Today, I will finish the series of blogs about the end times by taking a look at the final event before the establishment of the new heavens and new earth. This final event, or better yet – final time period is known as the Millennial Reign of Christ.
We ended last time by describing the battle of Armageddon. The Antichrist, the False Prophet and their armies move against Israel to destroy her. It is at this time, that Jesus appears on the Mount of Olives just outside of Jerusalem with the armies of heaven. His appearing is accompanied by cataclysmic events such as earthquakes and hailstorms. Jesus destroys the armies arrayed against Him with a word from His mouth. The destruction is to the extent that the blood of the slain flows at the depth of a horse’s bridle for 200 miles! The Antichrist and the False Prophet are captured and thrown into the lake of fire.
Here’s where we pick up:
There are people who believe that the 1000 year reign of Christ known as the Millennial Reign is simply allegorical, with differences covering everything from disagreement over the length of an actual millennium to disagreement on when this will occur to others saying that they don’t believe in a literal, physical reign of Christ upon the earth. It would take too long to discuss the origin and reason for each of these positions. This is my point in mentioning this:
I don’t see any reason to dispute what the Bible seems to be saying which is that there will be a literal 1000 year reign of Christ upon the earth. There is no reason that I can see not to interpret these scriptures literally. You want to interpret all scripture literally unless there is good reason to interpret them figuratively.
Now, the Bible tells us that when Christ returns to the earth at the time of His Second Coming, He will establish Himself as king in Jerusalem, sitting on the throne of David. This period of time will result in the fulfillment of several covenants that God made with the patriarchs.
It will fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant promising Israel a land, a posterity and a ruler, which shall be a spiritual blessing to all (Gen. 12:1-3). It will fulfill the Palestinian Covenant promising Israel restoration to the land and occupation of it (Deut. 30:1-10). It will also fulfill the Davidic Covenant which promises Israel a king from David’s line who would rule forever—giving the nation rest from all their enemies (2 Sam. 7:10-13).
Israel will be re-gathered from the nations, converted, and restored to the land. The Bible speaks of the conditions during the millennium as being a perfect environment as earthly possible. Micah 4:2-4 and Isaiah 32:17-18 says it will be a time of peace. Isaiah 61:7,10 states that it will be a time of joy. Isaiah 40:1-2 tells of the comfort of that period. Christ will rule as king. According to Isaiah 32:1 and Matthew 19:28, righteous nobles and governors will rule with Him and Zech. 8:3 states that Jerusalem will be the political center of the world.
Who will be alive and populate the earth during the Millennial Reign?
Most scholars believe that there will be two distinct groups occupying the earth in the millennial kingdom – those with glorified bodies and those with earthly bodies who lived through the tribulation. Most scholars believe that those with glorified bodies consist of the raptured Church who return with Christ and the martyred tribulation saints who are resurrected at the Second Coming.
Matthew 25:31-46 tells of the separation of the sheep and the goats. Many scholars believe this to refer to the righteous and unrighteous Gentiles, the unrighteous or goats who took the mark of the beast cast into the lake of fire while the righteous or sheep will survive on into the millennium. Some believe that Old Testament saints will also be raised during this period (Dan. 12:2).
Those who are live during the Tribulation in earthly bodies are the righteous who survived the Tribulation and, the impression is given that it will be the Israelis alive at the time of Christ’s Second Coming. Zechariah 8:1-5 describes Jerusalem this way:
“I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; with great fervor I am zealous for her. I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the Lord of Hosts, the Holy Mountain. Thus says the Lord of Hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of his great age. The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.”
Most scholars believe that, according to Christ’s teaching in Matthew 22:30, those with glorified bodies will not marry or be given in marriage so as to produce children, yet those with earthly bodies could have children.
People will not be robots during this period; they will still be responsible for their own faith. The influence of the devil will be gone, the influence of Christ will be present and the authority of the establishment will be righteous.
But, Revelation 20 tells us a sad and unbelievable tale.
At the end of the 1000 years, Satan will be loosed from his prison and will go to the lands farthest away from Jerusalem and will deceive people into rebelling against Christ revealing to us the utter folly of the belief that our nature is basically good. An army will be raised and will march against Jerusalem to destroy the rule of Jesus. Fire will fall from the sky and will destroy the army.
Satan will then be cast into the lake of fire, where he will be tortured forever along with all those who lived all throughout history whose names are not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
This is the final even in history before the creation of the new heavens and new earth and in it, the new home of man and God, the New Jerusalem.
Now, hear the pronouncement to those of us who live now:
“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14