Risen from the Dust
The millennium will be a unique time, unlike any other, because all of the souls who have ever lived will once again populate the earth (see ch.24 Millennium People). The millennium will be different from the eternity, because the evil and depraved ones will still be in the world. However, it will also be different from the times we are in now, because the error and treachery of their ways will be revealed to all. So the millennium is a transitional period between the present time of worldly darkness, and the coming eternity of righteousness in God's Kingdom.
When Christ returns, and the morning overtakes the night, he will see to it that the unrighteous are cast down and disgraced, but also that those who have hungered and thirsted for righteousness are filled, "And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine" (Isaiah 49.26 KJV bible), "Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed" (Isaiah 65.13 KJV bible). Justice and retribution are distinguishing features of millennium prophecy, and it will be a time when the humble and righteous are exalted, but the wicked are trodden down into the dust.
At this time, God's servants will no longer be reviled on behalf of his Word, but rather the nations will recognize them as forces for righteousness in the world, "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth" (Isaiah 25.8 KJV bible), "for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD" (Zephaniah 3.20 KJV bible). When the millennium starts, never again will an arrogant rock star or despicable celebrity be beloved and celebrated, but instead the righteous and humble will be exalted.
Throughout the millennium, God will cause his people to rule over their enemies, and to plunder those who have plundered them, "But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them" (Isaiah 11.14 KJV bible), "Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah... the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them" (Zephaniah 2.9 KJV bible). During this time, God's elect will become the possessors and overseers of the nations.
In the millennium, the Lord will give to his people glory, power, strength, and authority which they will wield to serve him. Because of their faithfulness they will possess the nations, and the nations will seek to serve them throughout the millennium, "The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee" (Isaiah 45.14 KJV bible), "And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers" (Isaiah 61.5 KJV bible). Instead of continual antagonism, the multitudes will offer support unto the true priesthood, "men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves" (Isaiah 61.6 KJV bible).
During the millennium, the nations (unbelievers) will humble themselves. They will bring forth their riches and praise unto Zion, in order to stave off the Lord's wrath, "Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee" (Isaiah 60.5 KJV bible), "Foreigners will build up your walls, And their kings will minister to you...So that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, With their kings led in procession. For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish" (Isaiah 60.10-12 NASB bible). Instead of scorn and contempt, the nations will give praise and honor to those who heeded the calling of Christ, and became points of light in this age of darkness and lies. The true servants of Christ will inherit the earth, and reign over it as they continue their work throughout the millennium; teaching and leading others in the path of righteousness.
The ultimate purpose of the millennium is not to tear down, destroy, and disgrace unbelievers, but rather to correct and restore as many of them as possible prior to the second resurrection. On the Day of the Lord, the veracity of Jesus Christ and the holy scriptures will be manifested to the entire world in great power and intensity, leaving little doubt in anyone's mind as to whether or not the bible is true. As a result, the nations will no longer be in a state of continual confusion about the purpose and meaning of life, but will instead be able to distinguish and choose between the holy and profane.
On the Day of the Lord, God's wrath will be a torrent that washes away the vanities and delusions of the multitudes. Then, during the millennium, many will have the opportunity to rebuild their lives upon him as an enduring foundation, "And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off...They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine" (Isaiah 29.18-20,24 KJV bible). Many of the ones who have erred in spirit will come to understanding during the millennium period.
So the purpose of the millennium is not only to tear down, but also to build up. It will be a time when the healing of the nations can begin to take place, from the many wounds afflicted at Christ's return, "I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs...And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight" (Isaiah 42.15-16 KJV bible), "For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder" (Zephaniah 3.9 NASB bible). The nations will be lead upon paths they have not known, and the Lord will turn the darkness before them to light.
In the millennium, the nations will have the fear of God put into them, and being absolved of their own foolish pride, they will be willing to subject themselves unto his servants. Their souls will be drawn to the glory and light of the saints at Jerusalem. From that place, God's elect will instruct and guide them in the ways of righteousness, "For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising" (Isaiah 60.2-3 KJV bible), "And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name" (Isaiah 62.2 KJV bible). The Lord will unveil the brightness and glory of his true servants. Then the nations will turn to them for instruction in the way of life and peace.
During the millennium, the devil will be stripped of his power and locked in the Abyss, (see ch.20 Resurrection at Christ's Return). Also, the false prophets and deceivers who lead people astray will be exposed as frauds and trodden down. These stumbling blocks that work to repel and disrupt God's children from the righteous path of Christ will be permanently removed, "I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked" (Zephaniah 1.3 KJV bible), "For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill...And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust" (Isaiah 25.10,12 KJV bible). The king of Moab is an historical type of stumbling block, because he sought to curse the Israelites and prevent them from entering the promised land. Therefore, his removal in the millennium represents the removal of all those who are like him, and follow in his footsteps. The downfall of all these spiritual stumblingblocks will be an important part of bringing the nations into the ways and knowledge of the Lord, throughout the millennium.
When humanity is freed from every type of stumbling block, as well as Satan's lies and the lusts of the flesh, there will be an opportunity and season for true teaching. Unhindered in the pursuit of peace and sanctity, the nations will become receptive to what really matters, "And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem" (Micah 4.2 KJV bible), "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious" (Isaiah 11.9-10 KJV bible).
Out of the sorrows inflicted upon the world by Christ's return, will come an opportunity for the restoration of mankind, not according to the pattern of wickedness set forth by the great deceiver, but according to the pattern of humility and peace found in Christ. No more will the "god of this world" have such great authority over the minds of those who are lost, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2nd Corinthians 4.4 KJV bible). Throughout the millennium, truth and righteousness will take root and spread throughout the world, and these often superficially held virtues will become more fundamental than at any time before.
Yet, despite the correction and opportunity for reconciliation that the millennium will provide, many people will refuse to listen. Even after the truth is revealed, and they are given a clear choice between good and evil, many will still cast their lot with Satan at the end of the millennium, "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them" (Revelation 20.7-9 KJV bible). When Satan is released from the Abyss at the end of the millennium, these indivduals will be deceived and recruited by him to do his bidding. They will go up to the camp of the saints at Jerusalem, not to learn the ways of the Lord, but rather to attack it. Proving themselves to be tares, with no point of righteousness in themselves, they will most certainly be gathered up and cast into Gehenna, which is the Lake of Fire.
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