Rodney D Luffman


Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the Earth.

Revelation 20

CHAPTER TWENTY - THE BEGINNING AND END OF THE MILLENNIUM

Revelation 20:1

(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 18:1).

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.

Revelation 20:2-3

(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 Satan’s 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.

Revelation 20:4

(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 John’s 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 20:4—the throne-sitters and the beheaded faithful.

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 God’s 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 one’s refusal to worship the beast can be seen in the consequence—beheading. 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 Lord’s 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 Daniel’s 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 Armageddon.

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 the Rapture.

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 God’s perspective, not man’s.

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.

Revelation 20:5

(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. The amillennialists 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 text!

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 Christ’s 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 Paul’s 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 Lord’s 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 Lord’s 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 resurrection."

Revelation 20:6

(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 the righteous.

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 God’s 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 God’s 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 Lord’s 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 Lord’s return) renders the whole concept nonsensical. Revelation 5:10 explicitly states that those purchased by the blood of Christ "will reign upon the earth."

Revelation 20:7-8

(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 Satan’s 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.

The nations—where 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 God’s 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 nations.

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.

Revelation 20:9

(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 God’s 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.

Revelation 20:10

(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.

Revelation 20:11

(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 God’s 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.

Revelation 20:12

(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 be judged.

It should not escape the reader’s 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 God’s 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.

Revelation 20:13

(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 their deeds.

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.

Revelation 20:14

(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 wicked?

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 God’s judgment.

Revelation 20:15

(1) And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, (2) he was thrown into the lake of fire.

1. And if anyone’s 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 one’s name in the book of life.

 

 

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