June 16, 2010
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
In two weeks I want to begin an in-depth study, chapter by chapter, verse by verse through the book of Revelation. I have never done that in THE WEEKLY WORD, and I sense the leading of the Spirit to do it at this time. I believe we are in the hour when the book of Revelation is especially relevant to the place in time we are presently in. Again, we will begin that in two weeks.
This week, and most likely next, I want to take a look at that period of time following the rapture, the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Great Tribulation, the Judgment of the Nations, and the binding of Satan. I speak of the literal 1,000 year reign of Christ on the earth in Jerusalem; commonly referred to as the Millennial Reign. I won’t argue with anyone who says that term is not in the Bible. I fully realize it is not, however since this period of time will be 1,000 years in duration, and a millennium is 1,000 years; the term certainly describes something that is entirely biblical.
Through the centuries it seems man has always dreamed of a utopia, a great society, a paradise on earth, a return to the Garden of Eden – paradise regained. The Bible tells us that there is indeed a new world coming. It will not come in the way however that many adherents to the New Age Movement believe it will. It will not come in the manner that those who are touting a New World Order believe it will. It will be a new world order alright, a really new world order. The Bible tells us that this present world will undergo a great purification process and that there will be a global transformation in consciousness. Yet the Bible is clear that man can never produce this kind of society on his own, in his own strength and ingenuity. The new chapter in human history won’t come because of some harmonic convergence or quantum leap in human awareness. It will follow the time of Great Tribulation when Jesus returns to this earth in power and great glory, the Second Coming of Christ will usher in a period of time again, commonly referred to as the millennial kingdom or the 1,000-year reign of Jesus on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Immediately following the return of Christ and the destruction of Antichrist and his armies in Revelation 19:11 – 21 comes the binding of Satan and the reign of Christ for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1 – 6). Notice if you will that the words “thousand years” appear six times in Revelation 20:1 – 7. Why is this important? Because I believe this 1000-year period refers to a future, literal 1000 years, not some symbolic, extended period of time during this present age. It will be a time when God’s original plan for mankind will be fulfilled on earth.
While Revelation 20:1 – 6 is the only passage in the Bible that records the length of Christ’s reign on the earth, it is not the only passage to refer to His kingdom. The Old Testament is filled with large sections of text on the millennial kingdom. Numerous students of Bible prophecy have noted that there is more prophetic material devoted to the subject of the millennium than to any other single topic. Therefore, it is critical that we gain at least a basic understanding about the millennial kingdom. For starters, here is a list of ten of the most important Old Testament passages about the coming kingdom.
- 1. Isaiah 2:1 – 5
- 2. Isaiah 11:1 – 16
- 3. Isaiah 32:1 – 20
- 4. Isaiah 35:1 – 10
- 5. Isaiah 60:1 – 22
- 6. Jeremiah 31:1 – 40
- 7. Jeremiah 33:1 – 26
- 8. Ezekiel 37:14 – 28
- 9. Amos 9:11 – 15
10. Zechariah 14:6 – 21
During the millennial reign of Christ, the earth will experience a return to conditions like those of the Garden of Eden. It will literally be heaven on earth as the Lord of Heaven comes to live on the earth among His people. It will be a time of great enlightenment and transformation of global consciousness, but not in the New Age sense. The earth will be filled with the knowledge and worship of the true God.
The Bible has a lot more to say about the coming millennium than most people realize. Here is a list of the ten most prominent conditions that will prevail on the earth during the reign of Christ:
- Peace – All wars will cease as the world is unified under the reign of the true King (Isaiah 2:4; 9:4 – 7; 11:6 – 9; Zechariah 9:10).
- Joy – When Issac Watts wrote the song “Joy To The World”, he did not write it as a Christmas carol. Rather, this song was penned to announce the glorious Second Coming of Christ to rule and reign on the earth. Consider some of the words to this song: “Joy to the world! The Lord is come; let earth receive her king…No more let sins and sorrows grow…He rules the world with truth and grace.” This is a song about the millennium, when true joy will come to the world (Isaiah 9:3, 4; 12:3 – 6; 14:7, 8; 25:8, 9; 30:29; 42:1; Jeremiah 30:18, 19; Zephaniah 3:14 – 17; Zechariah 8:18 – 23; 10:6, 7).
- Holiness – The word holy means to be “set apart” to God for sacred purposes. The kingdom of Christ will be a holy kingdom. Everything in it will be set apart to God for His use. The holiness of the Lord will be manifest in His own person as well as the citizens of His kingdom. The land, the city, the temple, and the subjects will all be holy unto the Lord (Isaiah 4:3, 4; 29:19; 35:8; 52:1; Ezekiel 43:7 – 12; 45:1; Zechariah 8:3; 14:20, 21).
- Glory – The radiant glory of God will be fully manifest in Messiah’s kingdom (Isaiah 35:2; 40:5; 60:1 – 9; Ezekiel 43:1 – 5).
- Justice or Righteousness – When the millennial kingdom begins, only believers will inhabit it. However, some of these believers (who will have survived the Tribulation and were not raptured) will still have human bodies with a fallen nature capable of sinning. Man’s sin will be judged by the administration of perfect justice at the hands of the Messiah. He will rule with “a rod of iron”, restraining and judging sin so that righteousness will prevail.
- Full knowledge – The teaching ministry of the Lord Jesus and the indwelling Spirit will bring the subjects of the kingdom into a full knowledge of the Lord’s ways.
- Absence of Sickness or Deformity – Politicians constantly promise to give their citizens better health care. In the Lord’s government, the health plan will be out of this world. The King will be both a ruler and a healer who cures all the diseases and deformities of His people (Isaiah 29:18; 33:24; 35:5, 6; 61:1, 2; Ezekiel 34:16). As a result of this health care plan, people will live extended life spans like those in the time before the worldwide flood. A person who dies at the age of 100 will be considered to have died very prematurely (Isaiah 65:20).
- Universal worship of God – All the inhabitants of the earth will join their hearts and voices in praise and worship to God and His Christ (Isaiah 45:23; 52:1, 7 – 10; 66:17 – 23; Zephaniah 3:9; Zechariah 13:2; 14:16; Malachi 1:11; Revelation 5:9 – 14).
- Economic prosperity – There won’t be any need for rescue missions, welfare programs, food stamps, government bailouts, or relief agencies in the coming kingdom. The world will flourish under the hand of the king of heaven (Isaiah 35:1, 2 – 7; 30:23 – 25; 62:8, 9; 65:21 – 23; Jeremiah 31:5, 12; Ezekiel 34:26; 36:29, 30; Joel 2:21 – 27; Amos 9:13, 14; Micah 4:1, 4; Zechariah 8:11,12; 9:16, 17).
10. The Presence of God – The greatest thing about the kingdom is that Christ Himself will be there. God’s presence will be fully recognized and the Lord’s people will experience fellowship with the Lord unlike anything they have ever known (Ezekiel 37:27, 28; Zechariah 2:10 – 13). The city of Jerusalem will be called Yahweh Shammah, which means “the Lord is there” (Ezekiel 48:35).
What a glorious time this will be! This is the future of every believer. Whatever you may be dealing with or facing right now, the kingdom age is coming. Our God is worthy to be praised! More next time.
The Weekly Word is found in Matthew 6:10. Here the Bible says,
Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. [Matt. 6:10 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson