About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapter 20
verses 1 through 3 we see an angel coming from heaven who is in charge of the
Abyss. The common understanding of the Abyss is the lowest part of Hades.
Hades was the place of both the departed wicked and righteous dead souls.
Jesus frees the righteous souls from Hades at His resurrection.
The wicked dead still remain in Hades.
It's in the lower parts of Hades that many say the Abyss is located.
should note that an angel is in charge of this Abyss.
Throughout the book of Revelation we have seen angels in charge of
various things. Angels don't simply
float around in the universe. They
have jobs to do. They have
responsibilities to carry out in their service to the Lord.
particular angel has the key to the Abyss. He
also has a chain. Many would view
the key and the chain symbolically, but why?
I admit the key and the chain probably aren't made of metal or copper,
but whatever they are, they are real in the angelic world.
particular angel seizes satan, throws him into the Abyss, and binds him up for
one thousand years. The words
"seize" and "throw" suggests to me a violent seizing and
throwing. These angels don't fool
around when it comes to satan. We've
seen them before in battle.
is interesting that this angel binds satan.
I’ve been in many charismatic meetings where people claim to bind satan
with their prayers. When I‘ve
heard people pray this way, I’ve always felt that this was an ineffective
prayer. It's not our place to bind
satan. You can see here that it is
the angels place to bind satan, and, he is only bound when his time to be bound
comes. It's not satan's time to be
bound at present.
thousand years when satan is bound is known in prophetic circles as the
view of the millennium is called the au-millennium view.
Those who hold to this view say that we are in the millennium right now.
Many people say the millennium is spiritual that began at Pentecost when
the Holy Spirit was given to the believer. For
various reasons I don't believe that for a minute.
This view is based on an allegorical or symbolic approach to the book of
Revelation, which in my view, is not the way to approach the book of Revelation.
This approach began as early as the second century when theologians began
to not take the Bible literally but allegorically.
It was cemented into church doctrine by Catholicism, thus the reason for
its popularity over the centuries. The
Reformers of the 1500's did not address this issue and therefore carried on the
Catholic way of thinking until this very day.
Liberal theologians hold to this view today.
view that is similar is called the post-millennium view. This view states that
Jesus will return to a world that has been perfected by and through the church.
They believe we are in the thousand years right now, and that these
years began at the resurrection of Jesus when they say satan was bound.
I certainly do not believe this position.
believe in what is called the pre-millennium view.
That is to say, Jesus will return to earth and set up His kingdom for a
thousand years, or, for a millennium. This
is the view of Prophetic Futurists. Jesus
returns to the earth. Satan is bound
for a literal thousand years. Jesus
rules on earth with a rod of iron as stated in chapter 19 from
an aside, the mere fact that Jesus has to rule with a rod of iron tells us that
not all people on earth at this time are true believers, willing to submit to
Jesus. During the tribulation period
many people are killed by God’s’ judgments but not all are killed.
You can read Zechariah 14 to confirm this.
Those who remain into the thousand year period of Jesus’ reign will
have to be subject to Him. Those
saints who return with Jesus will rule with Him on the earth. Isaiah 2:3 states
that there must be instruction of the Word of God during these years.
This means that not all will know the Word of the Lord.
Isaiah 2:4 states that Jesus will settle disputes during this time
period. There will be relative peace in the world because satan is bound for a
thousand years but relative peace isn't perfect peace.
Those who manage to survive the tribulation will still have fallen human
nature to contend with.
14 tells us that if those people and nations don’t come to
suggest that there are at least 400 verses in the Bible speaking of the thousand
year rule of Jesus. One example is
where we see the lions laying down with the lambs. (Isaiah 11:6) Another
is where we see weapons made into plows. (Isaiah 2:4)
verse 3 the angel throws satan into the Abyss where he is locked up so he
can’t deceive the nations of the world any longer.
Deception is the main weapon satan has to use on both individuals and
nations. Note the word nations here.
Both God and satan deal with humanity on two levels.
They deal with us as individuals and as nations.
God judges the nations of the world.
Satan deceives the nations of the world.
A quick reading of Zechariah clearly tells us how God deals with the
nations of the world.
verse 3 we see that satan is let lose for a short time at the end of the
thousand years. He’s given one
last chance by God to deceive people on earth.
So, once again, those non-believers who survived the tribulation and
their descendents still have free choice in the millennium.
don’t believe that the redeemed saints who have returned to earth with Jesus
in their glorified bodies to rule with Christ are able to be deceived.
Those who are deceived are the descendents of those who have survived the
why the devil is released at the end of the thousand years is debatable.
The text doesn't really say why. My
view of the thousand years is that God's people, whether
verse 4 John saw thrones on which people sat who were given authority to judge.
I believe those sitting on these thrones judging are the redeemed saints
who came back to earth with Jesus.
seeing these thrones John then saw those who were killed for their faith in
Jesus. They were ruling with Jesus.
see two groups of people in Revelation 20:4.
One group is the redeemed saints who return with Jesus to earth.
The other group is those who come to faith in Jesus during the
tribulation. I also see two jobs
these people perform. The first
group judge and the second group rule. I
see these as separate and distinct jobs.
for the record, not all separate verse 4 into two groups and two jobs.
They say there is only one group who rule, and, in the process of ruling,
5 tells us that this is the first resurrection of the dead.
That is to say, those who died during the tribulation period are raised
to life and rule with Christ. This
raising is the first resurrection. Some
people believe, and I tend to believe this, that the first resurrection is
actually in three phases. The first
phase is when the church is raptured prior to the tribulation.
The second is that somewhere during the tribulation is that the Old
Testament saints are raised from the dead. The
third is when the martyred saints are resurrected.
see the second resurrection later when the wicked unbelieving dead are raised at
the White Throne Judgment.
6 tells us that those involved in the first resurrection will not be a part of
the second death. The first death is
our natural death in this life. The
second death is when the unbelievers are thrown into the
also in verse 6 that those involved in the first resurrection are priest of God
and Christ and will rule on the earth for the thousand years.
This tells us that part of ruling is being a priest.
of God during the thousand years is clearly a Theocracy.
It's a religious kingdom. Also,
it certainly won't be a democracy.
verses 7 and 8 we see satan unleashed from his prison for a short time at the
end of the thousand years. You might
wonder why Jesus allows satan loose again. I
don't know if I have the answer but I do know that a close search of Scripture
teaches us that God has a preset volume of sin that a nation or an individual,
and I'd say including satan, can accumulate.
It is quite possible that both satan and the nations of the world have
not yet reached that volume of sin until the end of the thousand years.
goes throughout the whole earth and gathers people unto himself to rage war once
again against God and His people. As
the text states, the way in which he does this is through deception.
Deception is how satan always operates.
How long this rebellion takes we really don’t know, but you can guess
that any evil that we’ve seen in the world to date will not compare to the
evil of these days. Satan will have
been tied up for one thousand years. He
will surely be raging at this point in time. All sorts of pent up evil emotions
will explode onto the world scene by satan at this time.
Human history has never known a time like this time. Whether he knows it
or not, this is his last chance.
Gog and Magog in verse 8. You may
remember Gog and Magog from Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Many Prophetic Futurists believe this to be
first mention of Magog is found in Genesis 10:2.
Noah had three sons. They
were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. One of
Japheth's sons was named Magog. The
name Magog comes from the word god. There
is a debate over just what gog means. Whatever
the case, it appears to me at present that the term Gog and Magog that is found
here in Revelation 20 simply refers to the nations of the world.
The beginning of all world nations began back in Genesis 10 and thus are
finally judged here in Revelation 20.
how large this army is. There are as
many soldiers as there is on the sand of the sea.
This is idiomatic of the army being very large.
The terms "sands of the sea" as applied to people throughout
the Bible should not be taken literally. It
simply denotes a number that can't be counted.
This tells us that the population of the world at this time is very
large. We will have had one thousand
years to repopulate the earth from the horrors of the tribulation. Along with
the time period here we know that people will live longer during this time.
You can learn about this in Isaiah 65.
verse 9 we see this great satanic army marching across the face of the earth and
surrounding the city that Jesus loves, which would be
satan deceives the nations of the world, this tells me that there would have to
be a major revolt against the saints who are ruling these nations under the
authority of Jesus.
the people of God in verse 9. They
live in Jerusalem. They are Jews.
These people would be the Jews who give themselves to Jesus at the end of
the tribulation. They would also be
their descendents. This is yet
another reason why I believe that during the thousand year rule of Jesus on
earth there will be a distinction between Jews and Gentiles.
also that even at the end of the thousand year rule of Christ, Jesus loves the
city of Jerusalem.
verse 10 we see that at this point in time the devil is thrown into the
people who claim that the
verse 11 John saw a “great white throne”.
What takes place here is called by most all Prophetic Futurist as the
“Great White Throne Judgement”. Also
in verse 11 we see that both earth and sky flee from the one sitting on the
throne. The one sitting on the
throne is obviously God Himself. Not
even the earth and the sky are able to stand in His presence.
This could well be where the new heaven and the new earth come into
being. The present earth and all
that is associated with it, flees into nothingness. This
should tell you that nothing that is defiled by sin can stand in the immediate
presence of God, not even non-human things like the earth.
verse 12 we see all the dead standing before the one sitting on the throne.
This is in reference to those we saw earlier in the chapter that were not
part of the first resurrection. These
are not the saints because the saints have been raised to a new life with Jesus
already. These are those who
remained dead until this point of time. They
now rise from the dead and are judged according to their works.
see that God judges these wicked people according to their works, suggesting
that there might well be different levels of punishment.
Those who did more bad works would be punished more.
I believe this to be the truth. We
know that salvation does not depend on works, but those who are saved are
rewarded for their works and those who are not saved are punished for their bad
works. We should understand the
worst of the bad works is not believing in Jesus.
This is the real reason why these people are sent to the
recently pondered over the seven letters in Revelation 2 and 3.
There are many references to works in these letters.
If you notice at the White Throne Judgment, those who are judged are
judged according to their works. The
works they are judged for are works of sin, the biggest, although not mentioned
in the list, is unbelief in Jesus. This
is what I believe is going on here. Christians
are saved by faith in God's grace. Those
who choose the way of grace for their lives will not be judged for their works,
neither good nor bad. Those who
reject the path of faith and grace are therefore judged for their works,
including good and bad. This is what
I see happening here in this judgment.
thing to think about here concerning works is that we are no longer in the age
of grace; that is, the age we now live in as I write these words.
There is no longer any grace available.
If this is not the age of grace, then, it is the age of works, thus works
are being judged here at the White Throne Judgment.
verse 12 John notes that there are books, meaning, more than one book.
He also notes the book of life. In
this book were written the names of those who received salvation because they
put their trust in Jesus. The other
books seem to deal with all the deeds of these people who are being judged were
recorded. These books were opened
and the lives of these people flashed before their very eyes and were judge
accordingly. I can't imagine how
people will feel at this White Throne Judgment.
All of what they have done and who they were will instantaneously be made
known to them and they will give account of this and be judged accordingly.
the book of life, some suggest that there are two books of life.
This one, and the Lamb's book of like as seen in Revelation 13:8.
Those who believe there are two books say that one's name can be blotted
out of the book of life but not out of the Lamb's book of life.
The thought is that all humans have their names listed in the book of
life until such time they reject Jesus. When
it comes to the Lamb's book of life they say that no one's name is written in it
until one gives his life to Jesus. They
say that once your name is written in the Lamb's book of life it can't be taken
out, as it can be in the book of life. This
reasoning might be a way to back those who believe in eternal security.
At present, I'm not convinced these two books are two separate books.
13 tells us that the sea, death, and Hades, gave up their dead.
This simply means that all who died apart from Jesus were now
resurrected. Notice that Hades
gave up her dead. Hades at this
point is the abode of the wicked dead.
verse 14 we see that after this White Throne Judgement both death and Hades were
thrown into the
in verse 15 we note that all those whose names were not found written in the
book of life were also cast into the Lake