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Revelation 20:4-6 – A Thousand-Year Reign

Summary

Christ reigns for a thousand years, along with his followers who had been killed for their Christian witness.

Analysis

After the defeat of the beast and its allies, Satan himself is bound for a thousand years. During this period, the saints reign with Christ. The vision is difficult to locate in time and space. It seems clear that the location over the door to the bottomless pit cannot be located on a map (20:1-3). It also seems unlikely that the beginning of this period can be neatly located on a calendar. What is most important is that the followers of Jesus have a future with him. The description of the thousand-year kingdom does not actually say where the saints are reigning. Some think they reign in heaven, since that is where the thrones have been located in other visions (4:4). Others think they reign on earth, since Satan was banished from the earth at the beginning of this chapter. John says only that the saints are "with Christ" (20:4), and that seems to be sufficient. To be "with Christ" is the hope that this vision extends.

Revelation 20:4-6

4 Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus* and for the word of God. They had not worshipped 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. 6Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. Over these 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.

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10 February 2011

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