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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Fifty-two Kingdom Concepts, #70
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope. (Isaiah 42:3,4—NIV)
The Thousand-year Kingdom Age
Between the first and second resurrections from the dead there will be a thousand-year period, whether the thousand years is a symbolic or literal expression of time. The thousand-year period often is referred to as the Millennium. I choose to refer to it as the "Kingdom Age," for it will be characterized by the rule of the rod of iron.
The Kingdom Age will begin when the Lord Jesus returns to earth. The Kingdom Age will terminate when Satan is released from the bottomless pit and leads the nations in rebellion against the saints.
Now, here is a remarkable thing: the nations have been taught by the saints during this age. Yet, at the end they still are willing to rebel against their kings and teachers. So great is the spirit of rebellion in mankind!
One may wonder why God would insert the Kingdom Age in between the coming of Christ and His saints to govern the world, and the descent of the new Jerusalem through the new sky to be installed on the new earth.
Why this delay in the beginning of eternity?
I would venture three reasons.
First, to prepare us for the fantastic Divine Glory of the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. After all, we shall see the very Face of God!
Second, to give us an opportunity to learn more of Christ as we share with Him in the task of governing the nations of saved people on the earth.
Third, to bring to maturity the members of the Church who were not qualified to rise to meet Christ at the time of the first resurrection. For whatever reason, they had not led a victorious Christian life, and yet they are an important part of God's elect.
I do not mean to imply by this that we can lead a careless life now and we nevertheless will be a part of the new Jerusalem. Not at all! If we do not press through to victory now, only Jesus Christ will decide whether we will ultimately be permitted to be part of His Church, or what our destiny will be. Make no mistake about this. If we are not faithful in that which is least we would not be faithful in the greater and the greater will not be entrusted to us.
Yet it is true that the victorious saints constitute only a minority of God's elect. The victorious saints are as David's mighty men—a part of Israel but distinguished by prowess in war.
The story of Gideon is a portrayal of the last days. The battle was won by a handful of Israelites, but the remainder of Israel profited from the victory. So it is true that the Lord will call up His mighty men when He returns, and they will win the victory on behalf of the entire Church.
From my point of view, one of the principal purposes of the thousand-year Kingdom Age is to bring to maturity the weaker members of God's elect. Victory will be brought to the "smoking flax and the bruised reed." I think that during the thousand years the stronger members of the Bride of the Lamb will assist the weaker until the entire new Jerusalem is ready for its descent to the new earth.
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. (Romans 15:1)
If she is a wall, we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door, we will enclose her with panels of cedar. (Song of Solomon 8:9—NIV)
To be continued.