In Revelation 20, John sees satan bound with a chain and cast into the abyss, and yet he’s released for a little “chronos” (time). He then sees “saints” that live and reign with Christ for a thousand years . . . that’s a “millennium.” Then he comments, “whenever the thousand years are ended, satan is released, deceives the nations, and is cast into the lake of fire.”
It makes us wonder what and when is this Millennium that John is describing?
“Pre,” “Post,” and “Amillennialists” each make different suggestions.
The popular belief in America today is the idea that we’ll get raptured before tribulation and come back to rule the world from Old Jerusalem after watching Jesus fry our enemies.
A similar picture probably comes to mind for most folks, Muslim, Jew or Christian—even if some of the characters are different.
If I ask myself, “Peter Hiett, what would it look like to rule and reign on the earth?” an image comes to mind, and an old song by Van Halen begins to play: “I’m on top of the world, oh yeah. I got a drink in my hand. I got my toes in the sand… all I need is a beautiful girl. . . oh yeah.” I picture all of that . . . and oh yeah, one other thing: I’d like to see my enemies suffer.
So, what and when is the Millennium: when is satan bound?
Scripture seems to say that satan was defeated by Christ on the cross. . . And yet, he still prowls around . . . God even uses him to bring about “the destruction of the flesh” that people might be saved on the Day of the Lord . . . It’s like God has him on a leash.
So, what and when is the Millennium: when do saints, “live and reign” on the earth?
In verse 5 and to clarify, John writes, “This is the first resurrection,” as if his listeners in Ephesus and Asia Minor would know what that means. Paul had written to Ephesus saying, “You have been raised with Christ.” In his gospel, John taught that whoever believes has eternal life—as if they had already been “begotten from above.” “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brothers (and sisters),” wrote John in his Epistle.
Love is not of you; It is begotten in you. God is Love.
When Love rips the curtain in the Sanctuary of your soul and saturates your temple from the inside out, Love will no longer be law but, literally, your Life. . . and His Life.
Love rules all things in perfect freedom, even from the throne in the sanctuary of the human soul—His temple.
So, what and when is the Millenium: when is satan thrown into the lake of fire?
Once in a vision, after a long night of battling the enemy, a friend of mine asked Jesus, “Why don’t you just throw satan in the lake of fire?” She heard him say, “I Am . . . all the time.” When we love, we heap burning coals upon the head of the evil one, and Jesus uses us to transform our enemies into His Bride.
Maybe satan is bound and being cast into the lake of fire and divinity all the time.
Maybe Christ is coming all the time, as he said, whether we see Him or not?
Maybe we rule and reign whenever we walk by Grace through Faith; maybe we reign whenever we love Love, whenever we love in freedom.
If so, that would make me something of a Pre, Post, Amillennialist.
Well, if I were to rule and reign on earth, it would mean that either I got God to do my will, or God got me to do His will.
On earth, the first is called a miracle. In Heaven, I bet it’s the second.
If I willed what God wills, what would change? Well, God already “accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will.” (Eph. 1:11) So, nothing would change . . . except me: I would be happy. I would “enter His Rest.” I would be insanely happy and I would begin to love in freedom; I would be happy and holy.
Has any man ever consistently willed God’s will in freedom? Yes! He changed water to wine. He walked on the sea and did miracles. But He did not make His enemies suffer; He chose to suffer for His enemies. That’s the greatest miracle, the day He did no “miracle.” It’s the power of Love.
And that’s how He gets “the girl.”
You are the beautiful girl, the New Jerusalem coming down.
And through you He crushes the head of the ancient dragon and romances others to himself.
There is an “immeasurable greatness of power in us who believe” wrote Paul, to the Ephesians. And “do not overlook this one fact,” wrote Peter, “with the Lord, a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day.” “They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years,” wrote John in the Revelation.
I think this day is that Millennium. Don’t miss it.
*Sermon discussion questions are available here: Discussion Questions “Don’t Miss the Millenium”