jesus and His Apostles and the holy exploits Christ's servants through the centuries since.
And holding onto a story by a feeling, without connection between our belief and reality, when the day comes when we don't feel better, our feel-good, hot-air balloon story comes crashing down and we cannot reason to ourselves or others why "the greatest story ever told" is any more worthy of belief than the confused stories of any of the Christless false religions.
So, the prophecy-history connection is important, (to me anyways), to point out that God is very much involved with Mankind, that He cares enough to intervene in our reality, that we are following something that is rooted deeply into reality and not just some cleverly designed fables. But I am convinced that Jesus is the Truth: and that "truth" is just another way of saying "reality" even as "The Logos" can justifiable by translated "The Explanation (of Reality)." So, to me, the Gospel is NOT the greatest story ever told: no, the Gospel is far and away the single, best, most credible explanation of what's really going on that I have ever encountered, bar none. And any explanation of reality MUST interact credibly and frequently with reality, reality as we experience it, reality as men have recorded it diligently, painstakingly throughout the centuries.
That is why, I believe, God placed it upon my heart years ago to start drawing the connections between the Bible's prophecies and the Bible's own accounts of their historical fulfilments. Joseph's early dreams - Joseph later becoming Lord of Egypt & his brothers. The baker & wine taster's prophetic dreams - the fates of the wine taster & baker. Pharoah's prophetic dreams of good/bad cows - the historical reality of good/bad years. The prophetic promises of inheriting the Promised Land - the historic realities of Joshua's conquering & possessing the Promised Land. The prophecy that David would be king - the historic reality that David became king. The prophecies that the Jews would go into Babylon - the historic reality of the Exile. Malachi prophesying about the Elijah to come before the Lord - the historic reality of John the Baptist being that Elijah that was to come. The prophesies that the Messiah would be born Bethlehem - the historic reality that Jesus the Messiah was born in Bethlehem. Etc, etc, etc.... It seemed that God wanted me to pay careful attention to such connections as I would work my way through my One-Year Bible again and again as a prerequisite to ultimately gaining the ability to draw the connections between the New Testament's prophesies and their later, post-New Testament fulfillments. Perhaps certain blessings of understanding only come to those willing to do their homework. I hope to please the Lord with mine.
May the above be understood in a favorable light, not as an attempt to brag (about what, really?) but an attempt to explain my interest in the matter. It is my hope to show idealistic young people that their dreams of making the world a better place are not in vain, but rather, they are favored by God who is also working to make the world a better place, too. We have a brighter and brigher future ahead of us but it will take a stout optimism to overcome the giants we must face down with every generation. "The wicked flee at the sound of a leaf, but the righteous are bold as a lion." "Let us go up at once and take the land, for God has given it to us and we are well able to possess it!" Through faith in Christ born of a good understanding, we CAN conquer tomorrow for the benefit of our fellow men.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and with all your mind."
7 "He who overcomes shall inherit these things..."
1 John 5:4-5
4 For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.