What to Expect When the Millennial Judgment Day Ends
1. Why will it be nothing extraordinary to expect that during the thousand years that Satan is abyssed earth’s inhabitants will learn righteousness?
FOR the thousand years of the imprisonment of Satan the Devil in the abyss there will be world wide the judgments from God for the earth and its inhabitants. The heavenly judges will render decisions and act for Jehovah God. The princely representatives on earth will do likewise. They will conduct themselves as judges whom King Jehoshaphat of Jerusalem stationed throughout the land to bring the people back to God. Jehoshaphat said to them: “See what you are doing, because it is not for man that you judge but it is for Jehovah; and he is with you in the matter of judgment. And now let the dread of Jehovah [not of man] come to be upon you. Be careful and act, for with Jehovah our God there is no unrighteousness or partiality or taking of a bribe.” (2 Chronicles 19:4-7) With such heavenly judges and their judicial princes on the earth it is nothing too extraordinary to expect that the inhabitants of the productive Paradise land will learn righteousness, all together for a thousand years.—Isaiah 26:9.
2, 3. (a) Through David, Jesus was the Descendant of what Bethlehemite, and so Isaiah compares Jesus at his earthly start to what with reference to that one? (b) A spirit with what qualities will rest upon him, and how will he judge?
2 What a qualified, reliable Chief Judge all mankind will have in the “new heavens” during all that Judgment Day of ten centuries! Glowing with warmth is the prophetic description of the Judge as given by Isaiah in the eighth century before our Common Era. This foretold Judge is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messianic Descendant of King David the son of Jesse of Bethlehem. Could Jehovah God provide and appoint a better judge to straighten out human affairs and to see that the people get justice and that righteousness is forever established in the earth? Give all due attention, then, as the prophet under inspiration tells of the qualities of this future Judge who descended from the Bethlehemite Jesse through King David. Comparing this Descendant at his earthly start to a small twig that grows out of the trunk of a cut-down tree, Isaiah prophesies:
3 “And there must go forth a twig out of the stump of Jesse; and out of his roots a sprout will be fruitful. And upon him the spirit of Jehovah must settle down, the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of mightiness, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah; and there will be enjoyment by him in the fear of Jehovah. And he will not judge by any mere appearance to his eyes, nor reprove simply according to the thing heard by his ears. And with righteousness he must judge the lowly ones, and with uprightness he must give reproof in behalf of the meek ones of the earth. And he must strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the spirit of his lips he will put the wicked one to death. And righteousness must prove to be the belt of his hips, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.”—Isaiah 11:1-5.
4. (a) In the fear of whom will he judge mankind? (b) How will he become more than a mere “twig” or “sprout” out of the “stump of Jesse” and not be a disappointment or irritation?
4 This Chief Judge takes an actual delight, finds a real enjoyment in fearing Jehovah, so that he will without fail do his judging for Jehovah and not for man. So he is only God-fearing in making his decisions, not man-fearing. Surely he must be wise due to this wholesome fear of the one living and true God, Jehovah. He did not remain like a mere “twig” or “sprout” out of the firmly rooted “stump of Jesse,” but grew up into a stalwart “big tree” of heavenly royalty, as the Greater David the Son of the Living Jehovah. (Isaiah 61:3; compare Ezekiel 17:22-24.) Upon this exalted one in his royal majestic position the mighty spirit of Jehovah rests, endowing him with knowledge, understanding and wisdom so much needed for his responsible office. Consequently, as the King enthroned at the right hand of God he will be a credit to Jehovah; and as a divinely appointed Judge, he will not be a disappointment or an irritation to earth’s inhabitants.
5. In favor of strict justice, how will he show himself impartial and discerning, even more so than Solomon as judge?
5 Justice will be established in the earth. The heavenly Judge will exercise greater discernment than did his prototype King Solomon, who rendered such splendid decisions, such as in the stiff case submitted to him by the two harlots. They both disowned a dead child and laid claim to a live child. Concerning Solomon’s unique way of bringing the true mother of the live child to the fore, it is written: “And all Israel got to hear of the judicial decision that the king had handed down; and they became fearful because of the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was within him to execute judicial decision.” (1 Kings 3:16-28) In like manner the Greater Solomon will not judge according to the surface appearance of things nor according to mere hearsay, but will see to it that the true facts are unearthed and that the true account is reported, to the end that a just decision may be rendered and executed. He will not favor the high ones as against the lowly ones, nor the arrogant ones as against the meek ones.
6. How will he, by his procedures in the “great tribulation,” show that his thousand years of judgeship will be righteous?
6 In order to show what his thousand years of judgeship promises to be, this Judge so filled with the spirit of Jehovah will show himself to be a Liberator of the lowly and meek ones in the coming “great tribulation” that culminates in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon. (Matthew 24:21; Revelation 7:14; 16:14, 16) His orders and directions to his heavenly armies will be like a “rod” out of his mouth, for, in fulfillment of what he says as Commander, the ‘old earth’ of unrighteousness will be struck and broken to pieces. The lips of his mouth will be moved by the spirit of Jehovah and will express his attitude and feeling toward the wicked ones on earth, and these will accordingly be put to death. Our whole earthly globe will be cleansed of the lofty, arrogant, wicked ones. And, of course, the unseen ruler of these, Satan, will be chained and abyssed.
7, 8. (a) For the good of mankind, how will it be as if the Judge were belted with righteousness and girded with faithfulness? (b) What effects will this have upon mankind in producing changes in them?
7 Of a truth, mankind has nothing to expect of the millennial judgeship of Jehovah’s appointed Judge, Jesus Christ, but righteousness and faithfulness to their interests. It will be as if this heavenly Judge is belted, sustained by righteousness, as if he girdles himself for the work of righteousness. Yes, it is as if he belts, girds himself with the quality of faithfulness, or girdles himself in support of the faithful care for the interests of the people whom he judges according to God’s standards. Oh, what peace and tranquillity this will result in for the earth! What altering there will be of attitudes of persons toward one another, what a changing of personalities for the good of others! This is delightfully pictured in the prophetic words of Isaiah, as he says:
8 “And righteousness must prove to be the belt of his hips, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. And the wolf will actually reside for a while with the male lamb, and with the kid the leopard itself will lie down, and the calf and the maned young lion and the well-fed animal all together; and a mere little boy will be leader over them. And the cow and the bear themselves will feed; together their young ones will lie down. And even the lion will eat straw just like the bull. And the sucking child will certainly play upon the hole of the cobra; and upon the light aperture of a poisonous snake will a weaned child actually put his own hand. They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.”—Isaiah 11:5-9.
9. Since when, and upon whom, have such transformations of personal characteristics been brought about by God’s spirit?
9 Imagine the human personalities that are likened to the wolf, the leopard, the bear, the maned young lion, the cobra, the poisonous snake! There have been many people with suchlike personalities who have responded finally to the message of God’s kingdom and who have changed their personalities so that they could get along with other persons who are meek and inoffensive like the lamb, the kid, the little boy, the sucking child or the weaned child. Ever since the outpouring of God’s holy spirit through Christ upon the Christian congregation when gathered together on the Festival Day of Pentecost of 33 C.E., the spirit of God has been working to transform members of the congregation to be Christlike. As a consequence the faithful members of the congregation have been able to put up with one another and to get along together, even though formerly they could be likened in personality to those dreaded wild animals. (Acts 2:1-33) True to Isaiah’s prophecy, they have done no harm to fellow Christians nor caused any ruin to the congregation in the “holy mountain” of Jehovah’s worship.
10. (a) Upon whom else, besides the 144,000 associate judges of Christ, have such personality transformations been wrought? (b) How will this transformation result favorably toward them at the start of Christ’s millennial judgeship?
10 This personality transformation has taken place not only with those who finally make up the 144,000 associate judges of the Chief Judge Jesus Christ, but also with the numberless “great crowd” of worshipers of Jehovah who are today being gathered together from all nations, tribes, peoples and languages. These prospective inhabiters of the earthly Paradise are assured of God’s protection during the “great tribulation” and will be preserved through it into the divine new order under the millennial judgeship of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 7:9-17) Naturally they will carry their transformed personalities directly into the divine new order. This will result to them very favorably, for they will be the “living” toward whom the heavenly Judge Jesus Christ will begin expressing his millennial judgments. (2 Timothy 4:1) Under such circumstances fear of harm and ruin will be gone from the “holy mountain” of Jehovah’s worship. They already know Jehovah, and so with these survivors all around the globe the earth will indeed be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah. But this knowledge will increase.
11. What did God assure the eight deluge survivors regarding the lower earthly creatures, and how will this have a modern counterpart?
11 At this juncture, we remember what was said to the eight human survivors of the deluge of Noah’s day, after they came out of the ark and offered sacrifice to God. Jehovah said to them: “And a fear of you and a terror of you will continue upon every living creature of the earth and upon every flying creature of the heavens, upon everything that goes moving on the ground, and upon all the fishes of the sea. Into your hand they are now given.” (Genesis 9:2) May this not have its modern counterpart? As the coming “great tribulation” will be directed against ungodly humans of the earth, it will not kill off the land animals, birds and fishes of the sea. It is reasonable to expect that God will put upon those lower earthly creatures any lost measure of fear and dread of human creatures, who will be commissioned to convert the ruined earth into a Paradise. Certainly since God by his spirit was able to transform beastly personalities into Christian personalities among the 144,000 and the “great crowd” of today, he will be able to do something similar in the case of the wild animals. For a fact, they will do no injury to Jehovah’s worshipers in the earth.
12, 13. (a) Back in the original Paradise, what was the attitude of man and woman toward the lower earthly creatures? (b) What kind of relationship will there be between the lower earthly creatures themselves, in more than a figurative way?
12 In accordance with this, we can look for the charming description of animal life as set out in Isaiah 11:6-9 to have a literal fulfillment with the birds, fishes and land creatures of earth during the millennial reign of the Prince of Peace, the Son of the Greater Jesse, Jehovah God. Away back in the original Paradise of Pleasure or Garden of Eden, the woman Eve did not have any fear of the serpent, not fleeing from it when it was made to speak to her. (Genesis 3:1-4) Before this, Adam had had the wild animals and the flying creatures brought before him and he named them, manifesting no fear of them. (Genesis 2:19, 20) That Edenic condition of freedom of fear of the lower creatures of the earth and security from harm by them will be reintroduced in the restored Paradise.
13 Also, these land animals, flying creatures and fish will be at peace among themselves as well as with man. It would be inconsistent for God to inspire such a prophecy as that of Isaiah 11:6-9, and Ezekiel 34:25 and Hosea 2:18 to have only a figurative or spiritual meaning and not have a true copy of these things in actual life, as though the literal fulfillment were an impossible ideal.
14. However, what is more important than the taming of the lower earthly creatures, and why?
14 However, the taming of the animal, bird and fish creation is not the main objective. Such earthly creatures existed long before mankind did. It is mankind’s continued existence on earth that is in question or at stake. All descendants from Adam and Eve were born sinners and so have fallen “short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) In many cases humans have taken on, not godly qualities, but qualities of now ferocious wild beasts. So mankind needs to be brought back to that “glory of God,” so as to prove worthy of everlasting life to the praise of God the Creator. The members of the human family need to be brought together into peaceful, harmless relations with one another, doing justice and righteousness perfectly. This is what the thousand-year judgeship of Jesus Christ will bring about.
15. How will the heavenly judges over mankind bring about that the rate of wrongdoing goes down as the rate of population goes up?
15 At present, the crime rate of men is increasing at a rate faster than that of the growth of earth’s population. In strong contrast with this, during the millennium earth’s population will regularly increase because of the resurrection of the dead, of the “righteous” and the “unrighteous.” And yet the rate of wrongdoing will decrease till at last it reaches the vanishing point. Why so? Because the heavenly judges over mankind will be absolutely righteous and will teach all mankind true righteousness according to God’s standards. As an aid in this direction, “the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.” (Isaiah 11:9) Only the worship of Him will be permitted in this theocratic millennium. Mankind will be brought to the earthly courtyards of Jehovah’s “true tent,” his spiritual temple. There they will be made to know the truth of what Jesus said in prayer to his heavenly Father: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”—John 17:3; Hebrews 8:2.
16. (a) In view of what results will Christ’s millennial judgeship not fail of its purpose? (b) Why will Christ not bestow eternal life in Paradise upon restored mankind?
16 The millennial Judgment Day will not fail of its purpose. By the time of its end all the willing and obedient will have been trained in true justice and righteousness to perfection. Their physical and mental infirmities inherited from Adam and Eve will be done away with. They are now capable in all respects to measure up to God’s absolute standards of righteousness, in themselves. Does Jesus Christ as the Chief Judge now bestow upon them the right to eternal life in a peaceful earth all glorious in paradisaic beauty? No! In this regard he does not act for God, for he knows that it is written: “God is the One who declares them righteous.” (Romans 8:33) What, then, does God’s Judge do?