1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. ~ Revelation 20:1-3
In our last study, we saw the prophesied climax of human history, as we have known it, which will culminate with the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in visible power and glory to reclaim the earth from the devil.
Twice in today's text we read the phrase "a thousand years." It actually is used six times throughout this chapter. The word "millennium" means "a thousand years." Luke 1:32-33 informs us that when Christ returns to the earth He will establish Himself as king in Jerusalem, sitting on the throne of David.
In Jeremiah 23:5-6 we read, “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I shall raise up for David a righteous branch, and He will reign as King and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days, Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is His name by which He will be called, the Lord our righteousness. Behold, the days are coming.’”
Jeremiah 3:17 and Zechariah 14:16 both allude to a time when all nations will come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles which is the only Jewish feast in which non-Jews are invited to participate! This will happen during the Millennium which will be a time when there will be no distinction between Jew and Gentile!
In v.1-2 of today's text we read, "1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years."
It is clear that this binding of Satan will occur after the second coming of the Lord Jesus. In addition, the binding of the devil will not be done by the Lord Jesus. Notice, the binding will be done by an angel whom the Lord Jesus sends with a great chain. The angel not only will bind Satan with the chain, but he will throw him into the Abyss and he will lock the door.
Many wonder why the need for a Millennium. The millennium is needed to redeem creation from the curse of sin and from the judgment of God. In Genesis, paradise was lost by the curse that was put upon man for their rebellion and sin. In Revelation, paradise is regained on the earth. The curse is removed, not only that but God will have leveled His own judgments upon the earth during the tribulation and pretty much trashed the earth. And so the earth will need God's help.
Also, the millennium is needed to fulfill all of God's promises to Israel. God promised David in 2 Samuel 7 a perpetual throne that can only be fulfilled in the Messiah. He reiterated that promise and confirmed it with an oath in Psalm 89.
The kingdom is predicted in the Psalms, in virtually all of the prophets, Major Prophets and Minor Prophets, that there would be an earthly kingdom, as well as a heavenly kingdom. And the millennium is phase one to God's promises. There will be an earthly kingdom that will last a thousand years; at the end of that time the earth will be destroyed. Then, God will create a new heaven, we'll read more about that in Revelation 21, and a new earth because now all of the promises to the nation of Israel are fulfilled and the earth, though restored, will still be tainted by sin and must be recreated and we'll see that later.
Another reason the millennium will be needed is that it will reveal the depths of man's rebellious nature. The problem is not on the outside of man, the problem is on the inside, sinful nature of man. The millennium will prove that because they're gonna have a perfect environment, in the end, many will still choose to not believe in God.
As our text reveals, the Millennium will be needed to toss Satan into the abyss. With Satan bound during this time of the Kingdom, the world will be dramatically altered. The whole demonic world will be incarcerated along with their leader, and the Lord Jesus Christ will set the agenda for all of the world to see His goodness. It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance.
In v.3 of today's text we read, "He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time."
Now, all seven times the abyss or bottomless pit appears in Revelation, it refers to the place where fallen angels and foul, evil spirits are held captive. The place where they await their final incarceration, from which they can never be relieved. It is called the lake of fire.
In Isaiah 24:21-22 we read, “So it will happen in that day that the Lord will punish the host of heaven.” The Lord will punish in that day the wicked angels. “And they will be gathered together like prisoners in the dungeon and will be confined in prison. And after many days, then they will be punished.”
Satan will be bound “to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.”
During the Millennium, Satan's deceptions will be over. And, when people reject Christ, and they will, it will not be because they are deceived. It will be because they love their sin. During the Millennium, there will be no injustice. There will be peace everywhere, and righteousness will prevail.
One of the main outcomes of the Millennium will be that Satan is not fully to blame for the sin of mankind. We have been given a will to freely operate within. Just as Adam and Eve were born sinless, and yet still sinned, so too will those who are born during the Millennium will have the opportunity to act as they will. Satan can only deceive, he cannot make us sin. And, when people at the end of the Millennium reject God, they will be shown to be responsible for their choice.
Satan will be kept in the abyss, it says in v.3, “until the thousand years were ended.”
After the thousand years is over, the Lord will destroy completely the universe and create a new heaven and a new earth in eternal perfection, unstained by sin, and that will become the everlasting Kingdom.