TITLE: Living in the New Millennium and Beyond Chapter 1
By Benjamin Reynolds
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What Will Life Be Like in the New Millennium?
Are you ready to spend 1000 years with Christ in the New Millennium? As a Christian, you may know about the antichrist, tribulation period and the rapture, but are you aware of what happens when all of that is over? Did you know that Jesus Christ has a plan for governing and administering the world after he returns and it includes you? As believers in Christ we are now closer than ever before in history to the rapture. If we want to serve Jesus Christ for all eternity, then it is imperative that we begin preparing for what our lives will be like after the rapture of the church right now, before we leave. We are going on a journey and everyone who takes long a trip must first prepare for the journey by doing some research on where they will be going and what they will be doing. We know that very soon we will be traveling through the clouds to be with Christ in the rapture, but most of us don't quite understand our destination, and what we will be expected to do after we arrive. What we are doing now (or should be doing) has a direct impact our future roles in heaven and in earth after Christ returns to take his rightful position as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Surprisingly, the bible has a great deal to say about what happens after Christ returns to rule the earth in the Old and New Testaments. The scriptures tell us that there will be people left on the earth who are not Christians and that their lives will be very different from the saints who return with Christ. The saints of God from all ages will return to reign with Christ and will be given positions of power and authority on earth and in heaven. In the New Millennium, you may just find yourself living and working beside Abraham, Noah or Matthew so you better get ready friend! We will begin by looking at some of the first things we can expect after our return to earth with Christ.
The New Millennium defined
The world Millennium defined by Merriam-Websterâ€™s dictionary actually means the one thousand year period mentioned in Revelation 20 in which holiness is to prevail and Christ is to reign on earth. This period of time will be represented by one thousand year of peace occurring immediately after Jesus Christ returns to rule the earth and destroys the antichrist and the false prophet after the great tribulation. Specifically, the Millennium period is defined in Revelation 20:4-7:
â€śAnd 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. (5) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (6) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: 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. (7) And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,â€ť Revelation 20:4-7
Wow! These verses definitely say a lot. First, we are told that those who were killed for refusing to take the mark of the beast will come back alive to live and rule the earth with Christ for 1000 years. This is the first resurrection, or what we commonly call the rapture (or snatching away that the saints who are dead and those who are alive will be taken up to heaven to dwell with the Lord until he returns back to the earth. The rest of the dead who have not lived righteously will not come back to life until again until the one thousand year period is up on the Day of Judgment. After the one thousand year period is over, Satan will be set free from his prison to roam the earth again. Next, we will look at the 1000 year period that begins after Jesus Christ and the saints return to rule the earth.
The state of the world when Christ Returns
â€ťBehold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.â€ť Revelation 1:7
â€śThen shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. 6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. 8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.â€ť Zechariah 14:3-9
When Christ returns to the earth, he will be coming back with power and glory. The night skies of Israel will light up as the entire world bears witness to Jesus Christ and the armies of heaven gloriously returning through the clouds to destroy the antichrist and the armies of the world at the battle of Armageddon. (Revelation 19:11-21) There will be so much destruction that Israel will have to hire additional workers and spend the next seven months burying bodies of all those killed at that battle. Ezekiel 39:1-22 describes what happens in Revelation 19:11-21 and also gives us a chilling look at how Jesus Christ will use his victory at the battle of Armageddon. It is at this time that Jesus Christ will physically manifest what has been a spiritual conquest since his death on the cross almost two thousand years ago. The world at that time will see all of his power and glory and finally come to the conclusion that there is no other God but him.
â€śTherefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: 3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. 4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. 6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD. 7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken. 9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: 10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog. 12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. 13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD. 14 And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. 15 And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man's bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog. 16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land. 17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. 18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. 19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. 20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD. 21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. 22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.â€ť Ezekiel 39:1-22
There are several important points we can learn from these verses:
1. God will lure Gog, Meschech (Russia) and Tubal (Turkey) down from the north into the land of Israel to destroy them there with fire, or as Revelation 19:21 says, â€śThe sword of Christ's mouth.â€ť
2. Israel will take the weapons and spoil that is left behind from the fallen soldiers and use it for fuel and other resources for 7 years.
3. Israel will have to hire people to bury the slain soldiers that have come to fight against Israel. It will take 7 months to finish burying the dead who are killed in that battle.
4. Israel and the unbelieving nations will see what God's does to the antichrist and armies of the world and know that Jesus Christ is the one true God from that day forward.
5. We know this occurs at the battle of Armageddon because Ezekiel 39:17-20 uses the same terminology of calling the birds to feast on the bodies of slain soldiers and royalty as Revelation 19:17-18 does.
By the time that Jesus Christ returns to claim the world as his own, all the earth will finally realize who he is and that they should have been serving him all along. The astonishing way that he returns will finally be enough to turn atheist into theist and the ungodly into godly. All of the failed policies, practices and false religious beliefs that God has allowed for thousands of years will be exposed as fallacies and now mankind will be ready to accept the true word and will of God.
In the New Millennium, Long life will be restored
â€śThere 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; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.â€ť Isaiah 65:20
Isaiah chapter 65 provides a stark contrast because verses 1-15 speak of how God punishes the Israelites because of their sins, but verses 16-25 speak of a future in which God creates a new heaven and new earth for the righteous to peacefully dwell in. Part of the blessing of that new period will include human life being greatly extended to the length that they were in the days of the antediluvian patriarchs. Adam lived 930 years, Noah lived for 950 years and the oldest recorded human to ever live was Methuselah, who lived an astonishing 959 years! Isaiah 65:20 tells us that if someone dies at 100 or 120 years, they will have been considered to have been only a child. A child at 100 years old? Yes. This is how it was in the antediluvian period (before the flood) Genesis 5:18 tells us that the youngest of the antediluvian patriarchs to begin having children was Jared, who was 62 years old. We would consider him an old man today, but at that time, Jared would have been considered a young man. In the new Millennium, everyone will be able to look forward to being considered young at 60 or even 100 years old. We can expect the human lifespan to be extended by 10 times what they are right now...all by the grace of God.
Now, there does seem to be a bit of a controversy when reading Isaiah 65:16-25 because verse 18 says that God will create a new heaven and new earth and the rest of the scriptures go on to describe peace, long life and prosperity that follows. Just from reading those verses, it would seem that this occurs after God recreates heaven and earth and not during the millennium period. If we closely examine Isaiah 65:17-20 and then connect it with Revelation 21:1-5, we will get a better understanding:
1 "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
4 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." Revelation 21:1,4
This passage is important because it tells that there will be no more death, sorrow, crying or pain after the new heaven and earth have been created. If this is case, then Isaiah 65:20 cannot be referring to the time after the new heaven and earth have been created because no one will die or feel pain and sorrow. It can only mean that Isaiah 65:22 is referring to the period before the new heaven and earth are created, which is the 1000 year millennium period. Isaiah 25:7-8 says more about the removal of death:
â€śAnd he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. (8) 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.â€ť Isaiah 25:7-8
This says the same thing as Revelation 21:4 and reminds us again that Jesus Christ will remove the veil of death that is spread over all nations and wipe away tears from the faces of everyone on the planet. This includes all mankind and not just the saints who have been previously raptured away and given immortal gloried bodies. (1 Corinthians 15:50-57) In the next verse, it says that God will swallow up death in victory, which means that Jesus will remove the threat and fear of death that continually lingers over all the people of the earth. This will happen after the new heaven and earth have been created. Ordinary people will live and die during the Millennium period, because Isaiah 65:20 clearly says that they will, but they will enjoy the benefit of natural life spans will being extended beyond the 75-120 years that we commonly expect today. In contrast, the saints of God who have been previously taken in the resurrection during the tribulation period will not experience death and will have different roles, duties and responsibilities in the new kingdom. Our new immortality is better explained in 1 Corinthians 15:52-57:
â€śIn a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.â€ť 1 Corinthians 15:52-57
After the resurrection, the righteous saints of God who have faithfully served him will be raised, changed and given immortal bodies that will never die. As a reward for their faithfulness, the righteous saints will receive the gift of immortality before the people who are leftover from the tribulation period will. As a consequence of having not served Christ before his return to rule the world, the people of the leftover nations will have wait and further prove their worthiness until Jesus creates the new heaven and earth after 1000 years. It is so vital for us to live holy and righteous before the coming of the Lord because not only will it determine who we are and what we do for all eternity, but it instantly guarantees that we will have eternal life before the day of judgment!
Going back to Isaiah 25:7-8, it says â€śthe Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke from away from all the earth.â€ť This means that Jesus will get rid of the heartache and stress that daily plague us and shorten our lives. The 1000 year Millennium period will be a time free of death and full of happiness, long life and joy! In addition, the Lord will take about â€śthe rebukeâ€ť which is the shame and denigration that comes from being a Christian. There was a time when it was considered popular to be a Christian but not so much today. We constantly see our morals questioned, prayer and centuries old Christian effigies being removed from public institutions all around North America, the once â€śmost Christianâ€ť nations of the world. Thankfully, Jesus will change that when he returns in power and glory. When he returns with us by his side, we can look forward to prayer and christian landmarks being put back into our public institutions!
Living like the angels
â€śIn the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. (24) And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? (25) For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.â€ť Mark 12:23-25
Life will simply continue on for the people in the world who are still alive after the Great Tribulation and destruction of the antichrist. However, for the lives of the saints of God will be very different. As the scripture above says, we will not have husbands, wives or even get married. Like the angels, our lives will be completely dedicated to serving God. Two scriptures below explain why:
â€śBut he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.â€ť 1 Corinthians 7:33
â€śAnd this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.â€ť 1 Corinthians 7:35
Those who are unmarried have fewer distractions and can afford to dedicate more of their time to serving the Lord. While they may have been married during their first earthly lives, the saints will have new celestial bodies which no longer have the carnal desires, needs and emotions that inherent in the old human bodies. Without the constant need for physical and emotional gratification that is present in our bodies now, the saints will leave them free to â€śattend upon the Lord without distractionâ€ť in the New Millennium and beyond
How will the saints be rewarded?
â€śAnd, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.â€ť Revelation 22:12
When Jesus returns to takes the saints of God in the rapture, they will be richly rewarded and eternally blessed. While the bible speaks of several different types of rewards, the one most commonly spoken of is the reward of a crown. The New Testament speaks of six types of crowns in eight separate New Testament verses.
1. There is the crown given to us by Christ that which never fades away.
â€śAnd every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.â€ť 1 Corinthians 9:25
2. There is the crown given to faithful Christian workers who put the members of the church above all things in life, making the pride and joy of their lives. While the financial rewards are small and the stress is incredibly high when serving the Christian church, Jesus promises a crown to those who are faithful.
â€śTherefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.â€ś Philippians 4:1
3. There is the crown of rejoicing which symbolizes the happiness and joy that we will have after the rapture
â€śFor what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?â€ť 1 Thessalonians 2:19
4. The crown of righteousness is reserved for those who have lived righteous and rejoice when the Lord appears to rapture the saints. A distinction is made because the antichrist and unbelievers will be not be happy when Christ returns.
â€śHenceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.â€ť 2 Timothy 4:8
5. The crown of life is spoken of twice and is reserved for those who faithfully endure trial and tribulation, even if it cost them their lives. That's right, they are willing to put their lives, so be prepared saints.
â€śBlessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. â€śJames 1:12
â€śFear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.â€ť Revelation 2:10
6. The crown of glory is reserved for faithful Christian workers who give their heart, mind and souls to help lead congregations.
â€śAnd when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.â€ś 1 Peter 5:4
7. Lastly, Jesus speaks generally of a crown reserved for those who are faithful and endure. It could probably be classified with the crown of life.
â€śBehold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.â€ť Revelation 3:11
Jesus let's the church of Philadelphia in Revelation 3:11 know that his return for the saints will be quick and that they should not let any person get in the way receiving a crown as their reward. The crown is a reward for faithfulness, righteousness and being able to endure all things. It is critical that the saints of God understand that while we have to endure many hardships and trials brought upon us by others, there is no one in this life worth losing our eternal reward over.
Now, the question has to be asked, â€śAre there six different types of crowns or one crown with six separate descriptions?â€ť It is most probable that the scriptures are describing one crown six different ways. The best evidence support this belief is that Revelation 3:11 does not give a description of a crown, only that the Lord has reserved a crown as a reward. Also, the bible never specifically mentions that saints will receive more than one crown. The reward of a crown is always referred to in the singular. Besides, the one glorious, incorruptible, never fading crown that we receive from the Lord should be enough to keep us happy through all eternity! Letâ€™s not get greedy.
During his earthly ministry, Jesus said that the saints would be rewarded with a home and place in heaven.
â€śIn my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.â€ť John 14:2-3
Jesus knows who will be ready to meet him in the air. He knows who is working and laboring for that great heavenly reward. Even as we speak, a home either has been prepared or is currently being prepared for us in heaven. A heavenly mansion awaits all those who faithfully serve the Lord and are ready to meet the him when he returns.
Eye has not seen and ear has not heard
In addition to that which has been shown to us in the Word of God, the most precious rewards are those things that await us which we have never seen or heard:
â€śFor since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.â€ť Isaiah 64:4
â€śBut as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.â€ť 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
Oh the things that God has prepared for those who love him! We cannot even begin to imagine how great and glorious the rewards of heaven will be until we have actually entered and seen it for ourselves. Even the most fantastic descriptions given to us in the scriptures about the joys of heaven will pale in comparison to what we actually see and experience once we are there. Interestingly, we are told in 1 Corinthians 2:10 that the Spirit of God can give us a preview into some of these things if we allow it to search out the deep things of God. This is certainly how the apostles and prophets before us were able to peer down the halls of eternity and tell us of crowns, streets of gold and mansions. With such a great bounty of blessing before us, I would to God that more of the saints in who live in our day and age will feel that same unction which drives us toward the deep things of God that we might see greater revelations of heaven.
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