The Old Testament has a lot more information about the second coming of Christ than it does His first coming, so to do the subject justice it would take at least a whole book. Even what I hoped would be a concise article has become a small book, so I will break it up into segments, this being the first.
It is amazing to me that with all the information available, Amillennialists, and Post-Millennialists still insist that we are in the millennial reign of Christ today! They also insist that this time period is an indefinite period of time, in spite of the many statements in Scripture which state that it will be a thousand years long. As we go through the bible’s teachings on the Millennial reign, ask yourself if we see any of these characteristics in the world in which we live today.
Why a Millennium?
Rather than start with Revelation 20, which states six times that the reign of Christ on earth will last one thousand years, I want to examine some curious statements in the book of Hebrews, chapter 4;
4For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.5And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 7Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.10For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Here the author is comparing the sabbath rest of the saints with the seventh day of the week, which God set apart at the Garden of Eden. Notice verse 12; This verse is quoted frequently, but notice that the immediate context is the seventh day.
In the Old Testament, there were other days of the week designated as Sabbath’s, such as the High Holy days like Passover, Which was declared as a special Sabbath regardless of which day of the week it cel upon. Here, however, the author specifically states that the day of rest for the Church is the seventh day.
I don’t believe he is saying that Christians must set aside the Sabbath as their day of worship, though it is not wrong to do so. What he is saying is that God has set aside His seventh day as the day of rest for the world, and along with Him, the Church will enjoy this day of rest. God’s seventh day; the seventh thousand-year-day of earth’s history.
Moving the Sabbath to the first day of the week is not wrong necessarily, as long as it is not made into a law, but it does destroy the picture of earth’s future, that God created in the Garden of Eden.
This is actually a reference to Psalm 90, the psalm of Moses;
For a thousand years in thy sight are butas yesterday when it is past, and asa watch in the night. Psalm 90:4
and to 2 Peter;
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:8-10
I am not the first to think so, (Luther for instance) but the Lord is telling us here, that God has agreed to give fleshly humanity one week, with the last thousand years comprising the Sabbath rest of the saints, and the millennial reign of Christ.
Notice that this day comes in like a thief in the night, when people are not expecting it, and it ends with the destruction of the heavens and the earth, some thousand years later. This is one day, and it is the Lord’s day, the seventh day of earth’s history. This is a day from the Lord’s perspective, as defined by Psalm 90, and 2 Peter 3.
Those who believe in long ages, and evolution, will never understand the bible’s End-Times prophecies, because they allegorize everything to death.
The Lord speaks through Hosea of days in the same way;
5:15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.
6:1Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.2After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. 3Then shall we know, ifwe follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
So, when did the Lord return to His place? There is only one possibility in history, the ascension of Jesus to Heaven on the fortieth day after the resurrection, in Acts 1:9. That was the day he ended his personal mission on earth, and he will pick it up again during the Day of the Lord.
The “days” here are not 24 hour days, but thousand year days. In verse 15 the “affliction” is the Tribulation period, and early in it, Israel will again seek the Lord, but His return will be during the third day. This should tell us that His return will not be imminent until the second thousand years is over, although it is still possible that the Tribulation period could straddle the divide between the second and third days, and thus the rapture could very well be within seven years of the end of the second day.
But, what of the Millennial reign itself? What are its characteristics?
Come back soon and we will get into some of the characteristics of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.