Before we continue with our discussion of the Millennium we need to go back to the very beginning of history, to the Garden of Eden and the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve sinned by listening to the Devil in the form of a serpent and disobeyed God’s command to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They were then driven out of the Garden of Eden, at which time God pronounced a series of curses, which remain in effect to this day.
So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”
To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
These punishments and handicaps are collectively known as the Curse, and it doesn’t get totally lifted until the New Earth is created at the end of the Millennium. (Revelation 22:3)
However, it appears from other verses, some of which we will cover in this chapter, that the Curse is partially lifted during the Millennium.
The genealogies of Genesis show men living to almost 1000 years of age before Noah’s Flood (circa 2300 B.C.). But after that, people began dying at a considerably younger age. Noah still lived to be 950 years old, but Shem, the only son of Noah that an age at death is listed for, died when he was 600. Abraham, who came along 500 years later, only lived to 170. Then by King David’s time at around 1000 B.C., life expectancy was about 70 years. “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10).
A natural lifespan of around 70 is still close to the average today. The reason for this shorter lifespan is not specifically known. Some think it is environmental, that the effect of a greater concentration of cosmic rays hitting the Earth means a faster aging process. Others think it might have more to do with a genetic change due to the narrowing of the human gene pool down to only the eight survivors of the Flood. But whatever the cause, in the Millennium, apparently the longevity humankind enjoyed before the Flood will be restored.
The humans who survive into the Millennium are still going to be living in natural physical bodies and still have children, and still die. Death isn’t finally abolished until the end of these 1000 years. “For He [Jesus] must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:25–26).
However, people are going to go back and live more naturally and more quietly and more slowly. All indications are that during the Millennium there will be much less disease and sickness, and people will live much longer than they do today. The Bible says that if anybody dies at 100 years old, they’ll call him just a child.
No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old. ... They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people. And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.
People won’t be dying at the rate they do today, and will live to be much older. However, the Earth won’t become overpopulated because the number of people who survive into the Millennium will not be that large and there are indications from the Scriptures that the birth rate will slow down as well.
There will be no more enmity between man and the animals, or among the animals themselves.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the Earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6–9)
Since there’s nothing that will hurt nor destroy, then it would follow that there will be no venomous snakes or other harmful pests and insects. The thorns and the thistles and the briar and all kinds of creatures that are poisonous, even poisonous flowers and grasses and so on, all these cursed things will be eliminated. Possibly a lot of them will be completely eliminated, although it does say that dust will be the serpent’s food (Isaiah 65:25), and that children will be playing in the vicinity of vipers and cobras. So it seems there are still snakes of some variety, although they are presumably no longer poisonous.
After the Flood, God told humankind to eat meat to give them greater strength so that they could survive the rigors of life outside the Garden of Eden. But in the Millennium, if nothing is going to bring pain and hurt, then it would seem that the killing of livestock and game for meat is no longer going to occur. Therefore we can assume that people will revert to the vegetarian diet that was maintained before the Flood. And not only humankind, but all the carnivorous animals will also revert to a herbivorous diet. It appears that the conditions which will make it possible for people to live for hundreds of years will also result in humankind and the carnivorous animals no longer needing meat to survive.
Although much of the Curse will have been removed during the Millennium for those who obey, there will still be conditions.
And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the Earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
The Feast of Tabernacles is an old Jewish festival that was observed on the fifteenth day of the seventh month to commemorate the wandering of Israel in the wilderness. We don’t know if this is the actual feast that is being celebrated in the Millennium or whether this is symbolic, or whether everyone will need to travel to the physical city of Jerusalem yearly to celebrate it, but what is clear is that those who do not recognize the Lord’s authority and worship Him will suffer as a result.
Apparently another part of the Curse or consequence of the Fall of Man was a change in the climate. Adam and Eve were created naked, and they needed no clothes until they sinned and left the Garden. Then God had to clothe them with furs and skins of animals. It must have either suddenly turned cold or it was cold outside of the Garden. With the curse being alleviated, the climate in the Millennium is likely to be more pleasant overall. As far as we know, the North and South Poles will be frozen and there will probably be tropical and temperate zones. However, the extremes of weather we experience today will most likely be moderated except in specific instances where the Lord will use droughts and possibly other extreme weather conditions as punishments on errant peoples.
Interspersed among the prophecies of Isaiah and other prophets are tantalizing glimpses of what the restored Earth shall look like.
The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God.
God will restore the arid plains and deserts to their former fertile nature, and they will become lush with vegetation. They will be as glorious as Lebanon once was, when it was covered with beautiful forests of giant cedar trees.
One of the major problems in our current age is the continuing depletion of our potable and fresh water resources. But it looks like the Lord is going to reverse that trend.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of jackals, where each lay, there shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, their tongues fail for thirst. I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers in desolate heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, the myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine and the box tree together, that they may see and know, and consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Isaiah 35:6–7; 41:17–20
In addition to these physical changes that will make our Earth better, many of today’s problems will be solved by the removal of our spiritual enemy, the Devil, and all his forces and their evil influences, and the curses they had brought upon the Earth (Revelation 20:1–3; Jude 6). All of these will have been conquered and banished from the Earth during this 1000-year period, so even the natural forces of creation are no longer struggling to survive against their satanic enemies and the Devil’s pests as they are today.
Imagine a life without the enemy of our souls and his afflictions and diseases, and pests and poisonous plants and vicious animals and sadistic wars and the rush of the mad rat race to get ahead. Imagine life in a near perfect environment with all the so-called natural problems and curses, storms, and catastrophes mostly eliminated. No more bugs and blights to eat the crops and destroy the produce. Very little disease and sickness to sap people’s energies; no more fighting the elements, the heat and cold and storms of a hostile environment of destructive forces.
Humankind will be tremendously relieved from so many of these threats of stress and strain, and the rush and pressures of the past that caused so many illnesses as well. Everything will move slowly, safely, leisurely, easily, and pleasurably, with little or no danger at all.
It’s going to be like Heaven on Earth!