THE MILLENNIUM TEACHING
The word "millennium" comes from the Latin word "mille," meaming
"one thousand," and "annum," meaning "year." The Greek word
"chilias," also meaning "one thousand," appears six times in
Revelation 20, defining the duration of Christ's kingdom before
the destruction of the old heaven and the old earth. The mill-
ennium therefore refers to 1,000 years of Christ's future reign
on earth, which will immediately precede eternity (Ryrie, pp.
145-46). During the millennium, Christ will reign in time and
POSITIONS ON THE MILLENNIUM
There are three different schools of thought with regard to the
millennium: amillennialism, postmillennialism, and
AMILLENNIUMISM means "no millennium" - that is, there will be no
literal kingdom on earth. The proponents of this perspective
believe that millennial prophecies cannot be considered literal
and thus would need to be fulfilled in non-literal ways.
POSTMILLENNIUMISM states that the return of Christ will come
after the millennium. This position became popular in the
nineteenth century, suggesting that the millennium would occur
during the last 1,000 years of the present age with the whole
world being won to Christ. Thus, the millennium would be that
golden age lasting for 1,000 years. With the coming of the World
Wars, the postmillennial interpretation declined in influence.
Today this position is being revived through a movement called
Christian Reconstructionism (also known as Dominion Theology or
PREMILLENNIAL interpretation teaches that the kingdom will follow
the second coming of Christ and will be a literal 1000-year reign
of Christ on earth. This position is not only based on the
literal interpretation of the prophecies of the book of
Revelation but also on abundant Messianic prophecies from the Old
Testament. It was also the dominant position of the early church
God's promises in His covenants to Israel will come to pass when
Jesus Christ comes to rule from Jerusalem. At that time, the
Abrahamic covenant with its promises of the land and the seed
(Genesis 13:14-17;15:5,18-21; Isaiah 10:21-22; Jeremiah 30:22;
Ezekiel 34:24; Micah 7:19-20), the Davidic covenant with its
promises concerning David's house, his throne, and the kingdom (2
Samuel 7:16-19; Isaiah 11:1-2; Jeremiah 23:5-8; Hosea 3:5), and
the New Covenant with its promises of a new heart for God's law,
the forgiveness of sins, and the indwelling of the Spirit for a
converted nation (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 11:18-20; 36:24-28;
Romans 11:26-29) will all be literally fulfilled. Fulfillment of
these promises and covenants in the millennial reign of Christ
will bring about God's purpose on earth for man.
The binding of Satan provides evidence that the millennial reign
of Christ is yet a future event. Revelation 20:2 (KJV) says, "He
laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil,
and Satan, and bound him a thousand years." Revelation 20:1-3
shows that God will prevent Satan from deceiving the nations.
This passage teaches that Satan will not simply be restricted,
but will be totally inactive during the millennium. This stands
in stark contrast to his activity in the present age, of which
the apostle Peter says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your
adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom
he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
Though Satan is not bound in this present age, he is under the
sovereign restraints of God. This is evidenced by Satan's
dealings with God concerning Job (Job 1:6-22). The binding of
Satan during the millennial age does have a divine purpose: God
will manifest His perfect righteousness and also give man an
ideal state in which to live and worship the Messiah (see
Pentecost, "Things to Come," p.477).
THE PERSONAGE OF THE MILLENNIUM
The central focus of the millennium is not Satan; it is the
Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is His time of manifestation,
His time of revelation. Christ, in all of His glory, will
institute His reign of righteousness and peace. During the
millennium, the unveiled glory of Christ will shine forth in all
of its fullness.
Psalm 2:6-9 reveals God's plan for Jesus Christ, His Son, to
reign over the earth in spite of the rage of nations and their
rebellion against God. His sovereign purpose will be realized.
Daniel 7:13-14 also speaks of this event.
PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS AND CONDITIONS OF THE MILLENNIUM
The millennium will be a time of both political and spiritual
rule. Politically, it will be universal (Daniel 2:35),
authoritative (Isaiah 11:4), and characterized by righteousness
and justice, with assurances for the poor (Isaiah 11:.3-5) and
admonition and judgment for the violators of Messiah's rule
This literal earthly reign of Christ will also have spiritual
characteristics. First and foremost it will be a reign of
righteousness in which Christ will be the King, reigning in
absolute righteousness (Isaiah 32:1). It will also be a time when
the fullness of the Spirit and the holiness of God will be
manifested (Isaiah 11:2-5). "In that day shall there be upon the
bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD....Yea, every pot in
Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts"
Everything from work to worship will be holy. Sin will be
punished (Psalm 72:1-4; Zechariah 14:16-21) in an open, just way.
The messianic age will also be characterized by a reign of peace
(Isaiah 2:4; 11:5-9; 65:25; Micah 4:3). Isaiah's prophecy reveals
many other conditions, including these:
* joy (Isaiah 9:3-4)
* glory (Isaiah 24:23)
* justice (Isaiah 9:7)
* full knowledge (Isaiah 11:1-2)
* instruction and learning (Isaiah 2:2-3)
* the removal of the curse on the earth and the elimination of
sickness (Isaiah 11:6-9; 33:24)
* longevity of life (Isaiah 65:20)
* prosperity in work (Isaiah 4:1; 35:1-2; 62:8-9)
* harmony in the animal kingdom (Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:25)
Zephaniah 3:9 and Isaiah 45:13 predict that the millennium will
have a pure language and pure worship. Pure worship will be
possible because of the awesome presence of God (Ezekiel
37:27-28). The physical presence of the Messiah guarantees these
blessings. Walvoord says, "The glorious presence of Christ in the
millennial scene is of course, the center of worship and
spirituality" (Walvoord, p.307).
THE PLACE OF JERUSALEM IN THE MILLENNIUM
Although the reign of Messiah will be universal, the center of
His government will be in Jerusalem: "Out of Zion shall go forth
the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:3).
Some believe that Jerusalem will again witness the presence of
David, this time in his resurrected body, serving as a prince or
regent under Christ and administering the millennial kingdom as
it relates to Israel. According to Ezekiel, David will act as a
shepherd over the people. "And I will set up one shepherd over
them, and he shall feed them ... and he shall be their shepherd.
And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince
among them; I the Lord have spoken it" (Ezekiel 34:23-24). These
interpreters also see this concept of David ruling under Christ
in Jeremiah 30:9; 33:15-17; Ezekiel 37:24-25; Hosea 3:5.
Many topographical changes will occur in Israel as Christ comes
to set His feet on the Mount of Olives.
"His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which
is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall
cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west,
and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain
shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south"
Concerning these physical changes around Jerusalem, Larsen
"A great earthquake will rend the Mount of Olives (Zechariah
14:3,4) and the mount of the Lord will be sufficient size for the
building of the millennial temple described in Ezekiel 40-48.
From its summit will flow the life-giving stream depicted in
Ezekiel 47:1-12 which will reach to the Dead Sea with its
rejuvenating qualities. Then, indeed, Jerusalem will be raised up
and remain in its place and the promise will be kept. It will be
inhabited. Never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be
secure" (Zechariah 14:10-11) (Larsen, p.314).
THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE MILLENNIUM
The people included in the millennial kingdom of Christ will be
Old Testament saints (Daniel 12:1-2,6,13), Tribulation saints
(Jews and Gentiles, both living and resurrected ones - Revelation
20:4), and the church of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Ryrie, pp.
149-50).... As Pentecost says:
"During the millennial reign of Christ, Israel as a nation will
fulfill the function for which they were originally set apart by
God. They will become a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6) who are
intermediaries between those who need to be saved and the King
who provides salvation. They will become as they were originally
appointed to be: God's lights to the world" (Pentecost,
SATAN AND HIS LAST REVOLT
As Messiah's 1000-year reign of righteousness and peace comes to
an end, Satan will be loosed for a season (Revelation 20:3). Why
is Satan loosed? Why will he not remain in that bottomless pit
forever? As Larsen says, "Lurking down in human hearts and
expressed in many a treatise on the human condition is the notion
that were only human beings economically self-sufficient, if only
we were spared the graft, crookedness and prejudiceness of public
officials, if only we did not have to face the insecurity of
hostile threat and war, we would do well" (Larsen, p.320). The
end of the millennium will reveal how unregenerate hearts will
still be open to believe the lie of the Devil and follow him in
his final revolt against God. Again it will be evident that
redemption through God's saving grace is the only answer for sin.
For 1000 years, no one will be influenced by Satanic or demonic
activity, corrupt government, war, sickness, or bad weather.
Still, people will rebel. All rebellion during the millennium
will find its cause not in man's external circumstances but in
his own internal corrupt nature. The loosing of Satan will
demonstrate that no type of social order or environment in the
world can possibly change the sinfulness of man's degenerate
heart. Only by a personal relationship with Messiah through
redemption can one resist not only his own evil human heart but
also Satan himself.
After this final rebellion, Satan will be cast into the lake of
fire (Revelation 20:10), and then will come the resurrection and
the Great White Throne judgment of all unsaved dead of all ages
of history with the result that they are cast into the lake of
fire (Revelation 20:12-15).
(Here the writer makes it obvious he does not understand the
purpose of the White Throne Judgment nor the plan of salvation
God has for all mankind. Both of those truths are expounded upon
in various studies on this Website - Keith Hunt)
After that will come the ushering in of new heavens and a new
earth with its eternal state (Revelation 21:1). What a glorious
moment that will be!
FROM THE MILLENNIUM TO THE ETERNAL STATE
At the end of the millennium, what will happen to the reign of
Jesus Christ? According to Pentecost, "While Christ's earthly
theocratic rule is limited to 1,000 years, which is sufficient
time to manifest God's perfect theocracy on the earth, His reign
is eternal" (Pentecost, "Things to Come," p.493).
(The fellow called Pentecost is right but also wrong. The Godhead
of the Father and the Son, will be supreme in rulership for
eternity, has they have for eternity past. But the technical fact
of Scripture is that Christ, at the end of the Millennium or
1,000 year period, will hand the Kingdom over to the Father, who
will come, with the heavenly city Jerusalem, to this new earth,
to live with all His children - 1 Cor.15:20-26; Rev. 21 and 22 -
The millennial kingdom of Christ will usher in the eternal
manifestation of the glory of the Lamb of God. Without the
scriptural doctrine of the millennium, we would have no bridge
between history and God's eternal order. This golden age will not
only be God's way of linking history but also giving to man
through the God-man, Jesus Christ, the dominion lost by the fall.
And Messiah will be magnified as the Son of David coming to sit
on the throne of David and reigning over the house of David from
the city of David, Jerusalem.
Bock, Darrell L., ed. "Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond."
Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999.
Clouse, Robert G., ed. "The Meaning of the Millennium. Four
Views." Downers Grove, IL. InterVarsity, 1977
Larsen, David L "Jews, Gentiles and the Church." Grand Rapids:
Discovery House Publishers, 1995.
McClain, Alva J. "The Greatness of the Kingdom." Chicago. Moody
Ryne, Charles C. "The Basis of the Premillennial Faith." Neptune,
NJ. Loizeaux Brothers, 1953.
Pentecost, J. Dwight. "Things to Came." Grand Rapids: Zondervan,
"Thy Kingdom Come." Wheaton, IL: Victory Books,
Walvoord, John F. "The Millennial Kingdom." Grand Rapids.
Entered on this Website, April 2009