Revelation 20:7-10

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

THE REIGN OF CHRIST

INTRODUCTION:

There are basically three major interpretations of the one thousand years in Revelation of Jesus Christ 20 .

1. The literal and premillennial interpretation. People who believe this believe that the millennium is a literal period of one thousand years which is preceded by the second coming of Christ and followed by resurrection and judgment. This is what we believe. When we say that we believe in the premillennial return of Christ, we mean that the second coming of Christ occurs before the millennium. There will be an actual period of one thousand years following the second coming of Christ, which is known as the millennium.

2. The amillennial interpretation. People who believe this believe that there is no literal one thousand year period known as the millennium. They spiritualize this one thousand year period. They believe that the new birth and the millennium began with the first coming of Christ. The saints are pictured as reigning in heaven with Christ. Many people who typically believe in the literal interpretation of the Scriptures make an exception to their literal understanding when it comes to prophecy. They spiritualize the text. We do not believe that the amillennial interpretation of the millennium is Biblically correct.

3. The postmillennial interpretation. This view believes that the thousand year reign of Christ occurs before the second coming of Christ. In other words, the second coming of Christ occurs after the thousand years are finished.

According to this view, the gospel is viewed as triumphant during the last one thousand years of the present age. Although this view was common in the 1800s, very few people believe it today. We likewise do not believe that the postmillennial interpretation of the millennium is Biblically correct.

We have already seen -

I. THE BINDING OF SATAN - 20:1-3

Revelation of Jesus Christ 20:1-3 - (1) And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

In addition, we have already seen -

II. THE JUDGMENT AND RESURRECTION OF TRIBULATION SAINTS - 20:4

Revelation of Jesus Christ 20:4 (4) And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Finally, we have already seen -

III. THE FIRST RESURRECTION - 20:5-6

Revelation of Jesus Christ 20:5-6 - (5) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (6) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

We continue with -

IV. THE LOOSING OF SATAN AND THE FINAL REVOLT - 20:7-9

Revelation of Jesus Christ 20:7-9 - (7) And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, (8) And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. (9) And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

In Revelation, John does not occupy himself with the details of the millennial kingdom but only with the fact and duration of it.

According to verse 7, at the end of the thousand years, Satan will be loosed out of his prison.

When is whenever or at the time that. It introduces a note of uncertainty, not regarding the fact of Satan's being loosed from the bottomless pit, but regarding the exact time when it will happen. The thousand years begins after the second coming of Christ, but we are not sure of the date on which the second coming of Christ will occur.

The thousand years refers to the time throughout which Satan will be bound with a chain and confined in the bottomless pit.

When the thousand years are expired is when the thousand years are brought to an end, are finished, or are completed.

Satan shall be loosed out of his prison means that Satan will be released from the place where he is guarded, i.e. from the bottomless pit.

Several reasons have been suggested as to why Satan must be loosed after a thousand years. Among them are:

1. To demonstrate that man, even under the most favorable circumstances, will fall into sin if left to his own choice.

2. To demonstrate the incurable wickedness of Satan.

3. To justify eternal punishment, i.e. to show that the character of wicked people remains unchanged even under divine rule for a long period of time.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

According to verse 8 after Satan has been released from the bottomless pit, he will go out and deceive the nations of the world one more time for the purpose of gathering them together to battle. It will be an innumerable company of people who will join Satan in his rebellion.

Shall go out is predictive of a future event which is definitely going to happen.

Satan's purpose for going out is to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog.

To deceive means that Satan will lead them astray from the truth, will cause them to wander from the truth, or will mislead them.

It is the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, i.e. the nations, the ones in the four corners of the earth, which he will attempt to deceive.

The four quarters [or corners] of the earth are the four directions: the North, the South, the East, and the West. The implication of this is that they include all the nations of the world. By this time in the millennium many people will have been born and many of them will not have been saved. Satan will find a ready audience, ready and willing to be deceived.

Gog and Magog are terms used in Ezekiel 38-39 , where Gog is the prince, the leader, and Magog is apparently the land of Gog.

In Ezekiel 38-39 , Gog and the people representing the land of Gog, i.e. Magog, refer to a northern confederacy, often thought to be Russia, which attacks Israel during the tribulation, before the battle of Armageddon.

In Revelation of Jesus Christ 20 the terms Gog and Magog are used without any explanation. This is not the same event as described in Ezekiel 38-39 where Gog and Magog are prominent; and the battle which follows is entirely different and separated by at least a thousand years from the battle referred to in Ezekiel's prophecy.

Ezekiel predicts an invasion by a great northern power called Gog, which, from certain geographical indications, is easily identified with Russia. In Revelation, by contrast, Gog and Magog are used to designate the nations, not merely from the north, but from all parts of the earth, i.e. the four quarters of the earth.

The invasion mentioned by Ezekiel is during the tribulation; whereas, the reference in Revelation is to the end of the millennium.

The armies in Ezekiel fall on the mountains, and their bodies are buried; whereas the forces assembled in Revelation are devoured by fire from heaven. The judgment is instantaneous.

Although John's usage of the terms Gog and Magog do not refer to the same people or event as Ezekiel's, John takes the names Gog and Magog from Ezekiel and uses them to represent the same sort of people represented by Ezekiel's usage: those who are opposed to God, to Christ, and to the people of God.

Gog and Magog in Revelation of Jesus Christ 20 refer to all the nations of the world and to their leader who are in rebellion against God, against Christ, and against God's people.

Furthermore, the purpose for which Satan will deceive these nations is to gather them together to battle.

To gather them together means to bring them together or to call them together, where them refers to the nations from the four corners of the world.

To battle means to (or for) (a) battle, a fight, or a war.

Whereas a battle or a fight speaks of a single military engagement, a war speaks of a military campaign or series of battles.

Whether Satan expects this to be a single battle or a series of battles is not clear. As it turns out, it appears to be only a single engagement which Satan has no chance whatsoever of winning; yet, he apparently has deceived himself into thinking that he does.

The number of whom is as the sand of the sea refers to the people from all the nations of the world whom Satan gathers for battle against Christ. It means that the number is extremely large and probably not able to be calculated easily.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

They went up means that this vast number of those whom Satan gathers together from all over the world for battle ascended.

On the breadth of the earth is on the width of the earth and suggests a broad plain of the earth intended to provide room for the ensuing battle in which one side is numbered as the sand of the sea.

Another thing these enemies of God and followers of Satan did is compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city.

Compassed . . . about means that they encircled or surrounded, and here it carries the connotation of with hostile intent.

The camp of the saints refers to a fortified camp where saved people would be preparing for battle.

They also surrounded the beloved city, i.e. Jerusalem. Whether the camp of the saints is equivalent to the beloved city or includes an area in addition to the beloved city is not clear. Although the enemy surrounds the camp of the saints and the beloved city, it will do them no good.

What happened next is that fire came down [i.e. descended] from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

From God out of heaven refers to God the Father.

And devoured them, i.e. and the fire consumed (or burned up) those whom Satan deceived who were surrounding the camp of the saints and the beloved city.

V. THE DOOM OF SATAN - 20:10

Revelation of Jesus Christ 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

The devil is literally the slanderer and is a clear reference to Satan.

That deceived them is the one who deceives them (or misleads the people from the nations of the world who were killed with fire out of heaven).

The devil . . . was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone is the devil was thrown into the lake of fire and of sulphur.

Where the beast and the false prophet are indicates that the devil will join the beast and false prophet in the lake of fire. According to Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:20 , one thousand years earlier, at the end of the tribulation, the beast and the false prophet were both thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone (or sulphur).

The beast is the beast out of the sea and is also known as the antichrist. The unsaved worshiped him and his image, and his number was 666. People who refused to receive his mark on their foreheads or on their right hands were to be killed. He is the world's final dictator.

The false prophet is the beast from the earth who performed miracles in order to get the people to worship the beast out of the sea. He set up the image of the beast out of the sea and gave life to this image, enabling it to speak. He also caused all persons to worship the beast out of the sea and to receive his mark or else be killed. He was the world religious leader during the great tribulation.

As indicated by the italics, are has been supplied by the translators. It suggests that the beast and false prophet are still suffering in the lake of fire 1,000 years after they were cast into it.

Satan, the beast, and the false prophet shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Shall be tormented means will be tortured; and it is plural rather than singular, which means that all three persons mentioned in this verse, Satan, the beast, and the false prophet, will all be forever tormented in the lake of fire and brimstone and does not mean that only Satan will be forever tormented in the lake of fire and brimstone.

Day and night means in daytime and at nighttime.

Forever and ever means that their torture will never cease. This passage totally destroys the unscriptural concept of annihilation taught by some who believe that everyone who goes to hell will suffer a while for his sins but will eventually be burned up. They further believe that the worse ones will suffer longer before being burned up, and that the worst one, Satan, will suffer the longest; but he, too, according to their unscriptural thinking, will eventually be burned up. Verse 10, however, makes it clear that hell is eternal just as heaven is eternal.

The lake of fire prepared for the devil and the wicked angels is also the destiny of all who follow Satan.