The foundational doctrine of premillennialism is that Jesus will return to earth and rule for 1,000 years (the millennium). Premillennialists are divided into two camps: historic premillennialists and dispensational premillennialists. The primary distinguishing factor between the two schools of thought is regarding the nation of Israel.
Dispensational premillennialism / premillennial dispensationalism – What is it?
Historic premillennialists believe that biblical prophecy, particularly in Daniel and Revelation, give the history of the Church in symbolic form. So they look to the Church's history and its present to see where they are on God's prophetic timetable. They believe Israel will turn to Christ as a nation just before Jesus returns, but that there will be no restoration of Israel as a nation. Thus Israel will not have a special or distinct role in Christ's millennial kingdom from that of the Church.
Dispensational premillennialists believe in a seven-year tribulation when the Antichrist is especially active and God pours out His wrath before 1,000 years of Christ's reign in which the Jewish nation will have a special place and the Jewish Temple will be restored. Israel and the Church are seen as distinct groups within God's plan. During the millennium, the nation of Israel will have preeminence and Jews will serve God physically on earth, while those in the Church will have been given eternal, glorified bodies (at the rapture) and will serve God spiritually. Jesus' millennial reign is the time in which God will fulfill His promises to ethnic Israel. After this 1,000 years, Jesus will destroy a final rebellion and establish a New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21—22), which will be the eternal state for all.
Another difference between the two systems of thought is that some historic premillennialists believe the 1,000 years to be symbolic whereas the majority of dispensational premillennialists believe in a literal 1,000-year reign.
Premillennialism - What is it?
Historic premillennialism – What is it?
What is dispensationalism?
The seven dispensations – What are they?
The dispensation of the millennial kingdom – What is it?
Truth about Theology