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Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
The identity of this angel, although not disclosed, is most likely the Archangel Michael. He is surely the same angel from Revelation 9:1 who was given the key to open the bottomless pit at the Fifth Trumpet Judgment.
The angel also comes with a great chain, an understatement considering who must be bound with it, and for what length of time this unfortunate prisoner must be bound!
He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
At last! The answer to so many prayers, Satan has finally been arrested and locked away. This event takes place just after Jesus' second coming, and just before Jesus sets up His thousand year kingdom on earth.
and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
The thought of a bottomless pit has always both frightened and intrigued me. It speaks of falling forever! Although Satan will be bound for one thousand years, the term "bottomless" conjures up the idea of eternity!
The term "bottomless" is used seven times in the book of Revelation; 9:1,2,11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1,3. It is the Greek word abussos, and is used as a noun denoting the abyss, "bottomless pit". It describes an immeasurable depth, the underworld, the lower regions, the abyss of Sheol. It also refers to the lower regions as the abode of demons, out of which they can be let loose; (Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).
Satan is bound and a seal has been set at the entrance. The seal of God will absolutely lock Satan away until God lets him out! He will be unable to influence the world as long as he remains in his prison cell. What this means to those humans living in the Millennial Kingdom who have not yet been glorified, or those who have not yet excepted Christ, is that sin will be mostly restricted and very limited in its ability to influence the hearts of people. It is almost unbelievable to think that there will be those who will be born to the believers who entered the Millennial Kingdom from Tribulation without dying, that will know Christ as their ruler and yet still reject Him as Lord and Savior!
Satan will be released at the end of the thousand years and he will stir up trouble once again! Those who have rejected Christ as savior will quickly jump on his band wagon, but will quickly be put down. Satan's short rebellion may only be weeks or at best a few months, but Jesus will effortlessly stop him and all of his followers be it person or demon, and cast the whole cast into the lake of fire where the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever!
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Lots of folks chiming in on just who these players are! My take is that these two groups are the raptured church, and the tribulation saints. Each have been promised that they would rule and reign with Christ in the Millennial Kingdom. Each has been given authority to help keep the peace during the thousand year reign. You could say that they have all been deputized by Christ to enforce righteousness as Christ rules with a rod of iron!
But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
The rest of the dead, or the unbelieving dead will remain in Hades (the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew, Sheol), the abode of the lost dead. They would not enjoy the first resurrection unto eternal life with God, but rather they will be resurrected to judgment and eternal damnation, everlasting separation from God! This is the second death.
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
It is said that if you are only born once, you will die twice, but if you are born twice, or born again, you shall only die once.
27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.
A great reward for all who have been faithful to Jesus Christ, either before the rapture, or during the tribulation period, is the great privilege of ruling and reigning with Him throughout the Millennial Kingdom!
7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
The millennium is complete, Jesus is about to finish a third and final victory thereby finalizing the saga of Sin and Satan! His first victory was on the cross, wherein He won for us a way back to the Father in heaven by becoming sin in our place! His second victory was at Armageddon, where He claimed a decisive victory over Satan and cast him into the abyss as a prisoner of war, his fate to be decided in one thousand years.
Satan will now be released from his prison sentence of one thousand years. There have been a vast number of people born during the past thousand years, all descendants of those believers who survived the tribulation and lived on into the Millennial Kingdom. Although sin has been restricted, and its influence diminished, there will still be people who unbelievably will reject Jesus as their King and Savior! There number will be as the sand of the sea! Satan will gather them together for a final battle and he will have only one goal in mind, destroy Jesus the Christ!
The names Gog and Magog may be confusing to some readers, as they may believe that this battle is the same as the battle prophesied in Ezekiel 38 & 39. I believe that God allowed the use of the same names in reference to both prophesied events, because both evoke a deceptive satanic spirit. However, the battle spoken of in Revelation 20:8 is different than the battle prophesied in Ezekiel 38 & 39. I personally believe that the battle of Gog and Magog (Prophecy in Ezekiel 38 & 39) will take place just before the temple is defiled at the mid-point of tribulation, rather than at the second coming of Christ, or at the end of the Millennium.
God intervenes and protects Israel, just as He has intervened in other attacks. To mention a few;
1) Gog and Magog: God destroys the armies on the mountains of Israel with fire and brimstone from heaven.
2) Armageddon: Christ destroys the attacking forces with the Word of His mouth.
3) End of the Millennium: Christ crushes the satanic rebellion with fire from heaven and casts Satan into the Lake of Fire.
The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
A fitting end, or better yet, a fitting beginning for Satan's eternal punishment! Of all of the lost souls who must spend eternity in this hellish nightmare of torment and eternal isolation, the Lake of Fire was not created for mankind! No, it was created for Satan and his fallen angels! How truly sad that people would reject the truth of Jesus Christ for the lie of Satan!
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
This is truly an amazing event! I'm not at all sure if we can even begin imagine the scene that is taking place in verse eleven, except only to understand the outcome John will describe in chapter 21:1. He will write of a new heaven and new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth will have passed away! It seems that what Jesus is up to is He is "un-creating" everything! Everything and anything that has ever been tainted by the presence of sin has got to go! Out with the old and tainted and in with the new and pure!
And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
In verse five of this chapter, we read that the rest of the dead would not live again till the thousand years were finished. Remember, eventually everybody gets to be resurrected, some to eternal life in heaven and some to eternal judgment and damnation! The resurrection we see in verse twelve is the latter.
9 "I watched till thrones were put in place,
And the Ancient of Days was seated;
His garment was white as snow,
And the hair of His head was like pure wool.
His throne was a fiery flame,
Its wheels a burning fire;
10 A fiery stream issued
And came forth from before Him.
A thousand thousands ministered to Him;
Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The court was seated,
And the books were opened.
The books contain a record of everything every unsaved person ever thought, said or did! The unsaved will be judged according to the things written in the books. The other book is the Book of Life; it is open to confirm that their name is not written in it. When a person receives Jesus as their Lord and Savior, all of their sins are forgiven and their name is written in the Book of Life!
The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
Not one of the unsaved will be able to escape their appointment with the Lord as their Judge! Understand that every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! There will be so many lost souls who will be resurrected to eternal damnation, many like the rich man who pleaded with Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his five brothers of the reality of Hell (Luke 16:19-31).
Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
There will no longer be any death and there will be no more need for Hades. The Lake of Fire will ultimately be the final and eternal place for every association of sin!
And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Although, according to Matthew 25:41, the Lake of Fire was created for the devil and his angels, it will be the final place of unrest for all who have rejected Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!
"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels..."
And Jesus said to Thomas...
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
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