THE MILLENNIUM REIGN
Can you imagine a world with no fear? No disease? No pain? No worry? That is what the Millennial Kingdom will be like. For a thousand years, there will be peace—we will live in a perfect world with Messiah as our ruler.
It is something we can look forward to when our lives are difficult and when our world is filled with chaos, immorality, and despair. As we go through hard times, we must remember our future with Messiah.
The Bible reveals that Messiah will reign upon the earth for 1,000 years—a period of time referred to as the Millennium. His reign as King of Kings will be marked by the healing of diseases, abundant prosperity, universal peace and, most importantly, the opportunity for people to live God’s way of life and have their sins forgiven.
There are several reasons that a literal Millennium must occur. Some of them are given below:
1.1 To reward the people of God
There are scores of promises scattered throughout the Bible, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, guaranteeing God’s people that they will receive rewards for faithful service (Matthew 16:27; Matthew 25:34; Revelation 22:12).
And part of our heavenly reward will be to reign and rule with Messiah upon this earth during the Millennium. Each of us will have opportunities to serve the Lord based upon our faithfulness in serving Him right now.
1.2 To respond to the prophets’ predictions
The prophets of the Old Testament predicted such a time (Psalm 72:11; Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32-33). And without the Millennium, none of those prophecies could be fulfilled.
1.3 To receive an answer to the disciples’ prayer
One day, when Yeshua returns, God’s Kingdom will come, and His will shall be done on this earth as it is in heaven. In Matthew 6:8-13 we read this prayer that Yeshua taught to his disciples.
1.4 To reemphasize man’s depravity and the necessity of Messiah’s death
During the Millennium, those faithful servants who survive the Tribulation will bear children, in whom the sin nature will reside, because the fallen human nature of man will not be eliminated until eternity begins at the end of the millennial kingdom.
At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released, and he will stir up a final rebellion against God just as he did in the Garden of Eden (Revelation 20:1-3, 7-8). That’s right—even though Messiah is ruling and reigning on the earth during the Millennium, some will yet be deceived.
This demonstrates just how deeply man needs a Savior. Man can never achieve righteousness apart from God.
“Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:2-4).
At the moment of the Rapture, every saved believer who is alive or deceased will be taken up into heaven. They will remain there for about seven years while the Tribulation is happening on earth. Once the Tribulation is over, Messiah will return to earth.
When Messiah returns to defeat the armies of the world that have formed against Him, raptured believers will return with Him. After the battle is over, the Bible says that all saved believers are going to be part of the government.
“And they lived and reigned with Messiah for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4). They will stay on earth with Him, and they will rule and reign with Him throughout the whole world. During this time, Messiah will set up His Kingdom in Jerusalem and people will continue to live on earth until it is destroyed at the end of the millennium (2 Peter 3:10-13, Revelation 20:11).
This is not the new heavens and a new earth just yet. It’s a temporary 1000 year redemption of the earth and creation under the reign of Yeshua before the universe as we know it is destroyed and replaced by a new heaven and a new earth. And it is going to be wonderful.
2.0 What Will Happen during the Millennial Kingdom and Reign?
Scripture doesn’t seem to tell us much about what will take place over these 1000 years, whether literal or figurative. We do know that Satan will stay imprisoned during this time, with his power limited.
Considering he ups the ante with the Tribulation that precedes this, it will be like a breath of fresh air for all the saints of God. Of course, Satan isn’t done yet. He still has one last battle to fight. But there will be a 1000-year breather from his schemes on earth.
The people of God are given thrones and roles of leadership. We should make an important note that those who are not saved do not come again to life during the 1000 years. Perhaps this means that they spend the 1000 years in hell, awaiting their eternal judgment, which will take place later on.
At the end of the 1000 years, Satan is released from his prison. He gathers the nations for battle against God’s people. There, fire devours them from heaven, and all those who followed the Beast, and Satan himself are thrown into the lake of fire, the second death.
Scripture seems to hint that the second death is far worse than the first. Some have surmised it is the death of the soul.
Over and over again — six times! — Revelation says Yeshua will reign for a thousand years (Revelation 20:2, 3, 5, 6, 7). But what is the purpose of Yeshua reigning on this earth for a thousand years? Why not graduate us to the new heavens and new earth right away? Why wait? What will happen during those thousand years? Why will they be so special?
The answers lie in the pages of the Old Testament. From the beginning, God had made promise after promise about a coming age of glory, peace, prosperity, righteousness, and justice. He had promised he would reign over a golden age of human existence, one where mankind is devoted to God.
And many of those Old Testament promises must still come to pass. They will, during the millennial reign of Yeshua after his return. Let us know some amazing things that will happen during this millennial reign:
2.1 Satan will be Bound
We already read this in Revelation 20 — he is bound for the thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3). At the end of these thousand years, the books will be opened, and those who belong to Death and Hades, along with Satan, are thrown out of God’s presence into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10, 13-15).
On earth today, much of humanity has been conditioned to use Yeshua’s name as a swear word. Hit your thumb with a hammer? Some people accusingly say his name and the devil loves it. During the millennium, when he’s bound, it all backfires on him.
When we are living in peace and harmony and love and justice and goodness, we will start saying Yeshua’s name whenever something good happens. Maybe we will all have learned that Satan’s presence did nothing good for us but that so many of the pains of life were his doing.
2.2 Messiah will visibly Reign
Many people will survive the tribulation — it is the armies of the nations and the beast that are killed or judged — and Yeshua will rule over remaining humanity. From Jerusalem, often called Zion in the Bible, Yeshua will lead. And people will love his leadership! Consider:
In Isaiah 2:3–4 we read, Many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
Isaiah’s description is of an age of total peace, one where Messiah is judging the nations. On that day, Zechariah says, “the LORD will be king over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:9). David was promised a descendant to sit on the throne forever, and Yeshua is that descendant (Jeremiah 23:5).
2.3 The saved believers [Church] will Reign with Him
The saved believers today will be with Messiah tomorrow, leading and living in glorified bodies during the golden millennial age. Consider these statements from Paul: 1 Corinthians 6:2 — Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? Also in 2 Timothy 2:12 — If we endure, we will also reign with him…
This idea is pictured in Revelation 20, which we read earlier. Not only does Messiah reign, but John also ” saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed” (Revelation 20:4). They will reign with him for a thousand years (Revelation 20:6).
There are plenty of passages about the thrones and crowns and rewards Yeshua will dole out to his people —
2.4 Spiritual Life will come to Israel
Jeremiah spoke of a day when the law would be written on Israelite hearts (Jeremiah 31:33). Ezekiel saw a day when the dry bones of Israel are raised to life and given the breath of God’s Spirit (Ezekiel 37:1-4). Zechariah described a future day when Israel would have a spirit of grace and prayer for mercy, mourning over Yeshua (Zechariah 12:10).
He went on to say (Zechariah 13:1): “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.”
With this renewal and vigor for God, Israel will rise to prominence, partly because Yeshua will reign from Jerusalem. As Paul said, a partial hardening has come upon Israel during our current church age (Romans 11:25). One day, however, God will revive Israel. This revival seems to start in the tribulation and come to full completion during Messiah’s millennial reign.
2.5 Spiritual Life will come to the Nations
But Israel won’t be alone in its renewed spiritual life. The prophets made it clear the earth will experience a population explosion during the millennium.
With the curse suspended or at least greatly decreased, Isaiah and Jeremiah said infants would no longer die, everyone will “fill out their days,” so that death at age one hundred will be considered young (Isaiah 65:20, Jeremiah 30:20).
And the new human population will grow to love and adore Messiah. Listen to the prophet Micah (Micah 4:1–4):
“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore; but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.”
All this will lead to joy, happiness, and biblical justice throughout the world. It will be a time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).
2.6 Nature will be Reborn
The earth’s topography will also be rearranged as the wilderness and dry land become lush and fertile (Isaiah 35:1). Thorns and briers will be replaced by huge trees, providing clean air and shelter (Isaiah 55:13). Crops will grow with ease. Food will be plentiful (Joel 2:24-26). Everyone will be able to afford organic!
The animal kingdom will no longer have a predatorial nature — the wolves and lambs, leopard and baby goats, lions and calves, bears and cows will intermix (Isaiah 11:6, 65:25).
Children will be able to lead even the strongest predators because they will all become herbivores (Isaiah 11:7). And we will no longer have an adversarial relationship with the animal kingdom as even wild beasts and poisonous snakes become docile and safe under King Messiah’s leadership (Ezekiel 34:25, Isaiah 11:8-9).
Human life will flourish — people won’t die young and will be healthy for much longer (Isaiah 65:20, Jeremiah 30:20). Isaiah says there will be much less disability (Isaiah 35:6). Messiah’s presence will curtail cancers and make us new. The dominion we lost at the fall of Adam will be restored.
The whole story of Yeshua’s life kicked off by affirming that plan. The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Yeshua will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31-33).
3.0 Who will be on the earth during the Millennium, and what will they be doing?
Those remaining on the earth during the Millennium will be the good people of the earth—those who were righteous and just, regardless of their religion. This includes those who will be on the earth at the time of the Next Coming of Messiah as well as those who will accompany him from heaven.
So, what will people do during these 1,000 years? We know that a main focus will be to continue the work of salvation—helping people come unto Messiah.
A thousand years is a long time, so it’s safe to assume that people will likely do a wide variety of things that are “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” but that have not necessarily been mentioned in any of the revelations.
4.0 How do multitudes of people get into the Millennium?
Only a few will enter the millennial kingdom at the Next Coming of Messiah (Matthew 24:22) “Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up year to year to worship the King.” (Zechariah 14:16). This verse indicates that most of the earth’s population will be destroyed during the Tribulation Period before Messiah returns.
By the end of the millennium, multitudes of people will be on earth. Revelation 20:8 tell us “the number of them will be like the sand of the sea.” If only a few people entered the millennium and there are multitudes of people living at the end, how did all those extra people get on the planet?
4.1 Will there be conflict in the Millennium?
War has been a consistent part of human history from the very beginning. War has always been part of our conversation, but there will be no war when we get to the Millennium. Micah 4:4 says, “But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid.” Can you imagine not being afraid? Not having to lock your doors?
Consider these words from Isaiah 19:23-25: “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians.
In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, ‘Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.’”
How peaceful is it going to be in the Millennium? Egypt and the Assyrians and the Jews are all going to be allies. They will work together in cooperation. Isaiah 2:4 tells us that they will “beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
4.2 Will there be death during the Millennium?
Isaiah 35:5-6 says, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.”
Because of the universe’s pristine conditions during the thousand-year reign of Messiah, people will live for a long time. It appears that life spans will revert to those of the era before the Flood, when humans lived to be more than nine hundred years old. Isaiah 65:20 says, “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days.” Someone who is a hundred years old will be like a child.
Disease will be abolished. The crisis of death will be experienced only by those incorrigible individuals who rebel against the law of the kingdom. The ordinary hazards of physical life will be under the direct control of the One whose voice even the winds and waves obey.
4.3 Will there be sin during the Millennium?
Some people find it surprising to think of rebellion during the Millennium, but here is how it will happen. Everybody who goes into the Millennium will be righteous—they all will be saved. But during that one-thousand-year period, there will be marriages.
Children will be born and some of those children will rebel the things of God. Just like today, each person born during the Millennial Age will make a personal decision for or against Messiah.
We can be assured of this: Rebellion won’t last long. The one who is in charge will know the intent of every heart, and there will be swift justice for every wrong. The Bible says our Lord will rule with a rod of iron.
That means there won’t be any long delays in justice—no long waits for trials, no long waits for sentences to be carried out. There will be immediate justice based upon the holy reign of King Yeshua the Messiah.
5.0 How do lost people get in the Millennium?
Only saved people enter the millennium. At the Next Coming, only the sheep (saved people) enter into the kingdom, while the goats (lost people) are cast into hell (Matthew 25:31-46). That means that the 1,000 year reign of Messiah on earth begins with an entire population of people who have eternal life (Matthew 25:46).
By the end of the millennium, many lost people will be there. At the end of the 1,000 year reign of Messiah on earth, Satan is loosed from the abyss and deceives the nations on the earth, who try to overthrow the throne of Messiah (Revelation 20:7-9).
These are obviously lost people. Zechariah 14:16-19 tell us that during the millennium people will be required to go to Jerusalem once a year to worship the King (Yeshua the Messiah). For those who refuse to go, punishment will come upon them.
Why would a saved person refuse to worship Yeshua the Messiah? Obviously, saved people will look forward to worshiping Yeshua the Messiah. But these are lost people. How did lost people get in the millennium? The answer is simple. These are people born during the millennium.
6.0 How can people be born during the Millennium Reign?
Resurrected people cannot beget children. Yeshua said, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels in heaven.” People with resurrected bodies won’t be able to marry or have children (Matthew 22:30). At the Rapture, every saved believer will receive a resurrected body, therefore they can’t be involved in repopulating the earth.
Children will be born during the millennium. Only people in their natural, un-resurrected bodies are able to produce children. The earth’s population will be drastically reduced because most people will be killed (or raptured) before Yeshua returns, and the earth will need to be repopulated.
Yeshua referred to the millennial kingdom on earth as the “regeneration” (see Matthew 19:28) which means “repopulation.”
Many children will be born on earth during this 1,000-year reign of Messiah (Zechariah 8:1-5, Isaiah 65:20-23, Ezekiel 47:22, Revelation 20:7-9). Zechariah 14:16 tells us that those who refuse to worship Yeshua the Messiah in Jerusalem come from “the families of the earth,” indicating these are the children and grandchildren of those who entered the millennium, who are now living all over the earth.
7.0 Who are the parents of these children?
The parents who give birth to these people are those who were saved after the Rapture and are still alive in their natural bodies at the Next Coming. This is the reason the Rapture and the Next Coming of Messiah cannot be the same event.
If the Rapture happens at the same time as the Next Coming, all saved people would have resurrected bodies and there would be no people in natural bodies to repopulate the earth.
At the Rapture, all saved people will receive resurrected bodies and will be taken to heaven. Everyone left behind on earth (not taken in the Rapture) will be in their natural human bodies. Many of these people will be saved and will live until the Next Coming. These are the people who will enter the Millennium in their natural bodies and will repopulate the earth.
We know that only saved people enter the millennium, so these believers are those who accepted Messiah after the Rapture. God kept them alive through the Tribulation Period for a special purpose—so they could repopulate the earth during the millennium.
This means that the Rapture serves two purposes: (i) For the saved believer (church) to receive our resurrection bodies and home in heaven (ii) To provide a group of people to populate the earth during Millennium Reign.
“…They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Messiah, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” (from Revelation 20:4,6)