Anticipating The New Millennium
There is no emotion quite like anticipation. Anticipation comes into play each and every
day of our lives. We expect and
anticipate certain things to occur during our lives such as birthdays, vacations,
anniversaries and tax day. We “foresee”
events and at times, experience the “foretaste” of these events. Anticipation drives us to plan and then to
act in order to experience the object of our anticipation. The Christian believer anticipates the Second
Coming of Jesus Christ who is the object of our worship and reverence.
Several years ago discussion centered around
Y2K and the advent of the new millennium.
There was great expectation of major changes in the world, both good and
bad. Speculation was had concerning
computer problems and the possible shutdown of all technology due to the
failure of the computer industry to adequately plan for the change of the
millennium. There were others, mostly
from the Christian community, who believed that this would mark the time for
the return of Christ. This speculation was
amusing to some who knew that the start of the new millennium was not on
January 1, 2000 but rather on January 1, 2001 (there was no beginning year zero
on the calendar). However, the world
gathered to see in the new millennium and watched as time switched over, time
zone after time zone, anticipating that technology would come to a screeching
halt. It did not happen; time marched on
and the world continued to function just as it had before.
Throughout history special attention has been given to the
commencement of a new millennium. There
is no real reason why this is so except that it is a mark in time, sort of like
watching your odometer go over 100,000 miles.
In the most recent instance there was widespread expectation that the
millennial change would be significant for some historic reason.
That did not prove to be the case. January 1, 2000 (or 2001 if you understood
the true beginning of the millennium) was no different than the day
before. Life continued on just as it
had. Nothing had changed. This new millennium was no different than the
millennium before it. However, that will
not be the case when the true new millennium commences.
20:1 And I saw an
angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his
hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand
years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to
keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years
were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given
authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because
of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not
worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their
foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a
thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the
thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and
holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no
power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign
with him for a thousand years. 7 When the thousand years are
over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the
nations in the four corners of the earth-Gog and Magog-to gather them for
battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across
the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he
loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning
sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be
tormented day and night for ever and ever. Rev. 20:1-10 (NIV)
One view, and the view of this author, is that this
constitutes the new millennial kingdom or literally, the thousand year reign of
Christ on earth. Taking this view as a
presupposition, whether a person believes in a pre-Tribulation rapture, a
mid-Tribulation rapture or a post-Tribulation rapture, one thing is foretold. Following the end of the seven year
Tribulation period, Jesus Christ will return to defeat the army of the
antichrist and the forces of satan. He
will accomplish His victory with the “sword of His mouth” and shall then cast
the antichrist (or beast) along with the false prophet into the lake of
After the antichrist and the false prophet are dispensed
with, the fate of satan is prophesied. An
angel will bind him and throw him into the Abyss for a thousand years. This is the beginning of the true new
millennium. Unlike any event in recorded
history, this particular event will change everything as it initiates the
thousand year reign of Christ on earth.
The banishment of satan to the depths of the Abyss (which
isn’t hell, by the way) for one thousand years is accomplished for a specific
purpose, i.e. to keep him from deceiving the nations for that time period. His influence will be removed; his voice will
be mute. He will be locked away, in
prison if you will, and will be powerless.
His prison is locked and sealed with the power and authority of Christ. This task is accomplished by an angel; some
opine that the binding is accomplished by Jesus Christ Himself while others
take the position that it is merely an angel of the heavenly realm. If the latter is the case, then satan will be
overpowered by one who was once his underling.
Following satan’s banishment, believers who died for the
sake and cause of Christ are brought back to life to reign with Christ during
this millennium. They are known because
of their witness and their decision to refuse to worship or take the mark of
the beast. There is no specific mention
of those believers who either died before the rapture or who were raptured
prior to the Tribulation period; however, it may be surmised that these
believers will (1) also stand in the same position as those believers who lost
their lives for the sake of their witness during the Tribulation or (2) reside
with God in the heavenly places. The physically
resurrected in the millennial kingdom will be priests of God. This is what is referred to as the “first
Contrary to the status of resurrected believers, the unsaved
will not be brought back to life during the thousand year reign. They will only be resurrected at the end of
the thousand year period and then only for the purpose of being judged and
forever consigned to hell.
This thousand year period will be unlike any other period of
history. Jesus Christ will sit upon His
throne and will reign from the City
of David or Jerusalem.
It seems clear from various chapters in the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah
in the Old Testament that this will be a great and glorious time when peace
will prevail on the earth, when the Messiah will reign in righteousness, and
when nature will be restored to her original beauty.
It is hard to imagine a period where man will have no unfulfilled
needs. It will be a time of plenty, a
time of fulfillment, a time of satisfaction.
All things will come together, not because of man and his efforts, but
rather because of Christ and His efforts.
The ailments and afflictions that have plagued mankind throughout
history will no longer hold sway. All
things good will flow from the throne
of Christ. Man will finally realize the
hope of world peace. This will be the
start of a true new millennium when change will take place, due to the love,
power and authority of Jesus Christ.
Anticipation of the advent of the millennial kingdom is a
major focus of the Christian believer.
Given the current state of world affairs, it is understandable that
Christians look for something bigger and better, especially when it seems that
the very foundation of their belief system and their lives is being not just
shaken but in many instances, destroyed.
In every part of the world today, Christians feel threatened. In many instances the threat extends to
social standing, economic viability and even life itself. The world is much different than it was one
hundred or even fifty years ago.
However, the good news is that the end is certain and many believe,
coming soon; I have read the last page of the book. The rapture happens, God wins and His people
are restored. End of story. There is
nothing quite like anticipating a great ending.
Comments or questions may be directed to the author at email@example.com.