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The Transition of the Age
October 11, 2014

The Transition of the Age

Things are about to change.  In just a short period of time this present age will transition when Jesus comes.  When He does, He will establish what the Bible describes as a 1000-year rule where He will begin to lead the nations into righteousness and the fullness of the Great Commandment.  When Christ comes to Earth many elements of this current age will change, some will even be done away with entirely.  This will make for a time unlike anything creation has ever seen. Right now the kings of the Earth don’t give any thought to King Jesus, but there is soon coming a day when Jesus will be King on Earth as He has long been the King in Heaven. 

The essential message of Jesus and the apostles was concerning the Kingdom of God.  The foundational message of the gospel is that there is a Kingdom and that Jesus is the King of kings over it and over everything.  He will come and rule every sphere of society worldwide and while the New Testament makes it clear that the Kingdom is already here in a limited expression, it is not yet fully here until Jesus returns. This is important for us to look into because if there’s a real Kingdom then there’s a real King. If there’s a real King and real kings rule kingdoms, then the Gospel of the Kingdom is Jesus saying, “I’m coming back and I’m going to prove to the Earth that I am the King over everything and everything will submit to me.”

The establishment of that Kingdom in fullness is Jesus making disciples of all the nations.  He commanded the Church to begin the discipleship process and promised that He would be with us even to His coming. In Matthew 28:20 He said, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  He knew that the Church could not complete the immense task of fully discipling the nations into everything that He taught without His full manifest presence with us when He comes back and literally rules the nations on Earth.  When the King returns He will release the greatest expression of discipling the nations (His Kingdom) that mankind will have ever seen.  The labor of the apostles and all the Church through history in discipling the nations is the foundation and preparation for His coming rule (the 1,000-year reign, the Millennial Kingdom, the Messianic Kingdom or the Kingdom Age).

To help us make more sense of this we need to begin to see that God has chosen to establish His dominion over the Earth in stages.  Jesus is King but He has not yet manifested His Kingdom to the degree that He will.  Each stage in God’s plan serves a specific purpose and each of the seasons of Christ’s rule have looked and will look different as a result; it is intentional and it is progressive.  We can think about it as going from good to far better to perfect.

His current rule is partial. Jesus’ rule now is mostly in the hearts of His people.  This stage started at the cross and continues until the Second Coming.  Jesus is ruler over the kings of the earth now, but He does not manifest His leadership openly except on rare occasions.   His millennial rule will be substantial. During the Millennial Kingdom, Jesus’ will substantially manifest His political rule over all the nations until the 1,000 years are over. His ultimate rule will be total. Jesus will ultimately rule over the New Earth, which will begin after the Millennial Kingdom.  Jesus’ disciples will be dynamically involved in partnering with Jesus in all three stages of the Great Commission; its partial, substantial, and ultimate expressions.

The dramatic shifts in the broad strokes of human life make this period seem surreal. This has caused many scholars to conclude that the principles clearly laid out as aspects of the Millennium are symbolic and cannot be taken literally.  When the Bible can no longer be taken at its plain sense meaning then it is left up to anyone’s interpretation as to what it could mean; this is unnecessary and dangerous.  This single point contributes greatly to wide spread confusion within the Church about how to view the Bible, what to think about the end times, and of course how to view the 1000 year reign of Christ. 

Passages like the ones found in Isaiah are dumbed down into symbolisms of peace instead of literal and beautiful attributes of what life will look like when Christ rules in the flesh on Earth. For instance, we should take passages, like this one, as literal and not as symbolic.

“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.  The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Is. 11:6-9).”

The Bible gives us unbelievable detail about many of these realities and includes what life will look like on Earth and how we, as resurrected saints, will interact with the new age.  By studying each of the themes and subtopics that are included in Millennial passages we can learn truths about our future that have the power to impact the way we live now in a drastic way.  Here are just a few of the passages that give an overview of what life will look like in the Millennium: Is. 2:1-4, 9:6-9, 11:1-16, 32:18, 51:1-8, 60-62, 65:17-25; Ps. 2:6-12, 110:1-7; Mt. 5:5, 6:10, 17:11, 19:28; Ac. 1:6, 3:21; Re. 20:1-6.

This is, of course, one of the main reasons we are given the volumes of information on this subject, as the Holy Spirit knows the power that this revelation has on the human heart.  Just look at how John ends the Book of Revelation. Just a chapter after one of the most detailed passages on the Millennium in the whole Bible he says that there is a blessing that rests on the ones who understand and keep the prophecies about these end time realities. It is so important that we dig deep into these passages and into this reality.

“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll (Re. 22:7).”

 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.  And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll (Re. 22:18-19).” 

Brad Stroup
Director of The Prayer Room Missions Base
Arlington Texas