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Dear Bob, would you please tell me your understanding of the "Millennial Reign of Christ"?
Answer: I would be happy to. This is a wonderful and fascinating subject, because it is in the future of all God's people!
The One Thousand Year Millennial Reign of Christ on this present earth, is stated in the Scriptures as a reality and is in our future. We will return with Jesus to this earth, immediately after the Seven Year Tribulation, to stop the war of Armageddon, judge the nations of this earth, remove all unbelievers from off the earth, clean up the earth, and set up Christ's Kingdom on this earth.
We know that these 1000 years will be on this present earth, because the Millennial prophesies speak of a "sun" and "moon", a "Temple" in Jerusalem and describe rivers flowing to the "sea", when on the "new earth", in the eternal state there will be NO "TEMPLE", NO "SEA", NO SUN, and NO MOON:
--- Rev. 21:1 "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea".
--- Rev 21:22 "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it".
--- Rev 21:23 "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof".
The Millennial Reign of Christ, on this earth, is stated as a reality, in Rev 19:11-20:6:
--- Rev 19:11 "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh".
--- Rev 20:1 "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years".
Another reason we know the Millennium will be on this earth, is because Jesus will rule the nations with a "rod of iron" at the Second Advent, as Rev 19:15 above states. "Ruling the nations with a rod of iron" at the Second Advent, is a familiar theme in both the Old and New Testament":
--- Psalms 2:8 "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (the nations) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel".
--- Revelation 2:27 "And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father".
--- Revelation 12:5 "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne".
--- Revelation 19:15 "And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God".
We will participate in the Millennial Reign of Christ in our resurrection bodies:
We will receive our "resurrection bodies" at the Rapture, then spend 7 years rejoicing together, worshipping Jesus, and receiving some "basic training", while watching the Tribulation from heaven.
Then we will return with Jesus (Jude 14-15, Rev. 2:26 & 19:14), at the Second Advent, to rule and reign with Christ over the nations of this earth.
The Millennium begins with believers only - all those who accepted Jesus as their Savior during the Tribulation, and who live physically through the Tribulation. Apparently, many people from every nation on earth will be saved and live through the Tribulation, and will procreate, and repopulate the earth during the Millennium:
--- Matt 25:31 "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world".
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 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:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
--- Luke 17:26 "And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all".
What happened in the days of Noah? All the unbelievers on the earth were destroyed, and the world was repopulated by the 8 righteous people who lived through the flood! Jesus said His return at the Second Advent would be exactly the same.
During the Millennium, we will operate in our resurrection body just like Jesus did, on this earth, during the 40 days after His resurrection.
In His resurrection body:
--- Jesus had a body of flesh and bone, and his friends recognized him in Luke 24:39.
--- He could walk through a wall, or use the door as in John 20:26.
--- He appeared and disappeared at will, as in Luke 24:31.
--- He could eat or not eat as in Luke 24:39-43.
--- He walked and talked with men, and they did not know that he was in a resurrection body until he revealed it to them, and then He vanished, as in Luke 24:13-32.
--- He could travel in space without a spacesuit as in Acts 1:9-11.
We will be like HIM! He gave us an idea of what we will be like in our resurrection body!
All the Church Age believers get their resurrection body the moment of the Rapture:
--- 1 Cor 15:51 "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed"
The Greek word for "changed" here, is "allasso", to be "transformed" from one "form" to another.
The New Jerusalem is described in Rev chap 21 as a 1,500 mile "cube", "descending out of heaven", and appears to be our "home base" for the Millennium. We see the New Jerusalem ON the New Earth, but we do not see the New Jerusalem on THIS earth during the Millennium. This leads some commentators to speculate that the New Jerusalem will be in "geosynchronous orbit" over the earthly Jerusalem during the Millennium. It is clear that the New Jerusalem will be our home during the Millennium and we will come and go as necessary.
SCRIPTURES CONCERNING THE MILLENNIAL REIGN OF CHRIST ON THIS PRESENT EARTH:
1. The Millennium is stated as a reality in Rev 20:1-6.
A. Must be literal years, it is stated as 1000 years no less than 6 times in this context. We must believe the literal Scriptures, before we begin to look for "spiritualizations".
B. Satan will be in chains for the duration of the 1000 years, verses 1-3.
C. Must be on this present earth, because after the 1000 years, Satan is loosed to again deceive the NATIONS and surround the BELOVED CITY, and fire came DOWN out OF HEAVEN and devoured God's enemies, Rev 20:7-9. (Not until Rev 21 do we see the NEW EARTH)
D. Jesus and His saints rule over the nations of this earth, verses 4 and 8. This will include the all Church Age saints, Tribulation saints and all the Old Testament saints (Dan. 12:6-13).
E. The Millennium was prophesied in the Old Testament. The subject of the Sermon on the Mount was Jesus offering the Millennium to Israel. Jesus was rejected, and rejection of the King meant postponement of the Millennium. The Millennium is proclaimed in the Gospels; it is postponed in the Epistles. Due to rejection of Christ, the Millennial promises will not be a reality until after the Church age.
F. In Mat. 4:1-11 we have Satan trying to deceive Christ and set up a pseudo Millennium.
G. In the first three and one half years of the Tribulation, it is plagiarized by Satan.
H. At the Second Advent the Millennial Kingdom is set in place.
2. The Millennium is the first phase of the fulfillment of the unconditional covenants to Israel stated in Dan. 9:24.
A. Rom 9:4 and Eph 2:11 & 12 state that the Old Testament Covenants do not pertain to the gentiles, but to Israel only, and they concern the literal land of Palestine.
B. The Abrahamic Covenant is repeatedly stated to concern the land promised to Israel. See Deut 30:3-5 and Eze 20:33-37 & 42-44.
3. The Millennium is a time of tremendous population expansion. As the Millennium continues, unbelievers will exist on the earth, as children are born and must accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. Some will refuse to do so, even when they can see Jesus and talk to Him! At the end of one thousand years of perfect environment, Satan will be released for a short while and will lead a rebellion. This is described in Rev.20:7-10. This rebellion indicates that even perfect environment, tremendous prosperity, and a perfect "world order", are not the solution to man's problems.
4. The kingdoms of the world under the reign of Christ enjoy continual worldwide peace and tremendous economic prosperity. The nations do not need to devote vast proportions of their expenditure on military munitions. Millennial peace and prosperity is a major theme of the Old Testament prophets. National and individual peace is the fruit of Messiah's reign.
5. Israel will be gathered to the promised land and will rule and reign with Christ as the top nation on earth during the Millennium. This is a MAJOR theme throughout the Old Testament:
--- Jer 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
--- Jer 29:14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
--- Jer 31:8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.
--- Jer 31:10 Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
--- Jer 32:37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:
--- Eze 11:17 Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.
--- Eze 20:41 I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.
--- Eze 34:13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
--- Eze 36:24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
--- Eze 37:21 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:
--- Zep 3:20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.
Israel will be the top nation on earth during the Millennial Reign of Christ:--- Jer 3:16 & 17: "And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart."
--- Zech 14:3-17 "Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses.
11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.
14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.
15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.
16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
6. The characteristics of the Millennial Reign of Christ:A. Peace. The cessation of war through the unification of the kingdoms of the world under the reign of Christ. (Isa 2:4; 5:26-30; 10:19-23; 9:7 ;11 :6-16; 32:17 & 18; 33:5 & 6; 54:13; 55:12; 60:18; 65:25; 66:12; Eze 28:26; 34:25 - 28; Hos 2:18; Mic 4:2 & 3; Zech 9:10)
B. Joy. The fullness of joy will be a distinctive mark of the age (Isa. 9:3-4; 12:3-6; 14:7-8; 25:8-9; 30:29; 42:1 & 10-12; 52:9; 60:15; 61:7, 10; 65:18-19; 66:10-14; Jer. 30:18-19; 31:13-14; Zeph. 3:14-17; Zech. 8:18-19; 10:6-7).
C. Holiness. The theocratic kingdom will be a holy kingdom, in which holiness is manifested through the King and the King's subjects. The land will be holy, the city holy the temple holy, and the subjects holy unto the Lord. Holy means "set apart for special purpose". (Isa. 1:26-27; 4:3-4; 29:18-23; 31:6-7; 35:8-9; 52:1; 60:21; 61:10; Jer. 31:23; Ezek. 36:24-31; 37:23-24; 43:7-12; 45:1; Joel 3:21; Zeph. 3:11,13; Zech. 8:3; 13:1-2; 14:20-21).
D. Glory. The kingdom will be a glorious kingdom, in which the glory of God will find full manifestation (Isa. 24:23; 4:2; 35:2; 40:5; 60:1-9).
E. Comfort. The King will personally minister to every need, so that there will be the fullness of comfort in that day (Isa. 12:1-2; 29:22-23; 30:26; 40:1-2; 49:13; 51:3; 61:3-7; 66:13-14; Jer. 31:23-25; Zeph. 3:18-20; Zech. 9:11-12; Rev. 21:4).
F. Justice. There will be the administration of rapid and perfect justice to every Millennial individual (Isa. 9:7; 11:5; 32:16; 42:1-4; 65:21-23; Jer. 23:5; 31:23; 31:29-30).
G. Knowledge. The ministry of the King will bring the kingdom into full knowledge. Doubtless there will be an unparalleled teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. (lsa. 11:1-2, 41:19-20; 54:13; Hab. 2:14).
H. Instruction. This knowledge will come about through the instruction that issues from the King (Isa. 2:2-3; 12:3-6; 25:9; 29:17-24; 30:20-21; 32:3-4; 49:10; 52:8; Jer. 3:14-15; 23:1-4; Mic. 4:2).
I. The removal of the curse. The original curse placed upon creation (Gen. 3:14-24) will be removed, so that there will be abundant productivity to the earth. Animal creation will be changed so as to lose its venom and ferocity. (Isa. 11:6-9; 35:9; & 65:25).
J. Sickness removed. The ministry of the King as a healer will be seen throughout the age, so that sickness and even death will be eliminated, except for capitol punishment in dealing with overt sin. (Isa. 33:24 & 66:20; Jer. 30:17; Ezek. 34:16).
K. Healing of the deformed. Accompanying the healing ministry of Christ will be the healing of all human physical deformity at the inception of the Millennium (Isa. 29:17-19; 35:3-6; 61:1-2; Jer. 31:8; Mic. 4:6-7; Zeph. 3:19).
L. Protection. There will be a supernatural work of preservation of human life in the Millennial age through Jesus the King (Isa. 41:8-14; 62:8-9; Jer. 23:6, 32:27; Ezek. 34:27; Joel 3:16-17; Amos 9:15; Zech. 8:14-15; 9:8; 14:10-11).
M. Freedom from oppression. There will be no social, political or religious oppression in that day (Isa. 14:3-6; 42:6-7; 49:8-9; Zech. 9:11-12).
N. No immaturity. The suggestion seems to be that there will not be the tragedies of feeble-mindedness nor of dwarfed bodies in that day and human longevity will be restored (Isa. 65:20).
O. Reproduction by the living peoples. The living saints who go into the Millennium in their natural bodies will beget children throughout the age. The earth's population will soar. Children born in the Millennial age will be born with a sin nature; so their individual, personal salvation will still be required (Jer. 30:20; 31:29; 47:22; Zech. 10:8).
P. Labor. The period will not be characterized by idleness, but there will be a perfect economic system, in which the needs of men are abundantly provided for by labor in that system, under the guidance of the King. There will be a fully developed industrialized society, providing for the needs of the King's subjects (Isa 62:8-9; 65:21-23; Jer. 31:5; Ezek. 48:18-19). Agriculture as well as manufacturing will provide employment.
Q. Economic prosperity. The perfect labor situation will produce economic abundance, so that there will be no want. (Psalm 72:7&16; Isa. 4:1; 30:23-25; 35:1-2 & 7; 62:8-9; 65:21-23; Jer. 31:5, 12; Ezek. 34:26; 36:29-30; Mic. 4:1, 4; Zech. 8:11-12; Joel 2:21-27; 9:16-17; Amos 9:13-14).
R. An increase of light. There will be an increase of solar activity in the age. This increased light probably is a major cause in the increased productivity of the earth. Possibly an ice crystal canopy will be in place (to block the harmful solar rays) and the earth will be tilted back on its axis to restore the environment described in the Garden of Eden. (Isa. 4:5; 30:26; 60:19-20; Zech. 2:5).
S. Perfect environment will exist in nature. Isa. 11:6-9; 35:1,2 & 7; 65:25; Rom. 8:19-22.
T. Unified language. The language barriers will be removed so all people can interact socially (Zeph. 3:9).
U. Unified Worship. All the world will unite in the worship of the one true God. (Isa. 45:23; 52:1, 7-10; 66:17-23; Zech. 8:23; 9:7; 13:2; 14:16; Zeph. 3:9; Mal. 1:11).
V. The manifest presence of God in the Person of Jesus. Jesus will be recognized as God's presence, and full fellowship with God will be experienced to an unprecedented degree (Ezek. 37:27-28; Zech.2:2, 10-13; Rev. 21:3).
Jesus will be called "The Father" during the Millennium:--- Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
As Jesus said in John 14:9 "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father".
W. The fullness of the Spirit. Divine presence and enablement will be the experience of all who are in subjection to the authority of the King (Isa. 32:13-15; 41:1; 44:3; 59:19, 21 61:1; Ezek. 11:19-20; 36:26-27; 37:14; 39:29; Joel 2:28-29).
X. The continuation of the Millennial state. That which characterizes the Millennial Age is not viewed as temporary, but eternal. These same characteristics will be continued on the New Earth (Isa. 51:6-8; 55:3, 13; 56:5; 60:19-20; 61:8; Jer. 32:40; Ezek. 16:60: 37:26-28: 43:7; Dan 9:24; Joel 3:20: Amos 9:15: Hos.2:19-23:1.)
What a blessed time this will be for the people of God!
Your questions are a blessing to me, and I am sure the Scriptures we examine are a blessing to others also. As always, I hope my answers are clear, and an equal blessing.
Yours "in Christ",