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The Amillennial “Binding of Satan”: A Conundrum Like Ezekiel’s Temple

August 11, 2010

In his “The Divine Purpose” series, S. Lewis Johnson makes yet another interesting point concerning the amillennial view of Revelation 20 and the binding of Satan.

In light of what the book of Hebrews points out concerning the finished work of Christ on the cross, amillennialists frequently criticize the premillennial view of Ezekiel 40-48.  How can there still be animal sacrifices, and a return to the Mosaic system, after the work of Christ has been completed?  Some premillennialists respond that Ezekiel 40-48 must be talking about a memorial only.  S. Lewis Johnson believed that Ezekiel 40-48 is something more than a memorial, and he believes a better explanation exists.

However, amillennialists themselves have a similar inconsistency when they link the binding of Satan (Revelation 20:1-3) to that same finished work on the cross.  For if, as amillennialists claim, the binding of Satan began at the time of the cross, and Satan is now bound — then what is the answer to Revelation 20 verses 7-8?

“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog.”

For if the binding of Satan is a binding that came about at Calvary, then surely Satan being released at a future point contradicts their whole stance concerning Hebrews and the completed sacrifice — the same conundrum as the matter of animal sacrifices during the Millennial Kingdom in Ezekiel 40-48.  Furthermore, the amillenial binding is one that limits Satan in that he can no longer deceive the nations, because now the gospel is unhindered and can go freely about the world in the great missionary activity of the church.  Again, Revelation 20:7-8 clearly tells us that Satan will be allowed to go out and deceive the nations — the very “limitation” that Satan supposedly has now, and a limitation brought about by that finished work of Christ.

For further study concerning the binding of Satan, see “Is Satan Bound Today?” by Michael Vlach, which gives many additional scriptural reasons why this binding of Satan is yet future.

See also:  article concerning Ezekiel’s Temple

  1. December 2, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I enjoyed this brief, but concise post. I’ve heard this explanation before regarding the amillennial inconsistency with respect to the binding of Satan resulting from Christ’s finished work on the cross. If you search within Sermon Audio for David Silversides, click on his message about Revelation 20:1-10. I think you’ll find it intriguing. Silversides is an UK, Reformed/Presbyterian minister, who embraces what he calls Orthodox Puritan Postmillennialism.

    Now, it goes without saying that you and I disagree with Silversides’ interpretation; however, a couple of his criticisms regarding the Amillennial interpretation are intriguing and solid. Like you, Silversides state the problem quite well: If Christ’s finished work on the cross bound Satan,then does that mean Christ’s finished work will be reversed in the future in order to release the enemy to deceive the nations? I think it’s a fatal flaw.

    Another sticking point that I have with the Amillennial view is the notion that Rev 12 and 20 are parallel passages. If this is the case, then a contradiction rears its ugly head. In chapter 12, the dragon deceives the nations while chapter 20 teaches that he is not deceiving the nations. The question is which one is it…Is the dragon deceiving the nations or not deceiving them during the church age?

    • December 2, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks for the info, that is interesting; I have heard Silversides’ name before though not in reference to this issue.

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