Author: Michele at ScriptureStudy.Guide
Posted: December 25, 2021. Updated September 1, 2022.
Arguably the most debated passage in scripture is the Thousand Years described in Revelation 20:1-6, and what comes after its expiration which is told in verses 7-10. There are 3 different interpretations:
Premillennialists believe the thousand years is a literal period of time that will occur AFTER the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. They believe that Jesus will have a reign on this earth with people in both fallible and infallible bodies, and that they will reign with Him at that time (after His appearance melts the earth with fervent heat). This dispensationalist group believes that at Jesus’ Second Coming, He will save a group of non-repentant people based on their genetics (for more information, see the article “God’s Chosen People”).
Amillennialists believe the thousand years is figurative and that it is happening now. They call the thousand years the Church Age or the Gospel Era. They believe the saints are spiritually reigning with Christ right now on earth as priests (teachers) and kings (Christ’s example) from their birthplace in spiritual Zion — their renewed spiritual hearts are new Jerusalem in Revelation 21:1-3 (for more information, see the article “The Kingdom of God is Here”).
Postmillennialists believe the preaching of the gospel will, at some future date, bring about a virtual worldwide conversion and a Golden Era of biblical values lasting a thousand years. Some believe it’s a literal thousand years; some believe it is figurative for an age/period of time.
While God says He opens the eyes of the blind (Psalm 146:8), He also tells us many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14). A “Golden Era” of Christ believers on this earth is not scriptural — the world hates those who have the Holy Spirit residing in them (2 Timothy 3:12, John 15:18-19, Matthew 10:22, John 7:7, John 17:14, 1 John 3:13).
So what is the Millennial Reign?
I just used the term “Millennial Reign” in the title of this article so it can be found in a search by the reader. It is not a biblical term but such is the world we live in. However, the bible does explain the Thousand Years to us.
The English word “millennium” does mean a LITERAL number of exactly 1,000 actual, measurable years. This is why you do not find the word millennium or millennial anywhere in the bible.
The word “thousand” in Revelation 20:2 & 4-6 is G5507 in the Strong’s Concordance — the word is a “plural of uncertain affinity.” The phrase “of uncertain affinity” means it is not clear which other Greek word or words this word is related to — the English translators just decided to pull something out of their hat when translating it to ‘thousand.’ This phrase “of uncertain affinity” is applied to around 100 Greek words in the Strong’s Concordance (which is a scary thought).
However, the word thousand in Revelation 20 is a plural form of uncertain affinity.
Greek Words for Thousand
There are four Greek words for thousand (chilias, murias, chilioi, murioi) — only two are considered relevant for this Revelation 20 study: chilioi and chilias.
The word thousand in Revelation 20 is the Greek word chilioi, not chilias.
The following is the most popular argument given:
Chilias is always used in a definite 1000.
Chilias would have been the best word for John to use in Revelation 20, if he had meant to convey a definite 1000.
When chilioi is used above, without any dis/tris/tetra/pentra/hepta in front of it, it is translated “a thousand” 8 times and “the thousand” 3 times in the KJV. The use of it as 1000 appears to be based on translator presuppositions because it is not a literal 1,000.
Chilias is clearly the word they’d use if they meant a literal 1000 and not “a thousand” or “the thousand.”
Chilioi is only translated as ‘a thousand’ or ‘the thousand.’
1000 is ONLY associated with chilias.
End of argument (source here). There are serious problems with this interpretation.
There are 3 unique Greek words that fall under G5507, the common word chilioi. The word chilioi in Revelation 20:2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 is only used 1 other time in the bible in 2 Peter 3:8 — the form/word used here NEVER has dis/tris/tetra/pentra/hepta in front of it…. it is never used as a number.
Chilioi is a plural ADJECTIVE (never a numeral adjective and never a noun). The 3 Greek words that fall under chilioi are used a total of 11 times in the following verses: 2 Peter 3:8; Revelation 11:3, 12:6, 14:20, 20:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. This means the word “thousand” in Revelation 20 is DESCRIBING the plurality of years and is not attempting to count the years.
So “thousand” (chilioi) in Revelation 20 is a plural description, not a specific period of time that can be measured in actual years.
The other word chilias, which they claim is a literal 1,000 years, is also an adjective and also never used as a number or a noun. It’s sole meaning is simply “one” (the italicized words in the Strong’s definitions were added/made up by men). It is derived from the word chilioi which is not a number and is not affiliated with any other Greek word.
There is such a thing as an “indeclinable numeral” adjective. Neither chilias nor chilioi are indeclinable numeral adjectives.
Example: In the 144,000 in Revelation 7:4, only the hundred, forty and four are “indeclinable numerals” used as adjectives, but the word thousand is not (it is only an adjective, not a numeral). Thousand is an adjective of unknown origin that is DESCRIBING the 144, who are NOT 144,000 in number.
An indeclinable numeral is a numeral which does not decline; that is, whose form does not change to indicate its function in a sentence. Neither chilias nor chilioi are numerals, and neither word ever has a derivative in front of it.
Remember that the words for thousand (G5505 chilias, and G5507 chilioi) are both of uncertain affinity — this means no one knows the origin of these words… they are never a number or an indeclinable numeral, and in Revelation 20, chilioi is not a noun that can be used as a number.
Is ‘thousand’ ever a literal number in the bible?
In short, only when its part of speech is a NUMBER, or if it is a NOUN that has a derivative in front of it — one thousand, two thousand, etc (source here).
In some verses, the translators incorrectly added a derivative (like two or ten) in front of H505 to create a number that was not in the original language.
This is an extremely interesting (and slightly upsetting) study in itself, but I’ll give you the short version (or you can skip to the next section of the article):
The Strong’s words H505 (incorrectly translated ‘thousand’) and H504 (translated ‘family’), are the EXACT SAME HEBREW WORD, not a teensy little difference between the two. They just created H505 because they wanted to create a number where there is no number.
Strong’s defines H504 (which is also H505) as “a family; also (from the sense of yoking or taming) an ox or cow” and is from the primitive root meaning “to associate with.” Do we see a NUMBER in this definition? They claim – with a MAJOR stretch of the imagination – that an ox head was the first number of the alphabet so it means ‘one,’ and that first alphabet letter just somehow evolved to eventually become a number meaning a thousand ones. (???) H505 is a NOUN but used as a cardinal number in some places when it has a derivative in front of it. But nowhere does it show that the number is 1,000.
Sometimes the translators just added a random derivative to a verse to make the word ‘thousand’ fit. Example: Exodus 38:29 actually reads “The copper for the offering was seventy talents/coins for oxen of four hundred shekels” (shekel was a commercial unit of weight, not currency). The word “two” isn’t even in the verse… the KJV translators just dreamed it up and DID NOT ITALICIZE this added word in the KJV bible! [You can see most of the English translations of Exodus 38:29 on one page here on Bible Gateway… it’s a literary train wreck.]
Interesting fact: The word ‘thousand’ was first used in scripture in Genesis 20:16 by Abimelech who was giving away “animals of the ox kind” (H1241) just 2 verses prior. The original Hebrew actually says “Behold, I have given oxen and silver” to Sarah’s brother, rather than “Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver,” the word “pieces” being added by translators.
We were only given a definition of ‘thousand’ in the Hebrew Old Testament (Strong’s H504 which is a NOUN and not even a number). We could apply the Hebrew noun definition to the Greek “uncertain affinity” adjective words — its application is just as accurate in the Greek scriptures as in the Hebrew, when the Greek ‘thousand’ is not a noun or not a numeral.
In the New Testament, whenever you see the word ‘thousand’ referring to time and has no derivative in front of it, replace it with the word ‘group of’ (like a family or herd) or ‘collective’ (meaning ‘associated with’). Example: a collective of years; not a thousand years. This group of associated years is the present Church Age.
Other uses of ‘thousand’
Remember, there are 4 Greek words translated as ‘thousand.’ We have covered chilias and chilioi. To cover all bases, here are the remaining two:
For ‘thousand’ words that fall under G3461 – murias – the proper word is ‘myriad’ or ‘myriads’ or ‘a vast number.’ In Luke 12:1, we see this word sort-of correctly defined as “innumerable multitudes” of people, but it should be ‘a myriad’ or ‘a vast number’ of people. But it is mistranslated as ‘thousand’ in Acts 21:20, 19:19; Jude 14; Revelation 5:11, 9:16.
For thousand words that fall under G3463 – murioi – the proper word is ‘numberless’ or ‘countless number.’ In Matthew 18:24, there is no word ‘ten’ in the original Greek — the phrase ‘ten thousand’ means ‘numberless’…. “ten” was just made up by the translators! [See also 1 Corinthians 4:15, 14:19 for murioi.]
We have seen the translators change words or add derivatives to make the word ‘thousand’ fit, so check the original text in an Interlinear bible whenever the word ‘thousand’ is in question (a how-to is here). And keep in mind that it is NEVER explained how ONE ox head morphed into the number 1,000.
I pray that helped your understanding of why “thousand years” in Revelation 20 is not a literal number… thank you for reading.
Sidenote: The most comprehensive (and still on-going) list of KJV translation errors can be found here — email me if you would like a condensed printable Word copy. They are changing the KJV with every printing and not putting an updated (or any) copyright date on the new revisions (see this forum discussion). Teachers should be warning us to check the words in our bibles (a how-to is here). We are in the Laodicean Church Age where we think we are rich with truth but are actually blind and naked by deception (Revelation 3:17-18, Matthew 24:24).
Satan was bound at the cross
When Jesus said “It is finished” and gave up His spirit on the cross, He conquered sin and death right there. Satan was then cast out of heaven and sealed for destruction (Revelation 12:7-9) — this act bound him in the bottomless pit. Bound means restrained — he holds no direct power over those who live in Christ during this age of the gospel message, but his antichrist spirit is working in this world through wicked men.
During his time in the pit, Satan is given a little freedom — he is loosened for a little season for the church age — to cause tribulation for God’s redeemed by using the Revelation 13 beasts. The beast is the worldly system of fallen mankind which are the physical vessels of wicked men.
Christ Jesus holds the keys of Hades and death, and holds the key of David (Revelation 1:18 & 3:7-8). Satan and his workers are the son of perdition who are already sealed for destruction.
Compare the spiritual with the spiritual
I was reading specific verses of the bible in all of their English translations. Revelation 17:8 caught my attention — you can read all it’s translations on one page here (Bible Gateway link opens in a new tab).
When we consider Satan’s spiritual antichrist-spirit kingdom and his trinity of the dragon, the beast/antichrist system, and the second beast/false prophet system, we will see that Revelation 17:8 explains exactly where Satan is right now which gives us a correct interpretation of the Thousand Years in Revelation chapter 20.
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.Revelation 17:8
So we see that the beast that was and is not, also exists today (“and yet is”). For a study on how the beast is working in mankind, see the article Human-Nephilim Hybrids? Satan in Mankind.
Let’s go phrase by phrase – KJV scripture will be in bold italics; commentary will be in non-bold.
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not;
The beast is not an actual physical chimera creature with many heads, horns and crowns (Revelation 13:1-2) — it’s description is metaphorical. We know the beast to be the physical manifestation of the antichrist spirit as a man and as earthly works via nations, leaders/kings, and evil deeds.
In short, the beast is that which carries and symbolizes all the physical earthly works of the dragon which is the devil and Satan (Revelation 13:1-9). The beast is the “physical earthly Satan” in all his forms.
“The beast was” means that Satan was roaming to and fro in the earth at one time, and that time was before the cross — read Job 1:7. The beast was here in the past in a physical form from the beginning when he spoke with Eve in the garden. At that time before the cross, he had direct power to deceive God’s people and was still allowed in heaven to speak directly to God to attack the saints.
“And is not” means the beast is no longer on the earth in physical form. He is bound/restrained (sealed for destruction) which accompanies his being loosened a little for the church age… metaphorically speaking, he is on a long leash (read Rev. 20:3 in the original Greek – I used the Greek NT INT+ bible in eSword). The antichrist spirit still works in the world through evil people and sin — Satan can empower them — but Satan himself is not walking this earth in a physical form anymore. The dragon has lost his power over those redeemed in Christ whose names are written in the book of life (Revelation 17:13-14 and 13:8).
and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition:
The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines perdition as “entire loss or ruin; utter destruction.”
The bottomless pit is unique in scripture — it is only mentioned in the book of Revelation because it’s only happened to Satan and his spirit powers after his defeat at the cross. It is different from Hades which is the “holding place” of the spirits of the wicked dead.
The bottomless pit is the word “abyssou” which means “abyss; unfathomable depth; depthless.” It’s literally Satan’s death row — he has already been judged and marked for perdition and sealed for destruction (Revelation 20:3)…. his sole existence now is for the refinement of God’s people for God’s power and glory (see God Created Evil). The wicked are literally trying to bust Satan out of prison, and the deceived self-righteous are their naive accomplices!
Who was thrown in the bottomless pit in Revelation 20:2-3? Satan. Who did this verse say will come out of the bottomless pit? The beast. What does this tell us? The Antichrist beast is Satan and Satan is the Antichrist beast. Satan is the spirit power of the beast which is the man vessel he indwells.
This phrase tells us that Satan’s physical form is now fallen mankind. The world will worship the dragon/Satan that powers the beast (Revelation 13:4). The Antichrist is a system of wicked men of flesh that Satan powers throughout the entire church age (Revelation 13:5). This fleshly Satan has been and will continue gathering the wicked people of the nations to cause trouble/tribulation for God’s redeemed saints (Revelation 16:14-16) — he’s not and will not be gathering zombified dead people from the ground, but actual people from the four quarters of the earth for the battle of Armageddon which is the last day (Revelation 20:8).
In short, Satan is going down again, but this time it will be in the lake of fire. And the antichrist beast system and the false prophet system that he powered are all going down with him by the end of the church age (Revelation 20:10).
Satan’s RESTRAINED/spiritual “short time” among us is this church age which began at the cross when he was judged, sentenced and cast out of heaven (Revelation 12:12).
and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world,
Those called by God will recognize the dragon that empowers the beast and will see the beast for the evil that it is, but the unrepentant will not. Worldly people have already been working in the beast system, thanks to the false prophet system, throughout this entire church age.
Those who love the lusts and excessive indulgences offered by the whore/Mystery Babylon who rides this beast of Satan, will be astonished and will marvel at the beast.
when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
The beast was once on this earth in physical form as Satan.
Satan was bound/restrained. He in physical form was no longer seen on this earth during the thousand years/age of the gospel era.
At the time he was bound, the beast/Satan was “loosened” (i.e. he was put on a leash as an invisible spirit power) and given some freedoms for a “little season” of spiritual influence over the earth and its people during the church age (Revelation 20:3 & chapter 13).
The many signs and wonders that will deceive even the elect (Matthew 24:24) have been coming in the form of false Christianity and worldly deception all throughout the gospel era (this article explains how they are doing it).
Jesus is coming like a thief (2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 16:15) — He literally could arrive at any second to end this earth as we know it. Maranatha/Come Lord Jesus!!
The Dead Will Live Again
Revelation 20:4 tells us the righteous live and reign with Christ a thousand years. The righteous dead who were slaughtered, both metaphorically and physically for their testimony of Jesus Christ, are ALIVE and reigning with Christ.
The very next verse tells us that “the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Substitute “thousand years” with “gospel era” and we see what is going on here. The physical dead who were spiritually dead will rise again after the gospel era is finished to go before the white throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).
The righteous have already escaped the second death (the lake of fire) because of their first resurrection which was being born again — this is their dying to self (Romans 6:6-11) and putting on the new man (Ephesians 4:24). God’s people are justified and sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ and their spirits have eternal life.
The wicked dead and the self-professed “Christians” are the ones who go before the white throne judgment — they are judged/punished according to their works on the earth which are recorded in the books. Those written in the book of life will be awarded a crown of righteousness for having kept up their garments by keeping their robes clean (2 Timothy 4:8, Revelation 16:15).
We see the glorious arrival of Jesus coming in the clouds with the spirits of the saints (who physically died), taking up His physically alive righteous into the clouds with Him, then destroying the earth and all who are in it with fire and brimstone. But many people believe that Jesus is going to wait a thousand years, then dredge up Satan again for a terrifying battle with skeletal zombies. No. We are not going through earth’s fire again after we have been awarded a crown of righteousness on the day of Christ’s glory (the last day).
The wicked dead will rise after the earth has been destroyed with fervent heat to face the great white throne judgment and be cast into the lake of fire. That’s it for their role on this earth (see God Works in Ages). Jesus will defeat His enemies at His Second Coming on the LAST day, then He tells us HIS REIGN ENDS on the last day when all is in subjection to God (1 Corinthians 15:25-26).
Our spiritual infallible bodies will not be communicating with anyone’s unbelieving earthly bodies on a tangible/physical earth that was completely destroyed by the coming of His righteousness (Revelation 16:20, Psalms 97:5). The unbelievers will never see the new earth or the new heaven, and our spiritual infallible bodies will not dwell in earthly elements. 1 Corinthians 1:29 specifically tells us that NO FLESH WILL GLORY IN GOD’S PRESENCE — this means that once Christ comes again to this earth, there will not be any sinful, carnal bodies of flesh that remain in His presence.
Isaiah 65:20 Explains There is No Millennial Reign
If you read the study on Isaiah 65:20, you will see that this verse in the original Hebrew refutes all aspects of what people are expecting to see in a 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth after His second coming. The study is here.
False Doctrines Abound
Dispensationalism was the great deception brought to the U.S. in the 1830’s because our masonic Founding Fathers denounced Christ in their speeches and embraced Enlightenment (sources here, here, here, here and here). Its false doctrines are the cause of the Falling Away that deceived and continues to deceive many (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
Dispensationalism taught Christians to think like escape artists rather than like martyrs. It taught them that they will be long gone before the Antichrist comes on the scene. It taught them that the mark of the beast is a visible mark that they will never see. It taught them that the Abomination is a one-man Antichrist and that the Desolation will happen to some future Jewish brick building. It taught them that they are going to reign over unrepentant people as angels on earth after Jesus destroys the earth. It taught them that they are lowlier than the unrepentant group because of their DNA. ALL LIES!
But the saddest of all…. dispensationalism took the Christian’s true kingdom from them. 90% of them don’t know where they are and remain bound in these earthly elements. They believe Christ’s kingdom is all coming in the future after they “fly away” before the Second Coming (there is no rapture; only a catching up on the LAST day at the LAST trump — details here). Their blessed hope is a ticket out of here early instead of in the protection of Jesus Christ!
The Great Tribulation where millions of saints were tortured and martyred has already happened during the 1,260 prophetic years/42 months/the time, times and a half from 538-1798 (see this article and this article). Satan physically killed Christians back then but realized he was only sending them straight to their Messiah and Father God in heaven. Now, he seeks to cause our spiritual death through deception which could remove our name from the book of life (Exodus 32:33, Psalms 69:28, Revelation 3:5). Satan desires to prevent your spirit from ever entering into heaven.
John 17:15, Jesus prayed: “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” God will keep us, not remove us. He has allowed Satan to attack us through the works of evil men all throughout this entire church age for our refinement, and He has kept us through it all.
It’s going to get ridiculous in earth’s final couple of years, but it is going to be more of a spiritual rather than a physical battle and is nothing that God will not keep us through. No one is leaving before the Second Coming of Christ on the last day at the last trump. There will be no teaching the lost and confused after Jesus returns. Your kingdom is here NOW and you’re reigning with your Savior. Satan has been defeated and he’s trying to spiritually kill you (see Mark of the Beast). Ask God for strength of faith in Christ Jesus, your blessed hope of Truth who overcomes all deception!
I love you all!
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
“If any man have an ear, let him hear.” ~Revelation 13:9
For Part 2 of this study, see the phrase-by-phrase word study of Revelation chapter 20 here: Revelation 20 Millennial Reign Explained.
Because this article was published on December 25, please consider reading “Is Christmas Jesus’ Birthday?” while you are here. Christ Jesus was born on the Day of Trumpets, September 11, 3 A.D. and the article explains exactly why. Thank you so much for reading and sharing God’s Truth!
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