I'll admit that I am a premillenial guy mainly because of Revelation 20, but there are other factors as well. But that passage is the clincher. Here's why:
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomles pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand yers; and he cast him in to 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.
Let's cut straing to the chase, shall we? For amillenialism to be true, then what is quoted above in Revelation 20:1-3 must be true at this very moment. That is, Satan must be "bound," "shut up," and "sealed" in the bottomless pit. That's pretty strong language for someone Peter depicts as currently stalking about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
The amil position appeals to Jesus' parable of the binding of the strong man in Matthew 12: 29-30 and Mark 3:27. Here, they teach, Jesus clearly teaches that His ministry will bind the strong man, Satan, and take away his powers. In principle, I agree. Jesus has taken from Satan the power of death and sin (Hebrews 2:14). However, believe that the Revelation passage teaches a little more than this.
Specifically, Revelation 20:3 teaches that during this imprisonment, Satan will not have the power to decieve the nations. If Satan is currently decieving the nations, then we cannot possibly be in the millenial kingdom as the Amilleniallists claim. Well, I submit that there are nations who are decieved by Satan. If not, how do we explain the conduct of N. Korea, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Sudan, Indonesia, and others in their conduct towards Christians...to name a few!
Furthermore, Revelation 20 does not say that John saw Satan bound by Jesus. An angel binds Satan in Revelation 20. Certainly, Satan is bound by Jesus' authority, but this does not seem parallel with the accounts of Matthew and Mark. I believe that the "strong man" argument is rather weak. I cannot conceive of how Satan can be bound and sealed in a bottomless pit and yet roam the world seeking people to destroy.
Of course, the amil guy can counter that Revelation 20 should not be taken "literalistically". That is, John did see Satan thrown into a "literal" bottomless pit. That's absurd. He's just communicating that Satan was merely limited in what he could do since Jesus' resurrection.
Well, I don't buy it. Satan has always been limited in what he can do. (See Job's story.) And if John wanted to say that Satan was restricted, he could have done so. But he purposesly piled up the imagery of chains, bondage, deep, dark holes and sealed over pits. If John had wanted to say that Satan couldn't get away, how much more strongly could he have put it?
Further, if it is the work of Jesus in the world that guarantees Satan's bondage, then what happens to let him loose? Is the gospel message going to cease to be preached? What, exactly, must occur for him to be "loosed" for a little while? A period of apostasy in the Church? That's possible, but we know one thing about the Church for certain: She can never totally fail. Though things may get atrociously horrible, the Church will never fail. And as long as Christ's work is being done on earth, then Satan must be bound, according to the Amil position as I understand it. So, I cannot believe that we are currently in the millenium.
So that, in a nutshell, is the "seal" for me of the Premil position. Now as for a pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib position....forget it. I'm still working on the millenium. For now I'm default pre-trib. And as for dispensational...barely. I'm barely dispensational. I see a distinction between Israel and the Church, though both are the elect of God. I see it like this:
Israel is the elect.
The Church is the elect.
Israel is not the Church.
Cats are animals.
Dogs are animals.
Cats are not dogs.
We are related, and no one is superior to the other. We are as equal and complementary as we can be, just as male and female are. But while we are the same, yet we are different. And wonderfully so, as I understand it.
But I do not deny the Covenant of Works/Law and the Covenant of Grace. I see that clearly. So what does that mean? Well, it means I'm saying yes and leaning towards no. It means I'm doing the best I can to work this thing out. So, bare with me.
We Must Do the Impossible
4 years ago