Is the Millennial Kingdom a literal 1000 years?

Half the Church believes the 1000 years of the Kingdom is a figurative number. So is the Millennial Kingdom a literal 1000 years or is it symbolic?

Is the Millennial Kingdom a literal 1000 years?

This is the second article in this series on Amillennialism which is a theory believed by 1/2 of Christian denominations that there won’t be a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth after his return. This is an incredibly difficult issue to debate. If one individual says the Bible’s prophecies are literal and another says they are not, how does one debate this? We will examine that in this article.

Our first article in this series (CLICK HERE) discussed the forgotten biblical teaching about the 6000 years of man’s dominion and the following 1000 year Sabbath rest that correspond to the days of creation from creation week. In this way, the creation narrative from Genesis 1 acts a prophecy of God’s 7000 year plan of redemption. If you have not read this fundamental article, please read it first before continuing.

If you have already read it, you realize that reference to a future 1000 year period is found in multiple places in scripture and the writings of the Early Church fathers. The length of time of 1000 years is not arbitrary, but rather is very specific and biblical. It is not only found in Rev. 20, as many Amillennialists believe, but is indicative of a Scripture-wide plan of redemption. This previous article demonstrates God’s consistent division of time (based on the creation account) is a pattern of 6+1

  • The Week is divided into six days of toil and a Sabbath rest
  • Years are divided into six years of toil and the land laying fallow in a seventh year of sabbatical rest. The scriptures refer to this as a Shabua. There is even a further division of 7 Shabuim into a Jubilee cycle of 49 years.
  • God’s restoration of all things are divided into 6000 years of Satan’s dominion followed by a Sabbath rest of 1000 years in which the Lord alone will be exalted.
  • Even the 70th Week of Daniel will be divided into a pattern of 6+1 as well. Six years the saints will toil upon the earth presenting the love of Jesus under persecution, and in the seventh they will rest in heaven.

This fundamental biblical principle is what premillinnialism is based on; a literal “young earth based on God’s creation” followed by a literal 1000 year Kingdom of Jesus reigning from Jerusalem on earth.  Although this was the opinion of the apostles, this literal interpretation of scripture changed over time.

Historical Views

In the last article we quoted numerous early Church Fathers (see article) who believed and taught a literal 1000 year reign of Christ from Jerusalem after the defeat of Antichrist. These included the  original apostles and disciples, Bishop of Hieropolis, the writer of the Epistle of Barnabas,  and Justin Martyr,.

In the second century, however, several notable Christian teachers such as Clement and Origen began to deny the literal 1000 year Kingdom. Origen (who is now considered a heretic) in particular espoused a view that prophecy only referred to the “spiritual” realm and not the physical . This Amillennial, spiritual view expanded under the teaching of Augustine.

Many Christians after the time of Augustine believed this view and supposed that the Kingdom of Jesus would last 1000 years; that this is the Kingdom John referred to in Rev. 20.  When the year 1000 AD came and went, this view was forced to fully assume Origen’s “spirituallized” 1000 year kingdom since a literal 1000 years was no longer possible. The early protestant reformers Luther and Calvin were Amillennialists favored a symbolic 1000 years.  This is why many main line protestants still favor Amillennialism.

In the 1700’s and 1800’s, however, Pre-Millennialism began to rise again and it is the predominant view of most evangelicals today. The Church is then divided. Catholics and main line protestants favoring Amilllennialism and a symbolic 1000 year Kingdom, and most evangelical protestants favoring a literal 1000 year Kingdom on earth.

Amillennial Symbolism

Many Amillennialists suggest that ALL of Revelation (and Rev. 20 specifically) can be considered symbolic because of verse that opens that book:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated (lit. signified) it by His angel to His bond-servant John. (Rev. 1:1)

These believers suggest that the word “signified” in this verse demonstrates that the entire book is symbolic. Certainly there are many symbols in Revelation and all of apocalyptic prophecy in general. However, if we are going to interpret ALL of Revelation based on this one word (signify), we had better examine it closely.

The Greek word defined as signify is SEMAINO. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon clearly defines this word as “to make known” in its usage in Rev. 1:1 and it is the same exact usage of the word as in Acts 11:

One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate (SEMAINO) by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. (Acts 11:28)

In ancient times, signet rings were used to seal a document to show it was authentic. This is the meaning of SEMAINO (signify) here; that Agabus (and John in Revelation) were claiming their prophecies were from the Lord and authentic. It has nothing to do with symbolism.

Amillenialists will point to this verse to dispute that claim:

And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” But He was saying this to indicate (SEMAINO) the kind of death by which He was to die. The crowd then answered Him, “We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?” (John 12:31-34)

In this passage, the word takes on a slightly different meaning. This is not a symbol or symbolic language, but it is allegory or indirect language. (It also was clear to the listeners of his day who asked a very understandable question.) So SEMAINO has two meanings. One is to authenticate, one is to use indirect language.

So, which meaning is found in Rev. 1:1? Look at the first prophecy found there:

Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. (Rev. 1:7)

This is a very clear, non-symbolic statement! So this Amillennial claim that all of Revelation is symbolic is not a valid interpretation. Revelation has symbols, but not all of it is symbolic. Each supposed symbol must be evaluated separately on its own merit.

The Literal 1000 Years

Because Jesus’s Spiritual Kingdom has now existed for nearly 2000 years, the argument about whether the 1000 years is literal or figurative has come to the forefront of eschatology. Edward Morris summarizes the Amillennial view:

In my view, then, the thousand-year reign of Christ in Revelation 20 is a picture of what we might call the church age, beginning with the monumental accomplishment of Christ Jesus. It is the new form of the kingdom of God that Jesus had said was about to come. We are now living in this era of the inaugural form of the kingdom, which will continue for an indefinite period of time (symbolized by a thousand years)  until the final form is set up in the age to come. I find this amillennial interpretation of Revelation 20 much more consistent with the overall pattern of Scripture – Ed Morris

The Pre-millennial view agrees with  Mr. Morris that the kingdom was initiated when Jesus rose from the dead. These Pre-millennial believers consider the “Kingdom” to be where ever Jesus is King. It is currently within the hearts of believers, but they believe that obviously Jesus is not currently  ruling the nations right now given the chaos and evil that exists.  Premillennialists believe Satan and the powers and authorities under his command are ruling the nations. Premillennialists believe Jesus will return to earth as its King and at that time will rule the nations. In order to understand which position is correct will take several weeks of biblical exegesis. Expect future articles to slowly unpack this issue.

We will begin this process looking at  whether the Bible is literal when it mentions a 1000 years six times in Rev. 20.

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 years.  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 time.  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 about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its 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 first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. 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—and 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. (Rev. 20:1-10)

This is the passage at the heart of the debate.

A. The Pattern

First let’s notice the pattern of usages of “thousand years.” There six usages grouped into three occurrences of “a thousand years” followed by “the thousand years.”  The Holy Spirit that inspired John’s words was insistent in its usage of “thousand years.” Six usages in 10 verses is a lot of repetition. And the repetition of the pattern of indefinite and definite articles is also striking. The Holy Spirit wanted to make a point, He wanted us to notice the time period. And He made it specific.

B. Symbols are Defined

Scripture is to be taken literally unless there is good reason to assume a symbol is intended. For instance, in Rev. 1:7 that we looked at above, when it says Jesus will return on the clouds, this is not a symbol. We are to assume he will literally come on the clouds. When it says he was pierced, we know this literally happened. Pierced is not a symbol.

And the Bible defines its symbol for us.  For instance, Jesus is the rock. “There is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God” 1 Sam. 2:2.  Satan is the dragon. “The great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan” (Rev. 12:9) Both of these symbols are clear and unambiguous.

A symbolism regarding “a thousand years” is given in the Bible, but it is a “day” (in the Genesis Creation account) that equals this number. This is why God says in Isaiah, “

Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me,  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done. (Isa. 46:9-10)

The Hebrew word “beginning” here is the same as in Genesis’s “In the beginning.” God is clearly telling us that he declared the end of all things from the Creation account; “in the beginning.”

Nowhere in the Bible does it say a “thousand years is the time of grace” or any other such thing. Because we already have a symbolic “day” equaling a thousand years, if this thousand years equaled something else as well, it would create mass confusion.  Amillennialists have constructed this symbol on their own. In fact, nowhere in the Bible is there a symbol in which a specific number of years means something else.

Revelation supports this. When John does indicate an indefinite number for an amount of time in Revelation, he calls it an hour, a half an hour,  or a short time. Indefinite numbers of things are given such as “the sand on the seashore,” “a vast multitude,” etc. When John means to be specific he uses specific numbers such as 42 months, 1260 days, etc.

There is no scriptural support whatsoever for the symbolism Ammillennialists claim . Their symbolism in regard to the 1000 years is totally a man-created symbol not a biblical one (from the mind of God).

C. The Binding of Satan

Perhaps the greatest weakness of the Amillennial view is that in order to claim we are in the 1000 years, they must also claim that Satan is currently bound and not deceiving the nations.

He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.  He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed. (Rev. 20:2-3)

Amillennialists say this binding of Satan is said to have happened at the first coming of Jesus at the cross as prophesied by Matt. 12:29 and the binding of the strong man. This binding they say permits us to evangelize the nations today when this previously was impossible.

The first problem with this is that evangelism was entirely possible before the cross! Niniveh upon the preaching of Jonah, the Queen of Sheba, and even Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon are among the numerous examples of gentiles who were open to God’s Word prior to the cross.

A second major problem with this thinking is the Amillennialist view of the binding of Satan ignores the Chapter and verse divisions that did not exist in the original manuscript. Look at what the context of Rev. 20:1-2 looks like without the Chapter division:

And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. (Rev. 19:20- Rev. 20:2)

The binding of Satan happens after the events of Rev. 19 when Jesus rides the white horse and fights Armageddon. In order to say Satan is bound now, the Mark of the Beast already had to be instituted, the Beast and False Prophet and all their activities in Revelation had to have taken place and Armageddon and the great feast of dead bodies had to have happened already. This is an insurmountable problem and disproves the historic binding of Satan apriori.

If this were not enough, not only is Satan bound in Rev. 20:2, but he is chained and sealed in the Abyss. He is imprisoned and has no ability to have any activity on the earth. Is this what we currently witness?? Is the wickedness of this world happening devoid of Satan?

Additionally, the supposed binding of Satan contradicts the testimony of the epistles written years after this supposed binding.

The god of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

(Satan) prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8)

The whole world lies in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19)

These and other similar passages show that Satan is not bound, is still the ruler of the world, and is very active during the Church Age.

D. Old Testament References to the Millennial Kingdom

Amillennialists  claim that all Old Testament references to a period of peace and righteousness are references to the eternal state (in heaven). Some may be, but others cannot be. Some reference death that cannot describe our eternal home:

No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days,Or an old man who does not live out his days;
For the youth will die at the age of one hundred
And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred
Will be thought accursed. (Isa. 65:20)

Obviously this cannot be fulfilled after death is abolished. It must take place previous to that; in the Millennial Kingdom. And the extended lifespans make sense in a 1000 year kingdom.

Other references mention sin and punishment:

And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one. . .Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.  And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them. If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the Lord smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.  This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. (Zech. 14:9, 16-19)

Here we witness a time after the return of Jesus when He is king over all the earth, but sin and punishment are still taking place. This cannot be the eternal state either. But it isn’t today’s world either. It must be the Millennial Kingdom.

Finally other passages mention the regathering of Israel by foot and by beast of burden after Jesus returns with chariots of fire.

Then they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as a grain offering to the Lord, on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “just as the sons of Israel bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord.  I will also take some of them for priests and for Levites,” says the Lord.  For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me, declares the Lord, So your offspring and your name will endure. (Isa. 66:20-21)

This certainly doesn’t seem the way the regathering into heaven that Amillennialists suppose is to happen. Other Old Testament prophets also reference a physical regathering by foot and by boat.

The reason that this regathering is mistaken by Amillennialists and even by Pretribulation Rapture enthusiasts is that both  camps usually mistake Matthew 24:31 as the physical Second Coming. It isn’t, it’s the Rapture. The “gathering together” by angels is the rapturing together of the resurrected and living saints to meet Jesus in the air. The regathering of Jews does not involve angels.

E. The Resurrection of the Dead

Another great weakness of the Amill. position involves the First and Second Resurrections.

And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. (Rev. 20:4-5)

In order to claim we are currently in the 1000 years, Amillennialists must claim a resurrection of the dead has already taken place. Some Amillennialists claim this “coming to life” and “reigning” happens in heaven after someone dies. Others claim this First Resurrection is the regeneration after someone comes to faith. We will devote the entire next article to this topic-stay tuned.

45 thoughts on “Is the Millennial Kingdom a literal 1000 years?”

  1. This article said quote: Amillennialists have constructed this symbol on their own. In fact, “nowhere in the Bible is there a symbol in which a specific number of years means something else.”

    This is incorrect. There is in fact a place in the Bible in which a 1000 year verse means something else.
    Ps.90 is a mirror passage concerning the dwelling place of Christ, Gods returning in wrath and the days of men.
    4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

    1000 years = A watch in the night. Seems Christ Himself told us He comes in this manner.

    1. In these examples Cindy, other things equal a thousand years, ie, a watch in the night equals a thousand years, a day in the Genesis 1 prophecy equals a thousand years. No where does a thousand years equal two thousand years or some other number. Thus in the Genesis prophecy we are told there will be 6000 years from creation till the start of the Millennial Kingdom. In terms of a watch in the night, in Luke 12:38 Jesus defines that he will come in the second watch or the third, or between 1000 years to 3000 years after his ascension. This is clarified by Hosea 5:14-6:4 when the years are given in terms of “days” where a day equals a thousand years.

  2. Dear Nelson,

    1. You give blur explanation bro.The problem is that you combined 3 different war prophecies into one war.

    The real question is how you combine this with your unfulfilled Dan 8 or Dan 9 antichrist theory? is it separate with those 3 or you gonna combine ?

    2. It is RELIGION not nations. Sorry bro but i have to disagree, you give two different meaning for same symbols.

    Gog is the king/leader, Magog is the kingdom/tribe while Gog and Magog were the people.

    muslim are everywhere they also surround Israel (today) so when Rev 20 refer as from 4 corner of the earth….that was it.

    1. donal,

      1. The scripture I gave you specifically mentions Armageddon. It is crystal clear not blurred. No interpretation needed,its literal.
      2. The Rev. 20:8 mentions NATIONS not religion, again no interpretation needed, its literal and crystal clear.
      3. Four corners of the earth COULD refer to the limited area you mention. However it just as easily can mean the whole world. But, please understand the key concept that Islam will be destroyed upon the physical return of Jesus to the earth. No Muslims in the Millennium. Everyone with the Mark of the Beast is killed.

  3. Bro Nelson,

    This time you being inconsistent bro:

    1. Armageddon is talking about kings of the east while Gog gathering army from north—Asia minor is not east. Now you have to decide north or east?

    2. You agreed Asia minor (turkey nation) control by muslim which is Gog and Magog. If Bible talking with same symbols how can you give 2 different interpretation the meaning of same symbol?
    —-> if Gog of Magog Ezek 38/39 were muslim then why Gog and Magog Rev 20 are not muslim?

    You see i change my opinion right? if you put this one correctly maybe i would believe you but so far not even close.

    1. Donal,

      1 Armageddon has kings from all over the planet. “for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.” (Rev. 16:14-16). Also remember in all Bible passages, just because certain items are listed it doesn’t mean those are the ONLY ones. Kings of the East may be mentioned in a certain passage but that doesn’t mean they are the only kings.

      2. “Gog, chief prince of Magog” and the term “Gog AND Magog” are different terms, they are not at all the same. The first term is a man, an individual. He is most likely a Muslim, but not 100% assuredly so. “Gog and Magog” is found in Rev. 20:8, “to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war.” In this verse the term is used to describe NATIONS (not a man) at the four corners of the earth. So why is “Gog and Magog” used since Gog isn’t even a nation? Because 1000 years prior to the war in Rev. 20:8, the battle of Armageddon was fought with Gog as the commander. It will be the most famous battle of all time. God is saying in essence, “remember all the nations from all over the earth who fought against me under Gog? They will gather again.” This would be like someone saying today, “all the nations, Eisenhower and D-Day, will fight again.” Eisenhower was the commanding general, but Americans, Canadians, French and English all fought under him that day. Instead of listing all the nations, this is a short-hand approach to listing them. And that is exactly what the approach in Rev. 20:8. There will be zero Muslims after Armageddon. Jesus destroys the Beast. Some former Muslims will convert, but no Allah worshipers. Only God is exalted during the Day of the Lord.

  4. Bro Nelson,

    7″My holy name I will make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.

    I have read Joel 6 reasons writing (weeks ago) i agree some but not all.

    I don’t know Joel position relate to 1000 years kingdom with Ezek 38/39 but if your opinion is based to Joel opinion then I think you overlook the verse.

    I don’t understand when Joel states Jesus Messianic kingdom (the last paragraph)—is it Rev 20 1000 years or Rev 21 everlasting kingdom?

    Joel view that Gog will be defeated (Rev 19 war) then God’s will not allow His name to be profaned anymore right? But he forget after Rev 19 there is still Rev 20 Gog and Magog right?

    1. What Joel and I are saying is that the reference to “Gog and Magog” in Rev. 20 is NOT a reference to the Ezek. 38/39 war at the end of the Millennial Kingdom.
      1. The articles you have been reading have proven (and there are more to come) that their will be a 1000 year Kingdom after Rev. 19
      2. Joel’s 6 points prove that Ezek. 38/39 only can happen prior to that 1000 Kingdom.

      It’s that simple donal

  5. Bro Nelson,

    If during earthly millennial physical Jesus say allah is not God, how many muslim will believe that? if they believe then why they ‘rebel’ on Rev 20 ?

    Please remember that Joel states Gog is the beast (disagree) and the beast is islam (agree)

    Gog is not the beast but one of the beast follower. The beast refer to islam, muslim and allah, allah is not Gog. Gog is definition of certain muslim leader.Just like there are several kings of north vs several kings of the south (book of Daniel), i believe there are more than one Gog in Ezek 38/39.

    When God states My name will not be profaned anymore that’s refer to among Israelis. I will assume many Israelis upset to God before 1948/1967 since they assume God was failed. I will take one example from famous comic Superman the author Jerry Siegel was a Jew. Now i believe you know family name of superman was El which in Hebrew mean God now a Jew picture that as alien name (can you believe that?).

    After 1948/1967 many Israelis find their faith to God again—that’s the meaning i will not make My name profaned again (only among Jew–not unbelievers).

    If you analyze openly those 6 points Joel view didn’t contradict 1948 restoration, i say more similarity with Ezek 39 than contradictions.

    The last, you have to consider that many people during old Biblical era are moving/spreading. So when Bible scholar states future Gog and Magog located in Asia minor i say they were wrong. Asia minor is not 4 corner of the earth (Rev 20).

    1. After Jesus returns on the clouds and defeats the Antichrist at Armageddon, there won’t be any Islamists left. Everyone with the Mark is killed. Period.

      When God says he won’t permit his name to be profaned anymore, he means that. Period. Please don’t qualify God’s statements to fit your theory.

  6. Bro Nelson,

    I’m glad you didn’t edit my writing.

    1. Israel restoration i meant in Ezek 39 not 38. i believed it is refer to 1948/1967.

    2. Magog refer to Asia minor region was only theory. We believe Noah ark stranded there. For the truth no one know exact location of Magog, Tubal but we know they gathering army from north of Jerusalem/Israel and at the end of time they will come from 4 corner of the earth to attack holy people.

    3. The turk is not origin of asia minor they come from central Asia.

    4. mohamad was come from quraish tribe and quraish tribe was part of many adnanites tribes. They are not real arab but arabized arab that origin come from ‘north’. They go to south (saudi arabia) during Babylon era. i say they are the magog (tribe descendant).

    5. I’m 100% sure prophecy talking about islam/muslim.

    I believe fulfillment of prophecies should be spread throughout historical timeline not just the last 7 years period. It is important to look 2 windows: window of the future and window of the past not just look at the future neglecting historical supporting evidence.

    It is better to wait until your next article before continue.

    1. In terms of looking to future and to past for fulfillment of some prophecies: I agree in part. However, some prophecies are very specific about things that happen in and around those prophecies. Ezek. 38/39 is one of those. Jesus’s not allowing his name to be profaned anymore. This is highly specific and can only happen upon his return. Joel Richardson has outlined six events like this in THIS ARTICLE. Check it out.

      There is such a thing as overly concentrating on the past (especially if this involves “stretching” what the prophecy is saying just to make it “fit” what happened). But if a prophecy is clearly delineated as future (like Ezek. 38/39), past events are only foreshadows of what is to come. And what is to come is the primary factor.

      In terms of the nations being “peoples,” you know I strongly disagree with this philosophy. People intermarry, migrate (as you mentioned). IMO the ancient peoples no longer exist (except the Jews which God has maintained). When I see a nation name in the Bible, to me it means “land mass,” where this nation was at the time of the formation of the nations in Genesis.

  7. Bro Nelson,

    I think my last statement regarding world war one as Rev 19 was highly speculative with small chance in accuracy I say less than 1% near to zero. The war clearly occur during the last period of church (7th) while world war one during 6th era of church. But I seen similarity Armageddon with world war two.

    Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates (Iraq), and its water (people) was dried up (Jewish persecution 1941-Farhud) to prepare the way for the kings (Churcill, Stalin, Roosevelt) of the East (Iran) . And they assembled the kings in the place (1943-Tehran conference) that in Hebrew is called Armageddon

    Kings of the east is only a term Revelation use to describe Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt meeting in iran (east) to prepare the battle (second front) 1943. 3 Frogs described 3 similar things Nazi German, Facist Italy and Kokka Shugi Japan.

  8. Bro Nelson,

    Greek word “kai” could be translated -and- not only -then- so from Rev 19/20 could be overlapping not necessarily continuous.

    With so many nations hold nuclear it is fair to assume the world will not last another 1000 years.

    Rev 13 & 17 the word beast could refer to islam or muslim or allah.

    After Rev 19 war the beast and false prophet captured. it is said two of them……so only two of them meaning there are a lot of muslim still out there.

    Rev 20 battle Gog and Magog must be war holy people against muslim and it was said their number like sand on the seashore. If Gog and Magog refer to muslim, how can you assumed all muslim perished during Rev 19 war?

    I agree that Ezek 38/39 talking about same people (muslim) and it is not same timeline with Rev 20 Gog and Magog.

    Regarding Ezek 38/39
    1. Mentioned about war using sword, shield, arrow, horses i don’t think this is futuristic weapons more like medieval weapons.
    2. Mentioned about restoration of Israel and since Israel already restored (1948/1967) i think the prophecy already fulfilled.
    3. I don’t think it is same war with armageddon and or Rev 19 war.
    4. The prophecy talking about muslim attacking Jerusalem by gathering army from the north. muslim already done that at least twice 637 AD by umar 2nd caliph and 1187 AD by saladin.

    Regarding millennial kingdom
    1. Jesus rule forever not just 1000 years.
    2. 1000 years were ruling time limit for those who resurrect and rule with Christ….while there is no time limit for christ as ruler.
    3. I think Jesus will rule from heaven during millennial while we can see earthly symbol. .
    4. Rev 19 didn’t mentioned about rapture after war. why they rapture just to go back to earth to live 100 years then taste death again???
    5. Rev 20 didn’t mentioned those resurrected will rule on earth.

    Relate to muslim i don’t think Jesus physical earthly rule 1000 years will applicable in real life.

    There is a chance that Armageddon actually talking about world war 2 and Rev 19 war refer to world war 1. I can see historical similarity here but i’m sure many will reject this theory.

    1. donal, this would have been better as three separate comments. I will answer it in three responses. As to Rev. 19 and 20 link, yes KAI is “and” or “then”, but it is obvious these two chapters are the same continuous story. The enemies of Christ are dealt with: in Chapter 19, birds eat the bodies of the AC armies, the False Prophet and AC are thrown into the lake of fire, then in 20, Satan is dealt with. Can’t you see the continuous action? It is the man-made Chapter break that is throwing you and everyone else off.

      If Revelation has a “flash-back” or a non continuous moment, it will quote a previous section of revelation to show you where it goes. There are no textual clues like that in Rev. 20:1-2; certainly nothing returning us to the cross. None of this is past events.

    2. Now in this second response, I will discuss the Gog/Magog reference. First of all Jesus gives us a picture of the judgment that happens after he returns in Matt. 25, the Sheep and Goat judgment. All unrighteous who have taken Mark of the Beast will be thrown into the lake of fire. So no Islamists remain after that point.

      In Ezek. 38-39, the name Magog is a land mass area in Turkey. Gog is the leader of this group of land mass nations. It never refers to Islam. These areas are currently populated with Muslims, but the reference is to a land mass nation. In Rev. 20, “Gog” is referred to as an area as well-no longer as a man.

      You then mention implements of war. Armageddon in the OT is nearly always referred to with ancient weapons. God is often referred to as using “arrows” or “swords” as well. This is symbolic in the language of the day. No problem here.

      You ask about the restoration of Israel in Ezek. 38/39. Yes, this is mentioned in Ezek. 38:7-8. This small part of the prophecy is partially fulfilled. At no time has Israel ever lived securely however. That part of vv. 7-8 remains to be fulfilled in the Covenant with the Many that is to come.

      We know this is yet future because it mentions things in this war that can only happen when Jesus returns. He says every person on earth will shake at the presence of Jesus-when did this happen already? It will happen when he comes on the clouds to rapture the saints AND pour out his fiery WRATH at the end of the 6th Year of the 70th Week. This is pictured in Ezek. 38:17-23 (this is not yet Armageddon). Rev. 1:7, Matt. 24:30-31, Rev. 6:16-17 all depict this same time when Jesus comes on the clouds. Ezek. 38 abbreviates the Wrath into these few verses but it takes a full year and is described in Rev. in terms of the Trumpets and Bowl judgments.

      Then Ezek. 39 depicts Amrageddon where the birds eat the dead-which is referenced in Rev. 19. God then says “My holy name I will make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.” This is only possible after Jesus’s return, not before. If you look at this old article it explains a lot of this in more detail.

      1. Nelson,
        Regarding Ez 39: If Gog is the AC, and the beast is also the AC, the beast and false prophet are thrown alive into the lake of fire in Rev. 19:20. Then how can Gog be buried with his horde at Hamon gog as in Ez 39.

        1. Remember the Beast is 3 parts: demon, man, empire. The demon aspects of the Beast and False Prophet are thrown into lake of fire. The man is buried. Upon resurrection after the Millennial Kingdom, the man will be as well.

          There are other references to the AC’s burial in scripture such as Isaiah 14 and to the burning of the beasts body (notice it is the beast not the “little horn”) in Daniel 7. 2 Thess. 2:8 also shows the AC is slain upon Jesus’s final return (not just thrown alive).

          So we have many issues. To me the only solution is the demon/man/empire answer.

          I just wrote an article that fully explains this issue. Look for it after the Amillennialism series is over.

    3. Finally Donal, in regard to the Kingdom. Yes, Jesus will reign forever after the Seventh Trumpet – but not until then. There are many references to Jesus reigning from Jerusalem on David’s throne. These will be mentioned in a future article.

      The Rapture doesn’t happen in Rev. 19, it happens in Rev. 7. Those who are resurrected and raptured do not die. It is the “human” still mortal survivors of the 70th week (like the Jewish remnant) who will die in the Millennium.

  9. Nelson,
    Which Greek text do you use. You know I am in the Textus Receptus camp. I am researching the Greek and the question whether a thousand years, or thousands of years, best represents the thought of Revelation 20:1-7, is raised by the translation offered in the Tischendorf 8th Edition of the Greek New Testament, where the expression χίλιοι ἔτος is used, meaning thousands of years, as chilioi is plural. Most texts have χίλια ἔτη, a thousand years.

    1. As you are probably aware, the Textus Receptus is considered the least accurate of all texts. Erasmus assembled it from six late texts existing in his day, the Vulgate, the teaching of theologians of his day, and frankly in some places, they don’t know where he got his material. It differs from the majority text in about 2000 places, and from the minority ancient texts in many more.

      I prefer the ancient Alexandrian texts upon which most modern bibles are based. Some arguments can be made for the majority texts, however, since all the ancient bibles (the Coptic, Latin, Syriac, and Ethioptic texts) were all based on the Alexandrian, there is no evidence that the Byzantine texts even existed until the fourth century. Also all textual analysis of the early church fathers show no use of the Byzantine text until the 4th century. So although more of the Majority text have been found, they were late to the game so to speak. The volume of late texts may simply speak to the rate of copying rather than any type of accuracy. But I think the near universal scholarly opinion is that the Textus Receptus is the least accurate of all. I would strongly recommend against using it as your primary source.

      1. Thank you for a good reply. I wish things were less complicated in this area of which texts were trusted or not.

        I have a hard time accepting the newer translations because many of them change very fundamental beliefs such the Trinity.
        KJV- 1 Timothy 3:16- God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

        All other translations omit the word God. They will say he or Christ. There are many verses like this.

        Looking back at one of our conversations on eagles are angels, the reading in kjv Revelation was ‘angel’ and in your translation ‘eagle’. It makes more sense to me that an angel would be flying in heaven, not an eagle spreading a message.

        I will continue to research this topic and appreciate your thoughts on all things scriptural. These discussions do not affect our salvation, but help to fortify our faith.

        1. We choose the reliability of texts and then determine what the Bible says. We don’t choose texts by what we wish they said. IMO, the Textus Receptus says “angel” and “thousands of years” rather than what all the other texts say because of the bias of the man who assembled it. This very reason is why I reject it. You should consider this factor as well in what you rely on.

          Interesting that you choose an older “translation”, but choose a “modern” text rather than an ancient one. This seems to be reverse logic.

  10. Nelson, you have addressed well Christopher’s very weak arguments and his frustration about how well you have silenced him is quite telling. I think Christopher needs to start to reevaluate his sad amillennial position as invalid and start to support apostolic premillennialism. It would do him a world of good. 🙂


  11. Nelson,
    I feel no anger in our discussion, just think we can’t see eye to eye. You do make certain comments that I can see you are frustrated.
    Your last two comments were the best thus far. You made a good point on God dwelling with men (in the New Earth, I might add) and I understand your position completely.

    I still don’t agree with how you present my view and can say it was very unbalanced. I have learned alot in this discussion and won’t argue what I believe against what you believe. We both have a good amount of knowledge of the scriptures and how we interpret them is where we don’t find common ground.

    I will say that I agree with the church father Augustine when he said, “Chiliasm (premillenialism) cannot be safely taught.”

    He said this because it leaves the opportunity for the greatest deception to receive the Antichrist in the misunderstanding that he is the second coming of Christ. One thing is true in scripture, the bad guy always comes first. Cain before Abel, Essau before Jacob, Herod before Christ, etc..

    I disagree with a Jewish kingdom as well. Christ clearly took the kingdom from the Jews and gave it to the church. He gave the reason why in Matthew 23:13- “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”

    You might say I believe in replacement theology but my understanding is the Israelites were the first members of the church, Israel never stopped being the church, Israel is the church.

    There are many parallels in scripture between the church and the kingdom. When you join the church (the body of Christ), you join the kingdom. Christ fulfilled the fortelling of this in Isaiah 2:2,3. All nations are already flowing into his kingdom.

    The way I see it is Paul and the apostles were preaching the gospel to everyone. The gospel was the good news that God’s kingdom was here and anyone could enter into it. The apostle John in Revelation 1:9 says he is our companion in the kingdom.

    As Christians we are suppose to be proclaiming God’s kingdom and the way to enter into it through Jesus Christ. The Bible says,”And this gospel of the kingdom will preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

    1. This was a good comment Christopher. We will be discussing God’s Kingdom promises in a couple weeks, feel free to join in. We probably are somewhat similar in some of our thinking. Different in others.

  12. Hi Nelson, I believe you have identified and interpreted the scriptures that address the Millennium well. The points made in C, D and E cement the case rock solid for me. Ron

  13. Dear Nelson,

    Too many controversy, too many unanswered questions that create great headache.

    We agree that Gog and Magog were muslim right?

    i. If Jesus physically rule earth 1000 years what will happen to al aqsa?
    2. Where is exactly Jesus earthly throne?
    3. Will muslim obey Him as earth ruler?
    4. What will happen to palestine territory?
    5. Do you think Jesus will acknowledge allah as God?
    6. Do you think muslim will agree with Jesus if Jesus say allah is not God?

    You quotes some old testament verses to support your argument but none of those verses mention (directly relate) to physically millennial kingdom.

    I say there are 2 kingdoms of God that connect each other: heavenly kingdom and earthly kingdom

    During millennial kingdom those dead will resurrect right? why they bother to resurrect if they will die again after they reach 100 years old? How many time they have to die anyway?

    Many assumed that Rev 19 follow in timeline sequence with Rev 20 but i think it is overlapping timeline

    What if satan was captured before Rev 19 occur? in Rev 19 war didn’t mention satan was there anyway.

    Regarding world deception please remember 1/3 of angels follow satan so if satan captured his angels are still out there.

    Rev 20 states John saw thrones (in heaven) so it is fair to assume those souls resurrect in heaven also they will rule from heaven.

    Please consider that those (some) old testament verses maybe refer to earthly Zion not heavenly Zion.

    1. Thanks for engaging donal. First, the Bible is clear that Rev. 19 and 20 are 2 parts of the same continuous story. Don’t let that chapter break throw you off.

      Second, remember there are three groups: the righteous that are resurrected and/or raptured, the wicked, AND those in the middle. These are those who don’t take the Mark of the Beast, but don’t have faith in Jesus (yet) so they aren’t raptured. They go through the final year of the 70th Week and endure the Wrath of God. They are the human survivors of the 70th Week. They include the Jewish remnant and some gentiles. It is these that live as humans in the Millennium and over whom the Resurrected and Raptured in Resurrection bodies reign. So those that live to 100 only die once. They are eventually resurrected at the end of the Millennium in the Second Resurrection.

      Third, IMO the thrones set up in heaven are the same ones we see in Dan. 7:9 and Rev. 4:4. They are for the 24 elders, this is giving a time sequence for the resurrection. It happens in conjuction with the judgment prior to the Day of the Lord. The resurrected saints aren’t the ones sitting on the thrones.

    2. donal, you then had questions related to Islam. When Jesus physically returns to earth, he will be the only one exalted in that day (1000 years). Islam will be defeated as the Beast and thrown into the lake of fire.

      The human survivors are judged at the goat and sheep judgment based on WORKS. This shows these are living (not dead or resurrected) because only the living could be judged by works. I would assume all Muslims who took the Mark of the Beast are thrown into the lake of fire at that time.

      Your concern is about Gog and Mogog. We know Gog is a man, but in Rev. 20 it is listed as an area or country. This is the first clue that the Gog/Magog war in Rev 20 is similar but not the same as Ezek. 38-39. That Ezek. 38-39 war takes place at Armageddon and the great feast of birds takes place after. We see that in Rev. 19. Rather this reference to the countries of Gog and Magog is telling us that this final war after the 1000 years is similar to that one. Maybe it would be like calling it “Napoleon and Waterloo.” This would be referencing a great historic battle (Armageddon) and saying this final battle will include people from those historic areas and be like that historic battle. But they aren’t the same battle. Obviously the feast of birds (and many other issues) mark the original battle as Armageddon.

  14. The eschatology of Irenaeus is nearly identical to that of Barnabus. Like Barnabus, Irenaeus is falsely touted as being premillennialist. Both fathers held to the 6000 year “day is a thousand years” theory concerning the history of the world, but neither equates the seventh day with a millennium. Instead, like Barnabus, Irenaeus has the world ending after 6,000 years, with no millennium.

    Please show why you believe why he and Barnabus were premillenialist.

    1. Christopher, again, no matter what ancients believed, what he Bible says is what matters. Let’s discuss this from the scriptures.

      However, your historical claims are mistaken. Check out the quotes by both men listed in the first article in this series There you will see Iraneus and Barnabus mentioning the blessed 7th Day (not just six) and the link to the 1000 years! Whether their thinking is identical to mine is all respects is immaterial. They believed in a 7th Day, the Millennium.

      And this isn’t a historical discussion. Frankly, to me all that matters is what the Bible says. Want to catch my attention? Discuss from the Bible.

      1. Nelson,
        How arrogant you are. You say this isn’t a historical discussion but you preface the entire article with an inaccurate history, labeling amillenialism as heretical. Then when I point out that your history is wrong you want to argue about scriptural interpretation instead. I gave scriptures in my comments on the other article but you contested none.

        I start from the same point you did so that step by step we can make a clear distinction on what is true or untrue.

        If you are basing days as thousands of years them what you have is date setting. The Jews teach in their eschatology that their Messiah will appear before the hebrew year 6000.
        Self fulfilling prophecy if you ask me.

        If you think the kingdom of God will be set up in Jerusalem, Israel, then I have a question.
        The Bible repeatedly says, Heaven is my
        Throne and earth my footstool. Would you have the Almighty to rule from his footstool?

        1. Christopher, I’m sorry you have experienced so much anger in this discussion. I have noticed that you were unable to engage and discuss any of the scriptures mentioned in either of the first two articles. I am praying your heart is open to considering what those scriptures are saying. If you can’t contest the scriptures in this essential area which clearly defines the Millennial Kingdom, you realize the discussion is essentially over. Any other scriptures you bring up are what I call “yes, but…” questions. I will be happy to eventually answer all of them, but I’m not contesting your scriptures yet as I told you before because that’s not how this discussion is being carried out. Each article discusses a different topic. I will address your scriptures when we get to each topic.

          I will break that rule this one time and address your question about God’s throne. Rev. 21 is extremely clear that the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven to the earth as a bride prepared for her bridegroom.

          “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.” (Rev. 21:1-2)

          From this it is clear that in the eternal state God comes to earth to dwell among men. New Jerusalem descends to meet the bridegroom who is already on the earth. In Rev. 21:22 we see that both the Father and the Son will be here on the earth in the eternal state. Man was made in Eden to dwell upon the earth. That is why we are given Resurrection Bodies (1 Cor. 15:52) so what we will be like Jesus and dwell together with him here in the new heaven and the new earth. Is there a connection between them in the eternal state? Maybe. The Bible doesn’t describe how the new heaven and earth are organized, but they are not like the present heaven and earth.

          So eventually Jesus and God the Father will both dwell upon the earth.

        2. Additionally, Christopher, I want to say that I find it very frustrating communicating with you. I clearly explained in a previous note how I did not call Amillennials heretics, I asked the question (which will be answered in the last article) since many evangelicals DO consider them heretics. I also clearly showed you how my historical assertions were based on direct quotes of the men involved. In this, your very next comment, you return to your original assertions as if I hadn’t answered you. Not nice.

          Second, you mention “date setting.” Date setting is picking a date and saying Jesus will return on that date. None of these articles do any such thing. Rather they assert that Jesus will return 6000 years after creation and 2000 years after his crucifixion. Since neither the date of creation or crucifixion are known, no date is set; but a basic time period is known. Notice Jesus WILL NOT come as a thief in the night to the righteous. See 1 Thess. 5:4 and Rev. 3:3. His coming will not surprise us because God’s Word gives us signs to watch for and the basic time period.

  15. Just a thought:

    – The covenant between Israel and the Beast (inspired by Satan), in stead of trusting in God, will start the tribulation week of 6+1 years.

    – The fall of Man also was trusting a beast (the serpent, Satan) in stead of God. This started the redemption history of 6000+1000 years.

    Interesting analogy…

  16. Nelson

    As you point out :

    “(Satan) prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8)”

    I think this is a powerful verse against Amillennialism, together with the fact that in the bottomless pit he is ‘sealed’ so he can no longer decieve the nation’s rev 20v3. If he isn’t presently deceiving anyone, who is?.

  17. Nelson,
    You have written a very lengthy article but have not given any references to where you are getting all the information you used in your article. The research I am doing on early church history and the views deemed Orthodox for that time do not line up with any of the information you are presenting as fact.

    In one statement you told me that we were going to focus mainly on the scriptures themselves to get a better understanding of end times, but in this article you bring up doctrines of men. How can anyone reading your article make their own mind up on what view they believe best explains the meaning of the millennium when the whole article is full of bias.

    Please give your sources for all the information you present, particularly early church teachings and beliefs. Thank you in advance.

    1. Christopher, in the first two articles I directly quote Iraneus, Justin Martyr and the Epistle of Barnabus. You can’t get more direct than that brother. I also quote the NASB which gives the opinions of John, Peter, and the writer of Hebrews. Because this is not a scholarly published work, I used Wikipedia for my historical information. I don’t use that in my books, but the only purpose of the historical information is background. Church history on this issue, although interesting is a distraction to what the Word says. Concentrate on that. Proofs from the Word presented in this article are what all of us should concentrate on. God’s Word not man’s word.

      1. Justin Martyr is qouted as saying,”I admitted to you formerly, that I and many others are of this opinion (temporal 1000 year reign), and [believe] that such will take place, as you assuredly are aware; but, on the other hand, I signified to you that many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise.”

        The majority position in the church was amillenialism not premillenialism. In fact, the Second Ecumenical Council of 381 a.d ruled the main advocate of it Apollinarius a heretic. The council also added to the Nicene Creed the words, “And of his kingdom there shall be no end” to refute the claim by Amillenialist that there were two seperate kingdoms; the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God.
        Augustine is famously known to have changed his view from Chiliasm (premillenialism) to Amillenialism because he said that the doctrine ” could not be safely taught.”

        The early church believed that this teaching of Chiliasm came from the Jews that were looking for an earthly kingdom with Jerusalem as the capital. Scripture clearly teaches the kingdom was taken from the Jews.

        You completely distort the views of amillenialism and you can’t see the errors in Chiliasm to have a rational discussion.

        1. This isn’t a historical discussion Christopher. Use Augustine’s arguments against my analysis in this article. I would love to see if he addresses them. You have what you seem to claim is 2000 years of Amillennial doctrine to draw from. But know that even in the days of Paul, heretics infiltrated the chruch. False teaching has permeated doctrine throughout. That is why we have the Bible. It preserves the only opinion that matters: God’s opinion. Discuss this from the scriptures; only there is truth found.

          We will discuss the promises to the Jews in future installments. Save your comments about that for later. This article discusses literal versus figurative 1000 years and what the Bible, the inspired Word, says about it. You can rely on Augustine. Me; I’ll rely on the Word.

        2. Just curious. Why does it matter what the ECF’s (early church fathers) believed, or didn’t believe? They could have all been right, or all wrong. I don’t understand why their opinions compare in any way to scripture itself.

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