Revelation 20 – The Millennial Kingdom

I. Opening Video.

Marking The Times Episode 29: Millennial Kingdom. Dr. Mark Hitchcock (J. D., Th. M., Ph. D.) answers your questions relating to the role of believers after the Millennial Kingdom and Christ sitting on King David’s throne.

II. Introduction. 

Revelation Chapter 20 discusses the Kingdom Age of the Millennium. The Kingdom will be an earthly existence. The Millennium is the length of time that the Kingdom, or Kingdom Age, will last. Key verses will be examined that relate to the Kingdom, in its prophesied earthly existence. Following, will be discussions on the events of the Kingdom Age. Those who will rule and reign with Christ during the Millennium are described in the following verses: Daniel 12:1-3 (Pre-Church Age Saints); Matthew 19:28 (Apostles of Christ); 1 Corinthians 6:2 (Church Age Saints).

III. Scripture Text. Revelation 20. New American Standard Bible (NASB 1995).

Satan Bound

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he took hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their foreheads and on their hands; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Satan Freed and Doomed

When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Judgment at the Throne of God

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them; and they were judged, each one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

IV. Examination.

Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible, 1986, 1995,

A. 20:1. “the abyss.” The place where all evil spirits will ultimately be consigned. See Luke 8:31.

B.20.2. “a thousand years” (mentioned six times in this chapter). Since the Latin equivalent for these words is “millennium,” this period of time is called the Millennium. It is the time when Christ shall reign on this earth (Isa 2:3; Dan 7:14; Zech 14:9). Satan will not be free to work (here in v 2), righteousness will flourish (Isa 11:3-5), peace will be universal (Isa 2:4), and the productivity of the earth will be greatly increased (Isa 35:1-2). At the conclusion of the time Satan will be loosed to make one final attempt to overthrow Christ, but without success (vv 7-9).

C. 20:4. The occupants of the “thrones” are not identified. Some think they are the 12 disciples (Luke 22:29-30), others that they are the church saints (1 Cor 6:2; 2 Tim 2:12). “the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus.” These are the martyrs of the tribulation days who will be resurrected to share the joys of the millennial kingdom.

D. 20:5. “The rest of the dead.” The wicked dead will be raised and judged after the Millennium. “the first resurrection.” Refers back to the end of verse 4. This resurrection includes all the righteous (the resurrection of life, John 5:29, and the resurrection of the righteous, Luke 14:14). who will be raised before the Millennium begins.

E. 20:8. “God and Magog.” The worldwide enemies of Christ. Not the same battle as described in Ezek 38-29. The large number of rebels will come from the many people born during the Millennium, who, though giving outward obedience to the King, never accept Him.

F. 20:11-15. Here is pictured the judgment of the unbelieving dead. It occurs at the close of the Millennium. It is based on works in order to show that the punishment is deserved (v 12, though of course those unsaved people are first of all in this judgment  because they rejected Christ as Savior during their lifetimes); and it results in everyone in this judgment being cast into the lake of fire. This is the resurrection of judgment. 

G. 20:12. “before the throne,” upon which Christ sits as Judge (see v 11; John 5:22, 27). 

H. 20:13. The wicked dead will receive some kind of resurrection body in which they will be tormented forever.

V. Discussion.

A.  Dr. Robert H. Mounce (Th. M., Ph. D., December 30, 1921 – January 24, 2019). The Book Of Revelation, The New International Commentary On The New Testament, 1977.

This commentary understands the millennium portrayed as an earthly reign which follows the second coming of Christ.

B. Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002), Revelation Commentary, 1974. 

This chapter presents the fact that Christ will reign on earth for a thousand years. If this chapter is taken literally, it is relatively simple to understand what is meant. However, because many Bible interpreters have rejected the idea that there will be a reign of Christ on earth for a thousand years after His second coming, this chapter has been given an unusually large number of diverse interpretations, all designed to eliminate a literal millennial reign.

C. Dr. John Phillips (D. Min; 1927-2010) John Phillips Revelation Commentary. 

The golden age has come. The armies of the nations have been disbanded, and the great military academies have fallen into ruin and decay. The machinery of war has all been smelted down and converted to the implements of peace. Jerusalem has become the world’s capital. The throne of David is there, and the twelve apostles are there judging the twelve tribes of Israel, for Israel rules the world. The millennial Temple has been built, and the nations of the world go there to worship the living God. Prosperity is evident from pole to pole and from the new river, which now graces Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Poverty is unknown. Every man has all that a heart can desire. There are no prisons, no hospitals, no mental institutions, no barracks, no saloons, no houses of ill repute, no gambling dens, no homes for the aged and infirm; such things belong to a past and lesser age. The bloom of youth is on everyone’s cheek, for a man is a stripling at a hundred years of age. Cemeteries are crumbling relics of the past, and tears are rare. The wolf and lamb, the calf and the lion, the cow and the bear, the child and the scorpion are all at peace. Jesus has come, and the Millennium is here. The golden age, so frequently heralded by the prophets of Israel’s past, has dawned at last, and the earth is filled with the knowledge of God. Jesus is Lord, and he rules the nations with a rod of iron. His reign is righteous, and the nations obey. The principles of the Sermon on the Mount are the laws of the kingdom, and men obey them because infractions are not allowed. Sin is visited with swift and certain judgment. This era lasts for a thousand years.

VI.  My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.

VII. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Equipping The Saints Web Site Israel Web Site Israel, History And Prophecy


Author: Equipping

The Church is the Church, and Israel is Israel. The Church did not replace Israel, and is not spiritual Israel. In the New Testament, “church” and “Israel” are mentioned as being separate entities. In the New Testament “church” is mentioned 112 times; Israel is mentioned 79 times; both are mentioned as being separate entities The Kingdom “has not yet come,” and will not come until the Jewish bloodline of Israel accepts God’s chosen king (Deuteronomy 17:15), which will take place at the end of the Tribulation when the nation of Israel faces decimation and calls on Messiah, Christ, in faith, to save them (Zechariah 12:10). Individual salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and comes through Christ (John 14:6). Things are discussed in this website that relate to God’s creation, from “eternity to eternity,” and all that is addressed within those parameters. Consider Isaiah 43:13, “Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” The Moody Study Bible adds a comment: “God is the ruler of all, and there is nothing that can stand against Him. His will is irresistible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary adds this thought: “No one can reverse what God puts into action or thwart His plans.” The articles that are found in this site may relate to anything that is found in the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation22.21, as well as anything else that may relate to the Bible.

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