THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM
The doctrine of the millennial reign of Christ addresses the 1000-year reign of Jesus Christ on earth following the Great Tribulation (mega-thlipsis). Some advocate that the 1000 years is figurative, implying a significant amount of time, but not necessarily a literal 1000 years.
The Book of Revelation refers to the millennium 6 times in Revelation 20:2-7, where the duration is said to be 1000 years.
- He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things, he must be released for a little while. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
If there is a possible question concerning the duration of time, it will fall within the perimeters of establishing doctrine. The universal consensus is that there must be at least three or more references to any possible doctrine to establish a belief. The millennium is addressed six times in one passage; however, as it is only mentioned in one passage, a reasonable question can be raised concerning the amount of time allotted to the events assigned to the millennium.
Regardless of the time Jesus will assign to the completion of the duties of the millennium, Scripture says that when Christ returns to earth, He will establish Himself as King in Jerusalem, sitting on the throne of David,
- He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:32-33).
The covenants expect an established kingdom. The Abrahamic covenant included land, spiritual blessing, and a ruler;
- Now, the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis12:1-3).
The Palestinian covenant promises a restoration of the land and occupation of the land for Israel,
- “Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you.If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. “Also the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. And you will again obey the voice of the Lord and do all His commandments which I command you today. The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 30:1-10).
David’s covenant promise includes forgiveness for Israel, whereby the nation will be blessed,
- “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
The second coming and the millennial reign will cause the three covenants to be fulfilled. Israel will be gathered from among the nations,
- and He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24:31).
- During the millennium, the Jewish people will recognize Christ as the Messiah and be converted, “and I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves(Zechariah 12:10-14).
Scripture describes the millennium as being a perfect environment physically and spiritually.
The millennium will be a period of peace, quietness, and assurance,
- many nations shall come and say, “come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken (Micah 4:2-4).
- The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places (Isaiah 32:17-18).
The millennium will be a period of joy,
- instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs (Isaiah 61:7,10).
The millennium will be a period of Comfort
- “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. “Speak [a]comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”(Isaiah 40:1-2).
The millennium will be a period of nopoverty and no sickness
- “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God.“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Amos 9:13-15;Joel 2:28-29).
Only believers in Christ will partake of the millennial kingdom. The millennium will be a time of perfect righteousness,
- “then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully,(Matthew 25:37; Psalms 24:3-4), obedience, but this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people(Jeremiah 31:33), holiness, a highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray (Isaiah 35:8), truth (Isaiah 65:16), and fullness of the Holy Spirit, “and it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days (Joel 2:28-29).
In the millennium, Christwill rule as king,
- You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy; they rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest,as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For You have broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder,the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle, and garments rolled in blood, will be used for burning and fuel [c]of fire. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given;and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace, there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:3-7).
- There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist.“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious” (11:1-10).
King David will serve as a regent,
- “‘In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth,” “for thus says the Lord: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers; “On that day I will raise up thetabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old (Jeremiah 33:15,17,21;Amos 9:11).
Jerusalem will be the political center of the world,
- “Thus says the Lord: ‘I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain’” (Zechariah 8:3).
The fulfillment of many of God’s covenants and promises rests on a literal, physical, future kingdom. There is no solid basis to deny the literal interpretation of the millennial kingdom and its duration.
- Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
The Millennium refers to the 1,000-year period from Jerusalem, where Jesus ruled the world in righteousness, peace, and prosperity.
- Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for [a]a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-6).
The millennium will bring blessings to the earth as the restorative work of Jesus is accomplished in the areas of agriculture, the atmosphere, and the ecosystem of the planet, including animal life.
The Kingdom of God will affect every sphere of humanity, including politics, economics, spirituality, education, agriculture, family, media, arts, technology, athletics, environment, and social institutions.