Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 20

The devilís punishment

Revelation 20:1-3

When Satan (the devil) lost his place in heaven, he still continued to have some power over the earth (Revelation 12:7-12; Luke 4:5-6). He also had power in hell; in Revelation 9:1, he has the key of the abyss, the worst part of hell. Revelation 9:11 calls him by names that mean Ďthe destroyerí.

In Revelation 19:17-21, we read about the great battle at Armageddon. In that battle, the devilís forces will fight against Christ for control over the earth. In that battle, the devil will suffer complete defeat. He will lose all his power on earth, so that Christís rule on earth will begin.

At the same time, the devil will also suffer a similar defeat in the spirit world. That is clear because in Revelation 20:1, the devil no longer has control over the abyss. He has lost even his power in hell. Now an angel who is a servant of God holds the key to the abyss. The devil has become his prisoner, and he will remain in that place for 1000 years. That is, the same period as Christís rule on earth in Revelation 20:4-6.

Clearly, the description of the abyss in Revelation 20:1-3 is as a prison. The word Ďabyssí means a hole, so deep that it has no bottom. People used to dig deep holes in the ground where they kept a supply of water for the dry season. Sometimes they used those same holes as prisons (Genesis 37:24; Jeremiah 38:6-13). They were awful places. The prisoner could only stand or sit in the deep mud. A stone covered the top, so there was no light. The hole was too deep for there to be any possibility of escape.

Such will be the devilís prison, except that the abyss is too deep to have any bottom. It is both right and necessary that the devil should suffer punishment in such a place. His crimes are many, and he constantly desires to continue those wicked acts. When finally he is free again, he will once more persuade people to fight against God.

Next part: The millennium: Christís 1000 year rule on earth (Revelation 20:4)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.