Statement of Fundmental Beliefs -
FEAST OF TABERNACLES
Christ's Millenial Reign Pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles
To explain the thousand-year reign described in Revelation 20:4, we must make a few scriptural comparisons. The Bible clearly shows that God has set apart the seventh day as a day to rest and as a time for man to focus upon the worship of God. God created Adam and Eve on the sixth day, and then God rested from His creation and began to teach Adam and Eve on the seventh day. You can read about this account in the first two chapters of Genesis.
But with God, "a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day" (2 Peter 3:8). God allotted seven days for His creation. It took six literal 24-hour days to renew the face of the earth and to create all the creatures of the earth and man. The capstone of God's creation was the seventh day, a day in which He rested.
When you again consider that a 24-hour day sometimes typifies a thousand years, and the Millennium is to be a 1,000-year period of rest and teaching of the ways of God, one can deduce that it will be a millennial Sabbath. Indeed, the Millennium is called just such a thing and is compared to the Sabbath in Hebrews 4. "Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it. For good news [gospel] came to us just as to them; but the message which they heard did not benefit them, because it did not meet with faith in the hearers. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, 'As I swore in my wrath, they shall never enter my rest,' although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way, 'And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.' And again in this place he said, 'They shall never enter my rest.' Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he sets a certain day, 'Today,' saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, 'Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.' For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later of another day. So then, there remains a sabbath rest for the people of God; for whoever enters God's rest also ceases from his labors as God did from his" (Hebrews 4:1-10, RSV).
Notice in verse one, the context is of entering God's rest in the Kingdom of God. In verse four God inspired the comparison between the rest of His Kingdom with the rest on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a type of the Millennial Kingdom of God! In verse six, the details of this Sabbath are spoken of as yet future-the former Promised Land was only a type. Verse eight details a specific comparison between the rest of the Sabbath and the Promised Land that Joshua led Israel into, with the coming "promised land" of the Kingdom of God, and proves that the real rest is yet to come. Joshua did not fulfill the promises of God concerning the rest, of which the Sabbath was a type. Verse nine exhorts us to keep the Sabbath as a teaching guide to the plan of God for His people, i.e., the coming rest. In verse ten, those who will enter God's promised rest will keep the Sabbath by ceasing from their works, as God did from His. When did God cease from His works? On the Sabbath (see Genesis 2:2-3).
The Sabbath was a period of time that lasted one day. With a day representing a thousand years-and the Sabbath clearly representing the millennial rest in God's Kingdom-we have the millennial rest of 1,000 years. This 1,000-year period would then represent the seventh "day" to complete God's scriptural creation, i.e., the millennial Sabbath represents the seventh 1,000 year "day" or period of time allotted to complete God's creation. According to dating records, Adam was created nearly 6,000 years ago. The seventh day will come soon.
Another Scripture points powerfully forward to the millennial day of rest on this earth: "He [God] has appointed a [millennial] day on which He will judge [i.e. rule] the world in righteousness by the Man who He has ordained … by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).
Now what of Christ's reign during that period? Remember, Christ is called King of kings (Revelation 19:6). Christ will rule during that period as the Supreme King over all. The kingdom and government of God will be restored to the earth, and all that oppose God will be put down. However, as King of kings, Christ will not be the only king. There will be other kings who will rule with, and under, Christ. Those other kings will be the saints who will serve under Christ in leadership positions (Matthew 19:27-28; Revelation 2:26-27; 3:21; 5:10; 20; 4-6).
Christ is also called the High Priest in Hebrews 7. But you may remember that the high priest was not the only priest-but was the highest in rank, authority and service. Since Christ will be both a King and a High Priest, the saints will also be kings and priests under Him (1 Peter 2:9). This is a wonderful truth and calling given to those whom God calls and who submit to God in this life, attaining the first resurrection-the better resurrection (Hebrews 11:35). You can read about the saints ruling with Christ in many places. Notice Christ's parables of the talents. The reward for a Christian's growth in the ways of the Lord was rulership over many things (Matthew 25:14-23). Christ told the 12 Apostles that they would sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). God said He will raise up King David to rule over all 12 tribes (Jeremiah 30:9). But perhaps the clearest passage dealing with our calling to be kings and priests is found in the book of Revelation: "…and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:10).
Notice this reigning will be on earth-not in heaven! Remember Christ said, "Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth!" (Matthew 5:5).
Revelation chapter 20 clearly ties together the saint's reign on earth and the millennial rest of 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4-6). The saints will reign with and under Christ for a thousand years during the Millennium. The rest of the dead will come up in the second resurrection after the Millennium, and will then be taught the way of God and given the opportunity for salvation (vv. 5, 11-15). Those who accept Christ as their Messiah and King, and who submit, will be taught of God and will inherit eternal life. Those who persist in disobedience will become ashes under the soles of the saints' feet (Malachi 4:1-4; Revelation 20:11-15).
There will be no more pain, no more suffering and no more rebellion against the ways of God. There will then be utter peace on earth forever (Revelation 21:4). At that time, Christ will turn the entire Kingdom over to His Father (1 Corinthians 15:22-28). Order a free copy of Your Ultimate Destiny, which will help you understand this wonderful plan of God.
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