Revelation chapter 20
"The Millennium" starting verse 1
We come now to the 20th chapter of Revelation at which point the 7th Trump has sounded and the true Jesus Christ has returned with great power and glory, bringing with Him His army of saints. Babylon the Great, i.e. the one world political system and the great whore along with Satan's role as the false-christ, the spurious messiah, has been destroyed forever and ever. And as we learned in our chapter 19, ALL flesh has been "changed" and everyone, both the good and the bad are in their spiritual bodies.
So it is the first day of the Millennium and John, who remember in Rev. 1:16 was taken there for an eye witness account, gives us another advanced news report, this time concerning the fate of Satan during the Millennium. Can't you just visualize the headlines?
THE MILLENNIUM PRESS
"SATAN IMPRISONED, BEGINS SERVING 1000 YEAR SENTENCE"
John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was present today as Michael came down from heaven and appeared on Satan's doorstep in Jerusalem with a warrant from the King of kings for his arrest. Satan has been residing in the temple in Jerusalem for the last 5 months (ever since Michael cast him from heaven) where he has been impersonating Jesus Christ and claiming he is the Messiah come. He also is being held responsible for orchestrating the murder of God's two witnesses, a despicable crime, which he has been actually celebrating with his cronies for the last 3 1/2 days. Here's John description of the first thing he saw :
It must have been pretty obvious to John when he saw the equipment, with the "BP" label on it, which the angel had with him, that Satan was about to be shackled and locked back up in the Bottomless Pit. John continues:Rev. 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.
It would seem that Michael needed no assistance as he apparently just grabbed the evil crook by the shoulders, threw him mercilessly up against the wall and shackled him with the binding chain. It has also been reported that because of the manhandling of Satan by this very powerful angel that some folks are referring to him as the "Pit Bull". And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Also, we were not able to determine from John's report whether he was close enough to hear what the angel said to Satan, but we believe it was something like "OK chump, the party's over! Let's go!" John did not report that the angel read Satan his rights because having already been judged and sentenced to die, he has none.
John then gives this account of the actual incarceration:
So as John reports, for the next 1000 years Satan will be imprisoned and not permitted to have any contact whatsoever, either by person or by spirit, with anyone outside his confines. However, we know from a related article submitted thousands of years ago by reporting agent Isaiah that Satan will be visible throughout the Millennium as a reminder to all of what can happen. Here's part of Isaiah's transcript concerning Satan's casting into the pit: 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.
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
And so it shall be that people will walk by the "pit" during the Millennium, on their way to Discipline Classes, and shake their heads in unbelief to think that this poor slob could have perpetrated worldwide religious deception and political control. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
End of article.
Yes, it's fun to imagine how it might happen, but happen it will! We already knew who the dragon and that old serpent was. We also knew from 2 Pet. 3:8 that 1000 years to the Lord is a one day, so that the Day of the Lord is 1000 years.
But the one thing we didn't discuss is "why will Satan be released at the end of the Millennium"? I'm sure you realize if you've studied this Book of Revelation from the beginning with us that Satan is coming to this earth disguised as Jesus Christ (and I'll bet you know that he comes before the true Christ). This final generation then will be tested by the false messiah, right? Those who fail, who do not overcome and who don't partake of the first resurrection, will go through the Millennium and be taught of and with discipline for 1000 years, which is how much time they have to get their act together. After they have been taught there will be another test, a final exam if you will, which they must pass before they can receive their diploma of eternal life. That test is Satan's release once again upon the world, but this time without the political beast and the role of spurious messiah. And no, it is not a second chance because they never came to a full knowledge of the truth in this generation because of the "famine" (Amos 8:11), and as such never had a prayer of a first chance.
Next we will learn what reward comes with being part of the first resurrection.
"The First Resurrection" verses 4-5
Thrones, you know, are where rulers, the ones who wear crowns, i.e. the ones in authority who exercise judgment, sit. And there are two groups in this verse who sit upon them. 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 worshipped 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.
(1) The first group are the martyrs down through the ages, those who have been beheaded, i.e. killed or executed for the (a) the witness of Jesus, and (b) for the Word of God. It would include the two witnesses also.
(2) The second group are those of this final generation who had the seal of God in their foreheads and who overcame the beast.
Note: In our previous studies we've covered in great detail the beast (Satan), his image (role as Jesus), his mark upon their foreheads (deception), and his mark in their hands (doing his work).
Now, did you read the last phrase in verse 4, "and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years"? What an honor and a privilege! If you ever are in want of some encouragement to continue to fight the good fight, then just refer to Rev. 20:4. For if you are one of God's elect then you will be part of the first resurrection at His coming, and you will reign with Jesus Christ for the entire 1000 years during the Millennium.
"The Walking Dead" starting verse 5
But if you are not part of the first resurrection then you are part of "the remainder" who are called "the dead" and you must wait until the end of the Millennium. You will then be tested that short season by Satan who will be released temporarily, and then you will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment when the books are opened (vs. 12). Only then can you be part of the Second Resurrection and receive eternal life. Until then you are called "dead" because you are still subject to the second death, which is the destruction of your soul in the lake of fire (vs. 14). Here is Christ documenting that there are two deaths, one of the flesh, and one of the soul in the lake of fire: But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
And of course to have your soul "destroyed" is to "perish", which is taught in the most quoted verse in God's Word, John 3:16.Matthew 10:28
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
So you'll either receive eternal life at the first or second resurrection, or you'll suffer the second death, i.e. perish in the lake of fire.John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Let's now go back to Rev. 20:5. Understand that we are
now in the Millennium! There are no more flesh people! Everyone has been
changed. And John is telling us what's going on! The first death (of the
flesh) and the first resurrection (to eternal life) is over! So the "dead"
(who are alive in their spiritual bodies) in the Millennium means those
who are "spiritually dead". To "live" then is to receive "eternal life".
So the "dead" cannot "live" until the thousand years are finished, i.e.
no one can receive the gift of eternal life until judgment day following
the Millennium, which is the second resurrection! If you don't quite understand
yet, wait until we finish this chapter and it should become clear in your
mind regarding the "dead".
To be part of that first resurrection is a truly an Unfathomable Blessing! If you have SEEN the PICTURES of heaven and of the glory of our Father and His throne described so far, and if you will follow with us to the end of this great Book of Revelation and SEE the beauty of the NEW JERUSALEM coming down out of heaven, then you still cannot fathom the blessing of being part of the first resurrection. Our feeble brains just cannot imagine how wonderful it is!Rev. 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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.
Now read again chapter 20 verse 6. Since eternal life is granted to those who are part of the First Resurrection, then the second death, the lake of fire, does not apply to them! Their souls cannot be destroyed because they have already received the gift of eternal life. And they shall be PRIESTS and REIGN with Christ throughout the Millennium.
Next we will document from the Old Testament and see in greater detail the reign of these Priests of God and of Christ. But for now, just stop everything and take a deep breath and consider the following:
If you have eyes to see and ears to hear then you have been and will be reading about YOU, a participant in the first resurrection! And if you can only even briefly comprehend the enormous reality of all this, that it WILL HAPPEN TO YOU as it is written, then your faith will be greatly increased, your fears and anxieties will be greatly decreased, and you will be overcome with love and thankfulness for our Father who loves His children so much.
Now we continue in what is often called the Millennium Chapter, because the events that are being described are happening during and after the 1000 year reign of Christ and His saints which commences with the sound of the 7th Trump.
We learned in Rev. 20:6 that those who are part of the first resurrection will be Priests of God and shall reign with Christ during the 1000 years. But once again, as we have seen throughout Revelation, this is not new knowledge if you are familiar with all of God's Word. You see, the last 8 chapters of the Book of Ezekiel contain more information about the Millennium than does the Book of Revelation. And so we can read even more detail about the 1000 year reign of God's elect, who are called the "zadok" in Hebrew, which means the "just" or "justified ones" (Rom. 8). Here's Ezekiel's account in chapter 44 concerning the Priests during the Millennium:
Those being taught by these priests obviously couldn't discern between the false messiah and the true Messiah, the profane and the holy, before the 7th Trump sounded, could they?Ezekiel 44:23
And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
AMAZING! We just read of this: And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.
But here's some detail that we didn't learn of in Revelation. And it answers a very common question often asked: "Will we recognize our loved ones in the Millenium?" The answer is yes, of course. (After all, we were created after the image of God and the angels, the host of heaven, the sons of God, i.e. ourselves. So we will all look like "ourselves" after which we were created in the image of.)Rev. 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Again, how many times must we realize that these "dead" people are alive and going to discernment classes during the Millennium? They are "spiritually dead". Even your loved ones if you are unfortunate enough to have some who don't make the "first cut" at the 7th Trump, are called "dead", again because they have mortal souls and are liable to die the second death. You probably call some of them "dead beats" now, though hopefully not to their faces. Well...? Be nice. And they shall come at no dead person to defile themselves: but for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister that hath had no husband, they may defile themselves.
Let's continue with chapter 20 of the Book of the Unveiling, the book that let's us SEE behind the VEIL!
We are now going to be taken behind that veil to the End of the Millennium, and we must "transport" our minds to that time with the understanding of those things which have been revealed to us thus far. Remember, everyone is in an incorruptible, spiritual body. Christ and His zadok have been reigning for the 1000 years during which time Satan has been imprisoned. Everyone now fully understands God Word and they have been taught the "difference" and how to "discern" between the unclean (Satan's ways) and the clean (God's way). They have all seen many times the video replays of the flesh age and the results of following the unclean path.
So you would think that most everyone would SEE and desire in their hearts to follow God and love Him and live the clean way of life that produces happiness and joy. That is our Father's desire, but there is some sad news in the next two verses.
It is soon time for the Great White Throne judgment of God. Christ now let's Satan loose to test those who followed after him before.Rev. 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
And so Satan shall once again run "to and fro" and "up and down" in the earth gathering together all who will still follow him, although as you will recall he will not be afforded the one world political system or his former role as the false-christ. This beast and false prophet were destroyed for ever and ever (Rev. 19:20). 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.
But as incredible as it may seem, and as sad as it is, the reality is that there will still be a lot of people who will follow Satan, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. So this verse documents the justification and the reason for the release of Satan and the "testing". All one can say is that the heart of the wicked and the kenite is a very hard thing to change.
The statements "in the four corners" and "Gog and Magog" simply mean all those nations outside the Holy City. Remember we are at the end of the Millennium and this Gog and Magog is not to be confused with the pre-millennial Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 38 and 39. Here it means in both directions, East and West, from Jerusalem into all the earth, i.e. into all four corners. (For further documentation see notes in the Companion Bible on Rev. 20:8 and Ezek. 38:2)
When Satan has gathered all who will join him and they have compassed Jerusalem then it's lake of fire time for them. No need to even open up the book of works on these folks for they have totally and completely failed the final exam. They will not graduate into eternity. Bye! 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.
Here we come to the favorite verse of Dante, who gave us graphic descriptions, complete with illustrations, of an everlasting Burning Inferno, known as Dante's Inferno, where poor souls who didn't repent weep and wail and writhe in pain and agony and torment forever and ever while the saints sitting on the clouds with their harps look upon them and sing the refrain "Burn, suckers, burn, we told you so, we told you so"! Some concept of heaven, eh? 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.
Well it ain't so! First of all, it is documented time after time after time in the Bible that the fate of the wicked is to PERISH, to die the second death, which is the DESTRUCTION OF THE SOUL! We've already quoted John 3:16 in the last study as well as Christ's own words in Mat. 10. But let's read again His words:
And how about Satan's soul? Did we just read that Satan will be tormented for ever and ever? No we did not, because we read an idiom of another language translated into our English which completely lost the meaning. It would be like translating the English expression "She got cold feet", meaning "She lost her nerve" to do something, into French. But in the French language there is no such expression and so the best the readers of the expression can determine is that the actual temperature of her feet much approach that of ice!Matthew 10:28
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
The root of the word "torment" in verse 10 is the Greek word basanos from where we get our word "basis", and it means (through the notion of going to the bottom). But the whole expression together simply means that Satan will be consumed, debased, gone, day and night (for all eternity), forever and ever (to be no more).
For further documentation, let's look at a second witness, another account of Satan's ultimate fate, found in the 28th chapter of Ezekiel. Here's how he DIES! He perishes by fire!
Always remember from the last verse in Hebrews chapter 12 that our Father is a consuming fire. He will destroy Satan and turn him into ashes forever and ever.Ezekiel 28:18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
Does that mean he'll burn for ever and ever? Of course not.
Satan will BE NO MORE! You just read it! His very name in Greek is "Apollyon" which means PERISH. That is why he is called the "Son of Perdition", i.e. the son who will perish! All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
The same fate that awaits all of us who don't have part in the first nor the second resurrections.
"The great white throne of Judgment" starting verse 11
Do you realize that Satan has succeeded in taking a few mistranslated verses and created an almost universally accepted Christian doctrine so heinous that it even defies the nature of human love. We have laws in human society against torturing both animals and people. Even a parent of a child who became a despicable evil murderer could not imagine nor accept and would certainly never decree that the child be heinously singed with fire, poked with hot coals, and roasted in an oven. What parent, brother or sister could look upon one of their own being treated as such? They could perhaps accept the humane execution of the child, to put him or her out their torment for ever and ever, for the protection and good of society. And guess what? God says in Jer. 32:35 that He never ever thought of torturing children in fire! Such is the doctrine of Molech! NEVER EVER! And yet today it is a doctrine in most Christian churches. But it is a tradition of men like Dante and not of God's Word!
And as it is written, Death is exactly the punishment God decrees for the murderer in the flesh body, and as it is written, Death is exactly the punishment God decrees for the wicked in the spirit body. And just as we don't have to put up with the evil (flesh) person anymore on earth when they are executed (the first death), so we will not have to put up with the wicked anymore for all eternity when they are executed (the second death).
This is the last day of this earth age and the full God head comes to earth. We'll read of it in detail in the next chapter. And this verse should remind us of that which we read in Rev. 6:14 "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places." It is the end of this present heaven and earth age, the 2nd heaven and earth age, and the beginning of the 3rd which is for all eternity.Rev. 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.
Do dead people stand? This is not talking about resurrection, this is the coming before the Judge! Stand up and approach the bench please! 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.
Remember where we are? We are at the end of the Millennium. There are no people in flesh bodies nor are there any souls in the ground. The "dead" referred to here are the spiritually dead who are about to be judged from the books and receive their rewards according to their actions! And their last actions recorded in the books just before the Millennium were to worship the beast and his image! God will pick it up from there.
And so it is more than obvious that these books that are opened are the Books of Works. You see, Almighty God keeps perfect records of all His children's activities? Thank God for this dispensation of grace and for repentance whereby we can have our "activities", our sins, deleted from the books. Also, remember that those of the first resurrection are not subject to the judgment of the second resurrection and/or the second death. We read that in verse 6.
Notice too that the Book of Life was also opened. This book already has the names of God's elect in this generation written in it. In fact, their names were written in that Book of Life a long time ago, before the foundation of this world. Remember we read of it in Rev. 13:8? All those of this generation whose names are not written in it will worship Satan as Jesus.
Let's return to the judgment.Rev. 13:8
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
This verse simply says what the last phrase makes obvious. That every single person on earth who is spiritually dead, i.e. has a mortal soul and is subject to the judgment, will be brought forth and judged according to their works. There will be no "plea bargaining" and no "defense attorneys" will be permitted in the courtroom except when it is their turn to stand before the Judge to defend themselves! (That ought to be really something when they try to parse and redefine the Word). NEXT!Rev. 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.
That's right. It's all over, all death and dying, and all the evil rudiments and wicked people will be consumed by the consuming fire, and they will be gone forever and ever. As Paul would say: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
The only victory comes from having your name written in the Book of Life!1 Cor. 15:55
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Otherwise you will be no more!Rev. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
As for the rest of God's children whose names were written in the Book of Life? They lived happily ever after!
The Millennium is over. The final period, the final time of salvation has come to an end. The great white throne judgment has been concluded and the books have been closed. Our Father has destroyed all evil rudiments and souls in the lake of fire and we shall begin the wonderful, peaceful eternity.
And so the question is often asked "Can anything or anyone
rebel again as did Satan in the 1st earth age? In other words, how do we
know there won't be another Satan?" The answer is contained in understanding
the plan of God itself. No, it can never
happen again. Why? Because all freewill souls will have exercised their
freewill, i.e. made their decisions as to who they will follow, and will
have been thoroughly tested to the point of irreversibility.
The wicked will have proven they won't repent and the saints will have
proven to always be faithful. Have you not read of the testing of all the
saints from Noah to Abraham to Christ Himself to You (well maybe you keep
a diary)? So you now know why James says in chapter 1 verse 2 of his book,
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;".
Hey, you get to "ace" another pop quiz!