Satan in the Bottomless Pit

December 28, 2018

 

A snowy day in Minnesota is always a good day to ponder things. It is good to have something to think about while shoveling snow. It is also good to have something productive on the mind while recovering between shoveling stints. Today’s topic for me has been Satan and the time of the millennial reign of Christ.

 

I arrived at the Upper Room for my daily prayer time and this question came to mind; “When Satan is bound and cast into the pit for one thousand years, is there still demonic activity on the earth?” Further, I wondered, “Is there still sinful behavior from the heart of man?” I cannot say that I have completely resolved this mystery, but the thoughts have led down a variety of paths. I began by looking at Revelation 20.

 

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years was ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

Revelation 20:1-3

 

I can make a few determinations from this passage.

·        An angel from heaven came down to deal with Satan

·        Satan is bound for a thousand years

·        Satan is thrown into a pit that is shut and sealed over him

·        Satan will be released for some period of time after the thousand years has concluded

 

Chapter 19 begins with rejoicing in heaven for, “Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.”

 

Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for His judgments are true and just; for He has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

Revelation 19:2

 

The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures worshiped God.

 

And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen, Hallelujah!”

Revelation 19:4

 

Then comes the marriage supper of the Lamb before the appearance of the rider on a white horse. This marriage supper, which appears to take place in heaven, would obviously include a bride and groom. Who is the bride at this banquet? I had been taught for years that it was the church, or possibly all who believed and trusted God from the beginning of time. I cannot say that I agree with either of those views. I believe the bride is the same as those who rule and reign with Christ for the thousand years. The bride, I believe, are those who participate in the first resurrection.

 

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark in their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:4

 

The bride, I believe, are the overcomers, the martyrs, and those before the time of Christ who faithfully followed God and performed all that He asked of them. I could be off, but it appears to me that it is those who overcame the things of this world and gave their lives, in living and in dying, for Christ and the Kingdom of God.

 

In Revelation 2 and 3 is the greeting to the seven churches. Each church greeting concludes with a promise for the one who conquers or overcomes. Each church has things they need to continue to do, things to withstand, things to repent for, or a combination of them. Each church is given the promise of reward for those in the church who will do these things. The promises are to eat of the tree of life, be given a new name, be given authority to rule, be given white garments, to have the new name and the name of God written on them, and they will be granted the honor of sitting on the throne with Jesus Christ.

 

The bride is shown to be wearing these white garments.

 

“Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with white linen, bright and pure” – for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

Revelation 19:7-8

 

Verse 9 says, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” The wise virgins who were prepared as they were instructed to be. The servants who were found faithfully doing the Master’s business when the Master returned. Those who conquered, or overcame, the things of this world and sought first the Kingdom of God. These are those who were invited to the feast and granted to put on white linen and who joined Christ to reign and rule for the thousand years.

 

Verse 5 of chapter 20 reveals that there were others who had not taken part in the first resurrection.

 

The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.

Revelation 20:5

 

Verse 6 reiterates the blessing for those who took part in the first resurrection.

 

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:6

 

There are people who remain on the earth over whom Jesus Christ and these overcomers rule and reign. I believe they are a mixture of believers and those who have not yet believed. There are still nations and a great number of people.

 

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.

Revelation 20:7-8

 

This had me pondering a couple more questions.

1.      During the thousand years in which Satan is bound, is there still demonic activity on the earth?

2.     During those same years, is there still evil and wickedness coming from the heart of man?

 

I believe the answer is yes on both counts. I do not yet see where all evil beings or entities are locked away at this point. I also do not see that those on the earth had been transfigured as were those who were to reign and rule with Christ. Chapter 20 includes the arrest of Satan, but no others until the Great White Throne judgment. Chapter 19 tells of the capture of the beast and the false prophet, and the two of them being cast into the lake of fire. There are also many who gathered for war who were slain by the judgment made by Christ.

 

After all of this comes the judgment before the Great White Throne for all who were not a part of the first resurrection. After this comes life on the new earth and the new heaven.

 

Even if I assume that these events were shown to John, and recorded by him, in chronological order, I do not see a definite timeline for them. That is, how much time passes between events? When do these events occur?

 

Chapter 18 describes the fall of Babylon, which could be taking place right now. A great deal of evil is being uncovered right now, and it appears that there is much more to come. As layer upon layer of wickedness is brought into the light, I am amazed at the volume of activities, how they are interwoven, and the darkness and depravity that pushes my bounds of belief and understanding. The world system, Babylon, seems to be crashing all around us on a global scale.

 

If chapter 18 is occurring now, then chapter 19 is next up on the time table. If it is not too late, every believer should be examining oneself according to Revelation 2 and 3. The judgment to be made for each one of us is whether or not we are overcomers. I do not believe that every believer is an overcomer. I also do not believe that overcomers are the only true believers. I do believe that this is one area where there is gain and loss of eternal rewards. Believers who are foolish brides without being prepared with the proper oil in these days and the days to come, may well find themselves knocking on the closed door at the time of the marriage supper. It is not a matter of better or worse; it is a matter of obedience and repentance. It is a matter of sanctification and intimacy with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

How will we know when Satan is cast into the bottomless pit? In the order of the chapters it appears that it is after the marriage supper. That would be to assume that John was shown things in a strictly chronological order of events.

 

How will we know that we are living during the fall of Babylon? Things have been bad before, and they could get worse than they are now. We could look at the prostitute and the beast of Chapter 17, but that would open up a multitude of interpretations based upon one’s eschatological views.

 

I, for one, have seen enough things happen, both spiritually and physically, to have made the decision that I no longer look for answers based upon what I know. I am seeking God for answers based upon what I don’t know. He can adjust my understanding of what I think I know. I am confident that Almighty God has all of the answers, so He is the only trustworthy source for accurate answers.

 

For the Lord God does nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets. The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken; who can but prophesy?”

Amos 3:7-8

 

God first reveals things to His prophets before acting. It could be said that this has taken place for we have His written word that prophesies of these things. This would certainly be the attitude of most churches as the ministry of prophet has been set aside by them. But, are there prophetic voices we should be hearing and heeding today? The old covenant had the Law and the Prophets. The Jews of the days of the Apostles would say the written word had been finalized. This did not stop God from prophesying through His chosen vessels. The church today would say we have the cannon of scripture and there is no more need for prophesy and other gifts or offices. This new form of Pharisee type thinking will not stop God from using His chosen vessels. There is much in our dogma and doctrine that needs to be weeded out as being the traditions and wisdom of man. If we refuse to consider this, we may well be stuck on the outside looking in.

 

“And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”

Matthew 10:7