Thanks for your answer on symbolism. That make sense. Besides symbolism is there any other reason to interpret the book of Revelation in a Amillennialism fashion?


Thanks. Yes, there are many reasons why only Amillennialism is the only interpretation of the book of Revelation that stands up to Scriptural scrutiny.

(1) The Conjunction "and" — The Pre-Mill interpretation of Revelation 20:1-6 understands it following Revelation 19:11-21 chronologically in time. In other words, the millennium (Rev. 20:1-6) follows the battle and the throwing of the Beast and False Prophet into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:11-21). Many base their argument for the chronology of these two chapters on the single word "and" (Greek, kai) in Revelation 20:1, which in the Greek reads, "Kai eidon," or "And I saw." They see this as an inseparable link between the Revelation 19 and 20.

However, the conjunction "and" does not always refer to chronological sequence. As matter a fact, in Revelation 19 it normally acts as a transitional word. Only three to four times (Rev. 19:20, 21a, 21b, and perhaps Rev. 19:14) out of thirty-five occurrences of the conjunction "and" in Revelation 19:11-21 clearly indicate a sequence in historical time. The remainder (Rev. 19:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20) serve as visionary linking devices. (see Greg Beale, in The Book of Revelation (The New International Greek Testament Commentary, Eerdmans).

(2) Nations — If according to the Pre-Mill view, Revelation 20:1-3 chronologically follows Revelation 19:17-21, then the two chapters lack proper cohesion. There would be no reason in protecting the nations from deception by Satan in Revelation 20:1-3, seeing that they were already deceived earlier by Satan (Rev. 16:13-16; 19:19-20) and destroyed by Christ at his return (Rev. 19:11-21; cf. Rev. 16:15, 19).

(3) Ezekiel 38-39 is — alluded to in Revelation 16, 19, and 20. "That day" (Ezek. 38:10, 14, 18, 19; 39:11, 22), "latter days" (Ezek. 38:16) and "the day" (Ezek. 38:18; 39:8) all refer to the "battle of the great day" (Rev. 16:14); "war" (Rev. 19:19); and "the battle" (Rev. 20:8).

(4) Ezekiel 39 Chiasm — God is glorified in his justice (cf. Rom. 9:17). God will make known his name to everyone during the battle of Gog and Magog. In Ezekiel 39, we see a chiasm emphasizing the battle of Gog and Magog, surrounded by God glorifying his name in Israel:

  • A. my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel (Ezek. 39:7)
    • B. nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One (Ezek. 39:7)
      • C. the battle and judgment (Ezek. 39:8-20)
    • B'. And I will set my glory among the nations (Ezek. 39:21)
  • A'. house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God (Ezek. 39:22)

In the process of God making his name ("glory," Isa. 42:8; cf. Psa. 66:2) known to Israel and the nations, the battle of Gog is catalogued for us in Ezekiel 39:8-20 (part "C" above). As Ezekiel says, "Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God" (Ezek. 39:28).

Observe that in Ezekiel 39:7, 22 - Israel (part "A" and "A' " above) - is highlighted sandwiching the battle of Gog and Magog (part "C" above). Likewise, spiritual Israel (Acts 7:38; Rom.2:28-29; Gal. 6:16; 1 Pet. 2:9) is seen glorifying God in Revelation 18:20-19:10 ("A" below) and in Revelation 21:1-22:27 ("A' " below):

  • A. Spiritual Israel "saints and apostles and prophets" (Rev. 18:20-19:10)
    • B. the battle and judgment (Rev. 19:11-20:15; cf. Rev. 16:14; 19:19)
  • A'. Spiritual Israel's New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1-22:27)

So, as in Ezekiel 39:7-22, spiritual Israel acts as bookends for the battle of Gog and Magog as in Revelation 18:20-19:10. God is being gloried by spiritual Israel. Therefore, they are speaking of the same battle and judgment!

(5) Language — Revelation 16:12-16; Revelation 19:19-20; and Revelation 20:8 use similar language in describing the "leaders," and the "gathering together" of forces for "the war:" They each refer to "nations" or "kings," which have kingdoms (nations):

Revelation 16:14
Revelation 19:19
Revelation 20:8
the kings of the whole world the kings of the earth the nations that are at the
four corners of the earth

They each refer to an "assembly," or "gathering:"

Revelation 16:14
Revelation 19:19
Revelation 20:8
assemble them their armies gathered gather them for battle;
their number is like the sand of the sea

And Revelation 16:14; 19:19 and Revelation 20:8 all refer to "the" battle or war (the Greek in all three texts read, ton polemon, meaning "the" battle or war):

Revelation 16:14
Revelation 19:19
Revelation 20:8
ton polemon = the battle ton polemon = the battle ton polemon = the battle

(6) Deception — related to (2) and (5) above, Satan "will come out to deceive the nations ... to gather them for battle" (Rev. 20:8) is the same event as the deception of the nations in Revelation 16:12-16, where demons assemble "them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty" (Rev. 16:14) and Revelation 19:19-20, where "the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war" (Rev. 19:19). Note, the demonic association within each verse; Satan, demons, and Beast (cf. John 10:10).

These links, including the symbolism used in the book, between Ezekiel 38-39, Revelation 16:12-16, Revelation 19:17-21, and Revelation 20:8-10 serve to reveal to us the inescapable conclusion that they all speak of the same event, the same battle, and the same Day of the Lord.

Revelation 20:1-6 refers to the entire period of the church age. This precedes the final judgment in Revelation 17-19. As we proceed to Revelation 20:7-15, it recapitulates the description of final judgment in Revelation 16:14-21 and Revelation 19:11-21.

Related Questions:

Revealtion 20 - Literal or Symbolic - Interpretation?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).