The Millennium- Revelation 20:7-15

In the last article we started a study on Revelation 20. We looked at the first six verses of this chapter and studied it in-depth. We looked at who the angel was that seized the dragon, who are the “beheaded”, and what the “thousand years” are. This time, we will look at verses 7-15 to finish up the chapter. Here we will discover what Satan’s role is and how we are judged. So let us begin this intriguing study.

Here are verses 7-15:

7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

 

Let’s begin with verses 7-10 which state, “7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

  • People may look at vv. 7-8 and try to make up something that fits their previous ideas of what they think the thousand years will be. But there is no need for assumption, we do not need to add or take away from God’s word to fit our ideas of how things should be. Look at verses 7 and 8, they say that when the thousand years are over (the time before the rest of the people are to be judged) Satan will go out and deceive the nations. So here’s what we have. The dead in Christ have already risen, but there is still people on earth. Now Satan has come to deceive the nations before Christ returns (2 Thessalonians 1-12). However, we see that in the end, God sent fire down and devoured Satan and his people.

 

Verses 11-15 state, “11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

  • Now John describes Judgment day. It seems to be that those who were raised with Christ first, are not judged here, because it only mentions the dead (v.12). But those who were still alive when “fire came down from heaven and devoured Satan” are judged here as well. Everyone is judged according to their deeds. Anyone whose name is not found in the book of life is thrown into the lake of fire.  
  • There is often times confusion with “death and Hades”. What is the difference between the two? “Death” can be interpreted as the physical grave, or those who were alive when Satan was devoured. “Hades” is the waiting place for the souls who have died. It is separated by a gulf, and on one side is paradise, the other torment. So those who died before and after Christ’s death are judged here. Everyone is judged according to their deeds.

 

This has been a fascinating study on this wonderful chapter of Revelation. To summarize quickly, the dead in Christ remain in paradise until Christ comes again. Satan will deceive the nations, and he will “devoured” by God and thrown into the lake of fire. Then everyone alive and dead at the time of Christ’s return will be judged. Those who were faithful to God will enter everlasting life, those who were not will enter everlasting torment.   

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