A Bible Study of Revelation Chapter 20|
Thousands of Years (during) This Earth Age
Rev 20:4-6... The First Resurrection of Saint's
Within Revelation 20:1-7 the
Greek numeric (103 or root 'Chili'), being the stem alpha-numeric 'Chilioi', is agreed by scholar and theologian found in the earliest accepted manuscripts. The numeric Chilioi used in these verses represent (plural) 'Thousands'. It is important to understand there is no definitive sum such as "a" nor "one" found within these Greek verses, therefore the numeric 'Chilioi Etee' is rendered more properly in the era it was used as (plural) Thousands Years'. Remember this in the following study of Revelation chapter-20 concerning the second event (reign of saints) found within verses 4-6.
Revelation 12:7-11 will reveal both Chilioi or 'Millennium' events of Rev 20:1-7 are the same historic 'period', beginning when Satan is cast into the abyss, immediately also beginning Christ's ministry and resurrection of saints. This composite duration of (Latin) 'Millennium' or (Greek) 'Chilioi' does not end until Satan is released from the abyss, and this has yet to occur. After Satan is released from the abyss begins another duration of additional events described in verses 8-15. These additional verses describe the short '70th Week' prophecy, being the last days of this earth age ending in judgment.
Resurrection is by the HS as deposit and guarantee, Christ called this rebirth being born again. Resurrection does not mean we must first be dead in the grave, nor that it occurs only at the second return of Christ, or after final judgment. Instead Chist taught we as the church are His body on earth, instructing that He did not come to be served, but to serve (reign), and so also the church is to serve. Christ said for this you must be born again, Paul describes this resurrection by Christ, saying in Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." This is what was meant in the promise within Hebrew 7:22 "Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant."
To those that remain in the Lord, the promise is fulfilled in 2 Cor 1:21-22 "He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." Those born again of the Lord have this promise, Rom 6:9-11 "For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."
Finally in the last days of saints still living, these last are gathered (as souls) into the air or heavenly realm, to be with those that had gone on before, and now all saints promised a part in the first resurrection are found together described in [NIV] Matt 24:31 "And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." This verse tells us at the return of Christ for final judgment, all saints are no longer found on earth, but found in the heavens, described as found within one end of the heavens to the other.
Often it is taught the first resurrection of saints were only those martyred, however this is not what scripture tells us concerning the first resurrection of saints raised by Christ. Here according to scripture is as it is written, Revelation 20:4-6 "I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years." Note I have left the second "I saw" out of this verse, the reason is that they are not found in the original manuscripts. A reminder also, the more accurate rendering of Greek 'Chilioi etee' is (plural) 'Thousands Years'. Within these Greek verses there is not found the 'a' said implying "one", this 'a' was added during English translation. This is true also concerning Greek 'the' ('na'), cannot be considered a quantifier as 'one thousand', understood as earlier in verse described as... deceiving 'the' nations... does not quantify as 'one nations'.
John has described two groups of "I saw", this first group on thrones are 'given authority to judge', about this every Christian professing Christ Jesus as savior should remember 1 Corinthians 6:2 "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?", and concerning thrones in Matt 19:28 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Also saints are given authority to judge during their lifetime told of in 1 Corinthians 2:15 "The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment...". There is important difference between the two groups that John describes as saints that reign with Christ, not for a short 'one thousand years', the reign may last only thousands of years in what remains of this earth age, in full context we are assured in the age to come saints continue and reign with Christ for eternity.
It was also made clear to me the verse saying "received his mark" (NT1909 'epi') is properly translated as 'in' the forhead and 'in' the hands.
Now that you know who John "saw", read about what happens when "they had not" received the mark of the Beast, John announces concerning both of these two groups that, "they came to life and reigned with Christ" for Thousands (of) Years. Do you think there is a single Christian (saint past) or yet alive that does not claim having a part in the 'first resurrection', with no worry about seeing the 'second death'? The goal of our salvation in this life will require fighting a spiritual war, not all those victorious will be physically beheaded, although some could show serious scars. An addendum concerning Mark 1:1 'Do not judge', taught often in error, speaks instead of judging in carnal or flesh nature rather than within the will and serving the purpose of God.
Concerning our dying to the flesh and becoming spiritually alive reigning with Christ, this is described in 2 Tim 2:11-12 "Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him." About enduring to reign with Christ we are told in 1 Thess 5:10-11 "He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him", awake means the new spiritual man yet living within flesh body, asleep meaning death of flesh body, yet spiritually alive in Christ. About this death of flesh nature described in Rom 6:8-9 "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him." This does not say everyone (meaning the wicked that must wait judgment) will be resurrected within the 'first resurrection'. From this we may understand Acts 24:15-16 "...and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked", and here simply saying there will be those having a part in one of two separate and different resurrections.
The resurrection promise to be with Christ began as told in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 "...and the dead in Christ will rise first..." The Old Testament dead called the 'upright and righteous' rose first in resurrection, continuing as those born again who reign with Christ on earth will in their turn pass away, until finally saints yet living in the Last Days are gathered up, described in 1 Thess 4:17-18 "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." Scripture promise is now fulfilled for each in their turn having a part in resurrection told in 1 Corinthians 15:23 "But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him." Christ comes for each saint at death. All mankind are appointed one time to be born, and after death to face judgment described in Hebrew 9:26-28 "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." Salvation of all saints is now finalized and completed at the Return of the Lord. What all this has said, is that God is not God of the dead, but of those Spiritually alive, and it is those with Holy Spirit who have died of flesh body, are these dead that rise first to be with the Lord. Next it says, then those yet alive with Holy Spirit, are later gathered up within a twinkling of an eye to be with those that had (in death of the body) gone before, and all now meeting in the air (heavenly realm) are forever with the Lord.
Christ was resurrected from death for a short time into His earthly body, after a short period before His disciples Christ was transfigured while rising into heaven. Christ now the firstfruits as scripture attests began salvation of saints with Holy Spirit guarantee of eternity, and of this Christ began from Sheol the first resurrection of saints. About the eternal Christ said He went to prepare a place for us, and it was to this place within the Fathers Kingdom that He would return and take us. This would not be the kingdom found in this earth age, but the Kingdom to be found described in Eph 1:21-22 "...far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come." Our present earth age and kingdom will be far different than Gods Kingdom to come, where exists the Temple of God made by the hand of God, this to be found in the new creations of heaven and earth which the believers looked forward described in 2 Peter 3:11-13 "Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness."
Christ being the last sacrifice for sin then began the first resurrection, going into the depth of Sheol He freed those in the grave awaiting the Old Testament promised resurrection. Salvation then continuing with the Gentile believers receiving everlasting life the deposited HS, a gift of grace for those that before had been dead in sin. These all now the saints in faith that belong to and reign with Christ forever. Last to be gathered are the Saints yet living in the last days, described in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." This certainly includes the faithful chosen yet living but scattered among the nations, finding refuge (anointing the most Holy), called sanctuary in Daniel 12:11-12 "From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days." Upon reaching the prophetic 1335 days the scattered are gathered into the wilderness of the nations, Ezekiel 20:35-38 tells of this conditional re-gathering when the scattered are gathered into the wilderness and into a new covenant. Here they will be judged, those in rebellion refusing to anoint the most Holy and revolting against God are purged, this leaves a remnant elect to be gathered into eternal Israel, the purged said will not enter Israel.
Revelation-20:1-7 describe two periods of 'thousands of years', this period of time ends when Satan is released from the abyss. It does not say the 'reign of saints' that endure with Christ ends, nor the 'entity of Satan ends', both the saints and Satan in following verse fulfill God predestined and prophetic purposes. Nor continuing in from the entire bible and certainly Revelation 20:8-15 does it describe or imply that after final judgment the saints continue (or begin) to spend another 'one' Thousand years yet in the old order of heaven and earth, these having been destroyed. The Bible does tell us that after Satan is released, on earth will be Tribulations and wars until the very end. The Bible clearly teaches that after final wrath and apocalyptic judgment the old order passes away, understood as destroyed. No where in the Bible does it teach that after final judgment the saints are still found among the wicked that were destroyed in final judgment, or with Satan also destroyed in final judgment. Within the very last verse's of Revelation-20 Satan is cast back into the fiery Lake of Sulfur (in grave/Hell), following verses then concludes this composite of Sheol/Hell (fiery Lake of Burning Sulfur, abyss, deepest/darkest/bottomless pit, Gehenna and Hades) saying in the very last verse that 'Death and Hades' are finally cast into the Lake of Fire where they are destroyed.
After final judgment the saints having been gathered into the air (heaven) with the Lord, now come down out (some read... revealed in) heaven within the New Jerusalem as the bride, then and forever to reside in the Kingdom of God. Scripture calls this New Earth as the home of righteousness. Revelation-20 tells us that all saints in the Thousands or present earth age who have a part in the first resurrection will not see the second death, described in Revelation 20:5-6 "This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection...". Those having a part are the entire church (family or assembly of) Christ described in Revelation 2:11 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death." This resurrection was made possible in Salvation through Christ described in Revelation 5:9-10 "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priest's to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." Christ will reign both in this present earth age or Thousands with His saints, and after this earth passes away Christ and His saints shall reign on the New Earth where is found the New Jerusalem and Temple or Sanctuary of God for all eternity.
The purpose of salvation comes at the end of Revelations 20, this end or purpose described in John 14:1-4 "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." At the end of this earth age for salvation, during what is written as thousands (of) years, Satan is released from the Abyss also called Hell, and after an abomination and being revealed, he gathers his Gog and Magog army to surround 'the camp of Gods people' or Jerusalem. Revelation 20:15 then ends in conclusion this earth age described in Luke 21:20-22 "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written."
Salvation is decreed from heaven as the purpose of God beginning the reign or service of the saints with Christ, being the gift of grace during this earth age until the end popularly called a Thousands. Salvation as decreed can be shown in scripture to commence with the ministry of Christ on earth, Paul after quoting related Old Testament scripture says in 2 Corinthians 6:2 "...I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." This salvation day began the first resurrection as told in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first." This first resurrection continues during this earth age as each after life go to be with the Lord, told of in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him." Last of the saints to be gathered into heaven will be those yet living, told in 1 Thessalonians 4:14,17 "We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him... After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air."
This salvation was also understood in Old Testament times by the upright and righteous as a promise to come, a time that would bring their resurrection from the grave. Many places in the New Testament tell of this salvation or saving grace administered to believer's yet living, and these in Christ having died to sin, also sharing in His resurrection told in Romans 6:5 "If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection." Some confuse this resurrection to be of our spirit, about this we are told, 1 Peter 1:8-9 "...for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." We are also assured in Romans 8:10 "But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness..." meaning Christ, and our righteousness of soul is from the Holy Spirit in Romans 5:16-17 "...how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ." During life by grace as the new man that has died to flesh, those in Christ are those who reign with Christ as told in 2 Timothy 2:11-12 "Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him." We reign with Christ as long as we remain in Christ, we do not rule either in this earth age or in eternity to come, only our God rules.
Some bible scholars have in their theology a delayed salvation, apparently believing salvation does not come until after the 'Day of the Lord' for Judgment, when certainly scripture assures Christ rescuing saints before the Wrath of God begins, and this before final judgment. Still there is the teaching from the 'Charting The End Times' showing the saints who reign with Christ not beginning until after Christ returns for a great war and final judgment. These scholars officiating at funerals today will properly say the dead saint is now with the Lord, however because of their theology must deny saint's living or dead now reign with Christ. Revelation Chapter-20 tells us the reign of the saints with Christ begins in this earth age, Satan in the last days when released from the abyss ends in Desolation, the end of the Thousand's encapsulated in Revelation 20:5-8 "Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand(s) years." When the thousand(s) years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth Gog and Magog to gather them for battle." Again the (s)'s in above verse I've added for more literal translation of the Greek, and this Thousands ending as does the rule of Satan in final judgment encapsulated as told in Revelation 20:9 "...But fire came down from heaven and devoured them."
This confusing teaching has those 'born again' still living, and those 'born again' having passed from this life into the air (heavenly realm), instead remaining in the Sheol with the wicked, saying both those in the grave and those still living are gathered from earth at the same time. Paul states clearly as do other verses of scripture that the righteous at death go to be with the Lord in the heavenly realm, this is understood in 1 Thessalonians 4:14,17 "We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him... After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." This tells us the saints still living at the Coming of Christ are gathered to be together with those in the air who had passed on before, and here in the clouds meet the Lord in the air. Scripture describes only one gathering of those remaining or still living upon earth, otherwise adequate scripture exists telling of the redeemed at death going directly to the Lord. This does not mean together with the Lord in the grave or Sheol. Christ described this place in John 14:1-4 "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."
Some will tell you that you have neither salvation nor redemption, because these like resurrection are only a promise to come and are yet unfulfilled. It is true we wait many things in life, however our Lord and God is greater and able to accomplish beyond that within mans understanding. The blood of the Lamb was not shed without power or effect, being at most an effect not to be realized until some very distant future. Our salvation, our redemption, and our resurrection according to the Lord is for now as told in 1 Peter 1:18-19 "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ..." These saints redeemed by the Lord have all their promises fulfilled through the Holy Spirit as told in Galatians 3:14 "He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit." The Holy Spirit is not a Hope to come, we can be certain today and tomorrow because the Word guarantees our redemption being more than hope in Ephesians 1:13-14 "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession-to the praise of his glory." Are we all today in this heavenly realm, cavorting around the heavenly realm of the air, no, but ask me again tomorrow.
Here is the encapsulation of both Rev 12:7-17 and Rev 20:1-15Rev 12:1-6 is prelude of God's predestination.
About resurrection, the Concordance with Expanded Greek and Hebrew Dictionary says:|
NT:386 'na/stasi' anastasis (an-as'-tas-is); from NT:450; a standing up again, i.e. (literally) a resurrection from death (individual, genitive case or by implication [its author]), or (figuratively) a (moral) recovery (of spiritual truth):
KJV - raised to life again, resurrection, rise from the dead, that should rise, rising again.
About Satan cast from Heaven to earth as told in Revelation 20:1-3, we are told in Revelation 12:7-9 "And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him." About the first resurrection told of in Revelation 20:4-6, this is repeated in Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down." Revelation-12 then continues concerning saints both asleep and those awake, now serving the Lord told in Revelation 12:11-12 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." And about the 'spiritual war' during this earth age, clearly stated in Rev 12:13-17 "When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring-those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus."
The original Hebrew words used in Isaiah-65 for 'create and new' leaves little doubt that he is not talking about a refurbished make-over of earth as it exists today, the words are:
Create OT:1254 bara' (baw-raw'); a primitive root; (absolutely) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes): -choose, create (creator), cut down, dispatch, do, make (fat).
New OT:2319 chadash (khaw-dawsh'); from OT:2318; new: fresh, new thing.
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