Millennium, Pt. 1

Millennium, Pt. 1

Scripture: Revelation 20:
Vainly man has been looking for some golden age when there would be no violence and when perfect peace would prevail in this world. The Bible, of course, speaks about a millennium in which Satan will be chained, and this has been the hope of millions of Christians. But when does that thousand years of peace begin?

1,000 Years of Peace by Bill May

1,000 Years of Peace by Bill May
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It sounds almost incredible that crime and sin could ever take a holiday for even a few moments of time. A serious crime occurs every three seconds in the United States, day in and day out. Next year, that incidence record will be greatly increased if present trends continue. But today we’ll learn of a time when no human being will commit a single crime or sin for 1,000 years. You say, “I can’t believe that will ever happen.” Well, friends, I don’t speak these things of myself today. The Bible speaks with unerring accuracy concerning the future and concerning what lies ahead for you.

Vainly man has been looking for some golden age when there would be no violence and when perfect peace would prevail in this world. The Bible, of course, speaks about a millennium in which Satan will be chained, and this has been the hope of millions of Christians. But when does that thousand years of peace begin? That’s the subject we’re going to talk about in this broadcast, and tomorrow, and perhaps another day as well. It will come. There’s no doubt about it. Satan will be bound and no human sin will be committed for this long period of time. But let’s lead into it now, friends, and discover one of the most fascinating truths contained in the entire Bible.

I know some people think that things will get better and better here in this world, and that finally we will evolve into some grand utopian condition of peace. I wish that could be true. I wish the doctrine of a temporal millennium was really true. But, friends, it won’t happen that way. It certainly is not going in that direction now, is it? People are not getting better and more holy and more righteous. The very opposite is true. In fact, it will continue to be so according to 2 Timothy 3:13. It tells us, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”

Now let me say here first that I did not invent this doctrine. If I did, you could just turn off your radio; it wouldn’t be worth hearing just my opinion. But the Bible has some very certain things and some very authoritative things to say about the coming events of this world and how it will end. Jesus said, “In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:9.

People have followed what men have taught. Human speculations and theories have been accepted as truth. Multitudes have depended too much upon men instead of finding the answer out of God’s great book. So we’re going to study this thing from Genesis to Revelation and let God’s Word speak, confirming and establishing every single point by a plan, “Thus saith the Lord.”

Now the word millennium is not even found at all in the Scriptures. The word simply means a thousand years. It comes from two Latin words. We do read, of course, about this thousand year period mostly in the book of Revelation, chapter 20. We find, in fact, that the millennium doctrine clusters very closely around the doctrine of the resurrection in the Bible. We read of two general resurrections from the dead. Jesus, Himself, said in John 5: 28,29: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

Now turn in your Bible to Revelation 20:6 and let’s read a description of that 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.” Now, notice friends, that only the good people will have any part in the first resurrection. It says, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part” and it further tells us that they began to reign with Christ at that very point, at the resurrection of the righteous dead. So mark that down well.

This first resurrection is the beginning of the millennium. But, when does that take place? And what about the rest of the dead, the wicked people, who do not come up at this time? If you’ll just go back to the 4th verse of Revelation 20, you’ll read almost the same thing that we’ve read in verse 6. It speaks of those who do not worship the beast, neither had his mark in their forehead or their hands and it says they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. In Doctor Moffett’s translation, we read it this way:”They came to life and reigned with Him a thousand years.” So this point is very clear.

But what about the wicked? What happens to them? Well, read right on into the next verse, verse 5, “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Now, the rest of the dead is the wicked people, of course. And they will not be resurrected at all until the end of the thousand years. So right here we have things very well nailed down. We have a thousand year period with a resurrection at the beginning of the good people and a resurrection of the wicked at the end of the thousand years. Now when does that first resurrection take place which introduces the millennium? In 1 Thessalonians 4:16 we read the answer: “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.”

There is the first resurrection mentioned again, when the good people rise. And it takes place when Jesus comes back from heaven and the trumpet blows. The great Second Advent then marks the beginning of the millennium. At that time, the righteous are brought forth out of their graves.

When Jesus comes there will be four classed of people to deal with-the righteous living and the righteous dead, the wicked living and the wicked dead. Let’s see if we can find out what happens to each one of these classed of individuals at that time. First of all, what about the righteous dead? Well, we’ve already found out that they will be brought forth and go up to meet Jesus in the clouds. What about the righteous living? Reading on in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

The feet of Jesus will not even touch the earth when He comes the second time. The righteous will go up and join Him there in the clouds-both the righteous dead and the righteous living. But in what form do they arise? What changes takes place at that time? Are they still weak and diseased, perhaps, as when they went into the graves? Let’s read in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53: “Behold I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changes ... In 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 ... For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

So, there we have it, friends. All of these people will be given new bodies. Glorious immortal forms that will never die, never feel pain, and they join Jesus in the clouds as He descends with His holy angels. But where do they go from there after meeting Christ in the air? In John 14:2, 3 we find the promise of Christ just before He went away from this earth. “In 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. 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.” They go right on up to the place Jesus prepared where the mansions are and where the home of the Father is located. The righteous will spend a thousand years with Jesus in Heaven.

But what about the wicked ones? First of all, what about the wicked people that were in their graves when Jesus returns in glory? Well, we’ve read about that already in Revelations 20:5. “The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Those wicked dead simply remain in their graves without coming forth at all at the coming of Christ. But what of the wicked ones who are living here when He returns. Read it in 2 Thessalonians 2:8: “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” There it is. These wicked ones will be slain, cut down by the bright glory of God. It will just seem that a thousand volts of electricity has been turned loose and they will drop dead wherever they are over this earth. You see, sin can’t exist in the presence of God. And these people are simply destroyed by the glory of His transcendent holiness and majesty.

So now the righteous are all in heaven and the wicked are all dead here during the thousand years. Some people believe there will be a second chance after death or after Christ comes. They talk about some period of a second probation when all can be saved if they choose. This is not biblical, friends, not at all. Let’s settle in now and settle it forever, from the Word of God. Our probation is now. We will not be able to accept Christ at any later time after the coming of Jesus. Let’s read one verse that will completely settle the matter in every mind. Revelation 22:11, 12: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

Before Christ even leaves to come back to this earth, a great decree will go out saying “let this man remain filthy. Let this man remain holy.” There can be no more change. Every case is settled. Every man’s record is closed before Christ returns and that’s it. There will not be any more opportunities. This is just what the Scriptures teach on this subject, friends.

Now what do you think this earth will look like after Jesus comes and after the wicked are slain? There will be a mighty earthquake that will shake this old world from one end to another. It will leave nothing but ruin and desolation. Jeremiah described it in the 25th chapter of his book and verse 33. “And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.”

Of course they won’t be gathered. Nobody will be here to do it. No one will weep for them. The righteous are all in heaven and the wicked are all dead. Scattered, we are told here, from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. Every case has been closed. No one can be saved during the millennium. It would be just as sensible and reasonable to think that a corpse would rise up out of his casket and confess the Lord Jesus as to believe that anybody could accept Him during the thousand years. There will be no opportunity.

So, can’t you see, friends, there will be no sin or crime committed by a single human being for that thousand year period. The earth is empty. The wicked are all dead. The righteous are all in heaven and that will be the actual condition of things during that thousand years. In our next broadcast we’ll learn what this earth will look like and what will take place at the close of the great millennium as the Bible reveals it.

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