We have come to the twelfth and final promise God made to Israel.
God PROMISED in His Word that: Jesus will return as Israel’s Messiah, Jesus Christ the Pierced Messiah will rescue the Jews at their darkest hour, after defeating all their enemies and locking up their fiercest adversary the Devil they will rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem for all the world to visit, and finally that Jesus Christ, the Son of David will sit as the Promised King on the Throne of David.
God Keeps His Promises
That multipart promise God made, and its coming fulfillment, is actually the dividing line between Dispensational Theology (Calvary Bible Church, Moody Bible Institute, Dallas Theological Seminary, John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll, and Charles Stanley, etc.) and Covenant Theology (St. Augustine and the Roman Catholic Church, John Calvin and the Reformed Churches, and Martin Luther and the Lutheran Churches, etc.).
Each day, countless times, all over the Earth, there is a cry for the 1,000 year rule of Jesus Christ as King over all the Earth to commence. You know it well. See if you can follow along saying those words with me:
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done;
On Earth, as it is in Heaven;
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory—Forever.
Yes, that is the Lord’s Prayer taught to the disciples.
And that is the heart’s cry of Christ's Church; and that is the call for Christ's return to restore Israel again to the place God planned, and to see Christ sit on the Throne of David!
Yes, that is what we all long to see happen. It is the promise of God for:
The Real Utopia
That prayer, is uttered by believers who recite what Jesus left us to pray as a model to guide us. Each time you pray these words you are saying come quickly, overthrow the Devil and the kingdoms of this world, and come to sit on the throne of David, and bless your chosen people of promise the Jews with all those hundreds of promises you made them long ago!
“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” says the Lord (Isaiah 65:25, emphasis added).
It is time to focus our attentions on the new world God has planned, because this old one is dying. Although this old world is doomed, He has some great plans for the future of this planet. God has planned for a whole new world—far beyond anything we could ever plan or do. The Lord is preparing to restore an Eden-like paradise on earth again! There are dozens of promised changes until the world blossoms like a rose garden—yet with no blight and no bugs! When will all that happen? It will occur in the Millennium.
Please stand as we read these incredible words:
Revelation 20:1-15 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 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. 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20 is the step between Earth, as we know it, and Heaven for Eternity. God promises that the golden age will arrive. The time will come when the armies of all the nations will be disbanded, and the great military academies have fallen into ruin and decay. The machinery of war has all been smelted down and converted to the implements of peace.
Jerusalem has become the world’s capital. The throne of David is there, and the twelve apostles are there judging the twelve tribes of Israel, for Israel rules the World. The millennial Temple has been built to crown Moriah’s brow, and the nations of the Earth come there to worship the living God.
Prosperity is evident from pole to pole. Poverty is unknown. Every man has all that his heart can desire.
There are no prisons, no hospitals, no mental institutions, no barracks, no bars, no brothels, no casinos, and no homes for the aged and infirm. Such things belong to a past and lesser age. The bloom of youth is on everyone’s cheek, for a man is a stripling at a hundred years of age.
Cemeteries are crumbling relics of the past, and tears are rare. The wolf and the lamb, the calf and the lion, the cow and the bear, the child and the scorpion, all are at peace. Jesus has come, and the millennium is here.
The golden age, so frequently heralded by the prophets of Israel’s past, has dawned at last, and the Earth is filled with the knowledge of God. Jesus is Lord, and He rules the nations with a rod of iron. His reign is righteous, and the nations obey. The principles of the Sermon on the Mount are the laws of the Kingdom, and men obey them because infractions are not allowed. Sin is visited with swift and certain judgment. This promised era lasts for a thousand years.1
Thy Kingdom Come
As you read that description of what it will be like in the Millennium, didn’t your heart respond with joy at the very thought of what God has planned? But how do we get from where we are today: Persia (or Iran) the ancient foe of Israel assembling nuclear weapons as fast as possible, with 1.2 billion Moslems who at the core of their belief system want to annihilate Israel and subjugate the West? How can we get to Paradise with Christ's rule on earth? To see how we get there we need a jet tour of Biblical prophecy. Here we go.
“The petition refers primarily and directly to the Messianic kingdom on earth, of which all Scripture testifies. The King of this kingdom is the Lord Jesus, the Son of David; the subjects of it are Israel and the nations, the chosen people fulfilling the mission which, according to the election of God, is assigned unto them, of being the medium of blessing unto all the nations of the earth; the center of the kingdom is Jerusalem, and the means of its establishment is the coming and visible appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ .
When we pray ‘Thy kingdom come,’ our true meaning is, ‘Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!”
This distinction is also supported by the Greek text of the Prayer. In each of the petitions concerning God’s name, kingdom, and will, the Greek verb is not only in the emphatic position but also aorist imperative in form, thus indicating “single or instantaneous” action. Thus, in harmony with all Old Testament prophecy, the prayer taught by our Lord suggests not only that His kingdom is to be prayed for, but also that its coming to the “earth” will be a definite crisis in history, not a long and gradual process of evolution.
SO, WHAT IS THE CRISIS AND THE KINGDOM THAT FOLLOWS? Turn to the key to biblical prophecy, Revelation 19.
The Remarkable Plan God has Written
To best understand chapter 20, we need to first look at Revelation 19:11–20:10 where we see God’s mighty plan in three distinct strokes: (1) the return of Christ—the King of Kings (19:11– 21); (2) the judgment of Satan—his restraint (20:1–3); and (3) the Millennium—the rule of the Messiah (20:4–10). Those are the three general divisions of this Scripture passage that we will be learning about this week.
The apostle John and others vividly show us Christ’s re-entry. Let’s list off all the biblical elements that burst forth in this moment as Christ returns.
The Elements of Christ's return
1. Matthew tells us that first the heavens are opened, and then the sign of the Son of man appears: (Matt. 24:30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.);
2. John adds that the Lord comes through the sky as a rider on a white horse, accompanied by the armies of heaven. Out of His mouth goes forth a sharp two-edged sword, and He comes as the King of Kings in the wrath of God the Almighty: (Rev. 19:11-16 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.);
3. When Christ comes to rule, He has what the Bible calls a rod of iron: (Rev. 19:15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God; Psalm 2:9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”);
4. He has blood dipped garments: (Rev. 19:13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God);
5. Isaiah saw Him looking like One who treads the winepress: (Isaiah 63:1-6 Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength?—“ I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? 3 “ I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have stained all My robes. 4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come. 5 I looked, but there was no one to help, And I wondered that there was no one to uphold; Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; And My own fury, it sustained Me. 6 I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, Made them drunk in My fury, And brought down their strength to the earth”; Rev. 19:15b He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God);
6. Micah says He is as one who threshes the harvest floor: (Micah 4:12-13 But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, Nor do they understand His counsel; For He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor. 13 “ Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion; For I will make your horn iron, And I will make your hooves bronze; You shall beat in pieces many peoples; I will consecrate their gain to the LORD, And their substance to the Lord of the whole earth.”; Matthew 3:12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire”);
7. Joel and John add warnings that He is as one who reaps with the sickle of Divine judgment: (Joel 3:13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, The vats overflow—For their wickedness is great.”; Rev. 14:17-18 Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.”).
The Horrors of The Rebels on Earth
1. Thus, will the despised Jesus of Nazareth again appear! Then will all the families of the earth wail (Matt. 24:30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory).
2. Then has come the Day of the Lord (Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty; Amos 5:20 Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?);
3. It is the day of God’s fierce anger expressed through Christ: (Isaiah 13:13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger.);
4. It is the great and terrible day of judgment built up: (Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.);
5. It is a day of darkness, gloominess, clouds, and thick darkness: (Joel 2:2 A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after them, even for many successive generations; Zech. 14:6 It shall come to pass in that day that there will be no light; the lights will diminish);
6. In horror – the lost humans will creep into the clefts and ravines: (Rev. 6:15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders,[a] the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains); and then they will hide in the caverns of the rocks and the holes of the earth (Isaiah 2:19 They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily).
7. With no place to hide they call to the mountains, “Fall on us!”, and to the hills, “Cover us!”: (Luke 23:30 hen they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’; Rev. 6:16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!; 9:6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them). But there will be no escape.
The Wrath of God Seen in Christ
1. For the Lord comes as a flash of lightning (Matt. 24:27), His chariots as a tempest (Isa. 66:15);
2. His eyes as flames of fire (Rev. 19:12);
3. His voice as the voice of a lion (Joel 3:16; Isa. 30:30), and the slain of the Lord will be many (Isa. 66:15,16; Psa. 110:6);
4. In flaming fire (II Thess. 1:8; Isa. 66:15, 16);
5. As a fiery oven (Mal. 4:1; Matt. 13:41, 42) as an inescapable snare (Luke 21:35);
6. So will the sudden destruction “seize all” (I Thess. 5:3);
7. As the flood in the days of Noah (Matt. 24:38,39), as the fiery judgment overtook Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 17:28-32).
YES, on the Mount of Olives, whence He formerly ascended (Acts 1:9,12) will the Lord again first appear (Zech. 14:4). Every eye will see Him (Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:30); every contradiction will be silenced (Matt. 22:12; Job 9:3); every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the honor of God the Father (Phil.2:11).
THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS HAS RETURNED.
Three Timeless Lessons for Us
• God Cares (Hebrews 4:14-16). He is genuinely interested in this world, its needs, and its inhabitants-now as well as in the future.
• God Controls (Daniel 4:35; Psalm 139:9). He hasn’t lost control. God is sovereign, and He is working all things together for good – even now as well as in the future.
• God Communicates – The God we serve is not a God of silence. He doesn’t want to leave us in the dark. He lets us know what is going to happen down to some very minute details
Series: What’s Next
This may be one of the most important studies we have ever undertaken, so feel free to trace these points and verses in your Bibles as we go along!
1. JEWS: God promised Abraham: descendants who would the chosen people of God; and property for them with clearly defined boundaries in Genesis 12:1; 13:15; 15:7, 18-21. Genesis 15:7 He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” He renewed that promise to Abraham's son Isaac (Genesis 26:3-5), to his grandson Jacob (Genesis 28:13), and to their descendants after them forever (Leviticus 25:46; Joshua 14:9; etc.).
2. PASSOVER: God promised Moses that He would Divinely bring His chosen people of destiny to the Promised Land. Exodus 6:7-8 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.
3. ISRAEL: God stakes His future reputation on people He identified as His chosen people of destiny, the Jews, the descendents of Abraham, and He named them Israel. Deuteronomy 7:6-7 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;
4. CAPTIVITY: God promised to judge His chosen people of destiny if they forgot Him in the Promised Land. 2 Chronicles 7:20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.
5. DIASPORA: God promised to scatter His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny from the Promised Land. Deuteronomy 28:64 Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known.
6. ANTI-SEMETISM: God promised a curse upon His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny as they wandered the world without their Promised Land. Deuteronomy 28:37 You will become a thing of horror and an object of scorn and ridicule to all the nations where the LORD will drive you.
7. CHASTENED: God promised to chasten His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny. My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto Him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations (Hosea 9:17).
8. PRESERVATION: God promised to preserve His chosen people of destiny from annihilation. Jeremiah 30:11 "I am with you and will save you," declares the LORD. "Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished."
9. REGATHERED: God promised to re-gather His chosen people of destiny back to the Promised Land. Ezekiel 36:24, 35 ‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 35 They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.”
10. ARMAGEDDON/BUDENSOME STONE: God promised to make His chosen people of destiny a source of fear for the whole world when they get back to the Promised Land in unbelief. God declared that in the last days before the Messiah's second coming, Jerusalem would become "a cup of trembling…a burdensome stone for all people" (Zechariah 12:2,3).
11. THE TEMPLE: God has focused on 40 acres of land: As Solomon built the temple (1200x800 foot Temple Mount), God said: "I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there" (2 Chronicles 6:6). But long before this, God had first spoken through Moses: "There shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there, thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD" (Deuteronomy 12:11). Where is ground zero: This place was not just any place in Jerusalem; it was an exact spot, chosen by God. It was on Mount Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1). This was the same spot where Abraham had, almost a thousand years before, prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22:2). These 40 acres are only a short distance from Calvary itself. This spot, to the Jews and to God, is Jerusalem! And, amazingly, this one spot is the only spot in Jerusalem still controlled by Gentiles. It is on Mount Moriah that the Arabs have built their famous Dome-of-the-Rock, the second most holy place in the Muslim world. The Jews, for political or other reasons, have not yet dared to expel the Arabs from this site, raze it, and proceed to rebuild their temple, as they surely desire to do. It is apparently by this exceedingly slender thread, therefore, that the "times of the Gentiles" are still suspended.
12. God’s FUTURE PLANS/Millennium: God declared Israel, His Nation, would have a future agenda in God’s plan: In Acts 15 James, the pastor of the First Church of Jerusalem makes an amazing statement. He quotes Amos the prophet, and explains that the Church is only part of God’s future plans, Israel also has a part (Acts 15:14-17).
In this context, we come to a remarkable prophecy made by Jesus Christ:
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:24).
Since the word "fulfilled" is the same word in the Greek as "finished," this prophecy clearly means that the times of Gentile world-rule will be ended when Jerusalem is no longer under Gentile control. But this can only be accomplished when Christ returns to banish the Gentile nations from Jerusalem and to establish His own world-kingdom capital there. Thus, the restoration of Jerusalem to the chosen people is necessarily accompanied by the coming of their Messiah to reign there.
This is also clearly indicated in Zechariah 12-14 as well as other Scriptures.