Revelation 20.1-6 – The first resurrection and the millennium

Today an angel comes down from heaven and binds the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and binds him for a thousand years. He is thrown into a shut, sealed pit for a thousand years so he cannot employ his main tactic, his principal approach, deception; so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended.

He will be released at the end of this time, for a little while, when we will see Christ’s ultimate and eternal victory over him. Until then, he is bound and cannot influence people on earth by deception.

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit 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.

You would think that this is then all that is needed for us to see paradise on earth – the devil is out of the picture – but, sadly, this is not the case and due to our fallen sinful nature, the fact that the devil is bound and Christ is reigning on earth for a thousand years is still not enough for some people. Eternity starts at the beginning of chapter 21, and that is when we will see a permanent paradise.

This then is the first resurrection;

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.

How we long to be a part of this first resurrection!

Should our time on earth come to an end before Jesus snatches up His church out of the Great Tribulation then we are assured that to be away from the body is to be at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5.6-8). We would then be a part of this millennial reign with our Lord along with the raptured church, saints of the Great Tribulation, and all others who have fallen asleep in the Lord.

To be a part of this means we are not part of the second resurrection, and therefore not part of the judgement before the great white throne.

Two resurrections, a thousand years apart.

The first is far preferable, right? By the grace of God we can be part of the first because the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, and it is by this very same grace of God we have been saved. All we need to bring to the party, so to speak, is faith…faith in the name of Jesus, for it is by grace we have been saved through faith in Jesus.

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