Before going any further, let me take something out of the way, right away. If someone feels that the kingdom of God is already here in its full manifestation, I should ask, are you saying that we are in the millennium already? Did the rapture already take place?
I do not argue that God’s kingdom is already on this earth through us; the kingdom of God is in us already. Nevertheless, I do not see any biblical evidence that His kingdom has been already established on this earth.
We will undoubtedly rule and reign with Jesus on this dimension of life for one thousand years; but I will strongly and passionately argue, that is a futuristic event. Revelation 20:1-6 gives us a good description of the millennium.
20 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (NKJV)
There is a specific time and place when we will rule and reign with Jesus; this is not it! The millennium has very clear biblical characteristics; just to name a few: 1) During the millennium Satan will be bound. (Revelation 20:2) 2) There will be a worldwide acknowledgment and adoration of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4) 3) There will be peace between man and animals. I always say that I will be able to play with bears during the millennium with no fear. (Isaiah 11:6-9 and Isaiah 66:25) These characteristics are just touching the surface of what the millennium will be all about.
For a deeper study on the millennium I recommend that you read the following article, “Characteristics of the Millennium, the 1000-Year Reign of Jesus Christ upon Earth” by James T. Bartsch.
To be continued…
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