The word "millennium" means "a period of one thousand years." The term refers to the thousand-year period spoken of in Revelation 20: 1-4, in which Satan shall be bound and the souls of the saints shall live and reign with Christ. Three major views have developed regarding the millennium and its related eschatological events. While various differentiations of details may occur, all millennial views fall under one of the following three. The three major views are:
1. Premillennialism -Christ returning to earth before, to
usher in a physical millennium -premillennialism
2. Postmillennialism -Christ returning to earth after, at the
close of, a physical millennium -postmillennialism
3. Amillennialism -Christ returning after, at the close of a
spiritual, symbolic millennium -"a" or "no" physical
Premillennialism appears in various forms, but in general
premillennialists believe the following:
1. Christ will return and the first resurrection and judgment,
that of the saints, but not of the wicked, will take place.
2. Christ will establish His kingdom on earth in Jerusalem, Satan will be bound, the saints will rule with Christ, and peace and prosperity will reign for one thousand years on earth.
3. At the close of the millennium, the second resurrection and judgment, that of the wicked, will occur and eternity will begin.
4. More recent premillennial ideas include a time of rapture prior to the millennium, in which all of the resurrected and living saints will be transfigured and drawn up to meet Christ as He returns in the clouds of heaven. During this period (generally believed to be seven years) a terrible time of sin and judgment will prevail on earth, which is called the Great Tribulation.
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
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.
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.
How are the three prefixes "pre" "post "and "a",
all related to Christ's physical return in relationship to a millennium on earth?