One would think after reading the prophecies of the tribulation, that the earth will self-destruct, however that is not God's purpose for the Tribulation. His purpose was the judgment.
When the Tribulation years are closing and it seems the Antichrist will completely overthrow the earth, an amazing event is prophesied—THE MILLENNIUM!
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
The above scripture describes that awesome time when Christ returns to earth with His Raptured Saints to put an end to the Tribulation. This is called the Battle of Armageddon.
Jesus prophesied in Acts that He would return in this manner. The disciples had just asked Him:
"…Lord wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" to which Jesus replied,
"It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."
They then watched Him rise up toward heaven where a "cloud" (usually indicates angels) "received Him out of their sight." Then "two men in white apparel" appeared and said:
"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
Now remember, here they are talking about the Second Coming, not the Rapture. At the Second Coming, Jesus returns WITH his Saints and will stand on the Mount of Olives. It is interesting to note that Zechariah had announced 400 years earlier, that Jesus would return to the SAME spot from which He left—The Mount of Olives.
"And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, nd there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."
This is also the Mount which the Jews fled to during the Tribulation. God splits the mountain, and sends his chosen people into the valley between. After Christ has finished with the Tribulation, He will usher in the MILLENNIUM.
Millennium is taken from the Latin word, milli, which means 'one thousand,' and annum, which means 'year'. So then, it is a thousand year period in which Christ sets up His Kingdom and rules the entire earth for 1,000 years. It is a basic fundamental of the OT and the NT prophecy. The details of the promise of the literal kingdom is more detailed than the NT, and this promise was given to Abraham.
Genesis 12:2, 3
"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
And in Jeremiah 23:5, 6, this kingdom in which Jesus will reign as King, is also clearly prophesied:
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
There are many scriptures in the Bible that promise this earthly kingdom, but one thing is sure—those who read the OT law and prophets eagerly looked forward to this kingdom that the Messiah would establish. This is why Jesus' disciples so often misunderstood Him—He was their long-awaited Messiah, and since He was there, they thought He was soon to set up this kingdom. They asked or made reference to the kingdom often. For instance, in Matthew 20:21 where the mother of Zebedee asks Him:
"…Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom."
"…Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?"
And even in the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:10:
"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."
Though not quite as detailed in the NT, Romans 11:26, 27, et al, also prophesies concerning the kingdom:
"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written. There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins."
When Christ Jesus sets up His kingdom, it will be 1,000 years of divine government on the earth, and will also be God's fulfillment of His promise to honor His Son Jesus:
"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:"
Jesus' purpose for the Millennium is to honor His Bride, the Church, for their faithfulness, and He will make them rulers over many:
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
Jerusalem will be the center of the earth during the Millennium. The Bible makes that quite clear:
Isaiah 2:2-4—4 promises
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
So now, by knowing Jerusalem's place in the Millennium, we can know who the inhabitants of the Millennium will be.
Hebrews 11:10, 16 (said of Abraham)
"For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God…But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
These are clear prophecies showing that the OT Saints will be part of the inhabitants of the millennial kingdom. Furthermore…
Hebrews 12: 22, 23
"But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,"
"The church of the firstborn"—those who have received Jesus as their personal Savior, those Christians who were bought with the blood of Christ Jesus, the Church Age Christians.
"The unnumberable company of angels" —the ministering spirits who were created by God to worship Him, and…
"The spirits of just men made perfect" —a confirmation of the OT saints who will dwell in the Holy City.
Scripture also indicates that there will be mortals who will inhabit the millennial earth in their natural bodies. These will receive healing, the blessing of long life, and will have the ability to bear children. They will be Jews and Gentiles alike, who have survived the Tribulation and have accepted our Messiah as their Lord. The Judgment of Nations, recorded in Matthew 25:31—46, will make the decision as to who qualifies to enter the Millennium in their natural bodies:
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:"
The ultimate dream of every single human being that ever lived will be fulfilled. Literally, a heaven on earth. It will be truly AWESOME!
There will be NO WARS
There will be NO MILITARY
Only a period of Ultimate! Universal! Peace! An individual, emotional peace:
"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
Is 32:17, 18
"And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;"
Even in the animal kingdom…
"And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely."
Which will result in…
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and the little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."
All this directly from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace!
And there will be untold joy in the Millennial Age:
"Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is nown in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee."
Righteousness and Holiness Will Be a Way of Life:
"Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God."
"In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
There will be NO SIN! Holiness will be such a part of millennial life that Jerusalem itself will be called the Holy City.
"Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean."
Even the highways…
"And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those(not for the unclean, but others): the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein (whoever walks the road, even a fool, will not go astray)."
Perfect justice will rule. Every single person will be treated with ABSOLUTE FAIRNESS.
"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth."
It will be an ACTIVE MILLENNIAL LIFE.
Scripture promises that the Millennium will be a flurry of activity. There will be work for everyone to do:
Agriculture and Construction…
Isaiah 65:21, 22
"And they shall build houses; and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands."
Those involved in service will be part of the labor force…
Ezekiel 48:18, 19
"And the residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward: and it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion; and the increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city. And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel."
Some work will be administrative leadership…
"…Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
There will be teaching…
"And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."
It will be awesome to be taught the ways of God by Jesus Christ, but Christ will not be the only teacher in the Millennium.
He will appoint teachers, and they will have their classes…
"And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding."
And an active teaching program for children…
"And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children."
And because of this extensive training program, the whole earth will experience an increase in knowledge…
"For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LROD, as the waters cover the sea."
Since there will be some there who are still in their natural bodies, there will be a health program, the center of it being the Tree of Life in the Holy City. Christ will also restore health and deformities to those who enter the Millennial City in their natural bodies.
"In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
The blind will see; the deaf will hear; the lame will walk, and the dumb will sing…
"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert."
Isaiah 65: 20
"There shall be no more thence an infant of days (infants will not live for just a few days, but will live long lives), nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed."
Because of the longevity of the Millennium, and the ability to bear children, the population of the earth during this time will be restored…
Zechariah 10:7, 8
"And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD. I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased."
These children who are born in the Millennium will be born with a carnal nature, so it will be necessary to pray for them to receive Christ and be redeemed.
THE MILLENNIUM WILL BE A TIME OF GREAT PROSPERITY.
The Millennium will be a very prosperous time. With Christ ruling, everything will run very smoothly: no greed, avarice, waste. The earth will be restored to it's original state of productivity (Amos 9:13, 14). The people of the kingdom will give praise and glory to Christ, their King and Provider.
Joel 2: 24-26
"And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed."
There will be one, universal language…
"For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent."
In the NT, Jesus described Himself as the Light of the World, and this same brightness will be felt throughout the Holy City.
Jesus, the Light
"The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy Glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended."
How utterly, utterly awesome this kingdom will be. How can ANYONE not want this LIFE with Jesus?
More amazing yet, is that the light of the sun and the moon will be increased…
"Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound."
There is no doubt that we will enjoy being in the presence of our King, Jesus Christ.
The Bible says we will also enjoy the abiding presence of God the Father…
"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God."
We will enjoy, also, the fulness and the power of the Holy Spirit…
"For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:"
God"s divine presence will be so close that our worship will be spontaneous and universal…
"And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD."
CHRIST IN THE MILLENNIUM
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the central figure of the Millennium. It is His kingdom, and instituted in His honor. Christ, the object of all worship, and He maintains its daily activity.
Names used in describing His millennial ministry:
The authority of Christ:
a. He is a King—Isaiah 33:17
b. He is the Judge—Ezekiel 34:17
c. He is the Prince of princes—Daniel 8:25
His work as Savior:
a. The Redeemer—Isaiah 59:20
b. The Sun of Righteousness—Malachi 4:2
c. The Shepherd—Isaiah 40:10, 11
d. The Wall breaker—Micah 2:13
e. The Light—Isaiah 60:1-3
a. The Rod of Jesse—Isaiah 11:1
b. The tender plant—Isaiah 53:2
c. Son of Man—Daniel 7:13
a. The Lord of Hosts—Isaiah 24:23
b. The Ancient of Days—Daniel 7:13
c. The Lord—Micah 4:7
d. The Mighty God—Isaiah 9:6
e. Jehovah—Isaiah 12:2-4
His identity with His subjects:
a. The Branch—Zechariah 3:8, 9
THE THOUSAND YEARS AND AFTER
One would think that absolutely nothing could possibly go wrong now. But again, as before, man's pride gets in the way and the thousand years of peace come to an end. Satan is released "for a season" at the close of the Millennium, to lead a revolt against the Holy City.
"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog abnd Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the belived city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."
Now that Satan is destroyed by being thrown into the Lake of Fire, God begins to set up His ETERNAL KINGDOM.
Phase 1—To purge the earth:
2 Peter 3:10-13
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
Phase 2—The judgment of all sinners at the Great White Throne:
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and the death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Now that the earth is purged; the sinners judged; and SIN IS DESTROYED FOREVER, God sets up his ETERNAL KINGDOM. Although this eternal kingdom will be much like the Millennial kingdom, there are some distinct differences.
1. There will be NO MORTALS in the eternal kingdom. "That flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God"--I Corinthians 15:50
2. Satan will NEVER AGAIN be permitted to tempt the saints of God. "And the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."— Revelation 20:10
3. We have God's wonderful promise that THE ETERNAL KINGDOM WILL NEVER END! "And there shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor the light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever."—Revelation 22:5
THE ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY THAT JESUS WILL COME AGAIN
"For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry."
These are positive declarations from the Holy Spirit, that JESUS WILL RETURN, ABSOLUTELY. No subject has undergone more attacks, more perversions, or subversions since Satan first attacked the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures and the deity of Christ. So many different conflicts and beliefs have been filling the air in recent years, and especially in these very last days, that many Christians don't know what to believe about Jesus' return anymore. Even preachers are afraid that this subject may bring divisions in the church, and they avoid it. Well, needless to say, Satan couldn't be happier. After all, who is the author of confusion? Satan, of course. This is all part of his strategy to nullify the relevance to the church today. Satan knows it is the hope of every born-again Christian.
I John 3:3
"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
If we can be persuaded against this precious truth, then Satan can disarm us from being ready for our Lord's Coming. Jesus has cautioned us several times to BE READY.
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."
Some will have you believe that Jesus won't come until mid-way through the Tribulation. Others insist that He will not come until the end of the Great Tribulation. Some even say He already came at Pentecost, and yet others believe He comes when we are "saved" or when we die. Friends, this is NOT what the Bible teaches us.
But even worse are the sneers from those who have defected from the True Jesus, and who say, "Yeah, that's old news, I've heard it all my life and it still hasn't happened." BUT IT WILL HAPPEN JUST AS JESUS SAID IT WOULD. Like the Apostles, the Holy Spirit, also, declare in the Bible:
"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying."
I John 2:28
"And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."
Satan would love for us all to be unprepared, because he ALREADY KNOWS what Jesus said in Matthew 25:10—and this is the KEY VERSE THAT UNLOCKS THE ENEMY'S ATTACKS ON THE SUBJECT ABOUT THE CERTAINTY OF JESUS' RETURN:
"And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut."
Friends, are you ready? Now you've heard the Gospel. You know the Precious Hope of all born-again Christians; you know the Rewards, and you know the Judgments. You know that His "Shall" means shall, and His "Shall Not" means shall not. There is NO MIDDLE stance. You are either with the Lord, or you are against Him, and if you are not with Him, you are surely with the Enemy. NO MIDDLE GROUND—ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER. Your Choice! If you choose Jesus as your Savior, then just say the following prayer. The only requirement is a SINCERE HEART, and if you believe what the Bible says, if you know that you are a sinner that needs to repent, and if you have Faith that Jesus is THE SON OF GOD, you are ready to commit your life to Him:
Jesus, please forgive me for my sins. I believe that you are the Son of God, and that you came to earth to die for my sins that I might have life everlasting with You. I accept your work on the Cross, Lord Jesus. Please be my Savior. Thank You.
Romans 10:9, 10
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."