Satan in Chains
Library of Sermons No. 8
Copyright 1980 by
Joe Crews (Amazing Facts)
All Rights Reserved
Printed in USA
Published (Under permission) by
COCONET-US, LLC (Educational Department)
2207 East Snow Rd
Berrien Springs, MI 49103-9782
“Cast thy bread upon the waters; For thou shalt find it after many days.” Eccl. 11:1
Satan in Chains
How would you like to be seated before a gigantic stage about 2,000 feet wide and actually watch the play-out of human history before your eyes? There you could see the final destiny of every man, woman, and child who has ever lived in this world. God, indeed, gives us such a panoramic preview n one of the most dramatic prophecies in the Bible.
Some people have harbored the dream that society will eventually correct itself and will develop into a golden age of millennial peace. In this grand Utopia everyone is supposed to be converted and will cooperate in building a new world of brotherhood and peace. I wish this could be a true picture of the future, but it is exactly the opposite of what the Bible portrays. Jesus said. “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” Luke 17:26, Paul said, “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”2 Timothy 3:13. No, this dream of a temporal millennium is just a vast delusion, and we are not interested in dreams or fancies. We want to know the facts about the future and what will happen to every person who has been apart of this earthly scene. So we turn to the Bible subject of the millennium.
Most people know that the word “millennium” is not even found in the Bible at all. It is taken from two Latin words: “milli,” meaning a thousand, and “annum,” meaning a year. But even though the word is not mentioned in the Scriptures there are references to a thousand-year period of time. Invariably, they are clustered around the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead.
Jesus taught that there will be two general resurrections: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall heard his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28, 29.
Before giving further specific proof on this point, we must note that Christ referred to the resurrection of life and the resurrection of damnation. This seems to indicate that the saved and lost do not arise at the same time. Two separate resurrections are described. The book of Revelation confirms this fact. John wrote, “Blessed and holy is he that had part in the first resurrection: on such the second death had no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6.
The use of the term “first resurrection” is proof that there must be more than one. If I say, “This is the first house I built,” you know that I had to build at least one other.
Two points are established in this text.
First, only the good people will have any part in the first resurrection. It plainly says, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.” Second, we learn that the resurrection of those saints is the beginning point of the millennium, because after being raised they “shall reign with him a thousand years.” According to this verse, none of the wicked will have any part in the first resurrection. This is also established by verses 4 and 5 which describe the resurrection of those “which had not worshiped the beast, neither her image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived (came to live) and reigned with Christ a thousand years… This is the first resurrection.”
This leaves no doubt about the class who will be included in the first resurrection. It is only for those who remained faithful to Christ. But in the midst of that text we find a very significant, parenthetical sentence: “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Verse 5.
Obviously, the “rest of the dead” can only be in reference to the wicked. They will come forth from their graves at the end of the millennium – when “the thousand years were finished.”
Now we have a clear picture before us of two resurrections separated by a thousand years. The good people are raised at the beginning of the millennium, and the wicked are resurrected at the end.
CHRIST’S COMING INTRODUCES THE MILLENNIUM
Can we now find from the Scriptures when this first resurrection takes place, which introduces the millennium? Yes, Paul declares that it happens at the coming of Christ. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
Here are the saints being raised “first” – in the first resurrection. And it takes place amidst the glory and grandeur of the second coming of Jesus. This marks the beginning of the millennium.
When Jesus comes there will be only four groups of people for Him to deal with: the righteous dead, the righteous living, the wicked dead, and the wicked living. All who have ever been born will fall into one of those categories. The Bible gives a fascinating picture of what happens to each of these classes when Christ returns in His glory. First, the righteous dead are described as rising first to meet the Lord. Then Paul continues with these words: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in thee air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
Picture that scene of transcendent joy and rapture. The saints are raise from their dusty beds and changed into glorious immortality. At the same moment, the righteous living are translated and rare given immortal bodies just like the resurrected ones. Paul writes: “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling o fan eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible… and this mortal must put on immortality,” 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.
Possessing those new bodes that will never suffer pain or die, al the saved ones will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air. His feet will not touch the earth at that time. He has come to honor the promise made to His people just before leaving this earth: “In my Father’s house are many mansions … I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2, 3.
WITH CHRIST A THOUSAND YEARS
Where will Christ take those redeemed ones who meet Him in the clouds? To the mansions of His Father where He has prepared a place for us. Can there be any doubt as to where He ascended after leaving this earth? Peter had been curios and actually questioned the Mater about those mansions and that place. Jesus was answering Peter’s question in John 14:1-3. Go back three verses into the previous chapter: “Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goes thou? Jesus answered him, Whiter I go, thou cannot follow me now; but thou shall follow me afterwards.” John 13:36.
Here is interesting proof that Peter will someday go to the place where Jesus was about to go. And where was that? Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you. “Did He not ascend to His Father house, in the heavens, where the mansions were? Christ told Peter that he could not follow Him then, but that someday he would follow Him where He was going.
There are those who say that no one from this earth will ever go to heaven, but this would be contradicting the words of Jesus. It would also be contrary to John’s description in Revelation 19:1: “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God.”
John’s vision of the future places the saints in heaven. That is where Jesus promised to take them – to His Father’s house and the place He had prepared. This will not be the permanent home of the saved, but it is surely the place where Christ takes them to spend a thousand years with Him.
Now, let us find out what happens to all the wicked when Christ returns. We have already established that the wicked dead do not live again “until the thousand years are finished. “ They simply remain in their graves during the millennium. No change takes place for them until a thousand years later.
But what about the wicked who will live until Christ’s returns? How are they affected? Paul answers: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints.” 2 Thessalonians 1: 7-10.
Notice what happens to sinners at the same time the saints are glorified. Sin cannot exist in His presence and the wicked are destroyed by His glory. “And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8.
John describes the desperate attempts of the wicked to escape from Christ’s presence when He returns. They will hide in the den and rocks of the mountains, and pray, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is com; and who shall be able to stand?” Revelation 6:16, 17.
The sinners will be cut down by the bright glory of God as though a thousand volts of electricity had fallen upon them. Jesus spoke of the moment in these words; “For as the lightening come out of the east, and shine even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcass is there will the eagles be gathered together.” Matthew 24:27, 28.
John described the wicked who survived the battle of Armageddon. “And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:21. His words parallel those of Jesus. The bodies of the lost will be food for vultures, immediately upon the appearance of Christ in the heavens.
Now we are prepared to answer a question that has puzzled many people. Can anyone repent and be saved after the coming of Jesus? Absolutely not. The Bible is very explicit on this point. John records the actual words of a mighty decree which Christ declares just before His returns to this earth. “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still, and he that is holy, le t him be holey still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:11, 12.
This indicates that every case has been settled for eternity. Probation is ended. Christ lays aside His priestly robes and leaved the heavenly sanctuary where He has been interceding as our great High Priest. Now He returns as King of kings to execute judgment. There can be no more opportunity to repent. All will remain as they have been found in the books of heaven. In fact, who could repent and be saved during the millennium? The righteous are already immortalized in heaven, and the wicked are all dead. It would be just as logical to think of someone rising up in the casket and repenting, as to think of anyone turning to God after Jesus comes.
Jeremiah beheld this earth in vision following the return of Christ. He described it thus: “The slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall no be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon ground.” Jeremiah 25:33. Of course, they won’t be gathered. Nobody is here to do it. No one can weep for them, because the earth is entirely emptied of all its inhabitants. The dead bodies of the wicked will be scattered all over the earth, in the same places where they were cut down by the glory of God’s presence.
THE EARTH IN RUINS
The earth itself will be a shambles during the thousand years, as a result of the devastating earthquake which attends the coming of Christ. “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightening; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty and earthquake, and so great … And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” Revelation 16:18, 20.
The physical results of this convulsive earthquake are alluded to by both Isaiah and Jeremiah. “Behold, the Lord make the earth empty, and make it waste … The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord had spoken this word … The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.” Isaiah 24: 1, 3, 19.
The shocks and the after-shocks of that earthquake will spread desolation to every corner of the earth. Inhabited islands will disappear into the sea; great mountains chains will disintegrates and vanish. Jeremiah wrote: “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord and by his fierce anger.” Jeremiah 4:23-26.
At the coming of Jesus every work of man will be humbled to the dust. Skyscrapers are leveled to the ground, the shy darkens, and even the birds disappear. The righteous are removed form the earth and all the wicked are slain. No wonder the Bible says that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. To be unprepared in that day is the greatest tragedy to be imagined.
Now, the question arises, “Where is Satan during all this great manifestation?” Going back to Revelation 20:1-3 we read about the Devil during the millennium: And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” What an amazing scene! The Devil is bound for that thousand years and cast into the bottomless pit.
Fortunately, we do not have to speculate about the location of that bottomless pit. The Bible makes it very clear. The original Greek word for “bottomless pit” is “abussos”, from which we get our English word “abyss,” meaning “a deep place.” That same word is used again in the Greek version of Genesis 1:2: “And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon th