Revelation Chapter 20
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.
The Key To The Abyss
An unnamed, but seemingly ordinary, the angle will come from heaven to earth. He will have the key to the Abyss that will be taken from Satan when the devil is cast out of heaven in (Revelation 12:7-9). The angel will also have a great chain in his hand.
Rev. 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the
Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Not Before The Time Has Come
Obviously, since God is omnipotent, he could seize Satan anytime he wants. But the Bible says Satan's arrest will come at the end of the Tribulation Period. God will not jump the gun and violate his own Word. When the Tribulation Period is over, he will send one ordinary angel to seize and bind Satan for a thousand years.
Rev. 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.
On The Brink
The angel will cast Satan, bound and chained, into the Abyss. This will keep Satan from deceiving the nations during the Millennium. Survivors from the Tribulation (the Tribulation Saints and the living Jews) will repopulate the earth, and people from all nations will go to Jerusalem once a year to worship Jesus.
Multitudes will be born during the Millennium. During that time, the offspring of the Tribulation Saints and Jews will not know what temptation is. There will be no real test of their faith. Satan will be released one more time to try them, and unfortunately, many will fall.
Rev. 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 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.
Raised At Last
Thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge refers to the Church and martyred Tribulation Saints. They will sit upon thrones and reign with Jesus during the Millennium. They will even be given the authority to judge the world.
The Souls of those who had been beheaded refers to the martyred Tribulation Saints. They were beheaded for two reasons: because of their testimony for Jesus, and to fulfil the Word of God. These will be Gentiles and Jews who refused to worship the Antichrist or his image and refused to take his Mark. After Satan is bound and chained, their souls will appear, and they will be raised from the dead in the fourth and final phase of the resurrection. (more on this in the next verse).
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth(Revelation 5:10).
Rev. 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Resurrection Of Life
Jesus said, Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out - those who have done well will rise and live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned (John 5:28,29). The first resurrection is called the resurrection of life or the resurrection of believers. The second resurrection is called the resurrection of the damnation or the resurrection of unbelievers. This verse reveals that there will be a thousand years between the two.
Perhaps some clarification would help. Some people think that the first resurrection means only one resurrection, but that is not the case. The first resurrection is a resurrection that began over 1,900 years ago and occurred in four phases.
Phase 1 - The resurrection of Christ and some Old Testament Saints
Phase 2 - the resurrection of the Church at the Rapture
Phase 3 - The resurrection of the two wittnesses
Phase 4 - The resurrection to the Tribulation Saints and the remainder of the Old Testament Saints at the end of the Tribulation Period.
Phase 5 - The unbelievers at the end of the millennium.
The 144,000 and those believers who survive the Tribulation Period will not be resurrected since they will still be alive at the start of the Millennium.
Rev. 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.
A Thousand Year Reign
This tells us six things about those who will have a part in the first resurrection:
1.) Blessed - they will be happy in their eternal state.
2.) Holy - they will be separated or identified as God's special people.
3.) Priest - they will minister to, and serve in the presence of God.
4.) Reign - they will be both a royal and a political priesthood.
5.) A thousand years - the length of their earthly reign with Jesus.
6.) The second death has no power over them - they will never suffer the consequences of their sin by being cast into the Lake of Fire because they have been redeemed.
Rev. 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be
loosed out of his prison,
Not Him Again
With Satan bound during the Millennium, people will be shielded from temptation and sin. Sickness and disease will not exist and people will live to be hundreds of years old. A population explosion will occur. However, God is no respecter of persons. Those born during the Millennium will have to be tested just like everyone else. When the Millennium is over, the Abyss will be opened one more time, and Satan will be released to resume his old ways.
Rev. 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.
World War IV - One Last Try
When Satan is released he will pick up where he left off. He will go out once again to deceive the nations.
Tempting those who were born during the Millennium will prove that eliminating sin is not as simple as changing our environment. Something is wrong with the very nature of man's heart. Rebellion is our nature, and unless we are born again, we will never see changes.
At the Battle of Gog and Magog Satan will repeat what he tried at the Battle of Armageddon. He will try one final time to become greater than God by gathering a great horde of people from all over the world, including those from Gog and Magog.
Rev. 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.
Foiled Once Again
Jesus will reign from Jerusalem, the City of God (the camp of God's people), during his Millennial reign. Satan's army will march across the earth and surround the city, but just as God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, he will again consume Satan's army with fire from heaven.
"God is love" is one of the great truths of the Bible, but we should also remember that God is a consuming fire. It is interesting that the only thing stopping the attack on Jerusalem is fire from heaven and the destruction of Satan. The message here is to not harm the things God loves.
Rev. 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 forever and ever.
Satan will not be allowed to lure people into destruction any longer. His deceptive career will be brought to an end when he is captured and thrown into the Lake of Fire where the Antichrist and False Prophet already reside. Unfortunately for them, they will not be destroyed, but will suffer unending torment.
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.
The Great White Throne
This is the judgment seat of Almighty God. the one who will be seated on it is not identified, but we have already seen that all judgment has been committed to Jesus. When preachers say people will have to face the judgment of God, this is the judgment most people think about. However, the only ones who will appear before this judgment seat are those who are lost.
Earth and heaven fled from his presence is something that little is known about. The consensus seems to be that earth and heaven will be moved to make room for the new earth and new heaven. There was no place for them appears to indicate the old earth and old heaven will be destroyed after being removed.
Rev. 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.
They Get What They Have Coming
The dead will stand before Jesus as he sits upon the Great White Throne. They will come from all walks of life: small and great, poor and rich, laborers and managers, peasants and kings. They will all stand before the court's judgment bar to be sentenced. Several books will be opened - each one is a "book of works" or a "book of deeds." These books will contain the thoughts, words, and deeds of each individual, and by these things they will be judged.
Another book will be opened - the Book of Life. It will contain the names of every person who ever lived, except those whose names were blotted out for sinning against God, denying Jesus, or adding to or taking away from the scriptures. When a person is born, their name is recorded in the Book of Life. It remains there until they become accountable for their sins and choose to reject Jesus in their life.
When the judgment begins, the dead will get what they knew they had coming. They will be judged by their divine record - their deeds as recorded in God's own book. A surprise will come their way through, for none of them will reach heaven. Only one thing remains - punishment. No mention will be made of salvation or the names in the Lamb's Book of Life, because these people did not accept Jesus as their Savior.
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.
All Will Be There
Everyone will stand before the judgment seat, even those from the bottom of the sea. No one will escape the judgment of God because he will raise them all from the dead. He will even raise them from Hades, the temporary abode of the souls and spirits of the wicked. All will be judged as individuals according to their deeds.. Unbelievers will go before the Great White Throne where their works will be judged also. The purpose of this is not salvation, but degrees of punishment.
The Bible teaches that man is destined to die once, and then he will face judgment. But believers will go before the judgment Seat of Christ where their works will be judged. The purpose of this is not salvation or we would not be raised at this time. This is a judgment of works for the purpose of receiving rewards or crowns (see Remeber This, Revelation 2:10)
Rev. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Death And Hades Destroyed
This will be the end of the first death - physical death. This is good news for believers but terrible news for unbelievers. They will want to die physically when they are raised from the dead, and cast into hell, but that will no longer be possible. They will have new bodies that cannot be destroyed in the Lake of Fire, so their suffering will be eternal.
This will also be the end of Hades. An intermediate abode for the lost will no longer be necessary. When the earth is destroyed people will be in one of two places: the heavenly city, or hell.
Rev. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was
cast into the lake of fire.
Will Your Name Be There
When the sentence is rendered, one's eternal destiny will not be determined by their deeds, but by what is written in the Book of Life. God will make a careful search of the heavenly list.
The names of those who did not accept Jesus before they died will have been blotted out of the Book of Life. Their names will not be found, and they will join Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet in the Lake of Fire forever.