The binding of Satan, the Devil, for one thousand years
The binding of Satan, the Devil, for a thousand years has been a topic of curiosity and confusion for many. People often wonder when Satan was bound or if he has already been bound, while others question when this binding will occur if it hasn’t happened yet. In this article, we will provide clear explanations and shed light on this subject.
The passage that refers to the binding of Satan for a thousand years can be found in Revelation 20:1-3, which states:
“And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, the old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years should be finished: after this, he must be loosed for a little time.”
Now let’s explore the timing of Satan’s binding and unravel its meaning.
Satan was actually bound before Jesus’ ministry began. This may come as a surprise to some, but it is important to understand the context. In Mark 3:23-27, Jesus explains the concept of a strong man’s house and the need to bind the strong man before plundering his house. Jesus uses this analogy to highlight that no one can genuinely set someone free from the dominion of Satan unless they are stronger than him and bind him first.
By making this statement, Jesus implies that he is the stronger man who has bound Satan, the strong man. This binding took place shortly before Jesus’ ministry began, and it symbolizes the suspension of Satan’s authority over the world. It was necessary to prevent him from effectively opposing the ministry of Jesus Christ and his church, which aims to save humanity.
It is crucial to distinguish between power and authority in the spiritual realm. While Jesus possesses greater power than Satan, he did not initially have the authority to redeem mankind on earth. Satan had stolen the authority that God originally gave to mankind through his deceptive tactics in the Garden of Eden.
Therefore, Satan’s binding refers to the suspension of his authority over the earth. This binding allowed Jesus to receive the authority necessary to wield his power on earth and delegate it to his church for the salvation of humanity. Matthew 28:18-20 emphasizes that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus, enabling him to commission his disciples to make disciples of all nations.
Now, let’s delve into the symbolic meaning of the imagery presented in Revelation 20:1-3:
- The dragon symbolizes Satan, the Devil.
- The key of the abyss represents the right to bind Satan.
- The great chain symbolizes the divine injunction that suspended Satan’s authority over the earth.
- The casting of Satan into the abyss signifies the successful completion of the angel’s assignment.
- The sealing of the abyss over Satan illustrates the fulfillment of the divine injunction.
- The thousand years symbolize the church age, which commenced with the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and continues to the present day.
It is essential to understand that Satan’s binding does not strip him of his power. He still possesses the ability to tempt, afflict, cause trouble, and deceive those who do not believe the gospel. However, his authority to prevent people from accepting the gospel has been suspended, except for those who willingly reject it.
As for the restoration of Satan’s authority, it will occur before the reign of the Antichrist, also known as the man of lawlessness or sin, as mentioned in Revelation 13:1-4. After being loosed, Satan will exercise his authority for a limited period before being sentenced to the lake of fire.
In conclusion, the binding of Satan, the Devil, for a thousand years refers to the suspension of his authority over the earth. This binding took place before Jesus’ ministry, enabling him and his church to carry out their mission of saving humanity. While Satan’s power remains, his authority to hinder the acceptance of the gospel has been suspended. Understanding the symbolism and significance of this binding allows us to grasp the spiritual dynamics at play in the ongoing battle between good and evil.