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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 9155 millennium
9155 millennium

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 Rev 20:1-3 “the Abyss” is the subterranean place of confinement for Satan and evil spirits. See also Lk 8:31 pp Mt 8:29 pp Mk 5:7

Martyred believers are raised to reign with Jesus Christ Rev 20:4-6 Those who have suffered for the gospel receive their promised reward. See also Ro 8:17; 2Ti 2:11-12; Rev 2:10

Satan’s release and final overthrow Rev 20:7-10 See also Eze 38:1-4,15-16,18-22; Eze 39:2-5; Zec 14:2; Ro 16:20

The millennium will be a golden age on earth

Isa 2:2-4 pp Mic 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 Isa 11:6-9; Isa 51:4-5; Isa 65:25

The premillennial interpretation

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

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

God’s future earthly reign Zec 14:9 See also Da 2:44; Zep 3:11; Zec 14:16-21

Believers will reign with Jesus Christ Mt 19:28 Premillennialists take this to refer to an earthly reign. See also Lk 22:29-30; 1Co 6:2; Rev 5:9-10

Difficulties with premillennialism Scriptures that depict a single resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked: Da 12:2; Jn 5:28-29 Jesus Christ’s parables of the kingdom depict a single occasion of separation and judgment: Mt 13:40-43,49-50; Mt 25:31-32

The postmillennial interpretation

The rapid spread of the gospel Mt 24:14 pp Mk 13:10 See also Mt 13:31-33 pp Mk 4:31-32 pp Lk 13:18-21

A future turning to God Ps 22:27-28; Isa 19:19-24; Zec 2:11

Difficulties with postmillennialism The fortunes of the gospel and the church appear to be at a low ebb before Jesus Christ returns: Mt 24:9-12 pp Lk 21:12-17; 2Ti 3:1-5,12-13 Jesus Christ’s reign is not postponed to some future era; it has begun already: Mt 28:18; Ac 2:33-36; Ac 7:55-56

The amillennial interpretation

Satan was defeated at Jesus Christ’s first coming Jn 12:31 See also Mt 12:29 pp Mk 3:27 pp Lk 11:21-22; Lk 10:18-20; Col 2:14-15

Interpreting the “first resurrection” As a reference to the soul entering heaven after death: Lk 23:43; 2Ti 4:7-8 As spiritual resurrection to new life in Christ: Ro 6:5; Eph 2:6; Col 3:1

Dangers of the amillennialist view The future hope of believers is not only a spiritual reality: Ro 8:19-21; Rev 21:1 Though defeated, Satan should not be underestimated: 1Pe 5:8; 1Jn 5:19; Rev 12:17

See also

2372Christ, victory
2375kingdom of God
2565Christ, second coming
9105last things
9115antichrist, the
9145Messianic age
9220day of the Lord

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