The Angel of Constraint
In our previous book, we saw that Revelation 16-19 records the judgment upon the beast system known as Babylon and “the great harlot.” That book ended with a brief description of the overthrow of Gog and its allies who had occupied the mountains of Israel. These divine judgments, John tells us, are designed to prepare the way for the Kingdom of God, pictured in Dan. 2:35 as a great stone.
We now come to the final chapters of the book of Revelation. Revelation 20 covers the thousand-year Kingdom Age, focusing on the two resurrections, one before and one after the Millennium. John tells us that the first resurrection cannot occur prior to the first battle against Gog and Magog, nor can the second resurrection take place prior to a second battle against the same nation (or group of nations).
Rev. 20:1 begins, saying,
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.
By personal revelation, I was given to know that this is the Angel of Constraint, the one who has “the key of the abyss” and has the power to bind and loose. He is a kind of divine prison guard overseeing the abyss that constrains evil spiritual entities.
This is also the “fifth angel” (blowing the fifth trumpet) mentioned in Rev. 9:1. In that case he was given the key to open the abyss (also translated “the bottomless pit”), releasing Mohammed to bring judgment upon the church for its rebellion. Whereas in Rev. 9:1 the angel was called to release the “locusts,” in Rev. 20:1 the angel was called to arrest the dragon.
Rev. 20:2, 3 says,
2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
The purpose of this imprisonment is to prevent “the devil and Satan” from deceiving the nations during the Kingdom Age. This allows the word of God to spread unhindered to ensure the dominance of Christ’s Kingdom during that Age. No doubt the binding of Satan removes the blindness in the church (Deut. 29:4), along with “the covering which is over all peoples” and “the veil which is stretched over all nations” (Isaiah 25:7).
The Angel of Constraint, then, binds Satan and looses the church at the same time. This opens people’s eyes and ears to hear the word of the Lord. Though John does not mention the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the prophets speak of this often in conjunction with the manifestation of the sons of God and conditions in the Age to come. In fact, the prophecy about Gog and Magog ends with such a declaration in Ezekiel 39:29,
29 “And I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,” declares the Lord God.
The promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled partially on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, but there was no invasion of Gog and Magog at that time. Obviously, then, the day of Pentecost was not the real fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Ezekiel says that the Spirit will be poured out when Gog and Magog are brought to judgment just before the first resurrection.