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Chapter 1
The word millennium does not occur in the bible. It simply means one thousand years--
from the Latin words „milus’ a thousand, and „annum’-years. In Christian terms, the word
millennium refers to the thousand years period that is mentioned six times in the first seven verses
of Revelation 20.
Revelation 20:1-10.
“Then I 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; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut
him up, and set a seal on him, 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. And I saw
thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of
those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not
worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their
hands. 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. 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, Gog 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. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire
and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and
night forever and ever.”
This passage is one of the most controversial in the bible, because it is the foundation on
which many are led to believe that Christ will physically live and reign on the earth with His saints
for a literal period of one thousand years--before their eternal heavenly existence. This is despite
the fact that such a thousand year reign is not mentioned anywhere else in the bible.
The three principal millennial beliefs are set out briefly below. It is impossible to give exact
definitions of each because there are many variations within each system. These outlines are
submitted as being an essentially correct account of the most widely held view of each doctrine.
PREMILLENNIALISM (Pre = before--Christ will return before the millennium)
The saints will be raptured from earth before the tribulation. There will be a literal seven
year period of tribulation during which Antichrist will set up his throne in Jerusalem and have a
world wide religious and political kingdom. At the end of the tribulation period, Christ will return
with His saints, and Antichrist will be deposed. Christ will set up a worldly kingdom in Jerusalem,
and all nations will be subjected to Israel. The temple will be restored, and the Jewish animal