Intro: A. Revelation 20 is a "hot bed" for all types of ideas and beliefs:
1. 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth. (Millenialism; Pre- or Post-).
2. The rapture.
3. The battle of Armageddon.
4. More than one resurrection at Christ's return, etc.
B. If ever a verse is quoted from the book of Revelation, chances are it will be
from chapter 20.
C. In this study, we've been asked to look at the Devil as found in these verses.
I. Things We Need To Remember Before Examination Of Passage.
A. Things we must keep in mind about the book of Revelation:
1. Uses signs and symbols to reveal its message.
2. The reason for this is John wrote during troublesome times. The personal
safety of both the writer and the reader were in danger if the
enemy understood the true meaning of the book.
3. Revelation conceals and reveals: Conceals the message from
the enemy and reveals the message to people of God.
4. Other examples of this style of writing is Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and
5. No interpretation of Revelation is correct if it is meaningless and
fails to bring practical help and comfort to Christian's of John's
6. Symbols are qualities, ideas, and principles represented by things
concrete. It is a language with a double meaning.
7. The proper way to understand symbols is like that of understanding
parables: find the main point and let the details fit in the most natural
8. The main point of Revelation is: Despite persecution and oppression,
whatever it's source, if we will remain true and faithful to the Lord,
the victory will ultimately be ours through Christ. "Worthy is the
Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and
strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." (Rev. 5:12)
II. A look at the context in which Revelation 20 is found.
A. In chapter 17 John describes Babylon and in chapter 18 John tells of her fall.
1. What Babylon was to fleshly Israel, Rome was to the Christians of John's
2. What Jabin and Sisera was to fleshly Israel, the beast and false
prophet were to the Christians of John's day. Judges 4.
B. In chapter 19 there is rejoicing in Heaven and God is praised for His judgment
upon Babylon. Vrs. 1-10.
1. Christ is presented as the Victorious Warrior. Vrs. 11-21.
2. Beasts and false prophet are cast into the lake of fire.V.20.
III. Examination Of Revelation 20.
A. Satan is bound and overthrown.
1. Angel comes from heaven with key of bottomless pit and bounds Satan for
1000 years. Vrs. 1,2.
2. Angel cast Satan into the bottomless pit, shut him up, and set a seal
upon him. V. 3.
3. Satan bound so he can deceive the nations no more, till 1000 years
a. Remember from previous studies about the symbolism of numbers:
1,000 symbolized "completeness"
b. Thus, Satan's being bound is showing how he is restrained from
deceiving the nations into their continuing to worship emperor
(Beast of Rev. 13). This "binding" of Satan results when God's
judgment is exercised over the affairs of men.
4. After 1000 years he is loosed a little season. V. 3,7.
a. Goes out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the
earth-Gog and Magog. V. 8
b. Gathers nations together to battle. Number as the sand of the
c. Attacks camp of the saints and the beloved city. Fire comes from
heaven and devours them. V. 9.
5. Devil cast into lake of fire and brimstone where beasts and false
prophets are to be tormented day and night forever. V.10.
B. Revelation 20 is similar to Ezekiel 37-39:6.
1. In Ezekiel 37 we have the restoration of Israel out of Babylonian
captivity compared to the resurrection of a valley of dry bones.
2. However, neither passage is talking about a bodily resurrection. It is
a. As God resurrected Israel from the captivity of Babylon, He would
resurrect the martyred saints who had been killed by the beast.
3. Rev. 20: 4-6 were discussed at length in lesson 19 where we dealt with
the question: "Do the scriptures teach more than one ressurrection when
4. Gog of the land of Magog were ancient enemies of God's people. (38:17).
5. Thus, the Holy Spirit could have no better way to describe enemies
against Christians than to describe them as "Gog and Magog" in Rev. 20:8.
6. No sooner than Satan is "bound" by defeat until he is "loosed" to begin
his work of deceiving agaian. No sooner is Satan defeated than he is out
again to "make war" against God's people. It was true in Old Testament
times and it continues to be true of Christians in the past as well as
7. This will continue to be so until the final and ultimate destruction of
the Devil in "the lake of fire and brimstone". V. 10; Matthew 25:41.
A. The Devil is pictured throughout Scripture as one who makes war against God, Christ, and
the Lord's people, whether the children of Israel in the Old Testament or Christians.
B. Although he is constantly at war, he can never be victorious over God's people as long as
they remain true and faithful to keep God's commandments.
C. When defeated, he may stop or slow down for a while but rest assured he will be back up
to steam before long. (Luke 4:13; Rev. 20:3)
D. Though he always loses the war, he wins many battles and takes many casualities.
1. This has to be what keeps him going.
2. As in our day and age, he can't win the war but he will win many battles by
taking many souls with him to that lake of fire and brimstone.
E. The book of Revelation stands to assure us that if we are "faithful unto death", we will
be given a "crown of life" (2:10). If we "do His commandments", we can have the "right to
the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (22:14).
F. Let us determine not to be a casuality in this war but, instead, "fight the good fight of
faith" that we may "lay hold on eternal life". (1 Timothy 6:11)