Satan’s last deception

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.” – Revelation 20:7-8a

In the Amillennialist camp there is the simple understanding that we are in the “last days,” “tribulation” and “the thousand year reign of Christ” (His spiritual reign from heaven). Now, although I could go on about that forever, I want to discuss these two verses for just a few seconds of your time.

With the release of Satan, the Amillennialist usually holds that this will be a period of unusually great deception, among other terrible things, as the world gets worse just before the end, last day, the second coming of Christ for judgment. In conversations with other Amillennialist, there seems to be an assumed belief that this period, when things are getting worse, will all happen suddenly, as like flipping a switch. But I see another possibility as to why the deception is increased at the end, but cut short (Matthew 24:24). I think the reason why things get so deceptive, is not that there is a sudden shift in morality or beliefs, but there is a largely gradual or steady one. Something is more deceptive when it twists things gradually instead of deliberately making a point counter to the original. Some use the illustration that it is easier to cook a frog (or lobster) by having it in cool water first and then slowly heating it up to a boil. This seems to have a more tactical advantage. Jesus mentions that in the events leading up to the end some are but the beginnings or birth pains, but not the full event (Matthew 24:8). This seems gradual to me.

In short I think it is part of the deception that people are all up in arms and watching for the end, without standing and fighting the smaller and more gradual battles of what true faith is right now. In certain ways the elect (the church) is deceived when it does not stand and watch, reprove or rebuke and instead let’s sound doctrine fall away or deems things of Scripture as unimportant. Now the church in its activity will not prevent the end from coming by being so active, nevertheless we are called to be faithful and found working when our Master returns (Luke 12).

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