Revelation 20:1-3 “…an angel…having the key to the bottomless pit…a great chain…laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years…cast him into the bottomless pit…till the thousand years were finished…after these things he must be released for a little while”
Satan is bound during the Millennial reign of Christ. Not sure exactly what this stage is for. Obviously has a reason and will bring glory to God. I’ve often wondered if this is to show how only God’s way will work in God’s universe. Man has been able to do things his way, somewhat, for six thousand years, from Eden until now. And he has made an absolute mess of things. The Millennium will contrast man’s rule with Christ’s. And less man say that it was satan causing the problem, satan will be bound out of the way for most of it. He will be released for a bit at the end to see if man will choose perfect conditions under Christ or his own sinful way with satan’s prodding, much like the choice Adam and Eve had in the garden. I also find it interesting that God created for six days then rested on the seventh. We’ve had six millennia of the earth in turmoil, now we’re ready for a millennia of perfect rule under Christ. Personally I’m ready for it to begin today.
4 “…I saw thrones, and they sat on them…souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years”
Some confusion over who is present during the Millennial reign. I’ve read where some believe it is only the saved out of the Tribulation who reign with Christ while those who were raptured along with the pre-resurrection saints will remain in Heaven. I’ve also read that the pre-resurrection saints will remain in Heaven while all who were saved after Christ will reign. I don’t see where they get any of that except perhaps here where John only mentions the Tribulation saints, those who were beheaded and didn’t take the mark. But I think he mentions them since they are different from the raptured saints in their situation. At the Rapture, all who have believed in Christ to that point are reunited with their bodies, are changed into the incorruptible forms, and are taken to Heaven. At that point, all saints in Heaven have their new bodies. As those die during the Tribulation, they leave their bodies on the earth and spend some time in Heaven in Spirit form. Those with bodies have come with Christ as His army, clothed in fine white linen. And now John includes the others. The souls of those from the Tribulation. They are resurrected or reunited with their bodies to also reign with Christ.
5-6 “…rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
The first resurrection doesn’t refer to a particular resurrection, but to the resurrection of the living as opposed to the resurrection of the dead. Those who belong to Christ at the Rapture were resurrected or reunited with their bodies then. Here we have the rest who came out of the Tribulation being resurrected. This resurrection of the living is the first resurrection. The second death, being cast into the Lake of Fire, has no power over those of the first resurrection, those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. And they, those who have part in the first resurrection, will reign with Christ a thousand years. To me, this answers the question about who will be where. We only have two groups mentioned, the resurrected and the unresurrected. The resurrected are said to reign with Christ so that should include all of them. The rest of the dead, those who are in Hell, won’t be resurrected for another thousand years.
7-8 “…Satan will be released…will go out to deceive the nations…”
Satan is released from the bottomless pit to stir up the people of earth who still have sin natures. These would be descendants of any who were left alive at the beginning of the Millennium. Not sure exactly how that will work. We aren’t given any idea what life will be like during the Millennium. But it sounds as though the nations will have some semblance of self government accountable to Christ.
8-9 “…the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea…surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them”
Appears satan will convince some of them to rebel against Christ as he did Adam and Eve at the beginning. Not sure how Gog and Magog fit into this since it mentions the nations at the four corners of the earth, or basically all of them. Perhaps the ones left at the beginning of the Millennium start out in that ancient area and spread from there. At any rate, they have multiplied to great numbers during the thousand years. They attempt to attack the ruling saints and Jerusalem only to have fire come down from Heaven and destroy them. No muss no fuss.
10 “The devil…was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone…”
The final end to satan. Cast into the Lake of Fire like the Antichrist and his false prophet.
11 “…a great white throne and Him who sat on it…”
Final judgment of God.
12 “…I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God…”
This is the second resurrection, the resurrection of the lost, those who died without Christ. They are now resurrected and stand before God for their final judgment.
12-15 “…books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books…And they were judged, each one according to his works…This is the second death…anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire”
Saddest point. All the dead, those who rejected Christ, stand before God and are judged by their works which are listed in the books. All the things they thought they got away with are presented to them. Then they are cast into the Lake of Fire with satan, the Antichrist, the false prophet, and all the fallen angels. This is called the second death because there is no resurrection from it, no hope of it ever ending.
13 “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them…”
Just an interesting note. Not sure why the distinction between the sea and Death and Hades. May be from a point of perception. Those who die on land can be buried or cremated. Those in the sea are a bit of an unknown as to their final condition. The phrase may just be a statement of completion, a way of saying all those dead who are left are brought forth, no one is left out. Commentaries suggest it refers to both body and soul/spirit. Sea and grave give up the bodies while Death and Hades give up the souls/spirits. They come together for the judgment. Makes sense.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.