A Brief Response to Sam’s “Thrones” Argument

Sam’s arguments seem to go like this: since this text (or this word) means x, this other text (or word) can’t mean y. I’m not finding x and y to be mutually exclusive.

Justin has presented another of Sam’s arguments, which Sam concludes as follows:

In summary, when we look at all other relevant occurrences of thronos, whether inside or outside the book of Revelation, they are without exception heavenly. There is nothing to suggest that they pertain to a millennial earth, either in location or character.

Again I have a brief and simple response. The end of Revelation 20:6 reads, “they will be priests of God and of Christ and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Compare this with Revelation 5:10, “and you made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign upon the earth.” Could “they will reign upon the earth” in Revelation 5:10 “pertain to a millennial earth . . . in location and character” (Sam’s words) when we read in Revelation 20:6 that these resurrected people “will be priests” and “they will reign for a thousand years“?

In Revelation 20:4-5 people who have been beheaded–physically killed–experience “resurrection,” which, in the words of N. T. Wright, refers to physical life after life after death. If it doesn’t mean that, Wright says the usage of the word is strained to the breaking point. Then these resurrected people are made priests and reign with Christ for a thousand years (Rev 20:6) which looks like the realization of what was predicted in Revelation 5:10, where those Christ redeemed from all nations (5:9) are a kingdom and priests and reign on earth (5:10).

I quickly glanced through the uses of “throne/s” in Revelation, and here’s what I would say: you have the throne of God in heaven, the thrones of the 24 elders, and the throne of Satan and the beast. So the throne of God and the thrones of the elders are in heaven. Fine, but the church in Pergamum lives “where Satan’s throne is” (Rev 2:13), and in Revelation 13:2 the dragon gives his throne to the beast. Let’s grant, too, that the throne of Satan that he gives to the dragon is a symbol of his authority. Even as a symbol, it refers to authority Satan exercises where that church in Pergamum dwells, which is on earth (2:13). The same holds when Satan gives his authority to the beast (13:2). Note, too, that Satan uses the beast to deceive the nations with his faked crucifixion and resurrection (the healing of the mortal wound to one of his heads) in Revelation 13:1-8, and compare that with the way that Revelation 20:3 says Satan will not deceive the nations during the thousand years (see esp. Rev 13:7 and 20:3).

Is it that hard to imagine Satan’s authority being taken away from him (Rev 20:1-3) and that authority, symbolized by thrones, being exercised by Christ and the resurrected saints on earth for a thousand years?

I don’t see how the use of the word “thrones” argues against the premillennial position.