That there is to be a period of a 1000 years during which Satan shall be bound and Christ shall reign on this earth, is plainly stated in the New Testament. This period is mentioned 6 times in Rev. 20:1-7, and is generally called
from the Latin words "Mille" (1000) and "Annum" (year). It is to be regretted, however, that the word "Millennium" ever supplanted the Biblical word "Kingdom," for it is this period that Christ taught His Disciples to pray for in the petition--"Thy Kingdom Come."
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The Church versus the Kingdom
Let us drop then for the present the word "Millennium" and look at the word "Kingdom." In the Book of Daniel we learn that there were to be "Four World-wide Kingdoms" that were to succeed each other on the earth and that they were to be destroyed in turn by a Kingdom called the
As those "Four Kingdoms" were "literal" Kingdoms it follows that the "Stone Kingdom" must be a "literal" Kingdom, for it takes the place of those Kingdoms and "fills the whole earth." This "Stone Kingdom" is the "Millennial Kingdom of Christ."
The time when this "Stone Kingdom;" shall be set up is at the "Revelation of Christ," when He shall come with the "armies of Heaven" and destroy Antichrist (Rev. 19:11-21) and judge the Nations.
"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 (Sheep Nations) on His right hand, but the Goats (Goat Nations) 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." Matt. 25:31-34.
This Kingdom is an earthly, visible Kingdom, and is the "Millennial Kingdom" of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It will be a "Theocracy." God will rule in the person of the Lord Jesus, Christ.
There are 7 of God's "shalls" in this passage. Four of then have been fulfilled, for Mary did bring forth a "son," He was called "Jesus," He was "great," and was called the "Son of the Highest"; the other three must and will be fulfilled.
Daniel the Prophet describes the event.
Whether Christ shall sit in person on the Throne at Jerusalem, or whether He shall rule through another is not so clear. There are several passages of Scripture that seem to teach that King David will be raised and placed on the throne again, and that the Children of Israel will seek him, or it may mean that the new King shall be named David.
As the "Lord of Hosts" shall reign in Mt. Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients "gloriously" (Isa. 24:23), the inference is that King David will reign simply as "Regent," and will be called "King" or "Prince" as circumstances may require. It is very clear from Ezekiel that the "Prince," whoever he may be, is not perfect, and has to offer sacrifices for himself. Ezek. 45:22.
We have a hint of the manner of government in the Parable of the Pounds. That Parable was spoken to show what Jesus will do to His servants (the Jews) when He shall have "received the Kingdom and returned." The man whose Pound shall have gained "Ten Pounds" will be rewarded by being placed in authority over "ten cities." The man whose Pound shall have gained "Five Pounds" will have authority over "five cities." The man who failed to use his Pound is simply deprived of it and loses all opportunity of authority. Luke 19:11-26.
The promise that Jesus made to His Disciples that
in all probability does not refer to the "Millennial Age," but to the "Perfect Age," the "Age" that is to follow the renovation of the Earth by fire. The use of the word "regeneration" suggests this, as it refers to the time when the present earth is to be "re-created" and made "new." It has occurred to the writer that we have not as yet the proper perspective as to all the Old Testament prophecies, and that we are putting in the "Millennial Age" some things that belong to the "Perfect Age." The one just mentioned for example.
Some object to the "visible reign" of King David, or the Disciples on the earth during the Millennium because it involves the anomaly of intercourse between men in the flesh and those who are clad in resurrected and glorified bodies. But why should this be an objection? Did not Jesus appear "eleven" times "after His resurrection," during a period of "forty days," to His disciples? Did He not "eat" and "drink" with them during that period? Did they not "walk" with Him to the Mount of Olives and see Him go up in that Same Resurrection Body? Did not angels appear in human form and "eat" and "drink" with men in Old Testament times? Gen. 18:1-8.
We must not forget that they who shall be accounted worthy to obtain "That Age," and the "Resurrection From Among the Dead," shall be "Angel like" (Luke 20:35, 36), and like the angels can mingle with earth's inhabitants, having visible bodily forms, can eat
and drink, and there is probably more truth than poetry in the Prophet's utterance that in those days,
This can be said of only those who have been "Raised in Power." 1. Cor. 15:42, 43.
The Seat of Government will be at Jerusalem. Jerusalem is to be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the "Times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Luke 21:24. Then it will be rebuilt. The Prophet Ezekiel gives us a detailed description of the restored Land and City in Ezek. 48:1-35. See Chart of the Millennial Land.
The "Royal Grant" of land that God gave to Abraham and his descendants extended from the "River of Egypt" unto the "Great River," the river Euphrates. Gen. 15:18. Ezekiel fixes the Northern boundary at Hamath, about 100 miles north of Damascus (Ezek. 48:1), and the Southern boundary at Kadesh, about 100 miles south of Jerusalem. Ezek. 48:28. This "Royal Grant" was not conditional and was never revoked. It is 8 times as large as that formerly occupied by the Twelve Tribes. See Map of the ''Royal Grant'' to Abraham.
This "Royal Grant" is to be divided among the restored Twelve Tribes in parallel horizontal sections, beginning at Hamath on the North with a section for Dan, next comes Asher, then Naphtali, Manassah, Ephraim, Reuben, Judah. Then comes the
a square tract on the west of Jordan, 25,000 reeds, or 50 miles on a side. A "Reed," according to Ezek. 40:5, is 6 cubits long, the cubit being an ordinary cubit 18 inches long plus a hand-breadth, 3 inches, making the "reed cubit" 21 inches. Six of such cubits make the "reed" 10½ feet long. South of the "Holy Oblation" will be the Tribes of Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulon and Gad.
The "Holy Oblation" is divided into three horizontal sections. The Northern section is 25,000 reeds long, from East to West, and 10,000 reeds wide. It is called the "Levites' Portion." South of it is the "Priests' Portions" of equal size. South of the "Priests' Portion" is the section for the "City" with, its suburbs and farming sections. This section is 25,000 reeds long, from East to West, and 5000 reeds wide. Ezek. 48:15-19.
In the centre of this section the City (Jerusalem) is located. This helps us to map out the whole of the "Holy Oblation," as the "New City" is to be located on the site of the Old. The "New City," however, is to be much larger than the Old. It is to be 9 miles square, and with its suburbs, ½ mile on a side, 10 miles square. It will have a wall around it with 3 gates on each side like the New Jerusalem (Ezek. 48:15-18, 30-35), these gates being named after the 12 sons of Jacob.
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The Millennial Land
The "Temple," or "Sanctuary," will not be rebuilt in the "New City," but in the "midst" or middle of the "Holy Oblation." Ezek. 48:10, 20, 21. This will locate it at or near Shiloh, where the Tabernacle rested after the Children of Israel conquered the Land, and where it remained until the Temple of Solomon was finished. A "Highway" shall lead from the "Sanctuary" to the "New City." Isa. 35:8. It will be a magnificent boulevard, 12 miles long, lined with beautiful shade trees.
The "New Temple" or "Sanctuary" will occupy a space of 500 reeds on a side, or nearly a mile square. Ezek. 42:15-20. The old Temple was not a mile in circuit.
The Prophet Zechariah tells us (Zech. 14:8), that in "That Day" (the Millennial Day)
But those "Living Waters" will not have their "source" in Jerusalem. The life-giving spring from which they flow will be located under the "Sanctuary." Ezekiel tells us how he saw in vision the "New Temple" or "Sanctuary" and how the Lord took him to the eastern door of the "House" or "Sanctuary," where he saw the waters come forth from under the Threshold of the door, and flow past the "Altar of Burnt Offering" on the south side eastward until the stream was deep enough to swim in.
The size of the "New City," the location of the "New Sanctuary" and the elevation of the Dead Sea, which is now 1200 feet below the level of the Mediterranean Sea, call for great physical changes in the land surface of Palestine. How are these changes to come about?
When Christ comes back it will be to the Mount of Olives from whence He went up. Acts 1:9-12. The Prophet Zechariah describes what will then happen.
These great changes will probably be brought about by Earthquakes or volcanic action.
These great physical changes will level the land surface of Palestine, and make room for the "New City," and raise the Dead Sea, so its waters can flow into both the Red and Mediterranean Seas. Ezekiel tells us that the name of Jerusalem in that day shall be "Jehovah-Shammah," the Lord Is There. Ezek. 48:35.
As we have seen the Temple or Sanctuary will be located in the centre of the "Holy Oblation." A full description of the Temple and its courts is given in Ezek. 40:1; 44:31. No such building as Ezekiel so minutely describes has ever yet been built, and so the prophecy cannot refer to either Zerubbabel's or Herod's Temple, and as there is to be no Temple in the New Jerusalem, it must be a description of the Temple that is to be on the earth during the Millennium. That it does not belong to the New Earth is also clear, for the land in which it is located is bounded by the Sea, and the waters that flow from it, flow "into the Sea," but in the New Earth there is "no more sea." Rev. 21:1. This is still further confirmed by the Prophet's mention of the "desert," the "River Jordan," the "Mediterranean Sea," and other localities that will not be found on the New Earth after its renovation by fire.
The "Aaronic Priesthood" will be re-established, and the sons of Zadok shall officiate and offer sacrifices. Ezek. 44:15-31. The New Temple, however, will lack many things that were the features of the old Temple. There will be no "Ark of the Covenant," no "Pot of Manna," no "Aaron's Rod" to bud, no "Tables of the Law," no "Cherubim," no "Mercy Seat," no "Golden Candlestick," no "Shew Bread," no "Altar of Incense," no "Veil," no unapproachable "Holy of Holies" where the High Priest alone might enter, nor is there any "High Priest" to offer atonement for sin, or to make intercession for the people, unless a rather obscure passage in Zech. 6:12, 13 means that Christ (The Branch, Jer. 23:5, 6) shall be a "King-Priest," and perform the duties of High Priest conjointly with His Kingly office.
While the Levites as a class shall perform Temple service they shall be barred from Priestly duties for their past sins. Ezek. 44:10-14. There shall be a daily "morning" sacrifice, but no evening sacrifice. Ezek. 46:13-15. The offerings will be the "Burnt," the "Meat," the "Drink," the "Sin," the "Peace" (Ezek. 45:17), and the "Trespass" offering. Ezek. 42:13. Two Feasts are to be observed, "The Passover," but no Passover Lamb will be offered as Jesus fulfilled that Type (Ezek. 45:21-24), and the "Feast of Tabernacles," Zech. 14:16-19. This Feast is to be observed by all the nations under penalty of "Drought" or "Plague."
The "Feast of Pentecost" will be done away with on account of its fulfillment. The "Day of Pentecost," recorded in Acts 2:1-4, was
only a partial fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel 2:28-32. No such wonders in the heavens and the earth as "blood," and "fire" and "pillars of smoke," the "Sun turned to darkness," and the "Moon into blood," occurred at Pentecost. But all those things will happen before "The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord."
The conversion of the Jewish Nation will be sealed with a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Whether this shall be universal, or only upon Israel is not clear. The original prophecy in Joel was given to Israel, and its partial fulfillment at Pentecost seems to have been limited to them. The knowledge of the Lord, however, will be world-wide, and "it shall come to pass that ten men of all languages and nations shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you." Zech. 8:22, 23. There will be one "universal religion" in that day. Malachi 1:11. The "Shekinah Glory" that departed from the Temple at the time of the Babylonian Captivity (Ezek. 10:18-20; 11:22, 23), will again take up its residence in the "New Temple." Ezek. 43:1-5.
(1.) Satan Bound. Rev. 20:1-3.
That man may be "without excuse" God is going to subject him to a final test under the most favorable circumstances. Man has charged his fall and continuance in sin to Satan. "Take him away," he cries, "paralyze his power; cripple his malignant activity; bind and imprison him and deliver us from his dominating influence, and then you will see that man is radically good and virtuous and is simply the victim of an unfavorable environment."
God answers it shall be done. Satan shall be bound and imprisoned so that he can no longer deceive men, and lest man shall say that sinful habits are too deeply rooted to be soon eradicated the test shall last for a Thousand Years, and man shall have during that period of probation all the blessed influences of the Holy Spirit and the presence of Christ Himself.
Man has never known and therefore cannot conceive what this world would be like free from Satanic influence. It would certainly be a marvelously different world. There would be no one to stir up hate and passion, and engender strife and turmoil. True, man would still have an evil heart of unbelief to contend against, but it would be like a magazine of gunpowder without a spark to ignite it. That the evil heart of man has not been eradicated will be evident when at the close of the Millennium Satan is loosed and finds no difficulty in deceiving the nations. Rev. 20:8.
During the Millennium the "Prince of the Powers of the Air" will be "dethroned" and the "Prince of Peace" "enthroned." When the "Great Red Dragon" (Satan) is cast out of the Heavenlies there will be cast out with him all the "Principalities and Powers" and "Age Rulers of Darkness" (Eph. 6:12), and the Heavens which now are "not clean" in His sight (Job. 15:15), will be "cleansed" of all Evil Powers.
There will be no universal peace until the Lord comes back. Then the nations will beat their swords into "plow-shares" and their spears
into "pruning-hooks" (Mich. 4:3, 4), and shall be no longer impoverished by the enormous tax on their revenues for the support of armies and navies and the building of "Dreadnoughts." Then ships of war and armorclad vessels will rust and rot in the navy yards and guns and cannon will be recast into implements of agriculture. The great armies of earth will be disbanded, and in the pursuits of peace and the tilling of the soil, the depleted treasuries of the world will be replenished. There will be little if any political graft. Corporations and combines will not be run in restraint of trade, and there will be no entailed estates if the law of the "Year of Jubilee" is re-established. Lev. 25:8-17. Num. 36:4.
(2.) The Revival of the Land of Palestine.
The Land of Palestine when it was first occupied by the Children of Israel under Joshua, was a land of "milk" and "honey" and of "all manner of fruits," and its soil brought forth "abundantly," and this continued as long as the Children of Israel kept its Sabbaths. But God had warned them that if they did not obey Him and turned aside to worship other Gods He would shut up the heavens and the harvests would fail. Deut. 11:13-17. Palestine today has the same fertile soil it had in Joshua's time, but it lacks rain and irrigation. God has withheld the "early" and "latter" rain, but they are now becoming more frequent and copious. The "early" rain falls in October and November, and prepares the land for ploughing and sowing; the "latter" rain falls in April and May and insures a good crop.
In the Millennium the Land of Palestine will be restored to its former fertility. This will be aided not only by the rains, but by numerous rivers and streams that shall flow from the "New River" that shall have its source in the Sanctuary.
The "mountains dropping new wine," and the "hills flowing with milk," are figures of speech declaring that the mountain sides will be covered with vineyards from which an abundance of wine shall be obtained, and that the pasture lands will be so productive that they will sustain vast herds of milk cattle.
The harvests will be so great and abundant that the ploughman will "overtake the reaper," and the treader of grapes him that "soweth seed." Amos 9:13.
"Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." Isa. 55:13.
"Then shall the earth yield her increase." Psa. 67:6.
"And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats 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 p. 190 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 (the Jews) shall never be ashamed."' Joel 2:24-26.
(3.) There Will Be Changes in the Animal Kingdom.
We cannot spiritualize these words. This was the character of these animals in Eden before the Fall, and in the Ark. The ferocity of the brute creation is the outcome of the "Fall of Man." While the context seems to imply that this change in the brute creation has reference to the "Millennial Earth," where it may be partially true, yet the fact that the Edenic condition of the earth is not to be restored until the appearance of the New Earth may postpone the fulfillment of this prophecy until then.
The Apostle Paul says--
That is, until the human race is redeemed from the results of the "Fall, and fitted to occupy the New Earth, Creation must wait for its restoration to 'Edenic conditions'."
(4.) Human Life Will Be Prolonged.
That is, a person dying 100 years old shall be considered only a child. Therefore a man, to be called a man, must live for several hundred years.
"Thus saith the Lord of Hosts: There shall yet Old Men and Old Women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand For Very Age." Zech. 8:4.
Patriarchal Years will be restored, and men shall live as long as they did before the Flood. This may be due to some climatic or atmospheric change, or to the healing or life-giving qualities of the water of the "New River" that shall flow from the "Sanctuary," and the leaves of the trees that line the banks of the River, which shall be for "Medicine." Ezek. 47:12.
(5.) There Will Be a Sevenfold Increase of Light.
The "atmosphere" of the Millennial Earth will be of such a character as to make moonlight nights as bright as day, and the days seven times as bright.
This may refer to that part of the Holy Land that shall be illuminated by the "Shekinah Glory," where it will make no difference whether the sun shines or not. It will have its complete fulfillment when the nations of the New Earth shall walk in the Light of the New Jerusalem. Rev. 21:23-24.
Israel's Mission during the "Millennial Age" will be that of "blessing" to the Gentile nations. Of the nation of Israel, that has never as yet been a leading nation. God says--
The nations today are a "Headless" body. There is no "Chief Nation" today. In that day Israel shall be the "Chief Nation," and the nation that will not serve her shall perish. Isa. 60:12.
But those nations will only be kept in subjection by the "Iron Rule" of Christ. This is brought out in the "Messianic Psalm," Psa. 2:6-9. It is very clear that during the "Millennial Age" the "will of God" will not be done on earth as it is done in heaven. The peace among the nations will be more superficial than real. It will only be feigned obedience, more the result of fear than of love. As the "afternoon" of that long "Millennial Day" draws to a close the shadows deepen.