The Millennial Kingdom Part I: The Prophetic Context of the Millennium -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 114:453 (Jan 1957)
Article: The Millennial Kingdom Part I: The Prophetic Context of the Millennium
Author: John F. Walvoord


The Millennial Kingdom
Part I:
The Prophetic Context of the Millennium

John F. Walvoord

Introduction

The Biblical doctrine of the coming millennial kingdom of Christ is one of the greatest themes of divine revelation. In its simple definition, the millennium is the reign of Christ for one thousand years on the earth following His second coming. As such it is the consummating dispensation of human history on earth. Though millennial truth is essentially eschatological, it is integral to the entire volume of Scripture and its proper understanding is an important essential to theology as a whole. Millennialism cannot therefore be brushed aside as a dispute on the interpretation of Revelation 20, but is rather the product of a system of Biblical interpretation established as the positive teaching of both Testaments. It constitutes a refutation of both amillennialism and postmillennialism.

In discussing the great theme of the kingdom and prophecy, Nathaniel West summarized the importance of millennial truth in these words: “From first to last, the Kingdom of God on earth, its inception, progress, conduct, and consummation in glory, is the one theme of Old Testament prophecy. To this end were the covenants with Christ, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Israel, and David. To this end was the choice of the one national ‘Israel,’ the ‘choice forever,’ as a prophetic, priestly, kingly nation, a messianic and mediatortal nation, the one national ‘Servantof Jehovah,’ and national Son of God,

standing between God and mankind, and bringing salvation to a lost world; a people from whom should come the one personal ‘Israel,’ Prophet, Priest, and King, the one Mediator and true Messiah, Seed of the Woman, Seed of Abraham, Seed of David, Son of Man and Son of God, in whom all nations should bless themselves—Jesus Christ. Identified with Him, individually, and called by His name, stands Israel collectively, in His whole Messianic work and kingdom. Neither acts without the other. The Pentateuch prophecies refer chiefly to the people. The Messianic Psalms emphasize the King, the Kingdom, and the Priest. Isaiah dwells upon the prophetic character of Israel; Ezekiel displays the priestly; Daniel reveals the kingly; Zechariah blends all in one. Old Testament prophecy knows no other subjects of discourse than Israel, Messiah, and the nations. As to the kingdom, Israel had it, under the Old Testament, in its outward form; the Gentiles have it under the New Testament in its inward form; in the age to come, Jews and Gentiles together, shall have it, both forms in one, one kingdom of Messiah, spiritual, visible and glorious, with Israel still the central...

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