Chapter 20 has become, unfortunately, one of the more disputed passages in scripture. It is the only place in Revelation where the thousand years appears. In Chapter 20 Satan is bound for one thousand years so that the earth may be restored and the remaining men will not be deceived by him. The Church is allowed to begin to take charge of the nations. Instead of being an outcast and overruled, she now has a voice. The martyrs and overcomers are given thrones during this time so that they may help judge during the millennial kingdom.
There are three interpretations:
a. Premillennialism: This argues that Christ comes pre- (before) the millennium of a literal thousand years. Christ's return in power and glory will deprive Satan of all his power, raise the Christian dead, and set up the kingdom of the saints on earth. After a thousand years, Satan will re-emerge from his imprisonment, attempt once more to destroy the saints, fail, and be destroyed himself. Then will come the resurrection of the rest of the dead, the judgment of the great white throne, the final destruction of the wicked, and the making of a new heaven and earth. The appearing of the Antichrist, the tribulation, the rapture is usually held to have taken place before Christ's coming in victory, and that comes before (pre-) the millennium: hence the name of this interpretation. This doctrine is sometimes called chiliasm which is derived from the Greek chilios, a thousand.
b. Amillennialism: There is no literal millennium, the 1,000 years is symbolic. It stands for the whole time between the life of Jesus on earth and his second coming. There is a biblical millennium. The saints are raised with Christ at the new birth, this is the first resurrection, (Ephesians 2:6, Colossians 2:12, Colossians 3:1), and they reign with Christ in life (Romans 5:17).
c. Postmillennialism: Christ returns after (post) the millennium. The millennium is the triumph of the gospel in this present age, sometimes a literal 1,000 years.
In Chapter 20 Satan is bound for one thousand years so that the earth may be restored and the remaining men will not be deceived by him. The Church is allowed to begin to take charge of the nations. Instead of being an outcast and overruled, she now has a voice. The martyrs and overcomers are given thrones during this time so that they may help judge during the millennial kingdom.
Each interpretation brings its own meaning to each of the verses. I know I might not be right but I will share with you the interpretation that the Lord has given to me. You don’t have to agree with me; that’s not the purpose of this blog. You can interpret each passage your own way.
The Thousand Years
After the thousand years, Satan will again be released to test the nations for the final time. In verse 5 there are two different resurrections mentioned. The first resurrection is for the believers. The second resurrection is for all those who are left that have not believed. In verse 6 we can see that this is true. It says that those who partake in the first resurrection will not see the second death, which is being cast to hell and having death of the spirit.
Gog and Magog
Verse 8 is Satan’s last chance to gather everyone from around the earth. Gog and Magog are mention in Ezekiel 38:2-3 and 39:1-2. This battle that will occur is separate from the battle of Armageddon. Ezekiel 38:2 indicates Gog is of Rosh, Meschech, and Tubal, which correspond to Russia, Moscow, and Tobolsk. Magog relates to Eastern Europe. Satan deceives them so that they can be his warriors. He instigates this final war and causes man’s rebellious nature to show again. During the thousand years, man’s rebellious nature still existed but it didn’t show because there was no temptation or deception from Satan. The camp mentioned in verse 9 is the lodging place of the overcoming believers who reside on earth as Heaven’s army. The beloved city is Jerusalem and God won’t let any harm come to them. He instantly brings fire and destruction against the enemy.
The Dead are Judged
In saying that the dead are standing in verse 12 indicates that they have been resurrected. The dead unbelievers are the last to be judged. Death is the last enemy to be destroyed. Death can no longer come to God’s people so it is cast to Hell where torment is prominent. During the first death, the flesh is separated from the spirit and our spirits will be put in a waiting place (Luke 16:22-24). Those who are not in the book of life, they will surely be cast to the lake of fire, the kingdom of Satan, and the dwelling place of death.