What Is The Purpose Of The Millennium? Why Will Christ Reign On Earth For One Thousand Years?

What is the “Millennium” that is repeatedly referred to (six times in Revelation chapter 20) in the Book of Revelation?

Well, the Latin word “Millennium” itself provides much of the answer: “mille” means “one thousand” and “annum” means “years.”  One thousand years.  Sadly, what is quite clear in Scripture is largely denied by the majority of the last days Church.  “One thousand years” doesn’t mean “one thousand years”; it becomes a metaphor for something else; it’s all just smoke-and-mirrors symbolism.  And Revelation becomes an incomprehensible book that is better left unread because Amillennialists have muddied and distorted it until it is nigh impossible to explain.

For the record, “Amillennialism” means “no thousand years” even though Revelation chapter 20 specifically refers to “a thousand years” six different times.  How did such a bizarre doctrine form?

During the time of the great Christian scholar Augustine in the fifth century AD, there was no Israel, there had been no Israel for centuries and there was no apparent hope of there ever being a national Israel.  And so many passages in Revelation that made crystal clear sense in light of a national Israel made no sense at all without a national Israel; and we needed symbolism to understand what apparently could not be understood literally.  If there were no Israel, as I shall explain in this article, there would clearly be no reason whatsoever to have a Millennium.  And since there was no Israel when this theology was written, Israel was literally written out and allegory and metaphor was literally written in in Israel’s place.  And since “Israel” was merely a word that had been redefined to mean something else, why not do the same thing with the words “thousand years”???

Tragically, many of these amillennialist denominations have largely abandoned the true faith in favor of secular humanism and political correctness.  And that happened largely because nothing literally meant anything on their interpretations any more – and even the Resurrection of Christ became another allegory or metaphor rather than a literal event in history.

I argue that this is a lack of faith on man’s part rather than a lack of ability to perform a miracle on God’s part.  Ezekiel chapter 37 prophecies a national rebirth of Israel from “dead bones.”  And that is precisely what happened as a people who were nearly destroyed in the Holocaust – with the survivors being transformed into living skeletons due to starvation and disease – in 1948 as Israel miraculously became a nation after two thousand years of exile.  During those two thousand years, Jews who clung to the promises of God would say every year in conclusion of the Seder, “Next year in Jerusalem!”  And Bible-believing Christians always believed that with them.

Amillennialists want to depict premillennialism (the belief in a literal 1,000 year rule of Christ on earth) and dispensationalism (the belief that God has been dispensing or administering His revelation according to His own will and according to various stages of human history) as something that was developed in the mind of one man named Charles Nelson Darby in the late 19th century.  But that simply isn’t true.  In fact, the doctrines that fly in the face of the amillennialist system have been around for centuries and in fact predate amillennialism.  You can go back to Romans chapter 11 to see that Israel – yes, national Israel – would be saved.  Romans 11:26 very specifically says “all Israel will be saved.”  And there is no rational definition of “all Israel” that does not include the nation of Israel.  And for “all Israel” – very much including the nation of Israel – to be saved, it would have to actually somehow EXIST.  Which happened on May 14, 1948.  Exactly as those who took the Bible literally held to a literal nation of Israel and a literal Millennium said would happen for centuries prior to 1948 and continued to say right up to that historic day on May 14.

On May 14, 1948, those who clung to a literal Millennium and a literal Israel were proven right.  And those who denied the Millennium and denied national Israel were proven wrong.

Why is the existence of Israel crucial to the belief in a one thousand-year Millennium during which Jesus Christ will physically rule and reign over the earth from His Davidic throne in Jerusalem?  For one reason: the Millennium is the time when Messiah will fulfill EVERY SINGLE promise He made to His people Israel.

In the Old Testament, God’s promises to His people for faithful obedience were very literal and very material.  He promised them the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession (see Gen 12:1-7;  22:17 cf Numbers 26:52-56); He promised them material abundance and long physical lives on earth (Isaiah 65:17-23).  But most of all they were promised that their Messiah would rule and reign over the nations among them on the throne of David in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Micah 4:1-5; Zechariah 6:13).  The very nature of nature itself will be profoundly altered during this period, such that the wolf will lay down with the lamb (Isaiah 11:6; 65:25).

Amillennialists want to allegorize such verses and claim that they refer to heaven.  But when Isaiah 65:20 teaches that a person who dies before the age of a hundred will be presumed to have been cursed for his sins, how can that possibly refer to “heaven”?  This is clearly a reference to a very clearly literal Millennium period during which Jesus Christ shall physically rule from Jerusalem just as the Scriptures consistently claim.

During the Tribulation all Israel – national Israel – will be saved.  God has a purpose for the Tribulation to bring grace to His people and He will bring grace to His genetic people Israel just as He promised.  They will see their Messiah and mourn and weep as they would for a lost son and they shall repent as a people and be saved (Zechariah 12:10).  And during the Millennium Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords, shall rule over the nations for one thousand years from the city of Jerusalem and from the throne of David – just as God promised His people Israel.

And every single promise God made to His people Israel He shall fulfill.  Because the God who is faithful to His Church will be faithful to the people through whom God gave birth to the Church.

I find it interesting that King David ruled Israel very nearly exactly one thousand years prior to the coming of Jesus of Nazareth to die for the sins of the world as in His First Advent as Messiah.  The nation of Israel almost immediately stumbled into sin.  Even King David himself had to be judged for gross sin (2 Samuel 12; 2 Samuel 24).  During the Millennium, Jesus Christ will show Israel how He would have blessed them if they had obeyed His Word.  Jesus will heal Israel for a thousand years of disobedience by giving them a thousand years of blessing.  That, I believe, is the ultimate purpose of the Millennium.

But just as with the Tribulation, God has a secondary purpose for the world.

At the very beginning of the Millennium, God sends an archangel to bind Satan and throw him into the abyss for the duration of the Millennium (Rev 20:1-3) so that he cannot deceive the nations to pursue evil.  At the end of the Millennium, Satan is released (Rev 20:7).

So why is Satan bound for a thousand years only to be released in Rev. 20?  Just as God gives sinful man his chance to “have it his own way” during the Tribulation in order to reveal in history that man simply cannot make it without Jesus Christ, so also does God give the human race in the Millennial Kingdom this “opportunity” to turn their backs on Jesus.  By releasing Satan, God demonstrates in human history that as long as man has a choice – even with Christ physically ruling over him in Jerusalem – sinful man will always choose evil.  The wicked always have an excuse for their wickedness; they will claim now that God was not visible enough for them.  But even when God is so visible He is literally reigning over them in Jerusalem for every human eye to see, they will still rebel against God the moment they have a chance to hear the devil’s lies.  Sin is not the unfortunate result of poverty or our environment; it is the result of our fallen nature apart from Christ.  And so even the Millennium Kingdom – as idyllic as it is compared with the world Christ just saved at the end of the Tribulation – is not ultimately adequate.  We need the ultimate state of heaven where God will confirm us in our righteousness and where no Satan can ever tread.  That’s why.

If you have the kind of faith by which God will save your soul from hell, you do not need to see God with your physical eyes.  If you do not have such faith, you will not believe even if God is right in front of you.  It is ultimately not the lies of the devil which snare us, but our own propensity toward wickedness that makes us beings who want to be deceived with lies because we do not love the truth as embodied in Jesus Christ.

In the end, God stands as always true to His Word, while Satan will ultimately burn forever in hell as the great deceiver who always encouraged fallen man to live down to his lowest common denominator of sin.

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13 Responses to “What Is The Purpose Of The Millennium? Why Will Christ Reign On Earth For One Thousand Years?”

  1. HL Says:

    “If you have the kind of faith by which God will save your soul from hell, you do not need to see God with your physical eyes. If you do not have such faith, you will not believe even if God is right in front of you. It is ultimately not the lies of the devil which snare us, but our own propensity toward wickedness that makes us beings who want to be deceived with lies because we do not love the truth as embodied in Jesus Christ.”

    Michael, I have observed this coming to pass. A few years ago I had some extended family visit, and a couple of opportunites presented to share the truth about Jesus. They would have none of it, holding firmly to their unbelief in the truth, their belief in evolution and many other lies Liberals believe. I was pouring out my heart to the Lord over them
    and a verse came to my mind where Jesus told people that if they did not believe Moses they would not believe even if someone rose from the dead. I believe the Holy Spirit was guiding me into the truth about what was really going on.
    Good post.

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    HL,

    The thing is that we don’t know whom God has chosen for salvation. We should always be ready to preach the Gospel and to give a reasoned defense of our faith in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:15).

    The last thing we should do is decide that a particular person will never receive the Gospel and not present it to that person.

    That said, Jesus also told us not to cast our pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6); and He told us to shake the dust off our feet when our Gospel message is rejected (Matthew 10:14).

    We shouldn’t be forcing our preaching on people who don’t want to hear it, but rather pray for them and pray that God would give us an opportunity to present the Gospel when they ARE ready to hear it.

    But in the end, it remains true: most of the world does not want to hear the Gospel, would not believe it if they did hear it, and have their hearts hardended against God. And we need to spend less time on those people and more time on those who would receive the Gospel if we would only preach it to them!

  3. FMC Says:

    I have spent my whole life arguing with people regarding the truth. I must say that I have only impacted a very small percentage of them. However, throughout my natural life, if I can help save even a handful of souls from perdition, then it will be worth it.

    It is definitely true that most people will never accept the Gospel, no matter how much you try or plead with them. Many of these people are so bound by sin, that the door is wide open to demons. Their job is to kill, steal and destroy and their tactics are ruthless and endless. When dealing with the unbeliever, not only are you dealing with them, but, even more so, you are dealing with the spirits that are influencing them. Satan, although nothing compared to God, is infinitely more intelligent than the smartest man that ever lived and his ability to subtly twist and distort the truth and lead people captive is beyond mortal comprehension. His emissaries, the demons, are also vastly intelligent and these fallen beings have been watching human behavior for a very long time.

    Of course, anybody can be saved and God definitely does not want anyone to perish, but God gave everyone free will and he will not violate that. I guess you could say that is one area where satan has the advantage.

    I often wondered what population of the U.S. is truly saved. From my experience and limited knowledge, I would say it is somewhere around 10%, roughly 30 million people. We are a heathen nation.

  4. Michael Eden Says:

    I often wondered what population of the U.S. is truly saved. From my experience and limited knowledge, I would say it is somewhere around 10%, roughly 30 million people. We are a heathen nation.

    FMC,

    I think your estimate is likely close to correct.

    We have been and remain one of the most Christian nations on earth (and not long ago we were stil THE most Christian nation on earth). We were a nation forged from the worldview of founding fathers who were overwhelmingly Christian (52 of the 55 signers of the US Constitution were publicly-confessed Christians and many of these men had seminary educations) and who unanimously had a Judeo-Christian worldview. Even today, a far higher percentage of citizens of the United States are “Christians” than in any other nation on earth.

    What happened?

    We were trained to withdraw from culture. First we abandoned education and hospitals to the government before the nineteenth century became the twentieth. The schools were almost exclusively run by Christian denominations. But the government was willing to step in and take over what the Christian Church started. The government said they would never get rid of the Bible and prayer and Christian moral principles. And we had the noble competing goal of expanding our global missions to the world. We trusted the government. They lied. We were trained to withdraw from the “science” debate and allow the cultural myth that Darwinism was in any meaningful way true to stand. Again, Christians were the first ones to start universities. In America, 106 of the first 108 colleges and universities were established as Christian institutions to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But we turned those over to the secular humanists, too. We started science and education, but we handed them over to bad people who then turned what we started and entrusted to them into weapons that they used against us. And since then they have banished and purged conservatives in the most blatant ideological purge in ANY institution in America as liberals show their rabid intolerance. And of course we NEVER really had any control over the media; because the modern media actually developed out of US war propaganda from WW1 and then WW2. And all the men who dominated the field of journalism were liberal secular humanist progressives.

    Lies become “truth” simply because they are repeated so many times by so many media elites. We have almost no voice to shout with in the wilderness.

    We COULD have fought and could have won the fight for our culture, but we were force-fed political correctness. That was packaged to us as “tolerance” when it was actually rabidly intolerant against Judeo-Christian values and militantly intended to impose dramatically opposing values in their place.

    I believe America has crossed the threshold. I believe Europe had ALREADY crossed the threshold. By “threshold” I mean we have crossed a point where our culture has become truly toxic. Just as happened to the Amorites before us according to Genesis 15:16. That cup of wrath took 400 years to fill, but when it was full God judged that wicked people just as He is already beginning to judge US. And I believe the world is ready for the beast and God is telling His people to action before the Rapture of the Church.

    We have but a short time to be preachers and teachers of the Gospel before we’re taken out of the world as the Antichrist comes as God’s very first judgment (see Revelation 6:1-2) against the wicked and toxic world.

  5. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    I agree with all the previous comments in this thread.

    All you can do is obey the Greatest Two Commandments and to fulfill the Great Commission. Whom God chooses to save… we don’t know. We just faithfully preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  6. Michael Eden Says:

    Truth Unites… and Divides,

    well said.

  7. HL Says:

    Michael, I believe the Lord Jesus was giving me insight into a specific situation I had just experienced. I was truly grief stricken over our relatives rejection of the Scriptures and Jesus. They were the ones who for the most part brought up conversations about our faith. The bottom line for them was that the Scriptures were ‘written by men’, and everything I had to say was rejected due to that fundamental belief. They accused me of ‘circular reasoning.’
    After they left, I kept going over conversations in my mind wondering if I should have said something differently or better. It was in that context of talking to the Lord about the matter that the verse came to mind that I believe was from him to give me insight and encourage my heart.
    Jesus said if people don’t believe the Word of God is just that, they would not believe even if someone rose from the dead. He knows all peoples hearts and I think He was letting me in on what was in their hearts.
    Is it possible they might come to repentance? Maybe, but I don’t think so. I would be glad if they did.
    I think what I’m saying is probably not politically correct among most Christians, but this experience was a real eye opener for me. Jesus also said we can know people by their fruit, so I may not know who He has chosen for salvation, but I can know people by the fruit of their lives and their rejection of the gospel.

  8. daniel Says:

    Outstanding post. It is truth like this that trully prepares us for the road ahead. Thank you!

  9. Michael Eden Says:

    HL,

    They were every bit as guilty of circular reasoning as they claimed you were. They said “the Scriptures were ‘written by men’ – and therefore it must clearly be a fact that “the Scriptures were ‘written by men’.”

    One of the interesting things is that most Christians are NOT guilty of circular reasoning. My act of faith as a Christian wasn’t “believing the Scriptures were written by God”; it was my believing in Jesus. I believed that Jesus was really who He claimed to be; I believed that He lived a perfect life in my place and then took my place on the cross. And I believed that I would go to Heaven because of what Jesus had done for me. And I came to know Jesus personally as a Person. I relate to Him and He is not only with me but He has miraculously come through for me when I prayed in His name.

    I came to believe the Bible was the inspired Word of the Living God mostly as a process of learning and understanding more about my faith. Fulfilled prophecy is enough for me to realize that only God could have put the Bible together. But my faith in the Bible is anchored in my faith in Jesus Christ. And my faith in the Bible is NOT anchored by my faith in the Bible. So I am not guilty of circular reasoning.

    It was, rather your relatives who were guilty of circular reasoning. They’re rejection of the Bible as “written by men” is an “a priori” for them. It is the assertion on which their faith rest. There is no God, therefore any evidence that there could be a God is irrelevant. The Scriptures are the writings of men. Why? Because it is not possible and not to be considered that they could be the Word of God.

    As for your last question about your relatives possibly getting saved, the answer is that of course they might.

    I believe the most effective way to bring somebody into the kingdom is to begin by praying for that person or people. Every single day and every time you think about it you say a prayer that they would be saved. When you pray, you’re asking God to change circumstances, to change that person, to drive “circumstances” such that God would answer your prayers.

    God may have given you an insight into what’s “posessing” your relatives so you can know what you need to pray for regarding the obstacles keeping them from being saved.

    What’s also nice about that approach – praying for them – is that it’s a way of genuinely loving them without having to actually talk to them so they can drive you up the wall.

  10. Michael Eden Says:

    Thanks for your gracious note, Daniel.

    I’m looking forward to the Rapture. Given the nature of our times, I’m calling it “The Great Bailout,” because when Christ instantaneously transforms our bodies into our glorified bodies in the Rapture according to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, He will be bailout us out of a lot of hell on earth.

    When Christ is King on earth as He is in heaven, planet earth will know peace.

  11. Michael Says:

    Excellent article.

  12. mahustlerszone Says:

    Reblogged this on Embakasi Reloaded.

  13. Michael Eden Says:

    Thank you, mahustlerszone

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