Revelation 20:1-15 Part 9

REVELATION 20:1-15 Part 9


1)        Then I saw a messenger holding the abyss key and a great chain in its hand coming down out of the heaven,

2)        and it laid hold on the dragon, (the old serpent that is diabolos and the satan) and bound it a thousand years

3)        and cast it into the abyss and locked and sealed over it so that it couldn’t further deceive the Gentiles until the thousand years is complete; afterward it is necessary to loose it a short time.

4)        Then I saw seats; and the lives of those who had been stricken because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the Word of God and who did not adore the beast or its image and did not take its mark on their forehead or on their hand, sat on them; and judgment was granted to them; and they did live; and they prevailed with The Christ a thousand years.

5)        The remaining dead did not live until the thousand years was completed.  This is the first resurrection.

6)        Blessed and hallowed is one having part in the first resurrection.  The second death has no authority over them!  They will be priests of God and The Christ and reign with Him a thousand years!

7)        And when the thousand years is completed, the satan will be loosed from its confinement.

8)        And it will come out to deceive the Gentiles in the four extremities of the earth (the gog and magog), the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9)        And they arose over the breadth of the earth and encircled the fortress of the holy ones and the city of the beloved, and fire descended from the heaven and consumed them.

10)    And the devil (the one deceiving them) was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (where also are the beast and the false prophet), and they will be tormented day and night into the ages of the ages.

11)    Then I saw a magnificent white seat, and One sitting on it at Whose appearance the earth and the heaven did vanish, for no place was found for them;

12)    and I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the seat, and books were opened.  Then the other book was opened which is of the living.  And the dead were judged from what was written in the books according to their works.

13)    And the sea did yield the dead in her; and death and hades did yield the dead in them, and they were judged according to their works;

14)    then death and hades were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death (the lake of fire).

15)    Anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


Except for a few clarifications here and there in order to address ongoing questions, we’re almost done with this text through verse ten.  I don’t really want it to be over yet!  But I suppose we have to move on.  However, I’ll try to get to those questions today… hopefully most of them.

The assurance and comfort of the Church of Jesus Christ in the nations is the stated reason for this letter having been sent to them, you remember; for the time had arrived for His Parousia.  John was told that it was imminent.

And right here in these ten verses the apostle was shown our Lord’s work in all the nations of the earth until all the years were completed.  And here we are some nineteen hundred and forty four years into it!

This is crucial to us!

The verses are especially weighty.  Our assurance is at stake… so I want to make sure that every effort has been made to answer your questions and satisfy any uncertainties about what is said here - as long as the answers come from the written Word!

Your assurance and your anticipation of our Lord’s completed work as Savior of the world, have to come by way of Holy Spirit and the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the apostle John.  It is apostolic doctrine; it is revealed to John directly from God.  And it incorporates all of the former prophecy concerning Jesus’ reign and rule over the nations.

So any opinion that I might have has little – if any – value.  You just need to hear and understand what our Lord has shown to John.  And God the Spirit will work assurance, comfort, anticipation and rock-solid faithfulness in you as you continue to hold the testimony of Jesus.

All of you who hold His testimony and keep His Commandments may rest secure IN HIM.  That’s how you are comforted; that’s how you are given assurance; that’s the means by which your anticipation is built… for you are members of His body and participants in the first resurrection.  You are ALIVE in Him.  You have been re-birthed from death unto life!

You have died to death and the curse; you have been reborn already.  And when you die, you will still be alive in Him; and He will hold onto you even in death.  And you can anticipate, along with the apostle Paul, a resurrection unto life eternal.  That’s the second resurrection.  (That’s what the apostle SO longed for… not just being alive in Christ, but being raised up bodily in the second resurrection.)

YOU will be raised up bodily out of death; death has no authority over you… because you’re already alive in the resurrected body of God the Son!  He has authority over death – not the other way around!  So death has no authority over you!

And then, at judgment day, death will be destroyed so that there will never be death again.  It won’t exist.

But because you are alive in Christ, you will be raised out of death by God the Spirit… not after the likeness of Adam, but you will be raised the likeness of Christ the Second Adam.

We’ll say some more about this when we come to verses eleven through fifteen.  Paul had a great deal to say about the second resurrection, and we’ll go to him in some detail.

Another issue that seems to come up routinely when speaking to others about the Gospel, is what (in their perception) is ongoing satanic activity.  And we all have to be ready to be messengers of Christ and His Kingdom and proclaim the Gospel to them! 

And you mustn’t think for a minute that our Lord’s dealing with this creature isn’t Gospel!  The Gospel is “good news”; and it is good news that the satan is bound and sealed in the abyss until the King of Kings completes His work in all the nations!  And then, at the end of all the years, it will be cast into the lake of fire.

But, you see, most evangelical Churches today preach and teach from a premillennial and dispensational view of the Revelation and all of its accompanying prophetic Word.  And that viewpoint teaches that Jesus hasn’t come yet – so His Kingdom hasn’t been established on the earth; and the “millennium” (the thousand years) hasn’t begun!

And since that’s the case, they think that this creature called “satan” is fully engaged, on the earth, in warfare against Jesus Christ and His Kingdom which is presently “in heaven” and has yet to come on earth!  So, to them, all the earth is “in play” in this cosmic struggle!

Their perception of everything that happens around them is that evil is being perpetrated by this creature; and it’s causing bad things to happen – even in good, decent, god-fearing people!  When professing Christians do wicked things, it’s “satan” that caused it.  And it’s so powerful that it even takes up residence in people and causes men and nations to turn against God!  And then, when Jesus comes and sets up His Kingdom in Jerusalem, this creature will turn the whole world against Him and start a great war!

And, as you can see, this causes insecurity, fear and uncertainty in the Churches, rather than comfort and assurance and anticipation (as the letter is meant to do).

But what John is shown here, as recorded for us in the first ten verses of this text, is that this “serpent of old”, the dragon, diabolos, “the satan”, was to be bound at our Lord’s Parousia, and shut up and sealed in the abyss for all the years decreed, so that it couldn’t deceive the peoples and tribes and tongues of the earth any longer!

As Jesus Himself had prophesied, He would bind this creature and snatch away everything in its domain!  And when it was finally loosed, the gross darkness of its domain would be in the full light of the Savior of the world!

So, what do we say to people when they look all around them and see all the bad things happening and evil proliferating and our nation declining morally?  All of that seems to fit right in to the premillennial scheme that they’ve been taught; and they can easily make satan the culprit.

So what they’re doing is working backwards from what they see, rather than beginning with what God said.

And what God said was that the satan would be bound and sealed in the abyss for all the years of our Lord’s work in the nations!  This creature of God is no longer deceiving the nations!

So then how do we make the connection with people who begin with the perception that everything is getting worse, so it’s satan doing it!  They begin with their own point of view; and they’ve been taught that satan is still deceiving the nations!

The answer to them must come from apostolic doctrine – the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  The Biblical hermeneutic principle of covenantal continuity drives us right back through the Scripture to the beginning – in the garden!

If the apostle John is shown the binding of the satan from deceiving the nations at Jesus’ Parousia (which is certainly the case here), then where do we find the source of the present antagonism against our Lord’s Kingdom?  And how do we exercise our apologetic duties to defend the Faith once delivered?

It is, of course, in God’s words to this creature as recorded by Moses in Genesis three.  He said that the serpent’s “seed” would be at enmity with the seed of the woman.

All mankind was cursed and subjected to death, as was the creation itself.  But God kept a seed for Himself – from which would be born the Savior of the world.  The remainder were the seed of this creature – dead and depraved mankind whose father is the devil.  Since they are its seed, then it is their father.

Except for a very few, the entire world (until the Christ) was left is gross darkness – having been left in its depraved adamic condition.  But at the crowning of the King of Kings, and at His Parousia, the satan is bound from deceiving the nations while the Savior of the world fulfills the promise to Abraham of a multitude from the nations and tribes and tongues of the earth.

So, what is it (or who is it), then, that remains antagonistic to His Kingdom?  Who is it that opposes Jesus Christ and His people?  Who is it that starts wars and worships idols and freely breaks the Commandments of God? 

It’s the seed of the serpent!  The satan is bound and sealed in the abyss; but there are still its seed – cursed and depraved mankind at enmity with the seed of the woman!  They are the seed of the devil; and it is their father.

Listen to the words of this apostle – John, as he quotes Jesus from an earlier confrontation with pharisees.  This is from John chapter eight:


38)  I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father.

39)  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus says unto them, If you were Abraham's seed, you would do the works of Abraham.

40)  But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I have heard of God.  Abraham didn’t do that.

41)  You do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

42)  Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me; for I proceeded forth from God; I did not come of myself, but he sent me.

43)  Why do ye not understand my word?  It’s because you can’t hear my word.

44)  You are of your father the devil, and you will do the lusts of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and did not live in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks right from himself; for he is a liar, and the father of it.


Those who do the deeds of the satan are its “seed”!  It is their father.  And the seed of the serpent are at enmity with the seed of the woman.  God decreed it in the garden.

This creature – the satan – has no power.  It’s bound by the Word of God made flesh during all the years of the Redeemer’s work in the nations.  However, its seed are quite capable, in their own right, to devise evil things, and to deceive others, and to oppose the Kingdom of our Lord and the seed of Abraham In Him!

The seed of the devil do the deeds of their father!  They are “at enmity”.  We’ll see more about that shortly.

It’s been mentioned several times here, that there are only two races of humanity on earth.  There is cursed and depraved humanity in Adam; and there is humanity in Christ… all of whom have been graciously and mercifully re-birthed into HIS humanity.  And there is great enmity!

Adam was “turned” by the serpent.  So, all that remain in Adam are the serpent’s “seed”.  But all who are In Christ are reborn into His humanity, and cannot be turned!  We are resurrected out of death and the curse, and “born again” into life in Christ Jesus.  And we will not ever enter into the gross darkness of that cursed humanity again!

That’s the assurance and comfort that the Revelation of Jesus Christ provides us.  The serpent of old is bound and sealed for all the years; and the time for its seed is limited.  And they know it!  And it’s infuriating!  There is “enmity”.

The light of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ has dawned upon the earth.  And during all the years decreed, the kingdoms and nations and peoples will be enlightened with His glory.

The seed of Abraham in Christ are many… a great multitude!  The mountain of Christ’s Kingdom will rule over all the mountains and hills (i.e. the nations and rulers of the earth); and they will all acknowledge Him.  And they will all bloom and blossom and flourish under His Kingship!  The whole earth will respond to His glorious light!  Previously all the peoples existed in the “shadow of death” (gross darkness); but during all the years the darkness would be de-created.

In ever increasing width and depth, the river of life will flow into the sea of cursed humanity; and it will be healed.  For all the years, the Kingdom of our Lord will spread even unto the most obscure regions of the earth until a man won’t even have to say to his neighbor: “know the Lord”; for the knowledge of our God will cover the earth as the water covers the sea.

And the seed of the serpent will become fewer and fewer until they are a minority.  And what was once the raging and foaming waters of the sea of depraved humanity will be stilled and quieted – and be at rest and in peace, and be prosperous – thriving with plenty; for they won’t take up war any more.  They’ll beat their swords into plowshares, and cause the earth itself, having been freed from the curse, to flourish with abundance!

These things are all the work of the Christ; and they are all prophesied.  We read some of those prophecies last Lord’s Day.  And they are all encompassed in these ten verses of our text.  For while the satan is bound, our Lord will clean out its domain.  Then after all the years, when this dragon is loosed, all the nations of its former domain will be in the full light of the Kingdom of Christ.

And all the kings and princes and tribes of the earth will have acknowledged King Jesus and destroyed their weapons of enmity.  And there won’t be anything left for the satan to muster for another “gog and magog” war against the seed of the woman.

The Kingdom will have arrived, and it will have thrived in every tongue and tribe!  And the prayer our Lord taught His disciples to pray will have been answered: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in the heaven”.

This is apostolic doctrine; and it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ!


Now.  When I got to thinking about a comparison of the world before Christ and the world after all the years of His rule over the nations, it became more and more obvious that God’s decree in the garden is the key to it all.

He said to the serpent: “Your seed will be at enmity with the seed of the woman”.

That enmity (decreed by YAHVEH) arises out of vengeance.  Vengeance, though, belongs to God!

But this creature of God – one of the brightest and most useful of His messengers – wished to be “as God” in the tabernacle in the heaven; and it gathered a third of the messengers in God’s glory cloud and sought “equality” with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In the sight of all the other messengers in the heaven (that’s two thirds), the satan was cast down from the Presence of God in the heaven.

Rather than gaining equality with Triune God, it was cast down; and it suffered terrible humiliation before the cherubim and the elders and all of its fellow messengers of God’s tabernacle.  And its motivation from then on was vengeance.

Observing that Father, Son and Spirit had made a paradise creation for His Own glory, and had made man in His Own image, this creature’s first vengeful act was to turn Adam and his wife, and cause them to seek equality with God just as the satan had done in the tabernacle!  And it would do the same with all their seed after them.

Satan would spoil God’s creation; and it would spoil mankind (the image of God); and it would humiliate God as it had been humiliated….(As Jesus had said, this creature was a liar-deceiver and a murderer from the beginning!)  Lying comes out of its own being – as does deception; murder comes from its own being; vengeance comes from it own being.

But it wasn’t omnipotent; and it wasn’t omniscient.  It was self-deceived; and it was deceived by God.  It was being used to bring about the covenantal purpose of God from before this cosmos was called into being.

It kept the whole world in the shadow of death… in gross darkness.  At every point in history it carried out its vengeful purpose, which was to cut off the seed of the woman!

It knew by divine Revelation that God had made a creation that He loved.  It knew that God had made man in His Own image!  It knew that there was prophesied a Savior of the world Who would be born of the seed of the woman.

And it, along with its seed, did everything in its power to vengefully humiliate God.  The entire history of mankind (from creation to the advent of the Christ) is the history of enmity … enmity of the devil and its seed toward the ones who God kept for Himself – the seed from whom would be born the King and Savior of the world.

Enmity is loathsome and malevolent hostility.  It is malignant hatred.  It arises from the desire for vengeance.  It is expressed in every form of deception and malice and violence.

This creature would stop at nothing to cut off the coming Kingdom of The Anointed One.  From murders and sexual immoralities and deceptions and floods and captivities and wars and revolutions and world-wide conflagrations, and even the ultimate destruction of Israel and the temple, the dragon and its seed kept the whole world in raging turmoil.  It was a “sea” of chaos and turbulence… a foaming maelstrom of strife and tumult.

The earth itself was convulsed and vexed and tormented by all the bloodshed and the warfare and destruction.  Mankind exhibited its cursed nature – its deep depravity.

It’s this “enmity”, you see, that defines the history of the world from the creation to the advent and Parousia of the Christ… the enmity of the serpent and its seed toward the seed of the woman.

It was decreed by God!

It was for His glory.

You see, this creature incited the whole world against the seed of the woman in order to cut off the coming of the Anointed One and stop the salvation of this world that God SO loved! (John three, sixteen)!

The satan maliciously devised every scheme possible to terminate the seed.  All through history it did that – inciting the nations to gather themselves, with great “enmity”, to cut off the cords that connected them to their Creator (Psalm two)!  And even to the point of inciting the priests and pharisees and elders of Israel to kill God the Son; and then all the way to the complete annihilation of the nation of Israel!

BUT, God protected and preserved His Own in every instance.  The serpent of old and all the peoples of the world were committed to cutting off the coming of the Savior of the world.  But through every bloody incitement, God saved His Own; and a young Jewish virgin birthed the Son of God/Son of Man.  It brought Him glory to manifest His Own during the worst that this creature could produce.

The satan couldn’t do it; the entirety of depraved mankind couldn’t do it.  God laughed at them.  He had decreed the enmity!!

The serpent was deceived!  The whole world was deceived!  The will and purpose of God was to manifest His Own.  He was glorified that every last one of His Own was preserved through it all.

None of them were lost.  Although they were all – every last one of them – sinful people, YAHVEH preserved them and kept them as His Own.

And the promised “Seed” – The Savior of the world – was born of a woman.  And He was sacrificed for the sin of a cursed and depraved humanity and a cursed creation… a humanity that was made in His image, and a creation that He loved.

And at His Parousia/appearance the resurrected and ascended Christ bound and sealed the serpent of old that it could no longer deceive the nations.

And in all the years decreed the promise to Abraham of a multitude from the nations would be fulfilled; and the whole world would be brought under Jesus’ reign and rule.

There is no one prophecy better than Isaiah chapter eleven to illustrate what would occur during all the years of our Lord’s work in the nations of the earth.  I’ll read just three verses for you:


8)      And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.

9)      There shall be done no evil or destruction in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of YAHVEH, as the waters cover the sea.

10)  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the root of Jesse, standing as an ensign of the peoples… unto him shall the nations look; and his resting-place shall be glorious.


The prophetic Word of God here, through the prophet Isaiah, foretells a time during which the peoples of the world will look to Jesus Christ the Savior of the World, for the creation will find “rest” IN HIM; and it will be glorious.

He is not only the “shoot” of Jesse, but He is also the “root” of Jesse – the promised SEED preserved by God throughout a history of enmity!

As said previously, it was a decreed enmity of evil and tumult and bloodshed and destruction incited by the serpent – the snake – among all of its seed.

But during all the years of His reign and rule, the kingdoms and peoples of the world would look to HIM as its “rest” from all the evil and destruction.

And all the newborns in Christ would have no fear of the “snakes”, for the serpent of old would be bound and sealed in the abyss!

It’s the prophecy of the future of God’s redeemed humanity in His redeemed creation!  And the contrast is that which we must anticipate!  And that contrast is remarkable!

A world before… a world in gross darkness, a sea of cursed humanity filled with enmity, incited by their father the serpent, full of evil and bloodshed and destruction, and raging against the promised SEED!

That’s the world into which the apostles and the elect remnant of the tribes of Jacob were sent!  It was a “seething” sea of cursed and depraved humanity with no restraints on it except for the instruments of enmity and overwhelming power!  All were the seed of the serpent! 

And this letter arrived in the Churches to assure them and to comfort them that the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ was imminent (it was all prophesied), and that they were beloved of the Father and alive IN Christ, and were to hold the testimony of Jesus and keep His Commandments.  And our Lord would manifest them as His Own.

The world after all the years of the reign and rule of The Christ … a world in the full light of Christ, the satan bound from deceiving the nations, the peoples of the world looking to the Christ for His “rest”, the sea of humanity no longer raging in evil and bloodshed and destruction – the creation itself basking in peace and prosperity, and no fear of the devil among the multitude of Jesus’ newborns… because it was bound – and sealed in the abyss.

This message was sent to the Churches by Jesus Christ Himself, through the apostle John about nineteen hundred and forty four years ago.  And we, too, are to be assured and comforted by it; and we are to anticipate all that is prophesied here; and we are to hold the testimony of Jesus and keep His Commandments; and we are to be manifest as His Own (as were our forebears at His Parousia).

We are to proclaim the Gospel; and The Christ will deal with the seed of the serpent! 

The enmity is still there.

Multitudes around the world are seeking rest in Christ Jesus, but we are not yet the ten thousands times ten thousands (all of them) promised to Abraham!

The earth itself is still groaning for its redemption; but the seed of the serpent is not yet a minority.

The light of the Kingdom of Christ has caused many nations to be wealthy and more healthy and more prosperous (as is our own); but the envy and enmity of the seed of the serpent is still causing many to militate against The Lord’s Kingdom.

Nations that so far have tasted the goodness and fruitfulness of the Spirit of Christ but have turned in enmity toward His righteous rule may suffer economic hardship, and blight, and plague, and even bloodshed and destruction.  That’s to be expected; for King Jesus won’t abide “contenders” or “competitors” for His Kingship.

But through all the years, the earth and its nations will mature and advance and prosper in abundance as the peoples and tribes and tongues are enlightened by the Gospel; and more and more seek rest in Christ from enmity and warfare and destruction.

We have nothing to fear and everything to anticipate; for we are alive in Christ!  He owns it; and we own it IN HIM.  And He will rule His Kingdom!  All of it will acknowledge Him.  And we will be manifest as belonging to Him.