Revelation 20:1-3 (NKJV)
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
Sunday April 19, 2009 I will be preaching on the first few verses from Revelation 20. This chapter is one of the more controversial passages in Revelation. It refers to the Millennium. One of the reasons I hold to a premillennial view is because what is described here in context is the binding of Satan. An angel is said to take the Devil put him in the bottomless pit (always a temporary holding place in Scripture) shut him up, and put a seal on him. The purpose is so that he would no longer deceive the nations. Both postmillennialists and amillennialists believe that Satan is bound now. Both experience and Scripture indicate that his influence is not hindered in this age.
Matthew Waymeyer in his book Revelation 20 and the Millennial Debate highlights 23 passages that are clear indicators that Satan is alive and well in this age. This is another indicator that the millennium will occur in the future.
Activity of Satan in the Present Age
1. He entered Judas and influenced him to betray Christ (Luke 22:3, John 13:27)
2. He sought to sift Peter like wheat (Luke 22:31)
3. He filled the heart of Ananias and influenced him to lie to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3)
4. He sent a messenger to buffet the Apostle Paul (2 Cor 12:7)
5. He thwarted Paul from traveling to Thessalonica (1Thess 2:18)
6. He snatches the Word of God from unbelieving hearers of the gospel before it can take root (Matt 13:19, Luke 8:12)
7. He tells lies (John 8:44)
8. He has unbelievers under his dominion (Acts 26:18)
9. He tempts believers (1 Cor 7:5)
10. He seeks to take advantage of believers (2 Cor 2:11)
11. He is called the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4)
12. He blinds the minds of the unbelieving (2 Cor 4:4)
13. He seeks to deceive believers as he did with Eve (2 Cor 11:3)
14. He disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14)
15. He is at work in unbelievers to influence them to live as they do (Eph 2:2)
16. He seeks to deceive believers as the battles against them (Eph 6:11-12)
17. He deceives and traps unbelievers (2 Tim 2:26)
18. He holds unbelievers captive to do his will (2 Tim 2:26)
19. He prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8)
20. He is the father of those who practice sin (1 John 3:8-10)
21. He holds unbelievers in his power (1 John 5:19)
22. He is called the one who deceives the whole world (Rev 12:9)
23. He will deceive those who dwell upon the earth (Rev 13:14; 18:23; 19:20)
John Walvoord comments:
"If one accepts these Scriptures as testifying to the fact that Satan has power to tempt, to deceive to blind, to buffet, to hinder, to work signs and lying wonders, and who is free like a raging lion to walk about seeking whom he may devour, how then can one hold that Satan is now bound?"