The Truth of the Spiritual Millennium

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       As we are already in the 21st. Century there has been a growing number of Christians who are keenly interested in the Millennium.  What is the Millennium?  In Latin it means a thousand years.  But why is there so much interest?  Some believe that during this 1,000 year period, the saints will reign with the Lord Jesus Christ on earth.  Before going any further on this subject it must be emphasized that the Millennium is not an essential part of the Gospel, therefore a person’s salvation is not dependent on the understanding of this subject. Jesus Christ had never mentioned or taught the Millennium.  Besides the Revelation given to John, it is not found in any of the other apostles’ writings.  Few Christians have ever heard of it in the First Century,




       There are two basic interpretations of the Millennium in Bible prophecy.  The first one is literal and the second is spiritual or symbolical.  While most parts of the Bible may be interpreted literally, but in regards to prophetic scriptures that has many symbols, it is more correct to interpret them spiritually or symbolically.


         Throughout the Bible one discovers that numbers such as 3, 7, 10, 12, 24 and others are used in the symbolic sense.  The Millennium or 1,000 years have also been shown to have a spiritual meaning.  Peter wrote:      “ But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Pet. 3:8)  Under the unction of the Holy Spirit the Psalmist wrote: “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.” (Psm.90:4)  The Millennium revealed to John can also have the same symbolic meaning of a short period of time as that given to the apostle Peter and King David.


          In reading Revelation Chapter 20 where the Millennium appears, one finds many elements that cannot be interpreted in a literal sense.  By reading the first two verses we can understand this point.  John saw an angel coming down from heaven, “having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;”  Surely the “key” and the “great chain” cannot be interpreted literally.  How can any literal key or chain bind a spiritual being like the devil?  Is there a literal “bottomless pit”?  If we interpret these elements spiritually or symbolically, then it would be more consistent to also interpret the 1,000 years in the same way.  This is the basic principle of Biblical interpretation.  In the spiritual sense, the Millennium is not a literal 1,000 years, but a symbolic undetermined period of time in which the Devil is under God’s control.  The Millennium is the Golden Age for preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to all the nations.



       Please go to TIMELINE OF THE END TIME





       The Millennium has very close connections with the Kingdom of God.  “. . . And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4)  “And they sang a new song, saying:  You are worthy . . . For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:9-10)  The apostle John also wrote:  “. . . and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over kings of the earth.  To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 1:5-6)  God had revealed to John the Millennium occurs at the same time with the Kingdom of God when Jesus Christ reigns with the saints who are redeemed, and their sins washed in His blood.




       One of the major characteristics of the Millennium is “the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan” will be bound for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-2).  It means that Satan is under control for a period of time.  Our Lord Jesus said: “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Mt. 12:28)  One of the signs that the Kingdom of God has come is the authority to cast out demons.  This power of casting out demons was given to the disciples.  “Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.  He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Lk. 9:1-2)  “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’  And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  Behold, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Lk. 10:17-19).  This authority is given to all Christians by the Lord Jesus Christ who said: “And these signs will follow those who believe:  In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mk 16:17-18)  It is regrettable that not all Christians believe that this authority over the demons is given to them.  It is also regrettable that some Christians do not think the Kingdom of God is here, hence they are unable to perceive the Millennium as a spiritual reality.  The Millennium is here!




       If a Christian can understand the spiritual Kingdom of God then he will also be able to accept the truth that the Spiritual Millennium is already here.  Remember the Lord Jesus Christ’s explanation of the Kingdom of God?  “The Kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’  For indeed, the Kingdom of God is within you.” (Lk. 17:20-21).  Salvation and entrance to the Kingdom of God is “through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit whom He poured on us abundantly.” (Jn. 3:3-5; Tit. 3:5). 




“. . . And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.  But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.  This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.  Over  such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20: 4-6)


          Most eschatologists (theologians who study matters concerning the last days and the afterlife) interpret the “first resurrection” as the bodily resurrection of the saints at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  This interpretation is incorrect.  It may surprise many Christians to know that our Lord Jesus Christ taught there are two resurrections.  Read what He said:  “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.  Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.” (Jn. 5:24)  Resurrection is passing from death into life, and it refers to a spiritual resurrection. Notice the Lord said “and now is”, which means it occurs at the time when the Christian believes in the Lord Jesus Christ.   This is the First Resurrection.  Then our Lord Jesus spoke again: “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth - those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (Jn. 5:28-29)  This bodily resurrection from the grave that includes the saved and the unsaved ones, is the second resurrection.  Now go back to Revelation 20 and read verse 6 again.  It is easy to understand the reason for “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, . . .” Only those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in this life “has part in the first resurrection”, and it excludes anyone who is not a true believer.   




       Many who read Revelation 20 are disturbed that the Devil is only temporarily cast into the bottomless pit “so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.  But after these things he must be released for a little while.” (v.3) Here is something even more disturbing.  Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, God and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.  They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city.  And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.” (Rev. 20:7-9)  Satan’s release opens the way for the emergence of the Antichrist. “The coming of the lawless one is according to the workings of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders” (2 Thes. 2: 3-9).  This release “for a little while” coincides with the shortened days of the Great Tribulation that Jesus Christ talked about (Mt. 24:21-22).  Saints need have no fear of Satan’s release nor the Great Tribulation because the Lord has provision for a way to “escape all these things that will come to pass” (Lk. 21:34-36; Rev. 3:10).




       Praise the LORD, true Christians are now enjoying the benefits of the spiritual Kingdom of God and the Millennium.  Remember that this spiritual Millennium is only for a short period of time when Satan is under control.  Now is the Millennium when the Gospel of the Kingdom is being preached throughout the world through the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). When the Gospel of the Kingdom has been “preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Mt. 24:14)  The Lord Jesus Christ will return visibly after the Tribulation (Mt. 24:29-30).  This means that the Lord Jesus will definitely return after the Millennium because only then will He destroy the Antichrist (2 Thes. 2:8). Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.” (1 Cor. 15:24)   Maranatha!

May God bless you



This article was written by Paul Wong and published in the

“Gospel of the Kingdom” Newsletter – January/February 1996.

Updated on 01/13/04

This article is published on this Website on July 12, 2009

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