In our last chapter we saw that Christ descends from Heaven to find an organized effort to prevent him coming back to the earth. Under the leadership of Anti-christ, the kings of the earth with their armies assemble together at Armageddon with the express purpose of making war upon the Lamb (Rev.17:14). It is in connection with this impious revolt that we read, |He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh| (Ps.2:4), laugh at their folly and madness, |The Lord shall have them in derision.| As well might a worm seek to resist the tread of an elephant as the creature hope to succeed against the Almighty. As well attempt to roll back the ocean as aim to frustrate the counsels of the Most High. |For the Lord of hosts hath purposed and who shall dis-annul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?| (Is.14:27). A short work will our Lord make of the proud rebels -- |And the Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the Beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone| (Rev.19:19). This accounts for two of the persons in the Trinity of Evil. But one other still remains to be dealt with. Before the Messiah's Kingdom can be set up, the great Usurper must first be cast out.
There can be no thousand years of righteousness and peace on earth while the great Enemy of God and man is at large. Post-millenarians, who expect the Kingdom to be brought in by the preaching of the Gospel and the activities of the Church, and Peace-idealists and Social-reformers who look for a Golden Age to be brought about by legislation and civilization, all leave out of their schemes and considerations one dominating factor, namely, the Devil. Behind all anit-christian systems back of all the inveterate opposition to the Gospel, beneath all the evil and wickedness which stalks rampant through the earth, is that old Serpent, the Devil. And nothing finite can remove him. Nothing human can disturb him. None on earth can bind him. Man is incompetent to cope with his mighty adversary. Legislation cannot reach him, and the Church is powerless to rid the world of his awful presence. The only One who is mightier than he, is God -- the Almighty, and there can be no Golden Age, until the Son of God Himself returns in person and removes and imprisons the Arch-Foe.
The removal of Satan from this earth is described in Rev.20:1-3, |and I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the Bottomless Pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the Dragon, that old Serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the Bottomless Pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years shall be fulfilled.| Satan will be |bound| which is the fulfillment of our Lord's word in Matt.12:29 -- |How can one enter a |strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.| The |strong man| is our , the Devil' his |house| is the children of this world, in contradistinction to the children of God who are the |House| of Christ (Heb.3:6); the |binding| of the Strong Man is described in the Passage quoted above from Rev.20; the |spoiling of his house| is the delivering of his captives (see Is.42:7). Satan will be |cast into the Bottomless Pit| which is the fulfillment of Is.14 -- |How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to Hell, to the sides of the Pit| (vss.12-15). Satan will be shut up in the Bottomless Pit and a |seal| shall be set upon him, which is God's answer to that which we read of in Matt.27:66, |So they went and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch -- what he has sown that he also reap. Thus will terminate that struggle which has lasted for six thousand years, a struggle which has been waged for the dominion of the earth.
At last the |roaring lion| (1 Peter 5:8) will have been overcome, overcome by the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The Man with the bruised heel will have crushed the Serpent's head, and the word spoken in Eden will then be fully accomplished. And who can describe or even imagine the blessed consequences! No more shall the brethren be accused before God (Rev.12:10). No more shall the daughters of Abraham be |bound, lo, these eighteen years| (Luke 13:16). No more shall satan tempt and try, harass and hinder the saints of God. For a thousand years the earth shall be rid of the Evil One and in his place there shall come |Times of Refreshing from the presence of the Lord.| And this leads us to consider,