Powerful Prophecies, Pt. 10
Study Guide, May 28, 2017
Pastor Clay Olsen
We’re not really concluding our series on Prophecy today…more like taking a break for awhile. The Bible is packed with so many wonderful prophecies, of both fulfilled realities and realities yet to be fulfilled, that they just call to us to explore them. And in trying to describe the amazing revelations of the prophecies of the Bible, you just run out of words for that in the English language. So we are going to do our next series on Prophecy in Hebrew. And since it will take awhile for us to learn Hebrew…no, just kidding.
We could say that this prophecy is about an age when we could all be called ‘Millennials’, because this coming age is the Millennial Age. ‘Millennials’, of course, is the term applied to people born between 1977 and 2000, anywhere from 17 to 40 years old. But in the Millennial Age, the age differences between the residents of the Millennial Kingdom will be quite dramatic. And the reason we say that is because of the different people groups that are living in this Millennial Age. Let’s explore that!
You remember some time back we looked at that ‘mad’hiym’ picture of the Millennial Kingdom that Isaiah described. ‘Mad’hiym’ is Hebrew for ‘amazing’. We’re getting head start on learning Hebrew here. Really, We need to take another look at what the Prophet Isaiah revealed about it. Isa 11:6-8- And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.” NASU
Don’t you think this passage should be displayed at the entrance of every Zoo in the world? Absolutely. How many people know that there was a time on Earth when there was complete harmony within the animal kingdom? Not many people know that’s how it was before the Fall of Man into sin, which then affected the entire creation. And how many people know that there is coming a time when, once again, there will be complete harmony within the animal kingdom? Not many people have any idea how absolutely ‘neh’edar’ that’s going to be…that’s the Hebrew for ‘wonderful’…we’re getting it! Anyway, not many people have any idea what kind of wonderful experiences God has planned for us, even in how much more we’re going to get to enjoy interacting with all the once dangerous animals of Earth; from the wolf to the bear to the lion to the cobra, all of them will be as peaceful as a puppy is now. Although, it might take awhile to get used to cuddling up to a cobra, right? Give it time…you’ve got eternity to get used to it, starting, of course, with the Millennial Kingdom.
But back to the ‘age’ issue. Did you notice who Isaiah said would also be in the Millennial Kingdom? ‘Little children’, even ‘nursing and weaned children’…How can there be ‘children’ in the Millennial Kingdom? Let’s unpack this. Maybe we should ask, ‘Who all will be in the Millennial Kingdom? The Apostle John told us that the redeemed and resurrected family of God would reign with Christ on the Earth. Rev 5:9-10- “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” NASU
And then Jesus told His followers that when He returns to Earth that those believers living at the time of His physical return would immediately enter into His Millennial Kingdom. Look at Matt 25:31-34- “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” NASU
From this we learn that believers who are living upon the Earth when King Jesus comes to establish His Kingdom on Earth will directly enter into the Millennial Age. And so the inhabitants of the Millennial Kingdom will be both pre-resurrected and resurrected human beings, or both mortals and immortals. And those believers who are pre-resurrected will also then still be producing the ones that become those ‘little children’ and ‘weaned children’ that Isaiah told us about…the ones that like to play with snakes. And actually, this is just one of the significant things that differentiates the Millennial Kingdom from the Eternal Kingdom, because by the time the Eternal Kingdom begins, all believers will be in their resurrected human bodies.
And while we are pointing out differences between the Millennial Kingdom and the Eternal Kingdom we should also note that in the Eternal Kingdom there is no more death. However, since there will be saved mortal human beings that enter directly into the Millennial Age when Jesus returns, there will still be death in the Millennial Age among the pre-resurrected people. And yet, because of the pristine living conditions and such, life expectancy will be much longer than anything man has known about since before the days of Noah. Isaiah reveals this to us as well. Take a look: Isa 65:200 “No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days;
For the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed.” NASU So, among those who are mortal there will still be some death in the Millennial Age, but most will certainly live for a very long time. A person 100 years old will be thought of as just a kid in the Millennial Kingdom. Wouldn’t it be great to feel like a kid at age 100?
But back to those ‘mortal believers’, because here is perhaps one of the strangest differences that arises. Remember now, that when Jesus returns to Earth, the Apostle John said that Jesus will rule on the Earth with a ‘rod of iron’. Why would there be any need for Jesus to rule with a rod of iron since only believers enter into the Millennial Kingdom? Again, along with the saved Jesus brings with Him from Heaven, there are now those mortal believers that were living on Earth when Jesus returned. And what these mortal believers brought into this new kingdom was that same human nature that the whole world has had to wrestle against ever since the Fall. Which means that the children that are born to these believing parents during the Millennial Age will have to make a personal choice to place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and become saved themselves. And many do, but as we later find out, many don’t. What do we mean? Let’s take a look at what happens at the conclusion of this 1,000 year period.
Rev 20:7-10-” When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” NASU
This is one of the most powerful indictments against the sin nature of man. Here is a time on Earth which now has the most wonderful living conditions. You have perfect environmental conditions, divine health, world peace, unlimited vocational opportunities, and mostly, you have the Creator and King Jesus Christ reigning as King on the Earth. And still, there will be those who are born in the Kingdom that refuse to surrender to the authority of God over their lives and put their faith in Christ so as to be forgiven and saved. And so, when Satan is released from the confinement he has been in for a thousand years, he organizes one final rebellion against God; and the rebellious unsaved join in. And this is the ‘Final Conflict’ on Earth before God then ushers in the Eternal Kingdom of the New Heavens and New Earth.
But it’s hard to imagine, isn’t it, that anyone would be that resistant to repentance and faith in Christ. But that’s just how rebellious the sin nature of mankind really is, and why then it is not surprising that people the world over can have the light of Creation and the light of conscience and the light of the Gospel of truth and still choose the darkness of not submitting to the love of the truth, the Gospel of Christ, so as to be saved.
But you noticed this conflict is referred to as the ‘Final Conflict’. And that’s another difference here with the Millennial Age from any other ‘Age’. For many often think of Armageddon as being the final conflict. But notice when Armageddon occurs. Rev 16:13-16- “And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty…And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.” NASU
Even the Apostle John is teaching us a little Hebrew. The name Armageddon comes from two Hebrew words, Har Megiddo, the hill of Megiddo. The word Megiddo means ‘place of troops’ or ‘place of slaughter’. It is also called the Plain of Esdraelon and the Valley of Jezreel. This area is about fourteen miles wide and twenty miles long, and forms what Napoleon called “the most natural battlefield of the whole earth.”
This is where Barak defeated the armies of Canaan, and where Gideon faced the Midianites, and where King Saul lost his life. It has also been a field of battle with the Romans and the Crusaders and the British armies against the Turkish forces in 1917. It also now houses underground hangers for the Israeli Airforce.1
But one day John reveals that the armies of the nations will assemble at the leading of Satan and the Antichrist. But, of course, that’s when the Lamb of God then returns as the Lion of Judah and the King of kings to establish His Kingdom upon the Earth.
So ‘Armageddon’ is when Jesus returns to begin the Millennial Kingdom and the ‘Final Conflict’ is at the end of this thousand year reign, just before the White Throne judgment of all the unsaved and the beginning of the Eternal Kingdom.
There are many more differences we could point out between the Millennial Kingdom and the Eternal Kingdom, but we’ll have to save that for another time.
But with it being Memorial Day weekend, I thought we ought to point out one really astounding thing that Isaiah also tells us about what is going to happen in the Millennial Age. One of the most heartfelt calls, going back into the ancient world, is the call for peace in the Middle East. Recently our Government, along with others, met in the Middle East to appeal to the world again to work for peace in the Middle East. And historically, we know that peace in the Middle East hasn’t worked so well. But in the future, well – listen to what Isaiah prophesied about what is coming. Notice: Isa 19:23-25- “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.” NASU
What a message Isaiah has given us to tell people about the peace that is coming to the Middle East! After thousands of years of war between the descendants of Ishmael, even among themselves, and with the descendants of Isaac, there is coming a time when they will all come together in peace and worship the One God and true Messiah. God will even call the descendants from Egypt, “My people”, and the descendants of Assyria, which is the modern Muslim middle east regions, “the work of My hands, and will call Israel “My inheritance”. And these three will be brothers and sisters in the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns to reign as the King of kings and the Lord of lords over all the Earth. Do we have a story to tell to the nations or what?
All of God’s prophecies have happened exactly as He said they would. And all those yet to be fulfilled are also going to happen exactly as He has said they will. “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”
1. The Bible Exposition Commentary. Chariot Victor Publishing and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries.