Millennium, Pt. 2

Today we continue our study into the great millennial period when the saints will be safe from the devil for a thousand years. Hasn’t it been fascinating to follow the simple Bible account of the final events of earthly history? With clear, sharp strokes, God lays bare the final destiny of every person who has ever been born since time began. We establishes scripturally that the thousand years will begin at the second coming of Jesus. At that time the righteous will be resurrected and caught up to meet Jesus in the clouds. The living righteous will also be changed in a moment and caught up to join the resurrected saints and all will then go to heaven to be with Jesus for that thousand year period.

We learned further that the wicked will all be slain at the second coming of Christ. For the first time since creation, the earth will be emptied of its human inhabitants. The righteous are all in heaven and the wicked will all be dead. Isaiah says that the earth will be dark and turned upside down. John the Revelator tells what Satan will be doing at this time and during the thousand years. Bound in a bottomless pit, he will not be able to deceive a single individual during this period. By comparing scripture with scripture we found that the bottomless pit is actually this earth in it chaotic, formless, empty and dark condition.

Today we’re going to find out what will happen at the end of this thousand year period. Our fist text is Revelation 21:2. “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Yes, friends, at the end of this period, all the saints will come right down from heaven in that great heavenly space ship. God will prepare a special landing strip for that city, by the way, right over in the land of old Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives will cleave right in the middle, split right in two, and separate to provide a great, level landing spot for this New Jerusalem when it descends.

Now, let’s look at Zechariah 14:4, 5. “And his feet (that is God) shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem, ... and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south, ... and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.”

Notice that the feet of Christ will actually reach out and touch the earth at this time, at the end of the millennium. His feet did not touch the earth when He came the second time. But now He will actually touch the earth and the Mount of Olives will split right in the middle providing a great level place for the Holy City to descend upon. At the same time the city comes down, the wicked will be raised. Remember we read in Revelations 20:4, “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” So at the end of the thousand years, all the multitudes of the wicked will rise out of their graves and appear on this earth. Read again now in Revelation 20:7, 8, “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.” The second resurrection is the event which releases the devil. He had no one to work on, during the millennium, but as the host of the wicked ones come up out of their graves, Satan goes forth to meet them and to deceive them.

But how does he do that, friend? Someone might say, “Well I thought he already had the wicked people deceived.” Now this is a very interesting study. I’ve tried to think of how Satan will address himself to this multitude of the wicked. Of course, he already had them deceived, but now he convinces them that they can go up and capture the Holy City. This is what we read in the Bible: “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.” There they are-every wicked man and woman who has lived will be in that multitude.

Satan will convince them that they can actually capture the New Jerusalem which has descended. I suppose that Napoleon, Alexander, Hitler, and Stalin will be there. Oh, I’m not sure, of course, but I’m just using these as examples. Maybe some of them repented before death. I don’t know. But surely there will be plenty of great generals and great leaders of armies in the ranks of Satan as he goes up against God. Many of those men died with curses on their lips and now when they’re resurrected they’re still cursing and they’re still in the frame of mind to fight. It won’t be hard for Satan to get them in line and bring them up into the ranks as they prepare to capture the city of God.

Sometimes people ask me, “How long will they fight?” How long will it take them to get ready for that battle? I don’t know, friends, because the Bible is silent here and we do well not to speak for sure about things which the Bible doesn’t explain. But I do know one thing, that the devil won’t try to win by just throwing rocks at that Holy City. He’ll devise, I’m sure, some terrible, devastating weapons to use. He has a mighty, ingenious mind when it comes to preparing instruments of war and violence. No doubt they will get atomic weapons ready. They may even set a D. Day. No doubt they will have their countdown at which time they plan to blast away at the Holy City. From every earthly viewpoint it may seem that the city is doomed. It seems that these explosive, destructive weapons will be able to just shatter those walls of Jasper into smithereens.

But then suddenly God intervenes. In verse 9, He turns His own fiery atomic power loose upon the assembled army of the wicked. Let’s read it now in verse 9: “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire come down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” Can you just picture that in your imagination, friends! All of this great evil host marching up to overcome the New Jerusalem of God. Then suddenly fiery destruction is reigned down upon them and they are devoured. And that in the end of the wicked, by the way. There it is, right here on this earth, when the fire of God descends, the wicked people are burned as they try to overcome that city.

Here’s one of the saddest pictures, I think that we find in the Bible. In describing that Holy City, we read in Revelation 21:11, “ Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” You see, the walls of that city will be like glass. They will be transparent. The wicked can look right through and see everything in the inside of that city. Have you ever thought of some of the sad meetings that will take place by those walls of the New Jerusalem? You talk about the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem or the Great Wall of China, but this wall (wall of Jasper) is going to reveal some of the most heartrending scenes that have ever taken place on this earth.

Oh, friends, I wish I could say it do forcefully today; I wish I could paint this picture so graphically concerning the necessity of getting ready for that day, that every person would want to settle it with God before going to bed tonight! We must know that we have given ourselves completely to the Lord Jesus. Oh I know there are some who would rather hear you say, “Well, let’s not get fanatical.” Let’s not do anything extreme, let’s just wait. Things will take care of themselves. Those very same people who say that will someday be crying out on the other side of the wall and saying, why didn’t somebody tell me? Why didn’t somebody make me do it when I had the opportunity?

I’m amazed sometimes at the way people are influenced by their friends and by the words of those who may be very well-meaning. What comfort will those words be when the friend who speaks them is also on the outside of the wall looking in. Sometimes people are held back by possessions, or jobs, or bank accounts. But what comfort will it be to have a great heaping pile of earthly treasure and still be on the outside looking through the walls. What about the religious leaders and teachers who have comforted people and tried to tell them not to worry about those things-the same religious teachers will also be on the outside.

Oh, friends, this book, the Bible, is where we need to go for our counsel. This is the way that leads us to heaven. Don’t let anybody ever mislead you. Look for the truth right in the word of God. In that day, the Bible says, men are going to throw their gold, silver and idols into the streets to the moles and the bats. Finally, people are going to give up these things that meant so much in this life. If it’s going to come to that finally, why aren’t people ready to do it now? Oh, let me warn you of something, friends, in closing.

If you wait, refusing to make a decision to follow Christ all the way, I can promise you one thing, that someday you’re going to know that the still small voice has pleaded with you for the very last time. The Bible will be closed forever on the pulpit. The pews are going to be completely emptied of all people. Suddenly every man and woman, and child will be called to face God. The busy life in this world will grind to a sudden crashing halt. The jazz will suddenly be turned off. The bright lights will go out into darkness forever. The radio and TV tubes will burn out. No one is going about his business because God is going to intervene and call everyone to account.

The world will be torn by the devastating earthquake we read about in Revelation 16. The sea will be lashed to a fury by the voice of the hurricane. The inhabited islands of this earth will move, turn slightly and drop out of sight. Great mountains will twist and turn and then be thrown out into the plains and disintegrated by the mighty volcanic action of the earth. Dark, angry clouds will fill the sky, clashing against each other. The lightening will reach out from those clouds to envelope this earth in a great sheet of flame. Men, white as ghosts, will run to and fro, hither and yon, seeking for some shelter and they will find none. Then amidst the screams of terror, the great hailstones of God will come crashing down with a sickening thud, making kindling wood out of all the buildings and houses of this earth.

In the midst of all this, there will appear a tiny little spot of glory that will draw nearer and nearer to the earth, getting larger and larger. At first very few will observe it but then as it draws closer, the dazzling light will attract every eye. Men, women, and children are going to look up and behold the glory of Jesus and all the angels. What a solemn moment it will be. For the first time since the flood, there will be no fun-making, no giddy laughter, no levity.

Every mouth will be closed and a solemn spirit will fall upon every heart. Oh, how cheap the dollar is going to look to them. How ridiculous it will seem that men allowed the mockery of friends to hold them back from making that decision. On every side voices are going to be heard crying out, too late! Too late! And those words will echo all around the earth while the redeemed look up and say, “Lo, this is our God. We have waited for Him and He will save us.” Have you made your heart right today? Do it now. Open your heart to Jesus.

Seven Plagues
The Rapture
The Middle East

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