“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”[2 Peter 3:8]
Considering that I have spent a substantial amount of time on the Day of the LORD, my aim is to bring this series to its conclusion, so here goes.
As a firm believer in Biblical creation and a “young” earth model of Biblical history, it is important to begin by demonstrating how the Day of the LORD will be the final 1,000 years — or 1 Day — of redemptive history before God creates a new heaven and new earth. This of course has become known as the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, which I believe to be a literal 1,000 years of Christ’s reign on earth.
Peter provides a keen insight into the Day of the LORD by reminding us that “with the Lord” one day is as a thousand years, and a thousands years as one day. Obviously the Millennial Kingdom will be that unique Day on earth when we will dwell WITH THE LORD and He will dwell with us!
In summary, I believe that there has been approximately 6,000 years of human history, although our imperfect dating methods must allow for some general latitude on the exactness of this date [+ or – 200 years or so]. All I know is that according to the Biblical record and the genealogies provided in Scripture, we are approaching the completion of 6,000 years — or 6 Days — of human history, which can only mean one thing.
The imminent return of the Lord Jesus is at hand. Once Jesus returns on THAT DAY, it will inaugurate the beginning the final 1,000 years — the 7th Day of rest — for all of God’s people. Here is a simple visual that may help provide some perspective. [Note — the “rapture and second coming are simultaneous events — not separate]
By establishing the original creation week, the LORD was giving us a prophetic pattern of history in the first book of the Bible. The Sabbath Day rest on the 7th Day has always been a picture of the final Day — or 1,000 years — when God returns to earth to give rest to His people! What a day of rejoicing that will be!
So if we are dealing with a literal Kingdom of 1,000 years, what will the Day of the LORD really be like? I will try to hit the high points here.
The Tribute of the Nations
One of the first recurring themes I see in the Scripture describes how the surviving nations will bring tribute and offerings to the LORD in Zion, honoring Him as the King of kings. There are many passages that depict this during the Millennium, but I will only provide a few here.
“At that time tribute will be brought to the LORD of hosts
from a people tall and smooth,
from a people feared near and far,
a nation mighty and conquering,
whose land the rivers divide,
to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the LORD of hosts.”[Isaiah 18:7]
“Because of your temple at Jerusalem kings shall bear gifts to you.”[Psalm 68:29]
Isaiah 60 perhaps provides one of the most detailed accounts of the nations paying tribute to King Jesus.
“And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising
Lift up your eyes all around, and see;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from afar,
and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.
5Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and exult,
because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
6A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD.
7All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you;
the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;
they shall come up with acceptance on my altar,
and I will beautify my beautiful house.
Who are these that fly like a cloud,
and like doves to their windows?
9For the coastlands shall hope for me,
the ships of Tarshish first,
to bring your children from afar,
their silver and gold with them,
for the name of the LORD your God,
and for the Holy One of Israel,
because he has made you beautiful.
Foreigners shall build up your walls,[Isaiah 60:3-14]
and their kings shall minister to you;
for in my wrath I struck you,
but in my favor I have had mercy on you.
11Your gates shall be open continually;
day and night they shall not be shut,
that people may bring to you the wealth of the nations,
with their kings led in procession.
12For the nation and kingdom
that will not serve you shall perish;
those nations shall be utterly laid waste.
13The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,
the cypress, the plane, and the pine,
to beautify the place of my sanctuary,
and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
14The sons of those who afflicted you
shall come bending low to you,
and all who despised you
shall bow down at your feet;
they shall call you the City of the LORD,
the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”
The Universal Worship of Yahweh
Along with tribute and offerings from the nations, the Bible also describes that Day as a time when all the nations of the earth migrate to Israel to worship the LORD of lords in all His glory.
“Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths.”[Zechariah 14:16]
“For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD.”[Isaiah 66:22-23]
The Scriptures also describe a unique highway from Egypt to Assyria in that Day that will allow the nations to caravan to Zion to worship the LORD.
“In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”[Isaiah 19:23-25]
The Law Will Go Forth from Zion
As the King of the Universe reigns from His throne, the law of the LORD will be the law of the whole earth and justice will prevail in God’s Kingdom. All who forsake God’s law will be punished, but all who obey will enjoy God’s favor and blessing forevermore. Jesus will rule “on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore” [Isaiah 9:7].
It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.[Micah 4:1-3]
Satanic Influence will be Removed
The Millennial Kingdom will be free from the presence and power of the evil one — the devil — as the earth will enjoy a Day of victory over our enemies.
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.”[Revelation 20:1-3]
Peace and Prosperity for the Earth
The coming Kingdom of God will be a time of peace from war and the overall longevity of life. Beyond that, all of nature will be in harmony. I believe this will include no more catastrophic storms or earthquakes. No more brutal famines or harsh winters. It will be paradise on earth again.
“For behold, I create new heavens[Isaiah 65:17-25]
and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
or come into mind.
18But be glad and rejoice forever
in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
and her people to be a gladness.
19I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
and the cry of distress.
20No more shall there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not fill out his days,
for the young man shall die a hundred years old,
and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.
21They shall build houses and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23They shall not labor in vain
or bear children for calamity,
for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the LORD,
and their descendants with them.
24Before they call I will answer;
while they are yet speaking I will hear.
25The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
and dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain,”
says the LORD.
The Restoration of Paradise
The Millennial Kingdom will be a progressive restoration of paradise on the earth, as God’s people will be commissioned by the LORD Himself to expand the beauty and glory of His name throughout the earth.
Living waters will flow from under God’s throne in Jerusalem and will replenish and bring new life to all the desert lands. Men will harvest the best of crops and catch an abundance of fish, enjoying the fruit of their labor in the joy of the LORD!
“And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streambeds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD and water the Valley of Shittim.”[Joel 3:18]
“Again you shall plant vineyard, on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit. For there shall be a day when watchmen will call in the hill country of Ephraim:
‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.’”
“They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,[Jeremiah 31:5-6, 12-14]
and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the LORD,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall be like a watered garden,
and they shall languish no more.
Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy;
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance,
and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,
declares the LORD.”
“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar … As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8And he said to me, ‘This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh. 9And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. 10Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. 11But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. 12And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.’”[Ezekiel 47:1, 7-12]
The Saints will Rule with God
Finally, I would like to leave this series with Scriptures that describe the role of God’s people in His Millennial Kingdom. The saints — or holy ones — will rule and reign with Christ during this time, executing His will, participating in the restoration, and inheriting the Kingdom itself. Our level of authority and responsibility in the Kingdom will be determined by our faithfulness and obedience to God in this life. Some, therefore, will be given greater roles than others.
“The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.”[Revelation 2:26-27]
“But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever… And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”[Daniel 7:17, 27]
“You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”[Luke 22:28-30]
Once the 1,000 years are ended, the devil and death will be destroyed once and for all, and God will make everything new in a new heaven and earth in which we will dwell forevermore. This is the final eternal state.
“They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”[Revelation 22:4-5]