Would you please assist me with a question about Revelation 20? I understand that Christ is now reigning and that when death is conquered at his second coming his reign will end. I know his reign is not a literal thousand years. But my question is: How is Satan bound for the thousand years when I Peter 5:8 says he is here at work.


"Then 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. But after these things he must be released for a little while" (Revelation 12:1-3).

The idea behind "bound" (the Greek word deo) is not necessarily an absolute imprisonment, but typically speaks of placing restrictions on someone. When you tie up your dog, he is not on his back with his feet roped together as in a calf roping contest. He has some freedom of movement, but he can't go everywhere he might want to go.

In Revelation, one of the things we have described for us is Satan's attempts at preventing God from establishing His kingdom on earth. As Jesus predicted, Satan was unable to stop God from accomplishing His will. "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). In the process of killing Jesus, Satan sealed his own defeat because it was through the death of Christ that salvation came into the world and the kingdom was established. Christ's kingdom raided Satan's domain, bring out those held in the bondage of sin.

In Revelation we see that Satan tried to use the governmental authorities of the time to destroy the newly founded kingdom, but it was prophesied that in the end Satan would lose. One of the results of his loss was that he was bound (restricted) and the terms of his restriction are mentioned in Revelation 20:3, he is prevented from using the nations to make war on the church. This will continue until just before the end.

"And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven"" (Luke 10:18).

"He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:8).

"Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it" (Colossians 2:15).

However, this doesn't mean Satan isn't still causing problems for Christians. It just means he can't do all that he would like to do against the Church. For about two thousand years now, the gospel message has spread through the world. It is translated into almost every language. There are faithful brethren across the globe. Satan has tried his best to stop the spread, but it has been unstoppable because God is keeping Satan reined in.