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 chapter. 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. 1CO 15:23-28. 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. REV 13:6-7. 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 finished. 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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