Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
June 18, 1998
Last Updated :
February 22, 2012
Will Christians Literally Be Beheaded?, The Two Swords, Our Millennial Rule, First And Second Resurrections, Millennial Training, Righteous Judgment, Rod Of Iron, The Lord's Summer School, Seeing Is Believing, The Satanic Influence Shall Be Removed, Denial Of Sin, Voice Of Conscience, Man's Evilness, Sin Of Rebellion, Final Test, True Submission Or Lip Service, God's Fast Fiery Judgment, Heart-felt Obedience, Incorrigible Wicked, Forsaking God's Mercy, The Lord's Righteous Judgments
Continuing our discussion from part one regarding the faith of the Muslims -- that is, Islam -- taking into consideration the fact that the Saints will be beheaded for their faith, is it merely a coincidence that in the Book of Revelation we also find the following verse?:
"He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."
Revelation 13:10, KJV
In the series "The Seven Heads", I point out that the term "wounded by a sword" is often used in the Bible to refer to military defeat. While we can speculate that this is what John means by the above verse, from my previous comments in this series, in this particular case, it may be that John meant exactly what he wrote. Just as these enemies of Christ may literally be killing God's children with the sword by beheading them, the Lord will destroy them with His symbolic sword, the Words of His mouth; for He is in fact the very Word of God as I have amply demonstrated in other articles. Consider the following two examples:
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
John 1:14, KJV
"And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God."
Revelation 19:13, KJV
As I mentioned earlier, and as I explain in articles such as "The Kings of the North and the South", the lies and doubts of Satan and his demonic horde are also a spiritual sword which brings spiritual death to those who choose to believe in them, instead of in the Truth found in God's Holy Word. This is precisely what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and it has been happening ever since. Thus, in both a symbolic and a literal sense, we see a fulfillment of this prophecy.
To continue then, the above scenario described in Revelation chapter twenty is not of thrones being set up for others to sit upon and judge us. The word "they" is referring to us, the Resurrected Saints, sitting upon those thrones! The authority to pass judgment is being given to us so that we can determine the fate of those who remain on the Earth following Armageddon and all of the other events I have already described in this article. To add further weight to this view, consider that the original word used in the Greek text where we find this word "given", is the Greek word "didomi", which means to give something to someone, to grant or bestow, to deliver, to supply or furnish, to give over to one's care, to intrust or to commit. So what is actually happening in these verses is that thrones are being set up for us the, Saints, to sit upon and rule the Earth with the Lord as His royal high priests for one thousand years. With this new understanding, let's read those verses again:
"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 . . . 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."
Revelation 20:4, 6, KJV
As I point out in other articles, the Apostle Peter and others also emphasized the fact that we the Believers will one day soon be the Lord's royal priesthood in a very literal sense. Consider the following example taken from Peter's first Epistle:
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"
1 Peter 2:9, KJV
I will be sharing additional verses on this topic of our personal future in the final part of the article. It is very important that you realize that this First Resurrection of the dead, and the Rapture of the Saints, is only for those who have already accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. It is not for the unbelievers. Those who did not participate directly in the Battle of Armageddon will continue to live on the Earth in normal human bodies living normal human life spans. After all, we are going to have to have someone over whom to rule. The unsaved dead will not be resurrected for their final judgment until one thousand years later after the Millennium has been completed. This is exactly what John tells us in the following verse:
"But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection."
Revelation 20:5, KJV
Just so you don't become confused, John is not saying that this resurrection of all of the dead following the Millennium is the First Resurrection. He is simply referring back to what he said in verse four regarding the Saints who are resurrected at the Lord's Coming. In order for you to see this clearly, here are all three verses together:
"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. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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."
Revelation 20:4-6, KJV
Thus, we again see that the First Resurrection of the saved occurs at Christ's Second Coming, and that the Second Resurrection of all of the remaining dead does not occur until one thousand years later after the Millennium has been completed. It is those who participate in this First Resurrection at Christ's Coming who will rule with Him during the Millennium. Having now covered the events which occur prior to this time, we have now arrived at the main question which inspired this article; and that is, what is the purpose of the Millennium?
While the Bible does not spell it out for us directly, I believe that we can make a few fairly safe assumptions concerning the purpose of the Millennium. To begin with, I believe that it may be a training period for we the Saints of the Most High God. Without the influence of Satan, who will be bound in the Bottomless Pit, and due to the fact that we will no longer be in our sinful flesh, it will be easier for us to learn and to grow into wise and just spiritual leaders who are fit to rule the Earth; and the Lord knows that this is something which many of us sorely need at the moment. At this current time, we are so in the flesh, that our personal pride, prejudices and preconceived ideas cause us to argue about such things as proper Biblical interpretation, beliefs and doctrines. We also tend to make erroneous character judgments about each other. During the Millennium, we will be under the direct tutelage of Jesus Christ Himself, the very Word of God, as He teaches us all about wisdom, patience, love, mercy and righteous judgment. During that time, we will truly learn to follow the Lord's admonition when He said:
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
John 7:24, KJV
This topic of judgment is covered more fully in some of my other articles such as "Exposing the Judge Not Fallacy", and "Are Personal Tragedies Due to Sin?", as well as in some of the Apocryphal articles. The idea of righteous judgment in itself could be another reason for the Millennium. This makes perfect sense if you stop to consider the fact that, during the initial years of the Millennium, we will be ruling over those who currently reject our message of Salvation; and sadly, the number of these hard-hearted unbelievers is growing daily at an alarming rate! During the Millennium, we will probably be able to meet some of these very same people face to face and say to them, "You see, it is all true; every word of it. You didn't have the faith to believe it then, but here is the physical proof." In that day, we will be in charge, and not them. They are going to have to submit to us or else pay the consequences for their rebellion. Consider what John wrote to the Church at Thyatira:
"And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father."
Revelation 2:26-27, KJV
As I point out in such articles as the series "Is Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God?", the above promise goes hand in hand with the prophecy found in Daniel chapter two regarding the coming Kingdom of God on Earth, and the destruction of the worldly governments of man:
"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."
Daniel 2:44, KJV
Thus we see that the coming Millennium will be a time for our personal spiritual growth as the Holy Priesthood of the Lord, as well as a time of righteous rule and judgment against those who currently reject our witness. This rule with a rod of iron will be further discussed later on in this article. One thing is absolutely certain; under the Lord's and our direct reign of the inhabitants of the Earth, absolutely no one will be without excuse. No one will be able to say "know the Lord", for all will know Him, just as the people of ancient Israel knew Him when He walked the Earth two thousand years ago:
"And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."
Hebrews 8:11, KJV
At this current time, we believe in the Lord by faith, and it is counted to us for righteousness; however, during the Millennium, those who haven't believed by faith, as well as those who are born during the Millennium, will have the full physical witness of the Truth of God's Word, as they see Jesus Christ, and we His Resurrected Saints, ruling in our glorified bodies. This period will be God's final chance for humanity as He puts the people of the world into "summer school" for one thousand years. Because they have flunked for the past six thousand years, the Lord is going to give them a one-thousand-year crash course. They are going to see a clear example of how things were originally meant to be done under the Lord's direct Leadership. As I discuss in the article "The Children of God and Politics", it was ancient Israel's rejection of the Lord as their King and only Leader, and their choosing of a human king, rebellious King Saul, which accelerated their decline into sin and unbelief.
As I mentioned earlier, what is interesting about this Millennial Period, is that with Satan bound, it appears that there will be no evil spiritual influence to affect the people of the world; after all, if Satan is bound, it would seem likely that his demons will likewise be bound. In this current age of the Apostasy, because of their pride and arrogance, many not only deny the existence of God, His Son, and the Spiritual Realm, but they also deny the existence of sin. In the callous heart of the atheistic unbeliever, sin is viewed as nothing more than a concept concocted by organized religion for the sole purpose of controlling the masses. Because of this dangerous denial of our sinful nature, which is due to passive rebellion on their part which results in strong delusion, personal accountability and responsibility are being discarded by many. These Endtime mockers of the Truth of the Word of God feel that anything is permissible; as long as they aren't caught. As I have pointed out a number of times before, Jesus said that one sign of the Endtime would be that the love of many would was, or grow, cold. Paul also added that many would become past feeling and darkened in their understanding:
"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."
Matthew 24:12, KJV
"Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness."
Ephesians 4:18-19, KJV
To give you a shocking example of exactly how evil some people have become, consider the following very graphic incident taken from a June 14, 1998 Cable News Network, (CNN), news report. How can the Lord not judge the United States of America?:
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POLICE: PARENTS PUT INFANT'S BODY IN BATTERY ACID
"A Chicago couple has been charged with killing their 16-month-old daughter, then putting her remains in a pot of battery acid and hiding her body parts that did not disintegrate. The crime is so heinous even police are calling it one of the most "horrific" they've ever come across. "No one can recall parents inflicting such horrific, unspeakable acts on their child," one policeman said. Joan Tribblet, 27, and Everett Johnson, 29, were charged with first-degree murder and concealing homicide in the December murder."
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For me personally, it is extremely difficult to accept that some people don't realize when they are doing wrong. As I have stated in other articles, I believe that we all know when we are doing wrong or committing evil, because God has put it in us to know. The Apostle Paul tells us that His laws are written in our conscience, that is, on the tables of our heart. It is that still small voice which leads and guides us wherever we go, and in whatever we do. It is an inescapable voice which no one can deny:
"Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)"
Romans 2:15, KJV
To add to this tragedy, when some people are caught doing wrong, even though they don't believe in anything spiritual, sometimes they are smart enough to use Satan or his demons as an excuse for their shameful actions. Some of these deluded people will even go so far as to claim that "God" told them to do something. Of course, neither God, nor Satan, nor the spiritual realm, are recognized as motivating factors in some Earthly courts of law; so these people are simply deemed mentally unstable and not held accountable for their actions. These workers of iniquity are sometimes given a much lighter sentence and locked away in some mental institution for a time, where they are administered one kind of drug or another to keep them in a constant mental stupor. Of course, this isn't always the case, and we can thank the Lord that some people are being forced to receive their just reward for their evil deeds, even in this life. Consider the following example, also taken from a June 1998 CNN news clip:
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ACCUSED SCHOOL SHOOTER INVOLVED IN SATANISM
"A teen-ager accused in a Mississippi school shooting rampage testified on Thursday that he opened fire on his classmates at Pearl High School after becoming involved in satanism, which he said bestowed "power over many things." Luke Woodham, 17, took the stand against his lawyers' advice after a defense psychologist told jurors the boy was legally insane when two students, including a girl he dated, were shot to death. Seven others were wounded in the attack."
TEEN FOUND GUILTY IN MISSISSIPPI SCHOOL SHOOTING
"Rejecting an insanity defense, a Mississippi jury has found 17-year-old Luke Woodham guilty of two counts of murder and seven counts of aggravated assault for a shooting spree last October at Pearl High School. "I am sorry for the people I killed and hurt," Woodham told the court after being sentenced to two life sentences for murder and seven 20-year terms for the aggravated assault convictions. "If they could have given the death penalty in this case, I deserve it." Woodham was accused of killing two classmates and wounding seven others during the attack, the first of a series of deadly school shootings."
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Incidents such as the previous two are clear examples of why the Lord is going to have to rule the world with a Rod of Iron during the Millennium. Some people are so hardened of heart that they will simply not learn to fear Him any other way. While the Millennial Rule will be strict, it is my belief that it will still involve personal choice; and this is the crux of the matter. I believe that there is going to be an important lesson that the Lord will be trying to teach everyone during that time; and that is that despite the fact that Satan and his evil minions will no longer be affecting people's decisions, some are still going to choose to rebel against Him. And why is this? The answer is very clear in the Scriptures. Consider the words of the Lord through the mouths of some of His vessels of the past:
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Jeremiah 17:9, KJV
"They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
Psalms 14:3, KJV
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:23, KJV
During His Earthly Ministry, the Lord also emphasized that the real problem could be found by looking in the heart of man when He said the following:
"And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
Mark 7:20-23, KJV
Thus we see that the basic problem is not just negative spiritual influence from without, but rather it is the sin and rebellion within the very heart of man himself. As I mention in "The Children of God and Politics" and other articles, the Prophet Samuel uttered some very serious words against King Saul regarding this matter after the king had rebelled against the Lord by leaning to his own understanding regarding a certain matter:
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."
1 Samuel 15:23, KJV
In short, in the Lord's eyes, rebellion is akin to satanic worship, and it is for this very same reason that the Beast will be able to lead the armies of the Earth against Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Host during the coming Battle of Armageddon; because they will be in rebellion against God Himself! However, as we have already seen, during the Millennium, people will have absolutely no one to blame for their rebellion against the Lord, not even Satan, since he will be bound in the Bottomless Pit. These rebellious souls are going to have to face up to the fact that the sin lies within themselves and nowhere else. They are going to have to either admit their guilt and their wrongdoing, and thus their need for a Saviour, or else they will have no choice but to face the consequences for their actions.
By the end of the Millennium, one would think that most of the doubt and unbelief will have been purged out through successive generations of humans witnessing the direct presence of the Lord and His Resurrected Saints. As a final sifting of the grain, the Book of Revelation tells us that the Lord will loose Satan upon the world one more time in order to see who has truly accepted the Lord's rule over them:
"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,"
Revelation 20:7, KJV
In other words, this final test will not be a matter of belief, for it seems to me that all will believe in Jesus, Christ and will know exactly who He is as I explained previously. How could anyone possibly deny the Lord's sovereignty at that time? After all, both He, and we, will be in our supernatural resurrected bodies. What we all need to realize is that believing in the Lord, and knowing who He is, is not exactly the same as accepting His authority over our lives. As James tells us, even Satan and the demons are fully aware of the Divine Status of Jesus Christ. Consider the following verse:
"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."
James 2:19, KJV
You see, part of the Salvation Plan is not just knowing and believing in Jesus Christ; but rather it is also accepting and submitting to His Divine Authority. For we Christians to say that we believe in the Lord, but then not submit to His Will for our lives, makes us hypocrites and liars just like the unbelieving people of the world. Just like them, we are offering the Lord nothing but lip service; and we know what Jesus said about that. Allow me to remind you:
"Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
Matthew 15:7-9, KJV
If it were just a matter of knowing and believing, then even the devils would be saved, but they aren't; because they don't submit to the Lord by any means. In fact, their primary goal is to persuade us to not submit ourselves to God either. This is why both Peter and James admonish us to do the following:
"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"
1 Peter 5:6, KJV
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
James 4:7, KJV
So again, this loosing of Satan from the Bottomless Pit will be a final test of acceptance of Christ's Divine Authority. Those who still reject Jesus' rule over them will of course again be deceived by Satan, and will join the armies which will encompass about the Camp of the Saints:
"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. 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."
Revelation 20:8-9, KJV
Based upon the above scenario, it appears that during the Millennium, some people will obey, not out of genuine love for the Lord, but only grudgingly because they really have no other choice in the matter. This is not the kind of obedience that the Lord desires. The Apostle Paul makes it clear exactly what the Lord desires of us in the following Scriptures:
"But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you."
Romans 6:17, KJV
"Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;"
Ephesians 6:6, KJV
The only obedience that counts is that which comes from the heart. As Jesus said in the six chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, no man can serve two masters; and the minute that Satan is released from his dark prison, many foolish humans are going to allow him to persuade them to once again rebel against the Lord and His Saints. As unbelievable as it may seem to we the Believers, despite the fact that they have witnessed the Lord's direct Righteous Reign, this generation of the future will be totally incorrigible; just like those who will soon perish during the Battle of Armageddon. In fact, in my view, these Millennialists will probably be the most inexcusable people on the face of the Earth in all of history! While the Jews of two thousand years ago also witnessed the miracles of Jesus Christ, and will be held accountable for their actions against Him, they did not witness Him ruling in all of His Power and Glory in His Resurrected Body. Thus, I believe that these Endtime rebels will truly be the worst, and the lowest, that humanity has ever had to offer. While they will witness the greatest amount of Light and Truth the world has ever known, they will also live in the greatest darkness because of their rebellious and unbelieving hearts. In the Book of Isaiah, we find the Prophet saying:
"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
Isaiah 55:7, KJV
Sadly, in this case, despite the fact that they will witness the Lord's Millennial Rule with His Resurrected Saints, these reprobates of the future won't have learned a single thing; because as the Prophets also tell us:
"They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy."
Jonah 2:8, KJV
"Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD."
Isaiah 26:10, KJV
It is for this very reason, that at this point, the Lord's patience finally runs out; and He just destroys these evildoers without a second thought. Notice that there is no mention here of a battle of any kind. The minute these wicked forces, led by Satan, encompass the Camp of the Saints, we are told that the Lord will simply devour them with fire from above. Thus, if there is one other thing we will learn from the Millennial Experience, it is that God's Judgments are indeed truly righteous. God wants everyone to know, both in Heaven and on Earth, that He doesn't make mistakes. After a thousand years of the direct rule by the Son of God, no one will be able to point a finger at God and say that He is unfair in His Judgments.
Please go to part three for the continuation of this series.
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