A word that is on everyone’s lips is “millennium.” This word joins the Latin words for one thousand (mille) and year (annum), so the meaning is “a thousand years.” As the calendar changes from December 31, 2000 to January 1, 2001, we will enter the third one thousand year period–or millennium–of the Christian era. The consensus among biblical scholars is that Jesus was born sometime in the year 4 B.C., so we have already entered the third millennium since His birth. The word “millennium” itself is not used in Scripture but the concept is plainly there.

When speaking of the Millennium in the biblical sense, we refer to the literal one thousand year reign of Christ on this earth. The core passage of this doctrine is Revelation 20:2-7, where John specifies six times the length of Christ’s earthly kingdom, and it is distinguished from Heaven in Revelation 21-22. The earth and its inhabitants will experience a true Golden Age, and the greatest time of peace and prosperity in its history. During this time, Satan is bound and cast into the bottomless pit, and will not be able to oppose Christ.

The Old Testament refers to when Christ rules personally and visibly over the earth in Isaiah 2:3, Daniel 7:14, and Zechariah 14:9. The center of government and society will be in Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3; Zechariah 14:10). Believers from both the Old and New Testament dispensations will serve as rulers under Christ. Righteousness will flourish, while wars will cease (Isaiah 2:4). Psalm 72 describes more fully the blessedness of the Millennium.

The behavior of animals will be changed radically so that the “wolf will dwell with the lamb” (Isaiah 11:6-9). God will restore the earth’s environment from barrenness to great beauty and productivity (Isaiah 41:18-19). “The rule of Christ as the last Adam replaces what God had intended for Adam who was placed in charge of the Garden of Eden” [Walvoord, The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook, p. 628]. Mankind will have restored to it what was lost in Eden. It will be a grand and glorious time, when every humble Christian in this age will experience the blessings of the actual rule of Christ on earth. Will you be there?

–Craig Alan Myers