TEXT: Revelation 20:1-10

God’s word teaches that Christ will return to reign literally on earth for a thousand years. The one- thousand-year period is mentioned six times in the text (verses 2-7). The word “millennium”, is a compound derivative from the Latin words ‘mille’ (thousand) and ‘annum’ (year) which simply translates into a thousand years. Thus, Christ’s millennial reign is a thousand years of the full manifestation of His glory, unprecedented peace, unparalleled prosperity, unpretentious purity, uninterrupted protection, unbroken preservation, unequalled pleasure, unending health and unspeakable joy and as well as Eden-like restoration of all things. All these will be possible because the Prince of this world would be bound and cast into the bottomless pit before the reign of the Prince of Peace on earth. Prior to this glorious reign, the Church will suddenly be taken away by Christ at rapture, paving the way for the commencement of a seven-year great tribulation and the reign of the Antichrist that will terminate with the second coming of Christ with the Church to establish His government (1 Thessalonians 4:1 -18; Matthew 24:21,22; Jude 14). The government o this world, at that time, will resist His coming but the Lord will overcome at the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19: 15-21). Satan will be bound and imprisoned for one thousand years (Revelation 20: 1-3). The kingdom Of this world will, then, become the Kingdom of our God and His Christ He will rule the nations with a rod of iron; then, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

RESTRAINT AND CONFINEMENT OF SATAN FOR A THOUSAND YEARS (Revelation 20:1-3; 1:18; 9:1-3; Jude 6; Revelation 12:9; Isaiah 27:1; 24:22,23; Luke 11:20-22; John 12:31; Isaiah 14:5-7)

“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key Of the bottomless pit and a great chain serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 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*’ (Revelation 20:1-3), The beginning of Christ’s millennial reign is marked by the confinement of Satan in the bottomless pit for a thousand years by the superior power of an angel of God: This event will occur after the destruction of the Antichrist” armies end after the beast and the false prophet are cast “alive into a lake Of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:19-21). The angel received the key of the bottomless pit from Jesus Christ who possesses “the keys Of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18). The devil always loses ground whenever God manifests His power. Just as he was dethroned and displaced for ‘his rebellion, pride and inordinate ambition to be like God (Isaiah 14:12-15), he will eventually be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10) The scripture reveals the character of Satan as a deceiver. His words, doctrines miracles,, gifts, power, temptations, etc. are tools he uses to deceive people in order to damn their souls.’ While on earth, Satan deceived man to rebel against God, leading to latter’s fall in Eden (Genesis 3:1-6). Through deception, he weakens the nation, rules the heart of men, entices the unsuspecting believer and keeps his bound. However; this deception will come to a halt when he is confined to the bottomless truth will be established as he would no longer be able to deceive anyone.
We learn from the foregoing that, One, Jesus has the power and authority (the keys) to bind and confine the devil to any place temporarily or permanently (Matthew 28:18). Two, Jesus has given that same power and authority to the believer to bind and cast out devil (Luke 10:19; Matthew 16:19; 18:18). This truth should inspire believers to use their God-given authority over Satan and his cohorts for the progress of God’s work. Three, Satan could not resist being taken out of the way for the full manifestation of the purpose of God. (Revelation 20:3). The devil cannot stop divine plan for believers who pray according to His word and will. Four, Christ has power to open and shut (Revelation 3:7). Satan was not only cast into the bottomless pit but also shut up and sealed. A Christian. writer magnifies the, Lord’s power thus: ‘Christ shuts, and none can open; he shuts by his power, seals by his authority, and his lock and seal even the devils themselves cannot break open’.

REIGN OF CHRIST WITH RESURRECTED SAINTS FOR A THOUSAND YEARS (Revelation 20:4-6; Daniel 7:9,18,22,27; Isaiah 9:6,7; Jeremiah 3:17,18; Matthew 19:27,28; 1 Corinthians 6:2,3; 2 Timothy 2:11,12; Revelation 3:21; 5:9, 10; John 5:25-29; Daniel 12:2,3; 1 Corinthians 15:20-24; Luke 20:35,36)

“And I 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 thee foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4). Thrones are set as soon as the devil is bound and cast into the bottomless pit, signifying the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ and His Church. John saw many thrones, which obviously refer to the privileged and promised seats of triumphant saints who will sit to pronounce judgment and determine the destiny of rejecters of God’s grace and mercy. This event will take place at the beginning of the Lord’s millennial reign in fulfilment of Christ’s promise that, “when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:28). While those Apostles will be judging Israel, all Christians will be involved in judging the world. “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?” (I Corinthians 6:2).

Daniel captures the emergence of the literal kingdom of Christ lucidly: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom” (Daniel 7:9,22). This Scripture portrays the majesty of the King of the kingdom, as well as the purity, righteousness, justice and fairness that would characterise His reign. The millennial reign is a time of the glorious unveiling of the unrivalled reign and dominion of the King of kings; a time of the literal fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy that, “…the government shall be upon his shoulder… Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever” (Isaiah 9:6,7); a time when the kingdoms of the world would be under the firm control of our Lord and His faithful saints. Christ’s millennial reign will be characterised by, one, unprecedented global, spiritual, interpersonal and political peace as there will be a complete cessation of the scourge of wars; even peace in the animal kingdom as wild animals would lose their ferociousness (Micah 4:3; Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:25; Psalm 72:3-7); two, unfettered righteousness .and holiness (Ezekiel 43:7-12; Isaiah three, true spiritual worship and hunger for God’s word (Isaiah 2:3); four, unspeakable joy and happiness (Isaiah 65: 18, 19); five, abundant knowledge of God (Isaiah 1 1:9; Habakkuk 2: 14); six, supernatural abundance, restoration and productivity as the original curse placed upon mankind at creation will be removed (Isaiah 11 :6-9; 35:9; 65:21-23); seven, glorious revelation of the Ancient of days (Daniel 7:9); eight, unveiling of divine glory (Isaiah 24:23; 60:1-9); nine, full comfort (Isaiah 12: 1,2; Jeremiah 33:23-25); ten, justice (Isaiah 9: 7; 1 1:5; 42:1-4); eleven, freedom from sickness (Isaiah 33:24; Jeremiah 30: 17; Ezekiel 34: 16; Isaiah 29:17-19); twelve, preservation of life (Isaiah 41:8-14; 62:8,9; Jeremiah 32:27; Ezekiel 34:27; Joel 3: 16, 17; Amos 9:15; Zechariah 14: 10,11) and thirteen, complete freedom from all forms of oppression (Isaiah 14:3-6; 42:6,7; Zechariah 9:11,12)

The text describes those who will reign with Christ as those who take part in “the first resurrection” (Revelation 20:5,6). All who believe in Christ, remain consistent in holiness, bear witness of Him and abide in His word faithfully till the end will be raised and rewarded at the beginning of the one thousand years. So, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection”. Specifically, the Scripture identifies those who will reign with the Lord as, one, the Church of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-27; Matthew ’24: 13); the apostate church that is married to the world will miss it (Revelation 17:1-7); two, the poor in Spirit (Matthew 5:3). that is, those who recognise and admit their state Of spiritual poverty but lack assurance of salvation and are willing to turn away from sin and surrender to Christ; three, the watchful and prayerful (Hebrews 9:28; Matthew 25:34). God has given everyone the privilege and opportunity to witness the millennial reign of His Son by providing salvation for all. And “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

RELEASE OF SATAN AND RETRIBUTION FOR REBELLION AFTER ONE THOUSAND YEARS (Revelation 20:7-10; John 8:44; 2 Corinthians I I: 13-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 12:9; 13:13, 14; Isaiah 45:9; Ezekiel 38:9-23; 39:5-8; Nahum 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10)

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” At the end of the millennial reign, Satan will be released to operate all over the world for “a little season’ (Revelation 20:3). He will again deceive the nations to fight against the reigning Christ in the hope of overthrowing His Kingdom on earth. Multitudes will be deceived to rebel against God, even after witnessing one thousand years of uninterrupted peace and prosperity. Perfect environment and good governments cannot change men’s hearts: only Christ’s atonement can save and transform them. Though the devil and his followers will rally a formidable army as they lay siege to “the camp of the saints… and the beloved city”, “fire [will come) down from God out of heaven, and [devour] them” (Revelation 20:9). It is obvious from the outcome of this battle of Gog and Magog that the omnipotent Christ always triumphs over all His foes. Besides, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31). After this devastating defeat comes the final retribution and perpetual judgment of God on the devil. He will summarily be cast into the lake of fire where his two great officers, the Antichrist and the false prophet, had been dumped (Revelation 20:10). This will be the end of deceit, rebellion and impunity! The lake of fire is equally the abode of all who refuse to surrender to Christ and obey the gospel of God. To escape this damnable end, all sinners must repent, seek God for mercy and forgiveness of sins, receive Christ as Lord and Saviour and live consistent lifestyle of righteousness till the end (Isaiah 55:6,7).

1. Admit that you are a sinner. "For all [humans] have sinned, and comes short of the glory of God....[and] the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 3:23)
2. Repent now. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out ...[for] if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness " (Acts 3:19, 1 John 1:9)
3. Believe that God loves you and Jesus died for you. "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet Sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)
4. Invite Jesus into your life through prayer of faith. Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20)