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The Revelation - A Book With 7 Seals ? / Ewald Frank

21. Chapter 20 - Binding of Satan, Completion of the first resurrection by the martyrs, The Millennial Kingdom

Content
  1. Foreword
  2. Chapter 1 - Introduction, The Day of the Lord, Origin and significance of the prophetic word
  3. Chapter 2 - The seven messages of the resurrected Lord, First message, Keep the first love
  4. Chapter 3 - The fifth message, The Reformation Age, Strengthening the weak in faith
  5. Chapter 4 - A glimpse into heaven
  6. Chapter 5 - The mysterious book with the seven seals
  7. Chapter 6 - The opening of the seals, The unveiling of the power of the antichrist, A general view
  8. Chapter 7 - The sealed from the Jews
  9. Chapter 8 - The seventh seal, The silence in heaven, Mercy seat becomes judgement seat, Introduction to the seven trumpet judgements, The first four trumpets
  10. Chapter 9 - The incomparable torment, The fifth trumpet the first woe
  11. Chapter 10 - An intermediate vision The open book, The Lord as the Angel of the covenant
  12. Chapter 11 - The second intermediate vision, The measuring of the temple and the ministry of the two witnesses
  13. Chapter 12 - The woman clothed with the sun, Christ and His Own, Satan the red dragon and his followers
  14. Chapter 13 - The visions of Daniel in review of and in connection with the Revelation
  15. Chapter 14 - The Lamb and the sealed 144,000
  16. Chapter 15 - The seven bowl judgements and the multitude at the crystal sea
  17. Chapter 16 - The seven bowls of wrath, The final judgements of Gods indignation
  18. Chapter 17 - The woman riding on the beast
  19. Chapter 18 - The destruction of the great Babylon
  20. Chapter 19 - The rejoicing in heaven over the destruction of Babylon, The marriage of the Lamb
  21. Chapter 20 - Binding of Satan, Completion of the first resurrection by the martyrs, The Millennial Kingdom
  22. Chapter 21 - Announcing of the new heaven and the new earth, The glory of the New Jerusalem, The terrible fate of the lost
  23. Chapter 22 - The river of life and the trees of life, The paradise-like condition during the Millennial Reign
  24. Appendix - The 70 weeks of Daniel and the current events with Israel in the light of Bible prophecy



At the beginning of chapter 20 we are told what happens with Satan who is the instigator of all evil, and the adversary of God. He will be bound and thrown down. "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

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." (20: 1-3).

As we have seen in chapter 12, Satan and his followers were thrown down to the earth at the time of the going up of the Bride. Here we are told that he will be thrown from the earth into the bottomless pit. The Prophet Isaiah informs us that all the host of the high ones, that is to say, those who took sides with Satan, will also be punished and put into the prison together with all the rulers who are against the Lord (Isa. 24:
21-23). Paul writes about these powers and principalities which were conquered and openly triumphed upon by God in Christ (Col. 2: 15). These conquered forces of the enemy still exist in the air. Therefore Paul writes to the believers to fight this spiritual battle. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph. 6: 12).

In Rev. 20: 4 we are acquainted with two very important events which take place right before the Millennium starts. Firstly, a preliminary judgement, a jurisdiction will take place. Secondly, those who died a martyr during the time of persecution will come to life again. "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement 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 who 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." (v. 4).

In this text we find no mentioning about the Rapture or the Wedding Supper, because what we read in chapter 20 happens after the Rapture and the Wedding Supper. God's Word is perfect in every detail. Here we receive final information about the martyrs who remain faithful during the tribulation and who will not accept the mark or worship the image.

The judgement spoken of here takes place right before the Kingdom commences and should not be confused with the White Throne Judgement when all the dead will rise and be judged.

The Prophet Daniel writes parallel to this judgement and mentioned as follows, "I beheld till the thrones were placed, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him; a thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the judgement was set, and the books were opened …

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (Dan. 7: 9-10 +13-14).

If God is shown as the Ancient One, it does not mean that He is a fatigued grandfather; He is Spirit, He has no beginning and no end. Here He is shown as Judge in His supreme authority, therefore His hair is white as wool. The supreme judges have imitated and wear a white wig. The appearance of the Lord God in this way as Judge expressed His dignity and authority.

As it is in Revelation so it is very clear in Daniel, that this judgement takes place at the end of this age. The Prophet Daniel goes into the details pertaining to the end phase of the present civilisation and not after the one thousand years reign. "I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke; I beheld even till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (7: 11-14).

Jesus Christ Who revealed Himself as Son of man will then take His possession and sit on the Throne of His Glory. "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.

And before him shall be gathered all the nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats." (Mt. 25: 31-32).

In Daniel books were opened, but not the Book of Life. There, we also read about the beasts whose time was set for the year and the day. Also that the Son of man appears before the ancient of days, receives power and glory and the Kingdom which will last for ever. All these things are not found in the text pertaining to the last judgement. The contents in Daniel and in Matthew speak for themselves. In chapter 7, it is even mentioned about the three and a half years of persecution. Thereafter the kingdoms of this world will end and the Kingdom of heaven will be established on earth.

"And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change the times and the laws; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

But the judgement shall sit; and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him." (Dan. 7: 25-27). All these things do not apply at the last judgement, because then will be a total new beginning on the new earth.

In these Scripture passages also nothing is said about a
general resurrection or the final doom in the lake of fire, but they rather speak of the Son of man Who will judge between the earthly kingdoms, before He commences His heavenly Kingdom on earth.

The same applies to Matthew 25, from verse 31 where also the Book of Life is not opened as it will be at the White Throne Judgement. These two Scripture passages were misinterpreted as to be in reference to the White Throne Judgement. That is totally impossible. Further proof is that not individuals but nations are judged who were kind or who were not kind to the brethren, the Jews, in the time of their persecution. This will take place before the Kingdom starts, therefore the King is the One Who speaks here and not the Judge: "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world …

And the King shall answer and say unto them …" (Mt. 25: 34-40). The Kingdom Reign is the Millennium, not eternity (1 Cor. 15: 25).

The Prophet Isaiah has also referred to this judgement, "And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Isa. 2: 4).

At this judgement the twelve apostles will sit with their Lord and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you that ye who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Mt. 19: 28).

The men of God from the nations will also sit with Him and judge the nations before ruling. "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?" (1 Cor. 6: 2). With God all things happen at the right time. What is meant to be at the Wedding Supper will happen there, the same is the case during the Millennial Reign and also with the different judgements.

The martyrs from the great tribulation are part of the first resurrection and will participate in the Kingdom. All believers should earnestly seek to be faithful right unto death, because nobody knows in which group one is going to be found. If one is part of the chosen Bride, or part of the called church - faithfulness will be honoured with all.

All believers who will not be in the chosen group of the firstborn and therefore will not be in the Rapture and the Wedding Supper, need to remain faithful because of the hope that even going through the tribulation they will participate in the Kingdom Reign (compare Rev. 7, second part).

The Jewish martyrs in the 5th seal should wait until the rest would also be killed as they were. In both places the key-word is "the souls". "… the souls of them that were slain for the word of God" - "… and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God …" (6: 9 + 20: 4). Whether we view the resurrection of Jesus Christ and those who rose with Him according to Matthew 27, or the resurrection at the return of Christ (1 Cor. 15; 1 Th. 4 a. o.), or that group at the end of the tribulation - all from the first coming of the Lord to the beginning of the Millennial Reign, who are raised, belong to the "first resurrection".

"But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

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." (Rev. 20: 5-6). At that moment the number of those belonging to the first resurrection is complete.

In verses 7-9, we are briefly told what will happen in the short space of time at the end of the Millennial Reign. "And when the thousand years are ended, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

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.

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."

As soon as Satan comes forth from the bottomless pit, he deceives straight away those unbelieving nations on earth. During the Kingdom Age they were peacefully ruled, but because they had never experienced a personal relationship with God, not recognising their reconciliation in Christ, they remain separated from Him. Of course then comes the final doom upon Satan and those under his influence.

"… and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are." The beast and the false prophet were already thrown into the lake of fire (19: 20).

This unique trinity-team: Satan, beast, false prophet will then be together with those who are under their influence. They disappear in the lake of fire. We shall neither hear nor see them any more.

The second resurrection and the final judgement

In Revelation 20: 11-15, we find the description of the last judgement. This text speaks volumes, and like many other passages in the Holy Scripture, it does not need any explanation. "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.

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.

And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hades delivered up the dead that were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works.

And death and hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

At this final judgement, there are also those whose names were found in the Book of Life. They have received eternal life while living on earth. Therefore, the second death has no power over them. The first death takes place when the soul leaves the body; the second death happens when the spirit leaves the soul. Then will be fulfilled, "the soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezek. 18: 4). Here sin is not merely the overstepping of God's commandments, and becoming personally guilty before God, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We are dealing with the deadly sin of unbelief of which our Lord said, "I said, therefore, unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." (Jn. 8: 24). The sin of unbelief is the actual reason for someone to die in the sins he lives in. The reward for faith in the finished work of redemption is total forgiveness, justification and eternal life.

Only in Christ did God reveal Himself to save us, and only through faith in Him can we be saved. "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (1 Jn. 5: 11-12).

Whoever lived on earth and did not participate in the first resurrection, will stand before the last judgement. They will be judged according to their works done during their lifetime. There are those who believed in Christ and those who did not. Whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire. That is the second death which has no life in it. We shall never see them again. God will make a new beginning on the new earth with all His children.

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