FIRST POSTED ON 15 JULY 2020 (UPDATES IN BLUE).
Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!
Following the Day of the Lord, the dawn of the Millennium brings about the earthly Shalom of God - the consummation or bringing together into perfect union Man and God as Jesus rules the world through Israel His Lesser Light; the coming of true peace to mankind; and the Sabbath rest for both Man and God - Man resting in God, and God resting from His work of Creation. In a sense, we are brought back to the blessed state of Creation at the original Sabbath in Gen 2, with one major difference as we will see shortly.
Previously, we saw that the Day of the Lord would bring together the joint fulfilment of the first two Fall Feasts of God - the Feast of Trumpets calling us to meet the Lord in the air, and the Day of Atonement when Jesus would return to the Mount of Olives to rescue and restore a repentant Israel while judging the nations. The Millennium is the fulfilment of the last of the 7 Feasts of God - the Feast of Tabernacles - and revolves around worship at the Millennial Temple. The prophet Ezekiel gives us a detailed description of this Temple in Ezekiel 40-42, while Zechariah tells us that “the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles” (Zech 14:16). The Millennium ultimately reflects God’s desire to tabernacle or live among us - we read in Zechariah 2:10-11 and Ezekiel 48:35,““Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the Lord. “Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you … And the name of the city (Jerusalem) from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE (Yahweh Shammah).” Jerusalem or Yerushalayim, which means the “City of Peace” - and by extension, the world and mankind - can only find true peace (Shalom) in God’s presence.
The Millennium also brings to pass all the unfulfilled Old Testament promises concerning Israel and the Kingdom of David, in particular David’s greatest desire, which was to minister in God’s presence in His Holy Temple. Israel will fulfill its original purpose as God’s Lesser Light to the nations during the Millennium, with David - who would be among the resurrected - serving as Israel’s prince in the Millennial Temple as seen in the verses above.
Lastly, although the world is in a sense restored to its original blessed state, the description of the Millennial Kingdom in Rev 20 and other related passages throughout the Bible seems to suggest that it will comprise 2 groups - the first group being those redeemed by God (i.e., those who are part of the blessed “first resurrection”) and the second group comprising “survivors from all the nations.” The redeemed - which include David, the Apostles and likely only those who are martyred throughout history and the faithful still alive at Christ’s coming - will be clothed in glorified bodies and rule with Christ over these survivors, who remain in their fallen nature and will still experience death. Although greatly blessed by God during this thousand year period, we are nonetheless told that as soon as Satan is released, many among these survivors will be deceived into rebelling against God one final time, with devastating eternal consequences. With this, the sun of time and history will finally set over the Final Day of Creation as the books are opened for the Final Judgment.
Earlier, we saw how the first four Days of Creation gave us a unique Biblical perspective of the first 4,000 years of world history - telling us about sin and the Fall of Man, how sinful men deserved judgment but also how God in His love provided an ark, and later dry ground and a lesser light leading us to His Son Jesus Christ as our ultimate Saviour and Lord.
As we come to the end of the Seven Days of Creation, we are given Biblical insight into the remaining two thousand years of human history from the time of Christ until now, as our generation awaits Jesus’ soon return to usher in the Millennium.
Here, the Fifth Day of Creation pointed to the New Life available to all mankind through the giving of the Holy Spirit and birth of the Church as the Body of Christ. This came to pass with the emergence of Antioch in AM 4002 - the beginning of the Fifth Millennium - where believers were first known as Christians. The predominantly Gentile Church would become God’s vessel bringing His new life to the world for the next 2,000 years, especially following the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of Israel in 70 AD.
However, wherever this new life in the Spirit of Christ has sprouted, the life-destroying Spirit of the Antichrist has often quickly followed suit. The Sixth Day of Creation warns us of this Satan-inspired kingdom and Rule of Man that tries to overthrow the Kingdom and Rule of God. Beginning with the Great Schism and rise of the Papacy in AM 5013 - the start of the Sixth Millennium - these Satanic efforts, which have actually been ongoing since Creation, will intensify and culminate in the rule of the Antichrist in the end times.
With the rebirth of Israel in 1948 (AM 5907) seventy four years ago, the stage is now set for the coming Tribulation as we (AM 5981) approach the end of the Sixth Millennium in our generation. This brings us to the events symbolised by the Seventh and Final Day of Creation - here, the Great Tribulation - and with it God’s discipline of His people and judgment of His enemies - ends with the return of Jesus the Lion of Judah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, on the Day of the Lord, as the armies of the world led by the Antichrist surround a desperate and repentant Israel who cries out for her Messiah. In terms of the Fall Feasts, beginning with the Last Trumpet calling the saints to meet the Lord in the air, Jesus returns and sets foot on the Mount of Olives on the Day of Atonement to rescue and restore Israel, judge the nations and Tabernacle with us for a Thousand Years.
With this, mankind and all creation finally experience their earthly Sabbath Rest during the Millennium. The thousand years end with a final battle and the Final Judgment of all mankind.
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