THE MILLENNIUM EXAGGERATED (2)

MisdirectionPMT 2016-010 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second and concluding study on the exaggerated role of the millennium in eschatological studies. It is important for you to read the preceding article before jumping into this one. I am arguing that John’s half-chapter is given too much place in prophetic discussions. This has led many Christians to misunderstand the function of the millennium in Revelation, as well as its length.

Properly understood, the thousand-year time frame in Revelation 20 represents a long and glorious era and is not limited to a literal 365,000 days. The figure represents a perfect cube of ten, which is the number of quantitative perfection (as Augustine argues long ago). The thousand here is no more literal than that which affirms God’s ownership of the cattle on a thousand hills (Ps 50:10), or promises Israel will be a thousand times more numerous (Dt 1:11), or measures God’s love to a thousand generations (Dt 7:9), or expresses the desire for a thousand years in God’s courts (Ps 84:10), or compares a thousand years of our time to one of God’s days (Ps 90:4). Terry even surmises that “it may require a million years.”Blessed Is He SMALL (Larry Ball)


Blessed Is He Who Reads: A Primer on the Book of Revelation
By Larry E. Ball

A basic survey of Revelation from the preterist perspective. It sees John as focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


The millennial designation, then, is John’s visionary portrayal of Christ’s kingdom, which the Lord establishes at his first coming. Revelation 20:1 clearly presents the passage as a vision; John opens with: “and I saw” (Rev 20:1a). This strongly suggests its symbolic import and is evidence against a strictly literal interpretation of the one thousand years. In addition, the first event we see in the vision is Satan’s binding with a chain, which surely is not literal (especially since his binding appears as a spiritual event elsewhere: Mt 12:29). And what kind of key would unlock “the abyss” (Rev 20:1)? And where would it be kept? Surely the key is a symbol of control, as when Christ holds “the keys of death and of Hades” (Rev 1:18). May we really imagine that the Lord holds physical keys that control death and Hades?

Revelation 20:4–6 speaks of the saints living and reigning with Christ, which appears elsewhere as a spiritual reality in the present experience of God’s people (1Co 3:21–22; Eph 1:3; 2:6; Col 3:1–2). In Revelation 20:6 we read that “they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years,” whereas in Revelation 1:6 John applies this same imagery to John’s first century audience: “He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father.” This reigning of the saints with Christ on thrones pictures the kingdom of Christ, which is already established (cf. ch. 10). His kingdom, then, is defined chronologically as a complete and perfect, long-lasting period. Warfield approvingly cites William Temple: “The church is still in its infancy. Two thousand years are as two days.” As James Adderley expresses it: “Christianity is a very young religion” and “we are only at the beginning of Christian history even now.”


Down But Not OutDown Out
by Wayne A. Mack

Wayne Mack brings biblical counsel to people suffering from worry or spiritual burnout—two major problems that knock us down. Other chapters treat “downers” such as self-pity, discontentment, discouragement, perplexity, and hopelessness.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


Besides, elsewhere Christ’s second coming occurs at “the end” (1Co 15:23–24) and brings in “the last day” resurrection (Jn 6:39, 40, 44, 54). “Therefore, in view of the total absence of supporting evidence from the New Testament, it is exceedingly hazardous to claim that a thousand years intervene between Christ’s coming and the end of the world on the grounds that Revelation 20 teaches a millennium.”

The millennial era has already lasted almost 2,000 years; it may continue another 10,000 or more for all we know. It is the perfect time of Christ’s rule in his kingdom (Rev 1:5–6) — a time that shall eventually result in the subduing of all nations.

Now that we have had this two-part study of the abuse of the millennium: “Go. And sin no more.”


Click on the following images for more information on these studies:


Keys to the Book of Revelation

Four Views

Great Tribulation Past Future
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9 thoughts on “THE MILLENNIUM EXAGGERATED (2)

  1. Mischelle Sandowich February 4, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Do I correctly understand you say that we are now in the millennium? It is not a future period, but began with the church?

  2. Kenneth Gentry February 4, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Yes. The only place we see a millennium in Scripture is in the most symbolic book in Scripture. This seems to be John’s way of declaring the kingdom of God is present and extends until the end. We can see a strong thematic parallel between Rev 20:3-4 and Matt 12:28-29: Satan bound; kingdom comes.

  3. Blaine K. Newton February 4, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Ken & Mischelle,

    I remember years ago listening to a series of lectures by Greg Bahnsen on eschatology, and I think I remember him saying that some postmillennialists have made a distinction between the kingdom age and the millennium by saying that the millennium is the future victorious phase of the kingdom, although even there, the millennium is not necessarily confined to 1000 literal years. Ken, do you have any sympathy for this view, and could you cite a couple of guys who may have held it? I’ve always seen the kingdom age and millennium as synonymous, since the beginning point of the millennium period would be assigned somewhat arbitrarily, but I could see why someone might wish to make this distinction, at least from the standpoint of current events. 🙂

  4. Kenneth Gentry February 5, 2016 at 8:38 am

    This was generally the older postmillennial view, the view held by many Puritans. I do not hold this view, but like you I see the kingdom and the millennium as synonymous. This would appear to be demanded by the parallel between Christ’s teaching in Matt 12:28-29 and Christ’s disciple’s teaching in Rev 20:1-4.

    Regarding current events: It ain’t over til it’s over. That is, postmillennialism speaks to the historical long run. No part of the definition of the postmillennial hope says that by the year 2016 the kingdom will have wholly matured in history. This mustard see is still growing!

  5. Werner Skaug February 5, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Are there other verses about Jesus’ last coming you would highlight as very important, in addition to 1 Cor 14:23-24 and Jn 6:39, 40, 44, 54, Gentry? So many verses about Jesus’ “coming on clouds” in 70 AD that I need to create a list on Jesus’ last coming. Is Acts 1:11 one of these verses? My teacher in shool as a kid, once said that there’s no such thing as dumb questions. Thank you.

  6. Barry Will February 5, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    In view of the reality that much of the world is still wihout Christ and His enemies abound, there appears to be a long, long period still ahead to subdue the nations and make His enemies a footstool for His feet.

  7. Blaine K. Newton February 8, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Ken, thanks for the response. I wasn’t trying to suggest that current events should play any role in eschatology. Not that I was ever inclined to do that anyway, but you’ve definitely hammered this point home! 🙂

  8. Kenneth Gentry February 8, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Matt 25:19 “Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.”

  9. Kenneth Gentry February 8, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Yes, Acts 1:8-11 is a key passage regarding the second advent. I also believe 1 Thess 4:13-17 is dealing with the second advent. Of course, thee are many more. The problem that we face is that AD 70 is theological related to the second advent. It is a distant adumbration of it, just as was each “Day of the Lord” episode in the OT. They often sounds alike because they are related.

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