Is the 1000 years in Revelation a literal or figurative 1000 years?

Hi Jacob I’m wandering about the 1000 years in Revelations 20 and what you and the rzim team can make of it. Is a literal 1000 years or symbolic Thousand Years.

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Hi Duke,
Thank you for your question. Sorry about the long answer to your short question. But there is no easy way to answer this. I cannot presume to know the view on this particular aspect of Revelation by everybody in the RZIM team or RZIM as a whole. It depends on who you ask this question to. But this is also the beauty of the body of Christ, that we hold on to the Bible as the word of God and push ourselves to do the best we can to interpret it.
Rather than Just saying a yes or no, it is best that we look into the different types of interpretations for the book of Revelation.
Revelation as you know is a very unique genre. It is a mixture of Apocalyptic literature (like Daniel), prophetic literature (like Ezekiel) and finally it is a letter (Like the Epistles). It is a Revelation to the apostle John while he was exiled at the island of Patmos. Because of the complex nature of this genre, many people have used different methods of interpretation. The methods of interpretation you chose will help clarify your question about the 1000 years. The best way would be to go through the four methods and see what you feel is the best method for interpretation. Accordingly you will be able to understand for yourself about the symbolic or literal nature of the 1000 years.
Just to help you out, there are four dominant ways of interpreting Revelation:

  1. The Idealist view: This view employs the allegorical methods of interpretation and looks at the images and numbers as symbolic.
  2. The Preterist view: This view suggests that the events in the book of revelation have already happened during the 1st century and relate to the Roman Empire.
  3. The Historicist view: This is also symbolic in nature, but the symbols points to certain people and events throughout church history such as during the protestant reformation, Enlightenment, Charlemagne etc.
  4. The futurist view: This view shows that the events in revelation will happen at a particular time in the future and takes the symbols and numerics in the book literally. So in this view, it would be a literal 1000 years.
    I am attaching a few articles which can help you have a broader understanding of these four views. Whatever method you chose to interpret Revelation, it should be done carefully and with much prayer. A right understanding of Eschatology is essential for right living.
    If you want to go even deeper I highly recommend this book. It shows you the four views from the best scholars of the particular view. The authors also state why they chose that particular view and how it best explains all the events mentioned in Revelation.

You might be unhappy that your question is not immediately answered with a yes or no Duke. But that is okay, many times it is not a simple straightforward answer that is the best for us. God wants us to probe deeper. To use the resources that He has given us to understand the different points of view and then come to a conclusion from all that we have looked into. It is a way of loving our God with our minds.