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What Is The One-thousand-year Or Millennial Reign Of Jesus Christ And Believers? (Revelation 20:1-7?

One one the most misunderstood topics in the Bible is the reign of Christ and his followers for a thousand years.

Theologians refer to it as the “Millennial Reign.” Some interpreters say it is literal or physical while others say it is figurative or symbolic. Another different but related view says the reign is in progress while another says it is a future reality.

The fact is that it is figurative and in progress. However we cannot understand this episode in isolation from knowing when Satan was bound. This is because the millennial reign began with the binding of Satan. Revelation 20 describes the binding of Satan for a thousand years, a period within which Jesus Christ and his followers will reign. Now, the most relevant questions are: when and why was Satan bound and what does his binding mean?

(1) WHEN WAS SATAN BOUND? ANSWER: He was bound at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.

(2) WHY WAS SATAN BOUND? ANSWER: Revelation 20:3 gives us a summary of the answers which is to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. Jesus Christ answered this question comprehensively in his response to false allegation made against him after driving out a demon. After casting out a demon, the Pharisees accused him of achieving this feat by Beelzebub, the prince of demons. In a cogent response, Jesus affirmed that it was by the Spirit of God that he drove out demons but not by the power of Satan.(Matthew 12:22-24 &28)

Relevant to our above-mentioned question, Jesus further said that no one can enter a strong man’s house and take away his goods unless he first ties him up.(Matthew 12:29)The strong man in question here is Satan, his house is the earth while his goods are human beings whom he has taken captive to do his. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God in Eden, they forfeited the worldwide dominion God had bestowed on them. Consequently, Satan took over and became the strong man, the ruler or god of this world.(John 14:30, 2Corinthians 4:4, 1John 5:19)

In revelation 20, Jesus Christ empowered a mighty angel descending from heaven to bind Satan during his reign with his adherents so that he cannot nullify his ministry and that of his followers which is geared towards saving, delivering and healing people who are already his possession. Now, Jesus started his ministry in around A.D 27 and it lasted for three and a half years after which the Church Age which is still going on began. So, counting from then till now will give us a timeframe that exceeds one thousand years proving that the one thousand years is not literal.

(3) WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT SATAN HAS BEEN BOUND? ANSWER: The binding of Satan does not mean that Satan has been immobilised and caged. It simply means that his power to nullify the ministry of Jesus and his followers has been broken. Satan still goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom to devour.(1Peter 5:8) If you, by refusing to believe in Jesus Christ, give him the license to take you captive, he will swiftly take advantage of it.(2Timothy 2:25-26)However, if you believe in Jesus and continue with him, God will crush him under your feet.(Romans 16:20)

Although, Revelation 20 informs us that he was bound with a great chain, thrown into the abyss which was then locked and sealed over him. This statement is a literary device known as imagery which is aimed at creating mental pictures of this historic event. Throughout the ministry of Jesus and the early disciples to date, Satan’s activity was encountered and is still being encountered. Nevertheless, the ministry of Jesus and all his followers remains as effective as ever. For example, Satan tempted Jesus, asked to sift Peter as wheat, entered Judas Iscariot, hindered St. Paul, goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom to devour, etc.

Conclusion (Please read. Very important.)

Though the binding of Satan and the one thousand years reign is recorded close to the end of the book of Revelation, that does not signify that they are an end-time event. Rather, the event is a web of historical, present and future realities. The book of Revelation is not a book of chronology. Even though, it contains some sequential occurrences, there are some historical and present events in later chapters and some future events in earlier chapters. To be a competent interpreter of the book of Revelation, one must pay attention not only to its chronological aspect but also to its non-chronological aspect.


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