The millennial reign or 1000 year reign of Christ is a very important topic for Christians to study and understand. What you are about to read is what will occur after the antichrist is defeated by the Lord Jesus at the battle of Armageddon. (Jesus' return at this point will be bodily.) Just after the antichrist and false prophet are thrown alive into the lake of fire, we pick up in Revelation chapter 20 and the 1000 year reign of Christ.
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. (Rev 20:1,2)
Only one angel was needed to seize the devil and have him thrown into the Abyss. It didn't take numerous legions of God's angels, one legion or even two angels! The devil, therefore, is not as powerful as he wants us to think, but he is an incredibly good deceiver. We must be alert and self controlled to stand against his lies (1 Pet. 5:8). We are no match for him in our own strength, but through God, we will succeed.
The devil gets bound by a spiritual chain, then thrown into the Abyss, a type of spiritual prison. Mankind, during the 1000 year reign of Christ, is finally safe from his deceptions. When he is locked away, the 1000 year reign of Christ will also be a time period of perfect peace even among the animals for a whole millennium -- 1,000 years -- (Isa. 11). When the devil is loosed in verse 7, the battle of Gog and Magog will soon start! Battles are his handiwork. He is good at causing strife, divisions, fights, wars, etc. between people and nations.
Rev. 20:1 is not the only Scripture which refers to the key to the Abyss:
The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given thekey to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. (Rev 9:1,2)
From Rev. 9:1,2 and 20:1,2 the Abyss is shown to be a place where demons and/or the devil will be incarcerated for a time, but it is not their final destination. Their final end will be in the lake of fire. The Abyss is also mentioned in the Gospels:
Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. (Luke 8:30,31)
Apparently those demons were fearful of going to the Abyss. Peter wrote of a new heaven and earth:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. (2 Pet 3:10-14)
This earth that we now know will be destroyed by fire in the future to make way for the new earth, a better one!
He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. (Rev 20:3)
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Rev 20:4)
Verse 4 is an important Scripture showing who the overcomers were in the days of the antichrist. NOTE: They were beheaded. Martyrs are somewhat common in Christinity! Do you remember who was Stephen in the bible? Stephen was stoned to death, but getting beheaded goes with Rev. 12:11, which says:
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
Also, verse 4 shows that worshiping the antichrist (beast) or his image (which is idolatry) is related to getting the mark of the beast. Getting that infamous 666 mark of the beast will NOT be a casual ordinary event and no one has it now who can buy or sell as usual. So what is the mark of the beast? Many who think it is a 666 chip are misled! The chief way to know the infamous mark of the devil is that it will be a mark on or in the right hand or forehead needed to buy or sell. That is the key to identify the real mark of the beast. Such martyrs during the 1000 year reign of Christ will co-reign with the Lord Jesus when the devil is locked away. Reigning with Christ has always been a promise held out in the New Testament for the faithful:
And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." (Rev 5:9,10)
if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; (2 Tim 2:12)
The full truth is, the overcomers will reign forever with God:
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Rev 22:5)
Imagine reigning with the King of kings forever! Such is reality and can be yours, but you must endure to the end!
(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Rev 20:5,6)
Blessed and holy is a concise way to describe the overcomer and faithful follower of Jesus. Those are the types of people who will be in the first resurrection. In John 5:29 the same are described as those who have done good, as opposed to those who have done evil:
Those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. (John 5:29)
The second death (or lake of fire) is not where these overcomers will go. Instead, they will be priests and will reign with Jesus when the devil is locked away!
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison (Rev 20:7)
That is a repeat of verse 3. Trouble is about to begin, showing how the invisible devil can adversely influence people, who are not guarded and careful.
and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth -- Gog and Magog -- to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. (Rev 20:8)
The devil's goal is to deceive. He does this primarily through sinful temptations, but also with supernatural experiences, visions, miracles and false doctrine. That will be the final time the devil deceives anyone, for he will soon be thrown into the lake of fire!
They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. (Rev 20:9)
The ones deceived by the devil will unify and march as soldiers so as to overthrow the city from where the Lord is reigning! Swift and fatal judgment, through fire, will fall from heaven and devour them. God has judged others in the past by fire from heaven too (Gen. 19:24).
And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Rev 20:10)
At this point the devil will be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where both the antichrist and false prophet are, who were thrown there 1,000 years PLUS the "short time" mentioned in Rev. 20:3. They were NOT annihilated in the lake of fire, but instead tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. (Rev 20:11)
Verses 11-15 is known as The Great White Throne Judgment from verse 11. Who is sitting on that throne judging the wicked dead? Here is the answer:
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: (2 Tim 4:1)
The ones who hated and sent the Lord Jesus to the cross will now be judged by the Lord Jesus himself! The tables will be turned. Many others will be there too including all who openly and brazenly have blasphemed his holy name and rejected his ways. They will not escape His righteous justice and wrath.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. (Rev 20:12)
There are various books in heaven! The best known is the book of life with the names of the those who have spiritual life. The other books contain a written record of sinful deeds!
The small and great in the eyes of the world are there, from the unknown to the most popular and exalted people in our present system of things. ALL will be judged by the sin-hating, holy God of the Bible, including kings, presidents, billionaires, athletes, movie stars, musicians, church goers, etc.
The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. (Rev 20:13)
The wicked will be judged by their behavior, consisting of sinful acts of everything imaginable. They will be openly revealed before all. There are no secret sins. They didn't get away with anything even though they might not have been caught here in this life. Unfaithful spouses, counterfeiters, serial murderers, evil business men, corrupt judges, false prophets, etc. will all be exposed and condemned. People will also testify against them there before Jesus:
The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. (Mat 12:41, 42)
It will be clear to all who deserves to be thrown into the lake of fire because their unforgiven wicked acts will be revealed. No one will think God is unjust for damning them.
Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. (Rev 20:14)
The lake of fire will also receive Hades, the place which once held all the departed dead before Christ.
If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:15)
Verse 15 reveals the ultimate stakes in this spiritual war. The losers go to the lake of fire forever with no second chance. We are battling for E-T-E-R-N-I-T-Y and nothing less! We all face a long eternity after this life, and the wise now will live accordingly (holy) with that future time in mind too. Be assured the 1000 reign of Christ will transpire one day! Hopefully these Scriptural facts about the millennial reign of Christ, devil, etc. have proven to be a spiritual blessing.