Revelation Part 8 – Chapters 20-22

Revelation

Revelation

Chapter 20
John sees an angel with a key to the abyss and a chain.
Takes the dragon and binds him with the chain and casts him into the Abyss to imprison him for 1000 years.
Has Satan Always Been Bound? Has he always been under limits?

Yes! God has never allowed him to do whatever he wants.
•    Consider Job for instance. Satan was allowed to do something, but not others.
•    Matt. 12:29 Jesus points out that He bound Satan or he could not have “entered his house” to cast out demons.
•    Colossians 2:15 shows that Christ won a victory over Satan, and certainly His death put limits on

Satan.
At different times, bound in different ways. So, what is this binding for?
•    First, when does it start?
•    It is done right after Rome falls in chapter 19. So, the binding of Satan begins when Rome falls.
•    Purpose is to keep Satan from deceiving the nations anymore. God is not going to allow Satan to do again, what he has just done. Satan had just used the coalition of nations in the Roman Empire to try and wipe out the church. God in effect is saying “I let Satan do this once, but will not let him do it again for 1,000 years.

What does this limitation mean?
•    He can still tempt individuals to sin.
•    He can still work against Christians and the church in some ways.
•    He is not bound in every sense, but only in that he cannot use a world-wide empire to try and wipe out Christianity.
1,000 Years Reign
•    Not only is Satan to be bound for 1,000 years, but this coincides with 20:4 where souls are also reigning with Christ for a thousand years.

Who Reigns With Christ?
•    The text says those that have been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because they would not worship the beast.
•    Same people that were in 6:9. Then in chapter 7 with white robes. In chapter 14 they were joined by the 144,000. In chapter 15 these same martyrs were gathered around the heavenly sea. In chapter 19 they shout “Hallelujah!” because the harlot has been judged. So, these are the martyrs of the Roman persecution, beheaded for their testimony. So, the martyrs of the Roman persecution are the ones reigning with Christ. Nothing is said about anyone else reigning with Christ during this time.

Why Do They Reign With Christ?
•    The short answer is a victory celebration.
•    After just winning a victory over Rome, the Roman Empire, The Cult of Emperor Worship, and Satan, what would you expect them to do?
Further it is a long celebration
•    Symbolic 1,000 years. 10 x 10 x 10
•    It is called the “first resurrection”
•    The second death (lake of fire) has no power over them.

Where do they reign with Christ?
Souls (I saw the souls of those beheaded…)
These souls have been in heaven since chapter 6
•    Chapter 6 – under the altar
•    Chapter 7 – serving God in heaven
•    Chapter 14 – were with Christ
•    Chapter 15 – were in heaven praising God
•    Chapter 19 – were riding with Christ in His spiritual victory.
–    Clearly then, the context suggests this is a heavenly reign not an earthly one.

When do they reign?
•    Some have suggested that this will take place after Christ returns, but the context clearly suggests a time for the beginning of the reign.
•    Since chapter 20 starts off where chapter 19 ended, that would put the reign at about 475 AD. After the Roman Empire fell.
•    The martyrs are of the Roman persecution
•    Obviously their reign would start when Rome falls.
If it started in 475 AD, when did it end?
•    1000 years is symbolic
•    42 months and 1260 days represented a real time of about 200 years or Roman persecution.
•    144,000 was a number to show completeness, not an actual head count.
•    7, 10, all of these meant full, complete.
•    We would not expect 1000 years to be literal.
•    Verses 11-15 give us a picture of the final judgment.
•    If that judgment comes in 11, and the description of the thousand years ends in verse 6, then we see in verse three that the time between the reign and the resurrection is “a little season” then the judgment.
•    After the reign, Satan is released. His intent is the same and he gathers forces to destroy the church, but God sends fire down and consumes him.
•    We know Satan’s purpose is the same.
•    From this passage it looks like God will not allow him to do any damage.
•    Should we take this passage to mean there will be a great persecution of the church just before the end of the world? Probably not.
•    Christ will come “like a thief” (2 Peter 3:10) There will be no sign of its coming.
•    We should not speculate beyond what the text says.
•    People use ambiguous passages, such as 666 and this passage, to invent all kinds of doctrines.
Revelation 20:11-15
•    All the dead are here. Here finally, is the true end of time.
•    20:13 – Books are opened.
•    Anyone written in the book of life, they will escape the lake of fire.
•    The book of life is found throughout scripture. Exodus 32:33. Psalm 69:28. Luke 10:20. Philippians 4:3. Hebrews 12:23.
•    All that will matter is if our name is written in the book of life.

Everyone is in one of three conditions.
•    First, it could be that their name has never been in the book of life. In the Christian age, that means a person who has never been in Christ.
•    Second, it could be that the name was written there, but then blotted out. 1 John 1:6-10. One can return to the correct path through repentance, confession, prayer, and forgiveness. Acts 8:20-24; Gal. 6:1.
•    Third, the name is written there.

Chapters 21 and 22
This describes the reward we will receive in stark contrast to the lake of fire.
Represented as New Jerusalem

First, Perfect Protection
•    Perfect cube
•    High wall.
•    12 layers of foundation
•    Gates remain open.
•    Nothing can ever harm us there.

Second, Perfect Provision
•    All things are in abundance.
•    God and the Lamb will be the light and there shall be no night.
•    We walk on streets of gold, eat of the tree of life, drink from the river of life.

Third, Perfect Fellowship
•    Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (21:3)
•    We will see God’s face (22:4)
•    We will be with angels and the redeemed of all ages.
•    Moses, Elijah, Paul, Peter will be there. We will know them.

Finally, Perfect Joy
•    No sadness
•    No death
•    No disease
•    No tears (21:4)

Who will be there?
•    Those in the book of life.
•    Those who overcome (21:7)
•    Who answers the call to come (22:17)
•    Whoever is thirsty (22:17)
•    Those who wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb (22:14)

Heaven is the reward of the faithful.
•    God loves and cares for us.
•    As persecution approached, He sent a message of assurance and comfort to the Christians about to experience these terrors.
Will your name be in the book of life?