Rev. Waldemar Vinovskis, pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Macungie, Pennsylvania, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 20.
“And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20 re-introduces “the bottomless pit” of the abyss. Unlike chapter 9 where the angel opened it up, this time the angel imprisons Satan there.
Confined to the abyss, Satan is no longer free to roam about “the seas” of the Gentiles. With the events of God’s judgment in AD 70, God brought the church back “to life” and positioned her to spread the Gospel all over the world. The 1000 years represents this current church age, even as it continues almost 2000 years later. Throughout Revelation, 1000 is a military symbol, here representing the church militant as Christ conquers the powers of darkness through her. Through the ups and downs, the church is at peace knowing her name is in the book of life and that Christ will win the final victory on the day of “the second resurrection.”
Thy Strong Word is a daily in-depth study of the books of the Bible with host Rev. AJ Espinosa and guest pastors from across the country. Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and produced by the LCMS Office of National Mission.
The Thousand Years
20 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit[a] and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.
4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. 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 ended. This is the first resurrection. 6 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.
The Defeat of Satan
7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 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. 9 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[b] and consumed them, 10 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.
Judgment Before the Great White Throne
11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
- Revelation 20:1 Greek the abyss; also verse 3
- Revelation 20:9 Some manuscripts from God, out of heaven, or out of heaven from God