Previously: He seized the dragon – Revelation 20:2-3
Rev. 20:2 – He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for 1,000 years. 3 He threw him into the abyss, closed it, and put a seal on it so that he would no longer deceive the nations until the 1,000 years were completed. After that, he must be released for a short time. (HCSB)
For 1,000 years
Revelation 20 is the only place in scripture that refers to 1,000 years during which Satan is bound. Few time periods in the Bible have been written about with so much conviction – and debated with so much contention. Before surveying the various views of the “millennium,” let’s look at every reference to 1,000 years in this chapter:
- Verse 2 – The angel seizes the Devil and binds him in the abyss for 1,000 years.
- Verse 3 – Satan is not able to deceive the nations until the 1,000 years are completed.
- Verse 4 – People that have been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of God’s word, and who have not worshiped the beast or his image, and who have not accepted the mark on their foreheads or their hands, come to life and reign with the Messiah for 1,000 years.
- Verse 5 – The rest of the dead do not come to life until the 1,000 years are completed.
- Verse 6 – Those who share in the first resurrection will reign with Jesus for 1,000 years.
- Verse 7 – After the 1,000 years are completed, Satan is released from the abyss and goes out to deceive the nations.
Are we to take the 1,000 years literally or figuratively? Is this period of time past, present, or future? And are there other passages of scripture that shed light on the meaning of the millennium? With respect to these questions, there are three general schools of thought. But before we briefly survey them, let’s begin with some general observations about these verses.