Looking Ahead To the Millennium
In Lesson 2, we addressed the gospel—“good news”—of the soon-coming kingdom of God and the millennial reign of Jesus Christ on earth. We examined the importance placed on this understanding by the first-century Church.
Yet, in the centuries that followed, this doctrine was distorted, counterfeited and hidden by the powerful false church that came to dominance in the Roman Empire.
To fully understand and appreciate what will take place during the millennium, it was necessary to first clarify the concept of who and what is God, addressed in Lesson 3. Lesson 4 dealt with proving the Bible’s authority—how historical, archaeological and geological records actually reinforce God’s Word.
This lesson will cover more about the millennial reign of Christ and the soon-coming kingdom of God, described as “the times of refreshing” and “the times of restitution of all things” (Acts 3:19-21).
Bible prophecy focuses more on that pivotal time than on any other event. However, this very focal point of prophecy is overlooked by professing Christianity.
Throughout the centuries, the Catholic Church has attempted to spiritualize away this prophetic reality. Protestants, on the other hand, ignore the plain language of the Bible concerning the kingdom of God.
Their continual repeating of “thy kingdom come” in what is called the “Lord’s Prayer” (Matt. 6:9-13) has virtually no meaning to them, since they never consider that it pertains to an actual government over this physical earth to be established in the very near future.
We will closely examine God’s Word to see what He reveals about this time of mankind’s rescue from his hopeless dilemma—and the utopian time of peace to follow.
The Coronation and Reign of Christ
(1) Before whom does Christ appear to be crowned for kingship—rulership—over the entire earth? Daniel 7:13-14.
Comment: People who believe the false idea of the trinity cannot properly understand this scripture. “The Ancient of Days” described here is the Father. The other Personage, “the Son of man,” is Christ. The fact that Christ was brought before the Father shows that they are two separate and independent beings—contrary to the false trinity doctrine.
The title “Father” was not used at the time of Daniel, since it was recorded before Jesus was begotten as His Son. The term, “like the Son of man,” was used for Jesus Christ in this case because, in this vision, Christ gave honor unto the Ancient of Days as the Son was expected to give to His Father. This prophetic vision pertains to a future time—yet to be fulfilled—when the Son will be crowned to reign over the earth.
Scriptures like Daniel 7:13-14, and the role of the Father and of Christ in the coming kingdom, cannot be fully appreciated without first understanding the true concept of who and what God is.
(2) Do other scriptures provide more insight into this coronation? Luke 19:12.
Comment: Note that Luke 19:11 states, “He…spoke a parable…because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.” Beginning in verse 12, Christ explained the parable. Carefully read this entire parable, which continues through verse 27. It truly shows the overview of how Christ’s servants are to develop and grow during their lives in order to qualify to rule under Christ in the kingdom of God.
(3) Where does the authority or power of anyone holding office over humanity originate? John 19:11; Daniel 2:20-21.
(4) Since Christ has not yet been crowned as King over the earth, what office is He now occupying? Hebrews 3:1.
Comment: Since His ascension back to the throne of God, Christ has been fulfilling the role of High Priest. He has been interceding on behalf of those called out in this present evil age. He has also been closely monitoring, testing and developing them in preparation for their incredible positions of rulership in the soon-coming kingdom.
(5) When does Christ’s coronation, as King over the earth, take place? Revelation 11:15, 18.
Comment: Plainly, we see that the sound of the seventh trumpet is when Christ takes control over the kingdoms of this world at this time of His Return. His coronation in heaven immediately precedes His Return and assumption of power over all nations—the most crucial juncture in history. At that point, Christ becomes King of kings.
(6) Who are these other kings serving under Christ? Daniel 7:18, 27; Revelation 5:10; 20:6.
Comment: The saints who will rule include those called out of the world—and comprise the true Church of God. These qualify for positions of rulership as they hold fast, endure, suffer (II Tim. 2:12), overcome sin and develop godly character.
(7) What did Christ say would be the reward of the 12 apostles at the time when He would be sitting on the throne of glory in God’s kingdom? Matthew 19:27-28; Luke 22:29-30.
(8) During Christ’s future reign over all nations, who will be the king under Him, ruling over all the tribes of Israel (each being ruled by one of the original apostles)? Jeremiah 30:9 (Jacob’s name had been changed to Israel—thus, “they” means all of Israel). Hosea 3:5; Ezekiel 37:24.
Comment: Besides David and the 12 apostles, God will resurrect His faithful people, such as Abel, Noah, Abraham and other patriarchs, prophets and servants, to fulfill positions of rulership in the coming kingdom of God. Be sure to read our book Tomorrow’s Wonderful World – An Inside View! for more details revealed in scripture about positions some of those faithful servants will fill. It also covers many other important aspects of what the millennium will be like.
A World Under Righteous Rule
(1) When Christ—the Eternal, or Lord—comes to rule and judge the earth, what will be the nature of His government? Psalm 98:9.
(2) Will people fear His rule, much in the same way they now fear tyrants? Psalm 72:4, 12-14; Isaiah 35:3-4.
(3) Upon seeing the benefits of obedience to His laws, will the nations seek to learn of His ways? Isaiah 2:2-4.
(4) How will the nations compare His ways and laws to what they had been taught by their predecessors in the philosophy and religion of this present evil world? Jeremiah 16:19.
(5) Will the reeducation of the world be universal—eventually encompassing all nations and peoples? Isaiah 11:9.
(6) Besides the presence of the resurrected Christ and His saints ruling this world, why will Israel (and eventually the rest of the world) begin to be more receptive to His laws and way of life? Jeremiah 31:33-34.
(7) Will these resurrected saints, serving as priests and rulers, be more accessible than mere human teachers? Isaiah 30:20-21.
(8) Will the Satanic nature of deceitfulness or hypocrisy be utilized any longer by those few who reject God’s Spirit? Isaiah 32:5-6.
Comment: The word “liberal” in verse 5 actually means noble. In the millennium, people will only be able to express exactly what they sincerely think. Deceit will no longer prevail—bad news for false religion. In a later lesson, we will see how the spirits that motivate false religion will actively mobilize forces to resist the Return of Christ.
The Earth Physically Refreshed
(1) Upon Christ’s triumphant Return to earth, where is His destination? What will happen to that geographical area? Zechariah 14:4.
Comment: There will be a series of great earthquakes during the time of the Day of the Lord, which is to last for one year. Taken together, these quakes are not only for punishment and destruction of areas of this present evil world, but also to contribute to changing the topography of the surface of the earth.
(2) What develops in the east-west ravine caused by that earthquake? Zechariah 14:8.
Comment: We will see in the following scriptures that the headwaters of this river press upward at Mount Zion, actually flowing out from under the temple to be built on this site at the outset of the millennium.
(3) What effect do the waters of these two rivers have upon the areas to which they flow? Ezekiel 47:8-9.
Comment: Also, carefully read Ezekiel 47:1-12 to get the full context of the east and west rivers. Isaiah 2:2, noted above, stated, “the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills.”
The topography will have been changed to vastly increase the amount of arable land and living areas to sustain a far greater population on the earth than ever before. This great mountain, at the location of the temple, was raised for the site of the Temple (Zech. 8:3).
A few other mountains and numerous hill country areas will be preserved for grazing ranges, watershed management and other reasons, including recreation and aesthetic beauty.
The scriptures plainly indicate that both the physical and spiritual renewal will come from God’s miraculous intervention. Acts 3:19-21 references these “the times of refreshing” and “the times of restitution of all things which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” These most sought-after and glorious times refer to none other than the time of the millennium, when God’s kingdom will reign on earth.
(4) Will the weather in the millennium be favorable? Isaiah 35:1-2; 41:18; Deuteronomy 28:12.
Comment: Imagine such giant land masses as the Sahara, Mongolian and Arabian Deserts and numerous other areas of parched desolation becoming arable, with plentiful vegetation and reforestation. Although some desert areas are the result of deficient rainfall due to mountain ranges, most such desolation is primarily the result of man’s greed and gross mismanagement of natural resources through the centuries.
(5) How will agriculture become more abundant in the millennium? Amos 9:13; Ezekiel 34:26-27.
Time of Rebuilding and Rejoicing
(1) Will the cities and towns destroyed during the end-time wars and disasters be reconstructed in the millennium? Isaiah 61:4; Amos 9:14-15.
(2) Upon returning from what seemed to be a hopeless captivity, will there again be rejoicing in the cities of Judah, including Jerusalem? Jeremiah 33:10-11; Zechariah 8:5.
(3) Will some be weeping for joy? Jeremiah 31:8-9.
(4) What about families owning and enjoying their own property? Micah 4:4.
(5) Will wealth be gathered to adorn Israel and especially Jerusalem, as the capital of the world? Zechariah 14:14; Isaiah 60:5, 11.
Comment: The word “forces” in Isaiah 60 means wealth. Precious metals, minerals and other resources will flow into Israel for the building of the magnificent Temple and other beautiful buildings in that region. Extensive reforestation will be required to supply thriving building programs, to keep pace with the steadily growing demand for housing.
(6) What relative population will exist at the outset of the millennium compared to today’s population? Isaiah 6:11-13; Amos 5:3; Ezekiel 5:12, 6:8.
Comment: These scriptures show that only a tenth of Israel will survive into the millennium. This is representative of the other nations of the earth, as well. Most of Israel will be destroyed in the Tribulation while most of the other nations will fall during the wars and calamities of the Day of the Lord.
Just the fourth seal and the second woe alone kill one half of all humanity, and this does not include the other trumpet plagues, earthquakes or the seven last plagues.
As the millennium begins, truly it will be only a remnant of humanity—only one-tenth—who survive the end-time horrors. If Christ were not to intervene at that time, no flesh would survive the carnage of nuclear, chemical and biological warfare.
The remnant population, together with the destructive calamities that will have virtually destroyed the last vestiges of man’s civilization, will make the process of introducing this new civilization a gradual and systematic process of reeducation. The Return of Christ with His resurrected saints, and the putting away of Satan and his demons for the duration of the millennium, make this giant task workable.
At a certain time, God’s Spirit will be made available to all who seek to receive it. Peace, prosperity, happiness, productivity and accomplishment will finally be attainable for a humanity equipped with a sound mind—through the gift of God’s Holy Spirit.
The Nature of Animals and Man
(1) How will the natures of dangerous animals and reptiles change during the millennium? Isaiah 11:6-8; Hosea 2:18.
(2) Does God, in effect make a covenant of peace with the wild beasts? Hosea 2:18; Ezekiel 34:25.
(3) Is the nature of man altered as much as that of wild beasts? Ezekiel 36:26-27.
(4) Can people finally enjoy a sense of security and safety, instead of fear and apprehension? Ezekiel 34:28.
Other Millennial Blessings—Physical and Spiritual
(1) Will people be healed of all afflictions at the outset of this glorious time? Isaiah 35:5-6.
(2) Does God at this time remove the blindness or the veil that is cast over all people? Isaiah 25:7.
Comment: Most all will become converted in the millennium, as we have already read in Jeremiah 31:33-34 and in Ezekiel 36:26-27.
(3) Will there ever be any occasion for weeping except from tears of joy? Isaiah 25:8.
Comment: During the millennium, when the kingdom of God is reeducating and transforming humanity to God’s standards, premature or unexpected death will no longer be a threat. Satan and his demons are put away, the ferocious nature of animals will have been changed, and human beings will no longer be committing crimes. Threats from invading armies or terrorist acts will no longer exist.
Death will be swallowed up in victory as physical humans reach the end of their physical lives in the millennium, and are changed to spirit beings—born into the God Family.
Overcoming and enduring to the end is incredibly vital for all those who are called out of this present evil world. The battle God’s people face is infinitely more difficult than those who will live under the government of the kingdom of God during the millennium. But our reward will be infinitely greater than those who live during that time. To be counted among those who attain the First Resurrection is the greatest goal for any human to attain. Can you fully grasp this?
Yet, we need to focus on the kingdom of God as much as the first century Church did. For us it is at the doorsteps. For our brethren of the first century it was as far as the distant future—yet as near as the next conscious thought at the resurrection. We will cover this subject again when studying the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles. The goal of the kingdom of God should never grow dim! We must stay focused on that subject and that time (Matt. 6:33). Doing so helps us to dwell more intently on our purpose for being, and keeps us from being distracted by the physical, material concerns of this life.
Upon completing this lesson, it is important that you read (or reread) our book Tomorrow’s Wonderful World – An Inside View! This will solidify this precious goal in your mind. Having this knowledge leads to the momentum to help you endure to the end—the hope of the kingdom of God.
Isaiah 40:10 describes the time of the kingdom of God on earth: “Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him: behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.” There will be much to be done and to set in order at the outset of the millennium. Those who have endured to the end without giving up or “caving in” will receive eternal life and the honor of serving under the glorified Jesus Christ. These are just the beginning of what He has in store for those who hold fast and weather the storms of this present age.
Lesson Six: Christ Opens the Seals
Having examined the good news of the kingdom of God and the millennial reign of Jesus Christ in Lesson 5, this lesson focuses on the troublesome times that lie between now and that time. The increasingly turbulent state of the world is symptomatic of the storm that is gathering as we approach the more intense fulfillment of the first four seals of Revelation.
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