Thursday, April 5, 2012

The millennium

Revelation Chapter 20

The fact that there is to be a 1,000 years space of time in which Satan will be bound and Christ shall reign on this earth is plainly seen in the New Testament. This period of time is mentioned 6 times in this chapter alone.

This 1,000 year space of time is commonly referred to as the “millennium,” a word coming from the two Latin words “mile” (1,000) and “Annum” (year). The Biblical terminology for this space of time is called the “kingdom.” This is seen throughout the Old & New Testaments, in fact we remember the words of Christ as He taught His disciples to pray saying, “Thy Kingdom come.”

Just after the battle of Armageddon and just before the beginning of the Kingdom, Christ will judge the nation according to Matthew 25:31-34. At this judgment it is obvious that Jesus will separate the “sheep” nations and the “goat” nations. This separation is determined by the way that nation treated Israel. The bible does not say anything about saved or lost in Matthew 25. Salvation is not a determining factor when the nations are judged. The only determination is their treatment of Israel.

It seems that almost ¾ of the earth’s population is destroyed during the tribulation. While the majority of humanity is destroyed, some will remain alive all the way to the end of the tribulation. Some of these people will be allowed to enter into the kingdom. These people will live, bear children and even die. These people will also be given an opportunity to accept Christ as savior.

The kingdom of Christ will be a literal, visible kingdom just as other kingdoms are. Let us therefore consider a few things about this kingdom of Christ.

The Government of the Millennium

This kingdom will be a “theocracy.” A theocracy is the rule of a state by God Himself.

Luke 1:30-33

This is also very interesting. We are told in several passages that King David will be raised and placed on the throne again.

“Afterward shall the Children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the Latter Days.”  Hosea 3:5

“They shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.”   Jeremiah 30:9

“I Jehovah will be their God, and my servant David a Prince in their midst.”   Ezekiel 34:24

We learn from this that the Lord of Hosts shall reign in Jerusalem and David will serve as their “regent” or “prince”. Now some object to this visible reign of David and they also object to the visible reign of the disciples because they say it involves the intercourse between men in their natural flesh and those in resurrected bodies.

I do not understand why this would be an objection. Are we not told of Christ after His resurrection how that He ate with the disciples, walked with them, talked with them and they touched His side? We need to understand that there will be natural men, and women, as well as resurrected men and women that dwell together during these 1,000 years.

These two groups of people will dwell together, and will interact one with another. Therefore there is no reason that David could not rule of the nations, both the resurrected and those that are allowed to enter alive into the kingdom, or born into the kingdom.

The seat of government will be at Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem is to be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, then the city will be rebuilt.

The priest hood of Aaron will be reinstated and the sons of Zadok will officiate and offer sacrifices. There will be many differences between the new temple and the old. There will be no ark of the covenant, no pot of manna, no Aaron’s rod that budded, no tables of law, no cherubim, no mercy seat, no golden candlestick, no shew bread, and no altar of incense, no veil and no unapproachable Holy of Holies.

We are told that there will be a morning offering but no evening offering. The offerings will be burnt, meat, drink, sin, peace and trespass according to Ezekiel 42:13.  Two of the feasts are to be observed, the Passover (although there will be no offering of a lamb or Christ the Passover lamb was offered once for all time) and the feast of Tabernacles.

The Character of the Millennium

1) Satan will be bound. God is going to subject man to one more test so that they may be without excuse. This test will be with the most favorable circumstances. Man has always blamed his fall and his continuation of sin on Satan. People claim that if you take Satan away they could be better.

Satan will be bound and imprisoned for 1,000 years so that he can no longer deceive the nations. For 1,000 years people will live under perfect circumstances with all the blessing of the Holy Spirit and the presence of Christ himself. Man has never known a world like this and therefore cannot conceive what it will be like.

Sadly, the evil heart of man is still evident. We are told a very interesting thing in Isaiah 65.

Isaiah 65:19-25

In these verses we learn that man’s life will be extended. This we are told in verse 20. The bible says that a person who dies at 100 would be considered an infant. We are also told that a sinner at the age of 100 will be accursed. This tells us two things. One if people are dying that means they are sinning.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12

“For the wages of sin is death;”  Romans 6:23

This is further proven in this chapter, for after 1,000 years Satan will be loosed and will find no problem gathering together an army to war against Christ. How sad it is that men are so ungodly that they will continue to sin, even in the midst of perfect circumstances?

Some even believe that Isaiah is teaching us that God will give a man to the age of 100 to be saved. If at the age of 100 he does not accept Christ that man will be “accursed” or will die.

2) The land of Palestine will be revived. The land will be as it was in the days of Joshua, a land that flowed with milk and honey. It will be a land that will bring forth abundantly.

Today Palestine is the same fertile soil as it was in the days of Joshua, but it lacks the rain and irrigation to bring forth. In the millennium there will be plenty of rain and there will also be streams that will flow from the new river coming from the sanctuary.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountain shall drop down new wine, and hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.”  Joel 3:18

“And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I’ll restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in the plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.”   Joel 2:24-26

I cannot imagine walking by a water fall and instead of seeing water the fall is pouring wine. Imagine streams of milk coming out of a hill. One preacher said that there would be watermelons the size of Volkswagen beetles. This will be an amazing place to live.

3) We will have immediate communion with God. Listen to this verse in Isaiah.

“And it shall come to pass, that before the call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”  Isaiah 65:24

Can you imagine praying, asking God about something, and before you finish praying you hear the Lord speaking an answer to you? God will have fellowship with His children during the millennium like no time before.

4) There will be a change in the animal kingdom.

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den.”   Isaiah 11:6-9

This was the character of the animals in Eden and also in the ark. The fierceness of the animals has been brought about by the fall of man.

5) Human life will be prolonged. I alluded to this earlier, but let me further mention these verses.

“There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old” Isaiah 65:20

This verse tells us that a person dying 100 years old will be considered still a child. Therefore to be a man you must live several hundred years.

“They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of the tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.”  Isaiah 65:22

Men will live as long as they did before the flood. This will no doubt be due to changes in the climate and the healing and life giving qualities of the river flowing from the temple. It seems obvious that during the flood of Genesis something in the atmosphere changed. This change will be reversed and men’s lives will be prolonged.

6) The light will be increased sevenfold.

“Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.”  Isaiah 30:26

“The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon giver light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.”   Isaiah 60:19-20

We will have to get used to sleeping while in the light. Night will be just as bright as day.

The Final Battle

As the Millennial kingdom begins to come to a close the angel who imprisoned Satan will again return to the bottomless pit and open it. He will unlock the prison house and Satan will come forth no doubt furious from his 1,000-year imprisonment. It will no doubt be his determination to vent his anger upon the people of God. Satan will be the same malignant being he was 1,000 years before. His hatred however will be at an all time high.

As soon as Satan is released from his prison he begins to gather up a vast multitude ready to believe another one of his lies and follow him in rebellion against God.

The Bible tells us that he will gather people from the "four quarters of the earth," meaning people from every race and nationality upon the face of the earth. The Bible also tells us that the number of the people will be like the sands of the sea. This is unbelievable, but there will be an innumerable multitude that will follow Satan after all they have seen and experienced in the kingdom.

Satan will march his army upon the "breadth of the earth" until they once again encompass the "Camp of the Saints" and once again try to lay siege on the "Beloved City."

From these verses we see the depravity of man. Man is like gunpowder; all they need is someone to strike a match. Satan will no doubt light that match.

This war will be different from every other war in that there will be no bloodshed. The army of Satan will be consumed by fire. Imagine the look on Satan’s face when he marches his army against Christ and before the fight begins fire falls from heaven and consumes his army.

This is sad to see for once again the Millennial Dispensation will end with a failure just as the six other dispensations before it. God at this point will have tested men in every situation.

God allowed man to be placed in the dispensation of "Innocence," under "Conscience," under "Self-Government," under the "Headship of the Family," under "Law," under "Grace," and finally under the influence of the "Holy Ghost" free from any Satanic influence. In all situations man has proven that they are helpless, hopeless and incapable of doing good.

One will ask, “Why would God allow Satan to be loosed from his prison?” “Why not just keep him locked away forever?” The answer no doubt is the free will of man. God has always allowed man a choice. You must remember that there will be children born during the millennium. The children will have a choice to make, to serve Christ or Satan.

For 1,000 years man will dwell with Jesus Christ and there will be universal peace and blessings. The land will give forth abundantly, the animal kingdom will be tamed, and man’s life will be prolonged. After all these blessings and after living in the very presence of Christ, man will still rebel against their maker. Therefore what is left for God to do?

There is nothing left for God to do to the human race but destroy them. God however has already promised Noah that he would never destroy the earth again by a flood so He will purge the earth with fire.

“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”   2 Peter 3:7

As punishment for his final rebellion Satan will once again be seized, probably by the same angel that captured him before, and cast into the Lake of Fire. When he arrives he will find waiting for him the beast and the false prophet who were cast in 1,000 years earlier.

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”   Matthew 25:41

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