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WHY Must Satan Be Released from Prison?

Revelation 20 shows Satan being Held in the Bottomless Pit for 1000 Years.  For WHAT Possible Reason will He be Released Again After the Millennium?

© Rich Traver, 81520-1411     6-11-10    [177 ]

Among the many curious events that have bearing on the spiritual climate in the Millennial Age, we find the twentieth chapter of Revelation to describe a long period of time during which Satan will be restrained from having any contact with humanity, those living during that one thousand year period of time. Presumably, this restraint from contact and influence will include his fallen angelic hosts as well.

We can only imagine the dramatically different societal conditions of that age, with all Satanic influences totally absent.  No longer will false religion or godless scientific errors be imposed upon wayward humanity.  No longer will there be any doubt as to who is the True God, Creator of the universe or of what is the Truth in any educational discipline.  Righteous standards will be the foundation and structure of day to day living, and none of the aggravations or injustices will be present to provoke hateful or violent reactions.  What spirit influences there are will be wholly Holy!  (Isaiah 30:18-21)

What a different world it will be when Christ and His Spirit-born Saints are the government of the world. [1] The primary motivations for rage leading to wars, either interpersonal or international, will be completely absent from anyone’s thinking. [2]

The Bottomless Pit

Revelation chapter 20 provides this insight:

1. “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

3. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”  With the revelation of his removal from society, we’re told of his release.  Not only his release, but that there is a NEED for it.  “He must be released, it says!  Well, WHY?

Later in the same chapter, we’re told more: 

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.

Does it make any sense to restrain Satan for 1000 years, but then release him again into society?  Is there an explainable reason for doing such a disruptive thing?   Here we have a long period of time in which some forty generations will live out their lives in full and un-interrupted peace and prosperity.  (Consider the impact of military expenditures and the waste and destruction of war no longer being a drain on the world’s economy.)  Forty generations of true righteousness and the ‘restful’ environment that will yield.  Sort of a ‘sabbatical’ from man’s destructive ways!

To fathom why Satan will need to be released for just a short season as this millennial era draws to a close, we need to understand the great event that will occur just afterward. What’s that great event?  We’re told of it in the intervening verses.  Verse 5 tells us: “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.”  The rest of the dead involves massive populations!   

The Second Resurrection

These forty generations living in the millennial age will be blessed to not have to deal with the pulls and influences present in this age in which we live.  Their experience will be vastly different.  There, the greatest thing to overcome will be personal sins and lethargy.  With all of society going the ‘right way’, it will be easy to just drift along with the flow, which in and of itself is not ‘conversion’ per se.  No, in fact, what the release of Satan tells us is that there will be a segment of society who will in effect be ‘faking it’, seemingly compliant, but inwardly, secretly, they will not take their opportunity for true conversion all that seriously!  The spiritual condition that we see in the seventh ‘church era’ will also carry over into that age!

But it isn’t so much the complacent that are the concern.  As in present society, there will be a certain few who will not care about becoming converted.  Not only not care, but will inwardly resent the Way of God, and effectively come to despise His standards.  We have those kinds today! Not only disinterested in conversion, though aware of it, there are those in society today who actually hate God and His Way of Life!  That component is buried rather deeply within the natures of some people.  Human nature will not change, though future societal conditions will. So, why would these be a consideration as the millennial age draws to its close?

Those who live in the millennial age will be blessed to not have to deal with Satanic influences. Yet, there will be some militantly unconverted people among them.  What influence will they have?  Upon the converted, perhaps little.  But we need to consider those, called ‘the rest of the dead’, who are raised up after the 1000 years.  The rest are those who lived and died prior to the second coming, who were not called in their lifetimes, who did not have the opportunity for salvation offered to them.  They also are to live again in an age, like the millennial age, without Satan being present.  But in their previous lifetimes, they did have to deal with Satan.  How vulnerable to a similar mentality will they be, should they be exposed to one, in people, carried over from that final millennial generation?

Conversely, the last generation in the millennial age as they complete their lifetimes, living on over into the early second resurrection era, will be exposed to people raised-up who originally lived in a Satan-inspired world.  What impact will they have on that last millennial age generation who knew none of that?  After having just been exposed to the released Satan, likely very little! (Keep in mind, those living in the millennial age will live out their lives and die, as happens in this present age.  Those unconverted among them at will end their lifetimes in an ‘accursed’ state, as we read in Isaiah 65:20.)

But it’s the final generation of the millennium that would interface with and potentially impact, or be impacted by, these who will come up in the post-millennial age:  That age we call the second resurrection era.  If there’s a segment of that then-living society who harbors resentments toward God, wouldn’t their attitudes resonate with any who had been exposed to similar Satan-like resentments toward God in their previous lifetimes, if the newly resurrected generation were to interface with them?

It’s this militant element within the late millennial age that needs to be removed prior to that great event, the time when the ‘rest of the dead’ will come up.  Satan will facilitate that removal!

Deceiving the Nations

With Satan’s release back into society, that element who has basically rejected their opportunity for salvation, will coalesce, joining together with Satan, responding to his ever-resentful attitude, and arming themselves for an attack against the world headquarters at Jerusalem.  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.”  (Rev. 20:9)

With that element removed from the final generation of that society, the ‘rest of the dead’ will come up into a society cleansed of Satanic thinking and repressed human resentments.  This will provide them with the environment that will allow them to better avail themselves of conversion with the least distraction or negative influence.  The final generation of the end of the millennial age will have been rid of its resentful types.  This is the vital function that Satan’s release will provide.         


[1]  Daniel 7:26-27,  Revelation 20:6,  1:6  & 5:10.

[2]  Isaiah 2:1-4

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