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 Is Satan bound now, or is that to come?

In Revelation Chapter 20, verses 1-3 it says,
"1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain.2And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while."

My question to the forum is this: has this already happened or is it still to come? Speculative conjecture aside, please provide contextual scriptural proof for your position.
God Bless,

 2016/7/24 11:26

 Re: Is Satan bound now, or is that to come?


This is all spiritual. Satan is bound now spiritually
and spiritually 1000 years denotes the timeless quality and not quantity of his bound state. Therefore in a spiritual sense he was bound before time began because time is material and as George Harrison once said we are living in a material world. Its all an illusion this present day reality because in the eyes of religion time does not matter and matter is not time, most of the time.
Hope this clarifies this for you.

 2016/7/24 13:20


Good question Jeff. Certainly Satan is still deceiving the nations, though he was defeated at the cross.

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.

Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he hath but a short time.

It sounds like here in Revelation 12:9,10,11 that to the believers in Christ, he is no longer able to deceive or frighten them as Jesus crushed Satan's head at the cross and with resurrection.

I know that Satan has no power over me as a believer, but I live in a place where there are many, many people deceived by Satan. (Mormonism being all around me and the effects of it.) By the way would you say a prayer for these people. Tomorrow is a Utah Holiday, designated Pioneer Day. The LDS church is revered and lauded as are the false prophets who continue to speak lies to a captured people.

Thanks Jeff., George Harrison? Come now! Not a good source.

 2016/7/24 13:58

Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1650
Tennessee, but my home's in Alabama

 Re: Is Satan bound now, or is that to come?

The text speaks for itself. Satan still deceives. There has been no time since the fall where has not. So, it must remain future.


 2016/7/24 15:15Profile


Days of future past? (Must write a song)

 2016/7/24 19:42


Is satan still deceiving the nations?
Was the kingly rule of god available to to other nations than the people of Israel in the OT? To some individuals yes such as Rahab or Ruth but entire nations and people were unaware of the nature or existence of a true god. There was no invitation extended to the nations to come and be under the rule of God. Not so in the NT. The gospel message has spread everywhere telling to the people of all nations to have Jesus Christ as their lord and king. The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed started with a few followers and grows big till it fills the earth. Satan can not stop this (spreading the truth) therefore he can not deceive the nations.
Is Satan bound?
After Jesus cast out some demons he said that no one can go into a strong man's house and steal his goods unless he binds that strong man first. Jesus and the disciples were able to cast out demons because satan was bound. This they could not do in the OT because satan was not bound.
In my understanding the 1000 years described in Revelation 20 1-3 is the church age (not literally thousand but many years) it started when Jesus came and ends around when He comes back which is still future to us and establishes his new rule with all the resurrected saints as citizens.

I know that this view is different from the view of the majority here. Please respect me by basing your critique only on scripture, and I can give you more scriptural proof if requested.

To prevent all misunderstanding I add this:
I believe that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, He is the son of God. He died for our sins and was resurrected, after resurrection he had a physical body, he assended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. Right now he is anointed king (Christ) he rules over his kingdom (his followers) and in the FUTURE he will come back.
Luke 17:20-21King James Version (KJV)

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Within you means within the group of believers, they also translate it as "in the midst of you"

 2016/7/24 20:07


To add to previous post:

Christ rules as a king over his followers through the Holy Spirit who is in all of them. He said that he has to go away but he leaves the Holy Spirit with us (in us).

 2016/7/24 20:18

 Re: The Purpose of Satan Being Bound

I agree with you, Zsuzsanna.

John indicates that he "saw an angel coming down from heaven" (Rev 20:1), which is not necessarily a cosmologically directional statement but explanatory of divine activity just as "born from above" (John 3:3,7). God is not locked in a dualistic battle with diabolic evil for an eternal standoff, but God is sovereignly omnipotent to effect the defeat, the limitation and ultimate demise of the satanic adversary. The heavenly messenger carries the "key" of divine authority (1:18) "over the abyss" (cf. 9:1) and has "a great chain in his hand" (20:1). Since Satan is a spirit (Eph. 2:2), he cannot be held by a physical chain, so we must recognize again the symbolism of this activity.

The angelic messenger "laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years" (20:2). Exercising superior divine strength and power, the angel captured the adversarial opponent of Christ, previously identified in like manner (12:9) as the dragon, the Genesis serpent, the devil and Satan. He is the Evil One (Matt. 13:13,38; Eph. 6:16; II Thess. 3:3; I John 2:13; 3:12; 5:19) whose very nature is the personified source of all evil contrary to the character of God, the one from whom all sin (I John 3:8) and religion (Rev. 13:1-18) is derived. The failure to understand this theodicy causes Christians to berate themselves masochistically, to repudiate their humanity, and to focus their antagonism on human adversaries, even religionists, rather than on the Satanic adversary who energizes all that is in opposition to God. The first order for those engaged in warfare is to know their enemy.

In the picture that John draws for us the devil is "bound for a thousand years" (19:2). Keeping our heavenly perspective outside space and time, how is this to be interpreted? Should we attempt to identify any earthly counterpart to this action? Is this a future event that we should look forward to seeing fulfilled? Are we to apply earth-based time chronologies? Since Scripture is the best commentary on Scripture, can we discover any other occurrences where "binding" is applied to Satan? Yes we can. The Pharisees argued that Jesus was casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul because they did not want to admit that He was of God. Jesus explained that "Satan does not cast out Satan," and indicated that if He casts out demons, He has first gone into the "strong man's house" and "bound the strong man," Satan, and carried off his property, the demons (Matt. 12:24-29; Mark 3:22-27). Does this mean that Satan was incapacitated and rendered inoperable throughout the world because Jesus had "bound" him and cast out demons? No! Later Jesus told a parable about wheat and tares, the tares representing "sons of the evil one" who are to be bound and burned (Matt. 13:30). To His disciples Jesus gave divine authority in the "keys of the kingdom" so that "whatever they bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven" (Matt. 16:19; cf. 18:18). Avoiding the physical and tangible localization that is so often applied to the Satanic spirit, perhaps we can understand how limitations are imposed upon Satan's activity. When the seventy witnesses returned Jesus told them He "saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning" (Luke 10:17-19), indicating that a binding limitation was taking place. If one particular historical counterpart is to be identified with Satan being "bound," perhaps it would be the defeat of Satan when Jesus died on the cross. It was at that point that Satan was "cast out" (John 12:31), "disarmed" (Col. 2:15); "judged" (John 16:11); "thrown down" (Rev. 12:9,10,13); "rendered powerless" (Heb. 2:14), and his works "destroyed" (I John 3:8). Though it can obviously be argued that Satan is very active still today, "roaring and seeking to devour" (I Peter 5:8), "blinding" (II Cor. 4:4), counterfeiting (II Cor. 11:14), "capturing and ensnaring" (II Tim. 2:26), and "working" (Eph. 2:2), it must also be conceded that he is limited in his action. He does not have free reign, particularly in the lives of Christians.

The purpose of Satan's being "bound" is "so that he should not deceive the nations any longer" (20:3). When did Satan's deceiving of the nations begin? It commenced in the garden of Eden, and after the fall of man Satan's deception encompassed all of mankind, for "all the nations were permitted to go their own ways" (Acts 14:16). Satan reigned supreme as "the god of this world" (II Cor. 4:4). "The whole world lies in the Evil One" (I John 5:19). At the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" in the garden, Satan defeated the first Adam (Gen. 3), but at the "tree" (Gal. 3:13) of the cross he could not defeat the second representative man, the "last Adam" (I Cor. 15:45), Jesus Christ. Rather, Christ defeated Satan, exclaiming from the cross, "It is finished!" (John 19:30), for the divine mission was accomplished and set in motion. The good news of the gospel to "all the nations" (Matt. 28:19) from that time onward was that the life of God could be restored to man by receiving Jesus Christ (I John 5:12), that Satan's jurisdiction would thus be supplanted (Acts 26:18), and his ability to deceive the Christian limited and curtailed. Christians who do not understand the defeat of Satan at the cross, often live deficient Christian lives by selling themselves short of participation in the victory of Christ in the battle already won! They fail to attain the maturity whereby they are not tossed and carried about by the "deceitful scheming" (Eph. 4:14) of Satan and his religious efforts. The victory of Christ over Satan was accomplished at the cross. Satan was defeated and no longer has universal unlimited ability to deceive mankind. This does not mean that he was annihilated, incapacitated or rendered inoperable. He is still the "tempter "(I Thess. 3:5), the "accuser" (Rev. 12:10), and the "adversary" (I Peter 5:8). But in accord with the pictorial portrayal, Satan has been "thrown into the abyss," the bottomless pit of his underworld activities, and it has been "shut and sealed over him" (20:3) so that we are "protected by the power of God for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (I Peter 1:5), "made safe" from Satan's right to rule over us and thus to abuse and misuse us and create deceptive dysfunction in us.

The parameter given for this restraining restriction and confining constraint of Satan is "a thousand years" (20:2,3). Let us not forget that we are viewing this panorama from a divine perspective beyond space and time, wherein "a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (Ps. 90:4; II Peter 3:8). T.F. Torrance notes that

"we have no more right to take this thousand years literally than we have to take the ten-headed and seven-horned monster literally. It is entirely out of place therefore to bring down the thousand years out of its apocalyptic setting and place it on the ordinary plane of history, as if it could be handled by a worldly arithmetic and manipulated in calculations about the dispensations of time or about the end of the world. Such an intrusion into the secrets of God is utterly foreign to the Bible." 2

We have noted throughout this study of the Revelation how numbers are employed figuratively and symbolically (ex. 3 1/2, 7, 10, 12, 24, 666, 144,000), rather than with base-ten human arithmetical designation. The number of "one thousand" seems to represent the "full scope," "comprehensiveness" or "completion" of that which is being described. Throughout the Scripture it is often used with this meaning. God is said to "keep His covenant and His lovingkindness toward men to the thousandth generation" (Deut. 7:9; I Chron. 16:15; Ps. 105:8). Does this mean that God's character of faithfulness and compassion ceases after the literal "thousandth generation" of mankind? No, it refers to the comprehensive and eternal completion of His character. Likewise the psalmist indicates that God possesses "the cattle on a thousand hills" (Ps. 50:10). Is He limited to a literal "thousand hills" of cattle? No, he possesses all the cattle in the world, and the number of "a thousand" is used to point out the complete comprehensiveness of God's control over His creation. Contemporary English usage still uses "thousand" in a figurative way, an example being, "I've told you a thousand times..." We must beware of limiting God by literalness of humanly defined interpretations. Symbolic and figurative interpretations are "literal" when they correspond to the literary intent of the literature, which is the case in this instance.

The Greek word translated "thousand" in these verses is the word chilia. The Latin word for "thousand" is mille, and when conjoined with the Latin word annus meaning "year" it forms the basis of the English word "millennium." The theories of those who interpret this thousand year period as an exact thousand calendar year expectation in the future have often been labeled as "chiliasm" or "millennialism." This interpretation which expects Christ's return to be prior to such a precise thousand year period is also called "premillennialism," as distinct from "postmillennialism" which expects Christ to return after a thousand year period of increasing evangelism, and the misnomer of "amillennialism" which does not mean "no millennium" as the etymology of the word implies, but interprets the thousand years to be a figurative period as we are doing in this study. It is most regrettable that millennial theories have become such a divisive issue among Christian peoples, and that some Christians have so focused on this "thousand year" period referred to only in this paragraph, Rev. 20:1-7, that they have superimposed it upon the rest of Scripture as a grid for all Scripture interpretation. (See chart in Addendum H).

In the midst of this comprehensive period of "a thousand years" which seems to have commenced in historical terms at Christ's victorious defeat of Satan on the cross, John "saw thrones" (20:4) in heaven with God's people "seated in the heavenlies" (Eph. 2:6). "Judgment was given to them" (20:4), just as Jesus indicated that His followers would "sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:29), and Paul wrote that "the saints will judge the world" (I Cor. 6:2). John also saw those martyred "because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the Word of God" (20:4). These were obviously Christians who endured physical death, knowing that spiritual life in Christ was of ultimate value. In addition, John saw "those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead or their hand" (20:4), these being Christians who did not succumb to religion and its idolatry, disallowing religion to stamp their thinking and their activity. These Christians are represented as having "come to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years" (20:4). Just as Jesus "was dead, and has come to life" (2:8), Christians have "come to life" passing "out of death into life" (I John 3:14). In so doing they "reign in life through Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:17,21). To thus "reign with Christ" in His reign is to participate in "the kingdom of the beloved Son" (Col. 1:13), for the word "reign," basileuo, is the root of the word basileia which is translated "kingdom." The mistaken Jewish concept of a militaristic Messiah who would be a human king in a physical and nationalistic kingdom realm must not be transferred over into Christian interpretations of the kingdom reign of Christ during the "thousand year" period. Jesus explicitly said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36); "the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20,21)

 2016/7/24 22:32



But anyways, getting back to the actual text in Revelation 20 instead of cutting & pasting an entire argument that starts from a place of "what it can't possibly mean" & building a case of creative allegorization from that (& I don't need, nor do most people, lessons in "rational literalism" or "common sense literalism". I don't think a real "beast"
Is coming up out of the sea, literally. But I do think there is coming a beast, and a false prophet, & an antichrist, or son of perdition, ie man of lawlessness. And I do think there's a real devil, not just a "satanic spirit", etc.). Anyways, that's classic eisogesis. Importing into a text our own preconceived ideas rather than just drawing from a text and its context - ie Exegesis).

That aside, hopefully everyone (or most everyone) thinks the text actually means what it says when it starts back in Revelation 17 & 18 and talks about the fall of Babylon. And hopefully, most people actually read Revelation 19 and believe it when it says starting in 19:19...

19And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh."

I hope you believe it means what it says & not that there isn't a beast or false prophet & that's just some metaphor or whatever (have to erase several scriptures to prop that up).

And I think it's noteworthy that the narrative very naturally flows right into Revelation 20 that starts out with "THEN I SAW..." So Revelation 20 is just the continuing narrative from Revelation 19. Those chapter divisions and verse numbers were adds by 2 bishops in the 15th century as we all know. Anyways, Revelation 20 starts out..

1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain.2And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

And then it goes on to describe what many see clearly as the Millennium. In the next verses, even though that really isn't what I am trying to establish with this thread, but just is Satan bound now or isn't he (but I am Going to stay going straight through the text):

4Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.5The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6xBlessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Again, this concerning specifically the Millineaum isn't even really the point I'm trying to make (I was trying to keep it simple to something I noticed in studying this), but as we go on immediately after this we see what things follow next:

Subtitled in many Bibles as
The (Final) Defeat of Satan (although I know that's not inspired but added):
7And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison8and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

And as we go into the last passages of Chapter 20, we see the Great White Throne Judgment Verses:

The Great White Throne Judgment
11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

And on it goes...

But, what we see as we go through Revelation 17, 18, 19, & 20 is this (in this exact order and every time transitioned from one vision to the next progressively with the language "and then..." With no indicators whatsoever this chronology should be jumbled or mixed up. And it all matches what we clearly know from other texts:

1.) The Great Prostitute & the Beast (Rev 17)
2.) The Fall of Babylon the Great
(Rev 18)
3.) Rejoicing in Heaven (Rev 19:1-5)
4.) The Call to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-10)
5.) The Rider on the White Horse (Revelation 19:11-21)
6.) The Beast & the False Prophet thrown alive into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20-21)
7.) "Satan bound for 1,000 years" afterwards which "he must be released for a little while" (Revelation 20:1-3)
8.) Those seated on thrones to judge whom authority to judge was committed & souls of those beheaded for the testimony of Jesus & the Word of God, came to life and reigned with Christ for 1,000 years, etc. (Revelation 20:4-6)
9.) after 1,000 years, the Devil is released, comes out to deceive the nations & is "thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and false prophet were, & they were tormented day and night forever."
(revelation 20:7-10)
10.) Great White Throne Judgement (Revelation 20:11-15)
11.) New Heaven & New Earth, & New Jerusalem come Down from heaven (Revelation 21)

So, notice that the beast and false prophet are cast into hell BEFORE Satan is bound. This section of Revelation is clearly one connected narrative. Chapter divisions (& even verse numbers) are added and are often helpful, but very often they are not & are actually harmful due to how we read and process them.

Some may say, "but Revelation isn't always chronological", or "Revelation is a very symbolically loaded book", etc. I don't totally disagree with those statements overall, but we are looking at these passages in their context. This portion of Revelation gives no indications at all that it's possibly "scrambled order", does it? In fact, we know the events of the beast and false prophet, the defeat of Satan, the great white throne judgement, & the new heaven's/earth/Jerusalem are all in order and can't be changed around, so why would we then assume Satan's being bound would be? In fact, why would God give these things to John (called the revelation of Jesus Christ & in the "clearer" New Testament, even the very last book) & go like this as an example in this type order:

1950, 1960 1970, 1945, 1980, 1990, etc.?

What I mean is, like on any IQ test in the world it would say, "which one doesn't fit or is out of place?" 1945 of course. Would God record the "Revelation of Jesus Christ", the last book of the New Testament, etc. like this with ZERO indicators in the immediate or surrounding context He was doing that? I don't think so? The only "case" anyone can make is going way outside of all this context because of "what it can't possibly mean" and importing presuppositions into the text. That's called eisogesis, not exegesis. It usually doesn't end well.

Anyways, I thought this examination of the text made the case well that Satan is not yet "bound for a 1,000 years", among many other reasons.

If anyone can show me from the actual context I am wrong, I am happy to see it. I will be honest though, if anyone cut and pastes a 20 page article from someone that doesn't deal with the text or context, I may or may not read it. Not to be disrespectful either. If someone looks at the context and says, "I don't know why it was written that way?", I could respect that more than totally leaving the text and context for a pretext on other texts with no context.

God bless!

 2016/7/25 1:20


Revelation 20:4King James Version (KJV)

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.


4Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Jeff, what translation are you using?

The KJV says that the souls... lived.
Your translation says that they CAME TO LIFE.
This sounds like some kind of resurrection but the KJV
does not say that.

If we do not believe the soul sleep doctrine, it is possible for a soul to live while it is not in a resurrected body, it lives for ever it does not have to come to life.

 2016/7/25 2:45

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