From Here to Forever


The Banishment of Satan

Now the event takes place foreshadowed in the last solemn service of the Day of Atonement. When the sins of Israel had been removed from the sanctuary by virtue of the blood of the sin offering, the scapegoat was presented alive before the Lord. The high priest confessed over him “all the iniquities of the children of Israel, ... putting them upon the head of the goat.” Leviticus 16:21. In like manner, when the work of atonement in the heavenly sanctuary has been completed, then, in the presence of God and heavenly angels and the host of the redeemed, the sins of God's people will be placed on Satan; he will be declared guilty of all the evil which he has caused them to commit. As the scapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, so Satan will be banished to the desolate earth. HF 397.4

After presenting scenes of the Lord's coming, the revelator continues: “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.” Revelation 20:1-3. HF 398.1

The “bottomless pit” represents the earth in confusion and darkness. Looking forward to the great day of God, Jeremiah declares: “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void* and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down.” Jeremiah 4:23-26. HF 398.2

Here is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for a 1000 years. Limited to the earth, he will not have access to other worlds to tempt and annoy those who have never fallen. In this sense he is “bound.” None remain on whom he can exercise his power. He is cut off from the work of deception and ruin which has been his sole delight. HF 398.3

Isaiah, looking forward to Satan's overthrow, exclaims: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! ... Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: ... I will be like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” Isaiah 14:12-17. HF 398.4

For 6000 years Satan's prison-house has received God's people, but Christ has broken his bonds and set the prisoners free. Alone with his evil angels he realizes the effect of sin: “The kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house [the grave]. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch. ... Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people.” Isaiah 14:18-20. HF 399.1

For 1000 years, Satan will behold the results of his rebellion against the law of God. His sufferings are intense. He is now left to contemplate the part he has acted since he rebelled and to look forward with terror to the dreadful future when he must be punished. HF 399.2

During the 1000 years between the first and second resurrections, the judgment of the wicked takes place. Paul points to this as an event that follows the second advent. 1 Corinthians 4:5. The righteous reign as kings and priests. John says: “I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them. ... They shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6. HF 399.3

At this time “the saints shall judge the world.” 1 Corinthians 6:2. In union with Christ they judge the wicked, deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works, and it is recorded against their names in the book of death. HF 399.4

Satan and evil angels are judged by Christ and His people. Says Paul: “Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” 1 Corinthians 6:3. Jude declares: “The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” Jude 6. HF 399.5

At the close of the 1000 years, the second resurrection will take place. Then the wicked will be raised from the dead and appear before God for the execution of “the judgment written.” Psalm 149:9. Thus the Revelator says: “The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Revelation 20:5. And Isaiah declares, concerning the wicked: “They shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.” Isaiah 24:22. HF 400.1