What does it mean to reign?
From the prophecies given to Daniel we know that the time of AntiChrist’s reign on Earth and the subsequent period of the planetary judgment will be seven years.
“He will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. Then as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the end that has been decreed is poured out on this defiler.” Dan. 9:27 (NLT)
The prophets point to this coming “Day of the Lord” with absolute certainty. It is coming and according to the prophecies in both the Old and New Testaments our world is set for this seven-year period to arrive shortly.
But what lies beyond this time of tribulation? The prophets also speak to that. The time beyond the judgment of Earth is divided, by the Bible, into two periods. The first is called the Thousand Year Reign. The second is called New Heaven and New Earth (see Rev. 18-22).
The Thousand Year Reign is a period shrouded in mystery. We see it in Scripture but we see it as though looking through a fun-house mirror. The whole of it is twisted and bent out of proportion. I can only tell you what I think I see. But that is enough to excite me to service for my King!
I know it is a thousand years long. I know that in that time those who have followed Jesus will be co-rulers with Christ over the Earth.
” Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus, for proclaiming the word of God. And I saw the souls of those who had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their forehead or their hands. They came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” Rev.20:4 (NLT)
What does it mean to you to reign with Christ? Reign is such a loaded word. To me it means to have authority but not just over men. It means to have authority over all the creation as I was originally meant to.
“For you made us only a little lower than God, and you crowned us with glory and honor. You put us in charge of everything you made, giving us authority over all things–the sheep and the cattle and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents.” Psalm 8:5-8 (NLT)
I will swim with the dolphins in the ocean and the great whales. They shall carry me from one shore to another on their backs. I shall ride upon the lion and the zebra across the great plains and they shall keep me warm in the cool of the savannah nights. I will call forth the winds and they will obey. I will pray for rain and it will come to water my gardens. Now that is really “Reinventing the We’ll”!
The communion between my God and me will be completely restored. Being perfected, I will be always in His will. This means that every prayer I utter will be answered. I will never wonder again if I am off track or praying wrong. I will know my God and He will know me face to face and the communion Adam had will be mine somehow.
In that I will be able to tend my Eden as Adam tended his. At my command the plants will grow. The beasts of my forest will not fear me and I will not fear them for that curse which was given after the flood will be removed. I see the Thousand Year Reign as Lewis’ Narnia or as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, beautiful, idyllic!
There is much more the Bible reveals in shadow about the Thousand Year Reign. We will say more on that later. In the mean time tell me what you think comes after the Tribulation.