By Hank Hanegraaff

Multitudes today hold to the belief that there will be a thousand-year semi-golden age following the second appearing of Jesus Christ. As such, they suppose they will be resurrected in glorified bodies to once again experience a fallen world—and that for a thousand years.

First, we should note that though Jesus spoke repeatedly of the resurrection of the dead, He did not so much as hint at the notion of a thousand-year semi-golden age (replete with rebuilt temple and reinstituted sacrifices). Instead He said, “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28–29). Moreover, when Jesus spoke with Martha concerning the resurrection of her brother, Jesus reaffirmed that Lazarus would be resurrected on the last day, not prior to a thousand-year semi-golden age (John 11:23–24, cf. 1 Corinthians 15:22–24).

Furthermore, nothing in Scripture suggests that those who have fallen asleep in Christ will return to a fallen earth replete with fallen human beings. The scriptural promise that gave my father peace as he faced a terminal condition in 1997 was that he would return to a restored universe in which there is “no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). As the apostle John made plain, “Nothing impure will ever enter [the New Jerusalem], nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (21:27).

Finally, the number 1,000 is invariably used figuratively. God increased the number of the Israelites a thousand times (Deuteronomy 1:11); God is “keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations” (7:9); God owns “the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10); “better is one day in [God’s] courts than a thousand elsewhere” (84:10); “the least of [Zion] will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation” (Isaiah 60:22); God “[shows] love to a thousand generations” (Exodus 20:6); and a thousand more examples could easily be added to the list.

In context of the seven-year tribulation of Revelation (mirroring the seven-year tribulation under the Old Testament antichrist, Antiochus), the apostle John wanted his hearers to have an eternal perspective. Satan will be bound forever—a thou- sand years—and those who have not taken his mark will rule forever—a thousand years. As such, Satan’s defeat is complete, just as the victory and vindication of Jesus’ followers is complete.

In part adapted from AfterLife. See also The Apocalypse Code

***Note the preceding text is adapted from The Complete Bible Answer Book: Collector’s Edition: Revised and Expanded (2024). To receive for your partnering gift please click here. ***