All authority in heaven and earth – The binding of Satan




Revelation 20:1-10

NASB
Satan Bound

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain [a]in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of  [b]their  testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. 

Satan Freed, Doomed

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 [c]seashore. And they came up on the [d]broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the [e]saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and [f]brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

[a] 20:1 Lit upon – [b] 20:4 Lit the – [c] 20:8 Lit sea – [d] 20:9 Lit breadth of the earth – [e] 20:9 Or holy ones – [f] 20:10 I.e. burning sulphur


Related passages

Mark 3:27

“But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house.”

Matthew 12:22-29

22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to [v]Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. 23 All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by [w]Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”

25 And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, [x]Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and [y]any city or house divided against itself will not stand.26 If Satan casts out Satan, he [z]is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27 If I by [aa]Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

[v] Lit Him – [w] Or Beezebul; i.e. ruler of demons – [x] Lit Every – [y] Lit Every –[z] Lit was – [aa] V 24, note 1

Matthew 28:16-20

The Great Commission

16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [e]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [f]always, even to the end of the age.”

[e] Or Having gone; Gr aorist part. – [f] Lit all the days


Thoughts

If you’re interested in this topic please take a look. Professor Anthony Hoekema was an amillennialist who addressed this within a larger article on amillennialism itself. His explanation makes good Biblical sense.

As Hoekema explains in the rest of the article, amillennialism isn’t replacement theology or antisemitic. Amillennialism also isn’t a heresy but the view of many Reformed churches, including the Dutch Reformed church of which both he and Corrie ten Boom were members. 

This teaching has been truly helpful to me. 


From

Amillennialism

By Anthony Hoekema

Monergism

What is meant, then, by the binding of Satan? In Old Testament times, at least in the post-Abrahamic era, all the nations of the world except Israel were, so to speak, under Satan’s rule. At that time the people of Israel were the recipients of God’s special revelation, so that they knew God’s truth about themselves, about their sinfulness, and about the way they could obtain forgiveness and salvation. During this same time, however, the other nations of the world did not know that truth, and were therefore in ignorance and error (see Acts 17:30) — except for an occasional person, family or city which came into contact with God’s special revelation. One could say that during this time these nations were deceived by Satan, as our first parents had been deceived by Satan when they fell into sin in the Garden of Eden.

Just before his ascension, however, Christ gave his disciples his Great Commission: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:19, NIV). At this point one can well imagine the disciples raising a disturbing question: How can we possibly do this if Satan continues to deceive the nations the way he has in the past? In Revelation 20:1-3 John gives a reassuring answer to this question. Paraphrased, his answer goes something like this: “During the gospel era which has now been ushered in, Satan will not be able to continue deceiving the nations the way he did in the past, for he has been bound. During this entire period, therefore, you, Christ’s disciples, will be able to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations.”

This does not imply that Satan can do no harm whatever while he is bound. It means only what John says here: While Satan is bound he cannot deceive the nations in such a way as to keep them from learning about the truth of God. Later in the chapter we are told that when the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations of the world to gather them together to fight against and, if possible, to destroy the people of God (verses 7-9). This, however, he cannot do while he is bound. We conclude, then, that the binding of Satan during the gospel age means that, first, he cannot prevent the spread of the gospel, and second, he cannot gather all the enemies of Christ together to attack the church.

Is there any indication in the New Testament that Satan was bound at the time of the first coming of Christ? Indeed there is. When the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan, Jesus replied, “How can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man?” (Mt. 12:29). Interestingly enough, the word used by Matthew to describe the binding of the strong man is the same word used in Revelation 20 to describe the binding of Satan. One could say that Jesus bound the devil when he triumphed over him in the wilderness, refusing to give in to his temptations. Jesus’ casting out of demons, so he teaches us in this passage, was evidence of this triumph. One could counter that the binding of Satan mentioned here is reported in connection with the casting out of demons rather than in connection with the preaching of the gospel. But I would reply that the casting out of demons is an evidence of the presence of the kingdom of God (Mt. 12:28) and that it is precisely because the kingdom of God has come that the gospel can now be preached to all the nations (see Mt. 13:24-30, 47-50).

When the seventy returned from their preaching mission, they said to Jesus, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Jesus replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Lk. 10:17-18, NIV). These words, needless to say, must not be interpreted literally. They must rather be understood to mean that Jesus saw in the works his disciples were doing an indication that Satan’s kingdom had just been dealt a crushing blow — that, in fact, a certain binding of Satan, a certain restriction of his power, had just taken place. In this instance Satan’s fall or binding is associated directly with the missionary activity of Jesus’ disciples.

Another passage which ties in the restriction of Satan’s activities with Christ’s missionary outreach is John 12:31-32:

“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself’” (NIV).

It is interesting to note that the verb here translated “driven out” (ekballo) is derived from the same root as the word used in Revelation 20:3, “He [the angel] threw [ballo] him [Satan] into the Abyss.” Even more important, however, is the observation that Satan’s being “driven out” or “cast out” (RSV) is here associated with the fact that not only Jews but men of all nationalities shall be drawn to Christ as he hangs on the cross.

We see then that the binding of Satan described in Revelation 20:1-3 means that throughout the gospel age in which we now live the influence of Satan, though certainly not annihilated, is so curtailed that he cannot prevent the spread of the gospel to the nations of the world. Because of the binding of Satan during this present age, the nations cannot conquer the church, but the church is conquering the nations.3


“Anthony A. Hoekema was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to the United States in 1923. He attended Calvin College (A.B.), the University of Michigan (M.A.), Calvin Theological seminary (Th.B.) and Princeton Theological seminary (Th.D., 1953). After serving as minister of several Christian Reformed Churches (1944-56) he became Associate Professor Bible at Calvin College (1956-58). From 1958 to 1979, when he retired, he was Professor of Systematic Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Professor Hoekema spent two sabbatical years in Cambridge, England (1965-66, 1973-74) and has written The Four Major Cults (1963), What about Tongue-Speaking? (1966), Holy Spirit Baptism (1972), The Bible and the Future (1979) and was a contributor to The Meaning of the Millennium from which these articles were taken (1977).”


 

8 thoughts on “All authority in heaven and earth – The binding of Satan

  1. Maria, I find the scriptures used by Dr Hoekema compelling. He says:
    “But I would reply that the casting out of demons is an evidence of the presence of the kingdom of God (Mt. 12:28) and that it is precisely because the kingdom of God has come that the gospel can now be preached to all the nations (see Mt. 13:24-30, 47-50).”
    Then He says: “Revelation 20:1-3 means that throughout the gospel age in which we now live the influence of Satan, though certainly not annihilated, is so curtailed that he cannot prevent the spread of the gospel to the nations of the world. Because of the binding of Satan during this present age, the nations cannot conquer the church, but the church is conquering the nations.
    But, I also find other scriptures equally compelling. I will begin with this one.
    The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever. (Psalm 119:160)
    This tells me that all scripture taken together must be considered when forming a doctrine. In this case we are dealing with the doctrine of Satan and his binding, and the timing of the placing of all things under Jesus feet, so that the kingdoms of this world are under His dominion. There is no question that God reigns in heaven, and that the kingdom of heaven or of God is present now in the heart of the believer. We are posituonally seated with Christ. But because all scripture is given for our teaching we need to consider Peter’s following statement:
    Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
    1 Peter 5:8-10 NASB
    Peter here along with James understands the test that happens in this life.
    Jesus taught how this age would proceed:
    And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the [u]end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40 So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the [v]end of the age.
    Matthew 13:37-40 NASB
    Satan is still the deceiver Paul recognized this:
    But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?
    Acts 13:9-10 NASB
    Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
    Ephesians 4:26-27 NASB
    Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
    Ephesians 6:11-12 NASB
    and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
    2 Timothy 2:26 NASB
    Satan is still the enemy of man. And the kingdoms of this world are not yet considered even by our Lord to be His. But that will end at The sounding of the seventh Trumpet:
    Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “ The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”
    Revelation 11:15 NASB
    So it is my understanding that Satan is not yet bound until the sounding of that trumpet. At which time Messiah will rule and we will rule with Him for 1000 years. And that time is the time of the first resurrection which is our blessed hope. Paul tells us that that Trumpet will bring about this resurrection and these conditions:
    Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
    1 Corinthians 15:50-52 NASB
    We learn from this passage that though we are spiritually seated with Christ today, yet physically we will not see ourselves as occupiers of His kingdom until we have immortality of body. His rule on earth and ours will not begin until then, following the bodily resurrection. Satan will not be bound until then, until then we are in war with principalities and powers not flesh and blood.
    This is at least the way I believe it is best to understand these scriptures.

    Like

    • Jerry, I cannot agree and believe that taking the millennium literally is not rightly dividing the Word of God. Jesus Christ is now seated in heavenly places and we are seated with Him. I don’t have the wherewithall to argue this case. The larger article from which this excerpt on the binding of Satan was taken is really helpful. All I would say is that yes, Satan can deceive individuals as you showed here:

      “But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?”

      But not the Gentiles, the nations – goyim – anymore until for a short time only at the very End of the Age.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was so helpful, I’m still struggling to understand all this. What I was taught in the WoF movement was so unBiblical, it’s like peeling back the layers to work through. May the Lord bless you, these posts are certainly a blessing to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lauren, thank you for reading this and for your kindness! I’m still in the process of unlearning and learning rightly. The Word is for correction and we need this so much!

      2 Timothy 3:16 — All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

      Lord bless you, my sister!

      Liked by 1 person

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