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Revelation 20:1 Satan Bound

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Satan Bound

In Revelation 20 the devil, Satan, is grabbed by an angel and bound him with a great chain. Satan is bound for a thousand years.

This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references I mention.

If you do not have a Bible, I recommend or search for an online Bible.

Revelation 20:1-6

1. John sees another angel, this time the angel is coming from heaven.

Holding the key of the abyss

“Abussos (abyss) appears seven times in Revelation (cf. 9:1,2 11; 11:7; 17:8) always in reference to the temporary place of incarceration for certain demons. The abyss is not their final place of punishment; the lake of fire is (Matthew 25:41). (MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. [Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000], 234)

“The key given to the angel by God signifies his delegated authority (cf. 9:1) he has the power to open the abyss, and then to shut it after casting Satan inside.” (MacArthur, 235)

When I think about this chain, I think about a chain attached to an anchor on a big ship. It would have to be strong and huge.

Nothing else would hold Satan.

Thousand Years

2. Jesus grabbed Satan

Satan is identified by four titles:

The dragon.
“It emphasizes his bestial nature, ferociousness, and oppressive cruelty.”

The serpent of old
This “hearkens back to the Garden of Eden and Satan’s temptation of Eve (Genesis 3:1-6; 2 Corinthians 11:3).”

Who is the devil and Satan,

“Diabolos (devil) means ‘slanderer,’ or malicious gossip’ (1 Timothy 3:11; 2 Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3)—an appropriate title for the ‘accuser of our brethren’ (12:10).”

“Satanas (Satan) and its Hebrew root satan are used fifty-three times in Scripture.”

“Both words mean ‘adversary,’ since Satan opposes God, Christ, and all believers.” [NASB1995] (MacArthur, 235)

3. He will be held in the abyss for a thousand years.

The angel shut it and sealed it over him.


He will no longer be able to deceive the nations.

Satan will be in the abyss until the time is finished.

Then he must be loosed a little season.

He will wreak havoc upon the world again.


4. The thrones symbolized “both judicial and regal authority.” (MacArthur, 237)

And God’s people sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.

“The glorified saints will both enforce God’s will and adjudicate disputes.” (MacArthur, 237)

“John is vague about who these people were, who they judged, and what the resulting verdicts were.“ (Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. [Nashville: B&H, 1998], 371)

Daniel 7:22, 27    Matthew 19:28    1 Corinthians 6:2    2 Timothy 2:12    Revelation 2:26   Revelation 3:21 Revelation 5:10

Easley said, “the information here is insufficient for a conclusion.” (373)

I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded.

“These are the martyred believers from the Tribulation (6:9; 7:9-17; 12:11).” (MacArthur, 237)

About the “souls” Easley tells us that “some interpreters have puzzled how John can see ‘souls’ rather than bodies, but in a vision that is no problem.” (372)

“The empire of Antichrist exterminated Tribulation saints because of their testimony of Jesus (cf. 1:9; 12:17; 19:10).” [NASB1995] (Macarthur, 238)

They also, “faithfully proclaimed the word of God [NASB1995]  (cf. 1:2; 6:9).” (Macarthur, 238)

Also, because “they had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand (cf. 13:16-17; 14:9-11; 16:2; 19:20).” [NASB1995]  (Macarthur, 238)

“Because the Tribulation saints were faithful to the death, evidencing their true salvation (cf. Matthew 24;13;    Colossians 1:21-23;    Hebrews 3:14), they too came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”  [NASB1995] (Macarthur, 238)

Resurrection to Judgment

5. “These are the unbelieving dead of all ages, whose resurrection to judgment and damnation is described in verses 11-15. “ (Macarthur, 238)

“John calls the resurrection of the saints from all ages the first resurrection.

6. “Those who have a part in the first resurrection are blessed first of all because the second death has no power over them.” [NASB1995] (Macarthur, 238)

“The second death, defined in verse 14 as ‘the lake of fire’, is eternal hell.“ (Macarthur, 238)

If you are a true believer, you will not have to worry about eternal hell.

“Those who are in the first resurrection are also blessed because they will be priests of God and of Christ (cf. 1:6; 5:10).” [NASB1995] (Macarthur, 238)

1 Peter 2:9

Again, those in the first resurrection will reign with Him for a thousand years

Satan Loosed

7. Satan has been bound for a thousand years.

Now that the thousand years are expired.

Satan will be loosed out of his prison,

“Here is the last rebellion of Satan and man against God. (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 1058)

“Though the initial inhabitants of the millennial kingdom will all be redeemed, they will still possess a sinful human nature. And as all parents have done since the Fall, they will pass that sin nature on to their offspring.” (MacArthur, 239)

8. Satan shall go out to deceive the nations.

And deceive them he will.

“The nations of the earth again will come under the spell of Satan and will plot a rebellion.” (McGee, 1058)

“Despite the personal rule of Christ on earth, despite the most moral society the world will ever know, many others will love their sin and reject Him (cf. Romans 8:7). (MacArthur, 240)

The nations are in the four quarters of the earth.

This “means the extreme limits of the world, as we would say, ‘the four points of the compass’ (7:1).” (Easley, 377)

Gog and Magog

This is not identified with the Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38-39. McGee states “this is not possible at all, for the conflicts described are not parallel as to time, place or participants—only the names are the same.” (1058)

“The term is used in this passage to describe the sinful rebels from all the nations who will gather together for the final war in human history.[NASB1995] (MacArthur, 241)

The number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

This is “a figure of speech used in Scripture to describe a vast, uncountable multitude. (Genesis 22:17;    Joshua 11:4;    Judges 7:12;    1 Samuel 13:5;    1 Kings 4:20;    Hebrews 11:12).” (MacArthur, 241)

9. And they went up on the breadth of the earth.

“The earth’s topography will have been drastically reshaped by the catastrophic events of the Tribulation (cf. 16:20; Zechariah 14:4-11). This will allow the rebel forces to come up on the broad plain of the earth and surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city.“ [NASB1995] (MacArthur, 242)

Totally destroying them was the fire that came down from God out of heaven

God uses fire to judge sinners (cf. Genesis 19:24;    Leviticus 10:2    2 Kings 2:10,12;    Luke 9:54). (MacArthur, 242)

10. “At last and forever, the devil’s deceptions will come to an end.” (Easley, 379)

The devil, the antichrist and the false prophet were cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.

They will still be there.

And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

I do not want to be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Do you?

Accept Jesus


Unless otherwise noted; Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version

In this article Scripture quotations taken from the NIV. Copyright by Biblica, Inc.®

In this article Scripture quotations taken from the NASB1995. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation.

Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. Nashville: B&H, 1998
MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983

Great Supper                                                                    Great White Throne

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