Home > Book of Daniel, Literalism, The 1,000 years > Jurieu and the reign of the saints

Jurieu and the reign of the saints

November 21, 2011

In his exposition on the Apocalypse, Pierre Jurieu claimed that the 1260 days of Revelation 11:3 & 12:6 represent 1260 years, which he believed would soon come to an end, and that the millennial reign of Christ on the earth would afterwards be established, and the date he calculated for this to occur was the year 1785 A.D. [Pierre Jurieu. The accomplishment of the prophecies, or, the approaching deliverance of the church. 1687. 2nd Part, Ch. 5. p. 59]

In the 45 years from 1740 to 1785, he said, the Jews would convert to Christianity, and they would finish the conversion of the infidel nations.

For Jurieu, there was no thousand years in the church’s past during which Satan was bound, when he no longer deceived the nations, so he reasoned, that time must therefore be yet in the future.

Jurieu argued that in Daniel 7, the kingdom of God succeeds the four kingdoms pictured by the four beasts. And he reasoned similarly from Daniel chapter 2, about the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which Daniel interpreted. In that prophecy a stone cut without hands smote the image on its feet and broke it into pieces, and it then grew into a great mountain that filled the earth. He argued that the kingdoms are successive, but the words “in the days of these kings” seem to mean they are actually contemporaneous kingdoms, initially at least.

Daniel 2:44
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Jurieu supposed that the kingdom of God was to follow the time, times and a half of chapter 7, which he identified with the 1260 years of Revelation 11:3 and 12:6. The mention of a bottomless pit in Revelation 11:7, and in 20:3, seems to link the events described in those chapters together. The beast ascending from the bottomless pit in chapter 11 corresponds to Satan being loosed a little season in chapter 20.

Jurieu’s concept of an earthly millennial kingdom, established in the earthly Jerusalem, together with his failed dates, and flawed interpretations, follow from misunderstanding or ignoring the prophecy of Isaiah 2:1-3, where Isaiah said the mountain of the Lord’s house is to be “established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” The New Testament plainly shows that Jerusalem and mount Zion were raised up, which fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy. Hebrews 12:22-24 says, “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Jerusalem was raised up, higher than the hills, to heaven, when Jesus ascended to heaven. Those who believe in him have been “delivered from the power of darkness,” and they have been “translated” into Christ’s kingdom. [Colossians 1:13] His kingdom is invisible, not an earthly one. To be “delivered from the power of darkness,” corresponds to the binding of Satan, as his power over such a person is restrained.

The binding of Satan was accomplished by Jesus, who reigns in heaven, and those who have been figuratively beheaded reign with him. Beheading is symbolic of the mind that submits to Christ, and walks in the light. They are free, and they have access to the wisdom and the counsel the Spirit, and so for them, Satan has been bound. His influence over them is limited. Just as beheading is personal and individual, the binding of Satan, and the saints reigning with Christ are concepts that are personal and individual. But Jurieu proposed another explanation of the prophecy. Below he presents some of his reasons why he believed that the thousand years must be taken literally. [Pierre Jurieu. Ibid. Ch. 16. p. 285-294.]

Of thousand years reign. That in all the past time, there is not a time to be found, wherein Satan hath been bound. Four heads of arguments to prove this reign, the first is, the fifth Monarchy, so plainly promised to the saints.

We have done examining that which relates to the, fall of the Antichristian Kingdom. That we may keep our word, that we gave in the Title of our second part, we must now enquire, what must happen to the Church after that great event. This is laid down in the 20 chapter of the Revelation, in these terms.

v. 1. And I saw an Angel, come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand.

v. 2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 

v. 3. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled; and after that he must be loosed a little season.

v.4. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the Witness of Jesus; and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 

v. 5. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Behold the Text, which is the subject of so many doubts, and so many controversies! Behold that which hath made the pretended Hereticks, who are called Chiliasts, and Millenaries. I mean not those Chiliasts, who have believed a thousand years reign of the Church, during which time it must enjoy (according to their opinion) the carnal and sinful pleasures of the world: these were filthy spirits, which came out of the Dragons mouth.

But as for those, who believe, that after the ruin of Antichrist, and before the end of the world, God reserves to him self a period of a thousand years, in which he must reign by himself and his people, pour out upon them an abundance of his spirit, bring all Nations to his knowledge; govern them with a golden scepter, and no longer with an iron one, secure them from all evil, and from all danger of corruption: as for these, I say, the time is coming, and that very shortly, that men shall be ashamed that they have branded them with the names of Chiliasts, of Millenaries, and fifth-Monarchymen. I have formerly observed, that there is something that is surprizing and divine in the due understanding of Prophecies. We wonder at the strange stupidity of the Jews, who do not discern in their own Oracles, our Jesus and their Messias. We are Astonisht at the dismal blindness of the Papists, who do not see the Beast and Antichrist in that which they call their Holy See, and their Holy Church. God hath had reasons, why he hath given these men eyes that they should not see, and a heart void of understanding. Certainly here is the same thing. There must be a blindness greater then can be imagined, in those who see not this kingdom of  Jesus Christ, and the Church, which must make the seventh Period of the world. There is something supernaturall in this blindness. I had this favour from God, that I saw this Reign in the Scriptures ever since I was able to read and understand them, without having read either any Commentaries upon the Revelation, or writings of the Millennaries. I hope to make out the truth of this Reign with such clearness, that it shall be difficult to take any doubt of it.

First, it is agreed on all hands, that within the duration of the Church, we must necessarily find a Period of a thousand years, in which it may be said, that Satan hath been bound, i. e. hindered in his designs, which are seduction and persecution. This is too plain to denyed. But where shall we find this Period? I am sorry to see so great, so learned, and so holy a person as Usher Archbishop of Armagh, to place this period of a thousand years within the time of Christs Incarnation, and the eleventh Age. How can any one say, that the Devil was bound during that space? Is it with respect to seduction? In the three first Ages did he not seduce men? Were not the Pagans seduced? Their Religion, was it not the Ruling Religion? There were Christians, I grant; but I am persuaded, that they were not the fiftieth part of the whole Roman Empire.

In the succeeding Ages, hath he not set on foot that grand seduction, that is called the Beast, the False Prophet, the Kingdom of Antichrist? Hath he not brought Idolatry into the Church, the abomination into the sanctuary, such tyranny, pride, and corruption of manners; that there was never greater among the Pagans? With respect to persecution, hath he been bound; how much blood hath he shed? how many Butcheries hath he acted? how many Massacres? what a great number Martyrs? Can it enter into any mans thoughts, that this should be called the Period of Satans binding? He was never so broken loose.

What do those gain, who come three hundred years lower, and hold, that Satan began to be bound at the time of Constantin? They must upon that principle, place their ending at the year thirteen hundred, and so include within their Period of the thousand years the rage of the Beast, who hath fed upon the blood of the saints, the seductions of the false Prophet, who makes the Image of the Beast to be worshipped, and the whole world to run after him, who obligeth all men to bear his mark upon their foreheads, who makes war against the Saints, and overcometh them. In one word, they must take in, into their Period of Satans binding, that space of time, in which the Revelation sets forth the Dragon as broken loose, giving his power to the Beasts and devouring the whole world. Once again, this is a blindness which I cannot conceive.

If there was no other argument against these two Hypotheses, this alone would be enough to convince me of their falsity; namely, the terrible confusion into which these Authors do put the Visions of the Revelation. To any one who hath studyed them, it is evident, that the Prophet hath observed the Order of History, at least in the gross of events. He had several visions concerning the same thing; and in the order of these vision, the order of all their circumstances does not alwayes, in every thing, agree with the order of events, and this we have observed, and cleared. But I say it again, the gross is alwayes according to the order of history: this order is observed in the Revelation, that the birth and progresses of Antichrists Kingdom are laid down before its fall. Now the Authors we have spoken, do make St John guilty of a Parachronisme of two thousand years. After he had finisht the narrative of the ruin of Antichrist, and gone through a Period of 1260 years, which if we add to them the space from the Incarnation of Christ, unto the revelation of the son of perdition, make almost two thousand years. After this, I say, they make him on a sudden to go back as far as the beginning of the Christian Church. Is there any other instance of such confusion in this book? Let them shew it. What mean those words, After this (so the French version) which begin the 20 Chapter, and denote always not only the succession of Visions, but of times? This work is already larger than I intended to make it; but notwithstanding I cannot forbear to lay down a few of our arguments, there are so many, that one might crush the contrary opinion with number: but I shall only urge the principal ones. I shall open as it were four springs of arguments, which I shall leave every man liberty to sound and dive into, contenting my self with producing them, and drawing from them the principal evidences, which clearly discover this future reign of our Lord Jesus Christ.

My first spring, or source of arguments, will be in the Prophecies that speak of a fifth Monarchy reserved for the Saints. ‘Tis impossible to find a rational sense in them, without supposing this thousand years reign. There are two remarkable ones in the book of Daniel; In the 2. Chapter Nehuchadnezar sees a statue, whose head was of gold, the shoulders of silver, the belly of brass, the leggs of iron, the feet and toes partly of iron, and partly of earth. The Prophet interprets to him these four metals of the statue; that they are four great Monarchies. The iron leggs, by consent of all, signifie the fourth Monarchy, which is the Roman. The feet and the ten toes, partly of iron, and partly of earth, signifie the ten kings or Kingdoms, which were to divide the Roman Empire, and weaken it at the same time. And when as thou sawest the feet and the toes, part of potters clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided, but there shall be in it of the strength of iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixt with miery clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay; so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. These ten toes are the ten Kings, which were to make up the Kingdom of Antichrist, and reign together with him, in the last Period of the Roman Empire; during the 1260 years marked in the Revelation. Now what happens at the end of the reign of these ten Kings, 44. and of the fourth Monarchy? And in the dayes of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom, which shall never he destroyed; and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these Kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 

Behold a fifth Monarchy, different from the ten Kings, which must break them in pieces, and must continue after them for ever, i. e. untill the end of the world. ‘Tis granted, that this Kingdom, that shall never be destroyed, is that of Jesus Christ. But is it not as clear as the day, that this Kingdom must not appear untill after that the ten Kingdoms shall have been broken in pieces by this fifth Monarchy. I confess, I have nothing to say to them who are incapable of beholding this evidence; and I do not conceive how it can be said, that we must go back beyond the ten Kings, that we may place the Monarchy of Jesus Christ before them, when the Prophet so plainly placeth it after the ten Kings. Is it not expresly said that this fifth Monarchy must break in pieces and destroy these ten Kingdoms? How therefore can it go before them, or have its duration parallel to theirs?

In the seventh Chapter of the same Prophecy, we have the same four Monarchies, under the Images of four Beasts. ‘Tis confessed,, that the fourth Beast, that had ten horns, is the Roman Empire. All our writers grant, that these ten horns, that signifie ten Kings, are the ten Kingdoms, into which the Roman Empire was divided after the time of Valentinian the third, and that those ten horns reign together with the little horn, which is Antichrist. When the Prophet had seen both the fourth Beast, and the three first wholly destroyed, and their bodies burnt with fire, he adds, And I saw in the night visions, and behold one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came unto the Ancient of dayes, and they brought him near before him, and there was given him. dominion, and a glory, and a Kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. And to the same purpose in the explication of the vision. And the ten horns out of this Kingdom are ten Kings that shall arise, and another shall arise after them, and he shall be diverse from the first, &c. And he shall speak great words against the most high, and shall wear out the saints of the most high, and think to change times and lawes; and they shall he given into his hand, untill a time, and times, and the dividing of times, &c. All are agreed that Antichrist is here intended, and all Protestants grant that this is the Papacy, and that its reign is to last 1260 years. Now what is to happen after this time, and times, and a dividing or half a time? But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume, and to destroy it unto the end. Behold, the destruction or Antichrists Kingdom. Immediately after the Prophet adds, 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, whose Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. Behold the reign and Kingdom of the Saints, and a reign which succeeds to that of Antichrist. In truth, we must give the lye to the Holy Spirit, if we suppose, that we must go back-two thousand years before the end of Antichrists reign, to place the beginning of this reign of the Saints and of Jesus Christ. Here we have the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, after that the four Beasts, i.e. the four Empires, have been broken to pieces; to receive the Kingdom from the hand of God his Father, and reign for ever untill the end of the world. We must speak without any judgment, if we say, that this everlasting Kingdom of Jesus Christ, is to be understood of the heavenly reign, after the end of the world, and the last judgment. For the Apostle St Paul saith in plain terms, that Jesus Christ shall then reign no longer, and that he shall deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father. Besides, Daniel speaks of a Kingdom, that is to be under the Heavens, and not ot one that is above them. Further, ’tis a meer trifling, to mingle eternal things with temporal, and bring down the Heavenly Kingdom of Paradise into the rank of earthly and temporal Monarchies, by making it to be a fifth Monarchy. Thus ’tis plain, that the Prophet treats here of a Kingdom, that indeed is heavenly on the account of its purity, but is earthly on the account of its Seat, and because it must be upon earth.

I am willing to joyn unto these Prophecies, only that in this 20th Chapter of the Revelation, which is so clear, that it needs not any commentary. The Prophet saith expresly; After this (so the first verse is rendered in the French) i. e. after the last victory over the Beast, and his false Prophet, the Devil shall be bound, and the Saints shall live and reign, with Christ a thousand years. But ’twill be objected, that this passage is too plain, and this very thing makes our sense of it suspicious. The Prophets are not wont to express future things so clearly. But if this reason holds, the Jews are not to be blamed, for rejecting our Oracles concerning Jesus Christ; for example, this, A Virgin shall conceive a Son; and this; other, And thou Bethlehem out of thee shall come a Ruler, &c. and the whole 53. Chapter of Isaiah, and that Prophecy of Daniel, that the Messiah must be cut off‘, but not for himself; And that very clear Oracle, he shall make his soul an offering for sin. For ’tis evident, that these Oracles, are not less plain in speaking of Christ, and the circumstances of his birth, his life, and his death; than those in Daniel and the Revelation, which speak of the thousand years reign. Others instead of confessing, that this Text is too clear to be understood in the literal sense; say, that it is too obscure, and must be explain’d by others that are more clear. Truly I do not conceive, how men can speak at this rate. Tis obscure, because it saith the contrary to that which these Gentlemen imagin, and because ’tis inconstant with their Hyphotheses.

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