Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The Coming Millennium: UTOPIA AT LAST!
YEHOVAH God is about to return to usher in, on this earth, His 1,000-year reign of peace, happiness and prosperity. What does the Bible say about that glorious time?
by John D. Keyser
Why is it so many professing Christians today seem to think that the reward of the saints of Israel will be to lie around on clouds and strum harps for all eternity?
Few of today's more than one billion professing followers of the Messiah understand the true Gospel. Most so-called Christians have been deluded into believing a false gospel about the person of the Messiah, while denying the actual message he preached on this earth nearly 2,000 years ago (11 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15, Galatians 1:6-9).
If today's Christianity really understood and taught the true Gospel -- and the word gospel means "good news" -- then this world would know that the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God is soon to be established, literally, on this earth.
What This Feast Pictures
The Feast of Tabernacles, or Feast of Ingathering, pictures the soon-coming, long awaited, peaceful rule of YEHOVAH God Himself upon this earth for a prosperous, joyful 1,000 years.
Yeshua the Messiah, the early apostles, Paul and the early Church kept and taught all of YEHOVAH's Holy Days, including the Feast of Tabernacles. This we see throughout the Gospels and early Church history.
While only the males were obligated to attend the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, whole families came. They were required to dwell in booths (Hebrew, suk.kohth') for the seven days of the festival. Usually each family occupied one booth (Exodus 34:23; Leviticus 23:42). These were erected in the courts of the houses, on the roofs of the dwellings, in the courts of the Temple, in the public squares, and on roads within a Sabbath-day's journey of the city.
According to Leviticus 23:40 the Israelites were to use "the fruit of splendid trees," palm fronds, boughs of bushy trees and of poplars. In the days of Ezra, olive and oil-tree leaves, myrtle and palm leaves -- as well as the branches of other trees -- were used to build these temporary dwellings.
Rich and poor alike would dwell in booths, even eating their meals in them during the seven days. Today, since the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D., YEHOVAH's people Israel are to dwell in booths or temporary structures erected at their homes for this festival.
According to rabbinic sources there was an outstanding feature of the festival that was carried out in the time when the Messiah was on earth. According to Insight On the Scriptures --
"This ceremony began at the close of the 15th of Tishri, the first day of the festival, actually in the beginning of the 16th, the festival's second day, and was carried on for the five succeeding nights. Preparations were made in the Court of the Women. Four great golden lamp stands stood in the court, each having four golden bowls. Four youths of priestly descent would climb ladders with large pitchers of oil, filling the 16 bowls. The old clothing of the priests was used as wicks for the lamps. Jewish writers say these lamps made a brilliant light that could be seen at a considerable distance, lighting up the courts of the houses in Jerusalem. Certain men, including some of the elders, danced with flaming torches in their hands and sang songs of praise, accompanied by musical instruments" (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. Vol. 1, page 823).
This, of course, looked forward to the time in the world tomorrow when YEHOVAH God's Shekinah Glory will reside in the Temple in Jerusalem and, as prophesied by Isaiah,
"The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the LORD [YEHOVAH] will be to you an everlasting light. And your God your glory" (Isaiah 60:19).
Then, in Revelation 21 we read about the New Jerusalem:
"And the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the [Shekinah] glory of God illuminated it, and the Lamb [the Messiah] is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it" (verses 23-24).
Edward Gibbon, in his work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, clearly informs us that the early Christians did believe in YEHOVAH God's literal rule on this earth for 1,000 years:
"The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the Second Coming of Christ [as well as YEHOVAH God Himself]. As the works of the creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to 6,000 years.
"By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints [of Israel] and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth [along with YEHOVAH God] till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection."
Edward Gibbon states that this belief in the Millennium was the early Christians' common view:
"The assurance of such a Millennium was carefully inculcated by a succession of fathers from Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, who conversed with the immediate disciples of the apostles, down to Lactantius, who was preceptor to the son of Constantine.
"Though it might not be universally received, it [belief in the Millennium] appears to have been the reigning sentiment of the orthodox believers...But when the edifice of the church [false Christianity had now arisen] was almost completed, the temporary support [the belief in the Millennium] was laid aside.
"The doctrine of Christ's [literal] reign upon earth [under YEHOVAH God] was at first treated as a profound allegory, was considered by degrees as a doubtful and useless opinion and was at length rejected as the absurd invention of heresy and fanaticism."
When the apostles passed from the scene, false teachers arose. These false teachers denied the true Gospel that YEHOVAH God and His saints would literally reign upon this earth, and turned to the fable that Christians, after death, went to heaven for their reward (Matthew 7:15-23, 24:4-5, 11, 24, Acts 20:28-31, II Corinthians 11:3-15).
The Feast of Tabernacles, the great fall harvest Festival, was a perfect type of the soon-coming great harvest of Israelite lives upon this earth.
YEHOVAH God's Kingdom Set Up On Earth
Yeshua the Messiah will return -- followed by YEHOVAH God his Father -- to set up YEHOVAH's Kingdom at the last moment before carnal man, under Satan's sway, finally destroys himself (Matthew 24:21-22). If the Creator-Ruler of the universe didn't intervene, not a single human being would be left alive on this earth.
The book of Revelation shows us what will happen when YEHOVAH God returns to rule this world: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years [the Millennium] should be fulfilled" (Revelation 20:1-3).
One of YEHOVAH's first acts at His "Second Coming" will be to bind Satan so that the devil can no longer deceive the world (Revelation 12:9).
Then what will happen?
"And I saw thrones, and they [the saints of Israel] sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them...and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years [the Millennium]. But the rest of the dead [of Israel] lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection [the resurrection of the saints of Israel, who will rule with YEHOVAH God and the Messiah during the Millennium]. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of [YEHOVAH] God and of [His] Christ, and shall reign [on the earth] with him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4-6).
The Messiah promised that the saints of Israel -- those who allow themselves to be ruled by YEHOVAH's law, who overcome and who endure to the end -- would be given power over the nations (Revelation 2:26-27, 3:21) and that they would reign with him and his Father on the earth (Revelation 5:10, Daniel 7:27, 2:44).
YEHOVAH God will then be "KING of kings, and LORD of lords" (Revelation 19:16). Zechariah prophesied that "the LORD [YEHOVAH God] shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one" (Zechariah 14:9). YEHOVAH God's headquarters will be in the newly-built Temple in Jerusalem (Jeremiah 3: 17), from which He and the Messiah and His Israelite saints will rule the world.
At Last -- Utopia!
YEHOVAH God's Kingdom -- YEHOVAH's Family -- will rule this earth in true peace, prosperity and happiness. Let us notice some of the many scriptures that describe the coming wonderful world tomorrow.
With Satan bound -- put in an abyss and restrained, for 1,000 years, from deceiving the nations -- what will happen?
"He [Satan] who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing" (Isaiah 14:6-7). Yes, the nations will break forth into singing when Satan is bound. The earth will finally know peace -- no more strife or war.
YEHOVAH God will then open, for the first time, the minds of all people to His truth (Isaiah 25:7). YEHOVAH will begin to offer His holy spirit and salvation to Israel as a whole. Man's very nature -- his carnal, selfish orientation toward getting instead of giving -- will be changed to YEHOVAH's way of giving, serving, sharing, of having concern for others equal to or greater than concern for self (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
At last, YEHOVAH's law will be written in the hearts and minds of all mankind, and crime, war, sickness and violence will vanish. Man will learn that obedience to YEHOVAH's law pays big dividends.
Mankind will actually begin to seek YEHOVAH God -- will want to learn of and live by YEHOVAH's way:
"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 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 [of YEHOVAH God], and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
"And He [YEHOVAH God] shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more" (lsa. 2:2-4).
The prophet Micah adds this interesting detail : "But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it" (Micah 4:4). Today people live in constant fear of violence and crime from fellowman; nations live in dread of the nuclear mushroom cloud. But in the wonderful world tomorrow, "None shall make them afraid"!
Man will not only be at peace with his fellowman, but with nature itself. YEHOVAH God will change the animals' nature also:
"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; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed [together]; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (lsa. 11:6-9).
What a wonderful, utopian age is about to dawn on this planet!
A world of Abundance
Revolutions will take place in agriculture and construction. Man will no longer be occupied with war and trying to harm his fellowman. Under the direction of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah and the immortal Israelite rulers, man will be able to devote his energies to food production and rebuilding -- properly -- civilization. YEHOVAH God will even change the weather and landscapes to promote man's physical prosperity (Isaiah 30:23-25).
Isaiah 35 gives further details about YEHOVAH God's reign: "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy" (verses 1-2).
At last, YEHOVAH's law will be written in the hearts and minds of all mankind, and crime, war, sickness and violence will vanish. Man will learn that obedience to YEHOVAH's law pays big dividends. Mankind will actually begin to seek YEHOVAH God.
"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water...And an highway shall be there, and a way...of holiness" (verses 5-8).
No more will thousands starve to death daily, while millions of others suffer malnutrition because of lack of food (Amos 9:13-15).
What a time of prosperity!
Man will have abundant reason to rejoice (Jeremiah 31:12-13, 30:19). During the Millennium, YEHOVAH's people Israel will show the nations of this earth how to build and how to restore, unlike today, when so many are bent on tearing down and destroying (Isaiah 61:4).
Right Religion and Education
Under the training of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah -- along with YEHOVAH's immortal, spirit-born children of Israel -- man will finally learn and practice YEHOVAH's way -- the way to every abundant blessing. Religion and education will be inextricably intertwined (lsaiah 30:20-21).
The immortal saints will be able to suddenly appear and rebuke anyone who goes the wrong way. True religion will be enforced. Mankind will begin to keep all of YEHOVAH God's laws, which will include observing His Sabbaths and Holy Days (lsaiah 66:23-24, Zechariah 14:16-19). Individuals who rebel against YEHOVAH's rule will be dealt with swiftly and surely.
When man begins keeping YEHOVAH's Holy Days, including the Feast of Tabernacles, he will learn that YEHOVAH's festivals reveal YEHOVAH's great master plan. In addition, there will be no more confusion of tongues -- the whole earth will be united with one language (Zephaniah 3:9).
And during the Millennium YEHOVAH God Himself will dwell on earth, at Jerusalem, with mankind (lsaiah 33:17-20, Joel 3:20-21). Jerusalem will truly become the "City of Peace" during the Millennium.
The Whole World Will Rejoice
This earth cannot know true, lasting peace (lsaiah 59:8) until YEHOVAH God and the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6-7) return to this planet and establish YEHOVAH's world-ruling government.
We are commanded to rejoice during our Feast of Tabernacles celebrations because this great Feast of Ingathering pictures the soon-coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God on this earth, when YEHOVAH God will fulfill the many prophecies about His Kingdom found in the pages of the Bible. YEHOVAH's Word has much more to say about what YEHOVAH's Kingdom will be like than we have been able to cover in this short article. If you would like to know more, please write for the following articles: The Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!, Coming -- a WORLD GOVERNMENT and Heaven Is Not the Christian's Destination.
When YEHOVAH God restores His law and His way of life -- His divine government -- to this war-weary earth, then we shall have unprecedented peace, happiness, abundant health and worldwide prosperity. This wonderful world tomorrow -- the 1,000-year rule of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God -- will be a time of supreme rejoicing for all nations.
What a world that will be!
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God!
Hope of Israel Ministries
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