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Bible Commentaries

Scofield's Reference Notes

Revelation 20



Other Authors
Verse 2

thousand years

The duration of the kingdom of heaven in its mediatorial form (See Scofield "1 Corinthians 15:24").

Verse 5

first resurrection

The "resurrection of the just" is mentioned in Luke 14:13; Luke 14:14 and the resurrection of "life" distinguished from the "resurrection unto damnation" in John 5:29. We here learn for the first time what interval of time separates these two resurrections.

(See Scofield "1 Corinthians 15:52")

Verse 8


(See Scofield "Ezekiel 38:2").

Verse 10


Satan, Summary: This fearful being, apparently created one of the cherubim (See Scofield "Ezekiel 1:5") See Scofield "Ezekiel 28:12" and anointed for a position of great authority, perhaps over the primitive creation, (note 3); See Scofield "Genesis 1:2" Ezekiel 28:11-15 fell through pride Isaiah 14:12-14 His "I will" Isaiah 14:13 marks the introduction of sin into the universe. Cast out of heaven Luke 10:18 he makes earth and air the scene of his tireless activity; Ephesians 2:2; 1 Peter 5:8. After the creation of man he entered into the serpent. See Scofield "Genesis 3:1", and, beguiling Eve by his subtilty, secured the downfall of Adam and through him of the race, and the entrance of sin into the world of men Romans 5:12-14.

The Adamic Covenant (See Scofield "Genesis 3:14") promised the ultimate destruction of Satan through the "Seed of the woman." Then began his long warfare against the work of God in behalf of humanity, which still continues. The present world-system Revelation 13:8 organized upon the principle of force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and sinful pleasure, is his work and was the bribe which he offered to Christ Matthew 4:8; Matthew 4:9. Of that world-system he is prince; John 14:30; John 16:11 and god 2 Corinthians 4:4. As "prince of the power of the air" Ephesians 2:2 he is at the head of vast host of demons. See Scofield "Matthew 7:22". To him, under God, was committed upon earth the power of death Hebrews 2:14. Cast out of heaven as his proper sphere and "first estate," he still has access to God as the "accuser of the brethren" Revelation 12:10 and is permitted a certain power of sifting or testing the self-confident and carnal among believers; Job 1:6-11; Luke 22:31; Luke 22:32; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Timothy 1:20 but this is strictly permissive and limited power, and believers so sifted are kept in faith through the advocacy of Christ Luke 22:31; Luke 22:32. See Scofield "1 John 2:1". At the beginning of the great tribulation Satan's privilege of access to God as accuser will be withdrawn Revelation 12:7-12. At the return of Christ in glory Satan will be bound for one thousand years Revelation 20:2 after which he will be "loosed for a little season" Revelation 20:3; Revelation 20:7; Revelation 20:8 and will become the head of final effort to overthrow the kingdom. Defeated in this, he will be finally cast into the lake of fire, his final doom. The notion that he reigns in hell is Miltonic, not biblical. He is prince of this present world-system, but will be tormented in the lake of fire.

Verse 11

And I saw

great white throne

The expressions, "the judgment," or, "day of judgment," as the passages and their context show, refer to the final judgment of Revelation 20:11-15.

there was found no place for him

The "day of destruction" is that aspect of the day of Jehovah Isaiah 2:12. (See Scofield "Revelation 19:19") (Summary) which visits final and eternal judgment upon the wicked. Three such "days" are included in the "day" of Jehovah, and are described in the references beginning with Isaiah 34:1-9. See Scofield "Matthew 25:32".

And I saw (See Scofield "Revelation 20:12").

Verse 12


The final judgment. The subjects are the "dead." As the redeemed were raised from among the dead one thousand years before Revelation 20:5 and have been in glory with Christ during that period, the "dead" can only be the wicked dead, from the beginning to the setting up of the great white throne in space. As there are degrees of punishment Luke 12:27; Luke 12:48 the dead are judged according to their works. The book of life is there to answer such as plead their works for justification, e.g. Matthew 7:22; Matthew 7:23 an awful blank where the name might have been.

The Judgments, Summary: Among the many judgments mentioned in Scripture, seven are invested with especial significance. These are:

(1) The judgment of the Believer's sins in the cross of Christ (See Scofield "John 12:31").

(2) the believer's self-judgment (See Scofield "1 Corinthians 11:31").

(3) the judgment of the believers' works (See Scofield "2 Corinthians 5:10")

(4) the judgment of the nations at the return of Christ (See Scofield "Matthew 25:32")

(5) the judgment of Israel at the return of Christ (See Scofield "Ezekiel 20:37")

(6) the judgment of angels after the one thousand years (See Scofield "Judges 1:6"), and

(7) the judgment of the wicked dead with which the history of the present earth ends.

Verse 13


(See Scofield "Luke 16:23").

Verse 14

second death

Second death, Summary: "The second death" and the "lake of fire" are identical terms Revelation 20:14 and are used of the eternal state of the wicked. It is "second" relative to the preceding physical death of the wicked in unbelief and rejection of God; their eternal state is one of eternal "death" (i.e. separation from God) in sins John 8:21; John 8:24. That the second death is not annihilation is shown by a comparison of; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10. After one thousand years in the lake of fire the Beast and False Prophet are still there, undestroyed. The words "forever and forever" ("to the ages of the ages") are used in Hebrews 1:8 for the duration of the throne of God, eternal in the sense of unending.


Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 20:4". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". 1917.

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