The Faithful Few: Ruling with Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom

THE SAINTS REIGNING IN THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM

14 For many are called (invited by God), but few are chosen (commissioned to reign) (Mt. 22:14).

7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints…11 Behold, a white horse. And He (Jesus) who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war…14 The armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. (Rev. 19:7-14)

4  I saw thrones, and they (saints of Rev. 19:14) sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus…who had not worshiped the Beast (Antichrist)…and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. They lived and reigned with Christ for 1,000 years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the 1,000 years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 …They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him 1,000 years. (Rev. 20:4-6)

What is the Millennium? It is a term that speaks of a literal 1,000 year period in which Jesus rules the earth (millennium is from the Latin “mille” or ‘a thousand’ and “annus” ‘a year’). At this time the Kingdom of God is openly manifest worldwide affecting every sphere of life (political, social, agricultural, economic, spiritual, etc.) This period of worldwide blessing is initiated by Jesus’ Second Coming, at which time, God binds Satan resulting in a 1000-year period of peace, righteousness, prosperity, and unprecedented blessing for the whole earth as Jesus restores life to conditions seen in the Garden of Eden (Rev. 20:1-6; Is. 2:1-4; 9:6-9; 11:1-16; 51:1-8; 60-62; 65:17-25; Ps. 2:6-12; 110:1-7; Mt. 5:5; 6:10; 17:11; 19:28; Acts 1:6; 3:21).

At this time, all the kings of the earth will be saved and worship Jesus (Ps. 102:15; 148:11; Isa. 62:2) and base their national governments on His Scripture. The result will be 1000-years of righteousness as the whole earth is progressively restored to conditions in the Garden of Eden.

11 Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him. (Ps. 72:11)

In Rev. 20:4-6, the resurrected saints are described as ruling over the governments of the earth after Satan is cast into prison. God will commit judgment or government to resurrected saints.

All the saints who overcome will reign with Jesus, not only End-Time martyrs. The saints are repeatedly promised to reign with Jesus (Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21; 5:10; 20:4-6; 22:5; Mt. 19:28; 20:21-23; 25:23; Lk. 19:17-19; 22:29-30; 1 Cor. 6:2-3; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rom 8:17).

27 The kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the saints… (Dan. 7:27)

The saints are the unspecified subject of the of phrase “they sat” (Rev. 20:4). The “they” points back to the saints just mentioned, who are with Jesus at His Coming (Rev. 19:14, 19). They are those dressed in bright linen that is related to their lifestyle of obedience on earth (Rev. 19:7-8).

John highlights a special category who will rule with Christ. These are End-Times martyrs described as the “souls of those beheaded” and “those who did not worship the Beast (Antichrist) nor his image nor received his mark.” John emphasizes martyrs since they will probably be the largest category from history who are found faithful to rule.

The title ‘first resurrection’ is the first time this title is given to the resurrection of the righteous and gives insight into the double fulfillment of Jn. 5:28 and Dan. 12:2 as having a time gap between the two events. The “rest of the dead” speaks of all the rest of the unbelievers who are not raised in the first resurrection and thus are to be judged by the second death (Lake of Fire).

All the righteous dead are raised at the Rapture (1 Thes. 4:16-17).

MANY ARE CALLED AND FEW ARE CHOSEN TO RULE IN THE MILLENNIUM

14 For the kingdom…is like a Man traveling to a far country, who called his servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one…19 After a long time the Lord came and settled accounts with them. 20 So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents…’ 21 “His lord said, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.’ (Mt. 25:14-21)

Jesus gives us the revelation of the great exchange of “few things” to “many things” and the joy in ruling with Him. In other words, the saints will enjoy ruling in partnership with Jesus. Jesus reworded this same principle. He said that those who were faithful in “very little” would have “government over ten cities” in the Millennial Kingdom.

17 Well done…you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities. (Lk. 19:17)

We must set our heart to walk in excellence in our relationship with Jesus. People easily settle for second best because obstacles or opportunities come their way that cause them to conclude that the season is not right for them to fully press into God with diligence and faithfulness.

The saints will reign with judicial responsibility and authority. This role involves authority to evaluate the past (judging) and to determine action plans for the future for the areas they rule. The ruling saints will appoint people into positions in the infrastructure within their sphere of responsibility. This will include training and managing the people who are appointed.

2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?…the world will be judged by you…

3 Do you not know that we shall judge (evaluate) angels? (1 Cor. 6:2-3)

28 In the regeneration (Millennium), when the Son of Man sits on the Throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will sit on 12 thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Mt. 19:28)

29 I bestow upon you a kingdom…30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Lk. 22:29-30)

Many people are called (invited to inherit great things) yet only a few are chosen or esteemed by God as faithful or worthy to be commissioned to rule with Jesus when He returns.

14 For many are called (invited by God), but few are chosen (commissioned) (Mt. 22:14).

The only ones chosen or commissioned, are the faithful who are proven and consistent in meek obedience under the varied pressures of opportunity, temptation, and resistance. Jesus reveals that only a few will have a sufficient maturity in faithfulness to rule in the Millennium.

We pray for strength to be found faithful to be worthy to reign with Jesus in the Millennium. When He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints… therefore we pray always for you that God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all (fullness of our calling as seen in the Millennial Kingdom) the good pleasure of His goodness… (2 Thes. 1:10-11)

Jesus gave His disciples the revelation of the great exchange that occurs at the harvest as some who are “last” in privilege and prominence in this age will be “first” in the Kingdom Age. Those who choose to be last by their lifestyle choices of humility will be first in age-to-come.

30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first. (Mt. 19:30)

16 The last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen. (Mt. 20:16)

Only a few will have a sufficient maturity in meekness to share in the Millennial government. God must evaluate their life as proven in faithfulness (follow through), meekness, and obedience under the varied pressures of opportunity, temptation and resistance. Note the dilemma of “being first” in privilege and prominence often will lead to being “last” in the age-to-come.

Our rewards in eternity greatly differ from one another.

41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. (1 Cor. 15:41-42)

It is necessary to be found faithful in pursuing 100-fold obedience if we are to receive the maximum blessing of what God has offered each one of us from our toil and labors in this life. The pursuit of 100-fold obedience includes making a covenant with our eyes (Ps. 101:3; Job 31:1), bridling our speech (Jas 3:2; Eph. 4:29-5:4), managing our time (Eph. 5:15-16; Ps. 90:12) and money to increase the Kingdom (beyond personal comfort and honor) (1 Tim. 6:8; Mt. 6:19-21) as we engage in communing prayer with the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14).

Our war with lust is difficult as we discard its “proud and sinful baggage” that we may enter the narrow gate as the only way to experience the Kingdom. Only a few persevere in their struggle against lust. We must not limit the narrow gate and the difficult way to only refer to being born again. The gate to “life in the Spirit” leads to a difficult way or lifestyle as a disciple of Jesus.

14 Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way…to life, and there are few who find it. (Mt. 7:14)

KINGDOM PARADIGM: ETERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES INSTEAD OF TEMPORAL ONES

In Stephen Coveys best selling book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he said, “good leaders begin with the end in mind.” Jesus and Paul both lived with their end goals in view.

Life in this age can be likened to a 70 year internship (Ps. 90:10) which prepares us for our life on earth in the age to come. Our next stage of life in the Millennium is when our primary ministry calling begins. This primary ministry assignment will last for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:4-6). We have a chance to be together in a “spiritual greenhouse” to grow spiritually (IHOP lifestyle).

In our 70 year internship, we have two issues that we are to determine in the grace of God. First, to decide if we want to be in God’s family as voluntarily lovers. Second, to decide if we want to function in Jesus’ government (initially for 1,000 years in the Millennium, then for all eternity).

The measure that we develop in love, meekness, and revelation (of His Word) determines our place and function in His eternal government (Mt. 7:14; 19:30; 20:16, 26-27; 22:14; Lk. 13:24). Our ministry in the age to come has nothing to do with how much we accomplished outwardly in this age, but rather how much we developed inwardly. The choices we make in our 70-year internship determine where and how we will function in our 1,000-year ministry assignment.

Premise: our calling in the age to come is far more important than our circumstances now. Our calling then is determined by the growth of our heart now. Paul understood that the persecution that caused his outward man to perish also gave occasion for his inward man to be renewed (grow in meekness). He saw the affliction of persecution and obedience as that which worked for the benefit of his main calling (Millennium) which he considered an eternal weight of glory.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (includes ruling in the Millennium), 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen….for the thing which are not seen are eternal. (2 Cor. 4:16-18)

While in prison, Paul pressed in to finish faithfully that he might attain to all he was called too.

10 That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:10-14)

6 I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Tim. 4:6-8)

Not all the saints will rule in the Millennium, but only overcomers who walked in faithfulness.

14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful. (Rev. 17:14)

14 The armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen…followed Him on white horses. (Rev. 19:14)

14 Enoch…prophesied…saying, “Behold, the Lord comes (to establish His government on earth) with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict (a judicial or governmental act) all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds…and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (Jude 14-15)

God requires faithfulness for those chosen as stewards with great responsibility in the Kingdom.

1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful…

9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake…we are weak…we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now. (1 Cor. 4:1-15)

12 I thank Christ Jesus…who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful… (1 Tim. 1:12)

27 I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest…I… become disqualified. (1 Cor. 9:27)

10 When He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints… Therefore we pray always for you that God would count you worthy (qualified by faithfulness) of this calling, and fulfill all (fullness in the Millennial Kingdom) the good pleasure of His goodness… (2 Thes. 1:10-11)

The saints who overcomer will rule (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 12:11; 15:2; 21:7)

26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations– 27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron… (Rev. 2:26-27)

HAVING A RIGHT VIEW OF AUTHORITY IN THE MILLENNIAL GOVERNMENT

Our view of authority dynamically shapes our view of seeking rewards in ruling the nations with Jesus after His Second Coming. If we see authority as the way to establish our honor before people and the way to secure our comfort by being over people, then we may not seek rewards. This paradigm of authority is based on the “pride of being over people.” The secular paradigm of authority and reward is one that seeks self glory in ruling to dominate people.

The Bridal paradigm of authority and reward is to be with Him where He is and doing what He is doing. It is being involved in what He calls precious. We will cherish and enjoy working closely with the One we love in the details of discipling the nations to bring people we love to the fullness of blessing under the Father’s authority. This paradigm is established on love.

Jesus’ view of authority (ruling) in the Millennial Kingdom is to walk in the delight of intimate partnership with the Father and His people so as to serve and enrich all. If we view authority as the way to close partnership with Jesus in establishing on earth what is dear to His heart, then we will want the fullness of authority that God has invited us to walk in during the Millennial Kingdom. The Father gave Jesus the nations as His reward because of the Father’s respect, trust and affection for Him. Therefore, the Father entrusted to Jesus what was precious to Him. Thus, He mandated that Jesus disciple the nations to bring them to the fullness of blessing under the Father’s authority. Think of the person you most love, enjoy and admire; you would want to work closely with that person to glorify God and enrich people’s lives. Multiply that by 10,000.

Jesus cherishes the partnership involved in ruling with His Father. In a similar way, we will also enjoy each step of the process of working closely with Jesus to bring the earth under the Father’s authority. We will delight in imparting the Father’s ways and values to those He loves.

21 Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy (enjoyment) of your Lord. (Mt. 25:21)

Jesus rewards us with authority or the privilege of close partnership with Him, in response to His respect of our life choices to love Him and to serve others in meekness.

The saints will have a position of authority in the governmental infrastructure to make important life enhancing decisions that determine the quality of life for many. The measure of our anointing will affect our impact and what we impart to others.

LIVING IN THE NEW JERUSALEM WHILE REIGNING ON EARTH

Where will the saints live? The saints’ residence will be in the New Jerusalem, yet they will rule with governmental responsibilities on earth. I liken this to senators who live in their home state with a government office in Wash., DC.

20 For our citizenship is in heaven (New Jerusalem)… (Phil 3:20–21)

What kind of body will the saints have? A solid material body with supernatural abilities (Lk.

24:15, 30-31; Jn. 20:14-15, 26; 21:4-5). Resurrected saints will relate to but not fully co-mingle with those in natural bodies. Inhabitants on the Millennial earth (with non-resurrected bodies) will work closely with saints with resurrected bodies. Marriage will continue among those in non-resurrected bodies. Those with resurrected bodies who live in the New Jerusalem will not be given to marriage. Jesus spoke with His disciples for forty days in His resurrected body (Acts 1:3). Sometimes spirit beings (demons and angels) appear in the natural realm to interact with people in natural bodies.




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