In a world that is desperate for peace, the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ will be a welcomed time of Peace for all of mankind. The Millennial Reign will be a period of time in which Jesus Christ will reign on earth for 1,000 years as the sovereign ruler, in fulfillment of many Old and New Testament prophecies. During His reign, Satan will be bound and sealed in the bottomless pit so that he will have no influence in the earth to deceive mankind. Jesus’ rule will span the entire world. He will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords of the whole world. He will also sit on the throne of His father, David, ruling over Israel.
Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, in his book Things to Come states: “The millennium will be the period of the full manifestation of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be the manifestation of glory associated with the humanity of Christ. There will be the glory of a glorious dominion, in which Christ, by virtue of his obedience unto death, is given universal dominion to replace that dominion which Adam lost. There will be the glory of a glorious government, in which Christ, as David’s son is given absolute power to govern. There will be the glory of a glorious inheritance, in which the land and the seed promised to Abraham are realized through Christ…”
John F. Walvoord, in his book The Revelation of Jesus Christ states: “Advocates of this view hold that the millennium is a period in which Christ will literally reign on earth as its supreme political leader and that the many promises of the Old Testament relating to a kingdom on earth in which Israel will be prominent and Gentiles will be blessed will have complete and literal fulfillment.”
What does the term Millennial Reign mean? The word “millennium” is from the Latin words mille and annum. Mille means one thousand (1000). Annum means years. When both words are combined they mean one thousand years. The word “reign” means the time during which someone such as a sovereign reigns. Royal authority is the period of time during which a king, queen, emperor, is ruler of a country.
The words “one thousand years” are mentioned six times in the Book of Revelation chapter 20 verses 1-7. I believe the Lord wanted to make it clear that during Jesus Christ time of rule He will reign for a literal one thousand years. Some have tried to make this reference a figurative or spiritual one. The Scriptures confirm that this kingdom would be literal. Jesus will be the sovereign King with all authority reigning physically in His earthly kingdom.
The Prophets Declare His Millennial Reign
The prophet Zechariah prophesied the coming of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem with detailed accuracy. He described Jesus being presented to the nation of Israel, first as a lowly king riding on a donkey. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion’ shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Zechariah 9:9.
How humble of King Jesus was, to be presented to the nation of Israel riding on such a lowly beast as a donkey. This prophecy indicated how God would use His Son to redeem the earth. Zechariah also predicted His second coming and reign on earth. He stated that Jesus would one day return and set His feet on the Mount of Olives before Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:4), and that He would return to earth to be King and one Lord over all the earth.
“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.” (Zechariah 14:9)
The prophet Isaiah also wrote of the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ. He stated that the governments would be on His shoulders, signifying that He would have full responsibility for ruling all the world. He declared that Jesus would be called Wonderful, Counselor, and The Mighty God. This shows the deity of Christ, meaning Jesus is God. He called Him the Everlasting Father, affirming His eternal existence. Isaiah refers to Him as the Prince of Peace, declaring Him as the true peacemaker; the one coming to bring peace to the entire world. And finally, Jesus will sit on the throne of David, ordering and establishing it with judgment and justice. This one accession, irrefutably, places Him within the rich lineage and heritage of King David, who is a descendant of Abraham.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
In the New Testament book of Revelation, the apostle John predicted that the length of His reign will be one thousand years. This may seem to limit the time of Christ’ reign, but it actually begins His everlasting dominion that will continue from the Millennium kingdom into the Eternal State in the New Heavens and New Earth (Revelation 20:4, 6).
Different Views on the Millennial Reign
The Millennial Reign has become one of the most misunderstood teachings in the Word of God. Numerous views have been taught on the subject, which adds to the misunderstanding and confusion. There are three major views taught that we will examine. The first is called the A-Millennial View, the second is the Post-Millennial view, and the third is the Pre-Millennial view.
1) The A-Millennial View: The a-millennial interpretation is a denial that there will be a one thousand-year reign of Christ after His return to earth. It is a-millennial or non-millennial, because it denies the literal reign of Christ on earth. This view was developed in 400 A.D. by St. Augustine. It was adopted by the Roman Catholic Church in 431 A.D. at the Council of Ephesus.
2) The Post-Millennial View: This view basically believes that the world will get better and better until the whole world is Christianized and then Christ will return to a kingdom of peace. This view was originated by Daniel Whitby (1638-1726), a Unitarian in England. Although he was censored for some of his heretical views, many conservative theologians rapidly embraced and propagated his viewpoint on the millennium.
3) The Pre-Millennial View: This view teaches that Jesus Christ will return to earth, literally and bodily, before the millennial age begins. It says that by His presence, a kingdom will be instituted over which He will reign, and that all of Israel’s covenants will be literally fulfilled. It will continue for a thousand years, after which the kingdom will be given by the Son to the Father when it will merge with His eternal kingdom.
Generally speaking, one’s view of interpreting the Scriptures determines whether or not he or she is a pre-millennialist. For the most part, all who believe the Bible to be literal are pre-millennialists.
I believe the Pre-Millennial view stands the test of Scripture and gives a clear and balanced perspective on God’s end-time program. This view stands on the literal interpretation of the reign of Jesus Christ sitting on a real throne in the future. A colleague once said, “When the plain sense make sense there is no other sense, unless you end up with non-sense.” Just as Jesus’ first coming was literal, so will this one thousand years of Christ ruling on earth be literal. It’s unreasonable to think that only part of the prophecies on His life will be fulfilled literally and the balance not be completed the same way.
What is God’s Purpose for the Millennial Reign?
The purpose of the Millennium will be to establish the physical rule of Jesus Christ in the Earth. Christ will fulfill all of the Old and New Testament prophecies regarding His life. To best understand the physical prophecies regarding Christ Jesus, we need to remember the words of our Lord in Matthew 5:18: “…till Heaven and Earth pass, one jot and tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
In essence, the Lord was stating that all of the Word of God will be fulfilled before Heaven and Earth will pass away. Many of these future physical prophecies cannot yet be fulfilled because they are linked to Christ’s physical return. At His first coming, Jesus fulfilled 300 physical prophecies. Discovering the prophecies of Christ’s future physical reign will further help in understanding the overall purpose of the Millennial Reign.
In Matthew 2:6, it states that out of Judah, a Governor shall come and rule God’s people Israel. Luke 1:32-33 conveys that God shall give Him the throne of his father David and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever. The prophet Daniel said in his book that dominion, glory, and a kingdom will be given to Jesus, and all people, nations, and languages, will serve Him (Daniel 7:14). Micah 4:7 lets us know that Jesus will reign over Mount Zion. Isaiah speaks quite vividly of a glorious kingdom given to Jesus from God. He will be firmly established and will rule in a royal manner. It will be delivered with much fanfare and brilliant splendor. He will also give Him the key of the house of David which signifies authority. And He should be for a glorious throne to his father’s house, (Isaiah 22:21-23).
Clearly, these prophecies show that Jesus will sovereignly reign over His own kingdom, which He did not fulfill at His first coming. The Millennial kingdom is the time when all of these prophecies will be fulfilled.
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Evangelist Donald Perkins is the Founder and President of According To Prophecy Ministries. He has devoted much of his life to the study of biblical end-time prophecy. He is also a member of the Pre-trib Research Study Group, founded by Dr. Tim LaHaye. Learn more at according2prophecy.org
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