A Grand Millennium Approaching
“And I saw thrones, and there were those who sat down on them, and power of judging was given them. Yes, I saw the souls of those executed with the ax for the witness they bore to Jesus and for speaking about God, and those who had worshiped neither the wild beast nor its image and who had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand. And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for a thousand years.” “And [God] will wipe out every tear from [mankind’s] eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”—Revelation 20:4; 21:4.
THUS the Bible predicts an approaching grand millennium—the Thousand Year Reign of Jesus Christ and an associate body of heavenly kings. Perhaps you are inclined to dismiss this prophecy as a mere illusion, a mirage. Nonetheless, there is ample reason for you to view this Millennium as a coming reality!
For one thing, a study of the Bible will reveal to you that it has dealt with the past six millenniums of human history in a remarkably trustworthy way. Furthermore, the Bible is a book of prophecy, and a great number of its predictions, or prophecies, have already been fulfilled in every detail.a That being the case, why should the Bible not be reliable in predicting the approaching Millennium of Christ’s rule? You may wonder, though, what the Bible tells us about that period of time. What purpose will it serve? And of particular interest to you, how will it affect your life?
An Inheritance Lost
The Bible shows that Christ’s Thousand Year Reign is his way to pass on a most precious inheritance to his “children.” But what inheritance? And what “children”? An inheritance may be defined as something passed on to one’s offspring at one’s death. When our ancestor Adam proved disobedient to God, he lost for himself and all his offspring—the whole human race—the right to everlasting life in an earthly paradise. Adam thus passed on an inheritance of sin, death, and misery to his descendants.—Genesis 3:1-19; Romans 5:12.
Jesus came to earth in the flesh to win back for mankind the inheritance Adam lost. This he did by proving faithful to Jehovah God, willingly offering up his life in behalf of mankind. (John 3:16) By living a perfect, sinless life, Jesus gained the right to everlasting perfect life in Paradise on earth—the very thing Adam lost. However, Jesus never exercised that right; nor did he lose it when he died and was resurrected to life in heaven. He could therefore use it as a precious inheritance to pass on to his “children.”—Romans 5:18, 19.
The Inheritors—Christ’s “Children”
At Isaiah 9:6 Jesus is prophetically called “Eternal Father.” He becomes the Eternal Father of the redeemed world of mankind, in a position to pass on an inheritance to these redeemed ones, or adopted children. (Matthew 20:28; see also Psalm 37:18, 29.) This is clearly shown in his promise: “Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world.” He further said: “Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth.”—Matthew 5:5; 25:34.
For the earth to be a worthy inheritance, however, conditions must be radically changed—brought to perfection! It must become a world where perfect peace and harmony reign among all God’s creatures. (Isaiah 11:6-9) Every trace of human imperfection must be erased, including death. (1 Corinthians 15:25, 26) This means that dead ones, who are part of redeemed mankind, must be resurrected. Only in this way could they have the opportunity to become Christ’s heirs!—John 5:28, 29.
Thus, Christ’s Thousand Year Reign will be a happy period in which mankind is gradually “set free from enslavement to corruption” and reaches perfection. (Romans 8:21) Interestingly, even secular sources recognize this as the purpose of a millennium. Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1985 edition) defines “millennium” as “a period of great happiness or human perfection.”
Surpassing Solomon’s Rule
This glorious Millennium can be likened to King Solomon’s peaceful and prosperous 40-year rule over ancient Israel. (1 Kings 4:24, 25, 29) When the queen of Sheba visited King Solomon, she said: “True has the word proved to be that I heard in my own land about your matters and about your wisdom. And I did not put faith in the words until I had come that my own eyes might see; and, look! I had not been told the half. You have surpassed in wisdom and prosperity the things heard to which I listened. Happy are your men; happy are these servants of yours who are standing before you constantly, listening to your wisdom!”—1 Kings 10:6-8.
If the peace, prosperity, and wisdom of earthly King Solomon’s 40-year rule surpassed, yes, more than doubled, the queen of Sheba’s great expectations, then the Thousand Year Rule of the greater, heavenly King Solomon, Jesus Christ, will surely surpass human imagination! In the words of Jesus himself, he is “something more than Solomon.” (Matthew 12:42) Try to visualize the most healthy, prosperous, peaceful, righteous, and happy conditions on earth that you can imagine, and you will not be able to grasp even a fraction of what Christ’s Millennium holds in store.
Coinciding With Third Millennium?
World events since 1914 show that we are living in “the conclusion of the system of things.” Jesus further said that the generation that was associated with these foretold events would “by no means pass away until all these things occur.” Does this mean, then, that Christ’s Millennial Rule will coincide with the third millennium?—Matthew 24:3-21, 34.
Jesus warned his disciples not to speculate. He said: “It does not belong to you to get knowledge of the times or seasons which the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction.” (Acts 1:7) And regarding the exact “day and hour” when these events would occur, Jesus said that only his Father, Jehovah God, knew. (Matthew 24:36) Thus, the Bible is no supporter of any of the now growing number of doomsday prophets and movements that point to the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, 1999, as the end of the world.
However, present world events clearly show that the time of the end of this dark, wicked system of things is “well along” and that Christ’s Millennium has “drawn near.” (Romans 13:12) Instead of speculating on the exact day and hour for this to come, it is now high time to take in knowledge of God’s requirements for survival. (John 17:3) In this way you can learn how to be among those to whom Jesus will say: “Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world.” (Matthew 25:34) Jehovah’s Witnesses are willing and able to help you be among those who will enjoy the blessings of the coming grand Millennium.b
a See the publication The Bible—God’s Word or Man’s?, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.
b A free home Bible study can be arranged by writing the publishers of this magazine.
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“Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world”