The following chart, Eschatology of the Mount Olivet
Discourse, decodes chronologically Christ’s discourse from a
futurist and premillennial perspective.
Eschatology of the Mount Olivet Discourse
24:4-28 The seven years of Tribulation, also known as
the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:4-10)
First Half of the Tribulation, 4-14
The Second Half of
the Tribulation, 15-28
24:29-31 The signs accompanying His second coming to
the earth 24:32-35 The Parable of the Fig Tree—the rebirth
of the nation of Israel
24:36-44 The unexpectedness of His return
24:45-51 The reward for faithfulness and the judgment
25:1-13 The Parable of the Ten Virgins, which
25:14-30 The Parable of the Talents, which illustrates
25:31-46 The separation of the sheep and goats, ending
this present age and beginning the millennial kingdom
In His discourse, Christ forecasts the end of man’s
rule over the earth and the beginning of His rule. Even
the second law of dynamics calls for His rule. This law is
apparent in the image’s portrayal of mankind; man left to
himself over time will deteriorate. Thus, the image that
Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream is a polemic against
evolution—man and his ability to rule is declining, not
rising! Such deterioration demands the coming of a radical
new rule. Revelation 19:15-16 describes the end of man’s
rule with the coming of Christ:
Out of his mouth
comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.
“He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the
winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his
robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING
OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
The exposition of the
final three chapters of Revelation is arguably the chief
controversy in eschatological studies. The four
interpretive approaches (made by the Historicists,
Preterists, Idealists, and Futurists) to the first
nineteen chapters of the book of Revelation fade into an
amillennial, postmillennial or premillennial
interpretation at chapter 20.
believe there will be no thousand-year reign of Christ on
earth. They hold that the thousand years is a symbolic
term for the preaching of the Gospel and the control of
Satan's power between the first and second coming of
Christ. Satan was bound at the Cross, but not entirely. He
cannot stop the advancement of the Gospel (Luke 11:17-23;
Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14). Amillennialists hold that
Satan will be loosed briefly to wreak havoc and to
persecute the Church at the end of this present age. The
new heavens and new earth will be created immediately
after this present age without the reign of Christ on
earth. The reign of the departed saints will take place in
heaven prior to their resurrection. The older view of the
amillennialists is that of the spiritual reign of
believers on earth in the present age (Romans 8:37).
Postmillennialists believe that the thousand years
(literal or symbolic) immediately precede the return of
Christ. Hence, the Gospel will be triumphant in the last
thousand years of Church history. Satan will be bound at
some future time when the Gospel reduces the Evil One's
influence to nothing. His final attempt to win the world
will fail and a general resurrection and judgment will
occur at the coming of Christ.
believe Christ will come immediately before His
thousand-year reign on the earth. He will sit on the
throne of David in Jerusalem. There will be a restoration
of the earth. Satan will be bound during this period and
his loosing will close the Millennium. A final battle
(“Gog and Magog”) is followed by the resurrection of the
dead and the judgment of the unrighteous before the Great
White Throne. The new heavens and new earth will be
created after the Millennium (Revelation 20-22).
Revelation 20 asserts six times that Christ’s rule will
last one thousand years. During these thousand years,
Satan will be bound in the Abyss and kept from deceiving
the nations. How long is a thousand years? The phrase “a
thousand years” appears three times outside of the book of
For a thousand years in your sight are
like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the
night (Psalm 90:4).
Even if he lives a thousand
years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not
all go to the same place? (Ecclesiastes 6:6).
do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord
a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are
like a day (2 Peter 3:8).
postmillennialists say a "thousand years" is never used
elsewhere in Scripture for an actual number of years, but
only to suggest the idea of a very long time; hence, the
entire Church Age. Premillennialists say a “thousand
years” is to be taken as literally as “three and one half
years,” “forty-two months,” and “1,260 days.” No number in
the book of Revelation is supported by evidence that would
cause it to be taken other than literally.
unmistakable teachings of the NT reveal that the
adversary, the Devil, opposes the kingdom of God and His
people during this present age (cf. Matthew 13; Ephesians
6:10-18; 1 Peter 5:8). Furthermore, two resurrections
separate the thousand years.
They came to life and
reigned with Christ for 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 will reign with him for a
thousand years (Revelation 20:4-6).
writer concludes that the literal thousand-year reign of
Christ has not yet begun.
When the thousand years
are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will
go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the
earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle” (Revelation
Then the end will come, when he [Christ]
hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has
destroyed all dominion, authority and power” (1
At that time, the new heaven
and the new earth will be created (Isaiah 66:17-19; 2
Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1-2) and the earthly kingdom
of Christ will merge into the eternal kingdom of God.
The Scriptures describe in some detail what the
millennial kingdom will be like. During the thousand-year
reign of Christ, the earth returns to conditions prior to
the Fall. Animals and nature will have been redeemed as
well as man. It will be a time of great joy, rejoicing and
deliverance for the people of God, but death and sin will
still be present. Christ will “rule all the nations with
an iron scepter” (Revelation 12:5), suggesting that all
rebellion will be squashed immediately.