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Satan (Part 18) - The Epic War: Satan Bound 1000 Years, Persecutes the Church

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D. Satan is bound for "a thousand years" (Rev 20:2,7).
i. The book of Revelation is signified (Rev 1:1).
a. Signify v. - 1. a. trans. To be a sign or symbol of; to represent, betoken, mean.
b. Therefore, the 1000 years is not necessarily to be taken literally.
ii. The number 1000 is used figuratively elsewhere in scripture to refer to a large and complete number of something (Psa 50:10; Psa 105:8; 1Ch 16:15-17).
iii. Either the 1000 years in which the devil is bound (Rev 20:2), or the 1000 years in which Christ reigns as king (Rev 20:4,6), or both, are NOT literal 1000 year periods.
a. This must be the case in both the amillennial and the premillennial belief systems.
(i) In the amillennial belief system, the 1000 year reign of Christ is the period between His resurrection and the Second Coming; and the 1000 years in which Satan is bound is the period between Christ's resurrection and "a little season" (Rev 20:3) before the Second Coming. Therefore, the "thousand years" cannot both be the same period of time, and therefore cannot both be literal.
(ii) In the premillennial belief system, the 1000 year reign of Christ is from the time Christ returns after the tribulation and puts down the kingdom of the antichrist and binds Satan, until the end of the world (he must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet including death - 1Co 15:25-26 c/w Rev 20:14); and the 1000 years in which Satan is bound is the period from the beginning of Christ's reign until "a little season" (Rev 20:3) before the end of Christ's reign on earth when Satan will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:10) along with death and hell (Rev 20:14). Therefore the "thousand years" of Satan's binding and the "thousand years" of Christ's reign cannot both be the same period of time, and therefore cannot both be literal.
(iii) Therefore in both systems, the "thousand years" in which Satan is bound is shorter than the "thousand years" in which Christ's reigns as king, which proves irrefutably that one or both of the "thousand years" are not literal.
iv. The "thousand years" during which Satan is bound is the period between the first and second comings of Christ, less "a little season" (Rev 20:3).
E. Jesus cast Satan into the bottomless pit, shut him up, and set a seal on him when He bound him (Rev 20:3).
i. The bottomless pit is hell which is described as being like a great furnace (Rev 9:2).
ii. The bottomless pit is a prison for the Devil (Rev 20:7).
iii. The bottomless pit is likely in the center of the earth (in the center of the earth, bodies would be suspended since the gravitational pull would be equal in all directions, hence it would be as if there was no bottom).
iv. Satan is the angel and king of the bottomless pit (Rev 9:11).
v. Apollyon - The destroyer, a name given to the Devil
vi. He will be manifest in the beast which shall ascend out of the bottomless pit to make war with God's two witnesses and the saints (Rev 11:7; Rev 17:8).
vii. Like the beast, the Devil was (was in control of the world), and is not (he was destroyed and spoiled by Jesus and his doom is sealed - Heb 2:14; Col 2:14-15), and yet is (he still has power to tempt the saints - 1Pe 5:8-9 - and will be loosed to once more make war with God - Rev 20:7-9).
F. The effect of the binding was that Satan could "deceive the nations no more", as he had in the 4000 years prior to the gospel going to all nations.
i. Though Satan cannot deceive the nations while he is bound, he can still tempt and try to destroy the saints individually (1Pe 5:8-9).
ii. Just as Paul could still receive friends while he was bound (Act 24:23,27) and he was still very effectual (in a positive way) in the lives of the saints while in prison (2Ti 2:9); the Devil likewise still has access to his friends, through whom he is still effectual (in a negative way) in the lives of saints while he is bound in prison.
iii. The Devil is not omnipresent like God, and therefore he can't tempt millions of children of God simultaneously by himself; but he has plenty of subordinate devils who can do his bidding.
iv. Just as Jesus was said to have baptized when it was actually His disciples who did so (Joh 3:22 c/w Joh 4:2), and Solomon was said to have offered 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep when it was obviously a multitude of priests who did it (1Ki 8:63), so Satan can be said to be tempting the saints when it is his minions who are actually carrying it out.
6. Satan persecutes the early church.
A. All of Satan's attempts to prevent the Messiah from being born and bruising his head failed.
i. Satan's early attempts to kill the Messiah failed.
ii. Once Satan succeeded in killing the Messiah, God raised Him from the dead and defeated him.
iii. Once Jesus Christ was raised up and seated on His throne in heaven, the Devil then turned his attention toward persecuting Jesus' disciples.
B. Jesus had promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against the church He built (Mat 16:18).
i. To persecute Christ's church would be tantamount to persecuting Christ Himself (Mat 25:44-45; Act 9:1-4).
ii. The church would therefore be the new battle ground for Satan.
C. After he was cast down to the earth, Satan knew that he had only a short time, and he was full of wrath (Rev 12:12).
i. He focused his energies on persecuting the church (Rev 12:13 c/w Rev 12:17).
ii. Throughout Satan's persecution, the Lord protected the church from the devil's assaults (Rev 12:14).
iii. Some of them were allowed to be killed, but they remained faithful to the end (Rev 12:11).
iv. What follows are some examples of Satan's persecution of the saints.