A Study in the Word: Revelation 20:7-10


Revelation 20:7-10 marks the ultimate removal of Satan and his followers. He had been sealed in the Abyss. After the thousand years end, he is released, though only for a brief period (20:3). His release

is not of his choosing but God’s (“must,” 20:3b, 7).

In spite of many warnings and partial judgments, there remain unbelieving people on earth during the millennium. Satan could not have deceived them. Their guilt before God can be blamed on no one but themselves. Upon release, Satan takes up his old ways of misleading people away from God. Sin has remained pervasive and rampant (20:8b).

John’s vision portrays God’s opposition as “Gog and Magog” (20:8). Ezekiel 38 and 39 provide background. These chapters contain seven prophecies against Gog of Magog and its allies. The context places Israel in full restoration after the Babylonian exile and at peace (like John’s saints, 20:9). Gog seeks to disrupt that peace (Ezekiel 38:1-9). This enemy has laid careful and elaborate plans to invade and conquer renewed Israel (38:10-13). God’s reaction to this force is swift and complete

(38:18). “My presence”on “My mountains” (38:20-21) will cause the entire created order to stand up against the invader in a torrent of “hailstones, fire and brimstone” (38:22). In the end God says, “I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD” (38:23). The point of Ezekiel’s prophecy is clear: God is the ultimate victor; what He promises will happen (39:8). Sin will be destroyed (39:21-24). The unfaithful will suffer judgment (39:7b). The outpouring of the Spirit on His people is a sign that God gives His full measure of blessing to all who trust in Him (39:29).

The rebellious make one last, desperate attempt to destroy God’s people (Revelation 20:8). Their vast numbers avail them nothing. Like the war of 19:20, this battle takes only the briefest time, solely because of divine intervention (20:9b). The devil is treated roughly, finally,

and eternally (20:10). He and his followers receive no further mention in John’s visions. For the saints, God is the Victor. For the lost, God’s grace is still offered for salvation right up to the end (11:13). However, rejection, rebellion, and oppression of God’s people characterize the hearts of the unrepentant. God offers eternal salvation to them, but refusing Him also bears eternal consequences.

Dr. David Moore is a university online instructor in Bible and theology. Email: dm5867se@outlook.com


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