The End of the Millennium

THE END OF THE MILLENNIUMWhen the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:7-10)

Satan Released – At the close of the Millennium, Satan will be released. Revelation 20:3 says he must be released from the pit and permitted to lead one last revolt against the Lord. We are not told why this is the case. But many
born during the Millennium will be led astray and revolt against the Lord. It is difficult to imagine anyone doing so after living in a perfect environment and under the perfect government of God’s Son. Their prior obedience will be revealed for what it was, feigned submission and not true faith in Christ at all,(1) even though it must have been clear that He is who He says He is. As we contemplate the justice in Revelation’s horrific and final judgment, we must not forget that those who have taken sides against God have done so by their own free choice. The true character of sin is once again revealed in the final rebellion, and the judgment of God is shown to be just. Fire flares from heaven to destroy the rebellious host. The devil is “thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown.” And Scripture adds, “They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.(2)

The Last Battle – The reference in this portion of Revelation to Gog and Magog should not be confused with Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38:1–39:29). There it is a reference to the attack made by the anti-Christ on Israel before the Millennium.(3) Those chapters in Ezekiel describe an invasion of Israel by distant nations, led by “Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” Magog, Tubal, and Meshech are mentioned in Genesis 10:2 and 1 Chronicles 1:5 as sons of Japheth, who was one of Noah’s three sons. In Ezekiel’s day, their descendants inhabited what is now eastern Turkey. According to Ezekiel 38:5–6 the allies of Gog included Persia, Cush (modern Ethiopia), Put (modern Libya), Gomer (another son of Japheth whose descendants resided to the far north of Israel), and Beth Togarmah (according to Genesis 10:3, Togarmah was a son of Gomer). Ezekiel prophesied about a time when the armies of these nations would attack an unsuspecting Israel. The Lord, however, would intervene and miraculously deliver His chosen people. A mighty earthquake would shake the land, and the enemy armies would turn in panic on each other. Hail and sulfur would rain down on them. After the ensuing slaughter birds and wild animals would devour the flesh and blood of the enemy warriors. Even with this assistance from the animal kingdom, it would take the people of Israel seven months to properly dispose of all the corpses. The enemy’s deserted weapons would provide God’s people with a supply of fuel that would last seven years. Since this prophecy does not correspond to any known historical event, it must still be awaiting fulfillment.(4)

But again, this is not the attack referenced in Revelation 20, because that attack is made after the Millennium. Thus, in this context (post-millennium), Gog and Magog appear to be figurative names representing the final adversaries that will be led by Satan in person. Ezekiel’s Gog and Magog come from the north, but in Revelation 20 they come “from the four corners of the earth.(5) Gog and his hordes in Ezekiel 39 and 40 (before the Millennium) are likely a type of the end time opposition to God’s kingdom which will be violently crushed (after the Millennium).(6)

Up Next – Great White Throne Judgment.

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References

  1. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 620). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher’s commentary (p. 1087). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  3. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, pp. 599–600). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  4. Chisholm, R. B. (1998). The Major Prophets. In D. S. Dockery (Ed.), Holman concise Bible commentary (pp. 327–328). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
  5. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, pp. 599–600). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  6. Chisholm, R. B. (1998). The Major Prophets. In D. S. Dockery (Ed.), Holman concise Bible commentary (pp. 327–328). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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