TEXT: Revelation 20:1-6; Isaiah 11:6-10; 65:25; Zechariah 14:9-20
God’s word teaches that Jesus Christ will come to reign literally on earth for a thousand years. This will happen when He returns to the earth with ten thousands of His saints. At this time, He will judge the nations that dwell upon the face of the earth (Jude 14,15; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10). At the commencement of this reign, Christ will bind the devil and cast him into the bottomless pit till the expiration of His rule (Revelation 20:2,3). Devoid of sin and Satan’s influence, Christ’s millennial reign will be
characterized by peace and blessing (Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:25; Hosea 2:18; Zechariah 14:9-20; Isaiah 2:2-4).
The word ‘millennium’ is a compound derivative from Latin which simply translates into a thousand years. Thus, Christ’s millennial reign is a thousand years of the full manifestation of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is sequel to the Great Tribulation period which is a period of intense suffering for everyone on earth.
PLACE OF CHRIST’S MILLENNIAL REIGN ON GOD’S TIME-TABLE (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 24:21,22;
Jude 14; Revelation 19:15-21; 20:1-3; 11:15)
According to God’s revealed time-table, the Church will suddenly be taken away by Christ in a mysterious event known as the rapture. Then, a seven-year period of great suffering for sinners and careless Christians left behind will follow. This is called the Great Tribulation. At the end of the seven-year period, Jesus will come again with the Church to establish His government (Jude 14).
The government of the Antichrist in the world at that timewill resist His coming in an attempt to foil His predicted reign. But the Lord will overcome the armies of the Antichrist at the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:15- 21). In that conquest, He will bind Satan and imprison him for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3). The kingdom of this world will, then, become the kingdom of our God and His Christ (Revelation 11:15).
DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST THEOCRATIC RULE: (Isaiah 9:6,7; Psalm 45:4; Isaiah 11:4; Psalm 72:4; Isaiah 2:3,4;
33:21,22; 42:4; Acts 3:22; 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Isaiah 11:10; Revelation 20:1-6; Matthew 19:28; Ephesians 5:25-27)
Christ’s millennial reign will be a time when the purposes of God will be fully realized on earth. Theocracy which is government of the state under the firm control and direction of God will be established by Jesus. He, as the divine representative of God, will at that time speak and act for God. “For …unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name
shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6,7). He will be given a universal and glorious dominion with absolute power to govern (Isaiah 9:6; Psalm 45:4; Isaiah 11:4; Psalm 72:4). It will be the responsibility of Christ at that time to announce God’s will and law (Isaiah 2:3,4; 33:21,22; 42:4; Acts 3:22).
Christ’s millennial reign will be a manifestation of the promise God gave David, that his throne shall have no end. Christ, as David’s “son”, will thus establish a glorious house and throne over an equally glorious kingdom (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Isaiah 11:10). Divine mercy, goodness and truth will be displayed through Christ even as the glory associated with His deity, omniscience, omnipotence and righteousness will be fully made manifest. The Gentile world system (humanity without Christ) as it is at present, organized under the direct influence of Satan, will thus become an outmoded system. In its stead comes Christ’s millennial reign, void of sin and all forms of unrighteousness. Satan, having been defeated and bound, will lack the power to induce people to sin (Revelation 20:1- 6; Matthew 19:28; Ephesians 5:25-27).
BLESSEDNESS OF CHRIST’S MILLENNIAL REIGN (Isaiah 2:4; 9:3-7; Jeremiah 30:17,18,19; Ezekiel 43:7-12; Isaiah 24:23; 60:1-9; 12:1-2; 9:7; 42:1-4; 11:1-2,6-9; 41:19,20; 65:25; 33:24; Ezekiel 34:16; Joel 3:16,17; Amos 9:15; Isaiah 14:3-6; Zechariah 9:11,12)
The millennium will be the period of the full manifestation of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. His reign will be very uniquely novel in different ways. One, it will be a period of unprecedented individual and national peace. There will be a complete cessation of the scourge of wars, as the kingdoms of the world will be fused together under the reign of Christ. The ensuing peace will herald an era of economic boom and prosperity. The beauty of this age is that hitherto antagonistic and irreconcilable foes will henceforth co- habit peacefully. Two, there will be joy unspeakable. The main reason for this is that Satan who had hitherto oppressed men will have been bound (Isaiah 9:3,4; Jeremiah 30:18,19).
Three, there will be holiness as the King is the Source of righteousness. Holiness will be manifested through the King and His subjects (Ezekiel 43:7-12; Isaiah 1:26,27). Four, Christ’s reign will be a glorious one. “Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously” (Isaiah 24:23; 60:1-9). Five, it will be a time of divine mercy and comfort for God’s people. The King will personally minister to every need so that there will be fullness of comfort (Isaiah 12:1,2; Jeremiah 33:23- 25). Six, Christ will dispense justice during His millennial reign (Isaiah 9:7; 11:5; 42:1-4). Seven, citizens of the millennial kingdom will have full knowledge of God that Christ will teach them (Isaiah 11:1-2,9; 41:19,20; 54:13; Habakkuk 2:14).
Eight, the original curse placed upon creation will be removed so that there will be abundant productivity of the earth (Genesis 3:17-19; Isaiah 11:6-9; 35:9; 65:25). Animals will also have their nature changed so as to lose their venom and ferocity. Nine, sickness will be removed and become a thing of the past (Isaiah 33:24; Jeremiah 30:17; Ezekiel 34:16). And healing will be naturally available to the deformed (Isaiah 29:17-19). Ten, there shall be preservation of life (Isaiah 41:8-14; 62:8,9; Jeremiah
32:27; Ezekiel 34:27; Joel 3:16,17; Amos 9:15; Zechariah 14:10,11) and complete freedom from all forms of oppression that at present ravage mankind (Isaiah 14:3-6; 42:6,7; 49:8,9; Zechariah 9:11,12).
SUBJECTS OF CHRIST’S MILLENNIAL KINGDOM: (Ephesians 5:25-27; Revelation 17:1-7; Matthew 5:3; Hebrews 9:28; Matthew 25:34)
Christ will reign as King over His subjects through one thousand years. The Scripture describes the subjects who will witness it. These include, one, the glorious Church composed of all redeemed and righteous souls from all over the world who shall have gone with Christ at rapture (Ephesians 5:25-27). They will be returning to earth with Him to reign. The apostate church that is married to the world will be excluded (Revelation 17:1-7). Two, the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3) will be there. These are people who recognize and admit their state of spiritual poverty on earth without assurance of salvation and are willing to turn away from sin and surrender to Christ. And three, the watchful and prayerful will be accounted worthy of participating in the glorious kingdom of Christ (Hebrews 9:28; Matthew 25:34). So, to reign with Him, you must first be saved from sin, live a righteous life in spite of persecution and the reverses of life, abide in Christ and serve Him till the end.