The subject of the end times, especially the study of the millennium, requires a great deal of study. There are many highly respected theologians that have written on the time and details of the Kingdom Age, also known as the millennium, and the millennial reign of Christ. Most of the authors that I have chosen for research purposes, have been found to be very knowledgeable of eschatology (end times study), and are “in sync” with their conclusions. However, I have found some differences in their findings, such as those that I have found in their research of the millennium; but, those differences are minor, as they fit into the overall subject of the end times. This article on, “Consider The Journey-Another Millennium Perspective,” will provide a point of view on the millennium, in which I find total agreement. It is a view that is sound, and is supported by the research of such highly respected theologians as, Charles C. Ryrie, Ph.D., Paul David Freed, Ph.D., Dwight J. Pentecost, Th.D., and John F. Walvoord, Th.D., all of Dallas Theological Seminary. It is through the end times expertise of the aforementioned scholars that I have been able to write, with great confidence, this article on such a challenging element of eschatology. By the way, you will come to see that the song, “Beulah Land,” actually relates to the eternal “heavenly state” of the “new heaven, new earth and new Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:1-2). The millennium, however, which relates to a time of “earthly” existence, covers a time period of only “one thousand years.” A credible source document that I have used, more than any other, in the preparation of this article is, “Things To Come, 1958, J.Dwight Pentecost, Th.D., forward by John W. Walvoord, Th.D.; both of Dallas Theological Seminary.)” “Things To Come” is a book that everyone should also consider for a study on the subject of the end times; Chapter XXXI offers great insight into the study of the millennium.
The millennium is one of the key parts of “The Day Of The Lord.” “The Day Of The Lord,” which is the major theme of the prophetic book of Joel, involves God’s special intervention in the affairs of human history. Included events are God’s intervention in the affairs of Israel (Ryrie Study Bible, Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th.D., Ph. D.)…. Israel will praise the Lord during the Millennium. The Day Of The Lord is a time that God may judge or bless. It is a time that will begin with the seven-year tribulation, which could be called the “judgment phase,” and will continue throughout the entire thousand-year reign of Christ, which could be called the “blessing phase.” The Day Of The Lord will stretch all the way from the rapture to the end of the millennium. It will commence with a time of wrath and judgment on a wicked and Christ-rejecting world, and will culminate in a time of peace and prosperity in which Christ will be in the midst of the earth, and bring blessing to the nation of Israel. The millennium will end with judgment (Rev 20:9-15) (John Walvoord, commentary, 1&2 Thessalonians).
The Day of the Lord is a period of time in which God will deal with wicked men directly and dramatically in fearful judgment. In 1 Thessalonians 5, the Day of the Lord is used in the sense of an extended period of time. The Day of the Lord, according to the Old Testament, is a time of God’s judgment and a time of God’s dealing with the world in its sin. The Day of the Lord is also a time of deliverance and blessing for Israel. The millennium—the whole kingdom reign of Christ on earth—in which Christ personally directs the government of the world, is also included in the Day of the Lord. Paul is telling the Thessalonians that the Day of the Lord is going to come, and this follows immediately the passage which dealt with the coming of Christ for His church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) (John Walvoord, Commentary, 1 & 2 Thessalonians).
Here is the order of events of the Day Of The Lord: “Rapture Of The Church By Christ. Tribulation. Second Coming Of Christ. Millennium.” Following the events of the Millennium will be the destruction of our world (1 Peter 3:10), and the gift of God to those whom have been born again, which will be the eternal state,” of the new heaven, new earth and new Jerusalem (Rev 21:1-2). Notice that “the earthly Jerusalem,” and the remainder of our present world will be destroyed prior to the appearance of the “new heaven, new earth and new Jerusalem.”
It is important to know that the “Kingdom Age, the earthly millennium, the rule and reign of Christ,” is the same one thousand-year period that immediately follows the tribulation and second coming of Christ, where He sets foot on the earth, for the purposes of judgment of sin, and the establishment of the Kingdom Age. The rapture precedes the tribulation, and is the event where Christ comes in the air to catch up His deceased and living saints of the church age. During the time of the millennium, the Old Testament saints, the church-age saints, and the tribulation saints, all of whom will have immortal, resurrection bodies, will reside in the heavenly Jerusalem of the eternal state (Rev 21:1-2); they will continue residing there throughout eternity, but will have access to the earth.
The new Jerusalem, “the heavenly Jerusalem,” will come down out of heaven by God and will be the abode of all of the saints (Heb 12:22-24); it is the place that Christ is preparing for His people (John 14:2). During the millennium, the New Jerusalem will be suspended over the earth; it will be the dwelling place of all believers during eternity, as is emphasized in Rev 21:1-8 (Ryrie Study Bible note, Rev 21:2). Those residents of the heavenly, New Jerusalem, will rule and reign with Christ during the time of the earthly millennium (Jews, Matt 19:28, and Gentiles, Rev 20:4-6). They will be able to go to and from the heavenly earth, to the earth of the millennium, as they reign with Christ.
Born again, living and deceased, believers of the church age will reside in the eternal state throughout the duration of the millennium, due to their having immortal bodies (resurrected, and changed bodies), given to them at the time of the rapture of the church (1 Cor 15:50-54). Those, whom will be born again during the tribulation, will be allowed to enter the millennium at the end of the tribulation, Jews (Matt 24:40-41) and Gentiles (Matt 25:34-40); they will enter without having immortal resurrection bodies. These tribulation saints were unbelievers at the time of the rapture of the church, and were left behind to endure the tyranny of the anti-christ and the judgments of God. By entering the millennium in mortal bodies, these tribulation saints will bear children, whom will also have to come to saving faith in Christ, and be born again, in order for them to enter the eternal state. All born again mortal people in the tribulation will be given immortal bodies, and will be allowed to enter the eternal state (Rev 21:1-2). Children whom are born during the millennium, but never come to saving faith in Christ, never having been being born again, “will not” enter the eternal state (Rev 21:1-2), but will find their eternity in the Lake Of Fire (Rev 20:7-15).
Consider a heavenly city, the Heavenly Jerusalem. Hebrews 11:10, 11:16, 12:22-24, Galatians 4:26, Revelation 3:12, 21:2, 21:10. The Heavenly Jerusalem will be the destination for all raptured and resurrected saints at the time of the second coming of Christ. The raptured living saints are those in John 14:1-6, 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15, 17-18. The resurrected saints are (1) all Old Testament resurrected saints (Daniel 12:1-2), (2) New Testament resurrected deceased saints (1 Corinthians 15:50-52, and 1 Thessalonians 4:16), (3) tribulation martyred, deceased and resurrected saints (Revelation 20:4); they will occupy the heavenly Jerusalem “during the millennium.” These saints will have access to the “earthly Jerusalem” during the millennium, where they will rule and reign with Christ. Resurrected Jews will rule over the Kingdom Age Jews (Matthew 19:28). Resurrected Gentiles will rule over Kingdom Age Gentiles (Revelation 20:6). Left-behind saved Jews will occupy the land that was promised to Abraham. Left-behind saved Gentiles will be able to travel through the land of Israel (Genesis 15:18-20), but will reside outside of those boundaries (Zechariah 8:20-23, 14:9-21). Unfallen angels will also occupy the heavenly Jerusalem “during the millennium,” and will have access to the “earthly Jerusalem” during the millennium.
Consider a place that Christ has prepared for the raptured and resurrected believers in Christ (John 14:2), and for all saints of all times. At the time of the rapture of the church (catching up of the saints), those saints will be taken by Christ to the Presence of God in the third heaven (2 Corinthians 5:10), where they will receive heavenly rewards. Next, they will accompany Christ to the Marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-8). Then, Christ and His bride (the born again believers in Christ), will descend from heaven to earth for the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-20); Christ wins this spiritual battle (Revelation 19:15,21). After the victory, all of the raptured and resurrected saints will meet at the Marriage Supper (Rev 19:9) during the millennium, in the heavenly new earth. Only born again people will enter the earthly kingdom, but sin will develop and flourish. This is because of those whom will be born during the Kingdom Age, but will not be born again. There will be death on earth during the earthly Kingdom Age (Isaiah 65:20). However there will be no death in the heavenly eternal state (Revelation 21:4), neither during the time of the millennium, nor during eternity.
Consider the tribulation Jews and Gentiles that are allowed to go into the Kingdom Age on earth. They will have been born again, but will enter the Kingdom Age in mortal bodies; therefore, they will be able to have children. The children that will be born during the Kingdom age will be born with a need to be born again, and will be given instruction by Christ (Isaiah 2:3). Not all of these people will come to faith in Christ during the millennium; they will be a part of an attack on those whom will have come to faith in Christ, at the millennial age Battle of Gog and Magog (Revelation 20:7-9). Those whom will come to saving faith in Christ, will be given immortal bodies, and will be allowed to enter the eternal state of the New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-2, 7, 8).
Consider a place that has been prepared by God for those Jews (Matthew 24:39-41), and Gentiles (Matthew 25:34), whom will miss the rapture and will be born again during the tribulation. Those whom will be born again (John 3:3) and come to saving faith in Christ during the tribulation, will be allowed to enter the Kingdom Age on earth during the millennium. But, because these left-behind Gentiles and Jews will not have been raptured or resurrected, they will not initially be allowed to enter the eternal state of the New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-2). However, because these tribulation saints had been born again, they will be given immortal bodies so that they can enter the eternal state.
Consider a look into the eternal state (Ryrie Study Bible notes).
Rev 21:1. A new heaven and a new earth. The present creation will be destroyed so that it may be cleansed from all the effects of sin (2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12).
Rev 21:3-4. People will enjoy a new intimacy with God, and the elimination of those sorrows that sin brings.
Rev 21:8. Those, whose lives can be characterized in these ways will be cast into the lake of fire because they have shown themselves to be unbelievers.
Rev 21:11. The city will shine with the Glory of God, which will allow that Glory to shine brilliantly.
Rev 21:12-14. Though both Jewish saints and Christian saints will inhabit the city, the names of the twelve tribes and the twelve apostles are a witness to their continued distinction.
Let’s not forget the unfallen angels, and their importance in the return of Christ and His bride at the time of the Battle of Armageddon, which has also been called the campaign of Armageddon.
Matthew 24:29-31 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Glorious Return
29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and 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, and 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. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
24:31 from one end of heaven to the other. All the “elect” from heaven and earth are gathered and assembled before Christ. This is the culmination of world history, ushering in the millennial reign of Christ (cf. Rev. 20:4). (MacArthur Study Bible note).
My note. Angels will be sent throughout the world to gather the elect (Jews, Deuteronomy 14:2). These will be Jews of the tribulation. They will be taken to the Presence of Christ (Matt 24:29-31). One will be left behind to enter the millennial kingdom. One will be taken in judgment (Matt 24:40-41). Initially, those whom are taken, face death (Luke 17:37). At the end of the millennium they will be raised to go before the great white throne judgment (Rev 20:10-15).
Notice that the tribulation precedes the second coming of Christ and the millennium. Notice, also, that the event of Matt 24:40-41 is not the rapture of the church.
As I close this article, I would like for you to consider the events which will lead up to the millennium. The following video will show an assortment of events which are very close to those which God’s Word tells about the tribulation and great tribulation. Consider the Words of Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Matthew 24:21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
The great tribulation will be the last half of the seven years of tribulation, which will take place after the rapture of the church takes place. Conditions on earth will become increasingly more severe. Millions of people will be missing. No one whom is left on earth will be a born again believer in Christ. Liberal theologians will be interviewed on CNN, MSNBC, and other such networks, explaining that global warming, or alien abductions, are the cause of all of the people being missing. Disorder will be the order of the day. Chaos and violence will sweep the earth. A new world order of, “one world government – one world leader,” will be established. Cosmic disturbances, of all sorts, will erupt and make the flood of Noah’s time look like a day at the beach (Gen 7:10-24). The entire world will attack Israel. Of the soldiers that will be involved in the attack on God’s Holy land, none will have a relationship with Christ. So, what is my advice for those of whom have no relationship with Christ? The answer is found in John 3:3, “you must be born again; and in John 3:16,”you must believe in Christ as your Lord and Savior,” otherwise, you will face God’s judgments which will fall on everyone whom is left on the earth (Rev 3:10). Born again believers in Christ, little children, and those whom are unable to make a decision to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior, will be removed from the earth prior to the events of the tribulation taking place, and will begin a time of presence and intimacy with God, that will last throughout all eternity.
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