Faithlife Sermons

1-26-2020 Main Serivce Revelation 20:4-10

Notes
Transcript
Introduction:
Transition:
Following Satan’s imprisonment (20:1–3), believers will reign with Christ over creation (20:4–6).
The term “millennium” is a word taken from the Latin for “thousand years” (20:2). The millennial reign both fulfills God’s promise of a messianic kingdom on earth and inaugurates life in the new heaven and new earth (the “city John loves” in 20:9). In addition, this millennium demonstrates the tragic irony of deception: even after spending a thousand years with the deceiver, satan, bound, the rebellious will prefer Satan’s deception to God’s truth. As a result, the wicked are completely deserving of the coming judgment.
As Wright puts it, “The release of the satan, though unexpected and unwelcome to us, seems to be part of the strange divine plan to ensure that all evil, every trace, is rooted out of the world.… The point, yet again, is that evil must be allowed, under certain controls, to do its worst, so that it can be at last defeated.”
Scripture Reading: Revelation 20:4–10
Revelation 20:4–10 LEB
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat down on them, and authority to judge was granted to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and did not receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand, and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection. Over this person the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and he will go out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to assemble them for battle, whose number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the fortified camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and consumed them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet also are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
In 20:7–10 we read of Satan’s release and his gathering of the nations for a final battle, where his followers are destroyed and he is thrown into the fiery lake forever. In terms of the broader context, John draws heavily on Isaiah 24:1–27:1 and Ezekiel 38–39 as models for the final battle. In the passage that follows (20:11–15), many of these same themes will be revisited.
The Old Testament and even Jewish apocalyptic writings expected a messianic kingdom on earth, and supply the background for the millennium of Revelation 20. The parallels between Revelation 20 and Isaiah 24:21–23 are striking. The imprisonment of Satan prepares the way for the millennium, which inaugurates the fulfillment of God’s original creation mandate in Genesis 1:26, as well as many of the promises made earlier in Revelation in chapter 2, chapter 3, and chapter 5.
Transition:
This mention of this 1,000 years puts three personal things into focus. First, is the Saints:

I. The Saints (vv. 4-6)

What will the redeemed people of God be doing during the Millennium?
They Will be Ruling (v. 4)
Revelation 20:4 LEB
And I saw thrones, and they sat down on them, and authority to judge was granted to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and did not receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand, and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Every person who received Jesus and was murdered because of it during the Tribulation now is resurrected as Kings during this Millennium.
They Will Be Received (v. 4c)
• The last part of this verse makes it clear that there will be a number of people who will come to the end of the Tribulation Period with their faith in Jesus.
o These people refused the Mark of the Beast and they lived until the end.
o Some will be Jews, others will be Gentiles, but they will all enter the Kingdom of Christ.
o This is pictured for us in Matthew 25:31-46 as the Judgment of the Nations.
o Jesus will honor the faith of those who trusted in Him and He will receive them into His kingdom.
o Those who lived to the end of the Tribulation and did not place their faith in Christ will be destroyed and will go to Hell!
What about the believers between the Day of Pentecost and the Rapture of the church? Where are our brothers and sisters who have passed before us? Will they reign with Jesus in His Millennial kingdom? There is no question that they are in heaven now, but what about during the Millennial Kingdom time? Many, many good godly men and women have spent many many years trying to figure this out. Perhaps you’ve heard before that all the Old Testament saints and all those who died with faith in Jesus during the Tribulation will be raised from the dead. That sound nice except when we read the next verse, we are told that this is simple not the case:
Revelation 20:5 ESV
The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.
It is probably a good time to remind ourselves how we cannot be too dogmatic on the details that we find in Revelation. This book gives us an insight on what is to come in the future but it does not give us exhaustive details. here is a perfect example of that where we have some people being resurrected into the millennial kingdom-- not everybody is resurrected. John gives us the details we need for right now, but as you can see in these couple verses here, we can infer that it includes the people from the tribulation just by the simple language that he uses in the previous verse.
so returning to our original question about our brothers and sisters that have passed on before us. Certainly they will be reigning with Christ in heaven--and we’ll see even more of that in the coming chapters that are left. But to say that they, too, are resurrected in the millennial kingdom is stretching the text a little bit. Although it could be true, going by John’s writing here, we cannot be dogmatic. What I want you to realize is being dogmatic in portions of scripture--especially here in Revelation when the scripture just isn’t too clear--can cause harm and division within the body by pride swelling up within those who think they are certain in the uncertain things. Now ,I do want to clarify as well that certainly we can be dogmatic in portions of scripture that are as clear as crystal: for instance, the Virgin birth of Christ and the resurrection of Jesus from the grave, and it is only through Christ that we are saved.
So then what can we be dogmatic on in this part of Revelation?
Well for starters, there will be a thousand year time in where Satan is bound up
The children of God may be mocked and ridiculed down here right now, but there is coming a day when the born-again will return with Jesus in power and glory to this world and we will reign with Him on this earth.
In that day, we will be different than we are now.
In fact, we will have already been through the Judgment Seat of Christ and we will have enjoyed the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
We will have been with Jesus when He took control of the world away from the devil and his armies.
We will have shared in it all and we will share in His glory!
When we reign with Him, we will be in our glorified bodies!
We will be free from sin, free from death, free from disease.
We will be perfect in that day!
That is why John says this in verse 6:
Revelation 20:6 ESV
Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
They Will be Blessed!
Therefore we can rest assured in these safe, dogmatic positions!
Illustration:
Transition:
So that is what we can ascertain from the saints during this time. Let’s now take a look at our enemy:

II. The Devil (vv. 7-10)

Last week we had the introduction to this period with him being Jailed (vv. 1-3) we saw for 1,000 years, the enemy of God will not be able to deceive, tempt God’s people, nor will he be able to work in the lives of the lost which would be the ones born in that time.
Revelation 20:7 ESV
And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison
He Will Be Judged (vv. 7-10)
BUT For right now, Satan is the "god" of this world.
He spends his time doing everything in his power to hinder God’s business, trip up God’s saints and claim soul for Hell. But not forever!
These next verses tell us that at the end of the Millennium, Satan will be loosed from his prison.
o He will return to the earth and will be able to amass an army of incredible size.
Revelation 20:8 ESV
and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.
He and this army will attack the city of God, where Jesus is reigning and will try to overthrow Jesus.
Does it bother you that even when Jesus Christ has ruled the world with perfect, righteous judgment, Satan is still able to find a vast multitude to follow him? It has bothered me a bit, but it is a clear illustration of the heart of the lost sinner!
No matter how good God is to someone, until they are saved by grace and changed by the power of God, they are wicked to the core!
In fact, I believe this is one of the primary reasons for the Millennium.
It is to prove again that perfect government cannot save the hardness and sinfulness of the heart of men!
This message is throughout all of history! God has tried to reach men, and each time, man has failed to respond with love toward God.
Notice in progressive dispensationalism, the governing of people throughout time:
1. The age of Innocence (Gen. 3) ended with willful disobedience.
2. The age of conscience (Gen. 5-6) ended with universal corruption.
3. The age of human government (Gen. 11) ended with devil worship at the Tower of Babel.
4. The age of promise (Gen. 12 - Ex. 1) ended with the people of God in bondage in Egypt.
5. The age of Law (Ex. 2 - Matt. 27) ended with humanity killing their Creator on the cross.
6. The age of the church (Acts 1) Will end with worldwide apostasy
7. The age of Tribulation (Rev. 19) will end with the battle of Armageddon.
8. The age of the Millennium (Rev. 20) will end with an attempt to overthrow God Himself.
Now depending on who you read, some dispensationalists will argue about exactly how many time periods there are and even the exact moments where they begin and end, but that’s not the point.
The point is that the human heart is terribly wicked and prone to evil—we need a Savior!
o There is no good in it all, Rom. 3:10-11.
o The only hope for men is to come to Jesus for salvation.
o He changes hearts!
o Anything less will result in Hell.
Revelation 20:9 ESV
And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them,
However, divine judgment falls and all the people who followed the devil in his scheme will be destroyed.
Then, the devil himself will be thrown into the Lake of Fire and he will spend eternity in flames.
Revelation 20:10 ESV
and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
He Will be Doomed Forever!
o When he is cast into Hell, the universe will be forever free from his influences and wickedness.
o Just to know the devil is going to burn is enough to shout amen about!
Transition:

III. The Savior (vv. 4, 6, 9, 10)

Do you notice how Jesus pops up throughout this whole passage?
Rev 20:4, 6, 9, 10
Revelation 20:4 LEB
And I saw thrones, and they sat down on them, and authority to judge was granted to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and did not receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand, and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Revelation 20:6 LEB
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection. Over this person the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him a thousand years.
Revelation 20:9 LEB
And they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the fortified camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and consumed them.
Revelation 20:10 LEB
And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet also are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
What will Jesus being doing during the Millennium?

He Will Be Reigning

• At last, the Davidic Covenant is completed as our Lord Jesus Christ will sit on the throne of David.
o He will rule the world in power, righteousness and glory.
o His reign will usher in a time of peace and prosperity like nothing the world has ever experienced.
o His reign will finally bring justice and holiness to the world.
• The world has never had a ruler like this.
o All human rulers are controlled by their lusts for power, for wealth and for self glory.
o Jesus, on the other hand, will reign in perfect righteousness.
o The millennium will be a time of perfect politics.

He Will Be Ruling

• The Bible tells us that Jesus will "rule the world with a rod of iron".
• Like a shepherd, Jesus will guide the entire population of the world.
• However, those who refuse to bow to His authority will be dealt with swiftly and harshly.
• Rebellion will not be tolerated in that day!

He Will Be Receiving

• In the day in which we live, the Lord Jesus is viewed as some kind of a fictional, comical character by the world.
o He is a poor fool who got Himself killed on a cross.
• However, in the millennial kingdom, He will receive the glory He has always deserved.
o All people from every nation will come and bow at His feet and worship the King of Glory!
o Instead of cursing His name, men will worship Him and shout His praises!
These verses tells us that mankind will finally be able to look upon the glory of the Lord as HE is King of Earth in that day!
He will receive glory from everyone! As it should be!

So What?

So proceed with caution. Revelation 20 has been a hot topic of disagreement among Bible-believing, genuine believers for a very long time. This fact alone should remind us that we believers may hold differing millennial views and still be faithful disciples. In addition, we need to come to this passage with a healthy dose of humility—we don’t have it all figured out and if someone says that they do have it all figured out—they are lying! The clear message of Revelation does not stand or fall based on any one specific millennial view, and our passage this morning was written for us with several dogmatic points of application.
1. Believers will be entrusted with significant responsibilities in the future kingdom.
Those believers on the thrones will be given authority to judge and will also reign with Christ. While the details remain a mystery, we know for certain that believers will in some way participate with Jesus in judging and ruling. This leads to two points. First, if we are to be entrusted with such significant work in the future kingdom, how much more should we be faithful in what YHWH has given us to do now. Second, those who have been judged by the world system will one day become the judges! Those who have suffered injustice will one day be in a position to administer YHWH’s true justice.
2. Christians will never experience the second (eternal) death and should never fear death.
We will never be condemned (Rom. 8:1, 34). You could say that those who are born twice (born physically and born of the Spirit) only die once (physical death), while those who are born only once (physical birth) will die twice (physical death and eternal death). Although a compromising lifestyle may rattle our assurance of belonging to God, those who are genuine believers remain eternally secure. We are citizens of God’s beloved city, safe and secure.
3. God’s victory is certain, and his judgment is just.
How comforting it is to know that all our enemies will one day be forever defeated! The evil one who accuses, tempts, and tries to deceive will, in the end, be condemned to the fiery lake of eternal torment. There will be no more enemies left to be defeated. God wins! The millennium also proves beyond a doubt that the wicked deserve (and even prefer) God’s punishment. They have had every chance to repent and submit to their Creator and Redeemer but have stubbornly refused. God’s justice endures.

So What?

In Conclusion:
Believers will participate in God’s judgment and Christ’s reign.
Christians will never experience the second (eternal) death and should not fear it.
The wicked will continue to be deceived by Satan into opposing God and his people.
After one final attempt to destroy God’s people, Satan will be thrown into the fiery lake and tormented forever.
o Where do you stand today? Are you saved?
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