Summary: A study of the book of Revelation chapter 20
Revelation 20: 1 – 15
Yes, You Can Judge A Book By Its Cover
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the 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 in their foreheads or in their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 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. 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive 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. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and 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. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Do you like the title? What are you thinking in relation to these words? Yes, we are going to see some significant books listed in this chapter that our Holy Master keeps. There are books of works [ more than 1]and the Book of Life. You want to be in this last book that I mentioned. Yes, you need to understand and judge the cover of this book. It is important for your eternity.
Revelation chapter 20 is one of the most controversial chapters in the Bible, not because it contains anything essentially complex, but because it touches on a subject where believers have argued over for thousands of years.
I have come across a lot of people who are into prophecy who ask, "How do you interpret the book of Revelation?" what they mean is, "How do you interpret Revelation 20?" They want to know whether an approach is "pre-millennial," "a-millennial" or "post millennial."
The three terms come from the word millennium, meaning a period of a thousand years understood as a kind of utopia. Pre- and post millennialism divide over the question of whether the second coming of Christ will take place before or after the thousand years mentioned in this chapter. Because there is a coming of sorts described in the previous chapter (when the rider on the white horse comes with his armies and destroys the forces of evil) and there is no discernible coming of Christ in chapters 20 or 21, it seems fairly clear on first reading that the coming is "pre-millennial" as far as John is concerned. The conqueror comes first (chap. 19), and the thousand years follow (chap. 20). But post millennialism argues that what comes in chapter 19 is not Jesus personally, but simply the triumph of "the testimony of Jesus" in the world, so that the millennium of chapter 20 is the result of the church's efforts in proclaiming the Christian gospel. This leaves us with no actual "second coming" of Jesus anywhere in the book--this in spite of repeated promises that "I am coming soon." Instead, we move from the triumph of the gospel to the destruction of evil and "the new heavens and new earth" without Jesus ever coming at all.