At the end of the Great Tribulation, Christ will come and stand on the Mount of Olives and destroy all non-believers with the battle of Armageddon. Only believers in Jesus Christ will remain when He is seated on the Throne in the city of Jerusalem. This will usher in what is often called the Millennium, the thousand year reign of Christ upon the earth.
This was alluded to by Job in some of the oldest writings in the Bible.
Job 19:25-27: "For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; 26. And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, 27. Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another."
Job’s faith led him to know that his Redeemer would live and reign on the earth and that there would also be a bodily resurrection for the believer. The reign of Jesus Christ on this earth for a thousand years, also called the Kingdom Age, is still future.
Let’s look at the events just prior to the beginning of the Millennial Reign of Christ.
Revelation 20:1-4: "Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3. and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years."
God’s rule over the universe was challenged by Satan in eternity past. When sin entered the world in the Garden, God’s judgment of that sin invoked the sovereignty of God into human history. God is the ultimate Ruler of the universe even though He may work through His creatures. When Adam was created, he was given dominion over the earth, but when sin came in, man lost the right to rule the world.
Paul writes, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God."
There is a contrast between the kingdom in the present church age and the kingdom in the Millennium. The kingdom in the present age features "mysteries," revelations not given in the Old Testament but revealed in the New. The Millennial Kingdom is not a mystery. Scripture describes it as a glorious kingdom that all the earth will see. Christ will be the King of kings and the resurrected David will be His prince.
This Kingdom is a literal thousand-year reign where Christ will be the supreme political ruler, spiritual leader, and the object of worship.
In Psalm 2, where the rebellion of the nation against God is recorded, God said to His Son, "Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron;”
This will be an actual political rule with an absolute monarch who will immediately judge men’s sins.
In Isaiah 11, Jesus Christ, as a descendant of David, is described as bringing righteous judgment on the earth and punishing the wicked. Isaiah 11:4. "but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked."
This same chapter outlines the return of Israel from all over the earth to the Promised Land. The tranquillity that will exist between the animals and between man and the animals is also described here.
When Christ was born He came as a King. He was rejected as a King. When He was crucified He died as the King of the Jews. In His second advent He is described as King of Kings. Revelation 19:16. "And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."
In Genesis 14, Melchizedek is described as both a king and a priest and the reign of Jesus in the Millennium as King of Kings will complete the prophecy of Psalm 110:4. “The LORD has sworn And will not relent, "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek."
Christ will rule the earth as both a Priest and a King. He will rule the entire earth, far beyond the boundaries of any previous kingdom, fulfilling God's promise that man should rule the earth. Although the first Adam failed, Christ, as the Last Adam, will fulfill this goal. Daniel 7:14, the Son of Man "was given . . dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
Satan will be bound during the Millennium and unable to have any effect on the earth or mankind. The only source of evil in the world will be the sin nature of unsaved men.
Who will populate the world in the Millennium? There are four groups of people, three in their glorified bodies and one group in their natural bodies who will enter into the Millennium.
The three groups who enter in their glorified bodies will be the Old Testament believers, the Church, and the Tribulation believers who will have been martyred for their faith.
The believers who survive the Tribulation will enter in their natural bodies and will be able to procreate and repopulate the earth, especially the Jewish believers. Jeremiah 30:19-20.
Only the righteous, those who believe in Jesus as their Savior, will enter the Kingdom because the Lord will have judgd the nations putting the righteous (the sheep) on His right hand and giving them the Kingdom prepared before the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:33-34). The unrighteous (the goats) will be put on His left hand and condemned to the "everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:33, 41).
Those entering the Kingdom in their natural bodies who have any defect will be healed immediately and blessed with longevity since they will be free from illness. Many people will live to be over 1,000 years old. If someone dies at a hundred years of age, they will be considered still a child.
Children born to the righteous will have to accept the Lord as their own personal Savior just like their parents did; most of them will, but some won’t.
In the new social order in Israel and throughout the world, Jew and Gentile alike will build houses, plant fields and enjoy the increase of their labor without fear of anyone taking it from them.
Isaiah 65:19-25. “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying. 20. "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. 21. They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22. They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23. They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, And their offspring with them. 24. "It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear. 25. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent's food."
In contrast with the present church age where Jew and Gentile are on the same plane and have the same privileges, the people of Israel in the Millennium will inherit the Promised Land and be the special objects of God's favor. The Children of Israel will be re-gathered and restored to their ancient land and be subjects of the revived Davidic kingdom and will possess the land permanently and in its entirety.
Although the Gentiles will not have title to the Promised Land, they evidently will have all the rest of the world and will be abundantly blessed.
The glory of the kingdom both for Israel and for the Gentiles will exceed anything that the world has experienced before.
The political rule of Christ on the earth and the characteristics of His kingdom will provide an abundant spiritual life far above anything possible in any previous dispensation. This is due to the fact that Satan will be bound, sin will be judged, and knowledge of the Lord will be universal. According to Isaiah 11:9, "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."
Jeremiah wrote of a time when the New Covenant would bring many spiritual blessing to Israel. Jeremiah 31:33-34. "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
It will be a period of righteousness and universal peace. The spiritual conditions will make abundant joy and blessing possible for the people of God.
There is no evidence that the Holy Spirit of God will baptize believers into a spiritual unity like that of the church today, however, the Holy Spirit will be present in believers in the Millennium.
The millennial temple, as described in Ezekiel 40-46, will be the center of worship. The sacrifices offered there will differ somewhat from the Mosaic sacrifices but there is no reason not to accept both the temple and the sacrificial system as literal prophecy.
The death of Christ brought the Mosaic law and its system of sacrifices to an end. The sacrifices mentioned by Ezekiel seem to be of a memorial character, looking back to the cross while the Old Testament sacrifices looked forward to the cross.
The sacrificial system re-introduced seems to be a reminder of the one sacrifice by Christ which alone can take away sin. The Old Testament sacrifices anticipated the death of Christ, those in the Millennium would be a memorial of that death.
There will be full justice and all men will have equity in social and economic matters. The majority will know the Lord and the earth will no longer have a curse on its productivity. Isaiah 35:1-2. “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; 2. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing.”
Abundant rain will fall worldwide. Isaiah 30:23. “Then He will give the rain for your seed with which you sow the ground, and bread of the increase of the earth; It will be fat and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed in large pastures.”
In general, there will be prosperity, health, and physical and spiritual blessings in a way the world has never known.
There will be important geographical changes in the earth brought about by the catastrophes of the Great Tribulation as related to the second coming of Christ. A deep valley will extend east and west from Jerusalem from where the Mount of Olives now stands. Zechariah 14:4. "And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south."
Another unusual feature of the period is that Jerusalem will be elevated above the present area. Zechariah 14:10. "All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place;”
As a whole, the Promised Land will be the garden spot of the world, the center of God's kingdom on earth, and the place of great blessing. This will be the golden age, the climax of earth's history and the fulfillment of God's Son as the supreme ruler over the universe.
Revelation 20:7-10. "Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8. and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
In the final days of the Kingdom, Satan will be loosed from the bottomless pit for a little season and will try to overthrow the Lord's rule with the help of the unsaved, but God will destroy them all with fire out of Heaven and Satan will be confined eternally in the Lake of Fire.
The earth and heavens will be consumed by fire and the New Heaven and New Earth and the New Jerusalem, the dwelling place of the saved of all time, will appear (Revelation 21:1-4).
Revelation 20:11-15. “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
At the end of the thousand year reign of Christ, there comes a final chapter concerning man and this earth as we know it. The wicked (unsaved) dead of all time are raised at this time to face the Great White Throne Judgment where all verdicts are “guilty.”
Revelation 21:1. “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.”
The earth and heavens will be consumed by fire. 2 Peter 3:7. “But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
Revelation 21:2. “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
When the New Heaven and New Earth and the New Jerusalem appear, they will be the dwelling place of the saved and we will be with God for all eternity.
I want to remind you how you can escape the awful punishment God has in store for those who take His Word lightly and refuse or neglect (same thing) to accept His Son as their personal Savior. It is only obtained by simple faith in Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
God didn’t send His Son to condemn us, He sent Him to save us. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17)
If one stands before God condemned in his sins, it is because that person has condemned themselves by rejecting to “believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18)
Don’t risk it.
Accept God’s offer of salvation right now.
Heaven is forever, but...so is hell!