The word "millennium" comes from the Latin mille and annus, meaning a thousand years. This is the doctrine known as chiliasm. There are three views concerning the millennium: first, there is premillennialism, the belief that Christ will return before the thousand years. Secondly, there is postmillennialism, which believes that Christ will return after a period of universal peace and righteousness. Thirdly, there is amillennialism, which denies a literal, earthly millennium. Although the word ďmillenniumĒ is not stated in the Bible, the mention of one thousand years is revealed six times in Revelation 20:2-7.
The kingdom is the subject of most Old Testament prophecy. It will replace the ten-kingdom confederation that exists at the return of Christ. It will be a literal, earthly kingdom that will last for one thousand years. This will consummate the covenant that God made with David (2 Sam. 7:11-16). This future kingdom was announced to Mary by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:32).
Several important facts concerning the character of the millennium: first, Christ will sit on the throne of His father David. This will be a literal, earthly reign characterized by universal peace (Ps. 72:7; Isa. 2:4) and universal righteousness (Isa. 11:4f; Jer. 23:5f.). Christ will rule with a rod of iron and Satan will be bound during this one thousand year period (Rev. 20:1-3).
The church will reign and rule with Christ and sit on His throne (Rev. 3:21). As individuals, believers will have responsibilities in the kingdom (Luke 19:16-19) and the Old Testament saints will also be involved in this reign.
Israel will be regathered (Ezek. 37:1-4). The establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948 was the precursor to this final regathering. Upon Christís return, Israel will repent and be converted in a day. Ephraim and Judah will be reunited as one nation (Isa. 11:13; Jer. 3:18; Ezek. 37:16-22). Temple worship will be restored (Ezek. 37:26-28; 40-46; Zech. 14:16f.) and the land divided amongst the twelve tribes. Last, Israel will evangelize the Gentiles during the kingdom age (Isa. 66:19; Zech. 8:13, 20-23).
After Christ judges the sheep and goat nations (Matt. 25:34-40), the sheep will enter the kingdom with restored and converted Israel. During the one thousand years, many will be born and will need salvation (Isa. 65:20; Jer. 30:20). Israel will evangelize these multitudes (Isa. 66:19; Zech. 8:13, 20-23; Acts 15:16f.). The Gentiles will go up to Jerusalem to worship and Godís people will be one (Isa. 19:23-25).
At the beginning of the millennium, Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss along with his evil minions (Rev. 20:1-3). During the one thousand year period, he will be powerless to deceive the nations and tempt individuals to sin. Individuals will still have a carnal nature as before, but the temptation to sin will be greatly reduced.
The millennium will be a time of regeneration (Matt. 19:28). Creation itself will be restored (Rom. 8:19-22). There will be great topographical changes (Isa. 35:1f.; 55:13; Zech. 14:4-10). The nature of wild animals will be altered (Isa. 11:6-9; 35:9; 65:25; Ezek. 34:25). Plant life will be blessed and the productivity of the land increased (Isa. 35:2). Mankind will live for long periods, although there will be death (Isa. 65:20).
This period will be a time of great joy and prosperity. The knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Isa. 11:9). There will be no more war (Isa. 2:4) and friendly relations between men and nations will exist. Manís headship will be restored (Gen. 1:28; Heb. 2:5-10).