In my study of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, I am puzzled by the chaining, and the locking of Satan in the Pit for the millennial reign of Christ.

This question: According to premillenial view, What is the point of the Millenium reign? is similar and has an answer that gives two reasons for the millennial reign, but they do not seem to answer my question.

Here are some considerations that I have mulled over:

  1. Satan is chained and locked in the pit, so that he can no longer tempt mankind.

  2. Since Satan was defeated at the cross, then why is he loosed to participate in the battle of Armageddon?

  3. Is the battle of Armageddon the final battle of the war begun in Heaven, and if so why then did God, give the one thousand year interlude in that battle?

  4. Is the Battle at Armageddon to show Satan that even though he enlisted such a large number of mankind in his army that that was not sufficient to overcome the army of God?

  5. Assuming that number 4 is true, then why does the judgment immediately follow Armageddon?

  6. And finally, will Satan and all unbelievers have to bear the knowledge that their rebellion was such folly for the Eternity in the lake of fire?

Number 6 is as close as I have come to understanding this passage in the Revelation, but it still does not answer my initial question, of the purpose of the millennial reign, and why Satan is bound and locked in the bottomless pit.

From what I know of the Catholic faith they believe that the dead are put into a place known as Purgatory to await the final judgment, which gives a second chance to get into Heaven, but we protestants do not adhere to such a belief. As far as purgatory goes it would give a chance for those in purgatory to get into heaven while Satan was bound which seems a bit of a stretch to me, but as for Protestants it seems to serve no purpose for those who are already dead since their fate is sealed as far as I understand.

I can see a possible reason for Catholics but not for Protestants. Any ideas from any denomination are welcome.

  • One view I have heard is that the righteous will be "reviewing the records" of the wicked to see that they really do not deserve to be there. They way they are on board when they are raise unto destruction. Other than asking for a premillenial view, I don't see this question as different from the other. So if you don't put a specific theological restriction on this, it is off-topic as a Truth question. If you want a premillenial restriction, then this is a duplicate. – fredsbend Aug 31 '14 at 14:39
  • Anticipating this question to close, I put my answer on the other site: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/9412/… – Steve Aug 31 '14 at 15:10
  • @fredsbend I have reworded my question to more accurately address my confusion. does that help? – BYE Aug 31 '14 at 17:42
  • Well, all you changed was the subject. There's still going to be opinions and you haven't put a specific theological frame on this. – fredsbend Sep 1 '14 at 4:38
  • This question may help you understand. hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/6010/… – 77 Clash Sep 1 '14 at 8:44

Perhaps the simplest--yet most profound--reason for Satan's being chained for a thousand years is because God desires to prove to humanity once and for all that even with Satan out of the way, human beings will still reject the Lordship of Jesus Christ, thinking they are better off being masters of their own fate instead of subjects of the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 17:14; 19:16).

In other words, at the end of the thousand years, no one can any longer legitimately blame only Satan for something that is deep within the heart of all of us; namely, our sin nature.

To be sure, Jesus entered time and space as the God-Man to destroy through his death and resurrection the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), but he did not enter time and space to destroy the sin nature of the creatures he created in His image. That is something each true believer needs to do of his or her volition as they put to death the works of their sinful nature (see, for example, Romans 8:13 and Colossians 3:5).

What the 10 servants of the nobleman in Jesus' parable said of their master in Luke 19 will also be on the lips of those who refuse to bow the knee to the reign and rule of Jesus on earth during the Millennium:

"'We will not have this man to reign over us'" (vv.19 and 27).

When Satan is finally loosed from his captivity, he will have little trouble, then, in rallying troops around him in his ultimately futile attempt to depose by force the King of kings and the Lord of lords, Jesus Christ. King Jesus, in turn, will have no difficulty in defeating the prince of darkness and the father of lies, as well as all those who align themselves with him and with the beast and the false prophet. After their defeat, the unholy trinity will be cast into the lake of fire forever (see Revelation 19:20; 20:10; 20:14-15).

Only then will

"'The kingdoms of this world . . . become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever' (Revelation 11:15 KJV).

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    @Bye: The what of what? If you mean "What is the purpose of the Millennial reign of Christ on earth?" or "What is the point of Jesus' Millennial reign?", it is to give humankind one last chance, so to speak, to align themselves with the real deal (Jesus) or the counterfeits (viz., the world, the flesh, and the devil, who will be released prior to his last-gasp effort to unseat King Jesus). Maybe I'm not reading your questions as closely as I ought. What thinkest thou? Don – rhetorician Sep 1 '14 at 1:21
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    @Bye: At the risk of repeating myself unnecessarily, Satan is chained so that the hearts of some men (and women) will be exposed for what they truly are, kind of like when the hearts of our first parents were exposed when they were, once they were on their own, with no devil in sight. An analogy might help. Suppose you're a drug addict in denial. You blame your "disease" on the supply side of things: the growers, the smugglers, the distributors, the dealers (and especially that kid in the ninth grade who turned you on to pot). God steps in and says, "OK, with one wave of my magic wand, I'll – rhetorician Sep 1 '14 at 5:45
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    remove everything and everybody involved in the supply side of things. Plus, I'll remove all alcohol from the scene and anything that could possibly be addicting. I'll even re-fashion your stomach so that you can't possibly become a glutton or a binge-er/purge-er. If you still mess up and reject my lordship in your life, then you can no longer blame me, or Satan, or anyone really, except yourself. Oh, and don't go saying I'm unfair for 'sending you to hell.' No, you did that yourself." That sort of thing. This probably didn't help, but I gave it my best shot. Don – rhetorician Sep 1 '14 at 5:51
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    @Bye: The Second Coming of Christ in the air does not signal the end of the possibility of being saved. What signals the end for each and every one of us, regardless of when we live on this earth, is physical death. People in the Millennium aren't being given a second chance. They'll live and they'll die as did all humankind prior to Christ's millennial reign on earth. If they believe in Christ, they'll be resurrected to eternal life some day, just as anyone was prior to the Millennium. During the Day of the Lord, especially during the Great Tribulation, to become (and stay) a Christian – rhetorician Sep 1 '14 at 15:30
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    will be difficult indeed. Consequently, there will, perhaps, be few believers and MANY unbelievers who STILL(!) refuse to repent of their sins (see Revelation 9:20-21). By the way, I believe (at least I think I do) the Day of the Lord begins when Christ takes his church home to be with him in glory and ends when God ushers in the eternal state in which "the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever" (Revelation 11:15). – rhetorician Sep 1 '14 at 15:39

I understand your question completely I often wondered the same thing. I have reached these two possible answers

(A) The devil is released to tempt those who were resurrected in the second ressurrection (the unbelievers). So the righteous are resurrected and rule with Christ for a thousand years then after the thousands years the second resurrection begins (resurrection of the unbelievers) the devil is loosed and this group falls to ultimate temptation and after there evil plan to invade the camp of christ is thwarted by God's power, the white throne judgement takes place and the devil and all his followers get thrown into the lake of fire and the unbelievers undertake "the second death" and then the kingdom of God (New Jerusalem) descends from heaven and the New Earth will be blessed and over abundant in natural resources and all the nations of the New Earth will be blessed from New Jerusalem (the capital of the New Universe).
Revelations 20:4-6, Revelation 20:12-13, Revelations 20:14, Revelations 11:15

(B) The second answer is a speculation. After the thousand years is over and the Devil is released he goes and accomplishes tempting angels to join his rebelion by lieing and claiming that he broke out of the pit and that he cannot be contained and some angels (whom are capable of disobedience) actually believe him and fall for his deciet and begin to go against the camp of Christ and are defeated by God's power then thrown into the lake of fire never to be released.

I believe the first answer is a more palletable and acceptable answer.

Nobody has mentioned the true Olive tree; the Jews. God did not assimilate the original people of His heart into the Gentile Bride.

According to Revelation symbolism, much of which typifies The Jews, the Millenial reign will be the climax of their jealousy.

Believers are given the mandate to stir them to jealousy and a desire for the Messiah they rejected but we, the grafted in ones, accepted.

  • What evidence do you have for this belief? – curiousdannii Nov 22 '14 at 12:16
  • Hi and welcome to the site! As curiousdanii's comment suggests, your answer could really use some supportive citation, particularly to demonstrate that this represents the premillenialist view requested by the question. Please refer to our help centre for more information on what constitutes a well-supported and on-topic answer. – bruised reed Nov 22 '14 at 15:21

The answer rhetorician gave is outstanding. I'd like to add one more point that scripture explicitly states about the millenial reign of Christ on earth: the earth will be at rest.

Now, the implications are profound, among them rhetorician's point.

Here's another implication: all of those in the second resurrection will experience a sharp contrast (to put it mildly ;-) of a world they knew in the first life with a world that's had a millennium to operate under Christ reigning on earth with those in the first resurrection.

"The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years" Rev 20:5-6

Next, a 'judgement' is not, only, a decision. Rather it is a period of time to come to a decision. And, that is definitely throughout many examples in scripture where God gives mankind time to repent. It is part of the judgement.

The major prophets touch some here and there on what that millenial world will be like, e.g. Isaiah chapters 65 and 66. But, more.

Consider the implications: those who get to live a period of time under Christ's reign after having lived in this world. Who is going to say, "Man, that prior age was great?" Especially in contrast to 1,000 years of Christ on earth? (e.g. Rev 2:27).

As for those who are fulfilled in this world, Jesus does address this, e.g. Lk 6:25 "Woe to you who are well fed now". Indeed. Scripture talks about how those successful by this age's standards, and feel secure or satisfied with it, are going to end up in shame.

The overwhelming majority of mankind that has experienced life in this age pretty much agree the world is a bad place. And, that includes the overwhelming majority of the successful of this age.

It is evident in scripture many will accept Christ after experiencing the contrast. But, rhetorician's point is a very good one: there are still going to be some who do not.

There is, explicitly, a first resurrection and a second resurrection of the rest of the dead. Given the totality of scripture's revelation on the matter, all those in the second resurrection are not condemned. In fact, there's another discussion on the topic God isn't even calling everyone in this age (e.g. John 6:44, "no man can come to me lest the Father draw him", and deliberate spiritual blindness/deafness imparted by God to many in this age).

Those in the second resurrection do not have a 'better resurrection' (Heb 11:35).

Also, consider the theme of birthright throughout the Bible and some correlations to first and second resurrection, e.g.

"Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion", Isa 61:7

It's not explicit, but there is definitely a notable correlation throughout scripture.

A last point about releasing Satan: it proves how futile mere mortal is against Satan. Upon being released into a world without war for 1,000 years, mere mortals are still pawns in Satan's hand to stir up war against Christ. Then, again, Christ proves how futile Satan's attempts are to thwart Him.

Apparently, Christ wants that demonstrated - again - after binding him 1,000 years. My personal thoughts are for these reasons:

  • there is no struggle between ANYTHING and God. Period. Satan is not a worthy opponent to God. Yet he's fooled millinea of mankind he is just that. (Look what exalting one's self against God did for mortals. What do you think an even more accountable being is facing?)

  • that should put mere mortal's hearts at rest, "be anxious for NOTHING" is God's will.

  • God's revealed nature in scripture indicates He is righteously indignant of what Satan has done with His creation, ---and His Name---. It's curtains for this creature in front of all mankind and the saved.

There is another interpretation that is put forward by Ellis Skolfield (no relation to the author of the Scofield Bible). He is a Messianic Jew who holds to a form of historicism. In his view, the word for "thousand" is an indefinite plural, hence it means "thousands". He teaches that the millennial reign of Christ began either at the Cross or on the day of Pentecost and has continued up until the present day. He also teaches that the great tribulation began at the same time. The two periods - tribulation and millennial reign - are simultaneous.

In his view, Satan was bound at the cross and will be released shortly before Christ returns, (unless he has already been released). During this reign of Christ, many nations have seen periods where they acknowledged Jesus as savior: the middle east before the Muslim conquest, Rome, Europe, all of North and South America, Australia, India under British rule, Africa under colonial rule, many islands and lately South Korea, plus a rising proportion of China. Even those that did not formally recognize him accepted many ideas of morality and human rights as taught in the Bible. But this period is rapidly coming to an end, and the nations will return to their ancient barbarism on a worldwide scale.

Thus Skolfield teaches that there won't be two big battles of Armageddon, as some seem to teach, but just one. He says that the rapture will not come before the tribulation, because it is already here.

Getting to your question, Satan was bound so that the nations would be free enough from his grasp for better forms of government and justice to take root. He was bound so that knowledge would increase and the church would have enough liberty to accomplish its work of spreading the gospel. When he is unbound, all justice in government will disappear swiftly, the tribulation will intensify, and Christ will return to save the church (and Israel).

Satan will be released as part of God's judgment against mankind. Just as Pharaoh's heart was hardened through the actions of his magicians and their ability to counterfeit miracles, so will the hearts of most of humanity. Having had ample time to see the evidence of the truth of Christianity, the world will be judged. In order for the full measure of judgment to be meted out, people must be bound over to increased wickedness so that when Christ returns visibly, their continued resistance merits the maximum punishment. All the traces of Christian love, charity, and forgiveness must be expunged, and the devil and his fallen angels are capable of doing that. The world's evil must match that evil of the time of Noah, freeing God to replace all the world's fallen people with the just.

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