Saturday, May 13, 2023

10 Facts about the Millennial Reign of Christ

What is the millennial reign of Christ? The millennial reign takes place after the great tribulation, beginning at the moment when Jesus Christ returns to the Earth and defeats his enemies at the battle of Armageddon. 

The return of Christ is depicted like this in Revelation 19:12-16, "His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords."

King Jesus returns to the Earth, with the saints of God, to defeat the anti-christ, the false prophet, and his army. 

Jump forward to the next chapter, and we see the establishment of the millennial reign, which indicates that the saints involved in this reign are only those which gave their lives during the great tribulation. 

Revelation 20:4-6, "4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They[a] had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years."

So let's consider now ten facts about the one thousand year reign of Christ on the Earth.

1. King Jesus Christ himself, in the flesh, will be the chief authority over every nation on the Earth, for a period of 1,000 years. 

Jesus will dictate total authority over the Earth from the capital city of planet Earth, Jerusalem. Often this time period is also referred to the time when Jesus will rule with a rod of iron and he will give his tribulation saints authority to "smash the nations to pieces like pottery (Rev 2:27). 

Daniel 7:27 ESV And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’

2. The Martyrs who died for Jesus under the anti-christ will reign with Christ during the millennial reign - From what I can tell, only those who were killed during the tribulation by the anti-christ and his forces will participate in the "first resurrection." Revelation says "blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection, for the second death has no effect on them." This would be several million people at least, I assume. It says in the word that during the millennial reign Christ will share his authority with them, so it's likely to speculate that the tribulation saints alive during this period would be given authority over different regions of the planet, to share in Christ's authority to rule over them, of course in turn taking orders from Christ himself from Jerusalem. 

3. King Jesus will rule with an "iron rod" to smash the nations to pieces like pottery - We find that Christ will rule with a firm hand, apparently punishing the nations if they refuse to do good and love mercy and walk humbly under His rule. 

Psalm 2:9 "You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."

4. Feasts will be Celebrated - The nations of the planet will apparently make pilgrimages to Jerusalem to celebrate feasts, and events in the city with the messiah. In particular, the feast of booths is mentioned, in which Israel would remember their deliverance from slavery in Egypt.

According to Zechariah 14:16-17, "Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 17 If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain."

5. The Word of God will be taught to all nations - All the nations will apparently travel to Israel during the millennial reign to learn the word of the Lord and to bring it back to their nations. 

Micah 4:1-2 In the last days
the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and peoples will stream to it.

Many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."

6. People will live in peace, the nations will no longer war, and weapons of warfare will be shifted toward agricultural use. Could the millennial reign be a time when the Earth returns to a more agrarian economy? 

Isaiah 2:4 ESV "He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and 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 ESV "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."

7. Messiah Jesus will rule from a "holy mountain" in Jerusalem, which could be a rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, and/or it could be a situation like Mt. Sinai where the nations like Israel shall gather around the mountain and send representatives up to consult with King Jesus. Hard to say for certain, again, speculations only. 

Zechariah 14:4 "On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward."

8. For one thousand long years King Jesus will reign over the Earth, through his Lieutenants the tribulation saints, including the 144,000 saved out of the twelve tribes of Israel. I assume the 144,000 will reign in various regions of Israel, while the tribulation saints will reign over various countries across the nations of the Earth. 

From what I can tell, the survivors of the great tribulation, men and women who did not take the mark of the beast, but also did not become Christians either, will be the residents of the Earth. I assume their numbers would be in the billions. I would speculate probably about 33% of the remaining Earth's population that refused the mark, but also never became a Christian. Maybe less than that though, could be about 10% of say, so assuming there were about 10 billion population of the planet at the time of the onset of the great tribulation, this is speculative of course, then maybe 1 billion people? So maybe 1-3 billion people? Then again it could be much less, given the severity of the last judgments in Revelation. It could even be less than 500 million.  Or under 100 million. Hard to say for certain. Estimating those numbers is simple speculation. Interesting to consider though. Additionally, if the residents of the Earth continue to have marry and have children, by the end of the one thousand years the population of the Earth could be much higher. You'd also have to factor in lifespan during this time, would be 70-80 years, or much longer? Hard to say. 

9. Satan the adversary is released one last time at the end of the one thousand years. Though the anti-christ and the false prophet were defeated, as well as the demons at the end of the great tribulation, Satan must be released at the end of the millennial reign. 

Many wonder, why is that? Well, the remaining people of the Earth have lived with Jesus as their king for one thousand years. They are seeing face to face, he is their leader. And there are no demons at this time to tempt them, during the one thousand years. To track with God's justice, it seems only fair that these people must at last be tested, to see if they really are fully committed to following Jesus.

And indeed, we see in Revelation that their commitment for the most part was not strong.  Because once Satan is released, he goes out among the nations and gathers a massive army to once again attack Jerusalem, just like in the tribulation. This force he deceives and gathers is massive. It's described as being greater than the grains of sand on a seashore. 

But I assume, at the same time Satan is gathering this force from all the nations, there is a remnant from the nations, who are not fooled again by Satan, but instead they hold firm to Christ. Most likely this faithful remnant retreat to Jerusalem, to King Jesus, to seek protection from Satan's gathering force. But this all occurs to test their hearts. And the millennial reign is yet another grace from God, a final offer to the people who lived through the tribulation, but refused the anti-christ, to receive Jesus as savior, though I don't know if it would be the same as receiving Christ in our current era. The tribulation saints are obviously secure in their salvation, we're told the second death is no longer a danger to them. But what about the remnants from the nations? Will they have an opportunity to receive eternal salvation?  

Satan gathers this army and they march on Jerusalem, it says in Revelation 20:7-10: "7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever."

10. After Satan's final defeat, the old earth passes away
At last then, the adversary Satan is judged and condemned and removed forever. Then the great white throne judgment occurs. The old heavens and the old earth disappear. And God brings forth a new heavens, a new earth, and the city of God the New Jerusalem takes it's place on the surface of the New Earth, as the eternal city of God, where the faithful will live forever in peace and joy. 

Revelation 21:1-8 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”