PMT 2014-017 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Dispensationalists are prone to boast that Revelation 20 presents their system in clear and certain terms. They often declare that they can go to one text of Scripture and find their system. Unfortunately, this is not the case. This text actually presents them with serious problems. Consider the following.
First, the concluding period of earth history, which experiences the glorious victory of Christ, is a thousand years long, but its length appears in only one chapter of the entire Bible.
Second, Christ’s thousand year rule not only appears in only one chapter in Scripture, but that chapter is in the Bible’s most symbolic book. This book has a seven-headed beast, a woman standing on the moon, fire-breathing prophets, and more.
Third, consistency requires that dispensationalists literally interpret the “key” to the abyss as a physical object (Rev 20:1). Yet the same book presents Christ as holding a “key” to death (Rev 1:18). Surely death does not have a literal key.
Fourth, if we interpret Revelation 20 literally then only those Christians who live during the beast’s time will enter the premillennialist’s millennium. This is because the text only states that those who are martyred under him and effectively resist him will rule (Rev 20:4). Even if dispensationalists place the beast toward the end of history, just prior to the Rapture, the problem remains: The text only speaks of those who are martyred under him.
Fifth, if Revelation 20 presents only two resurrections, a problem arises. For according to their system the first resurrection is of all the saints. Then the second resurrection is at the end of the millennium and involves only the lost. Consequently, there is no resurrection for converts who die during both the tribulation and in the millennium.
Sixth, their view of a millennium in which Christ personally rules the nations is terribly problematic. For it results in his second humiliation, wherein his kingdom turns against him and surrounds him in Jerusalem (Rev 20:8–9). And this despite his own personally ruling them with a rod of iron.
Seventh, the premillennial view presents an absurd situation. On this view mortals who are aware that immortal, resurrected saints have been ruling them for a thousand years will nevertheless revolt against those immortals in trying to defeat them. This does not make sense.