<!><!><!>At the end of the 70th Week, God will pour out His Holy Spirit upon the remnant Jewish survivors remaining in Israel and upon those whom He will regather back into the land (Ezek. 39:28,29; Zech. 12:10a—see “regathering of the Jews”: C-12, P-IV, S-1). Jeremiah recorded,
“The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. ... I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord (Jer. 31:31,33bc,34a).
This will be in sharp contrast to their disbelief when He came into the world the first time (Luke 19:41,42).
I believe that the people in Jerusalem (where Jesus will sit as King of the world), and generally throughout Israel, will be the first mortal people on earth ever completely to love and fully to obey God the way He always has desired. His law will be “in their minds” and “on their hearts” (Jer. 31:33b). Their spirits and souls continuously will be renewed by the Holy Spirit, and they always will choose to do God’s Will.
God always has used Israel to show the rest of the world how He wants people to act toward Him, how He will bless those who choose Him, and how He will remove His blessing from those who oppose Him (see “Israel’s rebellion against God” and “God’s reaction”: C-2, P-III). I believe this utilization of Israel (particularly Jerusalem) by God, as an example to all the people of the world, will continue into and throughout the Millennium.
The people of Israel at large will choose God (see the previous section, “acceptance of God by Israel”), He will prosper them lavishly for doing so, and the rest of the world will know it. God, through Ezekiel, has declared,
From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them.
... When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations (Ezek. 39:22-24,27).
<!>How will God show Himself holy, through Israel, to the other nations of the world? For one thing His holiness will be reflected in the inhabitants of Jerusalem: “Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem” (Isa. 4:3). After the final scattering of the people during the Day of the Lord period of the 70th Week, God will return the survivors back to the land (see “regathering of the Jews”: C-12, P-IV, S-1). From these, he will select a particular group of people to live in Jerusalem (Zion). This is how God has stated it:
“Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband. I will choose one of you from every town and two from every clan and bring you to Zion” (Jer. 3:14).
<!><!>This special assemblage of Jews will serve as ideal examples to all the people of the world of how God desires to be served, praised, worshiped, and obeyed. Apparently, these mortal people will love truth and righteousness so much that they totally will be able to overcome their own evil desires. (This will, of course, be much easier without the influence of Satan and his evil spirits, imprisoned for 1,000 years.) They will be able to live in the presence of Jesus on and around His mountain (see “Fountain and River of Living Water”: P-II) in Jerusalem (Isa. 33:15,16). For this privileged group, Jesus directly will provide protection from the elements (4:5,6), and there will be no sickness at all in Jerusalem (33:24a).
<!>Also, God said,
I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it (Isa. 41:18-20).
In addition, he said,
[B]e glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more (Isa. 65:18,19).
The people of the world will see the joy of the people in Jerusalem and in Israel and will want it for themselves. They also will see that Israel’s land is productive and that the Jews have experienced miraculous healing by God.
The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. ... Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow (Isa. 35:1,2ab,5-7).
Not only will good things abound with the people, vegetation, and land of Israel, but peaceful coexistence also will be apparent in the animals living in the land. They no longer will have a reason to fear people nor each other, and even their feeding habits will be changed.
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isa. 11:6-9).
abundance and prosperity not universal
There are many of the opinion that the ideal co-existence of people, animals, and plants will be present throughout the entire world during the glorious Millennium, since “...the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord...” (Isa. 11:9b). I only partially agree. I believe that the perfect state of being in Israel will be an example to the rest of the nations of how it can be if they accept and acknowledge the benevolent government and rule of Jesus (which those in Jerusalem and Israel will do).
One way this approbation of Jesus and recognition of His Authority will be demonstrated is by an annual assemblage in Jerusalem of people from the nations of the world. The occasion of this gathering of the world’s citizens to worship Jesus, the earth’s King, will be the Festival of Sukkot (see “Sukkot, Feast of Tabernacles, or Feast of Booths”: C-5, P-III).
Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles [Sukkot]. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. ... This will be the punishment of...all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech. 14:16,17,19).
Since any nation which refuses to go to Jerusalem to pay homage to Jesus as King will receive no rain, it would seem that these areas of the world will not be prosperous during the times they are without water.
<!>There also will be parts of the world, desolated by God’s wrath during the Day of the Lord period, which will serve as examples and reminders of what can happen to any nation which does not acknowledge God and His sovereign rule. For instance, Babylon (probably partly or wholly modern-day Iraq) will remain an unproductive desert and be devoid of human life:
Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians’ pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherd will rest his flocks there. But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there wild goats will leap about. Hyenas will howl in her strongholds, jackals in her luxurious palaces (Isa. 13:19-22a).
Obviously this prophecy has not yet taken place, but it will in the future, possibly as envisioned by John (Rev. 18:1-24).
Paul indicated that all of nature will continue to experience frustration (due to the contamination of sin, Satan, and demonic forces, as allowed by God) until it eventually is set free by the children of God (whose spirits, souls, and bodies ultimately will be transformed into states of perfection—see “changed bodies” and “caught up”: C-12, P-V, S-1):
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time (Rom. 8:19-22).
Just as the people of the earth will undergo “birthpains” during the 70th Week, so will all of nature. (In fact, all of creation has been experiencing this, to some extent, ever since the beginning of the universe, and even more after Adam and Eve disobeyed God.) By the end of the Day of the Lord period, after the saints and the nation of Israel will have experienced their respective “rebirths,” nature will be freed, to a large extent, from its curse of deterioration and degeneration.
As I previously have stated, I do not believe that, during the Millennium, the entire world will be as prosperous as Israel will be. The prosperity in a region will be proportional to the degree of acceptance and worship of Jesus as universal King and Lord. Jerusalem, the “showcase” city of the world, will be the model for all other cities. Potentially, any part of the world can be like Israel, and any city of the world like Jerusalem, if the people living there will maintain moral values and obey the international laws decreed by Jesus from Jerusalem. Of course, the world will be a great deal more beautiful and pleasant than it is now, simply due to the lack of harmful influences upon nature and people by Satan and evil angels. Moreover, the highly advanced technology taught by Jesus, and put into effect by the saints, will eliminate air and water pollution; garbage and hazardous waste dumps; disrepair and disintegration of roads, bridges, and buildings; oil spills; and the devastation of forests, animal species, and wilderness areas.
<!>In particularly thriving places, I believe the landscape will be magnificently resplendent and productive. In such areas, there will be virtually no decay nor death of vegetation; rather, it will flourish and remain fertile as long as the people continue to live in the Word of God. Anywhere that the people maintain truth, honor, and generosity, the land will retain a “Garden of Eden” appearance. It is no wonder that a psalmist wrote, concerning the glorious time of the Millennium,
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth (Psalm 96:11-13).
Isaiah wrote similarly of this time,
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed (Isa. 55:12,13).
And, though not necessarily referring to this future time, I find a passage by Solomon to describe appropriately the time of the Millennium, especially soon after the destructive Day of the Lord:
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance (Song 2:11-13b).
<!><!><!><!><!><!>It is extremely unusual today for anyone to live past the age of 120 years, due to the general limitation put on the age of mortals (Gen. 6:3). Prior to that time, people lived many hundreds of years (5:3-32); but afterwards the human life span decreased significantly (11:10-32, 23:1, 25:7, 35:28, 50:22). Today, the average life span is only seventy-plus years.
During the Millennium, however, the life expectancy of mortal humans again will be hundreds of years.
There shall be no more thence [in Jerusalem] an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the youngest shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed (Isa. 65:20—Masoretic Text).
As stated before, I believe the prosperity known in Jerusalem also will be present in any part of the world where the people acknowledge and accept the kingship of Jesus. Therefore, great longevity will be available to anyone on earth who chooses to obey the laws and not rebel against the Authority of Jesus and the saints.
<!>Apparently, everyone will have a very generous “grace period” of one century to submit to the perfect world rule of Jesus and the saints. However, there still will be those who, wrongly exercising their right of free choice (which I do not believe God ever will take away from anyone, unless conceivably they voluntarily give it back to Him at some point), consistently will choose to disobey and to rebel. Anyone who does so will experience death at the age of 100. However, all mortals who adhere to the laws will live throughout the entire Millennium and, presumably still in their natural bodies, into the eternal state (literal heaven on earth—see “the New Jerusalem”: C-14, P-II) after death has been eliminated (Rev. 20:14). Then they will be given the right to eat of the “tree of life” (22:2b).
No human ever has been allowed to eat of the Tree of Life, because God denied Adam and Eve (and their descendants) permanent access to it. This was due to the fact that they knew evil; and He did not want them to live forever contaminated by evil and sin (Gen. 3:22-24). However, in the eternal state, natural humans will receive endless life and good health by means of drinking the Water of Life, eating the fruits from the species of Tree of Life, and using the leaves also from this tree (see “street of gold; River and Tree of Life” and “leaves for healing”: “the New Jerusalem”: C-14, P-II).
rebellion of the masses: Satan and demons make no one sin or do evil; they simply use our own negative lusts and desires as “bait” to tempt, captivate, and compel us to do their will. They also try to blind us to the consequences of our actions so that we feel we can “get away” with doing what we know is wrong. But, although Satan and his evil angels/demons will be imprisoned within the Abyss (see “Abyss”: “references to hell”: C-14, P-I) for the duration of the Millennium, it already has been indicated in this chapter that people still will be capable of doing evil.
<!><!><!><!>Before the Great Flood, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time” (Gen. 6:5). Throughout history, God has looked down from heaven upon mankind only to see that people have turned away from Him, gone astray, become corrupt in their ways, and failed to do the good that He has wanted them to do (Psalm 14:2,3; Isa. 53:6a). No one is “righteous” in and of oneself; everyone sins (Eccl. 7:20). Prior to the Day of the Lord period (seeC-12, P-IV), human evil and godlessness will increase markedly and dramatically (2 Tim. 3:1-7). During the Millennium, mortal mankind’s inclinations will not change; people will have a natural tendency to disobey and to rebel against God’s Authority. Lack of satanic temptation and constant control by supernatural saints will quell this to a great extent, keeping it well under control.
However, at the end of the Millennium, Satan (and presumably his evil spiritual forces) “...will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like sand on the seashore” (Rev. 20:8). People all over the world—who, in the closing years of the Millennium, have rejected the perfect laws of Jesus and resented the suppression of their own evil desires—will be incited by satanic forces into a single mass rebellion against Jesus and His rule.
<!><!>It may be that the rebels of the world, deceived by satanic influence into believing they can overthrow the King of the world, will congregate in the land of Magog (Russia). Then, from there, they will be led by Gog (presumably an evil spirit inhabiting a human leader) to surround Jerusalem (Rev. 20:9a)—a replay of a similar attack 1,000 years prior (seeC-12, P-IV, S-2). But the Father will send down fire from heaven to consume the mass of rebels (20:9b), after which Satan (and his forces) will be “...thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast [Antichrist] and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (20:10). At long last, after all the misery and pain the devil has caused throughout the ages, his defeat by Jesus on the cross finally and permanently will be manifested; and he will begin his eternal sentence in hell (C-14, P-I).
final Judgment: <!><!><!><!>After viewing the future final downfall of Satan and his last army of human rebels at the end of the Millennium, John saw “...a great white throne and him who was seated on it” (Rev. 20:11a). Many Bible scholars believe this to be God, the Father. However, Paul said that God (the Father) “...has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). This “man” is, of course, the Son of Man and the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said that “...the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son...” (John 5:22); and Paul said that it is “...Christ Jesus who will judge the living and the dead...” (2 Tim. 4:1a). Furthermore, before Jesus hands over the Kingdom to the Father, He must complete His mission of putting down all enemies of God (including all rebels), the final enemy being death (1 Cor. 15:24-26).
<!><!><!><!><!><!>I believe that the “Him” seated on the great white throne is both the Father and the Son, who simultaneously will occupy the throne as One God (Rev. 5:1,6a, 7:15a,17a, 22:3b). This is the final future Judgment scene as seen through the spiritual eyes of John:
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books (Rev. 20:12). The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done (20:13). Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death (20:14). If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (20:15).
<!><!>Just preceding this final Judgment of the unsaved, the bodies of the dead throughout history who have rejected God, as well as of those during the Millennium who will have rebelled against the sovereign rule of Jesus on earth (and died at age 100), will be raised. All unredeemed spirits and souls will come out of hades (see “sheol or hades”: “references to hell”: C-14, P-I) and will be reunited with their resurrected but non-perfected bodies. They all will stand before the throne of God (Father and Son). The Word of the law (spoken throughout all of history by the Word of God, Jesus—John 1:1,2—see “the Word of God”: C-10, P-II) is what will judge each person in this multitude (12:48). Jesus came (the first time) to save people from the consequences of disobeying the law (Gal. 3:13); whoever does not accept this salvation and redemption from God, which would have enabled them to circumvent the final judgment, will be judged by the spoken Word of God, through Jesus. All who have not received righteousness and perfection via the blood of Jesus will receive condemnation.
The Book of Life and the books detailing each person’s life will be opened and read. (I believe these same books also will have been opened at the end of the Day of the Lord after Jesus’ physical return—see “sheep and goat nations”: C-14, P-I). No one will be able to deny the contents of the books, which will have been recorded flawlessly. Each person will have chosen to be judged by the Law and by the Word of God (rather than by God’s mercy and grace); so each decision made and each deed performed, good or bad, will be used to determine the person’s eternal fate.
<!><!>Everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), and God can tolerate in His presence only those justified by the blood of the Lamb. It may be that, in the “beginning,” everyone’s name was written in the Book of Life; but anyone not justified as righteous will be blotted out of the Book of (Eternal) Life, as described by David: “Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation. May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous” (Psalm 69:28). This multitude of people will be assigned, along with death and hades, to the lake of fire, which is the “second death” (Rev. 20:14,15—see “lake of fire; fiery furnace”: “references to hell”: C-14, P-I). I believe the punishment (for failing to acknowledge God and His redemptive Plan) in the eternal lake of fire will be according to the degree in this life that one did or did not conform to the laws set down by God relating to such things as treatment of others, pride, morality, and truthfulness.
<!><!>The banishment of all rebels and enemies of God (Satan, evil angels and demons, death, hades, and unsaved humans) to hell (seeC-14, P-I) will be the final purging of the heavens and the earth of all evil forces. I believe this is why John said, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away...” (Rev. 21:1a). This will enable the perfect City of God, the New Jerusalem (which now is in heaven), to descend upon the earth (21:2). And God (Father, Son, and Spirit) will dwell eternally on earth (21:3a) with the transformed saints and the natural human beings who did not rebel against Jesus at the end of the Millennium. (See “the New Jerusalem”: C-14, P-II). Thus will begin the Eternal Age of God and all who always will Love Him, continuously, forever.
<!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!>These are Scriptures which I believe relate to the Millennium: Psalm 22:25-31, 72:1-19, 96:7-13, 102:21,22, 121:4-6; Song 2:11-13b; Isa. 2:2-5, 4:2,3,5,6, 9:6b-7, 11:3b,4ab,5-16, 14:1,2, 18:7, 29:17-24, 30:23-26, 32:1-5,15-18, 33:15-24, 35:1,2,5-10, 40:11, 41:18-20, 43:19-21, 44:3-5, 55:12,13, 60:3-22, 61:1-11, 62:1-12, 65:17-25, 66:18-23; Jer. 3:14-17, 30:9,10,17-22, 31:12-14,23-40; Ezek. 11:19,20, 28:25,26, 34:11-16,22-31, 37:24-28, 40:5–48:35; Dan. 7:18,27; Hosea 14:4-7; Joel 2:21-29,32, 3:17-21; Amos 9:11-15; Obad. 17-21; Micah 4:1-8, 5:4,5a, 7:19,20; Nahum 2:2; Zeph. 3:9-20; Zech. 1:16,17, 2:4,5,10-12, 3:10, 6:12,13, 8:3-23, 9:10,16b,17, 10:1,6-12, 13:9cd, 14:6-11,16-21; Mal. 1:11, 3:3c,4; Matt. 8:11, 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18; Rom. 8:21, 13:12b; 1 Cor. 6:2a,3a, 15:24-27a,28; Heb. 1:10-12, 8:8-12; Rev. 15:4, 20:1-15.
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