The Millennium – Part 3 – Davidic and New Covenant Fulfillment
God's Plan for the Ages – Dispensations Lesson #32
December 2, 2014
"Father, we are so very grateful that we have this time to come together to focus upon Your Word, to be reminded that history has a purpose, that You have a plan and that there is a future destiny for all of us, especially as Church Age believers. Father, as we continue our study in the future kingdom and Your plan for the kingdom, we pray that You’d help us to understand this as it specifically relates to our eternal destiny, our future as members of the bride of Christ who will rule and reign with Him when He returns to establish His kingdom. Now Father, we pray that You might help us to understand this because it is the motivation, the primary motivation for living our life today as unto You and we pray this in Christ’s Name, Amen."
We’re continuing our study on the Millennial Kingdom, this is the third session that we’ve done going through the Millennium, and I am focusing tonight on the Davidic Covenant and the New Covenant. What we have seen is that in God’s prophetic plan (slide 3) the future is laid out in terms of the end of the Church Age, which ends with the Rapture where we meet the Lord in the air. This is what is known as the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Sometime after the end of the Church Age there is a certain transition period there before the Tribulation begins. There are seven years of Tribulation. This fits within Daniel’s panorama of the last 490 years that were decreed by God for Israel. The cutting off of the Messiah happened seven years prior to the end of that 490-year period. There is a pause in God’s timetable between the 483rd year and the 484th year until the 490th year. Those are the last seven years.
We have the Rapture and then the Tribulation. The Tribulation ends with the Second Coming of Christ to the earth, and then we have the judgments that occur at the end of the Tribulation, which includes the judgment of the Antichrist, the false prophet, the judgment of Satan and the demons, where they are cast into the Abyss before Satan is released at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, and then we have this 1,000 years of the Kingdom of the Messiah, where the Old Testament (OT) prophecies and the OT covenants are fulfilled.
Just by way of review (slide 4) the word “millennium,” which we use to refer to this is taken from the Latin word mille, which means a “thousand” and it is used to refer to this thousand-year reign of Christ. The Greek word for “thousand” was CHILIOI, and the early church referred to those who believed Christ would return before this kingdom was established were called CHILIASTS. CHILIASTISM dominated the theology of the early church for at least the first 200 years. It was only as a result of the advent of allegorical or non-literal interpretation that people began to shift away from a Premillennial view or CHILIASM. That began primarily with a church father by the name of Origen, and it became established as orthodoxy by Augustine, who was the Bishop of Hippo. This occurred in the late 4th century.
So basically, from the end of the 4th century until you get into the 1500s the church as it is known in those times, there is only one church, you don’t have a fragmentation. It is what we would refer to as protestants, the Roman Catholic Church, but Roman Catholicism per se doesn’t actually develop; it progressively comes in. It doesn’t actively become what we think of as Roman Catholicism until somewhere around A.D. 600–800. But what dominates from about A.D. 390-400, somewhere in there, until A.D. 1500-1550, so for 1100 to 1200 years everybody is thinking within this allegorical framework. Everybody is thinking that the kingdom is a spiritual kingdom where Christ is ruling in absentia in heaven.
So this non-literal way of interpreting Scripture dominates, so nobody is developing any biblical theology based on a literal interpretation of prophecy. In fact, premillennialism is a heresy punishable by being burned at the stake. Nobody is thinking or developing a premillennial theology or dispensational view or anything like that even though there are people during this era that do hold to these views, especially in the early part. There’s clearly evidence of this historically. You have people such as Pseudo-Ephraem. He’s called that because he wrote under a pseudonym of an earlier church father. He clearly believed that the Rapture of the saints would occur prior to this final period of Tribulation that would come upon the earth. Now he had a short Tribulation. He did not have a seven-year Tribulation, but he is not mid-Trib because he didn’t have a seven-year Tribulation with Jesus returning in the middle of that period. He just saw the Tribulation as a three-and-a-half-year period. He definitely saw the Rapture as coming before.
One reason I point that out is because you will consistently hear people who come up with this very tired critique of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. They say John Nelson Darby invented this in the 1830s. Nobody before John Nelson Darby ever taught this and that is just erroneous. In fact, there is a video that is going to be released sometime in January put out by some group of theologians attacking the Pre-Trib Rapture. This is one of the things they are bringing out. It is that the Rapture wasn’t invented until Darby. Darby got it from an ecstatic utterance from a young girl named Margaret MacDonald who had this ecstatic utterance in a meeting of Irvingites, which is sort of an early form of the charismatic movement in the 1830s in England. It is all just garbage. It is all lies and it just shows that the opponents of truth, whether we are talking about political truth, whether we are talking about theological truth, the opponents of truth always have to manufacture lies against their opponents and that is exactly what this is.
You know for a thousand years what dominated was this Amillennial view. This is a chart (slide 5) on Amillennialism. We covered Amillennialism and the belief that there was no literal earthly kingdom. That a thousand was merely a symbolic number and that the kingdom is spiritual, Christ reigns from His throne in heaven and it is coterminous or simultaneous with the Church Age, and it ends with the Second Coming of Christ when all judgment takes place and then we go into eternity. Amillennialism continued to dominate in Lutheranism and in Calvinism and it still dominates; although in Calvinism you have the rise of another movement called Postmillennialism (slide 6) that developed in the 1600s. And this was idea that the church through the Holy Spirit would expand exponentially on the earth until it brought in the kingdom and then Jesus would return after the kingdom was established. So Postmillennialism means Jesus comes after the Millennium is over, but again it is not a literal thousand-year reign. A “thousand” is still taken in a symbolic manner.
Those who believe (slide 7) in a literal, historical, grammatical interpretation of the Bible hold to Premillennialism based on Revelation 20:1-6 and the many references there to a “thousand.” So why do we believe in a Premillennial view? Well as I pointed out in the previous lessons:
1. (Slide 8) First of all because there are unfulfilled eternal covenants that God has made with Israel.
They need to be fulfilled. He has promised them a land. He has promised them an eternal king and kingdom, and He has promised them certain spiritual realities in the New Covenant. None of these have come to pass yet.
2. There have been specific promises about the Messiah.
Only about a third of the Messianic predictions have been fulfilled. Only about a third because they relate to the suffering Messiah not the reigning, glorified Messiah. One of the failures in Jewish theology is to make a distinction between the suffering Messiah and the reigning Messiah. This was the problem when Jesus came at the First Advent. It was that the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the religious thought of that day, expected a reigning, conquering Messiah rather than a suffering Messiah. They didn't realized that the cross had to come before the crown, not the other way around. So the promises, the predictions about the glorious rule and reign of the Messiah have yet to be fulfilled. That is a second reason we believe in a future Jewish kingdom.
3. And a third reason is that when we study the passages on the Kingdom, that is shows that the nature, the character of the Kingdom is essentially Jewish. It is centered in Jerusalem. There is a temple in Jerusalem, and that all the nations in the world will flock to Jerusalem and the temple in Jerusalem as a focal point of the spiritual life in the Millennial Kingdom.
Now this chart (slide 9) shows the basis of what we’ve been looking at in the previous lessons, and that is that in the OT promises that were made and these promises have yet to be fulfilled. We insert the chart of the dispensations, and we see that it was at the very beginning of his time period in Genesis 12-18 that God gave the foundational covenant to Abraham. There were three aspects to that, which everybody should know and be able to say in their sleep, and that is: land, seed and blessing. The land aspect was expanded in the real estate or land covenant in Deuteronomy 29, and this is not truly fulfilled until the Millennial Kingdom when Israel will be brought back to the land and that is what we’ve studied in the previous lessons. It is all of the predictions in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and in many of the Minor Prophets, where God says that He will bring His people back from their being scattered to the four corners of the earth. They’ll be restored to the land that God promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And for the first time in history they will fully conquer the land that God gave them.
The second covenant is the Davidic Covenant, the promise that one of David’s descendents would sit on an eternal throne and rule from Jerusalem, a literal throne from a literal geographical location. This is the Davidic Covenant. It is not fulfilled until Jesus returns to establish His kingdom and then at the same time the New Covenant is established and it is with that New Covenant that is with Israel and Judah. It is not with the church. We do not participate in the New Covenant as a covenant partner. We are identified with Christ. I believe that part of the way in which we benefit from the blessings of the New Covenant is through our identification with Christ on that side of the covenant, but also because just as Gentiles throughout history have been blessed by the covenant God made with Abraham. God is the party of the first part; Abraham is the party of the second part; and God says to Abraham, because of this contract that I am establishing with you I will bless all the nations.
So worldwide blessing to all the nations of the Gentiles is part of that legal contract that God made with Abraham. The New Covenant expands upon that and in the New Covenant God makes a contract with Israel and He says on the basis of that there is going to be worldwide blessing. So the New Covenant establishes that.
1. (Slide 10) The Abrahamic Covenant stipulated a specific piece of real estate. We’ve studied through that and Genesis 13:14-17 identifies that as from the river of Egypt.
In the last lesson I went through the biblical reasons why that’s not the Nile. In fact, I found in going through some slides that I had, when I was preparing some of the lessons for our trip to Israel, a really great slide of the Nile, which shows that on that eastern most tributary of the Nile, there is one of the rivers that is sometimes identified as the river of Egypt. That river was actually west of the Bitter Lakes and these other lakes that existed above the Red Sea. Goshen was located between these upper tributaries of the Nile, but they were still west of the areas above the Red Sea. If they were there, this would impact how you understand the borders of Egypt, but the language is very clear that the Wadi El Arish is really that river of Egypt that is spoken of there. So from the River of Egypt all the way to the Euphrates and we will see a map of that a little later on, that that is a specific piece of real estate.
2. The Land Covenant promises a regathering of Israel to the land in Deuteronomy 29.
3. We saw the reestablishment of the throne of David. We started working on that and that is where we are right now.
The second major thing that we are looking at:
1. We looked at the land promise.
2. (Slide 11) We are looking at God’s promise to David in the Davidic Covenant.
a. He promised to reestablish the throne of David. The key passages for that are the passages for the Davidic Covenant: 2 Samuel 7:11-16; 1 Chronicles 17:10-14, which we covered earlier in the series.
b. Then there is a reconfirmation of that covenant that is given in Psalm 89. Psalm 89 is a meditation on the Davidic Covenant and shows the reaffirmation of that particular covenant. It is also the basis for other passages such as: Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 16:5; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Jeremiah 33:14-26; Amos 9:11-12; and we are going to look at a couple of those passages in a minute.
Here is a graphic on the Davidic Covenant (slide 12) giving the key passages for the covenant and focusing on the three elements that God promised. An eternal house, which basically means a dynasty, that David would found a dynasty in his family. The dynasty of Saul is cut off. Now we are going to get into all that, which is fascinating, when we begin our study in a few weeks of 1 Samuel. So we have the eternal house and then God promised an eternal kingdom. This eternal dynasty is going to rule over an eternal kingdom according to 2 Samuel 7:12c and 1 Chronicles 17:14. And there will be an eternal throne (2 Samuel 7:13b; 1 Chronicles 17:12b-14.) Now if the One who rules is going to be eternal then that indicates deity. He is eternal. So this embedded within the Davidic Covenant is a hint that the One who fulfills the covenant is not just a human descendent of David, but He also has divine attributes.
Now let’s just look at a few of these passages. Many of these are familiar and as we go through the different covenant fulfillments we’ll see that there is an overlap in the passages. So I just want to point some of these phrases out to you in these verses without going through every single verse to show and just to emphasize how many times in Scripture we see references to the fulfillment of these covenants. It is Christmas month; it is December (slide 13). We celebrate Christmas in about three weeks. So we’ll be quoting this passage a lot and it is the background for a number of hymns. “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;” this clearly indicates that the Messiah is going to be human. He is given birth to. There is a human nature that is part of the person of the Messiah. Further we are told, “the government will rest on His shoulders;” that is the point we are making here.
The Davidic Covenant is fulfilled in One who “rules” over this kingdom, “the government will rest on His shoulders.” And among His names we see that He is this One who is born as a child. He will be called “Mighty God” and the “Father of Eternity.” That phase “Eternal Father” is not the best translation. The way it is set up in the Hebrew it means “Father of Eternity,” which means that He is someone who is eternal. It is describing an attribute. It is not saying that He is the Father. It is saying that He is the Father of Eternity or that He is eternal in and of Himself. Then in Isaiah 9:7 there is going to be no end to the increase of His government. It’s eternal, that eternal throne, eternal dynasty, eternal kingdom. “On the throne of David and over His kingdom.” So there it is a direct statement that the child who is born will sit on the throne of David and rule over the Davidic kingdom.
I want you to note as we go through these that again and again these passages characterize His rule. And again and again we’ll see something about justice and righteousness; that when He establishes His kingdom it is characterized by perfect justice and perfect righteousness. A few chapters later Isaiah says in Isaiah 16:5 (slide 14) a throne will even be established in lovingkindness. A throne indicates “rule.” “A judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David.” So the “tent of David” refers to the dynasty of David describing it like a household with the phrase “tent.” Later on we will see it referred to as a “booth”, that the “booth of David” so it is the same thing. It is referring to that dynasty of the household, the descendents of David. The One who sits on the throne will seek justice and promote righteousness. So we see that emphasis again.
In Jeremiah 23:5-6 (slide 15) we read “the days are coming when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch.” This indicates a descendent of David. The concept of “Branch” indicates that it is something that comes. The imagery that is used in the Scripture is that there’s this “stump of Jesse.” Jesse was David’s father. There is this stump that is cut down and that refers to the destruction of the kingdom in 586 BC and roughly the end of the line of the descendents of David. What it appears to be is that it ends, but there is going to be a shoot or a Branch that comes out from that stump and this is a reference to the Messiah and that He is called “a righteous Branch;” “and He will reign as king.” What’s He going to do? He is going to perform righteousness and justice. Again and again we see this same thing showing up. Isn’t that interesting?
Jeremiah 33:14-15 (slide 16) again, “days are coming,” so it is set in the future. God is predicting what will take place. “Days are coming when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken.” To whom? To “the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” This relates to promises God made to Judah. This does not include the Gentiles. This is a focal point on Israel and has not yet been fulfilled. So for God to be God He has to fulfill this at some point in the future. He says in Jeremiah 33:15 “In those days and at that time, I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He will execute righteousness and justice upon the earth.” He is the righteous Branch again. That has not yet happened.
He goes on to say in Jeremiah 33:17 (slide 17) “David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel.” So there is this descendent who is going to sit on the throne forever and ever. Ezekiel (slide 18) has similar language and in Ezekiel 34:23 "My servant David will feed them and be their shepherd. He will rule over them." This isn’t an illusion to Christ as the Greater Son of David because the Messiah will rule over all the nations, but David, resurrected, will rule over Israel in the Millennial Kingdom.
Ezekiel 34:24 “I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them.” So if we are going to interpret this literally this isn’t some sort of allegorical reference to the Messiah, to Jesus; this is a reference to David. Ezekiel 37:24 (slide 19) “My servant David will be king over them.” Ezekiel 37:25 “David My servant will be their prince forever.” So this indicates that the Lord Jesus Christ rules over the earth, rules over the Messianic Kingdom, and then the one who rules over Israel, per se, is going to be David.
Hosea 3:5 (slide 20) reiterates the same principle, “Afterward the sons of Israel will return” that is the land promise, “and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.” That addresses the spiritual life of Israel. Amos 9:11-12 (slide 21) the passage I mentioned earlier, uses the phrase “the fallen booth of David.” The Davidic dynasty appeared to have been ended with the destruction of the temple in 586 BC, even though Zerubbabel was a member of the house of David, his line died out after the return from Babylon. It never really established itself as a kingdom again. So God says He will raise up, in the future, the fallen booth of David. He uses imagery there related to the fact that it is going to be restored in the kingdom.
What we’ve seen so far is the Abrahamic Covenant lays the foundation for everything with a promise of a future land, a future worldwide blessing through the seed, and this worldwide blessing culminates ultimately in the kingdom. This is developed between these different covenants, the Land Covenant, the Seed Covenant, and now the New Covenant. This is really interesting (slide 22). It is difficult for a lot of people to interpret the New Covenant. When I covered the New Covenant there were some good questions asked. The New Covenant speaks of the regeneration of Israel (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
Now this raises a lot of questions for people and I am hoping I can answer some of those tonight as we look at this. What the New Covenant tells us, looking at the New Covenant passages, Jeremiah 31:31-34, and some of the other passages that talk about this everlasting covenant is that this covenant is established with Israel at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. Jesus Christ returns to the earth. He defeats the armies of the Antichrist. He sends the Antichrist and the False Prophet to the Lake of Fire. He confines Satan and the demons to the Abyss. There’s the judgment of the surviving Gentiles. There’s the judgment of the surviving Jews. That is also referred to as the sheep and the goat judgment; and who goes into the Millennial Kingdom? Do any unbelievers go into the Millennial Kingdom? Not a single unbeliever.
So at that moment in time in the future Jesus Christ has returned to the earth. He has vanquished His enemies, removed them from the earth, the only living human beings are going to be people who are already believers in Jesus Christ, Jesus as the Messiah. Okay? Not a single unbeliever in their midst. That is going to solve the question that many of you have asked about these passages that seem to indicate that God overrides their volition. Because when this New Covenant is established they’ve already chosen salvation. He is not overriding anybody’s volition. He is talking about what He is going to do for those people who are already saved, who are alive in their mortal bodies, who are going to be going into the Millennial Kingdom. Now they have a problem and that is that they still have a sin nature. But God is going to do something remarkable for the Jews. This doesn’t apply to Gentiles, but it applies to Israel. I don’t understand how all of this takes place because it is very difficult to look forward to a new environment and fully comprehend it. Just as it was difficult for many people in the OT to really understand what would take place in terms of salvation.
What we see is that under the New Covenant, as we look at these passages (slide 22). There will be new aspects, new features, and new characteristics of regeneration that come into reality. They’re not part of our regeneration experience, but they will be part of the regenerative experience of Jews under the New Covenant in the Millennial Kingdom, but not necessarily for Israel, so that is because the covenant is made with who? The house of Israel and the house of Judah. So we look at passages like Jeremiah 24:7 (slide 23). God says, “And I will give them a heart to know Me.” Now are they already saved? Yes, they are already saved. This is part of their sanctification. Now in every dispensation there are different features of sanctification. Sanctification in the Church Age is very, very different from sanctification in the OT. Many of us have trouble reading the OT and really coming to grips with the kind of sanctification they have in the OT.
Just imagine what it would be like if somebody was an OT believer and they read Paul or they read Peter in the New Testament (NT)? And how difficult it would be for them to fathom having a spiritual life based on the indwelling and filling and walking with God the Holy Spirit and to have a completed salvation? And to be baptized into Christ where the sin nature is no longer a tyrant on their soul? They could not comprehend that. It would be completely different from anything that they experienced. So God says that in this future time He’s going to give these already regenerate people. They have already trusted in Jesus as Messiah. He is going to give them a heart to know Him. This is phase two. This isn’t phase one. He says (slide 23), “for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.” It is talking about the fact that they have returned already.
Then we look at passages like (slide 24) Jeremiah 50:19-20; and God says here “I shall bring Israel back to his pasture.” What covenant does that describe? That’s the Land Covenant. I am going to restore all of Israel back to the land that I promised. “I shall bring Israel back to his pasture, and he will graze on Carmel and Bashan.” Bashan is where? It is the Golan Heights. “And his desire will be satisfied in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead.” Ephraim is in Samaria. Ephraim was one of two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, and Ephraim is often used as a term representing all of the Northern Kingdom. That is important for a passage we are going to look at in just a minute. Ephraim and Gilead, what he is saying is that He is going to bring Israel back and restore them to the land.
“In those days and at that time,” declares the LORD, “a search will be made for the iniquity of Israel.” We are not going any sin in Israel because they are going to be obedient. “A search will be made for the iniquity of Israel, but there will be none.” None! Wait a minute, don’t these mortals have sin natures? Sure, but the sin of Israel was what? Idolatry, a rejection of God, a seeking after other gods. That’s the sin that is referred to here. That is the great sin of Israel and there will be none. He says, “for the sins of Judah, but none will be found; for I shall pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.” You don’t find what is not there because it’s been wiped out by the payment for sin at the cross. So there will be a pardon for those who have entered into the Millennial Kingdom. Their sins have been wiped out just as ours have been wiped out positionally by the death of Christ.
Then we get into Ezekiel 11:19-20 (slide 25). God says, “And I shall give them one heart.” This is mentioned in Jeremiah 24:7 already. It is mentioned in Ezekiel, “I shall give them one heart and shall put a new spirit within them.” They are already regenerate. So this is describing a new feature of their regenerate sanctification for the Millennial Kingdom. “I will put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them.” That is phase two in the Millennial Kingdom. “Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.”
Again this is stated in Ezekiel 36:24-25 (slide 26), “I will take you form the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land,” fulfillment of the Land Covenant. “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean.” Are they already justified? Yes, they are already justified. So this is related to their phase two sanctification in the Millennial Kingdom under the New Covenant. “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.” This is bringing in that aspect that the great sin of Israel was idolatry and violating the first two commandments of the Ten Commandments, “You shall have no other gods before Me and you shall make no graven images.”
In Ezekiel 36:26-28 (slide 27) God says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.” So there is some new dimension here that is beyond our comprehension and our understanding. There is something new that takes place that changes their relationship to the sin nature. “I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” So this relates to phase two sanctification, not phase one. “You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people and I will be your God.”
Then we come to Ezekiel 20:40 (slide 28) “For on My holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel,” “there the whole house of Israel, all of them.” See, that doesn’t drop anybody. “All of them” means without exception. Now we don’t comprehend how this will be, but apparently, what I would say, is that the history of discipline upon Israel has been so severe and the Tribulation trauma so profound, that no one is going to reject God; no Israelite is going to reject God or reject the truth during the Tribulation. “All, the whole house of Israel, all of them.” Notice the repetition there. He doesn’t say the whole house of Israel, some of them. He is not just stating this totality one time. He makes it clear through repetition that “all” will serve in the land. “There I will accept them, and there I will seek your contributions and the choices of your gifts with all your holy things.” In Ezekiel 37:14 (slide 29), “And I will put My Spirit within you, and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it.”
I want to talk just briefly about Ezekiel 37, but not here. I will get to it in a coming point. Let’s talk about the transition to the Millennium (slide 30). The transition to the Millennium is described in Revelation 19:17-19 (slide 31). At the end, after the battle, the Campaign of Armageddon is concluded, after the Lord Jesus Christ has defeated the armies of the Antichrist, after He has rescued the believers who are in Jerusalem, after the Mount of Olives has split between north and south, so that an escape route opened up into the Judean desert toward the Dead Sea, after all of that has taken place John says, “I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God.” This is to feast upon the carrion of all the dead from the Campaign of Armageddon.
Revelation 19:18-19, “In order that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, small and great. And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army.” This is the end of the Campaign of Armageddon, and then there is going to be the judgment on the Antichrist, judgment on the False Prophet. They are sent to the Lake of Fire.
Now, we get a transition period here that covers the endpoint of the Tribulation. This confuses some people so we have a little graphic here (slide 32) for everybody. The key verses here are understanding Daniel 12:11, “from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished.” When is the regular sacrifice abolished in the Tribulation period? Midpoint, halfway through the Antichrist ends the daily sacrifice and this is when the abomination of desolation takes place. So from that point until the end there is going to be 1,290 days. But the Tribulation period is divided into basically two parts: 3½ years each, 1,260 days. So 1,290 days takes us 30 days beyond the end of the Tribulation, the battle of Armageddon and the return of Christ. Then Daniel 12:12 says, “How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!” So that takes us beyond by another 45 days. So what is going on during this 75-day interval? 1,290 minus 1,260 is 30 and then you have the other 45 days mentioned in Daniel 12:12. So that gives you 75 days.
So we’ll look at the 75 day interval (slide 33). In the Tribulation period we have that 70th week, one week, which is seven years divided into two 1,260-day periods. Now if we start counting from the midpoint, the time of the abomination of desolation, then we have 1,260 days until the Second Coming. Then there is going to be a cleansing of the temple. That is going to take place 30 days from the 1,260 days until the temple is cleansed, which is the 1,290th day. That is what Daniel 12:11 refers to; from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. That’s related to the cleansing of the temple.
Then we have the judgment of the nations in that last 45 days. That culminates at 1,335 days. So there, that puts the last period in there. So that is our 75-day interval. The purpose is to cleanse the temple during the first 30 days, and then the judgment of the nations, the sheep and the goat judgment takes place during the next 45 days. So anyone who survives the 1,335th day is those who are going to go into the Millennial Kingdom.
That is why Daniel 12:12 says (slide 34) “How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!” Because he is the one who is going to enter into the 1,000-year reign of Christ. Any questions on that?
Question: Do unbelievers have the opportunity to accept Christ? Answer: No.
Question: It is done for them? Answer: Yes.
So this is for the cleansing of the temple and then the judgment on the sheep and the goats takes place during the last 45 days. By the end of the Campaign of Armageddon that’s it, no more options.
Question: Are they there?
Answer: I don’t know where they are going to be. They have been removed and they are in a holding place and it doesn’t address it anywhere in Scripture and I am not sure. Any other questions?
Question: What does that mean, “unless the time has been shortened?”
Answer: That is not in this passage. That is in Matthew 24. I believe that is a figure of speech where Jesus is emphasizing there that what ends the Campaign of Armageddon is that He interrupts everything by returning. And if He didn’t interrupt everything at that point and it had gone on, then mankind would’ve completely obliterated itself.
Now I have one other slide here I want to run through just to kind of put things together at the end (slide 35). At the end there are eight judgments and five resurrections. So we have the Church Age ends with the Rapture and this is the first judgment that occurs after the Rapture, which is the BEMA Seat, the judgment seat of Christ, when all Church Age believers are evaluated in terms of their rewards and their future rule and reign in the Kingdom of God. This doesn’t decide their future destiny, Heaven or the Lake of Fire, rather it decides their role in the future. That is the first judgment, the judgment seat of Christ. That happens, I believe, before the Tribulation begins. It doesn’t take long because we’re not bound by a human chronology or chronometer. We are going to be in Heaven. It may appear to us to last a long time, but in reference to human time it would just take place very quickly.
If you remember from the Revelation series, in Revelation 4-5 there is the presence of the 24 elders. I believe the 24 elders are representatives of the church in Heaven. They are performing a representative function in the worship in the throne of God in Heaven. They have received, at the very beginning of Revelation 4, they have received their crowns. They have STEPHANOS crowns not DIADEMAS crowns. STEPHANOS crowns are crowns related to rewards. DIADEMAS crowns are crowns related to rule. So they received their rewards and they cast their STEPHANOS crowns before the throne of God. That indicates that they’ve, the church, is already raptured and rewarded by that time, by Revelation 4. So the Rapture occurs and then the BEMA Seat takes place very rapidly, and then we have the Tribulation. This is called the First Resurrection, which involves the First Fruits, which is the Lord Jesus Christ.
The second aspect of it is the Rapture, then you have the two witnesses that are resurrected at the midpoint of the Tribulation, and then OT saints are resurrected at the end of the Tribulation. So that is just treated as one resurrection. Then you have the second judgment, which is the sheep and the goat judgment. Then you have the Antichrist sent to the Lake of Fire. That’s the third judgment. The False Prophet goes to the Lake of Fire; that’s the fourth judgment. Surviving Gentiles, that is the fifth judgment. Surviving Jews, that’s the sixth judgment; and then the OT and Tribulation saints are evaluated. We get that from Daniel 12:1. So those are your eight judgments that all take place. This series of judgments takes place during that 45-day period during the transition from the Tribulation to the establishment of the Kingdom.
Then the Millennial Kingdom begins and this will last for 1,000 years. And you have a second resurrection of the unsaved; this takes place at the end of the Millennial Kingdom with the great white throne judgment. Technically this gives us five resurrections: Christ, the Rapture of the Church Age believers, the two witnesses, OT saints, and then the second resurrection of the unsaved at the great white throne judgment. The unsaved dead are evaluated and then Satan is sent to the Lake of Fire. He’s been in the Abyss during the Millennial Kingdom and then he is released at the end where he foments a rebellion and then he is judged and now dispatched to the Lake of Fire.
That brings us to the last basic topic. I don’t think we will get it all covered tonight since we only have about six or seven minutes left. But we have the characteristics of the Millennial Kingdom. It is important to understand this is as different as the period before the Flood. It is almost as if there is a rollback of the curse; not completely, but to some degree. One of the results of the curse was, of course, hostility within the animal kingdom. I don’t think that happened instantly, but it certainly is at play after the Noahic Flood. Now we are going to see that the lamb will lie down with the wolf. That scenario hasn’t taken place since at least the Flood, probably not since the Fall. So there are going to be certain aspects of the curse that are rolled back during the Millennium period and are not going to be in effect anymore. So it is not going to be perfect environment like the Garden of Eden, but it is not going to be as cursed as the period after the Fall and certainly not as cursed as the period after the Flood, which is the timeframe in which we live. So it is going to be a different kind of environment.
1. The first thing that we see is that when we talk about the kingdom it is really the first phase of two phases in relation to the Kingdom. It is the 1,000-year reign of Christ upon the earth that ends with the great white throne judgment, and then with the destruction of the present heavens and new earth and the creation of a new heavens and new earth, which goes into eternity.
a. Phase 1 of the kingdom is the Messianic or Millennial Kingdom.
b. Phase 2 is the eternal state; and that is described in Revelation 21-22.
2. Purposes (slide 38): what is the purpose for the Millennial Kingdom. This is really important to understand.
a. First of all, the one purpose is to fulfill God’s promises to Israel.
God has not forgotten Israel. God has not gone back on His promises. God, in order to establish His integrity, is going to fulfill every promise He has made to Israel. Those will be fulfilled in the future. Jesus alluded to this several times in His ministry, talking about the fact that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were still alive as OT saints and that they would have a future, where they would be resurrected and receive the promises of God that were never given to them during their lifetime.
b. A second purpose is that it demonstrates that God alone can rule His creation.
This is the ultimate issue in the angelic conflict taking us all the way back to beginning of our study of God’s Plan for the Ages. When Satan fell, the cause of his fall was his arrogance. He wanted to do what only God could do. He wanted to be thought of as God. This is Isaiah 14:12-14, the five “I wills” of Satan. He wanted to be able to rule the creation. But only God is omniscient and omnipotent; and only an omniscient-omnipotent Creator can rule His creation. What Satan is seeing in his attempt to rule is that he can’t control ten billion volitions. Ten billion people who want to be God themselves and rule everything; and so all of the chaos, all of the wars, all of the famines, all of the conflicts that we see in human history simply demonstrate that Satan cannot rule creation. It is impossible. Every time there are these failures, it is an indication that Satan is a failure. He can’t rule his creation. He may be temporarily the prince and the power of the air, but he can’t run things. Everything he does is destroyed.
So the Millennial Kingdom teaches that only God can rule His creation; man can’t. Even under the perfect environment of the Millennial Kingdom with Satan taken off of the scene, things still fall apart because individuals will be born with their own volition and they will choose to go against God.
c. This is the third purpose; the Millennial Kingdom demonstrates that it is sin and volition, not environment, that is the cause of failure.
It is not which political party rules; it is not education; it’s not economics that cause the breakdown of society because economics will be perfect and politics will be perfect. Government will be perfect. The judicial system will be perfect. The education system will be perfect. People can’t blame anything other than their own bad decisions; and so the Millennial Kingdom is sort of the crowning argument on the fact that the reason things are screwed up for mankind is because they make bad decisions and they bring about the consequences.
3. A third thing (slide 39) that we see is the description of the government:
As John depicts in Revelation 20:4, he says, “I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them.” This is the Church Age believers and at the end of the verse: “They lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” We will rule and reign with Him and we are going to be responsible for the government of the world.
We see this also in Revelation 20:6 we “shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” This is another verse that relates to the priesthood of the Church Age believer. So we see (slide 40) that Jesus is going to reign as King from the throne of David in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. Now there is a series of verses there: Psalm 2:1-9, which is the central passage; Isaiah 9:6-7, we’ve looked at that already; Isaiah 11:1-2; Isaiah 55:3; Isaiah 55:11; Jeremiah 23:5-8; Jeremiah 33:20-26; Ezekiel 34:23-25; Ezekiel 37:23-24; and Luke 1:32-33.
Now the only two that I am going to reference are Psalm 2 and Luke 1 because we’ve looked at these others related to all the promises related to the “Branch of David”, “the house of David”, “the fallen booth of David”, all of those indicate that the Messiah is going to rule. But I haven’t looked at Psalm 2 (slide 41). In Psalm 2:6 God says, “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.” Zion is a synonym for Jerusalem. So God is going to establish His King over Jerusalem. The (slide 42) nature of that rule is described in Psalm 2:9 “You shall break them.” He is talking to the Messiah. “You shall break them with a rod of iron.” He is going to cause the nations to submit to Him. This is what takes place at the Campaign of Armageddon.
Then in Luke 1:32-33 (slide 43) in the announcement to Mary about the fact that she is going to give birth to the Lord Jesus Christ, Gabriel says, “He will be great and He will be called the Son of the Highest and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.” So clearly indicating that He is going to rule in fulfillment of that Davidic promise. “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” So the announcement at Jesus’ birth focuses on His fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.
Then, (slide 44) this last point, this is kind of a fun point. Israel will be united and Jerusalem will be the center of the nation. This is described in Ezekiel 37. That is the “dry bones” passage, but there is something else interesting going on in the “dry bones” passage in Ezekiel 37 that you need to understand and be able to work through. Since it is already 8:34 p.m. we are going to wait and do that next time. But I got hung on this passage because there’s a cult that will knock on your door and if you don’t understand Ezekiel 37 you’re going to sit there going “Uh, duh, I don’t know what you’re taking about.” Like a lot of Christians, you may get sucked in and the next thing you know you will be a Mormon and Joseph Smith will have won another victory. So next time we will start with Ezekiel 37.
"Father, thank you for this opportunity to study these things this evening and to realize that You are faithful to Your promises, to Your covenants with Israel, and that they will be fulfilled in the future in a remarkable shift in civilizations to the Millennial Kingdom. Something quite different from what we experience today, but one that will be glorious and one that will bring great glory to Yourself. Father, we pray that we might be challenged as we study this, because we will be very much a part of that future kingdom as we rule and reign with the Lord Jesus Christ. But ruling and reigning is a privilege that will go to those who are overcomers; those who have lived their life in a way in this Church Age that brings glory to You; and where we have that which is rewardable in terms of divine good at the judgment seat of Christ. So challenge us to live our lives today in light of this eternal reality. And we pray this in Christ's Name, Amen."