Revelation 20:1-6

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Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 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.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [ I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [ his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [ is] the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy [ is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Introduction

In this study we will again have it reinforced that it is we who are to “keep the things written therein. What we will see again is that just as “the kingdom of God is within you” (Mat 4:4), so too, are all these Words of God “within us, in our mouth and in our heart”.

Rom 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [ even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

According to the Old Testament prophecy from which Paul is quoting, every word of God which proceeds out of His mouth, is not far from us. It is not hidden way up high, in the physical heavens, or way down low in the physical sea, but it is every word, including the words ‘bottomless pit’ “within you, even in your mouth”. Here is the Old Testament passage from which Paul is teaching.

Deu 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
Deu 30:12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Deu 30:13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Deu 30:14 But the word [ Christ] is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

These verses in Deu 30, and Paul’s statement in Rom 10:8 are both saying the same thing this revelation of Jesus Christ within us tells us at both the beginning and the end of this book.

Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Rev 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings [ are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

It is phrased “do it” in Deu 30:14, and it is phrased “Keep the things written therein” here in this revelation of Jesus Christ, within us. So these are “the things written therein” which we are to “keep” in today’s study.

Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 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.

Here we are told that “an angel comes down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit”. What is this angel? What and where is heaven? What is this “key to the bottomless pit”, and what is this “chain in his hand” and what is this “seal which shuts him up so that he is not able to deceive the nations “till the thousand years be fulfilled.
We have shown that the angels of this revelation of Jesus Christ within us are the messengers to the seven churches, our fellowservants and those who keep the sayings of this prophecy. We have demonstrated what and where heaven is, and in this study we will see that it is through this “messenger… from heaven”, that angel from heaven being Christ, and His Christ, that we are given the “key of knowledge”, enabling us to understand the message of scripture which concerns this thing called “the bottomless pit”.

Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

But we still have to also ask, what is this thing called “a thousand years”, and why in the world does God chain Satan in this “bottomless pit… place a seal on him so that he cannot deceive the nations during that period, just to release Satan on an unsuspecting world at the end of this “thousand year reign of God’s elect?? What good did it do for the elect to rule a thousand years just to have the entire world immediately deceived again “when the thousand years are fulfilled”??? Why does God do this?
We will answer all these questions in our study of this twentieth chapter of Revelation.

Differences between Rev 9:1-2 and Rev 20

In our English King James Version, “the bottomless pit” is the exact same phrase we find in chapter nine:

Rev 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless [ G12, abussos, deep, the sea], pit. [ G5421, phrear, well, pit]
Rev 9:2 And he opened the bottomless [ abussos, deep, the sea] pit; [ G5421, phrear – well, pit] and there arose a smoke out of the pit [ phrear], as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. [ phrear]

But the fact of the matter is there is no Greek word for ‘pit’ in our verses here in today’s study. The reason is that in today’s study we are concerned only with the fact that Satan dwells within our flesh, the abussos, and what we are discussing is simply “the key of the abussos”, or “the key of the sea”, without the word Greek word ‘phrear’ or ‘pit, which does appear four times in Rev 9:1-3.

Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit [ G12, abussos – deep, sea] and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit [ G12, abussos], 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.

The reason the word ‘pit’ occurs in Rev 9 is that the subject there is not the sea alone, but the depth of the deception proceeding forth out of that “abussos phrear” or ‘deep sea’.

The spiritual significance of “the key…”

This Greek word for ‘key’ appears three times in this revelation of Jesus Christ within us. A key is used to open a door. It is through an open door that we are given the ability to see what is within or what is behind that door.

Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard [ was] as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

This word ‘key’ is mentioned twice in reference to this thing called “the bottomless pit, first in Rev 9:1 and again here in today’s study on Rev 20:1. But this word ‘key’ is first used in chapter two when we are told that the overcomers will be given “the key of David”.

Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

It is with a key that a door is opened and not closed, and it is with a key that a door is closed so no man can open. As we are hopefully beginning to understand, “the dream is one” principle (Gen 41:25 and 32) demonstrates for us that the “key of David” of Rev 3:7, the keys to the kingdom of God of Mat 16…

Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

… and the key to the bottomless pit, are one and all the same one “key” which symbolizes the “key of knowledge” which this key opens up to us. This is the very vital knowledge which will save us from being destroyed.

Luk 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Having covered this subject of the bottomless pit, back in chapter nine we will simply review what we said in our study on that chapter. Contrary to what many believe, this thing called “the bottomless pit” is not first mentioned in Rev 20, but it is first brought to our attention in Rev 9:1. so let’s review that study.

Where and what is the bottomless pit?

The sixth symbol of the fifth trumpet is the bottomless pit itself. Where and what is this thing called “the bottomless pit?” All of the commentaries think this pit and its smoke is speaking of some great false spiritual leader, and indeed it is. But this great deceiver isn’t even really interested in sitting in a physical temple. What He wants is the real throne of God within the real temple of God. So that is where we will all find him in our own appointed time, sitting on Christ’s throne within each of us, and it is there that this entire revelation is taking place.
Here is Gill’s very typical take on what is this bottomless pit.

“Rev 9:2 And he opened the bottomless pit,…. With the key that was given him; he made use of his universal power over all bishops and churches, enacted laws, issued out decrees, made articles of faith, and imposed them on men’s consciences, and obliged all to submit to his hellish principles and practices; and this, as it may be applied to Mahomet, the eastern antichrist, may regard the publishing of his Alcoran, and obliging all his followers to receive it as the infallible word of God:.”

If ever we need to remember that we are to “read, hear and keep the things written therein,” it is as we consider what the scriptures mean by “the bottomless pit.” All the comments and commentaries such as this comment by Gill, serve only to further the function of the smoke that comes from this thing called “the bottomless pit.” The last thing in the world the Adversary wants us to know is the correct location and the Biblical understanding of where this “bottomless pit” is.
We have been taught that this bottomless pit doesn’t even really exist until the beginning of the millennium, when Satan is cast into the bottomless pit and restrained for one thousand years. Here are the verses which are most familiar to most Christians.

20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 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.

But we are not yet in Rev 20. We are in Rev 9 and an angel is given the key to this bottomless pit, and is permitted to “darken the sun and the air by means of the smoke that arises out of the pit.”
If you search for the phrase ‘bottomless pit’, you will find it seven times in the King James Version, and all seven are found only in the book of Revelation. Here are those seven entries: The first is right here in this ninth chapter of Revelation.
1) Rev 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. [ abussos phrear]
2) Rev 9:2 And he opened the bottomless pit; [ abussos phrear] and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
3) Rev 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, [ abussos] whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon [ Hebrew- Destroyer, Strong’s number 11], but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
4) Rev 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit [ abussos] shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
5) Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit [ abussos], and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
6) Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit [ abussos] and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
7) Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit [ abussos], 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.
What do we see here with these seven verses containing the words ‘bottomless pit’? What we see, when we go to a concordance, is that the Greek word for ‘pit’ appears only four times in only two of these seven verses. Here are the only two verses where this word appears in this “revelation of Jesus Christ,” when it is used in conjunction with the word ‘abussos’.

1) Rev 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless [ Greek, abussos] pit [ Greek, phrear].
2) Rev 9:2 And he opened the bottomless [ abussos] pit [ phrear]; and there arose a smoke out of t he pit [ phrear], as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit [ phrear].

So this Greek word for ‘pit’ is ‘phrear,’ Strong’s number 5421. This word is also found a total of seven times in the New Testament. Of those seven entries, four of them are found right here in verses one and two of Rev 9. They are all emboldened above. It is also translated as as ‘pit’ in Luk 14.

Luk 14:5 And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit [ Greek, phrear], and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?

The remaining two entries are found in

Joh 4:11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well [phrear] is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
Joh 4:12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well [phrear], and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

So the only time this Greek word ‘phrear’ or ‘pit’ or ‘well’ is used in this entire book of Revelation is in these two verses of Rev 9. There is no ‘pit’ – the Greek word ‘phrear,’ Strong’s number 5421 – mentioned in any of the other five verses here in this revelation of Jesus Christ, where we find the English phrase “bottomless pit.” The other five times this phrase ‘bottomless pit’ appears in the book of Revelation, it is translated from the single Greek word ‘abussos,’ Strong’s number 12.
But what is so interesting and revealing, is that when we go to our concordance we discover that the Greek word ‘abussos’ (Strong’s number 12, translated “bottomless pit”), appears more than seven times. This word ‘abussos’ actually appears nine times in scripture, and it is those two extra times where the meaning of “the bottomless pit” is made clear. Here is the first of those two very revealing entries.

Luk 8:31 And they [ the demons named legion] besought him [ Christ] that he would not command them to go out into the deep [ Greek- abussos, the sea].

Before we get to the last remaining verse where the word abussos is found in the New Testament, let’s take note of what this verse in Luk 8:31 show us about the world of demons. This verse reveals to us that demons, and all false spirits, much prefer to be enthroned in God’s church rather than to be sent out into the deep sea of all the uncalled masses of mankind. What newsman wants to be stuck with reporting on the lives of the common man, when he could be at the United Nations, reporting on the lives of the leaders of this world. Like all of us, demons want to be where the action is, and in the spirit world the action is where God’s people are either learning Truth, or being deceived. Demons seek rest in dry places, places on ‘the earth;’ which has been pushed up out of the sea. Where demons really prefer to be in God’s very temple and sitting on the very throne of Christ, in the hearts and minds of God’s people:

Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Mat 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Mat 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Luk 11:24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.
1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Demons “walk through dry places” simply because they do not like ‘the deep.’ They very much prefer ‘dry places’ where they can find rest and feel at home, just as Christ ought to feel at home within each of us.
Now let’s look at the only entry for this word abussos which we have not yet considered. It is this entry which will reveal to us where the ‘bottomless pit’ is located.

Rom 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down [ from above]:)
Rom 10:7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep [ abussos]? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
Rom 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

Now notice how this Greek word ‘abussos’ or ‘deep’ is translated when we go back to the Old Testament and read the verse from where Rom 10:7 is quoted:

Deu 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
Deu 30:12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Deu 30:13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Deu 30:14 But the word [ Christ] is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

So where is the abussos? Where and what is this thing referred to as “the bottomless pit?” The ‘abussos’, the bottomless pit, just like ‘heaven’, and just like the Word of God, is not way out beyond the milky way. Neither is it in the depth of the physical oceans and physical seas. The ‘abussos’ is within each of us, “In your mouth, and in your heart.” That is where “the bottomless pit” is located and that is where the smoke originates to “darken the sun and the air,” in this fifth trumpet warning which we are to “read, hear, and keep.
So when we read in Rev 20 that Satan is cast into the ‘abussos’ and is imprisoned with a great chain, he doesn’t ‘go’ anywhere. He is simply restrained under ‘house arrest’ until the time appointed to be released from the ‘abussos’ and be commissioned to go forth and deceive the nations again. According to Deu 30, both the abussos and heaven are “very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart.”

What is the function of this symbolic “thousand years”?

Why does God give the kingdoms of this kosmos over to the rulership of His elect for a symbolic thousand years and then release Satan upon that very kosmos? What good or what purpose is accomplished by this time of ruling the kingdoms of the world and then releasing Satan to deceive the nations again?
The fact is that this exercise of our heavenly Father is expedient in accomplishing His plan and purpose of saving “all in Adam”. But before we see what that plan and purpose is, we need to understand the spiritual significance of the number one thousand.
One thousand is a multiple of the number ten, which our studies of numbers in scripture revealed to be the perfection of the flesh. But as we saw, even at its very pinnacle of perfection flesh is still mere corruption which “cannot inherit the kingdom of God”.

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

So if the number ten signifies the perfection of the flesh with its ten plagues (Exo 7-11), its ten commandments (Exo 20), and its ten rebellions against God (Num 14:22); what then is the spiritual significance of one thousand? One thousand is just a multiple of ten and is therefore just an amplification of the perfection of our corruptible flesh. One thousand is in fact ten to the third power. Three, of course is the process of judgment, and that is exactly what we will see is the purpose and function of this symbolic one thousand years of the rulership of the fleshly kingdoms of this world at the hands of God’s elect.
It requires the very spirit of Christ and His Father within us to keep reminding us that these very words are “within our mouths and in our hearts” and are addressed to “he that hath and ear” within the seven churches. It requires Christ Himself living within us to remind us that it is we who are told to “read, hear, and keep the things which are written in this prophecy”. The natural man cannot see how “all things are ours” (1Co 3:21-22) but the spirit gives us the “key of knowledge” which reveals to those with “eyes to see” that even this symbolic thousand years is ours, even as the first resurrection is ours.
Here are those who will be in that most blessed event.

Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [ I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [ his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

“This is the first resurrection”. What is the first resurrection? It is those who John sees sitting upon thrones. It is those who are given to judge this world and to judge angels in a lake of fire which follows this thousand year reign of God’s elect overcomers, which we will be learning of later in this same chapter.

1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

The first resurrection is the resurrection of those who first died in Christ, who were sometimes literally, and always symbolically, “beheaded for their witness of Jesus and for the word of God”. The first resurrection is those who were granted to judge themselves here and now, thereby becoming those who are the first to be judged while still in these vessels of clay. The first resurrection is the resurrection of those who were first to lose their physical lives in favor of the promise of life in a spiritual body.

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned [ to the “great white throne judgment] with the world.
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
1Pe 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

“Where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” They will appear at a later judgment to be “chastened of the Lord” which is the very purpose of function of Biblical ‘judgment’.
“Which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands” does not mean that these overcomers had somehow figured out a way to avoid keeping the things written in this book concerning the worship, image, number and mark of the beast”. We know that is not what this means because we are told we are all “marred in the Potter’s hand… shapen in iniquity, and conceived in sin” and that “all men” will worship this beast, and that he will “overcome and kill the saints”.

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Rev 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

You and I are both “made of clay”. “Both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond” is all inclusive. So what does “had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [ his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands” mean?
Here is what that means:

Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, [ and] over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

If we are granted “the victory over the beast, his image, his mark, and the number of his name” then it can be said that we “had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands”.
If verse four tells us that the overcomers reign with Christ and His father for “a thousand years” and verse 6 tells us the overcomers will be “reigning priests of God for a thousand years”, it is obvious that all others will come up in the great white throne judgment which is destined to follow the “little season” of world wide deception which immediately follows this symbolic millennium.
Next week, if the Lord wills, we will be see what happens when people are ruled with a rod of iron for a thousand years, and then given over to Satan.

Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Rev 20:8 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.
Rev 20:9 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.
Rev 20:10 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.

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