Risen from the Dust
The scriptures are clear that on the Day of the Lord the earth will become desolate, and everything will return to the dust. It will also remain desolate throughout the millennium, and then only after Judgment Day will there be a new earth and heavens (Revelation 21). If we understand correctly that the earth will be a scorched wasteland, and every living soul will die in the flesh, then why does the bible describe peoples and nations serving the Lord during the millennium?
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2.2-4 KJV bible). The peoples being described here are clearly not part of the first resurrection (see ch.19 Seventh Trumpet: Resurrection). However, it describes these people as going to Mt. Zion to learn, for the first time, the ways and knowledge of the Lord. It says that they will beat their spears into pruning hooks because there will be no more war, and that the law of righteousness will go forth to the entire world.
The scriptures also describe plants and animals inhabiting the wilderness during the millennium, "Thorns will come up in its fortified towers, Nettles and thistles in its fortified cities; It will also be a haunt of jackals and an abode of ostriches. The desert creatures will meet with the wolves, The hairy goat also will cry to its kind; Yes, the night monster will settle there and will find herself a resting place" (Isaiah 34.13-14 NASB bible), "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together..." (Isaiah 11.6 KJV bible). The context of these passages is millennial, so then how could these details be accurate if the earth will be completely desolate at this time? Is it possible that God leaves behind a few survivors of different species to repopulate, or that he starts a mini-creation before the new heavens and earth? The answer is stranger than either of these possibilities, and requires going deeper into the Word.
In Psalm 49, King David speaks to us in a riddle, "Like sheep they are laid in the grave [Sheol]; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave [Sheol] from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave [Sheol]: for he shall receive me" (Psalm 49.14 KJV bible). We already know that the unredeemed go down to the underworld, where they are consumed in spiritual death, and they will remain there until the second resurrection. However, notice how it says that the upright, meaning God's elect or the redeemed ones, will have dominion over them in the morning. The morning is the Day of the Lord, because when Christ returns the spiritual sun will rise upon the world bringing the night to an end (Micah 4.2). So in the morning, which is the Day of the Lord, the redeemed ones from the first resurrection will have dominion over the dead. Therefore, the multitudes described in the millennium are not flesh and blood, but rather the disembodied souls of people who have lived before.
This is why when Jesus is being falsely accused by the high priest he says, "ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven" (Mark 14.62 KJV bible). The high priest would be long dead and dwelling in Hades before the second advent, so then why does Jesus say that he will see him return? Jesus again states in Revelation that those who pierced him will see his return, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him" (Revelation 1.7 KJV bible). How is it possible that every eye will see Jesus when he returns, including the ones who crucified him two thousand years ago?
They will see him, because when he returns he will remove the curtain or barrier that separates the physical realm from the spiritual, and the souls of individuals that have lived before (both human and animal) will reinhabit the earth. In other words, when the physical world is ravaged at the second advent, the spiritual will spill over to take its place. Therefore, the multitudes of people from all prior generations will both see Christ return, and be subject to him throughout the millennium.
Psalm 72 makes reference to the dead in the millennium when it says, "They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him (Christ); and his enemies shall lick the dust" (Psalm 72.9 KJV bible). Those who are Christ's enemies in this age will be humiliated in the millennium, and his servants will have dominion over those who have afflicted them, "The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet" (Isaiah 60.14 KJV bible), (see also ch.26 Millennium Nations).
In the millennium the tables will be turned, and the people who have been humble and righteous in life will be honoured, while the people who have been arrogant and selfish will be disgraced. Therefore, there will be no "new people" in the millennium, but only the spirits of individuals that have lived before. Even though they remain captive to the dust of the earth until Judgment Day, they will still inhabit the world, and interact with God's elect throughout the millennium. So while the millennium is often portrayed using flesh and blood terms, it will be a purely spiritual time.
Brandon W 25 Feb 2010, 18:56Isaiah 65 talks about the New Heaven and Earth and it sounds to me as if he is talking about the milliennium age also. With this in mind when you read revelation 20 you will notice that John seems to be just finishing his thoughts about the millennium and the judgment at the end of it. Chapter 21 is when he goes back to talking about the beginning of Jesus reign as king on the Earth and the The new heavens and earth he has made or restored.
Doug Buckley 27 Feb 2010, 00:59Hi Brandon, I'm glad to see you engaged in the substance of God's Word, and I see what you're saying with respect to the millennium.
Eudene Valle 30 Dec 2011, 04:46Hey Doug,
Doug Buckley 02 Jan 2012, 01:00Hi Eudene. Among non preterists, alot of these verses do support a spiritual millennium, as opposed to a millennium of flesh and blood people. Some verses like the high priest seeing Jesus return can only be explained by a spiritual millennium, or preterism.
JudiKay 24 Feb 2013, 19:561. If all human flesh people (good AND bad), all over the whole earth, are changed into spiritual bodies when Jesus and the angels reap the earth after the 7th trump (therefore, NO flesh bodies left), then why does it say that there will be marrying and children born, and dying during the millennium? Spiritual bodies don't marry or have children--just humans, and spiritual bodies don't age or die. 2. The focus of the millennial age is strictly the area around Jerusalem--what about the rest of the world, the other nations like U.S., U.K., Australia, etc.? Do they even exist, or is the only place left is the land centered around Jerusalem (Mt. Zion)? I'm confused... please give me some detailed scriptural guidance.
Eudene Valle 24 Feb 2013, 23:54I believe that we are in the millennium right now and this was the view of most of the reformers. The Bible is clearly sometimes talking about the spiritual realm and at other times talking about the physical material realm. The reason there are so many divergent views about prophecy is that in large portions of prophecy you cannot tell for sure from the immediate context of the passage whether the spiritual or the material is referred to. You have to piece it together and do a lot of deducing in order to figure it out. It was so difficult for the first-century Jews to figure out what sort of Messiah to expect that even Jesus' disciples who walked with Jesus for three years were mistaken on a lot of issues. On the other hand, I'm convinced that all the information necessary to figure it out is there. It just requires an extreme dedication to detailed study and analysis to figure it out.
JudiKay 25 Feb 2013, 19:25To Eudene--Thanks for taking the time to comment on my questions. However, I am not a preterist (one who believes that the prophecies have already happened). The millennium comes AFTER the tribulation, and Satan will be revealed DURING the tribulation, and at the END of the tribulation Satan will be imprisoned for 1000 years. That has NOT happened yet!--The worst is yet to come, but we're heading there faster every day. I believe that the Bible portrays both a physical and spiritual meaning, at the same time, with MOST of the Scriptures--yet some of it is prophetic for only future events. And, yes, it is hard sometimes to figure out what is symbolic and what is literal, or that which is spiritual as opposed to that which is physical--and unless we research the whole bible we can't find the "double-witness" testimony that God has woven into His Word in order to clarify some of these dubious subjects. I thought I might find someone here who has already done the research that I am in the process of now.
Doug Buckley 25 Feb 2013, 21:57Hi JudiKay, there are alot of opinions on the millennium, and sometimes it's difficult to tell whether a prophecy is about the millennium or about God's people now. Scripture often "jumps" over the millennium as well, leading many to assume that it doesn't exist.
JudiKay 25 Feb 2013, 22:47Thank you, Doug...I will check out the other chapters you noted. This has been a help in understanding other people's viewpoints. I didn't realize there was such a drastic difference and variety in personal interpretations of this book.
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