In our last lesson on the Millennium, we discussed several events leading up to the Reign of Christ, as well as some aspects of 1,000-year period of time. We discussed 7 event between Christ's return to earth riding on a white horse, and the actual reign of Christ.
1. The destruction of the armies of the nations at Armageddon which oppose Christ.
2. Casting of Antichrist and the False Prophet into the Lake of Fire.
3. Satan is bound in chains and cast into the Bottomless Pit.
4. Deliverance of the Jews from their persecutors.
5. The resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints.
6. Judgment of the nations - sometimes called "Sheep and Goats Judgment."
7. Setting up the rulership of Christ and those that will be reigning with him.
We also discussed how God will take care of the language barrier posed by the 6,809 known languages in the world today. We learned that for the first 1,800 years (approximately), there was only one language in the world (Genesis 11:1). Then we took note that the Bible tells us there will be a return to one language (Zeph. 3:9)
We also discussed at length the two groups of people who will be here on earth during the Millennium.
o Glorified people - those who have been raptured or resurrected prior to the Millennium.
o Natural humans - those believers who survived both the Tribulation and the Sheep and Goat. judgment.
Today, I want to continue learning what the Bible tells us about these two groups.
Interaction between the mortals and the immortals
WHAT WILL BE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE GLORIFIED SAINTS AND THE MORTAL?
The most noteworthy relationship between the glorified saints and the mortals is the fact that glorified saints will have been given positions of rulership. Christ will delegate his authority to all glorified saints, and mortal men, women and children will be their subjects.
WILL THE FACT THAT WE WILL BE IMMORTAL INTERFERE WITH OUR HAVING A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MORTALS?
I don't think the fact that we will have glorified bodies will adversely affect our relatitionship with the mortals. All we have to do is look at the post-resurrection ministry of Jesus. He had a body like we will have during the millennium. Though He posed some unusual situations, such as when He entered a room without opening the door, and appearing and disappearing at will, none of these actually posed any complications. Christ was able to communicate with his still mortal disciples, and they were able to respond to him. They ate meals together. They were able to see Him and touch his body. His presence in their midst was just as real in His resurrected body, as it was prior to His death and resurrection. So, there should be no problem for glorified saints to communicate and interact with those who are still mortals.
At the beginning of the Millennium, the population of the natural believers that survive the Tribulation will probably be much less than the population of the glorified saints. The glorified saints will include the saved of all ages, from the beginning of the human race through the Tribulation.
But by the end of the Millennium, the mortals will probably outnumber the glorified saints. The number of glorified saints will not change. There will be a number of bonuses for the mortal living at that time. The natural people will have children. probably many of them. But, unlike past generations where the older people die off, much fewer people will die during the 1,000 years. In fact, I believe it is quite possible most people will live through the entire 1,000-year period. And sicknesses will be rare, if at all.
Isaiah 65:21-23 NIV
21 They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands.
23 They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them.
So, with the birth rate high and the death rate low, the Bible says their number will increase greatly.
Revelation 20:8 tells us "the number of them will be like the sands of the sea."
Zechariah 8:5 (NIV) adds:
5 The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there."
Try to think of the many bonuses in life that the mortals will live with during the Millennium, and try to imagine the effect on our lives if we had those bonuses today. Look at them with regard to our net income which for each of us is a very important issue today.
For example, what would your net income look like today:
Without taxes for:
o The cost of all governments - all governments will be provided by Christ.
o No military - swords become plowshares, spears become pruning hooks (Isa. 2:4)
o Social Security - people will live very long and productive lives.
o Pollution control
o Minimal Police & Fire
And without expenses for:
o Doctor / Medical bills - little to no sickness or illnesses
o Insurance - both life insurance and health insurance
o Security systems on businesses and homes - no shoplifting or theft
o Legal - attorneys, courts
Additionally, the costs may be much less for:
o Day care
o Food - farmers will be more productive and won't have to plan for years of droubt.
o Jails and prisons.
Sin and the Millennium
Now I want to ask you a question. But thoroughly think through your answer before you give it.
WILL THE WORLD BE A PERFECT PLACE DURING THE MILLENNIUM?
This world will be a time of peace and joy, unlike anything people have experienced since the fall of mankind into sin. The Millennium will be an ideal age, but not a perfect age. The perfection awaits the eternity that follows the Millennium.
WHY IS IT NOT A PERFECT PLACE?
Because of sin.
When Adam and Eve were created, they did not have a sinful nature. They had been created with an immortal body, and had they not sinned, they would have lived forever in that state. Neither was the earth cursed with drought, weeds and pollution. Animals were not cursed with a violent nature. But when the act of sin occurred in the Garden of Eden, it has continued to do its work in every person who has ever lived. From that moment on, men and women have been born with a sinful nature.
David said, "In sin my mother conceived me."
Jesus implies, in John 3:6, that each of us are born in sin, and the only way we can move from the kingdom of sin to the kingdom of God is for the Holy Spirit to birth us anew.
Even though Satan is bound for the entire 1,000 years of Christ's reigns on earth, the world will not be without temptation, because mortals living here will still have a sinful nature.
Romans 5:12 tells us that all have sinned.
Galatians 5:17 tells us that our sinful nature acts contrary to the ways of the Holy Spirit.
Having said all that, I think it is safe to say that sin will not be as rampant as we see in the world today. Instead of cheating, lying, oppression, and malicious gossip dominating mankind, one will find fair play, truthfulness, justice and sympathy. Sin will not be as accepted during the millennium as it is today.
But still, it will be present, and can be seen in several manners.
1. First, living mortals do not as yet have their glorified bodies, which means that their bodies will be subject to passions and lusts.
2. Secondly, the very fact that Satan will need to be bound indicates that people will still have natures to which he could appeal. If not, then why put him in the Bottomless Pit?
3. Thirdly, Christ is said to rule with a rod of iron. Why would this be necessary if all people obeyed God always.
4. Fourthly, the fact that Satan will have some sympathizers after his release indicates that some people will live then who will be openly rebellious of Christ.
Sin will be greatly reduced, but it will still be a part of this new world.
Before continuing, let me ask you another question.
WILL SIN BE AN ISSUE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE RECEIVED THEIR GLORIFIED BODIES.
1 Corinthians 15 tell us that glorified believers will have put off corruption and put on incorruption. This will have occurred when they were resurrected or raptured. These resurrected saints will have been transformed and sealed against even any impure thought.
The Rod of Iron
A moment ago, I mentioned that because of sin, Christ will need to reign with a "rod of iron." Over the last several lesson, the phrase "ROD OF IRON" has reoccurred several times in the verses we read. In the NIV, these words are translated as "an iron scepter." Let me review a few of these verses.
Rev 19:15 NKJV
15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
When Jesus Christ sits on His throne, no rebellion or disobedience will be allowed. That's as it should be, since we are talking about a "perfect" King" who rules in perfect righteousness and justice. Jesus will demand obedience, and He will have it. Those who don't conform out of love for Him will do so because they rightly fear His iron rod.
Psalm 2:6-9 (NKJV) adds:
6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion."
7 "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.
8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.' "
IF THE MILLENNIUM IS A TIME A PEACE AND JOY, WHY WOULD IT BE AT ALL NECESSARY FOR CHRIST TO RULE WITH AND IRON ROD?
It all comes back to the subject of sin, which we have already established as something that will continue during the millennium. When Christ returns to earth, He will exercise absolute authority over all nations. And when sin and rebellion occurs during the Millennium, Christ and his government will quickly deal with it. And Christ says that we who are ruling with Him will also rule with a rod of iron.
Rev 2:26-27 NKJV
26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations.
27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'-- as I also have received from My Father;
God is not going to allow any sin and rebellion to take root. He will deal with it fairly but quickly.
As we have already learned, the natural people that enter the Millennial reign of Christ will continue to have a sinful nature. Like us today, they will fight with the old nature that sometimes disobeys God. They will continue doing things that people do today -- like building houses, planting gardens, selling their wares, traveling from place to place. They will also continue having children. These children, like all people since Adam and Eve, will be born with a sinful nature, as will their children and grandchildren after them. And, like every generation before them, these children will be given the chance to choose God's salvation. But Christ and His kingdom will have a zero tolerance attitude towards evil. Vice will be virtually unknown.
Death during the Millennium
WILL PEOPLE DIE DURING THE MILLENNIUM?
WHAT IS IT THAT CAUSES DEATH?
1 Cor 15:24-26 (NIV) speaks of Christ coming to reign.
24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
The "last enemy," DEATH, will not be conquered until after the end of the millennium.
Rev 20:13-14 NIV
13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.
14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
Since mortals living on the earth during the millennium will still have a sinful nature, some will experience dying.
WILL GLORIFIED SAINTS ALSO EXPERIENCE DEATH?
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
1 Corinthians 15:52-55 NIV
52 In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
55 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
For the mortals living on earth at this time, we are told that it is possible for mortals to commit a death-penalty sin. And it links such a sin to the "ROD."
Isaiah 11:1-4 NIV
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD--
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Longevity of life among the mortals
Since we know now that it is possible for mortals on earth during the Millennium to sin and die, does the Bible say anything about lifespan among the mortals? One thing that we can see from the Word of God, is that the world during millennium will be a lot like it was in the Garden of Eden. Much of the curse following man's sin will be reversed. The ability of mankind to enjoy long lives will be the norm during the Millennium.
WHO WAS THE OLDEST RECORDED MAN WHO EVER LIVED?
The oldest recorded lifespan was that of Methuselah - who lived 969 years.
I believe there will be people on earth during the millennium who will eclipse that length and quite probably will live the entire 1,000 years.
Isaiah 65:20 NIV
20 Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.
Two important points are made in this verse.
1. A person one hundred years old will be considered a child.
2. A person who doesn't make it to the age of 100 is said to experience the wrath of God. That is speaking of a person who is foolish enough to rebel against Jesus Christ.
If a person is thought to be but a child when they are 100 years old, it implies the normal length of life is much, much greater. Things that lessen the average lifespan - wars, pestilence and famine - will be a thing of the past. The curse of sin on the entire world will be dramatically curbed.
Today, sin has short-changed the whole human race and robbed us of the thing we treasure the most. Our lives.