20 Studies in Bible Prophecy
Study 17 - The Millennial Kingdom
Having consummated His purpose for the church in the rapture (see Study 3), God will bring in His kingdom of peace and righteousness. Psalmists and prophets speak of this in most inspiring terms, while Jesus taught His disciples to anticipate the climax of redemption's story. What a prospect! Jesus Christ in supreme control, reigning from shore to shore. This golden age can be realised only when Jesus returns to the planet as King.
The term "millennium" is of Latin origin and denotes in theology the thousand years of Christ's administrative reign referred to in (Rev. 20:1-7). The phrase "a thousand years" is used six times in that section. Millennarianism is belief in the thousand year reign of Christ between Christ's coming for His church (the rapture) and the end of the world. The crucial passage relative to millennial teaching is (Rev. 20:1-7). Indeed here we have the first and only reference to the chronology of the reign, but this is not the sole reference to an earthly kingdom. This truth is the subject of Old Testament prediction and the content of much in the New Testament. It is clear from (Rev. 20) that there is to be an interregnum, an administrative kingdom which will precede the finality of the human race and give place to the eternal state. An honest examination of both Testaments serves to direct our hope forward to a Messianic kingdom on earth, to a throne with a royal occupant of the house of David (Luke 1:32-33).
There is a clash of opinion among prophetic scholars on this particular issue, and we must look at this by way of introduction.