21/10/18 Revelation 20:1-10 “The satan is bound for 1,000 years”
Revelation 20:1 – And I saw an angel (aggelos) come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
angel – aggelos (angel; messenger; envoy; one who is sent) The word means “messenger” but is translated “angel” 179 out of 186 occurrences. It can even be used for the evil angels (or demons) of satan (the devil).
Matthew 25:41 – Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (aggelos):
But translated “messenger” in 2 Corinthians 12:7 – And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger (aggelos) of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
The angel in Vs 1 is a good angel (coming from heaven) and thus is a dedicated servant of God and of mankind. (Hebrews 1:14 – Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?)
This angel has responsibility for the applying of God’s judgment to satan. The angel has the key to the abyss into which satan will be cast and imprisoned for 1,000 years. Note Luke 8:31 – And they (Legion) besought him (Jesus) that he would not command them to go out into the deep (abyssos).
bottomless pit – abyssos (the immeasurable depth of the pit) Luke 8:31 – And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep (abyssos).
The key is probably one of the keys mentioned in Revelation 1:18 – I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Such a key would have been handed by Christ to the angel in order that he might carry out God’s will here.
a great (megas) chain – a mega-chain is needed to bind a mega-creature like satan. But, no matter how powerful the creature, God’s power and authority is infinitely greater.
Revelation 20:2 – And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent (see Revelation 12:9), which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
he laid hold on – krateo (to have power; be powerful; master of; take hold of; seize; hold in check; restrain) It has the idea of having the power to do whatever he does. The taking hold signifies the ability to do so.
dragon – drakon (dragon; great serpent; another name for satan) Used 13 times in the NT, all in Revelation, all used in relation to satan.
old – archaios (that has been from the beginning; original; primal; old; ancient)
devil – diabolos (devil; false accuser; slanderer)
satan – satanas (adversary; one who opposes)
And this angel, with God’s authority, lays hold of satan in order to bind him for 1,000 years. There is no other option here other than what the Bible says will happen! However, even though satan is bound for the duration of the millennium, there will be judgment upon those who do not obey Christ’s commands during the millennium.
Jeremiah 23:5 – Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
Zechariah 14:16-19 – 16 And it shall come to pass, [that] every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, [that] whoso will not come up of [all] the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that [have] no [rain]; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Revelation 20:3 – 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.
cast – ballo (to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls)
set a seal – sphragizo (set a seal upon; for security; ensuring it stays that way)
little – mikros
season – chronos (time)
fulfilled – teleo (to bring to a close; finished; ended; perform or execute judgment so that it is fulfilled to the letter of the law)
“cast” has the idea of satan being tossed somewhere without regard to how where or how he falls. Satan is locked away in the abyss (the deep) with a seal (that cannot be broken without God’s authority), unable to deceive anyone from any nation until his term of imprisonment is over. There will be no early parole for “good” behaviour; 1,000 years will mean exactly that:1,000 years.
When this time is fulfilled, satan must be set free for a short time (that is, for a purpose), during which satan will endeavour to deceive as many as possible for just one last attack on God’s kingdom.
Revelation 20:4 – 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.
beheaded – beheaded; cut off with an axe
Those who have been martyred for their faith (who were beheaded for their testifying of Jesus, and for the word (logos) of God) will be on these thrones. (It is unlikely that John happened to see them as a separate group from those on the thrones, especially as these will reign with Christ for 1,000 years.)
Revelation 6:9, 11 – 9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be fulfilled (pleroo).
It could be read that those who were martyred were also those who had not worshipped the beast etc. or it could be read as including all the others who had not worshipped the beast etc. without necessarily having being martyred. This latter is unlikely because if they weren’t martyred, then they wouldn’t already be in heaven here.
Revelation 5:9-10 – 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
But is the Church included in this? What of the OT saints, too? It appears that the ones in this verse must have been those who had to endure the tribulation, that is, those who are not the Church! Is the Church also among this group, or do they wait until the end of the millennium to be raised to actual life again when the new heavens, the new earth, and the new Jerusalem appear (Revelation 21:1-2). Is the Church also part of the 1st resurrection, but not necessarily noted here as reigning with the persecuted believers of the tribulation.
While the Church could be part of the 1st resurrection, it is unlikely, given that these of the 1st resurrection will have come from the tribulation, and Revelation is dealing particularly with this period of time. It is Israel and not the Church that plays the major role as God’s people in Revelation. And, if the Church were part of this 1st resurrection, it would have to be subservient to the more important role of those persecuted during the tribulation who will be noted to be reigning with Christ for 1,000 years. Israel will never cease being God’s special people.
Therefore, these of the 1st resurrection will be those martyred for their faith during the tribulation.
Revelation 20:5 – But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection.
But the rest of all the dead will not be raised again until the millennium is completed. The first resurrection includes those who have been martyred during the tribulation, those who have refused to worship the beast etc. All others will be in the 2nd resurrection. Is the Church in the 1st or 2nd group? The 2nd resurrection allows that those who are not in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire; therefore those whose names are written in the book of life will not be thrown into the lake of fire.
However, it does seem to be saying that all those of the 2nd resurrection are not in the book of life, and yet, there is nothing that appears to prevent the interpretation that the Church will also be resurrected at this time, yet not cast into the lake of fire because their names are written in the book of life.
Revelation 20:15 – And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Thus I believe that the 1st resurrection of Revelation 20:5 is unlikely to include the Church. The question remains: while the Church may have spiritual existence, do they actually get resurrected to life properly before or after the millennium? Look at the following:
John 5:28-29 – 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Once again, it appears as if the Church will be raised in this resurrection, but resurrected to life, not damnation.
Revelation 20:6 – 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.
How happy and holy are those who are part of the 1st resurrection, for the 2nd death (of Revelation 20:14) shall have no power over them; instead they shall be priests of God and of Christ, reigning with Him (Christ the Messiah) during the millennium.
Being of the 1st resurrection certainly excludes these ones from inclusion in the 2nd resurrection. It also excludes them from the 2nd death. But because the 2nd death means being cast into the lake of fire, does this demonstrate that only those of the 2nd death are in the 2nd resurrection? This cannot be satisfactorily demonstrated, for it is probable that some of the 2nd resurrection may be raised to life, and the others to condemnation! (See John 5:25-29)
Note, however, that it is Israel, not the Church, who is involved with the millennium. Where is the Church in the millennium? The following does suggest that the Church is kept separate from Israel during the millennium, and that new Jerusalem could be her home. (This may explain why Revelation 21:2 describes new Jerusalem as prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21:9-11 – 9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 Having the glory of God: and her light [was] like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
Revelation 20:7 – And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
When satan’s prison sentence is completed, satan will be set loose again. But, is he considered innocent at this stage, or is God just giving him sufficient rope with which to completely hang himself? The latter seems more likely.
Revelation 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.
And satan shall go out (into the world) to deceive the nations (ethnos) in every quarter (corner or secret place) of the world. (None shall be left out! People everywhere are a target for satan!)
Just who Gog and Magog are is not clear. Some say Germany and Russia, others include the Medes and Scythians. But it is likely that the term may simply mean all those who are of a mind to oppose God in this battle. This appears to be a repeat of Armageddon, with its seemingly infinite numbers of soldiers (as many as the grains of sand in the sea), opposing God and His saints (clearly in Jerusalem).
And, where do all these rebellious people come from? Wasn’t the millennium for God’s people? But not all who go into the millennium are saved, for it also includes all those who helped God’s people during the millennium; note the sheep and goats judgment of Matthew 25:31-46. Also, because people who haven’t died yet go into the millennium, there will most likely be children born to them; such children are not necessarily saved just because they are born into the millennial environment! It seems that no-one dies during the millennium; if this is so, then the population will grow exponentially in that 1,000 years.
Revelation 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.
The size of this army will be so huge that it will seem like it covers the whole earth (probably as far as the eye can see, and further). This huge swarming blanket of humanity (the army of satan) will surround the camp of the saints (being with the beloved city which is Jerusalem). It won’t be with a sword this time, but with fire, that God will devour (consume) them. God will cause fire to come down from heaven and literally consume them.
Revelation 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.
And the devil will go to the lake of fire that the beast (antichrist) and false prophet have already been cast into. The torment will never end. Note Babylon in Revelation 19:3 – And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. The smoke from the burning of Babylon will continue to rise for all eternity.
The Greek dictionary I often use online says this about
Revelation 20:3 fulfilled – teleo: “Christ satisfied God’s justice by dying for all to pay for the sins of the elect. These sins can never be punished again since that would violate God’s justice. Sins can only be punished once, either by a substitute or by yourself.” Do you see the implications of what they are saying? That, if your sins have been atoned for, then you cannot go to hell! This is a calvinist heresy.
MacArthur teaches the same heresy, that if your sins are paid for on the cross, then you cannot go to hell or else you would be paying for those sins a second time. He says that if Jesus paid for the sins of all mankind, then all mankind would be going to heaven. He claims that a belief in full atonement also means a belief in a universal salvation for all people; that is, those who believe in atonement for all mankind are universalists. But, this assumes that great calvinist heresy, that man cannot have free will when it comes to salvation. For, if man has free will in salvation, then man may choose to either accept or reject the payment made for his sins. If he accepts the payment made (the free gift offered by God), then he is saved; if he rejects that payment made, then he goes to hell, not to pay for his sins, but because he rejected the gift of God (that is, the salvation that may be applied because all his sins have already been paid for). People do not go to hell to pay for their sins; they go because they refuse to accept the payment that has already been made on their behalf.
Think about it. If you could pay for just one sin in hell, then, given enough time (and you will have eternity!) you could pay for all your sins. But it is impossible to pay for even one sin in hell, for just one sin is sufficient reason for God to declare the death penalty upon your soul.
James 2:10 – For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all.
Who can escape such judgment? Even with infinite time, man can never escape his guilt before holy God.
Here’s just another example of a commentary trying desperately to prove the lie.
Pulpit Commentary (on Revelation 20:2) – Next, what is meant by "for a thousand years"? The best interpretation seems to be that this phrase expresses a quality, and does not express a period of time. That such a method of employing numbers is usual in the Apocalypse we have frequently seen (see on Revelation 1:4, "seven;" Revelation 13:1, "ten," etc.). Here, therefore, as in Revelation 7:4, "one thousand" signifies "completeness." Satan is bound "for a thousand years;" that is, Satan is completely bound. …….
But, again, in what sense can Satan be said to have been "completely" bound by our Lord's work of redemption? The answer is - In relation to the godly. ……..
The binding of Satan in one direction being immediately followed by a display of power in another, and the former fact being expressed by the chronological symbolism of being bound for a thousand years, it is part of this chronological symbolism to express the second fact as taking place after the first, though a subordination of the secondary to the primary effect is really what is intended to be conveyed.
Um ….. what is he talking about?? Note what I said last week about the need felt by so many to avoid taking Revelation too literally. Last week some would have said was in the future, yet this seems to be completely avoiding the issue of whether it is in the future, past or perhaps never happened at all except in the minds of madmen? Just how far will some go to avoid having to take a reasonably literal view of Revelation?
Pulpit Commentary (on Revelation 20:6) – The spiritual interpretation, which makes the thousand years expressive of the whole Christian age. This seems to a certain extent true, since what the thousand years signifies does have its effect during this time in the reign of the saints. But it seems inexact, since it makes the thousand years symbolical of a length of time, instead of a quality attached to an action. What is meant is not that Christ bound Satan during the period of the Christian age (though, as we have seen, there is a sense in which he is so bound as regards believers), for, on the contrary, he goes about like a roaring lion; but that he bound and overthrew him completely for all Christians by his redeeming work.
This clearly teaches the heresy that Christians cannot be significantly attacked or oppressed by satan and his demons. And yet, why are godly Christians the persecuted ones?
So, why is it so bad to interpret the millennium as a literal 1,000 years? They are allowed to have their own opinion on it, but can anyone actually prove that the millennium cannot be a literal 1,000 years? In the same way, while calvinists have their say concerning their opinions, can they actually prove from the Bible that free will is not a possible interpretation? Or that God cannot use His foreknowledge to determine free will decisions of the future? Calvinists don’t actually prove non-calvinists wrong. Instead they claim to be absolutely “right”, and on that basis alone they “demonstrate” their opponents to be “wrong”! For if they are right, then the others must be wrong! They just don’t understand that if they cannot prove the Christian to be wrong, then they, the calvinists, must be wrong! In order to be right, the calvinist has to prove the non-calvinist to be wrong! And they cannot!