MP3: The Mighty Angels of Revelation 20
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
Vic Batista: Why does Revelation 20:3b say that Satan must be released for a little while? “But after these things he must be released for a little while.” It’s not that Satan escapes, but that God is personally responsible for releasing him.
Nathan Jones: It shows that God’s redemptive plan isn’t quite done yet. Satan’s role as adversary is also not quite done, though he is just about to be finished off. Revelation 20:7-10 reveals:
“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
Vic Batista: The world has such a nice thing going for a long thousand years. Why did God have to ruin it all by releasing Satan?
Nathan Jones: Good point! If God had already defeated Satan, why in the world would He release him? The context actually doesn’t say why, but we can theorize based on the fact of the human condition — that the heart of man is wickedly evil.
Remember that those who survived the Tribulation bore children during the Millennial Kingdom. These children will live in a paradise and will get to see Jesus Christ face-to-face. Inwardly, though, their sin nature will gnaw at them. They will want to commit the sins that please the flesh. They will crave to have illicit sex. They’ll desire to take drugs. They’ll want to do their own thing because human nature is drawn to rebel against Jesus.Human nature is drawn to rebel against #Jesus. #Revelation Click To Tweet
The Bible says that Jesus will rule and reign during the Millennial Kingdom with a rod of iron. In other words, there will be no lawyers and no appeal process since God already knows the human heart. He is omnipotent and omniscient, so He knows everything. Jesus knows whether the people have done evil or good, and He will punish according to His righteous law.
Just like people from all other eras, the Millennial Children will wish to live by their sin nature and will hate Jesus for His prohibitions. A number of the people might be smiling and going up each year to celebrate Jesus in Jerusalem, but inwardly they will hate Jesus’ authority. And so, it is believed that when Satan is released he will become a rallying point for the people who want to rebel against Jesus. They are not equipped for war since they live in a paradise which has never seen conflict. Imagine growing up in a time that knows no war. These rebels don’t even know how to fight, so they turn to Satan to lead them. Satan, as always, deceives the people into thinking that if they just band together they can overthrow Jesus Christ.
Vic Batista: Letting mankind live in a utopia really reveals the intent of man’s heart. No one can claim that Satan made them do it. We like to blame the Devil when we do wrong. So, here we read that Satan is bound, and the demons are bound, and yet we find rebellion in the hearts of the people regardless of demonic deception.
Nathan Jones: Right, what a woefully sad condition for man that we are sinfully rebellious against God no matter how much He showers his love and blessing upon us. Rebellion is exactly what sin is. Sin isn’t tangible but a heart attitude, the desire to rebel against God’s perfect law. God’s law is called the perfect law for a reason, because it perfectly protects us. God’s will is what’s best for us. It’s what’s right for us. And when we sin, we are doing what is not right for us. Instead, we are doing what hurts us and what hurts other people. God doesn’t want us to get hurt.#Sin isn't tangible but a heart attitude, the desire to rebel against God's perfect law. Click To Tweet
On the other hand, Satan could care less about whether people get hurt. His sole yearning is for the throne of God. Satan believes that if he can gather up all these millions of Millennial people who secretly desire to rebel against Jesus Christ, and convince them to follow him, that he just might overthrow Jesus Christ.
Satan and his followers are woefully deceived, for verse 9 spells their expedient demise. The rebels surround the saints dwelling in the Beloved City. Jerusalem is called the Beloved City because believers in Jesus Christ are going up to Jerusalem at least annually to see their King and Savior.
How fascinating that with all the angels and glorified saints at His command that Jesus doesn’t send out an army. He doesn’t send the angels to fight the battle for Him against Satan’s forces. Instead, verse 9 reveals, “And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.” Fire from God Himself crashes down out of heaven and devours the rebels. It’s done! It’s over, just like that. No war is waged. There is no fighting. God Himself just burns the rebels up.
Christ’s victory proves yet again that believers in Christ are on the winning side. Jesus is all-powerful and Satan is so very weak by comparison.
Vic Batista: Jesus’ victory at the second Gog-Magog Battle plays out rather like Jesus’ Second Coming. A thousand years earlier, when the Lord came down to fight against the Antichrist’s forces comprising all the nations gathered at Armageddon, we saw the very same thing. Jesus does all the fighting by Himself. We are there simply to watch as observers.
Nathan Jones: Exactly! When the heavenly armies follow Jesus, the angelic armies and glorified saints like you and me, all riding on white horses and wearing our white robes, it’s not like we are picking up swords and fighting Christ’s enemies. Jesus merely speaks and His enemies just fall apart. Here again, a thousand years later, the armies surrounding Jerusalem fall by the hand of God as fire flames down and devours the rebels.
Vic Batista: This scene is a reminder why it’s so important that we have a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. If deep down in our hearts we have not trusted in Christ and are merely following Him for our own personal gain or due to expectations or family influences, sooner or later that relationship is going to fall apart because it has no genuine faith foundation. When difficulties and trials come, those people are going to fall by the wayside. God doesn’t have any grandchildren. In other words, every one of us is responsible to come to the Lord in faith and repentance.
Nathan Jones: You are right, our faith cannot be the faith that gets our children saved. Each of us as a human being has to make a decision for Jesus or against. All of life boils down to that decision — choose Jesus or not. Those are the only two options. That decision sets our lives onto two different roads. Choosing Jesus saves us from the path that we are already on — Hell — and gives us true life and the hope of Heaven. Those who reject Jesus continue to face what we’ll read in the next section of Revelation 20 — the Great White Throne Judgment.Each of us as a human being has to make a decision for #Jesus or against. #salvation Click To Tweet
Vic Batista: In Revelation 20:7-10, we see an army being mustered as Satan one last time goes out to deceive the nations. This army is going to be comprised of possibly billions of rebellious people, a number so high because of the long ages and the high growth curve of the population during the time of the Millennium.
Nathan Jones: True, because the Millennial Kingdom is defined by no sickness, the lifespan of human beings goes up dramatically, just like during the pre-Flood times. When we read about the Flood in Genesis, some of the people’s ages, such as Methuselah, climbed up to almost a thousand years old! How could that be? Well, there is likely something about the atmosphere or plant life or health that keeps humanity living much longer than the simple 70+ years we currently have on this earth. During that time, children will be born to the Tribulation Saints who survived the Tribulation and they will live for hundreds of years. So, when we get to the end of the thousand years, the population of the earth could possibly have climbed up to near 20 billion or so. Such a number of people is amazing to consider. And yet, it’s so sad that so many of the Millennial Children will rebel against God in the end. It really shows how tragically wicked is the human heart.
Vic Batista: I’m reminded of the story about a school child who when the teacher told him to sit he replied defiantly, “I’ll sit, but inside I am really standing!”
Nathan Jones: So true. That is how we as people behave. How many times do we see a sign that orders us to not do something mundane, such as “Stay off the Grass,” and our first thought is, “I’m going to walk on that grass anyway and nobody is going to stop me.” We see the speed limit is 50 mph, but believe we can go 55 mph. Those are the little sins that are constantly in our hearts and minds that betray us for what we truly are — sinners.
Praise the Lord that when we get glorified bodies the sin nature that we inherited from Adam will be killed and we won’t desire to rebel in our hearts anymore! Even in a perfect utopian society such as the Millennial Kingdom, mankind just can’t handle it, and many will try to destroy that wonderful world. The human condition is no different today, as we are seeing so many people trying to tear down the very fabric that makes our society great. The West is collapsing because so many who enjoy its freedoms want to destroy our system of morality and law so that they can sin with abandon. There’s just something about the rebellious nature of man that prefers anarchy and wants to destroy all that is good. Even during the Millennial Kingdom, man will act no differently.
In the sixty-eighth segment of our series “The Mighty Angels of Revelation,” we will take a good look at the final end times battle — the Second Gog-Magog War!