The Millennium (also known as the Millennial Kingdom) is the 1,000-year reign of Jesus after the Tribulation and before all the people of the world are sent to either heaven or hell. Jesus will reign as king over Israel as well as all the nations of the world (Isaiah 2:4; 42:1). The world will live in peace (Isaiah 11:6–9; 32:18), Satan will be bound (Revelation 20:1–3), and, at the beginning, everyone will worship God (Isaiah 2:2–3).
Christ’s Rule on Earth
The Bible tells us that when Christ returns to the earth He will establish Himself as king in Jerusalem, sitting on the throne of David (Luke 1:32–33). The unconditional covenants demand a literal, physical return of Christ to establish the kingdom. The Abrahamic Covenant promised Israel a land, a posterity and ruler, and a spiritual blessing (Genesis 12:1–3). The Palestinian Covenant promised Israel a restoration to the land and occupation of the land (Deuteronomy 30:1–10). The Davidic Covenant promised Israel a king from David’s line who would rule forever—giving the nation rest from all their enemies (2 Samuel 7:10–13).
At the second coming, these covenants will be fulfilled as Israel is re-gathered from the nations (Matthew 24:31), converted (Zechariah 12:10–14), and restored to the land under the rule of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Bible speaks of the conditions during the millennium as a perfect environment physically and spiritually. It will be a time of peace (Micah 4:2–4; Isaiah 32:17–18), joy (Isaiah 61:7, 10), and comfort (Isaiah 40:1–2). The Bible also tells us that only believers will enter the millennial kingdom. Because of this, it will be a time of obedience (Jeremiah 31:33), holiness (Isaiah 35:8), truth (Isaiah 65:16), and the knowledge of God (Isaiah 11:9, Habakkuk 2:14). Christ will rule as king (Isaiah 9:3–7; 11:1–10). Nobles and governors will also rule (Isaiah 32:1; Matthew 19:28), and Jerusalem will be the political center of the world (Zechariah 8:3).
Rewarding the Saints
Jesus Christ has promised to reward people who through the ages have faithfully served Him (Revelation 11:18; Revelation 22:12). Notice their part in His Kingdom: “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” (Revelation 20:6). This future period is often simply called the Millennium (a 1,000-year span).
From the beginning of Christ’s millennial reign the faithful servants of God—including many who will have suffered severe persecution and martyrdom—will serve as the teachers and administrators of that wonderful world to come. They will assist Jesus in teaching the ways of peace and righteousness to the nations. This will fulfill Christ’s promise to His Church: “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).
The prophet Daniel foretold the same thing: “Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:27).
Christ does not plan to change the world single-handedly. At His coming His faithful servants will be immediately transformed from flesh and blood into immortal spirit beings who can assist Him.
Paul explained:“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:50-53).
These transformed beings will sit with Jesus Christ on His throne. They will serve with Him as teachers and administrators during His millennial reign.
The Millennial Temple
In Ezekiel 40:1-46:24 the millennial temple is described, a huge building rich in spiritual meaning. The spiritual significance of the millennial temple will differ from the importance of the temple under the Mosaic Law, but it will provide a means of worship of God, including animal sacrifices. Though animal sacrifices in themselves do not provide any relief from sin, as was true in the Old Testament, millennial sacrifices will look back to the cross even as sacrifices in the Mosaic period looked forward to the cross.
Though some have opposed the idea of animal sacrifices in the Millennium on the ground that Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient, there does not seem to be any other suitable explanation of the details of the millennial kingdom and the details of the sacrificial system in the millennial kingdom as provided in Ezekiel. During the present age the Lord’s Supper is the scriptural reminder of the sacrifice of Christ.
God makes Covenant with Animals
During the millennium kingdom rule, God will make a covenant with beasts of the forest so that they will be tamed and not harm anyone, even a little child.
“In that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the birds of the heavens, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the land, and will make them to lie down safely.” (Hosea 2:18)
“For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you.” Job 5:23
“I will make a covenant of peace with my people and drive away the dangerous animals from the land. Then they will be able to camp safely in the wildest places and sleep in the woods without fear.” Ezekiel 34:25
The Nature of animals changed
God will change the nature of the beasts of the forest at that time. In Isaiah 11:6-9 it is revealed that “The wolf also shall 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. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”
The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,” says the LORD.
An End to Wars
There will be no war during this one thousand years, until Satan is released (Revelation 20:7-9) for a short period at the end. In reference to Jesus Christ, Micah 4:3 says, “And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isaiah 2:4 is very similar passage. Not only will there no longer be any war, but the weapons will be dismantled and battle strategies will no longer be taught.
Those are the covenants God made with Israel that are to be fulfilled in Jesus’ 1,000-year reign, but the Bible lists other promises that will be fulfilled, too. God promised Jesus He will make His enemies a footstool, and that Jesus’ followers will worship Him freely (Psalm 100). God promised the nations of the world that they would live in peace with Jesus as their ruler (Daniel 7:11–14). And He promised creation that the curse would be lifted (Romans 8:18–23), and people would be freed from disease (Ezekiel 34:16). These, too, will be fulfilled during the 1,000-year reign.