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All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.  Psalms 86:9               . . . . . .[All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name] The 67th prophecy in Psalms (Ps. 86:9, unfulfilled). Next, Ps. 86:12. This will be fulfilled in the Millennium (Isa. 2:2-4; Zech. 14:16-21) and the New Earth (Isa. 66:22-24
Dake''s Annotated Reference Bible

 

 

 

 THE DISPENSATION OF DIVINE GOVERNMENT
THE MILLENNIUM
(Rev. 19:11–20:15)
THE AGE TO COME (Gen. 19:11-15)

 

THE AGE TO COME is that time from the Second Advent of Christ to the New Heaven and the New Earth. It takes in only one dispensation—the Millennium. This will be the last age before the eternal perfect state when God will again be all-in-all, as before rebellion started in the universe.
In Rev. 20:1-15 we have the expulsion of Satan from the Earth, the Millennial Reign of Christ and His saints, Satan's post-millennial career and doom, and the final judgment.

 

I. The Expulsion of Satan From the Earth
“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. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” (Rev. 20:1-3).

 

This passage is the continuation of the Scripture on the Battle of Armageddon of Rev. 19:11-21 and shows the confinement of the dragon in the Abyss. After Armageddon an angel will come down from Heaven having the key to the Abyss. This angel is explained under the fifth trumpet in Lesson Forty-one and the Abyss is explained in Lesson Thirty-seven. How an angel or a spirit can be bound by a literal chain and be cast into a material place is only understandable when we see that angels have bodies and can be localized and confined to material places, as we have seen in Lesson Six. If this is not true, how are demons that are now bound in this Abyss to be loosed under the fifth and sixth trumpets? How can angels be confined to Tartarus in chains (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6-7) and how will all wicked men, demons, fallen angels, and rebellious creatures of all kinds be confined in the Lake of Fire forever? (Mt. 25:41; Rev. 14:9-11; 19:20; 20:10-15). 

 

This angel mentioned in Rev. 20:1-3 will lay hold on Satan, overpower him by actual combat, bind him with a great chain, cast him into the Abyss where he will be for a thousand years and “set a seal upon him,” or literally, seal the Abyss over him to keep him there so that he cannot deceive the nations until the Millennium is over. Thus, we see that Satan is a literal person, his doom is literal, he is to be bound by a literal angel, with a literal chain, cast into a literal Abyss, and sealed with a literal seal for the period of the Millennium.
In Rev. 12 we have seen that the dragon and his angels will be cast out of Heaven to the Earth in the middle of the Week, where they will remain until the Battle of Armageddon when they will fight against Christ and His angels and saints. It is not stated whether Satan's angels will be cast into the Abyss with him or not. In Isa. 24:21-22; 25:7 it is clear that they will be cast into the pit with Satan and will be loosed with him “after many days” to help him deceive the nations again (Rev. 20:1-10).

 

II. The Millennial Reign of Christ and His Saints
“And 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. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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” (Rev. 20:4-6).
This passage shows that the tribulation martyrs will also have a part in the reign of Christ in the Millennium and forever. If there were no other passage in the Bible to teach the doctrine of the Millennium this one would be sufficient, for the word “millennium” simply means “one thousand years,” which term is repeated six times in the first seven verses of Rev. 20. Before we take up this subject of the Millennium in other Scriptures, let us note what Rev. 20 says about it:

 

1. Satan must be bound before the Millennium can begin (Rev. 20:1-10). This certainly implies the fulfillment of all the events of Rev. 4-19. Therefore, the thousand years cannot come until these things are fulfilled.
2. Satan will be bound during the Millennium (Rev. 20:3).
3. After the binding of Satan, John saw “thrones” and their occupants (Rev. 20:4). The occupants of the thrones will be the tribulation martyrs. They will reign as kings and priests with Christ, as will all other redeemed heavenly peoples.
4. In Rev. 20:5 John shows that the tribulation martyrs have a part in the first resurrection, which is before the Millennium and includes all the different companies of redeemed, saved, and resurrected from Adam to the binding of Satan. This verse also implies that the tribulation saints will be the last redeemed company resurrected and translated. This first resurrection ends with the rapture of this company and of the two witnesses. All other passages on the resurrections in Scripture, except a few on the Rapture of the Church, speak of the first and second resurrections as being one, and as occurring at the same time. However, Rev. 20:5 and 1 Cor. 15:20-23, 51-58; Phil. 3:10-14; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; 2 Thess. 2:1, 6-8; 2 Cor. 5:1-6; Eph. 5:26-27; Heb. 11:35; 1 Jn. 3:1-3 speak of a resurrection from out of the dead, or the dead and living saints up to the Rapture, and only those who get saved and die in the Tribulation. In Rev. 20:11-15 the wicked dead, who have no part in the first resurrection and who will be resurrected after the thousand years, are pictured as standing before the great white throne to be judged. This will be the second resurrection. It includes all the wicked dead from Adam to the end of the Millennium.
5. Next, a blessing is pronounced upon all who have part in the first resurrection, for “on such the second death [the Lake of Fire, Rev. 2:11; 19:20; 20:10-15; 21:8] hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign one thousand years” (Rev. 20:6).
6. “When the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them” against God (Rev. 20:7-10). Then fire will come down out of Heaven to devour his armies, and he himself will be cast into the Lake of Fire, where the beast and false prophet are and where they have been for the one thousand years (Rev. 19:20; 20:7-10).
7. Then, the wicked dead will be resurrected and there will be the final judgment, after which the renovation of the heavens and the Earth will take place. The result will be a New Heaven, and a New Earth, as pictured in Rev. 21-22.
Now, in view of these basic facts, we can understand the many other Scriptures that speak of the reign of the Messiah without distinguishing between His reign during the first thousand years and His reign forever. In addition to the points above in Rev. 20 on the Millennium, the following is a brief study of the subject.

 

III. General Truths About the Millennium
1. Definition of the Millennium
This dispensation is called Divine Government because God Himself, along with the Son and Holy Spirit, will set up a divine government on Earth over all nations forever. The first thousand years of God's reign is called the Millennium, which simply means “one thousand years.” It is from mille (thousand) and annum (year). Scriptural terms for this age are:
(1) “The thousand years” reign of Christ (Rev. 20:1-10).
(2) “The dispensation of the fulness of times” (Eph. 1:10).
(3) “The day of the Lord” (Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; 34:8; Ezek. 30:3; Amos 5:18; Joel 2:1; Zeph. 1:7-8, 18; 2:2-3; Zech. 14:1-21; Mal. 4; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Thess. 2:1-8; 2 Pet. 3:10).
(4) “That day” (Isa. 2:11; 4:1-6; 19:21; 24:21; 26:1; Ezek. 39:22; 48:35; Hos. 2:18; Joel 3:18; Zech. 12:8-11; 13:1; 14:1-9; Mal. 3:17).
(5) “The world [age] to come” (Mt. 12:32; Mk. 10:30; Lk. 20:35; Eph. 1:21; 2:7-14).
(6) “The kingdom of Christ and of God” (Mk. 14:25; Lk. 10:11; 22:14-18).
(7) “The kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 3:2; 4:17; 5:3, 10, 19-20; 7:21; 8:11; 10:7; 13:43; 18:1-4; Lk. 19:12-15).
(8) “The kingdom of God” (Mk. 14:25; Lk. 10:11; 22:14-18).
(9) “The regeneration” (Mt. 19:28; Eph. 1:10).
(10) “The times of the restitution [restoration] of all things” (Acts 3:20-21). 
(11) “The consolation of Israel” (Lk. 2:25).
(12) “The redemption of Jerusalem” (Lk. 2:38).

 

2. Length of the Millennium (Rev. 20:1-10)
This dispensation will last 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-10). The expression “thousand years” is mentioned six times in this one passage. Although the length is mentioned only in this passage the age is referred to in all parts of Scripture, as we shall see. It will begin with the binding of Satan at the return of Christ to the Earth to re-establish the throne of David and set up God's kingdom on the Earth (Mt. 24:29-31; Rev. 19:11–20:7). It will last until the loosing of Satan, the last rebellion, the renovation of the Earth by fire and the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15; 2 Pet. 3:8-13).

 

One thing we must emphasize in connection with the 1,000 years: that this will only be the first 1,000 years wherein Christ will reign on Earth. He will continue to reign over the same kingdom eternally, and the first 1,000 years will be for the express purpose of ridding the Earth of all rebellion, destroying all enemies, destroying death and sin, and restoring this rebellious part of God's universal kingdom to its place over all other creations, as it was before sin entered through Lucifer and Adam. In this, the Millennial Age, God will gather together all things in Christ, both the things which are in heaven, and which are on the Earth (1 Cor. 15:24-28; Eph. 1:10; Rev. 22:4-5).

 

3. The Favorable Beginning
In this age man will have a beginning more favorable than in any other dispensation. Besides having many of the wonderful benefits of other ages, man will have the God of Heaven for a ruler and enjoy all the privileges that such rulership will bring. The following points concerning the divine government and the blessed conditions on the Earth during the Millennium will clearly reveal the favorable conditions in this dispensation.

 

4. The Kingdom Foretold
God's covenants with Abraham and David guaranteed to Israel an everlasting earthly kingdom and that they would be the channel of blessings to all the families of the Earth. It seemed that these covenants and promises would fail when Israel was divided into two kingdoms about 1009 B.C. After this time, God raised up many prophets who continued emphasizing to Israel that God would still bring to pass His promises to them, but that He would have to use different means to complete them than would be necessary if they would but submit to His righteous requirements.

 

Sixteen of these prophets left writings concerning the coming King and kingdom. Note in the following passages, that because of the rebellion of Israel, they were to go into captivity and be scattered among the nations where they would be “many days” without a king, a sacrifice, or a knowledge of the true God, and that after this they would be gathered back to their own land and be brought very low because of the oppression of the Gentiles. Then they would be delivered from the nations by the Messiah, who would come from glory to set up the kingdom (Isa. 1:2-9, 25-28; 2:2-5; 9:6-7; 11:2-16; 27:12-13; 32:1-5, 15-19; 34:1-17; 63:1-6; Jer. 33:17-26; Ezek. 24:11-27; 36:16-38; 37:1-28; Dan. 7:12-27; 8:16-27; 9:24-27; 11:36–12:13; Hos. 2:14-23; 3:4-5; Joel 2:28–3:21; Mic. 4:1-13; 5:1-15; Zech. 8:1–14:21; Mal. 3:1–4:6; Lk. 1:30, 35; 21:20-24; Acts 15:13-17; Rom. 11:25-27; Rev. 1:5; 5:10; 11:15; 20:1-4). Men looked for the kingdom through the ages (Heb. 11; 2 Sam. 7; Isa. 9:6-7; Mt. 4; Mk. 15:43; Heb. 12:25-28; Acts 3:19-21).

 

5. When Will Christ's Kingdom Be Set Up?
(1) At the return of the King from glory (Mt. 25:31-46; Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14; 8:18-22; Zech. 14; 1 Thess. 1:7; Jude 14; Rev. 17:14; 19:11–20:7).
(2) After the Church is raptured (1 Cor. 15:51-58; 1 Thess. 4:13-17), for the Church comes back to Earth with Christ to help Him set up the kingdom and reign over the nations (Zech. 14:1-5; Jude 14; Rev. 1:4-5; 5:10; 17:14; 19:11-21). It is not until after the days of the Church that Christ comes to build again the house of David (Acts 15:13-18; Isa. 9:6-7; 11:11; Hos. 3:4-5; Lk. 1:32-35). The Church is raptured before the coming of the Antichrist (2 Thess. 2:7-8) and Antichrist makes his appearance before Christ comes (2 Thess. 2:1-6), so Christ's kingdom cannot be set up until these events take place.
(3) After the future Tribulation, for Christ does not come to the Earth with the saints until then (Mt. 24:15-31; Zech. 14:1-21; Dan. 12:1-13; Rev. 19:11-21).
(4) After the great apostasy and the revelation of the Antichrist, for Antichrist is destroyed at Christ's coming to Earth, so he must be here when Christ comes (2 Thess. 2:1-12; Rev. 19:11-21; Dan. 7:18-27; 8:16-27; 9:27; 11:36–12:13).
(5) At the time the Antichrist is destroyed and Satan is bound for 1,000 years (Rev. 5:10; 20:1-7). During the Church Age and the future Tribulation period Satan is loose (1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 12:12-17; 13:1-8; 20:1-7). The devil is still loose, so we are still in the Church Age and will be until Christ comes to bind him.
(6) After the first resurrection, for the saints reign with Christ on Earth for 1,000 years (Rev. 5:9-10; 20:1-6). Therefore, the saints must first be resurrected before they can reign with Him. This is the period of suffering for Christ, not the period of reigning with Him (Rom. 8:18; 1 Cor. 15:20-58; 2 Cor. 5:6; Phil. 1:23; 3:20-21; Col. 1:24; 2 Tim. 2:12; 3:12). The 1,000 years are between the resurrection of the righteous and that of the wicked (Rev. 20:4-6, 11-15).
(7) At the time Ezekiel's temple is built (Ezek. 40:1–43:7). The reign of Christ will be set up in Jerusalem in Ezekiel's temple (Ezek. 43:7); therefore, the kingdom cannot be set up until then. Christ will build this temple when He comes, but the kingdom naturally will not and cannot be set up in the temple until it is built (Isa. 9:6-7; 52:1-8; 62:6-12; Ezek. 36:24-36; 41:1; 43:7; Zech. 6:12-13; 14:1-21; Lk. 1:32-35; Acts 15:13-18).
(8) After Israel is gathered back from all countries (Ezek. 20:33-36; 36:17-38; 37:1-28; Hos. 3:4-5; Dan. 9:27).
(9) When the Jews are delivered from the armies of the nations and become a blessing to all the families of the Earth (Gen. 12:1-3; Ps. 2:6-8; Isa. 9:6-7; 25:6-9; Zech. 9:9-11; 14:1-21; Acts 15:13-18; Lk. 1:32-35).
(10) In the days of the ten kings of Revised Rome and Revived Grecia (Dan. 2:40-45; 7:18-28; Rev. 17:8-18).
(11) After all of Rev. 4-19 is fulfilled, for Christ comes in Rev. 19-20 to set up the kingdom.
According to these facts mentioned above the kingdom is yet in the future and will follow all these events. Christ Himself taught in the following passages that the kingdom would follow His Second Advent (Mt. 16:21-27; 19:28; 20:20-23; 23:37-39; 24:3-31; 25:31-46; 26:29, 64; Acts 1:6-7; 3:19-21; Jn. 14:3; Lk. 9:26; 19:11-27; Rev. 5:9-10; 11:15; 20:1-7).
The apostles taught that the kingdom was a future event to follow the Second Coming of Christ (Acts 1:7-11; 1 Pet. 1:7; 5:4; 2 Pet. 1:16; 3:3-4; Jas. 5:7; 1 Jn. 2:28; Jude 14; 1 Tim. 6:14-15).

 

6. Will it Be a Literal Earthly Kingdom?
The kingdom will be as earthly and literal as any other one that has been on the Earth. It will be the ninth of the following kingdoms mentioned in Daniel and Revelation: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, Revised Rome, Revived Greece, and the kingdom of Heaven (Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14, 17-27; Zech. 14; Rev. 17:8-18). As all the preceding kingdoms have been literal, so must the kingdom of Heaven be literal. The following studies will further prove that this kingdom will be a literal kingdom on Earth.
The Seventh Day Adventists and others teach that the Earth will be desolate during the 1,000 years and that this Earth is the bottomless pit where the devil will be bound for that period. There is not one word of truth in this theory. The bottomless pit is a department in the underworld for the confinement of certain demon and angelic spirits. That the Earth will not be desolate during this period is proven by the Scriptures in the points below.

 

7. What Will Be the Form of Government?
The government in the Millennium will not be monarchic, democratic, or autocratic, but a theocratic form of government; that is, God reigning through:
(1) Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son (2 Sam. 7; Ps. 2; 89:35-37; Isa. 2:2-4; 4:2-3; 9:6-7; 11:1-15; 16:5; 24:23; 32:1-4; 40:9-10; 42:1-4; 52:7; Jer. 23:5-8; Ezek. 43:7; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14; Mic. 4; 5:1-7; Zech. 6:12-13; 14:1-21; Mt. 25:31-46; Lk. 1:32-35; Rev. 11:15; 20:1-10).
(2) David, the king of Israel (Jer. 30:9; Ezek. 34:24; 37:24-28; Hos. 3:4-5).
(3) The apostles and all saints from Adam to the Millennium, or those who have part in the first resurrection (Ps. 149:5-9; Dan. 7:18-27; Mt. 19:28; 1 Cor. 4:8; 6:2; Eph. 2:7; 2 Tim. 2:12; Heb. 11; Rom. 8:17; 2 Thess. 1:4-7; Rev. 1:6; 2:26-27; 5:9-10; 11:18; 12:5; 20:4-6; 22:5). All saints will be judged and rewarded according to the deeds done in the body and will be given places of rulership according to the degree of their rewards, not according to the company of redeemed they are a part of, or the age in which they were redeemed. This is the only true and just basis for giving rewards. If some New Testament saint is rewarded and given a greater place in the kingdom than some Old Testament saint on the mere grounds that he is redeemed in a different age, this would be unjust. But if all are rewarded “according to their works” regardless of the age in which they are redeemed, then God cannot be accused of injustice or of being a respecter of persons. It is up to every man to make good in every age and prove true to his own particular test. From the above passages in Points (2) and (3) we learn that David will have a greater rulership than any one of the apostles. He is to be king over all Israel under Christ, while the apostles will have only one tribe each.
Some Old Testament saints did more for God and had more power than the average New Testament saint. Take an ordinary professed follower of the Christ today and compare his life and works with Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Elisha, etc. Shall the New Testament person be given a greater degree of reward and responsibility in the eternal kingdom than these men just because he is saved in a different age? This would not be just and it is contrary to the doctrine of personal reward according to a man's works, as proven in Prov. 24:12; Ps. 62:12; Jer. 31:16; Rom. 14:12; 2 Cor. 5:10-11; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; Jas. 2:21-25; Rev. 14:12; 20:12-15; 22:12. Certain classes of men will not have part in reigning with Christ (Mt. 18:1-13; Lk. 9:62; 14:27; Jn. 3:3-5; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:5; 2 Tim. 2:12; Heb. 12:14; 1 Jn. 3:10; Rev. 20:15).
(4) Earthly judges and kings will be restored, but as subordinate to the heavenly rulers (Isa. 1:25-28; Ezek. 43:7-12; Rev. 21:24).

 

8. Where Will the Seat of Government Be?
Jerusalem, rebuilt and restored to a greater glory than ever before, will be the seat of the government, the world capital, and the center of worship forever (1 Chron. 23:25; 2 Chron. 33:4-7; Ps. 48:8; Isa. 2:2-4; 11:11–12:6; Jer. 17:25; Ezek. 34:1-31; 43:7; Joel 3:17, 20; Mic. 4:7; Zech. 8:3-23; 14:1-21).

 

9. What Will Be the Territorial Extent of the Kingdom?
It will be worldwide and will forever “increase” in population and blessings (Isa. 9:6-7; 11:9; Ps. 72:8; 97:9; Dan. 7:13-14; Mic. 4:1-3; Zech. 9:10; 14:1-21; Rev. 11:15).

 

10. Who Will and Will Not Be the Subjects of the Kingdom?
Various classes of people will be excluded from the kingdom (Mt. 5:20; 13:49, 50; 24:45-51; 25:25-28, 31-46; Rev. 14:9-12). Some men of all nations now in existence on the Earth will continue as natural people in the kingdom forever and ever. “All people, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:13-14, 18, 22-27; Isa. 9:6-7; Zech. 14:1-21; Lk. 1:32-35; Rev. 11:15).
After the Battle of Armageddon and the judgment of the nations at the return of Christ, there will be many left of all nations who will go up from year to year to worship the Lord of hosts and keep the Feast of Tabernacles. It is these people and their children that will populate the Earth during the Millennium (Isa. 2:1-2; Zech. 14:16-21; Mt. 25:31-46; Rev. 11:15; 20:1-10).
The Russellists teach that the atonement of Christ was for Adam only, that one man could only atone for one man, that all the sons of Adam must remain dead until the Millennium when they will be resurrected and given a second chance, and that all who will not accept God during this second probation will be annihilated. This is one of the most erroneous and unscriptural teachings ever set forth. It denies the very heart of the Gospel, for Jesus died for every man, as proven in Mt. 1:21; 26:29; Lk. 24:47; Jn. 1:12-16; 3:5, 16-19; 6:37-40; 14:6; Acts 2:38; 4:12; Rom. 1:16; 5:6-11, 15-21; 6:23; 8:1-4, 32; 2 Cor. 5:14-21; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14, 20-22; Heb. 1:3; 2:9-10; 9:11-28; 10:4-22, 29; 1 Pet. 1:18-23; 1 Jn. 1:7.
What is it in all these passages that makes God just in forgiving every man today who repents and believes the Gospel? It is the one sacrifice of Christ for all men of all times, not for Adam alone. If one man could only atone for the sins of one man, then to be redeemed every man that has ever been born must have God die for him individually. God would then have to do what He did in Christ a countless number of times. Such a thing is absurd. If men are going to have another chance in the Millennium, the basis of their reconciliation must be the same as it is now. Thus, their teaching that Christ died for one man only is contradicted by their teaching that all men will have a second chance during the Millennium. Otherwise, how are they to be saved then unless Christ dies separately for each individual, as they teach in the doctrine of the atonement?
The Bible teaches that all the righteous dead will be resurrected before the Millennium and the wicked dead after that period (Rev. 20:4-15). Therefore, how could the wicked be resurrected and given a second chance during the Millennium, if they are not to rise until after the Millennium? In no place does the Bible teach that men have a second chance. On the contrary it says, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). The Bible does not say, “after this a second chance, and then annihilation, if they fail again.” The Bible does not teach annihilation for any man, as is abundantly proven in Lesson Thirty-nine. Men, during their natural lifetime, have hundreds of chances to get right with God and if they fail to do so they will be cut off and “that without remedy” (Prov. 29:1).
So it is clear that the subjects of the millennial kingdom will not be the wicked dead who will be raised to life after the Millennium, but men of the nations who will be on the Earth at the coming of Christ with the saints to set up the kingdom (Isa. 2:1-4; 11:11; 66:17-21; Zech. 14:16).
The Adventists, instead of believing that there will be inhabitants on Earth in the Millennium, teach that the Earth will be desolate of all human, animal, and plant life during this period. They teach that the devil will be bound on Earth at this time, but this is disproved in the facts of Rev. 20:1-15, as listed in Point II, above.

 

11. Will There Be Laws For the Subjects of the Kingdom?
There will be laws in this kingdom for the same purpose as in any other kingdom. There are laws even in Heaven and in all the universe. Adam was given laws to keep before he fell. Men will have laws to keep in all eternity after mankind has been redeemed from the Fall, so why not during the Millennium? There will be sinners during the Millennium, so God of necessity will have laws to make known His will to His subjects. It is necessary to have laws to set up certain standards for free wills, else there would be no need of a free will to choose between right and wrong. The very nature of a free will demands law and revelation of the will of God in order to be enlightened as to his duties to society to which he is a part and to cause his will to be exercised as to his moral obligations.
The millennial kingdom will be a literal, earthly one with earthly subjects, many of whom will be rebels at heart against the rule of Christ. They will openly rebel the first chance they get when the devil is loosed out of the pit at the end of the 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-10). Anyone who has really been “born again” and baptized in the Holy Spirit and has fellowship with God during the 1,000 years certainly will not rebel with Satan at that time. That there will be sinners here during the Millennium is clear from Isa. 2:2-4; 11:2-4; 11:3-5; 16:5; 65:20; Ps.2:6-9; Mic. 4:3; Zech. 14:16-21; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 20:7-10.
Many unsaved people will be permitted to live and go through the Millennium because they will keep the outward laws of the government, but in their hearts they will be rebellious against the government. On the other hand, many will be executed during the Millennium because of committing sins worthy of death (Isa. 11:3-5; 16:5; 65:20). There will have to be laws to govern such people during the Millennium, else there could be no transgression of the law to bring judgment, if there were no basis for judgment.

 

12. What Laws Will There Be?
The laws of God revealing His will in detail as given by Moses and Jesus Christ will be the laws of the kingdom. This includes the laws of both the Old and New Testaments. The outward laws, of course, will be the only ones enforced upon man. Outward laws alone could never govern the desires of a free will. It is clear from Isa. 2:2-4; Mic. 4:2; Ezek. 40:1–48:35 and the books of Moses that the law, or at least part of it, will again become effective during the Millennium and forever, as far as Israel is concerned.
The writers of these passages knew only of the Law of Moses when they wrote, so when they mentioned “the law” they could have had in mind only the Law of Moses. That law revealed the governmental plan and laws of God in detail, which were sufficient to govern natural men regardless of their attitude toward spiritual things. When God gave the law to Moses He gave it in eternal terms, thus emphasizing the truth that such law is eternal and should be observed by Israel forever. The law will, in some details, apply only to Israel in their land, for some of it was made only for Israel, as we have seen in Lesson Thirty-two, Point V. The moral and governmental laws concern all nations alike, but the laws that apply to the nation of Israel to be obeyed in their own land, will apply only to Israel. The laws of the Gospel will apply to all men alike, while some of the laws of Moses concerning typical worship will apply specifically to Israel in their land, as taught by Ezekiel 40:1–48:35. Certain of the feasts of Israel will have to be observed by all nations or they will not get rain (Zech. 14:16-21). God will adjust all matters when the kingdom is set up.
The Jews naturally will enjoy certain blessings more than others due to the fact that the temple, with its worship, the world capital, and missionary headquarters will be located in Palestine.
Israel, nor any other nation, has ever kept the law, yet the law was given for them to keep forever. If they ever keep it as God intended, it will yet be in the future. This will be proven in the following studies.
Besides these outward laws for the natural man in the kingdom, there will be laws governing the spiritual man; that is, the man who will desire spiritual things and live in the Spirit. This kind of spiritual man will have to keep the outward laws just as much as the man who rejects spiritual things, and as long as either kind of man obeys the outward laws he will not be punished because he has broken no law. The same thing is true in any government today. A man does not have to accept spiritual things to escape the clutches of the law. He may be ever so rebellious as far as spiritual things are concerned, but as long as he keeps the outward laws he is not apprehended by the law. On the other hand, the man who accepts Christ as his Savior and walks in the Spirit must also keep the outward laws, for besides being under the laws of the government, he is under the laws of Christ (Mt. 5-7).
In these laws of Christ governing the spiritual man there are laws which would not affect the natural man. For example, the law concerning adultery affects both spiritual and natural men; but the one, “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Mt. 5:27-30), would kill the spiritual man in that he would be cut off from God and become spiritually dead. However, it would not affect the rebel in his relationship to God and spiritual things because he is already spiritually dead.

 

13. Who Will Execute These Laws?
Christ and the glorified saints, who have been made kings and priests, as well as earthly rulers, will execute these laws forever. (See Scriptures under Point (4), above).

 

14. Where Will the Different Nations Be Located?
The Gentile nations will perhaps live in the same places they do today, with the exception of those who live in lands promised to Abraham and his seed for an everlasting possession. This promised land is from the Mediterranean Sea on the west to the River Euphrates on the east, taking in all the Arabian Peninsula and the wilderness countries, south and east of Palestine (Gen. 15:14-18; 17:6-19; Exod. 32:13; Lev. 25:23-34; Deut. 4:40; 2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 60:21; Jer. 25:5; Ezek. 47:13-23).

 

15. How Will This “Everlasting Possession” Be Divided?
This promised land will be divided in wide strips running east and west. There will be twelve great strips, one for each of the twelve tribes. The portion for Dan will be on the extreme north and that for Gad on the extreme south and the other tribes between. Judah and Benjamin will have their two portions joining the “holy oblation,” a portion of land sixty miles square and divided into three parts. There will be 24 x 60 miles on the north for the Levites, 24 x 60 miles in the middle for the priests, and 12 x 60 miles on the south for the city of Jerusalem and its suburbs and gardens. (See the Millennium on your chart.) The city itself will be twelve miles square and will be a miniature of the New Jerusalem (Ezek. 48:1-35).

 

16. Will the Jews Have a Temple During the Millennium?
Yes. It will be located in the priest's portion of the holy oblation, as illustrated on the chart. The temple and its enclosure called “the sanctuary” (Ezek. 45:1-4) will be one mile square (Ezek. 40:1–45:14). It will not be the temple that will be built in the last days before the Second Coming of Christ in which the Antichrist will sit during the last 3 ½ years of the Age of Grace (Mt. 24:15-22; 2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 11:1-2), as this one will be destroyed at the Second Coming of Christ. The Millennial temple will be built by Christ Himself when He comes to the Earth to set up the kingdom (Zech. 6:12-13). It will be the place for Christ's earthly throne forever (Ezek. 43:7).

 

17. The River of the Millennial Temple
There is to be a literal river flowing out from this temple eastward and from the south side of the altar. It will then turn and run southward through Jerusalem and immediately south of Jerusalem it will be divided. Half of the river will flow westward into the Mediterranean Sea and half will flow eastward into the Dead Sea. There will also be trees on both sides of the river whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit be consumed. The trees shall bring forth new fruit according to their months, which shall be for meat and preservation of natural life for the nations. This river is not the same as the one in the New Jerusalem, for that does not come down to the Earth until the New Earth after the Millennium (Rev. 22:1-5). The Dead Sea into which one branch of the river flows is to be healed so that multitudes of fish will be found in it (Ezek. 47:1-12; Zech. 14:8). When Christ sets His feet on the Mount of Olives there is to be a great earthquake and the whole country will be changed (Zech. 14:4-5). The Dead Sea will be raised so that it will have an outlet to purify the stagnant waters, which have been shut up for all these centuries. There will be marshes left to provide salt.

 

18. Will There Be Priests in the Millennial Temple?
There will be earthly priests in the future temple just as there were in the first temple (Ezek. 43:19-27; 44:9-31). The Levites who went astray with the northern kingdom of the ten tribes will not be permitted to do the most holy work, but shall serve in other parts of the temple. That is, their descendants will serve in the future temple worship. The sons of Zadok who remained true to the house of David will do the most holy work (Ezek. 43:19-27; 44:9-31). (See 1 Ki. 1:39; 2 Sam. 8:17; 15:24; 20:25).
The priesthood of the Law of Moses was an eternal one (Exod. 29:9; 40:15; Num. 25:11-13; 1 Chron. 23:13). This would seem to conflict with Heb. 7:11-28 where the writer speaks of a change in the law and priesthood of old. There is really no conflict. However, as far as the means of approach and the way of salvation and mediation to God are concerned, there has been a change. Men under the law had to come through the priests and offer certain sacrifices as a token of their faith, but today Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed once and forever for us by the which we can individually draw nigh to God any time we desire (1 Cor. 5:7). Nevertheless, there will still be the earthly priesthood and offerings in the future ages for earthly peoples—not for salvation—for the blood of bulls and goats did not take away sins even when they were offered, but for a memorial or object lesson to demonstrate that the people believe in what has been done for them through Christ.
There is no question but what God intends to have a temple, an earthly priesthood, sacrifices and feasts in the future, for that is what He revealed to Ezekiel (40:1-48:35) and promised Israel when He gave them ordinances to be observed throughout all their generations forever, as we shall see below. These outward observances will not supercede the present individual salvation, or the means of approach to God, but will be added for earthly peoples to satisfy the natural instincts in man for something outward in religion.

 

19. Will There Be Offerings in the Future Temple?
Every offering mentioned in the law was to be observed by Israel forever, as is proven by the following statements in the law, which are found from two to eight times in a single chapter of the book of Moses:
“It is a statute forever.”
“By a statute forever throughout their generations.”
“This shall be an everlasting statute unto you.”
“By a perpetual statute.”
“By an ordinance forever.”
There are many other such statements in connection with the offerings and feasts of the law which can only be taken in a literal sense. These offerings are definitely mentioned as being in the future temple described by Ezekiel to be the place where Christ would reign in the midst of the children of Israel forever (Ezek. 43:7). The offerings found in the Millennial chapters of Ezekiel are:
(1) Burnt offerings (Ezek. 43:24-27; 45:17-25; 46:1-24. Compare Lev. 7:16).
(2) Sin offering (Ezek. 43:19-23; 45:17-25; 46:1-24. Compare Lev. 4:14-21).
(3) Meat offering (Ezek. 45:17-25; 46:1-24. Compare Rev. 6:14-17).
(4) Trespass offering (Ezek. 46:20. Compare Lev. 7:1-10; 14:12).
(5) Peace offering (Ezek. 43:27; 45:17; 46:1-24. Compare Lev. 7:11-38).
To some, it seems unreasonable that the old sacrifices and ceremonial law will be established in the Millennium and forever, but when we consider that neither Jews nor Gentiles have ever kept the law in its true sense, with the heart as well as externally, it does not seem unreasonable. These ordinances will not be the means of salvation at that time any more than they were in Old Testament times (Heb. 9:12-15; 11:4). They will serve as memorials in a deeper significance than they ever served as types of old. We observe today the Lord's Supper and water baptism in a deep spiritual way, and yet they are mere outward observances of what has actually been done. Neither one saves a soul from sin, but both are acts of obedience and have a true significance if observed in the right way. One is an outward symbol of what has been wrought in the heart and the other is a memorial of what has been done on Calvary for us. Christ is to observe the Lord's Supper when He comes (Lk. 22:16). Ezekiel describes these things as “a perpetual ordinance unto the Lord” (Ezek. 46:14. See also Exodus 12:14, 24; 27:21; 28:43; 30:21; Lev. 6:13, 18, 22; 7:34-36; 10:9-15; 16:29-31; 17:1-7; 23:14, 21, 31, 41; 24:3; Num. 10:8; 18:8; 25:13; 28:3, 6, 10, 15, 23, 24, 31; 29:11, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 38).

 

20. Will the Feasts of Jehovah Be Observed in the Millennium?
The feasts are nearly all mentioned in Ezekiel and Zechariah as being kept in the time of the reign of the Messiah. They are:
(1) Passover (Ezek. 45:21. Compare Lev. 23; Exod. 12; 1 Cor. 5:7).
(2) Unleavened Bread (Ezek. 45:21. Compare Lev. 23; 1 Cor. 5:8).
(3) Firstfruits (Ezek. 44:30. Compare Lev. 23; 1 Cor. 15:23).
(4) Pentecost, or Weeks (Ezek. 46:9. Compare Lev. 23; Acts 2:1).
(5) Trumpets (Ezek. 44:5; 45:17. Compare Lev. 23; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:16).
(6) Day of Atonement (Ezek. 45; 46. Compare Lev. 23; Heb. 8-10).
(7) Tabernacles (Ezek. 45:25; Zech. 14:16-21. Compare Lev. 23).
In addition to these offerings and feasts, the new moons, the sabbaths, and “all the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all the laws thereof,” and “all solemnities of the house of Israel” will be observed during the Millennium and even in the New Earth forever (Ezek. 44:5; 45:17; 46:1-3; Isa. 66:22-24).

 

21. What Will Be the Spiritual Conditions in the Millennium?
(1) The out-poured Spirit (Joel 2:28-32; Isa. 32:15-20; 44:3; 59:21; Ezek. 36:25-27; 39:28-29; Zech. 12:10–13:1). Although the prophecies of Joel and others of the outpouring of the Spirit (called the Baptism in the Spirit in Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-16) were fulfilled in a partial way on the day of Pentecost and in the early Church (Acts 2:1-16; 2:38-39; 9:17; 10:44-48; 11:14-18; 19:1-6), and are now being fulfilled in these last days (Acts 2:14-21), yet they will not be completely fulfilled until the Millennium and thereafter. In other words, the outpouring of the Spirit that was received by the early Church is being received today and will be received in a greater way throughout all eternity from the time the Messiah comes to bring universal religion, peace and prosperity to all nations forever (Dan. 7:13-14, 18-27; Rev 11:15; 20:1–21:3).
(2) Universal knowledge (Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14; Zech. 8:22-23). There will be universal knowledge, and all will know the ways of the Lord, whether they walk in them or not. Many will not walk in the ways of God spiritually, as is clear from Points 8, 9 and 10, above. What a great change there must be in order for this Scripture to be fulfilled! There are only about 682.4 million professed Christians of nearly 2 billion people in the world today (Editor's Note: ca. 1948).
How many truly “born again” Christians are there of these professed followers of Christ? If true facts were known the percentage would be small, for “not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Mt. 7:21). One must be “born again” and made a “new creature” in Christ and live a consistent life of holiness before he can call himself a true follower of Christ, or a “Christian” (Jn. 3:1-8; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 12:1; Heb. 12:14; Jas. 4:4; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; 3:8-10).
(3) Jewish Missionaries (Isa. 2:2-4; 40:9; 52:7; 61:6; 66:18-21; Zech. 8:23). The Jewish people will become the missionaries of the Gospel and priests of the law during this Millennial Age and forever. They will carry out God's plan for the first time since God called out Abraham and promised to make his seed a blessing to all nations. The missionary program will be carried on then by the same means it is being carried on today, with the exception that it will be a governmental enterprise and not merely the enterprise of some small societies.
The purpose of God in establishing the government under His Son is to put down all rebellion in the universe (1 Cor. 15:24-28). Being a just God, He will not even destroy rebels without giving them knowledge of the means of reconciliation to Him and giving them a chance to become reconciled. Hence, the necessity of filling the Earth with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. He will then have a just and recognizable basis of judgment against those who rebel and sin against the truth.
Such a universal missionary program will necessitate the cooperation of all the governmental, news, and other agencies, various organizations, and the establishment of churches and schools in every locality, and many other things too numerous to mention in this present work.
(4) Universal religion (Mal. 1:11; Zech. 14:16-21; Isa. 2:2-4; Joel 2:28-31; Jer. 31:31-36). This will be the result of the universal missionary program and the preaching of the Gospel unto the ends of the Earth. It will become popular to serve God and the Lord Jesus Christ, so it will not take long for this universal religion to be realized. Everybody will go to church and have a Bible in his own language. Every community will be like unto the days of Heaven on Earth.
(5) The glory of God will be continually manifest (Isa. 4:2-6; 35:2; 60:1-9; Ezek. 43:1-5). A cloud of glory will be seen forever over the Millennial temple when the Messiah reigns. It left the temple just before the captivities (Ezek. 11:22-25) and will not come back until the nation is fully restored under the Messiah, who will build the future temple for the restored glory (Ezek. 43:1-5; Zech. 6:11-12).
(6) Salvation for all (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:16-21; Isa. 2:2-4; 11:9; 33:24; 40:1-2; 52:7; Heb. 8-10; Jer. 50:20). However, salvation will benefit only those who repent and accept as it is today.
(7) Universal holiness and righteousness (Isa. 1:26-27; Jer. 31:23; Zech. 14:16-21).
(8) Divine healing for all (Isa. 32:1-5; 33:24; 35:3-6; 53:5; Mt. 8:17). God will start the race out as He did Israel in coming out of Egypt. He healed them all and there was not a feeble person in their tribes (Ps. 105:37; 107:20).
(9) Yearly pilgrimages to Jerusalem (Zech. 14:16-21; Isa. 2:1-4; 35:8-9).
(10) A new and eternal covenant (Isa. 59:2l; Jer. 31:31-34; 32:40; Ezek. 34:25; 36:26-27; 37:26; Rom. 11:25-29).

 

22. What Will Be the Living Conditions During the Millennium?
(1) Satan will be bound so there will be no tempter (Rev. 20:1-10; Isa. 24:21; 25:7).
(2) Universal peace (Isa. 2:4; 9:6-7; Mic. 4:3-4). This means that there will be no taxation to keep up large armies and navies. “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Class prejudices and other national ills will be forgotten because of the great turning to God by all nations after hearing the Gospel. Spiritual revivals will break out in every land and all peoples will become one in serving the great King. The universal conversation will not be about wars, treaties, armaments, depressions, various forms of religion or government, or anything that makes up the common talk of today, but all peoples will be fully satisfied in peace and prosperity and will have no excuse to talk about anything but the goodness of God and the wondrousness of His reign (Mal. 1:11. Compare Mal. 3:16).
(3) Universal prosperity (Isa. 65:21-24; Ezek. 34:26; Mic. 4:1-5; Zech. 8:11-12; 9:16-17). There will be no charity fund raised every year, no unemployment, and no poverty. The billions now spent on tobacco, alcoholic drinks, sickness, hospitals, cosmetics, crime, worldly amusements, and many other things will supply everybody with plenty. All investments will be safe and there will be no financial crashes to retard business throughout eternity. The God of all will prosper anyone in any legitimate business and all will be capable of succeeding in life in all its varied aspects.
(4) Financial system (Mal. 3:7-12) Tithing was the system before the law (Gen. 14:20; 28:22), under the law (Lev. 27:30-33; Num. 18:21; Neh. 10:37; 13:10-12; Prov. 3:9-10), as well as since the law (Mt. 23:23; Rom. 2:22; 1 Cor. 9:7-18; 16:1-3; Heb. 7). So no doubt the same system will be used by the government of Christ in the coming ages. There will be plenty of money from such a system to balance the budget and have plenty to spare. There will be no corrupt politics or graft as Christ and the glorified saints will reign in righteousness and true holiness (Isa. 32:1-5). They will need no salaries, as they will own the universe and all things will be theirs. All the money that anyone will get for personal use will be that given to the earthly missionaries and servants of the government. There will be no need of special taxes on automobiles, gasoline, food products, or any other thing. This financial system, if practiced by governments today, would solve all financial problems. Especially so, if the governments would take up the program of evangelizing the world, for God would bless such an undertaking to such a great extent that they would prosper beyond any human conception. Christ's government will be the first to set the example along this line, as we shall see in the ages to come.
(5) Full justice for all (Isa. 9:6-7; 11:1-5; 42:1-4; 65:20; 57:15; 66:1-2; Mt. 5-7). Crime waves will be a thing of the past. There will be no political, lodge, personal, or church pull in that day. The Lord and His glorified saints will try men and also judge them, thus assuring justice to all alike. If a man commits a sin worthy of death he will be immediately tried and executed. There will not be a thousand ways of staying execution or prolonging the trial. The law will be enforced to the letter, as it should be under man today.
(6) Human life will be prolonged (Isa. 65:20; Zech. 8:4; Lk. 1:33). Human life will be prolonged to a thousand years and then those who do not rebel against God with Satan at the end of the Millennium will be permitted to live forever, as we shall see in the next two lessons.
(7) Increase of light (Isa. 30:26; 60:18-22). The light of the sun will be increased seven times and the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun today.
(8) Changes in the animal kingdom (Isa. 11:6-8; 65:17-25; Rom. 8:18-23). All animals will have their natures changed. There will be no more fierce or poisonous creatures. Things will be as they were in the Garden of Eden before the curse, with the exception of the serpent who will still be cursed (Gen. 3:14; Isa. 65:25).
(9) Land restored (Isa. 35:1-10; 55:12-13; Ezek. 36:8-12; Joel 2:18-27; 3:17-21; Amos 9:13-15). All lands will be restored to a wonderful beauty and fruitfulness, with the exception of the site of Babylon and perhaps a few more centers of great rebellion against God, which will be used as object lessons to coming generations of God's wrath against sin (Isa. 34; 13:17-22; Jer. 50; 51). The Earth will not be fully restored to the original condition until after the Millennium (Rom. 8:18-23; Rev. 21-22; 2 Pet. 3).
(10) Love, joy, and righteousness will prevail (Isa. 9:6-7; 11:5; 12:1-6; 25:6-10; 32:1-5; 35:1-10; 52:9; 55:12; 60:15; 65:18-25). The Gentiles will love the Jews, who will then be the head of the nations (Deut. 28:1-14).
(11) Plenty of rain and water (Isa. 30:23-25; 33:20-21; 35:6-7; 41:17-18; 49:10; Ezek. 34:26; 47:1-12; Zech. 14:8; Joel 3:18).
(12) Plenty of trees, grass, cattle, sheep, gold, silver, and other material blessings (Isa. 29:17; 30:23-24; 32:15; 35:1-7; 41:19; 49:9-10; 51:3; 55:13; 60:5-17; 62:8-9; Jer. 31:27-28; Ezek. 34:27; 36:25-35; Joel 3:18; Amos 9:13).
(13) Rebuilding of waste places of the Earth (Isa. 32:16-18; 49:19; 52:9; 61:4-5; Ezek. 36:8-15, 33-38; Amos 9:14-15).
(14) Great highways (Isa. 11:16; 19:23-25; 35:7-8).
(15) Fruitfulness of women (Jer. 30:19; 33:22; Hos. 1:10).
These facts go far to prove that the seventh and last dispensation is to have a most favorable beginning and will be a better age throughout than any other age we have ever had. These days will indeed be the days of Heaven on Earth (Deut. 11:21).

 

23. The Test (Ps. 2; Rev. 5:10; 11:15; 20:1-10)
The test of man in this dispensation will be to obey the laws of the divine government, to obey Christ and the glorified saints, and to mould one's character in harmony with God by the Holy Spirit and the power of the Gospel.

 

24. The Purpose of God in this Dispensation
(1) To put down all rebellion and all enemies under the feet of Christ so that God may be all-in-all as before the rebellion (1 Cor. 15:24-28; Heb. 2:7-9).
(2) To fulfill the everlasting covenants made with Abraham (Gen. 12; 13; 15; 17), Isaac (Gen. 26), Jacob (Gen. 28; 35), David (2 Sam. 7), and others.
(3) To vindicate and avenge Christ and His saints (Mt. 26:63-66; Rom. 12:19; Ps. 2; Isa. 63; Rev. 1:7; 6:9-11; 19:1-10; 1 Pet. 1:10-11; 2 Tim. 4:7-8; Rom. 8:17-21).
(4) To restore Israel and deliver her from the nations and make her the head of all nations forever (Acts 15:13-17; Mt. 24:31; Isa. 11:11; Ezek. 20:33-44; 38-39; Deut. 28).
(5) To exalt the saints of all ages in some kingly or priestly capacity according to the promises and according to their works (Rom. 8:17-21; 14:10-11; 2 Cor. 5:10; Phil. 3:20-21; Col. 3:4; 1 Pet. 1:10-13; 5:1, 4; Rev. 1:5; 2:26; 5:10; 11:18; 12:5; 20:4-6; 1 Cor. 6).
(6) To gather together in “one” all things in Christ which are in Heaven and in Earth (Eph. 1:10) and restore all things as before the rebellion (Acts 3:20-21; 1 Cor. 15:24-28).
(7) To judge the nations in righteousness and restore the Earth to its rightful owners (Isa. 2:2-4; 11:1-11; Mt. 25:31-46; Dan. 7:9-27; 1 Cor. 6).
(8) To restore a righteous and eternal government on Earth as originally planned (Isa. 9:6-7; 11:1-9; 42:1-5; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-27; Lk. 1:32-35; Rev. 11:15; 19:11-16; 20:4-6).
(9) To fulfill the scores of prophecies concerning the reign of the Messiah (Dan. 9:24; Acts 3:20-21; 1 Pet. 1:10-13).

 

25. The Means of Accomplishing God's Purpose
God will send His Son Jesus Christ with the mighty angels and all the resurrected and glorified saints from Heaven to put down all rebellion on the Earth, bring all rebels into judgment, complete the dispensational dealings of God with men so that all the curse may be removed, and the kingdom of God established permanently over the Earth as in the beginning (Mt. 24:29-31; 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 19:11-21; 20:1-10). This expeditionary force from Heaven will defeat the armies of the devil and the Antichrist and the kingdoms of this world and seize all the earthly kingdoms and establish a permanent kingdom here, which later will be merged into the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 15:24-28).

 

26. The Failure (Rev. 20:1-10)
This passage reveals that man in this dispensation will again fail in doing the will of God. The failure, however, will not be as universal as in other ages. Man, up to this time, will have failed while in a state of innocence, under conscience or a state of freedom without restraint, under self-rule, under promise, under the revelation of the divine will or law, and under grace. In the Millennium he will fail under the most blessed conditions of divine government, having all the privileges of remaining true and becoming reconciled to God. God will have tried man under every necessary test and he will have proven a failure. This being true, there will be nothing more for God to do but to bring things to a speedy end and permit the remaining righteous ones who did not rebel to enter the new restored Earth to carry out the original plan of habitation on the Earth. Multitudes of men during the l,000 years will not have laid down their arms against God in their hearts, or surrendered themselves to Christ for a change of heart and life, so they will be given a chance to rebel openly. Satan will be loosed out of the pit at the end of the 1,000 years to unite and lead all such rebels at heart in open rebellion against God in a plan to overthrow the divine government and rid the Earth completely of God and all His followers. But they will not be successful, as is clear from Rev. 20:7-10.

 

27. The Judgment (Rev. 20:1-10)
God will permit Satan to deceive and unite all those who are desirous of overthrowing the government for the following reasons: 
l Because of man's continued failures under every conceivable test.
l Because the faithful have realized that God's form of government is the best. They know that God really loves them and that He does nothing but good for them.
l Because all accusations brought against God by Satan and all other rebels suggesting that God was a tyrant and unjust have been amply demonstrated to be false.
l Because the faithful have yielded their wills unreservedly to God.
l Because the time will then come in the plan of God to put down all rebellion and completely rid the universe of all rebels.
The judgment upon man for his stubborn rebellion in the face of all God has done, or could do for him, will be his complete destruction from the Earth by fire coming from Heaven upon the rebels. Their bodies will be resurrected from the dead, along with all other rebels of the human race since Adam, and will be brought up before the Great White Throne Judgment along with all rebel demons and angels. All will be judged and sentenced to the Lake of Fire and will be tormented according to their evil works. Satan himself will be taken and cast into the Lake of Fire, where the beast and false prophet will have been for l,000 years and will be forever and ever in the torments of the damned (Isa. 66:22-24; Mt. 25:41, 46; Rev. 14:9-12; 9:20; 20:10).
Thus, God brings an end to the rebellion in the universe. He has been longsuffering with rebels for ages for the sole reason of demonstrating to all free moral agents in all past and future ages that He is loving, merciful, just, and longsuffering to all, even to those who rebel against Him. He gives them every possible means of reconciliation, so that His blessings to them might be again realized as though they had never rebelled. God will then be free to judge the ones who persist in rebellion, and bless the ones who lay down their rebellion and become reconciled to Him. This He does by confining rebels away from society and permitting the faithful to enter into eternal blessing in the restored Earth.

 

28. God's Provision of Redemption
God will provide the same eternal salvation for those who will accept it during this period as was provided in all previous ages—redemption through Jesus Christ. The faithful at the end of the Millennium will be delivered from the terrible judgment of fire from Heaven upon the rebels, and will be permitted to enter the New Earth to carry out His original purpose in the Earth, as we shall see in the next two lessons. The Earth will pass its second sinful career into a redeemed and perfect state “wherein dwelleth righteousness.” God Himself will then set up His headquarters on the Earth and reign over His universal kingdom, which will then be free from all sin and rebellion. From this time and through eternity all free wills will submit to the Lord of the whole universe having been purged from all possible rebellion, as we have explained in Lesson One, Point VII.

 

The eternal benefits of the redemption of Christ will for the first time be realized fully in the New Earth at the end of the Millennium. At that time the whole creation will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God (Rom. 8:21-24). All rebels will be confined to the eternal Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15). All resurrected saints will continue to reign forever and ever over the coming natural generations of men yet to be born in all eternity (Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14, 18; Rev. 5:10; 11:15; 22:4-6). The natural people will eat of the Tree of Life and live forever (Rev. 22:1-2). They will carry out God's original purpose of replenishing the Earth with sinless human beings forever (Gen. 1:26-28; 9:12). All natural life on the Earth will be restored to its original creative purposes for man to utilize for the best good of the eternal natural society (Rom. 8:21-25; 1 Tim. 4:1-8). All plant and animal life will be as it was before the Fall. There will be no more thorns, thistles, poisonous weeds, and destructive forms of life. The Earth will be a perpetual garden, a paradise restored to its original beauty and usefulness (Rev. 21-22).

 

From the original creation to the end of the Millennium the Earth will have gone through two perfect states and two sinful careers. It was perfect when originally created (Gen. 1:1). The first earthly inhabitants were destroyed because of sin and rebellion under Lucifer (Gen. 1:2). The Earth was restored in six days and made perfect the second time (Gen. 1:3–2:25). The second earthly inhabitants rebelled under Adam and the Earth entered its second sinful career (Gen. 3). This career will end with the last rebellion under Satan at the end of the Millennium (Rev. 20:7-10). Then the Earth will be made perfect the third time by the renovation by fire.
IV. The Renovation of the Earth by Fire
The subject of the renovation of the Earth is usually as misunderstood as many other subjects in the Bible. The ideas that generally prevail are:
l That the world is coming to an end.
l That the coming of Christ will end all things on the Earth.
l That the present Heaven and Earth will be annihilated and cease to exist.
l That the New Heaven and New Earth never existed before.
l That all men are to be glorified and that none will exist in a natural state after the Millennium.
l That we will spend eternity in Heaven.
l That men and animals will not multiply and continue on Earth forever.
These ideas are all unscriptural, as we shall see in our future studies. Now, before we study the New Heaven and the New Earth, eternal conditions and peoples on the Earth, we shall determine how the atmospheric heavens and the Earth will be purified by fire, resulting in new or renewed ones, as pictured in Rev. 21-22; Isa. 65:17; 66:22-24; 2 Pet. 3:10-13.
The only consistent way to arrive at a logical understanding of this subject, or any other in the Bible, is to collate all Scripture on the subject and harmonize the seemingly difficult passages, regardless of how inconsistent they may seem to our finite minds. Until we have followed this procedure, it is unwise to speak with authority or judge another's research work on the subject. Having followed this procedure on this subject of the renovation by fire, we advance the following:
1. The time of the renovation of the Earth and the elements will be after the Millennium, the Battle of Gog and Magog, and the casting of Satan into the Lake of Fire, and during the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the Millennium (2 Pet. 3:7). The statement in this passage further indicates that the final judgment will take place in Heaven where God's throne is, but not until after the renovation. Then the throne of God and His capital city, the New Jerusalem, will come to the New Earth to be forever with men. The time of the renovation of the Earth is made clear from the following facts:

 

Isaiah 66:22-24 mentions the wicked in Hell during the New Earth. The wicked are not resurrected and judged until after the Millennium (Rev. 20:5, 7-15), much less cast into the Lake of Fire. This proves the renovation of the Earth will be after the Millennium.
2 Peter 3:1-13 is the main passage on the renovation of the heavens and the Earth. This passage teaches the time of the renovation to be “against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” This day of judgment is at the end of the Millennium (Rev. 20:11-15). It is further stated to be when “the day of God” begins, which is after the Millennium when God becomes all-in-all, after Christ reigns during the Millennium for the purpose of putting all enemies under His feet. Peter states that in the New Earth “dwelleth righteousness,” which could only be after the Millennium, for sin, death, enemies, rebellion, etc. continue during the Millennium (Isa. 65:20; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 21).

 

Revelation 21; 22 proves conclusively that the New Earth will be after the Millennium, as is clear from a study of these chapters, along with Rev. 20:1-15. It was not until after the l,000 years reign of Christ and His saints, the last rebellion of Satan and man against God, the destruction of the rebels, and the last resurrection and final judgment that John said, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away”. . . 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.”
2. The present Heaven and Earth will not pass out of existence. This idea is the result of a superficial reading of 2 Pet. 3:10-13 and Rev. 20:11; 21:1. That this doctrine is not taught in these passages is clear from a study of the words and expressions in them in conjunction with other, clearer passages on the subject.

 

(1) 2 Peter 3:10-13, as it reads, does not convey the idea that the present Heaven and Earth will be annihilated. In fact, fire does not cause anything to cease to exist. Fire can merely change something from one condition to another or renovate and cleanse, as the case may be. Peter shows that there will be a renovation of the Earth by fire and that the future renovation will not blot out the Earth any more than did the destruction of the world by water in the beginning.
He further reveals three definite periods of the Earth: first, the world (kosmos) “that then was,” before Adam (see Lesson Seven), which was destroyed and which destruction affected the atmospheric heavens and Earth; second, the restoration of kosmos and the heavens and the Earth “which are now,” since the six days of Gen. 1:3–2:25; third, the renovation of the heavens and Earth, with the result of a New Heaven and a New Earth, or the Eternal Perfect State and the continuation of all life in them forever. The kosmos that now exists will never be destroyed by the future fire, as was the kosmos (social system) by water in Gen. 1:2.
These facts alone prove that the atmospheric heavens and the Earth, “which are now,” will never cease to exist, but will merely be renovated by fire and exist in a renewed state; wherein dwelleth righteousness. This is proven by a study of the different words found in 2 Pet. 3:10-13. It does not state that the present kosmos, or social order, is reserved unto renovation, but the Earth and the elements only, or just the parts that require it, as is made clear by other passages which we shall consider below.
A. This renovation will end the Day of the Lord and begin the day of God (2 Pet. 3:10-13). “In which [day of the Lord] the heavens shall pass away.” The Greek word for “pass away” is parerchomai and means “to go by or away from” in the sense of from one condition to another. It never means “cessation of existence.” It is used over seventy-five times as follows: “for the passing of time” (Mt. 7:28; 9:10; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1); “of events coming to pass” (Mt. 24:6; Lk. 21:7; Jn. 14:29); “of the infallibility of the Word of God,” showing that it would be easier for Heaven and Earth to be changed than for the Word of God to fail (Mt. 5:18; 24:34-35; Mk. 13:31; Lk. 16:17; 21:32-33); “of people passing by certain places” (Mk. 6:48; Lk. 18:37); “to denote neglect” (Lk. 11:42; 15:29); and “of the coming of an individual” (Lk. 12:37; 17:7). Thus, we see from the various uses that it never conveys the idea of passing out of existence. As used in 2 Pet. 3:10 it means “passing from one condition to another,” as clearly expressed in Heb. 1:12; 12:27-28. This “change” is to take place with “a great noise.”
B. “And the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (2 Pet. 3:10, 12). The Greek word for “elements” in these two verses is stoicheion, meaning “something orderly in arrangement, element, principle, or rudiment,” and it always refers to the foundation principles of the question involved. It is used in Gal. 4:3, 9; Col. 2:8, 20; 2 Pet. 2:10-12 in reference to the principle of sin and of the present world system, such as the sinful nature, disease germs, and spirits that cause men to corrupt themselves. The meaning also includes the things which man has made that must be destroyed before the Earth can be purified and loosed from its present state of bondage and corruption (Rom. 8:18-25).

 

C. The Greek word for “melt” is luo, meaning “to loose, put off, unbind, untie or set free,” and is so translated in Mt. 21:2; Lk. 19:30, 33; Jn. 1:27; 11.44; Acts 7:33. It is translated “dissolve” in 2 Pet. 3:11-12. These passages show that all that is to happen to the atmospheric heavens and the Earth in this renovation is the loosing of them from the present bondage into a new state, as in Rom. 8:21-23. This loosing will be done by fervent heat, which is the best method of renovation and cleansing known to man. If the English word “dissolve” in this passage means “cessation of existence,” as is generally held concerning this passage, why not give it the same meaning in Ps. 75:3; Isa. 14:31; 24:19; 34:4; 2 Cor. 5:1? It can be seen from these passages that this is not the idea. This word further expresses the idea of a change in the heavens and the Earth into a new and better state wherein everything is good and worthy of the presence of God among men forever.

 

D. “The earth [ground] also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10). The Greek word for “works” is ergon, meaning “work, toil, deed, labour, and the acts of men.” It is used of religious works, as well as of other kinds of works. The Greek word for “burned up” is katakaio, meaning “to burn down to the ground” and “wholly consume by fire.” It has reference to the things of man on the Earth, which he has made, that will not be permitted in the New Earth and the Eternal Perfect State. These things will be burned up or destroyed by fire. This fact is made clear from the next verses written by Peter, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved [loosed] . . . the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved [loosed], and the elements [sinful things of this world system] shall melt [Greek teko, meaning ?to liquify or melt'] with fervent heat” (1 Pet. 3:12). The Greek word for “melt” here is not the same Greek word translated “melt” in 2 Pet. 3:10, where it means “to loose.” The whole passage (2 Pet. 3:10-13) is simple when we consider that it merely records the act of loosing the heavens and the Earth from all effects of the curse and corruption and making everything clean and pure for man forever. The result of all this will be the fulfillment of the promises to man of a “new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Pet. 3:13; Isa. 65:17; 66:22-24; Rev. 21-22).

 

(2) Revelation 20:11 is often misconstrued to mean that the Earth and the heavens we now have will cease to exist, but this passage does not teach this. The meaning of the Greek word pheugo, translated “fled,” is “to flee away,” “to shun,” or “to vanish.” It is used both in a figurative and literal way. That its usage here is figurative is clear from its usage in Rev. 6:14 and 16:20 where, if taken literally as some would do in Rev. 20:11, we should have the passing out of existence of the heavens and every island and mountain under the sixth seal and again under the seventh vial. This could not be the case, for they are all eternal, as proven by other Scriptures on the subject. The Bible teaches that “the islands” (Ps. 72:8-10, 17; 97:1-6; Isa. 42:1-4, 8-12; 51:5; 60:9; 66:18-24), “mountains” (Gen. 49:26; Ps. 125:1; Isa. 42:10-12; 52:7; Nah. 1:15; Hab. 3:6), “the Earth” (Ps. 78:69; 104:5; Eccl. 1:4), and “the heavens” are all eternal and therefore could not cease to exist (Ps. 89:22; 119:89).
Examples of figurative language concerning things being shaken may be seen in Ps. 18:7; 60:2; 68:8; Isa. 44:23; 54:10; 55:12; 64:1-3. The language of things passing away in Rev. 6:14; 16:20; 20:11, is all figurative of the shaking of the heavens and the Earth at the time of God's wrath before and after the Millennium. This passage (Rev. 20:11) pictures the same renovation of the Earth as 2 Pet. 3:10-13. The actual heavens and the Earth are pictured as if they had passed away and no place was found for them, but the language being figurative merely pictures the renovation of them and the taking away of the things which God is to destroy in them before they can be made new in character, as we shall see below.

 

(3) Revelation 21:1 is also misconstrued by those who teach that the present heavens and Earth will cease to be. The correct meaning hinges upon the right understanding of the word “new.” The Greek for this is kainos, meaning “renewed,” or “new,” especially in freshness and character, but never new in existence. It is in direct contrast to the Greek neos, meaning “new in existence.” A contrast between the two words is found in Mt. 9:16, “men put new wine [neos, newly made wine] into new bottles [kainos, freshened or renewed wineskins], and both are preserved.” This same contrast can be seen wherever the two words are used. Compare Mt. 13:52; 26:28-29; 27:60; Mk. 1:27; 14:25; 16:17; 2 Cor. 3:6; 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Eph. 2:15; 4:24; Heb. 8:8, 13; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 2:17; 3:12; 5:9; 14:3; 21:1-2, 5, where kainos (renewed or new in character or freshness) is used, with 1 Cor. 5:7; Col. 3:10; Heb. 12:24, where neos (new in age) is used. Thus the expression, “new heaven and new earth,” in 2 Pet. 3:3; Rev. 21:1, has reference to the present heavens and the Earth being made new in character, renewed, and loosed from the old curse. The Old Testament word khawdawsh, used in Isa. 65:17; 66:22, of the same New Heaven and New Earth, means the same as the Greek kainos. This simplifies the meaning of Peter's doctrine of renovation.
3. The Scriptures further reveal the extent of this renovation and show that many things will not be burned by fire. Only those things that are not made new at the beginning of the Millennium will be renovated by fire at the end of that time. In Lesson Fifty-one we shall list the eternal things which will remain on the Earth forever after this renovation. There is not one passage in the Bible that shows the extinction of any species of living creatures that God has created.

 

On the other hand, there are scores of passages teaching that creatures created by God will replenish the Earth eternally. This is required in order to have an everlasting covenant with all flesh, as in Gen. 9:12. Did God intend to cause man and animals to live on Earth for only a few thousand years and then destroy them altogether? This idea would destroy the very eternal plan of God and the purpose of His dispensational dealings, which is to rid the Earth of all rebellion and to continue man on the Earth to replenish it forever, as Adam was to have done before he fell. The “whole creation” that was created by God at the time of Adam will remain forever, and all that will be done is to deliver that creation from the present bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty and manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8:18-25).

 

The millennial kingdom, with its every phase of activity, except the curse and its effects, will go on forever and not be burned up by this fire of renovation. See the many Scriptures on the Millennium above, which prove that the literal city of Jerusalem, the temple, etc., are all eternal. In Heb. 12:26-28, we have a definite Scripture stating that some things are to be destroyed and removed, while others are to “remain.” It further states that we shall receive a “kingdom which cannot be moved.” These verses do not only refer to things after the renovation of the Earth as being immovable, but also to things before the renovation, for we shall receive the kingdom at the beginning of the thousand years, and reign throughout eternity. Even through the renovation the kingdom will continue with its peoples, rulers, system of government, and material equipment (Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 7:18-27; Lk. 1:32-33; Rev. 11:15).

 

In Heb. 1:10-12, we have another statement to the effect that all that is to happen to the Earth and heavens is a “change,” not the annihilation of them. Can we conceive of God sending His Son to this Earth to put down all rebellion, and then, after Christ accomplishes this in the thousand years, God annihilates the Earth and all things therein? Just what is to be destroyed is in God's own hands, and how it is to be done can certainly be left in the hands of Him who never fails, or makes a mistake, and who has the best interests of His creatures at heart. Are not the natures of animals changed and many other things fully restored at the beginning of the Millennium? Cannot God destroy some things with fire and not touch other things?

 

The God that caused this kind of miracle with the three Hebrew children, and the burning bush, can certainly do the same thing with the whole creation and the things that are left can remain without even the smell of fire upon them. “Our God is a consuming fire” and can do all things, whether we fully understand them or not. We can rest assured that the judge of the whole Earth shall do right, and not one of his humblest servants need have fear in His august presence. In the rebellion of Satan and all mankind on the Earth (Rev. 20:7-10), fire will consume the wicked rebels, but the camp of the saints, which will be earthly Jerusalem, will remain forever without being touched, and the natural people who do not rebel will be privileged to continue on Earth and have dominion over it, as did Adam before he fell.
That the renovation will simply change and remove certain things and leave other things to remain is clear from the following Scriptures: “The creature [creation] itself shall be delivered [not annihilated] from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21); “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thy hands . . . And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed” (Heb. 1:10-12); “Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:25-29). The Earth abides forever (Eccl. 1:4; Ps. 104:5), so it cannot be annihilated by the fire of 2 Pet. 3:10-13. It will be purified only and will be renewed to a perfect state for the third and last time.

 

source Rev. Finis Jennings Dake. . . God's Plan for Man.

 

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