WHY THE 1000 YEAR REIGN OF CHRIST ON EARTH
PART 2 – WHAT WILL THE MILLENNIUM PROVE – WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
God made several unconditional promises to Israel in the Old Testament. Therefore, there will be a time, a “Golden Age” for Israel, when God will fulfil to Israel all that He said He would. We all know that God keeps His word. Yes, God made very specific promises to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that are still in the future. The Millennium will bring about the complete fulfilment of God’s biblical covenants with Israel. The Millennium and Millennial Kingdom are more than the rule of God in the hearts of men and women, and they are also distinct from the eternal state.
An earthly kingdom with a physical presence and rule by the Messiah King is foretold throughout the pages of the Bible. This promise was not fulfilled in Christ’s first coming because, though offered, the physical kingdom was rejected by the ruling leaders of Israel. The Millennium is a transitional period in God’s program. It is the beginning of the eternal rule of God in the kingdom which will pass into the eternal state. It is “the consummating link between history and the eternal order.” History and current events are moving toward a final era that will be the pinnacle of God’s plan. In the Millennium Satan will be bound and the church and the nations (Gentiles) will be present and active, but the focus of prophetic revelation is on Israel and Christ. Israel’s prominence is required in order to facilitate a literal fulfilment of her many Old Testament promises by the Lord. All of the redeemed of God will participate in the worship, blessings, and glories of the Millennial Kingdom as they prepare for life and the eternal state. The Millennium is the precursor of the Eternal State. It will be different than life as we know it today but will still fall short of the absolute perfection of the Eternal State. We read in Revelation 21 and 22 that the Eternal State will entail passing away of the old order and the creation of the New Jerusalem and new heaven and earth.
When comparing the two periods of time we observe the following contrasts: The Millennium is associated with the continuum of human history, while Eternal State is not. The Millennium is the apex of human history because sin is still present though restrained through Christ’s rule, while heaven in the Eternal State is totally void of all sin. The Millennium will be a time in which resurrected believers and non-resurrected humans will routinely comingle in history, while the Eternal State will consist of only resurrected people (believers). The Millennium will still be a time in history when humans come into existence and will trust or reject Christ as their Savior, while the Eternal State will be a time in which no one else will ever be added to the human race and everyone’s destiny will be frozen, locked into saved or lost for eternity.
HOW DOES ISREAL RELATE TO THE MILLENNIUM?
The Millennium is the occasion for the final physical and spiritual restoration of Israel. This restoration is described in Ezekiel 37 and is summarized in verses 21 and 22. “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land… They shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.” The rule of Christ will be worldwide and encompass all nations. However, the primary focus of the Millennial Kingdom will be on God’s chosen, the Jewish people. The primary purpose of the Millennium is the restoration of Israel and Christ’s rule over them, although the Church of the Bride of Christ is not absent from millennial activities.
Promises for Israel which will be fulfilled at the Second Coming of Christ: restoration to the land (v.21), unification of the two kingdoms (v.22), purification from all idolatry (v.23), Messiah ruling over them (v.24), possession of the land forever (v.25), and the presence of God and His sanctuary in their midst (vv. 26-28). In short, Israel will be saved, cleansed, and restored.
How do we know that there’s going to be a “Golden Age” for Israel? In the first chapter of the book of Acts, after Christ’s resurrection, Luke says that Jesus spent 40 days teaching His disciples things pertaining to the Millennial Kingdom (ch.1). Then, as Christ was ready to ascend into heaven, the disciples asked, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel (v.6)?” The question indicates that Jesus taught them that a time would come when the kingdom would be restored to Israel. Jesus’ response to the question indicated the same thing. He did not rebuke the question. Rather, He simply said to His apostles, “It was not for you to know the times and the seasons which the Father is put in His own authority (when the kingdom would be restored to Israel) (v.7).” Some 30 years later, Jesus revealed to John in his writing of the book of Revelation; the seasons and the “signs of the times” of His return.
Secondly, we know that there is going to be a “Golden Age” for Israel from Micah’s prophecy in chapter 4:1-4 and from Isaiah 2:2-4. These two references are almost identical in confirming and describing the glories of the Millennial Kingdom from two different prophets. The first four verses speak of the blessings of Christ’s millennial reign. Jerusalem will be exalted, Gentile nations will come there to learn about the Lord, and He will rule over all nations. Worldwide disarmament is vividly and concretely portrayed in the famous words: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” Peace and security will prevail and the Lord will be acknowledged by all His people.” In verse 8 we read that the Millennial Kingdom will be greater in extent than David’s or Solomon’s – the former dominion.
CHANGES ON EARTH DURING THE MILLENNIUM
As I alluded to earlier in part one of this posting, the nature of man and animals will be changed during the reign of Christ Jesus. Satan will no longer be able to cause havoc on the earth. The curse of Adam’s fall is removed from the earth, transforming animal life from predator to friend. In Romans 8:19-21, we read that all nature groans and waits for the adoption of the children of God. The earth will be closer to what it was in Adam and Eve’s time, before the fall. For details, please read Isaiah 2:2-5; 11:6-9, which describes some of the conditions on earth during the Millennium.
GOVERNMENT DURING THE MILLENNIUM
Man’s 6000 years of self-government will be replaced by God. Mankind has had 6000 years to experiment with governments, administrations, and lifestyles, so why have we been unable to solve our problems? Under human rule, the world has never seen a time that was free of war, strife, turmoil, and suffering. The governments of mankind, with their inherent inability to solve human problems that are rooted in humanity’s inability to choose the right way to live will be replaced by a form of government that can at least solve those problems. During the “Golden Age,” the Millennium, Christ Himself will rule the nations of earth “with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:1-9).” The Government of the earth will not be a democracy, but a theocracy. Jesus, the Son of God, will rule from Jerusalem over the earth. His servants will be His governors, mayors, judges, and priests over the citizens of the earth. The body of Christ, the Church, will rule with Christ over the earth. We read in 2 Timothy 2:12: “If we endure, We shall also reign with Him.” Also in 1Corinthians 6:1 it is stated: “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?” In Revelation 20:4 it tells us, “They lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” and in verse 6 it says that “They shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
This reward of government is best illustrated in the parable of the Talents. The faithful servants are rewarded with the responsibility of the kingdom received by the Master. In Luke, in exchange for the 10 Minas the servant is given charge over 10 cities (Luke 19:16-17). The disciples we see in Matthew 19:28 rule over the tribes of Israel. Jesus said to them, “… when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory (reigning on earth), you who have followed Me will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.” Has this ever happened before in history? No. Will it happen in the Millennium? Yes.
JERUSALEM WILL BE THE EARTH’S CAPITAL
The capital city of the earth will be Jerusalem. From Jerusalem, the government will go forth throughout the earth. The nations come to Jerusalem to learn the ways of God. To worship before the King of the earth. (Please read Isaiah 2:2-4). Jesus will rule from the throne of David over the nations of the earth. Jesus will have a visible and holy presence to the nations. His appearance will be one of splendor according to Ezekiel. King Messiah is called the “glory of God of Israel and the glory of the Lord(Ezekiel 43: 2-5.)” Here we see Jesus, in His glory as God and King ruling from Jerusalem.
ANIMAL SACRIFICES DURING THE MILLENNIUM
Yes, apparently so. The Book of Ezekiel, in chapter 40-42, describes in detail the beautiful Temple which will be built in Jerusalem during the Millennium. This Temple will be greater than the Temple of Solomon (Hag. 2:9). It will be the place where our Lord will dwell in the midst of Israel (Ezek.43:7). The return of the glory of the Lord is described in chapter 43 of Ezekiel. Then if you read 43:18-27, you will see that animal sacrifices will be resumed during the Millennium. These sacrifices will serve as memorials just as the Lord’s Supper is a memorial for believers today. Apparently, they will remind the Israelites continually that their sins have been forgiven on the bases of the shed blood of Calvary.
WHAT KIND OF BODIES WILL PEOPLE HAVE DURING THE MILLENNIUM?
The Church saints will have glorified resurrection bodies (Phil. 3:20-21), whereas Israel and the Gentile nations will live in natural, flesh-and-blood bodies. The Scripture makes it plain that Israel and the Gentile nations will grow crops and bear children during the 1000-year reign of Christ (see Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:3-4; Isaiah 65:20-22; Zechariah 8:4-5).
WITH SATAN BOUND WHY WOULD THERE BE SIN DURING THIS TIME?
Scripture clearly states that Satan will be bound during the Millennium in order to keep him from deceiving the nations (Rev. 20:3). However, men will still be born with the Adamic or sinful nature and thus will be capable of sin. The binding of Satan will not remove the sinful nature from the natural man.
THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH
The Church, the body of Christ, will rule with Him during the Millennium. As the population of the earth grows, the earth will require administration. Throughout the earth, the saints will be placed in positions of authority to manage Christ’s kingdom. Our basic job description is outlined in Revelation 5:10: “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”
OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS WILL RULE WITH THE CHURCH
During the Millennium resurrected Old Testament saints such as Daniel, David and Job will be active participants in the Messiah’s kingdom. Daniel is told in the end of days that he will rise to his inheritance (Dan. 12:13). Job looked forward to the day when he would see the Redeemer with his own eyes (Job 19:25).
POPULATION EXPLOSION DURING THE MILLENNIUM
In the Millennium, the earth’s population will explode. Without war, disease, famine, and few deaths the earth’s population will multiply greatly. Today there are around 8 billion people living on earth. According to Scripture (Revelation), after the Tribulation, more than half of the earth’s population will have been killed. Then those nearly 4 billion alive during the return of Christ will be judged and only those following Christ will enter the Millennial Kingdom. How many will that be? Only God knows! If only 1% were born again believers, then we’d have roughly 40 million who would enter the Millennium to repopulate the earth.
The only cause for death during the Millennium will be for rebellion and apostasy, but even death at 100 years old will be like the death of an infant today according to Isaiah 65:20. It appears that life spans will revert to those of the era before the Flood, when humans lived to be more than 900 years old. Infants born at the start of the Millennium will live to nearly 1000 years of age before the Millennium closes, but when death does come, the individual will have willingly and knowingly rebelled against Christ – the law of the kingdom. How many will be alive at the end of the Millennium is total speculation. A guess of 10 times the current population of the earth (80 billion) would not seem outrageous.
TESTING AT THE END OF THE MILLENNIUM – THE FINAL REBELLION OF SINNERS
Of this millennial population, many will have never experienced the testing of Satan. They will have seen the glory of Christ and His earthly kingdom. There will be no lack of anything on the earth. However, the true hearts of those “kingdom children” born during the Millennium were never tested. God’s existence will be obvious and open. However, humanity given the chance, will still rebel against God. Satan tested the angels; he tested mankind in our day, and he will test those born in the Millennium when Satan is released for a brief period after the 1000-year reign of Christ Jesus. This will be the final test of mankind. At the conclusion of the Millennium, Satan deceives an innumerable number of souls born during the Millennium who rebel against Christ’s kingdom. Christ makes a very short order of this rebellion. In Revelation 20:7-8 we read: “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from confinement, and will go out to deceive the nations… To gather them (that are hostile to Christ) together for battle against God.” Next in verse 9 it tells us that after recruiting an army of ungodly rebels, the devil marches against Jerusalem, the beloved city, “And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.”
Let me explain: Only believers will enter the Millennium and many of these believers will have children. When they have children, many of those children will not repent and believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord as their believing parents had. We need to understand that God has millions of children, but He has no grandchildren. Just as it is today, because these believing parents have children doesn’t mean their children will be believers in Christ. It will be no different in the Millennium. Because Christ rules in righteousness with a rod of iron, they, unbelieving kingdom children, will worship Him on the outside but not all will worship Him in their hearts. Those who do not come to truly love the Lord during the Millennium will be gathered by Satan at the end of the thousand years in one final, desperate attempt to usurp the throne of God.
IN CLOSING: The millennial reign of Christ illustrates two things. First, having a perfect environment doesn’t make a sinner into a saint. Those born in the Millennium have the most ideal environment imaginable. There is no war, no famine, disease, moral corruption, etc., still they rally around the devil when he is finally loosed. Second, having a perfect heredity doesn’t make a sinner into a saint. Each of these born during the reign of Christ are born to believing parents but believing parents do not make a believing child. Children of these millennial saints, numbering probably in the billions at that time came in kings, turn against God the first chance they get. Why is this? It is because of the sinful nature which is part of every human being. Everyone, even those born to believers in the Millennium, must recognize his or her individual responsibility to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin.
– The Millennium will prove that men are sinners, not because of their environment or because of Satan’s temptations, but because they possess a sin nature which they inherited from Adam. Man has failed every test which God has given him. The only hope for man is in the Savior, the Lord Jesus.
F/B – Signs Of Our Times