Thrones, Priests and Martyrs

Read: Revelation 20:4-6; Eph. 2:4-7

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. (Eph 2:4-5)

The “1000 years” is most of the period between Jesus’ birth and his return. John sees people on thrones and beheaded martyrs. What do these groups represent?

All are priests, who reign with God now through their evangelism and intercession (Rev. 20:6; 1:6; 5:10). They work on earth, but are to consider themselves “seated with Christ” in heaven. They are called “dwellers in heaven,” where their citizenship is (Rev. 13:6-8; Phil. 3:20). The thrones show that the King gives them great authority (Matt. 28:18-20).

The beheaded represent all who die for their witness. “They came to life” immediately—“the first resurrection.” Jesus said that in one sense we die and live again, but in another sense we don’t die at all (John 11:25-26). We do not receive eternal life when we vacate our body, but when we receive Jesus. His Spirit in us cannot die. In contrast, the unrepentant are dead. After 1000 years they are raised briefly for the last Judgment, then cast into the fiery lake, “the second death.”

Blessed are all who belong to “the first resurrection” because they can never die. God will shower them with the riches of his grace forever! The martyred priests in heaven influence affairs on earth by their prayers. —Ruth Siemens

As you pray, thank God for the gift of his Spirit, and everlasting life with him.

About the Author

Ruth Siemens was a campus minister with IVCF/IFES, then started Global Opportunities to prepare professionals to work and witness in secular employment abroad.

This entry is part 26 of 30 in the series Revelation