Doug Batchelor - The Devil's Dungeon
Tonight our subject is dealing with the topic of the Millennium in the Bible, sometimes known as the thousand years. You find this in revelation 20; it's called the “Devil's Dungeon”. If you have your Bible, I'd like to invite you to turn with me to Revelation chapter 20 and we're going to read the first few verses here and it'll give us the foundation for what we're going to study. I want to make sure everybody understands this very important subject. So if you look there in the book of revelation, chapter 20, verse 1, "Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan," - any question about who the devil, Satan, and dragon are? - "and bound him for" - how long? - "a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit," - what is that? - "and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.
Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and he'll go out to deceive the nations that are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of Heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."
Alright, we're going to pause right there. With that as a background for our study, now we're going to get into question #1 of the lesson. You've got the picture and let's learn about this dungeon that the devil is confined to. Question #1 in our study: What events mark the beginning of this one thousand-year period? So how do we know? What's the landmarks that begin this time period? You find in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 it says, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout," - the second coming of Jesus is when the Lord descends and it says - "and the dead in Christ will rise first." wherever you hear about first, sequentially that means what? Somewhere there's a... a second.
And so it's saying, 'Blessed and holy are those that are in the first resur... you want to be in the first resurrection, friends. That's the resurrection of the saved. And then you read in Revelation 20, verses 4 and 5, "And they lived and reigned with Christ for" - how long? "A thousand years. But" - it tells us - "the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection." now you do not find the word 'millennium in the Bible. Millennium is a composite of two Latin words that simply mean 'milli' which is a thousand and 'annum' which means years. And so the beginning of the one thousand-year period, it starts with what we call the first resurrection and the end of it is the second resurrection. There are two complete separate distinct resurrections. I remember when I first heard this, it kind of surprised me. I thought there was one resurrection at the end of time. The Bible is very clear.
Question #2: What else will happen in the first resurrection? You read in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, verses 51 through 53, it says, "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed - in a moment...at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and all the dead will be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed. For this corruptible" - it goes on to say - "must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." just think about that. Some people will never die. There's already a few people who have never died - who are they? There's two. Enoch and Elijah.
The Bible says Elijah - Enoch walked with God and God took him. Elijah went to heaven in a fiery chariot. There are going to be others who are alive when Jesus comes who will never experience death. So what happens? When the Lord comes down, all of a sudden we go through this miraculous, complete, total revitalization where we're transformed and we get these glorified eternal bodies and it just happens in the twinkling of an eye. That's quicker than a blink. You can read more about this answer - it's in Philippians 3, verse 21. It says, "Who will change our vile body that it might be fashioned like unto His glorious body." What kind of bodies do we get? Do we turn into ghosts or do we get glorified bodies? What was Jesus' body like when He rose from the dead? Did He tell the disciples to touch Him? It was a glorious body. It was a supernatural body but it was real at the same time. Then he said, 'Do you have anything to eat? I'm hungry.' Twice He asked them to feed him. Actually, once, He did the cooking - when it was by the seashore. So He's making it clear - He says, 'I'm not an ethereal ghost.' Your glorified body is a real body.
When God made Adam and Eve, did they have real bodies? Did He intend them to live forever? Does the Bible say, in Heaven, we're going to plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them and build houses and inhabit them? And we'll be doing real things, we're not just going to be strumming harps on a cloud somewhere. So our bodies will be like Jesus' glorified body. And again, 2 Thessalonians 2, verse 8, "Then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume...with the brightness of His coming." so when the Lord comes, the dead in Christ that are dead will be caught up. Those who are saved will be transformed and caught up. And what happens to those left behind? Just like what happened to the devil - consumed with the brightness of his coming. Furthermore, Revelation 16:18, "...and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." This is going to be a 15 on the Richter scale because it says islands are swallowed up and the mountains are shaken out of their foundations.
Alright, and it goes on to say, "And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great" - what? - "a great hail out of Heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent:" Now see that picture, that's somebody who's holding walnut-sided hail. I did an amazing fact one time to find out what was the largest hail ever recorded. In Bangladesh they had softball-sized hail. Now that can kill you, but still, that's not 75 pounds. Can you imagine the world being pummeled by that kind of hail?
Now, when all these things are happening, with the coming of Jesus, this marks the beginning of a period where Satan is bound. Revelation 20, verses 1 and 2, "And...an angel...laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years." Now, how do you bind a devil? I mean, Samson, they tied him up with all different kinds of ropes and he just broke the ropes. You wonder, is Satan stronger than Samson? How do you tie up a devil? If we knew how, we'd all want to do it, wouldn't we? Satan is not being bound by ropes, it's the chain that's being referred to - it says, "The angel had a great chain in his hand." It's talking about a chain of circumstances.
Now, that bottomless pit is a very interesting word and this is what throws people. It comes from a Greek word that you find other places in the Bible. You ever heard the word 'abyss'? It comes from the Greek word 'abussos'. It sounds similar, right? That word 'abussos', it means the devil is chained where he cannot do anything. It's isolation for him. The same word is used in Luke chapter 8, verse 31. You remember, there's this man who's possessed with a legion of demons and the demons say to Jesus, 'Do not cast us out into the' - same exact word - 'abussos.' demons and the devil do not want to be cast into nothingness. The devil wants to possess somebody. He will possess a serpent. The devils in this story possessed pigs - well, possessed people - they want to tempt. The devil's a workaholic - with nothing to do it's torture for him. And so the bottomless pit is this planet.
For one thousand years Satan is going to be bound down here in darkness, with his demons, with no humans alive, why? Because when Jesus comes back, what direction do the dead in Christ go? Up. The living saints are transformed and in what direction do they go? We will be caught up. Remember, Jesus said, 'I go to prepare a place for you. I will come again and receive you unto myself that where i am, ye may be.' So we're all going back to the mansions He's prepared when he comes, right? What happens to the wicked who are alive when He comes? The devil and all - the devil's going to run from his presence. All the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of His coming. How many people are alive on the planet at that point? Nobody. Who does the devil have to tempt, him and his demons? They're going to be chained on this dark planet.
Question #3: In what condition will the earth be left after this devastating earthquake and hailstorm that begin the one thousand years? Let's let the Bible explain itself. Isaiah 24, verse 19, "The Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down." The earth is utterly broken down. How many people on the earth? It's empty. Read now in Jeremiah 4, verse 23, "I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and... void.
Now, you read that you might think, 'Oh, he's talking about creation.' because it's the same wording, but it's not what he's talking about. Keep reading, "I beheld...and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and...there was no man, all the birds of heaven were fled...the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger." what was the condition of Israel after Nebuchadnezzar came and left? Desolate - cities broken down. Didn't we just read that? Read Jeremiah 25, verse 33, "And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth:" - is that clear? - "They shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried;" why is there nobody to gather them or to bury them? Because there's nobody alive.
Many dear Christians believe that the secret rapture takes place seven years before Jesus actually touches the earth. They go back to Heaven. Great tribulation - people still alive on earth during the tribulation - then at the end of that time Jesus comes down and the millennial reign is here on earth and then at the end of that millennial reign, the wicked are slain and we just occupy the earth. In that scenario, where is the earth completely vacated from all life? It doesn't fit. It never happens. It doesn't fit the scheme in the Bible of what it's describing. And so this is what Protestants used to believe for about 1,500 years, and it's getting eclipsed by Hollywood productions now. It tells us that the slain of the Lord cover the earth. There is no man. I turned the earth upside down - it's utterly empty - the cities are all broken down. They've all fled from the presence of the Lord by His fierce anger. There's no one to lament or to bury them or mourn. They're all gone. But we're living and reigning with Christ. Satan is bound on this planet.
You know, in the Greek Old Testament - it's the same Old Testament as Hebrew except it's in Greek - called the Septuagint. When it says the earth is void, it uses the word 'abussos'. It calls this planet the same thing and that verse in Jeremiah uses the word 'abussos' - the earth was an abyss. Satan is bound on this planet with nobody to tempt and manipulate and he has to look at the consequences of his rebellion for one thousand years. That's a long prison sentence.
Alright, Question #4: Where will the saints be during the one thousand years and what will they be doing? Alright, now we're going to jump to Heaven. It's going to be a prettier picture. John 14, verse 3, Jesus said, "I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." Revelation 20, verse 4 - what are we doing in Heaven when it says we live and reign with Christ? It tells us in the Bible. "I saw thrones and they sat upon them and judgement was given unto them and they lived and they reigned with Christ a thousand years." Now what does judgment mean? Does that mean that we're up there going, 'Innocent. Guilty. Innocent. Guilty.' Who are we judging? Keep reading, it tells us. 1 Corinthians - this is Paul - chapter 6, verse 2, "Do ye not know" - and verse 3 - "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" You know, we're, as Christians, going to be persecuted by the world. We're going to be judged. There'll be a death decree on us - but before that happens, Jesus is going to come and rescue us and the tables are going to turn. That means Paul will someday be sitting in judgment of Nero, who declared that Paul should be beheaded. Won't that be interesting? So God is just.
Alright, Question #5: What will happen at the close of the one thousand years? Several things: "Behold" - it says - and now I'm in Zechariah 14, verses 1, 4, 5, and 9 - "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh...and His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and" - it says - "the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof." The night we studied the second coming - if anybody comes along and they say, 'I'm Jesus' - if his feet are touching the ground, he's not Jesus, because when Jesus' feet touch the ground, He's coming to the Mount of Olives and it's going to split and form a great valley.
Now why does that happen? Revelation 21, verse 2 - it's in your lesson - "And I John saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." This is a great marriage supper where finally the end of that seven thousand-year period takes place. This all happens at the end of that one thousand years - the New Jerusalem comes down. That is the good Jerusalem - city of peace.
Alright, so when that happens, what happens next to now free Satan from his prison? You read in Revelation chapter 20, verse 5 - we already touched on this but we're going to read it again: "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." What does that imply? After the thousand years are finished, what happens? They live again. You know what else we read? After the thousand years are finished, Satan is loosed from his prison. What is it that looses Satan from his prison? All the wicked dead who have ever lived are going to come back to life. He's now got this vast army again that's always listened to him before. They're ready and able to listen to him again.
So, what will Satan do when the wicked are raised? Revelation 20, verses 8 and 9 - it says he "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." - and it goes on to say - "and they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city." Ezekiel talks about Gog and Magog coming against the people of God. Gog and Magog, you read in Genesis, they are some of the ancestors of the tribes that fought against Israel. They represent the enemies of Israel. Gog - Magog means 'from the matrix, or the children of Gog.' Gog was a warlike nation that fought against Israel; Magog meant 'and the children of Gog.' so - I've heard people say, 'Oh, it's Russia and China.' and Revelation is not talking about those kind of battles of nations. It's talking about the battle between good and evil, Christ and Satan, those who follow him and those who don't.
In Revelation it talks about Babylon, the mother of harlots, and her daughters. Gog and Magog. You've got the wicked and their children it talks about and that's all that it's saying. It says, 'They cover the earth like a cloud.' Can you imagine just the swarms of humanity all over the planet. And those in the city - it's going to look pretty ominous for us.
Question #6: At this crucial moment, what will stop everything? Revelation 20, verses 11 and 12, "And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it...and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Who are the dead that are being judged at this judgment? That's the wicked. They're dead spiritually. Jesus said, 'If you have the Son you have life. If you don't have the Son, you do not have life.' And so, during that time, when they prepared to launch this assault on the City of God, Jesus is exalted above the city, this battle is paused, the Lord will make every person's life to pass before them in the heavens, where all can see. Above the New Jerusalem they'll see Jesus coming into the world. They'll see His perfect life. They'll see that He taught everybody what they needed to do to be saved. They'll see Jesus' sufferings at the hands of Lucifer and the way that the devil was so filled with this love for power and Jesus was so filled with the power of love.
What will happen next? After God shows the issues - shows people their sins - shows His goodness, everyone bows down and they say, 'Jesus is Lord.' - even the devil will finally be constrained by the justice of God to bow down and declare that Jesus is Lord. It'll be harder for him than anyone. And, at that point, the devil jumps back to his feet and he said, 'It's our last chance. Take the city.' They come against the City of God. It tells us in Revelation 20, verse 9, at that point God has no alternative, does He? Fire comes down from God out of Heaven and devours them. Again, Revelation 20, verse 15 - and it tells us "Whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." As that fire rains down around the New Jerusalem - the New Jerusalem's got big walls, it's safe, even though it's molten outside the city, everyone inside is safe. And all the wicked are going to be punished according to what they deserve and anyone not found in the book of life is thrown into the lake of fire. The Bible says this is the second death.
So, quickly, and that's, by the way, Revelation 20, verse 14. Let's review what happens now - to mark out the millennium. We'll just put a little chart up on the screen to give you the quick picture of how do you separate this period of time. At the beginning of the one thousand years you have the first resurrection and the second coming, right? And then, at the end, it's the second resurrection and the Holy City comes down. During the one thousand years, the righteous are in Heaven. We're looking at the books, we're asking questions, we're judging - so that when the judgment happens, we're all in agreement saying, 'True and righteous are His judgments.' And then, after the one thousand years, fire comes down, there - it's called 'the executive part' of the judgment - when people receive their penalties.
After the fire goes out, what will God do for His people at that time? Do we continue treading on ashes or does the Bible say - Isaiah 65:17 - "behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth" wherein dwells righteousness. We will get to see Him making this new Heaven and this new Earth, amen? Won't that be exciting? And then read also, Revelation 21, verse 1, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away." And the Lord wants you in that city, friends. 2 Peter 3, verse 13, "but we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness." Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth - we will get to watch Jesus making the world all over again, even more beautiful than before, because He's going to give us an upgrade. God, Himself, will dwell with us, amen?
Where will God and the righteous finally live? Revelation 21, verse 3, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them." God is going to live with us. Instead of this just being another world, the Lord is moving the capital of the universe to this planet and that's why we will reign with Christ. Won't that be wonderful, friends?
At this point, all of this is behind us. The meek will inherit the earth. The question is where will we be? The Lord has brought you to these meetings - you're watching now - you're here now because He wants you to accept His gift of everlasting life that He's offering. He has a special plan for your life that He can only mobilize and activate when He returns and when you surrender your life to Him. It begins now. Would you like to make that decision tonight, friends? You can have that. We don't have to fear all the pain and the darkness in this world if we give our lives to Jesus.