What is the Bible truth about the thousand year millennium? When does it start, and where will people be during this time period? We can see the truth about the millennium in God’s Word.

1000 Year Millennium

The word millennium used by most of the world does not actually appear in the Bible. What the Bible does say is 'a thousand years', and we find this in Revelation 20. The big questions to answer are; When does this 1000 year millennium start? and What happens during that time?

First, what starts the millennium?

Matthew 24:30-31 .....'And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.'

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 .....'For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.'

So at the second coming of Christ Jesus, we have this great gathering of His people. Jesus sends His angels out to gather together His people and as it says in Thessalonians above, the righteous dead are resurrected and together with the righteous living we rise and meet the Lord Jesus in the air. Please remember the important fact that Jesus does not set foot on the earth when He returns, we meet Him in the air.

So it is the second coming that starts the 1000 year millennium, as we can see in Revelation 20:5 ....'But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.' ….. The rest of the dead are those who are lost, that were either already dead at Jesus' second coming, or were killed at His coming. The first resurrection is the resurrection only of the saved at the second coming and it starts the 1000 year millennium period ….. Revelation 20:6 ….'Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.'

So, as we've seen from the above Bible verses, the saved are resurrected at the second coming of Christ, but the lost are not resurrected until after the thousand years. So what will the earth be like during the thousand year millennium? …..

Isaiah 13:13 ….'Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.'

Isaiah 24:1 ….'Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.'

Jeremiah 4:23-26 ….'I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.'

Jeremiah 25:33 ….'And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.' ….. So the wicked are destroyed by the 'brightness of His coming' and as we can see from these verses above, the earth will lay desolate for the thousand years. The saved have gone to heaven with Jesus and the lost are dead.

The question now is, what happens during the thousand year millennium?

Revelation 20:2-3 …..'And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.' ….. So satan is cast into the bottomless pit.  But what is the bottomless pit?  Revelation 11:7 ….'And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.' …. Now a beast in prophecy is a symbol of a kingdom or nation and this beast rises up out of the earth, therefore the bottomless pit is a symbol for the earth. So when it says that satan is cast into the bottomless pit and is shut in and sealed, it means he is bound to the earth. Remember, the lost are dead, so satan is chained to the earth with nowhere to go and no one to deceive for a thousand years. He will have all this time to consider what he has done and how wrong he has been. So it is by circumstances that he is bound. He's not physically bound by a chain, it's the fact that the lost are dead, the saved are in heaven and he has nowhere to go and no one to deceive.

So what will the saved be doing during this thousand year millennium?

Revelation 20:4,6 …..'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 image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.' ….. 'Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.' ….. So the saved who gave their hearts to Jesus and followed Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, they will be in heaven, because we know that the earth is a wasteland with satan roaming around in it and it says in John 14:1-3 ….'Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.' …. Jesus will take us to heaven to be where He is. So the saved will be priests of God and they will judge the nations. We will take part in the great judgment of the lost and find out why certain people who we thought would be saved are lost and people who we thought would be lost, but are actually in heaven with us. During this time, we will come to understand more fully the judgments of God. 

1 Corinthians 6:3 …..'Know ye not that we shall judge angels?' ….. This verse also confirms that we will take part in judgment of the wicked. Will we judge the righteous angels? Of course not. Therefore, this verse means we will also take part in the judgment of the wicked angels who followed satan.

Revelation 20:7-8 …..'And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.' ….. If you remember, the lost are dead when satan is bound for the thousand years and he has no one to tempt or deceive, so therefore when he is loosed, this means that the lost are resurrected again and satan has people that he can rule again and deceive. So at the end of the 1000 year millennium, the wicked are resurrected and satan gathers them for the last battle, the last attack against God.

Revelation 21:2 …..' And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.' …. So the new Jerusalem with the saints descends down onto the earth and the saved will be inside the new city.

Please note: The book of Revelation is not in chronological order.

Revelation 20:9-10 …..' And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.' ….. So satan gathers the resurrected wicked and they go up to the new Jerusalem with the saints inside to attack it, but God reigns down fire from heaven and satan along with the wicked are destroyed forever.

"This is Satan's last stand, his final opportunity to conquer Jesus Christ, His New Jerusalem, and the redeemed of all ages. But he can never defeat the King of the Universe. He failed miserably when Jesus was a lowly carpenter in human flesh. What chance does he have against Him now as King of the New Jerusalem? None whatsoever!" (Steve Wohlberg)

2 Peter 3:13 …..' Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.'

Revelation 21:1-4 ….' And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.' ….. Satan and the wicked are gone, and now we live and dwell with God on the new earth forever.

So to summarize:

-  Jesus returns at the second coming.

-  The wicked are killed by His coming.

-  The dead saints are resurrected and together with the living saints, meet Jesus in the air.

-  Satan is bound on earth by circumstances of having no one to tempt.

-  The thousand year millennium starts.

-  The saints are in heaven for a thousand years with Jesus and take part in judgment.

-  The thousand year millennium ends.

-  The lost are resurrected and satan gathers them for battle.

-  The New Jerusalem descends to earth with Jesus and the saints.

-  Satan and the lost go up to the new city to attack it.

-  God reigns fire down from heaven and destroys satan and the lost.

-  Heaven and earth is renewed and the saints live forever with Jesus.

We will live a life so glorious that our minds cannot conceive what it will be like ….. 1 Corinthians 2:9 ….' But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.'

This glorious eternal life awaits all who give their heart, soul, mind and strength to serving God and following in Christ Jesus' footsteps. The millennium is coming and it is up to you on which side you will spend that thousand years. Will you spend it reigning with Christ Jesus, or with the lost dead, awaiting the lake of fire?