Tag: Revelation (page 1 of 2)

Binding Of Satan in Revelation

Mike K – I am enjoying your teachings, which my wife and I receive through her emails. I was wondering what you thought about the possibility for Matthew 12:29 referencing Christ’s locking the gates of Hell (to form a preterist point of view about this prophecy and the corresponding passage in Revelation) but also a prophetic locking of the accuser in future years? If the accuser has been bound for 1000 years I am curious as to how that affects the timeline found in Revelation. I am very interested in knowing what you think on the matter.

Hi Mike – Nice to hear from you and I am glad you and your wife are enjoying my commentaries.

You’ve asked some tough questions. First, Matthew 12:29 most assuredly reveals that Jesus did bind Satan in order to cast out demons from people during His ministry on earth. I think the context is clear on this. Our problem is that we do not know exactly what this means. The imagery in the corresponding verses in Revelation are totally symbolic, i.e., there is no way that a literal metal chain bound up a supernatural, spiritual being like Satan. It does convey the idea that his power suddenly became limited, however. Revelation tells us in what way – so he cannot deceive the nations. This, to me, speaks of the new freedom to spread the Gospel worldwide. If Satan continued to have all his deceptive powers, the Gospel, I think, would not have spread so fast to so many. But the Word is clear that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Still, I think there needed to be some limit put on Satan, after all, humans gave over lots of dominion to him at The Fall.

The problem with what I’ve just said stems from a dispensational paradigm which needs shifting. They assert that the millennium is a literal 1,000 years and will occur in the future. I believe they’ve missed something big. I contend that the millennium is a vast time period (the Church Age) when Christ is ruling from heaven’s throne which started at His Ascension. We are seated with Him (Ephesians 2:6) and He rules earth through the true Church changing haters into lovers via the Gospel. Satan does not want believers to realize that this is happening. If all Christians saw this, their faith would boost and they would attempt more for Christ. The futuristic view robs believers of serving the Lord in a greater capacity, I think. Many dispensationalists are serving Christ a great ways and accomplishing nice things, but I think they could do even better believing that Satan is bound now. And another surprise to many is that the End Days began with the coming of Jesus (Heb 1:2 and Acts 2:17).

While Preterism makes some good cases, I cannot totally embrace that interpretive approach. It’s a bit too radical and I do not appreciate some of the attitudes expressed against modern Jews because of their stand. Nero certainly was an anti-Christ, but was he The Anti-Christ? I doubt it. I do like preteristic thought, however, because it respects history more than dispensationalism.

As far as the timeline in Revelation is concerned, it is sometimes difficult to establish it because I think some chapters are a different look at the same historical prophecy. For example, Rev 20:7-10 and Rev 19:11-21 seem to be the same thing with a different perspective. And sometimes chapters may not present themselves in perfect chronological order. If true, we have more “wrenches thrown into the gears.”

A real good and fair book on End-Time Prophecy viewpoints is “Rose Guide to End-Times Prophecy” by Rose Publishing. It gives fair representation to all the different ways to approach this complicated topic. I got mine on Amazon.com at a good price. Another good one is “A Case for Amillennialism” by Kim Riddlebarger. Still another one is “Great Prophecies of the Bible” by Ralph Woodrow. I have emailed Mr. Woodrow and he is a fine gentleman in Christ, although I do not agree with all he says in his other books. You can get these books “used” via amazon.com for a cheap price. Definitely some neat perspectives that most Christians are not exposed to due to the dominance of dispensationalism in our present culture.

I’m not sure if any of my words have answered your questions directly, but at least I’ve given you more food for thought and some good resources. I can tell you’ve given this much thought over the years.

Mike K – Thank you for the quick reply! You did answer my question, yes. These are questions I have been asking dispensationalists for years, usually to the outcome of decrying me an unbeliever. I am usually called a heretic because I am not convinced of a premillennial Rapture. I am much more of an amillennialist.

Preterism has its pros, but also many cons. I tend toward viewing things in terms of both preterism and prophetic yet-to-be’s. I approach the strong man passage similarly. Likewise I view the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD as a partial return of Christ. Yet His return is not complete.

Thanks for sharing! I feel truly blessed to discuss such weighty matters with trust and calm – contrary to how most people discuss them.

Dave – Great, glad I helped. It is interesting that they label and judge you with such unfair fierceness because their founder, John Darby, did the same thing when guys like Spurgeon opposed his views. I’ve seen a similar thing rise up out of a good friend of mine, but I have gone out of my way to keep our brotherly love in tact, thank God. Unfortunately, men such a Cyrus Scofield, who was not known for high moral character, embraced Darby’s views so much that he translated the Bible with that bias and actually changed verses to fit his beliefs. Not good. The most prominent one was Revelation 7:14 when he added the word “the” in front of “great tribulation.” In truth, the Bible speaks only of tribulations and great tribulation that some believers experience. “The great tribulation” is a manufactured idea from Darby and Scofield.


Cindi L – I had to look up all these words preterist, amillennialism, dispensationalism just to get a handle on what you guys were saying! I know I’ve been exposed to a lot of this information but I didn’t know the names…whew. Dave – you are an ever increasing resource for me. I appreciate the vastness of your knowledge and energy of research. You have a great spirit because you allow God to be God in your life and others. Thanks for your humble and loving approach, you know how to keep before the Lord and I love how God really cares more about how we love (and TRULY LIKE) one another with differing views – especially on deep and somewhat veiled, mysterious topics. It is wonderful to think on these things and I love the amount of resources you always share for anyone to search out. Love you.

Alona R – I thank you for sending in Mike’s question answered and discussed with those references.

The Witnesses in Revelation

Ruth D – Skip Heitzig believes that God hid the body of Moses because he is one of the two witnesses in Revelation and that is why on the mount of transfiguration Moses and Elijah appeared. I will be listening to Skip as we go through Revelation because he goes verse by verse.

Dave – I don’t see a connection with hiding Moses’ physical dead body from living humans to the fact that he appeared at the Transfiguration. I think the only reason Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus is that Moses represents the Law and Elijah the Prophets, thus Jesus is their fulfillment. Maybe if I heard Skip’s full explanation, something would then click.

Mr Heitzig is most likely a dispensationalist and I am not. If so, our interpretation of Revelation will be quite different. Dispensationalists will see verses literally even when Scripture’s context is symbolic. For example, those two witnesses in Revelation may not be two human beings as Skip automatically assumes. Dispensationalism dominates Western Christian circles today. Not so in the early church. Dispensational thinking started during the Counter Reformation via the Roman Catholic Church in the late 1500s. Jesuit priest Fransisco Ribera did not like what Luther and other “protesters against Catholicism” were saying about the seat or position of the papacy being Anti-Christ (in place of Christ) so he invented the theory that there will be only ONE MAN in the far future that will be THE Anti-Christ. Later in 1800s with John Darby, a kind of arrogant man that was quick to harshly judge leaders who did not subscribe to his thoughts, further promoted this idea.

Unfortunately, most Christians in the West have only been taught dispensational thought without realizing it. I was one. But when I was exposed to historicism, I found more concepts that made sense. Only in the last few years have Chrisitan bookstores included historicist books on their shelves, but dispensationalist books remain dominant. I guess the latest guess about who THE Anti-Christ is sells more books.  I strongly urge folks to read the following books:   Great Prophecies of the Bible by Ralph Woodrow,  Seventy Weeks and The Present Reign of Jesus Christ by Robert Caringola,  and two books by Philip Mauro – The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation and The Seventy Weeks.

I think a good case can be made that the two witnesses are the Old and New Testaments and the Word of God was spreading fast once the Roman Catholic Church (papacy) lost its world power and the Reformation got under way. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, however, France officially pronounced God was dead and that they were an atheistic nation. This was their response to the horrible satanic oppression of the Catholic Church over many generations. As part of their celebration, they tied and Old Testament and a New Testament onto a donkey’s tail and mocked the Word of God publicly. But as the Reformation continued, the Word of God made a nice comeback. This parallels Revelation Chapter 11 closely.

My main problem is that leaders do not treat these issues fairly as they allow only one point of view to come forth to their sheep, and the sheep do not even know about other approaches to interpreting End-Time Prophecy. This is not proper or fair. It is a lot like evolution today. It is pounded at people constantly with no other point of view expressed. That’s called brainwashing. And, as much as evolution has permeated our minds over the years, so has dispensationalism, and people do not realize it. The truth is that Revelation is difficult to understand and should be taught as such without making broad, emphatic statements and make them part of church doctrine. Beliefs about how to interpret Revelation usually have nothing to do with orthodox Christianity or salvation. So they should not divide the Church, but they do! I think believers should be exposed to all valid methods of interpretation allowing them to decide for themselves what they believe. This is not happening in today’s church. A book that does this fairly is Rose Guide to End-Time Prophecy by Dr. Timothy Jones, a Baptist. You can order it easily via Amazon.com.

For a more complete view of the “two witnesses,” click on my “Bible Commentary” and then “Revelation.” finally, go to Chapter 11 in Revelation.

The “Missing Weekers” May Have Missed the Week: A Closer Look at Daniel Chapter 9 by Dave Scheer 11/25/17, Updated 1/3/19

For many years dispensationalists (futurists) have asserted that the final week of Daniel’s 70 weeks has not yet occurred but will come in the future. However, if we read Daniel 9:24-27 carefully, we discover that the last week has already taken place in the most significant way. There is no room for a gap of a couple thousand years from week 69 to 70.

Christian theologians agree that those 70 weeks are “70 weeks of years,” not weeks of days. It means that each “week” contains 7 years for a grand total of 490 years. These verses amazingly and accurately predict the time of the arrival of the Messiah. The beginning of the 490 year countdown began in 457 BC, some think it was 445 BC as dictated by verse 25, but that is another discussion. In any case, this 490 year span marked the remaining time for the Old Covenant and the pinpointing of the Messiah’s arrival and His work to be accomplished. Gabriel’s words to Daniel were concerning the Jews only, not future Gentile believers (v24).

Verse 24 reveals six things that must be accomplished during this “70 week” (490 year) period:

1) “Finishing of the transgression” – Done. John 19:30

2) “Make an end to sin” – Done. Matthew 1:21Hebrews 9:25-26

3) “Make atonement for iniquity” – Done. 1 John 1:7,9Romans 6:14-15

4) “Bring everlasting righteousness” – Done. 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 8:3-4

5) “To seal up [fulfill, end] the vision and prophecy” – Done. Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant and ushered in the New Covenant (insight from Luke 5:36-39 & wine miracle at Cana in John 2).

6) “To anoint the most holy” (the word “place” as been added in some versions but should not be there) – Done. Hebrews 1:9. Jesus is now the Holy Temple and He is not a physical building (John 2:19-21).

Since Jesus fulfilled all of these prophecies by way of His first coming (as cited above), there is no need for a future “week” (7-year period). Dispensationalists error regarding verse 27. They misinterpret the word “he” as referring to the Anti-Christ rather than to Jesus Christ! They assert that the Anti-Christ will make a firm covenant with the Jewish nation. Since when does Satan have the ability to make a firm promise? He is the “father of all lies” according to John 8:44. If he lied about a covenant then it is NOT FIRM! The “Firm Covenant” made is the New Covenant that was “firmly established” during Jesus’ earthly work which was totally fulfilled and described in this section of Chapter 9. But in the middle of that final week (3 ½ years) He was crucified (“cut off”) which, in God’s eyes, ended animal sacrifices. All rituals in the Temple became obsolete in God’s eyes when Jesus died, rose, and ascended. This practice by the Jews was forcefully ended in 70 A.D. when Rome destroyed everything (and this ritual has not been re-instituted for good reason). God’s message to the world is “It is finished” as Jesus stated on the cross. The stoning of Stephen was the end of the second 3 1/2 year part and the end of the 70th week of the Daniel prophecy. Now I understand why God made sure that all the “low-lights” of Jewish history were recounted in verse by Stephen just before he was murdered by Jewish leaders. Again, God was making a firm statement to the world. God’s Old Covenant with the Jewish nation was always contingent on whether or not they followed Him (Deut.28:1-2). In other words it was always conditional, never unconditional. Soon after Jesus rose from the dead, a converted Paul turned to the Gentiles. This all pointed to a major change from Old Covenant to New Covenant, and Daniel’s prophecy described it hundreds of years before it happened. The context of these four verses in Daniel Chapter 9 is describing the end of the Old Covenant which first had to be made obsolete in order to enact the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:13).

So what effect on futuristic interpretation does this have? They assert that the missing week of Daniel will feature Anti-Christ making a deal with the Jews. Things will be nice for the first half (3 ½ years). Then the evil one will turn on the Jews leading to “the Great Tribulation.” Upon careful reading of Scripture, I discovered that the word “the” is not used before “great tribulation.” It does in a Scofield Bible because he was a dispensationalist and added the word to fit his theology. Mr. Scofield added the word “the” to Revelation 7:14. The King James Version does not. Jesus did speak of great tribulation when referring to the horrors of 70 AD. Revelation DOES speak of believers coming out of great tribulation which could refer to any time period in the church age. A special reward awaits these people. According to dispensationalists, however, only one group living in the future would get this honor. In my view, this disses all believers who have gone through very tough times throughout the Church Age, even being tortured and murdered for their faith. I believe they will all be given this special reward.

So, the historical approach to end-time prophecy wipes out “the great tribulation” and some alleged  Anti-Christ activity. But we all still believe in the rapture which occurs upon Christ’s return. At that time, according to 2 Peter 3:10-12, all earth and heavens are destroyed. So how can Jesus rule on earth for 1,000 years if it is gone? Maybe it’s just possible that many Christians do not understand what the millennium is all about, but that’s another story. All the fuss over pre, mid, or post-tribulation rapture is not worth arguing about. There is no 7-year great tribulation. That 70th week is not in the future because it had to have already happened.

All this will be a paradigm shift to many believers because the dispensational method of eschatology has dominated western Christianity with few believers realizing it. Hence few have been exposed to the historical approach which takes a hard look at what has already occurred and how it lines up with Bible prophecy.

For a more detailed work on this topic, including info about a Jewish curse on anyone calculating Daniel’s 70 Weeks leading to the conclusion that Jesus was the Messiah, go to my website called  scripturethoughts.com and click on “Bible Commentary,” scroll down, then click on “Daniel” and read commentary on chapter 9. If anyone is interested in learning more about Anti-Christ from the historicist viewpoint, read my commentaries on Daniel, 2 Thessalonians 2, and Revelation.

My desire is to have both points of view taught in churches and to allow individuals to decide what they want to embrace. But we often find only one view taught. This happened to me for over 30 years and I did not realize it until I read about church history. No one has all the answers about end-time prophecy, but there are some fascinating parallels when we look at history and see its symbolic representation in Daniel and Revelation.

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