Session 20: The Stealthy Restoration
In many ways, the teachings on the 1,000-year messianic kingdom in the Bible are like a stealth bomber in that they are designed to have a stealthy quality about them. In fact, discerning how and when Christ will establish his kingdom on this earth requires a synthesis of numerous obscure Old Testament passages, such as those found in Daniel. And, like a stealth bomber, God uses the book of Revelation—a highly symbolic, apocalyptic form of literature—to deliver the truth about Christ’s messianic kingdom. It seems that God intentionally wanted Revelation to be difficult to understand, particularly for unbelievers.
But why would God intentionally make the messianic kingdom difficult for Roman authorities to understand by putting a majority of the information in apocalyptic books such as Daniel and Revelation? The answer is because if the Roman authorities had easily understood these teachings, they would have considered the future 1,000-year reign of Christ on this earth a serious threat to their empire. The messianic kingdom will be an earthly kingdom with all nations subservient to the Jewish Messiah. The Romans were understandably hypersensitive to any talk of a Jewish Messiah. And any proclamation of this coming kingdom by Jewish missionaries (like Paul and the apostles) would have surely caused the Roman authorities to react violently toward them and those who followed their teachings. The apostles, therefore, wisely focused their message on the eternal kingdom of heaven, which did not pose a real geopolitical threat to the Romans.