The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Seek First the Kingdom: Part 5

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The Binding of Satan

One of my favorite scenes in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ is Jesus crushing the head of that old serpent called Satan. Christ’s death and resurrection fulfills the promise of Genesis 3:15, that someday He would crush the head of the Devil. As we continue our study of the nature of Christ’s Kingdom it is natural that we should take a closer look at the status and role of Satan. In 1 John 3:8, the Apostle John writes:

…for this purpose was made manifest that Son of God, that he might loose [destroy] the works of the devil.

Despite the clear teaching of this verse and others in the Bible, many Christians hold a warped view of Christ and Satan. Somehow they have bought into the idea that Christ and Satan are really co-equals battling through the ages for control of planet earth. But this is not what the Bible says at all. Jesus tells in Matthew 12:29 that he has bound Satan:

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then is the kingdom of God come upon you. Else how can a man enter into a strong man’s house and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man, and then spoil his house?

Who wins the struggle here? Christ does. Not only does he win the wrestling match and bind Satan, but he plunders his house! John writes in Revelation 20:2, that the binding of Satan is part of the inauguration of Christ’s Kingdom:

And he took the dragon that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and he bound him a thousand years: And cast him into the bottomless pit, and he shut him up, and sealed the door upon him, that he should deceive the people no more till the thousand years were fulfilled:

In Romans 16:20, the Apostle Paul tells us that, "The God of peace shall tread Satan under your feet shortly." This promise was fulfilled during the 40 years between Christ’s ascension and the destruction of the Old Covenant system, the Temple, and the city of Jerusalem in AD 70.

In his commentary on Revelation, Days of Vengeance, David Chilton writes:

…it is generally suggested by both post-millennial and amillennial authors that the binding of Satan, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, refers to his inability to prevent the message of the Gospel from achieving success. And, as far as it goes, this interpretation certainly has Biblical warrant: Before the coming of Christ, Satan controlled the nations; but now his death-grip has been shattered by the Gospel, as the good news of the Kingdom has spread throughout the world. [1]

At this point a common question arises: "But if Satan is bound, why is there still evil in the world?" Good question. Just like our mother Eve back in the Garden of Eden, we are all very quick to blame Satan for our sin. "The Devil made me do it" is a popular excuse. But the Bible tells us that the men’s hearts are "deceitful and wicked above all things" (Jer. 17:9). There is plenty of evil in the heart of man to infect planet earth. Of course Satan and his demons still have some power. David Chilton writes,

That Satan has been bound does not mean that all his activity has ceased. The New Testament tells us specifically that the demons have been disarmed and bound (Col. 2:15; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6)—yet they are still active. It is just that their activity is restricted. And, as the Gospel progresses throughout the world, their activity will become even more limited. Satan is unable to prevent the victory of Christ’s Kingdom.[2]

Naturally, Satan’s binding and the progression of Christ’s Kingdom go hand in hand. Notice what Jesus says about the expansion of His Kingdom in Matthew 13:31-33: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches. Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

Like leaven in dough, Christianity is unstoppable and pervasive. Satan can no longer deceive the nations. He has been defeated and continues to lose power. Christ is our victorious King and the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church as it advances through the ages (Matt. 16:18).

Footnotes:
[1]
. David Chilton, Days of Vengeance (Horn Lake, MS: Dominion Press, 2006), 502
[2] David Chilton, Days of Vengeance (Horn Lake, MS: Dominion Press, 2006), 503

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