There is, of course, controversy on the nature of the "millennium" of Revelation Chapter 20 and its nature and also Bible scholars debate the nature of the two resurrections mentioned therein.
Firstly I would like to say that I find myself inclined toward the amillennial position. This is the position that the church age is the "millennium". One might wonder why the church age is called this because it has been going on for nearly 2000 years, or 2 millenniums. It goes like this: 1000 is a number that represents "all" or "completeness". We have a good example of this in Psalm 50, where we read that 'God owns the cattle on a thousand hills'. We know pretty much that God owns all the cattle on all the hills. Needless to say, one could argue rationally that the church age (now) is a period of completion before the second advent. This view seems to be a tidy and simple outlook. There is simply this age which comes to an end at the second coming. When Jesus returns everything happens in toto, which is followed by a newly created world.
As for the two resurrections mentioned, there is debate about this. Many things seem to imply that there is but one physical resurrection, whereas the first is spiritual. Paul refers to believers as having been already ‘raised with Christ’ and sharing in both Jesus’ resurrection and his ascension (Col 3:1; Eph 2:6). Jesus plainly tells us that what is born of the spirit is spirit and the believers comes to new life (John 3:16, and John 10:26-30). Paul also reveals that this state of being ‘raised with Christ,’ though a genuine spiritual state, is not fully realised until we are absent from the body (he calls it “this body of death” Romans 7:24) and at home with the Lord (2 Cor 5:1-8); as are the martyred saints pictured in the Revelation passage. The vision in Revelation 20 of the martyred saints reigning with Christ presents them as victors rather than victims and provides hope, and encouragement for those yet facing similar martyrdoms; especially given that a long period of time probably awaits between these first century martyrdoms and those that will immediately precede the return of Christ.
I hope I have presented this clear enough.
Tags: Revelation Resurrection Spiritual Hope Christ Church