Revelation 20:9

breadth of the earth
Breadth is πλάτος [platos] : the broad plain of the earth is perhaps meant to provide room for the countless enemies of God”1 (cf. Hab. Hab. 1:6).

surrounded the camp of the saints
Camp is παρεμβολὴν [parembolēn] : used of the barracks or headquarters of soldiers or an army in battle array, but also of the camp of Israel (Ex. Ex. 29:14 LXX; Lev. Lev. 4:12 LXX; Heb. Heb. 13:11).2 “Used for the city of Jerusalem, inasmuch as that was to the Israelites what formerly the encampment had been in the desert.”3 Here is proof that children are born during the Millennial Kingdom. All the unsaved were destroyed at the Second Coming leaving only the faithful at the inception of the Millennial Kingdom. One thousand years later, after numerous generations, there is a multitude of faithless who come against God. These are from among the offspring of the faithful who entered the Millennial Kingdom in their natural bodies.

It is a frightful commentary upon the nature of mankind that this showy rebellion is able to muster millions and millions of followers who gladly join in a last desperate effort to strike at God. Truly the carnal mind is enmity against God. The number is as the sands of the sea.4

This section shows something of the deep, complex nature of evil. The source of rebellion against God does not lie in man’s environment or fundamentally with the devil but springs up from deep within man’s own heart. The return of Satan will demonstrate this in the most dramatic manner once for all.5

Men claim that they are seeking, evermore, a “perfect form of government”; but that they are not at all seeking such a government, but that they actually hate it, will be evidenced by their instant revolt to Satan’s banner when he is loosed for a “little season” after the Millennium. For we shall find the hordes of mankind rushing up to overthrow the righteous and benevolent reign of Christ at Jerusalem!6

The rebellion is ultimately permitted by God who released Satan from prison for this very test. He is used to cull the last from among the unfaithful from the midst of humanity for God’s impending judgment. This rebellion also demonstrates to mankind their utter inability to vanquish sin apart from God’s power. Man now fails his final dispensational test:

From this we see that the “Millennial Dispensation,” like all the six Dispensations before it, will end in failure. God will have tested man in “Innocence,” under “Conscience,” under “Self-Government,” under the “Headship of the Family,” under “Law,” under “Grace,” and finally under the influence of the “Holy Spirit,” free from Satanic influences, and under them all he will prove himself to be hopelessly, incurably and incorrigibly bad.7

the beloved city
Beloved is ἐγαπημένην [egapēmenēn] , perfect tense participle: having been loved. This speaks of Jerusalem: “The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob” (Ps. Ps. 87:2 cf. Ps. Ps. 78:68; Ps. 132:13; Jer. Jer. 12:7). See Jerusalem Married to God.

fire came down from God out of heaven
The enemies of God are destroyed directly by His hand, in much the same way as Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. Gen. 19:24), those who came to arrest Elijah (2K. 2K. 1:10-15), Gog on the mountains of Israel (Eze. Eze. 38:22), and the land of Magog (Eze. Eze. 39:6).


1 Frederick William Danker and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 666.

2 Ibid., 625.

3 James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1996), G3925.

4 Donald Grey Barnhouse, Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1971), 388.

5 Alan F. Johnson, Revelation: The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1966), 191.

6 William R. Newell, Revelation: Chapter by Chapter (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1994,c1935), 320.

7 Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth (Glenside, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1918, 1920), 96.