Revelation: The Millennial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ
The world will witness a cataclysmic transition from the seven years of Godís judgment into a period of world peace and prosperity; these are conditions that the world has never known since the creation of mankind. There are many characteristics to the millennial reign of Christ that scripture points to. What is difficult is to divorce our current frame of reference to how the world functions, its commerce, violence, and wars into a realm where the Lord Jesus Christ rules and reigns over the affairs of mankind with righteousness and the practice of learning war will no longer exist. This is the time that the world will be delivered back to the point God intended when He first finished all of the creative works but before the fall of man through the fall of Adam and Eve. The Lord, as Kinsmen Redeemer has made the way for mankind to have a rightful relationship with God, the world will be restored under the dominion of man with Christ as the head, and He has avenged the blood of the Saints. Within this context is the response of all creation to the Lord's reign. As the Apostle Paul wrote, the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed, and that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth, Romans 8:18-22.
The following is an effort to capture several topics that will encapsulate some of the large, defining attributes of the millennial kingdom. Specifics to Israel following the tribulation, its renewed national worship of the Lord, fulfillment as a nation to all of the Lord's purposes, its prominence among the nations of the world, and its prosperity is found in this web site on Ezekiel.
When the Lord first led the children of Israel through to Mount Sinai on their exodus to their promised land, the Lord gave Moses explicit instructions on the design, building, and worship of the Lord in the tabernacle, which was a replica Moses saw of the heavenly version. The attached graphic provides a sense of the simplicity and size of the structure God ordered Moses to construct. As evident from the artist's rendition, it was mobile and compact. The artist drew in people to give an ideas of the overall dimensions of the entire layout.
The Lord also provided strict guidelines on how His people were to worship Him and live. This design of the tabernacle and worship practices were preserved through the many generations of Israel, though there were some variations in the temple designs from the tabernacle all the way to the time of Jesus when Herod's temple stood in Jerusalem. Then with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and the destruction of the temple, the temple mount has been desolate of a temple to worship the Lord in. It will remain void of a temple for the Jewish people to worship God in until the tribulation temple is constructed as shown in Revelation 11:1-2. That temple will be destroyed with the pouring out of the 7th Bowl judgment in preparation of the Lord's return and the building of His millennial temple.
Set against the backdrop of the place and way of approach to worship the Lord are many other themes, but one of them is the Lord's revelation of His judgment through time of His people of Israel and of the nations as found in Daniel 2. For this site's commentary on this subject, follow the link to Daniel 2. In a short summary, these judgments were embedded within the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar that was given to the prophet Daniel. In the dream the king saw a great image of a man made up with a number of different metals. The image was described as large, extraordinary splendor and awesome, Daniel 2:31. The image was composed with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of clay and iron, Daniel 2:32-33. Daniel and the king saw a stone cut without hands and it struck the feet of the image so that the remnant of the statue became chaff and no trace was found of the statue. The stone then became a mountain that filled the earth, Daniel 2:34-35. This mountain represents the eternal earthly kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, Daniel 2:44, which will:
The beginning of the millennial reign of Christ begins immediately after the battle of Armageddon. This is the time King David foresaw when he wrote about the enemies of the Lord turning back, stumbling and perishing before Him. He described how the Lord will rebuke the nations, destroyed the wicked, and blotted out their name forever, Psalm 9:3-6. After the judgment of the world and the nations, the Lord will reign forever, the characterization of his reign is that He will judge the world in righteousness, govern the peoples with justice be a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble and to those who know the name of the Lord, will never be forsaken by the Lord. Psalm 9:7-12. David further wrote that the Lord is known by His justice, Psalm 9:16 and in so many other parts of scripture depict the same that the Lord will rule in righteousness.
Following the pouring out of the 7th bowl of God's wrath on the World, Revelation 16, several simultaneous events will occur to end the judgments and begin the millennial reign of Christ:
In addition, the Lord will:
Immediately after the distress of those days many celestial conditions will be painfully obvious: the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light the stars will fall from the sky and the heavenly bodies will be shaken, Matthew 24:29. Most significantly will be the devastation to the world's population at the end of the tribulation, , Matthew 24:21-24. see a compressed-view of the tribulation judgments. At that time, the Lord's appearing in the world will be like lightning that comes from the east is visible in the west; every living inhabitant left in this world at that time will see the evidence of the Lord's appearing, Matthew 24:27. The response by the survivors of the tribulation will be dependent on their relationship with Christ. Those eagerly looking for his appearing will be saved, Daniel 12:12. Those who still had not believed on the Lord for their salvation will exhibit a variety of responses:
Despite the earth's environment being in shambles, it will be changed by the Lord. In this transition from the tribulation into the millennial reign of Christ, several events will also occur:
At that time the world will evidence the fulfillment of the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:1-12:
Likewise, the Kingdom parables in Matthew 13 will be fulfilled:
There are many events and fulfilled prophesy that will occur at this transitional time that will last weeks. Most significant will be the great blessings the Lord will pour out over Israel where:
Finally, but very importantly, at the beginning of the Lord's millennial reign all of the covenants made to Israel through various individuals will have been fulfilled:
Centralized worship of the Lord in Israel Chapter Outline Top
Prior to the exodus of Israel to mount Sinai where Moses received the instructions to build the tabernacle, there were many instances of worship that took place where alters were constructed where the patriarchs were; there was no place identified by God where people were to worship Him. However, with the construction of the tabernacle, and the giving of the law, God had provided three things, a nation of priests (Israel) to teach the world Godís ways, a tabernacle that was constructed to show the way of salvation of mankind through Jesus Christ, and the law, which was our tutor until the gospel of grace was revealed. From that time forward until the first and second destruction of the temple, there was one place that the Lord instructed Israel that they were to worship Him.
When David was king over Israel, he desired to build a permanent house that mankind could worship the Lord, since David had his house, but the Lordís house was still a tent that was constructed to be transported by the family of Levi during the exodus. In Davidís day, the nation of Israel was finally established with its boarders with the other neighboring nations. There was no longer a need to have a movable house of worship. God greatly honored David for his desire to build a permanent house of worship, but because of the blood David had shed during his many years of battle, God would only permit his son Solomon to build the house for Godís worship. David still drew up the plans and reordered the tribe of Leviís responsibilities; during the exodus some of the families in the tribe of Levi were ordered specifically to pack and transport the tabernacle and the instruments used in the worship of the Lord. David instead had musicians and singers identified for the service of the Lord as one of several changes he made to facilitate worship in a fixed structure rather than a mobile one.
Following the death of David and after the dedication of the new temple built by Solomon but designed by David, Israel soon began to commit a multitude of sins that Israel was warned against. They were specifically warned against adopting the idol worship of the peoples they were to supplant from the land promised to Abraham and his seed through Isaac. At the end of King Solomonís life he engaged in child sacrifices that some of his wives brought into Israel. The nation descended into more and more of these horrible practices through their succeeding generations and even brought these practices into the house of the Lord, Israel was removed from the Promised Land twice and the temple and Jerusalem destroyed.
The temple during the days of the Jesusís first Advent, the temple was first constructed from the ruins following King Nebuchadnezzarís third and final destruction of Jerusalem. The temple in the days of Jesus was first built by the priest Ezra after King Cyrus proclaimed that the Jews King Nebuchadnezzar had brought captive to Babylon could return with all the instruments of worship. Centuries later King Herod rebuilt the temple that was in existence in the days of Jesus, which the disciples marveled at, providing the Lord the backdrop to tell them of the prophecies concerning the end of that temple and of the last days of the tribulation, leading to the Lordís millennial reign. The temple Herod build was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans, led by General Titus, who later became one of the Caesars of Rome. The temple has never been rebuilt for almost two millennia, but one will be built by Israel during the tribulation. That temple will be built, used, by the midpoint in the seven years of tribulation it will be desolated by the abomination of the image of the Antichrist being erected in the holy place of that temple.
By the end of the tribulation when God has the seventh and final bowl judgment poured out over the world, that temple will be utterly destroyed and the world topography will be permanently and significantly changed. Immediately afterwards the temple for the worship of the Lord will be constructed and in full operation. The world will flow to the temple and into Israel to worship the Lord voluntarily and at set seasons prescribed by the festivals set by the Lord.
The only significant difference between this entire backdrop of temple worship to the worship of the Lord today by the Church, is that there is no central location for all Christians to worship the Lord today. The Apostle Paul wrote that we are all the tabernacle of the Lord. The Lord also said that in this day instead of temple worship, we would all worship the Lord in the Spirit and in Truth, when he spoke with the Samaritan woman at the well. The church age is temporary time in human history since the days of Moses where there is no temple worship; but temple worship will be reinstituted following the rapture of the church before the beginning of the seven years of tribulation.
The Millennial Temple
Ezekiel provides the most detailed view of the temple that will be constructed immediately following the tribulation. Beginning in Ezekiel 40 through the end of the book, Ezekiel is introduced to an angel with a physical appearance like bronze. This angel holds a measuring rod and a linen cord to determine for Ezekiel all of the dimensions of the temple, its furnishings and the depth of the water that issues from the holy temple of the Lord, Ezekiel 40:3-4. Ezekiel is also instructed on the conduct of worship in the temple. Ezekiel is ordered to pay attention to all that he sees and hears and report this information to the house of Israel.
Though it may be difficult to see, the adjacent graphic depicts an artist's view of the details provided in Ezekiel on how the future millennial temple will appear. In the image, which is of one of the outer gates leading to the outer court with views of the kitchens within the court, there are two individuals drawn to provide perspective on the immensity of this structure. The two people drawn are Ezekiel and the bronze angel who is doing all of the measuring and they appear in front of the portico, one on the porch and the other in the courtyard holding the measuring rod. The contrast between the image of the tabernacle built by Moses to this future temple are orders of magnitude different in size. The tabernacle was built to service the Children of Israel during their exodus, whereas the millennial temple is to service mankind worldwide when they come before the Lord to worship Him.
Ezekiel 40:1 - The time given at Passover, a most significant celebration in the nation of Israel as it celebrates its deliverance from Egypt. At that time they will celebrate the end of a millennia of persecution and disbursement, and they will be priests of God to all the gentile nations, Isaiah 61:6
Ezekiel 40:2 - Ezekiel is taken to a very high mountain in Israel where a city was located to the south. Recall in Revelation 16, at the end of the tribulation with the pouring out of the seventh bowl judgment, great topographic changes will occur on the surface of the earth, and Jerusalem was broken into three parts, Revelation 16:18-21. The Mountain that Ezekiel is on is the new Temple area, as will be seen in these last chapters in Ezekiel, and the city to the South is Jerusalem
Ezekiel 40:44-46 - As the inner court is measured, instructions for which gate the priests were to inner court are given. The priests who attend to the temple operations are to enter from the south gate. The Lord will establish a very orderly process of how He is to be approached and worship is to be conducted and by whom. The priests of the line of Zadok will provide service at the alter and come near to the Lord to minister to Him, they are to enter from the north gate.
When visualizing the millennial temple, the current structures seen in Jerusalem cannot be confused with the future temple. Unlike today where the temple mount is within the city walls of Jerusalem, the future millennial temple will be apart and north of the city. The millennial temple will be within the priest's portion of the land divided among all the tribes of Israel. South of the priest's portion will be a portion given to the tribe of Levi. Then bordering to the south of Levi's portion will be land reserved for pasture and in the center is the city. Flanking these portions of land to the East and West are the Prince's portion. The division of the land is shown in the following graphic.
The Temple Furniture and the Lord's Gory Entering the Temple
Several differences exist from what was first placed within the tabernacle and what is described in the new millennial temple. Unlike the tabernacle constructed by Moses at the base of mount Sinai, which was lined with gold paneling with only the Ark of the Covenant with two cherubs on its top the only piece of furniture there, in the millennial temple there is carved paneling where the Lord is. The carved images consist of a cherub with two faces, a lion and a man, and alternating panels with palm trees. Another difference is that the altar is made of wood, not gold. The other differences are the lack of furniture that existed in the tabernacle. What is not part of the millennial temple furniture are:
A significant difference in the administration of the temple work is that there is no high priest to oversee the duties outlined in several books in the Old Testament, such as the book of Leviticus. The Lord is both King and Priest after the order of Melchizedek, Psalms 110:4, Hebrews 5:10
With the Lord Jesus Christ now the King of Peace and Priest after the order of Melchizedek, The Prince now represents the children of Israel before the Lord since there is no longer an office of the High Priest after the Levitical order.
Ezekiel 43:1-5 - Ezekiel is now being brought to the eastern gate by the angel to observe the Glory of the Lord occupying His temple. This is the third time that His Glory filled a building, the first was the dedication of the tabernacle, the second with the dedication of the temple built by King Solomon, and this is the third event. In this event the Glory of the Lord came from the east where:
Ezekiel 43:6-9 - Ezekiel hears the Lord speak to him to confirm that this is where His throne is, that He will live among the Israelites forever, and His name will never again be defiled by Israel or their kings:
Ezekiel 43:18-27 - The regulation for sacrificing burnt offerings and sprinkling blood upon the altar was for consecrating the alter where a bull was offered as a sin offering to the priests, who were of the family of Zadok; They were the ones to come near to the Lord. They were to put the blood on the four horns and the four corners of the upper ledge and all around the rim to purify the altar. The bull is to be burnt in a designated area in the temple outside the sanctuary, which is the way the Lord instructed Moses, Exodus 29:14, and several places in Leviticus, which all pointed to Christ being offered outside of the temple because the offering was a sin offering, Hebrews 13:11-13.
Ezekiel 45:18-20 Ė Rather than reconciling between sacrificial practices in these verses with all that is contained in the law concerning the sacrificial system, the material in this section will be examined as presented:
In the presence of this unique experience Ezekiel falls down on his face. The Spirit lifts up Ezekiel and brings him to the inner court but not into the temple since the Lord now inhabits that space. To link other events recorded in scripture, it is likely that the event associated with the surviving people from the tribulation where one is taken and the other left behind time of Matthew 24:36-42 will occur. For the tribulation saints their hope in Christ included being able to see Him return to establish His kingdom on earth. The surviving saints will be able to see that occur.
Ezekiel 46:9-10 Ė The Lord has always established orderly worship of Him, and at that time during the millennial reign of Christ there will be order, structure, and laws governing all that is done in the presence of the Lord. Whenever the people of Israel come before the lord during appointed feasts, they are to enter and exit in a specific way into the temple area. If they enter the templeís outer court from the North must exit by the South gate. Similarly, whoever enters from the South gate must exit at the North gate. The Prince is to also be among the people, and abide by this same rule. Recall that the outer courtís eastern gate is permanently closed to all since that is the gate the glory of the Lord passed through, Ezekiel 44:1-2, however, the inner courtís eastern gate was open only for the feasts, new moon celebrations, and when the prince approached to entreat the Lord.
The economy of living at that time will be nothing that has been experienced by mankind since Adamís creation for the very fact that the Lord Himself will be ruling over all the affairs in this world, with an iron scepter, and in righteousness. The Lord Jesus Christís glory will be among His people in the land of Israel. He will be in His temple, to rule and to live among the Israelites forever, Ezekiel 43:1-7. At that time:
The Lord will also create a new earth and heavens, healing those things destroyed during the tribulation, Isaiah 65. Similar to the afore mentioned life experienced by Israel during the Lordís millennial reign, the conditions that the Lord will create for that time is nothing that has been experienced in totality since the fall of mankind from Adamís sin. At that time there will be:
The most spectacular part of life at that time will be the coexistence of the resurrected saints in their eternal bodies, living with the survivors from the tribulation still in their physical bodies. The resurrected saints of God, Revelation 19:11-14, Revelation 20:6 will consist of those who have part of the first resurrection and are blessed. They will have no part in the second death (eternal suffering in the lake of fire), nor will the second death have power over them. These individuals who are part of the first resurrection, like Christ who is after the order of Melchizedek, will be priests of God and of Christ and reign with Him for 1,000 years. These groups are from:
The survivors of the seven years of tribulation will repopulate the world with individuals still in their physical bodies, consisting of two major groups:
The remaining dead who have not been resurrected at that time will be part of the second resurrection to appear before the great white throne judgment, then into the lake of fire for eternity, Revelation 20:10-15
There will be a sacrificial system instituted at the temple of the Lord only during this timeframe. The millennial temple is the only location for the worship and celebration of feasts and festivals before the Lord throughout the world. Ezekiel was told to describe the temple to the people of Israel so that they may be ashamed of their sins, as outlined in Ezekiel 43:1-9. If they responded correctly, Ezekiel was to provide them the following regulations of the Lordís house, Ezekiel 43:10-11:
As with the communion service, which did not save anyone but was the sign of the new covenant that Christ instituted and looked upon Christ and His work on our behalf, this millennial sacrificial system will similarly look back upon the work of Christ, Hebrews 10:1-4. Christ is all that is needed to make perfect those who draw near unto Him, Hebrews 10:5-10.
As shown in this web site on Revelation 20, there is a final rebellion against the Lord by Satan and the forces he is able to seduce from the population of people still in their physical bodies. This rebellion that will only last a short season and be destroyed by God, Satan thrown into the lake of fire and the Great White Throne judgment will commence. The specific acts recorded in Revelation 20:7-10 consist of:
This is the event that John witnessed, Revelation 20:11-13, which is the second resurrection for all mankind born in this world that chose not to believe or follow after the ways of the Lord. The Apostle John saw a great white throne and the Father seated on it, and:
This is the end of the judgments of mankind, as eternity future with God is introduced to the righteous, Revelation 20:14-15, where:
So, a common question often asked when reaching this point in this teaching is what was Satan released one last time? This site can only offer a couple of possible reasons why:
As a result, Satan may have been released:
In addition, the Apostle Paul wrote of the mystery of Godís will that He purposed in Christ when times have reached their fulfillment to bring all things in heaven and on earth under one head, Christ, Ephesians 1:9-10. It was also written that the Son of Man was made a little lower than the angels, and God crowned Him with glory and honor and put everything under His feet, Hebrews 2:6-9. When the end will come, then the Lord will hand over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power, 1Corinthians 15:22-28:
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last edited August 2014