Satan Is Not Presently Bound

Posted on November 15, 2012


I am currently reading Christ’s Prophetic Plans: A Futuristic Premillennial Primer, and am finding it compelling. As a compilation of a number of authors, this primer addresses important questions surrounding Israel, the rapture, the Millennial Kingdom, and other Bible prophecies.

In the third chapter, Dr. Richard Mayhue asks  “Why Futuristic Premillennialism?” and takes a look at amillennialism, postmillennialism, historic premillennialism, and futuristic premillennialism. He goes on to argue why futuristic premillennialism must be the teaching of Scripture if one uses a consistent historical, grammatical hermeneutic.

Dr. Richard Mayhue notes:

Futuristic Premillennialism comes to the text with no other preunderstanding than a consistent grammatical-historical hermeneutic. … [It] does not require new special rules of interpretation when it comes to prophetic texts. The biblical text is taken at normal face value, in its context, recognizing symbolic language and speech figures, plus the reality they represent. … Unless some clear, uncontested mandate from Scripture changes how one interprets second-coming prophecies (and there is none), then prophetic Scripture should be interpreted [in a face-value way] consistently throughout the Bible. Only Futuristic Premillennialism does so.

With regards to Revelation 20:2-3 in chapter 3, Dr. Mayhue shows from Scripture that Satan cannot possibly be bound up as this contradicts other verses that show he is presently at work during this age:

Satan still entices men (Acts 5:3). He is still blinding the minds of unbelievers to the gospel of the glory of Christ in God (2 Cor. 4:4). He currently disguises himself as an angel of light to deceive the church (2 Cor. 11:2-3; 13-15). The devil hinders ministers of God (1 Thess. 2:18) and roams about the earth to devour its population (1 Pet. 5:8). To any unbiased student of Scripture, Revelation 20 could not refer to the present time in light of these abundant testimonies of Satan’s present, frenetic pace. Therefore, we can conclude that Revelation 20 looks to some future time of special containment.

So, contrary to what amillennialism and postmillennialism teaches, Scripture shows that Satan is not presently bound up in chains, but will be bound up during the future, literal, and physical 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth:

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while (Revelation 20:1-3).

I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in studying biblical prophecy. We should not take a “pan-view” of prophecy, meaning that “everything will just pan out in the end”. A significant portion of Scripture refers to the Second Coming of Christ. Understanding the future helps us in our sanctification, helps compel us to be diligent in proclaiming the Gospel, and helps us understand the world and God’s dealing with the world during this age.

Check out the The Cripplegate to learn more about this fascinating and needed primer on Christ’s prophetic plans.

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