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William

The Binding of Satan

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William
Staff

Revelation 20 is the only place in the Bible that speaks of “the millennium”—the thousand-year reign of the triumphant Christ on earth. Nowhere else does Holy Scripture mention this word, so it is necessary to look at related teachings elsewhere in Scripture to understand what it means in Revelation. A sound principle of biblical interpretation (used from ancient times by Augustine, Tychonius, and other early Christian writers) is that one interprets the few mentions of a word or concept in light of the many, and the symbolic in light of the plain. It would be contrary to a clear understanding of the Scriptures to make the many fit into the one, or the plain into the symbolic. Therefore, we should understand what Revelation 20, a highly symbolic book, says about the millennium in light of the very large number of other biblical passages that tell us more plainly (and less symbolically) what occurs between Christ’s resurrection and ascension to heaven, and His final return to earth to complete His victorious work. With that in mind, let us seek biblical help in order to make sense of the very first thing that is said to occur in this thousand-year period between Christ’s two comings: the binding of Satan.

 

Revelation 20:1–3 says that a mighty angel from God binds the Devil for a thousand years. Specifically, verse 3 relates that he is bound from deceiving the nations during this period. Something happens to Satan’s ability to keep the nations of earth blinded from seeing who God is, and what His gospel means for them. As a result of Christ’s finished work in dying on the cross, in rising from the dead, in ascending to the Father, and in being crowned on the throne of glory, Satan lost his power to deceive the untold millions of pagans, whom he formerly kept blinded to God’s saving truth.

 

The ancient story of Job may give us some important insight into this massive reduction of Satan’s power over the heathen nations. Job 1:6–12 portrays Satan as possessing the ability to come into God’s immediate presence along with other angels, or “sons of God” (v.6). He used this place of power to cause great harm to Job. But according to what Christ says in the Gospels, Satan lost that privileged access to the heavenly courts as a result of the incarnation and work of Christ. In Luke 10:18–19, the seventy disciples return with great joy from their successful mission in preaching the gospel, healing the sick, and casting out demons. Christ then explains how they were able to accomplish these wonders: “He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven’” (v. 18). Jesus explains Satan’s fall in terms of Christian ministry: “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you” (v. 19).

 

It is significant that the first beings to recognize the incarnate Christ, according to the gospel of Mark, were demons. Mark 1:24 and Luke 4:34 are among the passages that show the demons crying out in terror that the Holy One of God has come to torment them. Jesus explained that when He cast out demons by the Spirit of God (Matt. 12:28–29), it meant that the kingdom of God had come. In His work, He was binding the strong man (that is, the devil), who formerly had been keeping people in the dark and painful prison of unbelief, sin, and certain judgment.

 

After the Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection, and immediately before His ascension back to the Father, He commissioned the church to “go … and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (28:19). They would be able to do this because of Christ’s victory over Satan, who had long blinded the nations, for Jesus said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me’ (v. 18). Satan’s illegitimate power over the nations has been wrested from him, and placed into the hands of the legitimate Lord and Savior of the world. Now the Christian church can do its work; it can engage in successful mission all over the world, bringing the good news of freedom from captivity to those who had long been in chains because of sin and unbelief.

 

Colossians 2:14–15 makes it clear what happened to the powers of evil through Christ’s ministry, especially what He accomplished on the cross: “[He] cancel[ed] the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” This indicates that wicked powers were defeated in principle at the cross of Christ. When Jesus purged all of our sins on Calvary, something happened to Satan. The evil one lost his authority to keep people back from God. He was bound by what Jesus did.

 

The missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul into the pagan territories of Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome were successful in turning the once-darkened nations to the saving light of God in Christ on the basis of the binding of Satan. Paul says in Acts 28:28, “Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.” That has been the engine of all Christian missions and evangelism from that day to this one.

 

How long does the millennium last? There can be no doubt that it began with the completed work of Christ on earth. Revelation 20 follows immediately upon Revelation 19, which celebrates the triumph of the One who is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (v. 16), whose robe was dipped in blood (v. 13), and who now rules the nations with a rod of iron (v. 15). But when does it end? Revelation 20 presents it as continuing until the end of the age, when after a brief uprising by Satan, the final judgment takes place (20:7–11). That means that the evil one is bound from deceiving the nations until just before the conclusion of salvation history.

 

Why, then, does Revelation use the expression a thousand years? In terms of biblical numbers, ten represents fullness, and a thousand is ten times ten times ten, hence fullness times fullness times fullness. It seems to equal a vast number of years without being a precise chronology of human history. Nowhere else does Scripture limit the binding of Satan and the success of the church’s mission to a specific period of time before the end of the age.

 

Moreover, there are other places in Scripture where the word thousand is used without being a literal number. In Psalm 50 this same number is employed in a different context, where it says that God owns “the cattle on a thousand hills” (v. 10). This could not mean that the only thing God owns in His creation is one thousand hills, for “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (24:1). It is an expression for fullness. It is the same in Psalm 68:17, where the chariots of God are said to be “twice ten thousand.” It is highly unlikely that God has only twenty thousand active angels at his behest, for Christ on the cross could have called down twelve legions of angels (Matt. 26:53), which is far more than twenty thousand. The message in Psalms 50 and 68 is one of fullness, and it is the same in Revelation 20. One day, the fullness of the elect will be brought into the church, and then the end will come. It is not a matter of literally one thousand years, but of God’s secret timing as to the gathering of His people into union with Christ, however long that may take from our human perspective.

 

Although the evil one still has limited power in a fallen world, it is far less than what he had when he was able to bind and blind all nations outside Israel. And believers can still overcome even Satan’s limited power, for James 4:7 commands us, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Revelation 12:11 testifies of the embattled saints that “they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” Hence, on the foundational truth of Satan’s having been bound from blinding the nations, the church may daily pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10), and find comfort in God’s assurance: “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession” (Ps. 2:8).

 

Source: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/binding-satan/

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Becky
Moderator

So wonderful to read of a victorious Christ .

 

The life death resurrection of Christ, opened the gospel to the rest of the world. 

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DavidM

Hi brother William,

 

I really appreciate many of the key truths that article brings up, though I have to disagree with several statements made therein.

 

This one especially struck me:

On 6/14/2018 at 11:26 PM, William said:

Specifically, verse 3 relates that he is bound from deceiving the nations during this period.

That statement is inaccurate. Satan isn't just bound from deceiving the nations. Revelation 20:3 clearly states that he's bound, and the purpose of the binding is so that he might not deceive the nations any longer. In other words, he's not just bound from deceiving the nations. He's bound, period. And the reason is then given for that binding.


Also, have you considered that Satan is still very clearly deceiving the nations of the world today? It's true the Gospel has made its way through practically all nations but Christianity is pretty quickly being supplanted by Islam. Consider too, the popularity of Premillenial eschatology. If Amil eschatology were accurate, then that would mean Premil eschatology is the result of Satan's handiwork, which itself would run counter to the Amil scheme where Satan is bound.

 

Something that struck me as odd to, that Amil explanation would entail the success of the Gospel is fundamentally due to the binding of Satan rather than the work of the Holy Spirit. No?

 

Moreover, or at least more important to me, what exactly is the proof that Satan is bound right now? It's one thing to say there are a lot of biblical facts that seem to fit the idea, it's another thing to show it's necessarily the case. How can it be shown from necessity that Satan is currently bound?

 

Blessings to you bro, in Christ's name,

David

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William
Staff
On 6/16/2018 at 12:40 AM, DavidM said:

Consider too, the popularity of Premillenial eschatology. If Amil eschatology were accurate, then that would mean Premil eschatology is the result of Satan's handiwork, which itself would run counter to the Amil scheme where Satan is bound. 

Hello brother!

 

Mind if I ask you some questions too? As bros chatting on Facebook, I'd like to keep that type of correspondence even here. Our relationship goes back several years to our days at CARM. I just want to express that I look forward or rather love corresponding with you. One thing Ligonier Ministries (the article source) has taught me is that Reformed can entertain and host people with varying views (such as John MacArthur). 

 

First, let's entertain the idea and example that Premillennial eschatology requires a modern day nation named Israel. However, if Amil is correct, that very same nation of Israel is a counterfeit of the faithful remnant which is true Israel (Church). You pose the question, does that not demonstrate that Satan is not bound? Well you give serious food for thought, but is Satan the only "cause" of believing deception? I mean when I consider Scriptures such as 2 Thessalonians 2:11 I have to submit to the Scriptures that suggest God also causes people to believe a deception. Furthermore, I think of other Scriptures such as John 8 when Jesus charges the unbelieving Jews of doing the will of their father, the Devil. Lemme ask you, "if" Satan is bound will people continue doing the will of their father, the Devil? Lastly, if I consider Romans 1 I also can reaffirm that man's nature can be a cause self-deception, a cause which prevents him from acknowledging God. I think in some ways to suggest that "no deception" exists because Satan is bound is to proclaim some kind of universal regeneration which leaves man's decision or will as the ultimate authority. As a Calvinist I then find myself in quite the predicament.  I think, in summation, Satan is being prevented from deceiving the nations, and that is quite different than there no longer being any deception period.

 

On 6/16/2018 at 12:40 AM, DavidM said:

Something that struck me as odd to, that Amil explanation would entail the success of the Gospel is fundamentally due to the binding of Satan rather than the work of the Holy Spirit. No? 

It never occurred to me. I attributed the binding of Satan to the works of Christ Jesus which does not undermine the necessity of Regeneration of the Holy Spirit. 

 

On 6/16/2018 at 12:40 AM, DavidM said:

Moreover, or at least more important to me, what exactly is the proof that Satan is bound right now? It's one thing to say there are a lot of biblical facts that seem to fit the idea, it's another thing to show it's necessarily the case. How can it be shown from necessity that Satan is currently bound?

 

Quite honestly? Because I can read from the Amil perspective and acknowledge the Sovereignty of God NOW and proclaim Soli Deo Gloria rather than reserve it for the future is enough for me. I also think that to take each others view seriously we first need to establish the proper method of interpretation for Revelation. The above article barely touched upon "symbolism" but I'm including a clip which really was the final nail that swayed me to the Amil position.

 

Please consider this:

 

Quote

 

The opening words of Revelation should be understood as a largely symbolic book. Revelation 1:1 is an allusion to Daniel 2:28, 29, 45 confirms that the word sēmainō means "symbolize" in John's work. John uses the word sēmainō to indicate the manner of God's revelation to him: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known sēmeion by sending his angel to his servant John." The verbs cognate noun, "sign" sēmeion identifies visible symbols in Rev. 12:1, 3; 15:1, and the counterfeit miracles performed by the false prophet Rev. 13:13, 14; 16:14; 19:20.

 

John likely had in mind the wider context of Daniel 2. In Daniel 2:45 of the Septuagint, the word sēmainō is used to describe the symbolic vision experience by King Nebuchadnezzar: "A great God has made known to the king what be after this.:" This refers to a dream vision that the king had. Daniel tells the king that this vision was symbolic. The interpretation of the dream shows that the dream is not be taken literally in terms of statue and its various parts; rather, the statue signifies or symbolizes something else. In Rev. 1:1 John deliberately uses Daniel's language of "making known" from Daniel 2:45 to indicate that what God has been showing him is likewise almost entirely symbolic. Most of the things that are about to unfold are not to be taken literally (lions, lambs, beasts, women, etc) but each refers symbolically to another reality or set of realities.

 

John's use of symbols is very similar to Jesus' use of parables, which itself is rooted in the visions, language and signs of the OT prophets. The parables of Jesus served the same purpose as the language and signs of the OT prophets: He used them to get the attention of His believing listeners who had grown spiritually sleepy and might not have paid attention otherwise. But for unbelievers, parables generally made no sense, and rejection of the parabolic message was simply a further evidence of the hardening of the heart that refuses to listen to God.

 

Also note, Revelation uses an idea or phrase referring to a person, place, or event from an OT text. These simple allusions may be condensed or expanded, and are obviously applied to different historical situations, but these allusions most always carry over an essential focus of the OT text such that there is a clear continuity between the OT and the book of Revelation. For example, Babylon in the OT, which deceived and persecuted God's people, comes to be representative for the evil world system, which also deceives and persecuted God's people. And just as Israel was in exile in Babylon, so true Israel, the church, lives in exile in the Babylonian world system.

 

One final point to note concerns the way in which John takes OT references and universalizes them. What in the OT is applied to Israel is given a much wider sense by John. For instance, God gave Israel the title "kingdom of priests" Exodus 19:6, but John applies this to the worldwide church Rev. 1:6, 5:10. When Zech. 12:10 states that the tribes will mourn over him, the reference is to Israel, but John widens it to all the tribes of the earth Rev. 1:7.

 

 

 

God bless,

William

 

 

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DavidM

Hi bro,

 

Thanks up front for your patience. These types of things often take me quite a while to get my mind focused enough to respond in full. I hope you'll let me know if I miss anything you see as crucial. I'd hate the thought of missing a question and being taken as purposely sidestepping, especially considering I hate that tactic being used against me! Hope you've had a blessed day while awaiting a reply. 🙂

22 hours ago, William said:

You pose the question, does that not demonstrate that Satan is not bound? Well you give serious food for thought, but is Satan the only "cause" of believing deception?

I wouldn't say he's the only cause of deception among believers. I actually wouldn't affirm either way. But my concern is that the proliferation of premil eschatology is so significant that if amil were true, I'd expect that premil would have to be seen as Satan's work (since it's significant). I mean, would it really make sense to say premil has gain so much ground because countless believers individually just happened to agree on the same system? It seems to me the amillenialist would have to submit that premi exists, at least to some significant degree, by way of the devil's work.

 

The early church was largely premillenial as well. Premil has been around from the start, amil and postmil came about only after St. Augustine's influence. While that itself isn't an argument against amil and postmil, it does present tension in the sense that if premil is not the devil's work, a significant mass of Christian history is rooted in something they all arbitrarily came to agree upon on their own. And if it were Satan's work, then his binding would seem practically useless.

22 hours ago, William said:

Lemme ask you, "if" Satan is bound will people continue doing the will of their father, the Devil?

In context, what you're asking is like asking if people would continue doing x when the very thing mainly provoking them to do x in the first place were removed. No?

22 hours ago, William said:

Quite honestly? Because I can read from the Amil perspective and acknowledge the Sovereignty of God NOW and proclaim Soli Deo Gloria rather than reserve it for the future is enough for me.

To help keep things in context, my question was regarding proof of the amil position. As part of the answer to that question, isn't this bit subjective?

 

Moreover, wouldn't it be problematic for the OT prophecies of judgement and correction? For example, when Ezekiel gave prophecies telling of bad things to come, would the people have been unable to acknowledge the sovereignty of God now and proclaim Soli Deo Gloria rather than reserve it for the future?

 

After years of disputing the issue of eschatology in my head, I've come to see (as you clearly have as well) that this really comes down to the method of interpretation. While I do realize that, I tend to jump into discussions surrounding Satan's binding because for me personally, it's been the biggest detractor. It's the reason I tend toward premil. I'm still unsettled on eschatology, but the idea of Satan being bound right now where his influence is so clearly overpowering throughout the world, keeps nudging me toward the premil side.

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William
Staff
1 hour ago, DavidM said:

I mean, would it really make sense to say premil has gain so much ground because countless believers individually just happened to agree on the same system? It seems to me the amillenialist would have to submit that premi exists, at least to some significant degree, by way of the devil's work.

G'evening brother!

 

I don't mind delays between responses. Take your time and respond at your convenience.

 

I have to ask, and I'll try not to derail, but on the point you made how many Dispensational Premillennialist are Calvinist? Why is it that such a camp mostly consist of less than 5 Pointers (confused Arminians)?

 

Genesis 3:5 You will be like gods, and thus independent, able to rule over yourself apart from God, and secondly, there is not one God, but many gods; each is sovereign over himself or herself.

 

Is this not the Devil's doctrine being conveyed by not only Pelagians but also Arminians? Should I blame Satan for this? Having stated the above, it really doesn't take me by surprise that Arminians make up the majority of the Dispensational Premillennial camp. I'm not trying to make a guilty by association fallacy, but I'm asking if you have noticed that this particular camp is rather consistently comprised of said soteriology? Is it an extension of their doctrine?

 

1 hour ago, DavidM said:

But my concern is that the proliferation of premil eschatology is so significant that if amil were true, I'd expect that premil would have to be seen as Satan's work (since it's significant). I mean, would it really make sense to say premil has gain so much ground because countless believers individually just happened to agree on the same system? It seems to me the amillenialist would have to submit that premi exists, at least to some significant degree, by way of the devil's work.

 

I'd rather remain silent on this and let you decide and come to your own conclusions.

 

1 hour ago, DavidM said:

In context, what you're asking is like asking if people would continue doing x when the very thing mainly provoking them to do x in the first place were removed. No?

 

I'm sure you acknowledge the lasting impact (man's sin nature) of Satan and the result of Adam's fall.

 

1 hour ago, DavidM said:

After years of disputing the issue of eschatology in my head, I've come to see (as you clearly have as well) that this really comes down to the method of interpretation. While I do realize that, I tend to jump into discussions surrounding Satan's binding because for me personally, it's been the biggest detractor. It's the reason I tend toward premil. I'm still unsettled on eschatology, but the idea of Satan being bound right now where his influence is so clearly overpowering throughout the world, keeps nudging me toward the premil side.

Yes, I reinforce your conclusion that it really comes down to the method of interpretation.

 

And what I personally think is that people water down the severity of man's nature ~Total Depravity. What usually is accredited to Satan directly has more to do with the depravity of man. For example, I do not think Adolph Hitler was some kind of phenomenon, but rather he exhibited the depravity that any natural man is capable of demonstrating. Those undermining Total Depravity convey at times that Satan is evil and man is basically good. And of course this undermines the necessity of Regeneration despite any binding of Satan. If such people are consistent, and Satan is bound, then there's mainly good in the world, therefore any evil becomes evidence of Satan.

 

In summation, despite the binding of Satan, I think his doctrine has a long lasting impact and is going to flourish until the end. Obviously his doctrine lives and still to this day is being promoted by certain theological camps.

 

God bless,

William

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Guppy
On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 4:20 AM, William said:

Something that struck me as odd to, that Amil explanation would entail the success of the Gospel is fundamentally due to the binding of Satan rather than the work of the Holy Spirit. No? 

I agree with Will and I think the binding of Satan is through the Holy Spirit and that is the success of the Gospel

 

Luke 10: 17-21

 

17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

 

Wouldn't you agree, this is a picture of Satan being bound, no longer having a stronghold on us.

 

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit Satan no longer has a stronghold in our lives, I believe this is why Jesus said, I saw Satan fall like lightning

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DavidM

G'day brother!

12 hours ago, William said:

I have to ask, and I'll try not to derail, but on the point you made how many Dispensational Premillennialist are Calvinist? Why is it that such a camp mostly consist of less than 5 Pointers (confused Arminians)? ... Is it an extension of their doctrine?

Dispensationalism is definitely not an extension of Arminian or otherwise free will doctrine. The system came to fruition through John Darby (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Nelson_Darby) who was a foremost Calvinist in his day. While he's often recognized as the founder, Dispensational tenets exist scattered throughout history. Really, he was just a premillenialist who saw no other way to remain consistent than through those tenets. There is nothing amongst those tenets that presupposes, entails or otherwise encourages Arminianism.

 

As for the premil side having confused Arminians, I've personally seen that among many professing Calvinists regardless of eschatology. The vast majority of professing Calvinists I've talked with are hesitant on one or two points. I admit, nearly all those I know in the Dispensational camp are among them. Still though, real Calvinists are not so common among those who profess it. How so many Dispensational folks tend toward that is worth discussion but I don't believe that diminishes the eschatology itself.

12 hours ago, William said:

I'm sure you acknowledge the lasting impact (man's sin nature) of Satan and the result of Adam's fall.

Actually, Satan was there even after the fall. So we don't have any measurement of activity without his influence unless you assume he was bound at Christ's time, in which case we have the Old Testament data to compare with a combination of New Testament data and the continuation of human history. Comparing those two should make it clear, there's no obvious difference in sinful activity. But some difference should be obvious if Satan is now bound. That's my problem with the idea that he's bound now.

 

I actually believe the purpose of Satan's binding is to highlight the fact that sinful desires still persist even without his activity, but that there's a very clear distinction in degree. I don't see how someone could say he's already bound since there isn't a clear distinction in the degree of sinful activity throughout the world and even within the church.

 

To rehash, that was in response to your question, "if Satan is bound will people continue doing the will of their father, the Devil?"

 

In direct reply to that, I'd say, "Maybe." But Satan being the provoker of sinful deeds, I'd expect to see a significant decrease in such activity if he's bound. Do you think that's reasonable?

 

Just to clarify too, would you affirm all the following?

 

- Satan is bound.

- The nations are no longer deceived by Satan.

- People continue doing the will of Satan.

 

The Dispensational scheme would say that Satan is bound at some future time, during a future milennial reign of Christ. Satan's binding at that time entails that all the nations of the world clearly see and accept who Christ is. Not a single person in the entire world disputes his authority. They universally bow before him and people travel across the world to pay homage to him in Jerusalem.

 

That's the Dispensational answer to the question of "what does it mean to say the nations are no longer deceived by Satan?"

 

Is there any bit of biblical data you think doesn't comport with that?

 

14 hours ago, William said:

What usually is accredited to Satan directly has more to do with the depravity of man.

But all Satan does is provokes man's depravity, no? He's blamed for the provocation but man is always blamed for succumbing. So if Satan is ever blamed, the human culprit is always blamed as well.

 

Following that, if the provoker is bound from provocation, there should be a significant difference in man's overall activity. Right?

 

Hope you're having a blessed day thus far. And on that note, Happy Father's Day!

Kawika

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DavidM

Hi Guppy,

 

Thanks for your question and interaction here. I'm still learning about eschatology so I especially enjoy questions to that effect. I hope you'll let me know and be quick to forgive if I come off as too blunt, rude, condescending.

5 hours ago, Guppy said:

Wouldn't you agree, this is a picture of Satan being bound, no longer having a stronghold on us.

I actually see the depiction as believers being granted authority over the demons, in Christ's name, as an illustration of Christ's authority. I see it as a separate thing from Satan being bound. I believe his being bound will serve a larger purpose in the future where mankind's sinful tendencies still exist even while Satan has no power to provoke it.

 

At least, that's how I see it at this time. Being still too unlearned, I try to clarify my stance as being relatively weak.

 

I hope you're having a blessed day as well and look forward to any further interaction. 🙂

Kawika

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William
Staff
36 minutes ago, DavidM said:

Just to clarify too, would you affirm all the following?

 

- Satan is bound.

- The nations are no longer deceived by Satan.

- People continue doing the will of Satan.

Yes, I believe their is ample evidence from Scripture. Can you provide evidence only from Scripture to present your case, I bring this odd request up because I'm uncertain as to whether Dispensational Premillennialism requires an extrabiblical source such as the Newspaper 😜

 

On 6/14/2018 at 11:26 PM, William said:

It is significant that the first beings to recognize the incarnate Christ, according to the gospel of Mark, were demons. Mark 1:24 and Luke 4:34 are among the passages that show the demons crying out in terror that the Holy One of God has come to torment them. Jesus explained that when He cast out demons by the Spirit of God (Matt. 12:28–29), it meant that the kingdom of God had come. In His work, He was binding the strong man (that is, the devil), who formerly had been keeping people in the dark and painful prison of unbelief, sin, and certain judgment.

 

After the Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection, and immediately before His ascension back to the Father, He commissioned the church to “go … and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (28:19). They would be able to do this because of Christ’s victory over Satan, who had long blinded the nations, for Jesus said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me’ (v. 18). Satan’s illegitimate power over the nations has been wrested from him, and placed into the hands of the legitimate Lord and Savior of the world. Now the Christian church can do its work; it can engage in successful mission all over the world, bringing the good news of freedom from captivity to those who had long been in chains because of sin and unbelief.

 

Here is what I stated, and here is how you replied:

16 hours ago, William said:

Those undermining Total Depravity convey at times that Satan is evil and man is basically good. And of course this undermines the necessity of Regeneration despite any binding of Satan. If such people are consistent, and Satan is bound, then there's mainly good in the world, therefore any evil becomes evidence of Satan.

36 minutes ago, DavidM said:

Following that, if the provoker is bound from provocation, there should be a significant difference in man's overall activity. Right?

Seems you're asking what I already stated.

 

And you too brother, Happy Father's day to you as well!

 

God bless,

William

 

 

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DavidM

Hi William,

 

I had a reply ready to post but after pressing the Submit button it reverted me back to an earlier version so I lost the content of the full post. I already know better than to rely on web-based editors so I should have written the text locally then posted. I'll be more cautious going forward but as it stands, I've lost the bulk of my reply.

 

I meant to say though, if it seems like I'm asking questions that have already been addressed, there are particular things I don't believe have been addressed.

 

4 hours ago, William said:

Yes, I believe their is ample evidence from Scripture.

Can you please provide the evidence of this specifically?

- The nations are no longer deceived by Satan.

 

You mentioned the success of the church in reaching the entire globe, but first off, isn't that evidence from the newspaper? Second, the nations are still deceived. Most of them do not believe Jesus is Lord. Those that do tend to be as divided as America currently is. Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam also have similarly penetrated most areas of the world. Islam is probably the most prevalent now.

 

So what exactly does it mean to say the nations are not deceived?

4 hours ago, William said:

Can you provide evidence only from Scripture to present your case, I bring this odd request up because I'm uncertain as to whether Dispensational Premillennialism requires an extrabiblical source such as the Newspaper 😜

It would be impossible to provide a newspaper as a source since Dispensationalism would say that's all future. 🙂 On the other hand, there's an oft-repeated claim about Dispensationalism being "newspaper theology" that would apply to those relying on St. Augustine's eschatological thesis since his work would have been akin to the theological news of that day.

 

Dispensationalists would likely refer to Psalm 2 and Zechariah 14 for their understanding of the world at the time of Christ's milennial reign, wherein nations go up to pay homage to him in Jerusalem and those that don't pay homage receive his wrath. Revelation 20 opens with Satan's binding for 1000 years and flows into the depiction of Christ's reign for that 1000 years. So they'd understand that literally.

 

That's how I've been told a Dispensationalist might evidence their perspective.

 

I've also been told the proof of the Dispensational system is that any attempt to negate the literal, grammatical, historical, contextual method of interpretation would entail nothing could rightly be understood in Scripture since all understanding would be rendered arbitrary.

 

What is the proof Amillenialists would claim?

 

Blessings on this beautiful night!

Kawika

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William
Staff
4 hours ago, DavidM said:

Can you please provide the evidence of this specifically?

- The nations are no longer deceived by Satan. 

 

You mentioned the success of the church in reaching the entire globe, but first off, isn't that evidence from the newspaper? Second, the nations are still deceived. Most of them do not believe Jesus is Lord. Those that do tend to be as divided as America currently is. Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam also have similarly penetrated most areas of the world. Islam is probably the most prevalent now. 

 

So what exactly does it mean to say the nations are not deceived? 

 

Yes, and No! the Church's missionary success is evidenced from comparison to OT redemptive history and not from the newspaper.

 

Historic Protestants do not insist on the literalistic interpretation, as do dispensationalists, but on the analogy of faith (analogia fidei), whereby Scripture interprets Scripture.

 

Please indulge me here in reading from out of some the sources which I wish to share with you. The material here helped me understand your questions and objections as well as clarify some of my misarticulations or misunderstandings.

 

Kim Riddlebarger's "A Case for Amillennialism": Understanding the End Times (p. 237-239)

 

The imagery that Satan is presently bound means that he cannot deceive God’s people en masse, nor can he attack the covenant community with relative impunity, as he did before the coming of the Messiah. This is evident by reviewing the broad course of redemptive history. Satan deceived Adam in Eden, resulting in sin and the curse of death coming on the entire human race. Through the agency of Israel’s pagan neighbors, Satan prevented the nation from fulfilling its assigned role in the Promised Land as a light to the nations. Adam desired to be like God. Israel desired to be like her pagan neighbors.

 

When Jesus began his messianic mission in Galilee, he “went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people” (Matt. 4: 23). His preaching led to repeated conflicts with Satan and his demonic minions, which characterize the Gospel narratives. But once Christ died for sinners and overcame Hades itself, the conflict with Satan changed. Now, we are told, the gates of hell will not prevail against Christ’s church (Matt. 16: 18). Although Satan remains a fierce foe, persecuting God’s people as he is allowed, he cannot triumph because he is bound until released at the end of the millennial age. This interpretation certainly fits with the language we find throughout the New Testament that speaks of Christ’s cross and empty tomb as indicative of Christ’s triumphal victory over Satan. This victory is evident in Colossians 2: 15, where Paul wrote that “having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” As Arthur Lewis points out, this binding of Satan can be seen throughout the ministry of the Messiah.

 

When Jesus drove out the demons, He actually proclaimed His authority over Satan and the arrival of His kingdom. He said, “How can one enter a strong man’s house unless he first binds the strong man?” (Matt. 12: 29). As the disciples also found success in casting out demons, the Lord exclaimed: “I saw Satan fall like lightning out of heaven” (Luke 10: 18). This was a metaphoric way of saying that the devil’s power had been overcome by the king’s envoys. We know that Satan was cast down when Christ was lifted up (John 12: 31); thus it was Calvary’s victory that broke the grip of the devil on men and nations. The Gospels clearly teach that the devil’s control and power over the peoples of the world has been weakened since the first advent of Christ (cf. Heb. 2: 14). Although Satan is bound during the present age, this does not mean he ceases to be the “god of this age” who blinds “the minds of unbelievers” (2 Cor. 4: 4), “the ruler of the kingdom of the air” (Eph. 2: 2), and the one who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5: 8). Satan continues to do all of these things.

 

The amillennial interpretation of Revelation 20 does not deny this. John did tell us, however, that a bound Satan is prevented from deceiving the nations until he is released (cf. 2 Thess. 2: 1– 12). The point of John’s vision was that the angel restrains Satan’s evil activities. His binding does not eliminate them. Even though Satan is presently bound and cannot deceive the nations, he remains a dangerous foe, the same way in which a mortally wounded animal is far more dangerous than a healthy one. But however we understand this binding of Satan, we need to be faithful to two distinct but complementary lines of biblical data. The first line of data emphasizes a decisive defeat of Satan by Jesus Christ. This defeat at the cross and empty tomb guarantees Satan’s eventual and final end. Indeed, the binding of Satan is a continuous activity through the preaching of the gospel in which Christ’s followers make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28: 19). It is the light of the gospel that exposes the darkness of satanic deception. It is the preaching of Christ crucified that sets men and women free and liberates them from the basic principles of this world (Gal. 4: 9). The second line of biblical data is that Satan still rages against Christ and his kingdom in this age in some limited but nevertheless sinister fashion. Although his power to deceive is bound by the truth of the gospel, his fury is not. As William Hendriksen reminds us, a savage animal may be bound with a chain, but this in no way prevents him from doing great damage to anything still within the radius of his reach.

 

God bless,

William

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DavidM

Good day once again brother,

23 hours ago, William said:

Yes, and No! the Church's missionary success is evidenced from comparison to OT redemptive history and not from the newspaper.

 

 

The reference I made to the newspaper was specifically regarding the fact that at the time of the NT Church, the Gospel hadn't yet reached the entire world. We know now that it practically has because of news that reaches us from across the world. So someone claiming Dispensationalism is "newspaper theology" faces the same charge.

23 hours ago, William said:

Historic Protestants do not insist on the literalistic interpretation, as do dispensationalists, but on the analogy of faith (analogia fidei), whereby Scripture interprets Scripture.

John Darby was a historic Protestant, unless you wish to exclude those who disagree with the analogy of faith. If that's to be the case, we might as well keep with the specifics of eschatology rather than trying to define Protestantism.

23 hours ago, William said:

Please indulge me here in reading from out of some the sources which I wish to share with you.

I recall having read that from Riddlebarger in the past. I don't see how it answers the specific question I asked in regard to evidence of the following:

- The nations are no longer deceived by Satan. 

 

Riddlebarger asserts that Satan is bound right now, submits he's still the “god of this age” who blinds “the minds of unbelievers”. I don't know how anyone could see that as consistent but I'd rather clarify that the following does not answer the above question...

23 hours ago, William said:

The point of John’s vision was that the angel restrains Satan’s evil activities. His binding does not eliminate them. Even though Satan is presently bound and cannot deceive the nations, he remains a dangerous foe, the same way in which a mortally wounded animal is far more dangerous than a healthy one.

All that does is expounds on what Riddlebarger thinks Satan's binding does not include. It says nothing at all about what it does include.

 

Can you see the point of concern there?

 

I'm asking specifically, what does it mean to say the nations are no longer deceived by Satan?

 

I believe my previous statements apply here as well, though they were not replied to. Riddlebarger's words don't address them. The Gospel has met varied results in various nations. Other religions have as well, Islam being chief among them. So if Satan's binding allowed the Gospel to reach the entire world, did it simultaneously allow false religions to reach it as well; false religions that are clearly the devil's work? Even so, Christianity hasn't met much success at all in large nations like India and China. In general, Chinese and Indians wouldn't have a clue what it means to say, "Know the Lord."

 

So how exactly is it that the nations are no longer deceived by Satan?

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Becky
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8 hours ago, DavidM said:

The reference I made to the newspaper was specifically regarding the fact that at the time of the NT Church, the Gospel hadn't yet reached the entire world. We know now that it practically has because of news that reaches us from across the world. So someone claiming Dispensationalism is "newspaper theology" faces the same charge.

Col 1:5  For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 
Col 1:6  Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: 
Rom_1:8  First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 
 

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DavidM

Hi Becky,

 

I hope you won't mind that I generally refrain from too much clarification such as with my prior post. In saying the Gospel hadn't yet reached the entire world, I meant it hadn't yet reached the entirety of the world literally. It hadn't yet reached far off nations like the Americas, for example.

 

The context of the NT passages you quoted use the word 'world' similarly to how it's used in Luke 2:

Luke 2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

 

 

In other words, the use of 'world' in those passages refers to the known world. We only know that by extension since the Gospel hadn't yet reached Iceland, the Americas, much of Africa, etc. And Caesar Augustus' census likewise wouldn't have extended to those regions. The passage is just referring to the known world.

 

Hope you're having a blessed day,

Kawika

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William
Staff
12 hours ago, DavidM said:

Good day once again brother,

 

The reference I made to the newspaper was specifically regarding the fact that at the time of the NT Church, the Gospel hadn't yet reached the entire world. We know now that it practically has because of news that reaches us from across the world. So someone claiming Dispensationalism is "newspaper theology" faces the same charge.

John Darby was a historic Protestant, unless you wish to exclude those who disagree with the analogy of faith. If that's to be the case, we might as well keep with the specifics of eschatology rather than trying to define Protestantism.

I recall having read that from Riddlebarger in the past. I don't see how it answers the specific question I asked in regard to evidence of the following:

- The nations are no longer deceived by Satan. 

 

Riddlebarger asserts that Satan is bound right now, submits he's still the “god of this age” who blinds “the minds of unbelievers”. I don't know how anyone could see that as consistent but I'd rather clarify that the following does not answer the above question...

All that does is expounds on what Riddlebarger thinks Satan's binding does not include. It says nothing at all about what it does include.

 

Can you see the point of concern there?

 

I'm asking specifically, what does it mean to say the nations are no longer deceived by Satan? 

 

I believe my previous statements apply here as well, though they were not replied to. Riddlebarger's words don't address them. The Gospel has met varied results in various nations. Other religions have as well, Islam being chief among them. So if Satan's binding allowed the Gospel to reach the entire world, did it simultaneously allow false religions to reach it as well; false religions that are clearly the devil's work? Even so, Christianity hasn't met much success at all in large nations like India and China. In general, Chinese and Indians wouldn't have a clue what it means to say, "Know the Lord."

 

So how exactly is it that the nations are no longer deceived by Satan?

Excuse me DavidM, but it seems that you're still pointing to the current events in the newspaper. How has the Gospel been able to go out to all nations if not by the binding of Satan so that the preaching of the Gospel may reach the Elect? It seems that your method of interpretation of the Scriptures requires evil completely removed from the world, and the physical binding of a spirit being (Satan). You'll have to entertain me as to how that is possible? How can a spirit being be bound up with a physical chain, shut up in a hole, bottomless or otherwise?

 

Now you ask, if Satan is bound why do we see so many nations and people deceived by other religions. What reason would God have for preventing the reprobate from being blinded? John Calvin rightly stated, "Christ, by dying, conquered Satan, who had the “power of death,” (Heb 2:14), and triumphed over all his forces, to the end that they might not harm the Church,… God does not allow Satan to rule over the souls of believers, but gives over only the impious and unbelievers,—whom he deigns not to regard as members of his own flock,—to be governed by him" (Institutes of the Christian Religion). Source: https://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/institutes.iii.xv.html

 

And I'm not suggesting that the Millennium is now completed, the Church has a commission (made possible by the binding of Satan) before he is loosed again. Matthew 16:18, this is why the Church can be on the offensive.

 

Sorry brother, can't be more clearer than that.

 

God bless,

William

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Becky
Moderator
1 hour ago, DavidM said:

Hi Becky,

 

I hope you won't mind that I generally refrain from too much clarification such as with my prior post. In saying the Gospel hadn't yet reached the entire world, I meant it hadn't yet reached the entirety of the world literally. It hadn't yet reached far off nations like the Americas, for example.

 

The context of the NT passages you quoted use the word 'world' similarly to how it's used in Luke 2:

Luke 2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

 

 

In other words, the use of 'world' in those passages refers to the known world. We only know that by extension since the Gospel hadn't yet reached Iceland, the Americas, much of Africa, etc. And Caesar Augustus' census likewise wouldn't have extended to those regions. The passage is just referring to the known world.

 

Hope you're having a blessed day,

Kawika

IF given the choice would you believe your self, me  or the Scriptures ? 

 

I am not a scholar but i have childlike faith much of what others see or read as complexities are simple to me. 

Joh 21:25  And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. 

 

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DavidM
1 hour ago, William said:

Excuse me DavidM, but it seems that you're still pointing to the current events in the newspaper.

 

Wait a second, that is a serious charge. Where have I once referred to a single thing in the newspaper or in current events?

 

2 hours ago, William said:

It seems that your method of interpretation of the Scriptures requires evil completely removed from the world

 

I'd like to clarify again, I'm still unclear about eschatology. I'm speaking from the position that's been communicated to me through Dispensationalists, I'm providing answers from that viewpoint.

 

The Dispensational system wouldn't say evil will be completely removed from the world at the time of Satan's binding since evil still exists in the heart of man. Instead, Satan's evil provocation and orchestration would be completely removed.

 

1 hour ago, William said:

You'll have to entertain me as to how that is possible? How can a spirit being be bound up with a physical chain, shut up in a hole, bottomless or otherwise?

 

Could you tell me where in Scripture you derive the idea that Satan can't be physically bound?

 

Job 2:2 depicts him having traveled to and fro on the earth. So I'd say his bounding could entail that he can't travel to and fro on the earth, at the very least.

 

2 hours ago, William said:

Now you ask, if Satan is bound why do we see so many nations and people deceived by other religions. What reason would God have for preventing the reprobate from being blinded? John Calvin rightly stated, "Christ, by dying, conquered Satan, who had the “power of death,” (Heb 2:14), and triumphed over all his forces, to the end that they might not harm the Church

 

Do you not see the inconsistency in those answers? You said earlier with reference to Riddlebarger that Satan's binding was so he couldn't deceive the nations. And now, this answer fundamentally says that he's deceiving the nations but not the Church.

 

Also, my question wasn't, 'Why do we see so many nations and people deceived by other religions?" My specific question was this ...

 

So if Satan's binding allowed the Gospel to reach the entire world, did it simultaneously allow false religions to reach it as well; false religions that are clearly the devil's work?

 

Do you see the difference and reason for the question? It's about consistency. If you say Satan's binding was so the nations aren't deceived, yet coinciding with the spread of the Gospel to the nations is the spread of demonic religions, the question follows. How does that make any sense?

 

May God bless you further this day and may our communication be laced with truth and patience in advancing it,

Kawika

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Becky
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A question @DavidM 

Joh 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 

What do you understand Christ's words " It is finished" to mean ?

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William
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1 hour ago, DavidM said:

Wait a second, that is a serious charge. Where have I once referred to a single thing in the newspaper or in current events?

 

I am assuming your information is from current events due to the lack of use of Scripture. I apologize if you're not turning to the world outside of Scripture to suggest that other religions are spreading.

 

1 hour ago, DavidM said:

Job 2:2 depicts him having traveled to and fro on the earth. So I'd say his bounding could entail that he can't travel to and fro on the earth, at the very least.

Wasn't this addressed in the OP, or are you emphasizing his ability to move at all upon the earth? Can you show me from Scripture that Satan being immovable is a condition of his binding? And to clarify having the ability to come into God's presence is not "the very least"?

 

Job 1:6–12 portrays Satan as possessing the ability to come into God’s immediate presence along with other angels, or “sons of God” (v.6). He used this place of power to cause great harm to Job. But according to what Christ says in the Gospels, Satan lost that privileged access to the heavenly courts as a result of the incarnation and work of Christ. In Luke 10:18–19, the seventy disciples return with great joy from their successful mission in preaching the gospel, healing the sick, and casting out demons. Christ then explains how they were able to accomplish these wonders: “He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven’” (v. 18). Jesus explains Satan’s fall in terms of Christian ministry: “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you” (v. 19).

 

1 hour ago, DavidM said:

Also, my question wasn't, 'Why do we see so many nations and people deceived by other religions?" My specific question was this ...

 

So if Satan's binding allowed the Gospel to reach the entire world, did it simultaneously allow false religions to reach it as well; false religions that are clearly the devil's work?

 

Do you see the difference and reason for the question? It's about consistency. If you say Satan's binding was so the nations aren't deceived, yet coinciding with the spread of the Gospel to the nations is the spread of demonic religions, the question follows. How does that make any sense?

I don't understand why the binding of Satan would pertain to the protection of the reprobate.

 

And would you say that Matthew 24:24 covers other religions? Do the false Christs and prophets entail people such as Mohammad, or founders such as Buddha, and even Joseph Smith? Are we not warned about the spreading of false religions and that "if it were possible" they shall deceive the Elect? Obviously, Satan or the false prophets are not prevented from spreading false teaching and or religions.

 

God bless,

William

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DavidM
1 hour ago, William said:

I am assuming your information is from current events due to the lack of use of Scripture. I apologize if you're not turning to the world outside of Scripture to suggest that other religions are spreading.

 

 

Okay, can we first agree that you must turn to the world outside Scripture to suggest that the Gospel has thus far reached the entire globe?

 

When you mentioned the word 'newspaper', it resonated with the common accusation of Dispensationalism being "newspaper theology". Everyone making such a claim is subject to it as well. And a person claiming a Dispensationalist is relying on modern events is likewise relying on modern events to ascertain that the Gospel has indeed reached the entire globe. Can we agree on that?

 

Also, thanks for clarifying what you were referring to. I was completely lost as to how you could reference newspapers in regard to my replies. But I see your point in mentioning it now. I hope you'll likewise see the point of my counter-contention while accepting my apologies for having missed your point in referencing the newspaper in that prior reply.

 

1 hour ago, William said:

Wasn't this addressed in the OP, or are you emphasizing his ability to move at all upon the earth? Can you show me from Scripture that Satan being immovable is a condition of his binding? And to clarify having the ability to come into God's presence is not "the very least"?

 

Right, I was emphasizing Satan's ability to move upon the earth. Would you mind answering my former question about showing where in Scripture it says that Satan can't be physically bound?

 

As to immovability being a condition of his binding, I'd actually refer to all examples of binding in Scripture to illustrate how binding is to be understood. In all cases I'm aware of, movement is impaired. Moreover, Satan isn't just bound. He's thrown in a pit and the pit is sealed, so other examples apply as well.

 

Daniel 3:23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.

Genesis 42:24 Then he turned away from them and wept. And he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.

Daniel 6:17 And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.


Also, when I said "at the very least", I was referring to a Dispensationalist's understanding of the binding. They'd understand that he's restricted from going to and fro on the earth, at the very least. What more than that he's restricted from is open to discussion but I'd say that's a clear one.

 

I hope that all makes sense,

Kawika

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DavidM
1 hour ago, William said:

I don't understand why the binding of Satan would pertain to the protection of the reprobate.

Sorry I missed this one in my reply. I'm actually incredibly confused with that one since my former post addressed the inconsistency of saying Satan's binding is specifically so he can't deceive the nations, meanwhile deferring to Calvin's saying that people of other religions (reprobates) are deceived/blinded.

 

If we're to understand that Satan's binding is for the purpose of the nations not being deceived, how does it make sense to say the reprobate are not protected from Satan's deceit?

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DavidM
2 hours ago, Becky said:

A question @DavidM 

Joh 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 

What do you understand Christ's words " It is finished" to mean ?

 

 

I believe Christ was saying that his redemptive work was finished. I don't believe he was saying Satan was bound at that time since demons were still being cast out after that point.

 

Sorry I missed replying to your prior question but in answer, Scripture. God's Word is above all else so what Scripture says is of the utmost importance.

 

To clarify too, I'm no scholar. I believe in simplicity myself as well, and I aspire to have a childlike faith. I hope my words don't convey other than that aspiration.

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Becky
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This is what believe he was born to do. 

 

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 
Isa 9:7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. 
 

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14 hours ago, DavidM said:

Also, when I said "at the very least", I was referring to a Dispensationalist's understanding of the binding. They'd understand that he's restricted from going to and fro on the earth, at the very least. What more than that he's restricted from is open to discussion but I'd say that's a clear one.


My background is dispy over 40 years of it. Every dispensationalist i know believes satan is ruling the earth. They believe mankind's only hope is the second coming of King Jesus so He can then rule. 

 

Our hope should be in the finished work of the Cross. 

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