I’m not one to blame every problem in the world on the devil for two reasons. First, there’s enough evil in the heart of man to account for most if not all the evil in the world today (Jer. 17:9). Second, we’re told in Matt. 12:29 that Jesus bound Satan when he came to earth to establish His Kingdom.
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then is the kingdom of God come upon you. Else how can a man enter into a strong man’s house and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man, and then spoil his house?
Who wins the struggle here? Christ does. Not only does he win the wrestling match and bind Satan, but he plunders his house! John writes in Revelation 20:2, that the binding of Satan is part of the inauguration of Christ’s Kingdom:
And he took the dragon that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and he bound him a thousand years: And cast him into the bottomless pit, and he shut him up, and sealed the door upon him, that he should deceive the people no more till the thousand years were fulfilled:”
In Romans 16:20, the Apostle Paul tells us that,
The God of peace shall tread Satan under your feet shortly.”
This promise was fulfilled during the 40 years between Christ’s ascension and the destruction of the Old Covenant system, the Temple, and the city of Jerusalem in AD 70.
In 1 John 3:8, the Apostle John writes:
…for this purpose was made manifest that Son of God, that he might loose [destroy] the works of the devil.
In his commentary on Revelation, Days of Vengeance, David Chilton writes:
…it is generally suggested by both post-millennial and amillennial authors that the binding of Satan, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, refers to his inability to prevent the message of the Gospel from achieving success. And, as far as it goes, this interpretation certainly has Biblical warrant: Before the coming of Christ, Satan controlled the nations; but now his death-grip has been shattered by the Gospel, as the good news of the Kingdom has spread throughout the world. 1
Even though I believe Satan has been bound, he and his demons still have some power. David Chilton writes,
That Satan has been bound does not mean that all his activity has ceased. The New Testament tells us specifically that the demons have been disarmed and bound (Col. 2:15; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6)—yet they are still active. It is just that their activity is restricted. And, as the Gospel progresses throughout the world, their activity will become even more limited. Satan is unable to prevent the victory of Christ’s Kingdom. 2
Basically, Satan is under house arrest and waiting for judgment day. I can’t think of a better way for him to pass the time than to attempt to hinder the expansion of Christ’s Kingdom and cripple His Church. While I can’t prove it, I suspect that Satan was the author of two diabolical philosophies that developed simultaneously in the mid 19th century, which are designed to attach the Church from without and from within: Darwinism and Dispensationalism. While Satan will not be able to prevent the victory of Christ’s Kingdom, he will stop at nothing to slow it down by foisting these and other lies upon gullible man.
Darwinism is the antithesis of the Christian Faith—undermining the credibility of Christianity and the Bible from the first verse. Masquerading as real science, which ironically developed out of the Christian Worldview, Darwinism seeks to explain the existence and proliferation of life without God. Such ideas have consequences and this idea has led to many of the social ills we face today and hundreds of atrocities throughout history. Despite the evil fruits of darwinian thinking, much of the Church has embraced it and gone totally liberal. Human reason has been elevated above the Bible as the ultimate moral authority in our “enlightened” society and has proven to be a big challenge for Christians to overcome culturally.
Dispensationalism is much more sinister because it is a belief-system cloaked in conservative-sounding theology and claims to take the Bible literally. This theology also arose about the same time as Darwinism and was made popular by the Scofield Study Bible. Sadly, it steals the focus away from Christ and his work to save the world, and divides the people of God on the basis of ethnicity. Proponents of dispensational theology teach that God’s real plan is the restoration of Israel and that the Church is just His “Plan B.” They blatantly ignore the fact that gentiles have been grafted into the first century Jewish church (Rom. 11). In Galatians 3, the Apostle Paul teaches that gentiles of faith are also the children of Abraham and heirs according to the promise. Furthermore, he also states that there is only one seed of Abraham–not two. Using complicated charts and graphs, dispensationalism glosses over this clear teaching of the Bible and leaves Christians confused about God’s plan for history.
The most dangerous element of dispensational theology, however, is the belief that the world will soon come to an end and Christians will be raptured out of the mess their in. While Muslims, Liberals, etc., have a vision for the future, most Christians have been duped into believing that time is running out and there is nothing we can do about it. Meanwhile, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Christians have lost their vision for taking dominion and have been driven under ground to become gnostics and pietists.
Of course, we all know that God is sovereign and Satan will not be successful in stopping the Kingdom. While Darwinism and Dispensationalism have made a real mess of things for the Church, I am convinced that overcoming these challenges is all part of God’s plan to make the Church stronger and brighter in the future. Remember, Satan thought he had defeated the Son of God at the cross. Little did he know that he played right into God’s plan to redeem the world.
1. David Chilton, Days of Vengeance (Horn Lake, MS: Dominion Press, 2006), 502.
2. Chilton, Days of Vengeance, 503.