The Tribulation will end with the Second Coming of Jesus. The Antichrist and his False Prophet will be seized and thrown alive into the lake of fire, which is Hell (Revelation 19:20-21). At that point the activity of Satan will come to a temporary end. He will be held captive for the next thousand years while Jesus reigns over all the earth from Jerusalem (Revelation 20:1-3).
At the end of the Lord’s millennial reign, Satan will be set free, and he will go forth to deceive the nations (Revelation 20:7-8). This is a very perplexing development to most people. What is the purpose of releasing him?
The answer has to do with one of the fundamental purposes of the Millennium. Humanists believe that evil is rooted in society and can be uprooted through societal reforms. In sharp contrast, the Word of God teaches that evil is rooted in the fallen nature of Man (Jeremiah 17:9 and Mark 7:20-23).
God is going to disprove the Humanist theory during the Millennium. He is going to put all of Mankind into a perfect society where righteousness and justice prevail. There will be no homeless or poor people. There will be no unmet needs (Isaiah 11:4-9).
Yet, at the end of that glorious time, when Satan is released, he will rally the nations of the world against Jesus, and they will march on Jerusalem to overthrow the King of kings (Revelation 20:7-9). This worldwide revolt will prove that you cannot truly change people by changing their environment.
The change cannot be external. It must be internal, and that can happen only through the work of the Holy Spirit who is received by believers when they put their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior (Acts 2:38 and Ephesians 1:13).
This raises an additional question. Why would most of those living in the flesh join a revolt against God after living for a thousand years in a perfect society? Well, just stop for a moment and consider the fact that the Scriptures say Jesus will rule with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:9 and Revelation 2:27). This means He will dictate the law, and it will be strictly enforced by those of us in glorified bodies who will be reigning with Jesus (Revelation 2:26-27). Justice will be swift and certain.
Now, think what it would be like to live in the flesh under such a government. The fallen nature would constantly be desiring the things of the world — drugs, alcohol, promiscuous sex, gambling, etc. Yet, knowing justice is swift and certain, most people will restrain themselves and praise Jesus through clenched teeth. But once Satan is released, he will call on the frustrated, unrepentant sinners of the world to join him in overthrowing “the joker in Jerusalem.”
Thus, history is going to end as it began, going in full circle. It started with two people in a perfect environment called the Garden of Eden. They rebelled against their Creator. It will end with all of humanity living in a perfect environment, the Millennium, and most of them, like Adam and Eve, will decide to revolt.
The final rebels of history will be supernaturally destroyed by God when they march on Jerusalem (Revelation 20:9). At that point, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire (Hell) where he will be tormented day and night forever, together with his demons and the Antichrist and False Prophet (Revelation 20:10).
Notice how these revelations of God’s Word dispel the mythical concept of the Middle Ages that Satan and his demons will be in charge of Hell where they will eternally torment the lost souls of Mankind. On the contrary, the Bible teaches that Hell was created for the torment of Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Satan will not be the CEO of Hell. He will be a prisoner of Hell.
He will also be an object of derision. Isaiah says that the saved will be allowed to gaze upon him, and they will mock him by saying, “Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities?” (Isaiah 14:16-17).
In the last segment of this “Satan’s Story” series, I’ll answer that perplexing question, “If Satan knows from Bible prophecy that he’ll lose, why does he persist?”