|This is probably the
most controversial passage of Scripture in the entire New Testament, if not
|Much of the
confusion is over the period of a thousand years. Is it a literal thousand years, or is it
just a symbol for a long time? This
argument crosses all theories.
|The more important
point -- the thing which generally distinguishes the theories -- is the
question of “When was Satan bound?”
hold (along with some historicists) that he was bound at the Cross. They cite Mark 3:23-27 as a parable of
this. They point out that the purpose
of this binding is that Satan would deceive the nations no more. If you examine history before Christ,
poolytheism and paganism are the norm for “new” religions. After Christ, men no longer believe in the
old demons (though they can be sold a “new” heresy, over and over
again.) They point to a parallel
sequence of events in Ezekiel 35-48 as further evidence. By this view, Satan has already been
bound; just before the end, he will be
released -- and we will see a sudden
recurrence of paganism and polytheism (sound familiar?)
take the strict order of the Scripture here, and interpret the following
versions as a literal second coming of Christ. Some take this so literally (Smith) as to
see a literal chain. Of course, they
hold that this has not yet happened.
hold that Satan is bound (as with the premillennialists) after Armageddon --
but that Christ’s ride on the white horse is in heaven, and is not a figure
of His second coming. They argue that
a literal second coming would also imply a literal sword, a literal chain,
literal horses, etc. Christ is in
heaven; the spread of the Gospel after
Armageddon ushers in the Millennium.
Christ then returns (parallel to the teaching of the Gospels) at the
|(It should be noted
well that there is not a 100% relationship between these. There are, for example, pre-Millennial
|One key question
remains: why was Satan released at
all? Several answers have been
proposed; here are some to think
|• If the Millennium
is the golden age described, then faith will become easy -- and it is then
not faith, but sight. It must be
tested, and shown to be truly voluntary.
|• It has also been
suggested that this will reveal the true wickedness of man, that even after
the Millennium, some men will still rebel against God.
|• The answer I like
best is this: tell me why God allowed
Satan in the first place -- then I’ll tell you why he is let loose.