THE MILLENIUM AND THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT
SATAN IS TOTALLY DEFEATED IN HIS USING ROME AGAINST Christ's
An Angel from Heaven - John is on earth when
he sees this part of the vision
Having the key to the abyss - Satan,
referred to as a star fallen from heaven, in chapter 9
had this key, but now an angel from heaven has it
indicating Satan has been defeated."
The dragon bound for 1000 years - The devil
is totally and perfectly [completely] defeated and
bound with reference to his working through Rome
against the church, (witness the chain, the pit and the
sealing closed). This was the end of the history of the
Roman Empire but not for Satan. He would be released to
try again using other nations.
For 1000 years - 1000 years does not speak
of a time period but a state of affairs. Applied to
Satan it is total defeat. Applied to the saints it is
total victory. The number 1000 means totality. Psalm
50:10 says God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
Deuteronomy 7:9 says God keeps His promises for a
thousand generations. Psalm 105:8 and 1 Chronicles
16:15 says God commanded His word for a thousand
generations. The idea is totality and not a limited
Notice some other ideas regarding the 1000
1. 1000 years is the whole Christian
dispensation (from then until the end of time).
The problem with this idea is that it requires
a little time period of earth history after the
end of time.
2. 1000 years is all of time until just before
the second coming of Christ. The problem with
this idea is that it would limit the reigning
priesthood period of the Christians to less
than the whole Christian era.
3. 1000 years following the destruction of Rome
when Christianity flourished. The problem with
this idea is that it would require the dead
martyrs to be raised about a thousand years
Satan in the sealed abyss - Satan is not
limited in action, he is stopped!
Satan loosed for a little time to deceive the
nations - This is not a time period but a message
where God says to the Christians: "I protected you in
the past and will do it in the future, anywhere,
anytime, against any foe. This is God's guarantee for
the future, just like in Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Those sitting on thrones - Those who sit on
thrones are reigning. They are those to whom was given
the authority to judge. Who are they? They are
victorious, faithful saints, living or dead. Jesus had
promised that the overcomers would share with Him in
ruling over the nations (Revelation 2:26f; 3:21;
11:15-18; 18:20). This is the same as Daniel 7: 21,
Souls of them beheaded for Jesus' sake -
These are the martyrs in the persecution. They are
resurrected (they live) and reign with Christ. Picture
the battleground after the battle of Revelation 19 with
the ground littered with the bodies of the slain. Those
slain that are Christian martyrs are resurrected and
join the living saints on thrones to rule with God.
Those who were killed did not lose out because
immediately they were raised to die no more. This is
the "first resurrection." Notice that these are only
the martyrs in the conflict of Revelation and not those
Christians who had died all throughout history. This is
not a literal resurrection that will happen when Jesus
returns. Here is only a symbolic way of saying the
faithful saints are victorious and secure.
The rest of the dead - are those who died in
the vision in service of the beast and they remain dead
for 1000 years (symbolically) only to be raised up and
destroyed again. They were living losers. They are dead
losers and they will live again only to be losers.
Verse 5 is parenthetical. To get the sense read v4 then
v5b: ("The Christian martyrs lived and reigned with
Christ for a thousand years. This is the first
resurrection.") That the foes of Jesus remain dead for
a thousand years simply means that they were totally
defeated in their war against Christ and the church. It
is not referring to a literal time period.
The first resurrection - this is the
resurrection of martyrs for Jesus. It is called "first"
because John will see a second resurrection. Both God's
servants and the beast's servants died in the first
death but only the good guys are in the first
resurrection. The first resurrection is to life and
reigning but the second resurrection is to the second
death. The message is that the dead in Christ share in
the victory just as surely as do the living servants of
Priests of God …reign 1000 years - this
doesn't talk about how long Jesus reigns but how long
the saints would reign. The point here is not time but
total victory and blessedness. What they had before
they died (kingdom of priests), continued after they
died. In life and in death the servants of God are
Satan loosed and deceives the nations
(again) - Satan will continue to operate in the
world to destroy the faith of God's servants.
Gog and Magog - They are anybody yet nobody
in particular just as they were used in Ezekiel 38, 39.
The message is this in both places: God says to His
people: "I have already defended you and made you
victorious in this present crisis and I will do it
again whenever you need it." The emphasis is on the
size of this new future enemy (whatever) and the ease
with which God will defeat them also. Christians, don't
worry about God's desire and ability to protect you
against any and all enemies, now or in the future! A
note about pre-millennial theories: All attempts to
create a huge army of God-haters in a world where Satan
does not act and only God's servants live is doomed to
failure (especially if you believe in the impossibility
The devil cast into the lake of fire - The
lake of fire symbolizes total defeat. Nobody returns
after being thrown into the lake of fire. This is not
about eternal punishment but victory of God's people
and defeat of God's enemies.
Great white throne - is not the literal
judgment day before which all men must appear one day.
This is just like Daniel 7:9-12 where Rome (the fourth
kingdom) is judged.
Second resurrection - the beast's
worshippers are raised. The servants of God are not
because they were raised 1000 years earlier (in the
In this vision the devil is bound 1000 years to show
how he was totally defeated in his war against the
church using Rome. He is loosed a little while because
after Rome there would be other attempts and they would
meet the same fate. Victory is presented by the vision
of saints (living ones and raised ones) reigning and
judging in perfect [complete] victory. This chapter
says complete victory of the church and complete defeat
for Satan and Christ church persecuting Roman
In the persecution by Rome
some Christians died. They sit on thrones and
judge for 1,000 years.
The Martyrs are raised to reign with Jesus for
Satan is defeated in his
attempt to destroy the church using the Roman
Rome goes under and disapears.
Future attempts by Satan using other nations
will also fail.
Satan is ultimately destroyed.
vision's battle between good and evil all who
serve the beast are killed.
These remain dead for 1,000 years.
After 1,000 years the dead servants of the
beast are raised, only to be judged and
destroyed in the lake of fire.