The Millennium Kingdom

What is the Millennium / Millennial Kingdom?

After the rapture of the church, after the seven-year long tribulation, after the war of Armageddon and the resurrection of the saints, Jesus will rule on the earth for one thousand years (Revelation 20:4-6). The purpose of the Millennial Kingdom is to establish Christ as King in Jerusalem, sitting on the throne of David (Luke 1:32-33) and to fulfill the promises God has made to Israel. They will bless the other nations, fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 12:1-3). They will take control of the promised geographical borders, fulfilling the Palestinian covenant (Deuteronomy 30:1-10). And they will experience forgiveness and a renewed relationship with God, fulfilling the Davidic covenant (2 Samuel 7:10-13). 

The Millennial Kingdom will give us a taste of what life would have been if Adam and Eve had not sinned. Jesus will be the King and Judge (Isaiah 2:411:3-4). Animals will live in peace with each other and with humans (Isaiah 11:6-9), and believers will worship God at the new Temple (Isaiah 2:2-3Ezekiel 40:1-46:24).

Under Jesus' leadership, the world will still be divided into nations. Jews will be drawn back to Israel, which will finally have its promised borders (Genesis 17:7-8Isaiah 11:10-13). The Gentiles will be divided into nations with Jesus as their benevolent dictator (Psalm 2:8Isaiah 42:1Daniel 7:1427). The disciples (Matthew 19:28) and the martyrs of the Tribulation (Revelation 20:4) will rule over the nations. And they will all live in peace (Isaiah 2:4).

In the beginning of the Millennium, the kingdom will be inhabited only by those who follow Christ. Those who have died will be given glorified bodies and sealed against sin. But those who survived the tribulation will enter the kingdom as mortals—long-lived, but able to marry and have children (Isaiah 33:2435:5-661:1-2).

The end of the Millennium will be the setting for the final judgment over the earth. Despite the examples of those around them, the peace in the kingdom, and the presence of Christ, not all of the people will choose follow Christ. At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released from the Abyss. He will deceive the unbelievers and gather an army to march against Jesus and Israel. The ensuing battle will be short-lived. Satan will be thrown into the Lake of Fire and his human army killed (Revelation 20:7-10). All unbelievers will stand before the Great White Throne of judgment and be thrown into the lake of fire for eternity (Revelation 20:11-15John 5:2226-29). Finally, the heavens and earth will be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10Matthew 24:35Revelation 20:11) and remade (Revelation 21-22; 1 Corinthians 15:35-58), and the believers will live on the New Earth for eternity.

"What is the Millennial Kingdom, and should it be understood literally?"

The millennial kingdom is the title given to the 1000-year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. Some seek to interpret the 1000 years in an allegorical manner. They understand the 1000 years as merely a figurative way of saying “a long period of time,” not a literal, physical reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. However, six times in Revelation 20:2-7, the millennial kingdom is specifically said to be 1000 years in length. If God wished to communicate “a long period of time,” He could have easily done so without explicitly and repeatedly mentioning an exact time frame.

The Bible tells us that when Christ returns to the earth He will establish Himself as king in Jerusalem, sitting on the throne of David (Luke 1:32–33). The unconditional covenants demand a literal, physical return of Christ to establish the kingdom. The Abrahamic Covenant promised Israel a land, a posterity and ruler, and a spiritual blessing (Genesis 12:1–3). The Palestinian Covenant promised Israel a restoration to the land and occupation of the land (Deuteronomy 30:1–10). The Davidic Covenant promised Israel a king from David’s line who would rule forever—giving the nation rest from all their enemies (2 Samuel 7:10–13).

At the second coming, these covenants will be fulfilled as Israel is re-gathered from the nations (Matthew 24:31), converted (Zechariah 12:10–14), and restored to the land under the rule of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Bible speaks of the conditions during the millennium as a perfect environment physically and spiritually. It will be a time of peace (Micah 4:2–4Isaiah 32:17–18), joy (Isaiah 61:710), and comfort (Isaiah 40:1–2). The Bible also tells us that only believers will enter the millennial kingdom. Because of this, it will be a time of obedience (Jeremiah 31:33), holiness (Isaiah 35:8), truth (Isaiah 65:16), and the knowledge of God (Isaiah 11:9Habakkuk 2:14). Christ will rule as king (Isaiah 9:3–711:1–10). Nobles and governors will also rule (Isaiah 32:1Matthew 19:28), and Jerusalem will be the political center of the world (Zechariah 8:3).

Revelation 20:2-7gives the precise time period of the millennial kingdom. Even without these scriptures, there are countless others that point to a literal reign of the Messiah on the earth. The fulfillment of many of God’s covenants and promises rests on a literal, physical, future kingdom. There is no solid basis for denying the literal interpretation of the millennial kingdom and its duration being 1000 years.