Many people, as I did previously, believe that the kingdom of God and Christ’s millennial kingdom are the same thing. Christ is the King to whom all are subjects in heaven and on earth. Christ becomes the king of all kingdoms when he comes for the second time in the near future. In this sense, why would the kingdom governed by Christ and His holy ones not be the kingdom of God? To preach the kingdom was the main purpose of Christ to be on earth. It is, however, defined in the Bible what kind of people will be admitted to the Kingdom of God. Not just anyone who just hears the word is accepted.
In the parousia of Christ, when he arrives to govern the entire earth, not all nations rejoice and welcome their new king. Psalm 110 says:
A Psalm of David. A statement of Jehovah to my Lord: sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies as your footstool. Rev 2:27 He will rule them with a rod of iron, shattering them like clay pots; as I also have received of my Father: 12:5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her child was caught up to God, and to his throne.
It is hard to interpret Psalm 110:2, which says that Jesus and his saints are forced to “rule in the midst of your enemies”. Does it mean that at least in the beginning there is resistance and Jesus as the king is forced to rule not only with the rod of iron but that they are surrounded by enemies. On the other hand, the ungodly have been destroyed at the great tribulation on the day of the Lord’s wrath and the subjects, such as the great multitude, have been saved for their faith.
1 Cor 15:28 When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.
Christ and the saints of the resurrection, indeed, are forced to govern with the rod of iron. This will continue until all nations are made subject to the reign of Christ. Then the Son himself is subjected to the Father under the power of God. From these verses many conclusions can be drawn: The kingdom that Christ has ruled is formed of many nations, out of which not all of them and not all at once are deferred under his rule. That is why He and the saints of the resurrection must govern with “the rod of iron”. Complete supremacy may take a long time, perhaps close to a thousand years.
The end of the Millennial Kingdom comes when all nations are made subject to the Son and He himself returns the reign to Father. After a thousand years Satan is released and the final great war in which Satan and his human assistants are destroyed. The day of judgement is the end of this era. New Jerusalem, the holy city, comes down out of heaven and all things are made new (Rev 21:5)
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him one thousand years. (Rev 20:6)
Some see a contradiction in the description of Jesus of the persons who have been resurrected (they are like angels and do not marry) compared with Isaiah’s description of life in paradise. These people have ignored the fact that the resurrected are a ‘little flock’ of saints in the spirit body, belonging to the leadership pf the kingdom of God. If one cannot marry, no children are born. Isaiah testifies how child mortality is overcome and little children are free to play safely with snakes. Inhabitants of the Millennial Kingdom are the humans on earth will slowly build a paradise on earth in a thousand years. People live human lives, work, marry and children are born and elderly pass away. Life expectancy will be prolonged and a deceased will be mourned as a young person (Isa 65:20). Death has not yet been overcome. That will happen at the end of the one thousand-year era; in the final judgement good sentence is given to “sheep” who are given eternal life. The bad ones will go through a second death, which is by another interpretation, eternal disconnection from God. The fact that humans are still mortals testifies to the fact that they are not yet in God’s Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is governed by the saints of resurrection who were given in resurrection the gift of eternal life. They are not affected by the power of the second death: … over these the second death has no power… (Rev 20:6)
Satan is bound into an abyss to wait for a thousand years until he is released for a short time (Rev 20:7). Man has a possibility to evolve righteous free of Satan’s plots and achieve eternal life.
A few years ago I wrote a short article about the Millennial kingdom. Now I have decided to supplement it. I noticed that the old dogmas and decrees of church councils dominated people’s minds and people just repeated them without engaging at all in independent thinking. Even in the minds of the scholars thoughts had solidified into five hundred years old ecclesiastical confessions and their justifications, I thought I had to take them into deeper consideration and write about it. I have also noticed that often someone’s opinion is built on one Bible verse alone.
The truth is found in several verses that may have been scattered in the Bible. People seem to be prisoners of their church; in humans, even if they had found the truth in the Bible, there is no courage to speak their mind and, if necessary, to even separate from their Church. According to the doctrine of the Church, a believer in different ways can be expelled from the Church and declared unfit for salvation. Today, however, many churches have a roof high and walls wide, but not it is not such a long time ago that the balefires were burning.
All must be based on the word of the Bible. The early church may not have had a whole series of scriptures. Also, there were no computer-based search engines and programs explaining every word. There were various manuscripts available, – as it is today – a variety of divisive movements, Aryanism, Gnosticism, etc. When reading the Bible was made possible for common people and translations from Latin into the languages of the people, the knowledge of the Bible was liberated and knowledge expanded. Still, the 1530 Augsburg confession contains a lot of Catholic influence, and not all of its doctrines have yet been unleashed in the true Bible-based doctrine.
The Bible has been written to be difficult. It has a mixture of literal and figurative expressions. In one of my articles I ask, “Why is the Bible written in an ambiguous way”? It would have been possible for God to write the Bible so that no sentence would need to be interpreted and twisted by the scholars. I think I know the answer; God wants us to study, contemplate, doubt, argue, and finally find the truth by searching. To do all this, and not just passively take the “truth” given to us.
What did the Church fathers think of the millennial kingdom?
Eusebius was of the opinion that the heretic Cerinthus, who lived in the second Century, was the first to teach the millennial kingdom which, according to Cerinthus himself, was taught to him by angels. After the resurrection, the secular kingdom of Christ was to be manifested; For the inhabitants of Jerusalem there was to be an era of joy and pleasure that would last a thousand years with plenty of food and drink. Apostle John could not stand nor be involved with Cerinthus in any way.
Apostle John, on the other hand, opposed millennialism. I have the impression that a clear line cannot be found. Those who defended the kingdom associated it with the coming of Christ but could not define it.
Also the ecumenical council of Ephesus in 431 the doctrine of the Millennial kingdom was rejected as superstitious and the church rejected the millennialism formally as heretical. The Council confirmed the so-called dual nature doctrine that Christ has two natures, God and man, in one person. The Council also confirmed that the Virgin Mary is the Mother of God. Respect for Mary and her status grew and she was recognized in Ephesus as the Mother of God. Mary could be asked for prayers of intercession as is customary today. The Catholic values and customs thus became much stronger. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Ephesus
The Augsburg Confession is one of the most significant of those of the 16th Century. It’s still today a valid instruction of the Lutheran Church. The Augsburg Confession (Article XVII) states:
1 Our churches also teach that at the end of the world, Christ will appear as judge. 2 He will raise up all the dead. He will give eternal life and everlasting joy to the godly and elect. 3 But he will condemn the ungodly and the devils to punishment without end.
4 We condemn the Anabaptists who think that the punishment of demons and those people whom God condemns will not last forever. 5 We condemn all others who are now spreading the Jewish idea that before the dead are raised, the godly will rule this world and that everywhere the ungodly will be overcome.
I agree with some of the Augsburg Confession points, such as the marriage of priests. The confession was aimed against the Catholic influence, but its authors explained that they accept the original Catholic doctrine, but oppose the papal power. The confession in Augsburg seems to have the spirit of Luther in the sense that preaching without proper authorization was not allowed.
In Augsburg they did not understand the timing of the Millennium. There is no Millennial kingdom before the first resurrection of the righteous but after it. The righteous i.e. saints will rise in the clouds to meet Christ there and they will rule with him a period of thousand years. The inhabitants of the kingdom are a diverse group; Those who have repented their sins and asking God for help, but also full pagans who have not even heard of Christ. Until the coming of Christ, Satan is still the king of this world, and only after the forces of Satan are destroyed by Christ’s troops and Satan is captured, can the administration of Christ and the Millennium begin.
According to the Lutheran interpretation, the millennial kingdom is already underway: Christ rules with the saints from Heaven. Satan is already bound and unable to hurt the church. At the end, Satan will be released for a short time, but then destroyed.
What if the Millennial kingdom does not come?
A Lutheran website claims that the Millennial kingdom is not coming at the same time with the second coming of Christ: According to the Bible, the return of Christ is not followed by the Millennial kingdom on Earth, but immediately the last judgment, Heaven and Hell.
Lutherans refer to Matthew for their reasoning: Mat 16:27 `For, the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father, with his messengers, and then he will reward each, according to his work.
25:31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.
32 Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Jesus comes for the second time and sets up his administration with the saints. Then Jesus sits on the throne of his Millennial kingdom, called ‘the throne of his glory’ in verse 31. Christ has been sitting on the throne of Heaven on the right hand of God for 2000 years. These are two different kingdoms and two different thrones.
According to the Lutheran interpretation, which dates back to the 16th Century Reformation, attention is paid to the words of Matthew and especially to the word then.
This is considered to mean that Jesus will come, but he will come only to only judge the good and the bad. The judgment is immediate, and as a result, the righteous will go to Heaven and sinners will go to Hell.
After death, the great majority of mankind will be judged. They are in the grave from their death until the end of the Millennial kingdom of Christ. There will be a so-called resurrection of judgment. Regardless of how long the dead is buried in the grave, he experiences the resurrection as if right after death because he has no awareness of the time in the tomb.
The last judgment will be for those who have died in the Millennial kingdom as well as those who have died thousands of years ago. Heb 9:27 ”Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this, judgment”. The only exception is made by those who died in Christ, who are called to participate in the first resurrection and who reign the Millennial kingdom with Christ. Rev 20:6 tells about these Saints: Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him one thousand years.
In Mat 16:27 and 25:31-33 it is said, that the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father, with his messengers, and then he will reward each, according to his work. – The promised wages of Jesus will come first to the resurrected saints who have come up to the clouds to meet Jesus.
The next verse proves that there truly is the (Millennial) kingdom of Christ, in which he is judging the living and the dead: 2 Tim 4:1 “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom”.
– If there is no kingdom, how could Christ judge in his kingdom? The resurrected saints are said to reign with Christ for a thousand years. In this article, I highlight a number of other arguments I consider to be solid evidence for the ‘dispensational premillennialism’. This monster of a terms means that God has seen fit to establish for the human race a 1000-year era before the final judgment.
Why? Would it not be clearer that Jesus will come and judge immediately; the good to Heaven and the evil to Hell. The Earth seems to be in an uninhabited condition after the destruction of the Lord’s day. As I pondered this, I thought that God wants to grant salvation even in the very last moment. Not everyone repented but cursed and hardened themselves when facing adversity. The Bible tells us that much of the gospel work is still left to the Gentiles who survived the day of the Lord. Those who were saved after crying for help from Jesus should also be tested for faith: many people in their trouble call God, but after the problems are gone, they return to their former sinful life.
It is common to form an opinion based on only one or two verses. What if, on the basis of the next Luke’s verse, we began to form our opinion on salvation? Luk 14:26 “If anyone comes to me, and does not hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can’t be my disciple.
Although Reformation cleaned the Church of excessive Catholicism, not all went right. In fact, I think that dispensationalist attitude towards the Millennial kingdom as the last of seven eras given to humanity by God, is ideal for a contemporary interpretation of the Bible.
The Second Argument Against The Millennial kingdom: The Bible tells us that the forces of Heaven are shaken and the elements melt from the burning heat when Christ comes back. After this, can you imagine any terrestrial kingdom anymore?
Mat 24:29 But immediately after the oppression of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; 30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.
2 Piet 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore since all these things are thus to be destroyed, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy living and godliness,
12 looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
Matthew and Peter speak about the same time, the events just before the coming of Christ. According to Matthew, “The sun is darkening” and “the stars fall from the sky”. Peter’s description is even more dramatic: “The heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements of the heat will disintegrate, and the earth and all that is done will burn.”
– Can a man be there when the whole world is being destroyed? Such an understanding of these verses can be obtained. However, let us remember that “the whole world” according to the Bible did not mean the whole world. From Caesar Augustus “a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the entire world should be enrolled” (Luk 2:1). – However, the whole world was only a small part of the Mediterranean environment under the authority of Rome.
Matthew tells: And “the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the Earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory”. – I can’t explain in more detail what it means that Heavens will pass away with a great noise” or how and where “the elements of the heat will disintegrate”. These phenomena have been explained in different ways: the fall of stars, for example, is a description of the warheads of transcontinental missiles before entering the target. Based on the video I saw, I can say that it looked just like a bunch of stars would have fallen to the ground. In other passages, the Bible predicts that the Earth will burn and a large number of people will be destroyed.
And “the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the Earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory”.
Not all this, however, means that our world would be completely destroyed. Ecclesiastes says: 1:4 ” One generation goes, and another generation comes; but the earth remains forever.” Jesus promised in his sermon on the mount: Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Also Psa 37:11 promises: But the meek shall inherit the earth, and they shall delight themselves in abundant peace. – If the earth has been spoiled by nuclear contamination and burned, what kind of inheritance is that for the quiet and humble?
The third argument: The Bible teaches that there is one resurrection for all men, both saved and unsaved, that occurs on the last day.
1 The 4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, 17 then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever.
These two groups form the first resurrection:
a) The dead in Christ, who have been in their graves, the oldest for two thousand years
b) At that moment, the righteous who are alive, will be caught up to meet Christ
What then is the second resurrection?
Act 24:15 having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. Joh 5:28 Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice,
29 and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.
These verses reveal the second resurrection, also called the Resurrection of Judgment. They cannot in any way be regarded as one and the same resurrection. Only the righteous will arise in the first resurrection. In the second resurrection all will rise, who are in the graves, whether they have done good or evil. The righteous (also called ‘saints’) of the first resurrection will no longer be judged. They have already gained eternal life. The participants of the second resurrection will receive judgment according to their actions.
Fourth argument: Nothing in the New Testament has any reference to the Millennial kingdom that would begin after Jesus’ return. Instead, Jesus and the apostles all taught that at his coming there would be an immediate final judgment, after which only truly believers, who would live forever in the new creation created by God, would remain.
The Book of Revelation tells John’s vision of the future based on what Jesus’ revealed to him. Rev 20:4 I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as didn’t worship the beast nor his image, and didn’t receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived and reigned with Christ for the thousand years.
This verse tells about the participants of the first resurrection and their participation in the administration in a kingdom with Christ for a thousand years. This verse does not say what this kingdom is. Could it be the kingdom of God, or? Mat 25:31 But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.
– The Bible speaks of a thousand years of power for Christ and the saints, but is careful not to call the administration of Christ as the Millennial kingdom. However, the phrase “the throne of his glory” clearly means the throne of the kingdom, whose king Christ will be.
Still other arguments have been put forward; among others that in the early church, the perception of the “thousand years” mentioned in chapter 20 of the Revelation, was that it is a figurative expression of the spiritual administration of Christ in the period between the first and the second coming. – Again, timing does not work the way the Bible means; Christ has ruled the past two millennia in Heaven, but Satan is still the king of this world. Who can claim that this is not the case? A simple justification: if Christ had also taken the inhabitants of the Earth under his control, would he not have taken control of the sinful way of life of the Earth that has been going on for two thousand years?
Isa 9:7 There is no end to the increase of His government and of peace on the throne of David, and on His kingdom, to order it, and to sustain it with justice and with righteousness, from now and forever. The zeal of Jehovah of Hosts will do this.
What is the difference between the Millennial kingdom and the Kingdom of God?
– The kingdom of God is the eternal kingdom in Heaven. You can get there only through the Resurrection. There is only one human in Heaven so far – Jesus Christ.
– You must seek the kingdom of God, but only some of the righteous will be accepted there
– Those in the kingdom of God are in the spirit bodies like Jesus, after his resurrection
– You are born into the Millennial kingdom. Some are there after the trials of the Lord’s day; they are the saved (“escaped”) who have called Jesus or the Father for help. There are still many of those who have not even heard of Christ.
– All residents of the Millennial kingdom are mortal and are in physical bodies. There is no illness or poverty.
Before the Millennial kingdom
The war in Heaven
Jesus said to his disciples: “All authority has been given to me in Heaven and on Earth” (Mat 28:18). Christ has been given all power, but its realization has not yet taken place, but Satan reigns even today as the “king of this world.” All power is a promise of the future, when power is taken away from Satan.
Many biblical scholars have taken it for granted, that when Christ ascended to Heaven, he no longer allowed Satan to deceive anyone, because Jesus died on the cross for all. The discarding of Heaven would have resulted in a war in Heaven, the outcome of which would have been that one-third of the angels, along with their leader Satan, would be thrown onto the Earth.
In fact, I have interpreted that Christ would not have done so, even though he had received from God all power in the Heavens and on the Earth. The question is, whether the Bible statement has come true; Rev 12:7 And war occurred in Heaven, Michael and his angels making war against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels made war. 10: Now is come the salvation, the power, and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ; for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down… – John sees in his future vision that war will end in the victory of Christ and his angels.
The war in Heaven has not yet taken place, and the power of God’s anointed Messiah has not materialized on Earth. These verses are from the Book of Revelation written by John on the island of Patmos in his old days, decades after Jesus had ascended to Heaven. If the war had been right after Christ rose to Heaven, John should have known it. The Book of Revelation is a vision of the future, even though the events in it are told as if they had happened, which may mislead the thoughts.
John wrote the Book of Revelation in the 90’s, i.e. about 60 years after Jesus’ ascension into Heaven. Second, God tolerated Satan as an accuser for a long time. If this is hard to believe, remember, that Satan was the king of this world already when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. He had not been thrown out of Heaven yet in the time of Jesus. It is for Satan to act freely and to deceive mankind. Satan is still doing that work, and in the foreseeable future Satan’s most important acts in this regard, is to introduce to the world the Antichrist and the False prophet.
Chapter 19 of the Book of Revelation explains how the Heavenly armies, under Christ’s command, crush the Earthly armies. Heaven rejoice as “the marriage of the Lamb has come”. And: Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty Reigns”. Only when Jesus comes to Earth for the second time will he overcome Satan with his army and deprive him of all the ability to deceive the nations, and cast him into the bottomless pit for a thousand years. Then it can be said, that the power of the anointed of God has come and the Millennial kingdom has begun.
The war with Satan’s troops is an event of the near future. Satan with his angels will be thrown to the Earth; then Satan knows he has only a little time. Satan’s last-minute attempts are to introduce the Antichrist and the False Prophet and activate the Great Harlot, through which ecumenism connects churches with the Catholic Church. The Great Harlot awaits her conviction; Rev 19:2 ”For true and righteous are his judgments, because he judged the great harlot who defiled the Earth with her fornication. And he avenged the blood of his slaves out of her hand.” – the Harlot’s fornication is fornication of religious life and the religious mother church, the Harlot, who has terrorized and killed other believers, will have to pay for it.
Time of tribulation and the Day of the Lord
The time of tribulation and the Day of the Lord will meet all the nations of the world before Jesus’ second coming. In Matthew 24:29, it is told when Jesus comes: “after the days of tribulation.” Jesus does not come at the time of the worst distress, but after that. The first is the time of tribulation, 42 months (3.5 years) and after that the Lord’s Day also 42 months. The time of tribulation is caused by Satan, but the day of the Lord is the time of the plagues of God from Heaven.
Mat 24:29 And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; 30 and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in the heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth smite the breast, and they shall see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of the heaven, with power and much glory;
31 and he shall send his messengers with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his chosen from the four winds, from the ends of the heavens unto the ends thereof.
– Angels gather God’s elect from the Earth. The elect will receive a resurrection to Jesus in the clouds, where the “sign of the Son of Man” will be seen in Heaven, and then all the tribes of the Earth will bawl; and they shall see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of Heaven with great power and glory.
Jesus Christ comes in a very visible way. The angels have assembled God’s chosen ones to Jesus. They follow Jesus where he goes. There is a loud bawl on the Earth. Jesus sits on his throne. King David reigns over Israel. The Apostles reign each one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The other saints rule “whoever five, who ten cities”. Together they represent the Kingdom of God. When the coming of Jesus is a very visible event, the administration of the kingdom of God may well be invisible.
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noah, so also will be the coming of the Son of man.
38 For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they didn’t know until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left;
Verse 40 explains how some of the people are called, others are not; when two men work in the field, “one will be taken and one will be left”. Those elected receive resurrection among the other Saints. Those left on Earth wait for the Day of the Lord. Jesus warns in Mar 13:33: ”Watch, keep alert, and pray; for you don’t know when the time is.”
These difficult times for God’s own people.
Joel predicts in the first chapter: 1:6 For a nation has come up on my land, strong and without number; its teeth are the teeth of a lion, and it has the jaw teeth of a lioness. 1:15 Alas for the day! For the day of Jehovah is at hand. And it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. – But the Day of the Lord is just coming! Yet the people of Israel are subject to violence by attackers: 2:2 A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn spreading on the mountains, A great and strong people; There has never been the like, Neither will there be any more after them, Even to the years of many generations. 3 A fire devours before them, And behind them, a flame burns. The land is as the garden of Eden before them, And behind them, a desolate wilderness. Yes, and no one has escaped them. 4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses, And as horsemen, so do they run. 5 They shall leap like the noise of chariots on the tops of the mountains, like the noise of flames of fire that devour the chaff, as a strong people set in order for battle. 6 At their presence the peoples are in anguish. All faces have grown pale.
‘A great and strong people’ is attacking the people of God. Joel compares the war machines to horses, riders and chariots. Probably they are modern tanks, rockets, cruise missiles. In Joel’s time there were no words to describe such.
Joel also moves rapidly forward in his report. The Day of the Lord comes before the attacker has got his final victory: 2:11 And Jehovah shall give his voice before his army, for his camp is very great. For he who does his word is strong. For the day of Jehovah is very great and terrifying, and who can endure it?
Surely you know that the Day of the Lord is not the same as Sunday. Before the Day of the Lord there is 3.5 years of tribulation. The Lord’s day lasts also for 3.5 years and is even more severe than the preceding time.
When the Lord’s day of destruction is already underway, God still calls: 2:12 Yet even now turn to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning, declares Jehovah.
2:28 “It will happen afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; And your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions.
29 And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days, I will pour out my Spirit.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood, fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun is turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, Before the coming of the day of Jehovah, The great and the fearful.
32 For it shall be, all who shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved. For salvation shall be in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, as Jehovah has said, and among the remnant whom Jehovah shall call.
2 Pet 3:6 through which the world which then was, being flooded by water, perished.
7 But the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8 But don’t forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore since all these things are thus to be destroyed, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy living and godliness, 12 waiting for and hasting the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
13 But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, in which dwells righteousness.
God drowned the people of Noah’s time in the flood. At the time of the second coming of Jesus, Peter says in 2 Piet 3:7 ”the present heavens and the earth, by the same word are treasured, for fire being kept to a day of judgment and destruction of the impious men”. – The fire need not be radioactive, nuclear fire and the destruction not necessarily caused by nuclear arms, although the Bible says, that the elements break down from heat. Also, Satan is destroyed according to Rev 20:9 “Fire came down out of heaven from God, and devoured them.” The fire of God can be consuming, as here, or it can be purifying.
When will the Millennial kingdom begin??
It begins when Jesus comes for the second time. And Jesus comes when the Day of the Lord is finished. The angels have assembled God’s chosen ones into the first resurrection to meet Jesus and be as co-rulers of the Millennial kingdom of which Jesus is the king.
What is the administration of the kingdom like?
Many believe that the kingdom of God and the Millennial kingdom are the same thing. Christ is the King to whom all are subordinate, both on Earth and in Heaven. Christ will take the kingship of all secular kingdoms the second time he comes in the near future. Why then is not the kingdom ruled by Christ and the saints exactly the kingdom of God? After all, the proclamation of the kingdom of God was the reason why he was sent on Earth. The Bible tells what kind of people can enter the kingdom of God. I have already stated above that the kingdom of God must be sought and access to the kingdom is only through the resurrection. The Millennial kingdom consists of the relatively small number of people, that remain on the Earth, after the Lord’s day.
20:1 I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 He seized the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were finished. After this, he must be freed for a short time. 4 I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as didn’t worship the beast nor his image, and didn’t receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived, and reigned with Christ for the thousand years.
In verse 4 it is said of the resurrected saints that they were alive and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. “And reigned…” this must mean the Millennial kingdom. This is the time when Satan was caught and chained so that he could not deceive people as he does today. Verse 5 states that the rest of the dead will not live again until the thousand years are ended. Up to now, everything would have been timed understandably, but then finally in verse 5 the Bible says: ”This is the first resurrection.”.
The first resurrection took place a thousand years earlier and now is the turn of the second resurrection and the last judgment following it.
However, Panin accepts placing this phrase at the end of verse 5: “The rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years should be finished. This is the first :resurrection”. However, it is possible that the ‘first resurrection’ phrase, placed either at the end of the fourth verse or at the end of the fifth verse, may implement the Bible numerical code. It depends on where you place the stop of the cycle counting. Simply changing the position of this “first resurrection,” does not mean that the code is broken. However, the placement of the phrase “this is the first Resurrection” is illogical.
20:5 The rest of the dead didn’t live until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. – Should this read “This is their first resurrection? The statement of verse 5 cannot mean the first resurrection of the saints. Only those who fulfil the conditions of verse 4, will have access to the first resurrection. These saints have already ruled with Christ for a thousand years and the second death has no power on them. They do not even have to participate in the final judgment, as a matter of fact, they are the judges.
Alternatively, there is an error in copying the text, and this statement is misplaced to the end of verse 5 when the right place is at the end of the previous verse.
I cannot accept the explanations in the Revelation commentaries that this statement of verse 5 of the first resurrection, means the bodily resurrection of the saints, and that the “first” resurrection a thousand years ago was the resurrection in the spirit.
The Revelation proves that the Saints of the First Resurrection will rule on Earth. 5:9 They sang a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the book, And to open its seals: For you were killed, And bought us for God with your blood, Out of every tribe, language, people, and nation, 10 And made them kings and priests to our God, And they [the saints] reign on earth.” – Verse 10 is a significant proof that the millennial kingdom is truly born and lasts for a long time, maybe a thousand years, or if it is a figurative expression, in any case, according to human timing, a long time.
God is a spirit and his ‘colleagues’ are also spirits. The Resurrection means being in the spiritual body and those who receive a positive judgment will continue as God’s co-workers in the Spirit. The coming new world, the one that begins after the Millennial kingdom, will be built with the power of faith and will, not with shovel or excavator.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him one thousand years.
7 And after the thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison,
8 and he will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 They went up over the breadth of the earth, and surrounded the camp of the saints, and the beloved city. Fire came down out of heaven from God, and devoured them.
10 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
11 I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. There was found no place for them.
12 I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
15 If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.
When you read these verses thoughtfully, you will understand that
– When Jesus comes, Satan will be bound for a thousand years during which Satan will not interfere with the kingdom of Christ (Rev. 20:2)
– When Jesus comes, the saints will be given jurisdiction (20:4)
– The rest of the dead will come alive only after 1000 years have passed (20: 5)
– The second death does not have the power over the saints, and they will rule for 1000 years with Christ
– When those thousand years have passed, Satan will be released for a short time
Jesus refers to the kingdom of God, which is given under his authority (all power in Heaven and on Earth…) No one can enter the kingdom of God, except by being born again and by resurrection. Not even the Catholic saints are in the kingdom of God; they are in their graves waiting for the resurrection.
The Revelation describes the time of the Millennial kingdom with a few core events. You can’t ignore them and say that everything happens at the same day that Jesus comes the second time. These facts, which occur after Jesus’ coming, confirm that the last judgment cannot be at the very beginning of Jesus’ second coming.
After the Second coming of Jesus, the Kingdom of God with Jesus Christ as the king and the saints as co-rulers, will reign through the Millennium. Its leadership is in the spiritual body, but they can also appear as visible people in the fleshly body, just as Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, and especially to Thomas, who wanted to see in his hands the print of the nails.
The leadership of the Millennial kingdom: Top management consists of members of the kingdom of God. Jesus Christ, to whom God the Father has given all power in Heaven and on Earth, is the king of this kingdom on Earth. Other leadership consists of the saints of the first resurrection: King David as King of Israel, the Apostles who rule the twelve tribes of Israel, the resurrected saints who govern, some five cities, some ten. (according to the parable of Jesus).
As members of the kingdom of God, they are all in spirit bodies. Like Jesus, they can, after their resurrection, switch to a physical body if they wish.
Who are the inhabitants of the Millennium? It must be remembered that, in the seven preceding years, during the time of tribulation and on the Day of the Lord, a very large number of people died. There has been major upheaval in the world. However, the Earth is habitable as we can see from the examples below. Some, albeit a rather small part of the people, were resurrected and are now in the leadership of the kingdom. Many were converted during the turmoil of the world and cried to God or Christ for help – and kept their lives. There are also pagans, perhaps in remote areas, who have survived. Over a thousand years, the population is growing. People’s life expectancy grows and children are born. Mortality decreases as people live longer and diseases can be cured. As the Millennial kingdom approaches its end, the number of people may be the same as today.
What is the Millennial kingdom like?
The Bible, and especially Isaiah in the Old Testament, describes the Millennial kingdom.
Isaiah chapter 66 tells how after the kingdom was established, teachers were sent to faraway countries where people are pagans, without knowledge and faith. In the kingdom some people are still “worldly” and not at all righteous believers. The righteous men receive the first resurrection and the eternal life and they rule with Christ.
Isa 66:19 I will set a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off, who have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. 21 And I will also take some of them for the priests, for the Levites, says Jehovah.
Mal 1:11 … My name shall be great among the nations, says Jehovah of hosts.
Jes 65:19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and there shall be heard in her no more the voice of weeping and the voice of crying. 20 There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man who has not filled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, and the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. 21 They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree shall be the days of my people, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for terror. For they are the seed of the beloved ones of Jehovah, and their offspring with them. 24 It shall happen that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed as one; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And dust is the food of the snake. They shall not do evil nor destroy in all My holy mountain, says Jehovah.
Isaiah describes how amazingly different it is in the Millennial kingdom compared with the present world. If such a kingdom of Christ did not come – I wrote some are doubtful – then Isaiah has seen false dreams and not visions from the Lord.
According to Isaiah, child mortality has been eliminated. People’s lifespan is longer; someone died at the age of hundred years, was still young. This means that many diseases have been overcome and the health situation has improved over the current level. Animals are no danger to humans; they eat all grass, even the lion. Verse 24 is significant: God hears people’s requests and answers them.
However, death has not yet been removed. The life expectancy of people is, of course, prolonged and the 100-year-old is young to die, and infants do not die. Death is eliminated last, at the end of the 1000-year kingdom, when Satan is destroyed. After the Millennial kingdom, the real kingdom of God will come when Jesus has given power back to the Father.
The kingdom of God is an eternal kingdom that will never be destroyed. The Millennial kingdom of peace led by Jesus and the saints, lasts a thousand years.
When Christ arrives for the second time to rule the whole Earth, not all nations will rejoice at the new King. Psalm 110:1 says: A Psalm of David. The affirmation of Jehovah to my Lord: `Sit at My right hand, until I place your enemies as your footstool.’
Rev 2:27 He will rule them with a rod of iron, shattering them like clay pots; as I also have received of my Father: 12:5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her child was caught up to God, and to his throne.
It is difficult to interpret Psa 110:2 according to which Jesus and the saints will rule in the midst of their enemies. Does it mean that, at least initially, there is resistance and Jesus, as king, has to rule not only with the iron sceptre, but also with the enemies surrounding them. On the other hand, the wicked have been destroyed in the great tribulation of the end-time, and on the Day of the Lord’s wrath, and the subordinates, such as the ‘great multitude’, have been saved because of their faith.
When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all. (1 Kor 15:28)
Indeed, Christ and the Saints have to rule the peoples with an iron sceptre. This continues until all nations are subjected to Christ’s power. Then the Son himself will be subjected to the power of God the Father. From these verses we can deduce a number of things: The kingdom that Christ takes control of is made up of different peoples, who are by no means all and immediately subordinate to his power. That is why he and the Saints must rule with the “iron sceptre”.
It may take a long time to complete subjugation, perhaps closer to a thousand years. The end of the Millennial kingdom comes when everything is subjected to the power of the Son, and the son himself returns the commandment he has received, to the Father. After a thousand years, Satan’s release and the last great war, will come, in which Satan and his human troops are destroyed. The last judgment is the conclusion of this era. The new Jerusalem descends on the Earth and everything is made anew (Rev 21:5).
However, some think there is a contradiction in Jesus’ description of the resurrected, and on the other hand in the description of life in paradise by Isaiah? If you do not get married, then there will be no children (the saints are like angels, they do not marry). Isaiah again proves how child mortality has been overcome and toddlers can play safely with snakes. The people of the Millennial kingdom are people on Earth who are gradually building a paradise during the thousand years. People live their lives, work, marry and have children and the elderly die. However, the lifespan is longer, and at the age of 100, the dead is regarded as young to die (Isa 65:20). However, death has not yet been overcome. This shows us that the inhabitants are not in God’s kingdom where everyone is immortal. Eternal life is achieved at the end of the millennium; In the last judgment, the “sheep” who receive a good judgment receive also eternal life, and the evil ones experience the second death, which is the eternal destruction from the presence of God.
The fact that people are still mortals also proves that they are not really in the kingdom of God. The reigning saints received the gift of eternal life in the resurrection, and the second death has no power over them in: Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him one thousand years. – The purpose of the first resurrection is to awaken the righteous believers to the leadership of Christ. In verse 20: 6 it is stated that they will be priests of God and of Christ. Governance does not seem to require knowledge of legislation, but true faith.
Satan is bound to wait a thousand years until he is released for a short time (Rev 20:7). Thus, humans have the opportunity to become righteous and be free from Satan’s plot and to have eternal life for themselves. This verse refers to the time when Christ and the saints have come, and the forces of Christ have defeated Satan’s forces and Satan himself is bound for a thousand years. Now, therefore, a thousand-year period begins, when Satan cannot deceive the nations.
Time of peace: Mic 4:2 And many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, and to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us from His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For the law shall go forth out of Zion, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.
3 And He shall judge between many peoples, and will decide for strong nations afar off. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, nor shall they learn war still.
4 But they shall each one sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and there shall be no trembling. For the mouth of Jehovah of hosts has spoken.
Isa 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the service of righteousness shall be quietness and hope forever.
18 My people shall abide in a peaceable habitation, and in safe dwellings, and in quiet resting-places.
Time of joy: Isaiah 61:7 Instead of your shame and disgrace, double. They rejoice in their portion; for they shall possess a second time in their land; everlasting joy shall be theirs. 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah. My soul shall be joyful in my God. For He clothed me with garments of salvation; He put on me the robe of righteousness, even as a bridegroom puts on his ornament, and as the bride is adorned with her jewels.
Paradise: Adam and Eve lived in a park created by God, which is translated into paradise, παράδεισος paradeisos. The best known Bible point where the word Paradise is used is, Luk 23:43: and Jesus said to him, “Verily I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” An alternative translation: “Verily I say to you today; you will be with me in Paradise.” – Jesus promised one of the two other crucified that he may see Jesus in Paradise. In the context of the Millennial kingdom, paradise may well mean a similar parkland where Adam and Eve lived. When the Millennium has been established, it is up to people to restore the Earth to paradise. In the context of the Millennial kingdom, paradise may well mean a similar park where Adam and Eve lived. When the Millennium has been established, it is up to people to restore the whole Earth to paradise.
Salvation in Jesus Christ: 1 Kor 15:21 For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man.
Some people believe that only God can bring salvation and redemption to mankind from the power of sin. However, in this Bible passage, the resurrection of the dead is revealed through a human. It is logical in the sense, that man at the end corrects what the first man broke – the relationship with God. The correction must be made by man, not God. Jesus is human in all respects.
15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
Adam and Eve gave death as heritance to the future mankind. Jesus Christ will make alive those who prove to be worthy in the last judgment.
23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s, at his coming.
24 Then the end comes, when he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have abolished all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
This verse implicitly states that Christ will rule for a long time before all enemies have been subjugated. It is obvious because the Millennial kingdom lasts a thousand years – or this is a figurative expression. I am inclined to believe this. Because Christ and the Saints have the power to rule with a rod of iron i.e. to use force, defeating resistance does not last a thousand years.
26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
27 For, “He put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when he says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that he is excepted who subjected all things to him.
28 When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.
After the Millennial kingdom
The last “administrative action” of Christ and the Saints, who are participants of the first resurrection, is the execution of God’s judgment. This judgment God has entrusted to his son, Jesus Christ, who has taken the saints to rule with him.
Satan’s last battle
– We know in advance that Satan will be released at the end of the millennium.
– Satan mobilizes a huge army. Even a thousand years have not made humanity totally loyal to God.
– Satan is called in KJV ”the prince of the power of the air”. The modern title could be “Commander of the Satanic air force”.
– The war is short; Satan’s troops surround the camp of the saints, but fire comes down from Heaven and consumes them.
– Satan is thrown into the lake of fire where the Antichrist and the False Prophet have been for a thousand years. They were sent in the lake of fire when Christ arrived and established his kingdom. This is important information; a thousand years in a fiery lake is a long time. However, it is nothing compared to eternity,
The participants of the first resurrection, i.e. the “saints,” reign with Christ. When they were raised from death and raptured up alive, but changed, they met Christ in the clouds. Paul says, speaking of them, that 1 Kor 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.
How do they change? The answer to this is staggering: First, they become spirit beings like angels. In the previous verse it was explained why this should happen: 15:50 Now I say this, brothers that flesh and blood can’t inherit the Kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. – The resurrected “inherit the kingdom of God”. They are rising into the kingdom of God to work under Christ.
There is another change, at least equally significant. Another vision of the future for us, the sons of God. It’s amazing. Many do not know anything about this, nor can they even imagine: They become like Christ. 1 Joh 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that, when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is.
What does it mean to become like Christ? 1 Joh 3:1 … children of God we may be called 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that, when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is.
The letter to the Romans described the pious expectation that the creation felt, largely without realizing what was missing: Rom 8:19 For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 or the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
Jesus calls believers his brothers. Heb 2:11 For both he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers – Paul explains what the believers are; 2 Kor 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. – Such resurrected saints are there to meet Christ. As members of the kingdom of God, they rule the world under Christ.
What does the Bible tell about Christ himself? According to Hebrews: Jesus, ”who has been made a little lower than the angels,” (2:9), but after being resurrected, Jesus Christ has been raised (1:4) ” ..having become so much better than the angels, as he has inherited a more excellent name than they have. – Christ is now much higher than the angels.
And what is the part of the resurrected saints? We read in 1 John 3:2 above:” we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is.”. – The saints will be like Christ, his brothers and a lot higher than the angels. Jesus is the firstborn among many brothers: Rom 8:29 ”For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”. – This great change is experienced by all those involved in the First Resurrection.
Christ is described in Revelation 1:14 in this manner: His head and his hair were white as white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire 15 and his feet like to fine brass, as in a furnace having been fired, and his voice as a sound of many waters, – When the Bible says that the saints will be like Christ, does it also mean that the saints become as described above?
The Saints receive eternal life in their resurrection. They will act as rulers and judges together with Christ. They can no longer sin, and they do not have to take part in the final judgment. They are God’s new fellow workers (1 Cor 3:9).
All those who are saved in the last judgment, will also become God’s co-workers. God will then have a great number of loyal fellow workers. What for will God use them? I don’t know, but we all know that there are billions of planets in the universe. I wonder if God is planning to continue the work begun on Earth for the whole universe?