The thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ over the earth, based in Jerusalem, will happen after the tribulation and before Jesus’ eternal rule. God promised King David that one of his descendants would rule over the earth forever, in peace and righteousness. Jesus, the Son of God, is that Son of David. 


God Created Humanity to Rule

God created humanity to rule over the earth:
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over … all the earth….’ So God created man in His own image” (Genesis 1:26-27).

We Lost Our Authority

Then when Adam sinned, humanity couldn’t rule until God redeemed us. We had lost our authority as “god of this world” to Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4). 

God Promised to Redeem Us

But God had a plan to restore human rule. He provided a righteous Savior, a descendent of King David (David was a king of Israel about 1000 BC):
“And the Lord God will give Him (Jesus) the throne of His father David, and He will reign … forever” (Luke 1:32-33).

Jesus is that Promised King

After Jesus was born and started His ministry, He offered His Kingdom to Israel. But the Jewish leaders rejected it. When they did, He promised they wouldn’t see Him again until He returned, and they willingly accepted Him as Israel’s King.

Millennial Truths

Jesus will Return to Reign During the Millennium

Jesus will return at the end of the tribulation to begin His reign as King. When He returns, He’ll bring the Church Age believers with Him, and He’ll resurrect the Old Testament Jewish believers and appoint the faithful to help Him rule the earth for the next thousand years:

Approved Believers will Reign with Jesus During the Millennium

Believers who held to their testimony through trials and tribulations will reign with Jesus: 
“They (believers) came to life and reigned with Christ.” (Revelation 20:4)

Israel will be the Leading Nation of the Millennium

Israel will represent God and make Him known to the ends of the earth:
“Sing with gladness for Jacob (Israel), and shout among the chief of the nations” (Jeremiah 31:7).
“I will also make you a light to the nations so that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).

How Long will the Millennium Last?

The basic meaning of the term Millennium comes from Latin, which means a thousand years. John ensures we understand that Jesus’ reign is not for a figurative amount of time. He mentions its length six times in six verses: “for a thousand years … until the thousand years were ended…. a thousand years….(etc.)” (Revelation 20:2-7). 

Extended Life in the Millennium

People in the Millennium will generally live much longer than people today: “There shall no longer be an infant who lives only a few days nor an old man who has not filled out his days (Isaiah 65:20).”

The Land will be Fruitful

God cursed creation when Adam sinned and it brought forth thorns, but He will lift that curse when Jesus reigns:
They shall say, “This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden. And the waste and desolate and ruined cities have become fenced and inhabited.” (Ezekiel 36:35).

God’s People will Build a Temple

In Ezekiel chapters 40-48, Ezekiel’s taken to Jerusalem in a vision. The man, a guiding angel, shows Ezekiel a rebuilt temple that will function during Christ’s millennial reign on earth. The measurements and details are precise, so it’s clear they’re blueprints for a literal temple. 

The Purpose of the Sacrifices

Jesus has already taken away sin, so the sacrifices they offer in the temple will illustrate and commemorate His sacrifice on the cross. 

Rebellion at the End

Satan’s Role

Satan still has a role to play: He’s been chained for the thousand years, but God will release him for a little while. With a just ruler and extended lifespans, the population will increase rapidly. God wants to test the peoples’ hearts, so He releases Satan at the end of the thousand years (20:7):
“When the thousand years are ended, Satan will be set free from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle.” (Revelation 20:7-8)

People Still Need the New Birth

People still need to believe in Jesus during this time, and many won’t. These unbelievers have lived under and benefitted from Jesus’ righteous rule for a thousand years, but they’re not redeemed. Their makeup becomes evident when they join Satan to rebel against God. Satan will use deception, and the rebels will number as the grains of sand. 

Their Battle Plan

The rebels will surround “the camp of the saints and the beloved city.” (Revelation 20:8)

The Battle of Gog and Magog

John names the battle Gog and Magog because the rebellion resembles when the nations attacked Israel at the end of the tribulation (Ezekiel 38:2). Gog and Magog refer to a people group living north of Israel. Still, since Satan gathers people globally, John uses this term figuratively for a worldwide rebellion. 

God won’t have it, so He takes decisive action. The beloved city is the New Jerusalem, the headquarters for Christ’s reign in the Millennium: 
“But fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them” (20:9). 

Satan’s Eternal Fate

The fire that devours them ultimately shows that the judgment is final this time and will be the last human or angelic rebellion — ever!
“The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet were. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (20:10)

The reign of Christ then continues into the eternal state.