Summary of passage: An angel bound Satan in chains and threw him into the Abyss (hell) for 1000 years after which time he will be set free for a short time.
3a) An angel coming down from heaven with the key to the Abyss.
b) 1000 years and then he’d be set free for a short time.
4) God is the one who has power over Satan and controls him and limits his actions.
5a) John says how Satan corrupts people to carry out his desires. Satan is a murderer and a liar. 2 Corinthians says how Satan has blinded unbelievers so they can’t see the light. 1 Peter says to be alert because Satan prowls around looking to devour people. In essence, Satan is always lurking, ready to snatch us if we’re not grounded in God.
Note: We looked up these same verses in Lesson 16 Day 2 Question 4 with almost the exact same question with regards to God’s protection over the pregnant woman.
b) Personal Question. My answer: We’ve had this question many times before. I know God wins so I have the utmost confidence I am doing His work.
Conclusions: I like the emphasis on how Satan’s power is limited and we must keep that in mind when bad things happen in this world. God is the one in control and Satan is under His thumb. There is a TON here so please keep reading for more insights.
End Notes: These last 3 chapters of Revelation reflects many of the subjects and themes of the first 3 chapters of Genesis.
This is an unidentified angel. Thus, it is not Michael, Gabriel, or Jesus. This speaks volumes to the importance of the devil. He’s dealt with by you and me. He holds a key which symbolizes authority and power over the Abyss, presumably given by Jesus since he’s the one in possession of the key (Revelation 1:18). Chains represent imprisonment and binding.
Note the angel is “coming down” from heaven and Satan is on the earth. Again, Satan serves God’s purposes. God is high above, in control. He conquers Satan, not us.
Jude 6 tells us fallen angels are bound with everlasting chains, awaiting judgment for the great Day.
We first saw the Abyss in Revelation 9:1-3 when either Satan or an angel (good or evil) was given the key and he opens it and releases locusts into the world as part of the Trumpet Judgments.
Satan is bound up and is unable to “deceive the nations anymore.” This DOES NOT MEAN he’s not deceiving individual humans. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us Satan will continue to deceive us until Christ returns. In all of Revelation, the Dragon or Satan has been raising up nations to war against Christ and deceive the world. Daniel 2:44 says the nations or kingdoms will end and this is what we are witnessing here. Isaiah 14:15 predicts this as well.
Any temptation to sin during the Millennium must come from within those people who are born after the kingdom begins. It’s assumed that all of Satan’s demons or fallen angels are also imprisoned at this time (Isaiah 24:21-23).
God’s word is our most powerful weapon since Satan can no longer deceive the nations with his lies. Counter lies with Truth. Always.
Explanation of the Millennium or 1000 years: Millennium is straight out of Latin: “mille” means a thousand and “annum” means a year. It is used 6 times by John in the book of Revelation. There are many different views of this Millennial period and if it is literal or not. Here are some arguments made:
Postmillennialists believe the church will bring about a time of peace and prosperity before Christ returns in this age through the preaching of the gospel. This was a popular 19th century view. This period will end with Christ returns, the dead are resurrected and final judgment is administered.
Premillennialists believe Christ will return to earth and reign for 1000 years which will be a time of peace and prosperity before the millennial earth. Satan will be bound up during this time before his final revolt when he is set free. This is the predominate view of today supported by Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:2-4, Isaiah 11:4-9, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Luke 1:32-33, Matthew 5:18, Luke 19:12-27, among many, many other passages. Scholars here point to more than 400 verses in more than 20 different passages in the Old Testament which deal with this time when Jesus Christ will rule and reign personally over planet earth.
This view has people left on earth after the rapture and the Great Tribulation who will face judgment (Matthew 25:31-46) and be deemed worthy to enter Jesus’ Millennial kingdom or be sent to Hell for all of eternity.
Amillennialists believe this time period is not literal; it is figurative, a spiritual reign. Christ is reigning right now in heaven not on earth. This was the predominant view since Augustine and held by the early Roman Catholic church right up until the Reformation.
What do we know about the Millennium? Israel will be the leading nation on earth (Isaiah 2:1-3, Ezekiel 17:22-24). Jesus will reign (Isaiah 2:1-5; 9:7; Zechariah 14:9) with no war (Isaiah 2:1-5). King David will rule over Israel (Isaiah 55:3-5, Jeremiah 30:4-11, Ezekiel 34:23-31, Ezekiel 37:21-28, Hosea 3:5). Israel will be blessed (Amos 9:11-15; Isaiah 62:2-3) and the temple will be restored (Ezekiel 40-48, Ezekiel 37:26-28, Amos 9:11, Ezekiel 20:39-44). Saints will have jobs Luke 19:11-27, Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 2:26-28; 3:12,22, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3). God will be number one (Zechariah 13:1-9). There will be no sickness nor disease (Isaiah 29:18).
It is also the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:2-3) and David (2 Samuel 7:16) will be fulfilled (Luke 1:31-33; Romans 11:15, 29)
How long is the 1000 years? No one knows. Many see these numbers as symbolic and they point to the fact most of Revelation’s numbers are symbolic in nature. In early Christian writings 1000 years was used figuratively for the eternal blessing of the redeemed. However, it could be a literal 1000 years where Jesus reigns victoriously and shows a world without Satan and the absolute holiness of God.
In Sum: Satan will be bound and there will be peace for 1000 years before he is released for “a short time” to do evil once again. Is this the time of Jesus’ reign on earth? You decide.
Note Satan’s 4 names in verse 2:
1) Dragon The persecutor of Christ and his people (Revelation 12:17)
2) Ancient serpent (Genesis 3:13) the one in the garden.
3) Devil Slanderer or accuser (Revelation 12:10)
4) Satan Adversary. Enemy of God, God’s people, and God’s creation.
We’ve read this before in Lesson 16: Revelation 12:9: “The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.”
Fun Fact: 1000 is 10 to the third power.
What’s important here? Regardless of the 1000 years interpretation, Jesus will return and Jesus will establish his kingdom here on earth. The rest is all speculation and ultimately not important. Jesus is coming! That’s all we need to know!