Millennium (Latin) is the same as Chiliad (Greek), and both mean a thousand years. Both terms stand for the doctrine of a future era of righteous government upon the earth, to last a thousand years.
Jewish writers throughout the Talmud hold that this Millennium will be chiefly characterized by the deliverance of the Jews from all their enemies, recovery of Palestine and the literal reign of their Messiah in unequaled splendor therein.
Pre-millennial Christians hold much in common with the Jews, but also that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Messiah; that He is to return to the earth and overthrow Satan, all ungodly government and lawlessness, and establish a kingdom of righteousness, having the Church, with Himself as sovereign, Jerusalem as the capital, regathered and converted Israel as the center, and all nations included in a universal, world-wide kingdom of pure and blessed government.
Post-millennialists, for the most part, hold that the present preaching of the gospel will result in the conversion of the world and usher in a golden era of righteousness and a government of justice and peace to last a thousand years, after which the Lord will return for a “general judgment” and introduction of an eternal state. It is well to have these distinctive views of the Millennium clearly in mind.
Contrary to the post-millennial view, the literal reign of Christ, with His saints, for a thousand years is plainly stated in the twentieth chapter of Revelation. Six times is the expression “A thousand years,” repeated. Verses 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. The teaching is so plain that “wayfairing men shall not err therein.” Isa. 35:8.
But those who oppose this “blessed hope,” of the pre-millennial coming of our Lord usually begin their arguments by the assertion that the doctrine of the Millennium is nowhere taught in Scripture except in this 20th chapter of Revelation, and that the symbolical character of this book forbids our founding any doctrine upon it. The superficial character of such a statement is glaringly apparent from the fact that the Jews had fully developed the doctrine of the Millennium as the teaching of the Old Testament scriptures long before the Book of Revelation or any portion of the New Testament was written. It was the view most frequently expressed in the Talmud that “the Messianic kingdom would last for one thousand years,” and this was commonly believed among the Jews. It is easy to discern upon what they founded the doctrine. It is the Sabbath of God’s weeks.
The division of time into sevens, or weeks, permeates the Scriptures. A fundamental enactment of the Mosaic law was the keeping of the Sabbath, Ex. 20 :8. This was based upon God’s great rest day in Gen. 2. Upon this is founded not only the week of days, but also the week of weeks unto Pentecost (Lev. 23:15-16); the week of months, with the Atonement and seven days’ feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month (Lev. 23:27-28); the week of years, ending with the Sabbatic year (Lev. 25:4); the week of weeks of years, ending with the seventh Sabbatic year, and followed by the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:. 8-12).
Even the duration of Israel’s great punishments was based upon this law of the sevens. Their captivity in Babylon was for seventy years. Jer. 25 :11-12; Dan. 9 :2. The great period revealed to Daniel (Ch. 9), unto the coming of the Messiah was divided into seventy sevens. The unequaled period of Israel’s punishment and dispersion in the lands of their enemies, prophesied by Moses, is, with four-fold emphasis, specified to be for seven times. (Jer. 26:18, 21, 24, 28). This sacred seven is woven into the law3, life and history of the chosen people, with whom God established His theocracy. And notwithstanding all of Israel’s rebellion and sinfulness and consequent chastisement, there still remains for them and the whole world a keeping of the Sabbath. Heb. 4:9 margin. With God a day is as a thousand years (Psa. 90), and a thousand Years as one day. 2 Pet. 3 :8.
Upon this rock of the sacred sevens we can consistently, with the Jews, base our conclusion that as we have the scriptural week, week of weeks, week of months, week of years, week of weeks of years, week of seventy years, week of times, week of olams or aions (ages), see page 222, so we also have the great week of Millenniums. Six thousand year days of labor and then the Millennium, or blessed seventh thousand years of rest.
Shine on, 0 blessed Revelation of God, and the Lord stamp upon our hearts the warning that, “If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophesy, God shall take away his part from the Tree of Life.” Rev, 22:19.