In the final chapter of his book A Case for Amillennialism, Kim Riddlebarger sets forth a number of problems he sees with the premillennial view. One of them concerns the deception of the nations in Revelation 20:7-9. According to Riddlebarger:
If premillenarians are correct about their reading of Revelation 20, Jesus rules upon the earth over people in resurrected and unresurrected bodies during the millennial age. Our Lord’s millennial rule will end with a massive satanic deception of the nations and a revolt against Christ and his church after they have reigned on the earth for a thousand years. If true, this millennial apostasy is tantamount to a second fall. Not even resurrected and glorified saints are safe from the future wrath of Satan and the unbelieving nations (p. 233).
Although it’s not exactly clear to me why Riddlebarger believes that a millennial apostasy would be tantamount some kind of “second fall,” the bigger question in my mind involves the threat of Satan’s wrath toward the saints. According to Riddlebarger, if the premillennial interpretation of Revelation 20 is true, then “not even resurrected and glorified saints are safe from the future wrath of Satan and the unbelieving nations.” This, I assume, is supposed to persuade people to reject the premillennial view because of how ridiculous it is to say that glorified believers could be in this kind of danger.
So what about this? Is Riddlebarger correct? Does the premillennial view of Revelation 20 require this idea that even resurrected and glorified saints will not be safe from the future wrath of Satan and the apostate nations? Frankly, it’s difficult for me to determine exactly how he even came up with this idea. As a premillennialist, I’ve spent quite a bit of time studying Revelation 20, and it has never even crossed my mind that the saints could be in this kind of danger. After all, these glorified believers will not be subject to either physical death (1 Cor 15:42-57) or spiritual death (Rev 20:6), and Jesus Himself will be right there with them! Furthermore, Revelation 20:7-10 describes exactly what will happen when Satan gathers the nations for battle against the saints:
When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Rev 20:7-10).
So where exactly is this idea that glorified believers will not be safe from the future wrath of Satan and the unbelieving nations? Where is the possibility of an actual threat even entertained? It seems to me that this is yet another example of an attempt to discredit premillennialism by misrepresenting it.