Before we begin the discussion on the 1,000 year reign, it is be to note that most who write on this subject show absolutely no regard for Jesus’ warning in Revelation 22:18-19. Was Jesus’ warning for the whole New Testament, or specifically for the book of Revelation? If it were for the whole New Testament, we must ask if the 27 books of the New Testament been brought together into one book at that time? Of course we don’t know, but we do know that Jesus warning certainly includes the book we call the Revelation of John.

Jesus’ warning in Revelation 22:18-19 testifies: 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.

Note that he doesn’t use the plural word ‘words’ in these verses (which can be translated as ‘sayings,’ which refers to a group of words, but the singular word ‘word,’ which, in our language, refers to individual words. How many individual words would a person need to remove or add to add to or take away from, to qualify for this warning? Is it worth the chance to have the plagues added to us, or to have our part taken from the book of life, to play with the words of this book? Let us accept all that is in this book and reject anything not in this book in our discussion.

The first point that must be made in this discussion is that there appears to be both literal and ‘figurative’ (or representative) words used. Are the words ‘thousand,’ ‘years,’ ‘pit,’ ‘mark,’ ‘beheaded,’ ‘beast,’ ‘image,’ etc., all literal or are some or all of them representative? How can we know? For example, the word ‘dragon’ is from the Greek word drakon {literally translated ‘something (fabulous) to look at’}. The English dictionary says it is only a legendary creature. In Revelation it is described as including 7 heads and 10 horns (Revelation 12:3) with a tail long enough to cast a third of the stars of heaven to the earth (Revelation 12:4). It could make water flow from its mouth enough to make a flood (4215 – literally defined as a current, brook or freshet). The dragon was able to fight with Michael in heaven. Men knew the dragon and worshipped him (Revelation 13:4). He had power, a seat and authority (Revelation 13:4) and could give those to another (Revelation 13:1-3).

It appears to be this same dragon that was bound and cast into a bottomless pit for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3). The result was that he could deceive the nations no more during those 1,000 years. The dragon does appear to be identified with that old serpent, the Devil and Satan (Revelation 12:9, 12; 20:2).

Another example is the ‘beast’ in the book of Revelation. The word ‘beast’ in Revelation generally comes from two Greek words generally used for the 4 beasts and literally defined as a living thing and another word generally used for the beast and image of the beast and literally defined as a dangerous animal. The word for the wild animal was used by the barbarians on an island to refer to what was called a viper (adder or poisonous snake) that hung on Paul’s hand. What then did these beasts look like? The same word describes an animal that had feet like a bear in Revelation 13. However, this animal rose up out of the sea. Who or what is this beast? The dragon appears to be identified with that old serpent, the Devil and Satan, but who or what is the first beast? Who or what is the image of the beast? Who or what is the second beast and how can we know?

Yet another example of literal or representative words is found in the mark. The word g# 5480 is literally defined as a scratch or etching. It comes from 5482 which is literally defined as a stake, which in turn comes from the word defined as sharpening to a point. The mark can be on the right hand or the forehead (Revelation 13:16-17; 14:9; 20:4) which appears to be connected to the name of the beast and number of the beast’s name (Revelation 13:16-17), which in turn appears to be related to the number of a man and the number 666 (Revelation 13:18), which again appears to be related to worshipping the beast (Revelation 14:9, 11). It also appears that men can get the victory over the mark of his name which appears to be related to getting the victory over the beast or his image (Revelation 15:2). The false prophet appears to have been able to deceive those who had the mark of the beast or who worshipped the beast’s image (Revelation 19:20). Those who did not worship the beast or his image and did not receive the mark on their foreheads or in the hand, reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Who or what is the mark? How can one receive the mark? Can one get rid of the mark once he has it?

Who is able to declare who or what the first beast is (Revelation 13:12), who or what the image of the beast is, who or what the second beast is, who or what the mark is, without adding to the ‘words’ of the prophecy of the book of Revelation?


Who is able to declare what is literal in the thousand year reign? If the beasts, the image of the beast, the mark are not literal, is the Devil an actual dragon with a tail or is he a spirit being with a spirit body? Is the dragon a literal dragon or representative of the Devil? Are those who will reign with Christ during the thousand years are only those who have been literally beheaded? If they were not literally beheaded, then is the thousand years literal, and how do we know? If the beheading is literal, and the rest of the dead don’t live again until the thousand years is finished, who would those beheaded for Christ reign over? If the souls of those beheaded for Christ lived in Paradise (a spiritual place), why would they want to come back to the earth to reign over some physical beings for a thousand years?

Can we take the book of Revelation literally, or must some be figurative or representative. Who is authorized to declare what is literal and what is figurative? Someone then argues – what good is the book if we can’t interpret it? Jesus declared the use of the book in Revelation 1:3: “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

We can be blessed if we read or hear the words of that prophecy and then keep those things written. Thus, the book can be a blessing to God’s children today.

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