Revelation (21 of 24) The Millennial Kingdom

20:1-10 The Millennial Kingdom

Memory Verse: Revelation 20:6

19:1-21, 20:1-10 After Jesus’ Return He Will Establish A Kingdom

  • 19:1-21, 20:1-10 In the last chapter we learned that Jesus will indeed return and what His return will be like. We learned that all the enemies of God will be destroyed. The Antichrist and the False Prophet were cast into the lake of fire. The tribulation saints that survived the tribulation will enter into the earthly kingdom that Jesus will establish. They will continue to produce children who have the free-will to believe or reject Jesus (just like we do today). Even though Jesus will be ruling the earth during this time, sadly many will still choose to reject Him.
    Romans 8:7
  • There are three views about the millennial reign of Christ: (1) Premillennialists believe that this is a literal kingdom on earth for one-thousand years after Jesus returns. (2) Postmillennialists believe that this is a figurative kingdom of today’s earth that will progressively become better and then Jesus will return. (3) Amillennialists believe that this is a figurative kingdom and interpret it symbolically according to their own system.
  • We interpret the book of Revelation literally and naturally according to its genre. This means that if the meaning of the text makes sense literally, then there is no reason to find a figurative meaning to it. Or if the Bible interprets itself, then the meaning is clear. Therefore, because there are no problems with interpreting this millennial kingdom literally, we hold to the premillennialists view of a literal kingdom on earth for one-thousand years after Jesus returns.

20:1-3 Before The One-Thousand Years: Satan Seized

  • 20:1-3 John saw an angel come down from heaven. This angel had the key (representing authority) of the bottomless pit (a temporary place of confinement for the demons). He also had a great chain (needed because Satan’s power is great) in his hand. Then he seized Satan (the dragon—the fierce character in Revelation; that old serpent—the deceiver in the garden of Eden; the Devil—a slanderer; Satan—adversary, accuser), bound him, and cast him into the bottomless pit for one-thousand years. He shut it and sealed it over him to make sure that he could not deceive the nations until the thousand years were fulfilled. This does not mean that the people who will be living during this time will not be able to sin, but that there will be no temptation or deception from Satan or his demons. After the thousand years are fulfilled, Satan will be released for a little season.

20:4-6 During The One-Thousand Years: Kingdom Established

  • 20:4 Next John saw thrones, and those who sat upon the thrones. Judgment was given to those who sat on the thrones. Those who sat on the throne are believers. The thrones they sit on represent their positions in the kingdom. Then John identifies a second group of people saying he 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.” This is a clear reference to the tribulation saints—those who were persecuted for the sake of Jesus and never worshiped the Antichrist (the beast). Together we will live and reign with Christ for one-thousand years.
  • 20:5b-6 The resurrection of all saints from all ages is referred to here as “the first resurrection.” As believers, we participate in this resurrection which means we are blessed and holy because: (1) The second death has no power over us—we will never be cast into hell, never be condemned for our sin. (2) We will be priests of God and of Christ—we are a royal priesthood and will serve God and Jesus as priest in His kingdom. (3) We will reign with Jesus for one-thousand years—during the entire length of the earthly kingdom, we will serve in positions of authority with Jesus.
    Luke 14:14; Acts 24:15; John 5:29; 1 Corinthians 15:23; Hebrews 11:35; Romans 5:9
  • 20:5a The rest of the dead—which is referring to unbelievers will not live again until the thousand years are finished. This means that all those who have died in their sins won’t be resurrected, judged and cast into eternal hell (the lake of fire) until after the one-thousand years are over.

20:7-10 After The One-Thousand Years: God Is Victorious

  • 20:7-8 When the thousand years are expired, Satan will be released out of his prison (the bottomless pit). Satan, which means adversary, will start his work of opposing God and deceiving the nations from the four quarters of the earth—north, east, south, west—the whole world. Gog and Magog are two names given to describe the enemies of God. These people are the descendants of the tribulation saints who entered the kingdom after Jesus returned. They had one-thousand years of replenishing the earth’s population (since all those who were unbelievers would have died at that time). The kingdom of Jesus will be prosperous and there will be a great population by the end of the thousand years. The purpose of Satan’s deception is that he still thinks he can defeat Jesus. He will deceive the unbelievers of the nations so that he can gather them together to battle against God. He will gather a great number of unbelievers (the number of whom is as the sand of the sea) to follow him into battle against Jesus.
  • 20:9 Satan and His army of unbelievers will march up over the broad plain of the earth and surround the camp of the saints, and the beloved city—Jerusalem. When Jesus established His kingdom on earth, He will reign from Jerusalem with the saints. Satan will make one last effort to destroy Jesus and His saints. But as they surround Jerusalem fire from heaven will come down from God and devoured them. In an instant, all the enemies of God are destroyed by the fire of God. Satan and his armies didn’t have a chance against the Almighty God.
  • 20:10 All the unbelievers will die and wait until they are resurrected unto judgment and then will be cast into the lake of fire. But Satan (the devil that deceived the unbelievers) was first cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. It is the same place where one-thousand years before the beast and the false prophet were cast into. The satanic false trinity has be defeated once and for all. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Never again will they be released to deceive. Their punishment is never ending. Their punishment is deserved and God has righteously and justly judged them.

Review Questions

  • After Jesus returns, what will He establish?
  • What view about the millennial reign of Christ do we hold to? Why?
  • What happens before the one-thousand years?
  • What happens during the one-thousand years?
  • What happens after the one-thousand years?

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