The numbers found in the Bible have both literal and symbolic meanings. The context, or the subject matter of the scripture tells us when the numbers recorded in the scripture are literal, and when they are figurative, or symbolic.
For instance, the following scriptures all have a literal numeric value:
Ex. 38:25, “And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was an hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary:”
Ezra 2:7, “The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.“
Num. 3:50, “ Of the firstborn of the children of Israel took he the money; a thousand three hundred and threescore and five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary:”
Neh. 7:70, “And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the work. The Tirshatha gave to the treasure a thousand drams of gold, fifty basons, five hundred and thirty priests’ garments.”
Job 42:12, “So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.”
Dan. 5:1, “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.”
We can easily tell that the number “a thousand” in the verses above were part of a literal number of things or people. They were all counting something. Then, we see these verses:
Deu. 7:9, “Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;”
2 Sam 18:12, “And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king’s son:….”
Psa. 50:10, “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.”
Psa. 84:10, “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
Psa. 90:4, “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”
Psa. 105:8, “He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.”
2 Pet. 3:8, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
All of the above scriptures use “a thousand” in a symbolic manner. Can a man literally hold a thousand shekels of silver in his hand? Of course, not. A shekel was the chief silver coin of the Hebrews, and weighed about 1/2 ounce. 2 Sam. 18:12 used it as a superlative to make a point.
The symbolism of “a thousand” is God’s measure of a great multitude, or countless things, or a completeness, or fullness of time. Or, as in Psa. 90:4 and 2 Pet. 3:8, it means an insignificant matter as God does not value or measure time the way man does. These uses are symbolic so that the reader knows God is speaking of something perfect, or complete, or full.
Knowing now that we must look at the context of the scriptures, and knowing that God’s prophetic language is figurative, and not literal, let’s look at the verses in Revelation.
Rev. 5:11, “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;“
Rev. 20:2-4, “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 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. 4 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.”
Rev. 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.”
All of the above “thousand”,” thousands”, and “thousand years” in Revelation are symbolic and have the meaning, convey the sense of fullness, or completeness. They are not literal!
Therefore, verse 4 of Revelation 20 is not a literal thousand year reign!
The deception of a literal thousand year reign of Christ on earth is used against Christians, especially American Christians, and is designed to make them believe they have to financially support the politically contrived state of modern day Israel. The teaching or concept that the state of Israel is the site of a future temple, and a future reign of Christ is dead wrong! It is propaganda for a political agenda of the Zionists, the Jesuits, and the international bankers who are in league and are playing games with the nations across the Middle East, and who are provoking Russia, and China to war against America, and Europe. They are lining their pockets with the resources of the Middle East, and killing people in the process.
Let’s take a closer look at Rev 20:4 to see it more clearly.
Rev. 20:4, “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.”
Who were the souls of those that were beheaded for their witness of Jesus? These were the saints, the Christians who had died in the persecution under Rome and the Jews in the first century A.D. They were beheaded, so they were dead. The dead do not live on earth, so these are the spirits of those martyrs who had eternal life in heaven. And, they were going to live and reign with Christ for some period of years determined by God, which is symbolically represented by the number “a thousand”.
Reign with Christ…. this is speaking of the martyrs co-reigning, not of a limited reign of Christ. Christ’s reign is everlasting. The martyr’s co-reign with Him was time limited.
If they were going to live after they had been beheaded, then where were they reigning? Christ had been seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven at His ascension in Acts 1. So, where were the martyrs who had been beheaded if they were living and reigning with Christ? They were in heaven!
Not on earth, IN HEAVEN!
The verse is not speaking of Christ’s reign, but of the reign of the souls who would reign with Him for a period of time which God would determine as a complete or fulfilled number of years. You cannot glance over and give a superficial reading to the scriptures. You must use some critical analysis.
Rev. 20:4 is not speaking of some earthly reign in our future. This verse concerned the saints that were killed under the persecution of the first century church, the newly converted to Christ, that were martyred under the Jews and Nero Caesar of Rome in the first century A.D.
Since the thousand years of verse 4 was not literal, then how long were the martyrs going to reign with Christ in heaven? Revelation itself provides the clue.
Rev. 20:7-10, “ 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 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. 9 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. 10 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”
Gog and Magog are a reference to those who had set themselves against God in the prophesy of Ezekiel Chap. 38, and was the Roman empire of old. Ez. 38 even gives some of the boundaries of the old Roman empire. We see it in verse 9 above. Gog and Magog, the enemies of the saints, are gathered in battle against “the beloved city”, and fire came down from God out of heaven. This is the siege of Jerusalem, the beloved city, that great city of Rev. 17 & 18, where our lord was crucified (Rev. 11:8)
The fire from heaven was the same fire from heaven of Rev. 13:13, and was the attack led by Titus, whose symbol was the lightning bolt, and who burned Jerusalem with fire. Under the direction of his father Vespasian, Titus led the final battle against Jerusalem, and destroyed the temple of Herod in A.D. 70. (See a more complete discussion Gog and Magog at Identifying Gog & Magog.)
So when the battle with Gog and Magog was completed, when the destruction of Jerusalem was accomplished, the thousand year co-reign of the martyrs was ended – not after a thousand year reign of Christ on earth! The verse doesn’t say anything about a reign on earth.
The battle of the siege of Jerusalem occurred in A.D. 70. Then, how long was the symbolically complete “thousand” year co-reign of the martyrs with Christ?
From the crucifixion of Christ in A.D. 30 to the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in A.D. 70 was 40 years, which was the anti-type of the transition period of the 40 years exodus wilderness. Both 40 year periods were a time of transition, testing the people, purging the people for those that endured the hardships and would enter the promised land. They both were told to endure the hardships that each faced. (Heb. 3:8, 10, 13-14)
The exodus from Egypt brought the saved to the promised land of Canaan. The exodus from sin and slavery under the old covenant brought the saved souls to their spiritual rest under the new covenant when the old covenant was taken out of the way at the destruction of Jerusalem. Read Heb. Chap. 10 again.
As the first persecution of the church began with Stephen’s stoning in Acts c. 7, some time after Christ’s crucifixion in A.D. 30, and the battle with Gog and Magog was finished with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the co-reign of the martyrs symbolic thousand years was completed and fully perfected in A.D. 70 and lasted somewhere between 37 or 40 literal years.
You might also note that there are two periods of a “thousand years” in Rev. c. 20. There is the thousand years for the co-reign of the martyrs in v. 4, and there is the symbolically complete “thousand years” the dragon was bound in v. 2. The thousand year binding of the dragon ended before the thousand year co-reign of the martyrs, as he was loosed before the destruction of Jerusalem.
Since that old temple was destroyed, and all of the old sacrificial law was fulfilled in Christ, the new temple, or tabernacle is now in heaven. (Heb. 9:11-12) Since that destruction in A.D.70, every saved soul, every soul covered by the blood of Christ goes home to heaven at their bodily death. (Rev. 14:13)
Why, then would anyone think that Christ has to step down from His position and office of High Priest at the right hand of the Most High to come reign on earth for a literal one thousand years? He rules from the right hand of God now! Why would you want Him to step down from glory, and move backward to a lesser physical, material kingdom? That denies His victory!
All of those who are baptized into Christ through immersion in water, have put on Christ by being symbolically buried into His death, burial, and resurrection, and are of spiritual Israel, and are in His kingdom, and His church. Christ reigns today over that kingdom, and that spiritual church, the new Jerusalem, and has ever since He ascended to the Father. He doesn’t have to come back to earth to reign. That is just foolishness.
The process He established with His kingdom, and His church continues today. The church, spiritual Israel, and His kingdom is everlasting and will never end. (Psa.145:13; Dan. 4:3. 34; 7:14, 27; 2Pet. 1:11) It will continue forever, and allows Him to bring ever more souls to a knowledge of Him, and to heaven. His harvest. (Matt. 9:37,38; 13:30, 39; Luke 10:2; John 4:35; Rev. 14:15)
He has given us everything in the scriptures that we need to answer the call of the gospel, and to accept His offer. He rules the nations from the right hand of the Father in heaven, and He doesn’t have to come down to earth to do that.
Those that are intent upon twisting God’s word, and deceiving the people are condemned by Rev. 22:18-19:
” 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
Don’t let them deceive you. There is no literal 1,000 year reign of Christ to come on earth! That is a lie!
Read the scriptures carefully, and analyze them. They will tell you what they mean. Let them speak! The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. All prophesy in the New Testament can be traced back to the prophesies of the Old Testament, and that includes the book of Revelation.
Please read my previous posts for “The Beast of Revelation”, “The 70 weeks of Daniel Chap. 9”, “The Whore of Babylon”, “There Are No End Times…”, and all of the posts on “It’s Not The End of The World”. They contain many more evidences shown for the time period of the last days and of Revelation.
All scripture quoted from the KJV. All bold emphasis is mine.
Another recommended source: The Significance of the Number 40