Text: Revelation 20:1-10
MILLEN’IUM, n. ‘A thousand years; a word used to denote the thousand years mentioned in Revelation 20, during which period Satan shall be bound and restrained from seducing men to sin, and Christ shall reign on earth with his saints.’ (Noah Webster, 1828)
MAJOR EVENTS LEADING TO THE MILLENNIUM
According to the word of God, from this present time (July 2021), the following sequence of events will precede the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The church will be caught up—The next great prophesied event is “the first resurrection” (Revelation 20:5-6) when the dead and living members of Christ’s church will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1Corinthians 15:51-53), at which time “that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13) will be fulfilled. This great event is imminent—meaning that it could take place immediately without any forewarning signs or wonders.
Therefore, the Lord commanded: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13; Mark 13:32). We Bible believers “know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” (1Thessalonians 5:2).
The man of sin will be revealed—”The day of Christ…shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…” (2Thessalonians 2:1-4). The Holy Ghost is now preventing the revealing of the antichrist. When he is taken out of the way—and the church goes with him, “then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (2Thessalonians 2:7-8).
A time of great trouble will begin—The “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) will begin when the man of sin is revealed to confirm a covenant with Israel “for one week [seven years]” (Daniel 9:27). Of this time, Jesus declared: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21)! During those seven years, many disastrous things will come upon the earth (Revelation 9:1-21; 16:18-19). One half of the world’s population will die during these terrible seven years!
Jesus Christ will come the second time—After these seven very troublous years, the Lord will come with “all the saints” (Zechariah 14:5), “with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 1:14-15)!
THE PRESENT CREATION
The first creation is only temporary—The Lord Jesus Christ declared: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). The apostle Peter wrote: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which [at the very end of Christ’s earthly reign] 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” (2Peter 3:10).
The apostle John wrote: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea…And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Revelation 21:1, 5).
True history—The pure and preserved words of the LORD (Psalm 12:6-7), which are “For ever…settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89), were written in the Holy Bible when “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2Peter 1:21), and completed on earth around 100AD with the book of Revelation. As he did beforetime, God no longer adds knowledge and prophecies to men outside of the holy scriptures (1Corinthians 13:8-11). God commands and promises men: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
God’s word plainly declares that all men’s hearts are “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9)! Therefore, no man can be trusted to interpret scripture privately (2Peter 1:20)! The scripture also declares: “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26), and: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD” (Jeremiah 17:5)
Abbreviated history—In addition to being “the record that God gave of his Son” (1John 5:10), the Holy Bible also reveals what God determined to be the essential truths and details of world history that all mankind should know. Obviously, for God’s word to be contained in one book that can be held in a man’s hand, an extremely abbreviated historical account was required. John wrote that if all things that Jesus did “should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen” (John 21:25).
Prophetic time—On several occasions, the scriptures speak of a thousand years as a day: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2Peter 3:8; Psalm 90:4).
Age of the first earth—According to the scriptures, the present creation of the first heaven and earth will only exist for seven thousand years. At the end of the seventh and last day, in “the day of the Lord…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” (2Peter 3:10). The apostle John also reported: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea” (Revelation 21:1).
Four days before Christ—According to the chronologies recorded in the scriptures, the time between the creation of all things by the Son of God (Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:13-16; Revelation 4:11) and the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:5; Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:31) “into the world to save sinners” (1Timothy 1:15) was four thousand years: four prophetical days.
Three last days—The scripture calls the period between Christ’s first coming and the end of the world the “last days” (Hebrews 1:2). This period spans three thousand years: three prophetical days. During the first two of these last days, the Lord has been building his church (Matthew 16:18). These last days began when the Lord “came unto his own, and his own [the Jews] received him not” (John 1:11). Because Israel as a nation rejected Christ at his first coming, “blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25). The fulness of the Gentiles will come in when the church is “caught up…in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1Thessalonians 4:17).
Israel’s state in the last three days—Because they rejected him, the Lord prophesied of the children of Jacob [Israel], saying: “I will go and return to my place [to heaven (Acts 9:11) to sit with his Father “in his throne” (Revelation 3:21)], till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction [“the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7)] they will seek me early” (Hosea 5:15).
Jacob replied to the Lord’s prophecy, saying: “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days [the church age] will he revive us: in the third day [the thousand-year reign of Christ] he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6:1-2). “And in that day [the third day] there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious” (Isaiah 11:10).
The “two days” (Hosea 6:2) typify the two thousand years of the present church age, which will soon come to an abrupt end (1Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1Corinthians 15:51-53)! After his resurrection from the dead in 30AD, nearly two thousand years ago, the Lord Jesus commanded his disciples: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Therefore, for almost two thousand years, the Lord has been sending his disciples as “ambassadors for Christ” (2Corinthians 5:20) to preach the “gospel of peace” (Romans 10:15; Ephesians 6:15), that God might reconcile both Jews and Gentiles to himself (Ephesians 2:14-18).
His disciples preach the soul-saving “glorious gospel of Christ” (2Corinthians 4:3-4), “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1Corinthians 15:3-4). The gospel of Christ is glorious: “for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Christ in every born-again believer is his “hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27)!
Man’s fearful response to God—Because God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2Peter 3:9), God “now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30). It is extremely tragic that the overwhelming majority of people in the world today have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and his soul-saving gospel (John 12:48). Faith in the gospel is the only possible way that they might “have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1), and “escape the damnation of hell” (Matthew 23:33).
According to recent religious polls, the number of truly born-again believers in the world today could be as few as eight percent, which at the time of this writing could possibly be only Eight percent = 630-million among 7.88 billion people in the world! Because the world has refused to submit to God through faith in the gospel of peace, very soon the Lord will come to judge and conquer the world through warfare!
BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
History of the nations—Around 600 BC, God gave Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon a very revealing dream of a great image which signified and revealed the history of nations beginning with his kingdom and ending with the final kingdom of the “antichrist” (1John 2:18). In answer to the prayers of Daniel and his two companions, God then revealed to Daniel both the dream and the interpretation, which he then gave unto the king (Daniel 2:31-49). By comparing many other scriptures with this interpretation, we are taught the sequential order of the kingdoms of this world from Babylon unto the second coming of Christ. They are Babylon, Media and Persia, Greece, Rome, and the last seven-year divided kingdom of the “beast” (Revelation 17:17).
The conquering stone is Jesus Christ—After describing the image from his head of gold to his legs of iron, Daniel continued telling the king that he saw “…his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:31-35).
The precious foundation stone—The prophet said: “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste” (Isaiah 28:16). And the apostle declares: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Corinthians 3:11). The Lord Jesus said to the chief priests, scribes and elders of the people, “What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (Luke 20:17-18).
Destruction of the beast kingdom—Daniel goes on to speak of the final antichrist kingdom: “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay” (Daniel 2:41-43).
This curious mingling of iron and clay brings to mind the time before the flood when fallen angels [iron] took wives of the daughters of men [clay] and produced children which “became mighty men which were of old, men of renown” (Genesis 6:1-4). This ungodly union corrupted man’s genealogy producing human/angel chimeras, which brought such great wickedness and evil to mankind that God declared to Noah: “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die” (Genesis 6:17).
The Lord Jesus said, “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27). Only God knows what kinds of corrupted creatures may be walking among us in these last days! Remember to “try the spirits whether they are of God…” (1John 4:1).
God will set up his kingdom—Daniel finished his God-given interpretation of the dream: “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure” (Daniel 2:44-49).
At the second coming of Christ—the stone “cut out of the mountain without hands” (Daniel 2:45)—all kingdoms of the nations will be defeated and “become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15; 2Peter 1:11; Isaiah 9:6-7; Psalm 145:13)!