The Scroll of Revelation 34 - The Millennium and Beyond

Revelation 20:1-14, Commentary

The One Thousand Years, 1-6

The flow of chronology has been restored to the Revelation at this point. There is no need for close-ups now, or set changes. Events flow one after the other as Mystery Babylon is now gone, Jesus has now come, the antichrist and his spiritual side-kick are swimming in a lake of fire. Now comes an angel from heaven (20:1) to the pit that has featured so significantly in the story. In chapter 9 the angel "given" the key to the pit, seems to be fallen and not in ordinary possession of such things. He is given the name "Destroyer" later in the chapter. We watched as that angel released to the world evil creatures that tormented men. Then we noted (17:8) that there is in our day a man who once lived on the planet, who is waiting to ascend from this same pit in the last days. We read that he will come, deceive the nations, and be destroyed, in that order.

His destruction we have just witnessed (19:20), even as we chronicled his activities as deceiver. Now the pit is wanting another resident. This transfer is accomplished by an angel that seems to have been restored to the office of gate-keeper of the pit. Never again will Satan's forces have free access to earth. Satan himself still lives after the war and needs to be restrained until his services are called for again. The angel merely takes the prisoner, and locks him in (20:2). We are not told how spirit beings are so restrained, but we know they are. He is to be secured for 1000 years (20:3), as the man of sin stayed put for over 2000 years. It is his binding coupled to Christ's direct rule that will make the Millennium a time of wonder and joy and restoration. His career resumes for a short time (20:7), but before that comes a description of the first resurrection and the wonderful rule of our Lord Jesus.

The First resurrection (20:4-6). It was Jesus Himself who introduced the idea of two resurrections, in John 5:29. He called them the "resurrection of life" and the "resurrection of damnation." All shall surely be raised from the dead. There is no choice about this. But some shall rise to die no more, to suffer no more, to be totally disconnected from sin forever. Their description in part is in (20:4), and causes thinking believers to tremble.

John sees thrones (20:4). So did Daniel (Daniel 7:27). In that vision the prophet sees that just after the dominion of the "little horn" is taken away, the kingdom is given to the "saints of the most high." This term saints is the one used so often by the apostles of the Lord to refer to true believers in Jesus. To these believers is committed "judgment." They shall judge others. That's what Paul said too, in I Corinthians 6:2-3, reminding us that the time will come when saints will "judge the world" and even angels. We must also remember though that we shall stand, all of us, before a judgment seat that Christ oversees (II Corinthians 5:10), a preview of which is in Matthew 25, speaking of "when the Son of man comes in His glory."

So the saints, the believers, are raised to judge others. But John zeroes in on another group here that reminds us of Paul's statement in Philippians 1:29: "If we suffer with Christ, we shall also reign with Him." This group is the martyrs. We may have already seen them back in 7:9, arrayed in white robes. They are described as those who refused to worship the beast whether by image or mark. They had therefore been beheaded. You say, how widespread is that practice today? Does it exist at all? Yes it does. Saudi Arabia in particular leans toward this and stoning as its primary method of doing away with evil-doers. A couple more Muslim countries and one African also use this method, but very scarcely. Is Islam on its way to ascendancy? Will Islamic rule with its beheadings be the means of many believers going to be with Jesus? Saints and martyrs together reign with Christ. Who among us is following Jesus in this way today willing to suffer and give our lives away totally? Muslims do it regularly in response to a lie. Are we ready to suffer for the Truth?

1000 years is now mentioned again (20:4-6). It is the time of the binding of Satan and the time of the reign of the saints. Let no one call it a "figurative" number when it is used so often in this chapter. I believe it is the Earth's "seventh day", the "sabbath rest" of a planet that worked its way to judgment. After six long 1000-year periods of man's rule, we shall see how the planet ought to be governed, in its final "day."

There are the unsaved dead still to be dealt with (20:5-6). Theirs is the resurrection of damnation. Their fate is discussed in 20:12. Meanwhile the Millennium is beginning and will blossom more year after year. This is the time that the prophets saw, and maybe even a little more. Holy and blessed saints rule with Jesus. They have their new bodies while the rest of the planet continues in their old ones. It is here that a flood of prophecies enter in to let us know exactly what life will be like in that day.

In July of 2001, I was intensely involved in a study of "the kingdom of God". That Kingdom is spiritual, but also physical. That kingdom is in the Old testament and in the New and now in the Spirit. But our future is a literal Kingdom with a literal King from the line of David sitting on a literal Throne in Jerusalem. In the process of studying out our glorious future I was able to piece together a profile of that wonderful time. I would normally include here some appropriate pages from that book, The Kingdom of God, but I have already published this book elsewhere on Ezine, and am not permitted to reproduce it here.

The final conflict (of which we are told), 20:7-10

God's special day, the Millennium, now ends, and there is a new beginning. Before we move on in chapter 20 it is important to note that, with all of the activities encountered so far, there is no mention of a new heaven and new earth. Peter seems to say that they will come immediately after Jesus comes (II Peter 3:10-13). Instead, the prophetic Scriptures I have shown point to a renewed/restored "old earth" and "old Jerusalem."

The conflict is also pointed out by Isaiah (more on that later) who also seems to place the totally new creation right next to the coming of Jesus. We submit to you, because John does via angelic visitation, that this totally new heaven and earth will not come until the planet has had its full seven days, the seventh one being the 1000 years of rest we call the Millennium. As we approach and read verse 11 in this chapter, authorization for all of this will be clear.

The restraining angel does his work for 1000 years (20:7-8). The earth takes its rest. Joy abounds. Jesus rules. A perfect government. Could anyone not love a world governed by Jesus? Yes. Many. As many cringe at the idea now. And when Satan is released from his pit prison, he immediately seeks out these malcontents.