Chapter 20

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1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Commentary for Revelation 20

Satan is bound for a thousand years. (1-3) The first resurrection; those are blessed that have part therein. (4-6) Satan loosed, Gog and Magog. (7-10) The last and general resurrection. (11-15)1-3 Here is a vision, showing by a figure the restraints laid on Satan himself. Christ, with Almighty power, will keep the devil from deceiving mankind as he has hitherto done. He never wants power and instruments to break the power of Satan. Christ shuts by his power, and seals by his authority. The church shall have a time of peace and prosperity, but all her trials are not yet over.

4-6 Here is an account of the reign of the saints, for the same space of time as Satan is bound. Those who suffer with Christ, shall reign with him in his spiritual and heavenly kingdom, in conformity to him in his wisdom, righteousness, and holiness: this is called the first resurrection, with which none but those who serve Christ, and suffer for him, shall be favoured. The happiness of these servants of God is declared. None can be blessed but those that are holy; and all that are holy shall be blessed. We know something thing of what the first death is, and it is very awful; but we know not what this second death is. It must be much more dreadful; it is the death of the soul, eternal separation from God. May we never know what it is: those who have been made partakers of a spiritual resurrection, are saved from the power of the second death. We may expect that a thousand years will follow the destruction of the antichristian, idolatrous, persecuting powers, during which pure Christianity, in doctrine, worship, and holiness, will be made known over all the earth. By the all-powerful working of the Holy Spirit, fallen man will be new-created; and faith and holiness will as certainly prevail, as unbelief and unholiness now do. We may easily perceive what a variety of dreadful pains, diseases, and other calamities would cease, if all men were true and consistent Christians. All the evils of public and private contests would be ended, and happiness of every kind largely increased. Every man would try to lighten suffering, instead of adding to the sorrows around him. It is our duty to pray for the promised glorious days, and to do every thing in our public and private stations which can prepare for them.

7-10 While this world lasts, Satan's power in it will not be wholly destroyed, though it may be limited and lessened. No sooner is Satan let loose, than he again begins deceiving the nations, and stirring them up to make war with the saints and servants of God. It would be well if the servants and ministers of Christ were as active and persevering in doing good, as his enemies in doing mischief. God will fight this last and decisive battle for his people, that the victory may be complete, and the glory be to himself.

11-15 After the events just foretold, the end will speedily come; and there is no mention of any thing else, before the appearing of Christ to judge the world. This will be the great day: the Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ, will then put on majesty and terror. The persons to be judged are the dead, small and great; young and old, low and high, poor and rich. None are so mean, but they have some talents to account for; and none so great, as to avoid having to account for them. Not only those alive at the coming of Christ, but all the dead. There is a book of remembrance both for good and bad: and the book of the sinner's conscience, though formerly secret, will then be opened. Every man will recollect all his past actions, though he had long forgotten many of them. Another book shall be opened, the book of the Scriptures, the rule of life; it represents the Lord's knowledge of his people, and his declaring their repentance, faith, and good works; showing the blessings of the new covenant. By their works men shall be justified or condemned; he will try their principles by their practices. Those justified and acquitted by the gospel, shall be justified and acquitted by the Judge, and shall enter into eternal life, having nothing more to fear from death, or hell, or wicked men; for these are all destroyed together. This is the second death; it is the final separation of sinners from God. Let it be our great concern to see whether our Bibles justify or condemn us now; for Christ will judge the secrets of all men according to the gospel. Who shall dwell with devouring flames?

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Revelation 20

  • Daniel on Revelation 20:13
    Keep in mind please may it be on earth as it is in Heaven.

    Both the quick and the dead shall be judged.

    There are two baptisms one with water and the other by receiving the most blessed of all gift the gift of the Holy Spirit and we die daily in our old ways and by the daily renewing of of our minds learn to become one body in Christ.
  • Lonell goodman on Revelation 20
    Verses (ask in the name of Jesus)
  • Carol on Revelation 20
    How long is a Biblical "season?"
  • Joe - in Reply on Revelation 20
    I believe 'a season' is meant to be 'for a time' - not necessarily a specific amount of time. Remember that spiritual time is not the same as man's time.
  • Adam - in Reply on Revelation 20
    Ecclesiastes 3:1 The song by the Byrds, Turn Turn Turn is based on this- there's a season for everything. I think the length of the season varies in each person's life, but this idea is not based on scripture.
  • Phillip E Gallegos - in Reply on Revelation 20
    a good listening song although, not like some music of today's music industry
  • Bob Hilt - in Reply on Revelation 20
    I am not 100% sure but there are 4 seasons
    Spring, Summer, Fall or Autumn and Winter
    Sometimes the Bible calls many years a LONG SEASON as in Joshua 24:7 70 years in the wilderness
    Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
  • Carol on Revelation 20
    Question, Satan IS deceiving people now, so he is not yet bound. So is a thousand years of peace coming before the devil returns to deceive all Nations? Also the first resurrection 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. This is totally confusing please clarify. When will the 2nd resurrection be, and when will the dead that remain dead come and what will happen to them others?
  • James - in Reply on Revelation 20
    Just to be sure . . .
    This does NOT refer to the Calvinist (anti-Biblical) doctrine of election in connection with the equally false and demonic doctrine of limited atonement (the humanistic assumption that Christ was/is inadequate).
    Also, the second death to which you refer is the eternal descent into the devil's appointed torment and its total separation from God.
    Those dead in Christ who are not in the first Resurrection will rise to stand judgment after the Milennium, and those who are dead outside of Christ are contained in what is called "Death and Hell" . . . These are cast into the lake of fire forever.
  • Bob Hilt - in Reply on Revelation 20
    So did Jesus die for Esau?
    Malachi 1:2-3, "I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.." John 15:16, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you..."
    who made the choice? the apostles or Jesus?

    Luke 8:10, "And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand." (Matthew 11:25)
    Not every one was given to understanding the things of God


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What blessing is bestowed on those who are raised in the first resurrection?
  • They judge angels
  • They will be priests of God and Christ and reign 1,000 years with Him
  • They will establish God's kingdom on the new earth
  • They will be given the authority to help create the new heaven and the new earth
  • They will have great riches and elaborate mansions in Heaven