The Destruction of Satan and His Followers
When we last talked about Satan, we left him bound in the abyss he originally came from. His servants, the beast (the Roman Empire) and the false prophet (the false religion of emperor worship) had been destroyed. The binding was like that of a dog. Limits were placed on the things he may do, but he is still able to roam. In particular, he was limited to not being able to deceive the nations until the end of the age (Revelation 20:3).
Satan’s Temporary Release
Satan is released. He is allowed once again to deceive the nations. But it is only for a short time (Revelation 20:3). Despite his long imprisonment, he has not changed. He takes up his war where he left off. This time his deception is extensive, reaching the four corners of the earth (i.e. the entire world). He no longer relies on a single nation.
The deceived nations are called Gog and Magog, a reference to Ezekiel 38 and 39. Gog would come from the land of Magog and was a prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal (Ezekiel 38:2). These lands are named after sons of Japheth (Genesis 10:2; I Chronicles 1:5). His army is describe as coming from lands all around Israel (North, South, East, West) (Ezekiel 38:5-6).
Those who are familiar with history are perhaps wondering when did people from the area of Russia, with troops from around the world, ever overrun Israel? Notice that in Ezekiel 38:17 God said he had prophesied of Gog before; yet, this is the first mention of Gog as a destroyer in the Bible. But God had prophesied many times that Israel would be overrun and destroyed by enemy nations. Therefore, Gog is a representation of the forces against the nation of Israel. In Revelation they represent the barbarian horde who is arrayed spiritually against spiritual Israel (the church).
Things look hopeless. The church is surrounded by a camp that covers the entire earth. The camp refers back to Israel’s wanderings, like the reference in Hebrews 13:11-13. It is a term referring to a military camp. The city is also mentioned in Hebrews 13:14. It is the city God has prepared for His people (Hebrews 11:16). This is the Jerusalem which is above (Galatians 4:26).
But then God steps in. Fire from heaven devours the enemy troops. Paul describes Jesus’ return is described as coming in flaming fire (II Thessalonians 1:7-8). Peter says when Jesus returns, the work of the earth will be burnt up (II Peter 3:10-13). The Devil is taken and thrown in the same lake of fire as his beast and false prophet. It is a description of Hell, as the torment lasts forever.
The Final Judgment
God appears on His throne – the place where kings render judgment. Heaven and earth pass away because there was no place for them (II Peter 3:10; Hebrews 1:12-13).
All the dead are judged – both the great and the small. Even those who had passed on before (Romans 14:10-12). It is a single judgment, not multiple ones for different groups, because judgment is referred to as a single day (Acts 17:31). The judgment is for the living and the dead (II Timothy 4:1).
The basis of the judgment is upon the writings of certain books. One book is the book of life. Moses referred to it in Exodus 32:32-33. The righteous are written in this book (Philippians 4:3; Luke 17:20). Names written in the book of life can be removed (Revelation 3:5).
The other book would be the word of God. Jesus said we would be judged by his word (John 12:48). It includes the writings of the apostles (Romans 2:16). The Scriptures form the standard of law that we are judged against.
The dead are judged according to their deeds in comparison to what was written in the books (I Peter 1:7; Romans 2:6-11; II Corinthians 5:10).
Death and Hades are destroyed. There is no more death. Death is the last enemy to be destroyed (I Corinthians 15:26). All not found in the book of life are also thrown into the sea of fire, joining Satan, his beast, his false prophet, as well as death and hades. And as Jesus warned, it is a fire that will not end (Mark 9:47-48).