We read of this incident in Revelation 20:1-3 which says, “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 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.” For the period of the millennial, or thousand-year, reign of the Lord Jesus on the earth, Satan is cast into the bottomless pit. This pit is not Hell, but a place of confinement.

We read of this bottomless pit in Revelation 9:1-12, where in the fifth trumpet judgment a fallen angel has the key to this pit. He opens the pit and smoke and locust come out to inflict great agony on the earth. We read in Revelation 9:11, “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” This king of the bottomless pit is generally agreed to be Satan himself. However, we see in our portion in Revelation 20, that Satan becomes a captive in this pit.

We read of this thousand year period in Isaiah 32:1, “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.” Isaiah goes on to write more of this time period in Isaiah 11:6-9, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” What a blessed time that will be when the Lord Jesus rules on the earth.

Towards the end of the Lord’s millennial reign, Satan will be released. Revelation 20:7-8 tells us, “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.” Amazingly enough, after living in this wonderful kingdom for a thousand years, many will align themselves with Satan to battle the Lord. How could anyone, after living under the direct rule of the Lord Jesus want to rebel against Him? We must realize that during this millennial reign of the Lord that many people will be born. It is above argument that no one is born saved. There will be plenty who live during this time who have a pretend faith in the Lord. Remember, during this period, righteousness shall reign. This is not the eternal day when righteousness shall dwell. Sin still exists and must be dealt with.

During this period, we might say that men’s hearts have not been tested. Satan has been bound and cannot tempt men. When he is loosed, we find that many, many people will follow him in defiance against the Lord. It is necessary that sin run its course. Sin in the hearts of men must be exposed so that it can be judged. The Lord allows Satan to deceive many so that the true condition of their hearts might be made manifest. We are assured of the eventual and absolute victory of the Lord over Satan. Revelation 20:10 guarantees us, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (157.8)