The Millennium

Scripture: Revelation 20:1-15, 2 Thessalonians 1:7, Jeremiah 4:23
What happens during the 1000 years? When does it take place? Who is on the earth at this time? There are many different views of the millennium. What does the Bible say?
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts, Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw, speakers for the Amazing Facts Ministry, as they now open the Bible and discuss themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned because the next fifteen minutes will deepen your understanding of God's word.

John Bradshaw: Hello friend, and welcome again to Bible Talk, where the Bible speaks to us about issues that affect us today.

Gary, last time, we were here, we promised that we would this time discuss the millennium. We've been talking about hellfire and how long it's going to burn and when it's going to take place and where it's going to take place.

When we talk about when hell is going to take place, this brings us to the study of the millennium. What is the millennium all about?

Gary Gibbs: We have to understand, John, the millennium, because hell takes place at the end, of what we call, the millennium. When you look at it in the Bible though, you'll never find the word millennium. That's just a word that Christian scholars have coined because it simply means 1000 years. It comes from the word "milli" which means 1000 and "annum" which means year.

John: So in the book of Revelation, we read about a period of 1000 years. This has got to be a special 1000 year period for the Bible to go so far as to point it out, identify it and really devote an entire chapter of God's last day book to it. So what is so special about this 1000 years?

Gary: Well, during this 1000 years, according to Revelation 20, the final, how should I say it, the experiment with sin, the problem that sin has caused, is all wrapped up and culminated. At the end of this 1000 years, sin is completely done away with the destruction of Satan and sinners in the fires of hell.

John: So with this millennium, what I'd like to take the opportunity to do is find out when the millennium begins. We'll know when it ends because it'll end a 1000 years after it begins. When it begins and what's going on and who's implicated during these 1000 years. Walk us through that a little bit from the word of God.

Gary: Let's do that. We'll read there in Revelation, Chapter 20, Verse 1, John says, "I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having a key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand, says he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old who is the devil and Satan and bound him for a 1000 years."

John: Now, I can imagine somebody taking a big old chain and tying up the devil. Is that what's going on here?

Gary: Well, it also says he puts him into a bottomless pit. What type of chain could hold a supernatural being like the devil? We're talking about symbolism here. Book of Revelation is full of symbolism. If you threw the devil, according to Verse 3, into a bottomless pit, well, if you throw something into a bottomless cup, where does it end up? Out the bottom of the cup.

If you threw the devil into the bottomless pit, it would come out the other end. So all of this is symbolic and has meaning and that's what we ought to look at today.

John: Well, let's do that then. We'll start off right at the beginning. There's a 1000 year period. The devil is bound there for a 1000 years. Perhaps we should find out what this bottomless pit is, that the devil is in during this time.

Gary: Yeah, if you look at this term 'bottomless pit' in the original language, in the Greek, it's actually the word that we use, we translate it as 'the abyss.' This is actually used in the Greek form of the Old Testament, the Septuagint. In Genesis, Chapter 1, when it says, "In the beginning the Earth was without form and void."

It's the same world used in there, abyss or abyssal.

John: This has connotations of an Earth that is chaotic and desolate.

Gary: That's right. Now, I need to point out, John, that is different than what is often talked about the millennium.

John: The view I hear, espoused again and again, is that the millennium is going to be this wonderful time when the Saints reign with Jesus Christ, here on the Earth. Now, if what we just read is just true, the last place you'd want to be during Revelation's millennium is here on the Earth.

Gary: Yeah, because the person who is here on the Earth at the time is Satan. And even though he's chained, it says the Earth is in this abyss state, this bottomless pit, destroyed, chaotic state.

John: Now, he is here according to Verse three of Revelations Chapter 20. "He's going to deceive the nations no more, until the 1000 years were finished." Sounds to me like it says here, at the end of the 1000 years, he's free to deceive the nations again.

Gary: That's why you have to go back and look and see what happened at the beginning of the 1000 years. That brings you to the topic of the second coming of Jesus Christ. Because at the second coming of Christ, all the righteous, all those who lived for Christ, whether they're dead or whether they're alive, they're all taken to heaven to be in heaven during that 1000 years.

I Thessalonians 4, Verses 16 and 17 takes about "those who are alive and remain will be called up together with those who are dead in Christ and will meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

John: So the millennium starts then with Christ returning, the dead in Christ rise and at that time, the devil is bound for those 1000 years.

Gary: Yeah, and he's bound by the chain of circumstances because while the righteous have gone to heaven, the wicked are actually destroyed by the brightness of Jesus coming. You read about that in the Book of Thessalonians, the I Thessalonians Chapter 1.

John: Then, if the devil is here, he's bound here, while he's got nothing to do, he's got nowhere to go and those circumstances keep him here, stuck here confined to the earth all the way through Revelations 1000 years.

Gary: That's right, John. In fact, II Thessalonians 1, Verse 7, it says, "To you who are troubled, rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels inflaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and that obey not the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Now, this happens at the same time, according to Verse 10, as when the righteous are glorified by God. It says there, "He shall come to be glorified in his Saints."

So the same flaming fire that glorifies God's Saints, also destroy the wicked at the second coming of Jesus.

John: Now, there's a lot to talk about there and we could go several directions there. We're going to hold that thought for another study at a future time when we really dig into and delve into the subject of the second coming of Jesus Christ. You've given us the text and walked us through that. We're going to go onto Verses five and six in Revelations 20.

It talks about the rest of the dead did not live again until the 1000 years were finished. In other words, they came back to life.

Gary: In fact, John, Jesus talks about two resurrections in the Book of John. John Chapter five Verse 28, he says, "Do not marvel this for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth."

Now, watch out how he mentions two resurrections here. "Those who've done good to the resurrection of life and those who've done evil to the resurrection of damnation or condemnation."

It says there are two resurrections. There's a resurrection of life and people who come up in that are all the righteous - those who've accepted Christ and given their lives to him.

But then, there is a resurrection of condemnation or damnation. That's what it is talking about, 'the wicked' there in Revelation Chapter 20.

John: So, the Devil is here on the earth during the 1000 years. All dressed up, nowhere to go, no one to tempt, no misery to cause. God's people are all in Heaven. The Devil's people, if you like, while they rather are sleeping in their grave, they've been destroyed by Christ's coming.

Gary: Yeah, John, I like how it's described here in the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah, Chapter 4, Verse 23.

"I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo there was no man and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness..."

Now, [inaudible 08:25] , all the cities there are all broken down at the presence of the lord and by his fierce anger. So when the lord comes, it just quakes the whole earth. All the cities are broken down and the mountains are moved out of their place and life, as we know, has come to a screeching halt. And there is no way that this planet can even sustain life at that point.

John: So at the end of the 1000 years, the Bible says Satan is loosed out of his prison. Explain that for me. What does that mean?

Gary: Well, the thing that the losers harm is, you have to go here to Chapter 21 and the kind of put this together and the revelation. The Holy City, the new Jerusalem where the gods people have just spent the last 1000 years, it actually descends out of heaven and lands on this planet.

Now, during that 1000 years, the sins have been up in heaven, according to Revelation 20, Verse 4, they are actually going over the record books of judgment. They're examining. They're the record of judgment. And then learning why some of the people are there? Why are the wicked excluded from heaven?

But, at the end of 1000 years, that city descends on this planet with the same sin in it, with the God in it and at that point the God resurrects all the wicked for the final execution of the judgment.

John: Now, I might be thinking about this, can imagine somebody saying why would god go to all that trouble? What's the point if they're already dead? Why in the world would he raise them up just to get dead them again? Now, is that redundant or is the god had a good purpose for that?

Gary: Yeah, you know god does everything for a purpose. We might not always understand why he does it. We can try to delve into it. Whatever God does, that God does for a reason and it's good.

John: And it is true too that any of these people would've had died lost without a having to acknowledge or without having it had acknowledged God's righteousness and his judgment.

Gary: I believe too that the sins, when they were in heaven and they are examining the record books of judgment and why certain people are excluded. They're going to think "oh, what that person can just have seen what we've seen now. They could have seen heaven." Then they would have given their life to the lord.

But, the fact of the matter is when that city lands on this earth, the Bible says "The walls are better transparent and the wicked when they come up, they will be able to see though the walls they'll see the pretty white mansions, they'll see the street of God they'll see the glorified scenes in their glorified bodies and in spite of all that visual evidence, they will still allow themselves to be deceived by the Devil that tried to take the city by force.

John: It says that in Verse nine - doesn't it? - as amazing as the scenes, some thing rather incredible is portrayed in Revelation 20 in Verse 9?

Gary: Why don't you read that, for us, John?

John: The bible says "They wait up on the bread for the earth and compass the cap of the sins about and the beloved city and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them."

Gary: What did that fire do?

John: Devoured them.

Gary: Devoured them. That's what our topic. That's why we're covering the millennium here. It's that when the wicked go up against the city, that's god showing the universe that these people are completely un-savable that even if they had the full light of the knowledge that God exist and God is righteous and holy, they still would not repent. They are not safe to be left alive. It's like a dog that has rabies, you know, that might be a pet dog but, it is dangerous and it poses a danger to the whole family, you've to put it out of its misery.

And so God has to do what the Bible says his strange act. He has to destroy sinners because they've clung to sin and that sin jeopardizes the throne of God itself.

John: Now, Verse 10 says in a contradistinction to Verse 9, instead of being devoured, they will cast into the light of fire, they will tormented for ever, and just very quickly for those may be who missed our previous bible talk studies, 'for ever and ever' really means.

Gary: Well, the word ever is defined over 50 times in the Bible and it is something that ends when the life itself that's referring to ends. So, these people are not given the eternal bodies. And when their bodies are consumed in the ashes and then they are forever destroyed.

John: The Bible even goes far in Verse 14, to call what takes place in the light of fire the second word, Gary.

Gary: It's the second death.

John: And those unsaved, wicked people who have been destroyed in revelations, legify and receive the second death.

A big subject, a great subject. We've answered a lot of questions. We may have raised some questions so we may revisit this again. We are so glad that you've chosen to join us today. Thank you for being here. God bless you richly. Join us again on Bible Talk.

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