IT WAS FINISHED AT THE CROSS Part 4
The following is one of two studies that I am posting today, as promised yesterday. The second one will be posted below this one. It is so important we understand that IT WAS FINISHED AT THE CROSS, and that includes the binding of Satan, before, the Age of Grace….the 1000 years.
The Binding of Satan
The binding of Satan during the thousand years (day of grace) is also a mystery until the Lord opens the eyes of our understanding. Certainly we do not think Satan can be bound with a chain made of material substance. Being spirits without physical embodiment or confinement neither Satan nor his demoniac host can be bound by material substance. That which is spirit only responds to and is subject to spirit.
As long as we think of the binding of Satan as being absolute instead of relative we will not be able to understand this great mystery. The binding of Satan during this period can be likened to a vicious animal securely tied to a tree with a twenty-foot chain. Although he is bound by the chain and confined to an area forty feet in diameter, he can still attack anything that comes within a twenty-foot radius of the tree.
If Satan had had unfettered access to man during this day of grace he would have banished God and his people from the earth. He would have already set up his own kingdom and openly blasphemed the God of heaven.
What Satan had done has been under divine restraint. This is the meaning of II Thessalonians 2:7 which says, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” Other translations of the last part of this verse translate it thusly:
“… only, he who checks it now will be able to check it, until he is removed from the enemy’s path.” Knox.
“… but its activities are restricted until what I have called the ‘restraining power’ is removed.” Phillips.
“… but the evil work is held in check and will be held back until the time when he who now restrains will be set aside.” Narlie.
It is plainly evident from these translations that Satan has been restrained and held in check during this entire day of grace. It is also evident that God will remove the restraint and permit the manifestation of Satan to come forth before the coming of Christ and our gathering together unto him.
Since Satan is not bound by a literal chain of material substance during this day of grace, we need to know how this is accomplished.
Satan’s binding begins with the cross. This is where the blow was struck. Every student of the Bible knows that Calvary was the beginning of the end for Satan and his demoniac host.
Although the work of the cross provided the means of completely binding and defeating Satan, this has to be implemented by a knowledge of the truth. The destroyer can only work where there is a lack of knowledge. According to our faith be it unto us. Hosea 4:6. Matthew 9:29.
The Hebrew name “Abaddon” and the Greek name “Apollyon” both mean destroyer.
“They have over them as king the messenger of the abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon (Destroyer) and in the Greek he hath for name Destroyer.” Rotherham.
“They have as their king the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew, ‘Abaddon,’ while in Greek, his name is ‘Apollyon’ (the Destroyer).” The Twentieth Century New Testament. Revelation 9:11.
Man without a knowledge of God is preyed upon and destroyed by the adversary.
It is truth (true knowledge of God) that sets men free from the bondage of Satan. John 8:32.
Truth that sets man free also puts the chain around Satan. As man is set free Satan is bound. Needless to say, Satan’s freedom means bondage for man.
POWER OF THE CROSS
The word gospel means “good news” or “glad tidings.” It is simply the true knowledge of God with the cross at the center. The heart of the gospel is the cross. This is why Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16.
What is God’s power? It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Who has it? Everyone that believeth. This is also why Paul said, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God.” I Corinthians 1:18.
Hallelujah! No wonder Satan, above all things, hates the message of the cross and the shed blood. He knows what happened at Calvary whether man does or not. Take the cross out of the gospel and you have nothing.
This is what it means in Colossians 2:14-15: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross: And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
The fifteenth verse particularly has reference to the victory over Satan and his host at Calvary. Let’s note the translation of this passage by Conybeare.
“And he disarmed the principalities and powers (which fought against him) … and put them to open shame leading them captive in the triumph of Christ.”
Please notice the thought brought out in this passage by Conybeare. He disarmed the enemy and took him captive. If this isn’t the binding of Satan please tell me what it means.
And although this is what happened at Calvary, man’s response is necessary to implement the work of the cross. When men love not the truth that they might be saved the way is prepared for Satan to possess them through strong delusion. II Thessalonians 2:10-12.
With the cross at the center of God’s plan for the redemption of man, all truth and knowledge are related. I might add that everything in God’s universe, visible and invisible, is related to and affected by the cross. This includes angels, men, demons and all creation.
This being true, the binding and loosing of Satan is a complex work affecting all these things with much time involved. As long as we think of it as something that is done quickly or in a few moments of time we will never understand how it is accomplished.
The first advent of Christ ushered in the day of grace for mankind. It was the beginning of the gospel to all the world. Up until that time salvation was to the Jew while the rest of the world groped in darkness.
With Calvary, divine machinery was set in motion to cause the gospel to be preached to every creature. This had never happened before. John 4:20-23. Acts 1:8.
The power and influence of the gospel had far reaching effect. It was God’s power at work against the kingdom of darkness to free man. The ministry of the Church, Angels and the Holy Spirit had tremendous effect upon the world. Empires and nations recognizing the power of Christianity bowed before its influence.
Even the Bible became a textbook for the legislation of laws. Constituted authority of all nations came to recognize the Church and its right to exist.
The impact of Christ and the gospel upon the world became a mighty deterrent to the kingdom of darkness. Beyond a doubt Satan and his demoniac host were halted in their quest for complete world dominion.
This was the binding of Satan. And although the mystery of iniquity continued to operate in varying degrees, a day of grace was given for the proclamation of the gospel. After this gospel age Satan will be loosed again to deceive the nations and bring them in a final united effort against Jerusalem (the Church). Hebrews 12:22-24. Galatians 4:25:26. Revelation 20:7-9.
JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!!