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The Judgment Scene - Rev. 20:4-15
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The Judgment Scene – Rev. 20:4-15

 

1. “And I saw thrones [plural], and they [plural] sat upon them [plural], and judgment was [past tense] given to them [plural].  And I saw the souls [plural] of those [plural] who had been [past tense] beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus [after the cross] and because of the word of God, and those who had not [past tense] worshiped the beast or his image [Caligula and Nero], and had not [past tense] received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand [see Ezek. 9]; and they [plural] came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” (NASV)

2. All this time I was taught there was only one throne of Judgment, that was the Great White Throne of God.  But when I studied it for myself, I found that Dan. 7:9 speaks of thrones [plural].  I learn from Daniel that he and John received visions regarding the same event.  John said the event was at hand [in progress]. Rev. 1:1-3  But, Daniel sees the event taking place during the period of the 4th beast [Rome]. Dan. 7:7,8. Out of the 4th Beast would come horns [rulers].  10 horns would arise, then another, the 11th.  Dan. 7:20,21. Verse 22 informs us of the Judgment of Rev. 20:4.  Accordingly the Saints took possession of the Kingdom after the Judgment spoken of in Rev. 20:4.  That is when the Kingdom or Church would be full grown and when Christ married his Bride, Rev. 19:7, Rev. 21:2.

3. Now I am concerned about these plural thrones of Rev. 20:4 and just who is going to be raised before the rest of the Saints recorded in Rev. 20:5. For sure John says that some will be raised to sit on thrones, then after the period of one thousand years, and after the Judgment the rest will be raised, v. 5.  It seems that during the period of one thousand years Satan, by being bound, could make no argument regarding those raised, or judged as he did in the case of Moses, Jude 9.  Then after the one thousand years, and after the judgment spoken of in Rev. 20:4, Satan would be released to begin deceiving the nations which, are in the four corners of the “ge” (earth or land).  Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, p. 115, article 5.  A country enclosed by fixed boundaries, a tract of land, a territory.  Notice that this definition fits the word “land” (e.g. the “land” of Israel) better than “earth” (the whole world).

From the context of Daniel and of Revelation it is clear that the land of the Jews is meant.  Then Satan is loosed to stir up the Nations and gather them for the war v-8.  The war began officially Feb. 10, 67 AD.  The order was given by Nero to Vespasian while Nero was in Greece during the Olympics.  Rise And Fall of the Roman Empire, and Guizot’s Ancient History, pp. 262-268.  In Rev. 20:9, the Nations were to come up against the beloved city [Jerusalem].  Jesus speaks of this same event in Lk. 21:20ff.  Rev. 20:10 says that Satan and his angels, after the war was over, were permanently cast into the lake of fire.  Mt. 25:44ff, Jn. 12:13; 16:11.

4. Now I am greatly concerned regarding the thousand years mentioned in Rev. 20:4, 6, 7. I am specially concerned regarding the phrase in Rev. 20:4, “They came to life and reigned [past tense] with Christ for a thousand years?”  Jesus informs us in Mt. 19:28 who those are who were sitting on the thrones [plural].  Daniel said “thrones” [plural] were set up.  Dan. 7:9

5. I am now satisfied that the above scripture is truly the word of God, and not that of man.  But, I desire to know more about the phrase one thousand years?  Is this a literal period of time, or is it a Spiritual Symbol?  First, the thousand years is no more literal than the chain that bound Satan.  So then the answer to both these last two wonders lies buried in Psalm 90:4, concerning man’s transitoriness and God’s Eternity, it is one day, or one night.  Or as Peter states the phrase “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8. In keeping with the spiritual phrase “reigned with Christ a thousand years.”  We see also another method of God using time Ezek. 4:6, Numbers 14:34. From this I see what Peter meant in 2 Peter 3:8, especially since Peter was warning The Jewish Christians of the doom which was soon to befall Israel and Jerusalem. 1 Peter 1:1,2. [aliens] [Jews]

6. Since Rev. 20:4 speaks of some of the dead coming to life and reigning with Christ sitting on thrones to judge Israel, and since Jesus informs us who these would be, then we can say that after the Apostles had judged the 12 tribes, then comes the end of the thousand years reign.  Verse 5 then after the event of Judgment the rest of the dead were resurrected.  “Each in his own order.”  1 Cor. 15:23 “Christ the firstfruits” [plural].

7. I am satisfied now and know scripturally that these events were fulfilled in the first century, otherwise there would be a problem with Lk. 24:44 where Jesus said that all things written about him in the Law and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.  In Luke 21:22, having reference to v. 20, Jesus said, “Because these are the days of vengeance in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”  Notice that it was absolutely necessary for the Judgment against Israel to be consummated before Luke 21:20, could be fulfilled.  Rev. 20:1-4 also shows that the judgment had to precede the destruction of Jerusalem.  Is it not reasonable say that the events of Rev. 20 was indeed fulfilled prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, including the thousand year reign, and the final destruction of Satan?  Three important things to remember was that the reign of a thousand years was not on earth, rather it was in Heaven in the presence of God.  Along with this is the fact that the scripture shows in Rev. 20:4 that the event was in past tense.

The New Testament being written in Greek gives certain meanings that has been deleted in translation of the versions of the Bible since 1532, in Rev. 20:4, the Greek Aorist which controls tenses in the Greek language, express past tense on this subject.

8. In conclusion, the two action words of Rev. 20:1-10 are:

1. “Judgment, “this word in the Greek signifies decisions being made between right and wrong.  The part of speech is a noun.

2. The word “reign” is a intransitive verb, which shows the exercise of authority and power by those who reigned. [past tense]

 

Comments:

Joel 3:17,21, Zech. 2:10,11, 2 Cor. 6:16, Rev. 21:3, speaks of God and Christ dwelling now on earth among the Righteous.  Yet there is a vast difference between reigning with Christ and having authority to make decisions, versus what the Jews had in the Old Testament.  The millennial reign as is taught today is only man’s way of changing God’s word to fit his sermons, it will not stand.

Our salvation is not predicated upon which view of the Last Things we hold.  Too many Christian leaders have used prophecy as a scare tactic, leaving us disillusioned and filled with anxiety.  Fulfilled prophecy is comforting and liberating.  Like John 8:32 states, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall made you free.”  Therefore we should never bind upon each other, and make a test of fellowship regarding this event.

There are cases and events whereby the authority of God’s established patterns and principles in history may repeat itself.  However, this is not an established pattern, other than that it was to happen.  In the end it should be our soul that we worry the most about, and less about events of this nature.  Then we shall be free.


 

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© Copyright 2015 by Jessie Mills. All Rights Reserved by the author, Jessie E. Mills, Jr. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior express written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or other publications. Such quotations must be used with proper reference to their context and give appropriate credit to their authorship.