1. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3. 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.
4. 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 worshiped 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.
Note.-- The wicked are destroyed from the earth by the glory of Christ's second coming. The righteous dead are raised to life, and with the righteous living are taken to heaven. 2 Thess. 4:16,17. They reign there with Christ a thousand years. Thus the earth is uninhabited for a thousand years, and becomes Satan's prisonhouse, in which he lies bound by circumstances-- the righteous removed, and the wicked all dead. The term "bottomless pit" is from the Greek abusos, meaning void or empty, and without orderly arrangement. The same word is used "deep"--"The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the abusos." It simply means this earth in the condition described in Jeremiah 4:23-26, the condition in which it lies during the millennium.
5. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6. 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.
The following chart lists events in red ink, which immediately precede the beginning of the millennium, and lists events in black ink which will occur at the end of the millennium.
1. Completion of the Seven Last Plagues. 1. Holy City Descends
2. Second coming of Christ 2. Christ and Saints appear
3.Righteous Dead Raised Immortal 3. Wicked Dead raised
4. Satan bound 4. Satan loosed
5. Saints taken to heaven 5. Wicked finally destroyed
FIRST RESURRECTION SECOND RESURRECTION |oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo|
7. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, God and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Note.-- "The resurrection of the lost, the second resurrection, brings forth all the hosts of Satan's servants. Thus he has people again upon whom he can ply his deceptive powers. This "looses" him from his prison, the uninhabited earth, where he has been held during the thousand years. He resumes his warfare against Christ, marshaling the myriads of the lost of all the ages for the last attack upon God and righteousness.
"How wast the concourse! not in number more
The waves that break on the resounding shore...
Great Xerxes' world in arms, proud Cannae's field,
Where Carthage taught victorious Rome to yield,
Immortal Blenheim, famed Ramillia's host,--
They all are here, and here they all are lost;
Their millions swell, to be discerned in vain,
Lost as a billow in th' unbounded main."
----Edward Young's "Last Day."
9. 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.
Note.-- The city of God has come down out of heaven upon the earth, with the redeemed. This descent of the city is described in the next chapter.
10. 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 forever and ever.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Note.-- At the finish, death itself is destroyed. There shall be no more sin or pain or death.