John M. Clegg
As we enter ‘by the grace of God’ into the 21st century, we cannot help but think of the fact that two Millennia have passed since the coming of our Lord to the earth. Almost two thousand years have come and gone since the Lord Jesus was rejected and nailed to a cross. Let us for a few moments look forward to the literal period of one thousand years, when the Lord will come back to the earth, not to be our Saviour, but as Sovereign and Lord with splendour and glory; the One whose right it is to reign.
The Millennium will take place after:
- The Rapture, 1 Thess. 4. 1; 1 Cor. 15, and the removal of the church to heaven.
- The Tribulation Period - the reign of the man of sin and the persecution of the nation of Israel, 2 Thess. 2. 3; Jer. 30. 7.
- The beast and false prophet are cast alive into the lake of fire, Rev. 19. 20. For the Millennial period, Satan will be bound in the bottomless pit, Rev. 20. 3.
The Millennial period will not be brought in gradually by world wide evangelism, but by the direct and personal appearance of the Lord Himself in judgement and power to set up His throne. This will bring a period of a thousand years of unparalleled and uninterrupted peace to every part of His kingdom. Then shall the words of Psalm 2. 6 come to pass, ‘Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion’.
Let us consider the events of the Millennium under four different headings:
- THE REIGN OF THE SOVEREIGN
- THE HOPE OF THE NATION
- THE REWARD OF THE BELIEVER
- THE DOOM OF THE ADVERSARY
THE REIGN OF THE SOVEREIGN
Though many monarchs have reigned throughout the centuries in different nations, no monarch’s rule can be described as truly righteous or perfect. We can consider David and Solomon, two great kings of Israel, yet they had their faults and their systems of administration were imperfect. The Millennial reign of the Lord Jesus will be in marked contrast to what has gone before. He will be the only King of whom it can be said His reign is truly righteous and perfect. The reign of the Lord will be marked by attributes not seen in the past.
His rule will be UNIVERSAL
The opening verse of Esther tells us that Ahasuerus reigned from India to Ethiopia, comprising one hundred and twenty-seven provinces. Yet, this temporary rule over such a large area pales into insignificance when compared with the reign of the true Sovereign. ‘And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one’, Zech. 14. 9.
His reign will be ETERNAL
‘And there was given him 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’, Dan. 7. 14.
His rule will be PERFECT AND RIGHTEOUS
The courts of this and many other lands are marked at times by miscarriages of justice. We see instances of the guilty going free and the innocent being punished. This will not be the case when the Lord comes to reign. His rule will be perfect and righteous. Any evil will be immediately dealt with. There will be no miscarriages of justice in that day! ‘Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment’, Isa. 32. 1.
THE HOPE OF THE NATION
The possession of the land of Canaan has been for centuries the hope of the Israelite nation. It was promised to them by God Himself and during the Millennium this hope will be fully realized. The nation of Israel, which for so long has been ill-treated and persecuted by Gentile powers, will enter into tremendous blessing during this future time.
All Israel will be saved in that day, Rom. 11. 26. When the Israelites come into full possession of the land, it will be divided amongst them in accordance with the divine plan of God, Deut. 32. 8, 9. The twelve tribes will be apportioned land according to Ezekiel 47 and 48. The land will be their permanent possession, and Jerusalem will be the capital. They will worship once again on their holy hill of Zion and the words of Psalm 48. 2 will be heard, ‘Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King’. Jehovah will be in the midst, Zech. 2. 10, and so there will be a time of great joy, Isa. 52. 9.
The Gentiles too, who survive the tribulation period, will enter into the Millennium. They will enjoy blessings, Zech. 8. 20-23. Every year representatives will travel to Jerusalem to pay homage and celebrate the feast of tabernacles, Zech.14. 16.
THE REWARD FOR THE BELIEVER
As those born again believers in the Lord we have the wonderful privilege of knowing that one day (it could be today!):
- we will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and will be for ever with Him, 1 Thess. 4. 17.
- our bodies are going to be fashioned like unto His glorious body, Phil. 3. 21.
- yet, we will be further rewarded, for believers will in that coming day reign with Him. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him, 2 Tim. 2. 12. The apostle Paul referred to this fact when he wrote to the church at Corinth, ‘Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?’, 1 Cor. 6. 2.
- we will then share with Christ in the administration of His kingdom during His Millennial reign. That is not to say that during this period we shall return to the earth to live. Our dwelling place will be in the third heaven where the Father dwells. John saw ‘that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God’, Rev 21. 10. It would appear then, that we will not dwell on the earth but rather rule over the earth from above in the New Jerusalem. What a privilege will be ours in that coming day!
THE DOOM OF THE ADVERSARY
The Millennial period begins by Satan being seized and bound and then cast into the abyss, a seal being set upon him, Rev. 20. 2, 3. During this thousand-year period Satan is not allowed to move at will. This, however, is not his final place of doom. The end of the Millennium sees his release, Rev. 20. 7, and his deception of the nations, v. 8. He is then cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever, Rev. 20. 10.
How thankful we should be that through the grace of God, and because of Calvary, we shall not experience the same end! As this day of grace still runs its course, may we continue to serve Him, and live for Him; the One who is King of kings and the One whose right it is to reign.
Oh, the crowning day is coming!
Is coming by and by!
When our Lord shall come in power,
and glory from on high!
Oh, the glorious sight will gladden,
each waiting, watchful eye
In the crowning day that’s coming,
by and by.