Revelation 20 – Thousand Years, Bottomless Pit, First Resurrection, Great White Throne, Lake of Fire – sermon video audio notes

Revelation 20 -- The dragon, who is the serpent, Devil, and Satan,  is not bound from evil or war. What the dragon cannot do is, deceive the nations till the thousand years should be fulfilled. One thing this means is it is absolutely impossible for the dragon to stop any nation from hearing the true gospel. We know through Scripture that this is true. The gospel of the kingdom could not be stopped as it turned the world upside down (Act 17:6).

Revelation 20 -- Thousand Years, Bottomless Pit, First Resurrection, Great White Throne, Lake of Fire – sermon video audio notes

Revelation 20 - Thousand Years, Bottomless Pit, First Resurrection, Great White Throne, Lake of Fire – sermon video audio notes

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Revelation 20 -- Thousand Years, Bottomless Pit, First Resurrection, Great White Throne, Lake of Fire -- sermon video

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24. Revelation Chapter 19 - Marriage of the Lamb, White Horse, King of kings, and Lord of lords
Revelation 20 -- Thousand Years, Bottomless Pit, First Resurrection, Great White Throne, Lake of Fire – sermon audio

Revelation 20 - Thousand Years, Bottomless Pit, First Resurrection, Great White Throne, Lake of Fire – sermon notes

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Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

1This angel is not said to be “great” or “mighty,” but obviously he is. In chapter ten John saw “another mighty angel come down from heaven” with the little book. That angel put one foot on the sea and the other foot on the earth. In chapter eighteen John saw a mighty angel who threw the millstone into the sea and declared that Babylon had fallen. The truth of angels or messengers surely begins with and includes our Lord, but must also include His wife the church. The primary meaning for the Greek word aggelos(used here translated angel) is a messenger from God. In the King James Version aggelos is translated 179 times as angel and the same word is translated seven times as messenger.

0032 aggelos {ang’-el-os}

(1) a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God

KJV: angel 179, messenger 7

Jesus Christ did bind Satan, but then gave authority to, and instructed His church to bind Satan. Making this angel, who bound Satan, Jesus Christ is not totally correct:

Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Mat 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The angel came down from heaven. We have discussed the heavenly position of the saints according to the Scriptures (Eph 2:6; Phil 3:20; Heb 12:22-24). It is a very non-biblical position not to see the church in heavenly places now and, overcomers seated with Jesus Christ (Rev 3:21).

This angel also has the key of the bottomless pit. The Son of man has the keys of death and hell (1:18). The star which fell from heaven has a key to the bottomless pit (Rev 9:1). Peter was given the keys to the kingdom (Mat 16:19). Obviously the Lord controls the keys and gives them to who He will. However, to make this angel the Lord because he has the key of the bottomless pit, could not be all together correct. The imagery of this angel must include Jesus, but not stop with Jesus.

Revelation 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years

2 We’ve all heard about a thousand years called the millennia. The angel now laid hold on the dragon. Once again, Jesus absolutely laid hold of the one called the old serpent, the Devil, and Satan. This cannot, and will not be disputed. However, this laying hold of did not end only with the activity of Jesus Christ. We know His Church is also to cast out devils and heal the sick.

Of course Jesus exercised authority over unclean spirits. He bound them and cast them out. We could list numbers of Scriptures proving this. It is equally important to realize that Jesus expects His wife the church to preach what He preached, i.e. the kingdom of God (Mat 10:7; Luke 10:9; Mar 1:14-15); and do what He did concerning devils (see below Luke 10:17).

Mar 1:27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.

Luk 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

Binding devils, or even Satan, is not a new activity. To make it something that will happen only when Jesus comes again would be an error. To make this passage a special phenomenon would also be erroneous. The Lord has always chained angels that sinned to stop their evil works, until time came for their work, (9:14) which is what this passage clearly shows. God’s ability to always chain fallen angels shows the error of the “Lucifer teaching.” If Lucifer was a fallen angel that rebelled and at war with God, then God would simply chain him:

2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Jud 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

Revelation 9:14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

A reason, if not the reason, for evil angelic spirits and activity is to provoke the hearts of the wicked to the place of rebellion. The Lord Himself has and will allow the hardening of hearts so the wicked can be destroyed:

Jos 11:20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favor, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

This is exactly what Jesus told the Jews in the temple. They would continue to heap their sin of killing and attacking the righteous until there would be enough hardness and wickedness to destroy them:

Mat 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

Mat 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

Mat 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Mat 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

The discussion of Revelation 18 showed that Babylon had “become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (18:2). Then verse 5 said, “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” It was at that time she was destroyed. The work of the devils, foul spirits, and the unclean brought Babylon (Jerusalem) to the place where the righteous God could, and did, destroy her.

When the question is asked, “Who bound the Devil?” the answer is Jesus. When the question is asked, “Who continues to bind the Devil?” the answer is Jesus Christ and His church. Jesus gave very clear instructions concerning what was to happen during His reign as King:

Mat 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Luk 10:3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. . .

Luk 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. . .

Luk 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Mar 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

As the age of the kingdom advanced, the armies of the Lord were to advance into all the earth with signs following. The church is to be a witness of Jesus Christ doing and teaching all things that He commanded.

Revelation 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

It is both amazing, and puzzling, that somehow today’s theology projects this thousand years passage (v. 1-3) futuristicly. Had the Scriptures not given us such detail of total victory over a bound Devil, this futuristic thinking may be receivable. However, we are given the total opposite. The Gospels teach nothing but the casting down and fall of the serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, when the power of Jesus Christ was released through His people. In Luke 10 Jesus Christ sent His disciples out with the message and the power. The results are given in the following verses:

Luk 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Luk 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Satan literally fell from heaven (throne and authority) when the people of Christ preached the message and acted in the authority and power given them to “tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy.” Satan was then cast down and bound. It continues that way. As we preach and live the gospel of the kingdom, Satan falls and is bound for far more than a thousand years.

The book of Acts is a book about the transitional generation and the progress of the gospel into all the world. The church did exactly what Jesus said to do. They preached His message, baptized in His name, made disciples, and operated in His authority. The power of God was so released, and the power of Satan so bound, that the shadow of Peter healed people (Acts 5:15).

Act 5:12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.

Act 5:13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.

Act 5:14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)….

Act 5:16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

This authority and power was not limited to the apostles. The Scriptures are clear that even people like Stephen, who would simply release faith, could function in tremendous authority. Stephen was able to bind the power of Satan. This is also seen in the ministry of Philip. Satan was no match:

Act 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Act 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

The church is shown raising the dead, healing the lame, binding devils, and being totally victorious. God was granting signs, wonders, and miracles to follow His message of the kingdom.

Heb 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

The entire New Testament teaches nothing less than the absolute defeat and binding of the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan. To say that it teaches anything less is false doctrine. Jesus and His church defeated Satan in every arena. Either Satan is defeated, or he is not. Either Jesus is King, or He is not. Either the dragon is bound for a period of time called a thousand years, or he is not. Again, recall what he is bound from doing -- deceiving the nations.

John’s readers would not see the binding of Satan as a futuristic event. Thus they would not see the thousand years as a futuristic event. They would see the thousand years as the time they were involved in. The point of the verse is not to tell the seven churches in Asia (1:4) there will one day be a reign of Christ, but rather to tell them what to expect during and, at the end of the reign. John records, after that he must be loosed a little season. Satan will be released for a short season at the end of history -- after the thousand years. Why is this? The answer is because the Lord is not through with him yet. He will only be bound for the thousand year period of time.

If it could be seen that the enemy would like nothing better than to project a false doctrine, perhaps what is happening today would be understood. If the enemy can convince the world that the “great tribulation” is futuristic, the kingdom is futuristic, and his being bound is futuristic then people will move in fear awaiting something to happen that has already happened. If people do not believe that they now have authority over all the works of the devil, then they will not exercise that authority. A king is king, but if he never uses his authority to orchestrate his kingdom then what good is his authority? If the enemy can cause God’s people to fear a tribulation, then they will listen to a doctrine that gives them an escape from a false tribulation. If they are promised a rapture that will give them instant victory, instant success, instant prosperity, and instant health they will not battle and become overcomers. They will simply await some “fairy tale” that is no more than a lie.

The truth is, Satan is bound for a thousand years or as long as you want. The believer has the authority and keys to bind him (Mat 16:19; 18:18). The truth is, Jesus now reigns in His kingdom and will reign until all enemies are made His footstool (1Co 15:24-25). The truth is, the “great tribulation” of Matthew 24:21 has already taken place and nothing like it will ever happen again. Jerusalem was destroyed and the house of Moses was laid desolate. The church went forth conquering by taking the gospel to all nations and making disciples. The beast and false prophet are now in the lake of fire. This is proven by the fact that not one world power has ruled the earth since the time of Rome. It is also proven by the nonexistence of Mosaic temple worship. These are what both the Bible and history proves. Doctrine (bad doctrine) is the problem in the world today. It is used by the Devil and makes the word of God of none effect (Mark 7:13).

Meaningless theological words are developed, and useless terms created, to prove one’s position or dispute the position of another, when in fact the Scriptures should alone be our theology. Phrases and words such as “pre-tribulation,” “mid-tribulation,” “post-tribulation” are invented to define what one believes concerning the “rapture.” All these are useless terms, which are not Biblical and when used by the Devil, become his weapons to divide the church. We use “a-millenialists,” or “post-millenialists” to pinpoint positions of when the kingdom is or will be. Then, one will argue that position confusing others and again dividing, thus weakening the army of the Lord. Jesus plainly said, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees” (Mat 16:6). Take heed and beware of doctrine. When it enters our minds and leavens us with falseness, it causes unbelief and fear rather than faith and power!

Quoting again here, the verse we here study:

Revelation 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

People say, “If the kingdom is a present reality and if Satan is bound, why is there so much evil in the earth.” The answer is their concept is wrong. The dragon is bound for a thousand years from deceiving the nations. They have been misinformed. As discussed in previous chapters, the kingdom of the Son of man is a kingdom of warfare. It is a time of constant battle. The Son of man, who is Jesus Christ, (Son of man is the title He gave Himself, see discussion 1:13) is placing all enemies under His feet (1Co 15:25). It is not until the end of His reign that peace will come to the dimension that the lion and lamb dwell together (Isa 11:6). Then, and only then, there will be no more war (Isa 2:4). War is brutal and cruel. People perish, prisoners are taken, and lands plundered. It is in this dimension the church is deceived concerning the kingdom. The church has been sold a bill of goods and believes a fairy-tale when in fact, it is in a real war where lives perish.

It must be noted that the dragon is not bound from evil or war (in a fulfilled dimension [more discussion later). What the dragon cannot do is, deceive the nations till the thousand years should be fulfilled. One thing this means is, it is absolutely impossible for the dragon to stop any nation from hearing the true gospel. We know through Scripture this is true. The gospel of the kingdom could not be stopped as it turned the world upside down (Act 17:6). During Paul’s life alone it was preached to every creature under heaven (Col 1:23, 5-6). Every nation experienced the apostles and their truth (Rom 1:5). Jesus told them to take the gospel to the world and they did (Mat 28:19; 24:14; Luk 24:47; Act 1:8). History bears this fact. Even the beast of Rome could not deceive the nations. Even the Pharisees could not deceive the nations. The dragon is not bound, except from deceiving the nations. The truth can be heard in every nation today! The dragon cannot stop the gospel for the period of time refereed to as the thousand years.

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

4Who did John see sitting upon thrones? The best way to answer this would be to find who John has seen in previous visions sitting upon thrones. That would be the twenty four elders (4:4; 11:16). As mentioned in chapter four, the Greek word translated “seats” in 4:4 and 11:16 is thronos. Here in 20:4 King James translates the same Greek word as thrones. Only the elders are seen in the book of Revelation as seated upon thrones(plural). The elders seated upon the thrones represent the heavenly church as a kingdom of priest who rule upon the earth (5:10 see discussion 4:4):

Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

These sitting upon the thrones are none other than the church ruling as ordained by the eternal purposes of God Almighty. It is sad that modern theology does not see nor teach this. The church is in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and is seated with Him in His throne:

Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Eph 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

John says, And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them. To who else is judgment given other than the church?

John continues relaying the vision as he says, I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

It must be mentioned again that this Revelation was written to the seven churches in Asia (1:4, 11). It actually was not written to you and me. However, neither was Ephesians, Acts, or Romans. Yet, we draw from those writings and make what was told to those people applicable in our lives today. The word of God does not change. With that thought in mind, realize that the people to whom John was writing were actually being martyred by the thousands. They were literally being beheaded because they would not stop their witness of Jesus and for the word of God. They refused to burn incense to Caesar and worship the beast. Their life, and death, was a statement that said Caesar was not king. Jesus Christ is King of kings! They would not receive his mark on what they thought or did. At the time of John’s writing these were dying daily. Mothers were forced to watch their children beheaded, or fed to beasts, or become literal Roman torches. Fathers were forced to watch their daughters raped, and then murdered, in an attempt to make them denounce their testimony of Jesus. These people needed to know what had happened to their loved ones. Their faith told them they would be raised at resurrection, but that would be an age away. It is to this John replies and says, I saw the souls of them. They did not simply die. They were not to only lay in sleep until resurrection. They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

This was comfort to a grieving mother. Paul comments on the same subject. He tells us that at resurrection Jesus will bring with Him those who have already died in Him. Their bodies will be raised from the graves and will meet their souls in the clouds. Then Paul says, “Comfort one another with these words” (1Th 4:15-18). They paid the price, had overcome, and a throne awaited them. They reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

5John continues his edifying and encouragement. The word is, continue in Christ no matter what the cost. He tells the grieving saints that their loved ones lived during this first resurrection. What is the first resurrectionThis is. What is? The first resurrectionis the time and age which those who die in the Lord reign with the Lord. Is this not John’s context? The dead in Christ live and rule. The dead in the beast will not live again until the thousand years are finished. Those in Christ continue to live in the throne. Those rejecting Christ are dead until the end of the age. They are in the ground and dead. This is the first resurrection. Christ who is the Son of man, receives more and more help in His reign. The enemies of Christ do not receive help.

The thousand years of the reign of Christ is then the time that those who died in Christ, reign with Christ. During that time all other dead lay in their graves, dead. What encouragement this would be to mourning saints and to saints who would be facing execution shortly!

To throw the first resurrection to a one day event at the end of the age is biblical, but not totally biblical. Biblically, passing from death to life is accomplished by hearing the Word of Jesus Christ and believing that God sent Him. Resurrection is not only for a time and hour coming, but NOW IS!

Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Joh 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

The Lord Jesus, within a few verses, explains the time and hour of resurrection. The verses above (John 5:24, 25) are directly attached with the verses which follow:

Joh 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

Joh 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

The teaching of the resurrection is inclusive of a passing from death to life now, which insures the resurrection of the hour coming, when the graves shall give forth the dead. A point that must be noted here is there is not an hour for the resurrection of life and another hour for the resurrection of damnation. There is one hour, or one time, when the graves give up all that is in them. What comes forth from that resurrection is separated into life or damnation. Jesus said in John 5:28 “all that are in the graves shall hear his voice.” All the dead hear his voice, not only the just. This hour, or day, is the termination of the age of resurrection. Death is defeated and all that death has taken is recovered. The first resurrection must include the time and age in which Jesus reigns. This age was inaugurated with His ministry for He said, “Now is.” The first resurrection is the passing from death to life by hearing and believing, and after the life given for a witness, does reign with Him for the thousand years.

Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

6John continues edifying and encouraging the churches. He says, Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. One who will give their life as a witness for Christ, one who is willing to be beheaded, one who refuses to worship any beast, and refuses to receive any mark, that person is blessed and holy. That person has already participated in the first resurrection. They do not need to wait for the last day event. King James Version says that person, hath part in the first resurrection.

How do those redeemed have part in the first resurrection? The first resurrection, in anyone’s book, is the resurrection of Christ. He is “the firstborn from the dead” (Col 1:18). He has “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1Co 15:20). The New Testament Scriptures clearly teach that, we have part in that first resurrection, through water baptism, into that death and resurrection.

Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (emphasis added)

In that baptism, we are baptized into His name (Act 2:38; 8:12, 16; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16; 1Co 1:13-15). In that name we move in His throne, as we take authority. In His name, believers rule as they ask in agreement and bind and loose (Mat 18:18-20). In that name, signs follow as devils are cast out. In His name, believers speak in new tongues of prayer and prophecy. In His name, serpents and scorpions are treaded upon without injury. In that name and resurrection, our hands are laid upon the sick and they recover (Mark 16:17-18). In His name and resurrection, the Holy Spirit comes upon, and into, the believer (Joh 14:26) giving power (Act 1:8). Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. As they live they rule and reign over Satan. If they die, they rule and reign over Satan. It is the age of the resurrection. They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Believers have part in the first resurrection through baptism in His name.

John now repeats himself making sure the vision is understood. John said in verse four those who were martyred by being beheaded, those who refused the mark, and those who were totally given to the cause of Christ, he saw, “they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Repeating that, John says, they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Summing it up: the thrones are occupied by the elders who exemplify the church as kings (thrones) and priests (twenty four courses of temple service). Looking more diligently, John saw the souls of the martyrs who gave themselves for the witness of Christ as they reigned with Jesus for the thousand years. Then John says, “This is the first resurrection.”

Revelation 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

7Six times from verse two through verse seven, John repeats the words thousand years. It is always with two thoughts. It is the length of time that the dragon is bound. It is the length of time the redeemed of God and of Christ shall reign. This time has been termed as the “millennia.” It has basically been defined as the time of the kingdom and the length of time that Christ shall reign. It has erroneously been taught as a time of peace and tranquility, when actually, (as already discussed) it is a time of tremendous war. It is a time when every enemy is being subdued and being placed under the feet of Christ.

1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

1Co 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is accepted, which did put all things under him.

It is taught that the “millennia,” or thousand years, is a time of peace. When a mind is programed that the reign of Christ is a time of peace and someone comes along saying the thousand years are now, the mind programed to think peace thinks heretic and false doctrine. Nonetheless, when studied biblically, it is about the subduing of every enemy (1Co 15:25). This is proper Biblical teaching and exactly what the apostles preached and believed. Following is a excerpt from one of apostle Peter’s messages. He is encouraging the Jews to repent and convert to Christianity. Jesus Christ will come upon Jerusalem, Judah, and every soul which will not hear Him. And they shall be destroyed. Peter says that Jesus Christ will remain in heaven “until the times of restitution of all things.” Modern theology teaches that when Jesus Christ returns then He will put all things under His feet. Biblically, when He returns “the restitution of all things” will have already happened:

Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Act 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Act 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Act 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

Act 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. (emphasis added)

At His return the “millennia,” or thousand years, will end, not begin. This is so vital to proper biblical teaching. At His return He will “deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father.”

1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

Modern theology is absolutely backward in its interpretation of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. The thousand years is not a time of peace, but a time of war. The thousand years does not begin with the “second coming” or return of Christ. It actually ends. How many people have missed, are missing, and will miss the millennia because of false teaching?

Another misconception is that the thousand years is a literal thousand years. The Scriptures use a thousand as a term of many. Nelson’s Bible Dictionary says:

“THOUSAND -- A number with deep spiritual significance that occurs often in the Bible <Ps. 84:10; Dan. 7:10; Jude 14>. In the Old Testament, according to some scholars, thousand is often used as a round or approximate number for an innumerable multitude <1 Sam. 21:11; Eccl. 6:6>. The Book of Revelation declares that Satan will be bound for a thousand years at the end of time in connection with the Second Coming of Christ <Rev. 20:2>.” 

Nelson said the thought of the word thousand is, “a number with deep spiritual significance…. often used as a round or approximate number….” It is in the context of “too many to be counted.” Or even, “more than a person can count.” For example Deuteronomy 32:30 says, “How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight….” The thought is if one can handle more than can be counted, then how many can two handle? An even better example may be Psalm 50:10 which says, “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.” Is hill number one thousand and one not His? The thought is this: more cattle than can be counted, on more hills than can be counted. When a person is frustrated after repeating the same statement over and over they may say, “I told you a thousand times . . .” They are saying, “I have told you more times than I can count.” To attempt to make the thousand years exactly a thousand years is not good interpretation. Below are many Scriptures which use the term thousand. In every case, it can be seen that a literal thousand is not meant:

Deu 1:11 (The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!)

Deu 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Deu 32:30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?

Jos 23:10 One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.

Jdg 9:49 And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.

Jdg 15:15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.

1Sa 25:2 And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.

2Sa 8:4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots.

1Ch 16:15 Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousandgenerations;

Ezr 1:10 Thirty basins of gold, silver basins of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand.

Job 42:12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousandshe asses.

Psa 50:10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

Psa 84:10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Psa 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

Psa 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Psa 105:8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.

Son 8:11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.

Isa 7:23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.

Eze 47:5 Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.

Dan 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.

Amo 5:3 For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.

2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Commenting on this thousand years Milton Terry says:

“The thousand years is to be understood as a symbolical number, denoting a long period. It is a round number, but stands for an indefinite period, an eon whose duration it would be a folly to attempt to compute.” 

There is no real reason to make it a literal thousand years, other than to prove one’s theology or disagree with another’s theology. Who cares? The point is that it is the time that Satan is bound and the time that the redeemed rule! It is the time that the earth is being filled with the rock cut out of the mountain.

“It is the same period as that required for the stone of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan. 2:35) to fill the earth, and the mustard seed of Jesus’ prophecy to consummate its world-wide growth (Mat 13:31-32). How long the King of kings will continue His battle against evil and inflict the last decisive blow, when Satan shall be ‘loosed for a little time,’ no man can even approximately judge. It may require a million years.”

Some Dispensationalists acknowledge that the thousand years is not to be taken as literal. Barclay says:

“Even the way in which the word thousand is used in Scripture warns us against taking this laterally. Psalm 50:10 says that the cattle on a thousand hills belong to God; and Job 9:3 says that a man cannot answer God once in a thousand times. Thousand is simply used to describe a very large number…. At the end of the period the Devil is to be let loose….”

I appreciate Barclay being large enough in his thinking to veer from the ways of dispensationalism. Most will not move even when they see they are incorrect especially concerning the thousand years.

At the very end, when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. The very last moment of time will involve the release of Satan to deceive the nations. His purpose is to bring war on a worldwide magnitude.

Revelation 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Revelation 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

v.v. 8-9 This is an extremely exciting Scripture, but not because of the inevitable war of Gog and Magog against the saints. It is exciting because this is the very last of Satan. He will not be bound. He will be gone forever!

There is little — very little — accurate teaching and information about this event. It is inaccurately called “the Battle of Armageddon” by today’s theology. Anyone who has done any study or sat under any accurate teaching knows that Armageddon happened a thousand years (age) earlier, in Revelation 16:16. If Armageddon is the time of the false prophet (temple worship) and the beast (Roman Empire) being thrown into the lake of fire (19:20) the historical dates would be 70 A.D. and 410 A.D. This is well past that date and at the end of the thousand years. This is not Armageddon. Armageddon has become a “fright” word used by some to work their work and sound Biblical. Someone using Armageddon to describe this war of Revelation 20:8 is not accurate. John does not use the word to describe it.

The allusion John does use is Gog and Magog. This is an allusion drawn from Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. The passages of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 are not this war. That particular battle was fought between the Macabees and the Syrians prior to 100 BC:

“About 198 BC the Seleucid king Antiochus III conquered Judea (of which Jerusalem was a part), making it tributary to Syria. The Jews later revolted under the leadership of the Maccabees family and defeated the Syrians. The Temple was re-consecrated in 165 BC, and the Maccabean, or Hasmonean, dynasty ruled until Rome took the city in 63 BC.” 

Ezekiel’s prophecy was not for the end of the age any more than the prophecy of Jesus concerning the destruction of Judea and Jerusalem in 70 A.D. was for the end of this age. John does, as he has consistently done in using allusions, to take the mind of the readers to what he is seeing.

Ralph Woodrow writes (or quotes from ‘Is the Bible a Jigsaw Puzzle’):

“It is not uncommon for the imagery of Revelation to be based on Old Testament subjects or places. The ‘Jezebel’ of Revelation is not the same woman as in Kings. The ‘Sodom’ in Revelation is not the same Sodom as in Genesis. The ‘Babylon’ in Revelation is not the Babylon of Daniel. The ‘New Jerusalem’ in Revelation cannot mean the old Jerusalem. But, in each instance, the former serves as a type. The woman Jezebel had already died, the cities of Sodom and Babylon had already been overthrown, and (in our opinion) the battle of Ezekiel 38 and 39 (if a literal battle) had already met its fulfillment within an Old Testament setting.” 

The following is an overview of Ezekiel chapters 38-39 by Ralph Woodrow. Without some discussion of these chapters there is no understanding of what John is relaying. The verses referred to are added so anyone can do further study on this event, if they so desire. We will not spend much time on the event, for speculation about it is folly. John gave it only a few verses. The point is, that at last, Satan is terminated forever. After the overview a few very relevant points will be brought out.

“These chapters describe, in apocalyptic manner, God’s deliverance of his people from an unparalleled invasion by a dreadful foe. Israel has been restored to her land (34:12, 13, 15, 23, 27) and converted (36:24-28). God’s dwelling is in her midst (37:21-28), and she is living in prosperity and security (38:8, 11, 12, 14). Her neighboring foes no longer molest her (25-32; 36:36). Then in the far distant future (38:8, 16), an invasion previously predicted (38:17; 39:8) is made by nations dwelling in the outskirts of the world (cf. Isa 66:19). They come like a cloud (38:9, 16) -- Gog of the land of Magog, and his allies, Rosh (?), Meshech, and Tubal (38:2, 3), from the uttermost parts of the north (38:15; 39:2), along with Persia, Cush, and Put (38:5), and Gomer and Beth-Togarmah, with their hordes from the north (38:6). The commercial nations, Sheba, Dedan, Tarshish and its villages (38:13), are interested in this invasion, too. Gog comes at the direction of the Lord (38:4-7, 16; 39:2, 3), as well as at his own initiative, spurred on by his greed (38:10-14). Ezekiel only of the prophets places ‘that day’ (38:10, 14, 18, 19; 39:11) after Israel has long enjoyed restoration and prosperity in her land. See also Rev 19:11; 20:7.

Israel is miraculously preserved, but Gog’s hordes are destroyed by earthquake, internecine strife, plagues, torrential rains, fire, and brimstone (38:19-22), as well as rendered helpless in battle (38:3, 4). Their discarded weapons will supply fuel for Israel for seven years (39:9, 10). Seven months will be required to bury their corpses (39:11-15), and also their bodies and blood will become a feast for birds and beasts (39:17-20). The outcome of this battle will be that the nations shall know that God is the Lord (38:16,23; 39:6,7,21,23; cf. Isa 45:23), while Israel need nevermore doubt the protection of her God (39:22; cf. 39:25-29).” 

John said that Satan would deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth. He also tells us the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. This battle will not be a small thing. Every nation will be effected by it and Satan will bring forth a multitude. It will not be one nation, such is taught, i.e. Russia or China coming against Israel. This battle is global -- four quarters of the earth.

John now says this global multitude went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city. It would not require that many people to compass the natural city of Jerusalem. Modern theology somehow teaches all these people find a place around the city of Jerusalem. However, it would require that many people to compass the heavenly beloved cityThe camp of the saints is not in one geographical location. It too is in the four quarters of the earth. The obvious aim of Gog and Magog is to destroy the saints. The war does not seem to be about greed, but rather about righteousness.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Gog and Magog battle is that in both Ezekiel and Revelation, Satan cannot help but come to his own destruction. It was as though the Lord “put hooks into his jaws.”

Eze 38:4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

Eze 38:16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

Eze 38:17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

As previously discussed, once people come against the people of God; then He can, and does, respond with their destruction. It is when these come against the people of God, who are His bride, He then responds. John says fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Eze 39:6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

10The one referred to here by devil(Satan in 2:9, 13, 24; 3:9; 12:9; 20:2, 7; devil in 2:10; 9:20; 12:9, 12; 16:14; 18:2; 20:2, 10; serpent in 9:19; 12:9, 14, 15; 20:2; dragon in 12:3, 4, 7, 9, 13, 16, 17; 13:2, 4, 11; 16:13; 20:2); was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. Does this mean that only that aspect of his evil being was cast into the lake? There is no hint of that being the case. John’s primary message here is that the devil will get his due. Again, the entire point of the Gog and Magog mention is not to give a discourse of the end, but rather to encourage John’s readers.

The devil is not placed into a pit for holding so he can be used another day as done earlier. His days are over. He now is simply cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. This is the place that the conqueror, and His armies, threw the beast and the false prophet (19:20). There is no return from that lake. There has never been another world power to rule the world since the Roman empire. The beast was placed in the lake. There has never been the reestablishing of temple worship since Jerusalem and the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. The false prophet was cast into the lake. The event spoken of here assures us of the same. By the removal of the devil, there will never be deceit again by his evil being.

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

11This is the second time that John uses the phrase fled away. It was also used in 16:20 where John said, “every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” The context of 16:20 is the judgment and fall of the great city as it was divided into three parts. It is a Biblical term of God’s judgment relaying the thought of those attempting to escape from that inevitable judgment.

Jdg 4:15 And the LORD discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet.

Jer 46:21 Also her hired men are in the midst of her like fatted bullocks; for they also are turned back, and are fled away together: they did not stand, because the day of their calamity was come upon them, and the time of their visitation.

Lam 4:15 They cried unto them, Depart ye; it is unclean; depart, depart, touch not: when they fled away and wandered, they said among the heathen, They shall no more sojourn there.

Lam 4:16 The anger of the LORD hath divided them; he will no more regard them: they respected not the persons of the priests, they favored not the elders.

All earth and the heaven fled away from him that sat on a great white throne. Both dimensions — earth and the heaven — are judged. There is no escape, no exit, no get away. Verses like this should ring in our hearing. The rebellious deceive themselves by thinking they will find a way out at the last minute called the “death bed” syndrome. “Upon my death bed, at the last minute, I will avoid the judgment of God,” they say. Very possibly it will not work that way.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

12, 13John twice makes a statement in these verses that no one should miss. Verse twelve gives the summation of the judgment of the dead as John concludes: the dead were judged…. according to their works. He then repeats this in verse twelve as he says and they were judged every man according to their works. Chilton says:

“The point, of course, is not ‘salvation by works.’ The point is, instead, ‘damnation by works.'”

Though controversial, the warning is shouted out to believers to do something in the kingdom. People tend to listen to the “greasy grace” messages which are sent from hell. Satan has determined that if he is going down, then others will go down with him. He sends a deceitful doctrine of, “pray a little prayer after me” and you have your ticket to heaven. He pollutes the truth of eternal security with the deceit of a “do nothing” salvation.

The truth is we are saved by grace, but that grace will always produce works. A “saved” life is a productive life. Jesus did say we would know them by their fruits (Mat 7:20). According to what John writes here it should be seen that though we are saved by grace, we are not saved without works. What does that mean? Exactly what has been said here. The proof of salvation is works. We will not be judged by how well we prayed the “sinner’s prayer” after the preacher, but rather by our works. It is necessary to understand that the same passage that says, we are “saved by grace,” also says we are saved “unto good works.”

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (emphasis added)

The Scriptures are full of passages declaring the necessity of works. The Lord Jesus spoke, and warned, of its necessity. The apostles spoke of works and warned of their necessity.

Mat 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Joh 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

Joh 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

Rom 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life:

Rom 2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

Rom 2:9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

Rom 2:10 But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Repeating the above, the Scriptures are full of passages declaring the necessity of works. The Lord Jesus spoke, and warned, of its necessity. The apostles spoke of works and warned of their necessity. Now John says, And I saw the books opened and the dead small and great were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. All the Lord, the apostles, or anyone can do is warn of the necessity of works. One day each of us will get to see for ourselves as the books are opened.

John said, the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life. Desiring not to overdo here, but to properly emphasize the points, it is necessary to notice that the book of life not only has our names written in it, but it also has our works written in it.

Jesus had sent out the disciples in Luke ten. They returned excited because demons were subject to them. Jesus said, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luk 10:19, 20). This has always been projected as: because they were believers, their names had been written. However, with a little study, and by observing context; it is seen that because they went with the grace giftings of His power, and did some works, their names were written.

Should every believer have a ministry? The truth is, every believer does have a ministry. Believers work. A person having a ministry does not mean they must preach on Sunday. It means we each do something to enhance the kingdom. The ones spoken of in these verses were not found in the books because they did nothing. We are saved by grace, but grace is not mercy. Confusing grace and mercy is very dangerous. We are not saved by mercy, but by grace. Listen to the words of the apostle Paul concerning grace:

1Co 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

God can bestow grace, that when not used, it is in vain. Grace bestowed, that gives salvation, produces labor. Grace makes us something we were not. Paul was what he was because of the grace of God. It is the works that insures the name written in the book of life. Read Revelation 20:12-13 and then try to tell me we do not need to work in the kingdom.

John tells us no one is exempt from this scrutiny. The sea gave up the dead which were in it and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them. The books are opened and a look is taken. No works, no name written; this is the emphasis.

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

v. 14, 15In verse six John told us, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power.” Now we are told what the second death is. The second death is the casting of death and hell into the lake of fire. It is when those not found written in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire. Those blest in verse six are doing something. They are reigning with Christ during His kingdom. Those doing nothing are cast into the lake of fire.

The very last enemy that Jesus the Christ will defeat is death. He will reign until this moment…

1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” John tells us that along with death, that hell is also finished. Only life and the heavenlies remain. It would be incomprehensible what it would be like with no evil, no death, and no hell in the earth. The next section speaks about just that: “a new heaven and a new earth.”

 

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Contemporary Theological View(s)

 

We come very close too skipping this section in our study on this chapter. There is almost too much difference in interpretation in this chapter to try to clarify. We will hit the “biggies,” and move on.

Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.

Most contemporary teachers say this angel is a literal angel. Remember, the law of Dispensationalism is that scripture must be interpreted literally. Our translation is that this angel is the messengers of first Christ, and then the church. Serious problems arise when contemporaries attempt to make this literal.

Dake writes:

“This passage is the continuation of the Scripture on the Battle of Armageddon of Rev. 10:11-21 and shows the confinement of the dragon in the abyss. After Armageddon an angel will come down from heaven having the key to the abyss…. How an angel or a spirit can be bound by a literal chain and be cast into a material place is only understandable when we see that angels have bodies and can be localized and confined to material places.” 

At least Dake does recognize there is a problem with literally chaining the devil, or any spirit. Cohen does not use the thought of chaining a spirit. He places the devil in prison. He says:

“Christ at His glorious Armageddon appearance deals with all of the wicked forces on the earth….. He, through an angel, imprisons Satan--the ‘Father,’ the third member of the False Trinity--for 1000 years (20:1-3).” 

Dispensationalists interpret this as a literal angel coming down from heaven and binding the devil. I have to wonder why they have waited so long to bind the devil. If they were able to do it and it was that simple then, why has an angel not already done it?

Revelation 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Dispensationalists teaching says this is the termination of their “Armageddon” (though Armageddon is not mentioned in chapter nineteen, but rather sixteen). Satan will be bound and cast into this pit for thousand years. The thousand years will be used by God so He can totally focus on natural Israel. Pentecost writes:

“Much has been said previously to show that this age will see the complete fulfillment of all the covenants that God made with Israel. It is sufficient here to show from the Scriptures that the kingdom on earth is viewed as the complete fulfillment of those covenants, and that the millennial age is instituted out of necessity in order to fulfill the covenants.” 

John Hagee says:

“….Jesus Christ, upon His return from Heaven and victory over the satanic trinity, will rule from Jerusalem in the Millennium--the thousand-year reign of God upon the earth. For the first time in centuries, Jerusalem will not fear her enemies. And after the Millennium, when Satan and his followers have been eternally banished to the lake of fire, God will destroy this present world. He will then present us with a new heaven and a new earth, to which a New Jerusalem will descend.” 

Does it not seem strange to anyone that if Satan has been eternally banished and there is perfect peace on the earth, as Hagee says, why would God destroy this present world? I suppose to make dispensational doctrine correct.

According to Dispensationalists the necessity is that Satan must be bound to terminate his influence. You see, mankind has no power over Satan according to their doctrine. Pentecost writes:

“Satan as the god of this age (2Co. 4:4), has carried on his work to defeat the purpose and program of God. The millennial age is to be the age in which divine righteousness is to be displayed (Isa 11:5; 32:1; Jer 23:6; Dan 9:24). It is also to be God’s final test of fallen humanity under the most ideal circumstances. All outward sources of temptation must be removed so that man will demonstrate what he is apart from satanic influence. So that there can be the full manifestation of righteousness and a test of humanity apart from external temptation, Satan must be removed from the sphere. Therefore, at the second advent he will be bound and removed from the scene for the entirety of that millennial period.” 

The problem with this is that Satan has already been bound. Jesus said that not even He could enter Satan’s house, unless the strong man was first bound. So, Jesus bound him:

Matt 12:28  But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 

Matt 12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 

This ability to bind was not held by only Christ. He gave it to his disciples as they were sent out in Luke ten. They came back rejoicing that they had authority over devils. He specifically told his disciples that the keys of the kingdom of heaven were given them and what they bound was bound!

Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The Bible teaches that the resurrection of Jesus Christ set Him on the right hand (see notes Rev 5:1, 7). At that time He is above any and all power, and that would include Satan. Jesus became the head of the church. That means that He, as the Head, commands His body to function in doing what He did.

Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Ephesians 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Ephesians 1:23 Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.

Because of the work of Christ and His body, sin cannot have dominion over that body. Sin cannot have dominion any more than it had dominion over Him. Pentecost’s and Dispensationalist’s teaching that Satan must be removed so man will not to sin is ridiculous. That is actually saying the work of Jesus was not sufficient. When properly investigated their doctrine borders heresy.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Dispensational doctrine has at least two resurrections built into it. I say at least two because they usually teach many, many more. They insert several throughout the Revelation to explain such passages as Revelation 7:14--the great multitude no man could number. That great multitude was not in the “rapture” resurrection, so, according to their doctrine, they had a different resurrection. They call this multi-resurrection teaching the “resurrection program.” Pentecost says:

“This resurrection, usually called the first resurrection, but which might be called the resurrection unto life (Joh 5:29) with greater clarity inasmuch as this resurrection is made up of a number of component parts….” 

Pentecost gives much space showing there is a resurrection unto life, which is spiritual, and speaks of entering eternal life by belief in Jesus Christ. However he never mentions that this must be the “first resurrection.” Without the first there can be no second, third, fourth, etc.

Concerning resurrection Jesus only spoke of a resurrection as in one, but with two types of people being raised:

John 5:28   Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

John 5:29   And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

If the words of Jesus are accurate, then there is an hour, not a thousand years, when “all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth.” Within this “all” are “they that have done good” and “they that have done evil.” One group will go “unto the resurrection of life.” One group will go “unto the resurrection of damnation.”

The apostle Paul said the same thing this way.

Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Paul says, “a resurrection,” as in one. That resurrection will have two components. These components are “the just” and “unjust.” Jesus and those He taught called this the “last day” (Joh 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24; 12:48). There is not a thousand years after the last day. There is not 7 years after the last day. The last day would mean the last day. It is Revelation 20:12-15.

Revelation 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Revelation 20:8  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Many Dispensationalists do not attempt to identify Gog and Magog. The reason is there are no nations named Gog and Magog. Those that do attempt to identify Gog and Magog say it is Russia. Van Impe writes:

“To whom do the names Gog and Magog refer? In Ezekiel 38 and 39, they identify Russia. Not so in verse 8. Instead, they most likely indicate the memory of past brutality--much like the names Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, and Iraq do today.” 

It fascinates me how Dispensationalists say everything must be interpreted literally. That is, unless they don’t want to interpret it literally. So, here Magog is literal but Gog is an allegory? Magog is Russia, but Gog is “brutality.” Van Impe continues saying:

“As Gog and Magog (Russia) invades Israel and comes against Jerusalem during the Tribulation hour, such an indelible impression is left upon all the world that now--one thousand years later--the details are still vivid. Thus, this past war, fought in the same area, is brought to mind as Satan once again attempts to destroy Israel.” 

Phillips too bows to symbolism to what he calls metaphorical on this one:

“They are called ‘Gog and Magog’ in the text, and the name is evidently disastrous defeat in a metaphorical way. During the golden age, the memory of Russia’s disaster will linger on, and Gog and Magog will lend their names symbolically to the dissidents of earth.” 

Gog and Magog truly are symbolic, and John has used metaphors again and again in the Revelation. Why do these guys suddenly acknowledge this? Yes, Gog and Magog were Old Testament enemies in Ezekiel just as we said. They came upon Israel. John uses that Old Testament type to show his readers what he is speaking about. This is exactly what he has done hundreds of other times. It’s so aggravating to see what these guys do with scriptures. There is no nation of Gog and Magog, so they “craw fish” back into proper biblical interpretation--allowing the Bible to interpret the Bible.

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them….

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 

Few commentaries and writers acknowledge the “works” aspect with the great white throne. Indeed it is the primary aspect. Wycliffe does say:

“By their works men shall be justified or condemned; he will try their principles by their practices.” 

Morris says:

“The dead were judged according to what was written, according to what they had done.” 

A basic works doctrine is foreign to modern Dispensationalists. Their message is, basically, “pray a prayer after me and you will go to heaven.” Not so! The prayer is fine and a good beginning, but if there are no works to accompany that prayer, then that prayer meant nothing. The name will not be in the books. The eternal security message is of hell when it tells people they are “born again” by praying a prayer after someone and will, because of that prayer, go to “heaven” when they die.

Revelation 19 -- Marriage Supper of the Lamb, White Horse, King of kings, and Lord of lords – sermon video audio notes

Other Related Sermons:

Revelation Chapter 21 -- New heaven new earth, New Jerusalem the Bride the Lamb’s wife, foursquare city -- sermon video audio notes

Revelation Chapter 18, Jerusalem Babylon the Great -- sermon video audio notes

Revelation Chapter 22 -- River of life, Street of gold, I come quickly -- video audio notes

Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers

Milton Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics: A Study of the Most Notable Revelations of God and of Christ in the Canonical Scriptures, page. 451, quoted from Chilton’s The Days Of Vengeance, page 507

Ibid

1997 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, Jerusalem

Ralph Woodrow, His Truth Is Marching On (quoted by Chilton, The Days of Vengeance page 523)

Wycliff Bible Commentary, page 755

Rev. Finis Jennings Dake, Revelation Expounded, Tenth Printing July 1991, page 271

Dr. Gary G. Cohen, Revelation Visualized, page 306

Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come, page 476

John Hagee, Beginning of the End, page 183, 184

Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come, page 477

Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come, page 397

Dr. Jack Van Impe, Revelation Revealed, page 279, 280

Dr. Jack Van Impe, Revelation Revealed, page 280

John Phillips, Exploring Revelation, page 241

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Fourteenth Printing 1977

Leon Morris, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Revised Edition, Revelation, page 234

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