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And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison… (Revelation 20:7)
At the end of the one thousand year reign of Christ, Satan is released from his prison. Why is Satan turned loose upon the nations? To do the same work that he has been doing since the dawn of man, to deceive the nations of the world and to lead them in a final rebellion against God. But why would God loose Satan to roam free on the earth again after He had him bound? Noted author and speaker Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe gives this explanation:
Satan will be released from the pit and permitted to lead one last revolt against the Lord. Why? As final proof that the heart of man is desperately wicked and can be changed only by God’s grace. Imagine the tragedy of this revolt: People who have been living in a perfect environment, under the perfect government of God’s Son, will finally admit the truth and rebel against the King! Their obedience will be seen as mere feigned submission, and not true faith in Christ at all.
F.C. Jennings author of Studies In Revelation states that the heart of man does not change just because his carnal mind has made friendship with God. He writes:
Has human nature changed, at least apart from sovereign grace? Is the carnal mind at last friendship with God? Have a thousand years of absolute power and absolute benevolence, both in unchecked activity, done away with all war forever and forever? These questions must be marked by a practical test. Let Satan be loosed once more from his prison. Let him range once more earth’s smiling fields that he knew of old. He saw them last soaked with blood and flooded with tears, the evidence and accompaniments of his own reign, he sees them now “laughing with abundance.”…
But as he pursues his way further from Jerusalem, the center of this blessedness, these tokens become fainter; until, in the faroff “corner of the earth,” they cease all together, for he finds myriads who have instinctively shrunk from close contact with that holy center, and are not unprepared once more to be deceived.
Even though every man will claim allegiance to the Lord, many millions will be eager to follow Satan in a revolt against Him. “And [Satan] shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: The number of whom is as the sand of the sea” (Revelation 20:8).
As shocking as it may be, after experiencing unprecedented blessings from God, the number of those who will rebel is so large that it is quoted as being a “number of whom is as the sand of the sea”. But the Lord will be fully aware of Satan’s plan and the rebellious heart of man. He will use this last rebellion as a means of separating those who truly love Him from those who are false professors.
Revelation 20:8 & 9 says that Satan will go throughout the world, deceiving many and gather his army together and surround the holy city Jerusalem. But the result of their rebellion will be disastrous and end without threat or fanfare. “And fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:9b, 10)
This battle will end in a flash of lightning! God will send fire down from heaven and consume the armies of Satan even before they reach that great city.
This will mark the end of all human revolt and rebellion. No more will man desire to rebel against a Holy God. We probably won’t realize the true depravity of a man’s heart and how this could have happened until we get to heaven, but author Dwight Pentacost sheds some light on this subject in his book Things To Come. He writes:
Apart from some comprehension of the depth of depravity of the human heart there is no understanding how a multitude, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea” (Rev. 20:8), could revolt against the Lord Jesus Christ, when they have lived under His beneficence all their lives. But in this rebellion it is demonstrated once again that God is just when He judges sin. And the judgment comes in the form of physical death, through the pouring out of fire, on all the rebels assembled under Satan’s leadership (Rev. 20:9). In this manner God removes all unbelief from the theocratic kingdom in anticipation of its merger with the eternal kingdom of God.
Following Satan’s final crushing defeat, he will be captured and finally stand before God to be tried and sentenced.
Those who remained faithful to the Lord and alive on earth will be ushered into heaven to live eternally with the Lord in the New Heaven and New Earth. What a wonderful time that will be when we will see that great and glorious city and forever shall we be with the Lord.