[Rev. 20:1] ¶ Then I saw an angel descending from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a huge chain.
[Rev. 20:2] He seized the dragon—the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan—and tied him up for a thousand years. [Rev. 20:3] The angel then threw him into the abyss and locked and sealed it so that he could not deceive the nations until the one thousand years were finished. (After these things he must be released for a brief period of time.)
[Rev. 20:4] ¶ Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. These had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. [Rev. 20:5] (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished.) This is the first resurrection. [Rev. 20:6] Blessed and holy is the one who takes part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
[Rev. 20:7] ¶ Now when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison [Rev. 20:8] and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to bring them together for the battle. They are as numerous as the grains of sand in the sea. [Rev. 20:9] They went up on the broad plain of the earth and encircled the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and devoured them completely. [Rev. 20:10] And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are too, and they will be tormented there day and night forever and ever.
Questions always abound when things seem to go wrong. People were being martyred, none the least were the great apostles- Peter (who was recently crucified upside down) and Paul (who was beheaded). It seemed like Satan was triumphing. How much worse could it get? With all of this happening in the background, John sees thrones. Christians were suffering because of things being decreed from temporal thrones. But these were not temporal thrones revealed to John. He was seeing the Church seated as Paul had described in Ephesians 2:6.
Rather than the Church being the victims of Satanic plots the Church will be victors over Satanic schemes! The Church would triumph – not in the temporal-political sense but in the spiritual sense. It would more than endure – it would grow. It would bring the spiritually dead as described in Ephesians 2:4 to life as described in Ephesians 2:5 a resurrection referred to by Christ in John 3:3 as being “born again’. Have you been experienced the blessing of this “first resurrection”?
Not until Christ’s purposes for the Church on earth is nearly completed will Satan be allowed to wreak such havoc again. But this would not be for a “thousand” years. A thousand is often used in Scripture to signify ‘not meant to be counted’. In this Revelation passage it indicates how long Christ will reign – “forever” (Revelation 1:6; 11:15).
Today, believers are members of the same triumphant Church which John saw reaching every tribe, nation and tongue (Revelation 7:9). This triumph is not temporal-political but spiritual where the dead souls are made alive through the power of the Spirit as the Word is proclaimed. Let us join the triumphant by proclaiming the Lordship of Christ in word and deed, at home and wherever the Lamb may choose to send us.