Since writing about the 1,000 year reign of Christ on the earth there have been lots of questions raised about this subject, therefore, I have decided to write a series of articles on this subject explaining the different aspects of it. We will begin with the events that lead up to the 1,000 year reign.
We saw that in the 1,000 year reign, all the saints (the Church and those who overcame the beast) will reign together with Christ on the earth. They will be priests of God and of Jesus Christ. It is said that the second death has no power over them (the saints). The question is, who will they reign over on the earth?
We will find the answer to this question by studying the events leading up to 1,000 year reign.
Let’s see what the book of Revelation has to offer about these events. I just want to remind you that unlike the other prophetic books, Daniel and Revelation present the events in chronological order. Let’s begin with the events connected to the final battle before the 1,000 year reign begins.
1. Preparation for the final battle which will take place at Armageddon (the open field of Megiddo, North-West of Jerusalem)
On one hand, the road to battle is prepared for the kings who come from the East, and on the other hand, there are three unclean spirits who gather all of the kings of the earth at Armageddon.
12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates ; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east . 13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs ; 14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 16 And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon. (Revelation 16)
2. Unique natural catastrophes
After these catastrophes take place, it will seem as if no one will be able to survive.
17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” 18 And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder ; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. 19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men ; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe. (Revelation 16)
3. Judgment and destruction of Babylon
In the midst of all of the calamities, God remembers Babylon the great (during the last days this city will be the center of politics, administration, economy, religion, and culture) and He gives her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.
19b . . . Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. (Revelation 16)
Chapters 17 and 18 of Revelation describe Babylon’s judgment and destruction while chapter 19 begins with a celebration in heaven because God has judged Babylon.
1 After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ” Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2 BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS ; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.” 3 And a second time they said, “Hallelujah ! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.” (Revelation 19)
4. The marriage of the Lamb is announced in heaven
6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, ” Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean ; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (Revelation 19)
5. Jesus Christ’s Second coming upon this earth
After the marriage of the Lamb is announced, John says that he saw heaven open up and he saw Someone and according to the description, we realize that the Someone is Jesus Christ, followed by the armies of heaven.
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems ; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron ; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. (Revelation 19)
Upon His second coming, Jesus will go to the place where all the kings of the world will be gathered together for battle. As we saw in Revelation 16:16, this place is known as Armageddon. The beast and the false prophet are seized and thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. The kings and the rest of the armies were all killed by the sword which came from the mouth of Jesus Christ.
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” 19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image ; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19)
In order to have a better understanding who will enter the kingdom of God, besides the saints, we need to examine 2 passages that shed light on what will happen to the nations that have gathered together at Armageddon. These texts are Daniel 7:9-14, 17-18 and Matthew 25:30-42. These passages speak of judgment that will take place upon the second coming of the Son of Man, this time as King. From Daniel, we find out that 3 of the kingdoms that dominated and suppressed Israel will be present during the 1,000 year reign yet they will be stripped of their power and position. They are: the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, and the Greek Empire. The “appointed period of time” mentioned in Daniel is explained in Revelation 20 as being 1,000 years. The 4th kingdom, from which the Antichrist arose, will be destroyed. It is the Roman Empire.
9 “I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat ; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire. 10 “A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened. 11 “Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking ; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire. 12 “As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time. 13 “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away ; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed. (Daniel 7)
How do we know that this is the judgment of the nations? From the interpretation of the dream, we know that these 4 kingdoms will arise from the earth.
17 ‘These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. 18 ‘But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’ (Daniel 7:9-14, 17-18)
In Matthew 25:31-42 we learn that at the second coming of Christ, the nations will be judged according to how they treated Israel.
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats ; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat ; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink ; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink ? 38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ 41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels ; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat ; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink ; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25)
So here we see that the kingdoms (states) that treated Israel correctly upon the second coming of Christ will be able to enter into the kingdom that will last for 1,000 years.
6.Satan bound in the abyss for 1,000 years so not to deceive the nations
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years ; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed ; after these things he must be released for a short time. (Revelation 20)
7. Judgment thrones set up
Those who were faithful during their lifetimes are justified, resurrected, and reign with Christ for 1,000 years.
4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand ; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection ; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20)
In conclusion, we can say that the nations that will enter the kingdom during the 1,000 year reign of Christ are the ones who, during the last days, when the Beast oppresses Israel, treated Israel correctly. These nations will be ruled by the saints together with Jesus Christ. The Bible gives us more details about the 1,000 year reign and I would like to look at them in another article.
Translation by: Erik Brewer