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Thread: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

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    NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)


    Pre-400 AD Church Fathers - On the Binding of Satan (Revelation 20)





    Irenaeus, (130-200 AD)
    Bishop of Lyons, Book 3, C.VIII

    "when He spoke of the devil as strong, not absolutely so, but as in comparison with us, the Lord showed Himself under every aspect and truly to be the strong man, saying that one can in no other way "spoil the goods of a strong man, if he do not first bind the strong man himself, and then he will spoil his house." Now we were the vessels and the house of this [strong man] when we were in a state of apostasy; for he put us to whatever use he pleased, and the unclean spirit dwelt within us. For he was not strong, as opposed to Him who bound him, and spoiled his house; If, then, he had not pointed out Him who binds and spoils his goods, but had merely spoken of him as being strong, the strong man should have been unconquered."

    Irenaeus, (130- 200 AD)
    Bishop of Lyons, Book 3, C.XX1

    "and the apostate angel of God is destroyed by its voice, being exposed in his true colours, and vanquished by the Son of man keeping the commandment of God. For as in the beginning he enticed man to transgress his Maker's law, and thereby got him into his power; yet his power consists in transgression and apostasy, and with these he bound man [to himself]; so again, on the other hand, it was necessary that through man himself he should, when conquered, be bound with the same chains with which he had bound man, in order that man, being set free, might return to his Lord, leaving to him (Satan) those bonds by which he himself had been fettered, that is, sin. For when Satan is bound, man is set free; since "none can enter a strong man's house and spoil his goods, unless he first bind the strong man himself." The Lord therefore exposes him as speaking contrary to the word of that God who made all things, and subdues him by means of the commandment. After [the Man had done this], the Word bound him securely as a fugitive from Himself, and made spoil of his goods,-namely, those men whom he held in bondage, and whom he unjustly used for his own purposes. And justly indeed is he led captive, who had led men unjustly into bondage; while man, who had been led captive in times past, was rescued from the grasp of his possessor, according to the tender mercy of God the Father"




    Anonymous, Acta Pilati, (150-255 AD)
    Chapter 7 & 8

    "And again there came the voice of the Son of the Father most high, as it were the voice of a great thunder, saying: Lift up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates, and the King of glory will come in. Then Satan and Hades cried out, saying: Who is the king of glory? And it was answered to them in the voice of the Lord: The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

    Then holy David, inflamed with anger against Satan, cried out aloud: Open thy gates, most vile wretch, that the King of glory may come in. In like manner also all the saints of God rose up against Satan, and would have seized him, and divided him among them. And again a cry was heard within: Lift up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates; and the King of glory shall come in. Hades and Satan, at that clear voice, again asked, saying: Who is this king of glory? And it was said to them by that wonderful voice: The Lord of powers, He is the King of glory.

    Chap. 8 (24).--And, behold, suddenly Hades trembled, and the gates of death and the bolts were shattered, and the iron bars were broken and fell to the ground, and everything was laid open. And Satan remained in the midst, and stood confounded and downcast, bound with fetters on his feet. And, behold, the Lord Jesus Christ, coming in the brightness of light from on high, compassionate, great, and lowly, carrying a chain in His hand, bound Satan by the neck; and again tying his hands behind him, dashed him on his back into Tartarus, and placed His holy foot on his throat, saying: Through all ages thou hast done many evils; thou hast not in any wise rested. To-day I deliver thee to everlasting fire. And Hades being suddenly summoned, He commanded him, and said: Take this most wicked and impious one, and have him in thy keeping even to that day in which I shall command thee. And he, as soon as he received him, was plunged under the feet of the Lord along with him into the depth of the abyss. "





    Victorinus of Petau, (270 - 303 AD)
    Commentary on the Apocalypse of the blessed John

    "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he held the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and cast him into the abyss, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be finished: after this he must be loosed a little season." Those years wherein Satan is bound are in the first advent of Christ, even to the end of the age; and they are called a thousand, according to that mode of speaking, wherein a part is signified by the whole, just as is that passage, "the word which He commanded for a thousand generations,"69 although they are not a thousand. Moreover that he says, "and he cast him into the abyss," he says this, because the devil, excluded from the hearts of believers, began to take possession of the wicked, in whose hearts, blinded day by day, he is shut up as if in a profound abyss. And he shut him up, says he, and put a seal upon him, that he should not deceive the nations until the thousand years should be finished. "He shut the door upon him," it is said, that is, he forbade and restrained his seducing those who belong to Christ. Moreover, he put a seal upon him, because it is hidden who belong to the side of the devil, and who to that of Christ. Moreover, that he says that he is bound and shut up, that he may not seduce the nations, the nations signify the Church, seeing that of them it itself is formed"

    "this is the true priest of Christ, and accomplishing the millenary number thoroughly, is thought to reign with Christ; and truly in his case the devil is bound. But he who is entangled in the vices and the dogmas of heretics, in his case the devil is loosed. But that it says that when the thousand years are finished he is loosed, so the number of the perfect saints being completed"







    Ante Nicene Fathers (? to 325 AD)
    VIII, Chapter VI, "The Descent of Christ into Hell"

    "Thou wast nailed on the cross, and placed in the tomb; and now thou art free, and hast destroyed all our power. Art thou then the Jesus about whom the chief satrap Satan told us, that through cross and death thou art to inherit the whole world? Then the King of glory seized the chief satrap Satan by the head, and delivered him to His angels, and said: With iron chains bind his hands and his feet, and his neck, and his mouth. Then He delivered him to Hades, and said: Take him, and keep him secure till my second appearing."







    Tyconius, (330 - 390 AD)
    Commentary on Revelation, edited in English by Craig R. Koester

    "the church had already entered the millennium. Rev 20:2 said that the millennium would begin when Satan was "bound" and Matt 12:29 said that Christs exorcisms proved that he had already come to "bind" Satan and bring in the kingdom. By placing these texts together Tyconius concluded that the thousand-year kingdom began with the first advent of Christ. People entered this millennial kingdom through the "first resurrection" (Rev 20:4-6), which he identified with baptism; the second resurrection (20:11-13) would be the bodily resurrection at the end of time. The righteous and the unrighteous would exist side by side in the church even during this millennial period. Satan had been "bound" but would not be annihilated until the end."





    Aurelius Augustin, (354 - 430 AD)
    Bishop of Hippo, Psalm LXX, C.4

    "There came to pass also that which was consequent; kings believed, peace was given to the Church, the Church began to be set in the highest place of dignity, even on this earth, even in this life: but there is not wanting the roar of persecutors, they have turned their assaults into thoughts. In these thoughts, as in a bottomless pit, the devil hath been bound, he roareth and breaketh not forth. For it hath been said concerning these times of the Church, "The sinner shall see, and shall be angry."

    Aurelius Augustin, (354 - 430 AD)
    Bishop of Hippo, XX, C.7 & 8

    "The Lord Jesus Christ Himself says, "No man can enter into a strong man's house, and Spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man"32 -meaning by the strong man the devil, because he had power to take captive the human race; and meaning by his goods which he was to take, those who had been held by the devil in divers sins and iniquities, but were to become believers in Himself. It was then for the binding of this strong one that the apostle saw in the Apocalypse "an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he laid hold," he says, "on the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,"-that is, bridled and restrained his power so that he could not seduce and gain possession of those who were to be freed. that is, which had yet to expire before the end of the world-a thousand years; or he used the thousand years as an equivalent for the whole duration of this world, employing the number of perfection to mark the fullness of time. And for the same reason we cannot better interpret the words of the psalm, "He hath been mindful of His covenant for ever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations,"35 than by understanding it to mean "to all generations."

    "And he cast him into the abyss,"-i.e., cast the devil into the abyss. By the abyss is meant the countless multitude of the wicked whose hearts are unfathomably deep in malignity against the Church of God; not that the devil was not there before, but he is said to be cast in thither, because, when prevented from harming believers, he takes more complete possession of the ungodly. For that man is more abundantly possessed by the devil who is not only alienated from God, but also gratuitously hates those who serve God. "And shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled." "Shut him up,"-i.e., prohibited him from going out, from doing what was forbidden. And the addition of "set a seal upon him" seems to me to mean that it was designed to keep it a secret who belonged to the devil's party and who did not. But by the chain and prison-house of this interdict the devil is prohibited and restrained from seducing those nations which belong to Christ, butwhich he formerly seduced or held in subjection. For before the foundation of the world God chose to rescue these from the power of darkness, and to translate them into the kingdom of the Son of His love, as the apostle says.For it is as God, from whom nothing is hid even of things future, that the Lord knows them. The devil, then, is bound and shut up in the abyss that he may not seduce the nations from which the Church is gathered, and which he formerly seduced before the Church existed.

    "After that," says John, "he must be loosed a little season." If the binding and shutting up of the devil means his being made unable to seduce the Church, must his loosing be the recovery of this ability? By no means. For the Church predestined and elected before the foundation of the world, the Church of which it is said, "The Lord knoweth them that are His," shall never be seduced by him. And yet there shall be a Church in this world even when the devil shall be loosed, as there has been since the beginning, and shall be always, the places of the dying being filled by new believers. For a little after John says that the devil, being loosed, shall draw the nations whom he has seduced in the whole world to make war against the Church, and that the number of these enemies shall be as the sand of the sea. "And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. And the devil who seduced them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."39 This relates to the last judgment, but I have thought fit to mention it now, lest any one might suppose that in that short time during which the devil shall be loose there shall be no Church upon earth, whether because the devil finds no Church, or destroys it by manifold persecutions. The devil, then, is not bound during the whole time which this book embraces,-that is, from the first coming of Christ to the end of the world, when He shall come the second time,-not bound in this sense, that during this interval, which goes by the name of a thousand years, he shall not seduce the Church, for not even when loosed shall he seduce it. For certainly if his being bound means that he is not able or not permitted to seduce the Church, what can the loosing of him mean but his being able or permitted to do so? But God forbid that such should be the case! But the binding of the devil is his being prevented from the exercise of his whole power to seduce men, either by violently forcing or fraudulently deceiving them into taking part with him. "






    1000-1800 AD Church Fathers - On the Binding of Satan (Revelation 20)


    Pre 19th Century Church Fathers - On the Binding of Satan (Revelation 20)


    John Calvin (1509-1564)
    Harmony of the Evangelists

    "Christ is pursuing the subject, on which he had lately touched, about the kingdom of God, and declares it to be necessary that Satan be violently driven out, in order that God may establish his kingdom among men. "


    Commentary on Hebrews


    "the destruction of the devil, of which he speaks, imports this that he cannot prevail against us. For though the devil still lives, and constantly attempts our ruin, yet all his power to hurt us is destroyed or restrained. It is a great consolation to know that we have to do with an enemy who cannot prevail against us. That what is here said has been said with regard to us, we may gather from the next clause, that he might destroy him that had the power of death; for the apostle intimates that the devil was so far destroyed as he has power to reign to our ruin; for the power of death is ascribed to him from the effect, because it is destructive and brings death. He then teaches us not only that the tyranny of Satan was abolished by Christs death, but also that he himself was so laid prostrate, that no more account is to be made of him than as though he were not. He speaks of the devil according to the usual practice of Scripture, in the singular number, not because there is but one, but because they all form one community which cannot be supposed to be without a head."




    The 1599 Geneva Study Bible Commentary
    "The story of the dragon is twofold: First of the first victory, after which he was bound by Christ, to the sixth verse (Revelation 20:1-6). The second is of the last victory, by which he has thrown down into everlasting punishment, there to the fifteenth verse (Revelation 20:7-15). This first history happened in the first time of the Christian Church, when the dragon thrown down from heaven by Christ, went about to molest the new birth of the Church in the earth"




    Robert Bailie (1602-1662)
    The Dissvasive from the Errours of the Time, 1645
    "this makes Satan to be bound up only from seducing the Nations, that he should not be able as before the coming of Christ he was, to mislead the Nations of the whole world to Idolatry, a free door then being opened to the Gospel in every Nation for their conversion to the truth."





    Matthew Henry (1662-1714)
    Commentary on Revelation

    "A prophecy of the binding of Satan for a certain term of time, in which he should have much less power and the church much more peace than before. The power of Satan was broken in part by the setting up of the gospel kingdom in the world; it was further reduced by the empires becoming Christian; He laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan. Neither the strength of the dragon, nor the subtlety of the serpent, was sufficient to rescue him out of the hands of Christ; he caught hold, and kept his hold. And, (2.) He cast him into the bottomless pit, cast him down with force, and with a just vengeance, to his own place and prison, from which he had been permitted to break out, and disturb the churches, and deceive the nations; now he is brought back to that prison, and there laid in chains. (3.) He is shut up, and a seal set upon him. Christ shuts, and none can open; he shuts by his power, seals by his authority; and his lock and seal even the devils themselves cannot break open. (4.) We have the term of this confinement of Satan a thousand years, after which he was to be loosed again for a little season. The church should have a considerable time of peace and prosperity, but all her trials were not yet over. II. An account of the reign of the saints for the same space of time in which Satan continued bound"







    John Gill (1697-1771)
    Exposition of the Bible

    "And bound him a thousand years, with the great chain he had in his hand: the devil is in chains now, is under the power of divine Providence, and can do nothing without divine permission; but this chain is long, and he appears oftentimes to have great liberty, and ranges about the air and earth, and does much mischief; but now he will be so bound by the power of Christ over him, that he will not be able to stir hand or foot, to disturb the saints, or deceive the nations, whether with false worship, and false doctrine, or by stirring them up to persecute the saints."






    Adam Clarke (1768-1832)
    Commentary on Revelation 20

    "what is said Revelation 20 ver. 3-5, no doubt refers to a time in which the influence of Satan will be greatly restrained, and the true Church of God enjoy great prosperity, which shall endure for a long time. But it is not likely that the number, a thousand years, is to be taken literally here, and year symbolically and figuratively in all the book beside. He should deceive the nations no more] Be unable to blind men with superstition and idolatry as he had formerly done. I am satisfied that this period should not be taken literally. It may signify that there shall be a long and undisturbed state of Christianity; and so universally shall the Gospel spirit prevail"





    Jamison, Fausett and Brown (1871)
    "As yet, Satan and his demons roam at large on the earth. An earnest of their sure doom; is their having been cast out of heaven, being already restricted to the darkness of this world the air that surrounds the earth, their peculiar element now. And continues, they are not literal chains and darkness, but figurative in this present world, where, restricted powers and liberties, shut out from heaven, they like condemned prisoners await their doom."



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    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    I am impressed with this evidence coming straight from the pens of the Early Church Fathers, beginning at the 1st century, and so soon after the death and resurrection of Christ. I plan to keep this for future reference...
    My favorite scripture: Malachi 3:16

    "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name!" (Every time we speak of the Lord, or even THINK of him--its written down in a book of remembrance!)

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    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    This is very interesting information, thanks for sharing it.
    ***
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    For You are the God of my salvation;
    On You I wait all the day.

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    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    It seems Victorinus is the first in this list to connect Satan being in the Abyss with Jesus first advent.
    Irenaeus speaks of binding the strongman and setting man free, but doesn't connect this with Satan being placed in the Abyss. In fact his view point would be that IF Satan were placed in the Abyss and thus bound from every man, then every man would be free - which we know is not the fact of life.
    The Acta Pilati, seems to mix up the Psalms of David with Revelation, but doesn't make a declaration as to when this binding occurs, whether at His first coming or Second or something else.
    So it seems the first words of Satan being bound during the first advent of Jesus is dated after 270 AD.

  5. #5

    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    Quote Originally Posted by David Taylor View Post

    Pre-400 AD Church Fathers - On the Binding of Satan (Revelation 20)





    Irenaeus, (130-200 AD)
    Bishop of Lyons, Book 3, C.VIII

    "when He spoke of the devil as strong, not absolutely so, but as in comparison with us, the Lord showed Himself under every aspect and truly to be the strong man, saying that one can in no other way "spoil the goods of a strong man, if he do not first bind the strong man himself, and then he will spoil his house." Now we were the vessels and the house of this [strong man] when we were in a state of apostasy; for he put us to whatever use he pleased, and the unclean spirit dwelt within us. For he was not strong, as opposed to Him who bound him, and spoiled his house; If, then, he had not pointed out Him who binds and spoils his goods, but had merely spoken of him as being strong, the strong man should have been unconquered."

    Irenaeus, (130- 200 AD)
    Bishop of Lyons, Book 3, C.XX1

    "and the apostate angel of God is destroyed by its voice, being exposed in his true colours, and vanquished by the Son of man keeping the commandment of God. For as in the beginning he enticed man to transgress his Maker's law, and thereby got him into his power; yet his power consists in transgression and apostasy, and with these he bound man [to himself]; so again, on the other hand, it was necessary that through man himself he should, when conquered, be bound with the same chains with which he had bound man, in order that man, being set free, might return to his Lord, leaving to him (Satan) those bonds by which he himself had been fettered, that is, sin. For when Satan is bound, man is set free; since "none can enter a strong man's house and spoil his goods, unless he first bind the strong man himself." The Lord therefore exposes him as speaking contrary to the word of that God who made all things, and subdues him by means of the commandment. After [the Man had done this], the Word bound him securely as a fugitive from Himself, and made spoil of his goods,-namely, those men whom he held in bondage, and whom he unjustly used for his own purposes. And justly indeed is he led captive, who had led men unjustly into bondage; while man, who had been led captive in times past, was rescued from the grasp of his possessor, according to the tender mercy of God the Father"




    Anonymous, Acta Pilati, (150-255 AD)
    Chapter 7 & 8

    "And again there came the voice of the Son of the Father most high, as it were the voice of a great thunder, saying: Lift up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates, and the King of glory will come in. Then Satan and Hades cried out, saying: Who is the king of glory? And it was answered to them in the voice of the Lord: The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

    Then holy David, inflamed with anger against Satan, cried out aloud: Open thy gates, most vile wretch, that the King of glory may come in. In like manner also all the saints of God rose up against Satan, and would have seized him, and divided him among them. And again a cry was heard within: Lift up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates; and the King of glory shall come in. Hades and Satan, at that clear voice, again asked, saying: Who is this king of glory? And it was said to them by that wonderful voice: The Lord of powers, He is the King of glory.

    Chap. 8 (24).--And, behold, suddenly Hades trembled, and the gates of death and the bolts were shattered, and the iron bars were broken and fell to the ground, and everything was laid open. And Satan remained in the midst, and stood confounded and downcast, bound with fetters on his feet. And, behold, the Lord Jesus Christ, coming in the brightness of light from on high, compassionate, great, and lowly, carrying a chain in His hand, bound Satan by the neck; and again tying his hands behind him, dashed him on his back into Tartarus, and placed His holy foot on his throat, saying: Through all ages thou hast done many evils; thou hast not in any wise rested. To-day I deliver thee to everlasting fire. And Hades being suddenly summoned, He commanded him, and said: Take this most wicked and impious one, and have him in thy keeping even to that day in which I shall command thee. And he, as soon as he received him, was plunged under the feet of the Lord along with him into the depth of the abyss. "





    Victorinus of Petau, (270 - 303 AD)
    Commentary on the Apocalypse of the blessed John

    "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he held the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and cast him into the abyss, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be finished: after this he must be loosed a little season." Those years wherein Satan is bound are in the first advent of Christ, even to the end of the age; and they are called a thousand, according to that mode of speaking, wherein a part is signified by the whole, just as is that passage, "the word which He commanded for a thousand generations,"69 although they are not a thousand. Moreover that he says, "and he cast him into the abyss," he says this, because the devil, excluded from the hearts of believers, began to take possession of the wicked, in whose hearts, blinded day by day, he is shut up as if in a profound abyss. And he shut him up, says he, and put a seal upon him, that he should not deceive the nations until the thousand years should be finished. "He shut the door upon him," it is said, that is, he forbade and restrained his seducing those who belong to Christ. Moreover, he put a seal upon him, because it is hidden who belong to the side of the devil, and who to that of Christ. Moreover, that he says that he is bound and shut up, that he may not seduce the nations, the nations signify the Church, seeing that of them it itself is formed"

    "this is the true priest of Christ, and accomplishing the millenary number thoroughly, is thought to reign with Christ; and truly in his case the devil is bound. But he who is entangled in the vices and the dogmas of heretics, in his case the devil is loosed. But that it says that when the thousand years are finished he is loosed, so the number of the perfect saints being completed"







    Ante Nicene Fathers (? to 325 AD)
    VIII, Chapter VI, "The Descent of Christ into Hell"

    "Thou wast nailed on the cross, and placed in the tomb; and now thou art free, and hast destroyed all our power. Art thou then the Jesus about whom the chief satrap Satan told us, that through cross and death thou art to inherit the whole world? Then the King of glory seized the chief satrap Satan by the head, and delivered him to His angels, and said: With iron chains bind his hands and his feet, and his neck, and his mouth. Then He delivered him to Hades, and said: Take him, and keep him secure till my second appearing."







    Tyconius, (330 - 390 AD)
    Commentary on Revelation, edited in English by Craig R. Koester

    "the church had already entered the millennium. Rev 20:2 said that the millennium would begin when Satan was "bound" and Matt 12:29 said that Christs exorcisms proved that he had already come to "bind" Satan and bring in the kingdom. By placing these texts together Tyconius concluded that the thousand-year kingdom began with the first advent of Christ. People entered this millennial kingdom through the "first resurrection" (Rev 20:4-6), which he identified with baptism; the second resurrection (20:11-13) would be the bodily resurrection at the end of time. The righteous and the unrighteous would exist side by side in the church even during this millennial period. Satan had been "bound" but would not be annihilated until the end."





    Aurelius Augustin, (354 - 430 AD)
    Bishop of Hippo, Psalm LXX, C.4

    "There came to pass also that which was consequent; kings believed, peace was given to the Church, the Church began to be set in the highest place of dignity, even on this earth, even in this life: but there is not wanting the roar of persecutors, they have turned their assaults into thoughts. In these thoughts, as in a bottomless pit, the devil hath been bound, he roareth and breaketh not forth. For it hath been said concerning these times of the Church, "The sinner shall see, and shall be angry."

    Aurelius Augustin, (354 - 430 AD)
    Bishop of Hippo, XX, C.7 & 8

    "The Lord Jesus Christ Himself says, "No man can enter into a strong man's house, and Spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man"32 -meaning by the strong man the devil, because he had power to take captive the human race; and meaning by his goods which he was to take, those who had been held by the devil in divers sins and iniquities, but were to become believers in Himself. It was then for the binding of this strong one that the apostle saw in the Apocalypse "an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he laid hold," he says, "on the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,"-that is, bridled and restrained his power so that he could not seduce and gain possession of those who were to be freed. that is, which had yet to expire before the end of the world-a thousand years; or he used the thousand years as an equivalent for the whole duration of this world, employing the number of perfection to mark the fullness of time. And for the same reason we cannot better interpret the words of the psalm, "He hath been mindful of His covenant for ever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations,"35 than by understanding it to mean "to all generations."

    "And he cast him into the abyss,"-i.e., cast the devil into the abyss. By the abyss is meant the countless multitude of the wicked whose hearts are unfathomably deep in malignity against the Church of God; not that the devil was not there before, but he is said to be cast in thither, because, when prevented from harming believers, he takes more complete possession of the ungodly. For that man is more abundantly possessed by the devil who is not only alienated from God, but also gratuitously hates those who serve God. "And shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled." "Shut him up,"-i.e., prohibited him from going out, from doing what was forbidden. And the addition of "set a seal upon him" seems to me to mean that it was designed to keep it a secret who belonged to the devil's party and who did not. But by the chain and prison-house of this interdict the devil is prohibited and restrained from seducing those nations which belong to Christ, butwhich he formerly seduced or held in subjection. For before the foundation of the world God chose to rescue these from the power of darkness, and to translate them into the kingdom of the Son of His love, as the apostle says.For it is as God, from whom nothing is hid even of things future, that the Lord knows them. The devil, then, is bound and shut up in the abyss that he may not seduce the nations from which the Church is gathered, and which he formerly seduced before the Church existed.

    "After that," says John, "he must be loosed a little season." If the binding and shutting up of the devil means his being made unable to seduce the Church, must his loosing be the recovery of this ability? By no means. For the Church predestined and elected before the foundation of the world, the Church of which it is said, "The Lord knoweth them that are His," shall never be seduced by him. And yet there shall be a Church in this world even when the devil shall be loosed, as there has been since the beginning, and shall be always, the places of the dying being filled by new believers. For a little after John says that the devil, being loosed, shall draw the nations whom he has seduced in the whole world to make war against the Church, and that the number of these enemies shall be as the sand of the sea. "And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. And the devil who seduced them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."39 This relates to the last judgment, but I have thought fit to mention it now, lest any one might suppose that in that short time during which the devil shall be loose there shall be no Church upon earth, whether because the devil finds no Church, or destroys it by manifold persecutions. The devil, then, is not bound during the whole time which this book embraces,-that is, from the first coming of Christ to the end of the world, when He shall come the second time,-not bound in this sense, that during this interval, which goes by the name of a thousand years, he shall not seduce the Church, for not even when loosed shall he seduce it. For certainly if his being bound means that he is not able or not permitted to seduce the Church, what can the loosing of him mean but his being able or permitted to do so? But God forbid that such should be the case! But the binding of the devil is his being prevented from the exercise of his whole power to seduce men, either by violently forcing or fraudulently deceiving them into taking part with him. "






    1000-1800 AD Church Fathers - On the Binding of Satan (Revelation 20)


    Pre 19th Century Church Fathers - On the Binding of Satan (Revelation 20)


    John Calvin (1509-1564)
    Harmony of the Evangelists

    "Christ is pursuing the subject, on which he had lately touched, about the kingdom of God, and declares it to be necessary that Satan be violently driven out, in order that God may establish his kingdom among men. "


    Commentary on Hebrews


    "the destruction of the devil, of which he speaks, imports this that he cannot prevail against us. For though the devil still lives, and constantly attempts our ruin, yet all his power to hurt us is destroyed or restrained. It is a great consolation to know that we have to do with an enemy who cannot prevail against us. That what is here said has been said with regard to us, we may gather from the next clause, that he might destroy him that had the power of death; for the apostle intimates that the devil was so far destroyed as he has power to reign to our ruin; for the power of death is ascribed to him from the effect, because it is destructive and brings death. He then teaches us not only that the tyranny of Satan was abolished by Christs death, but also that he himself was so laid prostrate, that no more account is to be made of him than as though he were not. He speaks of the devil according to the usual practice of Scripture, in the singular number, not because there is but one, but because they all form one community which cannot be supposed to be without a head."




    The 1599 Geneva Study Bible Commentary
    "The story of the dragon is twofold: First of the first victory, after which he was bound by Christ, to the sixth verse (Revelation 20:1-6). The second is of the last victory, by which he has thrown down into everlasting punishment, there to the fifteenth verse (Revelation 20:7-15). This first history happened in the first time of the Christian Church, when the dragon thrown down from heaven by Christ, went about to molest the new birth of the Church in the earth"




    Robert Bailie (1602-1662)
    The Dissvasive from the Errours of the Time, 1645
    "this makes Satan to be bound up only from seducing the Nations, that he should not be able as before the coming of Christ he was, to mislead the Nations of the whole world to Idolatry, a free door then being opened to the Gospel in every Nation for their conversion to the truth."





    Matthew Henry (1662-1714)
    Commentary on Revelation

    "A prophecy of the binding of Satan for a certain term of time, in which he should have much less power and the church much more peace than before. The power of Satan was broken in part by the setting up of the gospel kingdom in the world; it was further reduced by the empires becoming Christian; He laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan. Neither the strength of the dragon, nor the subtlety of the serpent, was sufficient to rescue him out of the hands of Christ; he caught hold, and kept his hold. And, (2.) He cast him into the bottomless pit, cast him down with force, and with a just vengeance, to his own place and prison, from which he had been permitted to break out, and disturb the churches, and deceive the nations; now he is brought back to that prison, and there laid in chains. (3.) He is shut up, and a seal set upon him. Christ shuts, and none can open; he shuts by his power, seals by his authority; and his lock and seal even the devils themselves cannot break open. (4.) We have the term of this confinement of Satan a thousand years, after which he was to be loosed again for a little season. The church should have a considerable time of peace and prosperity, but all her trials were not yet over. II. An account of the reign of the saints for the same space of time in which Satan continued bound"







    John Gill (1697-1771)
    Exposition of the Bible

    "And bound him a thousand years, with the great chain he had in his hand: the devil is in chains now, is under the power of divine Providence, and can do nothing without divine permission; but this chain is long, and he appears oftentimes to have great liberty, and ranges about the air and earth, and does much mischief; but now he will be so bound by the power of Christ over him, that he will not be able to stir hand or foot, to disturb the saints, or deceive the nations, whether with false worship, and false doctrine, or by stirring them up to persecute the saints."






    Adam Clarke (1768-1832)
    Commentary on Revelation 20

    "what is said Revelation 20 ver. 3-5, no doubt refers to a time in which the influence of Satan will be greatly restrained, and the true Church of God enjoy great prosperity, which shall endure for a long time. But it is not likely that the number, a thousand years, is to be taken literally here, and year symbolically and figuratively in all the book beside. He should deceive the nations no more] Be unable to blind men with superstition and idolatry as he had formerly done. I am satisfied that this period should not be taken literally. It may signify that there shall be a long and undisturbed state of Christianity; and so universally shall the Gospel spirit prevail"





    Jamison, Fausett and Brown (1871)
    "As yet, Satan and his demons roam at large on the earth. An earnest of their sure doom; is their having been cast out of heaven, being already restricted to the darkness of this world the air that surrounds the earth, their peculiar element now. And continues, they are not literal chains and darkness, but figurative in this present world, where, restricted powers and liberties, shut out from heaven, they like condemned prisoners await their doom."


    Here are more:

    The Shepherd of Hermas (written in 88-99 AD)

    "Fear not the devil; for, fearing the Lord, you will have dominion over the devil, for there is no power in him. But he in whom there is no power ought on no account to be an object of fear; but He in whom there is glorious power is truly to be feared. For every one that has power ought to be feared; but he who has not power is despised by all."

    (Seventh Commandment, On Fearing God, And Not Fearing the Devil).

    fear not the devil, for there is no power in him against you. For I will be with you, I, the angel of repentance, who have the mastery over him”

    (Vision 5, Mandate 12 4[47]:6-7).

    ye shall have power to master the works of the devil. But of the threatening of the devil fear not at all; for he is unstrung, like the sinews of a dead man”

    (6[49]:2).

    Ignatius of Antioch (A.D. 98-117).

    For the cross of Christ was the beginning of his condemnation the beginning of his death, the beginning of his destruction

    (Epistle of Ignatius to the Philippians, Chapter 4: The Malignity and Folly of Satan).

    Through thine appetite was thou overcome, and through thy vainglory wast thou brought to dishonour: through avarice and ambition dost thou [now] draw on [others] to ungodliness. Thou, O Belial, dragon, apostate, crooked serpent, rebel against God, outcast from Christ”

    (Epistle of Ignatius to the Philippians, Chapter 11: Continuation: Audacity of Satan).

    “A star shone forth in heaven above all that were before it, and its light was inexpressible, while its novelty struck men with astonishment. And all the rest of the stars, with the sun and moon, formed a chorus to this star. It far exceeded them all in brightness, and agitation was felt as to whence this new spectacle [proceeded]. Hence worldly wisdom became folly; conjuration was seen to be mere trifling; and magic became utterly ridiculous. Every law of wickedness vanished away; the darkness of ignorance was dispersed; and tyrannical authority was destroyed, God being manifested as a man, and man displaying power as God”

    (Letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 19 - Three celebrated mysteries).

    Barnabus (A.D. 70-120)

    “The final stumbling-block (or source of danger) approaches, concerning which it is written, as Enoch says, For this end the Lord has cut short the times and the days, that His Beloved may hasten; and He will come to the inheritance.”

    (Chapter IV – Antichrist is at Hand: Let Us Therefore Avoid Jewish Errors).

    For the day is at hand on which all things shall perish with the evil [one]. The Lord is near, and His reward”

    (Chapter XXI – Conclusion).

    The Ascension of Isaiah (late 1st century AD to 2nd half of the 2nd century AD)

    “the Lord will come with His angels and with the armies of the holy ones from the seventh heaven with the glory of the seventh heaven, and He will drag Beliar into Gehenna and also his armies.”

    (Chapter 4:14).

    Justin Martyr (AD 100-166)

    “the serpent that sinned from the beginning, and the angels like him, may be destroyed, and that death may be contemned, and for ever quit, at the second coming of the Christ Himself

    (Chapter XLV).

    “For the prophets have proclaimed two advents of His: the one, that which is already past, when He came as a dishonoured and suffering Man; but the second, when, according to prophecy, He shall come from heaven with glory, accompanied by His angelic host, when also He shall raise the bodies of all men who have lived, and shall clothe those of the worthy with immortality, and shall send those of the wicked, endued with eternal sensibility, into everlasting fire with the wicked devils.”

    (Chapter LII).

    Ireneus (AD 150)

    “the Lord showed Himself under every aspect and truly to be the strong man, saying that one can in no other way "spoil the goods of a strong man, if he do not first bind the strong man himself, and then he will spoil his house." … For he was not strong, as opposed to Him who bound him, and spoiled his house”

    (Book 3, C.VIII)

    “waging war against our enemy, and crushing him who had at the beginning led us away captives in Adam, and trampled upon his headthe enemy would not have been fairly vanquished, unless it had been a man [born] of a woman who conquered him.”

    (Chapter XXI. 1)

    “the Lord did perform His command, being made of a woman, by both destroying our adversary, and perfecting man after the image and likeness of God.”

    (Chapter XXI. 2)

    “By means of the second man did He bind the strong man, and spoiled his goods, and abolished death, vivifying that man who had been in a state of death. For at the first Adam became a vessel in his (Satan's) possession, whom he did also hold under his power, that is, by bringing sin on him iniquitously, and under colour of immortality entailing death upon him. For, while promising that they should be as gods, which was in no way possible for him to be, he wrought death in them: wherefore he who had led man captive, was justly captured in his turn by God; but man, who had been led captive, was loosed from the bonds of condemnation.”

    (Against Heresies Book 3, Chapter XXIII: 1)

    He should bind "the dragon, that old serpent" and subject him to the power of man, who had been conquered so that all his might should be trodden down. Now Adam had been conquered, all life having been taken away from him: wherefore, when the foe was conquered in his turn, Adam received new life.”

    (Against Heresies Book 3, Chapter XXIII: 7)

    “He has therefore, in His work of recapitulation, summed up all things, both waging war against our enemy, and crushing him who had at the beginning led us away captives in Adam, and trampled upon his head.”

    (Against Heresies Book V, Chapter XXI 1)

    “the law does indeed declare the Word of God from the Father; and the apostate angel of God is destroyed by its voice, being exposed in his true colours, and vanquished by the Son of man keeping the commandment of God. For as in the beginning he enticed man to transgress his Maker's law, and thereby got him into his power; yet his power consists in transgression and apostasy, and with these he bound man [to himself]; so again, on the other hand, it was necessary that through man himself he should, when conquered, be bound with the same chains with which he had bound man, in order that man, being set free, might return to his Lord, leaving to him (Satan) those bonds by which he himself had been fettered, that is, sin. For when Satan is bound, man is set free; since "none can enter a strong man's house and spoil his goods, unless he first bind the strong man himself."

    “the Word bound him securely as a fugitive from Himself, and made spoil of his goods – namely, those men whom he held in bondage, and whom he unjustly used for his own purposes. And justly indeed is he led captive, who had led men unjustly into bondage; while man, who had been led captive in times past, was rescued from the grasp of his possessor, according to the tender mercy of God the Father, who had compassion on His own handiwork, and gave to it salvation, restoring it by means of the Word-that is, by Christ."

    (Against Heresies Book V, Chapter XXI 3)
    "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

    http://www.evangelicaltruth.com/

    WPM

  6. #6

    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    Claudius Apollinaris, Bishop of Hierapolis (2nd century)

    “The fourteenth day, the true Passover of the Lord; the great sacrifice, the Son of God instead of the lamb, who was bound, who bound the strong,

    Melito of Sardis (d. c. 180)

    “The Lord, though he was God, became man. He suffered for the sake of those who suffer, he was bound for those in bonds, condemned for the guilty, buried for those who lie in the grave; but he rose from the dead, and cried aloud: Who will contend with me? Let him confront me. I have freed the condemned, brought the dead back to life, raised men from their graves. Who has anything to say against me? I, he said am the Christ; I have destroyed death, triumphed over the enemy, trampled hell underfoot, bound the strong one, and taken men up to the heights of heaven: I am the Christ.”

    (On the Passover, III, The Final Triumph of Christ).

    “our Lord arose from the place of the dead, and trampled death under foot, and bound the strong one, and set man free.”

    (Volume II: From the Discourse on Soul and Body).

    Letter from Vienna and Lyons (AD177-AD178)

    “For with all his strength did the adversary assail us, even then giving a foretaste of his activity among us which is to be without restraint.”

    (V.1.5).

    Hippolytus of Rome (AD 170 – 236)

    “Whomsoever, therefore, Satan bound in chains, these did the Lord on His coming loose from the bonds of death, having bound our strong adversary.”

    (Commentary of Daniel, II. 18).

    “’Until the Ancient of days come’. That is, when at length the Judge of judges and the King of kings comes from heaven, who shall subvert the whole dominion and power of the adversary, and shall consume all with the eternal fire of punishment.”

    (Fragments on Daniel: Chap. VII.22).

    The Gospel of Nicodemus (or Acts of Pilate) (150-255 AD)

    “And the King of glory came in in the form of a man, and all the dark places of Hades were lighted up. Immediately Hades cried out: We have been conquered: woe to us! But who art thou, that hast such power and might? and what art thou, who comest here without sin who art seen to be small and yet of great power, lowly and exalted, the slave and the master, the soldier and the king, who hast power over the dead and the living? Thou wast nailed on the cross, and placed in the tomb; and now thou art free, and hast destroyed all our power. Art thou then the Jesus about whom the chief satrap Satan told us, that through cross and death thou art to inherit the whole world? Then the King of glory seized the chief satrap Satan by the head, and delivered him to His angels, and said: With iron chains bind his hands and his feet, and his neck, and his mouth. Then He delivered him to Hades, and said: Take him, and keep him secure till my second appearing…”

    (Part II Chapter 5: 21)

    “And, behold, suddenly Hades trembled, and the gates of death and the bolts were shattered, and the iron bars were broken and fell to the ground, and everything was laid open. And Satan remained in the midst, and stood confounded and downcast, bound with fetters on his feet. And, behold, the Lord Jesus Christ, coming in the brightness of light from on high, compassionate, great, and lowly, carrying a chain in His hand, bound Satan by the neck; and again tying his hands behind him, dashed him on his back into Tartarus, and placed His holy foot on his throat, saying: Through all ages thou hast done many evils; thou hast not in any wise rested. To-day I deliver thee to everlasting fire. And Hades being suddenly summoned, He commanded him, and said: Take this most wicked and impious one, and have him in thy keeping even to that day in which I shall command thee. And he, as soon as he received him, was plunged under the feet of the Lord along with him into the depth of the abyss.”

    (Part II Chapter 8 24)

    Odes of Solomon (middle of the 2nd century)


    Jesus speaking of His Father’s help:

    “He who caused me to descend from on high, and to ascend from the regions below;
    And He who gathers what is in the Middle, and throws them to me;
    He who scattered my enemies, and my adversaries;
    He who gave me authority over bonds, so that I might unbind them;
    He who overthrew by my hands the dragon with seven heads, and set me at his roots that I might destroy his seed;
    You were there and helped me, and in every place Your name surrounded me.
    Your right hand destroyed his evil venom, and Your hand leveled the Way for those who believe in You.”

    (Ode 22 Translation by James Charlesworth).

    Origen (185-254)

    “Matthew 12:29: “how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.”

    “First therefore he bound him at the cross, and thus he has entered his house, that is, Hades (infernum), and from there “ascending on high, he led captivity captive,” those certainly who with himself are co-resurrected and have entered the holy city, heavenly Jerusalem.”

    (Commentary of Romans V 10).

    “That water which is below, that is, the water of the abyss in which darkness is said to be, which “the prince of this world" and the adversary, "the dragon and his angels” inhabit.”

    (Homily on Genesis).

    “And there is nothing absurd in a man having died, and in His death being not only an example of death endured for the sake of piety, but also the first blow in the conflict which is to overthrow the power of that evil spirit the devil, who had obtained dominion over the whole world. For we have signs and pledges of the destruction of his empire, in those who through the coming of Christ are everywhere escaping from the power of demons, and who, after their deliverance from this bondage in which they were held, consecrate themselves to God, and earnestly devote themselves day by day to advancement in a life of piety

    (VII, Chapter 17).

    Acts of Thomas (200-225 AD)

    “Jesus Christ, Son of compassion and perfect saviour, Christ, Son of the living God, the undaunted power that hast overthrown the enemy, and the voice that was heard of the rulers, and made all their powers to quake.”

    Gregory Thaumaturgus (213 AD - 270-275 AD)

    “If any one believes not that death is abolished, that Hades is trodden under foot, that the chains thereof are broken, that the tyrant is bound, let him look on the martyrs disporting themselves in the presence of death, and taking up the jubilant strain of the victory ofChrist. O the marvel! Since the hour when Christ despoiled Hades, men have danced in triumph over death. O death, where is your sting! O grave, where is your victory? Hades and the devil have been despoiled, and stripped of their ancient armour, and cast out of their peculiar power. And even as Goliath had his head cut off with his own sword, so also is the devil, who has been the father of death, put to rout through death; and he finds that the selfsame thing which he was wont to use as the ready weapon of his deceit, has become the mighty instrument of his own destruction.”

    (On All the Saints)

    Antony (c. 251–356)

    though speaking words so many and so great in his boldness, without
    doubt, like a dragon he was drawn with a hook by the Saviour, and as a beast of burden he received the halter round his nostrils, and as a runaway his nostrils were bound with a ring, and his lips bored with an armlet. And he was bound by the Lord as a sparrow, that we should mock him. And with him are placed the demons his fellows, like serpents and scorpions to be trodden underfoot by us Christians.”

    (Life of St. Anthony by Athanasius (24) - His address to monks, rendered from Coptic, exhorting them to perseverance, and encouraging them against the wiles of Satan).

    Caius (17 December, AD 283 to 22 April, AD 296)

    Satan is bound here, according to that which is written, that Christ went up into the strong man's house and bound him, and spoiled his goods for us.”

    (In the Syriac of Dionysius bar Salibi’s Commentary on the Apocalypse we have an account of Hippolytus renouncing Caius).

    Ephrem of Syria (306-373 AD)

    “Our King living has gone forth and gone up, out of Hell, as Conqueror.”

    (Hymn 36:18).

    “The party of the demons lo! It is spoiled; the party of the devils endures stripes: though there be none that lifts the rod openly, thedemons cry out with pain; though there be none that fetters and binds, the spirits hang bound.”

    (Hymn 42:8).

    “Glory to You Who by Your crucifixion, conquered the Evil One: and by Your resurrection gain victory, likewise over Death!”

    (Hymn 58:2).

    “there is not other which remains, except the advent of the wicked one in the completion of the Roman kingdom.”

    (On the Last Times, the Antichrist and the End of the World, Section 2).

    “Christ shall come and the enemy shall be thrown into confusion, and the Lord shall destroy him by the spirit of his mouth. And he shall be bound and shall be plunged into the abyss of everlasting fire alive with his father Satan; and all people, who do his wishes, shall perish with him forever; but the righteous ones shall inherit everlasting life with the Lord forever and ever.”

    (Section 10).

    Methodius of Olympus (died 311 AD)

    “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord: God against the devil; not manifestly in His might, which cannot be looked on, but in the weakness of the flesh, to bind the strong man that is against us. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord: the King against the tyrant; not with omnipotent power and wisdom, but with that which is accounted the foolishness of the cross, which hath reft his spoils from the serpent who is wise in wickedness."

    (Oration on the Psalms, VI.).

    Alexander (Bishop from 313, died 326 or 328)

    “For when our Lord was suffering upon the
    cross, the tombs were burst open, the infernal region was disclosed, the souls leapt forth, the dead returned to life, and many of them were seen in Jerusalem, while the mystery of the cross was being perfected; what time our Lord trampled upon death, dissolved the enmity, bound the strong man, and raised the trophy of the cross.”

    (5. On the Soul and Body and the Passion of the Lord chapter 6).

    “When our Lord rose from death and trampled it down, when He bound the strong man and set man free.”

    (6. The Addition in the Codex, with a Various Reading).

    Constitutions of the Holy Apostles (before A.D. 325)


    “Then shall the Lord come, and all the saints with Him, with a great concussion above the clouds, with the angels of His power, in the throne of His kingdom, to condemn the devil, the deceiver of the world, and to render to every one according to his deeds. “Then shall the wicked go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous shall go into life eternal”

    (Book VII, XXXII).
    "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

    http://www.evangelicaltruth.com/

    WPM

  7. #7

    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    Basil the Great (AD 329-379)

    For He Himself has bound the strong man and spoiled his goods, that is, us men, whom our enemy had abused in every evil activity, and made vessels meet for the Master's use us who have been perfected for every work through the making ready of that part of us which is in our own control. Thus we have had our approach to the Father through Him, being translated from the power of darkness to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”

    (De Spiritu Sancto - Chapter 8:18).

    Cyril (313–386 AD)

    “According to Job, there was in the waters the dragon that draws up Jordan into his mouth. Since, therefore, it was necessary to break the heads of the dragon in pieces, He went down and bound the strong one in the waters, that we might receive power to tread upon serpents and scorpions.”

    (On Repentance and Remission of Sins, and Concerning the Adversary).

    Jerome (331-420 AD)

    “Those years wherein Satan is bound are in the first advent of Christ, even to the end of the age; … that he says, and he cast him into the abyss, he says this, because the devil, excluded from the hearts of believers, began to take possession of the wicked, in whose hearts, blinded day by day, he is shut up as if in a profound abyss. And he shut him up, says he, and put a seal upon him, that he should not deceive the nations until the thousand years should be finished. He shut the door upon him, it is said, that is, he forbade and restrained his seducing those who belong to Christ.

    “he is bound and shut up, that he may not seduce the
    nations, the nations signify the Church, seeing that of them it itself is formed, and which being seduced, he previously held until, he says, the thousand years should be completed, that is, what is left of the sixth day, to wit, of the sixth age, which subsists for a thousand years; after this he must be loosed for a little season.”

    The commentary of Victorinus is decidedly Amillennialist. However, it is believed that he may have been responsible for this portion found in his commentary, at least not responsible for the way it is in it's present form. It is understood that Jerome indicates that he had corrected the millennialist errors of Victorinus and had added his own comments. CSEL 49:14-15. Most accept this commentary as early and authentic, regardless of which early father wrote it. It is worth presenting this early manuscript as it expresses a common view among the early fathers – both Amil and Chiliast.

    Aurelius Prudentius Clemens (
    Tarraconensis) (348-413AD)

    “The serpent saw the sacred body offered in sacrifice, saw, and straightway lost the venom of his inflamed gall; smitten he was with sore distress, his hissing throat shattered. What has it booted thee, thou wicked serpent, when the world was new, to have brought the first-created man to ruin with thy crafty incitement?”

    (The Daily Round IX)

    “Now we see the Serpent lewd
    'Neath the woman's heel downtrod:
    Whence there sprang the deadly feud,
    Strife for ages unsubdued,
    'Twixt mankind and foe of God.


    Robbed sin's poison of its bane,
    And the Snake, his green coils lowered,
    Writhing on the sod, outpoured
    Harmless now his venom's stain.”


    (Hymn before Meat)

    “That all-devouring Dragon,
    With blood of martyrs red,
    On whose abhorrèd power
    John's solemn curse is laid.


    And thus the proud usurper
    Of His high name is cast
    By Him, the true Christ, vanquished
    To deepest hell at last.”


    (Hymn Before Sleep)

    “Christwill set forth all the uproar that the devil raised with his last breath while he was being subdued, a bane grown worse than ever in his latest frenzy. Just so a serpent wounded by stroke of spear-point bites back at the steel and keeps on shaking it in the grip of its teeth, growing more savage with the pain, but the lance has pierced too deeply and stays fast, unconscious of the futile danger of the bites.”

    (Crowns of Martyrdom, X)

    Theodore (350 – 428)

    “This resurrection is the end of all the Economy of Christ and the principal object of all the reforms wrought by Him, as it is through it that death was abolished, corruption destroyed, passions extinguished, mutability removed, the inordinate emotions of sin consumed,the power of Satan overthrown, the urge of demons brought to nought and the affliction resulting from the law wiped out. An immortal and immutable life reigns by which all the above evils are abolished and destroyed, and it was through them that the demons entered to fight against us

    (Commentary on the Nicene Creed: Chapter VII).

    Augustine (354-430 AD)

    “In this redemption, the blood of
    Christ was given, as it were, as a price for us, by accepting which the devil was not enriched, but bound: that we might be loosened from his bonds.”

    (On the Trinity - Book XIII: Chapter 15)

    “as in a bottomless pit, the devil hath been bound, he roareth and breaketh not forth. For it hath been said concerning these times of the Church, "The sinner shall see, and shall be angry.”

    (Psalm LXX, Chapter 4)

    ”The Lord
    Jesus Christ Himself says, No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man — meaning by the strong man the devil, because he had power to take captive the human race; and meaning by his goods which he was to take, those who had been held by the devil in various sins and iniquities, but were to become believers in Himself. It was then for the binding of this strong one that the apostle saw here.”

    “By the chain and prison-house of this interdict the
    devil is prohibited and restrained from seducing those nations which belong to Christ, but which he formerly seduced or held in subjection.

    “The
    devil, then, is bound and shut up in the abyss that he may not seduce the nations from which the Church is gathered, and which he formerly seduced before the Churchexisted. For it is not said that he should not seduce any man, but that he should not seduce the nations— meaning, no doubt, those among which the Church exists— till the thousand years should be fulfilled,— i.e., either what remains of the sixth day which consists of a thousand years, or all the years which are to elapse till the end of the world.”

    (The City of God, Book 20).

    “Now the
    devil was thus bound not only when the Church began to be more and more widely extended among the nations beyond Judea, but is now and shall be bound till the end of the world, when he is to be loosed. Because even now men are, and doubtless to the end of the world shall be, converted to the faith from the unbelief in which he held them. And this strong one is bound in each instance in which he is spoiled of one of his goods; and the abyss in which he is shut up is not at an end when those die who were alive when first he was shut up in it.”

    (Chapter 7& 8 – Of the Binding and Loosing of the Devil).

    “But while the devil is bound, the saints reign with Christ during the same thousand years, understood in the same way, that is, of the time of His first coming. For, leaving out of account that kingdom concerning which He shall say in the end, Come, you blessed of my Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you,
    the Church could not now be called His kingdom or the kingdom of heavenunless His saints were even now reigning with Him, though in another and far different way; for to His saints He says, Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”

    (Chapter 9: What the Reign of the Saints with Christ for a Thousand Years Is, and How It Differs from the Eternal Kingdom).

    “After this mention of the closing persecution, he summarily indicates all that the devil, and the city of which he is the prince, shall suffer in the last judgment. For he says, “And the devil who seduced them is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, in which are the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

    (The City of God, Book 20, Chapter 14)
    "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

    http://www.evangelicaltruth.com/

    WPM

  8. #8
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    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    First off, thanks David for the great resource here.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Taylor View Post

    Irenaeus, (130-200 AD)
    Bishop of Lyons, Book 3, C.VIII

    "when He spoke of the devil as strong, not absolutely so, but as in comparison with us, the Lord showed Himself under every aspect and truly to be the strong man, saying that one can in no other way "spoil the goods of a strong man, if he do not first bind the strong man himself, and then he will spoil his house." Now we were the vessels and the house of this [strong man] when we were in a state of apostasy; for he put us to whatever use he pleased, and the unclean spirit dwelt within us. For he was not strong, as opposed to Him who bound him, and spoiled his house; If, then, he had not pointed out Him who binds and spoils his goods, but had merely spoken of him as being strong, the strong man should have been unconquered."

    Nothing here about the abyss... merely speaking of binding the strongman, which I have no disagreement with.

    Irenaeus, (130- 200 AD)
    Bishop of Lyons, Book 3, C.XX1

    "and the apostate angel of God is destroyed by its voice, being exposed in his true colours, and vanquished by the Son of man keeping the commandment of God. For as in the beginning he enticed man to transgress his Maker's law, and thereby got him into his power; yet his power consists in transgression and apostasy, and with these he bound man [to himself]; so again, on the other hand, it was necessary that through man himself he should, when conquered, be bound with the same chains with which he had bound man, in order that man, being set free, might return to his Lord, leaving to him (Satan) those bonds by which he himself had been fettered, that is, sin. For when Satan is bound, man is set free; since "none can enter a strong man's house and spoil his goods, unless he first bind the strong man himself." The Lord therefore exposes him as speaking contrary to the word of that God who made all things, and subdues him by means of the commandment. After [the Man had done this], the Word bound him securely as a fugitive from Himself, and made spoil of his goods,-namely, those men whom he held in bondage, and whom he unjustly used for his own purposes. And justly indeed is he led captive, who had led men unjustly into bondage; while man, who had been led captive in times past, was rescued from the grasp of his possessor, according to the tender mercy of God the Father"
    Nothing here about the abyss... merely speaking of man being set free. Again, I have no disagreement with this.


    Anonymous, Acta Pilati, (150-255 AD)
    Chapter 7 & 8

    "And again there came the voice of the Son of the Father most high, as it were the voice of a great thunder, saying: Lift up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates, and the King of glory will come in. Then Satan and Hades cried out, saying: Who is the king of glory? And it was answered to them in the voice of the Lord: The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

    Then holy David, inflamed with anger against Satan, cried out aloud: Open thy gates, most vile wretch, that the King of glory may come in. In like manner also all the saints of God rose up against Satan, and would have seized him, and divided him among them. And again a cry was heard within: Lift up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates; and the King of glory shall come in. Hades and Satan, at that clear voice, again asked, saying: Who is this king of glory? And it was said to them by that wonderful voice: The Lord of powers, He is the King of glory.

    Chap. 8 (24).--And, behold, suddenly Hades trembled, and the gates of death and the bolts were shattered, and the iron bars were broken and fell to the ground, and everything was laid open. And Satan remained in the midst, and stood confounded and downcast, bound with fetters on his feet. And, behold, the Lord Jesus Christ, coming in the brightness of light from on high, compassionate, great, and lowly, carrying a chain in His hand, bound Satan by the neck; and again tying his hands behind him, dashed him on his back into Tartarus, and placed His holy foot on his throat, saying: Through all ages thou hast done many evils; thou hast not in any wise rested. To-day I deliver thee to everlasting fire. And Hades being suddenly summoned, He commanded him, and said: Take this most wicked and impious one, and have him in thy keeping even to that day in which I shall command thee. And he, as soon as he received him, was plunged under the feet of the Lord along with him into the depth of the abyss. "
    This is quite the extra-Biblical theatric narrative. I'm not sure who could put any stock in this one way or the other.


    Victorinus of Petau, (270 - 303 AD)
    Commentary on the Apocalypse of the blessed John

    "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he held the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and cast him into the abyss, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be finished: after this he must be loosed a little season." Those years wherein Satan is bound are in the first advent of Christ, even to the end of the age; and they are called a thousand, according to that mode of speaking, wherein a part is signified by the whole, just as is that passage, "the word which He commanded for a thousand generations,"69 although they are not a thousand. Moreover that he says, "and he cast him into the abyss," he says this, because the devil, excluded from the hearts of believers, began to take possession of the wicked, in whose hearts, blinded day by day, he is shut up as if in a profound abyss. And he shut him up, says he, and put a seal upon him, that he should not deceive the nations until the thousand years should be finished. "He shut the door upon him," it is said, that is, he forbade and restrained his seducing those who belong to Christ. Moreover, he put a seal upon him, because it is hidden who belong to the side of the devil, and who to that of Christ. Moreover, that he says that he is bound and shut up, that he may not seduce the nations, the nations signify the Church, seeing that of them it itself is formed"

    "this is the true priest of Christ, and accomplishing the millenary number thoroughly, is thought to reign with Christ; and truly in his case the devil is bound. But he who is entangled in the vices and the dogmas of heretics, in his case the devil is loosed. But that it says that when the thousand years are finished he is loosed, so the number of the perfect saints being completed"
    This one supports your view.


    Ante Nicene Fathers (? to 325 AD)
    VIII, Chapter VI, "The Descent of Christ into Hell"

    "Thou wast nailed on the cross, and placed in the tomb; and now thou art free, and hast destroyed all our power. Art thou then the Jesus about whom the chief satrap Satan told us, that through cross and death thou art to inherit the whole world? Then the King of glory seized the chief satrap Satan by the head, and delivered him to His angels, and said: With iron chains bind his hands and his feet, and his neck, and his mouth. Then He delivered him to Hades, and said: Take him, and keep him secure till my second appearing."
    unBiblical, as Satan is NOT in Hades.


    Tyconius, (330 - 390 AD)
    Commentary on Revelation, edited in English by Craig R. Koester

    "the church had already entered the millennium. Rev 20:2 said that the millennium would begin when Satan was "bound" and Matt 12:29 said that Christs exorcisms proved that he had already come to "bind" Satan and bring in the kingdom. By placing these texts together Tyconius concluded that the thousand-year kingdom began with the first advent of Christ. People entered this millennial kingdom through the "first resurrection" (Rev 20:4-6), which he identified with baptism; the second resurrection (20:11-13) would be the bodily resurrection at the end of time. The righteous and the unrighteous would exist side by side in the church even during this millennial period. Satan had been "bound" but would not be annihilated until the end."
    This quote is very vague about Satan's binding and what it means. It does however, support the church age millennium.

    Aurelius Augustin, (354 - 430 AD)
    Bishop of Hippo, Psalm LXX, C.4

    "There came to pass also that which was consequent; kings believed, peace was given to the Church, the Church began to be set in the highest place of dignity, even on this earth, even in this life: but there is not wanting the roar of persecutors, they have turned their assaults into thoughts. In these thoughts, as in a bottomless pit, the devil hath been bound, he roareth and breaketh not forth. For it hath been said concerning these times of the Church, "The sinner shall see, and shall be angry."
    States Satan has been bound in the bottomless pit, but almost poetically.

    Aurelius Augustin, (354 - 430 AD)
    Bishop of Hippo, XX, C.7 & 8

    "The Lord Jesus Christ Himself says, "No man can enter into a strong man's house, and Spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man"32 -meaning by the strong man the devil, because he had power to take captive the human race; and meaning by his goods which he was to take, those who had been held by the devil in divers sins and iniquities, but were to become believers in Himself. It was then for the binding of this strong one that the apostle saw in the Apocalypse "an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he laid hold," he says, "on the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,"-that is, bridled and restrained his power so that he could not seduce and gain possession of those who were to be freed. that is, which had yet to expire before the end of the world-a thousand years; or he used the thousand years as an equivalent for the whole duration of this world, employing the number of perfection to mark the fullness of time. And for the same reason we cannot better interpret the words of the psalm, "He hath been mindful of His covenant for ever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations,"35 than by understanding it to mean "to all generations."

    "And he cast him into the abyss,"-i.e., cast the devil into the abyss. By the abyss is meant the countless multitude of the wicked whose hearts are unfathomably deep in malignity against the Church of God; not that the devil was not there before, but he is said to be cast in thither, because, when prevented from harming believers, he takes more complete possession of the ungodly. For that man is more abundantly possessed by the devil who is not only alienated from God, but also gratuitously hates those who serve God. "And shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled." "Shut him up,"-i.e., prohibited him from going out, from doing what was forbidden. And the addition of "set a seal upon him" seems to me to mean that it was designed to keep it a secret who belonged to the devil's party and who did not. But by the chain and prison-house of this interdict the devil is prohibited and restrained from seducing those nations which belong to Christ, butwhich he formerly seduced or held in subjection. For before the foundation of the world God chose to rescue these from the power of darkness, and to translate them into the kingdom of the Son of His love, as the apostle says.For it is as God, from whom nothing is hid even of things future, that the Lord knows them. The devil, then, is bound and shut up in the abyss that he may not seduce the nations from which the Church is gathered, and which he formerly seduced before the Church existed.

    "After that," says John, "he must be loosed a little season." If the binding and shutting up of the devil means his being made unable to seduce the Church, must his loosing be the recovery of this ability? By no means. For the Church predestined and elected before the foundation of the world, the Church of which it is said, "The Lord knoweth them that are His," shall never be seduced by him. And yet there shall be a Church in this world even when the devil shall be loosed, as there has been since the beginning, and shall be always, the places of the dying being filled by new believers. For a little after John says that the devil, being loosed, shall draw the nations whom he has seduced in the whole world to make war against the Church, and that the number of these enemies shall be as the sand of the sea. "And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. And the devil who seduced them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."39 This relates to the last judgment, but I have thought fit to mention it now, lest any one might suppose that in that short time during which the devil shall be loose there shall be no Church upon earth, whether because the devil finds no Church, or destroys it by manifold persecutions. The devil, then, is not bound during the whole time which this book embraces,-that is, from the first coming of Christ to the end of the world, when He shall come the second time,-not bound in this sense, that during this interval, which goes by the name of a thousand years, he shall not seduce the Church, for not even when loosed shall he seduce it. For certainly if his being bound means that he is not able or not permitted to seduce the Church, what can the loosing of him mean but his being able or permitted to do so? But God forbid that such should be the case! But the binding of the devil is his being prevented from the exercise of his whole power to seduce men, either by violently forcing or fraudulently deceiving them into taking part with him. "
    He claims that the abyss is the hearts of wicked men... "By the abyss is meant the countless multitude of the wicked whose hearts are unfathomably deep in malignity against the Church of God." That's taking a lot of liberty with the Word of God.



    Quote Originally Posted by Diggindeeper View Post
    I am impressed with this evidence coming straight from the pens of the Early Church Fathers, beginning at the 1st century, and so soon after the death and resurrection of Christ. I plan to keep this for future reference...
    I'm impressed too Judy, but it's not "evidence." Only the Word of God is evidence. These are just men's opinions.

  9. #9
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    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    It is evidence of what was taught very early in Church history!

    These were not mere, ordinary men offering their opinions. These men were well taught, well studied and continued the teachings they had been taught from those who walked with Christ, in the beginning of the church. In those times, not everyone could even read and write. The things they penned is nothing near what is commonly taught by ordinary men today.
    My favorite scripture: Malachi 3:16

    "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name!" (Every time we speak of the Lord, or even THINK of him--its written down in a book of remembrance!)

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    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggindeeper View Post
    It is evidence of what was taught very early in Church history!

    These were not mere, ordinary men offering their opinions. These men were well taught, well studied and continued the teachings they had been taught from those who walked with Christ, in the beginning of the church. In those times, not everyone could even read and write. The things they penned is nothing near what is commonly taught by ordinary men today.
    Yes, evidence that it was taught, but not that it's true. I will disagree, they were in fact ordinary men. In my readings of the ECFs, I have seen some pretty strange ideas (present topic excluded).

  11. #11

    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    Quote Originally Posted by ChangedByHim View Post
    Yes, evidence that it was taught, but not that it's true. I will disagree, they were in fact ordinary men. In my readings of the ECFs, I have seen some pretty strange ideas (present topic excluded).
    I totally understand what you are saying. Some of them are potent, some are awful, just like today. I do not attribute that strictly to the millennial issue. You have to take each on their own merits, just like today.
    "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

    http://www.evangelicaltruth.com/

    WPM

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    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    Quote Originally Posted by wpm View Post
    I totally understand what you are saying. Some of them are potent, some are awful, just like today. I do not attribute that strictly to the millennial issue. You have to take each on their own merits, just like today.
    Amen brother.

  13. #13

    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    As many of them claim Satan is bound from deceiving I then reply:

    "8 Be sober, be vigilant; because[a] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
    Which is said after Christs resurrection.

    As some claim the millennium is now I ask:

    Where then is our camp of the saints ready to be surrounded when Satan is loosed?
    What then is our beloved city?
    Why does the beast prevail against the saints? To trample them?
    Yet the deceived at the end of the thousand years don't?

    Still apparent early writings are interesting, they way they wrote is fascinating to me.

  14. #14

    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsAllLinked View Post
    As many of them claim Satan is bound from deceiving I then reply:

    "8 Be sober, be vigilant; because[a] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
    Which is said after Christs resurrection.

    As some claim the millennium is now I ask:

    Where then is our camp of the saints ready to be surrounded when Satan is loosed?
    What then is our beloved city?
    Why does the beast prevail against the saints? To trample them?
    Yet the deceived at the end of the thousand years don't?

    Still apparent early writings are interesting, they way they wrote is fascinating to me.
    When did they teach about this?
    "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

    http://www.evangelicaltruth.com/

    WPM

  15. #15

    Re: NT Christian writings about the Binding of Satan (gathered originally in 2006)

    Quote Originally Posted by wpm View Post
    When did they teach about this?
    In those quotes.

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