Do You Remember Y2K?
When the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve December 31, 1999, the electricity was to go off. The telephones were to stop working. If you tried calling 911, the police and emergency services are nowhere to be found. The computer at your local bank was to crash and ATMs would shut down. Computer malfunctions would cause breakdowns in nuclear reactors and strategic missile systems as well as disruptions in world trade and oil shipments. Government payroll checks and Social Security checks may not be delivered. Crime would run rampant. This “Domino Effect” would result gold and silver coin premiums to rise. All because of a well-known computer bug called, “Y2K.” “Y2K” is an abbreviation for “Year 2000.”
Well, that was over two decades ago. The banks did not fail. Mass transit did not shutdown. None of the doomsday prophecy came true. The millennial time bomb did not go off. Many false prophets made a bit of money prophesying the end of the world by twisting scriptures found in Daniel and Revelation.
Bundles of Books on Y2K
Conspiracy theorists of every religion, occupation and hue flooded the bookshelves.
▸ “K2KAOS” by Andrew Gause warned of the possibility of the U.S. falling under Martial Law due to the anticipated chaos that would result from Y2K.
▸ MILLENNIUM BUG & THE YEAR 2000 a video by Ken Klein. He believed Y2K would be the disaster many predicted.
▸ SPIRITUAL SURVIVAL DURING THE Y2K CRISIS by Steve Farrar. He believed Y2K may be a divine judgment upon our nation.
▸ THE MILLENNIUM BUG by Michael S. Hyatt. On January 1, 2000, he wrote the world could erupt in complete chaos as banking systems break down, businesses collapse, municipal services cease.
▸ THE MILLENNIUM MELTDOWN: YEAR 2000 COMPUTER CRISIS by Grant R. Jeffrey. This author predicted that on January 1, 2000, your entire life will change because of the “Year 2000 Computer Crisis.” He explained how this crisis would usher in the Antichrist’s coming world government and a cashless society.
▸ THE YK2 PROBLEM: A GIANT STEP FORWARD FOR ANTICHRIST by Dr. N.W. Hutchings & Dr. Larry Spargimno, 1998. Dr. N. W. Hutchings is president of the Southwest Radio Church, one of the foremost prophetic ministries in the world. Y2K is shown to equal 666.
Not only was there a broad spectrum of doomsday scenarios found among these books, but there were some old and new cults which focused their attention on the year 2000. Understandably these cults posed a greater threat to mankind than the Millennium Bug.
Some who consider themselves Christians expected the Second Coming of Christ and/or the Antichrist. Monte Kim Miller of the Concerned Christians cult believed he was the last prophet on earth before Armageddon. Miller, who reportedly believed he talked to God each morning before he went to work, was said to claim that America was Satan, and the government was evil. Miller had predicted he would die on the streets of Jerusalem in December 1999 but will rise from the dead three days later. Several members of that group were arrested in Jerusalem. They were planning a shootout with police ahead of the millennium in the hope of bringing about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. A source said cult members believed that being killed by police “would lead them to heaven.”
Even world religions associated with Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism made their own Y2K predictions. Some Jews were anticipating the coming of the Messiah. A cult called “The House of Yahweh” warned of impending doom if the temple was not rebuilt soon. Islamic fundamentalists, e.g., the Intifada, anticipated the rise of the Muslim faith. Hindus expected the coming of the Kalki Avatar in the years 1999-2003.
Several paramilitary militias with apocalyptic and/or racist undertones existed. A white supremacist group resided in eastern Oklahoma’s fortified town, Elohim City. Their leader, Robert Millar, believed that Christ had been revealing himself for the last 2,000 years and that a series of disasters would strike, during which the unworthy would be cleansed from the Earth.
Believers in Native American prophecies such as the Hopi prophecy claimed to see the fulfillment of their “prophecies.”
The Sukyo Makikari cult of Japan had been passing out leaflets warning that mankind might have been annihilated by the “baptism of fire” in the year 2000.
Even in Russia there was concern about a cult based in Siberia called, the Church of the Final Testament. Russian officials feared a mass suicide attempt by this cult as the year 2000 approached.
Which of these groups, if any, had the truth about Y2K? Surely, they were not all correct!
Second Coming Predicted in Y2K
Scores of so-called end time prophets tied Y2K hysteria in with poor religious teaching about the significance of the year 2000 and predicted worldwide tribulation. Some believed that Y2K-related disruptions could represent the “signs of the times” Jesus spoke about in Matthew chapter 24. Some even predicted that computer and infrastructure failures would clear the way for the rise of the Antichrist and the Tribulation period. According to Irvin Baxter, Jr. of END TIME Magazine, Y2K was just the sort of thing that God could use to create a financial catastrophe – worldwide. This is where the Antichrist could step in. Men like Baxter went so far as to set up a calendar of events showing the timetable by which these prophecies would unfold.
The Year 2000 Was Not the Second Coming of Christ
History suggests that predictions of the Second Coming have often accompanied the end of each century. As the year 1000 approached, a similar phenomenon regarding widespread “millennium prophecies” occurred. In 1899, the “experts” predicted that by the year 2000 several letters from the alphabet would be dropped as no longer necessary, strawberries would be as big as oranges and kissing would be outlawed as bad hygiene.
Many wanna-be Christian commentators and scholars pushed their sensational predictions. They simply dug out this or that Bible verse, called it a Last Day’s prophecy and then found some current event to fulfill it. Every fact seems to begin to fit, and every event becomes an apparent proof of the “truth” that the end is at hand.
The Bible did not teach that Jesus Christ was going to return when the calendar turned 2000 or that these events of the time are prophetic fulfillments heralding that return. Jesus clearly stated, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven” (Matthew 24:36). Paul prophesied, “The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Now who are you going to believe: Jesus and Paul or myriads of preachers who cannot even begin to agree among themselves much less harmonize with the Bible?
Back in the middle of 1999 this writer wrote a tract titled, “Are You Okay, With Y2K?” Over a thousand were passed out for free to the community. It did not make tens or hundreds of dollars for its author. It predicted only a few very minor computer glitches here and there. And that life would go on as it had the day before, that is provided that Jesus did not return before January 1, 2000.
– Daniel R. Vess