Interview With Author of New Booklet on the Millennium
We recently published a new booklet on the subject of the 1,000-year reign of Christ and the saints. We discussed the booklet with its author, Erik Jones.
Back in July of this year, we published our 18th booklet, The World to Come: What It Will Be Like. This new booklet takes a fresh look at an age-old topic—the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. There are many different views of the biblical Millennium in the world of religion. Some believe it’s only figurative, and others feel it’s literal. But even among those who believe it’s literal, there is a wide variety of ideas about how and when it will occur.
This new booklet explores the topic straight from the pages of the Bible. It uses hundreds of scriptures to paint a picture of this coming time. It provides a vision of what the world will be like when Jesus Christ and His saints rule the world from Jerusalem.
We interviewed its author, Erik Jones, who is a staff writer and editor here at the Life, Hope & Truth offices in McKinney, Texas.
Q: In a sentence, what is the purpose of this booklet?
A: The purpose of the booklet is to give people hope by helping them learn about the new world that will be built after Jesus Christ returns to this earth.
Q: What drew you to write on this subject?
A: In my opinion, this is one of the most exciting and interesting subjects in the entire Bible. I have long been fascinated by the many prophecies throughout the Bible that describe what the world will be like under the direct rule of Jesus Christ. Sometimes the prophecies give us great detail, and sometimes they give us only very general information. The Bible gives us a lot of room to imagine what that world will be like. It’s very interesting to sit back and ponder what the impact will be when the Bible’s various laws and principles are applied on a global scale.
Having the opportunity to write on the subject gave me a chance to think of many different ways the laws of God will impact and change the world. My hope is that those who read the booklet will take the time to imagine other ways the world will change under Christ’s rule that weren’t covered in this booklet.
Q: How did you organize it, and how did you decide the flow of the chapters and sidebars?
A: The first step I go through when writing a booklet is to map out a chapter outline. This can take some time. As the author, I wanted to find a way to organize the content into a chapter order that not only makes sense to me, but flows well and makes sense to the reader. Ideally, each chapter should naturally flow into the next in a logical way.
The way I chose to organize the chapters in this booklet was by starting with the return of Jesus Christ in chapter 1.
Chapter 2 describes the kind of government Jesus will establish and how it will function.
Chapter 3 looks at how the world will have to be rebuilt from ruins due to the destruction of the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord.
The Bible gives us a lot of room to imagine what that world to come will be like.Chapter 4 explores how Christ will begin spiritually transforming the world by using Israel as a model nation—allowing Israel’s descendants to finally fulfill the role they were called to play over 3,000 years ago.
Chapter 5 then considers how obedience to the 10 Commandments will transform society in multiple ways and on a global scale.
Chapter 6 explores the physical transformation of the earth into a perfect habitation for a growing and vibrant new world.
Finally, chapter 7 examines what the Bible reveals will occur in the period after the millennial reign ends.
I’m sure there are other ways the chapter topics could have been organized, but hopefully readers will find this order beneficial.
Q: How many scriptures are in the booklet, and how did you choose them?
A: That is a great question. I haven’t done an actual count at this point, so let me just give a general answer: A lot.
Allow me to circle back to how I developed this booklet. In my prewriting stage, after I had settled on my chapter topics and order, I then worked on compiling a list of as many scriptures on the Millennium as I could find in the Bible. Many of those scriptures are very well-known (for instance, Isaiah 11 and Micah 4 are two of the most famous chapters in the Bible that describe the Millennium). But there are also hundreds of prophecies peppered throughout the Bible, primarily in the Old Testament prophets, that describe various aspects of the Millennium.
Over a couple of weeks, I did a survey of all the prophets, skimming each chapter and marking all the scriptures that include prophecies about the Millennium. I also skimmed major portions of the book of Psalms because it also contains many millennial prophecies. When that work was all done, I had a 37-page document consisting just of scriptures.
I then used this document as my primary resource as I wrote the booklet. Though I used hundreds of scriptures from that document in the booklet, there are still scores (probably hundreds) of scriptures I had to leave on the proverbial cutting-room floor. There just wasn’t space to include all of them.
But I have no doubt that 37-page document will be used for future projects!
Q: What was the most exciting section to write?
A: I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one section. I would say the two most enjoyable chapters to research, ponder and write about were the chapters on how the 10 Commandments will transform the world and how the earth’s physical environment will be transformed.
Both topics are large and provide much room for imagination and reasonable speculation. For instance, it was fascinating to consult with some outdoorsmen regarding some of the prophecies about future changes to the physical environment. I enjoyed speculating with them on how Christ will cause those changes to occur and what other effects those changes will have.
For instance, one interesting thing I discovered when working on chapter 6 was the connection between the prophesied lowering of the mountains and the healing of deserts. Many of the world’s deserts were created as a result of large mountain ranges blocking the free movement of moisture-carrying clouds (this is sometimes called a rain shadow). Scientists call the side of a mountain that receives ample precipitation the windward side, while the other side that has less wind and precipitation is called the leeward side.
Many of the world’s greatest deserts are on the leeward side of huge mountain ranges. For example, the Mojave Desert in the western United States is so dry because it is located on the leeward side of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Perhaps the way God will cause the Mojave Desert to “blossom as the rose” (Isaiah 35:1) is to lower the Sierra Nevada mountains and allow the moisture that comes from the Pacific Ocean to water that desert and make it a vibrant and productive prairie.
I really do hope readers will ponder some of these subjects as well—maybe thinking of other things that I didn’t explore in the booklet.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: Yes, I’d like to just add a shout-out to all those who contributed in various ways to this booklet. Even though a booklet may have one author, there are a lot of people who contribute to the project as a whole. In this case, I did have a colleague, Ralph Levy, write one sidebar that relates to a subject he’s very familiar with because he teaches it at our Bible school, Foundation Institute.
Beyond him, dozens of people contributed to the booklet in various ways including the editorial process, the review process and the design process. You can find many of the names of those who contributed to the booklet on the inside cover. Two names you won’t find on the inside cover that deserve credit are Becky Bennett and Amy Foster.
There are also other people who helped me with what I call “reader reviews.” I like to have friends and coworkers read over sections of my writing from a purely “reader” perspective and give me feedback on its clarity. Sometimes they say it’s nice and clear—but other times they give me helpful feedback on ways I can make it clearer or areas I might need to explain more thoroughly. And sometimes their feedback is the opposite—sometimes they say it needs to be shorter and less wordy!
I’d like to end by thanking everyone who contributed the time to help produce this booklet and all those people who have taken the time to read it!
Topics Covered: Prophecy, Kingdom of God