Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH God):
How the World Suppressed YEHOVAH’s 7000-Year Plan
No conspiracy was more clever -- or more successful. Here, retold at last, is the diabolical plot that erased from the minds of men the knowledge of the Plan of YEHOVAH God as revealed in the Gospel of the Kingdom.
by W. A. Berg & John D. Keyser
One of the least-known facts of history is that a knowledge of the millennium -- and of YEHOVAH’s 7000-year plan -- prevailed over ALL the ancient world for HUNDREDS of years after the death of the Messiah and the Apostles.
How this knowledge was suppressed -- and with it the Gospel of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God -- has never been fully told. It is the story of the cleverest plot ever recorded in history!
The Record of History
Through the preaching of Paul, the Gospel of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God resounded throughout the Greek-speaking Roman world. Everywhere there was curiosity about the message of the Messiah. Even the Roman Emperor Nero had met Paul and was familiar with the preachings of Peter.
The old pagan religions were bankrupt. The people were interested in new ideas, in something different from the superstitions of the past. The priests of the pagan mystery religions had only one choice. They somehow had to get hold of the message of the Messiah and make it their own!
Here is what happened. They first secretly wormed their way into the New Testament Church. They professed to accept the Gospel of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God, then set themselves up as the ministers of Yeshua the Messiah. They soon created a following. The ring-leader in this plot was Simon Magus who tried to ingratiate himself with the apostle Peter. Simon was a Samaritan. The Samaritans had been settled in the area some seven centuries before the time of the Messiah, and had been brought from Babylon and the surrounding areas (II Kings 17:24, Ezra 4:9-10). They took their Babylonian mystery religion with them into Samaria.
Although Simon was baptized by Philip, his subsequent career proves that he NEVER really repented. He tried to BUY the power to confer the holy spirit on his followers. There are absolutely NO INDICATIONS that he ever planned to abandon his former religion. Simon wanted extra spiritual power to enhance his own reputation and influence over his followers. Peter, however, correctly perceived his intentions and strongly rebuked him -- pointing out that his heart was not right in the sight of YEHOVAH God. Writes Ivor C. Fletcher --
"Although Simon did not repent and become a humble and converted member of the true church, he did clearly recognize the immense power of the new religion and saw in it an opportunity of extending his own spiritual influence far beyond the borders of Samaria. The new religion offered possibilities which would appeal to people everywhere -- why not a universal [Catholic] church with himself as its leader?" (The Incredible History of God's True Church, Triumph Publishing Co., Altadena, CA 1984, p. 115).
"Early writers often referred to Simon as 'the father of the Gnostics' and Gnostic writings mention that in order to become 'all things to all men' he claimed to be God the Father in Samaria; God the Son in Judea; and God the Holy Spirit among the Gentile peoples. Simon, it seemed, firmly believed in a 'holy trinity.'
"Perhaps the most damaging and far reaching of Simon's new 'Christian' doctrines was that the grace or free pardon of God gave a person the license to continue in sin" (ibid., p. 115).
This is confirmed by William Cave who wrote: "...Simon and his followers made the gate yet wider, maintaining a universal license to sin; that men were free to do whatever they had a mind to do; that to press the observance of good works [i.e. YEHOVAH's Law] was a bondage inconsistent with the liberty of the gospel; that so men did but believe in him..." (Antiquities Apostolicae).
All this has been recorded in your Bible. You can find it in Acts 8, and Galatians 1:6-10 states: “I marvel,” wrote Paul, “that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another, but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again. If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed....do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
After 70 A.D. these false apostles and false ministers, with their following, left the true Church of YEHOVAH God. They carried with them the name of the Messiah and a perverted form of the Gospel. The world gave them heed. They became, under Constantine, the official religion of the Roman Empire -- all others were soon stamped out. Once in full control, there was no longer any need for perpetuating even a perverted form of the gospel. It was soon cast aside and in its place came the old pagan mysteries once again -- this time cloaked in the name of the Messiah and as the message of the Messiah.
The history of all this can now be told. It reads like a mystery-thriller -- and indeed it is! The old pagan Babylonian mystery!
Seizing the Message of the Messiah
The early “church fathers” took over the message of the Messiah. They needed it to appear as the ministers of the Messiah. Here is what they preached -- until they could openly reject the message of the Messiah altogether.
Writing from Alexandria, Egypt, shortly after 100 A.D., a minister masquerading as the apostle Barnabas taught: “‘God made in 6 days the works of his hands, and made an end on the 7th day, and rested on it, and sanctified it’ [Genesis 2:2]. Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, ‘He finished in 6 days.’ This implieth that the Lord will finish all things in 6000 years, for a day is with Him a thousand years. And He Himself testifieth saying, ‘Behold, today will be as a thousand years.’ Therefore, my children, in 6 days, that is, in 6000 years, all things will be finished. ‘And He rested on the 7th day.’ This meaneth: when His Son, coming [again], shall destroy the time of the wicked man, and judge the ungodly, and change the sun, and the moon, and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the 7th day” (Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter 15 ) .
About a generation later, Papias of Hierapolis (in Asia Minor) is recorded to have said about the same thing, as well as adding that “there will be a period of some thousand years after the [first] resurrection of the dead, and that the Kingdom of Christ will be set in material form on this very earth!” (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., Book 3, Chapter 39.)
From the city of Rome, in the first half of the second century A.D., Justin Martyr still taught that “thereafter [AFTER the thousand year reign of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah on earth] the general, and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of ALL men [the 2nd and 3rd resurrections mentioned in Rev. 20:11-15] would likewise take place.” (Dialogue with Trypho, Chapters 80, 81.)
Irenaeus, who was the bishop of Lyons, France, wrote in the latter half of the second century: “For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded.” And continuing, “This is an account [Genesis 2:1,2] of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy of what is to come. For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years, and in 6 days created things were completed: it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the 6th thousand year.” And finally, “These [rewards] are to take place in the times of the kingdom, that is, upon the 7th day, which has been sanctified, in which God rested from all the works which He created, which is the true Sabbath of the righteous...." (Against Heresies, Book 5, Chapters 28, 33.)
The early third century produced the same testimony. From Carthage, North Africa, Tertullian acknowledged the possibility of a promised millennium upon the earth (Against Marcion, Book 3, Chapter 25). By the time of Hippolytus of Rome the message was still being taught. He wrote: “6000 years must needs be accomplished, in order that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day ‘on which God rested from all His works.’ For the Sabbath is the type and emblem of the future Kingdom of the saints, when they ‘shall reign with Christ,’ when He comes from heaven as John says in the Apocalypse: for ‘a day with the Lord is as a thousand years.’ Since, then, in 6 days God made all things, it follows that 6000 years must be fulfilled” (From his Commentary on Daniel).
For the remainder of the third and on into the fourth century, the doctrine of the millennium was in part maintained by such men as Methodius, Lactantius and Victorinus. In fact, the evidence regarding God’s 7000-year plan is so authoritatively documented and well preserved that the Encyclopedia Americana is compelled to state: “It is admitted on all sides that these views [of YEHOVAH’s 7000-year plan] were, if not general, at least very common in the ancient church.
“The belief was generally founded on Psalm 90:4, according to which 1000 years are before the Lord as 1 day, compared with the account of the creation as given by Moses. The 6 days of creation are taken as designating 6000 years of toil, and the subsequent sabbath as designating 1000 years of rest and happiness. The millennium was to be the SABBATH REST of the new creation of mankind in Christ” (Vol. 19, p. 116).
However, by the close of the fourth century of the present era the message of the Messiah was assumed to be no longer needed.
YEHOVAH’s Plan Rejected
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "after the middle of the 2nd century these expectations were gradually thrust into the background. They would never have died out, however, had not circumstances altered, and a new mental attitude been taken up. The spirit of philosophical and theological speculation and of ethical reflection, which began to spread through the Churches, did not know what to make of the old hopes of the future. To a new generation they seemed paltry, earthly and fantastic, and far-seeing men had good reason to regard them as a source of political danger. But more than this, these wild dreams about the glorious kingdom of Christ began to disturb the organization which the Churches had seen fit to introduce. In the interests of self-preservation against the world, the State and the heretics, the Christian communities had formed themselves into compact societies with a definite creed and constitution, and they felt that their existence was threatened by the white heat of religious subjectivity. So early as the year 170, a Church party in Asia Minor -- the so-called Alogi -- rejected the whole body of the apocalyptic writings and denounced the book of Revelation as a book of fables" (1943, volume 15, page 496).
As the apostles passed from the scene the Christian leaders who followed them handled the scriptures with less and less respect and holy fear of YEHOVAH God. A doctrine called Amillennialism soon began with Origen (185-254 A.D.) and was further refined by Augustine (354-430 A.D.). This doctrine promulgated the idea that it was permissible to take the literal words -- the Biblical text -- and "allegorize" certain KEY WORDS to convey a meaning quite different from the usual grammatical and historically understood meaning of those words. So instead of considering the LITERAL INTERPRETATION of the text first and foremost, they immediately darted off into an alternative interpretation based on an allegorical replacement meaning which they themselves had decided to place on those key words. So abracadabra -- "Israel" came to be understood as "the church."
This was, perhaps, the most notorious allegorization. It gave birth to a "replacement theology." This was not just an academic or theological matter -- the "church" was now, according to church doctrine, the "Israel of God." This opened Pandora's Box to a church tradition that TRANSFERRED all the blessings of Israel to the church. The result of this was that the curses were all too often reserved for the Jews. Although the Judahite nation will be late in repenting (Zechariah 12:7-13:1, Romans 11) she is still part of the covenant people of YEHOVAH God. The church, however, has often been inclined to cut them off. This replacement theology led on to anti-Semitism inside and outside the church and produced a church history stained with Jewish blood. This manifested itself in the crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the pogroms of eastern Europe and the holocaust of Nazi Germany. Replacement theology -- based on allegorization -- was a ROOT CAUSE of these shameful chapters in church history.
The word "Israel" was not the only word allegorized. The words "thousand Years" -- which tell of the future Millennium under YEHOVAH God and the Messiah -- were given the SAME treatment. One thousand years no longer meant a literal one thousand years. Instead, the words "thousand years" were "vaporized" by a Gnostic priest group that was hostile to the concept that YEHOVAH God and the Messiah will reign over this earth and Israel from their respective thrones in Jerusalem. So church teachings were "adjusted" such that "one thousand years" now meant "years of the church age." This religious sleight of hand effectively did away with a future Millennium under YEHOVAH God and the Jewish Messiah -- the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Strong opposition to the millennium began to develop by the third and fourth centuries through the writings of Caius, Origen and Dionysius the Great. Their principal objections were as follows:
1). The doctrine was “Jewish.”
2). In some places the Bible text was too plain and obvious; it needed a “deeper significance.”
3). The book of Revelation was obscure; it needed to be officially rejected.
This feeling toward the book of Revelation was so strong that the book was removed from the general reading list in the fourth century “and thus the troublesome foundation on which chiliasm [the doctrine of the millennium] might have continued to build was got rid of” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, article “Millennium”).
The man who dealt the major death blow to the doctrine of the millennium was Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. Even prior to Augustine’s lifetime, anticipation toward a future millennial reign began to dwindle. The Church began to date the beginning of the millennium from either the first appearance of the Messiah, or from the conversion of Constantine and the downfall of paganism. They began to regard YEHOVAH’s soon-coming kingdom as ALREADY EXISTING in the glory of the dominant imperial state-church (History of the Christian Church, Schaff, Vol. II, p. 619).
Augustine merely capitalized on this prevailing theory and used the corrupted, gluttonous millennial doctrines of the Montanists as his scapegoat. He himself wrote: “Thus there was supposed to follow upon the 6000 years taken as 6 days a 7th day or Sabbath taking up the last thousand, and to be given over to the resurrected saints for celebration....In fact, I myself at one time accepted such an opinion” (The City of God, Book 20, Chapter 7).
By means of a totally unrelated and illogical mathematical argument, Augustine soon convinced a gullible world that YEHOVAH’s 7000-year plan was all wrong. He said that “the other interpretation” (his own) “makes the thousand years stand for ALL the years of the Christian era. He claimed that the millennium meant “the span between Christ’s first and second coming.” Read of this incredible deception for yourself in The City of God, Book 20, Chapters 7 and 9.
"Augustine," expounds the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "was the first who ventured to teach that the Catholic Church, in its empirical form, was the kingdom of Christ, that the millennial kingdom had commenced with the appearing of Christ, and was therefore an accomplished fact. By this doctrine of Augustine's the old millennarianism, though not completely extirpated, was at least banished from the official theology" (1943, volume 15, page 496).
In addition to the millennium, numerous other sound doctrines suffered similar fates under the influence of Augustine. For example, verses 7 and 8 of Revelation 20 clearly state that Satan will again be loosed after the thousand years and that he will be allowed to deceive the nations once more. Augustine wouldn’t accept this. He stated that “If his [Satan’s] chaining means that he has no power or no permission to deceive, then his loosing means that he will have power or permission to deceive. But, of course, SUCH A POSSIBILITY IS UNTHINKABLE” (The City of God, Book 20, Chapter 8).
This has been the doctrine of the Catholic Church ever since.
The Current Viewpoint
Renaissance Protestantism carried on where Augustine left off. Article 17 of the Lutheran Augsburg Confession, and Article 41 of the Anglican Articles drawn up by Cranmer in 1553, condemned the truths of YEHOVAH’s 7000-year plan as “Jewish opinions.” Since then a number of minor religious movements have embraced various parts of the millennial doctrine from time to time but the majority of the world openly rejects any part of this basic truth.
Within the so-called Christian Church, as in the world, and even inside Israel there is a spirit which is hostile to the coming of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah. Pagan Gnosticism -- both outside and inside the Church -- is conducting an information war AGAINST the return of YEHOVAH God to this world and to Jerusalem. It also wars AGAINST the promised coming of the Messiah to rule over the nations of Israel. Gnostic paganism and Gnostic Christianity are determined to keep YEHOVAH God barricaded away from mankind. They would also keep the Messiah locked up in heaven -- or at least well cloaked in vague stained glass religious mysticism. Gnostic spirits are in rebellion against YEHOVAH God. They do not understand Him or love Him in the way YEHOVAH's covenant people do.
The crux of the matter is that the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world -- both demonic and human -- are in rebellion. They DO NOT want YEHOVAH God's Throne to come to earth. They DO NOT want His rule in human hearts, and they DO NOT want His rule over this planet. Both secular humanism and ecumenical religious humanism RESENT this coming Millennial rule of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah very deeply. They consider this an unwelcome intrusion into earthly realms which they consider "their territory."
Present-day leaders of Catholicism still claim as -- Augustine did -- that YEHOVAH’s kingdom is on this earth in the form of the Catholic Church. And, as ridiculous as it may sound, they even go so far as to say that the doctrine of the millennium is not to be found in either the New Testament gospels or epistles or in the traditions of the apostles (The Question Box, p. 380).
Moreover, these religious leaders presently condemn as HERESY a literal interpretation of the prophetic books of the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation.
Catholic Church Not Alone
But the Catholic Church is not alone in its position against the truth about the millennium. Numerous Protestant religious bodies are fervently opposed to any mention of the Messiah’s return and the establishment of YEHOVAH’s kingdom.
For example, one world-renowned Protestant educator blatantly taught that the Messiah’s knowledge was limited because of his race and education. This top university official claimed that the Messiah expected the kingdom of YEHOVAH God to be established during his fleshly existence on earth. He then maintained that the Messiah’s prophetic teaching is WRONG and full of “human ignorance and error” and “can no longer be defended” because the things which the Messiah prophesied in regard to the coming of YEHOVAH‘s kingdom on earth have never come to pass (The Historic Mission of Jesus by Cecil John Cadoux, pp. 343-348)! This man is going to be very surprised when the Messiah’s prophecies COME to pass, on schedule, in the very near future.
Another illustration is a statement which was read before the World Council of one of the major Protestant denominations. This paper was prepared by the dean of one of its schools of theology with the intention of representing and consolidating the beliefs of this particular denomination. The statement boasts that the doctrine of the millennium and the personal 1000-year rule of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah on earth is intentionally conspicuously ABSENT from the teachings of the denomination. It goes on to say that a literal understanding of the Biblical details which are connected with YEHOVAH God's return and the Messiah’s second coming is to be studiously avoided because the Messiah’s return supposedly takes place in each individual at the time of death. It concludes by stating that “We live, NOT in anticipation of a coming Kingdom that will be imposed upon us by God, but rather here and now WITHIN the Kingdom...” (Eschatology in the Light of Current Theological Discussions, from “Religions in Life,” 24:524-36).
Bear in mind that these statements are from LEADERS AND TEACHERS of the churches and seminaries in America and Great Britain. If they embrace such beliefs, is it any wonder that only 1% of America’s ministerial students believe that the Messiah will come a second time (The Surprising Beliefs of Our Future Ministers, Redbook Magazine, August 1961, p. 107)? And if both teachers and students share these opinions, is it then surprising that true doctrines of the Messiah’s return appear ridiculous and are unappealing to the average man on the street?
The public has been taught to reject sound doctrine. This is why our present Christian society believes as it does. YEHOVAH God puts His finger squarely on the cause by indicting the religious leaders as the primary ones who have led mankind AWAY from the truth (Jeremiah 23; Ezekiel 13; 22:23-31; 34). Both the scholars of religion, and the clergy they train, are to blame for wrongly influencing the theological thinking of the public. These are the men who have DESTROYED the knowledge of the reality of the return of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah’s second coming by teaching that YEHOVAH’s kingdom is already here on earth.
Search for the Kingdom
If, as the Amillennialists argue, there is no future Millennium and the church age we live in now embodies the Millennium -- then this calls for an extensive explanation. WHEN, we ask, was there a period in past church history that might be considered worthy of being labeled as the Millennium? We read all the wonderful Old Testament passages about the glorious, peaceful and happy future age of YEHOVAH God on this earth. We see it in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and a host of other places. WHEN, therefore, has the church exemplified this glory? And, in WHAT part of church history was this splendor manifest? WHEN did we see it? Was there EVER a thousand years of such magnificence -- such majesty and such righteous rule and peace? Are we in that thousand years time period NOW as we approach the end of this age? Have we SEEN Satan locked up in the Abyss for a thousand years? If he is chained up right now he must have a very long chain!
Could Christendom in the Middle Ages have possibly been the Millennium? History shows us that this period of time was, in actual fact, the heyday of the Islamic Arabs. After 700 A.D. they dominated trade in much of the Mediterranean region. Islamic forces swept the church out of North Africa and tackled the crusaders in the Holy Land -- defeating them at Acre in 1291. The Islamic Moors took over southern Spain, ruling mostly peacefully until being driven out in 1492. Plague took the lives of half the population of Europe in the 1300s.
There was very little spiritual peace for YEHOVAH's people either. In the 1400s and 1500s Bible translators were being burned at the stake by the Catholic Church. At the same time Anabaptists -- numbering in the millions -- were being persecuted and murdered. In the 1500s, while central Europe was in the midst of the 30 years' war, trouble came from the east in the form of the Islamic Turks who reached the gates of Vienna. In the wake of all these miseries came famine. So medieval Europe was far from peaceful or basking in YEHOVAH's Truth!
Christendom in the Middle Ages was a hellhole of hobgoblins, psycho-sexual medieval fantasies and a whole culture based on mixed pagan-Christian religious superstition. Baptism of infants was the passage into citizenship and the true Christian faith was diverted into the religious idolatry of ritual, relics and indulgences. Even the cup of the Messiah's last supper was spirited away to be profaned in freemasonry and the occultic legends of the holy grail. The devotion to YEHOVAH God by His people faded from the scene to be replaced with earthly Arthurian tales and romances that have stretched out all the way from Camelot to Star Wars.
The Word of YEHOVAH God was as a flickering candle in the medieval darkness. The priests were just as ignorant as the masses in most cases. The only access to the scriptures was through the dying Roman language of Latin, but the Bible remained locked up behind the closed doors of the medieval monasteries. Were the Middle Ages the glorious Millennium of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah? The answer should be obvious.
The people of the secular world are not the only ones to see YEHOVAH's rule as chains against their fleshly desires and oppression against their out of control egos. "Christian" believers are also caught up in this antinomian repugnance to YEHOVAH's righteous rule and law as well. Western Christianity has, in fact, created a FALSE DICHOTOMY between law and grace. So-called Christians embrace grace for themselves and dump the law off onto others. Then, of course, many professing Christians manifest lifestyles not much different from the pagan environment in which they live. Grace among "Christians" has unfortunately become a "license to sin." But the Messiah said that he had come NOT TO DESTROY THE LAW but to fulfill it -- see Matthew 5:17.
Clearly, the plot to destroy the Good News of the soon-coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God has succeeded in the world to this very day.
Only now is the TRUTH being preached again!
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God!
Hope of Israel Ministries
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