Keys to Revelation - Chapter 20
Written by: Capoccia, Tony Posted on: 05/12/2003
Category: Bible Studies
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
[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
[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
[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-
[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
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
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.
[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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