The Bible clearly describes our present age as a 6,000-year period, during which most human beings live by their own ideas, apart from their Creator. This 6,000-year period will be followed by the thousand-year rule of Jesus Christ on earth, during which Christ and his resurrected saints will teach the true way of God to the whole world. Note: “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6).
The concept of each day of the week representing a thousand years in God’s plan was well understood by the Jews in the days of Jesus. Peter explained this principle: “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). Thus, the seven-day week represents God’s 7,000-year plan, with six days representing the time in our present human society followed by 1,000 years of Christ’s reign as King of kings (Revelation 20:4–6).
Edward Gibbon wrote in his world-famous History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, “The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of the creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred, that this long period of labour and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection” (p. 176).
After the millennium, God will perform the Great White Throne Judgment, as described in Revelation 20:11–13. All who have lived and died without understanding God’s true teachings will be given the opportunity to accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, receive the Holy Spirit, and learn the way of God. Those who do so will become members of God’s family forever, and those who reject Him will die permanently in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).
To learn more about the Millennium and the days to come, please refer to our booklet The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?