BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 25, Day 5: Revelation 20:1-10

Summary of passage:  An angel bound Satan in chains and threw him into the Abyss (hell) for 1000 years after which time he will be set free for a short time.  John sees thrones where those given authority to judge are seated.  He sees the souls of the martyrs who died for Jesus alive and reigning for 1000 years during the first resurrection.  The rest did not come to life. Blessed are these.  After the 1000 years, Satan will be released and will go out to deceive the nations and gather Gog and Magog for battle.  There will be a huge number of them. God however threw fire down from heaven to destroy them and threw the devil into the lake of burning sulfur to be tormented for eternity.

Questions:

11a)  Satan will be bound for 1000 years to keep him from deceiving the nations.  Then Satan will be released for a short time to go out and deceive the nations for the last time.  They surround Jerusalem but God sends fire down to destroy the people and hurl the devil into a lake of burning sulfur for all of eternity.

b)  Scholars presume it is God who throws fire down from heaven and devours all the rebellious people and throws the devil into the lake of burning sulfur forever.

c)  Part personal question.  My answer:  We will live forever and rule with Christ by his side as subordinates.  Complacent is a Latin word meaning “very pleased.”  It means, “marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.”  Smug.  Feeling so satisfied with your own abilities or situation that you feel you don’t need to try harder.

To be honest, this passage does the opposite.  I do feel complacent because I know where I’m going.  I think this would be a better question asked in relation to nonbelievers:  how can we not be complacent in relation to the urgency to evangelize.

However, that being said, we shouldn’t be so complacent with our eternal salvation that we fall into sin and have no regard for God, His laws, or His people.  We are still to be godly here on earth as much as humanly possible.  Eternal salvation is not an excuse for sin.

12)  Beautiful and heavenly.  Israel will be the leading nation on earth (Isaiah 2:1-3, Ezekiel 17:22-24). Jesus will reign (Isaiah 2:1-5; 9:7; Zechariah 14:9) with no war (Isaiah 2:1-5). King David will rule over Israel (Isaiah 55:3-5, Jeremiah 30:4-11, Ezekiel 34:23-31, Ezekiel 37:21-28, Hosea 3:5). Israel will be blessed (Amos 9:11-15; Isaiah 62:2-3) and the temple will be restored (Ezekiel 40-48, Ezekiel 37:26-28, Amos 9:11, Ezekiel 20:39-44). Saints will have jobs Luke 19:11-27, Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 2:26-28; 3:12,22, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3). God will be number one (Zechariah 13:1-9). There will be no sickness nor disease (Isaiah 29:18).

Christ will reign on earth without opposition, and His kingdom will be characterized by righteousness, peace, and love (Isaiah 2:3-4; 11:3-5; Daniel 7:14; Zechariah 14:9).

Conclusions:  Good questions to sum up the passage.  Question 11c would have been better with my slant.  Am hoping the lecture will bring it all together.  Great passage all Christians should study:  the final defeat of Satan.  We need to keep this in mind when we are under attack and see no way out.  God is there–always–in control and limiting Satan.  Satan will pay the ultimate price for his behavior.  Cling to God.  He never fails.

End Notes:  See End Notes for Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.

Conclusions to Lesson 25:  Nothing here below the superficial.  Sad for me.  Really sad.  I started with Isaiah and the difference in substance between then and now (5 years) is overwhelming.  I had hoped BSF would do more of the leg work for me because all of this that you read takes hours and hours on my end.  Which is fine.  But at times it’s frustrating.

I have started skipping lectures because our teaching leader says the same things over and over again.  She drags out a 20 minute lecture to 45 and I’m left surfing the Internet on my phone.  And what she says is all I know because I’ve done all of this work.  Nothing is new.  Even the notes are lackluster.  I expected an in-depth study of eschatology.  Instead, I’ve found an in-depth study of opinion questions and “you” s.  I’m tired of focusing on me.  Can I focus on God please for at least these 2 hours during my BSF class?

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 25, Day 4: Revelation 20: 7-10

Summary of passage:  After the 1000 years, Satan will be released and will go out to deceive the nations and gather Gog and Magog for battle.  There will be a huge number of them.  God however threw fire down from heaven to destroy them and threw the devil into the lake of burning sulfur to be tormented for eternity.

Questions:

9a)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He goes out to deceive the nations.  He’s evil, pure and simple.  Man is evil, pure and simple.

b)  God wins.  God destroys all of Satan’s followers and throws Satan into the lake of burning sulfur for eternity.

10a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It doesn’t astonish me.  It doesn’t.

b)  They prefer to sin.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Pray.  Know God’s word.  Count on God to get me through the day and all the temptations of the world for he doesn’t give me more than I can handle and He always provides a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Conclusions:  Flabbergasted to tell you the truth.  Nothing here worthy of mentioning.  No substance.  Nothing on God and Magog.  Stunned.  My kids are bored with this study and I have started to let them skip classes.  And I am counting down the lessons.  Sad for me.  Truly sad.

Suffering and death is what we deserve.  Hence, Satan’s actions upon the world don’t “astonish” me or anything else.  I follow God.  I tell others.  I don’t worry (Phillippians 4:6).  The rest is up to God.

End Notes:  Why would anyone after 1000 years with Jesus and peace rebel again?  God allows it to show just how corrupt man is.  During Jesus’ reign, people will go through the motions and never have a heart for Jesus.  This will show when Satan returns and gathers too many to count.  Sad.  Very, very sad.

This is the last rebellion before the final judgment.

There will be no one to blame but our own sinful, depraved nature.  In a perfect world, man is not perfect.  Can’t blame your parents, your school, your socioeconomic condition, where you were born, etc.  All will be your responsibility.  And God wants to make that abundantly clear.

The angel is NOT Jesus.  It would say “Jesus” here if it were.  The key represents authority so we can assume Jesus has given the key to the angel to administer his justice.

The rebels will be the children of those who survived the Great Tribulation and live during the Millennium.  Even though Jesus rules because of Free Will all these children will need to accept Christ.  Man must overcome his sinful nature as always.  This could potentially number in the billions once again (“the sand on the seashore”).  If you think of how many survive the Tribulation and they all procreate for 1000 years, that’s a lot.

Who/What are Gog and Magog?  They appear in Ezekiel 38-39 and represent an evil empire that attacks Israel from the north.  Gog is the prince and Magog is the land of Gog, probably in Asia Minor.  Many have tried to identify them as a specific country such as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.  THIS GOG AND MAGOG HERE IS NOT THE SAME AS THE GOG AND MAGOG IN EZEKIEL.  Here, the Bible tells us they are the nations in the four corners of the earth.  In this passage Gog and Magog represent all enemy nations against God and His people.  They are evil personified.  Here are used as symbols for the participants in the final battle with evil.

Best concise explanation of God and Magog with the comparison to Ezekiel HERE

We’ve seen the gathering of kings and beasts against God’s people before (Revelation 19:19: 16:14-16).  And just as before they will be defeated.

God’s people here could be the saints ruling with Jesus from the Tribulation or earth’s inhabitants who have a true heart from Jesus that are alive during the 1000 years.

“The city he loves” is Jerusalem.

Again, we see no battle like in the battle of Armageddon in Revelation 16.  God just wipes out all with heavenly fire.  They will await final judgment at the Great White Throne room in Revelation 20:11-15.

We have Satan, the beast (Antichrist), and the false prophet in the lake of burning sulfur forever (Revelation 19:20).  Jesus speaks of this as well in Matthew 25:41. God is good!

What is hell like?  Here we have some answers in this passage:

  1.  It’s eternal, “forever and ever”.  We see this used to describe the throne of Christ (Hebrews 1:8).  So hell is unending as Christ is unending.
  2. It’s a place of eternal torment. There is no hope, forgiveness, or clemency.
  3. Unbelievers will be cast into the eternal lake of burning sulfur along with Satan and the unrepentant angels.  We see two humans (Antichrist and the false prophet) cast into the lake of fire before Satan (Revelation 19:19-20).

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 25, Day 3: Revelation 20:4-6

Summary of passage:  John sees thrones where those given authority to judge are seated.  He sees the souls of the martyrs who died for Jesus alive and reigning for 1000 years during the first resurrection.  The rest did not come to life.  Blessed are these.

Questions:

6a)  “Because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.”  They were raised from the dead and reigned with Christ for 1000 years.

b)  Personal Question that I’m tired of answering:  It doesn’t.

See Lesson 16 Day 4 for repetition.

7a)  Risen from the dead and all believers will share in it.

b)  The second death.

8 )  Priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.  Everything.

Conclusions:  Rich passage.  Strike out the personal questions and add more interpretation especially with the different deaths and resurrections.  This was VERY confusing to me and only after I researched it did I have an idea what John was talking about.  Perhaps the notes will address this but I need to understand NOW not after the lecture.

End Notes:  This passage fulfills Revelation 2:10-11.

Who is sitting on these thrones?  Possibilities:  the twenty-four elders representing the church (Revelation 4:4) or the apostles (Matthew 19:28) or the company of saints as a whole (1 Corinthians 6:2-3).

“Those given authority to judge” are all those who had been redeemed by His blood, resurrected from the grave, and raptured into His presence. These (the saints) will reign as kings and priests with Christ (Revelation 1:5-6; 5:9-10).  Note they reign for the same amount of time Satan is bound.

These beheaded (executed in ancient Greek) ones are the souls we saw under the altar in Revelation 6:9.  More have been added (Revelation 6:11) during the Tribulation.  In essence, all will reign (Revelation 2:26-28, 3:12,22; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3) but the martyrs here are encouraged and specified for all they have suffered.

Scholars debate if this is a bodily resurrection or not.  Some point to Ezekiel 37:12-14 where a nation is described as being resurrected and to Isaiah 26:19 where he is speaking figuratively after Babylon of victory.

The “rest of the dead” are the unbelievers who did not take part in the “first resurrection” with the redeemed and did not accept Jesus as Savior.
“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2)
The “first resurrection” refers to the resurrection of the redeemed.  It includes: resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:23; Revelation 1:5), resurrection of the church (the dead in Christ – 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 4:16); and resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints (Revelation 20:4; Isaiah 26:19; Dan. 12:2). The rest of the dead (unbelievers) will be raised in the second resurrection (Revelation 20:12-13).

The second death, which is referred to in Revelation 20:14-15, is a spiritual death.

In essence, those who suffered death by martyrdom will not suffer spiritual death.  They are promised the first resurrection.  Those who didn’t suffer death by martyrdom will face the second or spiritual death and their resurrection (the second) will be seen in the White Throne room in verses 11-15.

The Bible discusses two “deaths” and two “resurrections”.

The “first death” is the death of the body (Hebrews 9:27).  The “second death” is the eternal death and suffering that only affects unbelievers.  (v.14).  This explains John’s words in verse 6.

There are two “resurrections.”   The word “resurrection” is a Greek word meaning “to make to stand” or “rise up.”  This occurs when the soul reenters the body after the physical death and rises up.  All resurrect because all die.

Believers take part in the “first resurrection” and acquire a new body in the process (Phil.3:20-21; 1 Cor.15:52).  Scholars debate whether the first resurrection will have many parts beginning with Jesus and encompassing the Tribulation martyrs amongst others  (Matt.27:53; 1 Thess.4:16-17; Rev.11:11).  This depends on when you believe the rapture will occur.  Pretribulationists believe it will be in many parts.  Posttribulationists believe it will be one event.
Unbelievers not in Christ take part in the “second resurrection”.   They do not receive a new body and this occurs one time after the Millennium, which explains verse 5.

In John 5:28-29, Jesus mentions these 2 resurrections.  The 2 are separated by 1000 years as believers are raised first and then non-believers.

We see the Fifth Beatitude in verse 6.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 25, Day 2: Revelation 20:1-3

Summary of passage:  An angel bound Satan in chains and threw him into the Abyss (hell) for 1000 years after which time he will be set free for a short time.

Questions:

3a)  An angel coming down from heaven with the key to the Abyss.

b)  1000 years and then he’d be set free for a short time.

4)  God is the one who has power over Satan and controls him and limits his actions.

5a)  John says how Satan corrupts people to carry out his desires.  Satan is a murderer and a liar.  2 Corinthians says how Satan has blinded unbelievers so they can’t see the light.  1 Peter says to be alert because Satan prowls around looking to devour people.  In essence, Satan is always lurking, ready to snatch us if we’re not grounded in God.

Note:  We looked up these same verses in Lesson 16 Day 2 Question 4 with almost the exact same question with regards to God’s protection over the pregnant woman.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We’ve had this question many times before.  I know God wins so I have the utmost confidence I am doing His work.

Conclusions:  I like the emphasis on how Satan’s power is limited and we must keep that in mind when bad things happen in this world.  God is the one in control and Satan is under His thumb.  There is a TON here so please keep reading for more insights.

End Notes:  These last 3 chapters of Revelation reflects many of the subjects and themes of the first 3 chapters of Genesis.

This is an unidentified angel.  Thus, it is not Michael, Gabriel, or Jesus.  This speaks volumes to the importance of the devil.  He’s dealt with by you and me.  He holds a key which symbolizes authority and power over the Abyss, presumably given by Jesus since he’s the one in possession of the key (Revelation 1:18).  Chains represent imprisonment and binding.

Note the angel is “coming down” from heaven and Satan is on the earth.  Again, Satan serves God’s purposes.  God is high above, in control.  He conquers Satan, not us.

Jude 6 tells us fallen angels are bound with everlasting chains, awaiting judgment for the great Day.

We first saw the Abyss in Revelation 9:1-3 when either Satan or an angel (good or evil) was given the key and he opens it and releases locusts into the world as part of the Trumpet Judgments.

Satan is bound up and is unable to “deceive the nations anymore.”  This DOES NOT MEAN he’s not deceiving individual humans.  1 Peter 5:8 tells us Satan will continue to deceive us until Christ returns.  In all of Revelation, the Dragon or Satan has been raising up nations to war against Christ and deceive the world.  Daniel 2:44 says the nations or kingdoms will end and this is what we are witnessing here.  Isaiah 14:15 predicts this as well.

Any temptation to sin during the Millennium must come from within those people who are born after the kingdom begins. It’s assumed that all of Satan’s demons or fallen angels are also imprisoned at this time (Isaiah 24:21-23).

God’s word is our most powerful weapon since Satan can no longer deceive the nations with his lies.  Counter lies with Truth.  Always.

Explanation of the Millennium or 1000 years:  Millennium is straight out of Latin:  “mille” means a thousand and “annum” means a year.  It is used 6 times by John in the book of Revelation.  There are many different views of this Millennial period and if it is literal or not.  Here are some arguments made:

Postmillennialists believe the church will bring about a time of peace and prosperity before Christ returns in this age through the preaching of the gospel.  This was a popular 19th century view.  This period will end with Christ returns, the dead are resurrected and final judgment is administered.

Premillennialists believe Christ will return to earth and reign for 1000 years which will be a time of peace and prosperity before the millennial earth.  Satan will be bound up during this time before his final revolt when he is set free.  This is the predominate view of today supported by Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:2-4, Isaiah 11:4-9, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Luke 1:32-33, Matthew 5:18, Luke 19:12-27, among many, many other passages.  Scholars here point to more than 400 verses in more than 20 different passages in the Old Testament which deal with this time when Jesus Christ will rule and reign personally over planet earth.

This view has people left on earth after the rapture and the Great Tribulation who will face judgment (Matthew 25:31-46) and be deemed worthy to enter Jesus’ Millennial kingdom or be sent to Hell for all of eternity.

Amillennialists believe this time period is not literal; it is figurative, a spiritual reign.  Christ is reigning right now in heaven not on earth.  This was the predominant view since Augustine and held by the early Roman Catholic church right up until the Reformation.

What do we know about the Millennium?  Israel will be the leading nation on earth (Isaiah 2:1-3, Ezekiel 17:22-24).  Jesus will reign  (Isaiah 2:1-5; 9:7; Zechariah 14:9) with no war  (Isaiah 2:1-5). King David will rule over Israel (Isaiah 55:3-5, Jeremiah 30:4-11, Ezekiel 34:23-31, Ezekiel 37:21-28, Hosea 3:5).  Israel will be blessed (Amos 9:11-15; Isaiah 62:2-3) and the temple will be restored (Ezekiel 40-48, Ezekiel 37:26-28, Amos 9:11, Ezekiel 20:39-44).  Saints will have jobs Luke 19:11-27, Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 2:26-28; 3:12,22, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3). God will be number one (Zechariah 13:1-9).  There will be no sickness nor disease (Isaiah 29:18).

It is also the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:2-3) and David (2 Samuel 7:16) will be fulfilled (Luke 1:31-33; Romans 11:15, 29)

How long is the 1000 years?  No one knows.  Many see these numbers as symbolic and they point to the fact most of Revelation’s numbers are symbolic in nature.  In early Christian writings 1000 years was used figuratively for the eternal blessing of the redeemed.  However, it could be a literal 1000 years where Jesus reigns victoriously and shows a world without Satan and the absolute holiness of God.

In Sum:  Satan will be bound and there will be peace for 1000 years before he is released for “a short time” to do evil once again.  Is this the time of Jesus’ reign on earth? You decide.

Note Satan’s 4 names in verse 2:

1)  Dragon  The persecutor of Christ and his people (Revelation 12:17)

2)  Ancient serpent  (Genesis 3:13)  the one in the garden.

3)  Devil  Slanderer or accuser (Revelation 12:10)

4)  Satan  Adversary.  Enemy of God, God’s people, and God’s creation.

We’ve read this before in Lesson 16:  Revelation 12:9:  “The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.”

Fun Fact:  1000 is 10 to the third power.

What’s important here?  Regardless of the 1000 years interpretation, Jesus will return and Jesus will establish his kingdom here on earth.  The rest is all speculation and ultimately not important.  Jesus is coming!  That’s all we need to know!