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The Millennial Reign of Christ - Part 2

This study includes:

The 7 events between Christ's return and His millennial reign
How Christ deals with the language barrier
The two groups of people on earth at that time.

John Hoole November 10, 2002

Today we continue our study of the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ on Earth.

Jeremiah 23:5-6 NIV

5 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.
6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.

A couple of years ago, there was great excitement about the beginning of a new millennium. In some quarters, there was also great apprehension about it as well. Much of that centered around whether computer systems would be upgraded in time to accept a 4-digit year, versus and 2-digit that had been used for a long time. On December 31, 1999, like most everyone else, we watched the excitement of the fireworks around the world, as each time zone celebrated moving from 1999 to the year 2000. All the doomsday prophecies about Y2K, did not, in most places, come to pass. And Y2K was nothing more than a lot of mass media hysteria.

There were even some evangelical speakers and writers that warned of the coming holocaust. Some said it would be the time when Jesus would come to earth. Others predicted a stock market crash.

The LORD God vindicated His Word once again. Jesus said, "But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone" (Mark 13:32).

Down through history there have been those who could not resist the temptation to set dates -- setting dates either for the end of the world or the coming of Christ. Even the renowned Augustine, in the 4th century, calculated the end of human history about A. D. 650. Others attempted to salvage their missed calculations by resetting the end of time clock to A. D. 1000. Then a date was set for 1044, and again for 1065. If that wasn't enough William Miller set the date of Christ's return for 1843. And when that date passed, he changed it to the next year, 1844.

One teacher proclaimed, "the Great Tribulation, the revival of the Roman Empire, the reign of the Antichrist and the Battle of Armageddon must take place before the year 1933." Even a generation ago a well-respected Bible teacher couldn't pass up the temptation by suggesting the 7 trumpets of Revelation were the events of World War II.

The Antichrist has been identified as Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, Khrushchev John Kennedy, and Bill Clinton! In 1992 five thousand South Koreans sold their homes and left their jobs and families to await the return of Jesus. No one will forget the fiery images of the Branch Davidians and the doomsday prophecies of David Koresh in 1993.

I think one of the craziest ones I have heard yet was printed in Eternity magazine, which told about a Professor Heinz von Foerster of the University of Illinois who set the date for the end of the world for Friday, November 13, 2026. He based his conclusion, not on the Bible, but on the exploding world population, which he predicted would overrun the earth by that time. He said, "Our great-great-great grandchildren will not starve; they will be squeezed to death" by over population.

The real tragedy of such pronouncements, especially when given by evangelical Christians is that the testimony of God's people is hurt and the believer and non-believer question the integrity of God's Word.

On the other hand, it is truly a beautiful fact that for two thousand years believers from every generation have lived in the constant expectation that the Lord Jesus may come at any moment. And His failure to come has not discouraged succeeding generations from having the same hope. In fact, it has only intensified their hope of His return.

The Bible speaks about the golden age of human history when Christ will reign for a thousand years. This glorious kingdom will be ushered in at the second coming of Jesus Christ. One Bible scholar wrote: "Many serious Bible scholars agree that there is a clear straightforward statement of an earthly millennium in Revelation 20." He continues: "The presence of the millennium in Revelation is beyond dispute. John places a messianic kingdom on earth between the coming of Christ to earth and the end."

It will truly be a glorious time when Jesus Christ will establish righteousness in the world. But even then, a number of events and changes must take place before the reign of Christ is fully implemented.

WHAT EVENTS OR CHANGES MUST OCCUR AFTER CHRIST DESCENDS ON A WHITE HORSE, BUT PRIOR TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE REIGN OF CHRIST ON EARTH?

During our lessons on the Second Coming of Christ, we briefly looked at a number of events that will occur in connection to his coming. Seven things are mentioned, five of which take place in fairly short order. The sixth & seventh 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.

3. Satan is put in chains and cast into the bottomless pit

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.

An angel, having a chain, binds Satan and throws him into the bottomless pit. He will be locked and sealed in the abyss.

WHY? To keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.

4. The fourth thing that takes place after Christ returns to earth is to deliver the Jews from their persecutors.

Romans 11:26 NIV

26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob."

5. The fifth thing that takes place is 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 became 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

Additionally,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.

That takes care of those activities which will be accomplished in a very short time. The sixth and seventh will take more time.

6. The sixth thing that takes place is the judgment of the nations.

WHAT IS ANOTHER NAME FOR THIS JUDGMENT?

The Sheep and the Goat judgment.

WHERE DOES THAT NAME COME FROM?

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.

In just two of the many events mentioned in the Book of Revelation, more than half the world's population will be destroyed. One-fourth of the worlds population die during the judgment of the 4th Seal. One-third of those remaining will die during the 6th Trumpet. Possibly up to a half-billion people will die during the Battle of Armageddon. Two-thirds of all the Jews will not make it into the Millennium. 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 probably 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.

Ten verses later, Joel adds:

Joel 3:12 NIV

12 Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.

Earlier I said this event and the next event will take some time to accomplish. 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 12:7:12, 3 time periods are mentioned.

In verse 7, we have a reference to 3 years, or 1260 days. We know this to be the last half of the 7-year Tribulation.

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. That occurs at the mid-point of the 7-year Tribulation.

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.

That covers the sheep and goats judgment. We will come back to the 45 days in a moment.

7. The seventh thing that takes place is the setting up of His (Christ's) kingdom here on earth for 1,000 years.

Revelation 20:4 NKJV

4 And I saw thrones, and they [that] 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.

Again, I can't be dogmatic about this, but I propose that the second interim period of 45 days is how long it will take to set up the kingdom.

We must remember that Jesus Christ could establish His administration instantly, without any time delay. However, Jesus is not reigning alone. We are reigning with Him, and even though we will have a more powerful body and a more agile mind than we have at present, we will not be all-powerful or all-knowing. We will still have limitations just as the angels have today.

In addition to these seven events, there are several other impacts of Christ coming to earth.

WHERE DOES CHRIST PUT HIS FEET WHEN HE ARRIVES ON EARTH?

The Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4)

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN HIS FEET TOUCH THE MOUNT OF OLIVES?

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 NIV

8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea (Dead Sea) and half to the western sea (Mediterranean Sea), in summer and in winter.

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." Ezekiel 47:8 tells us it will heal the Dead Sea. We will say more about that passage later.

In our first lesson on the Millennial reign of Christ, we took note of several issues.

1. The length of Christ's reign on earth is 1,000, according to Revelation 20:1-7.

2. Christ will reign from Jerusalem, but delegate his authority to others.

3. We learned who specifically will reign with Christ.

WHO WILL BE REIGNING WITH CHRIST DURING THE MILLENNIUM?

Last week, we learned, through a number of Bible passages, that all who are resurrected prior to the Millennium will reign with Christ. That includes:

o Church-age Christians

o Old Testament Saints

o Martyred Tribulation believers

Let's now begin to look at what the Bible says will be conditions and characteristics of the Millennium. Let me ask you a question to introduce the first thing I want to discuss.

WHEN CHRIST SETS UP HIS KINGDOM, WHAT WILL HE DO ABOUT THE LANGUAGE BARRIER THAT EXISTS TODAY?

According to Wycliffe; there are more than 6809 known languages in the world today. Speech is a means of communication. It can be expressed by the spoken word, the written word, or by signs. Without these methods of expression, understanding what others are trying to communicate would be severely handicapped. The history of language uses in the Bible is worthy of consideration. After all, these many languages had their origin in an event some 4,200 years ago, and is recorded in the Bible

Unlike the rest of mankind, Adam and Eve were never children and never attended a school. They appeared on the scene as young adults, and apparently never studied the grammar of any language. And yet, Adam was able to supply names for every animal.

Genesis 2:19 NIV

19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to Adam to see what he would name them; and whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.

Except for a few species that have resulted in cross-breading, Adam named every animal on the earth. It would be interesting to know what language he used.

We also know that Adam and Eve had fellowship and conversations with God. God also gave them a commandment about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, located in the midst of the Garden of Eden. What language was used in their communications.

Was the language identical with that spoken by Jehovah when He said, "Let their be light!" Was it the same language as was used between the members of the Godhead before time began? While we may not know the answers to these question, we are given some biblical information about languages in man's early history.

Genesis 11:1 NIV

1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.

AT WHAT TIME IN MAN'S HISTORY IS THIS VERSE REFERRING?

Genesis 11 is after the flood, and reflects the well-known story of the Tower of Babel. Let me show you a genealogy chart from Adam to Noah (10 generations). If you accept the genealogies and ages given in the Bible, it was 1656 years between the creation of Adam and the Flood. The chart also shows that the 1st and 9th generations overlapped by 56 years.

Noah had three son - Ham, Shem and Japheth. Ham had a son named Cush, who had a son named Nimrod. That makes Nimrod the great-grandson of Noah. By the time of Nimrod, cities were being built, and Nimrod was the founder of the city of Babel.

I have gone through all this genealogy to show that during approximately the first 1,800 years of mankind's history there was only one language in the world.

Genesis 11 describes how Jehovah thwarted the schemes of the people by confounding their languages. The people were unable to understand each other's speech. This cause men and women to scatter in all directions.

One question I have is this: Among all the languages created by God at that time, was the one language that was common for the first 1,800 years still in use after the confusion brought on by many languages? If so, did that language become the official language of the Hebrew nation?

This entire subject is filled with speculation, and it would be unwise to become dogmatic about thing of which God has not spoken. But I do wish I could speak to the apostle Paul right now, and ask him: "When you were caught up into paradise and heard unspeakable word, what language were they spoken in?"

Now, back to our original question. "How will Jesus take care of the language barrier?" I believe we find the answer in the book of Zephaniah.

Zephaniah 3:9 (NKJV)

9 For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one accord.

How the Living Bible renders that verse may be of interest to you.

Zephaniah 3:9 TLB

9 At that time I will change the speech of the people to pure Hebrew so that all can worship the Lord together.

Two Groups of People on Earth

Now let's turn our attention to the people who are going to be on earth during the millennium. There are going to be two groups of people here at that time. I am not speaking of Jews and Gentiles. Neither am I talking about believers and unbelievers.

WHAT ARE THE TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE HERE?

1. Glorified Saints

2. Natural humans.

Let's first discuss the glorified saints.

HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE GLORIFIED SAINTS.

Glorified saints are all who had already been resurrected from the dead. When they were resurrected, they were given glorified bodies like the body which Christ had after his resurrection.

From the moment man is born, he has to wage a running fight with sickness and death. But that will all change for us at the Rapture, which includes the resurrection of believers who have died.

Philippians 3:21 (NIV) speaks of Christ,..

21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Isaiah 35:5-6 (NIV) also speak about the changes made in the bodies of resurrected saints.

5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy

According to 1 Corinthians 15:51-55, our bodies will have been changed incorruptible at the moment we have been caught up to meet Jesus in the air. At that moment we will become what God originally intended us to be.

It is this group of people - glorified saints - who will reign with Christ. Under the direction of their Savior, these transformed believers, with glorified bodies, will provide the leadership necessary to create a just society for mankind.

HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE THE NATURAL PEOPLE WHO ARE HERE?

These are those still in their natural bodies, who have survived the Tribulation without dying. They have also survived the judgment of the nations. These mortals are composed of both Jews and Gentiles. They will occupy themselves with normal human activities, not much unlike how we live today. But there certainly will be some great pluses.

According to Isaiah 65:21-23, the mortals will basically live normal human lives at this time. They will plant crops, build houses, hold down jobs, have weddings, bear children. They will probably drive cars to work, take airplane trips, continue their education, etc..

The non-glorified citizens of the millennial age won't be either a physical or mental match for the saints. But those "ordinary" millenniumites will still experience great bonuses from the new era. There are at least three pluses for the non-glorified people living during the millennium.

1. Jesus will be present on earth.

2. Satan and his demons will be totally out of business.

3. No wicked people will be allowed to corrupt society.

   
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