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Revelation 20


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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.


1And I saw an Angel come down from heauen, hauing the key of the bottomles pit, & a great chaine in his hand.

2And hee laid hold on the dragon that old serpent, which is the deuill and Satan, and bound him a thousand yeres,

3And cast him into the bottomlesse pit, and shut him vp, and set a seale vpon him, that he should deceiue the nations no more, till the thousand yeeres should bee fulfilled: and after that hee must be loosed a little season.

4And I saw thrones, and they sate vpon them, and iudgement was giuen vnto them: & I saw the soules of them that were beheaded for the witnesse of Iesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had receiued his marke vpon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they liued and reigned with Christ a thousand yeeres.

5But the rest of the dead liued not againe vntill the thousand yeeres were finished. This is the first resurrection.

6Blessed & holy is he that hath part in þe first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be Priests of God, and of Christ, and shall reigne with him a thousand yeeres.

7And when the thousand yeeres are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

8And shall goe out to deceiue the nations which are in the foure quarters of the earth, Gog & Magog, to gather them together to battell: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9And they went vp on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the campe of the Saints about, and the beloued citie: and fire came downe from God out of heauen, and deuoured them.

10And the deuil that deceiued 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 euer and euer.

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

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

13And the sea gaue vp the dead which were in it: and death and hell deliuered vp the dead which were in them: and they were iudged euery man according to their works.

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

15And whosoeuer was not found written in the booke of life, was cast into the lake of fire.

Compare Verses to Verses



1 Then I saw an angel come down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain. 2 He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan, and tied it up for a thousand years 3 and threw it into the abyss, which he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray until the thousand years are completed. After this, it is to be released for a short time. 4 Then I saw thrones; those who sat on them were entrusted with judgment. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image nor had accepted its mark on their foreheads or hands. They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over these; they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for (the) thousand years. 7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison. 8 He will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 They invaded the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them. 10 The Devil who had led them astray was thrown into the pool of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. 12 I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. 13 The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire. (This pool of fire is the second death. ) 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire.


v 1. If this key was given to Satan in 9:1, it has been retrieved and an unnamed angel comes to bind Satan. Acting under the power of Christ, there is a marked contrast to Dan. 10:13 and Jude 9, where Michael seems inferior to Satan, but overcoming him in Rev. 12:7-9. We can claim Phil. 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
v 2. We don’t  know the nature and composition of this “chain”, but it was sufficient to bind Satan during the entire Millennial reign.
v 3. The bottomless pit is a different place than the final hell. It is God’s purpose to allow Satan a short freedom, see verses 7-9.
v 4. This apparently is not the thrones of the apostles of Matt. 19:28. These are the martyred, resurrected Tribulation saints. According to Isa. 26:19,20 and Dan. 12:1,2,  the O.T. saints will be resurrected here too,  completing the resurrection of saints who will move on to reign with Christ throughout the Millennium.
v 5. With Enoch, Elijah, possibly those who arose from the graves after Christ arose and the resurrected of the Church Age, this completes the first resurrection. It will be separated from the resurrection of the unsaved of all time by 1000 years.
v 6. What a time of blessing for these resurrected saints.
Since verses 4-6 are very brief, we need to take a comprehensive look at the Millennial Kingdom.
A. It is for 1000 years between the Tribulation and the rest of the eternal kingdom. I dogmatically teach the Pretribulation Rapture and the Premillennial return of Christ. We can have fellowship in many ways with born again believers who believe otherwise, but feel there is no Scriptural basis for their belief. To accept a Postmillenial or Amillenial view would be to ignore or misunderstand countless teachings of Scripture. It is somewhat like the teaching of eternal security. You can believe otherwise and still be saved, but what a blessing you are missing! 
B. It is the consummation of the earthly sphere of God’s theocratic kingdom, or His  rule, over the earth.  He has used Adam, Human government instituted at the time of Noah, Abraham (through Israel), Moses, Judges, Kings and Prophets to administer His kingdom. Now it will be administered by Christ.
C. It is a test revealing man’s rebellion against God even under perfect conditions.
(1) Perfect moral environment. Only believers will enter the Millennium, Christ and only believers will be ruling, and holiness will be preeminent, Zech. 14:20,21.
(2) Perfect spiritual environment. Satan will be bound, see vs. 1-3. Also feast of tabernacles and worship will be kept annually at Jerusalem, Zech. 14:16,17.
(3) Perfect physical environment. The wolf and lamb, child with asp, not hurt nor destroy etc., Isa. 11:6-9. Desert blossom as rose, Isa. 35:1,2. Deaf hear and blind see etc., Isa. 35:5-7. Everyone own their own land, Mic. 4:4,5. Land so productive the plower will overtake the reaper, Amos 9:13. (Not like after a winter of blizzards I stopped plowing to pick my last corn, then continued plowing) Timely rains will return, Zech. 10:1.
D.  Christ will be ruling from Jerusalem, extending  to the ends of the world.
E.  Old Testament, dead and martyred Tribulation and Church saints will share in ruling with Christ. They will therefore be in communication with or inhabiting the earth to some degree, as well as the 144,000 and other living tribulation saints who will move live into the Kingdom. The millions who are born there will need to be saved. Isa. 52:7,8 infer Israel will pick up their responsibility to evangelize the world.
v 7. Some say, “The Devil made me do it.”  God is absolutely fair, and gives 1000 years of perfect physical, moral and spiritual environment with Satan out of the picture, so no one can claim, “The devil made me do it.”   Satan is then let loose to deceive those people into following him.
v 8. In this great environment, the population of the world may be the largest in history. The great deceiver has deceived himself into thinking that with those great numbers, he has one last chance to overthrow Christ. Apparently Satan convinces people that they can actually win a battle against the Lord, and he gains a huge following. In this perfect environment, many probably felt like they didn’t need God, and with Christ ruling with a rod of iron, many were probably “making fists in their pockets”. They still had the old nature and resented that even pots and bells on horses expressed “Holiness to the Lord”, Zech. 14:20,21, and they were happy to join Satan in rebellion against Christ.  Presumably Satan’s demon helpers are also released to help him. His stronghold, Babylon, has been destroyed, but he finds ready assistance from former allies, Gog and Magog. Magog is Russia, or it’s people, and Gog the ruler. (Some think the term is just used symbolically of formidable enemes.)
This is not the same battle as in Ezekiel 3. There, the armies come from specified countries. Here, from all over the world. There they are destroyed by an earthquake and volcano. Here directly from God in heaven. There they had seven months burying bodies and seven years burning weapons. Here it is followed by renovation of the earth and a final judgment. Over a thousand years separate the two battles (Megiddo was in between).
v 9. Many descendants of the defeated armies have resentment against the Jews, Jerusalem and believers gathered there to be near Christ. It probably did not take long for Satan and his demon possessed followers to assemble people for the big assault on Jerusalem, and Christ who had ruled so strictly. The enemy filled the country for miles to launch a massive assault, possibly even by aircraft,.
They have rejected the perfect condition to receive Christ, so God merely wipes out the army. A ring of fire  from heaven will surround the holy area and spread out in all the world, destroying every one who is unsaved. Satan no doubt has been using apparent miracles to deceive his followers. They now look to him in vain for a miracle to overcome the power of God. They go to no grave, but their ashes will be gathered together and resurrected for judgment.
v 10. Satan was judged at the cross, but God granted a stay of execution till his purpose for him on earth was over. By some means of the spirit world, Satan is finally cast into the eternal lake of fire where the beast and false prophet have been for over 1000 years. He will not be ruling in hell, but will be in torment like all the others. He knows the Word and his doom, but of all he had deceived from the time of his first rebellion, he had deceived himself most of all. Like an ardent fan of a loosing team clings to the hope that they will recover a fumble or something. If I was unsaved I would tremble at the words, “tormented day and night forever and ever.”  
v 11. The mighty power that instantly slew millions now causes the earth and lower heavens to disintegrate, 2 Pet. 3:7,10-12. This prepares the way for the new heaven and earth of 21:1 Liquids and solids in the earth and atmosphere are vaporized by the intense heat which precedes the Lord as He ascends to His throne of judgment. Only the triune Godhead sits to judge, and that through Christ, Jn. 5:22, Acts 10:42. There is no rainbow and no Lamb to bring grace to the condemned. No believers will be there, and nothing is said about them. Apparently they are transported to the New Jerusalem to escape the purging of the earth.
Distinguish that this is not the same as the judgment of nations (or Gentiles), Matt. 25:31-46.  That takes place at the end of the Tribulation to determine which individual Gentile believers may enter the kingdom, evidenced by their treatment of the Jews. The sheep are saved Gentiles, the goats are unsaved Gentiles and brethren are the people of Israel. The wording of v 41 implies that the unsaved ones go directly into the lake of fire, but they have to appear first at the great white throne to receive their judgment of works, Rev. 20:12. The solution must be that they go directly live to hades as those who rebelled against Moses, Num. 16:30, which was a new thing. These all will later be brought before the great white throne before going to the lake of fire.
God governs the universe from the eternal throne in heaven, Rev.4:2-11. There was an altar there, Isa. 6:6, but none at the great white throne. On earth,Christ judges the Gentiles from ”the throne of His glory”, Matt. 25:31. The Father turned all judgment over to the Son, John 5:22 and Acts 10:42, so Christ will judge all the wicked dead of all time at the great  white throne which will only be used the one time. Since the earth will be gone and unbelievers are not allowed in heaven, this will be somewhere in space.
Some place a high significance on  dreams, but it is vitally important to rely on Scripture, not experience. What we eat, think about, or have experienced may lead to incorrect dreams. I have even dreamed of being locked out in a blizzard, only to awaken and find out that the covers are off. A believing acquaintance had lost her husband, also a dedicated believer. She enthusiastically told me that she dreamed she saw her husband standing before the great white throne. Obviously this dream was not inspired by the Spirit, but was in response to what she had been thinking about, based on misunderstanding of Scripture. Praise God her believing husband will never stand before the great white throne, and even if he had been unsaved, he would not have been there at the time of her dream.
v 12. This is the second resurrection, or resurrection unto damnation, Jn. 5:29.. All unsaved dead of all time are brought bodily before the great white throne for judgment and sentencing. A vital book is the Lamb’s book of life, 21:27. See extenced comment in notes on Rev. 20:15 regarding names  being written or blotted out,
We do not know the nature of the books which are opened, but in God’s omnicience, He may have records that compare to modern DVD in which a person’s lifetime can be quickly scrolled before them. God is omnipresent, so vast numbers could be seeing their record at the same time.  However it is open for all to see.  If He spent time with each one individually, that could take millions of years, but what is that, when measured by eternity. Since this part of the judgment will be based on works, there will be degrees of punishment in hell, though it will be eternal for all. This is borne out in Lk. 12:47,48 where the servants will receive whipping according to the knowledge they had. Also in Matt. 11:21-23, Christ warned Jewish cities that it would be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, who had not received the teaching they had.
v 13. At the same time death will give up the bodies of unbelievers and hades, the place of torment will give up their souls to be judged. Whether a body has been buried, creamated, or decomposed on land, at sea or the Genesis flood, it will be resurrected to be judged according to works. Some may try to claim their good deeds out weigh their bad deeds, but will find God does not know them, Matt. 7:22,23.
v 14. The first death is the death of the body, the lake of fire is the second death. Recent wicked dead and those in Hades for centuries will all be cast into the lake of fire. Some suggest that the bodies may be consumed, but the souls live on in torment. However, Jesus warned about the place where ‘their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched’. Mk. 9:43-48. We know also how the rich man in Lk. 16 suffered torment in the flame. There is some indication that the lake of fire may be moved to distant space, perhaps to one of the dark burning stars, Matt. 8:12; Jude 13. 
v 15. Emphasis is placed on the fact that all who are not found in the Lamb’s book of life will be dispatched to the lake of fire. It will be no comfort to unbelievers who say, “I’ll have a lot of friends there”. They will not be seen in the darkness, and any contacts will be with intense hatred.
Some think on the basis of Ex. 32:32,33 that every one’s name is written in the book and the unsaved are blotted out at the day of judgment. They point out that if a priest was found to be a criminal or not in Aaron’s line, his name was erased. and him ousted. Also that ancient cities had a register of all their living citizens. At birth a name was added, and at death, the name was removed. Moses kept a similar register of all the tribes called “the writing of the house of Israel”, Ezek. 13:9. The book referred to in Ex. 32:32,33 is the same mentioned in Ps. 69:28, the “book of the living”. The wording there would seem to indicate that every one who ever lived is written in this book, but the wicked will be blotted out, leaving only the names of the righteous. Rev. 3:5 gives strong indication that names could be blotted out of the book of life. Hence, the view by some that the book of life is a register of everyone who has ever been conceived, and those who finally rejected Christ will have their names blotted out. leaving an empty space.
Others believe that If Pilate could say, “What I have written I have written, so much more, what God has written shall stand. We know that believers are chosen and written in the book from the foundation of the world, Eph. 1:4 and Rev. 17:8. Scripture is clear that those names will not ever be erased, Jn. 10:28,29. We believe this to also be true of those aborted from conception or who have not yet reached the age or condition of accountability (knowingly sin).
According to John 3:18, unsaved are condemned already, not according to deeds they have done, but because they have not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God. Final judgment is not to see if an unbeliever is to be blotted out, but to judge them for their works. Since they are already condemned, would their name be in the book? Moses was not referring to the book of life, but probably to God’s census of the people. The book of life is a roster of the righteous who are to inherit eternal life. Rev 3:5 is a promise of eternal security to  believers that their name will not be blotted out, not an inference that others will be blotted out.
Just because God wrote in the name of believers from the foundation of the world does not bar anyone from being saved as an elective decree. God knows who will receive Him and who will ignore or refuse. If there is a roster of the called, many will be on it, but comparative few would be on a roster of the chosen, Mt. 22:14.
Which ever view you take, believers will not be blotted out!
Now is the day of salvation 2 Cor. 6:2. Now is the time to make sure our names are written in the book of life, not just a blank space where our name should be.

To avoid confusion, here is a summary of the resurrections:
1. The resurrection of Christ  as the firstfruits, 1 Cor. 15:23. (Many good scholars believe the  saints who arose right after He did, did not die but went to heaven at thesame time He did. It is only conjecture and cannot be proven.)
2. The resurrection of church age saints at the Rapture, 1 Thess. 3:16.
3. The resurrection of Tribulation period saints, Rev. 20:3-5 (includes the souls under the altar, 6:9) along with -
4. Old Testament saints at the second advent of Christ, Dan. 12:1,2; Isa. 26:19,20.
5. The resurrection of all the unsaved dead, Rev. 20:5, 11-14.
The first four are the first resurrection, or resurrection to life. The fifth one is the second resurrection, or the resurrection unto damnation.
The Word is silent on the resurrection of those who died in the Millennium, but the destination of saved and lost is as sure as any before them. They will definitely be on the new earth.

20a Chronology Summary

Dedicated believers may believe in a mid or post tribulation rapture, but I feel dogmatically that only a pre tribulation rapture fits all Scripture.
When does Russia and the northern confederacy attack Israel?
It can not be at the end of the Tribulation, which is the final battle of Armageddon, or during the Millennium.
It cannot be before the Rapture as some feel,  because the Rapture is imminent. Also Ezek 38:8,16 calls it in the latter days of Israel, not  the latter days of the Church. It is latter days which is during the Tribulation, not the last days, which is in the Millennium. This would also conflict with a popular view that it is a brief period between the Rapture and Tribulation when many souls (not of the Church) would be saved. Israel is at peace in the land, so it could not be in the last half of the Tribulation.
Why do I place Russia’s attack slightly before middle of Tribulation?
At the beginning of the Tribulation the Antichrist makes a covenant of peace with Israel, In Isa. 28:18 God said He would punish Israel for making a covenant with hell. This is the same covenant of Dan, 9:27 which will be broken after three and one half years. Much of Isa. 28 and 29 describe God’s punishment on them for making the covenant seeking peace from man, the Antichrist, instead of from God.
Much of Daniel 11 tells of wars between the king of the north and the king of the south, but that took place in the days of Antiochus Epiphanies. In verses 36-39, this shifts to Antichrist, the little horn of the fourth beast, of Dan. 7:8, who will rule viciously in the last half of Tribulation and set himself up as god by military, miracles of false prophet, and the power of Satan, Rev. 13:2, 11-15 and redistribute land.
Dan. 11: 40-45 tells that before mid-trib, Egypt etc. will come from south, and the Russian confederacy from the north to fight him. As the Assyrians punished Israel and were destroyed, so shall it be of Russia’s northern confederacy, the Gog of Ezek. 38,38. They have always hated the Jews so seek to take advantage of this peace to drive out the south and go in to destroy Israel and take their wealth. 
Jerusalem is destroyed, and at this point, the western confederacy under Antichrist will sweep in from Europe and conquer all but Edom, Moab and Ammon. The Lord brings destruction on the north, because In Ezek 38:1, Gog became one of those whom God said, “I am against thee”. Destruction is so miraculous that it was a sign, and many are saved,  Ezek. 38:22,23 and 39:21,22. Compare Rev. 7:9.
With the northern confederacy broken, the Antichrist breaks the covenant of peace with Israel and gains world wide power at the mid point of the Tribulation, Rev. 13:7.
He will hear of the massive army in the east and set himself up as Christ in Jerusalem. He will be defeated when Christ comes to earth.
Context of Scripture supports this chronology. Isa. 30 and 31 describes the destruction of the north. Isa. 33 and 34 the destruction of the nations, and the millennium is discussed in 35. The same sequence of war in Joel 2;20; destruction of nations in 3 and millennium in 3:17-21.
Summary of chronology would be something like this.
Rapture (may or not be a short interlude before Tribulation)
Israel’s false covenant with Beast, Dan. 9:27; Ezek. 38:8-11
King of south moves against this coalition, Dan. 11:40.
King of north invades Palestine, Ezek. 38:11; Joel 2:1-21; Isa. 10:12; 30:21-33; 31:8,9; by land and sea, Dan. 11:40.
Jerusalem destroyed Zech 12:2.
King of north destroyed on mountains of Israel, Ezek. 39:1-4.
Beast breaks covenant and moves armies in to land, Dan. 11:41-49.
Palestine occupied by armies of Beast, Dan. 11:45. Defeats most surrounding countries including south. Rev. 13:7
Coalition of nations under the Beast, Rev. 17:13.
Gog gone. Kings of east advance against armies of Beast, Rev. 16:12.
Nations of earth gather around Jerusalem Zech 14:1-3 and valley of Jehoshaphat Joel 3:2.
East plans to beat army of Beast, but a sign of Son of man appears in the heavens, Matt. 23:30, causing them to unite against Christ’s army.
Lord returns to destroy Gentile powers so He can rule, Zech. 12;1-9; 15:14:1-4; Isa;33:1-34:17; 63:1-6; 66:15,16; Jer. 25:27-33;  Rev. 20:7-10
Beast and False Prophet are cast into Lake of Fire. Rev. 19:20.
Satan is bound 1000 years, Rev. 20:2.
Judgment of nations (Gentiles) followed by Millennial Kingdom.
Satan loosed a season, final battle, Satan cast into lake of fire, final judgment of unbelievers and they are cast into lake of fire