Stephen Whitsett BA
Giving an orthodox apologetic answer for Preterism / Dispensationalism
Death Hell Satan
It is very common misguided theology that declares "there is no such thing as a "real" satan and so people begin to explain away why there is no satan, he never was, its just a tool of literary figurative language, its just represents people "evil nature", and so forth. The problem is the language is clear from Genesis to Revelation, satan the dragon, is a very real person and spoken of in terms in non figurative books as being very real.
Preterism adds to the mix that satan was thrown into the "lake of fire" in 70 AD as all things are fulfilled so therefore there is no satan to battle against which implies all scriptures that
Paul talked about "putting on the armor" to fight spiritual wickedness in high places no longer counts for us. We have no spirituals battles to engage in. DR Cyndy Coats is one such person who claims to be spirit filled and seeks to see people healed BUT yet denies there is any kind of spiritual struggles with demonic forces.
The reality is people are still being delivered of demonic possession, we see whole cultures wrapped up in the occult practices where satan presence and destructive power is revealed as being very real.
“There is an un-biblical belief requiring the Believer to engage in mortal combat with demons in spiritual warfare in order to further the Great Commission. This concept of over-stating the power and role of Satan is rooted in the false notion that Christ descended into Hell to wrestle the keys of Hell and Death out of the hand of Satan in the corridors of Hell in order to achieve our Salvation. “In order for the Believer to live a victorious life they must constantly battle Satan”, says those who have been blinded by this false sense of responsibility”. Cyndye Coats- The Binding of Satan"
In Cindy's eye opening monologue she gives several statements that seem to be a jumble of several thoughts of how she interprets what futurist or other Christians believe, and does a poor job of stating what they “actually” believe. I think further clarification is deserved to rectify several assumption. If you are like
Cindy and believe that somehow “Satan” was bound in 70AD, instead of a rambling diatribe let’s look at the truth from scripture.
Rev 20:2Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) “He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years”.
The Greek word for bound is deó: to tie, bind: deó (deh'-o) meaning to: I bind, tie, fasten; I impel, compel; I declare to be prohibited and unlawful, imprison, or in a prison. What we get from the scripture, as
Cindy does not, the devil is secured away in “chains”, for a thousand
years, and he is imprisoned, and stopped from “roaming the earth”. (Job
1:7 The word “thousand” literally means a thousand years as its primary
meaning, its secondary meaning does imply a “perfect season” or a
“completed frame of time”. Which meaning should be used in this sentence
is open for debate, but there is no reason why a secondary meaning
should be applied over the first. There is no reason given from
scripture. The external reason is to justify Preterist theology that
states ALL prophecy was completed by 70AD. As some have asserted that
“season” happened from 33 AD to 70AD, from the time of the cross to 66
AD is definitely not a thousand years. It should be noted this scripture
neither mentions nor answers the question of what happens to the demonic
spirits since we know there are many of them. (Mathew 8:28; Jude 6
Further using Old Testament argument over what a “thousand” years
is as a definition for every bible passage that says a “thousand” is a
metaphor is a complete hermeneutical failure. (2 Chron 30:24 etc… the word is used over four hundred times many as a specific number or relating to a number).
Satan, the devil, the dragon, the adversary, the accuser, is a
created being, a fallen angel; he is first mentioned as the adversary in
the Garden with Eve, appearing as a serpent. (Gen 2). His first name is
given to us in (Isaiah 14:12-17 Lucifer. In these verses we see the cause of His fall. Ezekiel 28 gives us pictures of how he was created. Many argue that the figurative language is not speaking of satan but of the evilness of the king, yet many scholars agree from the language it is speaking of “satan”. Job reveals him as the accuser. He tempted Christ in the wilderness, and is the dragon, the devil, of Revelation. We are warned he is a like a lion, roaming the earth seeking whom he may devour. Scriptures speaks of His actions, as a “person”, he, and the same who will be bound for a thousand years and then be loosed to deceive the nations and gather armies in Revelation 20 to come against Christ after the 100 years are over. All of these scriptures speak as if satan is a real “person” and not a concept so therefore based on the language.
In the Old Testament prophetic language is used to describe his “creation” and details about His role. Just as Michael is revealed as the leader of Gods heavenly armies, and Gabriel the messenger, Lucifer was the choir master of the heavenly host until “pride” was found in him.
Some have reasoned by the language of Ezekiel 28: 18-19 that satan will come to an end and be consumed by the fire. In Revelation 20 we have John stating “the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever”. Declares his end is in the lake where he is tormented day and night forever and ever. Who is correct? A concept cannot burn in a lake of fire; it ceases to “be” with the person who thinks up the concept, dies and is not passed on from one person to another. So each individual person does not conjure up a personal concept that we all believe in and call our own personal devil.
The Old Testament language of the prophets was never a fill in of every detail but “flowery speech to emphasize a point. To say the fire will “consumed him and turned him to ashes” means his works will come to naught, they will cease, he will suffer the torment of the lake of fire, were the fire is never quenched or ends, as the double wording of “forever and ever” implies in the Greek a never ending time frame, just as eternal life will never end so will eternal judgment for him never end. To believe satan will be turned to ash and cease to exist contradicts the verses that claim he will suffer torment for all of eternity. So how do we reconcile the supposed contradictions? By recognizing the Old Testament language does emphasize a concept while the New turns those concepts into concrete thought.
Satan Having a name, conversation with people, including God, and even Jesus, having action attributed to him, the ability to deceive people, along with understanding demonic forces can “possess people” and the disciples can “cast out demons”, the devil roaming the earth like a lion seeking who he may devour, and Michael fighting against the prince of Persia, all of these things combined lets us know He is for real, and not the “evil” side of us or a concept of what evil is. Those who turn him into a “figurative” person and buys into the “myth” begin their journey down the path of deception. “The snake” in the garden was a metaphor for satan, but it does not mean the “event” was a metaphor.
The devil is not an excuse for bad behavior or justification for sin as his power over the saints is completely limited to us giving it to him by believing his lies. He has no other power. It is his lies we come to believe that causes us to “fear” him but perfect love cast out all fear.
If we remove the reality of satan then everything evil then is attributed to “fallen human nature” but all things cannot be explained by “people and their failures”. Satan is not divine in any way shape or manner but we are told to not give the “enemy a foothold”.
In years of ministry I have helped people to be delivered of demonic oppression and possession based on their belief in his lies, oppression that comes from playing in the occult or from evil things done to a person. The enemy feeds people lies and by the lies they become tangled in a web of mind game that stunt their Christian walk. The gift of discernment in I Corinthians 12 tells us we can “discern the spirit that is at work. Following Christ example we can say to the demons “get lost” and they must obey the name and authority of the believer given by Christ to the believer. If you do not recognize the work of satan and his “angels”, if you deny their existence you have no authority over them, how can you cast something out you do not believe in? The end result the person remains bound in his chains of lies and become part of the walking wounded in Christianity today and what good are you in the body of Christ if you cannot set the captives free? So the devils goal is to get people to not believe in him that way he remains hidden, as long as he remains hidden he is free to cause destruction and the only person who is blamed is the one with the problem who will never be set free by someone who denies they are bound by demonic lies.
The second part of the failure is a refusal to go to the Greek, and ascertain “which” Greek word is being used. The implication of the word being used here “bound” is an “imprisonment”, which is a confining of the movement and freedom of satan. (If the physical restraint of satan is literal then why wouldn’t the time limit also be literal?), Further we know this time limit does have an end, it does not go on forever, because Rev 20 says that at the END of this time frame, satan is loosed. Preterist complain about “time statements”, that “soon” means “soon” yet a thousand does not mean a thousand it just means forty years of so, and according to some, several days.
Now the very concept of why satan is bound in the first place seems to be ignored. When Christ returns to earth, he establishes a kingdom on earth, (of course
Preterist disagree but they do agree He came) “where he rules the nations with a rod of iron.” The word “rule” here means to shepherd, over see, In Ezekiel 20 He uses the same language, and it says in verse 35 it is “face to face” Rev 2:25, “Only hold fast what you have until I come….. 27and he will rule them with a rod of iron,” the word here is “poimainó: to act as a shepherd,: poimainó: (poy-mah'-ee-no) Definition: I shepherd, tend, herd; hence: I rule, govern. With the word, “Parousia” meaning to “come and personal be present” “a royal visit” we understand this is His presence on earth ruling from Jerusalem, this is further proven when satan is released he gathers an army and they march across the earth and surround the “city” he loves, Jerusalem. If a literal army surrounded Jerusalem in 70AD in Fulfillment of Mathew 24:4-27 then the second army is just as real, but totally ignored, and they seem to not “see” their duplicity. Further this is not a recapitulation of the previous chapter; chronological statements expressly defend against this. “1Then I saw an angel; 4Then I saw thrones”
The purpose of this “imprisonment” was to, Rev 20:3 “to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time”.
Now most Preterist put
this time frame “believes that Satan was bound by the gospel "chain"
until just before 70 AD then was "loosed", defeated, and thrown into the
lake of fire. Jesus did indeed "return" in 70 AD before that generation
passed away just as He said”. But this answer implies a “figurative”
imprisonment which cannot be true. Rev 20:1 is specific, this means satan freedom is denied, he just doesn’t lose his “power” but also his freedom.
opinion, “…regard the "1,000" years as linguistically representing the
rule and reign of Christ from the close of the Old Covenant in 70AD to
the present day (and beyond)”. This interpretation leaves two very big
serious holes left unanswered. To her, satan was bound at the end of
70AD and is still to this day, she leaves for no account of how Rev 20:7
satan was loosed for a short time, to gather an army to attack, “the
camp of the saints, and the beloved city” verse 9. She offers no
explanation how this is fulfilled in 70AD or any time after. But maybe
according to her he was bound from 33AD, to 66AD, loosed, and then cast
into a lake of fire in 70AD, which of course is very problematic, Paul
warned people of Satan who prowled around like a lion, further in the
book of Acts Paul and Peter are both recorded as “For unclean spirits,
crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many
who were paralyzed or lame were healed” Acts 8:7
Secondly historically she cannot demonstrate how satan if “Physically” restrained which is more accurate of scripture teaching during the thousand years, she cannot account for the evilness we presently see in this world. Now if she believes the 1000 years will end at a future point, where satan will be loosed she is no longer a
Preterist, because the ending of the “1000” in a future time frame, does not end prophecy fulfillment in 70AD. That would make her a partial
Preterist. Satan according to scripture must be loosed at the end of that “millennium” time period. If this is true then we have not received a new heaven and earth, because this is to follows after the great white throne judgment, where satan is finally imprisoned, taking away his power and life in a lake of fire. BUT as she maintains this all happened by 70AD, she then cannot explain when satan was loosed for a short time. The only way her “scenario” events can come to pass is a removal of chronology.
To help us get a better sense of the time frame we need to look at what they call “the Binding of satan”.
Cindy states, “Binding" can be physical, such as being bound by
shackles, chains or ropes (Mark 5:4 or bandages (Luke 10:34. It can also be non-physical. That is, someone could be bound by an oath (Matthew 23:16; Acts 23:12, a condition, or an obligation.” Both are true. What we are left wondering with, is what definition is she applying, one or both. What is implied in her writing is a spiritual binding of power. Which negates the scripture that says and as we mentioned above, he was “imprisoned” which IS a binding of freedom, not just the power.
While it is true of His authority on earth has been stripped by
the cross in no way did that remove the power of his lies. If he is
still free to “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour”. I Peter 5:8 (this scripture being written during the time from the cross up to 70AD negates a “thousand years” happening prior to 70AD).
Without digressing to much we need to understand what authority
satan had, Adam was given authority over the earth, to rule and have
dominion, with his fall he abrogated that authority to satan so that now
he becomes “ruler of this age”, Ephesians 2:2 “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air.” Christ did not challenge that authority, In Luke 4 “And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.”
In Mathew 16:19 Jesus said, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
In Col 2, it says, “by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him”. So In Revelation it says again he has the keys, “I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death”. Keys represent authority.
In Acts 2:24, “But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” Christ broke the power of death, coming into authority over satan, Hebrews 2:14, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” So now Christ has come into all authority of his kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven. Rev 1:18, “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades”. This is then, the coming of the kingdom of God to earth with power. It was obtained through his resurrection, and defeat over death. Yet we understand death still has power over the flesh in that it will die, the final curse not being broken yet. Romans 5, “so that, as sin reined in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” But we will be made alive in Christ.
So we understand his power has been broken since the cross but
his actual freedom was not denied at that time. Now from Mathew 16:19
the same word is used for binding but from the implication of scripture
this is a binding of authority, since satan cannot be personally and
physically be “bound” in heaven. Then from history and personal
experience we can see evidentially the power of satan through demonic
oppression, deceiving of the nations, false Christ’s, false prophets,
false teachers, wars, false religions, is alive and well in non
believers. His presence upon this earth is very real and to deny that
presence is seriously flawed thinking. Again he has no power over any
believer except if a believer believes his lies, “Neither give place to
the devil” (Eph 4:27
HAVING EXPERIENCED and witnessing "demonic possession" in which the "evil spirit" spoke and yet was subject to the Spirit of God and obeyed, attesting to the reality of what Christ himself did in ancient times, I know the "demonic" is real and not something to be trifled with.
"The greatest lie satan has gotten people to believe is that he does not exist."