A Thousand Years
“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). This hasn’t happened yet.
Revelation 20:1-10 are the most controversial in the whole book. There is no question but that the spread of the gospel and the Church has lifted humanity out of the dregs of the ancient world so vividly displayed in the Histories of fifth century B.C. Greek historian, Herodotus. The Church has humanized the world with the word of God. Even so, we have not seen the postmillennial dream of the nations turning wholesale to Christ. And though I have some affinities with the amillennial view, I cannot agree that Satan has been bound these two thousand years so as not to deceive the nations. He’s done plenty of deceiving as far as I can see. I agree that he has been cast down and his dominion over the earth broken by our Lord’s triumph in the cross and resurrection, but we still see plenty of evil about—and it only seems to be getting worse. This makes me a realist, not a pessimist.
A real millennium in which Satan is truly bound and unable to deceive the nations AT ALL, a world in which nature itself is returned to the state it enjoyed before the Fall, and most of all, the visible reign of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ over all the earth—does all of this not answer the demand for our Lord’s vindication before all the earth and all the hopes of his people to finally reign with him in a kingdom of justice and righteousness? Does Revelation not tell us over and again that he is to rule the nations with a rod of iron (2:27; 12:5; 19:15; also Psalm 2:9)? Surely that is not happening now, nor will he have to do so among the redeemed in heaven. Again, I say, a millennial kingdom of our Lord’s visible reign is not only the most sensible understanding of this passage but also a most sensible denouement to human history.
So a mighty angel binds Satan and throws him into the bottomless pit and seals it. Our Lord is installed as universal King of kings and Lord of lords FOR ALL TO SEE. He rules with such sway that even nature does his bidding. And we, in resurrected, renewed bodies will rule with him as he promised his disciples (Matthew 19:28; 1 Corinthians 6:3). Indeed, heaven will be better than the millennium, but the millennium will be better than anno domini just as anno domini is better than “before Christ.” But Christ has to come to make it so—just as he did the first time.