Section: Chapter Nineteen - The Great Army
TWENTY - THE BEGINNING AND END OF THE MILLENNIUM
(1) Then I saw an angel coming
down from heaven, (2) holding the key of the abyss and a great chain
in his hand.
1. Then I saw an angel
coming down from heaven = introduces a new vision report. This is
the third report of an angel descending from heaven (Rev 10:1 and
2. Holding the key of the
abyss and a great chain in his hand = This is the second event connected
with the "abyss." In Revelation 9:1, an angelic being was
given the key to the abyss. Here, the angelic being has the key as
he descends from heaven. Given the nature of this event, the key is
probably not literal. The angelic being has the authority to open
and close the abyss. Equally, the chain most likely is not literal,
but represents the ability to restrict the movements of an individual.
(1) And he laid hold of the
dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, (2) and bound
him for a thousand years; (3) and he threw him into the abyss, and shut
it and sealed it over him, (4) so that he would not deceive the nations
any longer, (5) until the thousand years were completed; (6) after these
things he must be released for a short time.
1. And he laid hold of
the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan = indicates
the completion of the containment of the triumvirate. Having already
described the eternal judgment of the beast and false prophet, we
are told of the temporary imprisonment of the dragon. His eternal
destiny is not stated at this point. The identification of the dragon
as the serpent of old, i.e. the devil and Satan, is necessary to distinguish
between the composite dragon (Rev 12:3) and the dragon (Rev 12:7-13).
2. And bound him for a
thousand years = indicates the purpose of the chain. The notion of
binding a supernatural being with a chain has led some to conclude
that this is metaphorical. Thus, the number of years is not literal.
However, Mark 6:17 records that, "Herod himself had sent and
had John arrested and bound in prison
." Both "arrested"
and "bound" are the exact same terms used in Revelation
20:2 of Satan. The assumption that since Satan is an angelic being,
he cannot be physically bound is based on a false notion.
3. He threw him into the
abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him = announces the final consignment
of Satan to the abyss. The point seems to be that Satan will be restricted
in movement. He is both bound and imprisoned for 1000 years.
4. So that he would not
deceive the nations any longer = indicates the purpose of the imprisonment
of Satan for a thousand years. As the father of lies (John 8:44) and
deception (Rev 12:9), Satan has systematically deceived the world.
Jesus indicated during his earthly ministry that deception would be
a marked characteristic of eschatological times (Matt 24:5).
5. Until the thousand years
were completed = gives the duration of Satans imprisonment and
the nations freedom from deception. An obvious question at this
point concerns the nations. Will there be any nations left after Armageddon?
Revelation 19:19 indicates that the beast, the kings of the earth
and their armies gather for the Great War. Matthew 25:31ff indicate
that the nations will be gathered for individual judgment. Among the
nations will be both sheep and goats. The sheep will inherit the kingdom
prepared for them from the foundation of the earth. Therefore, there
certainly will be nations after Armageddon and during the Kingdom.
6. After these things he
must be released for a short time = gives the reason for the temporary
imprisonment of Satan. The beast and the false prophet are given eternal
sentences following Armageddon, but Satan is not. The reason, it appears,
is that God still has plans for him. Exactly why Satan is released
and what he will do after his imprisonment is not stated at this point.
How long Satan will be allowed to roam free is indicated by the phrase
a short time. Beyond this, one is not able to be dogmatic.
(1) Then I saw thrones, and
they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. (2) And I saw
the souls of those who had been beheaded (3) because of their testimony
of Jesus and because of the word of God, (4) and those who had not worshiped
the beast or his image, (5) and had not received the mark on their forehead
and on their hand; and (6) they came to life and reigned with Christ
for a thousand years.
1. Then I saw thrones,
and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them = begins another
vision report by John. This vision concerns other events connected
with this one thousand-year period alluded to in connection with the
imprisonment of the dragon. John indicates that he saw thrones,
plural. The thrones are occupied when John sees them. Those seated
are given judgment the ability and right to judge.
The identity of these throne-sitters
is not explicitly indicated. In the context of the millennial reign
of Christ, these individuals must be the faithful saints of the ages.
Otherwise, there is no mention of the saints in general connected
with the 1000-year reign of Christ at this point in the Revelation.
However, unlike the beheaded martyrs to follow, these individuals
are already seated on the thrones when John sees them. They have already
received the right to render judgments. Therefore, their resurrection
must have preceded Johns sighting of them. This accords with
Revelation 11:18, which indicated the rewarding of the saints preceded
the final wrath of God through the bowl judgments. Since the millennial
reign follows the bowl judgments, the saints will have been judged
already and anticipating the reign of Christ to begin.
2. And I saw the souls
of those who had been beheaded = begins a description of a second
group of individuals connected with the 1000-year reign of Christ.
While many commentators generalize this group into the whole of saints
throughout the ages, there is no textual basis for this conclusion.
John specifically indicates that this group was beheaded. Pelikizein
meaning "to behead with an axe" is very specific. Some try
to make Revelation 6:9, which refers to martyrs and Revelation 20:4
refer to the same group. However, this again is a case of over generalizing
the similarities to the neglect of the differences.
For John to refer to all
believers as martyrs would indicates a gross abuse of both language
and truth. To behead with an axe limits the application of Revelation
20:4 to those so killed. However, Revelation 6:9 uses a term that
could describe death resulting from many different possibilities.
This simply is not the case in Revelation 20:4. There are two groups
described in Revelation 20:4the throne-sitters and the beheaded
3. Because of their testimony
of Jesus and because of the word of God = gives a positive explanation
for why this group of individuals was killed. They continued to witness
to the fact that Jesus is Lord. The word of God refers to Gods
commands. These "Christians" did not deny the Lord, but
remained faithful to the word of God.
4. And those who had not
worshiped the beast or his image = continues the description of the
beheaded martyrs. However, the author turns to some negative reasons
for their death. The conjunction and in Greek can be translated
even giving the meaning in addition to. Thus, John is
not introducing a third group of individuals resurrected at this point.
Rather, John continues to describe the beheaded martyrs by giving
additional reasons for their death. In their obedience to God, they
naturally offended the beast. To remain faithful to Jesus Christ automatically
put one in opposition to the beast.
The beheaded faithful refused
to worship the beast or his image, which is the expressed requirement
to live on the earth during the reign of the dragon. The gravity of
ones refusal to worship the beast can be seen in the consequencebeheading.
Scripture does not indicate why decapitation is the preferred method
of capital punishment for the beast. Down through the history of the
church, several methods have proved favorites: (1) burning alive;
(2) crucifixion; (3) exposure to wild animals; (4) to be shot; (5)
starvation; and (6) decapitation to name a few. Decapitation proves
to be the least labor intensive. All one needs is a sharp axe.
5. And had not received
the mark on their forehead and on their hand = continues the descriptive
reason why the beheaded lost their lives during the reign of the dragon.
Commitment to Christ naturally forestalls the acceptance of a brand
of allegiance to the beast. The outcome is naturally death.
The fact that the beheaded
faithful faced the persecution of the beast and the false prophets
clearly limits the historical referent. The reign of the beast is
limited to three and a half years just prior to the Lords parousia.
Therefore, the beheaded saints cannot refer to believers throughout
the ages. They must be limited to the great persecution at the hands
of Satan/Antichrist/beast during the second half of Daniels
Seventieth Week. Equally, they must be limited to believers following
the Rapture of the saints, else they would have been taken during
the Rapture. Therefore, these people died after the Rapture, but before
This fosters a question:
will anyone be saved after the Rapture? Obviously, there must be people
saved after the Rapture. Matthew 25:31ff indicates that there will
be a sheep and goat judgment, just prior to the Kingdom. The only
way there can be "sheep" is that salvation occurred after
6. They came to life and
reigned with Christ for a thousand years = indicates the point of
this vision. The beheaded came to life. Zan is the Greek
verb used here, which carries the meaning to live. In context,
this word can only mean, "to raise from the dead, or resurrection."
It refers to the resurrection of Jesus in Revelation 2:8. It has this
sense in Acts 9:41 and Matthew 9:18. In relationship to the dead,
it always refers to a physical restoration of life.
The amillennialists, in
a never-ending quest to subvert the literal plain sense of Scripture,
argue that a spiritual resurrection is intended here. That is, the
saints begin their reign with Christ at salvation in a Pauline sense
(Eph 2:6, Col 3:1). However, this conclusion is directly contradicted
by the context that follows. These folks are indicated to reign with
Christ for a thousand years. Many make the false assumption that Psalms
90:4 repeated in 2 Peter 3:8 that "one day is like a thousand
years, and a thousand years like one day" is grounds to spiritualize
Revelation 20:4. This is obviously a figure of speech. It does not
say that one day is a thousand years. Secondly, this reference to
time is from Gods perspective, not mans.
There is nothing in Revelation
20:4 that supports a figurative interpretation. To say that the reign
of the believer is spiritual, one must also say that Satan is presently
bound and locked away, which is laughably absurd. Only the naive or
theologically biased would argue that Satan has been bound for the
last 2000 years. The apostle Paul states that unbelievers are blinded
(deceived) continually concerning the gospel (2 Cor 4:4). Acts 5:3
explicitly states that Satan inspired Ananias to lie to the Holy Spirit.
(1) The rest of the dead
did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. (2) This
is the first resurrection.
1. The rest of the dead
did not come to life until the thousand years were completed = contrasts
with the martyrs resurrected in Revelation 20:4. If in fact, only
one group of believers is identified in Revelation 20:4, then one
must conclude that only martyrs are resurrected. Revelation 3:18 declares
that overcoming believers will sit with Christ on his throne. Therefore,
Revelation 20:4 must refer to at least two groups. Whom then, does
"the rest of the dead" refer to?
The premillennialists would
argue that "the rest of the dead" refers to unbelievers.
The saints of the ages who died before the sixth seal are resurrected
between seals six and seven and those beheaded after the Rapture are
resurrected near/on the beginning of the 1000-year period. The general
resurrection of the wicked occurs at the end of the 1000-year kingdom.
must argue that "the rest of the dead" refers to the wicked
and perhaps some righteous. However, this causes a major problem.
If "come to life" is spiritual in Revelation 20:4, then
it must be spiritual in Revelation 20:5. Problem: how do the wicked
come to life in a spiritual sense? If "come to life" is
spiritual in Revelation 20:4, how can the same verb refer to physical
life in Revelation 20:5 without any textual clues to help the reader
understand this change? Such "doings" are unnatural to the
2. This is the first resurrection
= clarifies the significance of the resurrection of the beheaded faithful.
Their resurrection is a part of a larger event that can correctly
be described as "the first resurrection." Since only the
beheaded dead are described as resurrected in Revelation 20:4, this
must be a part of a greater whole. For the resurrection will include
all the saints of all the ages. The only biblical solution is to recognize
the explanation of the apostle Paul. 1 Corinthians 15:22-24 states,
For as in Adam all die,
so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order:
Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christs
at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the
kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and
all authority and power.
Paul clearly delineates
several groupings, all of which constitute "the first resurrection."
Christ is described as the first fruits. Metaphorically, if
Christ is the first fruits, then the rest of the harvest follows later.
Paul is using the figure of speech taken from agriculture. Any farmer
knows that a crop does not ripen all at once. Usually, a small portion
ripen first, then the largest portion ripens and lastly a small portion
ripens late. In keeping with Pauls figure of speech, whether
one is taken as the first fruits, the general harvest or the last
of the harvest, all fruit would be considered part of the harvest.
There is one harvest regardless of when the fruit is picked.
The next gathering of ripened
fruit (resurrection of the dead) will occur at the Lords coming
(parousia). The apostle Paul describes it as a "snatching
away" of the righteous living and dead. Paul indicates that this
event will occur at the Lords coming (parousia) (1 Thess
4:16). Revelation 20:4 indicates a final group (the late harvest)
will finish the harvest begun with the resurrection of Jesus. This
harvest from Christ to the beheaded dead constitutes "the first
(1) Blessed and holy is the
one who has a part in the first resurrection; (2) over these the second
death has no power, (3) but they will be priests of God and of Christ
and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
1. Blessed and holy is
the one who has a part in the first resurrection = is the fifth of
seven beatitudes in the Revelation. The beatitude announces the importance
of having a part in "the first resurrection." All of those
who have a part in it are blessed and holy. This clearly limits "the
first resurrection" to the righteous. Even if the Revelation
does not label a resurrection after the 1000 years as "the second
resurrection," this beatitude makes such a conclusion an absolute
necessity. There must be a resurrection in which those who have a
part are devoid of holiness.
2. Over these the second
death has no power (authority) = offers another reason those who have
a part in the first resurrection are blessed. The second death has
no authority. The phrase second death occurs in the Revelation
four times. Revelation 20:14 defines the second death as the lake
of fire or eternal punishment. All of those who partake in the first
resurrection have no fear of eternal punishment. This can only mean
that no one who partakes in the first resurrection is unholy or is
damnable. This confirms that the first resurrection will only involve
This is not the case for
the general resurrection that comes at the end of the 1000-year kingdom.
This resurrection will involve both the wicked and those righteous
ones who died during the 1000-year kingdom. The second death will
have authority during this resurrection to claim those who belong
to it. Physical death separates man from any opportunity to experience
Gods presence. The second death will do it again, but for eternity.
3. But they will be priests
of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years
= is a powerful contrast. Instead of separation from the presence
of God (the second death) those who have a part in the first resurrection
will serve as priests of God and of Christ. This is just the opposite
of the second death. Not only will the resurrected be in Gods
presence they will literally work for Him as priests.
God has always had a priestly
representative on the earth. The first priest we meet in the Scriptures
is Melchizedek (Gen 14:18-20). In what is truly one of the great mysteries
of Scripture, Melchizedek appears and disappears without a beginning
or an end. Subsequently, Israel becomes "a kingdom of priests."
The priestly function was to represent man before God. Through sacrificial
mediation, the priest communicated to God on behalf of man. In what
sense then will the resurrected faithful serve as priests to God and
Christ? During the millennial kingdom, the saints will reign with
Christ. Their job description, if you will, will involve their representation
of Christ to the millennial constituents and visa versa.
The fact that the reign
of the resurrected is limited to 1000 years signals an important detail.
This reign cannot involve a spiritual reign in heaven. The Lords
promise to the overcomers in Revelation 2:26-27 makes no sense if
a spiritual reign is the goal. There is no appreciable effect on the
nations, if the saints are reigning in heaven in the sense intended
in Revelation 2:26-27. To use 1000 years to describe the present reign
of the saints (now 2000 years for some and may be less than six months
for those killed just prior to the Lords return) renders the
whole concept nonsensical. Revelation 5:10 explicitly states that
those purchased by the blood of Christ "will reign upon the earth."
(1) When the thousand years
are completed, (2) Satan will be released from his prison, and (3) will
come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the
earth, Gog and Magog, (4) to gather them together for the war; (5) the
number of them is like the sand of the seashore.
1. When the thousand years
are completed = transitions the reader to the end of the 1000-year
period. No details are given concerning the life and times of the
1000-year period. The fact that the author has referred to a period
consisting of 1000 years six times fails to dent those who attempt
to interpret the numbers of Revelation spiritually. John indicates
that this period will begin, cover a certain period of time and end
with a significant event.
2. Satan will be released
from his prison = marks a significant event about to take place. That
Satans confinement can be correctly defined as a prison is confirmed.
3. (He) will come out to
deceive the nations which are in the four-corners of the earth, Gog
and Magog = indicates the intent of Satan once he is released. He
will resume his campaign to overthrow the Son of the woman who rules
over the nations.
did they come from? Since Revelation 19:11-21 indicates the destruction
of the nations. However, Revelation 19:11-21 does not indicate that
every single nation on the face of earth was destroyed. It says that
the kings of the earth and their armies were destroyed. It does not
naturally follow that every single individual from every single nation
on the face of the earth was killed.
In fact, Matthew 25:31ff
clearly indicates that there will be people left from all the nations
of the world who are sheep (follows of Jesus Christ). These individuals
inherit the kingdom on earth. During the 1000-year period, there will
be a great increase in the population of the earth (Isaiah 65:17ff).
Since those who enter Gods kingdom in natural bodies will be
able to have babies, subsequent generations will have a choice to
follow or not to follow Christ. Thus, His need to rule the nations
with a rod of iron (Rev 2:26-27). Zechariah 14:16-19 states,
Then it will come about
that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem
will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts,
and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. And it will be that whichever
of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship
the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. And
if the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will
fall on them; it will be the plague with which the LORD smites the
nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. This
will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations
who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.
The fact that Christ will
rule with a rod of iron indicates hostility. Obviously, after 25 generations
of humanity, given the choice to follow Christ, many will rather live
apart from His care and control. Those who perhaps are not committed
to the Lord will be deceived by Satan to mount a campaign against
the Son. Apparently, their unbelief in His salvific worth extends
to their unbelief concerning his power and might.
There is no satisfactory
answer for the reference to "Gog and Magog" at this point
in the narrative of Revelation 20. Gog of the land of Magog is an
enemy of Israel as detailed in Ezekiel 38-39. The relationship between
Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 20 cannot be discovered at this point.
4. To gather them together
for the war = indicates the purpose of Satan gathering the hostile
5. The number of them is
like the sand of the seashore = describes the enormous army Satan
deceives into fighting. The sand of the seashore is a figure
of speech used in Scripture to indicate overwhelming numbers (Gen
41:49; Josh 11:4; Judg 7:12). This will necessitate a tremendous number
of births on the earth during the 25 generation-kingdom of the Son.
(1) And they came up on the
broad plain of the earth and (2) surrounded the camp of the saints and
the beloved city, and (3) fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
1. And they came up on
the broad plain of the earth = indicates the place where this final
battle between Satan and his forces and Christ will be fought. Broad
plain translates the Greek word platos, which means "the
measurement of width," (Louw-Nida § 81.15). This suggests
that the idea of the text is that this innumerable horde with Satan
traveled the breadth of the earth (from the four corners) to get to
the battle. This suggests that the nations have gone as far away from
the influence of the Son as humanly possible.
2. Surrounded the camp
of the saints and the beloved city = is the destination of the innumerable
hordes with Satan. "Camp" translates the Greek word paremballein.
It can refer to either an army or encampment of people. Since Jesus
Christ is ruling on the earth, His people (the saints) would have
no need of learning to fight in wars. Therefore, the encampment refers
to people in general. The encampment of the saints and the beloved
city is surrounded by the innumerable hordes.
The beloved city
naturally refers to Jerusalem. However, whether it is the New Jerusalem
or not is the question. That Jerusalem will be a new city during the
millennial kingdom cannot be debated. Revelation 16:19 declares that
Jerusalem will be destroyed by the most powerful earthquake ever experienced
on the earth during the bowl judgments. Whether this "New"
Jerusalem will be the eternal New Jerusalem is open for debate. One
cannot be dogmatic either way.
3. Fire came down from
heaven and devoured them = explains Gods solution to the problem.
He burns up the wicked. What happens to the saints living on the earth
at this time with natural bodies (non-glorified) is not detailed.
If they received instant glorification, it is not suggested.
(1) And the devil who deceived
them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, (2) where the beast
and the false prophet are also; and (3) they will be tormented day and
night forever and ever.
1. And the devil who deceived
them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone = explains the
destiny of Satan. He will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone.
2. Where the beast and
the false prophet are also = confirms that Satan receives punishment.
He ends up where the beast and the false prophet are. The beast and
false prophet were thrown into the lake 1000 years earlier. This confirms
that the punishment of the wicked is eternal in nature. After 1000
years, the beast and the false prophet are still suffering, but they
have not been annihilated.
3. They will be tormented
day and night forever and ever = makes the eternal nature of the punishment
of the wicked crystal clear.
(1) Then I saw a great white
throne and Him who sat upon it, (2) from whose presence earth and heaven
fled away, and (3) no place was found for them.
1. Then I saw a great white
throne and Him who sat upon it = introduces the sixth vision report
of this vision sequence. Those who attempt to subvert the chronology
of Revelation 19:11-20:15 must deny the obvious. The chronology is
so natural if left as John presents it. After the 1000-year kingdom,
God will allow a final satanic lead revolt, which removes all unbelievers
from the face of the earth forever. After the disposal of the devil,
God will judge the wicked of all the ages. This judgment is now narrated
in Revelation 20:11-15.
A great white throne
distinguishes this throne from the thrones mentioned earlier in the
book of Revelation. The one seated on this throne is not explicitly
identified. However, in previous examples, "the One seated on
the throne" is God, the Almighty.
2. From whose presence
earth and heaven fled away = adds a significant detail to the appearances
of the great throne and Sitter. Earth and heaven fled away. What the
author means by fled away is explained in the following clause.
3. No place was found for
them = clearly indicates the earth and heaven cease to exit. This
is the meaning of fled away.
The placement of this announcement
at this point is problematic. If the verses were cast in future tense,
there would be no problem. Revelation 21:1 declares that the "first
heaven and the first earth passed away." The order indicates
that this event occurs after the general judgment of the wicked of
all the ages and the righteous who died during the 1000-year kingdom.
Thus, the problem with the placement of this announcement in Revelation
20:11. Two verses later in Revelation 20:13, we are told that "the
sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up
the dead which were in them
." The announcement of the resurrection
of the dead from sources that should have passed away is problematic.
Some attempt a solution
by interpreting Revelation 20:11 metaphorically. Heaven and earth
are running away in fear of Gods judgment, but could find no
place to hide. This is how some interpret this text.
Other attempts to explain
the text involve the notion that the general resurrection of the dead
and the destruction of heaven and earth might occur simultaneously.
A more drastic notion intuits that the text is out of its original
order. This would necessitate the placement of verse 11 later in the
sequence of this passage. However, a better solution is to recognize
the literary technique employed by John. In Revelation 20:11, he presents
the cessation of heaven and earth before the occurrence of the judgment
of dead in Revelation 20:12. In Revelation 20:12, he presents the
judgment of the dead before their resurrection in Revelation 20:13.
This indicates that John is not arguing for a strict chronology at
this point. Rather, by placing verse 11 at this point, John seeks
to indicate to his reader that this is the final judgment just prior
to the eternal kingdom of God. This is in contradistinction to the
judgment that occurs just prior to the beginning of the millennial
kingdom highlighted in Matthew 25:31ff.
Since both verses 11 and
12 begin with the introductory formula: and I saw, it is more
probable that John offers in summary fashion verse 11. The emphasis
of verse 11 is the "great white throne and Him who sat upon it."
The appearance of the "great white throne" signals the final,
absolute end of the old order.
(1) And I saw the dead, the
great and the small, standing before the throne, and (2) books were
opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life;
and (3) the dead were judged from the things which were written in the
books, according to their deeds.
1. And I saw the dead,
the great and the small, standing before the throne = introduces the
seventh vision report of the vision sequence begun back in Revelation
19. John indicates that the dead are "standing before
the throne." The reason John calls these individuals the dead
is to tie verse 12 back to Revelation 20:5. "The dead" not
raised at the beginning of the 1000-year kingdom are now raised to
It should not escape the
readers attention that "the living" is not mentioned
here. This supports the conclusion that their glorification must have
occurred soon after the destruction of the wicked or will follow Gods
final disposition of the wicked.
2. Books were opened; and
another book was opened, which is the book of life = appears
to indicate two separate groups of books.
3. The dead were judged
from the things which were written in the books, according to their
deeds = indicates the purpose of the books. The books
(excluding the book of life) record the deeds of the dead.
The phrase according to their deeds must refer to the wicked
deeds of the dead.
(1) And the sea gave up the
dead which were in it, and (2) death and Hades gave up the dead which
were in them; and (3) they were judged, everyone of them according to
1. And the sea gave up
the dead which were in it = introduces the sources of the dead. It
is not clear, why John refers to the sea at this point as a source
of the dead. This is particularly difficult in light of the destruction
of the earth mentioned in Revelation 20:11.
2. Death and Hades gave
up the dead which were in them = is the second source of the dead
who appear for this judgment. The exact relationship between death
and Hades is not defined in the Revelation.
3. They were judged, every
one of them according to their deeds = restates the purpose of the
resurrection of the dead.
(1) Then death and Hades
were thrown into the lake of fire. (2) This is the second death, the
lake of fire.
1. Then death and Hades
were thrown into the lake of fire = seems at odds with logic. Death
is not a person, therefore how can it suffer the same fate as the
2. This is the second death,
the lake of fire = is problematic because there is no evidence that
death and Hades suffered the first death. Perhaps, the reason John
personifies death and Hades is to emphasis their termination as instruments
of Gods judgment.
(1) And if anyones
name was not found written in the book of life, (2) he was thrown into
the lake of fire.
1. And if anyones
name was not found written in the book of life = that this book would
be consulted at this point indicates the possibility of some appearing
in the book. This argues strongly for the conclusion that saints will
die during the millennial reign of Christ.
2. He was thrown into the
lake of fire = is the consequence of not having ones name in
the book of life.
Section: Chapter Twenty-One - New Heavens, New Earth, New Jerusalem