“And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up,,. 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 (v.3)”.
Why the Devil is put away from the earth a millennium and not for ever? In order to understand this first let us consider what the glory of God signifies in a practical way. Before the worlds began God had separated light from darkness. It is placed therein the creation account 1:3 before He named the sun, the moon and stars because it is the Spirit’s way to place emphasize on its spiritual significance. Instruction in righteousness is not what Science can provide but God’s way is to add quality to our lives. The Salvation Plan of God was similarly set in place before the worlds began. The slain lamb emblem (Re.12:8) is with reference to creation of man on the sixth day. It shall run all through and serve as common thread in the same manner as the Word’ forever settled in heaven does(Ps.119:89). Glory of God also implies God created man with free will. As a proof of this whatever a living creature was brought before him what name he called it was the name thereof (Ge.2:19-20) Had God denied him free will it would have set his freedom merely mechanical. While He created Adam a living soul it was his disobedience to a direct command that did the damage. His sin made the knowledge of good and evil his master (Ge.2:16). We see how separation of light from darkness merged with this question of good and evil to create two groups: children of light and darkness.
When the Word of God and his saints (redeemed before the outset of the great tribulation) engage Satan into a battle we see that the beast and the false prophet shall be taken. But it shall not be the end. It would require a Millennium to set the earth in order. We read a similar process being observed in heaven as well. (Re.15:5-8). “No man was able to enter into the temple , till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.” The verse makes it clear that ‘the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.’
The Millennial Reign therefore is setting an example of eternity under new earth and new heaven.
“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.
Here we have a clear indication of those martyrs under two categories. i) for the witness of Jesus ii)those who refused the mark of the beast; Apart from these we shall include those who are alive and being preserved during the tribulation. Of this we find example of the woman in the wilderness (Re.12:14)
In this specific instance we are shown the red dragon and his cohorts being cast down. His malignancy shall be contained only when he is bound over and cast into the pit and a seal is placed over it.
This judgement must be harbinger of the Great White Throne judgment (20:11-12). We have verses in the Gospels about the judgment which seems hover limited in scope. “That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Lk.22:30)”However compare this with this verse from St Matthew: “Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt.19:28-NIV). ‘At the renewal of all things would refer to New earth and New Heaven. At best it serves best to consider this as we have considered other aspects of seven angels with vials and with trumpets, in which events serves as kangaroo words. When the fourth angel with vial poured out his vial upon the sun “…Men were scorched with great heat (Re.16:8-9) can be also equally referring to the verse 9 in this chapter, “And fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them”.
(To be continued)