Rom. 16:19-20"19 But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet."I haven't really paid close attention to v. 20 before. In what respect was Satan crushed under the feet of the Roman believers? How was this demonstrated? Was it a temporary crushing? Why did Paul say this would "soon" happen?
Because they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. They were not overcome by him or lose their faith. They were not defeated, they won. Just like Jesus won, when He died. You crush the enemy when he cannot get the upper hand on you. And what is Satan's goal but to have us turn away in unbelief from Christ. To lose hope. He tries to get us to walk by sight and not by faith. The more terrible things he can do to us in the physical realm, the more he is hoping that he can terrify the child of God to turn away from Christ. We crush him and his plans when we look at the things that cannot be seen and press on in faith. This is true victory. Men who walk by sight tend to think that true victory is escaping physical harm in this world. That has nothing to do with true victory. This verse is more accurate to me:Rom 16:20 And the God of peace shall BRUISE Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
The Nature of Prophetic FulfillmentIt has long been recognized that Biblical prophecy is normally fulfilled not in a single event but in a series of events which bring the prophecy to it final culmination. Seldom is the answer one-to-one but one-to-one, two, three, four, and so on. In the unfolding of redemptive history the prophecy is seen to take on a wider or more detailed significance.Older Bible teachers described this as “double” or “dual” fulfillment and as the “near view” and “far view” of prophecy. Interpreters today speak more in terms of sensus plenior, a phrase offered to describe the “fuller sense” seemingly given to certain OT prophecies as they are unfolded in the light of NT revelation. Others would prefer to speak in terms of a “canonical process” which develops more fully and more specifically the original sense and intent of the prophecy. More popularly, interpreters speak of the “now and not yet” aspect of Biblical prophecy, emphasizing that a given prophecy may well come to realization now yet await its fuller manifestation later; its fulfillment is both now and not yet.Arguments could be made for the precise accuracy of preferable terminology, but our point here is simply to notice that Biblical prophecy normally unfolds in a progressively fulfilling way. In the unfolding of redemptive history the prophecy is seen to take on a wider or more detailed significance.Yes, there is the occasional one-to-one fulfillment. The Bethlehem prophecy (Mic 5:2) provides one example. But it is generally more complex than this, and examples in the prophetic Word abound. The very first prophecy, Genesis 3:15, sets the stage. The Champion promised to defeat the tempter finds initial realization in the earthly ministry of Jesus and His casting out of demons (Mat 12:28). By His casting out of demons, He Himself explains, Satan’s kingdom is invaded and plundered. In Jesus, God has made good on His promise to defeat the tempter. But there is obviously more to it than that. And again Jesus Himself says so. In anticipation of His death He declares, “Now is the prince of this world cast out” (Jn 12:31). Here, in Jesus’ death, Satan loses his head (cf. Heb 2). Here the promise finds its fulfillment. Or does it? Writing to the Roman believers Paul declares that God will “crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Ro 16:20). So we find the promise is fulfilled and “not yet” fulfilled. And of course Revelation 20 fills in the final details with Satan’s bondage in the abyss and then finally being cast into the lake of fire forever. Here, at last, the prophecy is finally and fully fulfilled. Thus we see that the answer to the original promise was not one-to-one. The fulfillment came in a succession of events which brought the promise to its full consummation.This, Genesis 3:15, is the Bible’s first prophecy. And it stands as the pattern of the fulfillment of so many others.(Fred Zaspel on "The Nature of Prophetic Fulfillment")
Just as Jesus "bruised" Satan when He cheated death (Satan) (overcame), every Saint will "shortly" bruise Satan once again when they endure to the end and overcome the "last enemy" which is death. That is what I think is meant by the word "shortly". The culmination of the Christian life is keeping the faith, finishing the race and overcoming all the power of the enemy to kill, steal and destroy.
The future is always brought into the present by prophecy. What will be then we can see now. The future is controlling the present not vice versa. Men are always confronted with God's finished and fulfilled work by the record of prophecy, thus with Pau's prophecy to the Romans. In the fulfillment nature of prophecy, Paul was speaking to the Romans of Satan being bruised under their heel as they continued to attempt to overcome and yet was also speaking of the final day when Satan's bruising will come to full fruition. The future is brought into the present through prophecy and therefore the future is always near though maybe not chronologically imminent. Prophecy encourages and warns and therefore presents man with a decision now. The future is always before us even now through the means of God inspired prophecy. Satan will be bruised shortly though that may not be chronologically imminent. The "shortly" has been brought near to us through prophecy and is always before us now.