After serving eight years as president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower gave a farewell speech to the nation on Jan. 17, 1961. Near its conclusion he laid out this captivating vision:
“We pray that people of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.”
In conveying his sincere aspirations for humanity, President Eisenhower voiced what many others have yearned for throughout history. Was this merely wishful thinking? Was it just a dream to imagine that peoples, nations and races could live together in perfect harmony and enjoy loving, respectful relationships? Is it possible that every person on earth could have their physical needs met completely and continually?
And in taking this a bit farther, is it only a fantasy to think that all people could enjoy peace of mind, feel totally safe and secure, be educated and have the opportunity to fully develop their talents? Is it beyond hope to think that people could always be governed under honest, honorable and caring leadership?
Not a dream but a coming reality
As improbable as it may seem, what President Eisenhower expressed was not a mere dream but a marvelous and electrifying reality yet to come! It will happen—not by human effort or action, but because the loving, powerful, eternal God of the universe will bring it to pass!
Bible prophecy reveals that these wonderful conditions the world has longed for will last for a millennium, meaning 1,000 years. When this epoch is initiated it will mark the most magnificent turning point in the entire history of humanity. World society will move from conditions of fear, deficiency and distress to assurance, prosperity and tranquility.
And, most significantly, all people will have the opportunity to develop a close and enduring relationship with their Creator, follow His way of life, obtain the gift of spiritual salvation and enter into His eternal, divine family (Isaiah 61:10; John 17:3). This is all part of the greatest news anyone could ever hear!
This glorious age to come will begin when Jesus Christ returns to earth in magnificent power and glory to reign for 1,000 years as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). Just prior to that time, however, the world will experience a calamitous period of global warfare resulting in enormous destruction and the death and suffering of billions of people. However, Christ will intervene to stop it completely so as to save humanity from annihilation (Matthew 24:22).
Furthermore, He will take power and authority out of the hands of debased, evil men and wicked spiritual influences operating behind the scenes, incarcerating Satan the devil and his demonic cohorts so they can no longer corruptly influence human beings (Revelation 20:1-2; Jude 13). The world will then at last be freed from its long and wearisome captivity to ignorance, violence and iniquity (Romans 8:21).
Afterwards Christ will launch the beginnings of a new, righteous civilization that will bring all people tremendous joy and an incredibly exciting future (Isaiah 49:8-9; Jeremiah 29:11). Building literally on the ashes of a spent, shattered human society, He will first offer great comfort and aid to the bewildered and terrified survivors of the worldwide catastrophe just experienced.
With the assistance of His newly resurrected, immortal followers of this age then serving with Him as kings and priests (Revelation 5:10; 20:6), He will provide the beleaguered people of the world with immediate physical needs, including food, water, clothing and shelter (Ezekiel 34:12-16).
Jesus Christ’s righteous government
Jesus will also assure all of these weary, grief-stricken people that they no longer need to live in fear (Isaiah 44:8). As Isaiah 40:1-2 declares: “‘Comfort, yes, comfort My people!’ says your God. ‘Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned.’” And likewise in Isaiah 49:13: “Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones” (New International Version).
Besides providing empathy and support, Christ will deliver miraculous healing to halt pain, distress and suffering (Isaiah 35:5-6; Malachi 4:2). Over a period of time all who’ve endured intense misery and tragedy will experience a rebuilding of their physical, mental and emotional health and strength: “I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners” (Isaiah 57:18, NIV).
As the Good Shepherd who truly cares for His flock (John 10:10-14), Jesus will also help people understand that genuine safety and security is now guaranteed, with a divine, benevolent administration in place to continually serve and support them (Isaiah 2:3; 9:6; Jeremiah 33:15).
He will replace all levels of human rule with judicious and righteous governance, resulting in magnificent changes throughout world society. During Jesus’ millennial reign over the Kingdom of God on earth, His generous and gracious ways will characterize all relationships between people (Revelation 20:6; Psalm 111:4). With society personally guided and governed by Jesus Christ, genuine peacefulness—previously unknown to humanity—will gladden and reassure individuals, families and entire nations (Isaiah 9:7; Psalm 119:165).
Contributing to this spectacular condition will be the fact that education in warfare and war itself will be utterly abolished (Psalm 46:9-10). Assuredly, humanity will no longer suffer the apprehension, cruelty and devastation of war (Micah 4:3).
“Violence will disappear from your land; the desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there” (Isaiah 60:18, New Living Translation). All people will experience confident well-being as God’s loving and saving influence transforms the hearts and minds of people the world over (Isaiah 52:10).
Wonderfully, these earthly citizens of God’s government will be relieved of anxiety and live peaceably because conflict and contention between races and peoples will be entirely eliminated! In fact, former enemies will work together in complete unity and harmony (Isaiah 19:24-25).
Peacefulness will not only be the way of life for humanity, but it will also govern in the natural world since God will change the very nature of animals so they become tame. “A wolf will reside with a lamb, and a leopard will lie down with a young goat; an ox and a young lion will graze together, as a small child leads them along” (Isaiah 11:6, New English Translation).
In this transformed world, parents will be freed from all worry in knowing that their children are safe in every situation. The same prophecy continues: “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” (verse 9).
Wilderness areas to be transformed
God’s flawless design for His coming, marvelous age will also take into account an important new fact about the earth itself. Shortly before Jesus Christ’s second coming, powerful earthquakes and meteor impacts will cause enormous changes to the world’s surface (Matthew 24:7; Revelation 6:12-14). And divine intervention will bring further changes.
As God promises the blessings of rain and abundance for all peoples, it appears that the earth’s weather patterns will be altered substantially. Multiple millions of previously unusable acres of land will become accessible for future human settlement and cultivation. Also, abundant water resources, including new rivers, streams and lakes will be manifested in the changing landscape (Psalm 107:35).
Earth’s former wilderness areas will be transformed into well-watered, productive lands (Amos 9:13). Deserts and former wastelands will turn green and lush as rainfall reaches them regularly in precisely needed amounts (Isaiah 51:3). “The wilderness and the dry land will be glad. The desert will rejoice and blossom like a rose” (Isaiah 35:1, World English Bible).
Besides having suitable precipitation on a consistent basis, springs of water will bubble up from the ground creating clear, sparkling streams and gracefully flowing rivers (Isaiah 41:18). It will be as if the earth itself expresses great joy because of all these marvelous changes! As Psalm 65:13 says, “The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered with grain; they shout for joy, they also sing.”
Moreover, many uninhabited, abandoned cities and towns will be completely renovated: “And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations” (Isaiah 61:4).
Imagine young families journeying to these locations to build homes and farms (Ezekiel 36:9-10). “The fields that used to lie empty and desolate in plain view of everyone will again be farmed. And when I bring you back, people will say, ‘This former wasteland is now like the Garden of Eden’” (Ezekiel 36; 34-35, NLT).
Jesus Christ will at that time give all families their own land to cultivate and enjoy! “Everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken” (Micah 4:4).
Farms and gardens will flourish abundantly: “The Lord says, ‘The time is coming when there will be all kinds of food. People will still be harvesting crops when it’s time to plow again. People will still be taking the juice from grapes when it’s time to plant again. Wine will drip from the mountains and pour from the hills’” (Amos 9:13, New Century Version).
Families will experience blessing after blessing as they raise a variety of abundant crops, care for productive fruit trees and tend to healthy livestock (Isaiah 30:23).
Great prosperity and fulfillment
As a result of God’s perfect rule through Jesus Christ, families all around the world will have plenty to eat, live healthfully, be prosperous and enjoy extraordinary fulfillment (Jeremiah 31:12).
The next verse adds that the people of that day, being peaceful, happy and productive, will have opportunities to participate in a variety of cultural, recreational and social activities, with young and old enjoying each other’s company: “The young women will dance for joy, and the men—old and young—will join in the celebration. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing” (verse 13, NLT).
And significantly, as an example to other towns, villages and farms around the globe, the world capital of Jerusalem will become the center of education and inspiration for everyone. “Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).
Unlike the present age, when Jerusalem has so often been a place of bitter fighting and contention, it will become an incredibly beautiful city of supreme happiness and tranquility (Isaiah 33:20). It will be so secure and peaceful that little boys and girls will play happily in its streets (Zechariah 8:5). “Behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying” (Isaiah 65:18-19).
Throughout the Millennium, people everywhere on earth will live in perfect safety and will raise their children in fine homes on beautiful, well-tended, highly productive land: “My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings and in quiet resting places” (Isaiah 32:18).
Learning God’s perfect way of life
Not only will Jesus Christ make it possible for people to live in peace and enjoy great physical abundance, but He will give them key spiritual and moral instruction and guidance. Assisting Christ in this essential duty will be His resurrected, faithful and wise divine sons and daughters of this age who will then serve as teachers, administrators, judges and leaders (2 Corinthians 6:18; Isaiah 30:20).
They will diligently coach all people in God’s exceptional way of life—foundational to which are His Ten Commandments, including the required observance of His weekly Sabbath day along with His seven annual Holy Days (Exodus 31:13; Ezekiel 44:24). If anyone drifts from following these vital guidelines, they will be quietly yet firmly corrected: “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).
By obeying God’s teachings, all individuals and nations will have a firm foundation for cooperation as they harmoniously serve others. It will be such a spectacular time that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14)!
In addition, God will grant repentance to all who are willing, followed by the matchless gift of His Holy Spirit (Acts 11:18; Jeremiah 31:33). As He says, “I’ll place my spirit within you, empowering you to live according to my regulations and to keep my just decrees” (Ezekiel 36:27, International Standard Version).
Empowered and changed by that Holy Spirit, people will be motivated by a sincere desire to love and obey God and show profound, caring concern toward their neighbors. “This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds” (Hebrews 10:16, NLT).
Then, after 1,000 years of phenomenal peace, joy and prosperity, the next phase of God’s great plan will commence. All the billions of people who have lived in past ages, not having known their Creator or scriptural truth, will be resurrected from their graves to physical life and be given their very first opportunity to learn about God and His way of life (Ezekiel 37; Revelation 20:11-12).
Jesus Christ will offer them the gift of the Holy Spirit so they will not only comprehend spiritual knowledge, but have the prospect of receiving salvation (Acts 2:38; Isaiah 65:20-24). As they look back on their former physical lives, they will see that its results could never compare to the prosperity, tranquility and joy experienced under the rule of God’s Kingdom. As a result, the vast majority will choose to submit to God, obey His commandments and later be transformed into immortal spirit beings in His eternal, divine family (Ephesians 3:15; Hebrews 2:10).
The greatest news anyone could hear
Perhaps you can now better visualize God’s breathtaking new age, which is depicted clearly in Bible prophecy. He is preparing the most positive, exciting and marvelous future for all humanity.
Jesus Christ will introduce dramatic and wonderful changes into people’s lives as He initiates an entirely new, awe-inspiring civilization built on the foundation of God’s truth. This will result in immeasurable joy, peacefulness and abundant prosperity for every person. And, through God giving people His Holy Spirit, they will have the ability to truly love and obey Him, deeply care for others and personally grow spiritually strong (Galatians 5:22-23).
With everyone continually educated in God’s ideal ways and applying them, they will experience boundless contentment and happiness while becoming spiritually prepared to join God in His family of divine beings (Psalm 100:1-5; Ephesians 3:15). All of this is what the Millennium will be like!
President Eisenhower echoed the yearnings of many others throughout the ages when he spoke about his hope and aspiration for a time when all people on earth would live together in genuine peace and freedom and be completely freed from the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance. How thrilling it is to know that God will make those dreams a perfect reality—to last for a millennium and beyond! Considering the wonderful future God has in store for humanity, it truly is the greatest news anyone could ever hear!