JESUS COMING MILLENNIAL KINGDOM

Christians do not rule the way the world does as the following verse outlines.

“You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.Mark 10:42-44

In Revelation John, in accord with Daniel, describes the kings of the world as hybrid beasts under the control of Satan.

In the coming Millennial Kingdom while Jesus and the Saints are servant leaders sadly in a fallen world we are told they will rule with a rod of iron.

She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,Revelation 12:5 This prophecy will be fulfilled during Jesus’ Millennial reign on this earth.

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron.Revelation 19:14

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Paul confirms that the Millennial Kingdom of God will eventually abolish all other empires before this earth is destroyed with fire then the second resurrection and the White Throne judgement when all the unrepentant are cast into the Lake of Fire for punishment and the second death.

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.1 Corinthians 15:22-26

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.Revelation 2:11

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.Revelation 20:6

Prior to Jesus coming Millennial Kingdom, we know from Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27) that God allows Satan to empower the Antichrist who will rule the nations for 42 months. John confirms that the final ruler, Antichrist is empowered by Satan (the dragon).

“the dragon (Satan) gave him (Antichrist) his power and his throne and great authority” Revelation 13:2

And the beast (Antichrist) was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also, it was allowed to make war on the saints and conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on the earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.” Revelation 13:5-8

In case we think that the book of Revelation is alone in portraying the kingdoms of this world as ultimately under the authority of Satan, we would do well to notice that at the beginning of the gospels Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world if He would worship him,

“the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You fall down and worship me” Matthew 4:8-9

Furthermore, Paul affirms Satan’s role as an empowering empire when he states that Satan is the “god of this age” 2 Corinthians 4:4

With regard to the coming of the Antichrist and the many scriptures warning the church about the coming tribulation, even great tribulation, “it (Antichrist) was allowed to make war on the saints and conquer them” what churches are making their members aware of the many prophecies of Jesus second coming. As I have said many times before on this website, there are far more prophecies about Jesus second coming (2,000) than there were of His first coming (300) Jesus must want you to know about His second coming and to prepare for it.

ISRAEL SEES ALL-TIME HIGH IN EXPORTS

Israeli exports increased to about $140 billion in 2021 and hit a record high, an increase of close to 20% compared to about $114.3 billion in 2020, according to estimates by the Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy and Industry.

For the first time in Israel’s economic history, exports of services exceed exports of goods with a 51% to 49% ratio, while the exports of goods are also on the rise.

Despite pandemic, Israel sees all-time high in exports
Industrial container yard at Haifa Port

The leading sectors in the export of goods are automation and electronic equipment, products of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and optical and medical equipment.

Israel’s top exporting destinations are the U.S., China, Netherlands, Turkey, and Germany.

The two most significant trends that contributed to the change in the balance of power between goods and services are a significant increase in the high-tech industries in Israeli exports – exports of programming services and research and development services that are not start-ups, which grew by 25% and 15% respectively, and the significant increase in transportation services exports that jumped this year by 138% percent. Exports resulting from the sale of start-up companies also jumped by 257% and these trends led to the overall growth of about 30% in the export of services.

The majority of exports, 39%, are directed to European markets, 33% to American markets, and about 25% to Asian markets.

Ohad Cohen, Director of Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy and Industry, stated Monday that “the year 2021 will break records in Israeli exports and its components. Whether we reach the $140 billion threshold or not, this is an all-time high in exports, which was slightly halted in 2020 due to the Corona pandemic.”

He noted that the exporting sector showed “an impressive recovery” in late 2020 and even more so in 2021, both in the export of goods and services.

This nation which God established for His purposes to be a blessing to the world is being a blessing to the world in the development of high-tech products and services but sadly it will not fulfill God’s purpose until its Messiah Jesus returns to establish His Millennial Kingdom. In fact, we are told in God’s Word only one-third will survive the coming reign of the Antichrist.

In the whole land, declares the Lord ‘two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people, and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zechariah 13:8-9

The prince-of-preachers Charles Spurgeon preached: “I think we do not attach sufficient importance to the restoration of the Jews. We do not think enough about it. But certainly, if there is anything promised in the Bible it is this. I imagine that you cannot read the Bible without seeing clearly that there is to be an actual restoration of the Children of Israel . . . For when the Jews are restored, the fullness of the Gentiles shall be gathered in; and as soon as they return, then Jesus will come upon Mount Zion with his ancients gloriously, and the halcyon days of the Millennium shall then dawn; we shall then know every man to be a brother and a friend; Christ shall rule with universal sway.”

ISLAM IN THE END TIMES

Biblical End Times prophecy tells us that Muslim nations play a significant role in the time leading up to Jesus’ return. What we see playing out in Ukraine will only strengthen the Muslim position in the Soviet block and the west.

Russia, with a birth rate of 1.5 children per woman, has invaded Ukraine, where the birth rate is 1.2 children per woman, to determine which nation with below-replacement birth rates will go extinct the fastest.

In the long run, the only winners of the war to determine whether Ukraine will belong to the 1.2 or 1.5 people will be the Chechen and other Muslim soldiers doing the fighting. The Chechens have a birth rate of 2.5. Their religion and mosques are more likely to inherit the territories they are fighting over than either the Russian or Ukrainian Orthodox churches.

The leaders of Western Europe and Russia have dueling visions for Ukraine and the territories of the former Soviet Union. Europe would like them to join a wonderful union based around peace, tolerance, and importing millions of Muslims to balance out all the peaceful tolerant Europeans. Putin would like to induct them into Greater Russia which will unite Islam and Christianity.

Putin contends, “We have Eastern Christianity and certain theoreticians say that it is much closer to Islam than Catholicism is.” Which shows how out of touch he is with reality.

Europeans claim that they can have a tolerant society built around the demographic growth of a religion that murders unbelievers. Putin claims that a new Christian Russian empire will be built on a multifaith alliance with a religion that has spent centuries destroying Christian empires.

There is plenty of suicidal hypocrisy to go around from London and Berlin to Moscow.

Thank goodness we know the end of the story: Biblical prophecy reveals that Jesus will return soon to usher in His Millennial Kingdom.

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” Revelation 19:11-16

ISRAEL IN THE MILLENNIUM

Jon Voight understands that Jeremiah, Ezekiel and many of the other O.T. prophets prophesied that God would restore Israel and that God’s people will once again produce wonderful wine, more so in the coming Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.

The following two Scriptures clearly outline the future of Israel with their Messiah, Jesus ruling and reigning over the nations of the world.

Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned and will cleanse them, and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.Ezekiel 37:21-23

At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people... Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit. For there shall be a day when watchmen will call in the hill country of Ephraim: ‘Arise and let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God.’ For thus says the Lord: “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, O Lord, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’ Jeremiah 31:1, 5-7

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’ For the Lord has ransomed Jacob
and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall languish no more.
Jeremiah 31:10-12

SOON COMING MILLENNIAL KINGDOM

In the following Scripture, the apostle Paul wrote on the Millennial Kingdom that will begin after Christ’s return to earth and end when he has defeated all of his enemies, including death. It establishes that even after Jesus returns to reign, there will still be sinners and death in the world, just as the prophets foresaw.

No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.Isaiah 65:20

If the kingdom was to only manifest itself in a world free of unbelievers, then Israel could never fulfill her destiny as a light to the nations, showing them the way to the LORD.

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:22-26

He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, “To you, I will give the land of Canaan as your portion for an inheritance.” Psalm 105:7-11

Jesus must reign until He has put all of His enemies under His feet. When the Kingdom of God is handed over to the Father it will be free of sin and death, identifying it as the Eternal State (Revelation 21:4, 8). This Scripture is a basic summary of future events, supporting the plain reading of Revelation 20.

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also, I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.Revelation 20:4-6

There is simply no way that you can read this passage and deny that Jesus reigns with the resurrected Saints for one thousand years on this planet and the Adamic curse is still in effect. We are not in the eternal state with a new heaven and new earth until after the second resurrection and the White Throne judgement.

”I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.” Rev. 21:22-25

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4

MILLENNIAL KINGDOM – EARLY CHURCH FATHERS (2)

This follows my earlier post, MILLENNIAL KINGDOM – EARLY CHURCH FATHERS dated February 8th, 2022. Once I have received feedback on this post it will go up on the website http://www.millenniumkingdom.net

Much of the information in this post is extracted from the excellent book by Matthew Bryce Ervin, One Thousand Years with Jesus: The Coming Messianic Kingdom, Resource Publications.

The death of Lactantius in AD 325 marked the end of Premillennialism as a commonly held belief in the church until after the Reformation of the 16th century. No doubt there were some saints that read the Scriptures and believed what they said about the Messianic Age, though their teachings on the matter are few.

Early as the year 170, a church party in Asia Minor—the so-called Alogi—rejected the whole body of apocalyptic writings and denounced the Apocalypse of John (Revelation) as a book of fables. Most groups are not so honest in their rejection of the plain reading of Scripture. Others claim to view Revelation and other prophetic writings in the Bible as inspired by God. However, the normal meanings of these prophecies are often obfuscated or ignored in favor of uncovering some hidden meaning. These secret meanings are often so foreign to the text that the original audience would never have arrived at them.

Origen and Allegory: The method of interpreting Scripture in this way is known as the allegorical hermeneutic. It was first promoted and largely developed by Origen at the turn of the third century. Origen (185–254 AD) was steeped in Greek philosophy, a perspective that greatly influenced his approach to understanding Scripture. This necessitated a militancy against Premillennialism. Greek Philosophy typically viewed matter as being flawed, or even evil, while the nonphysical part of reality was good. Only a nonphysical and purely spiritual kingdom was acceptable to Origen and those in agreement with his Alexandrian theology. Origen provided no unified alternative to the many prophecies on the future earthly reign of the Messiah as a system. Instead, various passages on the matter were each relegated to having vague “spiritual” meanings, if they were addressed at all.

It is difficult to overestimate the level of influence Origen and his allegorical hermeneutic had in shaping much of the Christian world’s approach to Scripture. One of his students, Dionysius, strongly opposed the promotion of Premillennialism through exegesis by the Egyptian church bishop Nepos. On what followed, German Lutheran Theologian, Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930) recounted: “Dionysius became convinced that the victory of mystical theology over “Jewish” chiliasm would never be secure so long as the Apocalypse of John passed for apostolic writing and kept its place among the homologoumena (those considered authoritative) of the canon . . . In the course of the 4th century, it was removed from the Greek canon, and thus the troublesome foundation on which chiliasm might have continued to build was got rid of . . . late in the Middle Ages, (God ensured) the Book of Revelation did recover its authority, however, the church was by that time so hopelessly entangled by a magical cultus as to be incapable of fresh developments.” Harnack’s explanation reveals that Dionysius was also motivated by a distaste for Judaism.

Theologian Renald Showers elaborated on the influence of antisemitism of the time. “Gentiles who professed to be Christians increasingly called Jews “Christ-killers” and developed a strong bias against anything Jewish. Because the premillennial belief in the earthly, political Kingdom rule of Messiah in the future was the same hope which had motivated the Jews for centuries, that belief was increasingly “stigmatized as ‘Jewish’ and consequently ‘heretical’” by eastern Gentile Christians.”

Some of the same people who claimed to worship a Jew as God in the flesh, and hold up the Scriptures that were written by Jews (cf. Rom 3:1–2), were at the same time eager to separate themselves from what was Jewish. What absurdity! Unfortunately, this attitude is still commonplace in much of the Christian world to various degrees today.

Showers listed three other primary reasons for the rejection of Premillennialism in the early church. First, the Montanists, a sect of Christians often deemed as heretical, happened to include Chiliasm among their doctrines. Premillennialism predated Montanism and was established orthodox eschatology, but still unfairly suffered from the guilt by association fallacy. Second, some believers feared that the Romans would increase their persecution of the church if it was taught that Jesus would return and destroy their empire. Third, a few were concerned that the focus on the return of Jesus to reign on the earth diverted attention away from the daily work of the church.

None of these reasons are based upon the responsible exegesis of Scripture. The veracity of any doctrine must be determined by Scripture alone.

Augustine was the bishop of Hippo, living from AD 354 to 430. He remains a much-praised theologian, particularly within Catholic Christian circles. Augustine serves as the cardinal figure in the turning away from Premillennialism. He once held to the doctrine before formulating the first truly developed alternative.

In The City of God, the bishop wrote on his transition: “There should follow on the completion of six thousand years, as of six days, a kind of seventh-day Sabbath in the succeeding thousand years; and that it is for this purpose the saints rise, viz., to celebrate this Sabbath. This opinion would not be objectionable if it were believed that the joys of the saints in that Sabbath shall be spiritual, and consequent on the presence of God; for I myself, too, once held this opinion. But, as they assert that those who then rise again shall enjoy the leisure of immoderate carnal banquets, furnished with an amount of meat and drink such as not only to shock the feeling of the temperate but even to surpass the measure of credulity itself, such assertions can only be believed by the carnal. They who do believe them are called by the spiritual Chiliasts, which we may literally reproduce by the name Millenarians.” Augustine refuted an argument never put forward by his opponents, a straw man fallacy. Premillennialists, whether in the early centuries or now, did and do believe that the joys in the Millennium are spiritual. They are, however, not only spiritual. And these blessings are certainly contingent upon God’s presence. Augustine insulted Premillennialists for anticipating the enjoyment of food and drink. This is an unfair characterization. Such an expectation is not based on carnal desire, but on the plain reading of several prophetic passages, including Isaiah 25:6 and Matthew 26:29.

Augustine’s influence was so dominant that Amillennialism went largely unchallenged until well into the Reformation. On why Premillennialism did not make an immediate return at that time, John MacArthur explained: The Reformers had it right on most issues. But they never got around to eschatology. They never got around to applying their formidable skills. You cannot fight the war on every front. And at the time of the Reformation, they were fighting the war where the battle raged the hottest and that was over the gospel and over the nature of Christ and over salvation by grace through faith and over the authority of Scripture. They were fighting the massive Roman system. And being occupied on those fronts, they never really got to the front of eschatology. This does not mean that the Reformers held to no eschatological position at all. It means that their high view of God’s word over the traditions of men was not seriously applied to what was a lower priority. This resulted in a lingering Amillennialism.

It is rather difficult to find more than a few pages in a row from Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion that lack a reference to Augustine. Such was the level of influence Augustine held over the reformer. Calvin even followed after Augustine in mischaracterizing the beliefs of the chiliasts or early premillennialists. If these fathers really believed that the reign of Christ would come to an end after the Millennium then they deserved to be mocked. Of course, this is not what the chiliasts believed, nor is it even a remotely accurate description of Premillennialism in general. The reign of Jesus does not end with the Millennium. He will remain King on the new earth for all eternity.

Joseph Mede (1586–1639) is one of the most fascinating figures from the twilight of the Reformation. He was not only a widely influential church scholar but also a naturalist and Egyptologist. Mede was well-schooled in biblical languages, subjects he lectured on at Christ’s College of the University of Cambridge. Mede broke with his contemporaries in returning to the literal interpretation of the prophetic Scriptures. His book, The Key of the Revelation, was a clarion call for a return to Premillennialism. Mede was certain that the thousand years of the millennium . . . represented the future reign of the saints with Christ . . . Mede Identified the millennium with the future seventh trumpet and the day of judgment, both of which, he argued, would last one thousand years. It was a systematic repudiation of the Reformer’s Augustinianism.

Mede was a harbinger; after him came the flood. William Twisse, Prolocutor of the Westminster Assembly, wrote a preface to the 1643 English translation of The Key of Revelation. In it, he rebuked Augustine for relinquishing the doctrine of Christ’s Kingdom on earth and praised Mede for returning to it. Isaac Newton, arguably the most prolific scientist in history, acknowledged Mede as the greatest influence on his interpretation of biblical prophecy. The list of church leaders and Bible scholars following Mede in becoming premillennialists continues at some length.

Postmillennialism: In the late 17th century, the Unitarian Daniel Whitby (1638–1726) developed a new alternative to both Premillennialism and Amillennialism: Postmillennialism. Just as the name suggests, Postmillennialism is the belief that Jesus will return after the thousand years of Revelation 20.

For Whitby, the Millennium, whether literal or figurative for a long period, is a golden age where Christianity has conquered the unbelieving world. During this time most, if not all, people will become saved and biblical values will flourish.

With the escalating persecution of Christians in our time which fits with Biblical prophecy it is hard to understand how Christians can hold to this view.

Charles Spurgeon wrote: “Paul does not paint the future with rose-colour: he is no smooth-tongued prophet of a golden age, into which this dull earth may be imagined to be glowing. There are sanguine brethren who are looking forward to everything growing better and better and better, until, at last, this present age ripens into a millennium. They will not be able to sustain their hopes, for Scripture gives them no solid basis to rest upon. We who believe that there will be no millennial reign without the King, and who expect no rule of righteousness except from the appearing of the righteous Lord, are nearer the mark. Apart from the Second Advent of our Lord, the world is more likely to sink into pandemonium than to rise into a millennium. A divine interposition seems to me the hope set before us in Scripture, and, indeed, to be the only hope adequate to the occasion.”

Like Mede, Twisse, Newton, Spurgeon, and Matthew Bryce Ervin, I am confident that the Bible teaches the following: Jesus returns first to rapture and meet the Saints in the air and take them to heaven, at the same time God pours out His wrath on unrepentant earth with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements. We are not given the time period but we know from Scripture that at the fifth trumpet judgement, demonic beings were allowed to torment people for five months. Personally, I think the time period will be one year and ten days the same time God poured out His wrath upon the earth in Noah’s day. This means the Saints will be in heaven for that time before they return with Jesus to defeat the Antichrist at the battle of Armageddon and to set up Jesus’ Millennial Kingdom.

PROOF JESUS CHRIST IS THE JEWISH MESSIAH

The Seventy Weeks Prophecy of Daniel proves the Messiahship of Jesus. Those of us who believe in Him should recognize the profound degree to which the 70-weeks prophecy both verifies his Messianic credentials, and bears witness to the supernatural foreknowledge, sovereignty, and omniscience of God. Over 500 years before it happened, God told us when the Messiah would come, the first time with incredible accuracy and that He would come a second time. Purposefully there is a gap between the 69th week and the 70th week of the prophecy of an indeterminate time period. Remember, Daniel was told by the angel Gabriel, “Go your way Daniel, for the words, are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.Daniel 12:9

There is no doubt God used Daniel to encourage the exiled Jews by revealing God’s sovereign program for Israel during and after the gentile domination. The “Times of the Gentiles” began with the Babylonian captivity, and Israel will suffer under gentile powers for many years. But God reveals that this period will end and the time will come when God establishes His messianic kingdom on this earth.

They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.Revelation 20:4-6

Daniel repeatedly emphasizes the sovereignty and power of God over human affairs.

The Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will. Daniel 4:25

The God who directs the forces of history has not deserted His people. They must continue to trust in Him because His promises of preservation and ultimate restoration are as sure as the coming of their Messiah.

The Seventy Weeks Prophecy

Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war.

Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” Daniel 9:24;27

The Book of Revelation is God’s revelation to us of the time immediately preceding His second coming to first rapture His Saints, to pour out His wrath upon an unrepentant world and then to return to earth with the resurrected Saints to conquer the Antichrist and His forces and implement His Millennial reign. Revelation effectively unlocks “the words of Daniel that were closed up and sealed until the time of the end”.

Remember that Jesus specifically refers the disciples back to Daniel when He was answering their questions about the “end of the age” and His second coming.

“So when you see the abomination of desolation (Antichrist) spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Matthew 24:15

PSALMS 2 IS A PROPHECY FOR OUR TIME

Note what is in store for the leaders of nations and those that follow them that set themselves against God and His commandments. “He will speak to them in his wrath and terrify them in his fury.”

Why do the nations rage, and the people’s plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed (Saints), saying, Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us. He who sits in the heavens laughs: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then He will speak to them in his wrath and terrify them in his fury. As for me, I will set my King on Zion, my holy hill. I will declare the decree: The Lord said to Me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Now, therefore, O’ kings be wise: be warned O’ rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He is angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him. Psalms 2: 1-12

This cannot be about King David as he never ruled the ends of the earth, nor did he or any of his sons ever enjoy unrivaled control over all the nations. David endured a constant state of warfare until the end of his life. It only makes sense to conclude that it is the Messiah himself, Jesus who is receiving his inheritance from God the Father in these verses, which he will possess when he establishes the Messianic Kingdom in the future.

They (Saints) came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

MILLENNIAL KINGDOM

In order to know what the Millennial Kingdom will look like, it is critical to understand that the way Jesus does power is not the way the world does it! The world uses power, money, and war to promote its agenda. Look at the history of past ruling nations. Jesus says, “not in my kingdom!” In His kingdom, the rulers become the servants.

You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be servants of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45

Jesus will select from the Saints those that have been true servants of His in this life to select and supervise the rulers of nations in His Millennial Kingdom. It will not be a democracy, it is a Kingdom. In the Millennium, His Kingdom will have come just have believers have prayed for ever since Jesus taught us to pray.

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Matthew 6:9-10

Denying oneself, following Jesus, and loving others by living cross-bearing lives and suffering are interrelated. The life that Jesus calls us to is not easy. Suffering will come. Ask the Lord for help so that you may overcome prejudice, hatred, selfishness, pride, and whatever stands in the way of living a cross-bearing life of service for the sake of others. Know that your role in His Millennilal Kingdom will be determined by how you serve Him in this life.

GOD’S GRACE CAN REACH ANY HEART

This story from Voice of the Martyrs is just one of many demonstrating the truth of these words.

It is the story of Sergei Bessarab who was shot to death in a small city called Isfara, where he had planted a church.

Sergei Bessarab became a Christian in prison as a result of another man also named Sergei who had prayed for Bessarab’s salvation. The two men had met in prison while Bessarab was serving time for his criminal activities.

In prison, Sergei prayed every day that Bessarab would come to Christ. But Bessarab was less than grateful for his friend’s concern. “Don’t waste time praying for me,” Bessarab told him.

Sergei remained steadfast in prayer, however, and Bessarab did eventually bend his knee to Christ. This should be a lesson for all of us. Keep praying, particularly for family members and loved ones. The former criminal became a bold witness for his Saviour both inside the prison walls and, after his release, as a pastor on the outside. In addition, he made frequent return visits to the prison to share the gospel with inmates.

Soon after, Bessarab and his wife Tamara moved to Isfara and planted a church, which began to grow as Muslims turned to Christ, a headline in the local paper asked the pointed question, “What’s Going to Be Done About Sergei Bessarab?”

Picture of a man playing the guitar
Sergei Bessasab strumming his gutar in worship

On Jan. 20, 2004, the son of a local mosque leader answered the question, shooting and killing Bessarab as he strummed his guitar during his nightly time of worship, Scripture reading, and prayer.

When the young man who killed Bessarab was convicted and sent to prison, Christians were waiting there to meet him. In God’s amazing providence, the killer was eventually assigned to a cell with a Christian prisoner who had been led to Christ and discipled by Bessarab!

And over time, the mosque leader’s son became Bessarab’s spiritual grandson, placing his trust in Christ.

Think about it, Bessarab was once a convicted criminal. Many would have written him off spiritually. His killer, a Muslim was also far from God, and some may have written him off as well. But God’s grace can reach any heart.

Picture the final chapter of this story: Pastor Sergei Bessarab stands worshiping before God’s throne with the man who ended his life on earth and perhaps the two may be working together on this earth again during Jesus’ soon coming Millennial Kingdom.

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.Revelation 20:6