THE NEW MILLENNIUM - WHAT WILL IT BRING?
The second coming of Christ? Worldwide trouble and the end of the world as we know it? With all the speculation and expectation over the coming Millennium, we, as Christians, must consult the Bible to know the truth on this important topic.
Only two Scriptures in the New Testament mention a 1,000-year period (a millennium). The first is 2 Peter 3:8the latter is Revelation 20:2-7. Neither of these two Scriptures alone indicate the calendar year 2000 as having any prophetic significance. So, why is there so much expectation over this date? Most Christians believe it is the start of the second Millennium from the birth of Christ. But is it?
Many Bible commentators have placed Jesus' birth at 4 B.C. Two thousand years after 4 B.C. brings us to A.D. 1996 (four years earlier than A.D. 2000). The most accurate dating for Jesus' birth is 2 B.C. (See The Time is at Hand, pages 54-62, available page 4). Two thousand years after 2 B.C. brings us to A.D. 1998. According to proper Bible dating, we have already passed the 2,000 year mark from Jesus' birth! Furthermore, the Word of God places no prophetic significance upon the 2,000th year from Christ's birth.
Careful study of the Scriptures teaches that the Bible Millennium is the seventh 1,000-year period from the entrance of sin and death upon the human family through father Adam. That is to say, since Adam sinned, 6,000 years of suffering, dying and death have passed over his offspring, the entire human race. When considering creation in Genesis, we notice that God worked for six days (Hebrew: epochs or periods of time) and rested on the seventh. In like manner, the nation of Israel was required to work six days in the week and rest on the seventh. We will use this same patternsix days of toil followed by the seventh day of restto help us locate the Bible Millennium.
How long is an epoch day to the Lord? The Apostle Peter supplies us with the answer in 2 Peter 3:8, "...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." Applying this knowledge to the divine pattern, we learn that the six 1,000 year long days of mankind toiling under the burden of sin and death are to be followed by the seventh 1,000 year long day for the purpose of resting from sin and death and for removing this curse. We see then that 7,000 years are required, from the entrance of sin and death, to its complete eradication.
This same 1,000-year day is spoken of as the time in which the saints will reign with Christ. (Rev. 20:4) Paul tells us that the purpose of this 1,000-year reign is to put all enemies under Christ's feet. The last enemy of mankind (as a result of sin) is death, and this, too, will Christ destroy. (1 Cor. 15:25, 26) This 1,000-year period or Millennium is described in Acts 3:19-21 as "the times of restitution of all things." In other words, it is the period of time in which mankind, as well as the earth, will be brought back (restored) to their original perfect condition. Gen.1:27, 31
By carefully considering Bible chronology, we can pinpoint the very year Adam sinned to be 4126 B.C. Six thousand years from this date brings us to A.D. 1874the time for the great 7th 1,000-year day, the Bible Millennium, to commence. So, we have actually been in the Bible Millennium for the past 125 years! (For this chronology calculation see The Time is at Hand, pages 33-62. See also chart next page).
The Apostle Peter states that, "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.... Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 2 Pet. 3:10-13
These and many other scriptures reveal that this 1,000-year day does not begin peaceably, but with troubleterrible trouble. This Millennial Day arrives as a thief in the night. That is, it comes quietly, unobserved by the sleeping world. We should observe that we are in fact living in the beginning of this Day of the Lord. Furthermore, we should note that the Bible is clear that this trouble is brought about by the return of Jesus at his second coming. He has arrived as a thief (Matt. 24:43) and the world is totally unaware of it. Remember that Jesus said he would return to the earth's atmosphere not as a man but as a glorious invisible spirit being. As Peter reveals, our Lord was, "put to death flesh, quickened [resurrected] spirit." (1 Pet. 3:18) Paul teaches us that our Lord is no longer in the flesh, because he says, "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 15:50
WHAT GREAT WORK DOES THE LORD ACCOMPLISH
DURING HIS INVISIBLE PRESENCE?
The Binding of Satan: Jesus' first work is to bind Satan who is the god of this present evil world. (Rev. 20:1-3; 2 Cor. 4:4; Gal. 1:4) Satan must first be bound if his house (dominionthis present evil world) is to be spoiled (destroyedMark 3:27). This means the removal of false religions and oppressive governments (the heavens) and the present selfish social order (the earth) as described in 2 Peter 3:10-13 quoted above.
Does our Lord use a literal chain and throw Satan in an actual pit? No, Satan is not flesh and blood, but a spirit being. Since he cannot be physically restrained, it is his great influence ruling in tyranny over mankind which is gradually being bound. The chain our Lord is using to render Satan powerless is truth. This truth has shone forth from the time of our Lord's presence at the beginning of the Millennium. It is dispelling darkness, ignorance, superstition, and the errors of the dark ages. Light, knowledge, understanding and truth shining upon both spiritual and temporal matters, are exposing and weakening the leading ruler of darkness, Satan. Eph. 6:12
Satan, like an animal, caught in a trap, is fighting for his life! His weapons are the errors of higher criticism, greed, evolution, immorality and gross violence. These weapons have been forged to attack the increasing light of this Millennial Day. This is the reason that unprecedented trouble is sweeping over the world. The wicked one (Satan) is being destroyed with the spirit of his (our Lord's) mouth (the truth). But Satan does not go down in defeat without a fight. He responds with all power, signs and lying wonders. 2 Thess. 2:8-12
Increased Knowledge and Travel: Daniel spoke of this Millennial Day over 2,500 years ago calling this day "the time of the end [when] many will run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Dan. 12:1-4) Have these signs had their fulfillment in our day? Is man running to and fro? Do we have evidences that knowledge (lightthe chain used to bind Satan) has increased since 1874? The following list of revolutionary advances in both knowledge and travel indicates clearly that since 1874, Daniel's prophecy, in conjunction with our Lord's return, has begun to take place.
"Knowledge Shall Be Increased"
1874 Invention of light bulb
1876 Telephone, gas engine
1884 Motor car
1887 Celluloid film
1888 Kodak camera
1889 First skyscraper in USA
1890 Data processing cards
1894 Steam turbine ship
1895 Wireless radio, x-ray
1900 Quantum theory
1902 First Gramophone record
1920 Radio broadcasting
1926 Television invented
1927 Talking pictures
1938 Nylon invented
1939 Calculator 1942 Nuclear reactor
1944 Digital computer
1945 Microwave oven
1946 Electronic digital computer
1948 Transistor invented
1953 Polio vaccine
1953 DNA discovered
1957 Space satellite
ISRAEL, GOD'S TIME CLOCK
Our Lord indicated that at the time we begin to see the restoration of Israel, the Kingdom of God will be nigh at hand. (Luke 21:29-32) Prior to 1874, the nation of Israel had been scattered and persecuted throughout the world, for over 1,800 years. Consider the following list and read in amazement how God is again working in Israela direct fulfillment of prophecy as it relates to the Bible Millennium.
1878 Berlin Congress of Nations decreed Jews could own land in Palestine.
1878 First Jewish settlement, Petah Tiqvah
1882 25,000 Jews entered Palestine in 11 years
1897 First Zionist Congress
1897 Concept of a Jewish State developed
1917 Balfour Declaration asserted that theBritish Government looks favorably upon a Jewish homeland in Palestine
1917 General Allenby frees Jerusalem from the Muslim Turks
1939 British issue white paper prohibiting Jewish immigration to Palestine, trapping Jews in Nazi Europe and Stalinist Russia
1940 In five years, the Holocaust kills six mil- lion Jews. This prompts in the minds of survivors a desire to seek Israel as a refuge
1948 Israeli statehoodsix Arab countries attack
1956 Jewish - Arab War
1967 Six-Day War ends with Israel gaining control of the Old City of Jerusalem
1973 Yom Kippur War-Israel gains more territory
1989 Fall of Communism, numerous countries establish diplomatic relations with Israel
1990 Jewish immigration soars to over 100,000 a year, the most in over 40 years
1991 Scud missile attacks from Iraq
The beginning of this Age of blessing is a transition period. God is setting up his Kingdom "in the days of these kings" (Dan. 2:44), meaning that he must remove the present Kingdomsand that means trouble. How does the world react to the setting up of God's Kingdom? Do they rejoice and receive it with open arms? On the contrary, they are angry and fearful because they do not understand why their world is crumbling around them. Their laws (governments) and creeds are being exposed as failures. (Rev. 11:15-18) Our Lord indicates how great the trouble will become during this transition period. He says that the trouble will be greater than any mankind has ever experienced. (Matt. 24:21) Paul likens it to a woman with birth pains: "For when they shall say, 'Peace and safety'; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." (1 Thess. 5:3) There are many indications that this time of trouble, which will bring about the destruction of the old order (present society), has begun.
Revelation 20 indicates that mankind will eventually revolt against an oppressive Antichrist systemSatan's counterfeit to the true Church. This corrupt religious system and corrupt civil governments will be torn down by these masses (Lord's Great Army), sending the world into anarchyArmageddon. This is God's method of purging the Earth of human corruption.
Jacob's trouble is the climax of the great time of trouble, when all nations will come against Israel, and she will cry unto God for help. (Jer. 30:7, Zech. 14:2) God will then fight for Israel as He did in the days of old resulting in a great victory. (Ezek. 38 & 39; Zech. 14:3) Afterward, He will establish His New Covenant with the nation of Israel. Jer. 31:31
After the chaos, mankind with humble hearts will welcome the peace of God's benevolent and just Kingdom which then will extend from Heaven to Earth. Isa. 9:6
THE DEAD WILL LIVE AGAIN
Sometime after the establishment of the New Covenant with Israel, the resurrection of mankind will begin. This is a time when the dead will return to lifewhen all in their tombs will hear the voice of the son of God and come forth. (1 Cor. 15:22; John 5:28, 29) The risen dead must then be educated. They must overcome their old habits and improper character which they have developed during the present life. They will be learning the benefits of keeping God's perfect law. (Isa. 26:9) Isaiah describes this educational process as a highway leading to holiness. (Isa. 35:8-10) In that day (during the peaceable phase of the Millennial Kingdom) the educational program will be so complete that all will hear its message. Jer. 31:34; Isa. 11:9
At the end of the 1,000-year Millennial day, mankind will have been perfected by this process of education and discipline. (Rev. 2:27) Then there will be a final test of all mankind to see whether their obedience is of their own free will. (Rev. 20:7-9) The vast majority will accept the Kingdom arrangements and go on to live forever. The disobedient of mankind will die the second death (oblivion) from which there will be no further resurrection. Rev. 20:14
When the Bible Millennium is complete, all things will once again be in perfect harmony with the Creator. At that time, God will have wiped away all tears from their (the people's) eyes. (Rev. 21:4) Then the Lord's prayer will be a reality: "Thy [God's] Kingdom [will have] come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." (Matt. 6:10) From that time forward man will enjoy everlastingly peace, health, happiness, life and security.
Peace: "...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." Isa. 2:4
Life: "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Rev. 22:17
Health: "And the inhabitant shall not say, 'I am sick': the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven..." Isa. 33:24
Happiness: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Rev. 21:4
Security: "...they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it." Micah 4:4