Isaiah 11:1-10 (NIV)
I want you to imagine with me the most beautiful greenery you have ever seen. It is a beautiful spring day. There is a cool breeze flowing through the garden. There are no storm clouds on the horizon; instead there is beautiful golden sunshine. As we gaze upon this scene we see a happy family gathered there for picnic. The father is there in all of his strength of his youth. Today is his 90th birthday, and his wife and his children are with him on this panic to celebrate. He is a handsome young man. His head is full of hair, no greyness, still black. To look upon him you realize that he is just entering the prime of life. He is seated on the ground where his wife has spread the towels for the picnic and what a beautiful wife she is in the beauty of her youth. She is 86 years of age. And as she lays out the food for this beautiful picnic scene our eyes are caught by their children. There is their youngest, a little boy, just 1 year old. He is not walking around yet, he crawls but he is sitting up and he is playing with the blades of grass that his hands touch. And he leans over and in doing so his hands go down on the hole of an asp, a poisonous snake. His mother sees that and instead of the cry of horror we would expect, she smiles and turns to his father and says, look at that, he is going to play with the snake. Nearby is his little sister. She is a couple of years older and as she is playing there. With her left hand she is feeling the head of a lion and with her right hand she is feeling the skin of a crocodile. Her father does not jump up to rescue her for she needs no rescue because this animal does not attack anymore. Some distance away is their third child, this is their oldest. As she catches our attention we are somewhat astonished because we see in her hand a small pet, her pet is a leopard. We see other things here too. There in the distance is a cheetah playing with a calf. Now the cheetah is not eating the calf but loving and licking the calf, just like caring for its young one. There in the distance is the cow, I think the mother of the calf that is with the cheetah. The cow is grazing, feeding itself and as it gazes itself on the grass there is a bear feeding with the cow and we see a large elephant nearby. What a beautiful scene this is. If you have imagined this scene with me you have gazed upon a new age in this world, the beautiful world to come; the world of the millennium.
In the Book of Revelation chapter 20 we find a reference to a 1000 years of wonderful peace on this earth, we call this the Millennium. The word Millennium is an English word taken from 2 Latin words which literally mean a thousand years. The Bible teaches us that there is coming an age of glory in this world, an age of wonder, an age of peace, joy, and happiness known as the millennium. It takes place like this. According to the scripture, we are living in the last days of the church age, the Laodicean period of the church. It is not beautiful a day. These are the days where people come to church but majority are far away from God. Jesus is portrayed in the scripture as standing outside the door of his church during this age, knocking and asking to come in for fellowship. This is the church likes to take the name of Jesus but does not want to take his yoke upon itself. So it is a day of sadness in many ways for the church, but I am glad that God is still working now. There are still people finding Jesus as saviour and Lord and people coming to church now. There are still preachers preaching the word of God and there are still saints of God living for God but widely it is a day of compromise in the church. The Bible teaches us that as these days come to an end which can happen any moment that there will be the sound of the trumpet and the rapture will take place. The Lord Jesus Christ will come back to the clouds, there will be a resurrection of the saved of these past ages and we will all be changed and caught up with the Lord Jesus Christ. We will meet our Lord in the air and he will take us with him.
This world will then enter a period of 7 years of awful judgement of tribulation. The world which is in rebellion today will be judged by the judge of all the earth, the Lord Jesus Christ himself. At the end of that time period will come of what we know of as the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It will take place after the great battle of Armageddon. The Lord Jesus Christ will be victorious and he will setup his literal kingdom on this earth, and he will reign in this world for a 1000 years. We are not talking about something mythological, we are talking about something which will literally take place on this planet on which you and I live today.
Many some not believe this message The Bible tells us that in the last days there will be scoffers and mockers who will mock those who believe the Word of God. But the word of God is true. The scripture tells us that one day Jesus Christ will rule this world for a 1000 years.
The Bible tells us in the book of Isaiah 11:8-10 that there will be no hurt in this kingdom. It will be a wonderful time on this earth. There will be survivors of Armageddon at the second coming. There will be some believers who have not died in the tribulation as martyrs. When Jesus Christ comes back in the second coming there will be a resurrection again. Those martyrs who died during the tribulation will be raised from the grave and they will enter this kingdom with the Lord Jesus Christ. So the people living in the millennium are the survivors of tribulation, the martyrs of tribulation, and the church.
The Bible teaches us that during that millennium this world will be repopulated. The book of Revelation speaks of the time of the close of the 1000 years and speaks of the people of the earth numbered as the sand of the sea. So as the 1000 years begin to pass by men and women, believers who have never died, who have trusted Jesus during the tribulation and have survived will get married, they will have their families. You will see scenes like what I just tried to make you imagine, families with their children. The Bible teaches us in Isaiah 65 that men will live long lives during that time. The scripture declares that a man who dies at the age of 100 will be considered just a child. People will say he is just a child. Now you might say why someone would die at the millennial reign at the age of 100. The Bible says in Isaiah 65 about the man who is a criminal, who is a rebel against the King of Kings, Jesus Christ who is ruling during that time. He will die; he will be put to death. He will not be considered as an old man if he dies at 100 years of age as a result of his rebellion because there will be great longevity of life on this millennial earth.
The Bible teaches us that it will be a kingdom of righteousness. The Bible teaches us in Isaiah 11:3-5 that Jesus will rule with righteousness and justice. For those who have no voice for themselves there will be justice again. Injustice, violence, and corruption are the things that bring pain to our hearts as we look into the world today. We see that justice has fallen in the streets of India. But it will not be so in those days. Those who are right with God, those who are poor and lowly will have a champion for themselves because Jesus’ rule will be a reign of righteousness, peace, joy, and justice. The meek of the earth will find a champion for their cause.
The Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ will reign from Jerusalem. The Book of Ezekiel in the OT says a great deal about Jerusalem during that day. Jesus will take the throne of David who rules form Jerusalem. Ezekiel 47 says from that throne in Jerusalem during that day will flow a river as the Lord Jesus Christ rules and reigns from that throne. This river that will flow from the throne there in Jerusalem will flow down through that valley which is not there today as we speak. At the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ at the great earthquake which takes place at the Mount of Olives which the Bible teaches us will split in two. One-half of it will move to the north and one-half to the south and there will be a valley with water which runs east and west from the city of Jerusalem east toward the Jordan valley and down toward the great Salt Sea which is there today. According to the Bible the waters which come from the throne in Jerusalem will be healing waters. They will heal the land and there as they approach that great Dead Sea, they will heal the greenery which cannot grow today along the side of the streams. They will bring life to the waters again.
There will be the temple of God, not the temple which will be rebuilt by man during the tribulation. This is the temple which the Book of Ezekiel gives us much detail about that will be erected there in Jerusalem. Ezekiel 43:24 There in the temple of God in Jerusalem the sacrifices will begin again. Perhaps that might startle you why would there be sacrifices during the time when Jesus is ruling the earth from Jerusalem and when his righteousness covers the earth. Jesus, the Lamb of God has already died. It is through his blood that man’s sins are washed away and paid for. It is only through the blood of Jesus that men and woman find peace and standing with God and forgiveness of sins and eternity with God in heaven.
So, why would sacrifices of innocent little lambs begin again in Jerusalem? I think for the same reason the sacrifices those were made before Calvary in the OT. You see men and women in the OT were commanded to make those sacrifices. Those sacrifices in the OT in all the awfulness of the killing of the lambs pointed toward the condition of sin which pointed toward the final sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary.
I think in this era of the millennium when there is peace on earth, when there is no major crime in the street as it is today because Jesus will rule with a rod of iron. The OT speaks that in those days the desert will blossom like a rose. In those days when there is absolute peace on earth there would need to be an object lesion 300 years into the millennium, 500 years in to the millennium, 700 years, an object lesion which would remind men and women how terrible sin is.
Sin is awful. It destroys lives for time and for eternity. In that beautiful world, there in Jerusalem the sacrifices will be the picture of pain through the shedding of the blood of those sacrifices. This picture points back visually as an object lesson to men and women to Calvary and Jesus, who back on Calvary hung from a cross with his blood coming from his body because of your sins and my sins and the sins of those during the millennium who have not trusted him as savior.
My dear friend, during the millennium, boys and girls, men and women who will be born will have to make the same choice to follow Jesus as you and I have to make today. Those who are born will still be descendents of Adam, born with the nature of Adam, the sin nature. Jesus will rule with a rod of iron, so sin will not be so terrible in the streets as we see today but men and women will be born into this world lost, with the nature of Adam. Every boy and girl, man and woman as they hear the message of Jesus, will individually have to make a choice, to believe on him, to call upon him for the forgiveness of sins through the payment he made with his blood like in this present time. There will be those awful object lessons calling men to the saviour but the Bible teaches us that the earth will be full of the knowledge and peace of God.
Finally, the 1000 years, the millennium comes to a close. It does so rather suddenly. You see, one of the reasons the earth will be at peace for those 1000 years is because satan will not be here roaming on the earth as he does today. Satan is a real person. He was created by God as the angels were created. God created man in the image of God. God created satan as an angel but sin was found in him, and he has been trying to destroy the creation of God ever since God placed this world into existence. Can you imagine the mess he has made of this world? Just think of the paper of these days, the news of these days. See the awful things that take place on earth. Satan has taken full control of the earth. That is because of satan, the devil, the dragon we spoke of in the Armageddon. When Jesus Christ comes back at the second coming, at Armageddon, satan will be taken captive and he will be bound for this 1000 years, the millennium and he will be cast bound into the bottomless pit, that place we refer to as hell today in the centre of the earth, and there he will be captive for the entire time of the millennium.
But at the end of the 1000 years, the judge of all the earth, Jesus Christ will commit him to be loosed on the earth again. Why would Jesus do that? Jesus who is good and holy and who loves men why would he turn this awful dragon, satan loose on this earth again? The Bible does not speak directly to that question but you see ever since Adam sinned, man has been trying to make an excuse for sin and has been trying to find man’s own cure without God. Think with me, down through history man has come up with all kinds of solutions for the problems of sin, wickedness, sickness, and crime in this world.
Man once said that political theory is the answer, Marxism is the answer. Redistribution of wealth is the answer. If you would just give man money they will live better and they will live right.
Man has also said education is the answer to man’s problems. Man said if we can just spend more money in education man can get better. The education system has become so expensive now because man is looking for a better life through education. But education has not only failed more and more to teach the better way of life but education have become places of sin and wickedness. Education has not been the answer.
Medicine was told of as the answer. If we can find more money for research and fine cure for illness of man we can turn this world into a perfect world someday, but with more drugs more cures man has continued to behave himself in an even more sinful fashion until this world is filled with abomination against God in all kinds of ways today.
My dear friend money is not the answer to man’s sin. Education has failed to fix the wickedness and sin in this world. Medicine has failed to cure our illnesses and now the Lord Jesus Christ has just demonstrated to the world again that even the government by Almighty God himself is not the cure for sin. Because when satan is released from that bottomless pit in this world which has been repopulated, suddenly there is gathered to him an army, a multitude as the sand of the sea who join ranks with Satan against Jesus who has given this world a 1000 years of peace and goodness. They gather themselves against the holy city, Jerusalem one more time. This time Jesus speaks the Word and fire comes down from God out of heaven and consumes them all.
You see man’s problem cannot be cured by politics, money, education, medicine or even a government by the Lord Jesus Christ ruling with a rod of iron why? Because man’s problem is a heart problem. The problem with our world stems from the wickedness of individual hearts of every man or woman ever born into this world. The Bible tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked beyond the point where any man can know it, only God knows the wickedness of the heart of man. And even in a kingdom where the Lord Jesus Christ which starts populated with people who love him and know him and revere him but as the generations are born and other families are formed and more generations are born, children are born without Jesus and they grow up into adults and quietly within their hearts they rebel because Jesus rules with a rod of iron and would not permit outward rebellion. But quietly in their hearts they are against him why because man is born with a heart that is against God.
The Bible teaches us all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. My dear friend that includes me and that includes you. Whether anyone acknowledges it or not the truth of the Bible is that all have sinned. There is none that doeth good, not even one. All of us have come short of the glory of God and the Bible declares that the wages of sin is death. I am glad that that is only the on half of the sentence from the book of Romans but the second half goes on to say but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. The Bible tells us that whosoever believes on Jesus will be saved. The scriptures declare that if anyone will call upon the name of the Lord God will not turn him away. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Now I have a question for you today, it is the most important question of all your life. Your life hinges on it and your eternity hinges on it. What will you do with Jesus? If there is something stirring in your heart saying I think that may be true, my dear friend that is Jesus who loves you and died for you who is knocking at your heart saying will you believe in me, will you trust me to forgive your sins and take you to heaven. I paid the penalty for you; I shed my blood so that you do not have to die. Will you call on me? My dear friend if in the quietness of your heart if you cry out to him and say, I am a sinner but I want to be forgiven I believe in Jesus please save me. If you do that the gift of God will be yours right now. Will you do that in your heart right now?