These verses describe what is known as the “millennium” – the thousand years where Satan is bound and Christ reigns on earth. This is not mentioned anywhere else in Scripture (like this), and so there are some different thoughts on how these verses “fit” in with the Bible. Some say they are just as they read – 1000 literal years, after Christ returns, where Satan is bound and Christ reigns (post-millennialism). Some say it is a literal 1000 years, but it is before Christ returns, and is brought in by God working through the Church and Christians now to bring a period of peace and binding Satan, before the 2nd Coming of Christ (pre-millennialism). And still others say the 1000 years is not literal, but meant to describe the time we are living in now – where Satan has been bound by Christ and He reigns (amillennialism).
These verses aren’t totally clear on which one is meant, and I haven’t found myself totally needing to decide which one is right. Here is what seems clear from these verses: Satan is the deceiver, and there will be a time where he will no longer be able to deceive us. And STILL at the end of this time there are people who will follow Satan (v.8ff). It is not enough just to not be deceived – our very nature needs to be changed, our wills need to be turned to the goodness of God, wrapped in His love, and transformed.
The millennium can be a confusing teaching, but we don’t need to let it sidetrack our faith or our hope. Christ is returning, and we will reign with Him. We need to let Him reign more and more in us every day.
|<< Revelation 20 >>
New Living Translation
The Thousand Years
1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pita and a heavy chain in his hand. 2He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. 3The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while.
4Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their forehead or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
5This is the first resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended.) 6Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of