A few days ago I had a brief dialog with a missionary friend of mine in Europe about the subject of the Millennium. He wrote this:
Millennium – a word not found in your Bible, denoting a mythical time period somewhere in the far future when all we don’t have faith for now will suddenly happen as if by magic…
So I wrote a note back to him:
While the literal word “Millennium” is not in the Bible, just as the word “Rapture” is also not there, Revelation chapter 20 does specifically refer six times to a period of 1000 years of Christ’s reign on earth.
And he wrote back:
Neither Jesus nor the apostles preached a millennial gospel . . . No other scriptures [other than the book of Revelation] speak of a temporary kingdom to be set up when Christ returns . . . The Millennium was not a part of Jesus’ gospel…
So I decided to leave it at that for right then.
But it did certainly get me thinking. As a Christian and Bible teacher, I definitely believe in the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth. If any of us are believers at all, we’ve prayed the prayer He taught us to pray which includes, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) We who love the Lord have that kingdom in our hearts already. But is it really here on earth right now?
In other posts such as “Did He Really Say That?” I’ve gone into the sayings of Jesus where He clearly stated that He was going away, but that He would return here. One simple and clear place to see this is in John 14: 1-3.
Personally, I feel uneasy about beginning to dissect and dismembered the Word of God. Since God’s plan has always been a progressive unfolding of the truth, I find no problem at all with the book of Revelation having a more complete and detailed explanation of the future than what we find in the Gospels.
If we are to remove Revelation 20 from the Bible, shall we also take the next two chapters away, the last ones in the Bible? These two talk about the “New Heaven and the New Earth” which are to come at the end of the Millennium, talked about in Revelation 20. And then we find back in the Old Testament that Isaiah foretold the same thing perhaps 800 years before the writing of Revelation, speaking of the coming “new heavens and the new earth” in Isaiah 66:22.
In my video on Daniel Chapter 2, I emphasis what seems to be the highpoint of that chapter, verse 44, which says:
“In the days of these kings, the God of Heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other peoples, but it shall crush and destroy all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. “
Then in the video on Daniel Chapter 7, again this coming kingdom on earth is highlighted in verse 27 which says:
“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”
Elsewhere in Revelation, not just in chapter 20, it talks about a coming of God’s kingdom on earth immediately after the Second Coming of the Lord. In Revelation 11:15 it says “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior”, which is at the time of the 7th trumpet. In Revelation 5:10 the 24 elders say “you’ve made us unto our God, kings and priests, and we shall rule on the earth.”
There are oodles more Scriptures like this. Isaiah saw “the lion shall lay down with the lamb” (Isaiah 11:6; 65:25) and “they shall beat their swords into plowshares” (Isaiah 2:4). Or in Zachariah 14: 9-17 where those being ruled on earth during the millennium by the Lord and His people will receive no rain if they refuse and rebel from His rule.
To say that Jesus never mentioned a 1000 year rule on earth is what is called “arguing from silence.” In other words, “He never said it personally Himself on earth so it must not be true.” Jesus doesn’t have to have said it personally Himself for it to be true. There are all kinds of things He never personally talked about when He was on earth. But they are found elsewhere throughout the Bible.
So I am going to stick to what I believe is taught in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. There’s even a pretty sober warning at the end of Revelation about all this. It says “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:19) Seems like John the Beloved’s Revelation, which is actually “the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1), is not something we are suppose to discard.