Will Satan Deceive Man After the Millennium?
Some claim that Satan will be deceiving those who will be resurrected at the time of the Great White Throne Judgement period. That resurrection is referred to as the Second Resurrection and described in Revelation 20:11-12 and in many other places in the Bible. Others dispute that Satan will still be active at that time. Who is correct? Does the Bible give us clear answers?
God tells us that when Christ returns, Satan and his demons will be banished and thrown into a prison (the “bottomless pit” or the “abyss”), so that they will not be able to deceive the nations anymore. At that time, the Millennium of Christ’s rule over man will begin here on earth.
We explain this in detail in chapter 5 of our free booklet, “Biblical Prophecy–From Now Until Forever“:
“After Christ’s return and His battle with the hostile armies of this world, He will deal with the real author of destruction and deception—Satan the devil, along with his demons. We read in Revelation 20:1-3: ‘Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold on the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.’
“We read that Satan will be thrown into the ‘bottomless pit’… that same fate awaits all the demons under his control… When Satan and his demons will be placed in the ‘abyss’ [same Greek word as for ‘bottomless pit’] at the beginning of the Millennium, they will be as good as dead—unable to influence and deceive the nations any longer during that time period (compare Revelation 20:3)…[Later] Satan and his demons will be cast into the lake of fire and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41). Their torment will be spiritual, as they will see all of their evil works destroyed by fire (compare 2 Peter 3:10–13), and their influence on others will be gone forever. Their final fate might be revealed in Jude 13, referring to ‘wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.’ Compare, too, 2 Peter 2:17.
“Even though only Satan the Devil is specifically mentioned in Revelation 20:1-3, as the one who is being thrown into the abyss, it is obvious that the demons are included. This also becomes clear when reviewing carefully the fate of Satan and his angels at the time when the Millennium ends. Revelation 20:10 says that the Devil will be cast in the lake of fire, and that ‘they’ will be tormented day and night… We read in Matthew 25:41 that the lake of fire was ‘prepared for the devil and his angels.’ Therefore, it will be the devil and his demons who will be tormented in the lake of fire, for as long as that lake exists. Since spirit beings cannot die (compare Luke 20:36), they will be tormented—in a spiritual way—while being confined to the lake of fire, when they come to the realization that they are unable to deceive man anymore, and when they see all their ‘works’ and evil ‘accomplishments’ replaced by the good and prosperous ways of God…
“The same is true for Revelation 20:1-3, which mentions that Satan—the ruler of the demonic world—will be bound in the abyss or bottomless pit for a thousand years. Even though only the ruler over the demons is mentioned here, the demons themselves are included as well.”
We continue to explain, in referring to several biblical passages, that “the abyss or the bottomless pit, where Satan and his demons will be shut up, describes the destroyed areas where currently the modern city of Babylon—Rome—is situated. We read that the modern city of Babylon will never be rebuilt and inhabited again (Isaiah 13:19-22).”
We also explain that at the very beginning of the Millennium, an Asiatic army will invade the Promised Land, but it will be supernaturally defeated by God Himself. We go on to show that a “similar attack on Jerusalem will occur about 1,000 years later, after Satan has been ‘released from his prison.’ He 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’ (Revelation 20:7-8). They will try to conquer Jerusalem, but God will destroy them (verse 9)…
“After 1,000 years of God’s rule, the peoples in the Millennium will not have experienced Satan and his demons who were imprisoned during that time. They will be unaware of the powerful influence of Satan and his evil devices. Once he is released from prison for a short while, he will go out to deceive the nations, just as he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden; and as Eve fell for Satan’s deception, so will those people, choosing to believe Satan rather than God. Having lived all this time in a peaceful ‘Garden of Eden,’ they will still want to believe Satan.”
When will this last “war” take place? When will Satan be released from prison for a short period or a little while?
As we have read, Revelation 20:2-3 tells us that “Satan is to be bound for a thousand years,” and that “he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.”
Please recall that we were also told in Revelation 20:7-10:
“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison.” He will then go out to deceive the nations “in the four corners of the earth,” but God will defeat those who want to fight, and verse 10 tells us: “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone… And they (the devil and his demons) will be (spiritually) tormented day and night forever and ever.”
Now notice carefully. AFTER these events have taken place, we read in verses 11-12: “THEN I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it… And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God… And the dead were judged…” This describes the Second Resurrection of “the rest of the dead” who did not “live again until the thousand years were finished” (verse 5). It is then, AFTER the Millennium and AFTER the temporary release of Satan and his deception, that “the rest of the dead” are going to be resurrected and judged in the “Great White Throne Judgment.” At that time, Satan and his demons will not be around anymore to deceive any of them, because they will have been thrown, BEFORE these events, into the lake of fire and brimstone.
This poses the question as to why Satan will even be released from prison, and who exactly will be his targets. Also, when will the human beings living in the Millennium inherit eternal life? To answer the second question first, two possibilities exist: Either, they will be changed to immortality on an individual basis in their due time when they have qualified (after all, when Christ returns, those who are still alive in Christ will be changed instantaneously); or, all those living in the Millennium will live the entire time period of 1,000 years and those who have qualified will be changed to immortality at the end of the Millennium (after they withstood Satan’s last temptation). After all, some people, before and at the time of Noah, lived for almost 1,000 years. The Bible does NOT say that people will DIE in the Millennium TO BE RESURRECTED TO IMMORTALITY at a later time.
It appears LIKELY that all will indeed live until the end of the Millennium, so that all will be exposed to Satan’s evil devices when he is released from prison. Most (except for those very few who survive the Great Tribulation and live on into the Millennium) had never had any experience with Satan who was bound in prison for all this time, while they were born in the Millennium and grew up; so God might want to test all of them to see where they really stand. This is not the case with those who will be in the Second Resurrection, because ALL of them had been tempted by Satan in their prior life. Therefore, there is no need for God to keep Satan around to allow him to tempt them once again.
This poses the next question as to when EXACTLY Satan will be released from prison. We read in the New King James Bible that this will occur when the thousand years “are finished” (Revelation 20:3) and when they “have expired” (Revelation 20:7). If this is the correct rendering, then this would mean that a short time will elapse after the Millennium, during which time Satan and his demons will be allowed to deceive the nations, before those who have qualified will be changed to immortality (Those who follow Satan in his last deception and who will be destroyed by God through fire will either be resurrected in the Second Resurrection, or, if their actions constitute the unpardonable sin, they will be resurrected in the Third Resurrection to be burned up in the lake of fire, Revelation 20:13-15). In any event, the Satanic deception will occur BEFORE the Great White Throne Judgment begins.
But it is possible, and even likely, that the rendering in the New King James Bible is not totally accurate, and that the wording should be that the coming Satanic deception will occur when the 1,000 years “are expiring” or “coming to a close”—not, when they “have expired” or “totally ended.” The New Living Translation and the Lamsa Bible say in Revelation 20:7 that the 1,000 years “come to an end.” But note that the Greek word in Revelation 20:3 and in Revelation 20:7 is in both cases “teleo,” and even though different words are used in the English translation, the original Greek word means, according to Strong’s Concordance, “to end,” “make an end” or “fill up” (which could include, “ending” or “coming to an end).” If so, then the Satanic deception would occur at the very end of the Millennium, when the thousand years are expiring or just coming to a close.
In light of this, it has been suggested that Revelation 20:9 may refer to or include the assembly of (some of) the saints (not yet made immortal) during the Feast of Tabernacles at the end of the Millennium, when the hostile nations will surround “the camp of the saints” and “the beloved city” of Jerusalem. The same word for “camp” is used in Hebrews 13:11 and 13, referring to the camp of Israel and the sanctuary in the wilderness. (In other places, the term is used to refer to hostile armies or barracks, but it clearly does not mean this in Revelation 20:9.). After this Satanic attack and the saints’ rejection of Satan’s deception, they would then be changed immediately to immortality.
In any event, this Satanic deception will not occur at the beginning of or during the Great White Throne Judgement. Rather, it will occur BEFORE then. When the billions of human beings who had died and who will be resurrected in the Second Resurrection to be given their first chance for salvation, Satan and his demons will NOT be allowed to deceive them; as they will already be imprisoned and “spiritually” “tormented” during that time in the lake of fire.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link