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The Bible Millennium

The new Millennium — what will it bring? Will it bring the second coming of Jesus Christ? Will world wide troubles come, or perhaps the end of the world itself? Will it be the year in which God’s Kingdom is established on earth? The answers to these questions are vitally important. As Christians, we must consult the Bible to know the truth on these matters.

"Millennium" as defined in Webster’s dictionary, is a period of 1000 years. Only two scriptures in the New Testament mention a 1000-year period (a millennium). The first is 2 Peter 3:8. The last is Revelation 20:4. We will examine these Scriptures after considering whether the coming year 2000 AD is the third millennium from the birth of Jesus Christ.

When Was Jesus Born?

Many Bible commentaries have placed Jesus’ birth at 4 BC (BC means "before Christ"). Two thousand years from then brings us to the year 1996 AD, four years earlier than the year 2000. The most accurate dating for Jesus’ birth is 2 BC (see The Time Is At Hand, pages 54-62 ). Two thousand years from then leads to the year 1998 AD, which is still 2 years shy of the year 2000. In reality, the BC and AD calendar division is a rather arbitrary time measure used only for convenience but is not useful for accurate measurement of Bible chronology.

What Have We Learned?

The year 2000 AD is a date of great concern and curiosity for the world, but has no real Biblical significance. The Bible Millennium DOES NOT begin with the year 2000, that year is not 2000 years from the birth of Christ. Furthermore, the Word of God does not tell us to watch for the 2000th year from Christ’s birth.

Which 1000-Year Period Are We To Look For?
Careful study of the Scriptures teaches that the Bible Millennium is the seventh 1000-year period from the entrance of sin and death upon the human family through father Adam. That is to say, since Adam sinned, 6000 years of suffering, dying and finally death have passed over his descendants, the entire human race. When considering creation (Genesis 1), we notice that God worked for 6 days (six periods of time, each equal in duration) and then He rested on the seventh day. In like manner, the nation of Israel was required to work six days a week and rest on the seventh day or Sabbath. This pattern of six days labor ending in a seventh day of rest is very helpful in locating the Bible Millennium.

How Long Is A Day With The Lord?

We are not left to guess. The Apostle Peter supplies us with the answer in 2 Peter 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."

Applying this Scriptural definition to the divine pattern, we perceive that six 1000 year "days" of human bondage and labor under sin and death are to be followed by the seventh 1000 year day of rest in which the burdens of sin and death will be removed from the human race. We see then that 7000 years were allotted in the divine plan for the entrance of sin, its reign of death and, ultimately, its complete eradication. This same 1000-year day is spoken of in Revelation 20:4 as the time in which the saints will reign with Christ. The Apostle Paul tells us that the purpose of the 1000-year reign is to put all enemies under his [Christ’s] feet and the last enemy of mankind, as a result of sin, which will be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15:25, 26)

This 1000-year period or millennium is described in Acts 3:19-21 as ‘the times of restitution of all things." In other words, this is the era in which mankind will be brought back (restored) to their original condition—that is, made perfect. (See Genesis 1:27, 31)

When Does This Millennium Begin?

By carefully considering the chronological evidences of the Bible, we are able to pin-point the very year of Adam’s sin and subsequent death sentence at 4126 BC. Adding the following 6000 years reign of sin and death to that date brings us to the year 1874 AD—the year for the great seventh 1000-year day, the Bible Millennium to commence. (see The Time Is At Hand, pages 33-63 for a detailed presentation of this chronology). Let’s consider the Scriptural evidences that we are in the Bible Millennium.

What Events May We Expect In This 1000 Year Day of the Lord?

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 . . . Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the DAY of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." (2 Peter 3:10, 12, 13) The thousand year day of 2 Peter 3:8, is also characterized as the day of judgment (vs. 7), the day of the Lord (vs. 10) and the day of God (vs. 12). These terms define various aspects of God’s work during the Millennium.

These and many other scriptures reveal that this 1000-year day does not begin peaceably, but with trouble—terrible trouble. The millennial day arrives as "a thief in the night." That is, it comes quietly, unobserved by the world, which is in a state of spiritual slumber. We are, in fact, living in the beginning of the Day of the Lord. Jesus has arrived as a thief (Matthew 24:43) and the world is unaware of it. Why? Our Lord returned to earth’s atmosphere not again as a man, but as a glorious invisible spirit being. Peter reveals that our Lord was "put to death flesh, quickened [resurrected] spirit." (1 Peter 3:18) Paul clearly teaches that our Lord is no longer in the flesh for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 15:50)

In What Great Work Does the Lord Jesus Engage upon His Return?
His first work is to bind Satan, who is the god of this present evil world. (Revelation 20:1-3; Galatians 1:4; 2 Corinthians 4:4) Satan must first be bound if his house (dominion—the present evil world) is to be spoiled or destroyed. (Mark 3:27) This means the removal of false religions and oppressive governments (the "heavens") along with the present social order (the "earth") which is largely based upon selfishness.

How Is Satan Bound?

Does our Lord use a literal chain and throw Satan in an actual pit? No, of course not. Satan is not a flesh and blood being, he is a spirit being. Since he can’t be physically restrained his great influence, by which he rules mankind, will be bound. God, in His wisdom, has determined to restrict in a gradual manner Satan’s usual method of operating.

The chain he is using to render Satan powerless is Truth. Yes, the Truth, which has shone forth from the time of our Lord’s return at the beginning of the Bible Millennium, is dispelling the ignorance, superstition and errors of the dark ages. Light (knowledge, understanding and truth) shining upon earth’s spiritual and temporal matters, is exposing and weakening the influence of the ruler of darkness —Satan.

How Has the Prince of Darkness Reacted to the Increased Light of the Millennial Day?
Like a wounded animal, caught in a trap, Satan is fighting for his life! His weapons are the new errors of higher criticism, greed, evolution, rampant immorality and sadistic violence. These weapons have been forged in an attempt to fight off or diminish the increasing light of the Millennial Day. This is the reason that unprecedented troubles are sweeping over the world. The wicked one, Satan, is being destroyed with the spirit of [our Lord Jesus’] mouth —the Truth! Satan will not go down in defeat without a fight. He will respond with all power, signs and lying wonders. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12)

Daniel Spoke of This Millennial Day

Daniel called this day "the time of the end [when] many will run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:1-4) Have these two signs identifying the time of the end had their fulfillment in our day? Is mankind running to and fro? Has knowledge ("light," which is used to bind Satan) significantly increased since 1874? A resounding, "Yes!" is the answer to both questions. These two signs have had a remarkable fulfillment and confirm that we are in the dawning of the Millennial Day.

Why Does the Millennium Start With Trouble?

In the beginning of the Millennium, the Golden Age of blessing, God establishes His kingdom "in the days of these kings." That means that earthly kings and kingdoms must be removed from power—and that spells trouble. (see Daniel 2:44) How does the world react to the setting up of God’s glorious Kingdom? Do they rejoice and receive it with open arms? No. On the contrary; they are angry and fearful because they do not understand why their world is crumbling around them. Their flawed laws, governments and erroneous creeds are being exposed as failures. (Revelation 11:15-18) Neither do they recognize that it is Christ (earth’s rightful King) who is taking the reins of power—therefore the nations resist Him.

Our Lord indicated that the great trouble associated with this time of transition will be greater than any other mankind has ever experienced. (Matthew 24:21) Paul likened it to a woman in 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 Thessalonians 5:3) Considering today’s headlines regarding world wide economic troubles, governmental corruption, civil unrest, pollution etc. confirm that we are in a time of trouble without precedent. We are living in the time of transition from the present evil world into the Bible Millennium.

Israel, God’s Time Clock

Our Lord Jesus said that in this time we would begin to see the restoration of the nation of Israel, an indication that the Kingdom of God is at hand. (Luke 21:29-32) Prior to 1874 AD, the nation of Israel had been scattered and persecuted throughout the world for over 18 centuries. Since 1874, beginning at 1878 with Petah Tikvah (the first permanent settlement for returning Jews) to the proclamation of Israel in 1948 and to the present, this sign hails the dawn of God’s Millennium.

What Is Next On the Prophetic Time Line?

One prominent event that we expect in the near future is the coming cooperative effort between churches and the state to maintain the status quo—to resist the establishment of God’s Kingdom. This powerful allegiance will resemble the Holy Roman Empire of old (a civil and religious government). We expect that this nominally Christian government will have the power to persecute all, including true Christians, who do not cooperate with them—receive the mark of the beast. (Revelation 13:16, 17) The movement toward union between various religious groupings as well as the rising tide of political influence from the "Christian right" is documented almost daily in news headlines.

The climax of the great time of trouble is an event referred to as "Jacob’s trouble." (Jeremiah 30:7) At this time all nations will come against the restored nation of Israel. (Zechariah 12:2, 3; 14:2) However, He who restored Israel will not allow her to be destroyed. God will fight, victoriously, for Israel as He did in the days of old. (Ezekiel 38 and 39; Zechariah 14:3) After this great victory, God will establish His New Covenant with the nation of Israel. (Jeremiah 31:31)

The Dead Will Live Again!

Sometime after the establishment of the New Covenant with Israel, the resurrection of mankind will begin. They will be raised up in a world which has a beauty, peace, justice, righteousness and love that far surpasses the world they formerly knew. This will be a time when the dead must return to life—when all who are in their graves will hear the voice of the son of God and come forth. ALL will come forth because Jesus died for ALL. (John 5:28, 29; 1 Corinthians 15:22; I Timothy 2:4, 5)

The risen dead will then be educated. They must overcome their old habits and sinful characteristics which they practiced in their former lives. Developing along this line, they will also be learning the benefits of keeping God’s perfect law. (Isaiah 26:9) In Isaiah’s vision of God’s Kingdom, this process of education and personal growth is characterized as a highway leading to holiness. (Isaiah 35:8-10) In that day (the peaceable portion of the Millennial Kingdom) God’s educational program will be so complete that "all will know the Lord, from the least to the greatest." (Jeremiah 31:34; Isaiah 11:9)

A Final Test Is Necessary

At the end of the 1000-year Millennial Day, mankind will have been perfected by God’s program of education and discipline (Revelation 2:27) Then a final test will be supplied to prove all mankind to see whether, after experiencing both evil and good—blessing and cursing—they obey of force or their own free will. (Revelation 20:7-9) The vast majority of mankind will pass the test and go on to life eternal. The disobedient minority will die the second death (going into oblivion, extinction), from which there will be no resurrection.

A Glorious Ending to the Millennial Day!

When the Bible Millennium is complete, all things will once again be in harmony with the great Creator. God will have wiped away all tears from mankind’s eyes. The oft repeated request of the Lord’s Prayer, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth—as it is done in heaven" will be fulfilled. From that time forward mankind will enjoy enduring peace, health, happiness, security and life everlasting. (Revelation 21:4; 22:17; Isaiah 2:4; 33:24; Micah 4:4)