In the previous installment of this article, we established some points on whether or not the idea of a pre-tribulation rapture is viable. Today I would like to dig deeper into what Satan is doing during the millennium. What is this bottomless pit to which Satan is bound? Why is he unable to deceive the nations? What is the conclusion of this whole scenario?
To begin our study, let’s have a look at Revelation 20: 2,3.
” And he laid hold on the dragon, that old 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 20:2,3
We can see three main points in this verse.
- The devil is bound to the bottomless pit for 1000 years
- He is unable to deceive the nations during the 1000 years
- He is released for a short time after the 1000 years have expired
The Bottomless Pit
The original Greek word used to describe this pit is “abyssos.” This word can be used to describe something that appears to be bottomless or unbounded such as the depths of the sea. It can also be used to describe a vast desolate land.
For instance, look at what Luke wrote about the confrontation with the demon-possessed men in Gadara.
“And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.”Luke 8:30,31
The word “abyssos” is here translated as “the deep.” Now, look at what Mark had to say about the same account.
“And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.”Mark 5:9.10
Mark chose to use the Greek word “Chora” when relating this experience to his readers. The word “Chora” means country, or in other words, the space lying between two regions.
To get the big picture, let’s look at the old testament scriptures to see if they hold any clues that unlock this mystery. Using the Septuagint, we find that the Hebrew equivalent of the word “abyssos” is “Tehowm.” This word is also used to describe seemingly unmeasurable depths, especially of water. It is also used to describe the earth before it was formed by God.
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”Genesis 1:2
Before God formed the earth, it was devoid of all life. It was a mass of water and darkness. Look at what Jeremiah has to say about the state of the earth after the second coming of Jesus Christ.
“I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, 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.”Jeremiah 4:23-26
Some interpret the bottomless pit to mean some unnatural abode of demons deep in the chasms of the earth. I do not see any evidence of this in scripture, but rather, I see it as a description of this planet in a desolate state.
I believe John specifically used old testament language to make a connection between the old testament prophecies and the visions he received. After coming to this conclusion, all the little pieces of evidence fit together so nicely.
Satan During the Millennium
We have already established the point that all the wicked men and women will be destroyed when Christ comes. Jesus’ faithful saints will be taken to heaven, while Satan will be bound to this desolate and destroyed earth. No longer will he have anyone to tempt or destroy. This is why the scriptures declare that he can no longer deceive the nations.
For 1000 years, Satan will have to contemplate the results of all his terrible labors. He will have all the destruction before him that was caused as a result of his rebellion. This world will become a prison to him and speak to him of his fate.
So what will happen after the millennium? I will simply let the scriptures proclaim the truth on this matter.
“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”Revelation 20:13
“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. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”Revelation 20:7-9
At the end of the millennium, all the wicked will be raised, and again Satan will have the ability to deceive men. As seen in these verses, Satan gathers them as a great army in hopes of overtaking the heavenly city. He tricks them once more, giving them hope that they can obtain a victory. How futile were their efforts!
The Destruction of Sin
Ezekiel gives one of the best descriptions in the Bible of the rise of rebellion in Satan’s heart. He also prophesied what the results would be.
“Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”Ezekiel 28:17-19
For thousands of years, Satan has wreaked havoc on the universe. Finally, justice is served. Satan and all those that joined him in his rebellion will be destroyed. Satan himself will be brought to ashes upon the earth.
“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.”Malachi 4:1,3
Satan is the root, and all those that joined him are the branches. All will be consumed. Forever the universe will be purified. No more will sin and rebellion reign.
How I long to see this day. A day when all tears can be wiped away. When we no longer have to live under the curse of sin. Forever we will be happy. Forever we will be able to praise our Lord without hindrance.
Will there be a pre-tribulation rapture? From all the evidence that the Bible gave us, I would have to say no. I see no evidence that this event will take place. For me, the Bible has clearly presented a picture of what will happen when that day comes. I hope you, dear reader, have found answers as well.
Written by Cory Lamming