When Messiah Reigns
The grand inauguration of the Messianic Age will begin when Jesus Christ returns to Jerusalem as promised (Zech. 14:4; Acts 1:10–12). The remnant of Israel that will have withstood the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (seven-year Tribulation) will “look on Me whom they pierced,” said the Lord, “and mourn for Him” (Zech. 12:10). Then the Messiah will establish His literal 1,000-year reign on Earth from Jerusalem (Isa. 16:5; Rev. 20:4), fulfilling the long-awaited Jewish expectation referred to in Hebrew as Ha-Olam Ha-Ba (“the World to Come”), or the Messianic Era.
Features of this age include:
- Israel being reunited as a nation and dwelling in peace in its land (Isa. 32:18).
- Universal peace (2:4).
- A world blessed through Israel (Mic. 5:7).
- Wild animals tamed (Isa. 11:6–9).
- Human longevity increased (65:20–23).
- Satan confined to a bottomless pit (Rev. 20:1–3).
- Worldwide knowledge of God (Isa. 11:9).
- Righteousness and justice (Jer. 23:5).
- A Millennial Temple in Jerusalem (Ezek. 40:5—43:27).
As wonderful as this 1,000-year Kingdom will be, it, too, will end in judgment. Satan will be released from the bottomless pit that will confine him during this Messianic Age, and he will deceive the nations (Rev. 20:7–8). A global army will besiege Jerusalem but will disintegrate in a flash of fire from heaven (v. 9). Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire (v. 10); and the wicked dead will be resurrected, judged at the Great White Throne, and cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity (vv. 11–15).
Then the glory of Jerusalem will be magnificent. The rabbis taught three things about the future Jerusalem, all of which are confirmed by Scripture:
- The city will become a great light to all the nations. Scripture says,
Thus says the Lᴏʀᴅ of hosts: “Peoples shall yet come, inhabitants of many cities; the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us continue to go and pray before the Lᴏʀᴅ, and seek the Lᴏʀᴅ of hosts. I myself will go also.’ Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lᴏʀᴅ of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lᴏʀᴅ” (Zech. 8:20–22).
- Jerusalem will become the world’s capital. Scripture teaches,
At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lᴏʀᴅ, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lᴏʀᴅ, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts (Jer. 3:17).
- In the Jerusalem of the world to come, only the invited may enter. Scripture teaches that Jesus alone cleanses from sin and is the sole means of entrance: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6). In that day, Israel will finally be reconciled to its Messiah and will dwell in its land safely forever:
In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land, I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up (Zech. 13:1; Jer. 24:6).