Updated: Feb 9
Day 16 of the 24 Day Prophecy Study
Notes compiled by Steve McAtee and Marty Zide
A millennium is a period of time that lasts 1000 years. The word comes from the Latin words “mille” which means thousand and “annum” which means year. The Bible speaks of a time period of 1000 years where the Lord Jesus will be ruling as King on the throne of David. Should this be taken literally? If so, what is the purpose of the Millennium? Why is it necessary? And who will populate the Millennium? A. Why Must There Be A Millennium
It goes back to the events in the Garden of Eden. God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth. However, that was lost to Satan when they disobeyed. The millennium will be the time when God reestablishes His rulership over the earth through Messiah Jesus. All that was lost in Adam will be reclaimed by the Lord Jesus. Gen. 1:26 - Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. Luke 4:5-6 - And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 2 Cor. 4:4 - in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Messiah, who is the image of God. The millennium reestablishes on the earth, the Theocratic rule of God that was lost by the fall. Even while the devil is operating as ruler of the earth, God remains sovereign over His universe. God in His sovereignty allows Satan to be the ruler of the world system. If there is no millennium, the reclaiming of that which was lost would not take place. In order for God to re-establish that He, and He alone, is the ultimate Sovereign God of the entire universe, including that which was lost to Satan, several things have to take place. Some things that must take place before God destroys planet earth: 1. God must crush His enemy the devil, of his rule on earth
2. God must restore His theocracy on earth
3. God must restore nature back to the way it was before the fall
4. God must fulfill the covenant promises He made to Israel
B. Who Will Populate the Millennium
There are several different groups of believers that populate the millennium. It begins with all saved people from different time periods. No one unsaved will be able to initially enter the 1000 year kingdom. There are two types of saints who will be present, those who have already been glorified and those who still have their physical bodies. Different groups of saints populate the millennium: *Old Testament saints and church saints *resurrected tribulation saints: those who died during the tribulation will be resurrected and receive glorified bodies *surviving tribulation saints: those who survived the tribulation period will enter with their physical bodies *those who are born in the millennium - some will be redeemed, some will not get saved At the end of the tribulation period, the Judgment of the Gentiles and the Judgment of Israel will separate out the saved from the lost. Those who are unsaved will be taken and sent to eternal fire. Those who are saved will be left to enter the millennial kingdom with their physical bodies. You can read about these judgments in Matt. 25:31:46 and Ezek. 20:34-38 O.T. Saints Dan. 12:1-2, 13 - Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age. Church Saints 1 Thes 4:17 - Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Tribulation Saints Who Died Rev. 20:4 - Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Messiah for a thousand years. Tribulation Saints Who Survived Matt. 25:34 - Then the King will say to those on His right, Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Ezek. 20:37 - I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; and I will purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the Lord.
Many who are born in the millennium from among the Jewish people and the Gentiles, will not become believers in Messiah Jesus. At the end of the millennium, Satan will be loosed for a season and will gather these rebels for one last battle. God will rain down fire and consume them. Rev. 20:7-9 - When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. C. The Literalness of the Millennium The opponents of a literal millennium say that the number 1000 is not to be taken literally. But why shouldn’t we take it literally? What insight is there in the text that would suggest otherwise? Actually, the context of these verses argues for a literal interpretation.
The Beatitude The prophetic vision of what John sees is contained in verses 1-5 of Revelation 20. In verse 6 John takes us out of the prophetic vision and beatitude is given, which interprets the vision.
Rev. 20:6 - Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
This beatitude interprets the prophetic vision. Notice that this is not part of the vision, but rather it’s an interpretation of the vision. It’s important to point out that the thousand years is found both in the prophetic vision and in the interpretation. If this were simply a vision to be spiritualized, you would not have the length of the thousand years mentioned in the interpretation, but the beatitude is an interpretation of the vision and thousand years is retained. The fact that the thousand years is found in both the prophetic vision and in the beatitude (the interpretation) supports a literal interpretation. The Greek Tenses Notice in vs. 4, which is part of the vision and in vs. 6, which is the interpretation of the vision, the Greek tenses are different. Rev. 20:4 - And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God..., and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Rev. 20:6 - ...but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
In the vision, the tense is written in the past tense, but in the interpretation the tense is future. This is similar to other Scriptures that are found in the Bible. For example Isa. 53:
D. The Length of the Millennium
Although there are multitudes of Old Testament verses that teach about the Millennium, none of them speak about the length of it, it’s the New Testament that does that. The primary verses in Scripture that teaches the length of the millennium are found in Rev. 20:1-7. Rev. 20:1-7 - Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison. The length of the kingdom on earth is said to be 1000 years. It is mentioned six times. It is true, one would have to read almost the entire Bible to discover its’ length, but that is the characteristic of progressive revelation. Not everything is revealed at one time.
E. Characteristics of the Millennium The Old Testament Scriptures are so abundant with teachings about the millennium that a detailed picture of what life will be like during this time can be drawn from them. These characteristics will be true for both the Jewish people and the Gentiles during this time. Characteristics During the Millennium Peace - Isa. 2:4, 11:6-9, 66:12 Righteousness - Isa. 60:21, 46:13 Joy - Isa. 9:3-4, 12:3-6 Holiness - Joel 3:17, Isa. 35:8 Glory - Isa. 4:2, 35:2 Comfort - Isa. 12:1-2 Justice - Isa. 9:7, Jer. 23:5 Knowledge -Isa. 11:9, Hab. 2:14 Curse Removed - Isa. 11:6-9 Age Lengthened - Isa. 65:20 Protection - Joel 3:16-17 Population Growth- Ezk. 47:22 Economic Prosperity -Isa. 35:1-2 Unified Language - Zeph. 3:9 Free From Oppression - Isa. 14:3-6 Manifest Presence of God - Ezk. 37:27-28 There will also be some very specific characteristics in the millennium that pertain to Israel. This is going to be the time when the covenants and promises that God made to them will be fulfilled. It will be a time marked by special blessings for Israel.
Special Blessings For Israel During the Millennium Reunited as a nation - They will no longer be divided, but will once again be one nation - Jer. 3:18, 37:1-23 (dry bones) Israel will be the center of attention - Isa. 14:1-2, Zeph. 3:20, Zech. 8:23 King Jesus will be reigning on the throne of David - Jer. 23-5-6, Isa. 9:6-7 Jer. 3:18 - In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance. Isa. 14:1-2 - When the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob. The peoples will take them along and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them as an inheritance in the land of the Lord as male servants and female servants; and they will take their captors captive and will rule over their oppressors. Zeph. 3:20 - At that time I will bring you in, Even at the time when I gather you together; Indeed, I will give you renown and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the Lord. Zech. 8:23 - Thus says the Lord of hosts, in those days 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 Jer. 23:5-6 - Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, The Lord our righteousness. While the Old Testament supplies us with multiple characteristics of the millennium, it is the New Testament that provides us with the length of the millennium. F. Worship During the Millennium
The details that describe the worship and the sacrifices in the millennium makes it clear that there is a distinction between the Mosaic system and the one that will be going on in the millennium. The Mosaic Law was rendered inoperative by the death of Christ. A new literal system will be in place during this time. Although other prophets speak of the Millennial Temple and the sacrifices that will be done during the millennium, Ezekiel gives the most details about those events. During the millennium, the temple will be for all the people who are there. Not like the tabernacle and the temple which were exclusively for Israel. But why will there be sacrifices during this time? In the light of several New Testament verses, one might easily conclude that any kind of sacrifice that is offered since the death of Christ would be a violation of not believing in the sufficiency of His atonement. Heb. 9:12 - and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Heb. 9:24-26 - For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. We will address the question, as to why there will be sacrifices during this time, but first, it’s important that we make an important observation. First of all, Ezekiel is not the only one to speak of the Millennial Temple and the sacrifices. If people want to spiritualize the teaching in Ezekiel, they would also have to do the same with the teachings that are found in Isaiah, Daniel, Joel, Haggai, Jeremiah Malachi, and Zechariah, that pertain to the Temple and sacrifices
Jer. 33:15-18 - In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the Lord is our righteousness. For thus says the Lord, David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to prepare sacrifices continually. Zech. 14:16-19 - Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths
If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the Lord smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.
Isa. 56:7 - Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.
What are some of the reasons for sacrifices during the millennium? Just as there were several reasons for the Levitical sacrifices, there are several reasons for the millennial sacrifices. Reasons For the Millennial Sacrifices A memorial for the death of Christ
When Communion is presently celebrated by Church saints, it is done to remember all the Lord Jesus did for us on the cross. The sacrifices during the millennium will be similar to what Communion is for the Church during this present time. Those sacrifices will remind Millennial saints all that the Lord Jesus did in offering Himself as the eternal sacrifice. Communion is to go on until the return of the Lord Jesus. When He establishes His kingdom, sacrifices will be instituted to aid us in remembering His atonement. 1 Cor. 11:26 - For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
A means of restoring fellowship with God This will not be necessary for the saints who already have their glorified bodies in the millennium, but we need to remember that there will be people present who will not have their glorified bodies and they will be able to sin. The sacrifices will be a way to restore fellowship under the new covenant just as the sacrifices did while Israel was under the Law of Moses. For ritual cleansing and uncleanness. One of the major purposes for the sacrifices under the Mosaic system was for the purification of the priests and for the objects used during worship. Ceremonial cleansing was ongoing because of sin. This will also be true in the millennium. Because there will be a Holy of Holies and the Lord Jesus will be visibly reigning, there will be the necessity for ceremonial cleansing during the days of the millennium. Ezek. 43:19-20 - You shall give to the Levitical priests who are from the offspring of Zadok, who draw near to Me to minister to Me, declares the Lord God, a young bull for a sin offering. You shall take some of its blood and put it on its four horns and on the four corners of the ledge and on the border round about; thus you shall cleanse it and make atonement for it. Animal sacrifices during the millennium will serve primarily to remove ceremonial uncleanness and prevent the defilement of the Millennial Temple. This will be necessary because God’s presence will once again be personally dwelling in the presence of a sinful and unclean people. Because of God’s promise to dwell on earth as stated in the New Covenant, it will be necessary that He protects his presence through sacrifices. Are you going to participate in the Millennium? If you have trusted in the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins you will.