THE DIFFERENCES OF OPINION IN REGARD TO BIBLE MILLENNIUM
Revelation 20:1–6 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and reign with him for a thousand years.
The differences of opinion in regard to the order of events during the second coming of Christ have to do with the relationship between that second coming and the Millennium.
Let’s sum these differences up with three questions :-
1) Will the coming of the Lord be BEFORE the Millennium?
2) Will the coming of the Lord be AFTER the Millennium?
3) Is the Millennium just a SYMBOL? (which means then that it is NOT a definite period of time)
It is from the answers to these questions that the three different interpretations of the text appear.
Question 1 answer - The coming of Christ will be BEFORE the Millennium.
Question 2 answer - The coming of Christ will be AFTER the Millennium.
Question 3 answer - The Millennium mentioned in Revelations is a symbolical expression.
Note the word Millennium itself refers to a period of 1,000 years which will be characterized by peace and justice on the earth.
The doctrine of the Millennium is called MILLENNIALISM.
The belief that Jesus will return BEFORE the Millennium of peace and justice is called PRE- MILLENNIALISM, means before 1,000 years.
The belief that teaches that Jesus will return AFTER the Millennium of peace and justice is called POST – MILLENNIALISM means after 1,000.
The belief that the Bible does NOT predict a period of universal peace and justice on earth, but that we should understand the Millennium in a SYMBOLIC way like the other prophecies in Revelations is called A MILLENNIALISM.
Those who hold the PRE- MILLENNIAL position not only teach that the second coming of Christ will be followed by a Millennium of peace and justice, but also that during those 1,000 years, Christ will reign in person on the earth. It is after this 1,000 year reign that the end of the world will come. (the Christ Apostolic Church official position)
Those who believe in the POST- MILLENNIAL position teach that the world will get better and better until it will become Christian toward the end, before the return of Christ. The second of Christ is said to take place after a Millennium of universal peace and justice upon the earth. Christ will then return and the end of the world will come at last.
MILLENNIALISM teaches that Revelations 20:1–6, like the rest of Revelations, is a passage which is full of symbolism. For this reason, it is not to be interpreted literally. According to Amillennialism, the Bible does not predict a time of worldwide peace and justice. The Millennium is a symbol which is used for the development of the spiritual kingdom of Jesus Christ by means of the preaching of the Gospel among the nations. It is through this preaching that Satan is bound by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Then will come the second coming of Jesus with a general resurrection of the dead, the last judgment, and the end of the world, all more or less at the same time.
Instead of becoming involved in fruitless discussions on this matter, you should be busy making yourself ready for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
At least, we all and surely agreed about the importance of this point, « the Jesus Christ second coming.”