What About the Millennium?

Question:

I agree with you on the post tribulation. I have always felt like the Church was going through the tribulation. My question is this.. I don't understand the one thousand year reign with Christ. The Bible says immediately after the tribulation that Sun will be darkened the moon shall not give her light and the stars shall fall from heaven. That sounds like the end of time. The sun the moon and the stars are set in the Heaven for signs and seasons and days. with out them time will be no more. It has been suggested to me that we are actually in the thousand year reign right now. because we are kings and priests and judges of spiritual things. And the Thousand years is the church age. Because we have the power to bind Satan. And that when he is loosed again for a little season this is the Tribulation period. And after the rapture of the Church time will cease and that will be the great and terrible day of the Lord......Great for us that are saved.....terrible for those who are lost. I would like to hear what you have to say on the subject. I do believe that the church is going through the Tribulation there is no doubt about that. I believe that is no reason why we can't understand the things written in the bible If the Lord didn't want us to know, he wouldn't have written it in the Bible. I would appreciate any feeling's or thoughts you have on the subject.

Response:

Many passages in scripture simply overlook the Millennium without comment. Often, only one resurrection seems to be in view. It is only after reading Revelation 20 that we see that there is a "gap" between the two resurrections. This happens elsewhere in scripture, such as with the first and second coming of Christ. Many passages in the Old Testament did not see the "gap" there either. But the language of Revelation 20 seems to demand a Millennium after the return of Christ. Consider the following:

1. Concerning those who are reigning with Christ for the thousand years, John states that they were dead, but are now alive (Rev. 20:4). He then calls this the "first resurrection" (v. 5). The word "resurrection" (Greek, anastasis) is never used metaphorically in scripture but always refers to a literal resurrection.
2. Some of those reigning for 1,000 years are those who "did not worship the beast or his image and did not take the mark" (Rev. 20:4). If language means anything, the thousand years must take place after the tribulation.
3. The words "thousand years" are used six times in this chapter, three of which have the definite article: "the thousand years." This would seem to make this a literal time period, which would be difficult to relate to this present age.
4. Satan is said to be bound by an angel, in the abyss (botomless pit) during this time. I do not see how this could be a present reality.

For a good discussion of various views on this topic (with counterpoints), see the book: The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views, by Robert Clouse (editor). Or a more up-to-date one is: Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond, Darrell Bock, Ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992).