Bible Study 2022
The Millennial Kingdom
Let us start with Revelation 20 where the thousand year is mentioned six times. Let us read this, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up.
And set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image,
And had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison.” The millennium is a period of one thousand years that is going to take place in the future. And it is an important subject for us to discuss. There is no other subject in Bible prophecy that is more controversial than this. There are three competing perspectives or views on the millennium.
Now to you it might not be important to know of a thousand year period in the future, but what a person thinks about the millennium gives away their understanding as to how the Bible should be interpreted and we are going to see that in a few moments. First of all there are some people who refer themselves as post millennialist. You need to understand these terms so you see what I’m talking about.
A. Post-Millennialism. That means that some people believe that Jesus Christ will not come back until after the thousand year kingdom living has happened. This was invented by a Unitarian minister named Daniel Whitby in the 17th century. This teaches that the church will bring about the millennium through the preaching of the Gospel. As more and more people become Christians, the world will be conquered for Christ.
God’s justice will prevail and Jesus will at last return to a perfect world to take up the throne that was won Him by His church. That view flourished till World War 1, but at the end of WW1 people began to doubt. The world was not getting better. And when WWII came, the war that was to end all world wars, the belief in post millennialism somewhat died and it ceases to be a major thought.
This view recently had somewhat of a revival. Post millennialism says that the world is going to get better and better and better until it ultimately is so good that it is fitting for Jesus to come back. Aren’t you glad that this is not true, because if the signs of this world are not so good, and we see that every day, Jesus may never come back the way the world is going, if we believe that.
B. A-Millennialism. This means that there is no millennial, the letter A negates what is following. Some people take all the passages that mention the millennium and they say that those are all symbolic. Instead the church inherits all the millennial blessings that were given to Israel. In other words, the events in Revelation 20 are happening right now. The church is reigning with Christ.
They say we are in the millennium right now. I hope not, if this is the millennium what in the world do we have to look forward to? I hope the millennium is a whole lot better than what we have right now. Anyone who studies Scripture and takes it literally would understand immediately that the prophecies of peace and prosperity and purity are not being fulfilled today.
The exact opposite is being fulfilled. The problem with A-Millennialism is that you have to spiritualize and symbolize all of the Old Testament Scriptures. And once you start doing that and you get away from the literal interpretation of the Bible, then there is no control on anything and whatever you want the bible to say, it will say. And then there is the third view which I believe is the accurate one.
C. Pre-Millennialism. This is the oldest of the three views. And it teaches that Jesus Christ will physically return to this earth. He will defeat His enemies at there will be a battle at the end of tribulation and He will then set up His Kingdom on this earth and He will reign on this earth for a thousand years. I want to give you a diagram so you can see how this works. God’s plan for His Church.
( O.T.) The Cross (Church) the Rapture (7 years) Jesus 2nd coming (millennium) Heaven
Start on the left with the Old Testament, next is the death and resurrection of Christ, next is the church age, at the end of the church age we have the rapture, all Christians meet Christ in the air and we go to heaven. After that come the seven years of tribulation. At the end of tribulations Jesus coms back to take up His reign on earth for a thousand years and after that is the eternal state, heaven.
After the tribulation, Jesus Christ comes back and He will reign on this earth. And all the promises of the Old Testament concerning the Kingdom are fulfilled in that millennium. And the redeemed Jews live in their homeland and the millennium ends with a final rebellion and then the earth is replaced with a transformed new earth and a new heaven. This is the view found in all the early church writings.
This is the most widely believed view among the evangelicals. Now let us look at the four purposes of the Millennium. Why do we have to have this thousand year period? It is very important that we have a period of time where we see the fulfillment of Scripture.
The first reason is to reward the people of God. There are many promises all throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament that guarantee God’s people that they would receive rewards for their faithful service. Isaiah 40:10 says, “Behold, the Lord God shall come and His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. The Son of man will come in the glory of His Father with his angels.”
This happens when Christ comes for the second time at the end of tribulation just before the millennium. And He will reward each according to his works. Matthew 25:34, “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Colossians 3:24, “knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.”
Revelations 22:12, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” The Bible teaches that when we serve the Lord here on this earth as Christians, we are going to be rewarded when we get to the Kingdom with the opportunity to serve the Lord in a new and special way. Part of our reward is to reign and rule with Christ on this earth.
Each of us will have the opportunity to serve the Lord then based upon our faithfulness in serving Him right now. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 says the coming of the Lord will happen when He comes with all His saints.” When Jesus comes back at the end of the tribulation period just before the millennial, we who were raptured at the beginning are coming back with Jesus in our glorified bodies to reign with Him.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:2 that the saints, the believers, are going to judge the world. And in Revelations 20:4 it says, “And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” In the parable of talents, Jesus taught our role as servants and rulers will be based on our faithfulness. Matthew 25:23 says, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.”
In the millennium we will be ruling the earth with Jesus as our King. And we will be serving the Lord not as a punishment but as a reward. The idea of service as a reward is foreign to a lot of people who don’t like their work. We think that faithful service should be rewarded with a long vacation. But God offers us an opportunity for very different work. More responsibility is His reward.
Greater abilities and resources and wisdom and empowerment is His reward. We will have a sharper mind, stronger bodies and a clearer purpose and a never-ending joy when we serve Him on this earth for a thousand years as it is. Can you imagine a reign of righteousness with all godly people in every single position? You are not elected but appointed there by King Jesus.
Number two, there must be a millennium to fulfill the prophet’s prophecies. The Bible prophets prophesied, through God’s inspiration, for such a time. There is more information about the millennium in the Bible than any other prophetic event in all of Scripture. Many people avoid it because it is controversial. But the Bible says that such a time is coming. I can’t give you all these verses, but here are some.
Psalm 72:11, “All kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him.” Isaiah 9:7 is often referred to as a Christmas verse, but part is a kingdom verse, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
Isaiah 60:21, “Also your people shall all be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. Zechariah 9:10, I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; the battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.’
Luke 1:32-33, “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Without the millennium none of those prophecies could be fulfilled. Those prophecies all say there’s coming a day when King Jesus is ruling with His saints the earth as it is right now.
And it is going to be a rule of righteousness and peace that will last for a thousand years. Why does there need to be an earthly kingdom? Because Christ will triumph on this earth where He was seemingly defeated by His enemies, His rejection by the rulers of the world. Remember, He came to His own and His own received Him not. And this time there will be no rejection.
He will be the King everyone hoped for when He came the first time. When His disciples realized who He really was, they wanted to know, is the kingdom going to happen right now? The disciples just wanted the Romans to be gone. Jesus said not right now but someday in the future. And there needs to be a millennium to be the answer to the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-10,
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Has that ever happened? Not yet, but it is going to. One day when Jesus returns His Kingdom will come and His will be done on this earth as it is in heaven. When the disciples prayed this, they were looking forward to this very time called the millennium.
The thousand years are also necessary to show men’s depravity and the necessity of Christ’s death and resurrection. The Bible says that at the end of this one thousand year period when Jesus is running the whole world and Satan is bound for a thousand years, but at the end of the millennium he is going to be released and there will be one final rebellion. Only Godly people will go into the Millennium.
But during these thousand years they are going to have kids and grandkids and great grandkids and many of you know that righteousness is not inherited. Some of these kids become unrighteous and at the end of the millennium in spite of all that has happened during the reign of Christ on this earth, in spite of all righteousness that has been legislated, there will be one final rebellion against God.
What does that say? Our problem is not the environment. Many people say that if we can just educate everybody and change the environment, everybody would be fine. God put two people in a perfect garden and they rebelled, and at the end of the world He is going to reign for a thousand years in peace and righteousness and at the end there will be a rebellion there. Why?
Because the heart of men is evil and it is a problem of our nature that we inherited from Adam when he sinned. The millennium will prove that when somebody stands at the great white throne judgment and says, “Lord I just didn’t have the right environment. And the Lord will say, I gave you a thousand years of peace and righteousness and you still rebelled. Depart from Me, I never knew you.”
Now there are five profiles of the millennium. What will it be like if all sin is removed, if all rebellion is removed, if all unrighteousness is removed from what you know is the earth today? First, it will be a time of peace. Only then will the angel’s message be fulfilled that he gave to the shepherds that night outside Bethlehem, ‘peace on earth and goodwill toward men.’
All man-made implements of mechanized warfare will be eliminated. Even the natural kingdom will be ready for peace. Psalm 72:7, “In His days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more.” Micah 4:2-3, “Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob.”
He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 3 He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
Isaiah 11:6-9, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.”
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” It will be a time where animals eat grass and war will not exist and not a single armament plant will be operating, not one soldier or sailor will be in uniform and no military camps will exist. No money will be spent for defense, much less for offensive warfare.
All nations will be at peace and all the resources of the earth will be made available for enjoyment and all industry will produce only articles for peaceful luxury. This is not possible here, not now. Not until Jesus comes and sets up His rule on this earth. Then it will a time of prosperity you cannot imagine. Ezekiel 34:26-27, “I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing,”
And I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27 Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.”
Ezekiel 36:29-30, “I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.” Verse 34-36, “The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by.
35 So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the Garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ 36 Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate.” Amos 9:13, “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “When the plowman shall overtake the reaper.”
The cycle of reproduction in terms of the harvest will be so short that while the guy is out there harvesting, the plow man will be right behind him planting more grain. Food will be produced at an unheard scale. Zechariah 8:12, “For the seed shall be prosperous, the vine shall give its fruit, the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew. I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these.”
Isaiah 35:1, “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.” Verse 7, “The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of jackals, where each lay, there shall be grass with reeds and rushes.” The millennium will be a time of unbelievable prosperity.
And it will be a time of purity. Sin will be kept in check and disobedience will be dealt with. Christ’s kingdom will be s holy kingdom. Isaiah 11:9 says, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 25:9 says, “And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us.”
Isaiah 66:23, “And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord.” Zechariah 13:2, “It shall be in that day,” says the Lord of hosts, “that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered. I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land.”
It is also going to be a time of prolonged life. People are going to live longer. If you study the Old Testament you know that people before the flood, lived to be really old. But when you get to the flood in Genesis 6, people don’t live as long as that. After that the age of a person went down. The flood changed the nature of the earth so that the canopy that protected us from ultraviolet light rays was gone.
But in the millennium everything that happened that shortened life will return. Isaiah 65:20, “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.” When you are a hundred years old and you die, they will say you died as an infant.
And people with natural bodies will live till they are 700 or 800 years old. So some of them will live a great portion of the millennial. Now when we, as believers, were raptured and now come back to reign with Christ, we will have glorified bodies that will not die. But the believers that come out of the tribulation will have natural bodies and this is what we are talking about in the millennium.
And it will be a time of personal joy. It will be a time of happiness, contentment and joy. Isaiah 9:3, “You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy; they rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.” Isaiah 12:3, “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” Isaiah 14:7, “The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing.”
Isaiah 25:8-9, “He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken. 9 And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”
Isaiah 30:29, “You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept, and gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel.” Isaiah 42:10-12, “Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you coastlands and you inhabitants of them!”
11 Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. 12 Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praise in the coastlands.” From these verses you know that the millennium is everything we always heard it would be. A time that God has prepared for all of you who believe. This is just a prelude to heaven, Amen?