Satan Released

Some years ago, I found myself with am empty Bi-orb, which is a type of small fish tank. Furthermore, I had been prickled once or twice by my collection of small cacti, so I resolved to kill two birds with one stone. I deployed the fish tank as a cactus farm, and left them to it. They could grow whatever spiny protrusions they wanted, and none would now hurt me.

This month, noticing that the cacti within had flowered, I saw the height they had grown and that they were now creeping out of their plastic prison. Once again they may catch and stab an unwary arm or misplaced finger; once again, their menace grows. I am actually rather pleased by this; it shows they have been either well cared for or profitably neglected.

Less helpful is the reemergence of Satan from the Pit as described in Revelation chapter 20. Bound for a thousand years, the saints reign on the earth while he languishes, bound, until such time as he is allowed to recommence his horrible mischief. There are different interpretations of the text; premillennialists see these thousand years as a literal, future period, after which all hell again breaks loose, only to be defeated a final time by the Lord Jesus. Amillennialists consider the current time to be symbolically depicted by those thousand years; a weakened, defeated Satan is bound until, at some future final rebellion, the Lord removes him once and for all. I can see the merits of both interpretations. Whichever way we see it, the text is clear that Satan, like my prickly cacti plants, will leave the abode to which he has been bound. Why the great God would suffer this I do not know, much like the question of why He might have allowed the angelic Fall to start with; it is beyond our comprehension. Consider this, though: Satan is powerful and will at some point gain greater influence and power than he has hitherto known; that the Lord Jesus will throw him in the Lake of Fire forever thereafter. Never again will he be permitted to steal men’s hearts and corrupt their doctrines. Never again will he find release and opportunity to rebel and lead astray. Come, Lord Jesus!

The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20:10