The termini of the present dispensation are the premillennial coming of Christ—the Rapture, the premillennial resurrection of martyred saints and of OT saints, the premillennial judgment of Israel, and the premillennial binding of Satan.
There are also the postmillennial resurrection of the wicked, the postmillennial loosing of Satan and his final doom, and the postmillennial judgment of all the wicked dead.
Between these termini, well-defined and clear, is the thousand-year reign of the King with His Bride and His subjects.
Satan, the great deceiver and adversary, will be cast into the bottomless pit for the entire period of the kingdom. In that dispensation God will be testing man to show that, even with Satan out of the way to tempt and harass him no longer, he will still not be acceptable before Him. The uprising at the end of the age will reveal the failure of man once again.
With Satan consigned to the pit, the nations everywhere will be out his power. There will be no more rival kingdoms. The stone that becomes the mountain will break all others to pieces (Dan 2:44, 45). Christ’s reign will be undisputed and unhindered from opposition from any other government or reign on earth. There will be no cause for a divided allegiance to God’s King, the Man of His choice.
The false religious cults and systems that are springing up now everywhere on such a colossal scale will be done away with, and the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the seas (Isa 11:9). No man will need to instruct his fellow man in the things of God, for they will all know Him from the least to the greatest (Jer 31-34). Israel will be restored to Jehovah, purged from her sin (Eze 36:24-27). The days of her wondering will have come to a close.
The prophecy of Daniel 9 will be operative in the life history of Israel: transgression finished, sins ended, iniquity atoned for, and everlasting righteousness and holiness effected. War will exist not more; all nations will be at peace under the rule and righteous reign of the Prince of Peace (Isa 2:2-4; Zech 9:9, 10). There cannot and will not be peace until He comes to govern in peace. Vain are the peace plans of men without the presence of the King to rule in peace.
Nature will be rejuvenated, and harmony will once more reign (Isa 35:1; Rom 8:19-22). The curse will be removed from the ground, and the desert and wilderness will be abundantly fruitful and productive (Zech 14:11). Animal creation also will experience a change in which animals of rapacious nature and appetites will become meek and tame. The age of man will be lengthened, for a man of one hundred years will be esteemed but a child (Isa 65:20). No longer will there be a division in the midst of Israel, but Israel and Judah will be united and will dwell together in their own land of blessing (Eze 37:15-22).
The coming of the King to the Mount of Olives will bring about physical changes in the land that will alter its contour (Zech 14:9, 10). The city of Jerusalem will be built again, adorned, and be fruitful as never before (Zech 1:16, 17; 2:4, 5). The nations in the kingdom will recognize the favored condition of Israel when God wipes away forever their reproach and uses them in the conversion of the Gentiles (Zech 8:20-23). The land will be redistributed among the twelve tribes, and the Temple will be rebuilt with the sacrifices, as memorials, reinstituted (Eze 40-48).
Yearly the nations will go up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord in the Feast of Tabernacles (Zec 14:16, 19). The Bride of Christ will reign with Him, and Israel will also rule over the nations under the direct command of the King. All nations will dwell in obedience and submission to the righteous King. Surely that partial picture—for it is only that—of the millennial age and its characteristic features should suffice to show that not only is that age not in progress now on the earth, but it never has been. It is definitely and conclusively a future dispensation.
The millennial dispensation will be God’s final test of man. He has been tested in innocency, under conscience, under human government, under promise, under law; he is being tested not under distinctive grace. Then he will be tested in an age of righteousness. The test will show whether man under the most favorable of circumstances—with Satan bound and rendered harmless, with a renovated earth, with a harmony present throughout nature, and with a righteous King ruling and governing in righteousness, judgment and justice—can be found to be well-pleasing in the sight of God. Man will fail, for he will still have the sin nature present with him.
Another purpose of the dispensation will be to fulfill God’s oath and promise to David. God declared time and time again that He would not lie to David. The millennial reign will prove that He did not lie to him. A third purpose, perhaps included in the one just mentioned, will be to fulfill all the numberless prophecies of the OT to Israel for her blessing.
If the kingdom age is never to be realized, as many claim, what do we make of the immutability of the counsels of His will? If the kingdom age is being realized now, as others insist, how is the Bible to be understood in any of its statements of fact? If God promises Israel a literal kingdom and then give the world a spiritualized kingdom in the present dispensation, what becomes of the promises of God?
We prefer to rest the case here with the concluding word that the Millennium is followed by the uprising of Satan and his hosts, the judgment of the wicked, and the new heaven and the new earth. The premillennial view of interpretation consistently adds link upon link to a long chain of evidence, reaching directly from Genesis to Revelation. It proves that the Word of God teaches a literal, actual, and world-wide Millennium, or kingdom age, under the personal reign of the King, the matchless and peerless Son of David. –CL Feinberg