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Bulgakov. Christ the King Category: 1000 years Vatican. Chiliasm

Enthronement of Christ in the world

Immanent, transcendent, and historical aspects

Christ's enthronement on earth as King is connected with His Incarnation. He was already born as the "King of the Jews," whom the magi sought in order to venerate Him ("Where is he that is born King of the Jews?" [Matt. 2:2]). And since the fullness of His ministry in the Incarnation is realized in His death on the cross, it is precisely on the cross that we have the inscription bearing this name, "King of the Jews," just as the way of the cross begins with the triumphal entry of the King of the Jews. The Incarnation is already the beginning of the coming of Christ's Kingdom, which includes, but is not identical with, the Kingdom of Heaven or of God. The preaching of the "Gospel of the Kingdom" therefore opens with the same good news announced by the Forerunner and by Christ: "the Kingdom of God is at hand." The Kingdom of Heaven (= the Kingdom of God) simultaneously has immanent, transcendent, and historical aspects. In its immanent aspect, it is spiritual and religious; it is the life in God: "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:3). This Kingdom is taken "by force" (11:12), and its crowning is "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17). In its transcendent aspect, the Kingdom of God arrives through God's action in the world and upon the world: "inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt. 25:34). It also has a historical and apocalyptic aspect: It is the one-thousand-year reign of the saints with Christ, His coming in glory.

The co-reign with Christ in His Kingdom

The Kingdom of the Lamb is not only His personal dignity and ministry. It is also the royalty that He communicates to His people; it is the special royal dignity and charisma of the people of God, of the "royal priesthood" (1 Pet. 2:9), of the co-reign with Him in His Kingdom (see Rev. 20:4-6 concerning the reign with Christ in the first resurrection and in the one-thousand-year reign, as well as Rev. 22:5 concerning the reign in the heavenly Jerusalem). … After … the binding of Satan, there follows the first resurrection: "they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (20:4); "they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (20:6).

The enthronement of Christ on earth for His one-thousand-year reign will become perfectly evident, as evident as His enthronement was during His royal entry into Jerusalem. The curve of history, with upward and downward fluctuations, goes upward at this point and meets heaven; but then it falls sharply downward in the final revolt of Gog and Magog, beyond which one can see the end and the interruption of the curve, the transcensus. This prophecy — contrary to the prevailing doctrine, which it would be erroneous to consider as the dogmatic definition of the Church — refers to the as-yet-unactualized future, so that it is impossible to conceive it concretely. According to the content of this prophecy, one can in any case establish that, during the "first resurrection," the wall separating the world of the living from the world of the dead disappears, as it were, precisely for the souls who have come back to life and who reign with Christ for a thousand years. It is through these souls that Christ Himself reigns on earth. This event, connected also with the enchainment of Satan for a thousand years, represents an important step on the path of Christ's enthronement; and in general it belongs to His royal ministry.

The main dogmatic theme of the Revelation

The whole Revelation is dedicated to depicting this accession of Christ in the world, for which, however, the last, final act will be the millennial kingdom of saints with Christ, their blessed destiny.

Fr. Sergius Bulgakov
«Апокалипсис Иоанна»
Глава XX. Тысячелетнее Царство

The main and only theme of the Apocalypse, like his prophetic sermon, is to courageously and completely endure history, for it is also the reign of Christ the King, the path to the Kingdom of Christ in the world, accomplished on the cross and accomplished on the cross ways of the world. "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Mat 28:20).

Fr. Sergius Bulgakov
«Апокалипсис Иоанна»
Экскурс IV. Явления Христа по Апокалипсису

… the main dogmatic theme of Revelation, its guiding thought ‹…› — in terms of Christology — can be expressed so that the Revelation contains the doctrine of Christ's accession to the world; its dogmatic premise is ‹…› the doctrine of the redemption of the human race by the blood of the Lamb, i.e. His high priestly ministry.

The whole world will render obedience to Christ the King

5. ‹…› we Ourselves, consenting to very many long-continued desires and prayers of Bishops and people, brought to completion and perfected, by God's grace, when at the close of the Jubilee Year, We instituted the Feast of Christ the King of All, to be solemnly celebrated throughout the whole Christian world. Now when we did this, not only did we set in a clear light that supreme sovereignty which Christ holds over the whole universe, over civil and domestic society, and over individual men, but at the same time we anticipated the joys of that most auspicious day, whereon the whole world will gladly and willingly render obedience to the most sweet lordship of Christ the King.

Pope Leo XI
Miserentissimus Redemptor, §5
May 8, 1928

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