Reading Revelation Ch. 20 v 1-10.
Have you ever asked the question, what kind of world is this we live in anyway? Why all this hatred, injustice, illness, death, war, terrorism and why such tragedies as September the 11th? If everything were just so much better, then I would know there was a God who controls this great universe and would gladly trust Him. Oh, if only we could live in days of peace and tranquillity.
Well, that’s not as far fetched, as it may seem. You see the Bible talks about such days that are ahead for this world. In the last book of the Bible, the book of the Revelation chapter 20 v 2-7, there is made mention a time period of one thousand years duration in which will be ushered in a time of peace, prosperity and righteousness, such as this world has not witnessed since before man's sin and the fall in the Garden of Eden.
Six times this thousand years is mentioned from verses 2-7 in Revelation Chapter 20 and has become known as a period of time called 'The Millennium'.
Now although the word Millennium is not mentioned specifically, it comes from the Latin word mille, meaning "thousand." The Greek word for millennium comes from chilias, meaning "a thousand," and annus, meaning "year." That Greek term is used six times in the original text of the twentieth chapter of Revelation to define the duration of Christ's Kingdom on earth prior to the destruction of the old heavens and the old earth. Therefore, the word millennium refers to the thousand years of Christ's future reign on earth that will precede eternity.
The first time Jesus Christ came to this earth, He came as a baby and was born in a manger, died on a cross, was buried in a tomb, arose from the dead and ascended up into heaven to sit at God's right hand. Then, He came as Saviour.
When he comes at this time period of one thousand years mentioned in the book of the Revelation He is coming as Sovereign, that is to reign and rule over this whole earth.
It is so interesting as we read through the Bible, we discover God is a God of order and without confusion. God has a plan and a purpose at work from the beginning of time. Let me remind you of God's plans for the future as recorded in His Word that we should take note off.
The next great event in God's calendar is called the rapture. Again, although the word rapture is not mentioned, it is a word that means 'snatched away.' Paul the great Apostle in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 v 13-18 highlights this great truth for us. This is the time period Jesus will come and take away from this world His Church, that is, all those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.
Soon after the rapture will begin what the Bible calls in Matthew's Gospel chapter 24 'The Great Tribulation', a time of trouble such as this world has never before seen. While that tribulation period is taking place on earth, in heaven there will be something happening called 'The Judgement Seat of Christ', here, every true born again believer, will be judged by Jesus for service rendered to Him while upon this planet.
At the conclusion of the Judgement Seat comes the 'Marriage Supper of the Lamb', to this great feast will be invited the True Bride of Christ (The Church) who will be presented to God The Father in all her pristine perfection and beauty. Following this great supper at an appointed time, the Lord Jesus will return to this earth, this is what the Bible calls 'The Second Coming'. This amazing event will bring to a close 'The Tribulation' and will issue in the 'Judgement of the Nations' as related in Matthew chapter 25. Antichrist and his armies will be destroyed and all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ will enter into the Millennium Kingdom.
Now, with that briefest of information in our thoughts, allow me to highlight some specific areas of this period known as 'The Millennium' in the hope we will understand it somewhat more clearly. I do that by asking and answering some questions.
1. What about the Saviour during the Millennium? Rev. 20 v 4 & 6.
He Will Reign: Finally, the Lord Jesus will take His rightful place and
occupy the throne of David, Isaiah ch.9 v 6-7. Luke ch.1 v 26-33. His reign will finally bring justice and holiness to this world. This world has never had any period in history of such regal reign, as Jesus will display. All human rulers are controlled by an internal power for authority, wealth and self-glory. Jesus on the other hand will reign in perfect righteousness.
He Will Rule: Revelation ch.19 v 15 reminds us how Jesus will reign.
His rule will be strong, powerful with all the authority of the Almighty God. Rebellion will not be tolerated.
He Will Receive: In the times in which we live, the Lord Jesus is often
a figure to poke fun at or a name to be taken and used as a swear word. However, in the Millennium Kingdom, He will receive the glory He should deserve. People from every nation will bow at His feet and worship Him as the King of Glory and shout His praises!
What about Satan during the Millennium? Rev. 20 v 1-3 & 7-10.
a. He Will Be Jailed: v 1-3. For 1,000 years, Satan, the enemy of God will not be able to hinder the work of God, tempt the people of God, nor will he be able to work in the lives of the lost. He will be chained and bound for the full period of the Millennium! Satan today is called the "god" of this world, 2 Corinthians ch.4 v 4. He spends all his time doing all he can, to upset God's business, defeat the children of God, and snatch souls for Hell. However, during this Millennium Period he will be in God's prison and unable to do his dastardly work. Praise God!
He Will Be Judged: v 7-10. You see, from the beginning of human
history, it has been God's plan to reach out in love to humankind drawing them to Himself. Many, over the generations responded, receiving, and believing, taking God at His Word. But, always, there was Satan doing all he could to turn man away from God. What is known to us as the age of innocence ended with wilful disobedience, Genesis 3. The age of conscience ended with universal corruption, Genesis 5-6. The age of human government ended with devil worship at the Tower of Babel, Genesis 11. The age of promise ended with the people of God in bondage in Egypt, Genesis 12-Exodus 1. The age of law ended with humanity killing their Creator on the cross, Exodus 2-Matthew 27 and the age of the church will end with worldwide apostasy, Acts 1-? The age of the tribulation will end with the battle of Armageddon Revelation 19. The age of the Millennium will end with an attempt to overthrow God Himself, Revelation 20. These verses, 7-10 tell us, at the end of the Millennium, Satan will be loosed from his prison. He will return to earth and be able to gather around him a great and terrible army. He will attack the City of God where Jesus is reigning and try to over throw the Son of God. But things don’t quite work out the way Satan had hoped, the tables are turned for the last time, divine judgement falls and the devil and all his followers with him are cast into the Lake of Fire forever. He will be judged.
What about the Saints during the Millennium? Rev. 20 v 4-6.
The Saints Will Be Reigning: v 4a. All the saints of God, that is, every
individual, who has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as their own and personal Saviour between the day of Pentecost and the Rapture of the church will be found reigning with Jesus in the Millennium Kingdom. We will share in His glory and in His reign, 2 Timothy 2 v 12 & 1 Peter 5 v 1.
Over the years Christians have been mocked, ridiculed and martyred while upon this earth, for the testimony of Jesus Christ and for the Word of God. But there is a day coming when we will return with Jesus Christ in power and great glory to this world and we will reign with Him, which, by the way, presupposes, Jesus has had to come for us before He can come with us. Yes, we will be different from what we are now; we will be in our glorified bodies, free from sin, death and disease, made forever like Christ.
b. The Saints Will Be Resurrected: v 4b. At the beginning of the Millennium, all the Old Testament saints who died with faith in Jesus, having looked forward to His coming will be raised from the dead. What an amazing sight that will be, all those wonderful saints serving our dear Lord Jesus Christ, something they had looked forward to with great anticipation. John reminds us in chapter 8 v 56 Abraham saw His day and was glad. What will it be like for Abraham and millions of others to see Him, feast their eyes upon Him, Oh! Wonder of Wonders.
c. The Saints Will Be Received: v 4c. The last part of this verse makes clear that there will be a number of people who come to the end of the Tribulation Period with their faith in Jesus Christ. These people refused the mark of the beast and they lived until the end, they will all enter the Kingdom of Christ as told us in Matthew 25 v 31-46.
Can you understand something here? The bottom line in all of this is faith!
Faith needs to be placed simply and firmly in the Lord Jesus Christ, there is Salvation in no other.
What about Sinners during the Millennium?
Will there be sinners during the Millennium? Why of course! There will be no sinner enter the Millennium, but there will be many born during that 1,000 year period. You see, all entering the millennium, out of the Tribulation will do so in their flesh and blood bodies. These people are truly saved, but those born to them during this prolonged period of one thousand years will be born just as we are at this period of time, with a lost soul and a sinful nature. They will need God's Salvation. This millennium time span will prove for evermore the total depravity of mankind. We are told today that the source of evil in this world is external to Man, many today view evil as rooted in the corruption of society, it is believed that the solution to all Man's problems can be found in societal reform.
It is argued for example that society is the root cause of crime, all we need to do is eliminate crime. The argument goes, provide people with a guaranteed job which will supply them with sufficient income giving them a step up the social ladder therefore giving them no cause to committee crime. Sadly, such reforms do not transform the basic nature of mankind. In the poorer end of town a man will rush into the local store with a mask over his face and rob a few pounds from the till. In the more classy area of town he will dress up in the finest suit he has, make his way to the office and through his computer embezzle the company pension plan. You cannot change people's basic nature by changing their quality of life. Changing their quality of life simply changes them into being more sophisticated sinners.
You see, God's Word teaches that the problem, the source of evil, is rooted within mankind. Man is born with a fallen nature and it is Man, not society, in need of changing (Genesis 8 v 21; Jeremiah 17 v 9-10; Mark 7 v 20-23). That's the reason the Bible teaches the light of God, the light of the world, shines in The Saviour, The Scriptures, The Spirit and The Saints. We need light to penetrate our darkness pointing us to The Way, The Truth and The Life, which is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
It seems without doubt, God is going to prove this point beyond argument during the millennium period. Today, mankind can blame all sorts on his failure to become a better person. But in the millennium period, where Peace, Holiness and Righteousness reign, and where he will enjoy the wonderful lifestyle such an environment produces, mankind will discover, at the end of that millennium period when Satan is released, many, many people will rally to him when he calls the nations to rebellion against Jesus (Revelation 20 v 7-10). The millennium will prove once and for all that what Man needs is not a new kind society but a new heart. 2 Cor.5 v 17.
What about the Sacred people during the Millennium?
The primary focus of the Millennium Kingdom will undoubtedly be on the Jews, God's chosen, sacred people. Israel and Jerusalem will have a very special role in the millennium. The millennium is the occasion for the first physical and spiritual restoration of Israel as described for us in Ezekiel chapter 37 verses 21-22. "And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all. And they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all".
Israel and Jerusalem will most definitely be a holy-land and a holy city. Listen to the words of Isaiah Chapter 65 v 18-23.
"But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 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; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them".
The restoration of Israel will mean regeneration, regathering, reclaiming of the land, and re-establishing the Davidic throne. Also according to Jeremiah 3 v 18 and Ezekiel 37 v 15-23, the nation will be reunited, its previous two-fold division of Israel and Judah will be forever eliminated. Israel as a nation will then become the vocal point of attention for the Gentile world, Isaiah Ch. 14 v 1-3; 49 v 22-23; Zephaniah 3 v 20; Zechariah 8 v 23. Everybody will want to keep close to God's precious people, Israel and go where they go, what a turn around!
6. What about Society during the Millennium?
Of necessity everything in this article has been brief, likewise, let me briefly lay out for you the wonderful change that will take place for society during this tremendous period called 'The Millennium'. What a time this is going to be! There are many Scriptures declaring to us the outpoured blessings and glory upon this earth during The Millennium Kingdom period and these through the amazing beneficence of the Lord Jesus Christ. I share but a few Scriptures.
These will be days of great peace!
National unification will produce economic prosperity and individual well being as the fruit of Christ's reign upon this earth. Isa.ch.2 v 4; 9 v 4-7.
These will be days of real joy!
Nehemiah reminds us in chapter 8 v 10, "The joy of the Lord is our strength" that same mark will permeate the age. Isa.ch.9 v 3-4; 12 v 3-6.
These will be days of true holiness!
The Millennium Kingdom will be a holy kingdom, in which holiness is displayed through the king and His subjects. Jer.ch.31 v 23; Ezek.ch.36
d. These will be days of full glory!
The glory of God will be displayed in its fullest manifestation. Isa.ch.24 v 23.
e. These will be days of precious comfort!
The King will minister into every need, so that the fullest comfort will be known. Isa.ch.30 v 26; Zeph.ch.3 v 18-20.
These will be days of perfect Justice!
There will be no query for the justice administered here will be perfect. Jer.ch.23 v 5; 31 v 23.
g. These will be days of thorough knowledge!
There will be an unparalleled teaching ministry from the King, giving thorough knowledge through the power of the Holy Spirit. Isa.ch.11 v 1-2; Hab.ch.2v14.
h. These will be days of deep instruction!
Clear and true instruction given will not be disregarded but gladly received.
Isa.ch.49 v 10; Jer.ch.3 v 14-15.
i. These will be days without curse!
That awful curse placed upon creation (Gen.3 v 17-19) will be removed. Isa.ch.65 v 25.
- These will be days minus sickness!
- The healer Kings ministry will be effective so that even the sting of death will be removed except as a penal measure in dealing with continuing sin. Isa.ch.33 v 24; Jer.ch.30 v 17.
- These will be days of protection!
The preserving and protection work of the King will be truly seen during this amazing time period. Isa.ch.41 v 8-14.
- These will be days without oppression!
The injustice of oppression will be removed in the social, political and religious realm Isa.ch.14 v 3-6.
- These will be days of true physical maturity!
It would seem from reading our text, feeble-mindedness and deformed bodies will be a thing of the past, praise God. Isa.ch.65 v 20.
- These will be days of amazing reproduction!
The population will increase greatly, those born will be born in sin and need
God's wonderful salvation. Jer.ch.30 v 20.
- These will be days of unashamed work!
The population will want to work and earn their own bread. There will be at last a fully developed industrialised society, making full provision for the King's subjects. Isa.ch.62 v 8-9.
- These will be days of great prosperity!
There will be such a system in place producing economic abundance there will be no want. Amos ch.9 v 13-14.
- These will be days of increased light!
There will be a mighty increase of solar and lunar light in this millennium age, probably accounting for the great increased productivity of the earth. Isa.ch.30 v 26.
- These will be days of united language!
No language barrier will exist during this wonderful period of years. Zeph.ch.3 v 9.
- These will be years of united worship!
All of the world will bow in unified worship of Holy God and His Messiah. Isa.ch.45 v 23.
- These will be days of experiencing God's presence!
The presence of God will be known in a very powerful way and people will fellowship with God to an unprecedented degree. Ezek.ch.37 v 27-28.
- These will be days of pure Holy Spirit fullness!
There will be subjection from many to the King through the power of the Holy Spirit, which will be unique. Ezek.ch.36 v 26-27.
- These will be days reviling the future state!
That which characterises the Millennium Age is not viewed as temporary, but eternal. Amos ch.9 v 15; Ezek.ch.37 v 26-28.
Why should we consider "The Character of the Millennium?" The Bible, specifically the New Testament, places great emphasis on the future. Christians should live in the present in the light of the future. This Millennium of which we have been thinking is a part of God's overall pattern for humanity and creation. How we live now reveals our heart view of God and will, to some extent at least, determine our role for the future. The whole of this Christian life is a preparation for eternity, therefore we should seek to understand the riches of God's word and will and be found always walking according to God's plan. He is our sure and certain hope and we will reign with Him and worship Him forever, praise His Holy name, let’s do so now with a Christ-Like Heart!