Future Prophesies - During the Tribulation & Beyond
MILLENNIUM (MILLENNIAL KINGDOM)
Revelation 20:1-3 - Satan Bound 1,000 Years
Rev 20:1 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.
Revelation 20:4-6 - The Saints Reign with Christ 1,000 Years
Rev 20:4 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. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Matthew 25:31-46 - The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations
Mt 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Luke 1:32-33 - Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary
Lk 1:32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Isaiah 9:3-7 - The Government of the Promised Son
Is 9:3 You have multiplied the nation And increased its joy;
They rejoice before You According to the joy of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4 For You have broken the yoke of his burden And the staff of his shoulder, The rod of his oppressor, As in the day of Midian.
5 For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle, And garments rolled in blood, Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.
6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Isaiah 11:1-10 - The Reign of Jesse’s Offspring
Is 11:1 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
2 The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
3 His delight is in the fear of the Lord, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;
4 But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist.
6 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea.
10 “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.”
How Awesome This Will Be (Rev 20)! (Hope for Our Times)
What is millennialism?
Millennialism is the belief in a literal reign of Christ on earth for 1,000 years in the future. The word millennium means “1,000 years”—from mille, the Latin word for “1,000,” and the word annus, Latin for “year.” (M is the Roman numeral for 1,000, it takes 1,000 millimeters to make a meter, 1,000 milliliters to make a liter, etc. A person’s per annum salary is their salary for one year.)
What is often referred to as the “millennial kingdom” is mentioned in Revelation 20:1–7:
“And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
“I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
“When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison” (emphasis added).
This period of 1,000 years is marked by a binding of Satan and the reign of Jesus Christ. When that period of 1,000 years is over, Satan will be released for a short period for a final period of rebellion before the final end of all things.
Much of Christian eschatology (teaching about the “last things”) is couched in terms of a particular view of the millennial kingdom and of when Christ returns in relation to the inauguration of that kingdom.
The postmillennial position interprets Revelation 20 somewhat figuratively and holds that this binding of Satan takes place through the preaching of the gospel and the advance of the church throughout the world. At some point, the world will become predominantly Christian, recognizing Jesus as Lord. Of course, not every individual will be saved, but the worldwide culture will be dominantly Christian, ushering in a golden age of human existence. This golden age will not be based on humanism but on the people and governments of the world making a conscious effort to order things according to the priorities of God’s Word. Christ, though physically absent, will be reigning through His people, and this “golden age” dominance of Christian culture may last for a literal 1,000 years, or that number may figuratively represent a long period of time. At the end, there will be a rebellion, and Christ will return to earth to quash it. The term postmillennial means that Christ will return at the end of the millennial kingdom.
The amillennial position teaches that there is no literal 1,000-year kingdom. The kingdom of God exists right now as Christ reigns as king in the hearts of His people, the church. Satan is bound now, meaning that he cannot prevent the advance of the gospel and the salvation of the elect, but he is still able to wreak havoc in many other areas. The “1,000 years” cannot be literal because it has already been almost 2,000 years since Christ was on earth. The Church may or may not finally “Christianize” the culture of all nations of the world, but the important thing is that the Church lives according to the priorities of God’s Word and proclaims Jesus as Lord. Christ will return one day to quash all rebellion and inaugurate the new heavens and new earth where there is no opportunity for any sin. The position is amillennial because it denies a literal, visible rule of Christ on earth before the new heavens and new earth, but it certainly does not deny the lordship of Christ or His sovereignty over all areas of life.
The premillennial position teaches that Christ will return to earth to inaugurate the millennial kingdom. Despite the best efforts of Christians to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, the world will never be “Christianized,” and culture will continue to grow worse and worse. However, Christ will come and establish His kingdom visibly on earth, and Satan will be bound—unable to have any impact on world affairs. The governments of the nations of the world will submit to Christ, and there will be a “golden age” of human existence. Truth and justice will be the hallmarks of government instead of the self-centeredness and corruption that is common today. However, because there will still be human beings with fallen natures inhabiting the kingdom, there will still be sin and rebellion. At the end of the literal 1,000-year period, Satan will be loosed, and there will be a final rebellion of humanity against Christ. The Lord will put down the rebellion once and for all and usher in a new heaven and new earth where there is no opportunity for any sin.
Those who are looking forward to a future kingdom of 1,000 years’ duration that begins with the return of Christ (premillennialists) are also often referred to as “millennialists.” The term millennialism was in use before the pre-, a-, and post- prefixes were added to the word. In older literature, the position that might be called “premillennialism” today would simply be called “millennialism.” This is the only position that holds to a literal 1,000-year kingdom inaugurated by Christ and characterized by His visible, earthly reign.
Why a Millennium? Does Jesus really need to return to earth to reign? By Dr. David R. Reagan
When I first began studying Bible prophecy, the question, “What purpose would the Millennium serve?” really bothered me. The Word clearly taught that the Lord is coming back to this earth to reign for a thousand years. But I kept asking, “Why?”
I have since discovered that most amillennialists feel that same way. “Why,” they will ask, “would the Lord want to come back to this rotten world? What could possibly be His purpose in returning to this world to reign for a thousand years? Why does the Lord or the world need a Millennium?”
My study of the Word has led me to conclude that God has several vitally important purposes for the Millennium.
Promises to the Jews
The first reason there must be a Millennium is that God has made promises to the Jews which He will fulfill during that time.
God has promised that He will gather to the land of Israel the remnant of Jews who accept Jesus as their Messiah at the end of the Tribulation (Ezekiel 36:22-28 and Zechariah 10:6-9). He will pour out His Spirit upon this remnant (Isaiah 32:15; 44:3), greatly expand their numbers and their land (Ezekiel 36:10-11; 48:1-29), and make them the prime nation in all the world (Isaiah 60-62).
They will serve as an object lesson of the grace and mercy which God bestows upon those who turn to Him in repentance: “And it will come about that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you that you may become a blessing” (Zechariah 8:13).
Zechariah says the blessings of God upon the Jewish remnant will be so great in those days that “ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you'” (Zechariah 8:23).
Promises to the Church
A second reason for the Millennium relates to a promise which God has made to the Church. God has promised that the Redeemed in Christ will reign over all the nations of the world.
This promise was given through the prophet Daniel in the following words: “Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:27).
In the New Testament, Paul repeated the same promise in the simplest of terms: “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him” (2 Timothy 2:12). Jesus affirmed the promise in His letter to the church at Thyatira when He wrote: “And he who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron…” (Revelation 2:26-27).
When John was taken to Heaven for a visit to the throne room of God, he heard a heavenly host singing a song that contained the following verse: “And Thou has made them [the Redeemed] to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth” (Revelation 5:10).
This promise to the Church of worldwide dominion is going to be fulfilled during the Millennium. That is what Jesus was referring to in the Sermon on the Mount when He said, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).
Jesus will reign as king of the world from Mt. Zion in Jerusalem (Isaiah 24:23 and Zechariah 14:9). The Redeemed, in their glorified bodies, will help Him with His reign by serving worldwide as administrators, judges, and spiritual tutors to those who enter the kingdom in the flesh — and to their children (Daniel 7:18,27; Jeremiah 3:15; Luke 19:11-17).
Promises to the Nations
God has promised that a time will come when the nations will be provided with their greatest dream — namely, worldwide peace. This has been an international dream since the beginning of time, but it has proved to be impossibly elusive.
Peace conference after peace conference has been held. Multiple treaties have been signed. World organizations have been formed. Yet, war continues to ravage the nations.
God has promised to give Mankind and the earth a rest from its wars. But that peace will not come until the Prince of Peace returns. Only then will the nations “hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” Only then will we realize the dream of a world where “nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war” (Isaiah 2:4).
God has promised that He will flood the earth with peace, righteousness, justice, and holiness: “The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). Even the bells on the horses bridles and the pots in the kitchens will bear the inscription “Holy to the Lord” (Zechariah 14:20,21).
These glorious promises of peace and rest and righteousness will be fulfilled during the Millennium.
Promises to the Creation
God has also made promises to His creation which He will fulfill during the Millennium. God has promised to remove the curse which He placed upon the creation due to the sin of Man. He has promised to deliver the Creation from its bondage to decay and to restore it to its original beauty, balance, and peace (Romans 8:18-23).
The carnivorous animals will become herbivorous (Isaiah 11:6). The deadly animals will cease to be poisonous (Isaiah 11:8-9). The plant kingdom will flourish and produce bountifully (Isaiah 35 and Ezekiel 34:25-31). The land of Israel will be so radically transformed that visitors will proclaim in amazement: “This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden” (Ezekiel 36:35).
Promises to Jesus
The most important reason for the Millennium is that God is going to use it to fulfill promises which He has made to His Son.
God has promised Jesus that He will be glorified in history to compensate in part for His humiliation in history. The Bible says point blank that Jesus will return to manifest His glory (Isaiah 24:23; 66:18-19; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).
Psalm 2 presents a good summary of these promises. It begins by surveying the rebellion of the world’s political leaders against God and His Son, referred to in the passage as “His Anointed” (verses 1-2). It describes their contempt for the Lord (verse 3).
But the psalm says that God sits in the heavens and laughs and scoffs at them because He has appointed a day of reckoning when He will “terrify them in His fury” (verse 5). That will be the day when He installs Jesus as “King upon Zion” (verse 6).
Jesus then speaks and tells of the promise that His Father has made to Him: “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron…'” (Psalm 2:7-9).
It must be kept in mind that Jesus is currently a “king-in-waiting.” Like King David, who had to wait many years after he was anointed before he became king of Israel, Jesus has been anointed King of kings and Lord and lords, but He has not yet begun to rule.
He is currently serving as our High Priest before the throne of God (Hebrews 8:1). He is waiting for His Father’s command to return and claim all the kingdoms of this world (Hebrews 2:5-9 and Revelation 19:11-16).
A Final Reason
There is one other purpose for the Millennium that should be noted. I believe God is going to use the Millennium to prove to Man once and for all that Satan’s religion of Humanism is totally bankrupt.
All Humanists, regardless of their political or theological labels, are agreed that the source of evil in the world is external to Man. They view evil as rooted in the corruption of society. They believe that the solution to all Man’s problems can be found in societal reform.
Take, as an example, their attitude toward crime. They believe society is the root cause of crime. All we have to do to eliminate crime, they argue, is to provide people with a guaranteed job that will supply them with sufficient income so that they will be able to live in a nice suburb.
But such reforms do not transform the basic nature of people. In the ghetto a man will pay 25 dollars for a prostitute. In the suburb he will chase his neighbor’s wife. In the ghetto he will throw a rock through a window and steal a TV set. In the suburb he will put on his three piece suit, go to the office, manipulate the computer and embezzle a million dollars.
You do not change people’s basic nature by changing their environment. Changing their environment simply converts them into more sophisticated sinners.
The Humanist view is absolutely contrary to Scripture. The Word of God teaches that the source of evil is rooted within Man’s fallen nature, and that it is Man, and not society, which needs to be changed (Genesis 8:21; Jeremiah 17:9-10; Mark 7:20-23). The Word also teaches that the only way this change can take place is through the work of the Holy Spirit within a person who has put his faith in Jesus.
God is going to prove this point by using the Millennium like a great experimental laboratory. He is going to place Mankind in a perfect environment of peace and prosperity for a thousand years. Satan will be bound. Righteousness will abound.
Yet, at the end, when Satan is released, most people will rally to him when he calls the nations to rebellion against Jesus (Revelation 20:7-10). The Millennium will prove that what Man needs is not a new society but a new heart.
Essential to the Master Plan
The Millennium is essential for the fulfillment of all the promises that God has made to the Jews, the Church, the nations, and the creation.
It is also essential to His determination to prove that the source of all evil is the fallen nature of Man, not the corruption of society, and that the only hope for this world is Jesus, not political reform.
Most important, the Millennium is essential to God’s purpose in glorifying His Son. He is going to manifest the glory of Jesus before His redeemed saints and before all the nations of the world.
“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations… Posterity will serve Him; it will be told of the Lord to the coming generation. They will come and will declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has performed it” (Psalm 22:27-31).
The Creator of this universe is a covenant making God who is faithful to all His promises. He cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18). He cannot forget a promise (Deuteronomy 4:31). He is faithful even when we are unfaithful (2 Timothy 2:13).
Just as He fulfilled all the promises related to the First Coming of His son, He is going to fulfill all those that relate to His Second Coming, including the promise of a millennial reign.
Many in the Church may be ignorant of His unfulfilled promises. Others may have forgotten them. But God has not. He intends to fulfill every one of them.
We are privileged to live in a time when we can witness God orchestrating the events of this world to the fulfillment of all the promises in His master plan.
“Ascribe greatness to our God!
The Rock! His work is perfect.
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He.”
Quick Questions About the Millennium
1) Who will populate the earth during the Millennium?
Those who live to the end of the Tribulation and have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior will be allowed to enter the Millennium in the flesh (Matthew 25:3-46). All surviving unbelievers will be consigned to death (Luke 17:26-37).
This will be a very small number of people because most of those who place their faith in Jesus during the Tribulation will be martyred for their faith (Revelation 7:9-14).
The believers who go into the Millennium in the flesh will begin to propagate, and the population of the world will grow exponentially. The reason the growth will be so rapid is because life spans will be expanded and death will be curtailed.
Isaiah says that people will live as long as a tree (Isaiah 65:22) and there will no longer be infants who live only a few days (Isaiah 65:20). Those who die at 100 years of age will be considered young, and only those who refuse to accept the Lord will die at that age (Isaiah 65:20). The implication of Isaiah’s prophecy is that during the Millennium the life span of those in the flesh will be returned to what it was before the Noahic flood, when people lived 800 to 1000 years. If so, then by the end of the Millennium, the population of the earth could easily exceed the current six billion.
2) Will the Millennium take place on this earth or on a new one?
The Millennial reign of Jesus will take place on this earth, but the earth will be greatly changed in nature.
The first earth, the earth of Adam and Eve, was perfect. There were no poisonous animals or plants. There were no meat-eating animals. There were no natural cataclysms like earthquakes, tsunamis, or hurricanes. Man and nature lived together in perfect harmony.
But when Man sinned, God placed a curse on the earth, and the nature of the earth was radically changed. Death entered the world. Nature turned against Mankind. This new earth, earth number two, existed until the time of Noah.
When the worldwide flood occurred, this second earth was “destroyed” (2 Peter 3:6) in the sense that it was radically changed again. The earth’s vapor canopy collapsed, its land mass separated into continents, the earth tilted on its axis, and the pressure of the water forced the formation of new mountain ranges. We have been living on earth number three ever since.
When Jesus returns to reign, the earth will be radically changed once more. The change agents will be earthquakes and supernatural phenomena in the skies (Revelation 6:12-14). Every island will be moved (Revelation 16:18-20). Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain lowered (Isaiah 40:4). The topography of Israel will be radically changed, with Jerusalem becoming the highest place on earth (Isaiah 2:2).
Don Perkins - What is the Millennium Kingdom? (I Am A Watchman)
What is the Millennial Kingdom? What will happen during this unique time in prophetic history?
In today’s episode, we interview Don Perkins, Founder and President of According to Prophecy Ministries during his time at the Hope for Our Times conference in Southern California. Don has served as an assistant pastor and taught on the subject of Bible prophecy at several Bible Colleges and at conferences worldwide. Perkins is a contributing author to “The Dictionary of Premillennial Theology” and has appeared many times on TBN, God TV, and other networks.
Don offers a thorough look at the details regarding the Millennial Kingdom described in Revelation 20, as well as connections with Old Testament prophecies on this subject. He’ll also emphasize the application this topic has with personal evangelism in our lives today, urging believers to faithfully share the gospel with every person possible.
What is the Millennial Kingdom, and should it be understood literally?
The millennial kingdom is the title given to the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. Some seek to interpret the 1,000 years in an allegorical manner. They understand the 1,000 years as merely a figurative way of saying “a long period of time,” not a literal, physical reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. However, six times in Revelation 20:2-7, the millennial kingdom is specifically said to be 1,000 years in length. If God wished to communicate “a long period of time,” He could have easily done so without explicitly and repeatedly mentioning an exact time frame.
The Bible tells us that when Christ returns to the earth He will establish Himself as king in Jerusalem, sitting on the throne of David (Luke 1:32–33). The unconditional covenants demand a literal, physical return of Christ to establish the kingdom. The Abrahamic Covenant promised Israel a land, a posterity and ruler, and a spiritual blessing (Genesis 12:1–3). The Palestinian Covenant promised Israel a restoration to the land and occupation of the land (Deuteronomy 30:1–10). The Davidic Covenant promised Israel a king from David’s line who would rule forever—giving the nation rest from all their enemies (2 Samuel 7:10–13).
At the second coming, these covenants will be fulfilled as Israel is re-gathered from the nations (Matthew 24:31), converted (Zechariah 12:10–14), and restored to the land under the rule of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Bible speaks of the conditions during the millennium as a perfect environment physically and spiritually. It will be a time of peace (Micah 4:2–4; Isaiah 32:17–18), joy (Isaiah 61:7, 10), and comfort (Isaiah 40:1–2). The Bible also tells us that only believers will enter the millennial kingdom. Because of this, it will be a time of obedience (Jeremiah 31:33), holiness (Isaiah 35:8), truth (Isaiah 65:16), and the knowledge of God (Isaiah 11:9, Habakkuk 2:14). Christ will rule as king (Isaiah 9:3–7; 11:1–10). Nobles and governors will also rule (Isaiah 32:1; Matthew 19:28), and Jerusalem will be the political center of the world (Zechariah 8:3).
Revelation 20:2-7 gives the precise time period of the millennial kingdom. There are countless other passages that point to a literal reign of the Messiah on the earth. The fulfillment of many of God’s covenants and promises rests on a literal, physical, future kingdom. There is no solid basis for denying the literal interpretation of the millennial kingdom and its duration being 1,000 years.
Can we believe the Bible when it prophesies that Jesus Christ will reign over this earth for a thousand years? Find out with guests Eric Hovind and Jobe Martin along with hosts Tim Moore and Nathan Jones on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!
Amillennial Problems - Are we really in the Millennium now? By Dr. David R. Reagan
Don’t let the title of this article scare you. You don’t have to be a space scientist to understand the points I’m going to make. I know that words like Amillennial are downright scary, and I realize that most people don’t know the difference in a millennium and a millipede.
I hope you will stay with me and not let your eyes glaze over, because what I have to say in this article is very important. It has to do with the way you view the end times and the way you live your life right here and now.
Let’s begin with some definitions to clear the air. The word, millennium, means one thousand years. It is a combination of two Latin words mille (thousand) and annum (years).
The odd term, amillennial, literally means “no one thousand years.” In the Greek language one of the ways of negating something is to put the letter “a” in front of it. It’s like using the letters “un” in English for example, ethical versus unethical. Some crazy theologian somewhere along the way came up with the idea of negating two Latin words with the Greek method of putting an “a” in front of them, and he came up with the highfalutin word, amillennial.
So, an amillennialist is a person who does not believe in a future one thousand year reign of Jesus. Now, that’s simple enough, isn’t it?
I happen to know a lot about this particular end time viewpoint, because I grew up with it. It was the only view I knew about until I was 30 years old (which, come to think of it, was almost 30 years ago!).
A Significant Viewpoint
The viewpoint is a very important one because it is the predominant concept of end time events in Christendom today. It is the official view of the Roman Catholic Church, and it is the doctrine that is held by the majority of mainline Protestant denominations.
The view holds that the current Church Age will end abruptly with the appearance of Jesus for the redeemed. At that point the redeemed will be resurrected in spiritual bodies, the unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the material universe will cease to exist, and the redeemed will take up residence eternally with God in Heaven. The viewpoint is illustrated below.
Premillennial literally means “before the thousand years.” The title refers to the fact that this viewpoint places the return of Jesus before a future one thousand year reign upon the earth.
As you can see by comparing the charts, there is considerable difference between the two viewpoints. The premillennial view that had been held by the early Church Fathers did not envision history ending with the completion of the Church Age. Instead, the Church Age would be followed by a seven year period called the Tribulation, and this time of unparalled horror on earth would ultimately give way to the thousand year reign of Jesus. Another significant difference is that according to the premillennial view, the redeemed would live eternally in glorified bodies on a new earth.
Augustine’s view, which was based on a spiritualization of Scripture, was quickly adopted by the Roman Catholic Church because it gave enhanced importance to the Church. It enabled the Church to claim that it was the fulfillment of all the kingdom promises in the Bible, and therefore it had the right to rule over all the nations of the earth.
It also enabled the Church to claim that it was the new Israel, replacing the old Israel composed of the Jewish people. The Jews were dismissed as a people divorced by God. Their kingdom promises had been inherited by the true Israel, the Church.
The new view also laid the foundation for the head of the Church to claim that he was the “Vicar of Christ” on earth that is, the representative of Christ’s reigning authority over the planet.
Augustine’s new view obviously provided some philosophical advantages to a Church that was struggling to assert itself. But the view raised some very serious theological questions because it so clearly violated what the Bible literally taught about the end times. Let’s consider some of those questions.
1) Where is the Millennium?
This is a rather obvious question, but Augustine’s answer was surprising. Instead of denying outright that there would ever be a Millennium, he argued instead that the Millennium began at the Cross and would continue a thousand years until the return of Jesus. Later, when the Lord failed to return after a thousand years, amillennialists simply spiritualized the thousand years to mean an indefinite period of time from the Cross to the Second Coming.
Note carefully that Augustine did not deny the Millennium; he simply redefined it to mean the spiritual reign of Christ through the Church during the Church Age.
That means we are in the Millennium now and have been for almost 2,000 years, and that creates a major problem for amillennialists. For you see, when you read the Bible’s prophecies about the Millennium, there is no correspondence between them and the reality of the world in which we live.
We live in a world that is rotten to the core. The Bible says that during the Millennium, “the earth will be flooded with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14). The nations of the world today are all in rebellion against God and His Anointed One. The prophecies say that during the Millennium the nations will all be in subjection to the Lord and will glorify His name (Psalm 22:27-31). If the Lord is reigning over the nations of the world today, He is doing a very poor job of it. Isaiah says that when the Lord reigns, the world will be characterized by peace, righteousness, and justice (Isaiah 9:7).
The amillennial response to this is usually to argue that we are in the Millennium because the Holy Spirit is in the world restraining evil. If the Holy Spirit were not here, things would be much worse. Thus, relatively speaking, we are in the Millennium.
But the Bible doesn’t speak in relative terms about the Millennium. It states absolutely that there will be international peace, justice, righteousness and lovingkindness (Hosea 2:18-20).
2) Where is the Tribulation?
Augustine gave a startling response to this question. He said that we are simultaneously in both the Millennium and the Tribulation! We are in the Millennium because the Holy Spirit is restraining evil, but we are also in the Tribulation because the Church will suffer persecution until the Lord returns.
When it was pointed out that the Bible says the Tribulation will last only seven years, Augustine dismissed the number as symbolic. He argued that the number seven represents a complete period of time, and therefore it represents the period from the Cross to the Second Coming.
The book of Revelation says that the Tribulation will be a special, concentrated period of the pouring out of God’s wrath. In fact, it says that during the first 3 1/2 years, over one-half the population of the earth will die! The world has never experienced calamities of such magnitude.
3) Is Satan Bound?
This is a very critical question because the Bible says that Satan will be bound at the beginning of the Millennium (Revelation 20:1-3).
Augustine argued that Satan was bound at the Cross. I was making this point at a conference one day when a member of the audience suddenly jumped to his feet and said, “Brother, let me tell you something. If Satan was bound at the Cross, then he was bound with a very long chain, because he is always gnawing on my leg!”
Let’s keep in mind that there is a sense in which Satan has always been bound. He is not omnipotent. He is not free to do anything he desires. The book of Job reveals that Satan could not touch Job without God’s permission.
It is true that Satan was further bound by the Cross. The reason is that since that time believers in Jesus have received the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, enabling them to be overcomers in their combat with Satan. The Word says that “He who is within us is greater than he who is in the world” (I John 4:4).
But the limitations which the Cross placed on Satan do not constitute the binding of Satan that the Scriptures say will take place at the beginning of the Millennium. Revelation says Satan will be bound so that he can no longer “deceive the nations” (Revelation 20:3). How can anyone argue that the nations are not deceived today? They are definitely deceived, and thus Satan is not bound. He is still the “ruler of this world” (John 16:11).
4) Where are the Two Resurrections?
The Bible says there will be two resurrections, one of the just and another of the unjust (Acts 24:15). It further states that these two resurrections will be separated by a thousand years (Revelation 20:5-6). The amillennial view has only one resurrection, occurring at the end of the Church Age.
Augustine “solved” this problem by spiritualizing the first resurrection. He said the first resurrection is a spiritual one that occurs when a person accepts Jesus as Lord and is born again. The second resurrection is the one that will occur when the Lord returns and everyone, both the just and the unjust, will be resurrected from the dead.
This exercise in imaginative interpretation shows what happens when you start spiritualizing. Scripture starts meaning whatever you want it to mean.
5) Where is the New Earth?
Augustine also spiritualized this concept. He argued that the “new earth” mentioned in Revelation 21 was simply a symbol for Heaven.
But the Bible teaches that the earth is eternal. Psalm 148:6 says that the creation has been established forever and that the Lord has decreed it will never pass away. Psalm 78:69 says the Lord has founded the earth forever. In Luke 21:33 Jesus said “heaven and earth will pass away,” but He meant that in the sense that Peter tells us that the heavens and earth will be consumed with fire in order to be replaced by “a new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:10-13).
The Bible never speaks of the material universe coming to an end. Rather, it promises over and over that this earth, including the plant and animal kingdoms, will be redeemed. It is all going to be restored to its original perfection. Read Isaiah 11:6-9 and Romans 8:18-23.
Revelation 21 tells us point blank that the redeemed are going to live eternally in a New Jerusalem located on a new earth. Further, it says that God is going to come down to the new earth and live with us. The Bible never speaks of us living eternally with God in Heaven. To spiritualize all this is to make a mockery of Scripture.
6) Is God finished with the Jews?
Amillennialists claim that “God washed His hands of the Jews” because of their unbelief, and He therefore has no purpose left for them.
This is a pernicious doctrine that has led to much anti-Semitism. The fact of the matter is that the Jews are still the Chosen People of God, and the Lord intends to fulfill every promise He has ever made to them as a nation.
The book of Romans makes all this very clear. In Romans 3:1-4 Paul asks a rhetorical question: “Has the unfaithfulness of the Jews nullified God’s faithfulness to them?” For almost 1,700 years the Church has said “Yes!” What does Paul say? His answer is, “May it never be!”
Likewise, in Romans 11:1 Paul asks, “Has God rejected His people?” Again, for almost two thousand years the Church has answered, “Yes!” But what does Paul say in response to his question? He says, “May it never be!” And then he adds, “God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew” (Romans 11:2). He then proceeds to explain that a great remnant of the Jews will be saved in the end times (Romans 9:27; 11:25-32).
The Jewish people have been set aside as a result of God’s discipline. But He has not forgotten them. In Isaiah 49:16 the Lord says He could never forget the Jewish people because He has them tattooed on the palms of His hands! In Jeremiah 31:35-37 the Lord asks, “When will the offspring of Israel cease to be a nation before Me?” His answer is that they will continue to be special in His eyes until the fixed order of the universe departs or until the day all the heavens and all the oceans have been fully explored. In Romans 11:29 Paul says that the “gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” And in Romans 9:1-5 he speaks of promises to the Jews that God fully intends to fulfill.
That’s the reason the Jews are being regathered from the four corners of the world right now. It is one of the greatest miracles of history. The Lord intends to provoke them to repentance by bringing all the nations of the world against them (Zechariah 12:1-3). When they become totally desperate, they will look to the Lord for their salvation. That is when they will repent. They will “look on Him whom they have pierced, and they will mourn” (Zechariah 12: 10). And on that glorious day, a fountain of salvation will be opened for the house of David (Zechariah 13:1).
God will then establish these believing Jews as the prime nation of the world during the Millennium, and through them He will once again bless all the nations on earth (Isaiah 60-62).
7) Has the Church fulfilled the kingdom promises?
There is no doubt that the Church is God’s kingdom on the earth today. But the Bible does not teach that the concept of the kingdom of God is limited solely to the Church.
I believe a review of Scripture shows that God has always had a kingdom upon this earth, but it has been manifested in different ways. The kingdom was originally expressed in the Creation itself (Psalm 93:1-2), through its perfect obedience to God’s will. When the Creation was corrupted through the sin of Man, the kingdom became expressed in the lives of the Patriarchs who, like Job, responded obediently in faith to God’s will. The kingdom became focused in a more tangible manner after the call of Abraham and the emergence of the nation of Israel (Exodus 19:6).
Since Pentecost, the kingdom has been expressed in the institution of the Church (Colossians 1:13). But the Bible promises different expressions of the kingdom in the future first, in the form of a thousand year rule of Jesus upon this earth (Revelation 2:26-27), and second, in the form of an eternal rule of God upon a new earth (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
The kingdom is past, present, and future. It is currently expressed in the Church, but it is like a rose in the bud, yet to bloom in its full glory. The kingdom has always been coming, and it will continue to come until God’s will is done perfectly on earth as it is in Heaven. Even during the Millennial reign of Jesus, the kingdom will be coming, for the Bible teaches that rebellion will be lurking in the hearts of men (Revelation 20:7-10). The consummation of the kingdom will not come until all enemies of God have been subdued. That will occur at the end of the Millennial reign of Jesus, at which time He will surrender the kingdom to His Father, and God Himself will reign forever over a redeemed creation (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
The amillennial view is based on a spiritualizing approach to Scripture which contends that the Bible does not mean what it says. It is a consistent view for theological liberals who also spiritualize the creation week, the miracles, the virgin birth, and the resurrection of Jesus. But what is astounding is the number of conservative Christians who endorse this view. In effect, they take the position that the Bible always means what it says unless it is talking about the Second Coming of Jesus!
The amillennial view does not stand the test of either the Scriptures or reality.
How can anyone truly believe that we are currently living in the Millennium? Society is disintegrating before our eyes, and the Bible says it will get worse the closer we come to the Lord’s return (2 Timothy 1-5).
How can anyone truly believe that Satan is bound today? The Bible says “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19).
How can anyone truly believe that the Church is reigning with Christ over the nations? Try telling that to persecuted and suffering Christians all over the world.
How could anyone truly believe God has no purpose left for the Jews? After 2,000 years of dispersion all over the world, they are being regathered to Israel in what Jeremiah calls a miracle greater than the deliverance from Egyptian captivity (Jeremiah 16:14-15).
Let’s stop playing games with God’s Word. Let’s allow it to mean what it says. Bible prophecy is really not hard to understand. It’s just hard to believe. If you will believe it, you will understand it.
Does it really make any difference what you believe about the end times? Many Christians like to say, “I don’t know what is going to happen, so I’ve decided to be a pan-millennialist’ because I figure it will all pan-out in the end.” That’s a copout. It reflects the attitude of a person who is too lazy to search the Scriptures to see what God has promised in the future.
Certainly it matters what you believe about Bible prophecy. It matters what you believe about anything, because your beliefs determine the way you live. I grew up in an amillennial church, and the result was that I lived with little hope because I did not know about God’s glorious promises concerning the future. I never looked forward to the Lord’s return because I had no idea what was going to happen when He burst from the skies. I had no eternal perspective, and I had no appreciation of the continuing significance of the Jewish people.
When I began to study and believe Bible prophecy, my hope surged, and I was motivated as never before to live a holy life. I began yearning for the Lord’s return because I became dissatisfied with this world. And I developed an even greater appreciation of God’s unfathomable grace as I marveled over His continuing love for Israel.
What you believe about Bible prophecy has no effect on where you are going to spend eternity; it is not related to your justification. But it has an immediate impact upon your sanctification, upon how you walk before the Lord in this life. As the apostle John put it: “Everyone who has his hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John3:3).
The amillennial view was developed in 400 A.D. by St. Augustine. It was adopted by the Roman Catholic Church in 431 A.D. at the Council of Ephesus.
The Pre-existing View
When this view was originally presented by St. Augustine, it caused a considerable stir because it differed so drastically from the premillennial view that had been the orthodox doctrine up to that time. That view is illustrated below:
How Not To Interpret Prophecy (Lamb & Lion Ministries)
My rule of interpretation for the Bible from beginning to end, whether it is prophecy or not, if the plain sense makes sense, don’t look for any other sense, or you will end up with nonsense.
What is the dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom?
In classic dispensationalism, there are seven dispensations. It is important to remember that dispensationalism is a theology inferred from Scripture rather than an explicitly taught doctrine of God’s Word. The value of dispensationalism lies in its systematic view of history’s different eras and the various ways in which the Ancient of Days interacts with His creation.
The seventh and final dispensation brings about the culmination of life on Earth and the closest thing yet to how God really wanted to live with us on this planet. As its name suggests, the Millennial Kingdom of Christ will last for 1,000 years.
The Millennial Kingdom is the seventh dispensation (Revelation 20:1-10).
Stewards: The resurrected Old Testament saints, the glorified Church, and survivors of the Tribulation and their descendants
The Period: From the Second Coming of Jesus Christ until the final rebellion, a period of one thousand years
Responsibility: To be obedient, remain undefiled, and worship the Lord Jesus (Isaiah 11:3-5; Zechariah 14:9)
Failure: After Satan is loosed from the Abyss, sinful man rebels one more time (Revelation 20:7-9)
Judgment: Fire from God; the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:9-15)
Grace: Jesus Christ restores creation and rules righteously in Israel, with all saints assisting (Isaiah 11:1-5; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20)
The Millennial Kingdom will be a time characterized by peace (Isaiah 11:6-7; Micah 4:3), justice (Isaiah 11:3-4), unity (Isaiah 11:10), abundance (Isaiah 35:1-2), healing (Isaiah 35:5-6), righteousness (Isaiah 35:8), joy (Isaiah 55:12), and the physical presence of Christ (Isaiah 16:5). Satan will be bound in the Abyss during this period (Revelation 20:1-3). Messiah Jesus will be the benevolent dictator ruling over the whole world (Isaiah 9:6-7; 11). The resurrected saints of all times will participate in the management of the government (Revelation 20:4-6).
The Millennial Kingdom is measurable and comes after the Kingdom of God (embodied in Jesus Christ) came to man during the dispensation of Grace. On Jesus’ first visit to the earth, He brought grace; at His Second Coming He will execute justice and usher in the Millennium. Jesus mentioned His glorious return at His trial before the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:62), and He was referring to the Millennial Kingdom when He taught His disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10, KJV).
The rebellion at the end of the Millennial Kingdom seems almost incredible. Mankind will have been living in a perfect environment with every need cared for, overseen by a truly just government (Isaiah 11:1-5), yet they still try to do better. Man simply cannot maintain the perfection that God requires. Mankind follows Satan any chance he gets.
At the end of the Millennium, the final rebellion is crushed, and Satan will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). Then comes the Great White Throne Judgment where all the unrighteous of all of the dispensations will be judged according to their works and also cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
After the final judgment, God and His people live forever in the New Jerusalem on a new earth with a new heaven (Revelation 21). God’s plan of redemption will have been completely realized, and the redeemed will know God and enjoy Him forever.
The Biblical Evidence that Jesus is Returning to Reign - Is it solely based on Revelation 20? By Dr. David R. Reagan
Many people mistakenly believe that the only scriptural basis of a Millennial reign of Jesus is Revelation 20. But the concept of the Messiah returning to reign over all the earth in peace, righteousness, and justice is found throughout the Scriptures, both New Testament and Old.
I believe Jesus is returning to reign on earth because the Old Testament prophets say so.
1) The Psalms
Psalm 2:6-9 — David says the Messiah will reign over “the very ends of the earth” from Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
Psalm 22:27-31 — David again affirms that the Messiah will be given dominion over “the ends of the earth” at the time when He “rules over the nations.”
Psalm 47 — The sons of Korah rejoice over the day when the Lord will be “a great King over all the earth,” and they state that this will take place when the Lord subdues the “nations under our feet.”
Psalm 67 — An unidentified psalmist speaks prophetically of the time when the nations of the world will “be glad and sing for joy.” This will be when the Lord comes to “judge the peoples with uprightness.” At that time the Lord will “guide the nations on the earth” so that “all the ends of the earth may fear Him.”
Psalm 89:19-29 — The psalmist, Ethan, speaks of the Davidic Covenant and proclaims that it will be fulfilled when God makes His “first-born the highest of the kings of the earth.”
Psalm 110 — David says a time will come when God will make the enemies of the Messiah a footstool under His feet. This will occur when the Messiah stretches forth His “strong scepter from Zion.” At that time He will “rule in the midst of His enemies,” for… “He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath, He will judge among the nations.”
Psalm 132:13-18 — An unnamed psalmist speaks of God’s fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. He says this will occur at a time when “the horn of David” springs forth to reign from Zion. He says “His crown will shine,” and He will make Zion His “resting place forever” for He will dwell there.
Isaiah 2:1-4 — Isaiah says that “in the last days” the Messiah will reign from Mount Zion in Jerusalem and the entire world will experience peace.
Isaiah 9:6-7 — The Messiah will rule from the throne of David, giving the world a government of peace, justice, and righteousness. (Note: The throne of David is not in Heaven. It is located in Jerusalem — see Psalm 122. Jesus is not now on the throne of David. He sits at the right hand of His Father on His Father’s throne — see Revelation 3:21.)
Isaiah 11:3b-9 — The Messiah will bring “righteousness and fairness” to the earth when He returns to “slay the wicked.” At that time, the curse will be lifted and the plant and animal kingdoms will be restored to their original perfection.
Isaiah 24:21-23 — When the Messiah returns, He will punish Satan and his demonic hordes in the heavens and then will punish “the kings of the earth, on earth.” He will then “reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem” for the purpose of manifesting His glory.
Jeremiah 23:5 — “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.'” (Note: The term, “Branch,” is a Messianic title.)
Jeremiah 33:6-18 — A day will come when the Lord will regather the dispersed of both Judah and Israel and will save a great remnant. At that time the Lord “will cause a rigthteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth.”
Ezekiel 20:33-44 — The Lord says a day will come when He will regather the Jews to their land and will “enter into judgment” with them. He says that at that time “I shall be king over you.” He then adds that “the whole house of Israel, all of them, will serve Me in the land.”
Ezekiel 37:24-28 — The Lord says that He will dwell in the midst of Israel after a remnant of the Jews is regathered to the land and saved, and He promises that “David My servant shall be their prince forever.”
Ezekiel 39:21-29 — The Lord says that following the battle of Armageddon (verses 17-20), “I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them.”
Ezekiel 43:7 — While being given a tour of the future Millennial Temple, Ezekiel is told by the Lord: “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet; where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever.”
Daniel 7:13-14,18,27 — Daniel says he was given a vision in which he saw the Messiah (“Son of Man”) given dominion over all the earth by God the Father (“the Ancient of Days”). And then he adds in verses 18 and 27 that the kingdom is shared “with the saints of the Highest One,” and they are allowed to exercise sovereignty with Him over “all the kingdoms under the whole heaven.”
Hosea 3:4-5 — The Jews will be set aside “for many days,” but a time will come “in the last days” when they “will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king.”
Joel 3:14-17,21 — Joel says that following the battle of Armageddon (verses 14-16), the Lord will dwell “in Zion, My holy mountain.” He repeats this in verse 21. And in verse 17 He identifies Zion as the city of Jerusalem.
Micah 4:1-7 — Micah repeats in greater detail the prophecy contained in Isaiah 2. Like Isaiah, he says the Lord will make Jerusalem the capital of the world. The world will be flooded with peace and prosperity. All believing Jews will be regathered to Israel, and “the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion.”
Zephaniah 3:14-20 — This entire book is devoted to a description of the day the Lord will return to the earth in vengeance. The prophet says that at the end of that day, when the Lord’s enemies have been destroyed, the Jewish remnant will shout in triumphant joy because “the King of Israel, the Lord,” will be in their midst.
Haggai 2:20-23 — The Lord says that a day will come when He will “overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations.” Then, using Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, as a type of the Messiah, the prophet adds: “‘On that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, my servant,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord of hosts.” The reference to the signet ring means the Father will grant His Son ruling authority.
Zechariah 2:10-13 — The Lord says that when He comes, He will “dwell in the midst” of the Jews, possessing Judah as “His portion in the holy land” and again choosing Jerusalem.
Zechariah 6:12-13 — When the Messiah (“the Branch”) returns, He will build a temple and “rule on His throne,” and the offices of priest and king will be combined in Him. Thus, “He will be a priest on His throne.”
Zechariah 8:2-3 — The Lord promises that when He returns to Zion, He will “dwell in the midst of Jerusalem,” and Jerusalem will be called “the city of Truth.”<
Zechariah 9:10 — The Messiah will bring peace to the nations and “His dominion will be from sea to sea.”
Zechariah 14:1-9 — The Messiah will return to the Mount of Olives. The Mount will split in half when His foot touches it, and the Jewish remnant left alive in Jerusalem will flee the city and hide in the cleavage of the Mount. Verse 9 says that on that day, “the Lord will become king over all the earth.”
I believe Jesus is returning to reign over the earth because the New Testament prophets say so.
Acts 3:21 — In his sermon on the portico of Solomon, Peter says Jesus must remain in Heaven “until the period of the restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” The period of restoration spoken of here will occur during the Millennium when the curse is partially lifted and nature is restored (Romans 8:18-23).
2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 — Paul says that when Jesus returns “dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel,” He will also come for the purpose of being glorified before His saints. The return of Jesus to be glorified before His saints and all the nations of the world is one of the persistent themes of Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 24:23, Isaiah 52:10,13, Isaiah 61:3, and Psalm 46:10).
2 Timothy 2:12 — Paul says “if we endure, we shall also reign with Him.”
Revelation 12:5 — John sees a vision in which a sun clothed woman (Israel) gives birth to a male child (Jesus) “who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.”
Revelation 19:15-16 — In his description of Jesus returning to earth, John says He bears the title, “King of kings and Lord of lords,” and John says He will “rule the nations with a rod of iron.”
I believe Jesus is returning to earth to reign because the Heavenly Host say so.
Luke 1:26-38 — When the archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary, he told her that she would bear a son named Jesus who would be called “the Son of the Most High.” He then added three promises that are yet to be fulfilled: “the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.”
2) The Four Living Creatures and the 24 Elders
Revelation 5:9-10 — When John is raptured to Heaven and finds himself standing before the throne of God (Revelation 4), he hears “the four living creatures” (special angelic creatures called seraphim in Isaiah 6) and “the twenty-four elders” (probably representative of the redeemed) singing a song of praise to Jesus. In this song they say that Jesus is a Worthy Lamb who has made His redeemed a kingdom, “and they will reign upon the earth.”
3) The Angels of God
Revelation 11:15 — Voices from Heaven make a proleptic proclamation in the midst of the Tribulation: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” (Note: A proleptic statement is one that speaks of a future event as if it has already occurred. This is a common form of expression in prophecy because all future events are settled in the mind of God as if they had already happened in history.)
4) The Tribulation Martyrs
Revelation 15:3-4 — At the end of the Tribulation, right before the final pouring out of God’s wrath in the form of the bowl judgments, all the Tribulation martyrs who are in Heaven join together in singing “the song of Moses… and the song of the Lamb.” In that song, they declare the Lamb (Jesus) to be the “King of the nations,” and they proclaim that “all the nations will come and worship before Thee.”
I believe Jesus is returning to reign on the earth because Jesus said so.
Matthew 19:28 — Jesus said that during “the regeneration” (the same time as “the period of restoration” referred to by Peter in Acts 3:21), He will “sit on His glorious throne,” and the Apostles will join Him in judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Matthew 25:31 — Jesus said that when He returns in glory, “the Son of Man… will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him” for judgment. The throne of Jesus is the throne of David which has always been located in only one place — in Jerusalem (see Isaiah 9:6-7 and Psalm 122).
Acts 1:3-6 — Luke says that Jesus spent 40 days teaching His disciples about the kingdom of God. Then, as He was ready to ascend into Heaven, one of the disciples asked, “Lord is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” The question indicates that Jesus taught a time would come when the kingdom would be restored to Israel. Jesus’ response to the question indicated the same thing. He did not rebuke the question. Rather, He simply said it was not for them to know the times and seasons when the kingdom would be restored to Israel.
Revelation 2:26-27 — Jesus says that He has a special reward for any “overcomer” who keeps His deeds until the end: “To him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron.”
Revelation 3:21 — Jesus makes it clear that the overcomers will reign jointly with Him: “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Again, the throne of Jesus is the throne of David (Luke 1:32 and Revelation 3:7). The throne of David is in Jerusalem, not in Heaven (Psalm 122). Jesus currently shares His Father’s throne. He is not sitting on His own throne and will not do so until He returns to this earth. Then He will allow the redeemed to share His throne with Him.
Concerning Jesus’ Second Coming, read more…
Concerning all the signs that we are at the end of this age, read more…
The Millennium in the Old Testament - Can it be found there? By Dr. David R. Reagan
The Amillennial viewpoint of end time Bible prophecy is the majority view within the Church today — held by both the Catholic church and most mainline Protestant denominations.
Amillennialists are those who believe that Jesus is currently reigning over all the world from Heaven through the Church. They therefore believe that we are in the Millennium now — that it began at the Cross and will continue until the Second Coming. They do not believe that Jesus will ever return to this earth to reign from Jerusalem.
To sustain their viewpoint, Amillennialists must spiritualize most end time prophecies, arguing that they do not mean what they say. Thus, for example, they dismiss the fact that in Revelation 20 we are told six times that the Millennium will last 1,000 years.
Amillennialists reject the thousand years as being “figurative in nature,” meaning only a long period of time.
One interesting thing I have noticed over the years about Amillennialists is that they have little or no knowledge of the end time prophecies contained in the Hebrew Scriptures. Most Amillennialists I have encountered believe that the only place in the Bible that the Millennium is mentioned is Revelation 20.
A Personal Experience
Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. Several years ago I was invited to make a presentation to a very large Christian convention. Specifically, I was asked to speak on the topic, “Why I Believe Jesus Will Return to Reign on the Earth.”
I was told I would have 30 minutes to make the presentation. When I asked why I was being allotted such a short period of time, I was told, “It’s because there is going to be another speaker who will tell why he does not believe there will be a future reign of Jesus on the earth. Each of you will speak 30 minutes, and then there will be 30 minutes for questions and answers.”
I accepted the invitation. The other speaker turned out to be a distinguished professor of theology from a Bible College.
I knew my audience would be made up of people who believed that a future reign of Jesus on this earth is mentioned only one place in the Bible — in Revelation 20. So, I decided to spend all my time talking about one passage in the Old Testament — the prophecy contained in Zechariah 14:1-9.
This prophecy states that a day will come when Jerusalem will be surrounded by enemy forces. Half the city will fall, and then the Lord will return to the Mount of Olives. When His feet touch the mountain, it will split in half, and the Jewish remnant will flee from the city and hide in the cleavage of the mountain. The Lord will then speak a supernatural word, and all the enemy forces will be instantly destroyed. And at that point, “…the Lord will be king over all the earth” (verse 9).
The other speaker, who followed me, totally ignored my presentation. He read an academic paper based on the opinions of theologians and not the Scriptures.
When the time came for questions, the other speaker was asked, “What is your explanation of Zechariah 14:1-9?” His exact words in response were, “I have no idea what that passage means, but I can assure you that it has been fulfilled somewhere at sometime.”
A Strange Doctrine
I was not surprised by his bizarre response because I had grown up among the churches which were hosting the conference, and I was very familiar with their attitude about Old Testament prophecies.
In their attempt to defend their Amillennial viewpoint, they had developed a doctrine which stated that “all Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled.” To justify that assertion, they always pointed to the words of Jesus recorded in Luke 24:44 —
These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.
The problem with using this passage to justify their dismissal of Old Testament prophecy is that it does not say that all Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled. It says they must be fulfilled. The First Coming prophecies have been fulfilled. The Second Coming prophecies are yet to be fulfilled, and Zechariah 14:1-9 is one of those prophecies.
At least my opponent did not spiritualize the passage, as most Amillennialists do. Take, for example, the 20th Century theologian Lorraine Bettner. In his book, The Millennium, he argued that the Mount of Olives is a symbol of the human heart. The enemy forces are a symbol of the evil in the world attacking the heart. When a person receives Jesus as Lord and Savior, He comes into their heart, causing the heart to split in repentance. He then defeats all the enemy forces and begins to reign over that person’s heart.
This, of course, is an utterly ridiculous interpretation of this passage, but it represents the kind of games that Amillennialists have to play with the Scriptures in order to sustain their position.
In summary, Amillennialists either ignore the Old Testament passages about the Second Coming and the Millennium, or they spiritualize them, or they argue they have already been fulfilled.
A Major Spiritual Problem
But the bottom line is that most Amillennialists simply do not know the Old Testament Scriptures, and this is a major problem in the Church today because it affects not only prophecy but all doctrine.
I grew up in what was called a “New Testament Church.” We focused all our Bible study on the New Testament because we were taught that the Old Testament had been “nailed to the Cross” and was therefore no longer valid. Most of us did not own a complete Bible. When we went to a Bible study, we took our New Testaments.
The idea that the Old Testament had been “nailed to the Cross,” and was no longer relevant was based on a statement in Colossians 2:14 which reads, “…having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the Cross.” This verse is speaking of a “certificate of debt,” not the Old Testament. It is talking about the debt we owed God for our sins. By taking our sins upon Himself, Jesus, who was sinless, paid our debt through His crucifixion (1 Peter 2:24).
The Relevance of the Old Testament
This spiritual malady of ignoring the Old Testament is epidemic in the Church today, and it is a serious problem because there is no way to understand the New Testament without knowledge of the Old Testament.
For example, Jesus is referred to by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:20 as the “first fruits” of those to be resurrected. There is no way to understand that expression apart from a knowledge of the Old Testament sacrificial system.
In like manner, Jesus is referred to in the book of Hebrews as the “High Priest of our confession” (Hebrews 3:1) and as “a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:10). These terms have no meaning apart from a knowledge of the interaction between Abraham and Melchizedek and the role of the High Priest as revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Another Personal Experience
Let me give you another example of the significance of Old Testament ignorance. When I was growing up in an Amillennial church, one of the statements I heard in sermons over and over again was, “There is not one verse in the Bible that even implies that Jesus will ever put his feet on this earth again.”
You can imagine how surprised I was when, at the age of 12, I accidently discovered Zechariah 14:1-9 where it states point blank that the Messiah will return to the Mount of Olives and that when His feet touch the ground, the mountain will split in half.
I took this passage to my pastor and asked him what it meant. He studied it in silence for a long time, and then he said, “Son, I don’t know what these verses mean, but I can guarantee you that they do not mean what they say!”
Later I discovered that Zechariah 14 is not the only place in the Old Testament where the Scriptures state that Jesus will return to this earth. Consider, for example, Ezekiel 43:7 where Jesus, in a pre-incarnate appearance, takes Ezekiel on a visionary tour of the Millennial Temple, and in the midst of that tour, He says, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever…”
I think it is also significant to note that the prophet Ezekiel states that when the Lord returns, the name of the city of Jerusalem will be changed to “Yahweh-Shammah,” meaning “The Lord is there.”
A knowledge of Old Testament prophecy is particularly necessary to the understanding of New Testament prophecy. Revelation and Daniel fit together like a hand in a glove. Neither one can be understood apart from the other.
The book of Revelation contains more than 300 quotes or references to Old Testament passages, and not a single one is identified. A person without knowledge of the Old Testament could read the book of Revelation and never realize how interlaced it is with Old Testament prophecy. Consider the theme of the book that is found in Revelation 1:7 —
Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.
The Significance of the Old Testament
The Apostle Paul emphasized the importance of the Old Testament when he wrote the following words to Timothy:
…from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15).
Most Christians read these words and assume that Timothy must have had a New Testament that he studied from. Not so. The New Testament had not yet been written and compiled when Paul addressed these words to Timothy. When Paul referred to “the sacred writings,” he was talking about what we call today the Old Testament. And the point he was making is that Jesus’ fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies about His First Coming was sufficient to produce faith in Jesus as the promised Messiah.
Paul proceeded in that letter to Timothy to state that “all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16). The term, “all scripture,” means exactly what it says. It refers to both the New Testament and the Old Testament.
Evangelism Based on the Old Testament
The very first Gospel sermon ever preached — Peter’s sermon on Pentecost — was based entirely on Old Testament prophecies. All Peter did from the beginning of the sermon to the end was to quote an Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah and then proclaim that Jesus had fulfilled it (Acts 2:14-36).
Phillip the evangelist took the same approach when he was confronted with the Ethiopian eunuch, a devout Jew who had been to Jerusalem to observe the feasts and was returning home to Africa (Acts 8:26-39). He discovered that the man was reading an Old Testament passage from Isaiah about the Messiah coming as a “suffering lamb” (Isaiah 53:1-9).
Phillip explained the passage to the Ethiopian, and the man accepted the fact that Jesus had fulfilled it. In response, he was baptized. He then continued on his way, rejoicing that he had found the Messiah.
There are over three hundred prophecies in the Old Testament that pertain to the First Coming of the Messiah, but many of these are repetitious. Those that are separate and distinct total 109. There are many more than this that relate to the Second Coming and the Lord’s Millennial Reign.
All the First Coming prophecies were literally fulfilled, and there is no reason to assume that the fulfillment of the Second Coming prophecies will be any different. We need, therefore, to take the Old Testament seriously, and we need to study what it has to say prophetically about the end times.
The Second Coming
The Bible teaches that Jesus will establish His personal reign over all the earth at the time of His Second Coming, and the Old Testament contains many prophecies about that event. As we have already seen, Zechariah 14 says the Lord will return to the Mount of Olives from which He ascended into Heaven. In Isaiah’s account of the same event, he refers to the Lord returning to Mount Zion, which is an alternative name for Jerusalem: “So will the Lord of hosts come down to wage war on Mount Zion and on its hill. Like flying birds, so the Lord of hosts will protect Jerusalem. He will protect and rescue it; He will pass over and rescue it” (Isaiah 31:4b-5).
Both Isaiah and Jeremiah portray the Lord returning in wrath. Jeremiah says He will “roar” from the heavens (Jeremiah 25:30-31). Isaiah says He will be “filled with indignation” and His tongue will be like “a consuming fire” (Isaiah 30:27-28). Zephaniah says the day of His return will be one of “trouble and distress” and “destruction and desolation” (Zephaniah 1:14-18).
The Millennial Reign
Once the Messiah has poured out the wrath of God on the enemies of God, He will establish His reign over the earth, and He will begin to manifest His glory:
Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, for the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and His glory will be before His elders (Isaiah 24:23).
All the various aspects about the Lord’s millennial reign are spelled out in detail in the book of Isaiah. The book of Revelation is about the Tribulation. It is the book of Isaiah that reveals the details of the Millennium.
Political Characteristics — The reign will be world-wide (Isaiah 2:2 and 9:6-7). It will be peaceful in nature (Isaiah 2:4), and the world will be blessed with righteousness (Isaiah 11:4-5) and justice (Isaiah 42:3-4).
The Lord’s throne will be established in Jerusalem, for He will occupy the throne of David (Isaiah 2:3). His government will be a theocratic one in which He will serve as king, legislator and judge (Isaiah 33:17-22). The Redeemed will reign with the Lord as princes (Isaiah 32:1). And because the Lord will be reigning from Jerusalem, the nation of Israel will be the prime nation in the world (Isaiah 2:2-3, 49:22-23, and 60:1-62:7).
Spiritual Characteristics — Isaiah spends a great amount of time outlining the spiritual blessings of the Millennium, the greatest of which is the fact that the glory and holiness of the Lord will be manifested (Isaiah 40:3-5, 52:13-15, 61:3 and 66: 18). Holiness will abound (Isaiah 4:2-4) and an attitude of joy and praise will prevail:
And the ransomed of the Lord will return, and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away (Isaiah 35:10).
A rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem will serve as the worship center of the world (Isaiah 2:2-3, 56:6-8, and 60:7b,13). Incredibly, the Shekinah glory of God will hover over the city of Jerusalem like a canopy (Isaiah 4:5). And “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).
The Redemption of Nature — One aspect of the Millennium that is heavily emphasized by the Hebrew prophets is the redemption of nature. The land of Israel will no longer be a place of desolation (Isaiah 62:3-5). Instead, “the fruit of the earth” will be the pride of Israel (Isaiah 4:2). “Waters will break forth in the wilderness,” and the deserts will become pools of water (Isaiah 35:6b-7).
In addition to agricultural abundance, the animal kingdom will be restored to its original perfection. Poisonous animals will cease to be poisonous, and meat-eating animals will become herbivorous. All members of the animal kingdom will live together in perfect peace with each other and with Mankind (Isaiah 11:6-9 and 65:25).
The Quality of Life — In a thrilling passage in Isaiah 65, the prophet reveals that lifespans for those in the flesh will be greatly expanded to “the lifetime of a tree” (Isaiah 65:22). Accordingly, anyone who dies at the age of 100 will be considered a youth (Isaiah 65:20).
Every person will have his own home and vineyard. There will be no homeless or hungry people (Isaiah 65:21-22). All labor will be redeemed (Isaiah 65:23) in the sense that it will be productive, and it will not be confiscated by others.
Disease will be curtailed (Isaiah 33:24) and persons born with physical handicaps will be healed:
Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb will shout with joy (Isaiah 35:5-6).
Isaiah was given so many glorious visions and words of knowledge concerning the majestic reign of the Lord that he was almost bursting with anticipation by the time he got to the end of his book. This prompted him to suddenly cry out:
Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains [kingdoms] would quake at Your presence — as fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil — to make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence! (Isaiah 64:1-2).
Now, keep in mind that I have only shared with you a few passages from the book of Isaiah. There are many other passages regarding the Millennium that are scattered throughout the Old Testament.
Prophecies of the Major Prophets About the Millennium
Jeremiah pictures the Millennium as a time when Israel and Judah will be united in peace, and the city of Jerusalem will be called “The Throne of the Lord” (Jeremiah 3:17-18). Jesus, “the righteous Branch,” will “reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land” (Jeremiah 23:5). And because of His new role as king, the name of Jesus will be changed to Yahweh-Tsidkenu, meaning, “The Lord is our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6).
David, in his glorified body, will serve as the king of Israel (Jeremiah 30:9), and all the enemies of Israel will be destroyed (Jeremiah 30:11). The city of Jerusalem and the Temple will be rebuilt (Jeremiah 30:18), and the population will be multiplied (Jeremiah 30:19). The mourning of the Jewish people will be turned into joy (Jeremiah 31:13).
The Jewish people will repent of the rejection of their Messiah and will enter into a new covenant with God that will be written on their hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-34 and 32:37-40). The streets of Jerusalem will be filled with “the voice of joy and the voice of gladness…” (Jeremiah 33:11).
Ezekiel confirms that the Jewish people will enter into a new covenant with God that will be written on their hearts (Ezekiel 11:19-20 and 16:60-62). He also confirms that the Lord will guarantee their security and will “execute judgments upon all who scorn them round about them” (Ezekiel 28:26). The land of Egypt will be particularly punished for its treatment of Israel and will remain a desolation during the first 40 years of the Millennium (Ezekiel 29:9-16).
Ezekiel also confirms that David will be made king of Israel (Ezekiel 34:23-24 and 37:24). The Lord will pour out “showers of blessings” on Israel, including agricultural abundance (Ezekiel 34:26-29) and the rebuilding of their Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-27). The result is that the Lord’s glory will be set among the nations (Ezekiel 39:21).
From chapter 40 through chapter 46, Ezekiel focuses on describing the Millennial Temple. It is much larger than any of the previous Jewish temples, and the Holy of Holies in the Temple contains no ark. Jeremiah had already prophesied that the ark would not be rebuilt or remembered (Jeremiah 3:16).
One of Ezekiel’s end time prophecies that has already been fulfilled relates to the Eastern Gate. He says it will be shut up and will not be reopened until the Messiah returns (Ezekiel 44:1-3). The gate was closed in the 1500’s and remains closed to this day.
Ezekiel reveals that part of the redemption of nature will be the conversion of the Dead Sea into a sea of fresh water (Ezekiel 47:8-9). He concludes his book by telling how the redeemed and greatly expanded land of Israel will be divided among the 12 tribes (Ezekiel 48).
Daniel’s end time prophecies focus on the Tribulation and the Antichrist. His first mention of the Millennium occurs in chapter 2 where he interprets the dream of Nebuchadnezzar about the sequence of Gentile empires. He reveals that the last Gentile empire will be destroyed by the return of the Messiah and the establishment of His kingdom “which will never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44-45).
In chapter 7, Daniel emphasizes that the Redeemed will reign with the Messiah: “Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One…” (Daniel 7:27). Daniel concludes his book by indicating there will be an interregnum of 75 days between the time of the Lord’s return and the establishment of His worldwide government (Daniel 12:11-12). This is most likely the period of time when the Messiah will judge all those left alive at the end of the Tribulation to determine whether or not they will enter the Millennium in the flesh. This time period will also likely be used to organize the Messiah’s government, part of which will be to make governing assignments to the Redeemed who will be in glorified bodies.
Prophecies of the Minor Prophets About the Millennium
He confirms that God will establish peace in the animal kingdom and peace between the nations (Hosea 2:18). And he makes it clear that God’s blessings will also be poured out on the Gentiles (Hosea 2:23).
Hosea’s most fascinating prophecy has to do with the timing of the Lord’s return. He indicates that it will be “two days” after His ascension into Heaven (Hosea 5:15 – 6:2). The context of the passage indicates that the two days represent 2,000 years. Hosea says that after the two days, the Messiah “will raise us up” (the resurrection) that “we may live before Him” for “the third day” (the 1,000 years of the Millennium).
Joel’s end time prophecies focus mainly on “the day of the Lord” which, in his context, is the day of the Messiah’s Second Coming (Joel 1:15, 2:1,13 and 3:14). But he does give us a glimpse of the Millennium when he states that when the Messiah returns, He will dwell “in Zion, My holy mountain” and that Jerusalem will be characterized by holiness (Joel 3:17,21). He also confirms that the land will be revitalized for great agricultural production: “The mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah will flow with water” (Joel 3:18). He also affirms that Egypt will be a desolation (Joel 3:19).
Amos presents a picture of the Messiah returning as a roaring lion (Amos 1:2). The only thing he has to say about the Millennium is that it will be characterized by agricultural abundance (Amos 9:14) — so much so that “the plowman will overtake the reaper” (Amos 9:13).
Obadiah’s only significant comment about the Millennium is his statement that it will be characterized by holiness (Obadiah 17).
Jonah has nothing to say about the Millennium.
Micah begins his prophecy with a vision of the Second Coming (Micah 1:3-4). Regarding the Millennium, Micah presents a glorious vision of it and does so in words that are almost identical with Isaiah’s (Micah 4:1-7 and Isaiah 2:2-4). He emphasizes the peace and prosperity that will characterize the Millennium (Micah 4:3-4). He also underlines the promise of God that He will make the Jewish people the primary nation of the world during the Millennium (Micah 4:6-7).
Nahum echoes Joel by focusing his prophecies on “the day of the Lord” (Nahum 1:1-8). The only thing he has to say with regard to the Millennium is that the Jewish people will enjoy perfect peace (Nahum 1:15) and the splendor of their nation will be restored (Nahum 2:2).
Habakkuk begins his book by assuring the reader that God will be faithful to send the Messiah back “at the appointed time” (Habakkuk 2:3). He follows that by presenting a very dramatic vision of the Second Coming (Habakkuk 3:3-13). He does not have anything to say about the Millennium.
Zephaniah begins his book by presenting a powerful and frightening vision about the Second Coming (Zephaniah 1:14-18). He concludes his book with a brief prophecy about the Millennium (Zephaniah 3:14-20). He reveals that the Lord will regather all believing Jews back to the land of Israel and that He will live in their midst (Zephaniah 3:17-20). And he promises that God will make the Jewish nation the prime nation of the world (Zephaniah 3:20).
Haggai asserts that at the time of the Second Coming, God will shake the heavens and earth (Haggai 2:6-7), overthrowing all Gentile kingdoms (Haggai 2:22). The wealth of the nations will be transferred to Jerusalem, and the Temple will be rebuilt in glory (Haggai 2:7). And then, using Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, as a prophetic type of the Messiah, Haggai says that God will give him His “signet ring” — meaning that he will become the King of kings and Lord of lords (Haggai 2:23).
Zechariah says that the Lord “will return to Jerusalem” and will rebuild the Temple (Zechariah 1:16). He calls upon the Jewish people to “sing for joy and be glad” because the Lord has told him that “I am coming and I will dwell in your midst” (Zechariah 2:10).
Concerning the nature of the Lord’s reign, Zechariah says He will be “a priest on His throne,” confirming that the government will be a theocracy (Zechariah 6:12-13). The city of Jerusalem will be called “The City of Truth” and “The Holy Mountain” (Zechariah 8:3). Believing Jews will be regathered from all over the world (Zechariah 9:14-17), and the population of Jerusalem will live in peace and prosperity (Zechariah 8:8,12). The Jewish people will be so greatly blessed that when a Jew walks by, ten Gentiles will grab his robe and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you” (Zechariah 8:23).
Zechariah further states that during the Millennium, all the nations of the world will be required to send delegations to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16). Those nations that fail to do so will receive no rain (Zechariah 14:17-18).
Zechariah concludes his book by emphasizing the holiness that will abound during the Millennium. He says that the bells on the horses’ bridles will be engraved with the words, “Holy to the Lord” (Zechariah 14:20-21).
Malachi contains several passages about the Second Coming, but the only thing it says about the Millennium is that the name of the Lord “will be great among the nations” (Malachi 1:11).
Other Old Testament Prophecies
There are scattered references among the history books of the Old Testament concerning both the Second Coming and the Millennium, and the Psalms are full of them, but I do not have the space to list them in detail. You can find such a listing in my book, The Christ in Prophecy Study Guide. Suffice it to say that I believe I have presented more than enough evidence to prove that the Old Testament is full of prophecies about the end times and the Millennium.
Some Final Points
So let me emphasize once again that Revelation 20 is not the only chapter in the Bible where the Millennium is prophesied. It does, however, present us with some new information that is not mentioned elsewhere:
1) Satan will be bound during the Millennium.
2) The Lord’s reign will last 1,000 years. (This is strongly implied in figurative language in the book of Hosea.)
3) The Millennium will end with a great revolt that will be led by Satan and which will be put down by God.
We are told in the book of Acts that after His resurrection Jesus spent 40 days with His disciples “speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). At the end of those 40 days, when He gathered His disciples on the Mount of Olives for His ascension into Heaven, they asked Him, “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). He did not respond by telling them there would be no kingdom. Rather, He told them that it was not for them to know the time (Acts 1:7).
Jesus left us with many signs to watch for that would mark the season of His return. Those signs are everywhere we look today. Jesus is returning soon. He is going to reign in majesty from Jerusalem, and the Redeemed will share that reign with Him (2 Timothy 2: 12 and Revelation 2:26-27). We are living on borrowed time.
Are you ready?
Who will occupy the Millennial Kingdom?
There will be two distinct groups occupying the Earth during the millennial kingdom—those with glorified bodies, and those with earthly bodies who lived through the tribulation and on into the millennial kingdom. Those with glorified bodies consist of the Church, receiving glorified bodies at the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:21-23, 51-53), and those who are resurrected after Christ returns to Earth (Revelation 20:4-6). Those who have earthly bodies can be subdivided into two groups: believing Gentiles and believing Jews (Israel).
In Revelation 19:11-16, we find the return of Jesus Christ to Earth, known as His second coming. The rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53) is an appearing of Christ in the air, not His second coming. I mention this to make a distinction between the rapture and the second coming of Christ. There is no mention in Revelation 19-20 of any kind of rapture event. The implication is that saints who are on Earth when Christ returns will remain on Earth to enter the millennial kingdom in their natural bodies. If the rapture or any kind of event where a living believer receives a glorified body were included in the second coming of Christ to Earth, one would expect to find reference to such a major event in Revelation 19. But no such reference is to be found. The only event that results in believers receiving glorified bodies is found in Revelation 20:4-6 where those who became believers during the Tribulation and were killed because of their faith are resurrected. It is also believed that at this same time Old Testament saints will be resurrected, also receiving glorified bodies (see Daniel 12:2).
Matthew 25:31-46 is another passage that should be considered. This passage is commonly called the separation or judgment of the sheep and the goats. The sheep and goats refer to righteous and unrighteous Gentiles. Christ will judge the unrighteous Gentiles (goats), and they will be cast into the lake of fire for eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). Therefore, no unbelieving Gentile will survive to live on into the millennial kingdom. The righteous Gentiles, or sheep, will live on into the millennial kingdom. They will give birth to children and will populate the Earth. However, these are not the only ones who will be producing children during the millennial kingdom.
The impression is given that when Christ returns, all Israel will trust in Him (Zechariah 12:10). They, too, will not receive glorified bodies (as did those who were raptured prior to the tribulation and those resurrected afterward). They also will produce children during the millennial kingdom.
So, believing Gentiles, Israel, and resurrected/raptured believers (all of whom have glorified bodies) will occupy the Earth. It should be noted, however, that believers with glorified bodies will not be reproducing. There is no marriage after this life (Matthew 22:30).
Children born during the millennial kingdom will have the responsibility of faith in Christ as all people of past ages have (faith in Christ since His coming; faith in God before—Genesis 15:2-6; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 3:20). Unfortunately, not all of the children that are born during the millennial kingdom will come to faith in Christ. Those that do not will be led away by Satan into rebellion against God at the end of the millennial kingdom when Satan is let loose for a short time (Revelation 20:7-10).
For a further look at this subject (who will live into the millennial kingdom), look also at the following passages: Isaiah 2:2-4; Zechariah 14:8-21; Ezekiel 34:17-24; Daniel 7:13-14; Micah 4:1-5.
Temple of the Millennial Kingdom (Ezekiel 40-48)
What is the significance of Ezekiel’s temple?
Ezekiel was born into the priestly line (Ezekiel 1:3), but he served God as a prophet. In Ezekiel 40–48 Ezekiel sees a detailed vision of a grand and glorious temple. This lengthy vision has been the subject of much speculation and various interpretations through the years.
Ezekiel began his prophetic ministry before Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed by Babylon in 586 BC. Prior to the destruction, many false prophets assured the people that God was with them and that nothing would happen to them (Ezekiel 13:8–16). True prophets like Jeremiah and Ezekiel warned the people that God’s judgment was coming (Ezekiel 2:3–8). In Ezekiel 8–11, the prophet sees the glory of God leaving the temple.
Ezekiel was taken into exile to Babylon, probably in the second deportation of Jews, in 597 BC. In exile, he encouraged Israel that judgment would not last forever, but that God would restore Israel and once again live among them. In Ezekiel 37 he relates the vision of “The Valley of Dry Bones,” in which he describes the reunification and reanimation of a dead Israel. In chapters 38–39, Ezekiel predicts a battle with Gog and Magog, in which Israel’s enemies are defeated. Then, in chapters 40–48, in the twenty-fifth year of Israel’s captivity, Ezekiel describes an enormous new temple (chapters 40–42). The glory of God returns (chapter 43), sacrifices are resumed (chapters 44–46), and the land is restored to the people of Israel (47–48). The hearts of the people will have been changed (Ezekiel 36:26–27), and even Gentiles have a place in the restored kingdom (Ezekiel 47:22). The land will be ruled by a Davidic Prince (Ezekiel 44:3; see also 37:24–25; 34:23–24).
In his vision of the temple, Ezekiel is taken to Israel where he sees a mountain and a city. He is met by “a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand” (Ezekiel 40:3). The man tells Ezekiel to pay careful attention to everything he sees and hears and to relate all the details to God’s people (verse 4). The measuring of the layout of the temple complex fills the next three chapters of Ezekiel.
The question is when and how will the vision of Ezekiel’s temple be fulfilled? Should we look for a literal fulfillment? Or is this vision symbolic of the future perfection of God’s presence among His people? Has it already been fulfilled? Or is the fulfillment still future? If Ezekiel’s temple is future, will it be fulfilled in the church age, the millennium, or in the eternal state? The answers to these questions will be determined, most likely, by the interpreter’s presuppositions regarding the literal or symbolic nature of prophecy and fulfillment.
Arguing for a literal fulfillment of the prophecy of Ezekiel’s temple are the numerous details of Ezekiel’s vision and the specific dimensions of the temple. If the vision is to be literally fulfilled, then the fulfillment must be future, for nothing like what is described in Ezekiel 40–48 has taken place up to this point. The dimensions of Ezekiel’s temple are far larger than the temple in Jesus’ day, and that temple was a grand structure.
Most who expect a literal fulfillment of Ezekiel’s temple expect it to be erected in the millennial kingdom, a 1,000-year reign of Christ upon the earth. During the millennium, glorified saints from the present age will live in contact with natural human beings who will still need to make a decision for Christ in order to be saved—and many will choose not to trust Him. The sacrificial system described in Ezekiel cannot be for the forgiveness of sins, for Christ has accomplished that once and for all (Hebrews 10:1–4, 11–14). In this interpretive approach, the sacrifices are seen as memorials of Christ’s death or as rites for the ceremonial cleansing of the temple, but not as a means to forgive sins.
In the figurative view of Ezekiel’s temple, the prophet’s vision simply reiterates that God will once again dwell with His people in a perfect relationship. This relationship is described in the language that the people of the day (and especially for Ezekiel as a priest) would have understood—a Jewish temple of magnificent proportions, with regular, perfect sacrifices, with the Messiah presiding, and with the glory of God visibly evident. In later visions to other prophets, God revealed more about how He would accomplish this with the Messiah Himself replacing the temple, the sacrifices, and the land. The presence of God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit would be more immediately evident than ever before. The fulfillment of Ezekiel’s temple could thus be realized in the church age to some degree and, in the age to come, to perfection.
Regardless of which approach is taken, the vision of Ezekiel’s temple says that God has not forsaken His people and that His relationship with them will be restored and elevated to a new, never-before-conceived glory and intimacy. Present circumstances should never cause one to doubt the promises of God.
Will David reign with Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom?
After the Tribulation and the Battle of Armageddon, Jesus will establish His 1,000-year Kingdom on earth. In Jeremiah 30, God promises Israel that the yoke of foreign oppression would be cast off forever, and “instead, they will serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them” (verse 9). Speaking of the same time, God says through the prophet Ezekiel, “My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees” (Ezekiel 37:24). From the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, some have concluded that King David will be resurrected during the Millennium and installed as co-regent over Israel, ruling the Kingdom with Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah’s and Ezekiel’s prophecies should be understood this way: the Jews would one day return to their own country, their yoke of slavery would be removed, their fellowship with God would be restored, and God would provide them with a King of His own choosing. This King would, in some way, be like King David of old. These passages can refer to none other than the long-awaited Messiah, the “Servant of the Lord” (cf. Isaiah 42:1). The Jews sometimes referred to the Messiah as “David” because it was known the Messiah would come from David’s lineage. The New Testament often refers to Jesus as the “Son of David” (Matthew 15:22; Mark 10:47).
There are other reasons, besides being the Son of David, that the Messiah is referred to as “David.” King David in the Old Testament was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), he was an unlikely king of God’s own choosing, and the Spirit of God was upon Him (1 Samuel 16:12–13). David, then, is a type of Christ (a type is a person who foreshadows someone else). Another example of this kind of typology is Elijah, whose ministry foreshadowed that of John the Baptist to the extent that Malachi called John “Elijah” (Malachi 4:5; cf. Luke 1:17; Mark 9:11–13).
David will be resurrected at the beginning of the Millennium, along with all the other Old Testament saints. And David will be one of those who reign with Jesus in the Kingdom (Daniel 7:27). However, all believers will rule the nations (Revelation 2:26–27; 20:4) and judge the world (1 Corinthians 6:2). The apostle Peter calls Christians “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9). In Revelation 3:21, Jesus says about the believer who conquers, “I will grant him to sit with me on my throne.” In some sense, then, Christians will share authority with Christ (cf. Ephesians 2:6). There is some biblical evidence, as in the Parable of the Ten Minas (Luke 19:11–27), that individuals will be given more or less authority in the Kingdom according to how they handle the responsibilities God has given them in this age (Luke 19:17).
Jesus is the King of kings (Revelation 19:16). Humanly speaking, Jesus is from the Davidic dynasty; but in power, in glory, in righteousness, and in every other way, He is rightly called the Greater David. “The government will be on his shoulders” (Isaiah 9:6). The Old and New Testaments reveal that the future King during the Millennium and all eternity is Jesus Christ and Him alone (Jeremiah 23:5; Isaiah 9:7; 33:22; Revelation 17:14; 1 Timothy 6:15).
Will there be animal sacrifices during the millennial kingdom?
There are several passages in the Old Testament that clearly indicate animal sacrifice will be re-instituted during the millennial kingdom. Some passages mention it in passing as the topic of the millennial kingdom is discussed, passages like Isaiah 56:6-8; Zechariah 14:16; and Jeremiah 33:15-18.
The passage that is the most extensive, giving the greatest detail, is Ezekiel 43:18-46:24. It should be noted that this is part of a greater passage dealing with the millennial kingdom, a passage that begins with Ezekiel 40. In Ezekiel 40, the Lord begins to give details of the temple that will exist during the millennial kingdom, a temple that dwarfs all other temples previously built, even Herod’s temple that was quite large, which existed during the earthly ministry of Christ.
After giving details concerning the size and appearance of the temple and the altar, the Lord then begins to give detailed instruction as to the animal sacrifices that will be offered (Ezekiel 43:18-27). In chapter 44, the Lord gives instructions as to who will be offering sacrifices to the Lord. The Lord states that all of the Levites will not be offering blood and fat to the Lord due to previous sin; it will be those from the lineage of Zadok (verse 15). Chapters 45 and 46 continue to mention that animal sacrifices will be made.
The primary objection made to the idea of animal sacrifices returning during the millennial kingdom is that Christ has come and offered a perfect sacrifice for sin, and there is therefore no need to sacrifice animals for sin. However, it must be remembered that animal sacrifice never removed the sin that spiritually separated a person from the Lord.
Hebrews 10:1-4 says, “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins" (NASB).
It is incorrect to think that animal sacrifices took away sins in the Old Testament, and it is incorrect to think they will do so in the millennial kingdom. Animal sacrifices served as object lessons for the sinner, that sin was and is a horrible offense against God, and that the result of sin is death. Romans 3:20 says, “Because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”
Most premillennial scholars agree that the purpose of animal sacrifice during the millennial kingdom is memorial in nature. As the Lord’s Supper is a reminder of the death of Christ to the Church today, animal sacrifices will be a reminder during the millennial kingdom. To those born during the millennial kingdom, animal sacrifices will again be an object lesson. During that future time, righteousness and holiness will prevail, but those with earthly bodies will still have a sin nature, and there will be a need to teach about how offensive sin is to a holy and righteous God. Animal sacrifices will serve that purpose, "but in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year" (Hebrews 10:3).
Why is God going to release Satan after the 1,000 years?
Revelation 20:7-10, “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
As we read these verses, we wonder, “Why will God release Satan at the end of the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ?” First, we must admit that there are some biblical questions which we cannot answer this side of glory because God has chosen to reserve some mysteries to Himself (Deuteronomy 29:29, Romans 11:33-36). Yet, as believers, even if we cannot always understand something about God’s Word, His will, or His ways, we can be sure that He remains ever faithful, true, and trustworthy, and in light of that our job remains to obey what we do understand as quickly, fully, and well as we are able. Even if we might not be able to answer why God releases Satan, we can suggest some possible reasons and motivations, based on an understanding of the entirety of the Word of God.
At the beginning of the Millennium, only believers will be alive (Revelation 19:17-21), some who live through the Tribulation Period, and some who come back with the Lord at His second coming. It will be a time of peace unparalleled in history (Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3). Jesus will be ruling on the throne of David, imposing a benevolent theocracy on all of His creation. Jesus will ensure that everyone has every need fulfilled, while not tolerating the sin so prevalent in today’s society (Psalm 2:7-12; Revelation 2:26-29; 12:5; 19:11-16). We can only imagine such a time of “heaven on earth."
The believers who live through the Tribulation will be mortal. They will live and repopulate the earth during the Millennial Kingdom. Without the devastation of sin taking its toll, we can imagine the population increase during the Millennium will be enormous, almost incomprehensible. All those who are born during the Millennium will enjoy the benefits and blessings of Christ’s reign on the earth, but they will still be born with a sin nature, and they will still have to freely repent and believe the Gospel, personally choosing Christ as Savior and Lord.
Yet, at the end of the Millennial Reign, Satan is loosed and is able to deceive a vast multitude to follow him in one final rebellion against the Lord of glory and His saints! It seems that the further humanity gets from the end of the Tribulation and the start of the Millennium, the more they will "take for granted" how good they have it, and some may even harbor doubts about the goodness of God. Even though the number who rebel with Satan are said to be "as the sand of the sea" (Revelation 20:7), they may still be a minority compared to the number who do not rebel. It will still be a large number of souls who join Satan. Undoubtedly, one of the primary reasons God gives us this picture of what will happen in time is to demonstrate the deep-seated sin nature inherent in all of humanity (Jeremiah 17:9).
Additionally, God is trying to tell us something about His nature as displayed during the Millennium. His grace and goodness will be on display continually. But at the end of the 1,000 years, He will have zero tolerance for rebellion. When it happens, He will show no mercy and offer no "second chances.” At that time He will be quick to judge, and the final rebellion of Satan and sinful man will be over in a flash of fire. After this, the final judgment of the dead takes place (the Great White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:11-15). Eternity can thus begin with every aspect of sin gone for all time.
Finally, God is trying to reinforce some very important lessons concerning Satan himself, especially for believers. First, that he has been and always will be the enemy of humanity. As God has fixed His love on us, Satan has for us a special hatred. Ever since Satan’s fall (Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28), he has been the adversary of believers, and he is aptly described as the ultimate deceiver of mankind (John 8:44; 1 John 2:22). All he can give or promise man is death and destruction (John 10:10a). Satan is also shown here to be a truly defeated foe, and his ultimate doom is certain, along with the doom of all who follow him. God is trying to remind us that Satan is a created being who is powerless before Him (2 Corinthians 12:7). All this should encourage believers today to take God at His Word concerning our position in Christ with respect to the devil (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 4:1-7; James 4:6-8; 1 John 2:15-29; 1 John 4:1-3), especially as we remember this grand truth: "...greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
Shekinah Glory (visible manifestation of the invisible God)
During the Millennial Kingdom, the Shekinah Glory (visible manifestation of the invisible God) returns to Israel for the first time after leaving the 1st temple (Solomon's temple) c. 586 BC
Movement of the Shekinah Glory
Pillar of Cloud and Fire first appears when Moses leads the people out of Egypt (1446 BC)
Ex 13:21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.
Blocks the Egyptians from behind as they cross the Red Sea
Ex 14:19 And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. 20 So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.
The Pillar of Cloud and Fire came to rest over the Tabernacle (1445 BC)
Ex 40:34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
When the cloud lifted, the Israelites moved to a new place
When David becomes king, the Pillar of Cloud and Fire comes to Jerusalem to validate David’s kingship (1004 BC)
Moved the Ark of the Covenant to a tent in the courtyard of David’s palace
2Sa 6:12 Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness. 13 And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. 14 Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet. 16 Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. 17 So they brought the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.
Ark of the Covenant comes to the Temple (977 BC)
The Pillar of Cloud and Fire moves to the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple
Validates the Temple
The Dedication of the Temple – 2Ch 7:1 When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. 3 When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever.” 4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord.
Leaves the Temple Sept 17, 592 BC via the northern gate of the inner court (Close to the Holy of Holies in the Temple)
Leaves to the East – Never returns
Starts at the Holy of Holies (above the Ark of the Covenant)
Pillar of cloud and fire moves from near the Ark of the Covenant to the threshold of the Temple
Ez 9:3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple.
Ez 10:4 Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and paused over the threshold of the temple; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord’s glory.
From the threshold of the Temple to the Eastern Gate
Ez 10:18 Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. 19 And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.
From the Eastern Gate to the Mount of Olives
Ez 11:22 So the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was high above them. 23 And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city.
Moves over the Kedron Valley, up the Mount of Olives, and down the backside toward Jericho
Jesus - In the person of Jesus Christ, God puts on a face and walks among us
Jn 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Glory of God leaves the temple: Temple --> Golden gates --> Kedron Valley --> Mount of Olives --> Jericho
Jesus returns on Palm Sunday: Jericho --> Mount of Olives --> Kedron Valley --> Golden gates --> Temple
On the way in, Jesus curses the fig tree, which is a symbol of the temple
Fig tree – a tree in full leaf with no fruit. The temple had great things, but bore no fruit, just empty ritual
Jesus departs from the Mount of Olives
Jesus ascends from the Mount of Olives
Acts 1:9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.
Jesus will return at His Second Coming to the Mount of Olives
Zec 14:1 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst.
2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished.
Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle.
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.
5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal.
Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah.
Thus the Lord my God will come, And all the saints with You.