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).
Isa 2:2-4 pp Mic 4:1-3The 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 alsoIsa 11:6-9; Isa 51:4-5; Isa 65:25
The premillennial interpretation
The premillennial order of eventsRev 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 believers1Co 15:22-25This passage allows the idea of a gap between the resurrection of believers and the eternal age. See also1Th 4:16-17
Difficulties with premillennialismScriptures that depict a single resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked:Da 12:2; Jn 5:28-29Jesus Christ’s parables of the kingdom depict a single occasion of separation and judgment:Mt 13:40-43,49-50; Mt 25:31-32
Dictionary of Bible Themes Scripture index copyright Martin H. Manser, 2009. As Editor, Martin Manser wishes to thank all those who compiled or edited the NIV Thematic Study Bible, on which this work is based.