9155 millennium
Dictionary of Bible Themes

Dictionary of Bible Themes  »  9000 Last things  »  9100 Aspects of the last things  »  9155 millennium

The period of 1,000 years referred to in Revelation chapter 20, during which Satan is bound and believers reign with Jesus Christ. This millennium is understood in different ways: as a period of unparalleled peace and prosperity for the church and the gospel at the end of this age, after which Christ will return (postmillennialism); as the time following Christ's return when he will reign on earth (premillennialism); as a symbolic reference to the period between Christ's first and second comings (amillennialism).

Characteristics of the millennium

Satan is bound

Revelation 20:1-3 “the Abyss” is the subterranean place of confinement for Satan and evil spirits. See also Luke 8:31 pp Matthew 8:29 pp Mark 5:7

Martyred believers are raised to reign with Jesus Christ

Revelation 20:4-6 Those who have suffered for the gospel receive their promised reward. See also Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:11-12; Revelation 2:10

Satan's release and final overthrow

Revelation 20:7-10 See also Ezekiel 38:1-4,15-16,18-22; Ezekiel 39:2-5; Zechariah 14:2; Romans 16:20

The millennium will be a golden age on earth

Isaiah 2:2-4 pp Micah 4:1-3 The OT looks forward to a period of universal peace and prosperity on earth. Both pre- and postmillennialists see this as a reference to Jesus Christ's future earthly reign. See also Isaiah 11:6-9; Isaiah 51:4-5; Isaiah 65:25

The premillennial interpretation

The premillennial order of events

Revelation 19:11-13 Jesus Christ's return. Premillennialists understand the events of Revelation chapter 19 to precede those of Revelation chapter 20; Revelation 20:2-3 Satan bound for 1,000 years; Revelation 20:4-6 a “first resurrection” of believers to share Jesus Christ's reign over the earth; Revelation 20:7-10 Satan's release and final overthrow; Revelation 20:11-15 the general resurrection of all people to face God's judgment

A first resurrection of believers

1 Corinthians 15:22-25 This passage allows the idea of a gap between the resurrection of believers and the eternal age. See also 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

God's future earthly reign

Zechariah 14:9 See also Daniel 2:44; Zephaniah 3:11; Zechariah 14:16-21

Believers will reign with Jesus Christ

Matthew 19:28 Premillennialists take this to refer to an earthly reign. See also Luke 22:29-30; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 5:9-10

Difficulties with premillennialism

Scriptures that depict a single resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked:

Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29

Jesus Christ's parables of the kingdom depict a single occasion of separation and judgment:

Matthew 13:40-43,49-50; Matthew 25:31-32

The postmillennial interpretation

The rapid spread of the gospel

Matthew 24:14 pp Mark 13:10 See also Matthew 13:31-33 pp Mark 4:31-32 pp Luke 13:18-21

A future turning to God

Psalm 22:27-28; Isaiah 19:19-24; Zechariah 2:11

Difficulties with postmillennialism

The fortunes of the gospel and the church appear to be at a low ebb before Jesus Christ returns:

Matthew 24:9-12 pp Luke 21:12-17; 2 Timothy 3:1-5,12-13

Jesus Christ's reign is not postponed to some future era; it has begun already:

Matthew 28:18; Acts 2:33-36; Acts 7:55-56

The amillennial interpretation

Satan was defeated at Jesus Christ's first coming

John 12:31 See also Matthew 12:29 pp Mark 3:27 pp Luke 11:21-22; Luke 10:18-20; Colossians 2:14-15

Interpreting the “first resurrection”

As a reference to the soul entering heaven after death:

Luke 23:43; 2 Timothy 4:7-8

As spiritual resurrection to new life in Christ:

Romans 6:5; Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1

Dangers of the amillennialist view

The future hope of believers is not only a spiritual reality:

Romans 8:19-21; Revelation 21:1

Though defeated, Satan should not be underestimated:

1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 5:19; Revelation 12:17

See also

2372  Christ, victory
2375  kingdom of God
2565  Christ, second coming
4120  Satan
8450  martyrdom
8794  persecution
9105  last things
9115  antichrist, the
9145  Messianic age
9220  day of the LORD
9310  resurrection
9410  heaven

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