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Satan’s Incarceration: One Of The Great Flaws In ‘Kingdom Now’ Theology

Skip Heitzig

If you were to study all the texts of Scripture about the coming millennial kingdom, you would be at it for months and months. In fact, you could even argue that this kingdom is the overarching grand theme of the Bible. But if there is going to be a thousand years of peace on earth, Satan must first be dealt with.

Throughout history, the Devil has been wreaking havoc. And one of the biggest lies that many people—even Christians—believe is that Satan is the opposite of God. They believe there’s a cosmic battle of good and evil, and sometimes the Devil wins. Are you kidding me? Satan couldn’t go one round with God. He is a created being. He is not omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent. The opposite of Satan is more like Michael the archangel, certainly not God.

Well, we read in Revelation 20:1-3 that the Devil is finally taken care of: “I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless 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 years; and he cast him into 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.”

My guess is that this angel is Michael, who has a history of contending with Satan (see Jude 1:9 and Revelation 12:7). At the end of the tribulation, when Jesus comes back to set up His kingdom, this is the perfect time for Michael to step in: “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people” (Daniel 12:1).

It’s a great moment, the day of Satan’s humbling, when the angel comes down from heaven to seize him and incarcerate him in the bottomless pit.

Now, amillennialists have said, “The kingdom is right now. There is no literal kingdom; it’s a spiritual kingdom. God is ruling and reigning right now in the church and over the hearts of His people.” But if this is the kingdom, that means Satan should be bound. Have you looked around at the world? Does it seem like Satan is bound? Because if he is, it’s not a very good binding.

They might say, “What we mean is Satan was bound at the cross.” No, he wasn’t. He was sentenced at the cross, but he doesn’t serve his time until the millennial kingdom.

If Satan is bound, why are we told that he has blinded the minds of those who do not believe (see 2 Corinthians 4:4)? If Satan is bound, why did Peter say that the Devil “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8)? And if Satan is bound, why did John say, “The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19)? Satan is not bound yet, but he will be when Revelation 20 becomes a reality.

Now, I want to leave you with this thought. Jesus told His disciples, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). The coming kingdom of Christ isn’t just a reality—it should be a motivation. Instead of seeking our own comfort or disengaging from the world, we must declare, “I’m going to plant God’s truth while I can. I’m not going to seek my kingdom, but His kingdom.”

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