The Thousand-Year Reign (Revelation 20)
The Thousand-Year Reign (Revelation 20)
A. Fundamental rules of Bible Study are particularly important to a proper understanding of this
1. There are no contradictions in Scripture. 2PE 1:20; PRO 8:8.
2. Compare spiritual things with spiritual things. 1CO 2:13.
3. Figurative or parabolic utterances must be in harmony with plain statements since light is
superior to darkness. 2PE 1:19.
4. Fact: The phrase, “thousand years” only appears in three other places outside of
Revelation 20 and each of these is figurative or poetic. PSA 90:4 c/w 2PE 3:8; ECC 6:6.
B. We should expect figurative or symbolic language in Revelation. REV 1:1.
1. signify: To be a sign or a symbol of; to represent, betoken, mean.
2. An example of signification is in HEB 9:6-8.
C. vs. 1-2. The binding of Satan.
1. angel: A messenger. 1. A ministering spirit or divine messenger.
2. Michael the archangel was limited in what he could do against Satan (JUDE 1:9). This
binding angel was a very special angel.
3. God Himself is sometimes called an Angel. GEN 48:16; EXO 3:2, 4.
4. Jesus Christ is the Messenger/Angel of the covenant to Whom saints belong.
MAL 3:1; ACT 27:23.
a. By His resurrection power, Christ spoiled Satan's house. 1JO 3:8; COL 2:14-15.
b. Binding precedes spoiling! MAT 12:28-29.
c. Therefore, a binding of Satan has already occurred.
d. Mind that someone may be bound but not totally restricted. ACT 24:23-27.
D. v. 3. The thousand-year release of the nations from Satan's deception.
1. Nations = Gentiles. ROM 15:10-11 c/w DEU 32:33; PSA 117:1.
a. The Gentile nations had once been isolated from the light of God's word.
PSA 147:19-20; ROM 3:1-2; ACT 14:16.
b. By virtue of His resurrection, Christ was given authority over the nations according
to the prophecy of Psalm 2. MAT 28:18-20 c/w PSA 2:7-8.
c. Post-resurrection, the gospel went to the Gentiles and the nations in general became
enlightened by the truth. ACT 17:6, 30; ROM 16:25-26.
d. The resurrection gospel delivered believing Gentiles from Satan's bondage of fear
and from the superstitions of their devilish idols. HEB 2:14-15; 1TH 1:8-9.
2. The term “thousand” figuratively refers to a full number known to God. PSA 50:10; 105:8.
a. The thousand-year binding of Satan refers to the post-ascension period of the
gospel's going forth to the nations.
b. During that time, Satan would be hindered from his grand goal. 2TH 2:6-7.
c. The “thousand years” would eventually expire, and Satan's deception of the nations
would resume. vs. 7-8.
d. Mark how important is the true Scripture to this world!
E. v. 4. The co-reign of the saints with Christ.
1. John saw judges on thrones. c/w MAT 19:28; LUK 22:29-30.
2. John saw martyrs.
a. This would include those whose blood was shed for their faith. REV 6:9.
b. This need not exclude other faithful saints. The submitted believer is accounted a
martyr, having died to self and the world.
ROM 8:35-36; 1CO 15:31; 2CO 4:10-11; LUK 14:26; ACT 20:24.
c. Those who worshipped not the beast are obviously God's elect. REV 13:8; 17:8.
3. Those whom John saw “...lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
a. Saints NOW are deemed as reigning with Christ. EPH 2:4-6; ROM 5:17.
b. Christ has made the elect kings and priests. REV 5:10; 1:6.
c. Mark that this “thousand years” must last longer than the “thousand years” of
Satan's binding, or there would be a season on earth when the gates of hell did
prevail. MAT 16:18.
F. vs. 5-6. The first resurrection.
1. Mark the phrase, “the rest of the dead.” This is a death in which all were involved: death
in Adam. ROM 5:12; EPH 2:3.
2. A first resurrection implies a second.
3. A second death implies a first.
4. The second death is the last occurrence. v. 14.
5. Hence, the order must be: first death, first resurrection, second resurrection, second death.
6. The “first resurrection” is obviously that of Jesus Christ.
1CO 15:20, 23; COL 1:18; REV 1:5.
a. Christ's resurrection legally sealed the justification of His elect. ROM 4:25.
b. When one is quickened or born again, he is quickened with Christ. EPH 2:5.
c. Thus, he vitally gains part in the first resurrection.
7. “on such the second death hath no power.” c/w JOH 5:24; 11:25-26.
8. “they shall be priests....and shall reign...” This is a royal priesthood as in 1PE 2:9.
9. “...a thousand years.”
a. This is the inter-advental period between the first and second comings of Christ.
b. The saints reign with Christ Who reigns as the Son of man from advent to advent.
c. The saints will continue in life since they have been given eternal life. ROM 5:21.
G. vs. 7-10. Satan's last stand.
1. Having been deceived into opposing Christ, the nations confederately go to war with the
beloved city, which is heavenly Jerusalem. REV 21:9-10.
2. They move against the saints on earth who are intimately identified with the heavenly city.
3. Christ comes and crushes the assault with fire. c/w 2TH 1:8.
4. Satan is doomed.
H. vs. 11-15. The second resurrection and final judgment.
1. The creation itself comes unglued. 2PE 3:10-12.
2. The works of men are judged (thank God for the blood!). ROM 2:5-11.
3. The wicked are consigned to the lake of fire. MAT 25:41, 46.
4. There is a bodily resurrection including all. ACT 24:15.
a. It is in this way that the “rest of the dead” live again when the thousand years are
b. This is the great harvest, the “...end of the world...” (MAT 13:39), when the wheat
and tares are separated.
I. Compare the first and second resurrections in this chapter with JOH 5:25, 28-29.
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