How will the appearance of the earth during the Millennium, and its appearance after the Millennium, be different?
I understand that Jesus will rule and reign on this earth for 1,000 years after He returns, and I believe that He will renew the earth when He does. But it sounds like there is yet another renewal in store after the Millennium, as described in Rev. 12:1. How are these renewals different?
When Jesus returns at the end of the 70th Week, He will He will find an earth that has been greatly damaged and virtually ruined by the Antichrist and also by the seven trumpet judgments (Revelation 8:6-13, 9:1-21, 11:15-19). He will proceed to renovate and reconfigure the present heavens and earth (an imperfect Creation) into a glorious, magnificent, "Garden of Eden" state, which will last an additional 1,000 years. However, this will not be an act of "creation," but rather of restoration and remodeling.
The Millennium will be the final period of the seventh "day" of God's "week," where the seventh "day" (during which we presently exist) is a lengthy Sabbath of cessation from any creative work of something out of nothing. Contrary to what is believed by many, this universe (the visible and invisible heavens and earth) will not continue to exist for eternity, without end. Rather, this realm of Creation, and even "time" as we know it, will be terminated.
"Time" had a beginning (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2); therefore, presumably, our one-dimensional time line will end. As such, it is conceivable that "forever"—when time as we know it ends—actually will have a conclusion, which very well may be when this present Creation, and time itself, are annihilated and burned up at the end of the Millennium. Then we will enter the realm of "eternity" that will be everlasting and will never end.
As God's "great white throne" appears, just prior to His final judgment at the end of the Millennium (Revelation 20:11-15), this old universe ("earth and sky") will cease to exist because there will be "no place for them":
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. (Revelation 20:11)If there will be "no place for them" (earth and sky), that means that they will be gone. Then, John was very specific and concise in describing the creation of a brand new universe ("heaven and earth"):
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. (Revelation 21:1)The first heavens and earth—the present universe as we know it—will have disappeared; they will have perished and will have been discarded (Psalm 102:25,26; Hebrews 1:10-12). Where will they have gone? Earth and sky will have "fled" from the presence of God, as He sits on His great white throne to pass final judgment (Revelation 20:11). Peter said this:
By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:7)The "day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men" refers to the day of the great white throne judgment at the end of the Millennium (Revelation 20:11). Apparently, at that time, this present creation will be thrown into the "lake of fire," into which death, Hades, and everyone whose names are not found written in the Book of Life will be cast, at the end of the millennial period:
Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14,15)I suspect that this fiery lake of burning sulfur presently is located in another dimension, completely separate and undetectable from our realm of length, width, height, and time.
This present universe was made by and through God, the Father and Son (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2). Jesus Himself affirmed, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" (Matthew 24:35). This parallels yet another clear declaration by Jesus, "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law" (Luke 16:17).
Together, these two statements, by our Creator, testify not only to the fact that this old Creation ultimately will pass away and disappear, but also to the fact that God's eternal Law—as spoken by Jesus, the Word of God (John 1:1,14)—will continue on eternally, in the new Creation to come, and will be just as true and applicable then as it is now.
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