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Keys to Revelation - Chapter 20

Written by: Capoccia, Tony    Posted on: 05/12/2003

Category: Bible Studies

Source: CCN

                        Keys to Revelation - Chapter 20

Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New York International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

          BIBLE TEXT                                  COMMENTARY

REV 20:1  And I saw an angel coming      [coming down] - John is most likely down out of heaven, having the key        situated on the earth looking up to to the Abyss and holding in his          heaven and sees an angel descending hand a great chain.                      out of the Third Heaven.

                                          [key] - A key allows the owner to                                           exercise authority over an object or                                           place.  Here it is a symbol of God's                                           absolute authority over the Abyss.

                                          [Abyss] - The place of confinement                                           for the wicked angels who are await-                                           ing the final judgment of the Lake                                           of Fire.  Jude 6 reveals that it is                                           a place of darkness where angels are                                           bound with chains.  It is a place so                                           terrible that the demons in Luke 8:31                                           begged Jesus, "...repeatedly not to                                           order them into the Abyss."

                                          [great chain] - A real chain in the                                           hand of the angel, that was large,                                           long, and indestructible.

                                                                              REV 20:2  He seized the dragon,          [seized the dragon] - He is a mighty that ancient serpent, who is the          angel, which could imply the angel devil, or Satan, and bound him for        was Michael the Archangel, who has a thousand years.                        great strength.  He was the one in                                           DAN 10:13 that had to "free" another                                           angel of God who was being detained                                           by the wicked forces of evil, that                                           were the power behind the Persian                                           Kingdom. 

                                          [bound] - Satan is literally tied up                                           by the great chain that God has made                                           for the purpose of incapacitating the                                           Father of Lies.

                                          [thousand years] - A literal period                                           of 1,000 years that coincide with the                                           thousand year rule of Christ on the                                           earth.  In fact, Jesus had the evil                                           one bound to ensure Millennial peace                                           of His Kingdom.

REV 20:3  He threw him into the          [He threw] - The angel bound Satan Abyss, and locked and sealed it          with the chain and then threw him over him, to keep him from                into the Abyss.  This is the same deceiving the nations anymore until      way the unbeliever is treated after the thousand years were ended.            the judgment of REV 20:14.  God does After that, he must be set free for      not merely "send" or "place" them a short time.                            into torment, but rather, He has them                                           "thrown" into judgment.  While our                                           God is a loving God, He is also a                                           God of judgment, who is an enemy to                                           those who refuse to love and obey                                           Him.

                                          [after that] - After the 1,000 years                                           are over, God in His wisdom lets the                                           evil one go free for a short time. It                                           could be to show mankind that evil                                           still lurks in the heart of the                                           unredeemed of the Millennium, for as                                           soon as Satan is released, he leads                                           them in rebellion against God.

REV 20:4  I saw thrones on which          [thrones] - These thrones are part of were seated those who had been            the King's Court that will rule over given authority to judge. And I saw      the earth for one thousand years. the souls of those who had been          Jesus is the king of the earth and beheaded because of their testimony      has given the authority to judge to for Jesus and because of the word        those seated on these thrones. of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not            [seated] - The identification of received his mark on their                those seated on the thrones is not foreheads or their hands. They came      limited to one specific group. We to life and reigned with Christ a        can find numerous verses that speak thousand years.                          of various groups that will rule                                           during the Millennium.  In DAN 7:18                                           and 7:27 we see the Old Testament                                           Saints promised a part in the rule                                           of the Kingdom.

                                          The Apostles are promised thrones                                           when Jesus sits on His "Glorious                                            Throne" (MAT 19:28).  Every New                                           Testament Saint is promised the task                                           of judging the world in a coming day                                           (2CO 6:2).  There can be numerous                                           thrones (millions) in the Millennium                                           replacing the civil courts of law                                           of this age.  In this case John does                                           not tell us exactly who is sitting                                           on the thrones.  But we do know it is                                           the redeemed. 

                                          [saw the souls] - Somehow in Heaven                                           souls (Spirits) are visible even                                           before the resurrection of the body.                                           Here, John sees the souls of those                                           from the Tribulation Period and then                                           watches as their glorified bodies are                                           resurrected and reunited with their                                           souls (end of verse 4).

                                          [beheaded] - These Tribulation Saints                                           literally were beheaded because they                                           refused to deny Christ and worship                                            the Antichrist.  It is interesting                                           that France, one of the nations of                                           the revised Roman Empire, has been                                           considering the revival of the old                                           guillotine style of capital punish-                                           ment.

                                          [They came to life] - This is the                                           final phase of the resurrection of                                           the Righteous.  The first phase was                                           the resurrection of the King of                                           Righteousness -- Jesus Christ, then                                           came the firstfruits -- the Rapture                                           of the Church, and finally this last                                           phase where the Tribulation Saints                                           are resurrected along with all                                           the Old Testament Saints (EZE 37:12;                                           DAN 12:2, 12:12; 1CO 15:23).

                                          It might be noted that during the                                           Millennium there will be others who                                           become Christians, but they will not                                           die, rather they will be translated                                           into their glorious bodies at the                                           end of the 1,000 year Kingdom.

                                          [reigned with Christ] - All the                                           Saints of all ages will rule and                                           reign with Jesus for the 1,000 years.                                           What a truly glorious time when the                                           name of Jesus will be honored and                                           those who try to do evil will be                                           judged instantly.

REV 20:5  (The rest of the dead did      [rest of the dead] - These are the  not come to life until the thousand      unbelievers from all ages (billions) years were ended.) This is the            that we see alive and standing their first resurrection.                      final judgment in REV 20:11-15.

REV 20:6  Blessed and holy are            [second death] - The first death is those who have part in the first          our physical death.  The second death resurrection. The second death has        is the eternal torment of the Lake of no power over them, but they will        Fire (REV 20:14) reserved solely for be priests of God and of Christ and      those who refused God's Way of Grace will reign with him for a thousand        through Faith in Christ, Repentance years.                                    of sins, and Submission to the Lord                                           Jesus -- The Eternal and Holy God.

REV 20:7  When the thousand years        [Satan...released] - God does not are over, Satan will be released          tell us why He allows Satan to again from his prison                          exercise his wicked power on the                                           earth.  It does show that man, whose                                           heart has not been changed by Christ,                                           is still easily controlled by the                                           evil one.

                                        REV 20:8  and will go out to              [the nations] - These are all the deceive the nations in the four          countries of the earth with the corners of the earth--Gog and            exception of Israel.  They are given Magog--to gather them for battle.        the title of the enemies of God -- In number they are like the sand on      Gog and Magog. the seashore.                                            [number...like the sand] - Amazing                                           that after a 1,000 reign of peace by                                           Jesus and His Saints, there are still                                           multitudes who have refused to submit                                           to Him and try to destroy the Savior                                           and His people.  These are the youth                                           of the Millennium, under the age of                                           100.  Those who become Christians in                                           the Millennium will not die.  But the                                           unbeliever will be allowed only 100                                           years to "come to Christ," after                                           which he will be killed (ISA 65:20).

REV 20:9  They marched across the        [camp of God's people] - The city He breadth of the earth and surrounded      loves is Jerusalem (PSA 78:68; 87:2). the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from        [but fire came down] - These wicked heaven and devoured them.                forces never got to "fire a shot"                                           because to Mighty Savior Jesus Christ                                           called down fire from heaven to                                           destroy the attacking armies.

REV 20:10  And the devil, who            [devil...thrown] - This is the last deceived them, was thrown into the        time Satan will ever be seen or heard lake of burning sulfur, where the        of again.  He has plagued mankind for beast and the false prophet had          thousands of years and has been the been thrown. They will be tormented      constant troubler in the Bible from day and night for ever and ever.          Genesis to Revelation.  But praise to                                           the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS                                           that He has defeated the evil one.

                                          [tormented] - This final place of                                           torment is a literal place of fire,                                           agony, loneliness, hunger, thirst,                                           etc., and never ends.  After Satan                                           and the rest of the wicked have been                                           there 10,000 years, they will have                                           the same amount of eternal judgment                                           as they had when they first started!

REV 20:11  Then I saw a great white      [great white throne] - This throne throne and him who was seated on          is the same one referred to in DAN it. Earth and sky fled from his          7:10. It is massive, brilliant white, presence, and there was no place          flaming with fire, and is mounted on for them.                                wheels of fire.  There is a river of                                           fire coming out from the throne and                                           most likely pours into the Lake of    

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