Satan Loosed on Earth

the devil is loosed on earth

Satan Loosed on Earth – Some Context

To have Satan loosed on earth, he first has to be bound. So let’s start at the beginning, step by step.

In Revelation 16, we have the 7 Bowl Judgements (the King James Version of the Bible calls them vials).

Revelation 17-18 is the graphic depiction of the Whore of Babylon.

Revelation 19 commends those who died for their faith, talks of the “Bride of Christ”, as distinct from the “invited guests” and tells of the much awaited second coming of Christ, this time as a royal conqueror wearing a robe dipped in the blood of His enemies.  

The antichrist and the false prophet are the first two to then be tossed into the burning lake of fire. 

These events mark the end of the seven years of tribulation and herald in the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom – 1000-year reign of Christ on Earth!

Now we get to the bit about Satan

Satan Bound for 1000 Years

Revelation 20: 1-3 doesn’t need any explaining!

satan bound with a chain by an angelAnd I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.”

We have zero indication of how long a short time is! After all, we were told way back in the Old Testament, 2,000 years ago, that Jesus was coming again soon!  

We do know that he is mighty successful in his deception-drive to win souls! 

How??! How can that be possible, after all we will know by then! We’ve had seven years of tribulation, complete with the 21 Tribulation Judgements. We’ve had the antichrist and the false prophet, the prophesied mark of the beast, the battle of Armageddon and  satan bound for a 1,000 years.

The mind boggles!

Satan Loosed on Earth to Deceive the Nations

Satan loosed on earth


The passage in question, Revelation 20:7-10, comes near the end of the book and follows a series of visions that depict the ultimate defeat of Satan and his followers. In this passage, Satan is released from his prison and allowed to deceive the nations once again. He gathers an army from all corners of the earth and leads them in an assault on the city of God.

But this attack is doomed to fail, and Satan and his followers are ultimately cast into the lake of fire.

Satan’s Release

The first thing to note is that Satan is not described as escaping from his prison, but rather as being released. The Bible uses the verb ‘is‘, as in Satan “is loosed on earth“.

This implies that his release is not accidental or unplanned, but is part of God’s sovereign plan for the end times. The purpose of Satan’s release is to test the nations and to reveal who among them will remain faithful to God and who will follow the deceiver.

It’s also worth noting that Satan’s release is not permanent. He is allowed to deceive the nations for “a little while“, Revelation 20:3, which could mean a few months, a few years or, lots of years!  This underscores the idea that God is in control of the situation and is allowing Satan to do his worst only for a limited time.

God is making sure that those who make it through all these trials and ordeals are fit for life in Eternity!

The Deception of the Nations

satan loosed to deceive the nationsOnce Satan is loosed on earth, he sets about deceiving the nations and gathering an army to attack the city of God. It’s not clear how he does this, but it’s likely that he uses his powers of deception and manipulation to turn people against God and to convince them to follow him instead.

How on earth he manages and why on earth they would, are two gob-smacking questions!

The fact that Satan is able to deceive the nations implies that there are still people on earth who have not accepted God’s offer of salvation. This is a sobering thought, but it’s also a reminder that the battle between good and evil is ongoing and that we must remain vigilant in our faith.

The Final Defeat of Satan

satan thrown into the lake of fireWhen Satan is loosed on earth, he heads for the “four quarters of the earth” to gather his allies together to battle: “the number of whom is as the sand of the sea“. Not only does  he get to deceive the nations once more, but he gets to deceive a lot of them!

Satan loosed on earth is a terrible defeat of loads of souls! He “compassed the camp of the saints” and “the beloved city“. So God gives him the run of the earth to do his damnedest! 

The Bible doesn’t spare much time on this easy victory of Satan’s army: “fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” Revelation 20: 9-10. The devil is then tossed into the lake of fire, to join the antichrist and the false prophet, to “be tormented day and night for ever and ever”!

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