Revelation Studies & Charts
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Revelation 20 (web)

Satan is Bound

20:1 I saw an angel coming down out of heaven,
having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.
20:2 He seized the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan,
who deceives the whole inhabited earth, and bound him for a thousand years,
20:3 and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him,
that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were finished.
After this, he must be freed for a short time.

The Millenial Reign

20:4 I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them.
I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus,
and for the word of God, and such as didn't worship the beast nor his image,
and didn't receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand.
They lived, and reigned with Christ for the thousand years.
20:5 The rest of the dead didn't live until the thousand years were finished.
This is the first resurrection.
20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.
Over these, the second death has no power,
but they will be priests of God and of Christ,
and will reign with him one thousand years.

The Second Rebellion

20:7 And after the thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison,
20:8 and he will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
20:9 They went up over the breadth of the earth, and surrounded the camp of the saints, and the beloved city. Fire came down out of heaven from God, and devoured them.

Satan's Final Judgment

20:10 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The Great White Throne Judgment

20:11 I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it,
from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.
There was found no place for them.
20:12 I saw the dead, the great and the small,
standing before the throne, and they opened books.
Another book was opened, which is the book of life.
The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books,
according to their works.
20:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it.
Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them.
They were judged, each one according to his works.
20:14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.
This is the second death, the lake of fire.

20:15 If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.


vs 1-3 The Abyss is not the lake of fire. It is more of a temporary prison. Satan will return. Notice the symbols associated with Satan: dragon, ancient serpent.

vs 4-6 The redeemed will be given authority to judge: "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" 1Co 6:3 (Possibly speaking of fallen angels)

The thousand year reign is also known as the Millenial Kingdom, to which Jesus often referred in the gospels as he spoke of "the kingdom of God". Although the term "kingdom of God", was often used in a broader context, encompassing the church in all ages, yet Christ also used the term to specifically refer to the millenial kingdom. Of course these two are correlated in that everyone who enters into God's eternal kingdom also will enter into the Millenial Kingdom.

Belief in the 1000 year earthly reign is theologically known as "Chiliasm". Though this idea is not held by the Catholic church, the Orthodox church, nor Reformed Theology, it is the most literal interpretation of New Testament Eschatology and was the view held by the earliest church fathers.

"But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, [as] the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare. ... there was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem; and that thereafter the general, and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of all men would likewise take place." Justin Martyr (150 ad)

"there will be a millennium after the resurrection from the dead, when the personal reign of Christ will be established on this earth." Papias (early second century)

The second death is defined in vs 14

vs 7-9 This seems to be almost a repeat of the Armageddon scenario. Which of itself is not unusual in that events are often repeated in history in various forms. What is baffling is where do these nations come from who are to be decieved? They are not the redeemed. So where did they come from? The redeemed, having died or been raptured no longer marry nor are given in marriage, but rather are as angels.

Mt 22:30 "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven."
So they weren't involved in repopulating the earth with unbelievers.

Consider the following propositions:

But assume that all whose names are written in the book of life - up to the time of the rapture - had been resurrected and transformed, then who is left to populate the earth?  Most likely although that generation of unbelievers who had all worshipped the beast was to be condemned to hell, that judgment will not be until a future time. Thus there will be left on the earth some former Satan worshippers who had not died after all the bowls of wrath were poured out, but who would eventually go to hell. However, they could then have children and repopulate the earth during the Millenial Kingdom. Their children would not necessary suffer the same fate as their parents.

This also parallels Israel's entry into the promise land. For the first generation died in the desert because they were mostly unworthy to enter. But the next generation entered. This would also answer the obvious question as to whom are the redeemed to rule over. Of course this brings up other questions and issues like what must these unredeemed individuals in the Millenial Kingdom do to be saved.

What is the point of the Millenial Kingdom?

For thousands of years, sinful man was given authority to rule over the earth, and Satan over him. I can imagine that God wanted to show what things would be like if He ruled directly and through saints over the earth - kind of in the spirit of "OK, you guys screwed it up enough. Now it's My turn! Let me show you how it should be done." Thus this would be a lesson both to all creation: man, the angels, and Satan in particular.

vs 10 Some, who can't conceive of God torturing people for eternity, view hell as a place of annihilation in which people simply slip into a comfortable non-existence. But this is not consistent with the way hell is portrayed here. "They will be tormented day and night forever." Jesus also portrays hell in this manner in the Luke 16 parable of Lazarus and the rich man. (See also a topical study on Hell).

vs 11-15 The great white throne judgment will separate the redeemed and unredeemed. The second resurrection takes place, which is resurrection of the unbelievers. There are two types of books involved in this judgment. "The Books" are simply the record of the lives of the individuals. People are judged according to what they had done. If they had sinned, their sin must be payed for. That's simply justice.

"The Book of Life" is a different book. It is not a record of the deeds of the individual, but simply contains a list of names. If in examing the record of a person's life, he is found to have sinned, the book of life is opened to see if his name is in it. If it is, then such sin is reckoned to have already been paid for through the atoning work of Christ. If not, then he must pay for it himself. That's simply justice.

There is also the possibility that pages related to the believer's sins have already been torn out of "the books" (the record of his life) by this time, in that under the New Covenant God has promised "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." Heb 10:17 Thus even based even on an examination of the record of his life, a believer will be found to be justified. And his name will also would have been found in the book of life.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

Jul 29,2015