It's literal, ending about 1054 A.D.


Questions...

  1. Whether the 1,000 years of Revelation 20 is symbolic (no, it's literal).
  2. Whether it is yet-future? (no, it ended about 1054 A.D.)

The idea of a literal 1,000 year millennium originated from Jewish ideas regarding 7,000 years of human history. Two views (both are wrong)...

  1. 2,000 (before Torah) + 2,000 (Torah) + 2,000 (Messiah) + 1,000 (time of rest)
  2. 6,000 + 1,000 (Messianic kingdom)

Christian millennialists borrowed option 2 for their 1,000 year yet-future utopian millennium. But modern millennialists usually increase the 6,000 years to 10,000 years or more because their view of young earth creationism demands a creation date long before 4,000 B.C.

Chiliasm (millennialism) as understood by a small minority of the early church fathers is based on this Jewish model of human history but is radically different than modern Christian millennialism. If modern Christians believed what these early church fathers believed they would be run out of church.

Even though the early church fathers consistently based their end-time views on this 6,000 year model, there is no hint of this thinking in the New Testament. All we know of is the expectation of a Messiah.


Symbolic vs. Literal


Literal

Many uses of the word "1,000" in the Old Testament clearly refer to an exact number (exactly 1,000) or a round number (approximately 1,000).


Symbolic

Others are clearly intended as figurative with the meaning of "all," "forever," "many," or "abundantly". A few examples...

He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations. (1 Chronicles 16:15)

A little math proves 1,000 is not literal.

Assume it's literal: a generation = 20 years, giving 20,000 years in which God remembers his covenant. But this contradicts: the word "forever" means the same as "1,000 generations", so "1,000" means "forever".

For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. (Psalms 50:10)

God owns all the cattle on all the hills

May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised! (Deuteronomy 1:11)

This passage doesn't limit God's blessing to exactly 1,000 times; rather, it means God is the source of "all" increase and "all" blessing.

Even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place? (Ecclesiastes 6:6)

People have never lived 2,000 years so it's figurative.

How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the LORD had given them up? (Deuteronomy 32:30)

The word "1,000" is means a large number.


A day = 1,000 Years

A key verse used to "prove" millennialism...

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (2 Peter 3:8)

That each day of the 6 day creation week corresponds to 1,000 years of human history. But this verse doesn't say this; it says...

1,000 years (a long time for us) is like a day to God

So it's not...

1 day (of Genesis creation) = 1,000 years (of world history)

instead it's...

1,000 years (of human time) = 1 day (to God)

Even worse, millennialists don't claim that creation occurred about 4,000 B.C. yet this interpretation demands it. You can't halfway use the formula...

1 day = 1,000 years

without also using the formula...

6 days = 6,000 years

For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. (Psalms 90:4)

Similar to previous.


Revelation 20: the 1,000 years 


1,000 years begins

And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. (Luke 10:18)

The 1,000 years began sometime with Jesus: when he proclaimed himself king in the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, or at his crucifixion, or at his resurrection.

Satan was bound in the abyss where he could not deceive the nations nor could he corrupt the gospel, otherwise he could have destroyed Christianity. But after his release, Christian doctrine was too entrenched to ever be destroyed, although he continues to try.

Some say the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church which, of course, is true. But part of this preservation of the Church involved Satan's 1,000 year binding in the abyss.


1,000 years ends

1,000 years after Christ, Satan was released to deceive the nations. Some examples of this deception...

  1. In 1014 A.D. or 1017 A.D. the western church started using the filioque clause in the Nicene Creed in violation of the 1st and 2nd Ecumenical Councils.
  2. The Great Schism between east and west in 1054 A.D.
  3. The age of scholasticism when various Christian teachers began to harmonize Christianity with the classical philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato.

Loosed a little season — from about 1054 A.D. to the end of the world occurring perhaps hundreds, or thousands, or millions of years from now. It might seem the phrase "little season" demands fulfillment within a decade or two but remember, Satan has been at his corrupting of the creatures of the world for 4+ billion years.

Perhaps Satan is not able to destroy the gospel message now because it is dispersed, similar to God's confusing of languages to disperse their power so they don't form a global government. The key ingredient of the great schism of 1054 A.D. was a permanent division between eastern and western Christianity.