Revelation 20 1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
Who are the Millennials?
Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe wrote about the Millennials in Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, and they released an entire book devoted to them, titled Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation. Strauss and Howe are “widely credited with naming the Millennials” according to journalist Bruce Horovitz. In 1987 they coined the term “around the time 1982-born children were entering preschool and the media were first identifying their prospective link to the millennial year 2000”. Strauss and Howe use 1982 as the Millennials’ starting birth year and 2004 as the last birth year. The phrase Generation Y first appeared in an August 1993 Ad Age editorial to describe teenagers of the day, which they defined as different from Generation X, and then aged 11 or younger as well as the teenagers of the upcoming ten years. Since then, the company has sometimes used 1982 as the starting birth year for this generation.
Why Millenials? Because of their lives wrapping around the year 2000, when Y2K was to end the world as we knew it. That didn’t happen but a new generation of young people and young adults came onto the scene.
What does that have to do with the Biblical account of a time called the Millennium or the 1000 years; because it is the idea of a period of time. It has been over 2 Millenium since Jesus walked on the earth. There is coming a time of another 1000 years when He will reign over all the earth. There is likely no other Biblical statement that is so controversial as the one found in these three verses in Revelation 20:1-3.
Throughout history the discussion of these verses has divided people, churches, seminaries, Christian colleges, theologians and scholars.
The four main trains of thought on the Millennial question are divided in this way.
Four main eschatological systems: 1. dispensational premillennialism, rapture; tribulation, millennium, literal interpretation 2. historic premillennialism, tribulation, rapture, millennium 3. postmillennialism, world get better and better end in millennium 4. amillennialism. no rapture, no millennium
Your own basic method of interpretation will determine your millennial view more than the exact words of the text. Your interpretation of the rest of scripture will also affect your millennial view.
A literal view of scripture will lead you to at least believe there is going to be a time when Jesus reigns on the earth for 1000 years. Or a millennium. Or as some interpret; a long period of time. Post Millennialists believe the millennium is now and that it is already 2014 years long.
What is necessary for the Millennium to begin? As a dispensational premillenialist I believe that the rapture must take place; the tribulation must take place and ultimately the Evil One, Satan himself will have to be removed. Some millennial views hold to the belief that Satan is already bound quoting verses that speak of the binding of Satan. It seems evident to me that he is not bound currently. Too much evil prevails in our world. Things that will change when Jesus sets up His earthly reign during the 1000 years.
How to best learn?
ASK GOOD QUESTIONS!!
This passage of scripture requires that we ask good questions.
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
The angel of God came and bound Satan. He had in his possession an unusual key. It was the key to the abyss. He also had in his hand a great chain. I hardly believe it was a literal chain. The symbolism of the Book of Revelation is prevalent throughout. The idea is simply that the angel had the power to bind Satan with a chain that could hold him captive in the Abyss, or the bottomless pit. The angel is not Gabriel or Michael. It is not the Father or the Son who come to deal with Satan. It is an unnamed angel. Likely a blow to the ego of Satan. There is no equality with God when it comes to Satan. God is in control. He actually uses Satan.
Satan had been cast out of heaven and now he is being cast into prison for 1000 years.
3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
Satan’s time in the abyss is for 1000 years, again maybe literal, maybe figurative meaning a long period of time. “a day is as a 1000 years, and a 1000 years as a day.”
He not only is thrown in, but shut in and sealed over. He has no possibility of escape; but he will be released for a short period of time at the end of the Millennium.
Question #1 “Why was he bound?”
“so that he would not deceive the nations any longer”
He was bound in order to keep him from deceiving the nations any longer. Satan is the liar the deceiver. He deceived Adam and Eve into eating of the fruit of the tree telling them they would not die. He tried to deceive even Jesus by promising him the world if He would fall down and worship him. He daily deceives you. His attacks are lies and half-truths in order to deceive. To combat deception we must use the truth. “Thy word is truth.”
i. “The truth is ever against him; therefore falsehood is his particular recourse and instrument. But naked falsehood is only repulsive. What we know to be a lie cannot command our respect . . . Untruth can only gain credence and acceptance by being so disguised as to appear to be the truth. Falsehood can have no power over us until we are led to believe and conclude that it is the truth. And this deluding of men, getting them to accept and follow lies and false hopes, under the persuasion that they are accepting and following the truth, is the great work and business of Satan in every age.” (Seiss) ii. Since Satan’s work of deception continues today, we know that he is not bound in the way that this passage describes. We know that Satan was not bound at the finished work of Jesus on the cross, at the resurrection, or at the founding of the church. We know this because Peter said that Satan was free to walk about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). iii. Satan continues to effectively deceive. “People not only make falsehoods, speak falsehoods, print falsehoods, and believe falsehoods; but they eat them, and drink them, and wear them, and act them, and live them, and make them one of the great elements of their being.” (Seiss)
Question#2 “Why is God going to release Satan after the 1000 years?”
Answer: Revelation 20:7-10, “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 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. 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.” We will come back to this in three weeks
Why release Satan? Many people will be born during the millennium. A thousand years allows for billions of births. They will be born with a sin nature and in need of salvation. They will need to repent and believe. It could be Satan will be released to deceive them. God is still demanding faith and He will give those the choice. God may be showing the world His nature. He is holy and will be bringing about the final destruction of the world and sin. Satan will be totally defeated. God will be revealing the true nature of Satan as he is released and given the opportunity to deceive the nations into another battle. We may not ever understand why until the time comes. I will be there.
Question #3 “What will the millennium look like?”
1.Wars will one day cease according to the Bible. There will be universal peace, love and understanding among the nations of the world, instead of confusion, wars, and bloodshed. “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa. 2:4).
There will be universal disarmament as weapons of warfare will be destroyed. “He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth: he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder: he burneth the chariot in the fire” (Psa. 46:9). All nations will live together in peace. “And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places” (Isa. 32:18).
Strong families will be restored and there will be great love between children and their parents. “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” (Mal. 4:6).
There will be a time of great economic prosperity in the Christian nations of the world. “For the seed shall be prosperous, the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew, and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things” (Zec. 8:12). “And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it” (Jer. 33:90).
There will be a time of great light and knowledge. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark. But it shall be one day, which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light” (Zec. 14:6,7). It will be as though God will give so much light to His church, that the sun and moon will be ashamed. “Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients, gloriously” (Isa. 24:23).
1-5 taken from The Forerunner Web site:
From The Enduring Word web site.
i. During the Millennium, Israel will be the superpower of the world, the leading nation in all the earth, and the center of Israel will be the mountain of the LORD’s house - the temple mount, which will be the “capital” of the government of the Messiah. All nations shall flow to the “capital” of Jesus’ government (Isaiah 2:1-3, Ezekiel 17:22-24). ii. During the Millennium, the citizens of earth will acknowledge and submit to the Lordship of Jesus. It will be a time of perfectly administrated enforced righteousness on this earth (Isaiah 2:1-5). iii. During the Millennium, there will be no more war. There will still be conflicts between nations and individuals, but they will be justly and decisively resolved by the Messiah and those who reign with Him (Isaiah 2:1-5). It isn’t the reign of the Messiah itself that will change the heart of man. Citizens of earth will still need to trust in Jesus and in His work on their behalf for their personal salvation during the millennium. But war and armed conflict will not be tolerated. iv. During the Millennium, the way animals relate to each other and to humans will be transformed. A little child will be safe and able to lead a wolf or a leopard or a young lion or a bear. Even the danger of predators like cobras and vipers will be gone. In Genesis 9:2-3, the LORD gave Noah, and all mankind after him, the permission to eat meat. At the same time, the LORD put the dread of man in animals so they would not be effortless prey for humans. Now, in the reign of the Messiah, that is reversed. For this reason, many think that in the reign of the Messiah (the Millennium) humans will return to being vegetarians, as it seems they were before Genesis 9:2-3 (Isaiah 11:6-9). v. During the Millennium, King David will have a prominent place in the millennial earth, ruling over Israel (Isaiah 55:3-5, Jeremiah 30:4-11, Ezekiel 34:23-31, Ezekiel 37:21-28, Hosea 3:5). vi. During the Millennium, there will be blessing and security for national Israel (Amos 9:11-15). vii. The Millennium will be a time of purity and devotion to God (Zechariah 13:1-9). viii. During the Millennium, there will be a rebuilt temple and restored temple service on the earth as a memorial of God’s work in the past. (Ezekiel 40-48, Ezekiel 37:26-28, Amos 9:11, Ezekiel 20:39-44). ix. During the Millennium, saints in their resurrected state will be given responsibility in the Millennial Earth according to their faithful service (Luke 19:11-27, Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 2:26-28; 3:12,22, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3).
Question #4 “Will non-believers be in the Millennium?”
In the beginning the answer is no. As people are born they will be born with a sin nature and be in need of salvation. After a 1000 years the numbers of non-believers will be large enough to join Satan in rebellion. Possibly numbering in the billions. In the beginning the people saved during the tribulation will be in the millennium. The non-believers will have been destroyed.
Question #5 “Will I be in the millennium?”
I believe the answer to that is yes and no. I don’t know. Conservative Dispensational Pre-tribulation Pre-millennial theologians don’t agree. Some believe when the rapture takes place you will put on a new resurrected body. The people in the millennium will have natural bodies. You and I as believers will not be on earth during the tribulation, but in heaven and likewise some believe that believers who were raptured will be in heaven during the millennium. It will not be until the first resurrection and the new heaven and new earth that we will be on the earth again. Others use scripture like the 19th chapter of Luke to say that we will all be in the millennium.
Question #6 “Will I ever understand all of this?”
YES, AFTER IT IS ALL DONE