What Can We Expect During the Millennium, Part 1?

December 20, 2016 at 8:40 AM 2 comments

The "rock" or "stone" is merely a metaphor for Jesus and He will return physically to this earth.

The “rock” or “stone” is merely a metaphor for Jesus and He will return physically to this earth.

We just finished a series based on the Eschatology of Romans as it relates to the Church and the separate nation of Israel. What we learned, among other things, is that some covenantal promises God made originally to Abraham and which were elaborated elsewhere in Scripture through the prophets, will not find ultimate fulfillment until the Lord Jesus returns physically and begins His 1,000 year reign. He will rule the earth physically from His earthly father David’s throne in Jerusalem.

What is fascinating is that we see the times of the Gentiles unfold, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian Kingdom, followed by the Medo-Persian Empire, followed by the Grecian Empire of Alexander, and finally the Roman Empire (cf. Daniel 2 & 7), but these kingdoms will be utterly destroyed and no remnant of them will remain once Jesus (the Stone made without hands; Daniel 2), returns to this earth. His return will usher in a new age, the age of Messiah’s rule over the very earth He created (cf. Colossians 1).

This coming new age we refer to as the Millennium because it will last for the 1,000 years foretold in Scripture in numerous places. We want to take the time to break this period down to learn what Scripture says about it. Obviously, readers will understand that we do not agree with Amillennialists who do not believe that there is a coming period of 1,000 years over which Jesus will physically rule the earth. Amillennial means “no millennium” and truly, the only way this conclusion can be determined from Scripture is when portions of the text referring to the Millennium are taken allegorically. When understood in a literal fashion (most plain and ordinary sense), the position of Amillennialism is refuted.

One of the arguments against the upcoming literal Millennium over which Jesus will rule is that some find it difficult to believe that He will only rule for 1,000 years. Isn’t Jesus King of kings and Lord of lords? Isn’t He Creator God and God the Son? Doesn’t He currently rule now? The answer to these questions is a resounding yes!

We know that Jesus currently sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven and He rules with Him now (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 2:8-9; John 1:1-3; 17:5; Acts 7:55-56). However, if we consider just Psalm 2, we learn that God the Father will install as ruler His Son, Jesus, to rule the nations from Zion (Jerusalem). It is an interesting Psalm and one that is tied to God the Son’s future rule over all the earth. Revelation tells us that He will rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27) and this refers to His physical rule over all the earth. It is difficult to understand Scripture in terms of allegory when it is too clear that the texts are to be taken literally, just as the texts were to be taken literally referring to Christ’s physical birth as an infant into this world as a human being (while retaining His full deity; the God-Man with two natures; Philippians 2).

Our premise is that the upcoming Millennial Kingdom reign of Jesus is to be understood literally or in its most plain and ordinary sense. It is from this position that these articles are presented. Each reader is certainly free to accept or reject what is published here and in fact, each reader is responsible for thoroughly engaging with the Scriptures to determine if what is presented here is what the Scriptures actually teach. That is each reader’s responsibility just as it is our responsibility to teach what we fully believe the Bible teaches. Once again, we will not enter into endless and pointless debates over this subject (or any other). Requests for clarification are fine. Debating is simply pointless because it usually involves arguing over opposing positions that are already firmly held. It really serves no purpose.

In this short series, we will endeavor to answer the following questions:

  1. When will the Millennium start?
  2. Why will there be a Millennium at all?
  3. What will be the tone of the Millennium?
  4. What kind of things will people do during the Millennium?
  5. Will people die during the Millennium?
  6. When the Millennium ends, what happens after that?

These six questions are the main questions but we will address others as they come up. Thank you for joining us and we hope you find value in this series. Following this series, we will embark on a journey that deals with Dispensationalism answering questions like

  1. What is Dispensationalism?
  2. Does Dispensationalism really teach two forms of salvation?
  3. How did Dispensationalism start?
  4. Is Dispensationalism anti-God and anti-Bible?

For now, let’s find out more about the upcoming Millennium where Jesus will reign physically for 1,000 years. Is this on your radar as a Christian? Do you long to be with Him, serving Him perfectly during this upcoming time of true peace on earth?

The Millennium
There are essentially three main views of the Millennium that permeate Christendom. Briefly, they are:

  1. Postmillennialism – this view essentially began with Daniel Whitby (1628-1725), “a British Unitarian who held that a kingdom of righteousness and peace would finally be brought to earth by our brotherhood and sisterhood, the triumphant progress of Christianity, and the power of the church in world affairs.” [1]
  2. Amillennialism – this particular view denies that there will be an upcoming period of 1,000 years over which Jesus will rule the entire earth. Those who hold this position believe “that the kingdom is spiritual rather than literal and present rather than a future reality. It affirms that the return of Christ, if literal, must be a single event accompanied by one general resurrection and one general judgment, all of which will take place at the end of time. This view has its origin with Augustine (354 – 430), who taught that Satan was bound at the first advent of Christ, and that the Millennium is spiritual rather than literal…” This view is essentially the view of the Roman Catholic Church.
  3. Premillennialism – this view has its origins with the early church (prior to Augustine), and holds that a literal, 1,000-year reign of Jesus physically present over the entire earth will occur following the coming Tribulation period of seven years. “Premillennialism is the product of normal, conservative Bible interpretation, which is literal interpretation.” [2] Individuals such as Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and others understood the Scriptures to teach a Premillennial view of the coming kingdom.

Each student of the Bible needs to determine which view is the correct view of Scripture. As noted, for us, we hold to the third or Premillennial view of the coming kingdom of our Lord. There appears to be ample evidence from Scripture to support the Premillennial view of the coming Millennium and we will present a brief understanding of that support.

Since it is clear that noted members of the early church understood God’s Word to teach that there was coming a physical, literal 1,000-year reign of our Lord upon this earth, the connection all the way back to the early church appears intact and is a good evidence of the validity and value of the Premillennial position. Of course, going back to Daniel 2 also tends to prove the validity of the Premillennial view. Since in Daniel 2, the four Gentile kingdoms have literally come and gone as they were physical kingdoms led by physical individuals, we note from the text that the Rock made without hands will come (physically) to destroy them all should also be taken literally. In that case, while the text itself is presented as a metaphor or allegory, the actual meaning of the text is what is important. Jesus will return physically to rule over what He gained through His atonement; the title deed to earth among other things (cf. Revelation 5).

But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth (Daniel 2:35b; NIV).

In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces (Daniel 2:44-45; NIV)

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven,” (Acts 1:10-11; NIV).

The text in Acts 1 tells us without equivocation that Jesus will return physically to this earth because that is the way He left this earth. It is not an event that is in debate. The Bible in many places informs us to this truth. The messengers from God who spoke these words to the “men of Galilee” could have meant nothing else. They confirmed the fact that Jesus will return physically to this earth at some point in the future.

The texts of Daniel 2 also point out this same truth. It is difficult to deny and in essence, the only way it can be denied is to either doubt the veracity of Scripture or to allegorize it to mean something else entirely. We prefer to understand God’s Word in its most plain and ordinary sense.

Next time, we will go over a few more sections of Scripture that we believe firmly point to the literal understanding that at some future point in time, Jesus will physically return to this earth and will then set up His Kingdom over will He shall reign (in fulfillment of Psalm 2) over all the earth for 1,000 years. Please join us then!

 

 

[1] Dictionary of Premillennial Theology, Mal Couch (Gen. Ed.; Kregel, 1996), p. 259

[2] Ibid, p 260

 

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