HaSatan Again “At Large”

Revelation 20:7-10
The End Times

In my last post, we explored Revelation 20:4-6 ~ The Thousand-Year Reign. In this post, we continue in Chapter 20 to discover HaSatan Again “At Large.”  But don’t be alarmed!  God is still on the throne and in control.

7 When the thousand years are over, the Adversary will be set free from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for the battle. Their number is countless as the sand on the seashore; 9 and they came up over the breadth of the Land and surrounded the camp of God’s people and the city He loves. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them. 10 The Adversary who had deceived them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”  ~ Revelation 20:7-10 (CJB)

Bavel, the Beast, and the False Prophet – the agencies through which HaSatan had done his destructive work – have been destroyed (chaps. 17-19), and HaSatan’s own time has come at last. He makes a furious but brief and futile effort to regain his hold on the earth.

Magog is the general name of the northern nations of Yafet’s posterity (Noach’s third son) (Genesis 10:2). Gog is their prince. In Ezekiel 38-39 they attack God’s people from the north. Here they are from the four corners of the earth. Probably these names are used to refer to the enemies of God from among all nations.

How could HaSatan muster such a vast following, when he had been bound for 1000 years, and there had been a reign of righteousness? The answer lies in the fact that, like now, the people living during the Millennium will have free will, just as God created them from the beginning.

When the thousand years are over, the Adversary will be set free from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for the battle. Their number is countless as the sand on the seashore. The final curtain on HaSatan‘s devious relationship with humanity is going up. HaSatan is going to be tested for one last time; the unredeemed of this earth are going to be tempted by the master Tempter one final time. Man today faces three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. However, during the Millennium, while HaSatan is bound, and the world is reformed under the rule of Yeshua, the only real problem that man will face will be the flesh! But, because of man’s sinful nature, there will still be some who will not turn to Yeshua and be saved during the Millennium. These HaSatan will gather around him, as every man and woman of the unredeemed will again yield to the subtle tempter and will join his ranks.

David Stern suggests we should: [1]

Compare the structure of Ezekiel 36-48 with Revelation 20-22. Ezekiel 36-37 speaks of Israel’s salvation, with David ruling over them (compare Revelation 20:1-6). In Ezekiel 38-39 Gog from Magog interrupts this rule with an eschatological battle, in which the nations come against the Kingdom (compare Revelation 20: 7-10). The final order is described in Ezekiel 40-48 in terms of a rebuilt temple in a new Jerusalem (compare Revelation 21-22). In both places, a temporal kingdom is followed by an eternal kingdom after a final war.

Ezekiel writes that Gog, from the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshekh and Tuval, will come with armies from a number of other places against the Jewish people regathered into the Land of Israel from the other nations and living at peace in unwalled towns. Those nations are the same in Ezekiel 38 as in Ezekiel 27, in the lament against the king of Tyre, who is, as is clearest from Ezekiel 28:11-19, a stand-in for Satan.

And they came up over the breadth of the Land and surrounded the camp of God’s people and the city He loves. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them. Tim LaHaye, talking about this time of rebellion, adds these words: [2]

But in spite of all the ideal conditions arranged by God to attract a maximum number of people to accept His free salvation by receiving His Son, millions will rebel at the end of the thousand-year kingdom, for Revelation 20 indicates that at the end of the thousand years, Satan will be loosed from the bottomless pit to go out “to deceive the nations” – that is, to tempt them to rebel against God. The reason for this tempting is so that all the people living on the earth who are still unsaved will be forced to make a decision about whether they will receive Christ before God establishes the eternal order. We have already seen that these will be people under 100 years of age, according to Isaiah 65:20, for only believers, will live past their hundredth birthday. The sad part of this whole story is that even after living for almost a hundred years under the righteous reign of Christ, there will be a multitude “whose number is as the sand of the sea” who will rebel against God when given the opportunity. Among other things, this suggests that it isn’t entirely Satan’s fault that people reject faith in Christ, but results from the rebellion of their own will. Satan is coming on the scene at this point only brings to the surface the rebellion of many hearts who, like many Jews of our Lord’s day, “willed not to come” to Him that they might have eternal life (John 5:40).

The Adversary who had deceived them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”  This is the final event in the long and wicked history of the one who originated rebellion against God. Already at the beginning, after enticing Adam and Eve to commit the first human sin, God knew and said what the end would be:

“I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman [Eve], and between your seed [all who sin and rejoice in the sin of others, whether angelic (Ep 6:10-13) or human (Ro 1:32)] and her seed [her descendants, i.e., humanity; but more particularly, the unique “seed” spoken of in Ga 3:16, Yeshua]; he [the Hebrew is singular, referring to Yeshua, not plural] will bruise [or: crush] your head, and you will bruise their heel [the Hebrew is plural; humanity can be injured, Yeshua cannot].” ~ Genesis 3:15 [3]

This prediction of HaSatan’s ultimate downfall is fulfilled in stages. Thus when Yeshua said: Now is the time for this world to be judged, now the ruler of this world will be expelled” (Yochanan 12:31), He was speaking of how His death on the execution-stake would defeat the Adversary (compare Revelation 12). The Messianic Community also has a part in causing HaSatan‘s ruin, as Sha’ul writes, “God, the source of shalom, will soon crush the Adversary under your feet” (Romans 16:20). In vv. 1-3 above that Adversary is chained in the Abyss, and here he is hurled into the lake of fire and sulfur to be tormented forever and ever.

May it be soon!

Special Comparative Notes on Chapter 20:7-10 [4]

For Premillennialists, the reason for God permitting HaSatan this last brief respite seems to be to prove the character of those generations born during the Millennium and never previously tempted to rebellion.  The city is earthly Jerusalem. This battle is waged by God alone.  All three views opine that the time frame for HaSatan’s handiwork will be very brief.

Amillennialists believe the city is the New Jerusalem described in Chapter 21.

Postmillennialists believe there is no reason to exclude the possibility of actual fire since such will accompany Yeshua in His final judgment. (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Kefa 3:10, 12).

In my next post, we’ll examine The End of the World in Revelation 20:11-15.

Click here for PDF version.

[1] Jewish New Testament Commentary by David Stern.

[2] A Layman’s Commentary on Revelation by Don Jones.

[3] David Stern’s amplified version.

[4] Material in this post is taken from “Revelation: Four Views, Revised & Updated” by Steve Gregg. Notations in brackets, if any, are my comments.

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