The Release of Satan and Its Outcome (20:7-10)

Submitted by admin on Mon, 2006-12-11 11:48.

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At the end of the period designated as being 1,000 years, Satan is released from his confinement and goes forth to the four compass directions of the earth to mislead the nations, Gog and Magog, and to assemble them for war. The host the dragon is able to marshal is referred to as being numerous as the sand of the seashore. (20:7, 8)

This suggests that, during the time satanic influence ceased to exist on earth, there would be those who distance themselves from Christ’s rule and choose their own ways so as to be styled nations bearing the name “Gog and Magog,” representative of enemies of God’s people. (Compare Ezekiel 38:1-39:20.) They will yield to Satan’s temptation and rebelliously seek to break free from divine rulership. This revolt is portrayed as a military march and the subsequent encirclement of the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city. The beloved city is the holy city New Jerusalem, and the holy ones are here depicted as forming a military encampment around the city to protect it from enemy forces. No defensive battle, however, is necessary, for fire from heaven consumes the assembled enemy forces. As for the devil who had deceived them, he would be cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and the false prophet had been hurled earlier. (19:20) No release from this final doom will be possible, for they will be tormented eternally and without letup, night and day. The torment signifies everlasting doom, for the lake of fire is representative of second death. Thus the adversary will be brought to nothingness, with no vestige of the powers of darkness remaining and with absolutely no potential for reviving. (20:9, 10)

Note: In verse 9, there are various manuscript readings, including “out of heaven,” “from heaven,” “from God,” “out of heaven from God,” and “from God, out of heaven.”