Revelation 20 – AN ORDERLY TRANSITION 

THE BACK OF THE BOOK #18 (REVELATION) 

“Chapter 20 provides a great summary of many end-time events. It reveals Christ’s Millennial rule on earth, Satan’s destruction and destiny, the destiny of  Tribulation saints, the order of various resurrections presented in the Bible, and details of the Great White Throne Judgment. Evidence in this chapter proves that the Premillennial interpretation is the correct view.”  David Levy, Revelation: Hearing The Last Word, (Bellmawr, NJ, The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc. 1999), p. 235

Revelation 20 shows us the orderly and logical transition that will take place between Christ’s victory at the Battle of Armageddon in chapter 19 and the “Eternal State” as described in Revelation 20-21. 

SATAN’S RESTRICTION – Vss. 1-3 

  • The Battle of Armageddon will be short and decisive. The enemy armies will be destroyed and the vultures will have a feast. Revelation 19:17-21
  • 1 – An angel (Michael?) will come down with a key to the “bottomless pit” (abyss) and a great chain.
  • 2 – John leaves no doubt as to the identity of the one imprisoned. He is the dragon, who acts like a cruel animal. He is the “old serpent” who deceived Eve in the Garden and all of her offspring throughout the ages. He is the “Devil”, the slanderer and “accuser of the brethren”. He is “Satan”, the adversary who fights God and all believers.
  • 3 – Satan will be bound for a thousand years. During that time Jesus will rule with a rod of iron. Any outward rebellion will be squelched. Psalm 2:9, Revelation 12:5 

MILLENNIAL REIGN – Vss. 4-6 

  • 4 – Although all believers are promised to reign with Christ (Daniel 9:27, 1 Corinthians 6:2, Revelation 5:10), the Tribulation saints are in view in this verse. They, as well as Old Testament saints, will reign with Christ.
  • 5 – There are two resurrections. The first resurrection is the resurrection of those who are saved. This resurrection will not take place all at once, but at different times.                            Daniel 12:1-3,1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, verse 4
  • Those who are not saved will wait until the second resurrection after a thousand years.
  • 6 – This is a beatitude. What privileges all saints have!  We will be God’s priests and help rule the Millennial Kingdom!  Best of all, we will not be hurt by the “second death”. Verses 14-15 

FINAL REBELLION – Vss. 7-8 

  • Those saved people living on earth will enter into the Millennial Kingdom. Matthew 25:31-46
  • They will have children, and in ideal conditions, the earth’s population will thrive.
  • There will be peace, lack of disease, and an ironclad rule by Christ. This will cause the population to boom, as well as longer life spans. Isaiah 65:17-25
  • 7 – God has a reason for releasing Satan and giving him another chance to wreak havoc.
  • Those born during the Tribulation will not all be believers! Although they will know who Christ is, and will be submissive to His rule, many will be living in quiet rebellion. Their faith will not be in Him. Although conditions will be perfect for belief, they will not believe.
  • 8 – Satan’s release will allow him to tempt the multitudes of unbelievers. They will be drawn into one last rebellion against God.
  • The term “Gog and Magog” originally referred to a group of people who will invade Israel during the Tribulation and will be destroyed. Ezekiel 38-39
  • John Walvoord said that one possible explanation for the use of these terms is “… that the expression is used much as we use the term ‘Waterloo’ to express a disastrous battle, but one not related to the historical origination of the term.” John Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, (Chicago, Moody Bible Institute, 1966), p.303
  • The number of those rebelling will be like “the sand of the sea”. Remember the population will have flourished, therefore the number rebelling can be huge.  

DESERVED RETRIBUTION – Vss. 9-10 

  • 9 – The huge rebellious army will not have a chance. After they are assembled around Jerusalem, God will send fire from Heaven and they will be destroyed.
  • 10 – Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire, the final place of suffering for him, the antichrist, and the false prophet.
  • Notice that the Lake of Fire is a place of permanent suffering. Those there will not be annihilated, but will suffer forever. Mark 9:43,48, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 

DIVINE REMODELING – Vs. 11 

  • A great white throne will appear great in size, purity and authority.
  • It is the Lord Jesus Christ who will be the judge. John 5:22, 26-27, Acts 10:42
  • God is going to destroy the current heavens and earth. 2 Peter 3:10-13 

JUDICIAL REVIEW – Vss. 12-14 

  • The unsaved dead will be raised and stand before God. Every unsaved person who ever lived will be resurrected no matter whether they were buried, burned, or drowned.
  • The books will be opened and they will be judged according to their works.
  • Just as there are degrees of reward for believers, there will be degrees of punishment for unbelievers. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, 2 Corinthians 5:10
  • Death and Hell (Hades) will be cast into the Lake of Fire. 

JUSTIFIED REWARD – Vs. 15 

  • Here is the tragedy of the second death. Those not found written in the Book of Life were cast into the Lake of Fire.
  • This is justified because of their wicked unbelief. John 3:36
  • Understanding the severity of punishment should make us all fervent witnesses for Christ!