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The Millennium
(The Thousand Year Reign of Christ)

The fact of the millennium. The word itself is a Latin term which signifies "one thousand years."
"...and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (Rev. 20:4)

In the first seven verses of Revelation 20, John mentions the thousand-year period no less than six times. In spite of this some have argued that, since this number is found in only one New Testament passage, one cannot insist that the thousand-year period will really come to pass. To emphasize their point, reference is made to 2 Peter 3:8: "...One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." One is tempted to ask, "Why can't God mean exactly what he says?"

Dr. Rene Pache writes the following helpful words:

"Let us notice again this fact: the teaching of the Old Testament concerning the millennium is so complete that the Jews in the Talmud succeeded in developing it entirely themselves, without possessing the gifts furnished later by the New Testament. For example, they had indeed affirmed before the Apocalypse that the messianic kingdom would last one thousand years. One should not, therefore, claim (as some have done) that without the famous passage of Revelation 20:1-10 the doctrine of the millennium would not exist." (The Return of Jesus Christ, p. 380)



The purpose of the millennium

1. To reward the saints of God.

"Verily there is a reward for the righteous..." (Ps. 58:11).
"...to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward" (Prov. 11:18).
"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven..." (Mt. 5:12).
"Then shall the King say...Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Mt. 25:34).

2. To answer the oft-prayed model prayer. In Luke 11:1-4 and Matthew 6:9-13 our Lord, at the request of his disciples, suggested a pattern prayer to aid all believers in their praying. One of the guidelines was this: "Thy kingdom come." Here the Savior was inviting his followers to pray for the millennium. Someday he will return to fulfill the untold millions of times these three little words have wafted their way to heaven by Christians - "Thy kingdom come."

3. To redeem creation. In Genesis 3 God cursed nature because of Adam's sin. From that point on, man's paradise became a wilderness. The roses suddenly contained thorns, and the docil tiger became a hungry meat-eater. But during the millennium all this will change. Paul describes the transformation for us in his epistle to the Romans:

"For all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day when God will resurrect his children. For on that day thorns and thistles, sin, death, and decay - the things that overcame the world against its will at God's command - will all disappear, and the world around us will share in the glorious freedom from sin which God's children enjoy. For we know that even the things of nature, like animals and plants, suffer in sickness and death as they await this great event" (Rom. 8:19-22, TLB).

4. To fulfill three important Old Testament covenants.
A. The Abrahamic Covenant. God promised Abraham that his seed (Israel) would someday own Palestine forever (Gen. 12:7; 13:14,15,17; 15:7,18-21; 17:8).
B. The Davidic Covenant (2 Chron. 13:5; 2 Sam. 7:12-16; 23:5). Here the promise was threefold:

(1) That from David would come an everlasting throne.
(2) That from David would come an everlasting kingdom.
(3) That from David would come an everlasting King.
C. The new covenant (Isa. 42:6; Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:7-12). This promise was also threefold:
(1) That he would forgive their iniquity and forget their sin.
(2) That he would give them new hearts.
(3) That he would use Israel to reach and teach the Gentiles.

5. To prove a point. This is the point: Regardless of his environment or heredity, mankind apart from God's grace will inevitably fail. For example:
A. The age of innocence ended with willful disobedience (Gen. 3).
B. The age of conscience ended with universal corruption (Gen. 6).
C. The age of human government ended with devil-worshiping at the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11).
D. The age of promise ended with God's people out of the Promised Land and enslaved in Egypt (Ex. 1).
E. The age of the law ended with the creatures killing their Creator (Mt. 27).
F. The age of the church will end with worldwide apostasy (1 Tim. 4).
G. The age of the tribulation will end with the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 19).
H. The age of the millennium will end with an attempt to destroy God himself (Rev. 20). (Note: Just where and how Satan will gather this unsaved human army at the end of the millennium will be discussed later.)

6. To fulfill the main burden of biblical prophecy. All Bible prophecy concerning the Lord Jesus Christ is summarized in one tiny verse by the Apostle Peter: "...the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow" (1 Pet. 1:11).
Here Peter connects Christ's first coming (the sufferings) with his Second Coming (the glory). In this verse is the "suffering-glory story" of the Savior. Furthermore, when a sinner repents and becomes a part of the body of Christ, he too shares in this destiny.


The nature of the millennium

1. Peace. The cessation of war through the unification of the kingdoms of the world under the reign of Christ, together with the resultant economic prosperity (since nations need not devote vast proportions of their expenditure on munitions) is a major theme of the prophets. National and individual peace is the fruit of Messiah's reign.
2. Joy. The fullness of joy will be a distincive mark of the age.
3. 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.
4. Glory. The kingdom will be a glorious kingdom, in which the glory of God will find full manifestation.
5. Comfort. The King will personally minister to every need, so that there will be the fullness of comfort in that day.
6. Justice. There will be the administration of perfect justice to every individual.
7. Full knowledge. The ministry of the King will bring the subjects of his kingdom into full knowledge. Doubtless there will be an unparalleled teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.
8. Instruction. This knowledge will come about through the instruction that issues from the King.
9. The removal of the curse. The original curse placed upon creation (Gen. 3:17-19) 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.
10. Sickness removed. The ministry of the King as a healer will be seen throughout the age, so that sickness and even death, except as a penal measure in dealing with overt sin, will be removed.
11. Healing of the deformed. Accompanying this ministry will be the healing of all deformity at the inception of the millennium.
12. Protection. There will be a supernatural work of preservation of life in the millennial age through the King.
13. Freedom from oppression. There will be no social, political, or religious oppression in that day.
14. No immaturity. The suggestion seems to be that there will not be the tragediess of feeble-mindedness nor of dwarfed bodies in that day. Longevity will be restored.
15. 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. These born in the age will not be born without a sin nature, so salvation will be required.
16. 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 subject. Agriculture as well as manufacturing will provide employment.
17. Economic prosperity. The perfect labor situation will produce economic abundance, so that there will be no want.
18. Increase in light. There will be an increase of solar and lunar light in the age. This increased light probably is a major cause in the increased productivity of the earth.
19. Unified language. The language barriers will be removed so that there can be free social interchange.
20. Unified worship. All the world will unite in the worship of God and God's Messiah.
21. The manifest presence of God. God's presence will be fully recognized and fellowship with God wil be experienced to an unprecedented degree.
22. 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.
23. The perpetuity of the millennial state. That which characterizes the milennial age is not viewed as temporary, but eternal.


The citizens of the millennium

1. No unsaved persons will enter the millennium. However, millions of babies will evidently be reared in the millennium. They will be born of saved but mortal Israelite and Gentile parents who survived the tribulation and entered the millennium in that state of mortality (thus the possible reason for the Tree of Life in Rev. 22:2). As they mature, some of these babies will refuse to submit their hearts to the new birth, though their outward acts will be subjected to existing authority. Thus Christ will rule with an iron rod (Zech. 14:17-19; Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15).

Dr. Rene Pache writes concerning this:

"As beautiful as the Millennium is it will not be heaven...Sin will still be possible during the thousand years (Isa. 11:4; 65:20). Certain families and certain nations will refuse to go up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord (Zech. 14:17-19). Such deeds will be all the more unexcusable because the tempter will be absent and because the revelations of the Lord will be greater...Those who have been thus smitten will serve as examples to all those who would be tempted to imitate them (Isa. 66:24)." (The Return of Jesus Christ, p. 428,429)
2. Saved Israel. Israel will once again be related to God by marriage (Isa. 54:1-17; 62:2-5; Hosea 2:14-23), will be exalted above the Gentiles (Isa. 14:1,2; 49:22,23; 60:14-17; 61:6,7), and will become God's witnesses during the millennium (Isa. 44:8; 61:6; 66:21; Jer. 16:19-21; Micah 5:7; Zeph. 3:20; Zech. 4:1-7; 8:3).
3. Saved Old Testament and tribulation Gentiles (Isa. 2:4; 11:12; Rev. 5:9,10).
4. The Church (1 Cor. 6:2; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 1:6; 2:26,27; 3:21).
5. The elect angels (Heb. 12:22).


Next:
The Final Revolt of Satan


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