Why Does God Need a Thousand Years to Teach His Children After Christ’s Second Advent? 

Hi Steve,

What do you think the 1,000 years of teaching will entail when Christ arrives? What could possibly take 1,000 years of consistent teaching to learn?

After all, in the flesh we can come to God’s Truth and accept Christ as our Lord and Savior within a normal fleshly lifetime of 70 years or so.  So there must be something more to the Millennium than just teaching God’s Word…especially if His children will be using 100% of their minds instead of only 10%.

It seems to me that in our spiritual bodies, with Christ Himself doing the teaching, God’s children should be able to understand pretty quickly what God wants them to know in order to be saved.



Steve’s Answer:

Hi A.,

You have to keep in mind that God’s wayward children have already had millions of years to learn and accept God’s Word and God’s ways.  After all, His children have been with Him in heaven for eons before He ever started this flesh earth age.  Right?

So the one thousand year teaching period — the so-called “Millennium” — is simply the final chance for God’s wayward children to get it right.  It’s the final “day” of school, if you will.  You might call it graduation day, in which one either passes, or flunks out completely.

And if you look at it from the perspective of the first age, which was probably millions of years long, you’ll understand that the one thousand year “Millennium” teaching period is not all that long, after all.  It’s a drop in the bucket, comparatively speaking.

Before I answer your question more fully, I want to preface it, for the benefit of other readers, with a Bible passage I think is relevant:

2Peter 3:8  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.


2Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

In other words, at Christ’s Second Advent we all move into the spiritual realm that God dwells in.  And in that spiritual realm, one thousand years is counted as one spiritual day.

It’s called “the day of the Lord” in II Peter 3:10.  And it’s called “the Lord’s day” in Revelation 1:10.  But II Peter 3:8-9 tell us it’s one thousand years long.

We also learn from the II Peter 3:9 above that God is extremely patient.  He loves His wayward children so much He’s willing to take all of the time necessary to teach them what they need to know in order to live eternally, with unity and harmony, in His family household.

That’s why He’s willing to give His children that final one thousand years before the eternity, to learn His ways, to experience His goodness, and ultimately, to prove themselves worthy of residing in His eternal family household.

Before Noah’s Flood

It’s my belief that before Noah’s flood, a human lifespan was one thousand years long (more documentation on that in just a moment).  So that final one thousand year period we call the “Millennium” is not really all that new to us.

God started this flesh earth age by giving His flesh children one thousand years each to get it right.  But we failed Him going out of the gate — beginning in the Garden of Eden.

So at Christ’s Second Advent God ends the lesson by giving His wayward children a final (and full) one thousand years.

In other words, the one thousand year “Millennium” teaching period that starts at Christ’s arrival directly corresponds to the one thousand years God’s earthly children were originally given to live in this flesh age.

Of course, as we know from the book of Genesis, in the time period between Adam and Noah when God’s children lived so long, no one made it to the full 1,000 years.  Not one person.

Why?   Because God meant it when He stated in Genesis 2:17, regarding the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Now we know that Adam and Eve didn’t die the very day they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Scripture tells us they lived for many years afterwards, and bare children.

In other words, “the day” spoken of by God in Genesis 2:17 was a one thousand year day, which is why even the most Godly of Adamic descendants, such as Methuselah, who the Scripture tells us was the longest-lived human ever, only made it to 969 years, falling short of the one thousand year “day” by some 31 years.

Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, no flesh man or woman ever made it to the end of a full one thousand years.  In other words, they didn’t make it to the end of the “day” originally given to each and every one of us in this flesh age.

Then, because of the wicked deeds of the fallen angels described in Genesis chapter 6, in which the daughters of Adam mated with those angels, and bore hybrid children to them who were even more wicked, Noah’s flood was decreed by God, and God began shortening the days of our lives more dramatically (Genesis 6:3), knowing He was later going to give His wayward children their full one thousand years of learning starting at Christ’s Second Advent.

What Will Be Taught During the Millennium?

Now to answer your question about what’s going to be taught to God’s wayward children during the one thousand year “Millennium” teaching period of Revelation 20:6, in which the elect will rule and reign with Jesus Christ and help teach His children.

The simple answer is found in Ezekiel 44, in the verses in which God talks about the elect and their duties during the Millennium teaching period:

Eze 44:23  And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.


Eze 44:24  And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.

In other words, God’s children are going to be taught God’s ways.  They’re going to be taught discernment, i.e., how to differentiate between that which is right in God’s eyes, and that which is wrong.

That’s different than merely memorizing the 10 commandments.  It’s learning how to live RIGHTLY in what will be God’s eternal family household.

Pastor Arnold Murray of the Shepherd’s Chapel used to answer that same question (i.e., “What will be taught in the Millennium?”) by saying, “God’s children are going to be taught discipline.”

You see, it takes discipline to live God’s way, in God’s family household.  And disciplined living takes practice.  But once you practice it, and get it down pat, your efforts begin to pay off in spades.

During the Millennium teaching period, God’s wayward children, of all races and nationalities, are going to learn what I’ll call family discipline in Christ.  And they’re going to experience for themselves the profound benefits that discipline brings about, in terms of God’s blessings.

And then, if they still choose to reject Father’s Way when Satan is released out of the pit at the end of that one thousand years (Revelation 20:7), it’s hasta la vista for them.

At the time of the great white throne judgment, those who still choose to reject Father’s way after personally experiencing its manifold blessings for one thousand years will go directly into the lake of fire described in Revelation 20:11-15.

It’s More Than Just Discipline; It’s Unity

If you really think about it, God’s wayward children are going to learn more than just “family discipline” during that one thousand year period we call the “Millennium.”  They’re going to learn FAMILY UNITY IN CHRIST with discipline.

Look around you today, and tell me what you see.   It’s mostly division, strife and rebellion.  Among nations.  Among races.  Among creeds.  Among most families.  Even among Christians, there’s nothing but division, strife and rebellion.

And it was exactly that way at the end of the first age, as well, when Satan deceived one-third of God’s children and led them into rebellion against His throne, while confusing the other two-thirds by instilling fear and doubt within their ranks.

Through deception, Satan instituted division, strife and rebellion within God’s family household, creating factions, and then turning each faction against each other when it served his purposes.

Indeed, Satan divided God’s previously united family household into three basic factions.  [To learn more about the three factions in the first age, see my Bible study, The Rebellious One-Third of God’s Children.]  And those three factions still exist, today, among God’s children, and have further been broken into many more factions and schisms.

So, during the Millennium teaching period, God’s wayward children are going to learn how to get along with each other, again — something we haven’t been able to do during the course of this entire flesh age, and indeed, not since the katabole in the first age when Satan led one-third of God’s children against Him.

There was indeed a time when God’s eternal family household operated as a joyous and cohesive family unit, “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7).

And by the end of the Millennium teaching period and the great white throne judgment that follows it, the only children left will be those who prove themselves worthy to return to, and once again be a cohesive part of, that joyous (and eternal) family unit.

Christ summed it up thusly, when asked in Matthew 22:36, “Which is the great commandment in the law?”  He answered:

Mat 22:37  …Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.


Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.


Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.


Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Sounds easy, right?  Love God, and love your fellow man.  Have compassion for each other, in Christ.  But it’s something God’s children have never achieved in this flesh age.

The key to understanding why it will take one thousand years to learn is that God’s wayward children will be living what they learn until they get it right.

They’ll be given the chance to demonstrate their love for God, and their love for their fellow man.  And if they demonstrate it for one thousand years — one day, in spiritual terms — then they’re “in like Flynn” so to speak.

In other words, they’ll have to practice family unity, love and mutual compassion under Christ Jesus until they get it right.  That’s what’s going to take one thousand years to learn.  As it’s written:

Isa 2:2  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

That’s family unison.  All people, of all races and nationalities, flowing to the house of the Lord as a cohesive family unit.

Isa 2:3  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

We know that God’s Word flows forth from His throne constantly.  It will be constantly available to us.  What God’s wayward children have to learn is not just His Word — His rules and regulations for family order and harmony — but “his ways” and “his paths.”

In other words, they’ll have to learn how to live together eternally, in cohesive family harmony.  Some call it the universal moral order.  I call it the eternal family order.

Isa 2:4  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

There will be no more division among God’s children.  No more strife.  No more rebellion.  It will be one big happy family, in Jesus Christ.

But achieving that kind of family unity requires discipline.  And discipline requires practice.

Discipline doesn’t come naturally for most people.  It can’t just be “given” to anyone.  It has to be embraced, first, with it’s value recognized by each individual.  Then it has to be practiced until it’s second nature, similar to the way the military instills discipline into their troops until the troops become a cohesive unit, loyal to each other.

And that’s what’s going to take one thousand years to learn.  If you think teaching discipline to billions of undisciplined children is going to be fast and easy, you’re sadly mistaken.  As it’s further written, God gave us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying (i.e., building up) of the body of Christ:

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;


Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:


Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:


Eph 4:14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 


Eph 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:


Eph 4:16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

During that one thousand year period, Christ and His elect are going to train every one of God’s wayward children in disciplined family unity.  And by the end of that one thousand years God’s children are going to know it inside out, and will have experienced its manifold benefits for themselves, both personally and collectively.

Then, at the end of the one thousand years, if they still choose to follow Satan — the great divider — when he’s released from the pit for that short period of time (Revelation 20:3-7), then it’s their own fault because they’ll have had every opportunity possible to actually live the truth, and to live with each other in complete family harmony, without division, strife and rebellion.

So the “Millennium” is not just about rote learning, like in school. It’s not about memorizing Bible verses.  After all, in our spiritual bodies, we’ll know God’s Word inside out.  We’ll have instantaneous recall, and instantaneous access to it at any time we need, for it will flow forth from Christ’s throne on a constant and never-ending basis and we can “tap into it” at any time we need to.

It’s also not just about learning to “accept the Lord” (after all, at His Second Advent “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess to God”) as it is about accepting His eternal moral family order with proper gratitude, and learning to live it with discipline, compassion and love for each other, with Christ Jesus as the primary example.

In short, God’s wayward children will be learning to actually live the truth and personally experience the family harmony it brings, after having lived the lie in this flesh earth age, and personally experiencing the division, strife and rebellion it brings.

And that’s what the final one thousand year “day” of training is all about for God’s wayward children:  Family harmony, God’s way.  As it’s written:

1Pe 3:8  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:


1Pe 3:9  Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

God’s wayward children — indeed, all of God’s children — are going to learn to live harmoniously and compassionately together in God’s eternal family household, in its original joyous unity, and be grateful for it.  As the old saying goes, “The attitude is gratitude.”

Finally, as it’s written:

Psa 133:1  Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!


Psa 133:2  It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;


Psa 133:3  As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

And that’s a precious blessing, indeed, is it not?

Regards in Christ,

Steve Barwick


Steve Barwick

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