Q. I was taught growing up what I now know to be Amillenialism, and of course we were never taught any of the prophetic books and the Book of Revelation, etc. Lately, I have been on what seems to be the most adventurous path I have ever taken in life, in discovering the nature of prophecy and the end times from (several leading evangelical scholars). As you can imagine this really opened my eyes to a whole new world of things. I was really excited about it until I received information from a member of (my denomination) that challenged these beliefs. Now I honestly do not know what to believe and I feel like just giving up on trying to understand these sections of scripture. Can you help?
A. Rev. 20:1-2 says, “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.”
Verses 6-7 add, “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 will reign with him for a thousand years. When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison.”
These are the references from which the term Millennium is derived. It’s a combination of 2 Latin words, mille and annum, meaning 1000 years. In the Old Testament the Millennium was referred to as the Kingdom Age after Daniel 2:44.
“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.”
In the context of Daniel 2, the phrase “those kingdoms” refers to four literal kingdoms that exist in world history. There’s no justification for believing that God’s Kingdom, the 5th, is any different.
The Jews believed this to be a literal kingdom, with the Messiah as their King. And there is simply no Biblical reason to read the verses in Revelation 20 any way other than literally either. They clearly refer to a 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth following the 2nd Coming.
You can expect to hear more arguments favoring amillennialism from members of your denomination because that’s their official position. You have to decide whether to follow their interpretation or accept the Bible for what it is and assume that it means what it says, which is what all the evangelical scholars you’ve been studying with do.