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 fire. 

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 resurrection.”

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.     

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