Revelation 20:1-6

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

October 29, 1997

Introduction

It's important to briefly recap what's happened up to this point:

1. The Rapture (1Cor.15:51-52; 1Thess.4:17)

All those who have died before the rapture will receive their glorified bodies at that time. Up until the rapture, they are spirits without bodies.

All believers living on the earth will be taken to heaven with Jesus and receive brand new glorified bodies.

2. The Great Tribulation (Rev.6-18)

A seven year period where the Antichrist rules the earth and God pours out His wrath upon unbelieving mankind.

During this time, there will be many who come to Christ, though much of them lose their lives in martyrdom.

3. The Second Coming (Rev.19)

Jesus comes back on His white horse, with us behind Him.

Here all the rest of the unbelievers will be put to death by Jesus.

4. The Millennium (Rev.20)

Jesus rules over the earth for a thousand years

Who's going to be there?

Jesus and His angels.

Us along with all the believers who have died through the ages, in our glorified bodies.

All the believers who managed to live through the Tribulation, in their old bodies.

:1-3 Satan is bound

:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven,

I think itís interesting that itís a single angel that is sent to bind Satan with this chain.

Sometimes we have this idea that Satan is the "opposite" of God, that he is somehow on the same level as God.

Yet here a single angel is sent to bind Satan.

:1 having the key of the bottomless pit

bottomless pit Ė abussos Ė bottomless; unbounded; the abyss

About the abyss, we said before that Ė

1. Itís where the demonic locust creatures come out of to torment the earth. (Rev. 9)

2. It's the place of origin for the antichrist. (Rev. 11:7; 17:8)

3. It's a place of imprisonment for demons. (Jude 1:6; 2Pet.2:4)

4. Itís a place of torment (Luke 8:26-33; Mat. 8:29)

:1 and a great chain in his hand.

chain Ė halusis Ė (literally "a" (opposite) + "luo" (to loose), an "un-looser") chain, bond. Every place this is found in the NT it refers to an actual, real, chain. (see Mar.5:3,4; Luk.8:29; Act.12:6,7;21:33;28:20; Eph.6:20; 2Tim.1:16)

Some have suggested that the 1,000 year reign of Christ has already begun on earth, through the church.

If this is the case, then Satanís chain must be pretty long.

:2 And he laid hold on

laid hold Ė krateo Ė to have power; to become master of; to hold

:2 the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan

We have four descriptions of Satan here. Just in case you are a little unsure just who John is writing about!

Dragon Ė referring to the character weíve seen from chapter 12, the being who was out to destroy Israel, the one who empowers the antichrist, the one behind the evil empire.

serpent Ė reminding us that this was the same individual who tempted Eve in the garden. A serpent was held by the ancients to be a symbol of cunning and wisdom.

Donít underestimate the enemyís abilities.

Devil Ė diabolos Ė a slanderer, a false accuser

One of Satanís chief tactics is to hit us with accusations, he is the "accuser of the brethren" (Rev. 12:10)

Satan Ė this isnít a Greek word, but actually a Hebrew word, (satan {saw-tawn'}) Ė an adversary, one who withstands

Satan is against us. Heís against God.

Lesson:

Spiritual warfare Ė Donít face Satan on your own.

So often we try to face spiritual battles with unspiritual weapons.

This is where I get concerned with psychology.

Donít get me wrong, I think that counseling can be of great value, but sometimes the struggle is not a mental our "soulish" struggle, but a spiritual battle.

Paul wrote,

(Eph 6:10-12 KJV) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. {11} Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. {12} For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

We need to learn to use the Lordís power.

(James 4:7 KJV) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Our victory in spiritual battle will only be as strong as our submission to God and our yielding to His power.

:2 and bound him

bound Ė deo Ė to bind, fasten with chains, to throw into chains. Ken mentioned this word in his study on Sunday Ė

(Luke 13:16 KJV) And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?

Lesson:

We too have minor binding and loosing abilities.

I say minor, because our binding and loosing doesnít appear to last 1,000 years as this chain will.

Jesus has given us authority to bind and loosen things in the realm of the Spirit.

Mt 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.

We may, in prayer use the authority Jesus has given us to bind demonic spirits from hindering people, as well as loosen people from .

There also may be a sense in which we "loose" the Holy Spirit upon people as well.

These bindings and loosings affect heaven because the demons still have entrance to heaven.

:2 a thousand years,

The Greek word for "thousand" is chilia, but in the Latin, the idea is called "millennium", and hence our name for this period of time.

:3 shut him up

shut Ė kleio Ė to shut, shut up. Itís the word that "key" in verse 1 is based upon.

You might say he was "locked up with the key".

:3 and set a seal upon him

set a seal Ė sphragizo Ė mark with a seal.

Literally, "set a seal above him".

Even as the 144,000 were sealed (Rev.7) to show Godís ownership, and Godís protection, the abyss will have a seal on it to keep anybody from messing with it.

:3 that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled

Can you imagine a world where there is no tempter to tempt us?

There are three foes we face in the battle against temptation, 1) Satan, 2) the world system, and 3) our own sin nature.

There will be human beings who have believed in Jesus, who actually survive the Tribulation alive, and who enter into the Millennium in their natural bodies.

Though they will have a sin nature, they will not have a world system to face, neither will they have Satan to orchestrate the temptations.

:3 after that he must be loosed a little season.

michros chronon Ė a little time

At the end of the 1000 years, Satan will be let loose for a short time (who knows how long...), to deceive the nations once more.

This is to give all those born during the Millennium a chance to choose between Jesus and Satan.

More about this next week...

:4-6 The First Resurrection

:4 I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and

That's us.

How do we know that it's us? Because of the promises made to the churches Ė

(Rev 2:26-27 KJV) And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: {27} And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (also Rev. 3:21)

:4 judgment was given unto them

We've already seen that we'll help Jesus rule over the earth, ruling over those in their natural bodies, but there's more.

(1 Cor 6:3 KJV) Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

We'll be judging angels.

Do you think weíll be having a chance to talk to our guardian angels about the accidents we got in? (Actually, I think itís the demonic angels weíll be judging)

:4 and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God

John is seeing the group we would refer to as the "tribulation martyrs", those who lost their life during the Great Tribulation.

The Greek specifically says that they died for two reasons, because of their witness of Jesus, and because of the word of God.

The rest of the verse just describes what else they did.

Lesson:

How important is it to you?

These people will loose their lives because of what they say about Jesus, and because of the importance of the Word of God.

I sometimes wonder why Iím so unwilling to risk friendships with people, when others are willingly loosing their lives.

:4 and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands

These are the ones fused to worship the beast and take the mark.

:4 and they lived

The idea is that they were dead, and now theyíre alive.

This is a "resurrection".

These folks are now receiving their new bodies.

:4 and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Along with us, these people will rule with us for 1,000 years.

This is what is called the "millennial kingdom".

Isnít it amazing that Jesus would even bother sharing His reign with us?

Some facts about the "Millennial Kingdom":

1. This is the kingdom of heaven.

This is the kingdom referred to so much in scripture.

Itís there much more than we are aware of.

In the book of Matthew alone, the word "kingdom" appears some 52 times, most of which could and does apply to this kingdom.

There is a sense in which "the kingdom of heaven" refers to that territory that God has staked out in your life, almost as a foretaste of heaven itself, but I believe most references apply to this kingdom.

Here's some samples (just from the Sermon on the Mount!):

(Mat 5:3 KJV) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(Mat 5:20 KJV) For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Whatís the only way to have that kind of righteousness? To have Jesusí righteousness given to us!

(Mat 6:10 KJV) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

(Mat 6:33 KJV) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

2. The capitol city will be Jerusalem.

Donít lose sight of the fact that this kingdom is in fact the Israel that God intended it to be.

(Isa 2:3 KJV) And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Much of the problems that people get in with interpreting these passages is that they think that somehow Israel no longer is going to receive all the promises that God had for it, but that somehow the church has taken itís place.

Nonsense! Read Romans 11, God isnít done with Israel (especially Rom 11:25-26)

Jesus will be ruling in Jerusalem, on the throne of David.

Many nations of the world will still be intact through the Millennium, but Israel will be ruling the world through Jesus.

3. The curse will be lifted from nature.

(Isa 11:6-8 KJV) The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. {7} And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. {8} And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on atrice' den.

This is why all creation groans for this day to come (Rom. 8:19)

4. There will be long life and health.

(Isa 65:20-22 KJV) There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. {21} And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. {22} They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

If someone dies at age 100, they would be considered a child. I believe that people will be living the entire length of the millennium, just as those in Adamís day lived almost to be 1,000 years.

5. There will be material prosperity.

(Amos 9:13 KJV) Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.

The harvest will be so great, that the reapers will still be harvesting the fields, when the plow comes along to plant more crops!

6. There will be true justice.

(Isa 11:4 KJV) But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

There wonít be any questions about justice like O.J. Simpson, or the things that go on in Washington.

7. There will be peace.

(Isa 2:4 KJV) And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

This is inscribed on the United Nations building, but it won't happen by man's efforts, only when Jesus comes back on His white horse.

:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.

Who does this refer to?

Remember what's happened up to this time:

Jesus was raised from the dead nearly two thousand years ago.

Believers who die before the Rapture receive their resurrection bodies at the Rapture.

Believers alive at the Rapture receive their resurrected bodies at the Rapture.

Some seven or so years after the Rapture, people who become believers during the Tribulation period have just received their resurrected bodies (vs.4)

All that leaves are the dead UNBELIEVERS. They won't be raised until after the thousand years are over (Rev.20:12).

:5 This is the first resurrection.

The "first" resurrection refers to the tribulation martyrs who have just "come to life", or just received their new bodies.

You really need to put a parenthesis around the line, "The rest of the dead..." to make sense.

This is the first resurrection in the context of this chapter.

There will have been several resurrections before this "first resurrection", Jesus', ours', etc, but there will be another, final resurrection at the end of the chapter, where the unbelieving dead are raised and given final judgment.

Some have suggested that the "first resurrection" is not a single event, but a "category", meaning the resurrection of believers, and started with the resurrection of Jesus, continuing at the Rapture with us, and on to these folks.

:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection

Meaning the resurrection of believers.

:6 on such the second death hath no power

This is the Lake of Fire (Rev.20:14).

(Rev 20:14 KJV) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

A personís "first death" occurs when their physical body dies, when their spirit and body are separated.

When a person rejects Jesus, they will suffer the "second death", being eternally separated from God.

When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the price of our "second death".

:6 but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

A priest is one presents God to man, and man to God.

We are already that

(1 Pet 2:9 KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

We already function as representatives of God to people as we witness.

We function as representatives of man to God when we pray.