'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
There is a time spoken of in God’s Word (some consider it a doctrine), that is all too often unknown to some, overlooked by some, and ignored by others. This span of time is referred to specifically, even including the exact duration of time involved. It has often been noted that the Old Testament essentially is ABOUT Jesus Christ. Jesus informed the Jews emphatically of this fact (John 5:39)!
When the Old Testament scriptures do refer to Jesus, it is many times connecting Him to this SPECIFIC period of time. That period of time is a thousand years - called by most Christians "The Millennium". It is intriguing that so little, comparatively speaking, is mentioned today concerning this time. It is also referred to specifically in God’s Word as "the kingdom of God". It is generally acknowledged that the "kingdom of God" is already here. It has appeared in the Person of Jesus, and is now active in the hearts and minds of those in whom the Holy Spirits dwells (Luke 17:20-21). But there are other aspects of the Kingdom of God! The times of ancient Israel under the judges and kings, under the Old Covenant was, in function the "kingdom of God", especially prior to the time that Israel demanded a "king" like the nations around them. God was the King of Israel. Therefore, Israel was the "kingdom of God" on earth at that time.
However, there is another phase of "The Kingdom of God" coming!
"Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. 4Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years." (Revelation 20:1-6 ESV)
This "Kingdom" will be ruled by Christ and resurrected Christians. This will be a kingdom ruling the entire earth! Jesus will have MANY co-rulers during this thousand years (Luke 19:12-27: Matthew 25:14:29)). There is speculation regarding job descriptions, rulership positions in the kingdom, and who will fill them. There are a few that seem logical. Since Abraham is the "father of the faithful" (Galatians 3:6-9), it is possible that he could be responsible for world education or something similar, with perhaps Isaac and Jacob working with him. Then Moses, who transmitted the law to Israel, could be responsible for administration of legal matters. And of course David, the chosen king of Israel, could function as king over the descendents of the twelve tribes and possibly others. David, in the Psalms, speaks of praising God "among the nations". Functioning directly with David, there would be the twelve Apostles, each responsible for one of the tribes of Israel. This is certain to be, because of Jesus’ plain statement to the twelve when they asked Him (Matthew 19:27-30). There are many others who have been suggested in attempting to "match" the Biblical individual with a particular ruling position. Although all of this is pure conjecture (except for the statements of Jesus), one must admit it is an interesting exercise.
Jesus also makes it clear that our spiritual progress will determine our reward of service in His kingdom on earth for this thousand years! It is apparent from this discourse by Jesus that rewards in the kingdom will be based on WHAT WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN, not on some arbitrary measurement in comparison to others. Notice that this discourse is given just prior to Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem riding on the donkey, down a route lined with palm branches. This typifies His SECOND COMING, at the resurrection of those who are His, and the beginning of the Millennium! Some see in the seven-day week a type of the approximate six-thousand year history since Adam and Eve, until the commencement of the one thousand-year Millennium - the seventh one-thousand years of recorded history. The seventh day - a day of rest - is seen as a TYPE of the Millennium "rest" for all the world (Hebrews 4:1-9).
The Old Testament refers to the one thousand year reign of Jesus eloquently. There is a beautiful passage of scripture, which in some ways, says it all - Isaiah 11! I will not repeat it here, but PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE CHAPTER, preferably in a modern translation. As you do, try to visualize a world such as this! This ONE CHAPTER in the Word of God has been described as a complete microcosm of God’s purpose beginning with the birth of Jesus as the Son of God, all the way forward into some of the major events DURING the Millennium! Also, in another place: "They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. 24And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD" (Isaiah 65:21-25 KJV). Prior verses obviously refer to the time AFTER the thousand years are completed, to the time of the "new heavens and new earth" (v 17) See also Isaiah 66:22, and 2 Peter 3:13).
The events just before the second coming of Christ continuing on into the Millennium are also described in Zechariah 14. In verse 4, we see pictured the fulfillment of the angels’ promise when Jesus ascended back to heaven (Acts 1:10-11). We also get just a glimpse of some of the requirements that our Lord will enforce, here in this chapter. One of the most surprising to some is the requirement that all the nations of the world come up to Jerusalem each year to keep the FEAST OF TABERNACLES. This is an appointed festival by God to Israel, along with others, which are still kept by the Jewish people and others today. This particular festival (perhaps others as well?) will be enforced during the Millennium. From this reference and many others, it can be clearly seen that all history turns on God’s choosing of Israel for the grand and special calling which originally they did not complete. But they will! Much of it will be realized, including their ultimate salvation during and perhaps just prior to, the Millennium (Romans 11:25-32)!
There are various opinions and speculations about other anticipated events, timing sequences, and the details dealing with the this time called "The Millennium"- the "forgotten kingdom" (almost)! But one inescapable fact remains: there WILL BE a thousand year rule by Jesus and His saints when He returns. There WILL BE, under the rule of Jesus Christ a world of peace, plenty, beauty, no crime, no poverty for all the earth - before the creation of the "new heavens and the new earth" (Luke 13:29). There will be no more war - no more military academies to even learn war. All industry will be turned to peaceful, productive activities (Isaiah 2:4). There will be prosperity, private ownership of property, real and lasting healing for the sick and afflicted, no more stillborns, abortions. The great deserts of the earth will "blossom like a rose". Even under the curse of the land, most of earth’s areas have "their own beauty" even now. Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder. But at that time, there will be natural beauty, eventually, like no one has ever seen since the Garden of Eden (Isaiah 35:1-2)! There will be a balanced ecosystem, rain in due season, producing agricultural products enough - and MORE than enough! - to feed the billions to be born and live during the coming one thousand years (Amos 9:11-15)! The harvests will be so abundant that before they can be completed, it will be time to plant again! There will be a magnificent education system, where the Beginner of wisdom is emphasized, where the beginning of education is the "fear of the Lord" (Micah 4:1-7; Proverbs 9:10). There will be no CURSE upon the land, upon women in childbirth (Genesis 3:16-19; Romans 8:22). And the best news, other than the news of Jesus return is, SATAN HAS BEEN RESTRAINED from all influence! The world will become a place of life and beauty beyond our capacity to picture or understand now! The rule of the world by Satan and fallen mankind will have ended...
However, for all of this to come to pass, JESUS MUST RETURN! When He comes this time, He will not come as a "babe in a manger", but as a conquering King, making war on all the world's evil. The rule of evil in the earth will be punished, destroyed, and REPLACED with the rule of Rightousness (Revelation 19:11-21)! The world will be a shambles, an unimaginable caldron of chaos and destruction. Scripture suggests that there may be only one tenth (a "tithe"?) of the world’s population still alive when Christ returns (Isaiah 6:9-13). Millions, perhaps billions, will have perished in incomprehensible "natural" disasters (Joel 3:12-17), world wide wars (Daniel 11:35; Habakkuk 2:3), incredible signs in the heavens (Luke 21:11-25), and finally culminating in the "Battle of Armageddon" (Revelation 16:15-16; 17:14-17). Behind all of this evil is Satan who has succeeded in promulgating a worldwide religion, enforced by a world military/economic strong man in the name of "world peace" (Revelation 19:20). The entire world (with the exception of true Christians) will have been totally deceived ( 2 Thessalonians 2:2-12). He knows that religious unity is the path to his control, and ultimately humankind’s destruction. Read Jesus' summary of these major events in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.
After the culmination of Satan’s and man’s world rule by the return of Jesus, there will be enormous reconstruction projects of every conceivable type - society will need to be rebuilt literally from the ground up. If you and I are there, we can have a part in building a complete new world. We will all be appointed "kings and priests" in some capacity. This would seem to imply that some will function in a spiritual capacity, and others in secular areas. However, once again, this is speculation, although the Holy Spirit may be giving us a hint to encourage us to continue to yield, and grow, and remain faithful. God loves to surprise His children! A thousand years is a long time by our human standards. We can only imagine the full impact of such a rule over such a long period of time! Imagine, resurrected loved ones and friends, as immortals then, working together for a thousand years - and on into eternity (1 Thessalonians 4:15-19). No one knows the day or the hour it will come. But it will come. This should give us hope, and joy with great anticipation. When the thousand years is completed...
"WE HAVE ONLY JUST BEGUN"! (Isaiah 65:17).
I pray that you can be encouraged to think seriously about this time THAT IS COMING...especially I pray that you will consider thoughtfully and prayerfully what you need to be doing - before then (Matthew 24:44-46).
"Thy KINGDOM come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven!" - Matthew 6:10 (KJV) "Even so, COME Lord Jesus"...!
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