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Revelation 20: Summary

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SIH STSTA ICONSUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

In the remaining portion of Revelation, we will be looking at the contents of the sealed book.  This book will reveal what the saints have awaiting them in eternity with Christ.  The contents of the sealed book will be revealed to us in chapters 19-22.  This will bring to completion our study of the Revelation.

 

A very basic outline of the remaining chapters of Revelation includes:

  1. Rev 19 – What immediately precedes eternity with the Lord? (background to eternity with the Lord)
  2. Rev 20 – The opening stage of eternity with the Lord (1000 year reign – a time of judgment)
  3. Rev 21 – The subsequent stage of eternity with the Lord pictured as a great city
  4. Rev 22 – The subsequent stage of eternity with the Lord pictured as Eden restored

Here is a short outline of chapter 20:…

  1. The Binding of Satan 1-3
  2. The 1000 Year reign 4-6
  3. The Judgment Of The Lost Symbolized By A War 7-10
  4. The Judgment Of The Lost Symbolized By A Court Trial 11-15

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:

  1. The Binding Of Satan (Rev 20:1-3)

John sees an angel sent from God proceed from heaven.  This angel possesses control over the bottomless pit and a great chain that will be used to bind Satan and cast him into the bottomless pit (Lake of Fire).  Satan’s imprisonment would last for the length of the 1000 year time period.

Satan and his work is revealed through the use of 4 titles.  Satan’s temptations are used to fascinate and mislead mankind (Dragon), he knows mankind’s weaknesses and shortcomings (Serpent), he accuses God’s people of wrongdoing seeking to bring them under the condemnation of God (Devil), he is the enemy of God constantly opposing Him (Satan).

 

  1. The 1000 Year Reign (Rev 20:4-6)

With the imprisonment of Satan completed, John sees the saints enjoying the 1000 years with God.  During this time frame John sees the saints being judged and rewarded by the Lord for their faithfulness.

John saw the thrones that were reserved for God’s people, symbolically representing their reward of sharing authority with Him.  We see the Lord handing down His judgment and rewards to them … “judgment was given unto them”.  The saints are described in several ways, each one representing their willingness to sacrifice themselves for Christ as martyrs or as “living sacrifices” whose lives were dedicated to Christ’s use.

We are told that this period of judgment, rewards, and enjoyment of rewards would last for 1000 years.  Symbolically the number 1000 represents a complete timeframe.  This can be clearly seen in many Biblical references including Psa 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8.

As we study the symbolism of the 1000 years, we can come to understand this time of judgment for the saints will be a set period of time set aside as part of the saint’s eternity with God.   This time period will come to an end when the judgment and rewarding of the saints comes to completion.  At that point in time, the last phase of eternity begins, and the saints will be enjoying communion with the Lord without end.

The people (saints of God) involved in this wonderful time with Christ have all experienced “the first resurrection” .  This is referring to the spiritual resurrection of all who have come to Christ, as they are “passed from death unto life” (HJon 5:24-27)

 

III.  The Judgment Of The Lost Symbolized By A War (Rev 20:7-10) 

Immediately following the time of judgment of the saved, John then sees Satan released from the bottomless pit.  Even after his imprisonment, Satan continues to have a desire to rebel and oppose the works of Christ.  In this case, he desires to lead mankind  in a worldwide war against the Lord.

Satan is given title “Gog” which means a high mountain, covering, or roof, which speaks to us of Satan’s prior position as the exalted angel that covered the throne of God prior to his fall.  Those who follow him are described as “Magog” which means the kingdom or nation of Gog, revealing their submission to Satan and his desires for their lives.

Then we see the resurrection of lost mankind from their temporary abode (their spirits from the Lake of Fire; their bodies from the grave)… “they went up on the breadth of the earth’.     They then are encircled around New Jerusalem where the saints and God dwell.  This is all in preparation of their coming time of judgment at the hands of God.

John then jumps ahead and sees the end result of their judgment… fire devours them , removing them from the New Earth, and then Satan and the lost are committed to the Lake of Fire for an eternity. 

 

  1. The Judgment Of The Lost Symbolized By A Court Trial (Rev 20:11-15)

A second set of symbols that are used to describe the final judgment of the lost is presented as a court trial where guilt and punishment are decided.  The Lord Jesus glory is shown as He sits on a shining white throne.   Jesus’ identity is confirmed when we are told the One of the throne is the same one “from whose face the earth and heaven fled away.”

Next, John sees the lost stand before the Lord awaiting judgment.  We are told that Christ will use “the books” (the 66 books of the Bible) and the book of life to complete the judgment process.  The books of the Bible will be used to judge men’s works, thereby assigning guilt to them, and the book of life will be used to see if Christ’s blood has covered those sins and paid their price.

Of course, all the works of the lost will be found sinful, which will render them guilty in God’s sight.  Then their names will be missing from the book of life, clearly revealing they owe the sin debt that they have accrued.    This will result in all of them being sent to the Lake of Fire for an eternity.

We are told that the sea will give up the lost who were lost at sea, emphasizing that, no matter what may happen to the physical body, whether lost at sea, eaten by a sea creature, or decaying in the depths, the Lord is still quite capable of resurrecting the body and reuniting it with the spirit.

We are also told that “death and hell” gave up the dead and then were ultimately cast into the Lake of Fire.  This teaches us that, following this resurrection of the lost, no longer will the bodies and spirits of the lost be separated from each other.  As complete beings, made up of both body and spirit, they will stand before the Lord in judgment and be consigned to the lake of fire for an eternity.

Finally, we are told that this represents those who have partaken of the second death, which is the eternal separation of man from God’s presence throughout eternity.

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In Revelation chapter 21, we will see a wonderful description of the eternal dwelling place of God’s people pictured as a glorious city.  Then in chapter 22, we will see this same dwelling place pictured as a glorious garden.

This description will be broken up into several parts:

  1. New Jerusalem descending to the New Earth (21:1-2)
  2. The blessings of citizenship in New Jerusalem (21:3-7)
  3. The immorality of those outside New Jerusalem (21:8)

4   Description of New Jersalem (21:9-27)

  1.   Outside View Of New Jerusalem (21:9-11)
  2. The Walls Of New Jerusalem (21:12-18)
  3.   The Foundation Of the Walls of New Jerusalem (21:19-20)
  4. The Gates Of New Jerusalem (21:21)
  5. The Interior Of New Jerusalem (21:22-27)

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation. 

 

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7 Comments

  1. Thank you for this summary. I have one inquiry to receive greater understanding. You stated- “the books” (the 66 books of the Bible)..”

    Does scripture tell us directly that the 66 books in the bible are indeed the books referenced?

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