THE 1,000-YEAR REIGN WITH CHRIST WHEN? WHERE? WHY?
"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 (Revelation 20:6*)
The Kingdom of Christ
One great king over all the world: This great world kingdom is soon to be established. All dictators, prime ministers, kings, and presidents will lose their positions when the new King takes control over all the world. Who will this great King be? The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and forever! (Revelation 11:15).
He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16).
It is the Lord Jesus Christ who is soon coming to be King over the earth.
Christ Foretold His Kingship
The Jews expected Christ to come as a king at His first advent. The disciples expected Jesus to take over as king. They did not understand the purpose of His first advent. Jesus taught them that He must die as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. But He also taught that He would come again and then He would truly be the great King.
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 (Matthew 25:31).
The Throne of Christ
Before Jesus was born, God gave a wonderful revelation to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
And behold you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 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 (Luke 1:31, 32).
with the prophecy found in the book of the prophet Isaiah, chapter 9, verse 7:
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom
From these verses we see that the throne of Christ will be David's throne. King David reigned at Jerusalem, here on this earth. The prophet Zechariah, foretelling of this time, says,
And the Lord shall be King over all the earth (Zechariah 14:9).
A Special Time Period
When Christ comes again and takes over the rule of Earth, it never again will go back into the hands of corrupt men. His second coming ushers in a special time period for a special work. Jesus spoke of this time, recorded in Matthew 19:28, in these words:
Assuredly say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Jesus calls this time the regeneration.
Apostle Peter, when preaching to the Jews, declared Jesus would remain in heaven until a certain time. Whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:21).
Thus we see that Peter calls this period the times of restoration. We note from the text that it begins at the second advent of Christ.
How Long Will It Be?
When Jesus comes again, the dead in Christ will be resurrected.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God And the dead in Christ will rise first (I Thessalonians 4:16).
This raising of the dead is the first resurrection. Concerning those who come up at this time we read:
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 (Revelation20:6).
Notice the mention of a TIME PERIOD OF 1,000 YEARS! This tells us those who come up in the first resurrection will be priests and will co--reign with Christ for 1,000 years.
Where Will It Be?
Where will the redeemed, who come up in the first resurrection, reign with Christ? Will it be in heaven or on this earth? Where will Christ be at this time? We already have observed that, when Christ comes, He sits on the "throne of his glory" (Matthew 25:3 1). We also noted the throne promised to Christ in prophecy is the throne of David and this throne was on Earth. We found that after Christ returns, as described in Zechariah 14, He will be "King over all the earth."
We have just seen that the redeemed who come up in the first resurrection, which takes place when Christ comes, will reign with Him for 1,000 years. Since Christ is then to be reigning over all Earth on the throne of David, it follows that the redeemed who are reigning with him also will be on Earth. But we do not have to get this understanding entirely from such a line of reasoning. God has given us direct word about it. We turn to Revelation 5:9, and we find the redeemed saints of all ages will be singing the glory of Christ and saying:
For You were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God, and we shall reign on the earth (Revelation 5:9, 10).
We note that those who are made kings and priests at the first resurrection, when Jesus comes, will then reign with Him for 1,000 years on the earth.
Why Will It Be?
God has a purpose in everything He does, His ways are carefully designed. Man can understand only what God has revealed of His great plan and purpose. We are not told all the reasons there will be a special period of 1,000 years immediately following the return of Christ to this earth, but we are given important information about it. In chapter 15 of I Corinthians we read of the second advent of Christ and of the resurrection of the redeemed:
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order. Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet (I Corinthians 15:22-25).
From our study, we have learned Christ will reign on the throne of David for 1, 000 years. The question arises, what will He accomplish during this time of His reign? The answer given in the text we have just quoted, is: He will put all enemies under His feet. He will rule until this is accomplished. Enemies will include sin, Satan, disobedient and wicked people, sickness and suffering, and finally death itself- "The last enemy that will be destroyed is death" (I Corinthians 15:26). When all the work has been accomplished, which will be at the end of the 1,000 years, Christ will turn over the finished work to God the Father.
Note again I Corinthians 15:24. This verse is written in reverse order. It tells us Christ will reign until He has put down all rule, authority, and power, and then He delivers up the kingdom to God, which brings us to the end. The end of what? Evidently, of the special work of Christ which began when He was born the only begotten Son of God. This work includes His ministry, followed by the time of the work of the church in preaching the gospel for a witness to all nations, then by Christ's second advent, and then, by the millennial age which brings the work of Christ to its conclusion.
Does the kingdom of Christ actually come to an end? No, for we are told His kingdom is everlasting and shall not pass away. It is only the first phase or the period of the special work of Christ which ends when Christ turns His kingdom over to God the Father.
Now when all things are made subject to Him, the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all (I Corinthians 15:28) ... when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father (verse 24).
A Beautiful and Glorious Time
Many Bible passages describe the conditions on Earth during the millennium. Zechariah 14 describes the second advent of Jesus as being at a time when a great war is being fought, which is evidently Armageddon, as it is called in Revelation 16:16. The great battle at Jerusalem is brought to a close as Jesus comes to Earth and His feet stand on the Mount of Olives. The mountain divides and separates to make a great valley. The redeemed who have risen to meet Jesus in the air, as de- scribed in I Thessalonians 4:17, will descend with Jesus to Earth-more specifically, to this great valley. "The Lord my God will come, and all the saints with You" (Zechariah 14:5).
And it shall be a time of light: "At evening time it shall happen that it will be light" (verse 7). It will also be a time when "living waters" will flow (verse 8). To the woman at the well, recorded in John 4, Jesus said He would give "living water" which would become, to those who would receive it, "a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14). After the coming of Jesus, when the resurrected saints shall have come to the great valley near Jerusalem and Jesus sits on the throne to rule, He again will give living waters.
And in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:8). The redeemed of this age will then be immortal kings and priests co-reigning with Christ. Evidently the living waters of salvation and the message of everlasting life will be needed by other people who will be living on the earth.
People Will Learn the Way of God
In the second chapter of Isaiah, the establishment of the Kingdom of Christ over all the kingdoms of the world is described in symbolic lan- guage thus:
No w it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths. "For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem He shal1judge between the nations, and shall rebuke many people (Isaiah 2:24).
Another beautiful description which reveals more of the special work of the millennium is in Isaiah 35. After describing the beauty of the re- stored earth, we find these words:
Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God, He will come and save you. " Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert (verses 4-6).
this with the living waters which the Lord shall send out from Jerusalem as
mentioned in Zechariah 14:8.
A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray (Isaiah 35:8).
A Great Work to be Done A further insight into the purpose and
work of the 1,000 years is given to us in Isaiah 65, beginning with verse 18:
'But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create, for behold I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people,- the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her nor the voice of crying. No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days, for the child shall die one hundred years old but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed... they shall build houses and inhabit them, . . . They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble... It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear... They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain," says the Lord (Isaiah 65:18-25).
Read all of these verses in your own Bible and meditate on what they may mean to mankind as the events take place during the glorious time of Christ's reign.
The Closing Scene
For the closing scene of the millennium, we once more study the twentieth chapter of Revelation. At the beginning of this chapter we find that Satan is bound and cast into the bottomless pit. In other scriptures, the pit is used as a symbol for the grave (see Job 17:16; Psalm 28:1). Satan is cast into the bottomless pit for the 1,000-year period of Christ's rule.
Then I saw
an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a
great chain in his hand He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is
the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into
the bottom- less 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 (Revelation 20:1-3).
Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are i . n the four corners of the earth (Revelation 20:7, 8).
All the wicked will be gathered together by Satan. This great army shall attack Jerusalem and the camp of the saints in the valley which has been made near Jerusalem:
They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them (Revelation 20:9). That ungodly multitude is destroyed by fire from God, They become ashes and are left with "neither root nor branch" (Malachi 4:1, 3). This is the time of judgment at the great white throne which culminates the work of the millennium.
The redeemed of the present age will already have been judged, for they will then have co- reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But there evidently is yet a need for a judgment for many others. This judgment will be made from records compiled in the great record books of God. Even as it is with us, the names of those who are found to be God's true people will be found recorded in the Book of Life:
And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death (Revelation 20:15, 14).
These events will conclude the thousand years known by Bible students as the millennium.
The Eternal Kingdom of God
In I Corinthians 15:26, we read that the last "enemy" to be destroyed at the time of Christ's reign is death. Then Christ will deliver up the Kingdom to God the Father. The Kingdom of Christ does not end; it simply enters the next phase. Even Christ is then subject to the Father, that God may be all in all (I Corinthians 15:28). This ushers in the beautiful picture described in Revelation 21 and 22-the eternal Kingdom of God in the New Earth. This old Earth will have been cleansed by fire in the same manner it was once cleansed by water. Note the description in 2 Peter 3:5-13, reading it in your Bible.
The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, descends from heaven to this renewed earth:
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God" (Revelation 21:3). Read all of Revelation 21 and 22 to get the full picture of the final home of the redeemed of all ages. Surely it will be well worth any and all the sacrifices we may make in this life. Surely it pays to live for Jesus. Accepting Him now, let us walk in His way. One day we will co-reign with Him in His Kingdom on Earth during the millennium and enjoy thereafter the restored and renovated New Earth throughout all eternity.