,, And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
Revelation 20: 4
"And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them, and souls cut off for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, who did not worship the beast or its icon, and did not receive the mark on their foreheads and hands; and he lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. "
John here sees the thrones and those who sit on them and sees that they have been given authority or judgment, so now the question arises who are "these" that John saw. Based on what is written in the Bible, all those who have a share in "first resurrection", which are the Old Testament believers, the Church and believers from great troubles.
For believers in great tribulation, the prophet Daniel writes:
,, And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”
Daniel 12: 1
and immediately afterwards there is a verse referring to Old Testament believers:
,, And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.”
Daniel 12: 2
and this implies that the Old Testament believers from Israel and the "Gentiles" will be resurrected at the end of the great tribulations and at the beginning of the millennial kingdom.
Job also had faith in this resurrection, and in the book of Job it is written:
,, For I know [that] my redeemer liveth, and [that] he shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth: And [though] after my skin [worms] destroy this [body], yet in my flesh shall I see God:”
Job 19: 25-26
As for the Church, they are "those who are in Christ" and whom the Lord Jesus will take when he comes in the "clouds" he writes:
,, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:”
1 Thess.4: 16
Carnic's translation gives a clearer picture of the court:
,, And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them:…”
Rev. 20: 4
We studied it earlier and saw that it says:
,, And round about the throne [were] four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.”
Rev. 4: 4
These twenty-four elders on the thrones represent the Church, which sings in Revelation five:
,, And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
and before that we saw that the Lord Jesus was telling the Church in Thyatira:
,, And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”
while to the Laodicean Church he says:
,, To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”
The Lord Jesus does not sit on His throne as a man, but He sits on the Father's throne, but He says that He will sit on His throne when He comes in His glory:
,, When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:”
and for believers it says:
,, To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne,”
and the Lord meant the time we are studying:
,, And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Luke 22: 29-30
The twelve apostles will judge the twelve "tribes of Israel" in the future kingdom, and the Apostle Paul said of the Church:
,, Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?”
1 Corin..6: 2
The church has "suffered" so far and will suffer until it is "taken", but we see that the time will come when it will reign when Jesus comes.
"and souls cut off for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, who did not worship the beast or its icon, and did not receive the mark on their foreheads and hands; and he lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. "
We have already talked about this and it is clear that these are believers who went through great troubles and they are especially "mentioned" because they went through great troubles and did not worship the Antichrist and because of that many were killed.
,, And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”
Rev. 6: 9-10
,, After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and [about] the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, [be] unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heatFor the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
Rev. 7: 9-17
,, And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
,, And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”
Rev. 13: 7
,, And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
So all those who were killed in great trouble are now resurrected and enter the Millennial Kingdom with the glorified bodies.
"and he lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
And we read here again, "and judgment was given to them,"
At the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom, after seven years of great tribulation, the judgment of the living nations will take place, and it will be a judgment for all those who survive the great tribulation. This will not be the judgment of Christ, nor will it be a terrible judgment.
,, When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats:”
Matthew 25: 31-32
In the book, the prophet Ezekiel writes:
,, And [as for] you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.”
This will be the judgment on earth when Jesus comes in his glory and here the sheep will be separated from the goats and all the unsaved survivors will be thrown into hell until the terrible judgment and the survivors and saved through the great tribulations of Israel and the Gentiles will enter the Millennial Kingdom with un glorified bodies and from them the earth will be filled in the Millennial Kingdom.