A Study of Revelation

You will notice that the angel who binds Satan comes from the presence of God. This illustrates the fact that this binding comes from God. We know that Satan was bound when man received the gift of forgiveness of his sins, and this took place when Christ died and rose again, therefore, the angel is used in verse 2 to illustrate the works which Jesus had performed.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
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“Revelation Illustrated”

These verses teach us that the gospel has been sent from God and it will bind the devil during the Christian age (thousand years) for all those who are obedient to it.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
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“Revelation Illustrated”

3* and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

Satan is cast into the abyss and it is shut and sealed over him. This is to make certain that he will have no chance for escape. The abyss is a figurative description of the dwelling place of Satan. He dwells only where there is sin. He has no right or opportunity to dwell in the righteous life of the saints unless they elect to let him enter. Remember Eph. 1:3-4.

Eph. 1:3-4
3* ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
4* just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.

Christians have all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ. The “heavenly places” is symbolic of the church of Christ. The church is the dwelling place of the saints. Satan cannot enter! He is bound from the heavenly places and can dwell only where sin prevails, the abyss, or bottomless pit.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

We are told that Satan will be unable to deceive the nations any more until the thousand years are finished and then only for a short time. Satan is unable to deceive the nations because he is bound. Satan no longer deceived those who are willing to accept Christ and the salvation offered to him. This concept is also presented in 12:9 which should be studied with this verse.

Rev. 12:9
9* And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

This verse defines the time in which Satan was to deceive the whole world. It was before he was cast out of heaven down to earth. Rev. 12:10 says that salvation and the kingdom came at the same time the devil was cast out of heaven. This obviously took place when Christ died on the cross. The devil could no longer accuse the brethren before God. Therefore, he was able to deceive the nations or accuse the brethren before God only up to the time that Christ died on the cross. After that time, he could no longer deceive the whole world. He only deceived those who reject God and choose to follow him. This situation will exist throughout the gospel age. Verses 7 and 8 indicate there will come a time near the end of the gospel age, a “short time,” or “little season,” (as in KJV) when Satan will once again deceive the nations. This seems to indicate that at that time no people will be obedient to the gospel.

This will be a time similar to the time just shortly before the flood of Noah.

This is similar to the warning we were given in Rev. 12:12.

4* Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

Verse 4 describes those people who are living and reigning with Christ during the gospel age (thousand years). Those who reign with Christ are Christians. They are the ones who have not worshipped the beast (13:4, 8), or his image (13:14, 15), neither have they received his mark on their foreheads or hands (13:16, 17). Some of these people had also lost their lives because they had refused to worship anyone or anything other than the true God.

Those who are reigning with Christ are seated on thrones and have been given judgment. Jesus told his twelve apostles in Mt. 19:28 that they wild sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel at the same time the Son of Man was sitting in the throne of his glory. Christ is now sitting on his throne at God’s right hand (Heb. 1:3). Therefore, we must be in the period of time when the apostles are judging the twelve tribes of Israel. “The twelve tribes of Israel” is a figurative representation of the church. The church is the “Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16).

The question then becomes, how are the apostles judging the twelve tribes or the church today? In what sense? Jesus said in John 12:48 that man will be judged by the words which Christ spoke. This is an obvious reference to the Bible or gospel. Christ did not actually speak all the commandments we have to follow today but gave them by inspiration through the apostles and the letters which they wrote to the various churches. The apostles were responsible for giving many of the commandments which we are to follow today. In this way, the twelve apostles are judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

Similarly, the church of Christ, made up of Christians are responsible for teaching, preaching and spreading the gospel, the commandments of God, throughout the world. Rev. 3:21 says that when anyone overcome (obeys the gospel) they are granted to sit with Christ on his throne. Therefore, it is figuratively stated in this verse that Christians are sitting on their thrones today with Christ and are responsible for spreading the gospel or the judgments which God has given to us. We are presently living and reigning with Christ during this gospel age or the thousand years.

Those who do not worship the beast or his image are the ones who live and reign with Christ a thousand years. They are Christians. They have taken part in the first resurrection.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

The key to understanding this verse is understanding that this resurrection is a spiritual resurrection. These people who live and reign with Christ are the ones who are referred to in verse 5 as taking part in the first resurrection. The rest of the dead (the spiritual dead) lived not again until the thousand years were finished. The first resurrection is a spiritual resurrection. Christians re the ones who take part in the “first resurrection” as they are resurrected form the gave of sin to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4) in Christ Jesus.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

When one becomes obedient to the gospel, he is resurrected from his grave of sin and begins a new life with Christ. He reigns with him during the thousand years, or the gospel age.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

5* The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.

Christians are resurrected to live with Christ during the thousand years (verse 4). This verse teaches us that the remainder of the people who are dead do not come to life until the thousand years are completed. One group of people are resurrected to reign during the thousand years, they are Christians. There is another group who are not resurrected until after the thousand years are finished; they are non-Christians.

It is important to know exactly what is meant by the first resurrection. Remember
Col. 2:12-13
12* having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
13* ¶ When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

Christ died for our sins, was buried and was raised from the dead by God. We are dead in our sins outside of Christ. Through baptism we are buried with him. We are “made alive.” We are resurrected with him.

Col. 3:1-3
3:1* ¶ Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
2* Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
3* For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

A Christian is one who has become dead to sin and has been raised or resurrected to walk a new life in Christ (Rom. 6:3-11). According to Rom. 6:11, we are dead to sin but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Therefore, the first resurrection is the resurrection of the soul from the grave of sin. It is a spiritual resurrection. Col. 1:18 says that Christ was the firstborn from the dead, and Rom. 6:3-5 says that we have a part in that resurrection by baptism which is a likeness of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

Because of this, we are to walk in “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4) or reign with Christ during the thousand years (v.4). Those who are not obedient ot our Lord through baptism will not live (spiritually) during this gospel age or thousand years. They are dead in their sins.

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