After the battle at Armageddon when the antichrist and the false prophet are conquered and thrown into the Lake of Fire something even more extraordinary happens. Verses 1-3 record it.
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 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 were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.”
For a millennia Satan will be locked away, unable to deceive, accuse, steal, destroy, or kill. The adversary will be chained up in the bottomless pit for all that time. It is probably the same bottomless pit from Revelation 9:1-11 from which darkness, smoke, and locusts came at the fifth trumpet blast. Satan is bound there and the people on the earth are free and in peace. But who is left on earth? Verses 4-6 read,
“Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also 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 on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6 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.”
The believers who were martyred for Jesus’ sake and those who had gone through the seven years of the beast without worshipping him or receiving his mark. They rise from the dead in the first resurrection and reign with Christ. That could very well be some of us! The signs and the times are pointing to the events of Revelation happening soon. Perhaps you and I are called to suffer through that horrible Tribulation and will be given the blessing of sharing in the first resurrection. We have to be aware and ready for it.
But remember verse 3 told us that Satan will have to be released for a little while. After that thousand years, he will be. Verses 7-10 describe it.
“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 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. 9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
Gog and Magog are the names given to the nations at the four corners of the earth. I am not sure who the people of these nations are. Are they followers of Christ who wandered away from the Holy City? Are they demons? Are they remnants and descendants of unbelievers from the time of the beasts? Are they the unbelievers from the time of the beasts brought back for Satan’s battle? I do not know and I will not venture a guess, though I will pray and research.
In the book of Ezekiel Gog was an evil prince and Magog the land where he ruled (Ezekiel 38:1-3). But the prophecy about Gog and Magog looks a lot like what will happen when Satan is released from the bottomless pit. Ezekiel 38:4-12 reads,
“And I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great host, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords. 5 Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all his hordes; Beth-togarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes—many peoples are with you.
7 “Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. 8 After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. 9 You will advance, coming on like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you.
10 “Thus says the Lord God: On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme 11 and say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates,’ 12 to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and the people who were gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth. “
To me that sounds like Satan leading vast armies from these nations against the gathered people of God. And in Ezekiel The Lord tells Gog and Magog that they will be destroyed and that all the nations will know He is LORD. So whoever the inhabitants of those far off nations are, they are not our concern. We are not told to evangelize or warn them. Whoever they are they have no hope of salvation. They may as well be dead, walking zombies, and slaves to Satan. Regardless, the awesome end of it is that Satan is thrown into the lake of fire, forever. He will no longer be able to deceive, steal, kill, or destroy. He will be in the Lake of Fire forever, not as the king of Hell, not as the prince of the power of the air, but as one of the tormented just like those who will join him there because they believed his beautiful lies.
When Satan is once and for all thrown into the Lake of Fire. The Judgement comes or rather the sentencing comes. Verses 11-15 read,
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
There will be one basis for judgement, either one’s name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life or it is not. Those who confessed that Jesus is Lord and believed in His Resurrection will have their names written in the Book of Life (Romans 10:9). Those whose names are not there will be thrown into the Lake of Fire with their prince Satan. Jesus described this final judgement in Matthew 25:31-46,
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Hell is described in Scripture. While we rejoice that Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet will suffer there forever, we have to remember the countless hordes who will follow behind them. Jesus described it in Mark 9:48 as the place “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” In Matthew 13:42 He explained it as “the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” We have been commissioned for a job, we have assignments for our Lord Jesus Christ and for the Kingdom of God. We have to use our love manifested through our gifts for building up the church (1 Corinthians 14), and for making disciples of the nations and baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit (Matthew 28:16-20).
The time is coming soon! We have to be doers of the Word, not preachers or hearers only. We must take seriously the commands to put on the wedding garments (to be saved and living our faith by good works, Revelation 3:18) and to have our oil lamps filled (to be filled with the Holy Spirit and glorifying Christ, Matthew 25:1-12). What is your assignment? How are you using your gifts to fulfill the commissions you were given by The Lord?