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The Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ

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When Jesus Christ returns to earth He will initiate “the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets” (Acts 3:21 Acts 3:21Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
American King James Version×
, NRSV). Those prophets consistently assured ancient Israel and Judah that a righteous King would restore God's Kingdom to earth.

The prophets reveal the exact spot to which the Messiah, God's anointed King, will return: “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east” (Zechariah 14:4 Zechariah 14:4And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall split in the middle thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
American King James Version×
). Starting with Jerusalem as His capital city, He will expand His reign to the world (verses 9).

Once God's Kingdom is established in Jerusalem among the people of Israel, Christ will ask representatives of all nations to come to Jerusalem to learn about His laws. He will summon them to Jerusalem to attend God's annual Feast of Tabernacles: “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (verse 16; see Leviticus 23:33-44 Leviticus 23:33-44 33 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. 35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein. 36 Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation to you; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and you shall do no servile work therein. 37 These are the feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing on his day: 38 Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD. 39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast to the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 40 And you shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. 41 And you shall keep it a feast to the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. 44 And Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.
American King James Version×
).

Not all nations will immediately cooperate. Remember, Satan will have organized these same nations to fight Christ at His return. They will not quickly accept Him even after Satan is bound. Therefore Christ will “judge between the nations, and rebuke many people” (Isaiah 2:4 Isaiah 2:4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and 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.
American King James Version×
). Early in Christ's reign, strong measures still will be necessary to convince most nations that He intends to enforce the laws of God.

How will He make this clear, especially to nations who obstinately refuse to attend the Feast of Tabernacles? His means of communicating His message to them will be straightforward. He will simply demonstrate His control over the natural forces of earth. “And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain” (Zechariah 14:17 Zechariah 14:17And it shall be, that whoever will not come up of all the families of the earth to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even on them shall be no rain.
American King James Version×
).

The nations will quickly learn that their existence depends on God's blessing. Good weather and bountiful crops are blessings from God. From this time forward only nations that obey God will reap those blessings. All others will not. Such a system will serve as a convincing argument. In time, all nations will respond.

Let's now examine some of the specifics of Christ's reign.

Rewarding the saints

Jesus Christ has promised to reward people who through the ages have faithfully served Him (Revelation 11:18 Revelation 11:18And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.
American King James Version×
; 22:12). Notice their part in His Kingdom: “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6 Revelation 20:6Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
American King James Version×
). This future period is often simply called the Millennium (a 1,000-year span).

From the beginning of Christ's millennial reign the faithful servants of God—including many who will have suffered severe persecution and martyrdom—will serve as the teachers and administrators of that wonderful world to come. They will assist Jesus in teaching the ways of peace and righteousness to the nations. This will fulfill Christ's promise to His Church: “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21 Revelation 3:21To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
American King James Version×
).

The prophet Daniel foretold the same thing: “Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:27 Daniel 7:27And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
American King James Version×
).

Christ does not plan to change the world single-handedly. At His coming His faithful servants will be immediately transformed from flesh and blood into immortal spirit beings who can assist Him. Paul explained:

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:50-53 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 50 Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
American King James Version×
).

These transformed beings will sit with Jesus Christ on His throne. They will serve with Him as teachers and administrators during His millennial reign. (For more details about the incredible future God has in store for mankind, be sure to download or request your free copies of the booklets The Gospel of the Kingdom , What Is Your Destiny? and What Happens After Death? )

The restoration of all Israel

Long ago God also promised: “The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch [his descendant, the Messiah], and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety” (Jeremiah 23:5-6 Jeremiah 23:5-6 5 Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
American King James Version×
, NRSV).

The restoration of all of the tribes of Israel as one nation under the reign of the Messiah is foretold again and again in the writings of the prophets.

Through Ezekiel God says: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again” (Ezekiel 37:21-22 Ezekiel 37:21-22 21 And say to them, Thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, where they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: 22 And I will make them one nation in the land on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.
American King James Version×
).

And through Jeremiah: “Now therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city [Jerusalem] of which you say, 'It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence': 'Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever'” (Jeremiah 32:36-39 Jeremiah 32:36-39 36 And now therefore thus said the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof you say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; 37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, where I have driven them in my anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:
American King James Version×
).

Since Christ will establish Jerusalem as His capital, the first people to experience the effects of His rule will be the restored kingdom of Israel. As their King, He will immediately establish a close working relationship with them: “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst…Indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore” (Ezekiel 37:26-28 Ezekiel 37:26-28 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the middle of them for ever more. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yes, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the middle of them for ever more.
American King James Version×
).

The people of Israel will play a necessary role in helping other nations implement God's ways. Once God has forgiven their sins, Jesus Christ will begin using a humbled and repentant Israel to spread the knowledge of God's law to other nations. The whole world will gradually come under the administration of a unified code of law, the law of God. Jesus will coordinate this as He reigns over the nations from Jerusalem. The world will finally learn to obey God's law.

Israel will help the nations learn God's ways

Concerning the restored nation of Israel during Christ's millennial reign, God says: “Behold … I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first. I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities … Then [Jerusalem] shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it” (Jeremiah 33:6-9 Jeremiah 33:6-9 6 Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. 7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. 8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. 9 And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honor before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do to them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure to it.
American King James Version×
).

As the people of Israel learn to follow God's ways, their example will inspire other nations to seek the same way of life and to want to reap the same blessings: “Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you”'” (Zechariah 8:22-23 Zechariah 8:22-23 22 Yes, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. 23 Thus said the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
American King James Version×
).

Nations will see that keeping God's law works. They will come to Jerusalem to learn how they can apply it in their own lands: “Many nations shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem ” (Micah 4:2 Micah 4:2And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
American King James Version×
). Eventually “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9 Isaiah 11:9They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
American King James Version×
).

The fruit of right knowledge

With Jesus Christ as King, Jerusalem will be the center of learning for the world. God's Word, the Bible, will provide a solid foundation for the development of education and knowledge:

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth…It shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off” (Isaiah 55:11-13 Isaiah 55:11-13 11 So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 12 For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
American King James Version×
).

Prosperity will increase while crime and corruption will cease: “Instead of bronze I will bring gold, instead of iron I will bring silver, instead of wood, bronze, and instead of stones, iron. I will also make your officers peace, and your magistrates righteousness. Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders” (Isaiah 60:17-18 Isaiah 60:17-18 17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make your officers peace, and your exactors righteousness. 18 Violence shall no more be heard in your land, wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.
American King James Version×
).

It takes much more than mere knowledge, however, to produce lasting peace and cooperation. A spiritual change is also necessary. It will be that spiritual change in the people of Israel that will inspire other nations to admire their way of life and want to emulate it:

“O house of Israel,…for My holy name's sake…I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (Ezekiel 36:22-27 Ezekiel 36:22-27 22 Therefore say to the house of Israel, thus said the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the heathen, where you went. 23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which you have profaned in the middle of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, said the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.
American King James Version×
).

The spiritual restoration of humanity is the most important transformation that will occur during this millennial period when the world is transformed. The Spirit of God will enable people to willingly and enthusiastically obey Him from the heart: “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jeremiah 31:33 Jeremiah 31:33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, said the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
American King James Version×
; Hebrews 8:10 Hebrews 8:10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
American King James Version×
).

God's Spirit will phenomenally transform people. Obedience will be widespread; people will exhibit honorable leadership and enjoy a stable society: “I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city” (Isaiah 1:26 Isaiah 1:26And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counsellors as at the beginning: afterward you shall be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.
American King James Version×
).

The changes will be permanent, lasting throughout subsequent generations: “Also your people shall all be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever … that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time” (Isaiah 60:21-22 Isaiah 60:21-22 21 Your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. 22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.
American King James Version×
).

Each new generation will carry on this tradition of righteousness: “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children” (Isaiah 54:13 Isaiah 54:13And all your children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of your children.
American King James Version×
). People the world over will notice and respect their example: “Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people. All who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the posterity whom the LORD has blessed” (Isaiah 61:9 Isaiah 61:9And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD has blessed.
American King James Version×
).

Spirituality spreads

As people from other nations see what happens in Jerusalem and its environs, they too will want to serve the living God: “Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants—everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant—even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer…For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:6-7 Isaiah 56:6-7 6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keeps the sabbath from polluting it, and takes hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
American King James Version×
).

Finally the barriers between Israel and other nations will fall. This will occur because all will eventually realize “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28 Galatians 3:28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×
).

Physical blessings

As people the world over begin to obey God, first by getting their spiritual priorities straight, they will begin to experience unprecedented physical prosperity:

“'Behold, the days are coming,' says the LORD, 'when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it…They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them'” (Amos 9:13-14 Amos 9:13-14 13 Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that sows seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. 14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
American King James Version×
).

Isaiah compares this time to a perpetual feast with the best of everything: “On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear” (Isaiah 25:6 Isaiah 25:6And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make to all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
American King James Version×
, NRSV).

Notice this inspiring description of blessings yet to come: “They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the LORD—and their descendants as well.

“Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox … They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord ” (Isaiah 65:21-25 Isaiah 65:21-25 21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and my elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. 24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, said the LORD.
American King James Version×
, NRSV).

This vision of the millennial reign of Christ is not an illusion but a promise of reality. Jesus Christ will return to earth to spiritually transform its people and establish utopia, a paradise on earth. The combination of removing Satan's influence, giving humanity God's Spirit and teaching the world the laws and ways of God will produce 1,000 years of peace and a society blessed beyond its wildest dreams.

But, incredible as this sounds, prophecy reveals that an even more amazing period awaits mankind.

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