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The Millennium Kingdom


The Millennium Kingdom

Introduction

Much has been discussed and debated over a time period called The thousand year reign of Christ. Both the Old and New Testament teaches that Christ will reign during this time period. The time period is actually the time between when Jesus returns to restore the earthly kingdom and the time evil is completely wiped out. It continues until the bodily resurrection of the unsaved and the completion of the judgment at the “Great White Throne”. This time period will last for a thousand years.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4).

This verse makes it very clear that Christ will reign for one thousand years. The idea that Christ will reign on earth as the Jewish Messiah is taught throughout Old Testament prophecy. This promise was the hope of the nation, Israel. The angel Gabriel had these words of promise to Mary about her promised new son.

“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32-33).

One of the last statements Jesus made to the disciples was about the coming kingdom. “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority’” (Acts 1:6-7).

Revelation chapter nineteen makes it clear that Jesus will return as King of kings and Lord of lords.” He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:13-16).

Upon his return to earth He will judge among the Jews and the Gentiles and determine those who will go into His kingdom. Only the saved will go into the kingdom.

Who will reign with Christ?

In the last days before Jesus went to the cross, some of His disciples were requesting to set on the right and left hand during His reign. The Old Testament tells us that King David will sit on his right hand as a prince. “I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them; My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd” (Ezek. 34:23).

The disciples were promised a role in the reign of the Messiah. “So Jesus said to them, Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28).

Revelation 20:4 says the saints who were beheaded (or martyred) will reign with Christ. These would include the tribulation saints who died.

Scripture tell us that the church, as His bride and joint heirs, will reign with Him. “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Rom. 8:17) “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10). “If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us” (2 Tim. 2:12).

It also appears that the Old Testament saints will have a leadership role in the kingdom on earth.

There will be many jobs with different levels of authority in the Millennium kingdom. Our level of authority will be based upon our works while we are in our non-glorified physical bodies.

“Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Cor. 3:12-15).

We are to be given rewards and crowns based upon our faithfulness as we serve Him. Our leadership role in His kingdom will be based upon the rewards we receive.

We are told that we will have leadership roles with the angels. “Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life” (1 Cor 6:3).

The angels will also have roles within the kingdom and with glorified bodies we will be able to see and communicate with them.

At this point we should realize that the leadership of the kingdom would be those with glorified bodies. Those will glorified bodies will have great privileges. We will discuss this more as we talk about life in the Millennium.

Subjects of the Kingdom

A fact that we may not have considered is that many will go into the kingdom with natural non-glorified bodies. They will have a sin nature and be restricted by their bodies much as we are restricted today. These bodies will be what the Bible calls “corruptible” bodies (1 Cor. 15:53).

There are two groups who will go into the kingdom with corruptible bodies.

The first group consists of the Jews who are still alive at the end of the tribulation period and have accepted Jesus as their Savior and Messiah. “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant” (Ezek. 20:37).

The second group consists of the converted Gentiles who are still alive at the end of the tribulation period. “He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isa. 2:4).

Although the Jews have been promised special blessings pertaining to the land, the Gentiles will also share in the blessings of the kingdom. The glory of the kingdom both for Israel and for the Gentiles will far exceed anything that the world has experienced before.

There will be people with natural bodies and a sin nature who will live out life much as we do today. These people will be those who have not died before the end of the tribulation period. People will till the land, go into the market place and perform all the other occupations that make up the kingdom. There will be births and deaths during this period. People going into the kingdom under the age of accountability and those born during the Millennium must be tested and some will reject Christ as their Savior and Messiah. Jesus will deal with them with justice.

Isaiah tells us about little children playing and others dying. “The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den” (Isa. 11:8). “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed” (Isa. 65:20).

Perhaps people will live many hundreds of years as they did before the flood. In fact, some believe that only sinners will die during the Millennium.

Isaiah also tells us about life in those days. “They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, And their offspring with them. It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear” (Isa. 65:21-24).

We can see that the kingdom will be very stable and peaceful, the people will live to be old like a tree and God will bless them in a mighty way.

The kingdom will be a worldwide kingdom with all of the nations coming under the reign of Christ. “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:44).

Justice and Peace.

The New Kingdom will be one of harmony, peaceful coexistence, and very little evil activity. Some of us remember when we did not lock doors and were not afraid to hitchhike. This was true because punishment for crime was more severe and people feared the consequences of criminal activities. During the Millennium, evil activities will be dealt with swiftly and with justice. Jesus will rule with an Iron rod.

During these days people with corruptible bodies will have a sin nature, however Satan and his demons will not influence them during most of the thousand-year reign because they will be bound in the bottomless pit. If people sin and rebel against the Messiah, they only have themselves to blame and they must pay the price. Jesus will use the death penalty many times. The sin nature is taken away with physical death and those with glorified bodies will not commit sin.

The kingdom will be an absolute monarchy. We could say that Jesus will be a benevolent dictator. “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isa. 9:6-7).

The psalmist has these words about Jesus. “Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Ps. 2:8-9).

Isaiah also has these words. “The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist” (Isa. 11:2-5). Jesus will use the death penalty as a means of punishment.

The law of the land will be the Sermon on the Mount. This will be the standard by which Christ will rule his kingdom.

The Sermon also states that evil thoughts will be dealt with harshly. There will be zero tolerance from the King of kings.

This dispensation will be a time of final testing and the overthrow of all evil and rebellion. God will remove all who will not conform to His kingdom of justice and righteousness. The final testing will come at the end of the thousand-year reign when Satan will be let loose for a short time to deceive the people (Rev 20:3, 7-10). Many will choose to follow Satan and will be killed and be cast into hell. All those who remain faithful will go into eternity with God.

The Environment

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and He said it was very good (Gen. 1:1, 1:10). God created a beautiful garden called Eden and He placed man and the animals there. In the garden there was absolute harmony between the man and land and between man and the animals. There was utopia on earth with perfect peace and perfect communication with God. Since God’s ultimate goal was to have fellowship with man, He was very pleased. Soon under the temptation of Satan, man sinned against God and the destruction of the earth began. Death came upon the scene and the beautiful harmony was disrupted.

Animals turned on animals and because Satan controlled the earth it began to be destructed. The apostle Paul tells us about this destruction. “For the creation was subjected to futility” ( Rom. 8:20). “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Rom. 8:22).

Today we have smog, evaporation of the ozone layer, scarcity of resources, hunger in the world and major pollution of the earth, rivers and the ocean. Tyrannical dictators around the world are raping the land and placing people in bondage. Experts tell us that the civilization, as we know it, will soon disappear if changes are not made to the environment.

Revelation tells us about the great tribulation which will come and make things worst. During this period God will pour out His wrath upon earth which will bring about major changes and civilization, as known today, will indeed disappear. The entire earth will be destroyed if Christ does not return as King of kings and Lord of lords.

God will use the tribulation to prepare the earth for the millennium age. The earth will be in great upheaval, seas and inlands will disappear and new islands will appear because of the massive forces of major earthquakes. Volcanic activity will turn the earth inside out and spread rich volcanic ash around the world. Since demolition must take place before renovation can take place, God will use the tribulation to bring about demolition.

Isaiah put it this way: “Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth” (Isa. 40:4).

Christ will begin renovation of the earth very soon after He sets up His kingdom on earth. Much of the renovation will be miraculous but the subjects of the new kingdom will also play a part in the reconstruction. Those with glorified bodies and with the mind of Christ will manage this effort. The earth will be returned to Edenic perfection. We cannot imagine what it will be like to live in a land of utopia.

Paul reminds us: “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9).

Throughout the Bible God has left us with little tidbits of information about the Millennium kingdom. Ezekiel said: “Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them” (Ezek. 34:27). “And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations” (Ezek. 36:30).

Isaiah tells us about the harmony on the restored earth. “For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” ( Isa. 55:12).

With pure water, fertile soil, and a pollution free atmosphere, the earth will bloom and bring forth food for all the people for one thousand years. New technology will make transportation and industrialization pollution free. Since technology will be greatly advanced, we will live in a much more efficient world.

There are some who believe that the 22-degree tilt and wobble of the earth will be corrected. Some meteorologists say these irregularities contribute to the climate extremes: hurricanes, floods, blizzards, droughts, etc. We know that tilt of the earth creates the seasons of the year.

During the last dispensation mankind will be tested in an almost perfect world. It cannot be perfect because some people with natural bodies will continue to rebel and sin. There will be no more excuses about a person’s environment contributing to their behavior.

The Animal Kingdom

A most interesting aspect of this dispensation will be our relationship to the animal kingdom. Hosea tells us that God will enter into a covenant with the animals. “In that day I will make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, To make them lie down safely” (Hosea 2:18).

Isaiah provides some very interesting details. “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” Says the LORD” (Isa. 65:25).

Before sin entered the world the animals lived in harmony with each other – there was no death. Both animals and man ate of the fruit of the land (fruits and vegetables). After the fall of man, many of the animals turned carnivorous. Also, after the flood, man was allowed to eat the flesh of animals. It appears that during the Millennium both man and beast will be vegetarians.

Isaiah also tells us about the relationship that man and the animals will have. “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:6-9). What a beautiful harmony will exist between man and the animals and they will truly enjoy their relationship.

We have to speculate about the insect world but God will probably deal with the insects so that they will not harass us or destroy the crops and vegetation.

World Capital

Christ will set up his capital at Jerusalem. This has been a major prophecy of the Old Testament. “Then the moon will be disgraced And the sun ashamed; For the LORD of hosts will reign On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem And before His elders, gloriously” (Isa. 24:23). “At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts” (Jer. 3:17).

Christ will begin His reign by returning to the Mount of Olives in the same way He ascended into heaven – in a cloud (Acts 1:11). Zechariah gives us these details. “Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south” (Zeck. 14:3-4). “And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be; “The LORD is one,” And His name one” (Zeck. 14:8-9).

During the final days of the tribulation period, major changes will occur in Jerusalem. The earthquake will split the city thus the land will rise to a higher level. Waters from the Mediterranean Sea will flow into the Jordan valley flooding the Dead Sea and life will return to the Dead Sea. When Christ sets up His Theocratic Kingdom, major renovations will take place in the world capital of Jerusalem. In fact, the whole land of Palestine will undergo major changes. Air traffic to this area will be the busiest in the world.

Many will go there for the worship of the Lord. “Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the LORD out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the LORD, “as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD” (Isa. 66:20). “And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy; everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem” (Isa. 4:3).

People will be required to go up to Jerusalem each year. “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain” (Zech. 14:15-17).

Jerusalem will also become a major education center. “Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isa. 2:3). “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children” (Isa. 54:13).

The glory of the Lord will flow out of Jerusalem and fill the whole earth. “And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen” (Ps.72:19).

A two-tiered Millennium Society

It is difficult to conceive of an almost perfect world consisting of some people with glorified bodies and some people without glorified bodies. The apostle Paul tells us that when we are translated in the rapture that we will receive new power with a body like Christ. “It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power” (1 Cor. 15:43). We will be blessed with new pleasant energies and can enjoy the full-spectrum of live. Our five senses will be intensified and we will be given flawless memories. We will be given wisdom and understanding capable of grappling with the problems that now baffle the world’s greatest minds. We will have the minds of Christ. Our bodies will become very mobile and we will see and be able to communicate with the spirit world.

When we look at the resurrected Christ, we can get some insight into the type of bodies that we will have. He ate food, had the ability to move freely from place to place and could walk through walls. We will be able to do all these things. During the Millennium, we will be very content and efficient with our new bodies. This is why God can use us in the management of the kingdom.

During those years, perhaps some of our jobs will be consulting, advising and teaching. Christian education will enhance the learning process thus increasing wisdom and knowledge to a level beyond our imagination. We will lead worship services as we worship the King of kings and Lord of lords. The angels will also be assisting in this role.

It has been said that sin is to the mind as sand is to the gears of a machine. Today, we use only about seven percent of our brains so there is a much room for mental growth. Those living in earthly bodies will grow mentally to highs never dreamed of. Millennium advances in technologies will be incredible. With atomic and magnetic power, machines will have silent and efficient propulsion. Controlled and safe atomic energy will revolutionize transportation, industry and commerce.

Millions of people with non-glorified bodies will not have the physical or mental capacities of the glorified saints. However, they will be far superior to any previous generation.

They will live long lives and retain their youth for many years. When they are one hundred years old, they will still be considered as children (Isa 65:20). Their childbearing years will be extended; thus there will be large families. Sickness may be wiped out, as people will live healthy practically sin free lives. A pollution free environment will bring healing to the bodies. The land will become so fertile that there will be an abundance of food.

We have never lived in an atmosphere free from human and demonic pollution. We will all enjoy the beautiful scenery with clear streams of water, rainbows, waterfalls, singing hills, exploding greenery and beautiful flowers with a new sweet fragrance. We may not realize it but sin has a very bad odor. Our new Edenic environment will not only be clean but will also smell clean. There will be no choking weeds, no devouring insects and no floods and droughts which bring about death and destruction.

The Psalmist says that we will all rejoice in the lord. “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD” (Ps. 96:11-12).

Ultimate happiness will be experienced and the Lord will give the glorified saints the joy and peace of the Lord – His joy and peace which is beyond our comprehension. We will have peace that passes understanding. Since we have never known what it is like to live in a harmonious tension-free world, this will be a welcome change and it will be pure ecstasy.

Probably the many changes to the climate will eliminate the harsh winters and summers thus giving us spring like conditions the year-round. Similar conditions presently exist in the tropical islands where many of us like to vacation. The warm weather would allow year-round lush growing seasons, therefore; providing bountiful harvests for the feeding of the people.

Final Testing

The entire Millennium is a period of testing to determine who can live in God’s eternity. Christ will know their hearts and will judge with justice and righteousness. At the close of the Millennium, Satan will be released and there will be a final testing in which he will tempt the people one last time. We must remember that the glorified saints are not being tested. “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city” (Rev. 20:7-9).

It appears that millions will choose to follow Satan again and will rebel against the Messiah. War will break out and there will again be major destruction on the earth.

However, it will be short lived as the King of kings will conquer the enemy and bring an end to all sin. “And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:9-10).

God’s final judgment will come at the Great White Throne. “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:11-15).

The saints, who come out of the Millennium with natural physical bodies, will be translated into glorified bodies and will enter a sin free eternity. If there are saints who died during the Millennium, their bodily resurrection will probably take place at this time.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).