05 April 2016

BSF 2015-2016: Revelation 20:1-10

This week’s passage is a very difficult and controversial one. There are many interpretations of the passage, and we simply don’t know exactly what God means in these verses. But we do know that God is in charge, Christ is the Victor, Satan is the loser, and believers’ eternal destiny is to rule and reign with Christ.

These 10 verses discuss the Millennium, a time when Christ will reign on earth for 1,000 years. There are three viewpoints of the Millennium:

  • Amillennialism – Amillennialists believe the Millennium is a symbolic reign not a physical reign. They believe Christ’s reign is taking place now during the current church age. They don’t believe in a literally or physical 1,000-year reign. This reign ends with Christ’s second coming.
  • Premillennialism – Premillennialists believe Christ will return before the Millennium, then He will establish a literal earthly rule for 1,000 years (or a very long time). During the Millennium, Satan will be bound. After the Millennium, Satan will be released. There will be a final battle, then Jesus will judge the dead and inaugurate the new heaven and the new earth.
  • Postmillennialism – Postmillennialists believe Jesus will return after the Millennium. They believe the Millennium is 1,000 years when the Gospel is spread, transforms the earth, and ushers in Christ’s second coming.

There is biblical validation for all of these viewpoints, but we don’t know which one is God’s viewpoint! Complete your own study and investigation to determine which view is yours.

At the end of chapter 19, the beast and the false prophet were captured. Now in chapter 20, John saw an angel coming from heaven. The angel held a key and a chain. The angel’s purpose was to bind Satan and throw him into the abyss. The abyss is a bottomless pit where demons await their eternal judgment which is the lake of fire. The abyss is Satan’s prison.

The angel seized Satan then locked him in the abyss for 1,000 years. Satan will not be released until God says so. Satan was rendered powerless. By imprisoning Satan, God prevented him from deceiving the nations.

John saw people sitting on judgment thrones during the Millennium. These people reigned with Christ and judged others. We do not know specifically who these people are, but we do know that they are believers.

The first resurrection is mentioned in verse 5. We do not know specifically what this is, but we do know that all believers will be brought back to life and will receive new resurrection bodies when they reign with Christ.

At the end of the Millennium, God released Satan from the abyss. God determined that it was necessary for Satan to be released to accomplish God’s good purposes. Satan continued to deceive people. He gathered people from all over the world to be his army that fights against God. But the time has come for Satan and his followers to be defeated fully, completely, and for eternity.

God sent fire from heaven to devour Satan’s army, made up of the inhabitants of the earth. God threw Satan into the lake of fire, along with the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented forever.

Things to Think About
  • Satan is a deceiver. He makes himself look good and makes us think that the things he offers are good. Satan wants us to think that he is in control. He bombards our culture with lies.
  • Satan intends for all to live in deceit.
  • How are you protecting yourself from Satan’s lies and deceit? Pray that Satan does not lead you into deceit. Guard your hearts and minds with God’s Word. Resist Satan with God’s Word.
  • Principle – God’s truth leads to victory, but Satan’s deceit leads to ruin.
  • Apart from Christ, we are hopeless and we cannot resist sin. Only with the power of Christ can we resist sin and withstand Satan’s deception.

This Week’s Memory Verse
“Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6 NIV