The term "millennium" does not occur in English
translation. It is from a Latin word for a thousand years.
Various interpretations are:
Premillennialists - Christ's kingdom has not yet
been established and that his second literal and bodily
coming to earth will precede its establishment, after which
he will reign for a thousand years before the end of
Dispensationalists - Israel is distinct from the
Church, and that God will establish a millennial kingdom in
Israel where Christ, upon His return, will rule the world
from Jerusalem for a thousand years
Postmillennialists - Christ's kingdom was
established as a sequel to his first coming, that the
millennium will be a golden age of the kingdom lasting till
near the end of history after which Christ will come a
second time at the end of history.
Amillennialists - none of the premillennialists
theories are accepted for various reasons. Some of them
believe that no time element at all is symbolized by the
thousand years, but simply the completeness of the victory
of Christ and his saints over Satan and all his
The first clear opponent of premillennialism associated
with Christianity was Marcion (85-160 AD). Marcion opposed
the use of the Old Testament and most books of the New
Testament that were not written by the apostle Paul. He was
the first great heretic who broke drastically with the
faith of the early church in abandoning the doctrine of the
imminent, personal return of Christ. Marcion did not
believe in a real incarnation, and consequently there was
no logical place in his system for a real Second Coming. He
expected the majority of mankind to be lost denying the
validity of the Old Testament and its Law. Other pre-Nicean
premillennialists were Irenaeus, Justin, Theophilus,
Tertullian, and Hippolytus of Rome.
Millennialism is also a doctrine of medieval
Zoroastrianism concerning successive thousand-year periods,
each of which will end in a cataclysm of heresy and
destruction, until the final destruction of evil and of the
spirit of evil by a triumphant king of peace at the end of
the final millennial age (supposed by some to be the year
2000). "Then Saoshyant makes the creatures again pure, and
the resurrection and future existence occur" (Zand-i
Vohuman Yasht 3:62). [In Persian mythology Saoshyant
is the one who will come to renew all life at the end of
Various other social and political movements, both
religious and secular, have also been linked to
What does the Bible state? Revelation 20:1-15
- "And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven,
- having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand
a great chain.
- He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is
the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand
- He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed
it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations
anymore until the thousand years were ended.
- After that, he must be set free for a short
- I saw thrones on which were seated those who had
been given authority to judge.
- And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded
because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the
word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his
image and had not received his mark on their foreheads
or their hands.
- They came to life and reigned with Christ a
thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to
life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the
- Blessed and holy are those who have part in the
- The second death has no power over them, but they
will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign
with him for a thousand years.
- When the thousand years are over, Satan will be
released from his prison and will go out to deceive the
nations in the four corners of the earth - Gog and
Magog - to gather them for battle. In number they are
like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the
breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's
people, the city he loves. But fire came down from
heaven and devoured them.
- And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into
the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the
false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented
day and night for ever and ever.
- Then I saw a great white throne and him who was
seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and
there was no place for them.
- And I saw the dead, great and small, standing
before the throne, and books were opened. Another book
was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were
judged according to what they had done as recorded in
the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it,
and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them,
and each person was judged according to what he had
done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of
fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's
name was not found written in the book of life, he was
thrown into the lake of fire.
- An Angel from Heaven - John is on earth when
he sees this part of the vision
- Having the key to the abyss - In chapter nine Satan
had this key, so now He has been defeated.
- The dragon bound for 1000 years - The devil
is totally and perfectly [completely] defeated and
bound with reference to his working through Rome
against the church, (witness the chain, the pit and the
sealing closed). This was the end of the history of the
Roman Empire but not for Satan. He would be released to
try again using other nations.
- For 1000 years - 1000 years does not speak
of a time period but a state of affairs. Applied to
Satan it is total defeat. Applied to the saints it is
total victory. The number 1000 means totality. Psalm
50:10 says God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
Deuteronomy 7:9 says God keeps His promises for a
thousand generations. Psalm 105:8 and 1 Chronicles
16:15 says God commanded His word for a thousand
generations. The idea is totality and not a limited
In this vision the devil is bound 1000 years to show how
he was totally defeated in his war against the church using
Rome. He is loosed a little while because after Rome there
would be other attempts and they would meet the same fate.
Victory is presented by the vision of saints (living ones
and raised ones) reigning and judging in perfect [complete]
victory. This chapter says complete victory of Christ and
His church and complete defeat for Satan and the church
persecuting Roman Empire. Revelation 20 explanation
from The Revelation of John The Apostle, Joe McKinney,