Part 7: The 1,000 Years and Satan’s Last Stand
Revelation 20 is clear that two events occur at the end of the 1000 years:
- The “rest of the dead” are raised to life (vs. 5a).
- Satan is loosed (verses 3, 7).
Both of these events occur at the same time. When the lost are raised Satan now has people once again to deceive – thus he is in effect “loosed” from his chains. Immediately, Satan “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” (vs. 8). This verse reveals just how many “the rest of the dead” includes! It means all the lost, throughout history, from the days of Adam all the way down to the last person who experienced “sudden destruction” (1 Thess. 5:3) at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ! During the 1000 years, all the lost remained in their graves, but at the end of the 1000 years they are all raised to life in what Jesus called “the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29). How many will there be? John couldn’t count them! He simply said their “number is as the sand of the sea”! There will be billions of them!
After all the lost are resurrected, Satan then goes out to deceive them, “to gather them together to battle.” What a mighty army! It will undoubtedly have within its ranks all infamous generals, warriors, and military commanders of history – including Alexander the Great, Adolph Hitler, and Osama bin Laden! What will this billion-man army be gathered against? Here’s the answer: “They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city…” (vs. 9).
It is clear from the book of Revelation that God’s beloved city is the New Jerusalem (see 3:12; 21:10). It is also clear that the New Jerusalem will come down from heaven (see 3:12; 21:2). Thus we conclude that it comes down at the end of the 1000 years with the saints in it. When the “rest of the dead” are raised and Satan is loosed, the city has just landed. Satan then marshals the resurrected nations to gather around this “camp of the saints and the beloved city” in a last-ditch effort to conquer God’s fortress.
As the entire lost world gather around the New Jerusalem, an amazing thing occurs. All the lost and all the saved are now together for the first time! All the saved are inside the city and all the lost are outside the city! Thus the resurrected lost will have a chance to see with their eyes the reward of the righteous, while the saved will also behold the doom of the wicked!
This is Satan’s last stand, his final opportunity to overcome Jesus Christ, the New Jerusalem, and the saved of all ages! But of course, he is a deceiver who can never win in a fight against the King of the Universe!
More to come!