This is a question that is often on the forefront of someone’s mind when the millennial reign is mentioned. It’s quite interesting to see and read so many controversial opinions regarding this topic. Some of the comments mentioned point out there is no thousand year reign since it was not mentioned in the Old Testament. Yes, this is true it is not noted in the Old Testament but this does not mean there is no such event or occurrence. I pray upon reading some of these correlations you will have a greater understanding of God’s word and plan. Let’s begin by diving into the scriptures.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 KJV
Upon reading the last scripture one might think we will fly up to the clouds and be with the Lord Jesus forever in the clouds. It’s a nice thought but the earth was created for us to live in and dwell. And although the earth as we know it now will end it will not be destroyed like it was during the flood. This was a promise God made to us and the rainbow is the sign for us to remember.
* The Promise *
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. Genesis 9:13 KJV
And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. Genesis 9:16 KJV
So we can have confidence the earth will not be destroyed BUT it will change in the way it is governed or run. The new leadership are leaders who are under the direction of Jesus the king. The Bible refers to the leaders of the earth as “kings”.
Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. Psalm 89:27 KJV
Upon Jesus returning the devil will not be roaming around trying to deceive people while the King is here. Now, if you can imagine a kingdom I will pose this question for you. Would a king run his kingdom by himself or will he have faithful and loyal servants to run it with him? He would have others to run it with him, correct? So who will those people be? The Bible tells us there will be rewards given.
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Matthew 16:27 KJV
Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 1 Corinthians 3:8 KJV
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Revelation 22:12 KJV
* Tribunal of Christ *
There are several scriptures which point out that Jesus will reward people for their labor. Everything that we do for the Kingdom now in our lifetime is a treasure stored for us later. Please do not get confused with this labor as something that is needed or must be done in order to be saved. The parable of the nobleman found in Luke chapter 19 is a clear and perfect example of the topic we are studying. Jesus is the nobleman and his servants represent us, His followers.
Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. Luke 19:16-17 KJV
As Jesus evaluates and hands out just rewards for his stewards, he is also assigning his co-heirs their ruling areas for the next 1000 years. Everyone who accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour has a place in this kingdom. Not all will be rulers, as we know, not everyone has their heart intentions in the right place. The Lord is the judge of our heart and intentions and he will bring those to light during this time.
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. 1 Corinthians 4:5 KJV
When the Lord returns he will set up a tribunal where he will delegate positions, assignments and rewards. This is not judgment pertaining to salvation. This is a tribunal in regards to rewards for faithfulness. This is also known as the judgment seat of Christ.
But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Romans 14:10 KJV
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV
This tribunal is not to be confused with the judgment at the White Throne found in Revelation 20. The White throne is judgment handed out by our Heavenly Father of those who did not accept Jesus as the Son of God or as their Savior. This will be the final judgment before God the Father comes to live on earth with us. But before this event happens the Lord must rid the earth of His enemies.
Once the Lord Jesus delegates to his stewards and servants where they should be the rest are those who will be ruled over. Who are the people who will be under the Lord’s reign? The other question is what will we be doing during this millennial reign? The answer to these questions comes from the Holy Spirit. It is not written in the Bible but it comes from knowing who God is. God is a just and fair God. He gives everyone a chance to choose Him.
* Royal Subjects *
So who are the royal subjects who will need to be submissive to the King and his governors? Have you ever wondered about the babies and children that passed away before their time? God created all of us to be eternal beings. But these babies and children never had a chance to choose Him or know Him in this life. They were never presented Jesus or heard about His wonderful works or what He did on the cross for us.
As in the beginning when Adam and Eve walked with the Lord the babies and children will need to be taught and experience living with Him. Due to the earth being in a fallen state, meaning it changed from what God created initially, many babies and children died. It could have been from child sacrifices, wars, plagues and disease, miscarriages and even abortion. We were created in His image so we do not simply cease to exist. We are eternal beings. A little baby as well as a child has a soul and is eternal. Why would they be any less valuable than a full grown adult? They aren’t!
* Satan Loosed *
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. Revelation 20:7-8 KJV
Have you ever wondered why would Satan be loosed again after people have lived with Jesus the King for a 1000 years? I know I have! But it makes perfect sense “why” when you understand the heart of God. He always wants you to be with Him through choice. The babies and children that will grow up during the millennial reign never had that choice presented to them. God the Father and Jesus are fair and just. They will have that choice after the millennial reign is finished. EVERYONE has a chance to choose life and love to be with them forever or choose death and separation.
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. Deuteronomy 30:19-20 KJV
Satan will be loosed after the millennial reign to reveal the final enemies. He will deceive and entice just as he did in the Garden of Eden. People in this era will still have a choice to make. They will either decide to continue following Jesus the King or accept the choices Satan is presenting. Once Satan has deceived and gathered his followers they will go to attack the Kingdom. The outcome will be dealt with instantly through fire from heaven.
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. Revelation 20:7-9 KJV
This passage of scripture tells us Satan is captive and then loosed. This event can not be categorized before Jesus returns. This would suggest he is captive now and that is not so. He is still roaming around seeking whom he may devour.
* Make a Choice *
The subjects who have been under Jesus’ reign must be allowed to make a choice. You see it would not be fair to the saints who had to choose and these royal subjects in the millennial kingdom never had to refuse Satan’s schemes, lies and empty promises. But more importantly it’s about God giving you the choice to be with Him. God the Father is just in his ways. He gives opportunities to all.
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. Deuteronomy 32:4 KJV
Those that die during this attack will experience a second death. But they are not the only ones who will. Those who died after the crucifixion and rejected Jesus before his second coming have not risen with him during the millennial reign. They are still in waiting for their final judgment. This final judgment occurs at the White Throne. Remember when the trump sounds and Jesus descends, the dead in Christ rise first. This means they accepted Jesus as the Son of God, Lord and Savior.
* First Resurrection *
1 Thessalonians 4:16 KJV For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
The dead in Christ are those people who accepted Jesus as Lord and savior but died before his second coming. This is also referred to as the First Resurrection.
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Revelation 20:5 KJV
The rest of the dead are those that did not rise upon Jesus’ second coming because they are the ones who rejected Jesus when he was presented to them. Once Jesus the King reveals his true followers and destroys all his enemies he will hand over the kingdom to God the Father then they will dwell with us forever here on earth.
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:25-28 KJV
The wording may not seem clear in these scriptures but in this part (“it is manifest that [he] is excepted which did put all things under him“), “He” is referring to God the Father. Once Jesus subdues everything unto himself then he (Jesus) will be subdued to the Father as well.
We pray this shows some insights into God’s word and a clearer understanding of the Millennial Reign. We will be here on earth serving the King in his kingdom.