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Bible Students and Seventh Day Adventist, Part 43

  1. We continue with,

    The Millennium and the End of Sin

    We continue with our look at Rev 20:1-3 as explained by Brother Frank Shallieu in his work, “The Keys of Revelation.”

    VERSE 2 and 3 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 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.”

    Moses’ Rod

    “The statement Jesus “laid hold on the dragon” calls to mind how Moses grabbed the serpent by the tail (Exod. 4:2–4). First, Moses threw down his rod and it became a serpent. Then he grasped the serpent by the tail and it turned back into a rod. This incident illustrates a relinquishing of authority and a temporary permission (not a sanctioning) of evil, and then its sudden restraint. When Moses laid hold upon the serpent, it straightened out like a rod as if paralyzed. The wriggling serpent became stiff like a board.

    The Binding of Satan

    No significant distinction is to be made, in this instance, between laying hold of Satan and binding him. Laying hold of Satan would be the curtailing of his power; binding and casting, being the same action, are simply an assurance of a coming reality. Laying hold of, binding, casting, locking, and sealing Satan all refer to his complete restraint, which will happen suddenly and not in progressive stages. The repetition of these terms is merely a form of emphasis to give assurance that there is not the faintest possibility of the Adversary’s getting loose until the due time comes, i.e., until the “little season” (Verse 3).

    On the one hand, Chapter 12 presents the perspective of the dragon (Pagan Rome) as the instrument Satan has employed the longest in maintaining his civil or governing authority as the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4). The various aliases used in Rev 12:9 reflect the outrageously wicked features of his diabolical character. Chapter 20, on the other hand, sets forth the dragon as now signifying the personage behind the instrument used; and the same names, being repeated in the same order, instead of reflecting the qualities previously described in Chapter 12, are now presented as the very embodiment or source of that evil.

    Chapter 19, which pertains to the destruction of the beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the earth and their armies, showed the dissolution of the former status quo and the abolition of civil government as hitherto known. This insight prepares the reader to realize that the binding of the dragon in Chapter 20—the restraining of Satan in chains—is separate from the symbolism of the civil authority, through which he has so long ruled under the similitude of the dragon.

    Binding Precedes Entering

    The thought that Satan’s binding is progressive and that his house is being progressively destroyed is not valid. Mark 3:27 rules out such a conclusion by showing that Satan’s house cannot be entered until he is first bound. If the binding were progressive—a partial binding and a partial plundering—the binding could not occur first. Jesus first binds Satan and then spoils his goods. If Jesus did both at the same time, the word “first” would be meaningless.

    Here we would like to interject the fact that in the previous interpretation the suggestion WAS NOT that the binding of Satan himself, the personal devil was to be a progressive process, but rather that the CIVIL POWERS or institutions through which he operates are what are being bound progressively. This process most likely began in 1914 A.D. with the “Times of the Gentiles” coming to a close.

    Moreover, the entry into Satan’s house cannot be thought of as the initial Parousia of Christ’s Second Presence because then Satan would have to be bound first, i.e., before Jesus’ entry in 1874 A.D. The Lord, as a spirit being, has made several unhindered entries into earth’s atmosphere in both Old and New Testament times; during the Gospel Age the guardian angels, who are far less in rank and authority, have also gone to and fro. Thus, an innumerable host of both holy and unholy angels occupy earth’s atmosphere at the same time.

    Continued with next post.

    About Author

    Harvest 1874
    I am and have been a Bible Student now for over 30 years ever since the day the Lord so graciously called me out of darkness into his marvelous light. To Him be the honor and glory forever. Everyday I thank Him for the privilege of working in His "vineyard".

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