Robert W. Wall writes:
W. Hendricksen locates Satan’s imprisonment between the two advents of Christ, when the church is able to evangelize the nations with complete freedom (Conquerors, pp. 185–90). This interpretation draws upon elements of Revelation 12–13, where Satan is unable to destroy the church. Further, it corresponds well to the subsequent vision of those of the “first resurrection” who will reign with Christ.[…] However, nowhere does it portray the church as evangelistic, and the nations are eventually destroyed rather than converted.
Thus, Caird argues that the nations of 20:3 are not those of 19:15; and the battle of 19:20 can not be the end of the human race because we find nations in 20:3. The nations of 20:3 must be the survivors of that eschatological battle, whose political power is now broken at the second coming, and whose status has been reversed so that they are now in subjection to the once powerless church for a millennium (cf. 20:4). Revelation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1991), 242.
Wall does not actually endorse Caird’s position, since he does not think there is a sequential indicator in the millennial text. Of course I completely disagree. But this is besides the point, because I am interested in his quotation of Caird’s response to Hendrickson.
Caird’s argument brings to mind a similar, and even more problematic, point in amillennial interpretation where they have an illogical plot line in their narrative: If Satan is bound during the church age so as not to deceive the nations, as Amillennialists claim, then how can the nations become deceived in Rev 19:15? It is then meaningless to claim that Satan’s so-called present-age binding is preventing the nations from being deceived.
Amillennialists are fond of asserting that Satan is bound in this present age only in the sense of preventing nations from being deceived from accepting the Gospel. Satan, we are told, is not bound to prevent individuals from being deceived, only nations (as if nations are not made up of individuals!).
A glaring flaw in this thinking is the obvious fact that the Gospel-hating nations are in fact deceived and receive judgment in Rev 19 . So the amillennial trope that the depiction of Satan being bound in Revelation 20:1–3 refers to the present age preventing nations of being deceived is devoid of any meaningful consequence. What is the point of Satan being bound to prevent the nations of being deceived since they end up being deceived in Rev 19?
If Amillennialists object by saying that there are other ways for nations to become deceived other than the agency of Satan, then the obvious question must be asked: What then was the point in the first place for binding Satan? Scripture states that he was bound to prevent him from deceiving the nations. But again, Rev 19 shows that they end up being deceived!
This is a big difficulty in the plot line within the Amillennial narrative. I have never received a satisfactorily answer.
It is much more coherent to view the binding of Satan as the result of the eschatological battle-victory in Revelation 19 within Jesus’s second coming, rather than being influenced by an artificial chapter break at Rev 20:1 or by pre-commitments to the Tyconius-Augustine theological tradition. There is no basis to break up the unified, coherent discourse between Rev 19 and 20 by retrojecting the activity of the binding of Satan back into a first century context.