Chapter 12: The Thousand Years are Finished
Before the time of final separation and judgment, there is a period of “silence in heaven” (Rev. 8:1).
All during the thousand years, Satan, representing the evil in the hearts of men and women, was controlled by stern and inviolable law, the guiding voice being ever present to say, “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isa. 30:21).
But there comes a time when this voice is no longer heard. It is the end of another epoch in the plan of God, and like the calm before the storm, an ominous silence reigns in the political heavens. No inflexible law restrains the rebellious element; and many of the rebellious discover it and are quick to mutter their disaffection.
This is the period described in Revelation as the time when Satan is “loosed a little season” (Rev. 20:3). during this period of “silence in heaven” (Rev. 8:1), mortals are allowed to manifest their evil natures, and there is no penalty. The rulers overlook it in silence.
This lasts for a “little season.”
Some of the definitions of season are “a certain definite time, a short time.” Though definite, its length is not revealed. Whatever time is set aside for this suspension of law, it will not be long.
The purpose of the strange silence is to let the evil element vent itself so that they can prove themselves the wicked, unworthy servants they really are, and be removed. Other mortals will be able to see them in their true light and know that the punishment reserved for them is just.
Someone has commented that God allows these rebellious people to let loose their whole power that their total defeat may be most decisive.
What do the rebels do? They go out “to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle” (Rev. 20:8).
The word “nations” may refer to people, lands, or races, or simply inhabitants. It does not imply foreign empires at this time, as there is only one nation worldwide.
Who are Gog and Magog? A footnote in Berkeley’s New Testament reads: “All forces that oppose God.” Another Bible student describes them as “all enemies of God’s truth.” Another says, “Gog and Magog represent all the faithless upon the earth.”
What then is the picture at the end of the Millennium? There are two classes of mortals: those who are faithful, and those who are unfaithful and rebellious in heart. At this point, everyone who lives is either on the side of Christ and the new rulers or opposing them.
Revelation 20:9 pictures the rebels in action: “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city.” what is said to happen when they do this? Did they succeed in their evil design? No, “Fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” There is no more opportunity for repentance; the day of grace has ended. These people rebel against God—for the last time—and at the hand of God meet swift and final destruction.