The Millennium
Lesson 44

The culmination of the gospel and the event toward which all other events have pointed is the second coming of Jesus. Of this event the New Testament writers spoke over three hundred times. Coincident with this event is the deliverance and vindication of the people of God.

The word millennium means one thousand years. The millennium is the closing period of God’s great week of time. For six thousand years neither the earth nor the people of the earth have had rest. The millennium is a great sabbath of rest for the earth and for the people of God. Its beginning is marked by the return of Jesus to claim His people, and its end is marked by the final destruction of sin and suffering, and the re-creation of the earth. We find the millennium brought to view in Revelation 20 and 21.

1. Why has Christ’s return been delayed?

2 Peter 3:9
2 Peter 3:9

Note: To many the passing of time without the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus’ return is a source of perplexity, but the seventh verse of Revelation 19 tells us, at least in part, the reason for the apparent delay in His return. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.” The delay has been because the church of Christ has not been prepared to meet Him.

2. What must each person do who enters into eternal life?

Luke 13:24
Luke 13:24

Note: The character we cultivate, the attitudes we assume today, are fixing our destiny for time and eternity. The choices we make, and the deeds that result are all faithfully chronicled in the books of record. It is there known whether our characters are after the order of obedience, or of the lawlessness which originated with the rebellion in heaven. The question which we are deciding today by our attitudes and character development is whether we will be found wearing the white robe of righteousness, or will be lost when Jesus returns. Many, expecting to enter heaven without any effort on their own part, will fail. Developing a Christlike character requires stern conflicts with inherited and cultivated tendencies.

3. How many resurrections are there?

John 5:28–29
John 5:28–29

4. What group of people have part in the first resurrection?

Revelation 20:4, 6
John 5:28–29

Note: Obviously the “rest of the dead” can only be in reference to the dead whose resurrection is a yet future event.

5. What happens to the saints when Christ returns?

John 14:3
John 14:3

Note: In comparing this text with 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18, it is apparent that Christ comes to take the saints from this world to heaven.

6. What do the saints then receive?

1 Corinthians 15:51–53
1 Corinthians 15:51–53

7. What becomes of the living wicked at Christ’s coming?

Luke 17:26–30
Luke 17:26–30

Note: See also Isaiah 24:1, 3, 19.

8. What does the apostle Paul say about Christ’s coming?

1 Thessalonians 5:2–3
1 Thessalonians 5:2–3

9. What then happens to Satan?

Revelation 20:1–3
Revelation 20:1–3

Note: The binding of Satan is the confinement of circumstances. We have all heard the expression “my hands are tied.” We understand this to mean the person is speaking of the fact that because of circumstances beyond his control, he is prevented from doing that which he would otherwise choose to do. In this situation Satan is confined to this earth. The wicked are dead, the righteous are removed, and after six thousand years of intense activity this fallen angel is forced to contemplate his impending judgment. Isaiah also speaks of this time. See Isaiah 14:15–16, 19–20.

The expression “bottomless pit” is the Greek word abussos and is the equivalent of the Hebrew term theôm, meaning deep. This is the word used in Genesis 1:2 to describe the chaotic condition of the earth in the beginning before God began His work of creation — without form and void. Jeremiah and Isaiah both give us a description of the earth at this time. See Jeremiah 4:23–25; Isaiah 24:1, 3.

10. What will the saints do during the millennium?

Revelation 20:4–6
Revelation 20:4–6

11. Whom does Paul say the saints are to judge?

1 Corinthians 6:1–3
1 Corinthians 6:1–3

Note: In every trial there are two phases of judgment. There is first the investigative judgment. At this time the evidence is presented and a decision made as to whether guilt exists or not. If it is determined that the accused party is innocent, his trial is then ended with an acquittal. The investigative judgment must have been completed before Jesus comes, as the decision has already been made as to who are the saved and who are the lost. There can, therefore, be only one judgment left to take place. In every trial, when the guilt of the defendant has been determined, there is a date set for sentencing. During this period of time the evidence that has been produced in the trial is evaluated and the sentence determined. It is in this phase that the righteous participate.

12. Following the one thousand years, what happens to the wicked?

Revelation 20:5
Revelation 20:5

13. What change then takes place in Satan’s condition?

Revelation 20:7
Revelation 20:7

14. What does Satan at once proceed to do?

Revelation 20:8–9
Revelation 20:8–9

Note: Determined to the end in their hatred of righteousness, the wicked under Satan’s leadership determine to take the Holy City. Arrested in carrying out their purposes, they then suffer the executive judgment determined against them in the final phase of the judgment. Fire comes down, removing from the universe the last traces of rebellion.

15. How completely will men be destroyed?

Matthew 10:28
Matthew 10:28

Note: Through sin the wicked have given up their right to everlasting life. Terrible as this judgment may seem to be, it is an act of mercy, for to allow them to continue to live would be to allow sin to continue, with all the suffering, sorrow, and misery that it brings. When their destruction is complete, nothing of real value will have been lost. The experiment with sin, in which we have been involved for these thousands of years, will be over, and God will then carry out His original plan of peopling the earth with a race of holy, happy beings.

16. What is this death called?

Revelation 20:14
Revelation 20:14

17. How will this earth be destroyed?

2 Peter 3:10–12
2 Peter 3:10–12

18. What may the redeemed now look forward to?

2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1
2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1

Note: See Isaiah 65:21–23.

19. How will life then be different from our present life?

Revelation 21:4
Revelation 21:4

20. What is the promise to those who are saved?

Revelation 3:21
Revelation 3:21

“The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.” The Great Controversy, 678

Lesson Home◄Previous Lesson

Print Lesson in Adobe Acrobat