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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 20

Koenig's Commentary on RevelationKoenig on Revelation

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Verses 1-2

Chapter 20 - The dead rise, Satan is judged

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,

Satan is chained by an angel and is bound in the bottomless pit for a thousand years. The bottomless pit is the place where the Beast Antichrist ascended from sometime after the angel with the key opened it. The bottomless pit seems to be a dimension where evil spirits are temporarily imprisoned. At this time, Satan is cast into the bottomless pit and chained so he cannot ascend out of it and deceive the nations during the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth are complete.

Those in the theology of amillennialism say that Satan has been bound during the entire Church age. They are not properly discerning many scriptures that indicate that Satan has not been bound on earth or even in the lives of those who identify with Christianity. In fact, the scripture calls Satan the god of this age and the prince of the power of the air. It is true that Satan does not have power over any true believer, but only if that person is walking in the Spirit. The sad story we see on earth through the dispensation of grace to the Gentiles since the cross makes it clear that the Devil is not yet bound and does not become bound until this time.

The scriptures indicate that Satan has the power to destroy flesh and to hinder and deceive believers. Peter urges Christians to resist him. Furthermore, scripture says that one is coming from Satan who will have all power and signs and lying wonders. This book tells us that Satan has a throne and a synagogue on earth. By the study of scripture and by looking at world conditions it should be clear to anyone that Satan is not bound in the Church age and is going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Verse 3

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.

After the thousand-year reign of Jesus on earth, Satan will be allowed to come up out of the bottomless pit. He once again will deceive the nations. We might wonder why? The answer is to test all the billions who were born during the millennium. In each of the prior dispensations, man was tested and those living either were saved “by faith” or they died in unbelief. In all dispensations of time, man must be saved “by faith” in the Savior God alone. In this last dispensation, man will be living under ideal conditions on earth and even death will be conquered but when Satan is released, much of mankind will be deceived in much the same conditions as when Adam and Eve were deceived. This last deception will separate those that are living “by faith” from those living in disbelief.

The last enemy to be defeated by Jesus will be death. My conjecture is that when man sees he will no longer physically die, he will be wide open to the same deception that Adam and Eve fell for in the garden. Satan will come out of the bottomless pit and like he did with our parents before us, he will deceive the nations by saying “you shall not die you have become like God knowing good and evil”.

In other words, since we know good and evil everyone should be able to do what is right in his own eyes. Even though Adam and Eve were created immortal beings, they did die and so will those that take part in this final rebellion. Mankind’s first rebellion led to death of the body. Mankind’s last rebellion will result in death of his soul when man by his disobedience, unbelief and lack of trust in the Creator, is separated from the Creator for eternity.

Verses 4-5

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.

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

This passage is talking about the resurrection of the tribulation saints. It says that all who take part in this first resurrection will live and rule with Christ through the thousand-year period. The passage indicates that those who die and who are not raised in the first resurrection will not live again until after the thousand years are finished. This chapter says six times that the time period of the Lord's Kingdom on earth is a thousand years. The amillennial theology that says this period is an unknown period of time is beyond common reason. The rule of the saints for this thousand-year period starts at the end of the great tribulation.

Verse 6

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.

The second death will have no power on those that take part in the first resurrection because they make up the body of Christ and they have already been raised to eternal life with Jesus. Again, this verse says they will rule with Him as priests to God and the reign will be a thousand years.

Verses 7-8

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.

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be loosed out of the prison to deceive the nations (ethnic groups) to gather them together to battle. Some think this is the war of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 because of Gog and Magog being mentioned. It cannot be for many reasons. One reason is that after the war of Ezekiel 38, 39 people are buried and weapons are burned. However, when these come against the camp of the saints they are consumed by fire. Immediately afterward, the white throne judgment takes place in heaven.

Descendants of the tribes of Gog and Magog may be the most prominent on the earth at that time or God may just name locations on the earth after these prominent tribes. Gog and Magog may just be another way of saying near and far, or north and south or something similar.

Notice the number is as the sand of the sea. Apparently, under the near perfect conditions on earth during the thousand-year reign, more billions will be born than in all ages of the earth put together. The prior six thousand years on earth were primarily to establish a government of kings and priests for this sabbatical millennial age. The kings and priests will rule over the great harvest of souls that God intended when He told Adam to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth.

Verse 9

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 Kingdom of Jesus will last forever according to scripture but Satan obviously has deceived these into thinking that since the millennial reign is complete, that God is done with rule from Jerusalem by the saints. It is a wrong assumption.

Some scholars think that most in the body of Christ during this thousand-year period will not live on earth but will actually live in the Holy City that is in heaven. Like the angels of Jacob’s ladder, they may be ascending and descending from the Holy City to carry out their assignments ( Genesis 28:12). I think that is correct because all saved people could not fit in the the area of Israel allotted.

After death is conquered and the thousand years, it is my conjecture that Christ will offer up the kingdom to the Father ( 1 Corinthians 15:24) and withdraw to the Holy City where His bride is. By doing so, Jesus will leave the affairs of the kingdom on earth to the natural saints that rule on earth in Israel. Satan will see this as an opportunity to again deceive the world like he did Adam and Eve. Satan could not ascend out of the pit and deceive the world as long as Jesus was ruling on the earth anyway. God will give Satan enough rope to hang himself and this he will do.

The removal of the administration over the earth by those in the spiritual body of Christ will allow Satan to ascend out of the pit and to deceive the world with the same lie he insinuated in the Garden of Eden that man would become like God. Now he will say that they have achieved it. The earth during the thousand years becomes like the Garden of Eden and natural death will even be conquered.

The release of this lying spirit on the earth will convince many that since death has been conquered, they no longer need to submit to God's saints ruling from Jerusalem and they will come against them. Many in the world will rebel against this government in Israel and seek to live as gods of their own soul. When the world is deceived to come against the camps of Israel to overthrow the saint’s rule on earth, fire will come down from heaven from God and devour them all.

Verse 10

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.

Not only are those that rebel against Israel devoured but this event marks the judgment of the Devil. He for the last time has deceived the world. This time the world is deceived directly by him and not by men possessed by his spirit. The Devil is cast into the lake of fire where the Beast and False Prophet still are after over a thousand years. They will all be tormented day and night in the Lake of Fire forever and ever. By the way, the scripture says the Lake of Fire was actually created for the Devil and his angels ( Matthew 25:41).

Verse 11

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

The white throne is the final judgment seat of God. While the judgment is ongoing, the passage would seem to indicate that the earth and heaven flee away. The earth might not be visible in this neutron bomb like radiance coming from the face of God. This may be something like a supernova but it will originate from the face of God and the light will expose all darkness in the entire universe. Other passages indicate the earth will exist forever, so I do not think the earth actually is destroyed. However, it may be moved to a more favorable location or orbit around the sun.

The statement that no place was found for them can also be explained. For example, if the sun itself had a nova there could be such an expansion of the sun and its brilliance that one observing would not see the earth orbiting around the sun. However, novas do not last long. After the sun settled down the observer would see a new heaven and a new earth renewed by fire.

This event may be greater than a nova; it may be the face of God. I assume nothing natural will be visible while the brilliance of God’s face shines and His judgment takes place with all creation being examined in His own divine light. All that can stand in the light will stand in a purified renewed creation that will be as it was before the fall of angels and man. The atmosphere and the earth at this time will be renewed by fire ( 2 Peter 3:10). John tells about the new heaven and earth renewed by this fire in the next chapter.

Verse 12

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

The Bible does not teach annihilation or non-existence. Those devoured by fire from heaven and all who died in the past and whom did not rise in the first resurrection will rise in this second resurrection. Those in the first resurrection will not have to face this fearful judgment because they put on the righteousness of Christ. In the second resurrection, all who did not take part in the first will stand before God at what is commonly called the “Great White Throne Judgment”. All hidden things will be examined in the true light. There was a judgment of rewards at the judgment seat of Christ on all those who rose in the first resurrection. In this second resurrection, there will be different degrees of punishment for all that are judged in the light of His perfect law according to their works.

Verses 13-15

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Everyone is judged and whoever is not found written in the book of life is cast into the lake of fire, and death and hell were also cast into the Lake of Fire. The Lake of Fire is the second death. After the judgment, death and hell (the temporary abode of the dead) are themselves cast into the Lake of Fire. These things will no longer be found in God’s new creation. Revelation 20:15 makes it clear that all who are not found written in the book of life will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever. As far as those in His new creation are concerned, those in the Lake of Fire will no longer exist or even come to mind but for those dwelling in the Lake of Fire will exist for eternity in their fallen condition without any hope of fellowship with God. This is what Jesus warned people about when He warned:

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul : but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

HYPERLINK "http://www.thepropheticyears.com/The book of Revelation/index.htm"

Bibliographical Information
Koenig, Donald A. "Commentary on #REF". Koenig's Commentary on Revelation. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dkr/revelation-20.html. 2004.
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