The Millennial Reign of Christ
It is not uncommon to hear professed students of prophecy say, “There is no future for Israel.” If that is so, then we must scrap the benedictions of Israel and Moses, much that the prophetic Psalms contain, and a great part of the prophecies both of the major and minor prophets. But is such a statement true? Let us examine the Word of God, “To the law and to the testimony.”
There are numerous phrases used to describe a period of time that has not yet been experienced by man on this earth, and the Lord Jesus in Matthew 19:28 speaks of “The Regeneration” saying, “Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye shall also sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Such a scene as is here described has not been enacted, and we positively affirm that the Lord made no mistake when He predicted such an event.
In Acts 3:21 Peter stated in his masterly apologetic that the Lord “shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God had spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” The word “restitution” means a reconstitution. This period is that to which Christ alluded in Matthew 19:28.
Paul, writing to the saints in Ephesus, stated in chapter 1, verse 21 that Christ had been given the place at God’s right hand “far above all… and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come.” There is an age to come when Christ shall bear the greatest name, for God has given Him a name which is above every name (Phil. 2:9).
Earlier in that same chapter Paul had referred to “the dispensation of the fulness of times,” when, “He might gather together in one all things in Christ” (V. 10). This “dispensation,” or administration, is not the Eternal State, but this period which we are now considering and which we designate “The Millennium.” The context will reveal that there will be a close proximity between the heavens and the earth at this time. Moreover, in the following verse the inheritance is alluded to, and that will be revealed when Christ comes forth to take the reins of this world’s government and sway the sceptre to the glory of God His Father.
There is one more reference before proceeding with a dissertation on the Millennial reign of Christ, and it is found in Hebrews 2:5, “For unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come.” It is God’s divine purpose to make everything and everybody subordinate to His well beloved Son. In the Millennium, when supremacy is His portion and He is sovereign Lord, this will be realised.
There is another thought which may prove helpful and that is the usage of the title “Most High God,” or “Most High.” Such is a millennial title. In Daniel 4:17 Nebuchadnezzar was informed that “The Most High ruleth in the Kingdom of men.” This title is found almost a score of times in the Book of the Psalms, frequently in Daniel’s prophecy, and also in Hosea. If we read the context of the passages in which this title appears, we shall have no doubts about a Millennium.
The Millennium is the vestibule to the Eternal State. During this period of righteous rule there are two realms in which Christ shall take absolute supremacy: the heavenly and the earthly. On the heavenly side there will be seen the Bride with her Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the people of faith throughout the economies of earth, including the martyred ones of the Book of Revelation, will be there. To this aspect the Apostle Paul looked forward with anticipation. “The Lord will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom.” 1 Corinthians 15:4142 would emphasize the heavenly side of the kingdom, for stars shine above. The earthly side embraces the hundred and forty four thousand from the tribes of Israel together with the innumerable company of Gentiles as described in Revelation 7. The transfiguration of our Lord was a preview of the Millennial Kingdom (Matt. 16:27-28). This period of rule is also emphasized in Matthew 25:31.
Christ in humiliation was designated “King of the Jews;” this title was also given to Him in rejection (Matt. 2:2; 27:37). He will never bear that title again! He will not rule over two tribes (Judah and Benjamin); He shall rule over twelve tribes and be called King of Israel (vide Jno. 1:49). Moreover, when Christ comes the next time He will not come in lowly grace and virtually say “Here I am, will you have Me?” We know that this offer was rejected. The next time He will “break them with a rod of iron” as decreed in Psalm 2:9. His people, the Jews, were unwilling in the day of His rejection, but “Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power” (Psa. 110:3).
The faithful remnant, so often alluded to by the pen of seer and prophet, will have found the way of escape when the “overflowing scourge” passes through the land (Isa. 28:15; see also Zech. 14:5). The ten tribes, Ephraim, or Israel shall pass under the rod and be brought into the bond of the covenant while the rebels shall be purged from among the faithful (Ezek. 20:33-38). Then David shall be king over them (Ezek. 34:23-26; 37:23-28). There need be no difficulty about the title “David,” this is heraldic. David was the shepherd king, but he was also the warrior king. When Christ comes forth “He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet” (1 Cor. 15:25). Christ will also fulfil the type as seen in Solomon who was the peaceful monarch. Christ is spoken of as “King of righteousness” when He fulfils the type which David presents. He is also called “King of Salem,” which is peace, when he fulfils the type which Solomon suggests to us. “David” is also the traditional name — like “Edward” or “George” in the line of succession attached to the British throne. Christ will also manifest Himself as “Priest of the Most High God.” The true Melchisedec will operate according to the order and pattern of Melchisedec. The Melchisedec priesthood is not for the wilderness, it is for the land. It is not a priesthood of intercession but of blessing; loving blessing from God to man and conveying blessing from man to God.
There will be physical transformations during this wonderful benign reign of the One whose right it is; for the diadem and crown shall be removed from the head of the apostate ruler, the wicked prince of Israel, when Jehovah says, “I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until He comes whose right it is; and I will give it Him” (Ezek. 21:25-27).
Nature will be convulsed in that day, for “there shall be abundance of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains” (Psalm 72:16, N.T.). What today is impossible will be manifest in that day. “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb… “ (Isa. 11:6). “The lion shall eat straw like the bullock” (Isa. 65:25).
This is a day of combines and huge syndicates, but God favours private enterprize for He states, “They shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid” (Micah 4:4). “In that day, saith Jehovah of Hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree” (Zech. 3:10).
Righteousness shall reign then as indicated by Isaiah in chapter 32:1, “A king shall reign in righteousness.” “With righteousness shall He judge the poor” (Isa. 11:4). “Righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins” (Isa. 11:5). “The sceptre of Thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness” (Psalm 45:6-7). “I lead in the way of righteousness” (Prov. 8:20).
This kingdom which the God of Heaven shall set up “shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people… and it shall stand for ever” (Dan. 2:44).
There will be a rebuilt temple wherein a divinely given ritual shall be re-established, and “The Lord. . shall suddenly come to His temple” (Mal. 3:1). Ezekiel provides the necessary details relevant to the temple and its worship, and these can be examined in chapters 40 to 48.
Israel in that day will be the head of the nations and not the tail, as indicated by the words of Zechariah in chapter 8 verse 23. Then there shall be no housing shortage as indicated in Isaiah 65:23, “They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble.” “They shall build houses and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them” (Isa. 65:21).
The disrupting elements so prevalent today, war and the rumours of war, shall be unknown then, for “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa. 2:4).
What a remarkable period this will be when the once despised Nazarene shall come forth in power and great glory and wield the sword and sway the sceptre to the glory of God! God has made Him higher than the kings of the earth. Potentates of time shall lick the dust before Him and in righteousness shall He judge and make war. The positional glory of Christ in that day can have no parallel; for supremacy belongs to the Man whom men despised and rejected. Nations and their rulers shall bring their presents unto Him: “Unto Him shall be given of the gold of Sheba…and daily shall He be praised” (Psalm 72:15). Yea, “His name shall endure forever”(Psa. 72:17).
“Crown Him with many crowns
The Lamb upon the throne.”