The last judgment and the thousand years
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and threw him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years should be finished. After this he must be released for a little time.
4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image, and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection. Over these the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
7 And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be released from his prison, 8 and shall come to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war. The number of them is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went over the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints, and the beloved city, and fire came down out of heaven and devoured them. 10 And the Devil that deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, where are also the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.
11 And I saw a great white throne and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and every man was judged according to their works. 14 And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.
20:2,3 It seems that the first part of the Kingdom of God on earth will last for a “thousand years”, during which time the “devil”- power of sin and all opposition to Christ- will be greatly restrained. We will reign on earth as King-priests (5:10), ruling over the ordinary mortal people who are alive on earth at the time of Christ’s return. In this sense we will be given towns to rule over (Lk. 19:17). There will then be a rebellion at the end of the thousand years (‘the Millennium’) which will be put down. The mortal people who die during the Millennium will be resurrected at the end of it and judged; the wicked amongst them will die a “second death” and the faithful will receive eternal life. Sin and death will then finally be no more.
20:5 The rest of the dead- This is from the perspective of the end of the Millennium, looking at “the dead” as the sum total of all humans who have ever died. The dead who died “in Christ” during this age will be resurrected at His return. The mortal people alive at the time of His return who live and die during the Millennium will be resurrected at the end of it.
20:14 The lake of fire is therefore symbolic of death- which the Bible defines as total unconsciousness.