Rev. 20&21 The thousand years and the new Jerusalem
Rev 20: 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.
We will now examine the thousand year period of Rev. 20. A correct understanding of this time period is very important. Verses one through three, are referring of course to the leader of the lost, Satan himself. During this thousand year period, Satan is bound in the bottomless pit. We will discuss just what the bottomless pit is after we finish with the thousand year period. Not only is Satan bound during this thousand years, but he is not able to deceive the nations anymore during this same time. The scriptures themselves will tell us why this is so.
Verse four, switches the topic to that of the saved during this same thousand years. It states that the judgment was given unto them. The saints then, are involved in the work of judgment during this thousand year period. Paul makes reference to this event in 1 Corinthians.
I Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
I Corinthians 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
Of course this judgment cannot be about who will, or will not have eternal life. This question has already been answered, since the saved are in heaven with Christ judging the world. This is why the saints are caught up in the air to meet Christ when He returns, and will ever be with Him (1Th 4:14-18). During this thousand years, the saints are in heaven with Christ who has taken them there. Later, the wicked will surround the beloved city, or New Jerusalem, apparently after it descends from heaven down to earth (Rev. 21:1-5), at the end of the thousand years.
The judgment that the saints are involved in is apparently for the purpose of understanding why or why not, certain people are or are not in heaven with the saved. No doubt God will answer all the questions of the saints during these thousand years. Surely there will be questions from the saints regarding who is, and who is not there. In the end though, every knee will bow and confess that Christ is the righteous judge of all (Rom. 14:10&11).
Verse five points out that the rest of the dead, that is those who were not saved, did not live again until the thousand years were finished. Then it says that this is the first resurrection. That is not to say that the rest of the dead not living again for a thousand years is the first resurrection, for this would make no sense at all. Rather, that those who were involved in judging the world during this thousand years were part of the first resurrection, that is, the resurrection of the saved.
Verse six says that those who are saved and take part in the first resurrection are blessed and holy. It also points out that the second death will have no power over them. For them, death has been swallowed up in victory, in and through their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They shall be priests of God and reign with Him during this thousand year period.
Verses seven through fifteen point out what will happen to the wicked at the end of this thousand year period. This begins with Satan being let loose again to deceive the nations. In order for this to take place, the lost who have been dead during this thousand year period (verse 5), must be resurrected. Thus having died once already at Christ’s second coming (Luke 17:28-30, 2 Th. 2:8, Rev. 6:14-17), they will die again the second death, when they come up on the beloved city with their leader Satan. That both the saved and the wicked will be resurrected, was pointed out by Christ Himself when here on earth.
John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
The resurrection of life is at the beginning of the thousand years. The resurrection of damnation is at the end of the thousand years.
The wicked surround the beloved city, and fire comes down from God and devours them (verse 9). This is the lake of fire, where the Devil, the Beast, and the False prophet are. It is where all those whose names are not written in the book of life will end up, and die the second death (verses 13-15). The book of life, from which all these people were judged, must be the book that the saints were examining during this thousand year period. This would be the judgment that they were involved in (verses 11&12).
Now to the definition of the bottomless pit into which Satan was cast. The definition of which, will reveal that the lost are dead during this thousand year period. Let us look at some scriptures to see what a bottomless pit might represent.
Job 17:13 If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness. 14 I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister. 15 And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it? 16 They shall go down to the bars ofthe pit, when our rest together is in the dust.
Psalm 30:3 O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Proverbs 1:11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: 12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
Isaiah 38:17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. 18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.
Jeremiah 41:7 And it was so, when they came into the midst of the city, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slew them, and cast them into the midst of the pit, he, and the men that were with him...........
9 Now the pit wherein Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies[/b] of the men, whom he had slain because of Gedaliah, was it which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel: and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with them that were slain.
In the bible, a pit is very often associated with the grave, or a place to put the dead. A bottomless pit then, would undoubtedly represent an enormous grave, filled with countless people. If the bible tells us that all the lost will be slain when Christ returns the second time, which it does, then this world would be one massive grave. The dead bodies of countless millions strewn all over it. This is in fact where Satan is bound for this thousand years, while the saved are in heaven going over the book of life, he is here with nothing but the dead. Thus Satan can no longer deceive the nations during this thousand years, for there are no nations or peoples to deceive. Jeremiah speaks of the world in this condition.
Jer 25:30 Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. 31 A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. 32 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. 33 And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.
Jer 4: 23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. 25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. 26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.
Isaiah not only spoke of this condition of the earth, but prophesied of the very things we are discussing.
Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; 17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? 18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. 19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. 20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.
Though all the kings and people will be slain, yet Satan will not join them in burial. Though he be in the pit with them, the bottomless pit, yet he will not be given the rest of the sleep of the dead. He will live for a thousand years alone with no one to deceive, and nothing to do but ponder the effects of the works of his own hands. Ever looking forward to the judgment, and his destruction at the end of the thousand years.
Isaiah 24:18 And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. 19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. 20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. 21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. 22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. 23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
Here again, Isaiah is referring to the destruction of the earth, and the death of the wicked. When the wicked are gathered together in the pit, that is dead, and shut up in death as in prison (Job3:11-18, Isa. 53:8), then they will be visited after many days. That many days is the thousand years that we are discussing, and it will not be well for them when they are visited.
Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. 9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. 17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
I want to be in that city, don’t you?