THE LOOSING OF SATAN

PMT 2014-106 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.Serpent

The loosing of Satan is one of the most confusing features of distant-end eschatology. In my last blog I broached the question as to why Satan is loosed (PMT 2014-105). Some additional insights into this question will appear in this article.

When free from the constraints on his deceptive abilities, he immediately sets out to reverse the tide of Christ’s long term (“thousand” year) gospel rule. We must note that his release is only for a “little time” (mikron chronon, Rev 20:3c) and that it allows once again his long constrained deceptive power over the nations (Rev 20:3b, 8a).

Satan begins his old work of deceiving the nations, endeavoring to bring the world back to its pre-incarnation condition of near universal spiritual blindness (Lk 4:6; 1 Jn 5:19). IN this vision we learn that “a thousand years have wrought no change in Satan’s methods” (Swete, Apocalypse, 267). “The old enemy is thus granted a second probation in order to show that ‘the deceiver of the whole world’ (xii, 9) is at the end, as from the beginning, ‘a liar and the father thereof’ (John viii, 44)” (Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics, 453).


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I would note that the postmillennial system — though optimistic overall — allows for apostasy towards the end, despite the confusion of some in this regard. After all, tares remain among the wheat until the Lord returns — even though he returns to a predominantly wheat field (Mt 13:24–30). These whom Satan deceives are not regenerate Christians, but “cultural” Christians who simply live according to the prevailing Christianized culture of that day — until Satan is loosed.

This “little time” does not overthrow Christ’s kingdom. In fact, when we read John’s statement, it appears as if Satan has barely gotten started in his attempt to overthrow Christianity. No battle is mentioned; only the gathering for battle. And as soon as his armies are in place, “fire came down from heaven and devoured them” (Rev 20:9). What he attempted to start, is brought to a quick and final end.

Significantly, this final apostasy implies there is something to apostatize from: universally prevailing Christianity. Despite amillennialists, such as Meredith Kline, who argues that “Revelation 20:7–10 by itself refutes the postmillennial projections, for it is evident that the nations of the world have not become officially Christianized institutions during the millennium.”[1]


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Kim Riddlebarger agrees by asking: “How can such a thing happen, if Christ’s kingdom has truly transformed the political, cultural, and economic affairs of all the nations? The global revolt betrays the postmillennial insistence that the nations of the earth will be Christianized. The extent of evil depicted here means that whatever Christianizing of the nations has taken place is more shallow than deep” (Riddlebarger, Amillennialism, 134).

Notes

1. Meredith G. Kline, “Har Magedon: The End of the Millennium,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 39:2 (June 1996): 221.

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2 thoughts on “THE LOOSING OF SATAN

  1. BereanServant September 6, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Hi, I very much agree Dr. for pointing out that “there’s no battle mentioned, only gathering for battle.” It seems God is showing satan the futility of his efforts in deceiving the Nations. When they joined forces they are quickly thwarted.

    But interestingly I’d like to point out that even though Satan and his forces where vanquished even before they could start the rebellion, Scripture is clear he is given an ample time to deceive humanity again as well as the Lukewarm cultural Christians due to the fact that they were very well convinced to side with Satan through that “little while” (micron chronon).

    Honestly, It seems to favor again the Premillenial and Ammilenial camp better for the following reasons:

    For Premill perspective -> It’s actually possible for Satan to deceive people since even though Christ is ruling (I believe literal although unseen till the New Heavens and Earth), he still allow people to exercise their “free will to choose” as he is always been gracious ever since. Even though he knows man has the capacity to disobey, he allows them to choose anyway. It is evident in Isaiah 65:20 that in the millennium there are still sinners. Not all are ruling as “Priest and Kings” only the faithful Christians are given the power to rule over nations in a Glorified body. There are new converts to Christianity – the Buddhist, Muslim, NewAger, etc who became Christians before the Millennium who are still in a semi mortal state. And although life expectancy on those times would be so enhanced, We could actually know a sinner when he dies before he is a hundred years old. Those people would be the objects of Satan’s deception before the Final Judgment.

    For the Amill Perspective -> Meredith Kline and Kim Riddlebarger summed it up very well:

    “Revelation 20:7–10 by itself refutes the postmillennial projections, for it is evident that the nations of the world have not become officially Christianized institutions during the millennium.”[1]

    I’m not an Amil but granting without accepting that the Millennium is a Spiritual resurrection, we Christians/Believers are NOW ruling with Christ in the Heavenlies as Priest and Kings. I think it’s just logical on their part since Christianity has grown to be the most dominant religion in the last 2,000 years, I mean dominant in the sense of general significance, that time is noted in relation to our Lords birth – BC/before Christ and AD/anno domini and Christianity rules the Faith population chart in numbers which includes True Christians and Culturally Christians:

    Christianity – 2.1 billion (whooping 31.5% of the worlds population!, 17% Roman Catholics!)
    Islam – 1.6 billion
    Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist- 1.1 billion
    Hinduism 1 billion
    Chinese traditional religion – 394 million
    Buddhism – 376 million

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations

    The number’s are constant, which very much fulfills the Prophecy of Christ about the Kingdom – as like unto a Mustard Seed (Mathew 13:31) and the Leaven Bread (Mathew 13:33) – it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the “Largest” of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches…..yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pound of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

    A keen biblical reader will notice something very important: notice the word “Largest” of the garden Plants and the “permeating qualities” of the yeast in society. It simply says it became the “largest” which shows it’s marvelous expansion and spread from small beginnings but not the “dominant ” tree that will overshadow other garden plants. Its just the “largest” that birds “flock” to its branches.

    While the “yeast” which is mixed into about 60 lbs flour and worked all through the dough – Shows the permeating qualities of the kingdom unto the world….It means Christianity will permeate the earth and will grow; literally,. While our Lord thus promises that the permeating influence of the kingdom of heaven shall at last be entirely successful, It only shows how the yeast slowly grows until it “permeates” the whole dough. Which is likened to Christianity, how it is “mixed” and “affected” the whole dough/society. It “worked through the whole dough” – showing how it rise to significance, Christianity is NOW the MAJOR religion of the World which fulfilled what Christ says but it is clearly un biblical to presuppose the parable as to deduce from it that the world as such will continue to be gradually and continuously improved up to the Lord”s return. So the loosing of Satan is a strong proof that the nations of the world did not became officially Christianized during the Millennium.

    Also Riddlebarger brilliantly answered his own question:“How can such a thing happen, if Christ’s kingdom has truly transformed the political, cultural, and economic affairs of all the nations?

    Answer: The global revolt betrays the postmillennial insistence that the nations of the earth will be Christianized. The extent of evil depicted here means that whatever Christianizing of the nations has taken place is more shallow than deep”

    You can only conquer a mighty kingdom if it’s divided and has issues INSIDE. Thus the fact that Satan is still able to deceive people even the “Cultural Christians” is enough fact that even Christianity has became the “Largest” tree and “Permeated society” for a “thousand Years. It’s biblically reasonable to say that when it’s time for Satan to be loosed, the World is not yet Fully Christianized nor in “dominion.” True Dominion will only happen after Christ returns to establish his kingdom personally so that the Father will make his enemies his footstool.

    God Bless to All! 🙂

  2. Harold December 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I can think of one possible reason for the loosing of Satan; the final distruction of the myth that man is “basically good” and not totally depraved as Scripture teaches. Man will not eventually perfect himself outside of the santifying work of the Spirit.

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