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808. The Millennial Kingdom Part 1

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
September 2, 2020 7:00 pm

808. The Millennial Kingdom Part 1

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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September 2, 2020 7:00 pm

Dr. Greg Stiekes continues a doctrinal series entitled, “Return of the King” and the scripture is Revelation 20.

The post 808. The Millennial Kingdom Part 1 appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Sr. His intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything so he established daily chapel services. Today that tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from The University Chapel platform. Today on The Daily Platform, we're continuing a study series entitled Return of the King, which is a study of the second coming of Christ. Dr. Greg Stikes of the Bob Jones University Seminary will bring today's message.

BGU President Steve Pettit will introduce him. As we sang our last hymn entitled Christ returneth, it brought me back to a conference that I went to about 37 years ago. I was a 26 year old youth pastor living in Michigan and I went to a pastor's conference and there were about 6,000 in attendance and an old gentleman got up to sing. He was in his early 80s.

His name was Howard Jewell. Howard Jewell had sung as a young man in his 20s in the Billy Sunday Crusades of the early 1900s. So here I am at his age when he was singing and now here he is in his 80s and he sang the song Christ returneth Hallelujah. Now most of the preachers in the room were Baptist preachers and Baptist preachers have a tendency to get excited. And by the time he had finished singing that song, every preacher in that room that had a handkerchief in his pocket which was most of them had the hankie out and they were waving it. It looked like it was snowing in the building and it was the most electrifying atmosphere I've ever been in my life when they were considering the return of Christ.

Now this series, Return of the King, has a teaching aspect and component to it. But if nobody ever shouts somehow something's not right because folks Jesus is coming back again. Amen. And he's going to take us home to be with him forever. He is returning. So Dr. Greg Stikes, come and lift us up to that glorious return of the king.

Thank you so much, Dr. Pettit. It's always a privilege to participate in this series and I'm going to ask you to open your Bibles this morning to Revelation chapter 20 where we will read the premier New Testament passage that talks about the millennial kingdom, which is our subject this morning. The millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ, that is the literal political thousand year reign of Jesus Christ on this earth that we are inhabiting right now. And if you look at your Bibles there in Revelation chapter 20, John describes the scene this way. He says, and I saw an angel come down from heaven having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years and shut him up and set a seal upon him.

Now, I'm going to press pause here for just a few minutes so we can get our bearings. What we just read happens at the climax of a great battle that is described for us in chapter 19. In chapter 19, the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, returns to earth as king, as Dr. Pettit was just talking about, gloriously and triumphantly. And he and his army, if you look at chapter 19, are riding horses and they're wearing garments of pure white, which is the color of victory. And Jesus is coming to rule, it says there, with a rod of iron. And on his robes and thigh is the name King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And in conquering fury, he tramples those who hate and oppose him like he is pulverizing grapes in a winepress. Emperors and kings and mighty men and hosts of his enemies gather together to conquer him and he wipes them out. It reminds me just a little bit of that scene in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Ring movies, when Gandalf and the Rohirrim arrive at the Battle of Helm's Deep.

Have you seen this? In the nick of time, they're up on a high hill overlooking the men who are fighting for their lives against the Uruk-Hai and Aragorn and Theoden are teaming up, but they're making their last stand prepared to die. But as the desperate soldiers look up, down the hill rushes the battle-ready Rohirrim, led by Gandalf the White, and they overwhelm and crush the Uruk-Hai and vanquish them all. But you know, all of the geniuses of the film industry combined with their amazing cinematography and mind-blowing CGI and lighting and sound effects cannot even come close to representing the magnitude and awe and sheer power of this terrifying scene in Revelation. The Lord, it says in chapter 19, captures the nightmarish beast and the false prophet, these instruments of Satan who have been seething the world in the tribulation period, and it says they are thrown alive into the lake of fire and the rest of the Lord's enemies are slain by his sword.

So numerous are their carcasses that the scavenger birds literally gorge themselves on their flesh. This is the Lord's second coming, and when he comes, he comes to rule as king over the earth. Now, if you're looking for a full description of the kingdom that the Lord will establish, you're not actually going to find it here in this premiere passage in Revelation 20. But there are several significant features that offer us a general view of Jesus' 1,000 year reign.

Here is the first one. We find that Satan's influence is thwarted. The mighty angel in verse 1 that we read about has the key of the bottomless pit, or the abyss in the Greek language.

It's this chasm of immeasurable depth that exists in the spirit unseen world where evil creatures such as angels are bound and released at God's discretion. And this angel grabs hold of the dragon who is identified as Satan and he binds him and casts him into the abyss for a thousand years, which is going to be absolutely humiliating for Satan and a reminder that his days are numbered and that he is still under the control of Almighty God. And the angel locks the door and sets a seal upon it, which is the seal of authority.

Nobody has the authority to open that door except for the one who has that seal. In other words, he's not getting out for 1,000 years. Now, why is Satan in prison in the abyss for those 1,000 years?

Verse 3 tells us, if you look, it says that he should deceive the nations no more till the 1,000 years should be fulfilled. In other words, the work that Satan is doing right now is going to stop. Right now, he blinds the minds of the unbelieving, 2 Corinthians 4.

Right now, his spirit is at work in the sons of disobedience, Ephesians chapter 2 verse 1. But Satan also has a hand, we see, in the Word of God in influencing leaders and governments to work injustice in the world and to oppress those who bear the image of God. I wondered as I was preparing this sermon how different the world would be if Satan had already been bound for the past 1,000 years, unable to deceive the nations through his messengers who build unjust and sometimes murderous governments. If Satan had been bound during the 13th century, would the world have known the likes of Genghis Khan, the Mongolian warlord who ruled one of the largest empires in human history but also killed 40 million people? Historians estimate that he diminished the world population by 11%. Or how about Ivan the Terrible, who unified Russia but instituted a reign of terror?

Would Timberland have a rise in the 14th century, who conquered Asia and the Middle East by massacring thousands of people? Wherever he went, he would build towers with their skulls. Or what about Adolf Hitler, perhaps the most notorious of evil leaders in world history, who led the Holocaust and was responsible for the deaths of 11 million people as he tried to build his Third Reich? Or Pol Pot, the leader of Cambodia, who in the 1970s rounded up 2 million of the more educated and the religious leaders and put them in concentration camps where they were executed? And more recently, Saddam Hussein, who slaughtered close to 200 Shiite civilians and murdered thousands of others, even members of his own family, and had his opponents' families and their children tortured and raped in his vision to build a unified Arab empire.

Now, we could go on and on. No government, including the US, is innocent from corruption and human atrocity at some point in their history. But these are a few of many examples of extreme violence and lack of compassion and disdain for humanity by leaders who were able to deceive whole nations, and there was something diabolical, something devilish, something satanic at its core. But when Satan is imprisoned in the abyss, his influence will be gone from the world, and another influence will arise in its place, for the king is coming to reign. In Revelation 20, verse 4, John says, I saw thrones and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them, and I saw the souls of men that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God, which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image in the tribulation period, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Now, here are two more significant features that define this era of human history. Jesus the Messiah reigns for a thousand years, and that's really all it says about Jesus' reign in this particular text, that it is a thousand years. Now, back in chapter 19, verse 15, John also says that he will rule with a rod of iron. The rod was the weapon of a shepherd. It was like a long four-foot wooden club, but Jesus wields a rod of iron.

He will rule with absolute authority, strictly enforcing obedience, deftly putting down any insurrection, and this will strike fear in the hearts of those who do not want his righteous rule, but it will bring great comfort to those of us who love the Lord and love righteousness and want to see it flourish. But here in Revelation 20, the text only gives us the duration of Jesus' reign. It's the millennium. In fact, that's what millennia means, of course, a thousand year, a meal, a thousand, an annus year. And six times in this passage, it states that the reign will be one thousand years.

In fact, it's the only place in the Bible that we find out that it's one thousand years. Most of the description of this time period is focused on those who will reign with the Messiah, who will represent him in his government. And so we see that there are believers who will reign with Jesus, the Messiah. John says they have thrones, seats of authority throughout the earth, and judgment is given unto them.

They will have the authority to establish justice and banish injustice in the earth, and they will be local governments throughout the earth operating underneath Jesus the King. Who are these believers who will live and reign for a thousand years? These are believers who have died and have been resurrected and given new bodies, as the New Testament talks about. Some of them, verse 4 tells us, died as martyrs during the tribulation period.

Did you notice that? They were beheaded. They refused to go along with the ungodly social order, and they had paid for it with their lives, and now they are reigning with Jesus. It's like what Paul writes to Timothy, that those who suffer for the sake of Christ will one day reign with Christ. If you'll look at verse 6, you will see that they are called priests and kings of God and of Christ because they will reign with him for the thousand years.

Priests are those who represent the Lord on the earth, and kings are those who reign with Jesus Christ. Now, this one final feature that we notice in this millennial reign of Jesus as the Messiah, and I want to point this out to you, unbelievers also inhabit this kingdom. And we know this, among other reasons, because after the thousand years have ended, Satan is going to be set loose for a little time. And we see this starting in verse 7. When the thousand years are expired, Satan will be loosed out of his prison. Now, has he learned his lesson? Is he willing to submit to the king? Watch what he does. He goes out in verse 8 and he deceives the nations.

He's back at it again right away. The nations which were in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, the names of Israel's oppressors, to gather them together to the battle, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea, and they went up on the breadth of the earth, encompassed the camp of the saints about and the beloved city, and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are and should be tormented day and night forever and ever. You see, there are obviously those who survived the tribulation and who are living on the earth during the millennial reign of Christ. And it's a prosperous time and many children are born with fallen human natures just like you and I have, and the evidence of their depravity is the fact that after living however many centuries under the righteous rule of Christ, they are still going to be deceived by Satan and they will hate the Lord and desire to overthrow him.

And they will gather themselves against him in one final effort, sadly deceived into thinking they can actually win. And again the king will conquer them all and end the insurrection of Satan for all eternity by casting him into the lake of fire. These are the significant features of the millennial kingdom as they're described here in Revelation chapter 20. Well does the Bible have anything else to say about the millennial kingdom? Some of you may have the impression that the kingdom in which Christ rules is just a random thing that's going to happen before the culmination of human history, right before God creates the new heaven and the new earth, as if the millennial kingdom is merely tacked on to God's divine timeline as we see it in the Bible. But it may surprise you to know that if you want to start studying the idea of a kingdom where Jesus rules on the earth, you have to journey back to the very beginning of creation. And so for our remaining minutes I want to demonstrate to you the centrality of the millennial kingdom in the word of God. Do you realize that most of the Old Testament is really about the kingdom? Genesis 1 26 through 28 is where God creates man and women and he gives them his image and his likeness and he says, let them have dominion.

That means they can rule. God created humanity to reign as kings and priests, governing the world in righteousness, representing God and the world as image bearers. And if Adam and Eve or their descendants had not sinned, the garden would have continued to grow and the glory and the knowledge of the Lord would have spread through the whole earth. But Adam and Eve did fall.

And fallen humanity corrupts rulers and breeds corrupt rulers. After Cain murdered his brother, he was banished from the Lord, further east from Eden. And what did he do? He built a city. He started a kingdom. And it was a corrupt kingdom, Genesis 4 tells us, marked by violent people.

And Cain's prosperity begins to corrupt the earth and when God had to destroy the earth with a flood, saving Noah and his family, people were free again to build a kingdom. What kind of kingdom did they build? They built Babel. Babel wasn't corrupt because everybody was in one place. Babel was corrupt because they were worshiping false deities and exalting themselves against God. So God, in judgment, destroyed their kingdom and scattered their people throughout the whole earth until that day when he could gather them together again under a righteous king in a holy kingdom. So immediately after, this is important, immediately after the kingdom of Babel, we see God's response to all corrupt kingdoms. God calls Abraham and promises to build a kingdom from him and his descendants. God tells Abraham, I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you and make your name great and you will be a blessing and it's going to be through you, Abraham, that I will bring humanity back into fellowship with God. So God grew the nation of Israel to be that kingdom and just as God had created Adam and then placed him in the garden, so God created Israel, brought them to Mount Sinai, established a covenant with them and then led them to the land where he was going to build this kingdom. And God raised up not only a king for this nation, but he promised his own king, David, a throne. David told God in second, or I should say, God told David in 2 Samuel chapter 7, I am going to establish your throne. David had said, Lord, I want to build you a house. And God said, David, that's great, but you can't.

You've got blood on your hands. You're a man of war. I need a man of peace to build my house. But I'll tell you what I'm going to do, David.

I'm going to build you a house. I'm going to establish your throne. And your house and your kingdom will be established forever before you and your throne will be established forever. Now, the hands of peace did indeed build the house of the Lord, the temple. David's son, Solomon, Shalom, peace, built the temple and God blessed Solomon's rule and the kingdom expanded and the wisdom and riches of God's king, Solomon, became known. If you read the story in 1 Kings, you see the kings of the earth traveling from all over, wanting to see the greatness of Solomon's kingdom and the glory of the Lord. And the knowledge of the Lord begins to spread throughout the whole earth.

Finally, this is God's plan for his kingdom, taking root and growing and flourishing. But that issue we call the sin nature was alive and well in Solomon's heart. And 1 Kings 11, I think, is one of the saddest chapters in all the word of God. Because it says that Solomon loved many foreign women to the extent that his love for them dwarfed his love for God.

And that will always take us down a wrong path whenever we exalt something else over God and our love for him in our lives. And Solomon began to love and worship their idols. And the glorious kingdom came crashing down. The kingdom is split in two.

The northern tribes never had a righteous king after that. The southern tribe of Judah which became the kingdom of Judah had good kings and bad kings. But no king was able to rule the kingdom in righteousness and people struggled back and forth with idolatry until finally God sent a foreign nation to destroy his kingdom in judgment and carry the people away. But in the midst of this judgment, God extended hope to them.

Because surrounding the judgment, God sent them prophets to give them good news. The good news was, I am going to give you a better king. And he is going to give you a righteous kingdom. And I will be your God.

And you will be my people. I pointed out the fact that Revelation 20 leaves us with a lot of questions about the kingdom. But if you want to read widely on the subject, read the Old Testament prophets. They talk at length about this future day of judgment and blessing when God will give to Israel its king and its kingdom. For example, in Isaiah's prophecy, we meet this king. Isaiah 9 says there will be no more gloom for the war-ravaged nation of Israel.

Why? Because unto her a child is born. Unto her a son is given. And the government shall be upon his shoulder. He's coming to be king. And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

These are the throne names, the ascension names of the great coming king. His counsel will be supernatural. He will be the El Gabor, the Mighty Warrior. He will govern with a father's tender care and he will bring absolute peace to the earth. Of the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end.

Upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom to order it and establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth ever, from henceforth even forever. Are you ever grieved by the injustices of human government? Are you troubled by what we see happening in our own government, that we do not all the time see righteousness flourishing in the earth? Well, bear in mind a king is coming and he is going to set all wrongs to right. And if you yearn for justice, you will be satisfied. And the frustrating unfairness and injustice that makes us angry sometimes will be vanquished.

You want social justice? This king will know how to bring it about righteously, not with any anger or bitterness or misguided zeal. The Bible says with righteousness shall he judge the poor and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth and with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

That is great news for us who yearn for justice for the poor and the oppressed, even as the lady sang a little while ago. And there will be a whole new spirit pervading the earth. The wolf will dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together and a little child shall lead them. There will be peace that extends even to the animal kingdom during the reign of Jesus Christ on this earth that we are inhabiting right now. And this is why when Jesus appears to redeem us from sin, in the gospels, he preaches a gospel of the kingdom and his message is repent, for the kingdom is at hand.

The king is here. And the disciples were pumped about this. They started vying for position, trying to get in good with Jesus so they could have positions of authority with Jesus in his government. But what they did not know was that Jesus had to first prepare citizens for this kingdom by rescuing them from sin. And Jesus made it possible for us to live with him someday in his kingdom by dying for our sins and rising again to conquer death and the sin that condemns us. So after his resurrection, his disciples wanted to know, Lord, are you going to restore the kingdom of Israel now? And Jesus answers them, it is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the father has put in his own power. He's like, we're not, we're not, I'm not going to tell you about that right now.

He says, here's what I want you to do. You be my witnesses. When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, take the message of the king to the people in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. You know, I'm always excited about the fact that when I look at a crowd like this in North America, like we're gathered here this morning, and the vast majority of us, I imagine, are genuinely saved by faith in the king.

It's evidence of the impact of Jesus' plan. God is still calling out a people for his name and he is going to gather us before he creates the new heavens and the new earth into one kingdom to bring to pass everything he has promised and we will finally see what this very earth that we inhabit looks like under the perfect governance of that king and it will be glorious. Are you a child of that kingdom? Will you reign with Jesus Christ? Do you anticipate this wonderful time when all of the Lord's promises to Israel will finally be fulfilled and the world will know the blessing of Abraham through the Son of God, Jesus Christ? You know, the Lord taught his disciples to pray a certain prayer. It's really a model prayer and I think it's appropriate for us to pray it today. After honoring the name of God in this prayer, you see, the first item on the agenda is to urge God to bring in his kingdom, to finish his timetable and let peace reign on the earth and to pray that God's will be done on the earth, on this globe that we inhabit, on the soil of Greenville, South Carolina, where we live and move today, just as God's will is done in heaven. And when we pray this prayer, we are committing for our part by the grace of God to live and speak and make choices today in a way that God's will is indeed advancing in the world through us as we yield to his will through the Holy Spirit within us.

After all, this is my Father's world. Oh, let me ne'er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. And the last item in this prayer is an affirmation that God is the King and he reigns over all in power and glory forever. It anticipates that magnificent, glorious rule of Christ that we yearn for. I'm going to invite you to stand with me and I'd like us to pray this prayer as we're dismissed and commit ourselves and be thankful for Christ's glorious kingdom.

If you need to look at the words, that's fine. Let's pray the Lord's prayer. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. You've been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Greg Stikes, which is part of the study series about the second coming of Christ. Join us again tomorrow as we continue this series here on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-18 11:02:54 / 2024-03-18 11:13:13 / 10

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