The Millennium

Between Christ’s 2nd Coming and His Reign



Dr. John Hoole – September 15, 2013





I want to begin our lesson today with a question.




Over 130 years ago, Victor Hugo, the French novelist and author of Les Miserables, wrote these words.


“In the twentieth century war will be dead.  Hatred will be dead.  Frontier boundaries will be dead.  Dogmas will be dead.  But man will live.  He will possess something higher than all these: a great country, the whole world, a great hope, the whole heaven.”


Those words reflect the hope that has been burning in men’s hearts for centuries, the dream that there would come a day, somehow, a golden age upon the earth, a time when peace would spread throughout the whole world, a utopia, where men and women would live in unbroken peace and abounding prosperity


Once again, I want to  examine the sequence of events leading up to the Millennium as mentioned in Revelation 20.  We find these events in the previous chapter in Revelation, chapter 19.  I have shown this chart twice before, but I want to look at some of its details again more fully.  The chronology of the events of Revelation 19 & 20, which surround the 2nd coming are:


                   •  The wedding of the Bride (the Church) and the Bridegroom (Christ).  (Rev. 19:7-9).


                   •  Christ and the armies descend from heaven  (Rev. 19:11-16).


                   •  An angel summons the birds to observe the battle (Rev. 19:17-18).


                   •  The armies on earth make war against Christ (verse 19).


                   •  The Antichrist and False Prophet are captured and sent to the Lake of Fire (Verse 20).


                   •  Their armies are destroyed and the birds gorge themselves (Verse 21).


Having come to the end of Revelation 19, the narrative continues in chapter 20.  Chapter 20 opens with an angel coming down from Heaven.  In its hands, this angel has a key and a great chain.


                  •  Satan is capture and bound with chains and sent to the Bottomless Pit (Rev. 20:1-3).


                         The angel seals the abyss, keeping Satan from deceiving the nations for 1,000 years.


       •  John then sees the souls of the saints who died during the tribulation and sees their bodies being resurrected (Rev. 20:4).


I have gone through this timeline once again to start this lesson, in order to expand several of the items mentioned in it.


During our lessons on the Second Coming of Christ and Battle of Armageddon, we briefly looked at several events that will occur in connection to his coming.  I want to highlight six things, four of which take place in fairly short order.  The fifth & sixth take a little time to complete.


1.   He destroys the armies of the Antichrist.


Revelation 19:19 NKJV


19     And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.


The beast is the Antichrist.  He is often referred to in this manner in the book of Revelation.  And he is making war against the one sitting on the horse, and against his army.


According to verse 11, earlier in the chapter, we know that the person sitting on the horse is Christ.  And his armies are the saints, clothed in white which accompany him back to earth as well as his angels.


Revelation 19:21 NKJV, tells us the action Christ takes.


21     And the rest [that’s all the armies of the Antichrist] were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse.  And all the birds were filled with their flesh.


This brings an end to 2 events:


         1.      The Battle of Armageddon


         2.      The 7-year Tribulation.


So one thing that happens upon Christ’s arrival to earth, is the destruction of the armies of the Antichrist.


2.   The Antichrist and his right-hand man, the False Prophet, are cast into the lake of fire.


Revelation 19:20 NKJV


20     Then the beast (that’s the Antichrist) was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.


Jesus starts His destruction of His enemy by first striking His enemy’s leader and his right hand man.  The Lake of Fire will be their permanent residence.  The demise of the Antichrist and False Prophet will occur 1,260 day after the middle of the Tribulation.  Eventually, those who were deceived by the False Prophet and followed the Antichrist, will later join them in the Lake of Fire.  But for the next 1,000 years they only have each other for company.


We covered this more fully when discussing the Battle of Armageddon.  So we will not spend any more time on it here.  However, it does occur after the return of Christ but prior to His reign on earth.  We will discuss the Lake of Fire more fully when he have a lesson on Hell.


3.   The Binding of Satan in the Abyss


The first thing I want to discuss and expand upon is the binding of Satan.


Revelation 20:1-3 NKJV


1       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.


Notice:     a) two items in the angel’s hands (key and chain, and  b) four things the angel does.


An angel from heaven binds Satan with a strong chain.  This speaks of limiting Satan’s activities.  Then he is thrown into the bottomless pit, which speaks of total removal from earth.  For 1,000 years, Satan will be totally unable to deceive people on the earth.  The third thing is that the angel shuts the door and locks it, making it totally unable to unlock from the inside.  In addition to shutting and locking the door, the angel seals it.  This makes it unable to be unlock from the outside.


One reason I wanted to expand on this topic is because I am often asked: “What about Satan’s demons?  Do they remain loose or are they also incarcerated in the pit?


We know from many Scriptures that Satan has a host of demons who do his bidding.  The apostle Paul calls them “wicked spirits in heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).  What happens to them when Satan is removed and locked in the pit?  It does not tell us anything about the demons in Revelation 20.  But the question can be answered elsewhere in the Bible.  I think we will find it in Isaiah 24.


Isaiah 24:21-22 NKJV


21     It shall come to pass in that day That the Lord will punish on high the host of exalted ones, And on the earth the kings of the earth.

22     They will be gathered together, As prisoners are gathered in the pit, And will be shut up in the prison; After many days they will be punished.


Two groups of people are being punished in verse 21.


         •  A host of exalted ones on high.


         •  Kings on earth.


Who are the “host of exalted ones?”


         The NIV renders it: “The Lord will punish the powers in the heavens above.”


         The Message Bible speaks of them as “rebel powers in the skies.”


         The Living Bible translates it: The Lord will punish the fallen angels in the heavens.”


                   These powers in the heavens – i.e., the fallen angels – include Satan himself.


Someone might say: “OK, it says God will punish the demonic host that followed Satan.  Does it mention when God will do this?”  The next and final verse of Isaiah 24 tells us when this will happen.


Isaiah 24:23 NKJV


23     ……For the Lord of hosts will reign On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem And before His elders, gloriously.


                   This most certainly speaks of Christ’s reign for 1,000 years on earth, in Jerusalem.


The Living Bible translation puts it this way:


“Then the Lord of Heaven’s armies will mount His throne in Zion and rule gloriously in Jerusalem.”


I appears to me to be clear that all of Satan’s demons will be chained and incarcerated with the devil during the thousand year reign of Christ.  All of them will be removed from any activity on earth.  It is total removal, without access to earth for 1,000 years.  Isaiah, I believe, is confirming what John writes in Revelation 20.


4.   The resurrection of Old Testament & Tribulation saints.


Revelation 20:4 NIV


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 for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.


This verse is speaking of those who had become Christians during the Tribulation period, and paid the ultimate sacrifice – martyrdom – for their commitment to Christ.  This passage has in mind those mentioned in Revelation 6:9-11 which speaks of an innumerable number who decide to follow Christ during the Tribulation.


Although, in Revelation 20:4, only the Tribulation martyrs are mentioned, it should be noted that the Old Testament Saints are resurrected close to the same time, and quite possibly at the exact same time.


Isaiah 25 & 26 speak about the coming Millennial reign of Israel’s Messiah.


Isaiah 26:19 NIV


19     But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.


This passage is speaking specifically of the righteous Old Testament Jews.  And with the surrounding context being about the Millennial Reign of Christ, it says they will be resurrected during the 1,000 years.


That may not specifically says exactly when the resurrection will occur, a passage in Daniel helps us pinpoint it.


Daniel 12:1-2  (NIV)  indicates that immediately after the Tribulation, the Old Testament saints will be resurrected.


1       At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people - everyone whose name is found written in the book - will be delivered.

2       Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.


It is my opinion that it is quite possible that the resurrection of the Old Testament saints and the Tribulation saints will be one and the same resurrection.  The Tribulation saints are really part of the Old Testament age.  The Church age has been inserted between these two periods.




5.   The Judgment of the Nations




                            The Sheep and the Goat judgment.




            It comes from the Olivet Discourse by Christ in Matthew 24 & 25.


Matthew 25:31-34, 41   NIV


31     "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.

32     All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

33     He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34     "Then the King will say to those on his right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.


41 "Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.


At the judgment of the sheep and goats, most of those still alive will be placed among the goats.  But there will still be a goodly number of believers who will continue to live on into the Millennium.


When Christ returns to the earth, one of his first orders of business will be to preside over the judgment of nations.  We will study this judgment in greater detail in a future lesson.  But let me make this one comment here.  Whereas there were no saved, that is, righteous people, on earth at the beginning of the Tribulation, there will only be believers on earth at the beginning of the Millennium.


Joel 3:2 NIV


2       I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.


We will cover this more fully when we have a lesson on the several Judgment we find in Scriptures.




This is prompted by a question and statement made in class last week.  Does the Millennial reign of Christ begin immediately when the Second Coming of Christ occurs.  Or is there any evidence that it may actually begin a short time after Christ comes back to earth?


Daniel’s writings indicate a brief periods of time will come between the end of the Tribulation and the beginning of the Christ’s reign.


In Daniel 12:7, 3 time periods are mentioned.  In verse 7, we have a reference to 3½ years, or 1260 days.


Daniel 12:7 NKJV


7       Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.


We have discussed this before, but let me reiterate that there are four ways in Scripture to describe a time span of 3½ years.


                   •  1,260 days

                   •  3½ years

                   •  42 months

         And here, it is, “time, times, and half a time.”


                   We know this to be the last half of the 7-year Tribulation.


Daniel 12:11-13 NKJV


11     And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.

12     Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

13     But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.


In verse 11, he mentions a period of 1290 days.  In verse 12, we see a reference to 1335 days.  We are also told that all 3 periods begin at the moment the Antichrist places his image in the Jewish Temple and stops the Jewish sacrifices.  Jesus, in Matthew 24:15, and Daniel, in Daniel 9:27, each call this mid-Tribulation the Abomination of Desolation.


The 1290 days includes a 30-day period following the Tribulation.  The 1335 days is speaking of an additional 45 days beyond the 1290 days.  The text seems to indicate these two short period, totaling 75 days, come between the end of the Tribulation and the beginning of the Millennium.


I do not want to be dogmatic on this point, but I think the judgment of nations – the sheep and goat judgment – takes place during the first 30 day period.  I have, however, read a number of other proposals by good theologians.  Many theologians and Bible scholars believe the additional 45 days are used by Christ to set up His Kingdom.       His laws for the kingdom must be distributed, positions of leadership are to be fulfilled.  The Millennial Temple must be built by Christ.


While none of these are specifically tied to the additional 45 days, all these things must be established between Christ’s 2nd Coming and His reign.


Geographical changes


In addition to the above events, there are several other impacts of Christ coming to earth.




                   The Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4)


Zechariah 14:4 NKJV


4       And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.





Zechariah 14:4 tells us that a great earthquake will cause the mount to split in two.  Half the mount will move north and half will move south.  A great valley running east and west will now exist between them.


Zechariah 14:8 tells us that the earthquake and physical changes to the Mount of Olives will unleash an underground water supply.


Zechariah 14:8 NKJV


8       And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur.


As a result of these physical changes in the earth, Jerusalem to be the source of a river.  The river will connect the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea through Jerusalem.  Notice in this verse that the water is “living water.”


What effect will this have on the Dead Sea?  The Dead Sea is about 10 miles wide and 50 miles long, running north and south on the eastern side of Judea.  Its northern end is almost exactly due east of Jerusalem.


The Dead Sea has no outlet and is seven times more salty than the oceans.  No fish live in the Dead Sea, and ocean fish placed in its waters soon die.  Ezekiel 47:8 tells us the Dead Sea will be healed.  In a future lesson, I will present more topological changes in the earth, and the effect of these physical changes have on the population on the earth at that time.