Revelation 20:9 NIV

9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Its not clear whether the surrounding of the camp of God's people takes place before or after the second resurrection?

2 Answers 2


There are three periods described in the Rev 20 demarcated by the two resurrections.

Before/at the beginning of the 1000 years:

  • Satan is bound (V1-3) for 1000 years
  • Righteous "come to life" (V4)

During the 1000 years

  • The righteous reign/judge with Christ for 1000 years (V4, 6)
  • Wicked are dead (V5)

At the end of the 1000 years

  • Wicked come back to life (V5)
  • Satan is released from prison (V7)
  • The wicked march across the earth and surround the city (V8)
  • Fire comes down from heaven and destroys the wicked (V9)
  • Devil is thrown into the lake of fire (V10)

The interpretation of V4b & 5 is the trick. Note the NIV:

  • They [Righteous] came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection [of the Righteous].

Thus, it appears that the first resurrection involves the righteous and the second resurrection involves the wicked, else how else could:

  • the dead not live again until the 1000 years are ended
  • the wicked march across the earth and surround the city
  • ,will the wicked be resurrected twice Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 11:47
  • @collenndhlovu - according to the above, the righteous are only resurrected once at the beginning of the 1000 years.
    – Dottard
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 21:01
  • If we start downvoting each other for interpretations of revelation, then there will be no end. +1 to undo.
    – Robert
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 16:32

Like Dottard has outlined except for one important feature.

I'll need to clarify a few things before getting to the answer of the main Q.

The 'wicked' as they are often affectionately labelled, are those who have never heard the name of Christ, understood that there even IS a God, etc. These are raised to provide an opportunity for their salvation. God IS a Saviour after all and not a Destroyer unless the saving bit has at least been offered. There is no doubt He will destroy those who refuse to accept the offer of new life in Christ.

Anyone who thinks God will raise up all His beloved (wicked) creation only to rain fire on their new bodies is mistaken - gravely mistaken!

Neither is this a supposed 'second chance'. It is their first and only chance. Being hopelessly deceived and full of the associated darkness, they could never choose God anymore than any Christian could. The difference being that a Christian or a believer from the OT (Abraham, David etc) is one who God has specifically called out of the world to know and respond to His grace - and be included in those who are Christ's.

As explained here judgement is not the same as condemnation or annihilation.

John 5:28-29 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

These two resurrections are separated by over 1000 years.

Acts 24:15 Having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.

Paul certainly applies the hope to both groups - why would Christ's death be more for some than another?

11And I saw a great white throne and the One sitting on it... 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Rev 20:11-

(This is not the saints, they are already made alive eternally 1000 years previous) Does it sound like they are getting burned up with a firestorm?! No.

This is their first and only opportunity to accept God's offer of being included in Christ's sacrifice.

After this judgement, any who decide against God will be destroyed forever.

the surrounding of the camp of God's people takes place after the millennium and after the second res. The army is of those who have chosen Satan as their 'king' and of those raised in the second res. They will be destroyed as noted. This results in there being no physical life left. All that have chosen God will be changed to spirit life to join the saints and the new heavens and new earth can now arrive as Rev 21 describes.

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