There are people who question why Jesus had to die? Could God who is Almighty not just forgive everybody’s sins, set up His perfect eternal Kingdom and get finished with it? Well, God illustrates throughout the Word that the Cross is the Key to the Kingdom. Revelation 20 shows the last part of God’s brilliance in the Millennium. It is much more important than it seems.
Why is it necessary for Christ to reign a thousand years?
- By that time many of us will be in heaven with father Abraham and will look forward to the second resurrection and the new heavens and earth. So why do we have to wait another thousand years for God’s eternal reign of peace, happiness, safety and prosperity?
- It is God’s way to illustrate that a perfect environment and even a perfect Ruler will not guarantee a perfect society. You also need citizens with one special characteristic – loyalty.
- So let’s take a bird’s eye view of three of the stages of God’s plan:
1. A perfect environment in the Garden of Eden – failed.
- Genesis 2 is a picture of a perfect environment with full provision for Adam and Eve with a daily visit from God.
- Yet the minute the serpent arrived on the scene, they defected from God and chose to follow and obey Satan. So the devil became the ruler of the world. 1
2. A perfect set of instructions for the Israelites – failed.
- God called Abram, and promised him a country and descendants. They became the nation of Israel with extensive laws to show them how to live to please God.
- In spite of all God’s instructions, they defected from Him and served the gods of the people left in Canaan.
- Even circumcision of the body was not sufficient to help them remain loyal to God.
3. A perfect Ruler in Christ’s thousand year reign – failed.
- Who could be a better ruler than Jesus Himself who is sinless? Would His subjects remain loyal if they could see His face? Revelation 20:1-6 explains Christ’s thousand year reign.
- It will happen after the approximate 4,000 years of the Old Testament time and the approximate 2,000 years of the New Testament time (6,000 years of world history recorded in the Bible). Then there is that seventh period of a thousand years.
- When it begins an angel binds the devil with a big chain and locks him in the Abyss for the full thousand years. 2
- Isaiah 11:6 tells us what it will be like: ‘The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat….’
- After the thousand years Satan will be released and immediately he, ‘…will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth.’ 3
- Will the people stay loyal to their perfect King, Jesus? No! Revelation 20:8 reveals the magnitude of discontent with Jesus. Those who join the devil: ‘In number they are like the sand on the seashore.’
- What happened to those who did not like Jesus’ rulership? ‘…fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur.’ 4
- The Millennium proves that the Cross of Jesus is the necessary ‘ingredient’ for the eternal Kingdom of God. The only way that people will be able to remain loyal to God eternally is if their hearts are changed.
- On the Cross Jesus died for our sins and so cut away our old sinful nature (He circumcised our hearts). The King on the Cross regenerated the hearts of those who embrace Him, to remain loyal to God.
- The Cross is the Key to the Kingdom.
- Revelation 9:12
- Revelation 20:1-2
- Revelation 20:7
- Revelation 20:9b-10
At the last judgment, when all people will appear before the Judgment Seat, no person will be able to shift the blame. Even if they appeal to God that the devil deceived them, they will still be responsible. Everyone will individually give an account to God for what they did while alive.
The most decisive event in the history of the world happened in the garden of Eden. It shaped the world we live in. The devil, that ancient serpent or Satan who leads the whole world astray,1 convinced Adam and Eve to disobey God. When God confronted them, Adam shifted the blame to Eve and Eve to the serpent.
# How did God handle it?
He accepted Adam and Eve’s blame shifting, but held them responsible for their disobedience. When it came to the serpent, God condemned him to slither on his belly and eat dust. Yet He did not expressly address the personality behind the actions of the serpent, the devil.
# Why did God flatly ignore him?
The devil had already been judged. He was in heaven as one of God’s created angels. He saw God in His glory, served Him and yet rebelled. The serpent is beyond salvation. At the end of this age he will be thrown in hell and spend eternity there.
# God gave His attention to Adam and Eve.
They were made in His image. People had the potential to become His children, part of His Kingdom and part of the Bride of His Son, Jesus. Therefore God clothed Adam and Eve in animal skins, signifying their sins are forgiven. It is humans who will again enter Eden when Jesus, the Lamb of God, opens the way.
# What do we learn from Genesis 3?
- God holds people responsible even if they try to shift the blame. We have a free will. We can decide if we want to follow God, the King of the Kingdom of Light. When we reject Him we remain in Satan’s kingdom of darkness.
- At the last judgment, when all people will appear before the Judgment Seat, no person will be able to shift the blame. Even if they appeal to God that the devil deceived them, they will still be responsible. Everyone will individually give an account to God for what they did while alive.
The Holy Spirit prepares all people who chose to follow Jesus, for the glorious coming eternal life with God. The devil walks around like a roaring lion seeking who he can devour. However, God equipped us with the necessary weapons and armor to withstand the devil’s wiles. When we are in God’s glorious presence, the devil will be something of the past.
Note: Scripture says, ‘…man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment….’ 2 Does it mean followers of Jesus will be judged? Weren’t our sins annulled? I believe we will be at the judgement as a testimony to Jesus’ wonderful sacrificial death on our behalf; to demonstrate to unbelievers how the grace of Jesus transformed people’s lives.
- Revelation 9:12
- Hebrews 9:27
Demonisation is the uncanny ability to identify God and hate Him and everything to do with Him. The Bible describes it:
- Mark1:24, “Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.’”
- Mark 1:34 (and Mark 3:12), ‘…Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who He was.’
- Mark 5:7-8, “He shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!’”
The demons recognised Jesus as the Son of God. They knew that He had authority over them and they hated Him for it.
The Bible describes the future eternal Kingdom of God. It motivates the devil (who will spend eternity in hell) to oppose God. This life has to do with one’s eternal destination after death, and the devil wants people in hell with him. The demons, his workers, influence people against everything that has to do with the Bible. The beginning of human demonisation is explained in the Bible:
# 1. The origin of demonisation. In the Garden of Eden the devil intruded upon the God fearing life of Adam and Eve. As a consequence of their disobedience towards God, the devil gained a foothold in the human race. Cain, the eldest son of Adam and Eve, was their first offspring to give allegiance to the devil: ‘Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother.’ 1 Cain was the first demonised person. God tried to convince Cain to retreat from the devil’s influence, but to no avail. 2
# 2. Cain hated his brother without reason. He murdered his God loving brother, Abel. The hatred of unbelievers towards believers has never stopped since then. Demonisation is all around us, even if the people appear quite ‘normal,’ like Cain. He had no outside signs that he belonged to the devil. We witness it regularly in atheists, evolutionists, and skeptics. It is people like Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sam Harris, Michael Shermer and others. They are normal, law abiding citizens, with one difference: they hate God passionately. That hatred has its origin in the demons, the workers of the devil.
Conclusion: The Bible is about real life. It is a book of truth. The demons influence people to attack the only reliable guide to eternal life with God. The Bible, God’s special revelation of life after death, is the only book that accurately describes what we see today in society: the war against an invisible God because of the influence of demons.
- 1 John 3:12
- Genesis 4:3-16