“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” Revelation 20:1-3.
Now we find out what is going to happen after Jesus comes and gathers His dear children from off this earth. It talks about Satan getting tied up with a great chain. Now remember these picture stories are full of symbols. You could not tie up a spirit being with a real chain. It says he is cast into a ‘bottomless pit’, which means a place that is empty and deserted.
What happens when Jesus comes? All the people who have chosen to belong to Him are taken up into the cloud to go to heaven with Jesus. All the people who chose to go their own way and fight against God and His law are killed. So who is left? Just Satan and his nasty angels.
When Satan was first cast out of heaven, he was allowed to come back and visit at times. But after he cruelly killed dear Jesus on the cross, the angels would not allow him to even visit anymore. He can still visit other planets though, and they are looking forward to the day when he can’t come any more, because even though he cannot harm them, he likes to tell them all about the bad things God’s children are doing. But when Jesus returns and takes His people to the heavenly city, God is going to do something that stops Satan and his bunch from being able to leave this planet.
For one thousand years these cruel and rebellious angels will have nothing to do except walk around and see the terrible mess they made of this once beautiful planet. Everywhere the cities are all smashed; the houses are all broken; nothing is left alive and there are dead bodies everywhere. And it is dark and dismal.
Satan has only his evil angels to tempt and mislead, and they, after 6,000 years, are as bad as he is. This earth becomes his prison. He wanted to show how he would rule the world, so he took the dominion from Adam and Eve by deceit, but now everyone knows what kind of a ruler he really is. Also, Satan has made claims and promises to many people who have worshipped him directly down through the ages. He has said that he will raise his followers from the dead, and then they will all have a big party. Well, he will have 1,000 years to try it. But Satan has no life in himself, and cannot raise even one of them.
Friends, that is the destiny of all who choose this world’s so-called pleasures; to be one of the dead bodies rotting on this earth. Satan may give you the idea that the wrong things of this earth are ‘fun’ and that having your own way is what you need to try and do. But he doesn’t have his own way even now, and he sure won’t in the future.
There is only one way to be truly happy and to ‘have your own way’ and that is to always choose God’s way. You see Jesus knows what is good, and He also knows what will only lead to pain and death. Everything the Bible tells us not to do, is because those things will hurt you sooner or later. Remember this when you feel angry that you can’t have things exactly the way you want them.
“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. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” Revelation 20:4, 5.
What will the people, who go to heaven, do during the thousand years that Satan is stuck on this earth? They get to open the books and see why the ones who are lost are not in heaven. There may be someone who you thought would be in heaven and when you get there, you look around and you don’t find him or her. You will go and look in the books, and there you will learn why they are not able to be there.
But more than this, we will judge the wicked people and the wicked angels. Each life will be looked at carefully, and the amount of time they must suffer in the final punishment, before they die forever, is written by each name. This is only fair of God, for some, like Satan’s angels, have spent thousands of years doing cruel and horrible things, while some people only lived a few years doing nasty things.
God’s people have long looked forward to the time in heaven when we get to see history as it actually happened. When all the lies that have been told to us are exposed and the Truth is seen. Then we will see the stories of the poor martyrs who were killed and hidden away where nobody knew about it. We will see how greedy, selfish men, under the control of devils, planned the terrible wars and cruel happenings in this world behind the scenes.
We will know the truth about many leaders in the churches who pretend to be holy and are greatly admired, but behind the scenes when they think nobody sees, they are wicked and cruel. We will know about how the corrupt ceremonies of Rome came down through the ages from before the flood. All questions will be answered; never again will we have to say, “I don’t know; I wish I knew.”
We will also see the true and brave deeds of the redeemed; even little children that nobody knew about, who bravely stood for their faith in Jesus, even unto death. In that day all Truth will be known. Learn to love Truth now, and don’t watch, read, make up, or listen to things that are not true. Only Truth will set you free and keep you free; lies and fiction will only enslave you and end up destroying you.
Even as a child, this compiler often wished that everything written in books and libraries that was not true and honest, would just disappear. If that happened many libraries would be nearly empty. And textbooks that students have to study from, would be nearly empty too.
“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” Revelation 20:6-8.
What happens to loose Satan out of his prison? Well, at the end of the thousand years Jesus returns to earth. At this time His feet touch the Mount of Olives and it splits in half forming a great plain. Then the Holy City the New Jerusalem comes down to earth and settles on this plain.
It is at this time that the wicked dead are raised. For once everyone who ever lived on earth, is alive at the same time. The wicked come forth from the grave in the same condition they went in. What a contrast is seen between the redeemed and the lost hosts of Satan’s kingdom. They come up with the same ugly marks of sin and disease, cruelty and hatred on them, as they had when they died; while the righteous are bright and beautiful.
“And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” Revelation 20:9
Satan goes forth among the vast multitude of resurrected wicked, and makes the feeble strong. He then points them to the countless millions who have been raised, and makes them believe that he, by his power, had brought them up from their graves. He points to the powerful race who lived before the flood, and to kings and warriors who were well skilled in battle, and flatters his subjects that their numbers are much greater than those in the city. He tells them that they can make war with them, and dethrone God and his Son Jesus Christ, and take the throne and occupy the city, and enjoy its richness and glory. As the wicked come forth from their graves, they resume the current of their thoughts where it ceased in death.
The race before the flood, perished blaspheming God. Many perished in battle; they fell while thirsting to conquer and they rise with the same spirit of war that they possessed when they fell. They accept Satan as their general, and his angels as their officers. Satan and his angels were once inhabitants of the city; and they claim to understand just how to attack the city and take possession of it. He also puts forth the idea that he, and not God, is the rightful ruler of the universe. With Satan at their head, they go up on the breadth of the earth, and compass the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city; and fire comes down from God out of heaven and devours them.
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Revelation 20:10.
Remember that ‘for ever and ever’, means as long as their life lasts. It does not mean everlasting life in an eternal burning hell. The wages of sin are death, not living forever in hell. The amount of time for the punishment of each being has been decided by God and the heavenly court. When that time is over they enter into eternal death, and are as if they had never existed.
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:11, 12.
Before the fire falls upon the wicked, when they are busy planning how to conquer the Holy City and take it for themselves, Christ again appears to the view of His enemies. Far above the city, upon a foundation of burnished gold, is a throne, high and lifted up. Upon this throne sits the Son of God, and around Him are the subjects of His kingdom. The power and majesty of Christ no language can describe, no pen can portray. The glory of the Eternal Father surrounds His Son. The brightness of His presence fills the City of God, and flows out beyond the gates, flooding the whole earth with its radiance.
The whole wicked world stand arraigned at the bar of God on the charge of high treason against the government of heaven. They have none to plead their cause; they are without excuse; and the sentence of eternal death is pronounced against them.
“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:13-15.
As powerful and important as the rebellious powers of earth may seem now, in that day things will be very different. Today is the time, when mercy still lingers; when Jesus still pleads in the Heavenly sanctuary and all power is available to overcome sin in the name of Jesus; this is when we must hasten to make our future secure. Just claiming to believe at some point in your life, is not enough. Remember Jesus said that some of the lost cry ‘Lord, Lord’ to Him. They had made a ‘profession’ of faith in Jesus, but they had never surrendered their whole selves, and overcame sin in the power of the Blood of the Lamb, choosing a life of obedience to the Law of God.
Jesus is very clear that the idea of ‘Once saved; Always saved’ is not true. Only those who choose Christ and obedience to God’s Eternal Law, and in Jesus’ strength, walk with Him all the way, will be in the Holy City on that day.