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The Nations Deceived Rev 20:7-10

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  • The Nations Deceived Rev 20:7-10

    I have not been able to develop this analysis to a sufficient level of completeness. However, I feel that there are points to be noted since this era has given me insight into how Rev 20:7-10 could be fulfilled.

    Rev 20:7-10
    And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

    Revelation 20:7-10 appears to be parenthetical to the events otherwise being described of the start of the kingdom of God.

    The Context surrounding vv 7-10 follows:
    The main description was of the reign of the early saints with Christ for a thousand years. (The meaning of thousand years seems to be about an non-specific long period.) They rose to reign with Christ, seeming to be those saints who were most affected by the early persecutions. These saints were those of Daniel 12:2-3 which said many of those who were asleep would rise. And the righteous would shine.

    There was to be a judgment of the unrighteous of the first century (and maybe the time leading up to that era) at the end of the thousand years. I think then verses 11-15 may be a continuation from verse 6 which describes the end of the thousand years of reign. (This, perhaps, is the end marker of the reign of the saints with Christ or may just be the end of an era of their reign.) Or, verses 7 to 15 act as an excursus to fill answer curiosity for the first century saints as to the demise of Satan and the judgment of the persecutors.

    Chapter 21 then would again describe the situation beginning in the first century, and continuing without interruption. I see this as first century because Paul showed that the followers of Christ (both from among Jews and Gentiles) were the Jerusalem from heaven (Gal 5:24-26).

    (There is not quite a description of the saints' situation after the thousand years. )

    Now the main focus of discussion is about Revelation 20:7-10.

    Even if I have not properly set the context of Rev 20-21, the important discussion is for these four verses.

    I suspect that we have been at the end of the thousand years. Satan has been released to deceive the nations. But we must ask “what is the nature of this deceit?” We get an indication of this, or the emphasis of the deceit, when Revelation 20:9 says that the armies of the nations surround the camp of the saints. The deception is primarily about the view of Christians or Christian doctrines. The deceit may involve blame of Christians for causing hardship or problems on other people. Whatever the problem, the great body of people (the non-Christians) want to take action against the Christians – or the national rulers seek to do so. All of this sort of antagonism toward Christians was also found in the first century.
    It was nearly impossible to conceive of such extensive deception until I saw the broad world reaction to the Coronavirus. The people have been drawn into great fear largely based on what the media has stated and what rulers have done. Something like this could be done against the Christians or the Christian doctrines.

    The roots of such deception have appeared in government operated schools (in America we call these public schools) where the mention of the Christian understanding of God has been prohibited and even denounced. In a different fashion, India has circled wagons around its traditional religions and rejected (and outlawed) the Christian gospel, as being tied with colonialism.

    I don't think the deception against the saints has progressed to the stage described in Rev 20:7-10. However, the process for leading to this degree of deception seems rather plausible now.

    Note that this end does not describe a destruction of the world ... but only a point of transition -- or at least the end of an era of deception and the end of the influence of Satan. (There are many insights into Satan that can be inferred here -- and the demise of the people promoting the deception. But this discussion is for another day.)

  • #2
    A commentary reports Rev 20:7ff as
    Source: The Message of Revelation

    Son of man. The second death we shall consider later, under verse 14.
    With verse 7, Visions 4 and 5 converge. The thousand years, during which the saints have reigned and the devil has been held in check, end in a cataclysmic war. Names and places are different, but there can only ever be one battle which is both so universal and so final as this one. It must be the same as the Armageddon of Scene 5 (msw: The writer uses Scene 5 to describe Rev 16), where ‘the kings of the whole world’ are assembled for ‘the great day of God the Almighty’ (16:14 ff.); it must be the clash between the ten horn-kings and the Lamb who is King of kings, in Scene 6 (17:14); it must be the war already described in the third Vision of this present Scene, where the beast gathers ‘the kings of the earth with their armies’ to fight against the Rider on the white horse, and perishes with all his host (19:19–21).

    Wilcock, Michael. The Message of Revelation: I Saw Heaven Opened. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986. The Bible Speaks Today.

    © Copyright Original Source

    Michael Wilcock equates the battles with scenes described earlier in Revelation. Leon Morris, in another commentary, holds a similar view. The problem with this view would first be about the parenthetical nature of Rev 20:7-10, where John seems to be filling in understanding for questions that arise after learning about the begining and end of the thousand year reign. A bigger problem would be that Rev 20:7-10 does not describe an actual battle. We only see that the nations encircled the camp of the saints, the beloved city. No bloodshed is described.

    The beloved city refers to the New Jerusalem which is synonymous with the saints, the Christians, as indicated in Galatians 5. The prophecy therefore does not refer to a specific location, such as the the land of the current Israel. The Christians exist everywhere so that we cannot expect them to be located in one place. To come to such a reading of the text, the description in Rev 20:7-10 is viewed as an analogy, as a pictorial description of something that we will not see with our eyes, nor on iPhone videos. Much of prophecy is represented through metaphor which is readily found in Isaiah, for example. So, we cannot narrow our understanding of the passage to a physical battle or to scenes we see in Lord of the Rings.


    • #3
      If what I heard is correct, we are close to the Rev 20:7-10 event.

      This may be good news (that God's fire will come in judgment against evildoers) or it may mean that we are going to have some very troubled times in America (and probably most other countries). The virus is nothing compared to the trouble we will be facing. God's grace to us all.

      If this is fulfilled, I guess we will recognize the fulfillment only after the evildoers are removed. There would be nothing we could do to stop it. If this is a false alarm, sorry. I've just never seen things happening like what we see happening now. The virus panic is nothing compared to what we could see happen.

      Satan is the bottom feeder who attracts all the evil into one place and therefore unwittingly aids in their removal, their loss of power. This seems to be what Satan always was meant to do. Then Rev 20:7-10 is Satan's demise -- that his function is completed.


      • #4
        Some questions for anyone who would be curious about Rev 20:7-10...

        NOTE: These questions are for reflection, not presented as questions for debate. But discussion is still welcome or remarks related to the questions are fine.
        How could much of the world be deceived? Would it be through feeding of wrong ideas about the world or a conspiracy of news spread throughout the world? Maybe a chemical process or electrical process to change their perceptions? Maybe a minor bit of truth is hyped up which appeals to the fears of people.

        How would this deception occur? Would it be through psychic or spiritual powers or through a conspiracy evil people?

        Would you recognize the deception or would you fall for it? Why would you follow the option you selected here -- between recognizing the deception or falling for it?

        Is there a way to prepare against the deception? Would their be early signs of the deception which could be detected? Will Christians recognize the deception as it is developing or only after the destruction of the evildoers?

        Neither of the referenced commentaries addressed the nature of the deception that came upon the nations. Those commentaries mainly focused on the great battle they envisioned in Rev 20:7-10, as if Rev 20:7-10 were simply a restatement of the battle imagery of the previous chapters.


        • #5
          I have come to the realization that the majority of Christians do not have to recognize the deception described in Revelation 20. A corollary to this concept is that the Christians are not given direct signs about the nature of this deception -- to recognize that it is happening. Another corollary is that Christians do not need to take protective action in response to the deception.
          Additional extention of ideas ... Christians are not overly harmed by the deceptions. There is no escape from the effects on society or the church. This means we will be suffering along with the non-Christians.

          The present worldwide coordinated reaction to the covid fiasco presents to us the start of the finish of the deception. Mind you, I'm not saying that people are not getting sick. (Don't you love double negatives?) However, the ability to identify the cause of sickness is not scientifically established ... and not established to one cause. Also, many people have reported that the worldwide effect of the disease(s) is at typical flu levels -- not any level justifying the scary designation of pandemic. We are being told to kill our economies, our entertainment, our education, and our futures for this event that might be said to be affecting 0.1 percent of the US population (and much smaller percent of the world population) -- whereas as Pandemic should not be used unless there is a threat on, for example, 5% of the world dying (in populations exposed to such a theoretical disease). The numbers are smaller when you consider that the 300k or so people said to die from covid -- only about 6 % were from that alone -- maybe up to 20% of the 300k whose comorbidities were greatly enhanced by this covid thing.

          I think the ultimate thing that will happen is that we will go through a decade of starvation, fires, deaths, floods, tyranny and other horrific things before the Lord removes the evildoers in accord with Rev 20:7-10. I sort of include in this the possibility that wildlife will be unable to replenish itself beyond 2026 (I have not heard the details of this sort of analysis but it is an interesting time frame.) It seems the extent of deceit and problems is so extensive that the populations of the world could not rise up to stop this.

          After the evildoers are removed from the world (per Rev 20:7-10), the Christians will then likely recognize that God has acted. Is this not similar to the first century when Christ came? A few people were waiting for the Messiah in light of prophecy but most of Jerusalem and the diaspora did not recognize the times. However, those who came to Christ then could understand the prophecies in light of the revelation of Christ.

          (I could be off in my analysis. I am just describing how things could transpire, even in a short time. Like I said, this is not something that has to be recognized beforehand -- otherwise we would already be alert to the deceptions.)


          • #6
            If prophecy is getting fulfilled, would people fail to recognize it until it is completed?

            This seemed to be the case with the OT prophecies of the Messiah. They had the timing from Daniel, but how much attention was paid to that? There probably was sufficient expectation he would come but most were not convinced enough by prophecy to drive them to the Messiah. Mostly, the people who started to recognize Jesus as the Messiah -- they were the ones who began to recognize the fulfillment of prophecy. Of course they had to start with some acceptance of the reports they were hearing about Jesus and the gospel. So, some initial insight into the situation was needed before they began to consider the details of prophecy being fulfilled.

            I'm not saying that there is a problem or sin for Christians who do not see how prophecies may be fulfilled now. I am just wondering if people would recognize things as they are happening.


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