In our study of Revelation chapter twenty, we look at the thousand year reign of believers here on the earth and the judgment that is to follow. We might ask ourselves why God planned this one thousand year period of time. As we shall see, this is the final test of man under the most ideal circumstances possible.
"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." NIV translation
In chapter 19, we saw the other two parts of this unholy trio cast into the fiery lake which is hell.
Here we see an angel from heaven seizing the leader of this trio who is Satan himself.
"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." NIV translation
Unlike the other two, the devil is not sent to hell but is imprisoned in the Abyss which is a never ending hole or bottomless pit. We may ask why this is happening and the answer is pretty simple. There are many people who do not accept the fact that the problem with men is their heart and not their surroundings. It seems that all kinds of things are blamed on the devil giving him more power than he actually has. We have all heard the expression 'The devil made me do it'. Now, God is going to show the world that the problem is in the hearts of man as the devil has been removed for a time and cannot be used as an excuse. This is the final test of man under ideal circumstances and, as we shall see, they will fail.
"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." NIV translation
With Satan removed, the saints of God are going to reign and judge. Those that were killed during the tribulation for their faith will join with His church. Once again, we see that this period will last one thousand years. There are those who do not take this to mean one thousand earthly years but we have to take God at His word.