20:7-10 SATAN RELEASED
“And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 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. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and surrounded the camp of the saints, and the beloved city; and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 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 forever and ever” (Revelation 20:7-10).
For 1,000 years Satan will look upon the wreckage he has brought about with his rebellion. But at the end of the thousand years he will have a chance to prove that he is still the same old unrepentant devil. “And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations” (Revelation 20:7,8). His release will take place when the unrepentant are resurrected and he again has someone (“the nations”) to tempt. “But the rest of the dead [the unrepentant] did not live again until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:5).
“The rest of the dead” are called “Gog and Magog.” This is a reference to Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, which speaks of “Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal” (Ezekiel 38:2). This passage describes the most massive alliance of all time from all corners of the world—“Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops, the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you” (vs. 5,6). They come against God’s people who have been saved from captivity—“In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely” (v.8). They devise a plan to attack God’s people in their apparently defenseless "camp"— “Thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages, I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates…You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes” (vs. 10,11, 16).
This scenario is portrayed in Revelation 20 as Satan going out “to deceive the nations” (the resurrected unrepentant) and leading them to “surround the camp of the saints, and the beloved city.” Although John does not mention New Jerusalem descending from heaven to the earth until chapter 21, this has apparently happened by the time the 1000 years are over. The resurrected unrepentant, who have been sleeping in the grave since they died, do not have a clue as to what has been happening through the ages, and Satan is able to dupe them into believing that they can take over the “beloved city.” John here gives the short version—“fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.” But then he elaborates and shows that the unrepentant will actually face the great final judgment at this point, coming face to face with the God they have scorned and rejected. They will also experience the horror of seeing their own lives in review in graphic detail from the "books of record" that will be opened as they stand in awe before the “Great White Throne.”