A Study of Revelation: Revelation 19:11 – 20:10 (The Defeat of the Beast)

Revelation chapters 19:11 – 20:10 (The Defeat of the Beast)

19:11-14 – White = either purity or victory
These events follow Jerusalem’s destruction; Christ’s war is now against Caesar-worship and heathenism
“Faithful and True” (cf. Revelation 3:14; 21:5; 22:6)
“Eyes…like a flame of fire” (cf. Rev. 1:14; 2:18) – refers to omniscience
Whose blood? Perhaps symbolizes judgment against Israel, or the eternal victory of the Cross
“The Word of God” = Jesus (cf. John 1:1,14)

19:15-16 – “Sharp sword” (cf. Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17)
Striking of the nations and ruling with rod of iron symbolized the impact of the gospel on the world (prophesied in Psalm 2:1-3)
Ogden: “By His powerful word, He either smites, or shepherds, the nations. His word either convinces, or it convicts.”
“King of kings and Lord of lords” (cf. Revelation 11:15) – spiritual, not literal; accomplished by the spread of gospel

19:17-21 – The judgment against Jerusalem was past, but persecutions continued via the Roman Empire (the beast)
Christ will reign victorious; evil will not and cannot defeat the Lord
Ultimately accomplished by 313 AD with Constantine

20:1-3 – Now that the harlot and the beast have been defeated, John sees the binding of Satan himself
The thousand years is not a literal, specific amount of time; it refers to the complete success of Christ’s cause over persecution
Wallace: “There are twenty figures of speech in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters alone. In a series of symbols such as these, it is not reasonable to make a literal application of the thousand years and a figurative application of all the rest of the symbols, without a contextual or historical reason for doing so. The thousand years, like the other parts of the vision, is a figure of speech—a symbol of something else.”
Coffman: “The ‘little time’…beginning at the point after which God shall have finally achieved the full salvation of the total number of the redeemed, and lasting only a relatively short while. Satan will be ‘loosed’ without any restraint whatever during that brief period.”

20:4-6 – The same martyred souls as those who were “under the altar” in Revelation 6:9
According to the false doctrine of premillennialism, this living and reigning is still future, will occur on the earth, and is inclusive of all Christians
          * Note the past tense “lived and reigned”
          * “On earth” is nowhere stated nor implied
          * “They” refers specifically to those “who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands”
Those who have part in the first resurrection are those who overcome (cf. Revelation 2:11)

20:7-10 – The need to evangelize (cf. Galatians 1:6-9; Romans 1:16)
Gog and Magog represent any religion or faith that is not expressly from God
The torment of eternal separation from God:
          * “The lake of fire and brimstone” (Revelation 20:10)
          * “Outer darkness” (Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 15:30)
          * “Eternal fire” (Matthew 25:41)
          * “Unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:44)
          * “Hell, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48)
Hell is eternal (Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41,46)

Review
1. In what four ways is the rider of the white horse identified in chapter 19?

2. What is the sharp sword of Revelation 19:15, and how was it used to strike the nations?

3. What is a possible explanation of the “thousand years” of Revelation 20 that does not contradict other Scriptures?

4. When will the end of the thousand years come?

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