Prophecy

Life in the Millennium

PR09-01

We now begin a study of the earth's golden age that we referred to as the millennium. This is a 1,000-year period when Christ will be ruling upon this earth. Men have dreamed of an era of universal peace and of universal plenty. The dark days of the tribulation, which we looked at previously, are to be followed by the earth's finest hour, the millennium with the presence of Christ Himself ruling.

Satan is preoccupied now with trying to reproduce the millennium ahead of time. He is trying to reproduce a perfect environment on this earth such as will be experienced in that era when Christ himself is here as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Satan attempts to do this through socialism and through communism. He attempts to do this through the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement. He attempts to do this through various social action movements. He attempts to do this through peace movements. He attempts to do this through the improvement of man's lot through humanitarian goals of one kind or another. He seeks to bring people in a relationship to one another in such a way that it is a controlled situation.

I remind you again it is very difficult for people to grasp the fact that Satan is not running around trying to get everybody to perform gross vile sins. It is difficult for people to grasp that Satan is cranking out good, and that he is using the element of our old sin nature in order to crank out this good. Satan is extremely frustrated, I imagine, by the wars; by the poverty; by the violence; by the lawlessness; and, by everything else that is creeping on our society. And he is desperately trying to put strong hands upon the social system in order to stabilize this. That's why the world rulers are beginning to look around hopefully for some strong man to come on the scene who can bring the world to some point of peaceful stability. However there is no way that Satan is going to be able to succeed in this because the old sin nature is going to continue to frustrate him. He cannot control what he bit off when he led man into sin in that garden.

As we look in the Word of God we find some very definitive explanations concerning the government of the millennium. The doctrine of the millennial kingdom of God's rule upon this earth is a major revelation of Scripture. This does not refer to heaven. It does not refer to the rule of God in the hearts of people. It does not refer to the church. It refers to an actual kingdom on this earth. Perhaps you have sometimes heard preachers use the phrase "bringing in the kingdom." There are certain denominational groups that just love to talk about bringing in the kingdom. They're forever souping up their people to some activity that's going to contribute to bringing in the kingdom. Well, the church is not in the business of bringing in the kingdom. The kingdom is to follow the church age and it will come in an orderly fashion as the result of the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ following His Second Advent, His return to take over His position as head of the world's governments.

Psalm 2:8 declares that the kingdom that is to come upon this earth under the rule of Jesus Christ is to cover the earth. It is to be on this earth: "Ask of me and I will give you (the Father speaking to the Son) the nations for your inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession." The descriptions in Isaiah 11:4 indicate to us again that the millennium is an earthly kingdom: "But with righteousness shall He judge the poor and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked." Isaiah 11:9: "They shall not hurt nor destroy all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

I remind you that the principle of interpreting Scripture is that first of all you treat it in the normal meaning of the words. You interpret it from an historical grammatical frame of reference; against the background of the time; the meaning of the words; the syntax; and, the grammar. You do not try to impose meanings into the words that are not the plain normal meaning of the words. When the Bible talks about a kingdom upon this earth, you have to have a wild stretch of imagination to spiritualize this and put it into heaven.

We could spend a lot of time talking about the wildest notions that people have concerning the kingdom, and we're not going to waste the time. I just want you to be informed enough to know, and not to be shocked if somebody comes up to you and looks you in the eye and says, "Jesus Christ is never going to rule on this earth from a throne in Jerusalem. Where did you get that idea? Jesus Christ is never going to rule for 1,000 years on this earth." You should know that you're talking to an amillennialist who is disoriented and uninformed about what Scripture teaches. The Bible is full of a glorious kingdom which is to be on this earth. It has elements in it which have never been fulfilled. This is a future promise.

When I was a major in the Bible Department at Baylor University, the head of the Bible Department was an amillennialist, and he was forever explaining to us that there is not going to be an earthly kingdom. When we would go to Revelation 20, which specifically says that there is to be a 1,000-year kingdom upon this earth which we Christians are to share in ruling with Christ, he would say, "Oh that doesn't mean 1,000 years. That means, you know, like, 'I've got so much to do it's going to take me a million years to do this.' You don't mean a million years.'" Now that's the principle of exegesis behind that kind of an insane remark, that words do not mean what they say.

What does the word millennium means? It comes from the Latin and it simply means 1,000. You won't find this word in the Bible. You'll find the word "a thousand." It is simply a 1000-year reign of Christ upon the earth. The setting up of this kingdom is going to be interesting. We have it predicted in Revelation 20:4 as a literal kingdom: "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them. And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus; for the Word of God; and, who had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ 1,000 years." There's where we get the 1,000 years.

There are certain things that are going to have to take place in order to set up the millennial kingdom. The background of this has been, of course, that the tribulation period of seven years has been completed. All of the things that we have been previously looking at in our highlights of prophecy series have taken place. Finally, the nations of the world have gathered on the battlefield of Armageddon for their final world war. Before they can go to combat with one another, Jesus Christ appears in the heavens. They unite to fight against Him. He destroys them with the Word of His mouth. Then Christ descend to this earth in His Second Advent, His second coming. His feet touch the Mount of Olives from whence he left so many centuries previous. He is now back on the earth scene, and He proceeds through angelic beings to perform certain acts in order to prepare for the establishment of His world government.

The Jews

He has to deal with the Jews. He must do something with the Jews. What Jews? The Jews who have survived the tribulation period. What will be the nature of the Jews who have survived the tribulation? There will be two kinds. There will be believers, and there will be unbelievers. Not all of the unbelievers will be killed when Christ returns, as a result of the battle at Armageddon. Some of the Jews who are unbelievers will survive, as well as some who are believers. Ezekiel 20:34 now tells us what the Lord Jesus Christ will do with the Jewish peoples that have lived through the tribulation: "I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries in which you are scattered with a mighty hand with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out.

The first thing to notice is the time of the fulfillment of this prophecy. Click to continue reading the full article.

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