Commonly called the Millennium, three positions are taken on its meaning and identity:
1. Postmillennialists (the most popular evangelical view of a century ago) teach that the thousand-year reign occurs at the end of history when the world has turned to Christ, for the most part. Christian values dominate world cultures in a period that typifies God’s original plan for creation. Christ is not literally on earth, but His message and people cover the earth. The second coming of Christ occurs as the capstone of this period.
2. Premillennialists (a popular evangelical view today) teach a literal thousand-year reign with Christ physically present as ruler of the earth. Following the Millennium, Satan erupts from his prison for a last stand and suffers a final defeat as history ends and God’s heavenly kingdom begins.
3. Amillennialists understand the thousand-year reign to be symbolic for the new covenant era, during which Christ sits at the right hand of the Father and reigns in the hearts of His people. Satan is bound in that he cannot stop the advance of the gospel. The second coming of Christ brings human history to a close.
Important to all three views is the assurance of Christ’s eventual return in glory, the reward for faithful believers, and the final disposition of Satan and all the forces of evil. The relationship of the Millennium to ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church) warrants the reader’s further attention.
REVELATION 20:4- And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.