The last 7 years of life on earth (as we know it) is over. Yeshua has fought against the antichrist and beaten him – with one breath at His second coming (not to be confused with the rapture)- 2 Thess 2v8.
This chapter talks about the millennial Kingdom. We are not presently living in this millennial Kingdom, as some people believe. Nor is this millennial Kingdom going to be absent (amillennialism).
v1-2: The first thing we learn about this millennial Kingdom is that satan is bound and is in the bottomless pit for 1000 years. satan will have no influence in this Kingdom. The only influence is that of Messiah Yeshua. His Word is going to go out from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2v2-5)
v3: Satan is seen as a deceiver – causing doubt about the Word of G-d (Genesis 3v1).
- Who takes part in this millennial Kingdom?
- Those who took part in the rapture. At the time of the rapture, every believer, dead or alive, will receive a glorified body (1 Cor 15v50-55). These believers are going to be in the heavens, with Messiah, until His return (second coming) and they will return to earth with Him (Rev 19v7-8 and v14)
- Jewish people who come to faith after the rapture and before the second coming of Messiah.
- Gentiles who come to faith after the rapture and before the second coming.
Everyone in the millennial Kingdom, on Day 1, is a believer. They are all saved (Rev 19v21 tells us that all the unbelievers, at this time, die and their flesh is fed to the birds).
Every believer who took part in the rapture received a glorified body (see above). As a result, they will not be able to procreate (Matt 22v30).
However, there is no Scriptural evidence to show that the Jews and Gentiles that came to faith after the rapture receive a glorified body. This group of people will be able to procreate. (Micah 4v1-8, Isaiah 65v20-23) The law (Torah) will go forth, in the millennial Kingdom, and the first commandment to mankind was to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1v28). People are going to obey the Torah and be fruitful and multiply.)
- A group of children are born, in the millennial Kingdom, from the 2nd and 3rd group of people mentioned above. They are going to become the largest group: “like sand on the seashore” (20v8). These people will live under the reign of Messiah – satan will not be there to deceive them, so they will not have been able to exercise their free will to its full extent. At the end of the 1000yrs they will be able to make their choice.
v4: This verse is a reference to believers (those who have the testimony of Yeshua). Believers in glorified bodies are going to rule and reign with Messiah for those 1000 years. This is the first resurrection.
v5:This group of (dead) people will not be part of the millennial Kingdom. These people will be those who are punished with the beast and false prophet. The second thing we learn about this Kingdom is that there will be a second resurrection. The people who take part in the first resurrection are the same ones who will take part in the millennial Kingdom.
v6: Those who are going to be ruling and reigning with Messiah will be those who were faithful and received Messiah prior to the rapture.
v7: Why would satan be released?
The people born in the millennial Kingdom are going to be of a new dispensation. They will not have faith in Yeshua, as defined by Heb 11v1, as He will be right there for them to see – ruling and reigning over them. Justice is going to be maintained and metered out immediately. For sin there will be immediate consequences.
The way that these people, from the fourth group, manifest their faith and trust in G-d is to offer up sacrifices (Zech 14v16-21, Isaiah 60). All the sacrifices in the Old Testament pointed to the cross, the all sufficient sacrifice. All the sacrifices in the millennial Kingdom do the same thing as those offered prior to Messiah – but instead of pointing forwards to the cross they point backwards to it. What brings about the atonement for sins? Only the sacrifice of Messiah. In the millennial Kingdom, to demonstrate faith in Messiah, they have to go up to Jerusalem and, in obedience to the Torah, offer sacrifices as a testimony and as an act of faith.
These people are going to be born into a Kingdom of righteousness and justice. Because they are forced to live under these conditions they haven’t had the opportunity to exercise free will in regard to Messiah. They are pressured to do the right thing.