Was Satan Bound at the Cross of Calvary?
An old fallacy that is rearing its head again in the world’s teachings, is that Satan was “bound at the cross of Calvary”! If a person accepts that as fact, their Bible study must start at Rev. 20, where the statement is made that Satan is bound! This then throws out of sequence all their subsequent study, as they hang on to that false idea; and leaves them living now in the Millennial; which makes all other study difficult if not impossible to reconcile!
When confronted with this statement recently by a correspondent, the writer pointed out that Jesus made His comments on Satan prior to His Ascension, but Paul's was 27 and 31 years after the Ascension; but he refused to budge from his position or do the necessary study to confirm what had been said to him! This attitude is very common in the world, and is clearly driven and maintained by Satan, and will be until the “Age of the Gentiles is complete” Rom. 11:25.
The reason for mentioning the above encounter is to illustrate the mass misunderstanding and wrong teaching in the world. When a person has a sincere and prayerful desire to know truth from Scripture, it will be given by the Holy Spirit!
Scripture says that Satan was the most magnificent being that God created. The word Satan is Hebrew, and means “an adversary, an enemy, an accuser”. He has other names which are related to Greek, and his role in events yet to be. Note that he is a “created” being, not “begotten”, as only Jesus has that designation! Before Satan became the “adversary”, his name was “Lucifer”, which means “Morning star”, and his fall from favour is described in Isaiah 14:12-15.
There is much confusion and myth regarding Satan, starting in the Garden of Eden. He is there in Gen. 3:1, called a “serpent”, from the Hebrew “nachash”, which means “to hiss, mutter, whisper, etc.”, which has been translated subsequently as “serpent”. An allied Chaldean word means “bright”, which chimes with other Scriptural comment describing Satan as having a “glorious appearance”. In Isaiah 6:2-6, the Hebrew word “seraph” is used to describe “Heavenly beings” as “burning bright, and elevated”. In Numbers 21:8, “saraph” is “fiery serpent”. The words seraph and nachash are both used in Scripture to describe a serpent and a glorious spirit being. In 2Cor. 11:3, Paul fears for the Corinthians, that they will be beguiled as Adam and Eve, and refers to the appearance of Satan on that occasion in 2Cor. 11:14, "that he has transformed himself into an angel of light".
So, when Satan beguiled Eve, he was magnificent to behold, as he said “surely thou wilt not die”, Gen. 3:4, (see: Eternal Soul Myth) and he has been saying it ever since, with the consequence that many humans will listen to him, and will go to their destruction! They will listen to Satan, even though they know the difference between good and evil!
In Summary of this brief description; Satan was the most beautiful of God’s created creatures. He became enchanted by his own beauty and power, and wanted God’s position Ezek. 28 and Isa. 14:13-14. He is cast from favour, Isaiah 14:12 & Isa. 14:25. His name is changed after his rebellion, to Satan, and he is allowed to try to stop trust and faith in God on Earth, (Job). This process is still under way, and will not end until the events described in Rev. 20:2; which is the beginning of Satan’s final demise; and is thousands of years after Jesus Christ’s Calvary execution!
In conversation with an Orthodox Jew, the information was offered that Orthodox Judaism does not interpret the references to Satan in the Old Testament (Tanach), as is understood by right thinking Christians (Christ-Ones). One has to be reminded here, that “Orthodox Judaism” sprang from the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, and He condemned them for their false teaching and practices!
The Old Testament (OT) shows that Satan has free-will which showed in the Garden of Eden in Genesis, but it is surmised that his existence is much older. Scripture refers to him as the Covering Cherub of an earlier situation, Ezek. 28:14 (in the KJV, the "art" should be translated "wast"), hence the supposition that Satan in his earlier pre-rebellious mode was an appointed trustee by Almighty God which he reneged against.
The fact that Satan tried successfully to pervert the Words of God to Eve and Adam re. "the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”, cuts no ice with Pharisaic Jews, and they merely say that all Satan was/is an angel of God, and only a “servant” subject to God’s commands, and is without free-will.
They also say that God uses Satan to "test" people, to see how they react and behave! This of course is nonsense; as that would mean that God created evil, which is not the case. (See: Did God create Evil?)
Satan quickly showed himself to be against God in the Garden of Eden, using his free-will to usurp God and His created Adam and Eve!
There clearly is great purpose in the forbearance of Almighty God in allowing Satan's constant rebellion and perversion of people and angels, as witnessed in Revelation. However, the outworking of Satan's rebellion has yet to be dealt with pen-ultimately at the beginning of the Millennial Reign of Christ/Jehovah on Earth when he will be bound for 1000 years (Rev. 20:2), and finally at the end of the Millennial Reign Rev. 20:10; he will be released for a short period, prior to being ‘cast into the Lake of Fire’!
The references to Satan’s many attempts in Scripture to pervert God’s Words can be examined by anybody, so space will not be used here for such; suffice to say that all Scripture witnesses to his efforts!
The remarkable thing to notice in all the events where Satan is involved is the fact that he always wanted/wants to deliberately change the meaning of the Words that God has given! Why would he do that? Well the answer quite simply is that to do so contravenes the Will of Almighty God! Why would Satan want to contravene God’s Will? To thwart His Plans! Why would Satan want to thwart God’s Plans? Because, if he was successful he would conquer God on God’s own Territory, which is His Love, His Word, His Promises especially to His people Israel; and His Fidelity to all His pronouncements in Scripture; and His Holy Being!
Here we have the core of the matter! God has in the past made firm promises to mankind, starting in Genesis 3:15 which refers to the birth of Jesus the Christ; and Christ's success in His overcoming of death, which was instigated by Satan's success with Eve, followed by Adam!
The Roman Church, has tried to attribute to Mary, instead of Jesus the triumph of His sacrificial death at Calvary, and fitted together with the idolic Mary worship. This is shown also in the R.C. Bible by Jerome!
What then is the plan of Satan? See: Satan's Contest with God.
Satan's strategy is:-
1) To obtain the knowledge of Creation (Jer. 31:35-37), (this has been sought avidly by Science since approx. AD 1850).
Satan has been trying to obtain the knowledge of Creation from the beginning, and is behind the work of Darwin and others to this purpose. He will not admit defeat, and will persevere in this up to the “Day of the Lord”. (Rev. 1:10).
2) To destroy the Earth by degradation of all means, Isa. 14:17; (this has accelerated since the start of the Industrial Revolution).
The attempts to degrade the Earth’s environment has accelerated since the Industrial Revolution in the UK, and is a strong sign of the times we are living in, accelerating towards the “Day of The Lord”. (Rev. 1:10).
3) To destroy Israel. This has increased in intensity since the 2nd World War; and should it be successful would negate God's promise to them!
This effort of Satan has been underway since Eden but intensified after Abram. As the promises were made by Jehovah God to His people, Satan’s efforts have increased, as was evidenced by the 2nd World War. The fact that the religious life of Israel is still dominated by Pharisees, the same group that denied and organized Christ’s crucifixion via the Romans, does not help their situation, nor their denial of Satan as a powerful entity against God, and themselves! Satan’s purpose is to eliminate Israel, so that he can negate God’s promises to the Patriarchs; Jer. 31:35-37 etc! God has stated categorically that Israel will always exist, and Satan is extremely active in trying to thwart that Promise!
Israel, since becoming a Nation again in 1948, are probably close to the OT promised culminations, but unfortunately, have yet to suffer more.
They have yet to experience a false leader and situation, which will thankfully be short lived!
4) To destroy faith in God/ Christ. (Satan is permitted to do his best/worst, to kill or prevent belief and faith, in Christ Jesus)!
Satan’s current major thrust is to try to destroy the message of God in Christ.
Since the Reformation in the 16th century he has lost his grip on the Word of God through the Roman Church, (although it has crept back to quite a large degree). He has quite successfully transferred corruption and confusion to many Protestant groups, to the extent that many people are held under one form of bondage or another! How has he done this? Quite simply by the same methods he used in the Roman case. He has used the minds of men to distort the Words of God, especially regarding Christ Jesus. The reformation ethos of re-examining the basic Principles of Doctrine were/are fertile ground for him!
Many new Groups and Sects that have proliferated since the Reformation have proved fertile ground for the wiles of Satan, and the confusion of mankind. More than one good man has said that Satan’s best recruiting ground is in the Pulpit, not in the fleshpots of the world! At the present, it is these people that Satan wants to add to his list of converts, which at present includes ⅓ of all Heaven's angels!
How then to be sure of being in the Truth of God in Christ, and not be beguiled by Satan’s lies and subtlety?
One of the most profound Truths of Jesus, is that He makes us free! The many and varied “rules” and complex “interpretations” of Satan’s preachers and teachers are so formulated, that even they can not explain with clarity what they are talking about! Any person can go to the Bible, and prayerfully ask for understanding, for the love of God in Christ to be theirs! Any teacher that puts conditions on this, is not in Truth!
Any teacher or Group that states that the Israel of the Old Testament has not got a future, and have been disowned by Jehovah God and are replaced by the “Church”, are not telling the truth, and should be ignored. See: Replacement Theology.
This teaching is sometimes linked to that of “Election”, and states that we have no choice in the matter of Salvation, only those “selected by God” are “Elect” and “Foreknown”. For more on this subject see:
Any teacher or Group that try to use words to bamboozle the seeker, and any form of threat or insult, should be ignored; and the seeker can rest assured in the simple message of Christ Jesus, that all who believe in Him will have eternal life (John 3:16).
By these methods, the seeker will find Salvation and peace in Jesus the Christ of Almighty God; and by reading and studying the Bible, as a friend, will come to know more of the Mind of Christ/God!
There is no doubt that our Lord is the most gentle Saviour, but Christ (The Anointed of Jehovah) has to deal with the evil of which most of us are unaware, and in the timing of Jehovah (Rev. 6), that dealing leading to the ultimate conquering of Satan is underway. In that context, Satan expected the victory when Christ died on the accursed tree, but instead Christ gained victory over death, and became the first-fruit of propitiation (the saved) to the Father, (Jehovah God). So Satan’s plans and motivations will come to nothing eventually!
See: Millennial Purpose &
Note 2015: in 2018, the Nation of Israel, will have existed for 70 years; which is the first time since AD 70! Its re-adoption re. "Ammi" is a yet unknown! The fact of the number 70 is significant, and will be marked in history; even if only by celebration in Israel; but there may be more significant events!