A Thousand Years

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blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
Rev 20:2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.
Rev 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and who 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 for a thousand years.
Rev 20:5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison​

The words "thousand years" are found six times in these six verses. The obvious, initial reading of these words would make one think that the passage is describing something that occurs during a literal 1000 year time period. Interpretting it as a 1000 literal years makes sense. I'd read somewhere (can't remember where) that up until the turn of the first millennium, it was pretty commonly thought that the 1000 years was referring to a literal 1000 years. When the 1st millennium came and went, the literal interpretation of the 1000 years had to be re-evaluated.

Historically, there have been different flavors of a literal 1000 years interpretation - the postmillenial view that Christ will come after the 1000 year "golden age", the premillennial/dispensational view that Christ will come before the 1000 years literal reign. There is of course the amillennial camp that sees the 1000 years figuratively representing the church age, which has thus far lasted over 2000 years.

How do you interpret the 1000 years? Literally? Figuratively? Past? Present? Future? Not sure?
 
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Manuel

Puritan Board Freshman
I would like to interpret it literally and future, however I fail to see a support for such an interpretation in the rest of the Scripture and seems to be in open contradiction to some passages, like this one:

Rom 2:5
But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.
Rom 2:6 He will render to each one according to his works:
Rom 2:7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;
Rom 2:8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

This passage seems to teach that there will be one final day of judgment in which both the righteous and the unrighteous are going to be resurrected and judged, there are many other passages in the Bible that support this concept like Mat 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Rom 2:16; Acts 17:31; Rev 11:15-18

This other passage seems to teach that after the Lord's second coming, the end will come when death will be destroyed, not a period of 1000 years:

1Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
1Co 15:24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
1Co 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

There are many other objections but I don't have the time right now to present them, but later I'll come back to this.

Be blessed
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
I would like to interpret it literally and future, however I fail to see a support for such an interpretation in the rest of the Scripture and seems to be in open contradiction to some passages, like this one:
What you say so far sounds like you'd run into conflict with the premillennial/dispensational view, but not so much with the amillennial or postmillenial views. (I've read that some postmillenialists view the 1000 years figuratively and some literally (minority view)).
360px-Millennial_views.svg.png
 

Manuel

Puritan Board Freshman
blhowes said:
What you say so far sounds like you'd run into conflict with the premillennial/dispensational view, but not so much with the amillennial or postmillenial views. (I've read that some postmillenialists view the 1000 years figuratively and some literally (minority view)).
You are correct; also there are a few other things that stop me from a "literal" interpretation of Rev 20:1-9 this is one of them:

Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison
Rev 20:8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.

If Satan is not bound right now, what stops him from deceiving the nations and gathering them for battle against "the camp of the saints"?
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
You are correct; also there are a few other things that stop me from a "literal" interpretation of Rev 20:1-9 this is one of them:

Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison
Rev 20:8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.

If Satan is not bound right now, what stops him from deceiving the nations and gathering them for battle against "the camp of the saints"?
Just so I understand, you're saying Satan is bound right now, right?

In what way(s) is Satan bound now? In verse 3 he's bound that he might not deceive the nations anymore. Is Satan's deception any different now than any other time in history?
 

BlackCalvinist

Puritan Board Senior
the use of the word 'resurrection' or 'came to life' is also another 'issue' in any other interpretation of this passage but the premill one.
 

steven-nemes

Puritan Board Sophomore
Having just read about half or so of Riddlebarger's A Case for Amillenniallism, I will say with confidence that I interpret the millennium as figurative for the present reign of Chrsit in heaven.
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis

Beth Ellen Nagle

Puritan Board Senior
I am a little puzzled by the categories. I consider myself post-mil but do not think there is a literal thousand year millennium. I think we are in the millennium and Christ reigns now but that Christ through the church will fill everything in every way through dominion. Is it nec. as a post-mil to think the millennium is a literal thousand years?
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
I am a little puzzled by the categories. I consider myself post-mil but do not think there is a literal thousand year millennium. I think we are in the millennium and Christ reigns now but that Christ through the church will fill everything in every way through dominion. Is it nec. as a post-mil to think the millennium is a literal thousand years?

No. I tend to lean toward an amil interpretation of the millennium (the time between first and second coming of Christ), but I am more optimistic in the progress and spread of the gospel than most amils. OTOH, I don't believe in a literal 1000 years and I am shying away from a future "golden age" view. So what does that make me? Other than confused?

Blame Kim Riddlebarger. He did this to me!
 

Beth Ellen Nagle

Puritan Board Senior
I am a little puzzled by the categories. I consider myself post-mil but do not think there is a literal thousand year millennium. I think we are in the millennium and Christ reigns now but that Christ through the church will fill everything in every way through dominion. Is it nec. as a post-mil to think the millennium is a literal thousand years?

No. I tend to lean toward an amil interpretation of the millennium (the time between first and second coming of Christ), but I am more optimistic in the progress and spread of the gospel than most amils. OTOH, I don't believe in a literal 1000 years and I am shying away from a future "golden age" view. So what does that make me? Other than confused?

Blame Kim Riddlebarger. He did this to me!

I see. I realize that the categories are not rigid. In what sense would you consider yourself more optimistic?
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
I see. I realize that the categories are not rigid. In what sense would you consider yourself more optimistic?

Some (I suspect not all) amils seem to think things will get progressively worse until the return of our Lord. I think they will get better as the gospel spreads. I'm just not sure about the establishment of a literal "golden age" prior to His return.

But I could be wrong. I have been many times before!
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
What resources would be suggested to understand this subject? There is A Case for Amillenialism--anything else?
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
Bahnsen's Postmillenialism: An Eschatology of Hope was helpful to me.

Until Riddlebarger came along... ;)

Actually, just remembered, Boettner's The Millennium is very good too. He analyzes the different views. Of course, he is a post-mil so he favors that position, but he is easy to read and good at explaining things.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
the use of the word 'resurrection' or 'came to life' is also another 'issue' in any other interpretation of this passage but the premill one.

The idealist interpretation which refers the vision to the intermediate state is the only one which does justice to the fact that the passage specifically refers to souls living and reigning with Christ in the sphere of judgment thrones.
 

Brian Withnell

Puritan Board Junior
I suppose I am most appreciative of the WD who did not state a millennial position. A single passage in apocalyptic literature (of which we don't even have a modern equivalent) would not be enough to convince me this is literal (as it means a literal thousand years rather than something figurative). If the divines did not feel it was sufficient to commit to a specific position, I would find myself leaning toward a position, but thinking it worth division.

So what do I believe? I believe that Christ will return, men will be raised to judgment, and those whose names are not written in the book of life will face eternal punishment and torment.
 

TheocraticMonarchist

Puritan Board Junior
According to the chart a non dispensational Post-Mill believes in a literal 1000 year reign, but a figurative 7 year tribulation. Am I reading it right? How is this a consistent view?
 

CNJ

Puritan Board Senior
Brian and Bob,

Brian, I like your view in a nutshell. Bob, figuratively, but still deciding your other options. I am blogging with others to figure out Revelation. :think:Millennial Dreams and put a "Millennial Dreaming" ditty :sing:on that blog and the PB as my only blog here so far.

Revelation promises a blessing to those who read and I assume study it. All I can say for sure is that I am not a premil dispensationalist. :smug: I have heard and read Ken Gentry, read George Ladd's views, read the new book from Denver Seminary by Bloomberg and Chung, and Kim Riddlebarger's book. I am taking my time this year to decide whether I am amil, historical premil, or partial preterist. :scratch:

Even so, Lord, come quickly. We wait eagerly for you as our Bridegroom.
 
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Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The chart is more than a little misleading. Most, if not all, Post-Mills believe that the Millennium Reign of Christ began at Pentecost.

Just as a point of clarification I am a Post-Millenialist.
 
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CNJ

Puritan Board Senior
Just try to hang in there for the blessing Revelation promises, TheoMon. Actually prophecy is not just in Revelation, but the whole Bible.

-----Added 3/22/2009 at 09:51:51 EST-----

According to the chart a non dispensational Post-Mill believes in a literal 1000 year reign, but a figurative 7 year tribulation. Am I reading it right? How is this a consistent view?

Figurative both 1000 and seven year tribulation for post-mil. A partial preterist post-mil believes that we are beyond the tribulation which happened in 70 AD and that Revelation was written before 70 AD.

Millennial Dreams
Carol
aka NewKidontheBlogg
 

the particular baptist

Puritan Board Freshman
The entire Bible is eschatological. I found Matthew 13 to be a tremendous help to me where Christ describes the Kingdom in parables, the disciples wonder why, and later in the chapter Christ gives them the meaning of of the parables.

In Matthew Christ describes the Kingdom of heaven as in the here and now and yet to come, no mention of a millennium though.

esv Matthew 13:24-30
He put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?' He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' So the servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he said, 'No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"

esv Matthew 13:31-32
He put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches."

esv Matthew 13:33
He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."


So by now the disciples want an explanation;


esv Matthew 13:36-51
Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field."

He answered, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil.

The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age.

The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace.

In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

He who has ears, let him hear. "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad.

So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

"Have you understood all these things?" They said to him, "Yes."


Another great help to me was John 5 where the Lord describes the first resurrection as being the quickening, regeneration of souls. The second resurrection is on the last day.

esv John 5:24-25
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life

"Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

then the second resurrection

esv John 5:28-29
Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out,

those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

Outside of Rev 20 there is no millennium, so I see it as describing the period of time between the First and Second comings of our Lord.
 

Manuel

Puritan Board Freshman
Just so I understand, you're saying Satan is bound right now, right?

In what way(s) is Satan bound now? In verse 3 he's bound that he might not deceive the nations anymore. Is Satan's deception any different now than any other time in history?
That Satan is bound right now is something on which both premillenialists and amillenialists agree, the Lord Jesus said:

Mat 12:29 Or how is anyone able to enter the house of the strong one and plunder his goods, if he does not first bind the strong one; and then he will plunder his house?

There is a sense in which Satan is bound right now, there is also a sense in which Satan is loose right now since the Apostle Peter said that our adversary, the Devil, walks about seeking whom he may devour. The disagreement is on whether the present binding of the devil is the same than the one mentioned in Revelation 20. According to premillenialists, the language used in Revelation speaks of a complete and total restriction of demonic activity; on the other hand, amillenialists insist that the binding of Satan in Rev. has one specific purpose: that he cannot stop the advancement of the Gospel.

Both camps have very good points and I lean more toward the amillennial interpretation. So, in answering your question, yes, there is a difference in Satan's deception of the nations now and before Christ's resurrection. It wasn’t until Christ death and resurrection that the Gospel was preached to all the nations, before that, the entire world was pretty much under Satan’s deception. The spreading of the Gospel to all nations would not have been possible without this binding of Satan. In Revelation 12 we have a vision that describes how Satan is cast out of heaven, there he is described as the one who deceives the whole world, however after he is cast out John heard a great voice saying “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.”

Satan was defeated at the cross and his influence and activity restricted so he cannot stop the spreading of the Gospel to all nations like in the past, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t have any influence at all, even though, I admit, the language used in the Revelation 20 passage, seem to imply a stronger restriction.

However, my previous point was this: We are told that when Satan is released he “will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle”, This is Satan’s desire, to destroy and completely annihilate all Christians over the face of the earth, after seeing that he failed in stopping the Messiah from being born, after seeing that he failed in tempting the Lord to commit sin, after seeing that his plan to kill the Lord reverted against himself and what he though it was victory turned out to be his defeat, after seeing that he was cast out of God’s presence, what else does he have other than his revenge? If he is so furious, why doesn’t he try to gather all the nations to come against the church and destroy her completely right now? What is restricting him if he is not bound right now like the premils say? Is Satan restricting himself? Is he using self control, anger management perhaps?

For this reason I’m more inclined to think that Satan’s binding is present and not future.
 

Manuel

Puritan Board Freshman
Another problem with a "literal" interpretation of the 1000 years is the fact that the number 1000 is used repeatedly in the Scriptures in a figurative manner, but not only that, the number 1000 next to a measurement of time has a figurative meaning to indicate a long period of time everywhere else in the Bible, so, why would Revelation, a book full of symbols, figures and metaphors, be the exception?

Biblical examples of a figurative use of 1000

Deu 1:11 May the LORD, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times as many as you are and bless you, as he has promised you!

Psa 50:10 For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.

Psa 90:4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.

Psa 91:7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

Psa 105:8 He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,

Ecc 6:6 Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good--do not all go to the one place?

2Pe 3:8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
 

Parsifal23

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't see the thousand years as literal but symbolic of a large period of time. I would consider myself Postmil but I see The Millennium as The Church age and the church will leaven the world until an golden age comes so where in The Millennium but haven't reached it's zenith either.
 

Turtle

Puritan Board Freshman
Another problem with a "literal" interpretation of the 1000 years is the fact that the number 1000 is used repeatedly in the Scriptures in a figurative manner, but not only that, the number 1000 next to a measurement of time has a figurative meaning to indicate a long period of time everywhere else in the Bible, so, why would Revelation, a book full of symbols, figures and metaphors, be the exception?

Biblical examples of a figurative use of 1000

Deu 1:11 May the LORD, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times as many as you are and bless you, as he has promised you!

Psa 50:10 For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.

Psa 90:4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.

Psa 91:7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

Psa 105:8 He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,

Ecc 6:6 Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good--do not all go to the one place?

2Pe 3:8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.



Hi Manuel,

I appreciate the several references to the verses that have a figurative 1,000 years and I agree with some of them.

I am also glad you brought up 2 Peter 3:8 because I am interested in generating a discussion on that verse. I have changed my mind about 2 Peter 3:8 being merely figurative. There seems to be reason enough to read it literally.

In the context, the phrase “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and one thousand years as one day” is a standard for accounting of time, a “chronometer” of sorts if you will. Peter desires us to “be not ignorant of this one thing” in order to have evidence to answer the scoffers argument.

The scoffers will reject the words “spoken before by the holy prophets” regarding the Lord’s coming, and all that it entails. They will argue, “When is this promised coming? All things continue as they did from the beginning of creation.” The scoffer’s premise is based on a misunderstanding of time. The “exchange rate” of time (1,000 of our years to one day of the Lord) answers the accusation of the Lord’s delay. The Lord’s clock is not our clock. According to Peter, the Lord’s count has only been two days since Christ said he would come quickly, while some men of our time count it as 2,000 years. “The Lord is not slack as some men count slackness.”

Additionally, this “chronometer” evidence is not Peter’s first response to the scoffer’s argument. The first evidence in answer to the scoffer’s argument has to do with a comparison of two literal events foretold by the word of the Lord. By the word of the Lord the earth was overflowed with water and perished in judgment, so too by the word of the Lord the earth is reserved for fire. How did it go for the scoffers in Noah’s day and will it be any different for scoffers of Christ’s return? The “chronometer” evidence then follows and strengthens the first evidence, which itself was based on literal events. The scoffers are to be answered by a comparison of prophecy (of which they may choose to be willingly ignorant) and by an explanation of how to account for time.

A literal reading of 2 Peter 3:8 renders it as adequate evidence supporting his argument (which he fully intends for us to adopt as our own), and it also would seem to harmonize other scriptures.

What do y’all think?

Bryan
 
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