Who Will Populate The Millennium?
|YouTube video by skydiver626.|
By Gavin Finley MD
Let us clarify the question a little. "If, (as Post-Tribbers assert), the wicked are plucked up as tares in the harvest when the Day of the Lord opens up, (and we say that this Day of the Lord will open after the tribulation at the end of this age), (Mat 13:24-30) and the Elect are to be glorified immediately after this in the Resurrection-Rapture, (and again, this will be at the end of this age), then who will be left to populate earth during the Millennium?
Those who hold to a Pre-Tribulation Rapture are taught that there will be a special early express Rapture of the present day Church and that this will come seven years before the end of this age. They go on to teach that among those who are 'left behind' after this special early Rapture will be those who survive God's wrath/tribulation, (which these teachers say are one and the same). They then affirm that it will be these survivors who will enter the Millennium.
They do not discuss the Millennial entry issue in any detail at all. Curiously the subject is kept rather vague. They certainly do not discuss the entry of mortals into Millennium in terms of the Sheep-Goat Judgment. Post-Tribbers are beginning to look into this. And why are they interested? It is because they, (unlike the Pre-Tribbers), have a personal interest in the blood covenant issues inside the 70th Week of Daniel. Post-Tribbers know that they will be going up on stage to bring in the final witness during the final seven years of this age.
So if these supposed "left behind" people are not the ones left to populate the earth during the Millennium of Messiah then who will make up the company of these blessed mortals? This is where a closer inspection of the Sheep-Goat Judgment begins to shine some light on this question.
Let's cut to the chase. A company of blessed mortals will enter into the Kingdom of Messiah to become the Sheep of God's pasture. It seems quite apparent that no goats will be allowed to enter in. The Sheep/people go in to enjoy the reign and ministry of Israel's Shepherd-King. He leads them to green pastures and to rest beside still waters. No one will make them afraid. Satan the deceiver will be chained in the Abyss for the one thousand literal years. The governmental World Order in those future days will belong to the true and living Messiah.
Let us recap. The three spiritual enemies of men are the World, the Flesh, and the Devil. Two of those enemies of our soul are dispensed with at the Second Coming of Messiah. So in the Millennium of Messiah these people are highly privileged. Only the flesh is left to trip them up.
Here below is the Scripture passage for the 'Sheep-Goat Judgment' As you will notice a certain selection of people given special favor by the returning Messiah. It is also very clear that these favored ones are NOT counted among the brethren of Messiah. They do not know Messiah personally. So we can conclude that these people are unsaved mortals.
It is also quite clear that these people are not wicked. These people have not been plucked up with the wicked as tares. Perhaps they will be among those who mourn at the coming of Messiah. The wrath of God on the wicked has passed. The glorification of the living and the dead in Christ has also passed. And yet these people remain here on earth standing before the returned Messiah in their mortal bodies. They stand before Messiah as He judges them, the nations, the Gentiles, the heathen, if you will.
A study by Gavin Finley MD
31. "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
32. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
33. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
34. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35. for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36. I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'
37. Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
38. When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
39. Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
40. And the King will answer and say to them,
'Assuredly, I say to you,
inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
41. Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
42. for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;
43. I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'
44. Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?'
45. Then He will answer them, saying,
'Assuredly, I say to you,
inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
46. And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
The Sheep-Goat Judgment is an awesome and sobering future reality. God's covenant people are not in the picture here. They will have been glorified and in new spiritual bodies. But the people still alive and in their mortal bodies at the close of this age will face Messiah's earthly judgment. He will judge the heathen, (the nations or the gentiles), as a shepherd would separate the sheep from the goats. The sheep and the goats are unsaved gentiles. These are men, women, and children who have not yet come into the covenants of Israel. (Eph.2:12-13) These people have not made any personal commitment to Christ as Savior and Lord. They have not come into covenant with Messiah. They do not know Him. If they had known Him they would have been glorified at the return of Messiah at the Resurrection-Rapture. Some are judged as goats. The goats are separated out and cast away. But the sheep are led on into green pastures. And so they enter into the glorious Millennium of Messiah.
The Elect, of course, will be glorified at the end of this age. The saints are not in view here in this sheep-goat judgment. The saints who are raised up after the Great Tribulation, the quick and the dead, both the Resurrected and the Raptured are glorified. They now have new spiritual bodies. This blessed company will not be subject to the sheep-goat Judgment.
Now we have some reason to believe that the saints will in fact be there. But they will be there as witnesses on behalf of those being judged. (More on this later.) But they themselves will not be in this judgment of unsaved, and in many cases yet to be saved, heathen gentiles.
How about the abominably wicked? Are they in view here? The short answer is, no. The wicked tares will have been plucked up off the planet before the Sheep-Goat Judgment which occurs at the opening of the Millennium of Messiah. They will have been carried off in that terrible apocalyptic harvest. The grim reapers will have plucked these evildoers off the planet to the place of the eagles/vultures. This hideous harvest of the wicked will carried out at the end of the age during the Day of the Lord. The grim reapers will be the destroying angels of wrath.
We see this awful plucking up of the wicked described in Holy Scripture. Jesus laid it out very clearly for us in the parable of the wheat and the tares. The tares, (that is, the wicked), are gathered up first. This is what Jesus Himself plainly states. His words are recorded in the Bible. (Mat.13:30)
Then comes the harvest of the righteous.
And those who are "in Christ" are gathered up to meet the Lord in the air. (1Thes. 4:15-18)
So the Sheep-Goat Judgment concerns the people who are left in the nations after the 70th Week of Daniel comes to its end. These people who are left are the gentiles, or the unredeemed heathen, if you will. This judgment will take place here on earth. It is a judgment by Messiah of living mortals. They still have their lives before them, if the Messiah accepts them. He is entitled to accept or reject them. And so they await His judgment. He alone can decide whether or not they deserve entry into the coming glorious Millennium of Messiah. And so we have the separation of the sheep from the goats. It comes with the return of Christ at the end of the age.
Here in the Sheep-Goat Judgment we see individuals who are still outside the covenants of the God of Israel. These are unsaved gentiles who have not come into the Eternal Covenant with Christ/Messiah. These people have not yet been saved. They have not yet found redemption under the covering blood of Christ, the promised Sacrifice Lamb. These people, which include perhaps a billion children, are survivors of the Great Tribulation. They have come through earth's climactic history in the 70th Week of Daniel.
Quite obviously some of the gentiles, even if they are not among the wicked whom Messiah destroys at His coming, are nevertheless self-willed rambunctious people. These are the goats. In this judgment they will be cut off from the land of the living. They will be sent away to damnation with the blatantly wicked.
The others are more fortunate. They find favor with Messiah. These are judged as the sheep. Thus they are given entry into Messiah's Millennial Kingdom.
To read more on this subject see the full article on the Sheep-Goat Judgment
The highway of holiness leads onwards and upwards;
- towards the gates of splendor.
Grace and shalom to all the saints.