Satan Released at Close of Millennial Reign
By Nathan Warren
“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…” Revelation 20:7-8. NKJV I’ve heard it asked numerous times, “Why would God let Satan loose during the time on earth when everything is finally perfect?” Let’s ask it another way, within the context of verse 8: Why does God allow (Satan) to be released, and go out to (deceive) the nations at the end of the 1000 year reign? The following is a high-level overview of how to arrive at the solution.
To find the answer, we have to turn all the way back to Genesis chapter 3. Here, we find the first mention of Satan, who purposely goes out to deceive man, or Adam and Eve. God creates Adam and Eve and places them in the middle of paradise. God walks in intimate fellowship with them but gives them choices. Their choice is to continue walking with God, or determine their own path The choice comes with a stern warning of death, but they ultimately choose death over life—weird.
Without plumbing the depths of free-will theology, the reason God gives us choice is because He does not want mindless robots proclaiming their love for Him as a result of His protection and provision. There has to be an alternate, but desirable choice, given to us in order to claim that we truly love God and want to reciprocate His fellowship.
During the 1000 year reign of Christ, a secondary sort of Eden is created, paradise develops on earth as Christ sets His foot down on the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4). Isaiah 11:6-8 speaks of children leading once ferocious animals—lions, leopards, and bears alongside the animals of prey—goats, sheep and cows. There will be nursing children playing around once venomous snake holes and young children sticking their hands in them.
There will be, it seems, many generations of people born during this time of perfection, and they will only know this reestablished—regenerated paradise. The opportunity to make a valid choice, as was given Adam and Eve, is not presented to millennial generations until the very end when Satan is loosed and goes out to deceive.
Evidently, Satan deceives those people the same way he tempted Eve in Gen 3:5b, “you will be like God…” Revelation 20:9a says “they went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city.” They were filled with pride, fooled into thinking they could usurp the millennial seat of the government of Christ there in Jerusalem.
Sadly, today is no different. The world is blinded by pride, living in darkness. Yet God has offered life abundantly through His Son, Jesus Christ. “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live…” (Deut 30:19).