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Revelation 20:1-8: The Church Age

The Church Age began with the ministry of Jesus Christ

I use what is called the historical: spiritual view for interpreting Biblical eschatology. As part of that I follow what is known as amillennialism. That is that there is no literal 1000-year reign of Christ on Earth after some alleged 7-year Tribulation and Wrath of God. This is a view that was held by about half the early church up to 300 AD and then by most believers until about 1900 AD when pre-millennial interpretations became dominant.

So following this line of interpretation I want to look at the first 8 verses of Revelation chapter 20. The phrase “thousand years” is only found in these verses in the Bible. The word “millennium” is not found in the Bible.

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

Revelation 20:1

The word “angel” comes from the Greek word “aggelos” (pronounced angelos) which means messenger. Only Jesus (the messenger here) has power to bind Satan in the bottomless pit, which is a metaphor for a spiritual prison of some sort. Read the following verses from Matthew.

28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come to you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil [loot, steal] his goods [property], except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil [plunder] his house.

Matthew 12:28-29

And Jesus came and spoke to them, All power [authority] is given to Me in heaven and in earth.

Matthew 28:18

So the agent here, the messenger, is Jesus Christ. Revelation 18:1 and John 1:4-10 support this fact.

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Revelation 20:2

The “thousand years” is not exactly 1000 years, just as it is not an exact number in Psalm 50:10,11, Leviticus 26:8 and many other verses. There are many generalised expressions like this that do not imply an exact number, no more no less. This thousand-year period of time is interpreted in a general sense as the church age which started when Jesus bound Satan.

And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Revelation 20:3

The text does not say that Satan does not have the ability to deceive but that the Gentiles or nations of the world would not be deceived anymore, which implies the nations were being deceived prior to Christ’s ministry on Earth. The word nations refers to the Gentile nations. (A mental image I have is like a mafia don in jail but running his business outside.)

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Revelation 20:4,5

All through the church age believers died for their belief in Christ. Many were martyred because they were actively on the battle front witnessing and spreading the gospel. So many of these lost their lives so doing.

Satan was a tool of God used to purge and purify the ekklesia (the true church). The true church are those who lived/live and reign with Christ. We are priests unto God (1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6, 20:6).

The “rest of the dead” are the rest of saved who are resurrected at the final judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). These were not those martyred in the battle. Most of them were those who lived and died before the period of the end time with the mark of the beast (verse 4). See also Revelation 13:15-17.

Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Revelation 20:6

There again are those who reign with Christ during the church age. They are called “priests of God” here. This is how the true believers are described.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light:

1 Peter 2:9

This brings us to the end of the thousand year period or the Church Age. I believe this has already happened because of the remarkable uptick in demonic activity. But also the true believers are not deceived and are resisting the current tyranny from the Luciferian synagogue of Satan. This is the same demonic possessed people Jesus spoke of in Revelation 2:9, and 3:9. They say they are Jews but are not Jews. They are Satan worshipers who sacrifice children and commit horrible acts. This is the sort of demonic activity I refer to.

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Revelation 20:7,8

At the end of the Church Age Satan is now loosed from the bottomless pit and he can now deceive the nations again. He is doing this now today. Just look at the amazing deception with all the billions of people, willingly in many cases, taking the COVID death shots thinking that it is to protect them from a virus that is no worse than influenza. Gog and Magog are demonic spiritual forces gathering the deceived billions to get vaxxed, who number as the sand of the sea.

So it looks to me that the Church Age is finished as wholesale deception is occurring. This also reminds me of the great deception in the visible institutional church, which I mentioned in the following post.

Strong Delusion in the Church

Satan is on a rampage because he knows he has only a short time, a little season (verse 3).

Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil [Satan] is come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.

Revelation 12:12

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By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

4 replies on “Revelation 20:1-8: The Church Age”

Dear John Hartnett ,

I am a nobody compared to you and your knowiedge, experience and theological interpretations .

But look at the opening verse of 1 Peter1:1 > Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

It’s clearly addressed to the Jews scattered outside Israel of the 12 tribes of Israel (just as James writes to them in James:1:1 > James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

Therefore, Peter is writing to them what he asserts in 1 Peter 2:9 >  But you are  chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light:

We Gentile believers (to whom Paul addresses ) in the many nations are not a peculiar people nor a holy nation. That’s why rightly dividing the truth as in 2 Timothy 2:15 > Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The gospel of the kingdom of God on earth to Jews vs the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Christ to both gentiles and Jews. Romans 1:16 > For I (Paul the apostle to the Gentiles) am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto “salvation” to every one that believeth; “to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [Gentiles] . Explanation – there is a sequence  to God’s plan & purpose. 

Anyway, peace to you and blessings in how you chose to believe. If we start questioning the truth of “thousand year” reign then it’s a slippery slope. Shalom 

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I am a nobody compared to you and your knowledge, experience and theological interpretations.

JGH: We all have the Holy Spirit. He says He will lead you into all truth. Consider all the texts.

But look at the opening verse of 1 Peter1:1 > Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

JGH: I don’t agree. It was written largely to Gentile believers scattered through Asia Minor. Yet it is for all believers in the Lord Jesus.

It’s clearly addressed to the Jews scattered outside Israel of the 12 tribes of Israel (just as James writes to them in James:1:1 > James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

JGH: As I wrote above, I don’t agree on 1 Peter. James may be in fact addressing believers both Jews and Gentiles. At this time the northern 10 tribes would not have been so easily identified. But ok, James says it is to scattered Israelites, not only Jews. James is not Peter.

Therefore, Peter is writing to them what he asserts in 1 Peter 2:9 > But you are chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light:

JGH: Not so. Peter is writing to all believers, which includes the Gentile believers in Asia Minor. For Gentiles had no light at all. Israelites had the law which is a little light but they were still in darkness.

We Gentile believers (to whom Paul addresses ) in the many nations are not a peculiar people nor a holy nation.

JGH: I disagree entirely. There is no Jew nor Greek in the operations of the Spirit. We are all those and including the royal priesthood. If you have Christ indwelling you, you are all those.

That’s why rightly dividing the truth as in 2 Timothy 2:15 > Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The gospel of the kingdom of God on earth to Jews vs the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Christ to both gentiles and Jews.

JGH: What are you talking about. There is only salvation by grace for Jew or non-Jew. There is no kingdom for anyone except through faith in Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:16 > For I (Paul the apostle to the Gentiles) am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto “salvation” to every one that believeth; “to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [Gentiles] . Explanation – there is a sequence to God’s plan & purpose.

JGH: The sequence here is entirely historical. There is no privilege to being Jewish. Galatians 4:28; Colossians 3:11.

Anyway, peace to you and blessings in how you chose to believe. If we start questioning the truth of “thousand year” reign then it’s a slippery slope.

JGH: Nonsense! How can you say that? How do you know what the thousand year means? Do you have an inside contact? By comparing scriptures we can conclude that it is consistent with the Church Age. It is a better explanation than the Millennium after the return of Christ and a 7-year agreement between an antiChrist figure and Israel, which is not spoken of in scripture at all. The “he” in Daniel 9:27 is not some antiChrist but Jesus who fulfills the convenant with man on the cross (Daniel 9:4, Galatians 3:15-17.

JGH: Besides, as I stated, this view was held by at least half of the early church fathers. It was also held for 1600 years by most of the church after 300 AD.

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Question – What is our reward on New Earth and New Jerusalem which will come down from Heaven? Genesis 15:1 > After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. Hebrews 11:6 > But without faith it is impossible to please HIM: for he that cometh to God must believe that HE is, and that HE is a rewarder of them that diligently seek HIM. Conclusion : we must have “faith” that HE is (HE exists and lives) and seek HIM ; then in the Resurrection to Life, our dwelling in HIS presence is the reward.

Believers accept that every verse in the Word of God is truth. Therefore consider the following 3 sets of verses. John 17:15 > I pray “not that thou shouldest take them out of the world”, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

John 6:39,40, 44 > And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should “raise it up again at the last day.” And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will “raise him up at the last day.”… No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will “raise him up at the last day.”

Job 14:12-14 > So man lieth down, and “riseth not: till the heavens be no more”, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. O that thou wouldest “hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past”, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

Also read Job 14:13 – 14 > O that thou wouldest “hide me in the grave”, that thou wouldest keep me secret, “until thy wrath be past”, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, “till my change come.”

Job is said to be the oldest book in the Word of God, and his prayer is to God remembering him after the wrath and then be changed [into immortality and incorruptibility] – exactly like in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 > Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but “we shall all be changed”, For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

If the Word of God is considered in its entirety then some questions ought to be asked to counter their narrative.

It’s only at the end of Christ’s  thousand year reign that culminates in the gathering of all Believers.

That’s when gather all things in Heaven and all things on Earth to fulfill the prophecy below- 2 Thessalonians 1:10 > When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Explanation – This can happen only at the end of time after the thousand year reign because otherwise there is no possible way that believers who live and die in the and also those in the kingdom of heaven on earth during Christ’s thousand year can be gathered unto Him. On completion of His thousand year reign He goes back to the Father after completing the mission that was entrusted to Him by the Father.

We know that in the thousand year reign of Christ there will still be death even as Satan is held in chains. Only at the end of  Christ’s thousand year reign is Satan completely vanquished and thrown into the Lake of Fire and also Death and Hell are finally thrown in to the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:14).

1 Corinthians 15:24 > Then cometh the end, when He (Jesus) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. … For HE (the Father) hath put all things under His feet. But when HE saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that HE is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto HIM that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Shalom

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Question – What is our reward on New Earth and New Jerusalem which will come down from Heaven? Answer: Eternity with Christ

Believers accept that every verse in the Word of God is truth. Therefore consider the following 3 sets of verses. John 17:15 > I pray “not that thou shouldest take them out of the world”, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

JGH: This shows Christ’s compassionate heart. Believers have always suffered for their faith but in the end even in death evil (Satan) has no power over them. This is true of all these scriptures. We are more than conquerors through Christ, and not in our own flesh.

John 6:39,40, 44 > And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should “raise it up again at the last day.” And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will “raise him up at the last day.”… No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will “raise him up at the last day.”

JGH: Even in death we are victors.

Job 14:12-14 > So man lieth down, and “riseth not: till the heavens be no more”, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. O that thou wouldest “hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past”, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

JGH: Matthew 10:28. In Christ we are more than conquerors.

Also read Job 14:13 – 14 > O that thou wouldest “hide me in the grave”, that thou wouldest keep me secret, “until thy wrath be past”, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, “till my change come.”

JGH: We are raised incorruptible in a celestial body crafted by Christ. All glory to Him.

Job is said to be the oldest book in the Word of God, and his prayer is to God remembering him after the wrath and then be changed [into immortality and incorruptibility] – exactly like in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 > Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but “we shall all be changed”, For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

JGH: Some won’t die but are resurrected as living people and changed into a new incorruptible body.

If the Word of God is considered in its entirety then some questions ought to be asked to counter their narrative.

JGH: Seems straightforward to me.

It’s only at the end of Christ’s thousand year reign that culminates in the gathering of all Believers.

JGH: The thousand year reign is the Church Age which is actually more like 2000 years. Except for those OT saints resurrected at Christ’s resurrection all others are judged in the Day of the Lord at the end. Revelation 20:11-15.

That’s when gather all things in Heaven and all things on Earth to fulfill the prophecy below- 2 Thessalonians 1:10 > When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Explanation – This can happen only at the end of time after the thousand year reign [which is more like 2000 years long] because otherwise there is no possible way that believers who live and die in the [Lord] and also those in the kingdom of heaven on earth during Christ’s thousand year can be gathered unto Him. On completion of His thousand year reign He goes back to the Father after completing the mission that was entrusted to Him by the Father.

JGH: As long as you are not suggesting a millennial period after the return of Christ, I would agree.

We know that in the thousand year reign of Christ there will still be death even as Satan is held in chains. Only at the end of Christ’s thousand year reign is Satan completely vanquished and thrown into the Lake of Fire and also Death and Hell are finally thrown in to the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:14).

JGH: I agree, but again not a Millennial period but the 2000 years since Christ started His ministry is what the thousand years represents. I am not suggesting an exact number there either but 2026 AD is about 2000 years after Christ started gathering His disciples.

I have expanded on this as a new post
https://biblescienceforum.com/2021/12/29/revelation-20-the-church-age/

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