“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:32-33) The humble, suffering servant of God and man, hated and humiliated by sinful man on a cursed earth, will at last be honored and exalted in the very world that so hated Him. God will honor His Son and give Him the Kingdom He promised Him: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:5-11)
The Millennial Kingdom begins with the binding of Satan and ends with the release of Satan (vv. 3, 7). (It actually merges with the eternal kingdom – the new heaven and new earth). At this point the Tribulation has ended, all Israel has been saved, millions of Gentiles have come to Christ, the Antichrist and the False Prophet have been defeated and cast into the Lake of Fire, Babylon the religious/political/economic system that stands in opposition to God and is manifested in the rebuilt city has been destroyed, Christ has defeated all of His enemies at Armageddon and has come again to the earth to rule and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords [“All Israel will be saved” (Rom. 11:26) refers to the Jewish people left on earth who have not been killed by God’s wrath through the Antichrist and receive Christ as Savior. “In the whole land,” declares the LORD, “two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’ ” Zechariah 13:8-9]
The main points regarding the Millennium are: Satan is bound for 1000 years and cannot deceive the nations (vv.1-3); Jesus the King will rule the earth from the throne of David and His saints (saved people) will reign with Him for a 1000 years of peace, prosperity and almost perfect conditions (vv.4-6). The remainder of chapter 20 shows that, after the Millennium, Satan will be released and go about the earth to gather an army of people (millions) who have rejected Christ in their hearts and God will destroy them all and cast Satan into the Lake of Fire forever (vv.7-10). God will then create a new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:10) the eternal state as seen in Revelation 21-22. Then He will judge unrepentant man of all ages whose names are not found in the Book of Life and cast them all into the Lake of Fire (vv.12-15).
God’s plan from the beginning of creation was to rule as King over His creation through man (to take dominion over the earth and subdue it – Gen. 1:26-28; Psalm 8:4-8; Heb. 2:6-10) and He will not allow Satan the usurper to thwart His rule. Immediately after the Fall, God promised a Deliverer Who would defeat Satan (Gen. 3:15), redeem fallen man, and once again rule the earth. God has worked through human government, the patriarchs, the nation of Israel, judges, kings, the prophets and then His Son the God-Man, The Prophet, Priest and King, the Lord Jesus Christ to restore His Kingdom. The Old Testament prophets spoke of the Kingdom of God that was to come and yet when Jesus came in His first advent as a humble suffering servant most of the Jews rejected Him. John the Baptist preached about the promised Kingdom as did Jesus but Israel rejected their King. So here at the end of the Tribulation and the end of the church age God turns back to Israel as His instrument of salvation and blessing to the whole world (Gen. 12; Rom. 9-11) and in the Millennium fulfills every promise He made to them regarding the promised land (its boundaries, its bounty and its beauty), the seed of David (a Jewish Messiah/King – Jesus as the Son of Man) and the throne of David (Jesus as the King of kings ruling from the throne of David in Jerusalem). God’s Word to David: “The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Sam. 7:12-13) If there is no literal Millennial Kingdom on the earth then God’s Word and promises would not be fulfilled.
“I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4-6) During the Kingdom, the saints will reign with the Lord Jesus (20:4-6, Rom. 8:17), the apostles over Israel (Matt. 19:28), believers over angels (1 Cor. 6:2), believers over the nations (Rev. 2:26), and perhaps glorified saints over natural born persons in the Millennium. All those saved are in the first resurrection. (These resurrections of saved people occur at different times beginning with the resurrection of Christ so the term “first resurrection” means the resurrection of all saved people in all ages.) Though the term “second resurrection” isn’t used, it is described later in 20:11-15 at the end of the 1000 years and includes all the unsaved who are resurrected (a physical body) and judged for their works (there are degrees of hell) and then cast into the Lake of Fire. (Daniel 12:2) We will be blessed and holy (glorified and sinless) because the second death (Lake of Fire) has no power over us and because we are priests of God (to serve Him and glorify Him) and we will reign with Him for 1000 years.
A description of the Millennial Kingdom is seen in many of the Old Testament passages (Is. 11:1-11; Jer. 31:31-34; Joel 3:17-21; Amos 9:11-15; Micah 4:1-5) but a brief summary of the nature of the kingdom and the reign of Christ is summarized by Dr. Daniel Akin: Worldwide reign of Christ with Jerusalem the capital of the world; A theocracy (Dan. 7:14; Rev. 19:15), Just, Spiritual, Long-life (death is limited to sinners), Prosperous, Righteous, Ethical, Religiously pure, Socially beneficial (animal and social conditions are transformed), Peaceful.
After the Millennial Kingdom ends, sinners deceived by Satan will rebel and demonstrate that even in a near perfect environment with no Satanic temptation, man is capable of rebellion against God. (Rom. 8:7) “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth-Gog and Magog-to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Rev. 20:7-10)
Until He Comes, Len and Kristen
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