Revelation 20

The Millennium - on earth or in heaven?
Fire from heaven - to devour the wicked?
The “Second Death” - What is it?

Lorraine Day, M.D.

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

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil, and Satan (the Adversary), and bound him a thousand years.

3 And cast him into the bottomless pit (submerged chaos), and locks it, and seals it over him, (lest he should be deceiving the nations - the unbelievers - those who don’t believe in the true God), until the thousand years should be finished: and after that he must be loosed a little time. (Concordant literal translation)

This “thousand years” is the period of time spoken of in Christianity as “the millennium.”  The word “millennium,” (meaning a thousand) is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, but this “thousand years” is mentioned repeatedly.

Some organized Christian groups and denominations, including the Lutherans, say they do not believe in a “millennium.”  This is difficult to understand as this “thousand year” period is mentioned many times in the Bible, including in six consecutive verses in the passage of Revelation 10:2-7. 

Martin Luther had difficulty understanding Revelation, a problem all students of Scripture have, and felt that it should not be included in the Bible, or at least it should not have the same authority as the rest of Scripture.  That may well be the reason that Lutherans of today do not study Revelation.

Evangelical Christians DO study Revelation, but their interpretations are erroneous because they interpret the book literally, by sense-knowledge – apart from God’s Spiritual symbolism.

However, we are told that there is a Blessing for those who study Revelation and that it is the “Unveiling” (Revelation) of Jesus Christ!  This particular book will “unveil” Jesus Christ to the Christian - it will reveal who Jesus Christ really is!  Obviously, it is very important to study this book.

In addition, all interpretation of the book of Revelation must agree with Jesus’ life on earth.  Because Jesus is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), the Jesus Christ of Revelation must agree 100% with the character exemplified by Jesus when He was on earth.

Jesus cannot be gentle when on earth but a fierce destroyer God in Revelation.  What Jesus does in Revelation must, in ALL points, agree with the character Jesus manifested when He was on earth!

“Bottomless Pit”  

The Greek word translated “Bottomless Pit” is #12 in Strong’s Concordance:  abussos or abyss.  (This word is also used in Rev 9:1,2,11; 11:7; 17:8; and 20:3)

In Genesis 1:2, this same word, abyss, (in the Hebrew) is used in the following way:

Genesis 1:1-3  In A beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  Yet the earth BECAME (there is NO word “was” in the Hebrew) a chaos and vacant, and darkness was on the surface of the submerged chaos.

Yet the spirit of God is vibrating over the surface of the water.  And saying is God, “BECOME light!” And it is BECOMING light.

The earth “Became” a chaos and vacant.  There is no word for “was” in the Hebrew.  In addition, the Hebrew word used here in Genesis 1:2 is the same word used in Genesis 1:3 and in many other places in Genesis as well as in the Old Testament, in general.  In EVERY instance, except in Genesis 1:2 in the King James Version, this Hebrew word is translated BECAME and NOT “was.”  (See the study “Was/Became.)

It is obvious that God did NOT create the heavens and the earth as a “chaos and vacant.”  God creates things perfectly.  THEN, later, it BECAME chaos and vacant - or a submerged chaos - an “abyss.”

Isaiah 45:18 tells us that the earth was NOT created as it became.

“For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He has established it; He created it NOT empty or a waste (“without form” Hebrew word tohuw #8414 in Strong’s Concordance), He formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord, and there is none else.”

This Hebrew word #8414 used in Isaiah 45:18 to tell us that God did NOT create the earth “without form” or a “submerged chaos” is EXACTLY the same word used in Genesis 1:1-3 where God tells us that the earth BECAME a “chaos and vacant - a submerged chaos - an abyss!

In addition, in the Septuagint, the translation of the entire Bible (including the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures) into Greek, the word used in Genesis 1:2 for “without form” and “face of the deep” is the word abussos = abyss.

The point of all this is to show us that God created the earth as a perfect earth, then something, or rather someone (Satan), came along (before humanity was created) and made the earth into a submerged chaos - an abyss. 

Wherever Satan is, things become an “abyss” or “chaos.”

So here in Revelation 20:1,3 we know that the word “bottomless pit” means an abyss, or utter desolation.  Satan and sin have turned the earth into utter desolation.  Nothing could have lived on the earth spoken of in Genesis 1:2 - it was utter desolation - uninhabited.  The earth will again be brought to that state by Satan, and those who follow him, at the end of this era - when Jesus comes at the Second Coming.

The earth will be uninhabitable for the thousand years.  Only Satan and his demons will be on the earth, “chained” by a “chain” of circumstances, meaning they will have no human beings to tempt, because ALL humanity will be dead except for the righteous who will go to heaven with Jesus at the Second Coming.

As we will see further on in this chapter, those who are not raised in the first resurrection (when Jesus comes) will be dead during the millennium and will not live again until “the thousand years are finished” - AFTER the millennium.

“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.”  Rev 20:5

THEN Satan will be “loosed” - he will be allowed to, once again, deceive the “wicked” -those raised in the Second Resurrection.

4 And I saw thrones, and they (who? - the 24 elders?) sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; and the souls of them that were beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and the word of God, and those who did not worship the beast or its image, and did not get the emblem (mark) on their forehead and on their hand — they also live and reign with Christ a thousand years.

5 (The rest of the dead (the wicked) do not live until the thousand years are finished.)  This is the first (former) resurrection (the resurrection of the righteous).

This “living and reigning” with Christ for the thousand years, in Verse 4, MUST be in heaven, as the earth will be desolate - an abyss.  The earth will be as desolate for that one thousand years as it was just before God re-created it in Genesis 1:3.

(Please see the study:  Will the Millennium be on this earth or in heaven?)

The wicked, or those unsaved when Jesus comes at His Second Coming, will remain dead until they are resurrected AFTER the millennium.

6 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection (the resurrection of the righteous); on such the second death has no power (jurisdiction) (the righteous have already “died” the second death - death to sin- see Verses 14,15), but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

Who will they reign “over”?  They will reign, with Christ, over the entire Universe!

7 And when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be loosed out of his jail. 

8 And he will be coming out to deceive all the nations (unbelievers) that are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to be mobilizing them for battle, their number being as the sand of the sea.

After the millennium, the thousand years, the wicked, the unbelievers, will be resurrected and Satan will again have people to tempt.  Satan will again deceive the nations (unbelievers) in the “four corners” (meaning “all over”) the earth.

The words “Gog and Magog” are found only in one other passage in the Bible, in the Old Testament - Ezekiel 38 and 39.  The prophet, Ezekiel, described the end-time assault of Gog and his allies upon the Israel of God in her homeland, as follows:

Verses 2,3 “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal (Tubal: an evil man in the Bible whose name is revered in Freemasonry) and prophesy against him. 

And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.

Verse 14  Therefore, son of man (Ezekiel), prophesy and say unto Gog, ‘Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when My people of Israel dwell safely, shall you not know it?  And you will come from your place in the far north, (Babylon was the northern enemy of God’s Old Testament people), you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army.  You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land.  In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I show Myself holy through you before your eyes.

In My zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. . .  I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, against his brother.  I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him (Ezek 38:15-22).

On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you.  I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion (scavenger) birds (birds that eat up refuse and rotting carcasses) and all the wild animals: ‘Assemble and come together from all around to the sacrifice I am preparing for you, the great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel.  There you will eat flesh and drink blood. . . You will eat your fill of horses and riders, mighty men and soldiers of every kind,’ declares the Sovereign Lord (Ezek. 39:17-20).

“The entire world will be one “mountain of slaughter’, one Har Magedon (see LaRondelle, “The Etymology of HAR-MAGEDON (Rev 16:16)”, in AUSS 2;7 (1989): 69-73.  All people on earth will finally be involved.  The birds ‘flying in midair’ are called to gorge themselves on the flesh of all the slain warriors who fought against the Divine Ruler.”  End-Time Prophecy, by Hans LaRondelle, pgs 444,445

The depiction in Ezekiel of the literal slaughter of Gog and Magog looks forward to the spiritual destruction of sin, the Gog and Magog who are coming against God’s people after the millennium.  There well may be physical slaughter of the wicked (they will be reaping what they have sown) as well as ultimate spiritual destruction of sin in that last eon.

But the physical slaughter cannot be permanent, because God says, “Behold, I make ALL new.” (Rev 21:5) And, “Death and the Unseen (improperly translated as “Hell) will be abolished.”  1 Cor 15:26


“To indicate the basic continuity of this apocalyptic war with that of Ezekiel’s vision, John now identifies Satan’s agents with ‘Gog and Magog’ (Rev 20:8). The following parallels show how Ezekiel’s and John’s outlines correspond:

            1.  The resurrection of a spiritually dead Israel from the graveyard of Babylon to be a new covenant people (see Ezek. 36:24-28; 37:1-14).  John sees the resurrection of the beheaded witnesses of Christ who refused to worship the Babylonian “beast or his image: (Rev 20:4) 

            2.  As the new theocracy, Israel lives peacefully in the promised land under the rule of the new David, the Messiah (see Ezek. 37:15-28).  John sees the resurrected saints reign with Christ for a thousand years (Rev 20:4-6).

            3.  After ‘many days,’ the final attack against Israel from the north by the armies of Gog, king of Magog, receives a smashing defeat through fire from heaven (see Ezek. 38-39).  John sees that after the saints’ thousand-year reign, the armies of ‘Gog and Magog’ will attack the camp of God’s people, the Holy City, from all directions, but are destroyed by fire (God’s fiery law – (Deuteronomy 33:2) from heaven (Rev 20:7-9).

            4.  Ezekiel saw Yahweh’s theophany in a New Jerusalem, which carries the name: “THE LORD IS THERE” (Ezek. 48:35).  John sees the New Jerusalem descend from heaven to earth as the bride of the Lamb (Rev. 21:1,2).  Then will be fully realized:  “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. . .” (Rev 21:3).  The End-Time Prophecies of the Bible, Hans LaRondelle, pg 457.  Available from First Impressions, 3915 Balsam Court, Sarasota, Florida 34243-5234.  Tel. 941-355-0037



9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: And fire descended from God out of heaven and devoured them. 

10 And the Adversary who is deceiving them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (brimstone is the word theion - meaning “divine” - divine fire), where the beast (One World Political Government) and where the false prophet (One World Religion) are also.  And they shall be tormented day and night for the eons of the eons. 

(The beast and the false prophet had already been thrown in the “lake of fire” when Jesus came - at the Second Coming.  Now, in the last eon - AFTER the millennium - it was time for the Adversary - Satan - to be thrown into the divine fire - for spiritual death, death to sin.)

(For information on the “lake of fire”, please see “Was the Doctrine of ‘Hellfire’ Manufactured by Theologians?)

“And they shall be tormented day and night” - In Rev. 14:11, the Third Angel’s message, those who take the mark of the beast will be “tormented with fire and brimstone (divine fire)” “and the smoke of their torment ascends up for the eons of the eons: and they have NO REST day nor night. . .  Hebrews 3:7-11 and Hebrews 4:1-6 tells us that “They CANNOT enter into My (God’s) REST,” because they have NOT known God’s Ways.

God says that in the Rebellion in the Wilderness (The Exodus of Israel when they had the Law on tables of stone rather than in their hearts) they were NOT able to enter into God’s Rest - they were unable to Rest completely in God - to Trust completely in God - because they did not understand God’s ways. 

Religion “on tables of stone” is no good.  It does not work.  Only when spirituality is in the heart, when the law of God is written in our hearts, can we enter into God’s Sabbath Rest.

The Seventh Day Sabbath spoken of in this Hebrews’ passage (Heb 4:4) tells us that the Seventh-day Sabbath which requires us to STOP all our work, all our secular activities, and focus on God, His Word and His creation, is meant to teach us how to begin to Rest completely in the Lord.

If we are unable to stop our work on the Seventh-day Sabbath, just ONE day of the week, and commune with God, how can we ever believe that we can rest our entire life and the lives of our family in God’s hands?

“. . .for the eons of the eons (mistranslated “forever and ever”).  Please see the study, “Does “Forever” Really Mean Forever?”


Verse 11  And I saw a great white throne, and Him Who sat upon it, from Whose face earth and heaven fled, and no place was found for them.

Verse 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne.  And scrolls (the books) were opened.  And the dead were judged by that which was written in the scrolls in accord with their acts (actions).

Will these books (scrolls) be literal books?  No, God has kept a record of everything we have thought, seen, said or done.  But the record is kept in our own minds, in our conscious AND subconscious mind.  All God has to do is bring it to our memory, which He will do.  That means that the only two individuals who will know about the secret sins of the unsaved will be God and the specific individual.  That’s the way God works.  He never humiliates unnecessarily.

Private sin is between the sinner and God – ONLY!  And Public sin will be made Public to everyone, such as the sins of the President, other leaders, and the Zionist Jews -  against the citizens of the U.S., U.S.S.R and many other countries.

However, sins against others will be made public because they involve others. 

13 And the sea gave up the dead in it, and death and the unseen (where the “soul” goes when one dies:  it goes nowhere, it just ceases to exist as the light does when the lamp is turned off.  This word “unseen” is often mistranslated “hell”) give up the dead in them. And they were judged adversely (condemned - but NOT permanently), each in accord with their acts (actions).

14 And death and the unseen (meaning grave - NOT “hell”) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death - the lake of fire.

How does one “cast death and the unseen” into a literal “lake of fire”?  Obviously, this is not possible.  This is symbolic language meaning that death is abolished - it will be no more.

If there is a “second death”, then there must be a first death.  We know that Jesus, Himself, spoke of a “first birth” and a “second birth” - being “born again” in John, Chapter 3 when the Pharisee, Nicodemus, visited Jesus at night.

Nicodemus didn’t understand the difference between the “first - physical” birth and the “second - spiritual” birth.  He was so focused on sense knowledge - what he could see, hear, touch, etc., with his five senses, that he couldn’t understand the spiritual application of what Jesus was saying.

Nicodemus was a very high leader in the “organized church” of the day.  He was a Pharisee, yet he did not understand, spiritual things, at all!

In 1 Cor 2:14, we are told:

“The natural (literal translation: soulish- one who understands things ONLY with his five senses) receives NOT the things of the Spirit (he doesn’t understand spiritual things); for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know (understand) them, because spiritual things are spiritually discerned.”

In addition, 1 Cor 15:44-48, again gives us the Bible principle that Jesus taught to Nicodemus, which is:  The first is ALWAYS physical and the second is ALWAYS spiritual.

“It is sown a natural (soulish) body; it is raised a spiritual body.  There is a natural (soulish - one that detects information by the five senses) body, and there is a spiritual body (one that understands spiritual things because he or she has received the spirit of Christ).

And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam was made a living soul (one who gathers information through the five senses); the last Adam (Christ) was made a life-giving spirit (the One who gives us the ability to understand things spiritually - to have “the mind of Christ” to see things the way Christ sees them).

 “Howbeit, that was NOT first that is spiritual, but that which is natural (soulish).”

 The FIRST is ALWAYS natural (soulish - gains information through the five physical senses) - The FIRST is ALWAYS physical.

            “. . . and afterward that which is spiritual.”

The SECOND is ALWAYS spiritual - it CANNOT be detected with the five senses.  Being “born again” cannot be detected with the five senses.  Only AFTER someone is “born again” can we detect a spiritual change in their life.

It is the SAME with the SECOND DEATH.  It is a “spiritual” occurrence - dying to sin,  the same process as being “born again.”  Paul frequently talks about “crucifying the old man of sin,” of “dying daily,” of being “crucified with Christ - yet I live, but not me, but Christ lives IN me.” (Romans 6:6; 1 Cor 15:31; Galatians 2:20)

This “dying to sin” IS the SECOND DEATH.  It is spiritual, it is NOT a physical death!

The FIRST DEATH is the one that is born in us - a physical death.  After Adam sinned, “death passed to all” his progeny.

“Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:  Romans 5:12 

As soon as we are born, we begin to die.  Cells begin dying the moment a child is born.  And the dying process continues until the person actually dies a physical death.

It is obviously possible to die the Second Death - the death to sin - BEFORE one literally dies the FIRST (physical) Death.  However, the First Death has been operating in EVERYONE from the moment of birth.

One must have the Spirit of God in him in order to understand things spiritually.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into (the same - obviously symbolic) lake of fire.

If the “Lake of Fire” in Verse 14 is symbolic, and not literal, then the “Lake of Fire” in Verse 15, in the very next sentence, must be the SAME “Lake of Fire” and it, too, MUST be symbolic.

As we have seen, God purifies us with His “fiery law” (Deut 33:2).  Purification by “fire” is used in the New Testament to symbolize our “dying to sin”, crucifying the old man of sin, being “born again” a “new creature in Christ.”

In addition, there is NO record of Jesus EVER killing, or even hurting, ANYONE when He was on earth.  The book of Revelation is the “Revelation of Jesus Christ” as stated in Rev 1:1, therefore Jesus can never kill anyone, temporarily or permanently.  (See the study, “What About This Old Testament ‘Killer’ God!”

Notice also that when “Death” is abolished, then EVERYONE will have to be alive.  It does NOT say that “dying” will be abolished, but that “death” will be abolished.  In that situation, EVERYONE will have to be alive.  Then in 1 Corinthians 15:25-28, we are told that when “Death is abolished,”  “God will be ALL in ALL.” 

That clearly means that EVERYONE will eventually be saved, a fact declared by over 100 texts in the Bible!



© Lorraine Day, M.D. 2006. All Rights Reserved.
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