7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
~ Rev 20:7-10
When I was a teen and started to understand some of the things that the Church was teaching, there were many shocks along the way. The notion that the Sabbath and holy days were still valid, and that many “Christian” holidays were actually pagan in origin and abhorrent to God, these were a bit of a shock. The logic that Christ said He would be dead “three days and three nights”, and that could not fit between so-called “Good Friday” and “Easter Sunday” seemed so obvious that I could not explain why I had not thought of that before. The idea that man did not have an immortal soul and that the Bible even says a “soul” can “die” was just as much of a shock that so many never read their Bibles and just went along with whatever was being taught by men.
Still, that was separating falsehood and deception from the truth. However, sometimes the truth was also shocking. God lets Satan loose after 1,000 years? How is that even thinkable?
Skeptics are fond of ridiculing the idea of Satan, and especially question that, if there were a God, then why does He allow such evil to flourish in this world? It’s a very human question, and, therefore, it is not an unjustified question. It is only when it is used in a manner which impugns the character of God that it goes too far.
However, it is one thing to allow Satan to carry on right now, but to then imprison him just to let him loose later? That flies in the face of what most people would call common sense. It is downright shocking, actually, when you think about it. True is the Scripture when it says:
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
~ Isa 55:8-9
Human beings almost invariably take the short-term view. Some of that is because we ourselves have an insignificant lifespan in comparison to the age of the universe. Some of it is also our natural proclivity to do what is right in our own eyes and is a benefit to ourselves. It is difficult for human beings to take the long view.
God Uses Evil
It is true that the Scriptures say that God does not create evil. He may cause events that will punish evil doers, and thus, in their eyes, evil comes upon them. In reality, though, it isn’t so much “evil” as it is the just reward for iniquity.
Words often have multiple meanings, and Hebrew is no exception. In fact, one of the proofs of British-Israelism, in my mind, is that the parallels between Hebrew and English are many — more than is normal between different languages. Evil can mean unrighteous actions, thoughts and deeds, but it can also mean calamity or disaster. We must look at the context.
However, evil does exist, both in ideological and practical forms. The fact that God does not create evil does not stop him from using evil.
19 And the Lord said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.
20 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith?
21 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.
22 Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil against thee.
~ 2Ch 18:19-22
You have to look no further than the Book of Job to realize that God uses evil beings. In fact, Satan has often played right into God’s hands. By killing the Christ, He unwittingly furthered the plan of God rather than derail it.
Why allow Satan to continue? Why Satan shall be loosed for a season, and how does that further God’s plan?
Going back to the last post, Adam and Eve were in a perfect environment, and yet they allowed disappointment to enter their minds and hearts. They listened to the lies of the evil one, and they became dissatisfied with their situation. The Children of Israel came out of Egypt and were led by God Himself, and yet they allowed disappointment, dissatisfaction and lack of trust to overcome them until that whole generation missed out on entering the Promised Land.
Today, we must fight on three fronts: Satan and his temptations, the world and our own carnal nature. Two of those will not exist in the Millennium. Mortal people will start out the 1,000 of Christ’s rule in shock and awe. They will tear apart weapons of war and use them for good. They will take time to heal, and they will pass along the stories to the next generation.
How long will that last, however? One thing that is clear in the Bible is that the first-hand lessons of one generation are hard to pass down to the next. Adam and Eve partook of the tree which forced them to learn good and evil by experience rather than by revelation from God. Egypt brought up a generation that “knew not” Joseph. They forgot the good he had brought. In reality, it was because they did not experience the famine first-hand that they diminished in their eyes and their legends the role that Joseph had played. We see the generation after Joshua doing quite well, but soon there arose a generation that was given into captivity. And on, and on, and on…
There will come a time in the Millennium that a physically and mentally weak generation will die off. Prosperity will flourish. People will live longer. Evil will not long be tolerated. They will forget that they are but carnal humans, not in the least a match for Satan, and they will begin to take things for granted.
In reality, isn’t that Satan’s real role, at least after he proclaimed himself the enemy of God? Isn’t the real reason he is still around is to be an example of how wrong thinking can destroy an entire society if not dealt with? Is he not really here to provide antibodies to the diseases of pride and arrogance in which we so easily fall victim to? Those in the latter part of the Millennium simply will not have those antibodies, and their natural proclivity to take it all for granted will have to be dealt with once and for all.
That is why this takes place right before the second resurrection. Those in that resurrection will have already seen the destruction and mayhem of the rule of Satan, unlike those in the latter part of the Millennium. It will also serve as a reminder for those coming up out the graves when the story is told to them that we are but weak, mortal human beings that can easily do ourselves in.
Ultimately, it will be a lesson that without God’s help, we are all similarly doomed. It is only by God placing boundaries upon Satan, just as He did in the case of Job, that we as a race can even survive for a few thousand years (and even then, God had to intervene multiple times). We are no match for Satan. We are no match for his world. In fact, we are no match for our own hearts (Jer 17:9).
Why? Because Satan does not just show us what evil is. He shows us what we are and what we could become without God’s intervention.
I have heard a lot of good sermons this Feast. I have heard a lot of good sermons this year. However, I think nothing more profound came from the pulpit and hit me between the eyes and stung my heart more than the statement that we must not simply repent for what we have done but for who and what we are. That was the lesson Job finally had to learn:
6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
~ Job 42:6
Why Satan Shall Be Loosed?
Other people are a mirror of what we are. We must learn to see ourselves in others’ eyes, else we only think good things of ourselves.
Satan is a reflection of the entire society. He pictures the worst of human nature and then some. He is a mirror of what we will become unless God intervenes. Satan shall be loosed for a season in order that those in the Millennium will see what they really are.
We must repent of not just what we have done but for what we are.
This is the lesson Adam and Eve needed to learn. This is the lesson that those that lived before the Flood needed to learn. This is the lesson that Sodom and Gomorrah needed to learn. This is the lesson that Job finally did learn. This is the lesson that Saul, who became the Apostle Paul, had to learn. This is the lesson that those who fight Christ at His return will need to learn. This is the lesson that those who live in the Millennium and take it all for granted will need to learn.
This is the lesson that you and I need to learn.
This article was very interesting reading.
At one point you wrote:
“….Satan is a reflection of the entire society. He pictures the worst of human nature and then some. He is a mirror of what we will become unless God intervenes. Satan shall be loosed for a season in order that those in the Millennium will see what they really are.
We must repent of not just what we have done but for what we are…”
I. in my mind, would modify it slightly to read:
“…Satan is a reflection of HIS OWN entire society. He pictures the worst of CARNAL nature and then some. He is a mirror of what we will become unless God intervenes. Satan shall be loosed for a season in order that those in the Millennium will see what they really are WITHOUT SATAN’S SPIRIT WITHIN THEM.
GOD MUST GRANT ALL HUMAN BEINGS REPENTANCE.”
Currently, Satan is the god of this present evil world and it has been that way ever since Satan was allowed into the Garden of Eden and infested/infected the minds of Adam and Eve.
Prior to Satan infesting/infecting Adam and Eve, the both had “very good” human nature, which later became overwhelmed by Satan’s spirit.
Evidence of Satan’s spirit in Christians?
“Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” James 4:5
Evidence of Satan’s spirit in those of his world?
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” Eph 2:2
We know what happened when Satan infested/infected Judas’ mind, which led to Jesus Christ’s murder! What about Cain?
“Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.” I John 3:12
What about when others, e.g. Christians, anybody, sins?
“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” I john 3:8
Carnal nature is just Satan’s nature within people manifesting all sorts of evils…sins! It is not “of God;” it is “of god!”
Human beings of and by themselves cannot simply “repent.” Bible verses show that repentance is something God gives/grants by His own goodness.
We are to learn to hate evil!
“Ps 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil…”
But only God can produce that fruit of His Spirit within human beings…by His own Spirit. It is not for this world now (John 14:17); it will be later.
Satan was created for a purpose:
Pr 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
And we are living in that “day of evil.”
John D, you wrote: “…Because Satan does not just show us what evil is. He shows us what we are and what we could become without God’s intervention.”
Yes, and it also shows us “…what we could become WITH GOD’S INTERVENTION…” if/when God’s Spirit overwhelms Satan’s spirit within our lives!
John G wrote: “Satan was created for a purpose”
Lucifer was created for a purpose. Lucifer created Satan. Do you honestly believe that during the Millennium there will be no carnal nature? Look up the word “carnal”. It pertains to the “physical” or of the “flesh”.
Satan’s role is merely to show us how far it can really go and to speed up the process. He is given great power to sway in order to teach us how to resist. Yet, he is not given the power to make us do anything without our consent. He merely plants the idea in our hearts and minds and fans the flames of lust and envy. Underneath our skin, we are all potential satans; our carnal nature wars against God’s way of life. Given billions and billions of years, without this spiritual training as a foundation, any one of us could be just as evil, and that is a fate that God wants to avoid.
Regarding Satan, you said: “Yet, he is not given the power to make us do anything without our consent.”
Scripture seems to indicate he can do more than that:
2 Timothy 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him AT HIS WILL.
Also, we read this:
“He that committeth sin is of the devil…” I John 3:8
Also, in the OT, in Leviticus all sins were to be put on a goat’s head:
Lev 16:21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
The iniquities and transgressions were not put on the heads of the Israelites.
It appears that God is going to reconcile this world b/c Paul tells us the following:
2 Cor 5:19 “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”
Oh, and goats seem to represent Satan and his angels, as in the following:
Matthew 25:31 ¶ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall SEPARATE them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his SHEEP from the GOATS:
33 And he shall set the SHEEP on his RIGHT hand, but the GOATS on the LEFT.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his RIGHT hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the LEFT hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS:
46 And these shall go away into EVERLASTING punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.