|The 1,000 Year Reign of Christ,
Chapter 20 Verses 4-6 (NASB)
One could think that there then is an absence of governance, assuming that governance during the tribulation is totally evil. However, as this verse starts out, there will be governance (THRONES) and the rule of law (judgment was given to them). Many expositors try to explain who the "they" are who are sitting on the THRONES. The most acceptable answer would be the joint heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:12-17 and Galatians 4:1-7) and/or the 'bride of Christ' (Revelation 19:8). The vanquished evil is replaced with the "good" and is typified by the white robes, the righteous acts of the saints. It is not for us to determine who they are; Christ has already done that (Revelation 19:9).
When one considers that the SOUL most likely is a thought process, i.e. a decision consciously made in our minds, then the SOULS, that were severed from the body (BEHEADED) are reunited with the BODY, where LIFE is. You may have a different view of where the SOUL of a person is, but that explanation needs to fit within the context of this verse. Most interesting to this author is that John SAW the SOULS. That means SOULS have form and are visible. We truly have a lot to learn about the spiritual/soul side of man.
Now, back to the FIRST RESURRECTION. We pointed out in the previous verse, that "they", the ones of the FIRST RESURRECTION, occupy the thrones. We probably will never know who "they" are, but we have a couple of hints from scripture who "they", the joint heirs, might be.
As 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 points out, this is a sequenced RESURRECTION. Christ started the process when He conquered death and RESURRECTED from the tomb/death (Luke 24:1-12). Then Matthew 27:51-52-56 records a curious (to us) RESURRECTION of saints in Jerusalem. This RESURRECTION may also have occurred throughout the whole area, but only Jerusalem is noted where this occurred. There is no record of these bodies going back into their tombs/graves. The "many bodies" could be interpreted to be all "joint heirs" from Adam and Eve until Calvary. Next the "dead in Christ shall rise" as 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 teaches.
In the middle of the tribulation, the two witnesses are RESURRECTED (Revelation 11:11). And from the previous verse in this chapter of Revelation, the tribulation saints complete the FIRST RESURRECTION. The important point to understand is that the "rest of the dead", those who are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1-4-6-10) will not be around during Christ's millennial reign. Active evil now is dormant.
It is clear that as we enter the 1,000 year period, we are declared and perceived by God to be HOLY. It wasn't always that way. But at this point, we see the eternal state of believers, HOLY, confirmed (Romans 6:1-4-11). Amazingly, this eternal state for each of us is/was known before the earth even was created (Ephesians 1:3-4-14).
To be PRIESTS means to be the spiritual leaders. It is implied in this phrase that sin still exists on the earth during the 1,000 years (Revelation 20:7-8). If there wasn't any sin, there wouldn't need to be any PRIESTS (1 Peter 2:1-9-10). Also this confirms John's opening statement in Revelation 1:6 that we are to minister to GOD because we are of God and of Christ.
David Hocking in his book, "The Coming World Leader, Understanding the Book of Revelation", points out that there will be religious festivals during this period (for example, the Festival of Booths (Zechariah 14:16-21).
Noticeably absent from this list is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit functions now as "the sealer" (Ephesians 1:3-13-14) rather than "the Helper" (John 14:15-24). It is assumed that the BLESSED and HOLY ones already understand this.
from the NEW
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References to the Revelation of Jesus Christ are in bold italics. All other references are in bold only