"Joy To The World": This song has been a Christmas favorite for years. But it was not actually written about Jesus as a Babe in the manger; it was written about His Reign in the Millennial Period which we will be studying about today. Listen to those lyrics again. This entire song speaks of a time when Jesus has Come to earth and reigns as King over the earth with Truth, Grace and Love and Creation sings because the curse is lifted from nature. Today we will explore what this Moment will be like on earth.
What is the Millennial Period on earth? Why will we have this 1000yrs of Peace before Heaven in established? What will it be like to live during this Time? What will we be doing? Believe it or not there are a multitude of verses in Scriptures which deal specifically with this Period on earth (more verses about the Millennium than any other period!). But many pastors and churches leave them unexplored because the Millennium is such a debated and contested Period of time. With prominent three view of what the Millennial Period will be: 1) Postmillennialism: "post" meaning Christ will Return after the Millennial Period on earth. His Return being ushered in after a 1000yrs of beautiful peace and change on earth brought about by the influence of the Church on society. I think we can see the error of this theology very quickly. The depravity of man has done nothing but grow worse and worse as all of Scriptures prophesied would occur. 2) A-Millennialism: "A" meaning no, or not... no literal Millennium. The belief that this whole Period is simply a spiritual picture, not literal. And that it is referring to Jesus' Reign from Heaven in a Period which has already begun on earth here and now—meaning we are now living in the Millennial Period; meaning Satan would now be bound and powerless in the world. Again, I think we can see this is preposterous to believe in our current state of the world. The 1000yr Reign is spoken of six times in Revelation 20 alone. If it were speaking simply as a general reference to an extended period of time, why mention that exact number of years six times? And if it were only a spiritual metaphor, why are there literally hundreds of verses speaking of the literal changes on earth at that time? And the literal rule of Jesus on earth not heaven? And why is this entire Period given in an exact chronological order in Revelation? When all of the Scriptures are placed together and read in context, there is no debate about whether this is an actual 1000yrs at the end of the Tribulation. Let's get back into our Walk-Thru and see how it all unfolds.
We ended our last Study with the Final Battle of Armageddon when Christ Returned to stand against the armies of the world in the Valley of Megiddo with His Saints dressed in Marriage Apparel, ready for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The earth, under the Antichrist and the False Prophet had amassed their armies with the intent of destroying Israel and defeating Christ Himself when He Returned to earth. That didn't work out too well for them. As we step into the scene today, the armies are totally destroyed, the fallen murderers of saints sent to Hades, the Antichrist and the False Prophet have been thrown alive into the Lake of Fire (Gehenna) as the two first residents there, Satan has been bound and placed into the pit of the Abyss for the next 1000yrs. But now there are survivors of the Tribulation scattered across the earth; some remaining who have the Mark of the Beast and are servants of Satan; some as abused, tortured, hunted refugees from society who have held true to their faith in Christ, but have escaped martyrdom until the end. Let's pick up exactly where we left off: 1) One of the first things we see Jesus establish when He Returns is a new order of Kingship and authority: a New Government: Revelation 20:4: There are multiple thrones established and judgment over the affairs of the earth are committed to new rulers. Who are these new rulers on these thrones? Scriptures give overwhelming evidence to this answer: Revelation 5:10; 1 Corinthians 6:1-2. Some of us—God’s Saved Saints will be in authority over this Millennial Period under our King Jesus. 2) Next, we are about to see how Jesus establishes and populates this New Kingdom on earth: Revelation 20:4-6. Listen closely to this next part of the study—it will answer a number of questions clearly. Those Christians who died before the Rapture at the beginning of the Tribulation, and those alive at the time of the Rapture were raised with new bodies to meet Jesus in the air and taken Home to ever be with the Lord. And now at this moment in the Millennium, those who chose to follow Jesus during the Tribulation that have died after the Rapture took place have their bodies resurrected and made new as those before them, and they have their part in reigning over the Millennium as well. We know they have been with Christ in Spirit after their death, during the Tribulation because a number of verses in Revelation depict them standing with Jesus in Heaven, even asking when they will have their deaths avenged. Now they will receive their new bodies as well. Why does the text refer to this event as the "First Resurrection?" This is not a description of the literal "First" time a resurrection has occurred (some think the Rapture must be here). This is certainly not depicting the Rapture, because in the event of the Resurrection of our bodies spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 as the Rapture of the church, we go to "meet" Him in the air. And this text refers exclusively to souls of those who have recently died in the Tribulation only. So a Rapture has definitely occurred before this Resurrection. This phrase, “First Resurrection” is referring to two distinctly different resurrection groups and purposes which will receive different Judgment and Reward. The First Resurrection being the raising of all those who have accepted Christ's Gift of Salvation and received Glorified Bodies; who are destined to Eternal Glory to Reign with Him. Some at the Rapture, some at the beginning of the Millennium, and some—the very first risen—beginning even as early as Christ's Resurrection: Matthew 27:50-53. The Second Resurrection involves only the lost and damned souls who have rejected Christ. They will only be raised at the very end of the Millennium to face Final Judgment at the Great White Throne Judgment. This is why the passage we are studying in Revelation exclaims: Revelation 20:6. The "Second Death" is referring to those cast into the Lake of Fire at the end of time; those who are born twice (born again) die once; those who are born once (reject Christ) die twice. 3)Next, Jesus will gather the lost and redeemed who still exist bodily on earth after the Tribulation, because the lost will have no part in this New Millennial Period on earth. But the Redeemed qill be allowed to enter into the Millennium even though they are still in their original state. Listen as these very familiar verses spoken by Jesus Himself bring this Moment to light when finally read in context: Matthew 24:27-31- this is sometimes mistaken as when the Rapture of the Saints will occur (Post-Trib view), but it is quickly dismissed when you consider the following firmly established facts: the Rapture speaks of raising the dead and catching up those still alive; here, only those living are gathered. The Rapture speaks of "meeting in the air"; here, they are gathered together on earth. The Rapture shows "Jesus Himself” gathering the Redeemed; here, the angels gather the saints together. And lastly, we have in certainty seen these Saints of God before this moment in Heaven, bodily with rewards, robes and crowns. Just as in the Rapture, Jesus announces the Glorious gathering of His saints with the sound of a trump, but that is the only resemblance to the Rapture. There are many instances of announcing events with a trump, and you would expect Jesus to give the same announcement here. Listen as the event is described in further detail: Matthew 25:31-34, 41. Jesus will have all of the remaining wicked inhabitants of the earth brought before Him as well, and there from His Throne in Jerusalem He will separate and Judge those gathered. Those who were wicked at heart and chose not to love Him are cast away forever into Gehenna. Those who had chosen Him in the Tribulation and lived through the hellish time of Judgment inherit their place in the Millennial Time on earth with us. It will be here at this time that I believe the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will finally occur.
These Saints on earth who are still in their human bodies will be those who repopulate the earth during the time of the Millennial Reign, living normal lives—having children, planting, reaping, building, and living life. We know they will live and populate the earth in unglorified bodies because of the many verses which speak of this period on earth in the Millennium. But they will be living on a very different earth in the Millennium, one which is no longer under the curse of sin and one which is perfectly governed by Christ and His Glorified Saints. The earth will be as it was before the flood; even before the fall of man—as it was even in the Garden of Eden. The only difference being these men and women will still have souls tainted by the sin of Adam; having not yet been raised in Glory and Perfection. There are an abundance of Biblical descriptions about this exciting time on earth describing the government of the Millennium; the living conditions of those still in mortal bodies; the animals and the vegetation—contrary to what many believe, there will still be sin, death, and conflict in the Millennium. But peace will be kept through the absolute and righteous Rule of Christ as King. We will have a perfect earth and a perfect King, but imperfect inhabitants.
Next week, we will explore the many details of life in the Millennium. What our role will be as Risen Saints; what life will be like on a perfect earth; and what happens at the end of the 1000yrs.—why God even Planned for this Millennium anyway. But please realize this one incredibly important fact about our study thus far today: anyone living right here, right now, will have found themselves in one of three places by this time—this time which is just a step away from of us today—either you will be ruling and reigning in Joy and excitement in the Millennial Period, or dead and hopelessly awaiting Judgment in Hades, or, one of only a small handful of people who choose Christ in the Tribulation and are lucky enough—or unlucky enough—to have survived an almost literal hell on earth while being hunted and hated for seven years.
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