While fishing in Canada one summer, I had caught some bass and put them in a metal cage in the water by the dock. They stayed in there a couple of days. Finally, I decided to set them free. When I opened the cage, those bass just stayed there. They would not swim away. They had been conditioned to stay put. I had to stir them a bit so they could act on their new freedom, and away they went.

The New Testament makes it clear that Jesus defeated Satan and that Satan will be bound for many years. But why is there so much evil on this planet today? When the Bible states that Satan is bound, it does not mean he is totally out of action. The Bible states clearly that it meant he could no longer deceive nations like he did for centuries during the Old Testament times. How then could Jesus tell 12 men to go into the world and preach the Gospel, and within a span of 100 years nations were converted? Because Satan was bound SO THAT HE COULD NO LONGER DECEIVE THE NATIONS. This fulfilled Revelation 20:2-3. Many think this binding of Satan has not yet occurred in history. I think it has. Our trouble is what we think of when someone is bound it means total incapacity. I don’t think this is what the Scripture means, or says. In OT times, missionaries wouldn’t have a chance. Now they do. Therefore, some drastic change had to have taken place in the spirit world that in turn affected earth.

The other problem is that too many Christians interpret Revelation literally whereas it should be approached using the consistent symbolic language that God has used in both the Old and New Testaments. Some Bible scholars believe that the millennium is not a literal 1,000 year period, but rather an extended period of time. I favor this interpretation. However, make no mistake…Satan is no wimp! He cast nations into hell for centuries and gave our Lord and Savior a very rough time when He was on earth. Today, we are not ignorant of his schemes (2 Cor. 2:11). This means he still is scheming! He still sets traps for us to fall into and still tries to keep souls from the Truth. So all the more reason for us to walk humbly in Christ relying upon His grace for our safety, discernment, and service to Him.

Some theologians have compared Satan’s binding and downfall after Christ’s victory to the Allied forces landing on Normandy Beach in France during WWII. It was a huge death blow to the Nazi Regime, therefore it was just a matter of time for the final victory to occur. Before that invasion, the Nazis had their way with Europe. The time between the Allied landing and Nazi unconditional surrender may represent the Church Age in which we find ourselves. Christ has all authority, we are seated with Him in the spirit places, Satan has been defeated (stripped of power and cannot trick nations any longer), we have power over Satan through Christ, but all Christ’s enemies are not under His feet yet (1 Corinthians 15:25). This is why Paul wrote to the believers in Rome that God would soon crush Satan under their feet (Romans 16:20). Rome was cruel to Christians, but God would judge that power, and by 476 AD it was destroyed. This is just one peek we get today about the Church Age and Christians reigning with Christ causing these big changes in history. Notice how the Islamic people have been ramping up attacks on Christians, especially throughout Africa and the Middle East. God will eventually judge this. Maybe this is why there is so much upheaval and violence breaking out in Muslim countries. God and His Bride (The Church) will win in the end when all His enemies are put under His feet.

When Jesus ascended to heaven following His resurrection, He sat down at the right hand of God which began His rule over the earth. “Right hand” always signifies power. Mark 16:19 says, “….He was received up into Heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” In Psalm 110:1, it says, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet. The Lord will stretch forth Thy strong scepter from Zion, saying, ‘Rule in the midst of Thine enemies.’ The people will volunteer freely in the day of Thy power….” Notice the word “until.“ This reveals that there will be some time between when Jesus took His throne in Heaven and when He has the final or complete victory. I maintain that these verses are referring to this Church Age. Jesus is ruling from heaven and there are enemies still lurking about on earth, but He is still ruling in the midst of them as the psalmist said. “Zion” in that verse can easily represent “The Church” (true believers all over the world) as millions of Christians in NT times have volunteered to do many exploits for Jesus’ sake. These volunteers flowed out of the world-wide church that started in Zion. At present, there is a nation within the nations, and it is this nation (the kingdom of God) that will be the only one standing forever (Daniel 2:44). All others will crumble because they were formed by fallen man. God’s nation is based upon the One who willingly gave up all His power (Matthew 26:53). Matthew 13:31-32 states that the “mustard seed” (Jesus buried) has become the biggest of all plants (kingdoms).

Acts 2:17 and Hebrews 1:2 reveals that the coming of the Messiah marked the beginning of “the last days” or “end times.” The Old Testament talked about this era several times in different books. This present time between Messianic comings is this “Church Age.” I believe that this is when Jesus starts putting His enemies under His feet (Romans 16:20). The degree to which God has spread His truth throughout the world had never been done on such a grand scale as this! The spread of Christianity exploded on the planet like no other religion in history, and it is still expanding worldwide. Many Christians, however, may not understand why this explosion could happen.

In Matthew 12:29 Jesus said, “Or how can anyone entering the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.” I believe that Jesus was referring to what He did to Satan and that would usher in the Church Age where Christ’s sons and daughters would plunder Satan’s house which is this world. Furthermore, because of our sin, we once were property of Satan. He had us in his snare, but Jesus was able to “carry us out” because He was able to bind Satan, the strong man of this world. During our time, Jesus is still using us to plunder Satan’s house. Because Jesus bound Satan so that he could not deceive the nations any longer, that evangelical explosion could happen. What an awesome thing to be able to do to use frail flesh and blood creatures to overthrow high supernatural powers!

This time period just may not be limited to a literal 1,000 years. The Millennium may simply represent a long period of time, i.e., the Church Age. More to a major point, the Book of Revelation is not consisting mostly of future events but rather an account of the unfolding of church history, starting with that first century church. This would mean that most of Revelation has been fulfilled and dispensationalism has missed a huge perspective while adopting a Jesuit belief that emerged from the Counter Reformation (Catholic attempt to quell the Protestant Reformation) that an Anti-Christ is still on his way to earth rather than already “been there, done that.” This erroneous method of interpreting the Book of Revelation may have misguided many believers and has served to take the heat off the Roman Catholic Church and all its horrific, hateful, anti-Christian history, and current blasphemous doctrines. One huge one is the continual insistence that the reigning Pope is God on the earth and should be addressed as The Holy Father as well as be bowed down to in his presence. Every godly man and angel in the Scriptures refused to be treated in this way, including Peter whom they day was the first pope. Ironic, eh?

What does all this mean for us today? Those fish in the water cage were like people in Old Testament times. They were preserved but really were not free like we are under the New Covenant. When I opened that cage, it was like what Jesus did for us. Many believers today, however, do not realize how free they are and what kind of power into which they can tap. We can conquer much “territory” and many souls by destroying satanic strongholds through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. Every believer has been given some sphere of influence. Some may have large spheres while others have small ones. That does not matter. What matters is that we flow in the Spirit through whatever sphere God has given us (see Luke 16:10).

We can either choose to utilize His power or not. Our time is an exciting time in which to dwell. We have
so much to live for and so much power into which we can tap. Let us take full advantage of what the Lord
has given us. He has “opened our cage.“ The Gospel that Christ has given us is powerful. Through the
fervent prayers and blood of true believers, it eventually prevailed over the Roman Empire, a tyrannical
Roman Church, formed our nation, caused numerous wars in Europe during the Reformation as the
persecutors of the true Church were being judged by God, and toppled the Berlin Wall. Other domains
will be yet conquered by our ruling Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through people who truly follow and
obey His Voice. This conquering is not done with worldly weapons. God says, “Not by power nor by
might, but by My Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6).

In Daniel Chapter 2, God showed King Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel a vision of four kingdoms of history in the order they would rule. The first was Babylon, second Medea-Persia, third Greece, and fourth Rome. Verses 34 and 35 speak of a “stone cut without hands” that would destroy kingdoms and be the only kingdom standing at the end and would fill the whole earth. Jesus is that stone and His kingdom has toppled many governments and will continue to do so until His Kingdom alone is left standing, and it will last forever. Right now, you and I are an important part of that kingdom development and we can do much more for God than people living in Old Testament times. The revelation and power just weren’t there yet. So let us plug into that power source and let us not waste time, for our days are numbered and we really do not have much time left. Let us “volunteer freely” as the psalmist prophesied about you and I in Psalms 110:3. If you purpose to do this, then God will open doors that no one can shut (Rev.3:8)…and He will accomplish more than you would think through you. It all starts with humility and sincere prayer. Then God will stir you and you will swim away from that opened cage.

NF – Very good word–Dave!

Mickey L – Dave all of your message here is based on your belief that Revelation cannot be taken literally. You are looking at Scripture with a biased opinion that you have on the way Scripture, especially the way Revelation, should be interpreted. The Bible states that Satan is the prince of this world. Satan is alive and well. Satan goes about like a roaring lion seeking who to devour. Eph. 6:11-12 talks about us having to put on the full armour of God, we fight Satan with Gods power. Where does it say that Satan cannot deceive nations anymore? Look at the rise of the Muslim faith, its demonic. Satan wasn’t bound when Christianity began. The Holy Spirit indwelt believers giving them power and protection, and them individually or as a body binding Satan at a specific time. God is the same God in the OT and the new He protected Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, etc. The danger of replacing Zion and replacing it with the church is we start down the road of replacement theology. Respectfully the danger of looking at Scripture through opinion changes our thought process leading us to interpret the rest of the Scripture differently. You as a leader have a huge responsibility don’t let opinion cloud what you teach. Sorry I’m a little harsh first thing in the morning,

Dave to Mickey – Thanks for expressing yourself, and yeah, you were a bit harsh, but you are too lovable for me to hold anything against you. I absolutely love your passion for Jesus and to get others saved and your approach to all your family members. But MOST of all, I still love you even though you are a Montreal Canadiens fan!

Actually both you and I approach our interpretation in the same way. You believe the Book of Revelation should be interpreted literally in places where I do not. There is no difference between you and I. We both allow our assumptions to direct our interpretations. This is not necessarily bad. But the assumptions should follow a regimented course rather than a random one. The short essay I wrote psyches me up in the spirit much more than a dispensational view. It just increases my love and excitement for Jesus and His people.

You asked, “Where does it say that Satan was bound so that he cannot deceive the nations?” Revelation 20:3. Once this occurred, the Gospel was able to spread like wildfire for centuries, even to this day. This “binding” did not render Satan powerless as you conintue to accuse me of believing. Yes, he is alive and powerful, but severely wounded (limited further). A strong implication of when this binding happened is found in Matthew 12:29. Jesus was saying that He could cast out demons because He first bound Satan. At first, I had a problem with this part. I thought that if Satan was bound, then he could do nothing. But this I have come to discover is not what the Bible says. I put my own way of thinking onto the Scriptures and allowed that to cloud my mind as to what God’s Word is saying. So certainly the devil, along with his demons, can still inspire bad things to happen. They just cannot stop the Gospel from going forward (Matthew 16:18).

I do not understand how “replacement theology” (i.e., Israel representing the Church) is such a horrible thing. If true, I still love and support Israel and as a nation (Romans 11) and am willing to pray for those people. I still love and respect a Jewish person and am willing to pray for their salvation. How, then, is this such a demonic force? If it leads to anti-semitism, then, yes, that is bad. But this bad result does not have anything to do with the merits of the approach to End-Time prophecy. It simply is a failure on individual’s parts not to maintain the love of the Spirit of God.

The Book of Revelation starts out in such an obvious symbolic manner, that I am surprised that you do not see it. In fact, Revelation 1:20 even explains some of the symbolism. The chain that binds Satan is not a literal metallic chain that could have any effect on a spiritual being. God uses language so we can understand the effect of what is being portrayed. The two-edged sword coming out is Jesus’ mouth is not a literal metallic sword. It represents the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12), and it is this that ultimately defeats the Anti-Christ, which is most likely the papacy. Jesus also uses it (His Word) to “smite the nations.” The Protestant Reformation was empowered by the Bible getting out to the common people. The spread of the Gospel caused many horrible wars in Europe and beyond. In the meantime, the Catholic Church forbade the Scriptures to be read by anyone but the priests for about a thousand years and popes murdered at least 50 million Christians! This is what the Anti-Christ was to do – overpower the saints for a season (Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:7). “Anti-Christ” is a spirit behind evil people. John said there were anti-christs in the world at the time of his writing (1 John 2:18). The notion that it is one man in history clouds the reality. The papacy was a position of world power that opposed the True Church. Its power to cause “fire to come down from the sky” and to perform miracles may refer to the Catholic Church’s attesting miracles – visions of Mary, bleeding or crying statues, Lourdes healing, stigmatas, worship of saints, Papal infallibility, etc. All these were/are affirmed by every Pope and served to hold captive those who are deceived. Ultimately, it was the spread of God’s Word that stripped the papal power over the civilized world in 1798. This power was revived in 1929 via Lateran Concordat signed by Bonito Mussolini. This may fulfill the prophecy of the “seemingly fatal wound being healed” because it returned political and diplomatic power to the Papacy and the Vatican became a sovereign state.

In short, the Book of Revelation is a symbolic glimpse into what the Church Age would experience. Jesus knew it would be very tough for early believers, so He wanted to comfort them by letting them know that all this must happen, but they will triumph in the end. Jesus knew there was going to be a big gap between His ascension and His Second Coming so He needed to fill in that gap for the sake of believers going through this Age, especially those in the early church. Jesus knew that once civil Roman power crumbled, a religious power would then, and only then, be able to take over, and this power would be the work of Satan leading to the, or an, Anti-Christ. The early church leaders thought that the “restrainer” mentioned in 2 Thess. 2:7 was Roman civil power, not the Holy Spirit as the dispensationalists have believed. This could be the reason why Paul did not mention it by name in that verse because if it fell into Roman hands, he would be executed for “preaching Rome’s demise.”

It should not shock you to realize that God has consistently used symbolism throughout the Old and New Testaments. One clear example is when He says things like “the sun will be darkened and the moon shall not give its light.” Ezekiel 32:7 and Amos 8:9 used this symbolic language code to reveal judgments against Israel that were fulfilled in that time period, and neither orb stopped shedding light. Jesus said He is the “bread of life.” He is not a loaf of rye bread. He said that if we do not drink His blood and eat His flesh, we cannot be saved. If this is literal, then only Roman Catholics are going to heaven, not you or me. So do not spurn the idea that the Bible contains much symbolism. I think God uses it heavily when making predictions because He may not want fallen humans to figure out EVERYTHING before it happens, but rather perceive it all after it happens in order to reinforce the idea that His Word is true and that God is in control. This is always reassuring in light of this dark and troubled world. God certainly allowed the Jews of Jesus’ day to misinterpret the role of the Messiah’s first coming. They were looking for a earthly deliverer much like Moses delivered the Jews from Egypt. This misinterpretation allowed the real prophecies to be fulfilled without any human interference.

Don’t get me wrong, Christians who agree with me on End-Times readily admit that we do not know all the answers, and some tough questions still remain. But just like I believe the Creation Model works better than the Evolution Model to explain history, the amillennial approach makes more sense to me than dispensationalism (plus I have a hard time approving of the spirit in John Darby who started this approach in the 1800s – arrogant and self-righteous, and Cyrus Scofield may have been a worse character).

One major problem is that I find, as was true for me at one point, dispensationalists are ignorant of church history which allows them to jump to conclusions when reading the daily newspaper headlines concerning world affairs. Before we do this, we should first eliminate the possibility that something has already been fulfilled. The only way we can do this is to research what has actually happened in the past.

Another huge point dispensationalists miss is when the Last Days began. Peter, in Acts 2:16, states clearly that the Last Days began at Pentecost. And even says the “sun will be dark and the moon turn into blood” in verse 20. Has the moon ever turned into blood? No, and it never will. It simply is the symbolic language that God has consistently used throughout His Word meaning judgment was coming. Dispensationalist consistently disregard this important part of our Father.

I know this is difficult for you to accept, and it was for me because I was raised as a dispensationalist without even realizing it. And I, like many others, was ignorant of history. I certainly do not want it to cause any bad feelings between us. We are both sons of the Most High and are dearly loved by Him. We are both allowing God to flow through us to others in order to build the Kingdom. And if you never agree with me on this matter, we will both spend eternity in awe of Jesus. Neither point of view teaches heresy or blocks the ability for others to get saved or even baptized in the Holy Spirit. There are even other approaches to End-Time prophecies that I do not agree with – Preterism is one. But even the Preterists know the real Jesus and are saved. So we will still be one big happy family in the eternity, and hopefully in our present time. 🙂

Mickey to Dave – David your very first sentence speaks volumes when you say that Satan is bound and, if so, why is there so much evil in the world? Through your view that Revelation is current it doesn’t make sense, but if we look at it as a future event it makes all the sense in the world. When Revelation says that Satan was bound for a thousand years and we make it current, then we say things like the Gospel progressed in the first hundred years because Satan was bound. My beef is that as a teacher with a large number of people following you they may come to believe that this is fact. Which it may turn out to be, but it also may be totally wrong.

I get a magazine every month called Israel my glory. It is written by Messianic Jews and every month. One of there biggest concerns is how Christians have embraced replacement theology to their detriment. How whole denominations are divesting their money and taking it out on Israel. They back the Palestinians and call Israel occupiers. They say Israel has no claim to the land and God is finished with Israel. They must rip out Romans 9 and 11 and just about every book in the Old Testament. To sanitize it, they say they are not against Jews but against Zionism. They may not like it but the Jews are the apple of God’s eye and the 144 thousand witnesses are men from the 12 tribes of Israel (taken literally).

One other thing that is pretty cool on your subject of the moon turned into blood. Do you know that in 2014 and 2015 there will be four blood red total lunar eclipses that will fall on Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015? The same back-to-back occurrences occurred in 1492 when Spain gave the Jews the choice to convert or get out of Spain, in 1948 when Israel became a nation and 1967 the six day war. Each blood moon has been a bad omen for Israel. During this century the only string of four consecutive blood moons that coincide with God’s holy days of Passover in the spring and autumn’s Feast of Tabernacles, also called Sukkoth, occur in 2014 and 2015. What does that mean? I have no idea. We will have to wait.

Hey, like you I have strong opinions but this makes no difference in our relationship I will still show you where the big fish are and am so looking forward to our fishing week where we can banter face-to-face. You can swim can’t you?

Dave to Mickey – When you ask, “if Satan is bound, then why is there so much evil in the world?” it reveals that you continue to ignore what I have plainly said about this “binding of Satan.” I am also no fan of the Palestinian cause regarding their claim to territory in Israel, and yes I can swim :-). BTW – When I teach, I do not make End-Time prophecy the main topic all the time. If it does emerge, I make sure people realize there is more than one view. I have met very few Christians who realize this. That is sad and not fair. I am sure of one thing, not one approach knows everything and has everything right. PS – I’ve read the rebuttal to that info on “blood moons” and the entire teaching is flawed.