Satan Evicted: The Millennial Reign

Alexander (Iskandar) building the brazen wall against the people of Gog and Magog. 1590-1600 (circa)

The Millennial Reign of Christ

Introduction
Preconceived Ideas
Satan Bound & Human Nature

Introduction

It has been interesting reading the various descriptions and interpretations pertaining to the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ (Revelation 20:1-10).1 Some, such as amillennialism, assert that this kingdom is a spiritual realm occurring within the current age with Jesus Christ sitting on King David’s throne in heaven. Others, such as premillennialism, assert that this kingdom is a physical realm occurring after the Great Tribulation with Jesus Christ sitting on King David’s throne in Jerusalem. Frequently, these interpretations reflect preconceived theological doctrine rather than an independent analysis of the implications of the actual passage.

This section does not attempt to prove that there will be a future, literal, physical, earthly reign of Jesus Christ. A plain reading of the passages requires that we accept just such an interpretation unless there is substantial, credible evidence otherwise. Many amillennialist arguments contradicting such a reign are discussed in other sections within this study:

  1. David’s Throne and Christ’s Reign: Is Jesus Currently Reigning from David’s Throne?
  2. The First Resurrection: First Resurrection: Physical vs. Spiritual
  3. Israel & the Church
  4. Millennialism: Symbolic or Literal
  5. Progressive Parallelism
  6. Is Satan Bound?
  7. Scripture to Interpret Scripture

I also reject the notion that the “kingdom of God” was first offered to the Jews but ultimately delayed because they rejected Jesus as their messiah. Instead, I believe that the kingdom of God was always available to those who sought the will of God. The message of the Gospel focuses not on some future millennial kingdom but rather on the condition of an individual’s mind, heart, and spirit. This focus does not change during the Church age nor will it change during the Millennial Kingdom.

Revelation 20:1-10 is a relatively brief passage that provides a framework for our understanding of the Millennial Kingdom:

Revelation 20:1-10: And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (NIV)

The passage’s brevity at first glance seems problematic as it lacks sufficient detail to paint an accurate, comprehensive portrait. While this brevity may contribute to diversity of interpretation, it does not construct an insurmountable barrier – there are sufficient scriptural references elsewhere in the Bible to develop the portrait that the Lord wishes to show us. We must carefully examine the scriptures to see where they fit within this overall picture.

Preconceived Ideas

During this study, one of the greatest difficulties I’ve experienced is setting aside preconceived ideas acquired either from childhood or the early years of my Christian walk. As a child I was taught that humans live their lives, encounter death, experience a resurrection at the end of time, and then face judgment according to their works – the good people go to heaven, and the bad people go to hell. There were no intermediary resurrections or judgments… there were simply two basic groups: Christians and non-Christians. As a young “born-again” Christian, I was taught along similar lines with a few additional dimensions: a Rapture, a regathering of Israel, a Great Tribulation, and a Millennial Kingdom… there were three basic groups: the believer, remnant Israel, and the unbeliever. While both lines contain elemental truths, the underlying specifics do not always reflect an accurate portrayal of scripture.

When considering the attributes of the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ, we must set aside a portion of what we’ve been taught and look at the scriptures objectively… take a fresh look, use a novel approach. This has proven an extremely difficult task as there is a strong pull from preconceived ideas. The task has been so difficult that I needed to set it aside for several months and then could only work on the task for very short periods of time.

The follow samples examine a limited number of misinterpretations that I have encountered during my exploration. They are not all inclusive nor are they intended to make specific points; they are simply examples of what can go wrong if we permit preconceived ideas to hinder our search…

Kingdom of God & the Millennial Kingdom

Some believe that the kingdom of God (heaven) and the millennial kingdom are one in the same and relate to the future, earthly kingdom with Jesus Christ ruling from King David’s throne in Jerusalem. This belief asserts that this kingdom was initially offered to the Jews, rejected, and consequentially delayed until Christ’s second coming. The Gospel scriptures related to the kingdom of God, therefore, are descriptive of the millennial kingdom that will exist following the Great Tribulation.

Others believe that the kingdom of God and the millennial kingdom are one in the same and relate to the current, spiritual kingdom with Jesus Christ ruling from King David’s throne in heaven. This belief asserts that this kingdom unites both the Jew and the gentile under the New Covenant initiated by the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and realized on the Day of Pentecost. The Gospel scriptures related to the kingdom of God, therefore, are descriptive of the millennial kingdom that exists during the current Church age.

Both beliefs, I believe, have elements of the truth but are focused incorrectly on time periods. The kingdom of God has existed before the creation of the universe; it is an eternal, spiritual kingdom.2 Mankind has always had access to this kingdom by focusing on the will of God instead of the will of mankind… we access the kingdom of God by aligning our loyalty with the God in heaven rather than the earthly desires of the material world. The Old Testament is filled with examples of men – such as Noah, Enoch, and Abraham – who have accessed this kingdom through faith:

Hebrews 11:5: By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. (NIV)

Hebrews 11:7: By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (NIV)

Romans 4:3: What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." (NIV)

To obtain a fuller understanding of the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ, we must set aside any notion that the kingdom of God and the millennial kingdom are one in the same – they are not. Certainly, the attributes of the kingdom of God will find their expressions within the millennial kingdom, just as they found their expression during the ages of Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the Church. However, the Gospel scriptures related to the kingdom of God should not be construed as unique to the millennial kingdom.

The Parable of the Wheat and Tares

Some assert that the parable of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) proves that there is only one resurrection and one judgment; this belief is used in partial support for an amillennial or postmillennial view. Others utilize the parable to demonstrate that humans fall into one of only two groups – the saved and the unsaved; this belief is used in partial support of the claim that national Israel will be “saved” during the Great Tribulation and that the humans who make it through the Great Tribulation (but miss the Rapture) will only be saved individuals. Neither belief can be substantiated by this parable – they are making conclusions based on evidence not in the text.

Matthew 13:24-30: Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” (NIV)

Matthew 13:36-43: Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

First, we must be cautious not to over analyze kingdom of God parables. Parables are not intended to impart complex, specific truths but rather to reduce complex truths into more general principles… We err when we attempt to draw more from a parable than originally intended. This parable simply teaches about the effects of the two separate forces at work within the world – the Son of Man, the Word (John 1:1), whose “seed” will result in good fruit, and enemy, the devil, whose “seed” will result in bad fruit that will be consumed by fire at the end of time.

Second, this is a kingdom of God parable and is, therefore, applicable for all time – past and present. The parable would be just as appropriate during the time of Noah, the time of Abraham, the time of Moses, or the time of David. The parable is also just as appropriate for the millennium as Satan because “tares” will be sown during the latter days after Satan’s release. The parable teaches a universal truth – the Word of God results in good, and the word of Satan results in evil. Eventually, at the end of time, the wicked from all ages will be gathered and thrown into the fire.

Can a deeper analysis reveal greater insight into the kingdom of God? Absolutely! The term “weeds” used in the NIV, tares in the KJV, is the translation of the Greek term zizanion:

zizanion: zizanium (a kind of darnel resembling wheat). Spurious wheat, darnel; a plant that grows in Palestine which resembles wheat in many ways but is worthless. 3

2215 zizánion (plural, tares/zizania) – a tare (darnel); (figuratively) a pseudo-believer (false Christian); a fruitless person living without faith from God and therefore is “all show and no go!” 4

from “Lolium temulentum”5

Darnel usually grows in the same production zones as wheat and is considered a weed. The similarity between these two plants is so extensive that in some regions, cockle is referred to as “false wheat”.[1] It bears a close resemblance to wheat until the ear appears. The ears on the real wheat are so heavy it makes the entire plant droop downward, but L. temulentum, whose ears are light, stands up straight. The wheat will also appear brown when ripe, whereas the darnel is black.[2] When the Lolium matures, the spikelets turn edgeways to the rachis, where the wheat spikelets remain as they grew previously.

The darnel can be infected by an endophytic fungus of the genus Neotyphodium, and the endophyte-produced, insecticidal loline alkaloids were first isolated from this plant.[3] It parasitizes wheat fields. The French word for darnel is ivraie (from Latin ebriacus, intoxicated), which expresses that weed’s characteristic of making one feel poisoned with drunkenness, and can cause death. This characteristic is also alluded to in the scientific name (Latin temulentus = drunk).

From this term we can learn that the agents of the devil may not have a different presentation than the agents of Jesus Christ – they look, act, and talk like Christians. Their initial message may seem Christian in nature; however, examination of their full doctrine reveals that they are deceptive imitators.

When I lived in Hawaii, I was approached by a young man who looked, acted, and talked like a Christian. In fact, he appeared to be an ideal Christian as he spent his spare time repairing the homes of the aged, buying groceries for the poor, and performing other small “Christian” chores for the needy. When he talked religion, he used the same Holy Bible we use. However, he was a member of the Unification Church who view Sun Myung Moon as the messiah and believe Jesus will take an earthly bride and father children after his second coming.

There are other religious movements that carry the Holy Bible but teach a different gospel than that taught by Jesus Christ and his apostles. These gospels can be contained within books other than the Bible, within traditions derived outside the Bible, or within teaching of specific individuals and sects. They have the appearance of the truth but lead individuals astray sometimes with dire results.

Galatians 1:8: But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (NIV)

Can a deeper analysis reveal that there is only one resurrection immediately followed by the White Throne Judgment? No. Although the parable specifically mentions that the tares will be gathered first (v. 30), the focus in the explanation (v. 40-42) in on the weeding of the kingdom and the punishment of the devil’s agents. In fact, verse 43 seems to imply that the wheat is not removed but remains planted within the kingdom. From this parable, we can conclude that the agents of the devil will ultimately be punished, but it lacks sufficient detail to conclude that there is only one resurrection and judgment.

Can a deeper analysis reveal that there are only two classifications of individuals – the saved and the unsaved? No. This claim would invoke an either-or fallacy (false dilemma) where only two alternatives are considered although there are possibly other options. As illustrated by the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-7, 18-23), not all who hear the Gospel will flourish and produce good fruit. This failure, while a serious concern, does not transform wheat into tare. There is room for a third classification – the nonaligned. This parable does teach that there are agents of the devil mixed amongst the agents of Christ, but it lacks sufficient detail to conclude that all individuals fall within one of only two classifications.

We must be judicious in our interpretations of scripture. The Word of God is certainly a living and breathing instrument that impart individual messages and meanings to each individual; however, we error if we read more into a passage than what is actually contains.

The Millennial Kingdom as Utopia

Believers of the future, earthly millennial kingdom tend to paint this period as a perfect utopian society – an ideally perfect place, especially in its social, political, and moral aspects.6

from “Summary of the Millennial Kingdom”7

Imagine a world dominated by righteousness and goodness, a world where there is no injustice, where no court ever renders an unjust verdict, and where everyone is treated fairly. Imagine a world where what is true, right, and noble marks every aspect of life, including interpersonal relations, commerce, education, and government. Imagine a world where there is complete, total, enforced, and permanent peace, where joy abounds and good health prevails, so much so that people live for hundreds of years. Imagine a world where the curse is removed, where the environment is restored to the pristine purity of the Garden of Eden, where peace reigns even in the animal kingdom, so that “the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them” (Isa. 11:6). Imagine a world ruled by a perfect, glorious Ruler, who instantly and firmly deals with sin. Humanly speaking, that description may seem far-fetched, a utopian fantasy that could never be reality. Yet it accurately describes conditions during the future earthly kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.

While these descriptions are generally scripturally sound, they, unfortunately, tend to be misleading. Although not the primary focus of millennial related passages, there will be ignorance, sin, disharmony, disobedience, death, and rebellion.

There will be ignorance: If there is a need to be taught, then not all will automatically understand the precepts of the Lord at his coming:

Isaiah 2:3: Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (NIV)

There will be sin: If there is a need for a judge who rules with a rod and slays the wicked, there will be sinners in need of judgment:

Isaiah 11:3-4: …He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. (NIV)

There will be disharmony: If there is a need to settle disputes, then there will be disharmony:

Isaiah 2:4: He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (NIV)

There will be disobedience: If there is a designated punishment, then it is anticipated that some will disobey the command:

Zechariah 14:16-18: Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. (NIV)

There will be death: Although substantially better than the current era, there will be accidents, illness, and infirmity – the causes of death:

Isaiah 65:20: “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. (NIV)

There will be rebellion: If Satan is able to gather an army against the Lord, there will be a faction who is dissatisfied with the rule of the Lord:

Psalm 2:1-3: Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.” (NIV)

Revelation 20:7-9: When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. (NIV)

The scriptures tend to emphasize that the Millennial Kingdom is a near utopian world; however, it will not be heaven on earth nor will all mankind be obedient to the Word of God.

The Flood Allusion & the Olivet Discourse

The allusion to Noah and the Flood within the Olivet Discourse seems to be misinterpreted in at least two ways. First, some utilize this analogy in partial support of the belief that the Rapture will be a complete surprise. Second, some utilize this analogy in partial support of the belief that only “saved” individuals will compose the initial human inhabitants during the Millennial Kingdom.8

Matthew 24:36-39: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (NIV)

This allusion does not support the belief that the Rapture will be a sudden surprise to all:

Verse 36 is the preface to the allusion indicating to topic to be discussed and is written in present tense “knows” indicating that at that time, the time when the words were spoken, that no one knew the day or hour. Verse 37 is written in the future tense “will be” indicating that in the future the “knowing” part is comparable to the days of Noah. Although there are no discernible conjunctions joining these two verses; however, some read the two as:

No one knows the day or hour of His coming, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the Father. The same will be true in the future, and as in the days of Noah…

This is an error. We must not add or detract from Biblical texts. The allusion, therefore, compares the “knowing” at the time of the second coming to the time of Noah, not to the “knowing” when Jesus Christ spoke the words.

Now, when God instructed Noah to build the ark, God told Noah specifically what was going to happen (Genesis 6:13-21), and it took Noah and his family some 98 years to build the ark9 and seven days to load the ark (Genesis 7:4). Certainly, Noah might not have known the “day or the hour” during the 98 years he was building the Ark, but he and his family certainly knew “about what would happen.” They certainly knew the timing was very, very close when they started to load the animals.

Who were the people who know nothing about what would happen? They were the people who were “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.” They were the people who were taken away by the flood.

It was the unbelievers, the wicked, who were caught off guard, not the righteous, the blameless, and the ones who walk with God (Genesis 6:9). Instead of supported the belief that all will be surprised by the Rapture, this passage seems to indicate that the true believer will know about what is about to happen.

This allusion does not support the belief that only “saved” individuals will compose the initial human inhabitants during the Millennial Kingdom:

First, we need to remember that the topic being discussed in this allusion knowing the “day and hour” of the second coming… not necessarily who will be wiped out and who would be saved much less who will make it into the Millennial Kingdom by surviving the Great Tribulation. We also need to realize that the focus is on the wicked, the unbelieving, that will be destroyed.

Second, if we are to consider the Flood as an analogy of devastation of the Great Tribulation, we must do so reluctantly and examine the related scriptures carefully:

  • There were eight people who entered the Ark and were saved from the flood:

Genesis 6:18: But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you [Noah] and your sons [Shem, Ham, and Japheth] and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. (NIV)

  • The scripture indicates that Noah was righteous and blameless; it remains silent on the other seven:

Genesis 6:9-10: This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. (NIV)

Genesis 7:1: The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. (NIV)

  • We also know that Ham committed some form of sin with his father and was cursed:

Genesis 9:21-22, 24-25: When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside… When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, he said, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” (NIV)

  • It might be safe to assume that the wives and the sons supported Noah building the Ark and perhaps contributed to the effort – they were obedient to Noah. However, it would be a stretch to conclude that they were “righteous” in God’s eyes; at least concerning Ham, there seems to be evidence otherwise.

This allusion does not support the belief that only “saved” individuals will compose the initial human inhabitants during the Millennial Kingdom. In fact, if this allusion is analogous to the final chapter of the Church Age, then we might conclude the Millennial Kingdom will be initially populated by individuals who are not necessarily “righteous” but rather obedient in some form, perhaps those who fall under the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-11).

The purpose of this section is not to prove or disprove any specific doctrine or belief but rather to illustrate how preconceived ideas can be read inappropriately into scripture. Within my study, do I make the similar errors? Certainly. It is our nature to want to find evidence that supports our personal beliefs… this is natural and probably healthy to a certain extent. However, as much as humanly possible, we should strive to set aside our personal desires and seek the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

NOTE: If you find any errors within this study, I encourage you to send an email detailing the exact location of the error and a brief explanation of why you think any statement is inaccurate. My email address can be found on the website Satan-Evicted.com.

Satan Bound & Human Nature

The notion of Satan’s role as “god” of this world and his eventual eviction serves as the foundation of this study and is explored in depth within the “Satan Evicted: The Foundation” section of this study. Interestingly, of the ten scriptures in the book of Revelation that frame the Millennial Reign, seven are dedicated to Satan:

Revelation 20:1-3: And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

Revelation 20:7-10: When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Amillennialists assert that this section parallels earlier section within Revelation and that Satan was bound at Christ’s crucifixion. They assert that the “binding” (v. 3) is symbolic of God’s grace being extended to the Gentiles (nations) in that Satan may no longer keep God’s message from them. Unfortunately, Satan is not bound10 and is alive and well in the current age. In fact, he is more active on the earth than at any previous time.11

Flip Wilson, a famous comedian of the late 60’s and 70’s, coined the phrase, “The devil made me do it!” While the phrase was intended for a purely comical effect, it should make us wonder just how much influence Satan has on an individual’s life. Is he simply a tempter as depicted as the devil whispering sitting on our shoulder and whispering in our ear? Does he have a more direct influence such as demon possession? How much of established Church doctrine been swayed by his words? Is Satan a real entity or is he simply a metaphor for wickedness?

While a full exploration of Satan’s purpose is beyond the scope of this section, it’s worth the effort to list a few of the attributes provided within the New Testament:

  1. Clever Schemer: Ephesians 6:11: Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (NET)
  2. Disguised as a Disciple of God: 2 Corinthians 11:13-14: For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (NET)
  3. Enemy of Christians: 1 Peter 5:8: Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. (NET)
  4. God of This World and Blinder of the Unbelieving: 2 Corinthians 4:4: among whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God. (NET)
  5. Great Deceiver: Revelation 12:9: So that huge dragon – the ancient serpent, the one called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world – was thrown down to the earth, and his angels along with him. (NET)
  6. Great Tempter: Matthew 4:1: Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (NET)
  7. Metaphor for Disbelief: Mark 8:33: But after turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.” (NET)
  8. Murderer and Father of Lies: John 8:44: You people are from your father the devil, and you want to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. (NET)
  9. Power of Death: Hebrews 2:14: Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in their humanity, so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil)… (NET)
  10. Roadblock for Christian Efforts: 1 Thessalonians 2:18: For we wanted to come to you (I, Paul, in fact tried again and again) but Satan thwarted us. (NET)
  11. Root of Some Afflictions: Luke 13:16: Then shouldn’t this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be released from this imprisonment on the Sabbath day?” (NET)
  12. Ruler of Demons: Matthew 9:34: But the Pharisees said, “By the ruler of demons he casts out demons.” (NET)
  13. Sinner: 1 John 3:8: The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed: to destroy the works of the devil. (NET)
  14. Tool Used to Accomplish God’s Will: Luke 22: 3-4: Then Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve. He went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers of the temple guard how he might betray Jesus, handing him over to them. (NET)

Today, science and reasoning reject the influence of satanic forces on human behavior attributing “evil” to mental illness, negative social influences, traumatic experiences, or socio-economic difficulties. Those that believe in Satan and his influence may be viewed as fundamentalist nutcases – “demons and Satan remain the stuff of unstable or degenerate minds.”12 These views, I feel, are unfortunate. While not all social ills or physical infirmities can be attributed to satanic forces, denial of Satan and his influences negatively impacts our society. This denial also blazes the path for the Antichrist and the greatest deception of all time.

More importantly, the Millennial Kingdom does not focus on Satan or his legions – it focuses on his absence. At the beginning of the Kingdom, Satan is bound and cast into the Abyss; he will have no influence on the people living during this time period – mankind cannot claim, “The devil made me do it.”

Is human’s disobedience a result of Satan’s influence or inherent within human nature?

Some may ask, “With such near perfection, how can this be? How can mankind continue in rebellion?” It really shouldn’t shock us at man’s rebellious nature. We’ve seen it before as Israel came out of Egypt:

1 Corinthians 10:1-5: For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. (NIV)

Ultimately, the absence of Satan and his dominions will not lead to mankind’s redemption:

Revelation 20:7-9: When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves… (NIV)

Please note the verse does not indicate that just a few humans will rebel, but the number will be virtually incalculable – “like the sand on the seashore.” Yes, Satan is the leader of this rebellion; however, the humans who participate in this rebellion cannot claim ignorance or blindness to God or God’s will… the blame will rest squarely on their individual shoulders.

What then are the implications?

  1. Satan, although a contributing factor, does not bear complete blame for man’s disobedient nature. The devil doesn’t make him do it… Man makes the choice of his own free will.
  2. Material conditions – economical, social, political, or physical – are not the root cause for man’s disobedient nature. Need doesn’t make him do it… Man makes the choice of his own free will.
  3. Jesus Christ will rule from David’s throne in Jerusalem; the absence of God’s presence does not contribute to man’s disobedient nature. Ignorance doesn’t make him do it… Man makes the choice of his own free will.

The age of the Garden ended in rebellion, the age prior to the Great Flood ended in rebellion, the age of national Israel ended in rebellion, the age of the Christian Church will end in rebellion, and, finally, the age of the Millennial Reign will end in rebellion. For millennia, God has been patient with the “stiff-necked” human race. Surely this patience must reflect the love and longsuffering the Father has for his children.

People of the Millennium

Under development

 


With all glory, honor, and praise to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit...
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