Will There Be a Literal 1,000 Year Reign of Christ on the Earth?
I was asked to respond to the following questions at Nathan’s blog found here. Let me say upfront I appreciate the opportunity to do so. This topic is certainly one that many have endeavored to understand and rightfully divide over the years. I in no way proclaim to have this figured out, nor do I put down those who have different views from mine, nor do I believe this topic warrants division in the true Church. I pray grace, love, peace and maturity be evident in my responses.
Nathan asked:Q1: Is Christ reigning from heaven now? That is, when He is called the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, does that not imply that He is reigning over everyone and everything, right now? Also, consider His own statements about sitting at the right hand of the Father and that all authority on heaven and on earth has been given to Me. What do these statements mean?
Psa 146:10 The LORD shall reign for ever, [even] thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.
Eye observes: The LORD has, currently does, and will always reign in heaven. The Scriptures couldn’t be any clearer. He is the sovereign King of the universe.
Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Luk 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
Eye observes: Where the King is, the kingdom is present.
Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luk 17:22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see [it]. Luk 17:23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after [them], nor follow [them]. Luk 17:24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one [part] under heaven, shineth unto the other [part] under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. Luk 17:25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. Luk 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. Luk 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Luk 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; Luk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all. Luk 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. Luk 17:31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Luk 17:32 Remember Lot's wife. Luk 17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. Luk 17:34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two [men] in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Luk 17:35 Two [women] shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Luk 17:36 Two [men] shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Luk 17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body [is], thither will the eagles be gathered together.
Eye’s observation: The Kingdom of God is unobservable in its spiritual nature or capacity, but it is observable in its physical nature. When the King is physically revealed, so to will His physical kingdom be revealed.
Luk 19:11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. Luk 19:12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. Luk 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. Luk 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this [man] to reign over us. Luk 19:15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
the parable continues...
Luk 19:23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? Luk 19:24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give [it] to him that hath ten pounds. Luk 19:25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) Luk 19:26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. Luk 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay [them] before me.
Eye’s observations: The Jews were looking for the physical kingdom. This parable proclaimed by Jesus gave them a glimpse into the timing and mechanics of His kingdom. Notice, the nobleman (Jesus) goes to a far country (heaven, upon accomplishing His work on the cross) and there He receives for Himself a kingdom. Notice, He will also return. Jesus comes back and judges the faithful and unfaithful stewards who are alive at His coming. Notice, the citizens hated Him and didn’t want the Nobleman to rule over them! But, the parable clarifies that the Nobleman returned from the far country (heaven) and then He receives the kingdom. This parable, in my opinion, teaches the manifestation of the kingdom of God on earth.
Nathan asked: Q2: If Christ is reigning from heaven right now, what is the need for Him to reign from earth? That is, why is it necessary if He is already reigning from heaven? Can He not accomplish enough? Is He concerned that people cannot literally see Him in visible form? Why is it necessary to reign from earth?
Eye’s simple answer: Its God's sovereign will that Jesus come back to earth and reign as prophesied of old.
1Cr 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 1Cr 15:24 Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 1Cr 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 1Cr 15:26 The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death. 1Cr 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 1Cr 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
Eye observes: According to these Scriptures, Christ will come back to earth from heaven as the angels proclaimed He would in Acts 1:11. Then comes the end when He shall deliver up the kingdom to God the Father. He does this by putting down all rule and all authority and power. Has this happened yet? NO. These Scriptures teach us that Jesus will reign until He puts all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. You may skip to the bottom of this post if you like for additional details, for there I deal with Isaiah 65 and Nathan’s good question about what happens to those who die during the kingdom on earth. But, if you do, come back here!
Notice these verses in 1 Cr 15 tell us that death is the LAST enemy that is destroyed during His reign on earth. Then, the Scriptures say the Son shall also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread. Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Luk 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Eye observes: Jesus tells His disciples and us if we are His disciples today to pray, ‘thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.’ Personally, these verses sum it up nicely for me. The kingdom of God is in heaven now. It is also in the earth in a spiritual sense as each believer with the Holy Spirit residing in them is an extension of the kingdom of God on earth. But, we also see the kingdom of God will be manifested in an observable way in the future and it will also be on earth. The kingdom of God in heaven has no sin in it – God’s is perfect and holy, holy, holy. We have sin on this earth at this time. There will come a day according to this prayer when earth will be like heaven – no sin will be tolerated nor permitted and Satan will be bound during those 1000 years when King Jesus, the Nobleman from a far country, returns to earth from heaven to receive His kingdom.
Luk 19:37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Luk 19:38 Saying, Blessed [be] the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
Eye observes: the Jews were looking for the physical kingdom… Again, Jesus was descending from the Mount of Olives – now, as Zechariah 14 proclaims, He will return to earth at His second coming and return to the Mount of Olives. This passage in Luke is dealing with His first coming and the passage in Zechariah 14 is clearly dealing with His second coming. However, the mount of Olives is central to both!
Nathan asked: Q3: The big one: If Christ is reigning right now, is He reigning on David’s throne right now? Or , is David’s throne in the old (demolished) Temple in modern-day Jerusalem? So then, where is David’s throne, on earth, or in heaven? And is Christ reigning from it right now or not?
2Sa 7:10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, 2Sa 7:11 And as since the time that I commanded judges [to be] over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. 2Sa 7:12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 2Sa 7:13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 2Sa 7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 2Sa 7:15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took [it] from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 2Sa 7:16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. 2Sa 7:17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
Eye observes: David’s throne will be established forever, and his kingdom will be established forever.
1Ki 9:5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
Luk 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: Luk 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Eye observes: I believe this prophecy applies spiritually and physically during the 1000 year kingdom on earth.
1Ch 29:23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
Eye observes: the throne of David is also referred to as the throne of the LORD
2Ch 6:10 The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.
Isa 24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
Eye observes: the Lord will reign in mount Zion and in Jerusalem. He is not physically doing that now.
Jer 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. Jer 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jer 23:7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; Jer 23:8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
Eye observes: Is Israel living in peace, dwelling safely? NO. According to this passage, they will! They will dwell in their own land. This is why it is so important that Israel is once again a nation and Jerusalem the capital.
Mic 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, [that] the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. Mic 4:2 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. Mic 4:3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Mic 4:4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make [them] afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken [it]. Mic 4:5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever. Mic 4:6 In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; Mic 4:7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.
Eye observes: This appears to be straight forward to me – the Lord will reign in the future from mount Zion and Jerusalem as we observed in Isaiah 24:23. A literal mountain will result from the topographical changes that occur from His return in Zechariah 14 when He touches down on the Mount of Olives. We also see a reference to this same event in the following verses in Daniel.
Dan 2:43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. Dan 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, [but] it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Dan 2:45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream [is] certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
Rev 11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. Rev 11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. Rev 11:14 The second woe is past; [and], behold, the third woe cometh quickly. Rev 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. Rev 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Rev 11:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. Rev 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. Rev 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
Eye observes: Notice in verse 15 above, that the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ (JESUS), and He shall reign.
Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Eye observes: Is not Satan still the accuser of the brethren today? If not, when did this happen? I believe the answer is clearly that he still accuses us today. Therefore, these verses in Revelation 12 have not happened for they are still in the future. But, according to these verses he will be cast down and when he is the kingdom of God comes. The question is where does the kingdom of God go to? Earth…
Mar 14:25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
Eye observes: Jesus will drink the fruit of the vine with His disciples in the kingdom of God. This appears to be a physical act to me!
Nathan asked: Q4: Lastly, since the prophesies and covenant with David specifically indicate that this reign will be FOREVER, then how do we reconcile this with the fact that the earth will be completely destroyed in the 'Day of the Lord' described in 2 Peter 3? That is, 'forever' means something far greater than a literal 1000years, doesn't it? How is this prophecy fulfilled if He only reigns for 1000 years here on earth?
Eye’s response: Yes, the kingdom of God is eternal. But, the 1000 years are simply a part of God’s eternal kingdom, a subset if you will, here on earth as declared by Scripture. When the 1000 years is completed, this earth will be destroyed. But, we will ever be with the Lord and in His presence in the New Jerusalem. What happens after that, I do not know…
Rev 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four [and] twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. Rev 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Eye observes: The heavenly host redeemed out of every kindred, tongue, people and nation are made kings and priests and they reign on the EARTH.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection. Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, Rev 20:8 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. Rev 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Eye observes: Again, the saints live and reign with the Lord for 1000 years, and I believe I’ve produced ample Scripture that places this 1000 year reign on the earth. Moreover, in Revelation 20 we see Satan loosed from prison to deceive the nations. He will be bound during this 1000 year period, and therefore he will be unable to accuse the brethren. So, again this has to be a future period because we all admit he accuses us today. Or, experientially speaking, I’ve yet to meet a Christian who admits Satan is bound today therefore fulfilling this Scripture!
Rev 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations. Rev 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: Rev 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads. Rev 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Eye observes: This tree of life is either the same one in the garden of Eden or one of the same kind. I believe God kept Adam and Eve from eating of the tree of life and living forever in their human bodies to protect them out of His goodness and mercy and because He had a better plan – a future glorified body for them that manifests the ‘complete’ work of Jesus on Calvary.
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
I also believe the human beings who are saved and enter into the 1000 year kingdom will at the end of that time eat of the tree of life and be changed into a glorified state.
Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.
Eye observes: Revelation 20 and many OT verses proclaim this future earthly kingdom will come to the earth and Revelation 20 clearly states the duration of this kingdom – 1000 years. Based on God’s warning in the verses above, I think it humbly requires repeating that God says not to add or take away from the clear teaching of the words of this final book of the Bible. For doing so results in being removed from the book of life!
Nathan asked: What happens to the earthly people who die during the literal 1000 yr reign? Is this yet another resurrection?
Eye’s response: Remember, the sheep who go into the kingdom at the end of the tribulation are saved people. No lost person gets in at the beginning. Remember the parable of the King’s Son’s wedding and the guest who did not have on a wedding garment? These initial inhabitants of the earthly kingdom will live to the end of the Kingdom. However, they will have children – some will become saved and others will not. For those who die lost, they will not be raised until the end of the 1000 years.
Isa 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Isa 65:18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever [in that] which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. Isa 65:19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. Isa 65:20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner [being] an hundred years old shall be accursed. Isa 65:21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. Isa 65:22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree [are] the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. Isa 65:23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they [are] the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. Isa 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Isa 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust [shall be] the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
Key points: This is not in heaven; rather it is on the restored earth. People live ‘as the days of a tree’. Infants are capable of dying at the age of one hundred. Notice that even in this ‘new and restored’ earth, there will be those who sin. A perfect environment does not make one ‘perfect’. Those born to the saved humans who enter into this kingdom after the tribulation are not saved by virtue of their parents, a perfect environment, etc. These people born into the kingdom will have an old sin nature and therefore to inherit eternal life they must also be saved. Moreover, where do all of the people who are deceived by Satan at the end of the 1000 years come from who follow him when he is loosed for a season to deceive the nations? I think it obvious the believers will not be deceived by Satan with Jesus ruling the earth.