Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg
The world today is such a mess, and there are such messers running it. In fact, in all the thousands of years that man has been trying, he has never been able to save himself. Man’s plans have never succeeded and they never will. Any system, whether it’s capitalist, socialist, communist, democracy, or dictatorship, whatever it is, is going to be a flat failure without God. Likewise, although man’s final one-world government which will arise under the Antichrist will purportedly be the greatest, most powerful government ever, it will turn out to be the worst government the world has ever known.
Man’s most ideal government is going to fall flat on its face. But then God is going to step in and straighten things out. Only the direct and forceful intervention of God Himself through the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to set up His own kingdom of righteous rule on earth will ever bring a reign of true perfection, with peace and justice for all.
Immediately after Jesus’ return and the rapture and resurrection of the church, His born-again children will join the Lord in that wonderful Wedding Supper of the Lamb in heaven, while God will mete out His wrath on earth, where they will finally gather together under their Antichrist leader to attempt to war against Jesus Christ Himself and His forces in the Battle of Armageddon.
In this final great battle, the forces of God gain a glorious victory over the forces of Satan and defeat him and his Antichrist and False Prophet. Then Jesus Christ will take over this world and organize and rule and run it the way it should have been run if man had yielded to God.
The Bible says that this amazing period will last for one thousand years, and therefore it is known to Bible prophecy students as the Millennium, which is Latin for a thousand years. The Bible is full of descriptions of this beautiful millennial period, and in fact, it says even more about the Second Coming of Christ and His rule and reign on the earth as its king than it does about the First Coming.
This is the purpose of it all. This is the marvelous happy ending of it all. Therefore God’s Word gives a literal, exact description of what it’s going to be like under the marvelous rule and visible reign of Christ on earth.
We learned in our last chapter that when Jesus returns to earth for the Battle of Armageddon, there’s going to be great destruction and death, according to God’s Word. Nevertheless, some are going to live through it; there will be survivors. His Word says, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection (the Rapture): on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6). Jesus also promised to His faithful ones, “He that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Revelation 2:26–27).
So who are these people that His Word says will form whole nations during the Millennium, over whom the born-again saints of God are going to rule with a rod of iron? It’s obvious that many of the unsaved are going to survive the wrath of God and the Battle of Armageddon and live on into the Millennium. Granted, either they must be pretty tough, or they must live a pretty charmed life, or the Lord must be extra merciful to them to allow them to live through all that.
Perhaps at Armageddon the very worst ones will be killed—the reprobates, those who worshipped the Devil and the Antichrist. Perhaps they’ll all be destroyed during that horrible warfare. Then the rest of the people, those who deserve it and are worthy, will receive another chance. The Lord will set up His kingdom here on earth for a thousand years to try to salvage what He can and who He can and give them another chance, or perhaps their first chance, to see the kingdom of God and hear His voice and His laws and His rules and His words and repent—to believe and receive and accept Him as their king.
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10)
In Revelation chapter 19, we read John’s magnificent description of Jesus Christ’s coming with the hosts of heaven to defeat and destroy the Antichrist and his forces at the Battle of Armageddon. Following the chronological order of events, in Revelation 20 we’re given an amazing glimpse into the Millennium period:
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” (Revelation 20:1–3).
The Devil will be bound and cast as a prisoner into the bottomless pit for a thousand years, with nobody left to run his business. For a thousand years he will no longer bother us and no longer lead his legions and his demons across the face of the earth to plague the world and its citizens. It is during this thousand years, while the Devil is in prison in the bottomless pit, that the saints—including all the new arrivals who resisted the Antichrist and rejected the Mark of the Beast, choosing rather to give their lives than to deny Christ—will live and reign with Christ.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. But the rest of the dead (the unsaved) lived not again until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:4–6).
During the Millennium, Jesus is going to reign and rule in person using His followers as His instruments. So our work—and I hope you won’t be too disappointed—will not be over with the Resurrection and the Rapture. We’re still going to be busy, ruling and reigning with Jesus.
Many people get dreamy ideas about all of this, that after Jesus returns we’re all going to be way off somewhere in some place called heaven. Heaven is not going to be way off somewhere; it’s going to be right here on earth, a heaven on earth during the Millennium. We’re going to rule and reign with Christ right here on earth over the unsaved nations and the unsaved people who are left, who were not destroyed by the judgments God heaped upon the Antichrist kingdom.
Every day, millions of Christians all over the world pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” But I’m sure most of them don’t really appreciate the tremendousness of that statement in the Lord’s Prayer and how literally it is going to come true and be fulfilled. It’s actually going to be like heaven, heaven on earth, with God’s will being done and His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
The prophet Daniel described the takeover of this world’s governments by Christ’s millennial kingdom in his famous vision in Daniel chapter 2. He saw a great image, which represented history’s various great world empires, being destroyed by “a stone which smote the image upon his feet,” smashing it to pieces which are blown away like the chaff. “The stone that smote the image became a great mountain (kingdom), and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:34–35).
“And in the days of these kings”—the ten toes of the image, the ten final government leaders who fully cooperate with and yield to the Antichrist (see Revelation 17:12–14)—“shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).
One of these days, the King is going to come back to claim His kingdom. The kingdom of the most High shall come and shall destroy all the anti-Christ kingdoms of the world. God will then sweep away all of this world’s kingdoms, but not all of the people. Many of them will still be here, but God’s people will be ruling over them. “And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever” (Daniel 7:14,18).
Whether man likes it or not, God is going to be supreme and Jesus will reign from shore to shore, and we will rule and reign with Him with that rod of iron. “And judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:22,27).
We’re going to have a country to call our own one of these days, thank the Lord. In fact, it’ll all be our country then; our country will be a worldwide, earthwide, kingdom of God on earth. No longer will reign the cruel, selfish, dog-eat-dog philosophy which gives the world to the strongest and the mightiest, in which might is right. It will be given to those who have the right to govern because of what today’s reprobate man considers weaknesses: love and meekness and forgiveness and faith in God and His Word.
These weakest and meekest will become the most powerful influences on earth, who will rule the world with both love and a “rod of iron” of loving force to compel the nations to submit to the laws of God and to recognize His authority and to obey His rules of life, love, health, and happiness for a reign of “peace on earth toward men of good will.” Then and only then, under the supreme and powerful rule and reign of Christ and God’s children, will all wars finally cease and the world at last will be governed fairly and well with true justice, liberty, peace, plenty, and happiness for all.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain (kingdom) of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:2–3).
Jesus Christ is going to set up His throne in Jerusalem and make it His millennial capital. And from there He will rule and reign over the earth. “And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4). Complete disarmament at last! That will be the world’s first genuine disarmament, beating their weapons into instruments of peace.
At last there will be peace on earth that will never end under the reign of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Prince of Peace Himself. Today’s men of war will be stopped at last as God “destroys them that destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18)—those who brought war and conflict to the earth. Only then shall the men of peace and the God of peace and the Prince of Peace rule and reign and bring final “peace on earth” (Luke 2:14).
Then “all the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and He is the governor among the nations. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire” (Psalm 22:27–28; 46:9). He’s going to stop all this war business; He’s going to break the arrows and the swords and the shields and the bows. All those chariots and planes and tanks and missiles and bombs are going to be burned up, thank God.
Jesus told His disciples, “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21), and this is true for all of us who know and love the Lord—we already have heaven on earth in our hearts. The problem is, there is still hell all around us. But in that day He’s going to wipe away all this hell on earth, and He’s going to set up His kingdom of peace and righteousness and fairness and justice and goodness and mercy and love. That’s going to literally be heaven on earth. His kingdom won’t only be within us, it will be all around us.
“The Lord most High is a great King over all the earth (in the Millennium). He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness” (Psalm 47:2–3,7–8).
“The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people, He shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor” (Psalm 72:3–4). The world is going to see a righteous judge at last, a righteous ruler, who will have a righteous government. No more corruption, vice, crime, payola, bribery, or crooked judges and crooked politicians, but a righteous government and justice for all.
“He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:6,8). The kingdom of Christ on earth is going to completely cover the whole world. “The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet; they break forth into singing” (Isaiah 14:5,7).
There will be no more big powers and oppressed poor—only the kingdom of Jesus Christ, heaven on earth, fairness and justice for all, and eternal happiness forever. “Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him: all nations shall serve Him. And blessed be His glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen, and Amen” (Psalm 72:11,19).
Life on earth during the Millennium
The reign of Jesus Christ during the Millennium will be a reign of Jesus Christ and His children over what is left of this world and its unsaved populations. The born-again, saved, resurrected saints will be in supernatural bodies, but the rest of the world, those who have been spared and blessed enough to survive into the Millennium, are going to still be in their natural bodies. Therefore life is sort of going to go on as usual in a lot of ways for them.
The Millennium will be almost like an extension of this age now, because the world and its people will still be living in time. To us who are resurrected and raptured at the coming of Christ, “time shall be no more” (Revelation 10:6). We will not be bound by time any longer. But those who still remain on the earth, having survived the wrath of God upon the wicked, will still be bound by time and space here on earth just as we were before we left with Jesus.
The normal, natural people are going to be the same then as they are now—human beings still in their mortal bodies whom God’s blessed by allowing them to live through the horrors that preceded this era. They’re going to feel blessed, too, when they realize that they managed to be millennial survivors. But they will live almost exactly like they are living now. They’ll still have to raise food and make clothes. They’ll still have to live in a normal, natural world; in fact, the same world they’re living in now.
The natural men are going to be just what they are now, only they will be under God’s government. Jesus and His kingdom will be the government, and His followers will be His governors, His officers, His rulers. We shall be “kings and priests unto God,” He says (Revelation 1:6), and we will rule the earth. We’ll have supernatural bodies and wisdom and skill and power and protection, and we’ll change a lot of things for the better.
In order for the Lord to establish heaven on earth, we’ll first have to clean up the hell on earth that the Antichrist and people left behind, and the aftermath of war left behind by God’s own judgments and the Battle of Armageddon. There will certainly be some cleaning up to do. In Israel alone, it’s going to take seven months just to bury all the dead, and seven years to clear away all the wreckage of the instruments of war. Seven years to clean up the rubble, debris, and wreckage left behind by the terrible Battle of Armageddon (Ezekiel 39:9,14).
That will be our initial job during the first seven years of the Millennium. It’ll be a wonder that the Lord and His followers will ever be able to straighten things out. But we will, according to His Word. “And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves” (Isaiah 61:4–6).
Back to the Garden
The earth will blossom like a rose, and all of God’s creation will be in harmony and at peace. No more of man’s inhumanity to man, but all will be peace and beauty, like the Garden of Eden restored—heaven on earth once again as it was in the beginning, but even better, because we’ll have Jesus.
“For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the Garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited” (Isaiah 35:6–7; Ezekiel 36:34–35).
Paul tells us that the whole earth is groaning today. “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain, waiting to be delivered” (Romans 8:22–23). The whole creation, in a sense, is under the curse of sin and the Devil and his demons and sin and sickness. All of God’s creation is groaning, and man’s certainly doing some groaning too. The day’s coming when the field and the trees are going to rejoice. “Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice” (Psalm 96:12). Hallelujah!
At last the Lord is going to redeem the earth and cause the beautiful Garden of Eden to blossom again as we rule and reign with Christ for a thousand years. The natural unsaved people who survived the Tribulation and wrath-of-God periods will be so amazingly blessed to be able to live during this millennial period at all, as the earth will be relieved of the curse.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den” (Isaiah 11:6–8).
You never hear about a wolf lying down with a lamb nowadays, unless the lamb is inside the wolf. Or a leopard lying down with a kid, a little baby goat. Neither have you heard about a little child leading them all. The day is coming again when there will be peace between man and the animals. Even a little child will be able to play with them.
The animals will go back to being herbivorous again and won’t eat each other, much less us. Isn’t that beautiful? Apparently man won’t eat flesh then either; we’ll all be herbivorous again. Both man and beast will return to vegetarianism during the Millennium, because apparently they won’t need the extra strength of animal flesh to survive. The curse will have been at least partially removed and man will no longer be suffering the ill effects of whatever it was that shortened life after the Flood.
From creation until the Flood, man was vegetarian, because God said specifically at the time of creation that He had given them every green thing, the herbs and plants and so on, to eat—just vegetables—no meat or flesh of any kind (Genesis 1:29–30). But after the Flood, that pre-Flood cloud covering that enveloped the earth disappeared and those deadly cosmic rays began to come through. Instead of people living eight or nine hundred or a thousand years, their lifespans were greatly reduced, as they are today. And man’s body apparently needed extra help to survive the toll of sin, so God mercifully gave him meat to eat (Genesis 9:2–3).
Of course, the skeptics always make fun of these scriptures about “the cow and the bear shall feed, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox” (Isaiah 11:7). They say, “They couldn’t possibly do that. They’re carnivorous beasts; that’s impossible.” Nothing’s impossible with the Lord (Luke 1:37). I have such confidence in this book, the Word of God and the words of Jesus and every book and every chapter and every verse in it—I have proven so many of them to be true and have found none of them to ever fail or to be false—that I believe it means exactly what it says. If they’re not going to eat each other or eat us anymore, they’re going to have to graze like the ox and the calf.
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain (kingdom): for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). Since there’s nothing that will hurt or destroy, there will be no venomous insects or beasts or serpents or scorpions. Even the once deadly asps and vipers will almost be like toys for the children to play with—no bite, no sting, no poison, no venom.
This, of course, will be a great blessing to the natural flesh-and-blood people of the earth who are still going to till the land and build houses and marry and be given in marriage. No doubt they will proclaim, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase” (Psalm 85:10–12).
What a wonderful place to live! The curse will be removed, all viciousness gone, and all killing and hurting stopped. There will also probably be much less disease, much less sickness, because in Isaiah it says that if someone dies when he’s 100 years old, he’ll be considered merely a child. “There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old” (Isaiah 65:20).
Life is obviously going to be lengthened to great longevity, as it was before the Flood, when men lived to be nearly a thousand years of age. Everybody will live like Methuselah—for a thousand years (Genesis 5:27).
Why the Millennium?
The Millennium could be an additional period of grace for those who didn’t have a chance to really hear the gospel or know the Lord during this life, perhaps even because of our own failure and the failure of the church to reach the whole world with the gospel, or at least to reach everybody we should have. Particularly lots of children and young people who never had a chance and never knew any better, maybe lots of people in non-Christian countries—to give them a chance to hear and see and know the Lord.
But during the Millennium, everyone will be reached. “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). How do the waters cover the seas? Completely. So the world will be completely covered with the knowledge of the Lord and the righteous kingdom of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!
It sounds like this thousand years of the millennial rule and reign of Jesus Christ on earth will be another testing time for those who remain, the unsaved who survived the wrath of God, whom God has blessed with another chance, or perhaps their first chance. They may have never really heard the gospel before; they may have never experienced the love of Jesus before or known God’s will or His ways before. It will be a time of learning His laws and His ways and His love.
It’s obvious from the Bible’s description of the Millennium that the survivors from the age of man will be given another chance through the personal rule and reign of Christ and His children and the universal knowledge of the Lord and His love. In fact, I think that’s what the whole Millennium is all about, to give these people such a chance; otherwise there would be no point to it.
In the face of the visible rule and reign of Christ on earth, His personal appearance to man, His Second Coming in mighty power and glory, His wiping out of the Antichrist and his kingdom and the imprisonment of Satan, and His obvious visible rule and reign, I think some are going to believe and receive who perhaps never heard before. And maybe there will be some who might have heard but didn’t understand or couldn’t believe until they saw something.
To see the coming of the Lord and His taking over the reins of this earth to rule and reign—that’s pretty strong persuasion and enough to convince almost anybody to believe and receive. So I think the Millennium will be the time when God gives what I would call not a second chance, but a first chance to a lot of people who didn’t have a chance before.
“For in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it” (Isaiah 29:18–19; 32:1; 40:5).
Everyone on earth will see His glorious power and kingdom, and everybody will believe then. He even says, “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:34).
There won’t be any unbelievers then, but I’m afraid there will be some unreceivers who will still be rebellious and iniquitous at heart and defiant. It’s obvious from the scriptures that there will be many who will receive and obey and will be blessed of the Lord—and others who will still rebel.
It looks to me like the Millennium is going to be another testing time or trying time, a proving ground. We, the saints, who heard the gospel and voluntarily received the Lord, will be running things under the direct supervision of the Lord. And all of the people who survived the Tribulation, the wrath of God and the Battle of Armageddon, we’re going to govern and judge and organize and teach them.
They’ll all “know the Lord” and will actually see that He and His kingdom are real, but they may not know Him as well or as personally as we do, because we already knew Him in this life and learned to know Him well and communicate with Him and love Him and serve Him throughout this life. I think it will be part of our job to reeducate them in the ways of the Lord. They’re going to be just as human as you and I are right now. They won’t be any more supernatural in their intelligence or in their mental capacities or the ways they have to learn than we are in this present age.
The scriptures definitely confirm that the Millennium is going to be a period of learning for them: “Many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Micah 4:2).
“He shall rule the nations with a rod of iron” (Revelation 19:15)
In spite of all that visible evidence of the power of God and the people of God and the government of God and the Son of God, Jesus Christ Himself personally ruling the earth in the flesh from His capital at Jerusalem, there will still be people who won’t like it. The carnally-minded and evil-minded people will still rebel against the Lord.
Even though the Devil and all his demons will be bound in the bottomless pit during this thousand-year period of what is going to be like heaven on earth, there will still be plenty of people left who still reject the King of kings and His kingdom, who still rebel against His reign and power—sometimes whole nations which will rebel and refuse to obey the commandments of Christ and the dictates of His kingdom and His officers.
That’s why he’ll have to rule with a rod of iron. “God is love” (1 John 4:8), and today He’s showing His love to the world—His patience, His mercy, His longsuffering, His forgiveness. He’s showing love to the world to try to get them to love Him. But the day is coming when, if all else fails and they reject His love, He will rule them with a rod of iron and of force. Not because His love failed, for love never fails. Jesus never fails, God never fails, and God is love, so love can’t fail (1 Corinthians 13:8).
But the happy side is that many in that day, having seen, will believe and will bow and will yield and will obey and will receive with gladness the kingdom of God on earth. They will become its happy citizens and members and cooperate and help us to rebuild and to reconstruct and to clean up, rehabilitate, and give the world its last chance for salvation.
It’s obvious from the scriptures that during that time some people and nations will submit and yield to the kingdom of God on earth, and therefore will be blessed. But others will rebel, and therefore will be punished. “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem”—survivors from the Battle of Armageddon—“shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16).
“And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain” (Zechariah 14:17). So there will definitely still be free will and choice during the Millennium. They won’t have to submit and obey; they can rebel if they want to, but they’ll be punished. Although the curse will be largely lifted and it’s going to be a lot nicer world then—virtually heaven on earth in a way—there will still be some people there who don’t belong in heaven. So again, it looks like the Millennium will be a testing time to give the survivors of Armageddon a chance to choose between the kingdom of God and the sin already in the world since Adam and Eve. They’re going to have a thousand years of another chance and mercy and goodness and peace on earth and the very presence of Jesus Christ Himself—perfect government, plenty for all, peace on earth. A thousand years to prove the love and mercy and power of God.
If there is a choice offered at that time, to me it indicates that some people will choose what’s right when they are presented with a full knowledge of the Lord, the personal appearance of the Lord and the proof of His existence and authority. After all, how much more evidence could anyone ask than what there will be during the Millennium, when man will be able to see the visible, personal embodiment of God in Jesus Christ as King of kings and ruler of the earth.
Then, instead of believing being seeing—God’s motto for His children today who “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7)—seeing will be believing. They will be given the opportunity to believe by actually being able to see the kingdom of God and Christ on earth and His saints in power and ruling the world, so it should be much easier for them to believe and receive under those conditions. However, they will not be as honored or blessed as those who are now believing and receiving and obeying by faith, without seeing.
Jesus said to Thomas, “Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed.” I believe the Millennium is going to be designed, in a sense, for those whom God’s going to give a chance to see and to believe. But He then said, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). We are the more blessed category, who believe by faith in this life, even though we haven’t seen.
God, in a sense, is going to do for the world in the Millennium what He did for Thomas. People today say, “Show me.” He’s going to show them, and those who were honest about it and really meant it—“Lord, if You’ll only show me, I’ll believe”—will believe.
No doubt, many at this time will at last see and understand and believe and receive the love of God and the beauty of His kingdom, the restored Garden of Eden on earth in the paradise of the Millennium.
So this period seems to be necessary, by God’s own creation and design, to give everybody a chance before the final judgment of God at the end of the Millennium, which we’ll cover in detail in the next chapter. God’s going to give them all a chance under the most ideal conditions to believe and to accept and to receive and to obey. And if they do believe when they see, then why shouldn’t the Lord bless them somehow? Maybe not with our kind of salvation, but at least with some kind of salvation, reclamation, reconciliation, and reward in the next life, in the final fulfillment of it all, the new heaven and new earth, the age the saved will all enter after the thousand-year millennial period is over and the great final White Throne Judgment has taken place.
Here and now for there and then
Some people have the notion that in the future world they’re going to know everything, speak any language, and be able to do anything. I believe that God is going to take the talents that He’s already given you and that you have already developed and used and profited by. He’s going to take the knowledge you have already learned, He’s going to take the experiences you have already been through, He’s going to take the languages you already know and use them.
Your knowledge is not just going to be handed to you on a silver platter after you die or after the resurrection. We’re not going to suddenly receive some gift of total omniscience so that we know everything like God—not even the angels have that. I believe we are going to carry our experiences with us from this life over into the next life. I believe that God is going to use the experience, the talents, the languages that you now know, as well as the supernatural wisdom and powers that He will give you. But in many ways you’re still going to be very much like you are right now. Everything the Lord has ever taught you during this life and the things that you are learning now are going to come in very handy then. Just as God sent Jesus to become a man to understand us, He’s going to raise up many generations of Christians who understand this world and its people to run them and govern them the way they ought to be governed.
Everything you’re learning and doing now and decisions you’re making and experiences you’re having now are a part of your schooling and training here and now to be used there and then. So for God’s sake, let’s learn our lessons today and learn to be faithful, obedient, dedicated servants now, so He can trust and bless us with a place of usefulness to Him and others tomorrow. Amen?
What a wonderful one-thousand-year victory we have to look forward to during the Millennium! It’s a beautiful prospect.
For the darkness shall turn to dawning,
And the dawning to noonday bright,
And Christ’s great kingdom shall come on earth,
The kingdom of love and light.
—H. E. Nichol
Are you ready for it? Are you a member of Christ’s kingdom that shall never pass away? Are you one of God’s children through Jesus Christ His Son, the great revolutionary who shall overthrow all earthly powers and set up His kingdom on earth to establish a lasting world of peace and plenty for all? If not, receive Him now as your personal Savior. He’ll give you peace of mind and satisfaction of heart and love and happiness here and now—and heaven hereafter.
Copyright © March 1981 by the Family International