If people really believed the Bible, they would have no difficulty understanding what the Millennium is and what it is all about. The majority of professing Christians suppose that the theologians who tell them the saved will go to heaven and the unsaved to hell really know what they are talking about. These people simply refuse to believe what the Bible says. They do not realize that Jesus did not go about preaching about His Person. Rather, Jesus preached about the coming Kingdom of God. He was concerned with world government. He spoke of this future world government, but it is not to be a government of men. He spoke of the time when He would return to rule the world. He said He is returning with all the power of God to enforce peace on this earth (Rev. 19:15). He decidedly did not preach that the righteous would go to heaven, or that the unsaved would be tormented endlessly in some subterranean cavern beneath the surface of the earth. Informed Bible students know that the saved will be in the Kingdom of God right here on the earth!
The World Today
Some time ago a survey of teenagers disclosed that 90 per cent believed that nuclear energy will eventually destroy the world. They believed that world suicide is almost certain to happen. It is likely this view has remained unchanged. A realistic look at civilization does not portray an encouraging picture, but it is what world leaders have made it. We find a divided world racing to invent and produce weapons capable of destroying entire nations. Yet many think modern civilization is intelligent, far-advanced, and well ordered, on the verge of perfection. Civilization to them represents the summit of human progress.
Yet, in general, the facts are that much of the world finds itself in a state of disillusionment. In nations such as China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, India, and Arab countries, illiteracy, ignorance, retrogression, famine, and disease prevail. Many live in unbelievable poverty, filth, and squalor. Famine and epidemics are so widespread that in many areas half of all children die during the first year of life. Millions of these people live wretched lives. Ill housed, ill fed, and ill clothed, they do not possess even the bare essentials-food, clothing, and shelter.
To add to this, today there is a drug crisis rampant throughout the world, intensified by the use of marijuana, cocaine, and various substances manufactured in the home or back yard. Thousands, even millions, are seeking to escape the realities life, so that now drug usage is a crisis of epidemic proportions which law enforcement agencies find extremely difficult if not impossible to control.
Also, something must be done about the population explosion. Statesmen are aware that even if nuclear war does not destroy the earth, the population explosion will. With a world population of over five billion, more than 500 million are gravely undernourished, and resources are rapidly dwindling.
Two worldviews prevail among the leaders of society. These are: (1) The absolute necessity to establish a super world government in order to prevent nuclear destruction that can erase human life from the earth, or (2) The marvelous world of science and technology we now possess is destined to soon bring a prosperous global utopia designed to meet all of man’s needs. Those who support the first view offer a mere hope, while those who support the second view are oblivious to the stark reality of world conditions today. Thus, we have two differing opinions embraced by various scientists, statesmen, educators, and world leaders-one that is optimistic, the other utterly hopeless. The fact is: Neither of these views will come to pass in any complete sense. But there is another view-a third one-that has not even been seriously considered. Man desperately wants to save the society he has established on the earth, but it cannot be saved. Why? Because God will soon step in to create the utopia men crave-a happy, new, peaceful society. This society will be established during the Millennium-the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. This last solution is what world leaders expect the least, if at all.
Men may not realize it, but they are faced with two choices-two alternatives. Either there is a Supreme God who rules this universe, or man’s extinction from the face of the planet will inevitably happen. Many years ago, the Bible prophesied of catastrophic world conditions near “the time of the end.” But it also gave the solution to these catastrophic problems. Every major step is outlined in the Bible. The disciples thought the Kingdom of God would soon appear, but Jesus gave the parable of the nobleman who went into a far country to receive a kingdom for himself (Luke 19:12-27). What this parable illustrates is that Jesus is the nobleman who ascended into the heavens, was coronated a king, and will return to take control of the world. He is to remain in the heavens until the “restitution of all things.” Restitution means restoration to a former state or condition, in this case the restoration of world peace and prosperity for all. Jesus will come to establish the Kingdom of God and will rule over the world for 1,000 years. This is the third world view that leaders fail to understand or accept, and this is the only solution to the world’s problems.
Planned Long Ago
It has been stated that history is the record of events that has befallen man in his attempt to assume the government of God, rather than to submit to it. But God is working out a purpose here below. He has given men the right of free moral agency. But He has never given them the right to determine right and wrong. God has already done that by the establishment of His Law. He allows men to make their own choices and to suffer the consequences for their rebellion against Him. The state of the world today attests to these wrong choices. When the world reaches the place where it is on the verge of annihilating all human life, God will intervene (Matt. 24:22). At the present He is preparing a people who will rule with Christ after He returns. This is what God says to those He has called: “. . . And 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 . . . ” (Rev. 2:26-27).
Jesus Christ was prophesied to be a king even before His human birth. “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33). In the Kingdom of God the resurrected King David will rule over the house of Israel (Ezek. 37:24). Under David the Twelve Apostles will rule the tribes of Israel (Luke 22:28-30). The real purpose of the Christian life is to enable those called of God to prepare to rule in this kingdom during the Millennium. This is what the Bible plainly states. Yet, few seem to understand this today. Instead, they have been led to believe the saved will go to heaven. They do not realize heaven is coming to this earth.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of 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 shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev. 21:2-4)
The resurrected saints will meet Christ in the air at His return (1 Thess. 4:14-17) and will be instantly changed into immortality (1 Cor. 15:50-54), along with those yet alive. Jesus told His disciples they would be with Him forever (John 14:3). And where will He be? He is coming to reign on the earth (Dan. 7:13-14). “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives . . . . and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee” (Zech. 14:4-5). “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:15-16). The saints will sit upon thrones and judgment will be given to them, and they shall live and reign with Christ 1,000 years (Rev. 20:4).
Christ Not Welcomed
We must not assume that the world will readily accept Christ. In fact, the nations will fight against Him. Humanity will not shout for joy. Men will likely have been led to believe the return of Christ is some alien invasion. At the very time He returns, the nations will be in a hostile and antagonistic frame of mind (Rev. 11:18). They will muster their military forces in an attempt to destroy Him (Rev. 17:14). At the same time, the nations of the world will be engaged in the climactic battle of World War III, centered in the area of Palestine. The Bible describes this time period as the great tribulation-a time of world upheaval, a time the world has never before known. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24:21-22). Christ will fight against the nations who oppose Him (Zech. 14:3), and they will not prevail (Rev. 17:14). How will they be vanquished? “And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (Zech. 14:12). This kind of power and divine retribution will quickly convince the world of the uselessness of their fight. They will realize that “. . . in righteousness he doth judge and make war” (Rev. 19:11). The nations will then submit.
The Millennial Reign of Christ
After Christ’s return profound and unbelievable changes will take place. Satan will be removed from his present position as the god of this world. “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” (Rev. 20:1-2). As has been his practice (Rev. 12:9), he will deceive the nations no more. The Truth of God will pervade the entire earth. “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” (Isa. 11:9). History tells us that the origin of war begins with theft. “From whence come wars and fighting’s among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (Jas. 4:1-3). But human nature will be changed. Man will no longer lust and fight for material possessions (Jer. 32:39).
Isaiah 11 is regarded as the Millennium chapter. It describes the world during the 1,000 years. Even the wild nature of animals will be changed.
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. (Isa. 11:6-8)
This is the time of the restitution of all things. “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:20-21). The spiritual blindness that has gripped the world so long will be removed. “And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it” (Isa. 25:7-8). The resurrected saints will be instrumental in teaching the world God’s Truth. All peoples will come to know God, the religious confusion and blindness removed. Nations will be converted by the millions.
For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (Isa. 30:19-21)
In today’s world, along with growing malnutrition and starvation, the likelihood of massive disease epidemics is ever present. Health officials are warning of cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, flu, small pox, anthrax, and even bubonic plague. While medical science seeks endlessly for cures, one-half of today’s diseases are incurable. These include AIDS, cancer, sclerosis, heart disease, arthritis, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, diabetes, and other pain-ridden debilities, but during the Millennium all that will change. Millions will be healed of their infirmities, sicknesses, and diseases. They will have sufficient food for all their needs, and will be educated to take care of themselves according to God’s health laws. They will be able to go to God for healing, if necessary, as Christ demonstrated during His ministry. Disease and sickness will finally be conquered.
Here is how the Bible describes it:
For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us . . . . And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity. (Isa. 33:22, 24)
Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; 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 shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. (Isa. 35:3-6)
Today, deserts and waste cover much of the earth’s surface. This will change during the Millennium. Deserts will become green and fertile. There will be regions of trees, shrubs, bubbling springs and brooks. Everywhere conditions of blessings and growth will prevail. No longer will population growth outstrip the ability of the land to provide. Today, not more than ten percent of the earth’s surface is suitable for cultivation, or arable. But the reconstitution of the land mass will change that. There will be more than ample land available to provide the crops necessary for good health. Most of the land mass will become cultivatable. Weather patterns will change, and crops will receive rain at the optimum time.
Here is what is prophesied:
Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. (Isa. 41:14-20)
In addition, as much of the earth is made habitable, populations will return to their own lands, and the amalgamation and mixture of peoples taking place in today’s Babylonian society will no longer occur. The driving force behind the immigration and emigration so rampant today is economic survival. All the nations of the world will be blessed economically during the Millennium, and each man will have his own possession. “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it” (Micah 4:4).
Leaders of this world-statesmen, scientists, and educators-know the only hope for survival and world peace is a one world government. They know how difficult, if not impossible, this will be to attain. They know few governments are willing to place themselves under the authority and jurisdiction of others. What is the history of the nations on this earth? “Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known” (Rom. 3:16-17). Peace and prosperity will never be fully achieved in this world. Only God can bring this about. Jesus told Pilate that He was born to be a king, and that this was His purpose before He was born (John 18:36-37). Jesus prophesied that He would return with all the power and glory of Almighty God to establish a world ruling government (Rev. 19:11-21). When that time comes, all the pain and suffering of this world will come to an end. Man will no longer fear the destruction of the human race. This is man’s only hope, and this is what the Millennium is all about!