A friend of mine recently asked me, how should we or how do we look at the Millennium? Now that is not a light or easy question seeing that throughout the church age until this present time there have been varying views on this subject. Millennium is of course the term depicting the thousand-year reign of our Lord Jesus Christ at the Last Days. There are three basic views on this subject and they are Post-Millennialism, A-Millennialism and Pre-Millennialism.
Post-Millennialists hold that Christ will return at the end of a Millennium. They believe that the world will be Christianized through the preaching of the Gospel over a period of a thousand years more or less. They claim there will be great Gospel success during this Millennium period because Satan will be bound, as per Rev. 20:1-3; the final end of evil and the start of the new creation fallows this period. If this view is true then it would mean that we are in that Great Tribulation period that Jesus warns us about in Matthew 24, for all the signs in the world round about us show that Satan is still working his evil design upon mankind, and is not bound yet. This would mean that whereas most Identity believers feel that we are in the Last Days before Christ’s return, we are still faced with these thousand years.
Next, let us look at A-Millennialism. The A-Millennialist have a lot in common with the Post-Millennialist in that they hold the belief that Satan is already bound and that Christ is reigning from God’s throne in Heaven. They believe that the thousand years or Millennium is symbolic, and that the Millennium commenced either at Pentecost or at Christ’s Ascension. During the early years, the formative church in the first and second century held mostly to a Pre-Millennialist view, but after the establishment of the Church of Rome when Christianity became a legal religion, this view gradually changed. The teachings of St. Augustine in the fourth century systematically changed the view of the Medieval Church and into the Reformation period, that view went from Pre-Millennialism to A-Millennialism. This view was supposedly held by both Martin Luther and John Calvin. Now it must be remembered that the Roman Catholic Church adheres to this Augustinian Eschatology, then and now, and also that both Luther and Calvin were staunch Catholics until the Reformation, and thus were influenced by their earlier indoctrinations under the Roman Church.
In today’s church world, A-Millennialism is the view held widely by Eastern Orthodox Churches as well as the Roman Catholic Church. It is also common among Protestant Denominations such as the Lutherans, Reformed, Anglican and Methodist churches.
A-Millennialists hold the belief that the reign of Christ during the Millennium is Spiritual in nature, and the He, Christ, will return in the Final Judgement at the end of the Church Age.
Lastly let us look at Pre-Millennialism. This is the belief that Christ will return to this Earth directly after the Great Tribulation (Mat. 24:29-30), to establish God’s Kingdom here on Earth and that we, His saints and elect, shall reign with Him for a thousand years. Whether this is a literal thousand years is immaterial, but we do know from Scripture, namely Isa. 9:7 and Luke 1:33, that His Kingdom will last forever! If we look at the prophetic words of Daniel, the second chapter and vs. 44 we read that after the termination of the four great Empires, namely Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and the Roman Empire, God will establish in the Last Days a Godly Empire or a Kingdom that shall never fail and never be destroyed. Now it stands to reason that since the first four Empires were physical Empires here on Earth, so that Last Empire, God’s Earthly Kingdom will also be a physical Empire, Kingdom, here on Earth and not some Spiritual entity in the Heavens. Another indicator that the Kingdom will be an Earthly Kingdom is found in Isaiah’s prophetic statement about Christ reigning on the Throne of David. This statement is echoed in Luke 1:38, where the angel tells Mary that her child, the yet unborn Christ, shall receive from God the Throne of His Father David! David’s throne was and is an Earthly throne and can in no wise be spiritualized. That throne is with us yet today and occupied by the British monarch, but it is Christ’s by right when He returns as per the gift of God the Father.
This Pre-Millennialist view is held I believe by most, if not all, the Christian-Israelite Identity groups and organizations and is definitely mine. It also gives us the most comfort. Peter, in his Epistle, calls us a Chosen Generation and a Royal Priesthood. Rev. 20:6 tells us that we shall be priests of God and Christ and that we shall reign with Him a thousand years. Rev. 5:10 also tells us that we are a Kingdom of priests and we shall reign on the Earth. Lastly Paul tells us that if we suffer, (through the Great Tribulation), we will also reign with our Lord. Hallelujah! What a future.