By James Fire
Christians have long been known to warn this weary, sin-laden planet of 'REPENT! The End of the World is Nigh!'* (sadly though, less and less it seems today) and usually those who proclaim such are seen as “doom and gloomers” who are stereo-typically seen with such slogans on placard boards hanging over their chests.
Certainly the time ahead when the anti-Christ rules the One World System, empowered by the spirit of Satan, bringing all human souls into subjugation is quite grim to say the least! Scripture speaks abundantly of woes and tribulations such as pestilences, wars, famines as well as disasters like heavenly bodies crashing into the Earth, bizarre demonic creatures plaguing mankind with tormenting stings and unimaginably powerful earthquakes that will level entire cities.
* The 'end of the world' in terms of the actual destruction of planet Earth is an event that won't be happening for some one thousand years plus seven at the very least. What is meant by this term in biblical language is not the literal end of the planet, but the end of an age. We are currently living in the age of mankind in secular terms, and the age of the church (or the age of grace) in spiritual terms. We are heading towards the age of the 70th week of Daniel (a period of only 7 years) and the Day of Christ (The age of God the Son), Who is coming to rule this world.
The argument has been made before that history is replete with wars, and disasters, famines and diseases – what's so remarkable about these prophecies in the Scriptures?
I always refer people who have asked such questions to MATTHEW 24:8 . . .
“8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Sorrows as in birth pangs, or a “woman in travail” There are numerous Old Testament passages that use this phrase, or something similar; likewise there are a number of Scriptures found in the New Testament that use this expression:
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
1 THESS. 5:3
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
In the above two passages these same birth pangs are mentioned, but with two different results; in the latter case, we see “sudden destruction” upon those who are alive to see such days with the somber promise that they will not escape but face judgment for their sins.
In the former passage, we see that after the sorrow has passed, there is joy for the repentant saints, because of a new born child that's come as a result of the birth pangs. But these global birth pangs mirror labor pains as witnessed in any delivery room: starting out relatively mild and far apart, then increasing in intensity and frequency. This is what all of these prophecies hinge upon, the 8th verse of MATTHEW 24.
We may fairly conclude then that for those who reject Christ Jesus, such 'doom and gloom' proclamations are just that – because they have no hope at all during that time which is fast approaching; nor can they have any hope once it's all over and Christ has returned if they stubbornly refuse salvation by the Lamb of God!
For those of us who are redeemed however, the Second Coming of Christ is called “the blessed hope” (TITUS 2:13), because it signifies the end of sinful man's reign over the Earth, and even more so, the abrupt halt of Satan's vindictive and cruel reign as “the god of this world” (2 COR. 4:4).
Once Christ returns He will set everything in order; bringing down the corrupt, satanically exalted and evil influences, powers, infrastructures and institutions of rebellious mankind and establishing His own reign of righteousness with all holiness, purity, justice, mercy and grace (ISAIAH 40:4; 44:23; LUKE 3:5)!
Such sublime joy indeed which will cause the saints to forget all of the anguish, persecution and suffering they've had to endure during the wicked time of Daniel's Seventieth Week (a.k.a. The Time of Jacob's [Israel's] Trouble) lasting seven years or even the persecution that Christians are suffering today and throughout the church age - Christians are experiencing these things today in most of the world already, and we here in America may well see such times in our own land before the LORD Jesus Christ catches us at the rapture of the church (which may happen at any moment).Thus, it would be wise to prepare for any potential outbreak of persecution, which is promised to those who will “live godly in Christ Jesus” (2 TIM. 3:12).
So then, what is this “Millennium” all about? What is its purpose – for Israel? and for the church? What will transpire during this time? Will it be 'heaven on earth' then without any trace of sin, corruption and rebellion? Will everyone be saved at that time? Will the church be in heaven or will we be here back on Earth? These questions and many, many more we will ponder and seek the LORD in His Word for answers, in this series, The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH!
The term 'Millennium' most likely arose from the frequency of mention of a time period lasting 1000 years in Revelation 20, where “a thousand years” is mentioned six times in the first seven verses. This time period coincides with the imprisonment of Satan (REV. 20:2), the banishment of satanic deception caused by Satan himself (REV. 20:3), thrones are established and those martyred for Christ's sake (during the time of Tribulation) are given the right to rule with the LORD; these are among the members of the first resurrection (REV. 20:4).
Those who are resurrected after the thousand years are up are part of the resurrection of the damned; just as those resurrected previously at the beginning of the thousand years are members of the resurrection of the just (REV. 20:5); members of the first resurrection will comprise of a priesthood of God and of His Christ (REV. 20:6). Finally, after the thousand years are expired, Satan is once again loosed for a final rebellion before he is summarily arrested and consigned to the eternal damnation of Gehenna (REV. 20:7, 10).
For those who adhere to a pre-tribulational, pre-millennial view, the order of events that is fast approaching is as follows (this list is by no means comprehensive, but a simple and basic outline):
1) The rapture of the church. (1 THESS. 4:16-18)
2) The hand of God once again upon Israel. (ACTS 15:16; MAL. 3:3)
3) The attack of Gog and Magog upon Israel – this is a moving target that could precede the rapture, coincide with it, or occur sometime soon after the translation of the church. (EZEK. Ch. 38 and 39)
4) The revelation of the Beast and his assumption of power over the nations, being granted “all power” by Satan, and “ten kings” representing the one world government (The formation of the one world government could and may actually occur before the rapture of the church). (2 THESS. 2:9; REV. 13:2; 17:12-13; DAN. 7:8)
5) The authorization granted to Israel to officiate in their Temple by the Beast (which follows the actual building of the Temple in Jerusalem – an event that could happen at any time). (DAN. 9:27)
6) The abomination of desolation occurs wherein the Beast demands worship as 'God' by Jew and Gentile alike. The anti-Christ is presumably the victim of a failed assassination attempt, but nearly mortally wounded. He stages a convincing resurrection, assigns his mark to the world's population and is paid homage by all people (except the saints, who are then martyered by beheading) (DAN. 9:27; 2 THESS. 2:4; ZECH 11:17).
7) The Beast is rejected by Israel, and subsequently is persecuted by him as he seeks the destruction of the nation. (REV. 12:13; DAN. 7:21)
8) A remnant of believing Israel is saved and preserved in hiding (Petra or Bosra) from the Beast.
9) The battle of Armageddon commences where the Beast attacks Israel with the armies of the world and in the midst of her destruction, the LORD Jesus Christ returns and saves Israel. The nation at this time (whoever has survived) beholds their Messiah and receives Him. (MICAH 2:12; IS. 63:1; ZECH. 12:10)
10) Having abolished the reign of the Beast and delivering him and the false Prophet to Gehenna, and Satan to “the bottomless pit”, the LORD Jesus Christ, Messiah of Israel and LORD of the church commences His earthly reign from Jerusalem in the re-established Kingdom of Israel for 1000 years. (REV. 19:20; LUKE 1:31-33; REV. 20:12; IS. 9:6-7)
There are myriads of Scriptures that describe a time when the LORD revisits His people Israel and bestows upon her the blessings recorded in Old Testament passages, with the greatest of all blessings in addition to the others: the actual, visible rule of God Himself in the midst of His people. A perusal of the writings of the Old Testament prophets, particularly the last chapters of these books (even the last few verses), reveals God's restoration of Israel and His blessings upon His people.
All of this began when God by covenant, made certain unconditional promises to Abraham regarding the promised land and a promised people – descendants of Abraham by lineage and also by faith (See GEN. 15:1-18; note the borders of the promised land in vs. 18! Also GEN. 17:1-8). And as God promised to Adam and Eve regarding 'the seed of the woman' (GEN 3:15) which is Christ, so likewise God promised to Abraham (GEN. 22:8, 18; GAL. 3:16-17).
The realization of these blessings by covenant were furthered by the LORD God in His revelation to King David and the LORD's intentions for the nation:
2 SAM. 7:8-17
8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:
9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.
10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,
11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house.
12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
Along with the reassurance of God's intention of appointing a place for His people Israel, He further states that they will “move no more” and that “the children of wickedness will afflict them [no more] as before . . .”.
Even a casual examination of history reveals that the Jews were migratory for much of their history, and that the affliction they suffered from persecution has been virutally unending from one nation or another.
Obviously this prophecy speaks of a time other than any that we have yet seen; it's foretelling of that time when Christ – the Messiah, the Son of David will have His throne and kingdom established forever (vs. 12-13); the establishment of David's throne lasting forever is reiterated in vs. 16. Noting vs. 14 and 15 speaks of the sons of David, other kings in his lineage that were mere mortal men, prone to sin and unjust conduct who would require chastening (a review of OT history in the 1st and 2nd book of Kings will bear this out).
Along with this passage from 1 SAMUEL 7, the LORD underscores His promises to David regarding the everlasting throne and kingdom of Israel in PSALM 89:
PSALM 89:3-4, 20-24, 34-37
3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,
4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him:
21 With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him.
22 The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him.
23 And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him.
24 But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.
35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
Much of this has been dealt with in the TTUF article ISRAELOLOGY: WHY ISRAEL IS IMPORTANT TO THE BIBLICAL CHRISTIAN; click here to read Part One or you can watch a teaching based on this here
The apostles asked the resurrected LORD and MESSIAH of Israel this rather pertinent question:
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
NOTE: The MESSIAH-KING of Israel does not dismiss the idea of the kingdom of Israel restored, He simply states that the time for such is in the Father's keeping. The LORD GOD made definitive and emphatic promises to Israel regarding the coming restoration of the Kingdom (JERE. 32:40-42) and these are replete throughout the Old Testament and acknowledged in the New, and referred to as the Millennium in REV. Ch. 20.
Now let's have a look at some of these passages about the Millennium (You will notice that a considerable majority of these verses come from the book of Isaiah; it is for this reason this prophet is often referred to as the Messianic Prophet):
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.
vs. 1 - The LORD God granted to His prophet this vision and revealed to him things “concerning Judah and Jerusalem” - there can be no spiritualizing or allegorization of this passage, as it literally spells out the specific region and city of the Jewish people, Judah and Jerusalem.
vs. 2 - “Mountains” in Scripture are often symbolic of kingdoms (see DAN. 2:35, 44-45 (44-45 interpreting vs. 35); see also ISAIAH 13:4). Consider that when the LORD Jesus Christ gave the teaching of the Kingdom, He ascended a mountain to give the teaching (MATT.5:1); in my mind, not at all coincidental!
These events spoken of in verse 2 are to occur “in the last days” and so we know that these passages cannot refer to Israel at any other time in her previous history, but must refer to the nation contemporaneously, specifically in the near future as Israel is not at all a “kingdom” today, but a democracy.
“The house of the LORD” that is, the authority and express Presence of the LORD will inhabit the mountain (government) above all the mountains (all of the other governments present in the world, among the Gentile nations). All the Gentile nations “shall flow unto it”. For what purpose, one might ask . . . the answer is in verse 3.
vs. 3 - "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."
There are too, too many Christians today that villify “Zionism” as bigotry, oppression, even satanic! I will grant that there are human endeavors (some by well meaning Jews) to establish the nation, but also that the hand of God has moved through His (unbelieving) people to accomplish His will:
The regathering of the nation in accordance with EZEKIEL 37:1-8; note vs. 8 where it states that “no breath” or spirit, “was in them”. Israel regathered in the land, but not yet spiritually alive by the Spirit of the LORD, which happens afterwards (vs. 9-10).
There are some Jews given over to mysticism and esotericism who indeed have intentions of domination over the world, but these are very few in number (though financially powerful, such as the Rothschildes!) and whose agenda is not at all shared by the common Jew today that walk the streets of Jerusalem!
However, once “all Israel [is] saved” (ROM. 11:26) the LORD God will establish Zion (the government of God) in the nation and His Law and Word will proceed from Jerusalem for the nations to learn of “His ways”.
vs. 4 – The righteous Judge will judge among the nations, measuring out perfect justice upon all, and bringing every action, every word, and every thought into account so that nothing perpetrated by sinful man will go neglected. As I am fond of saying, “There is no such thing as eternal injustice!”. It will be gratifying to see unjust global oppressors and 'international bullies' get their due reward from the Holy King Who will not tolerate such conduct in His Kingdom!
There will no longer be any war, nor a need for such: some initiate war as a means of unlawful acquisition and oppression; others respond to war as a matter of defense against such nefarious motivations. However in the Millennial Kingdom such practices will be obsolete!
vs. 5 – The nation of Israel will exult in the Light of the LORD, receiving the fullness of revelation by their MESSIAH concerning His goodness, His holiness, His grace and righteousness – and they shall walk, that is, live in the Light of the LORD! No longer blind to the truth regarding the identity of the Messiah, but wholly embracing Y'shua ha Meschiach (Jesus Christ) and serving Him joyously in the renewed Earth that shall blossom like Eden, and the re-established kingdom of Israel!
His foundation is in the holy mountains.
2 The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
3 Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.
On the subject of foundations, holy or profane, consider this three part series FROM the MIND of FIRE:
FOUNDATIONS - HOLY or PROFANE (Part 1 of 3).
HERE ENDS part One of The MILLENNIAL REIGN of the MESSIAH; we shall revisit other TTUF series and articles and complete these, and then proceed with this study a.s.a.p.! Until then, the LORD bless and keep you all as we await the LORD JESUS CHRIST and His arrival to bring His bride Home!