I saw an Angel descending out of Heaven. He carried the key to the Abyss and a chain - a huge chain.
He grabbed the Dragon, that old Snake - the very Devil, Satan himself! - chained him up for a thousand years,
dumped him into the Abyss, slammed it shut and sealed it tight. No more trouble out of him, deceiving the nations - until the thousand years are up. After that he has to be let loose briefly.
I saw thrones. Those put in charge of judgment sat on the thrones. I also saw the souls of those beheaded because of their witness to Jesus and the Word of God, who refused to worship either the Beast or his image, refused to take his mark on forehead or hand - they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years!
The rest of the dead did not live until the thousand years were up. This is the first resurrection -
and those involved most blessed, most holy. No second death for them! They're priests of God and Christ; they'll reign with him a thousand years.
When the thousand years are up, Satan will be let loose from his cell,
and will launch again his old work of deceiving the nations, searching out victims in every nook and cranny of earth, even Gog and Magog! He'll talk them into going to war and will gather a huge army, millions strong.
They'll stream across the earth, surround and lay siege to the camp of God's holy people, the Beloved City. They'll no sooner get there than fire will pour out of Heaven and burn them up.
The Devil who deceived them will be hurled into Lake Fire and Brimstone, joining the Beast and False Prophet, the three in torment around the clock for ages without end.
I saw a Great White Throne and the One Enthroned. Nothing could stand before or against the Presence, nothing in Heaven, nothing on earth.
And then I saw all the dead, great and small, standing there - before the Throne! And books were opened. Then another book was opened: the Book of Life. The dead were judged by what was written in the books, by the way they had lived.
Sea released its dead, Death and Hell turned in their dead. Each man and woman was judged by the way he or she had lived.
Then Death and Hell were hurled into Lake Fire. This is the second death - Lake Fire.
Anyone whose name was not found inscribed in the Book of Life was hurled into Lake Fire.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)