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Friday, November 28, 2008

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Revelation 20:1-4, 11—21:2
Psalm 84
Luke 21:29-33

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the millennium

"He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil or Satan, and chained him up for a thousand years." —Revelation 20:2

John prophesied that Satan was chained up for a thousand years. During this time, the saints have "reigned with Christ" (Rv 20:4). St. Augustine interpreted John's prophecy to mean that Jesus destroyed Satan's works (1 Jn 3:8) and chained him up by His death and resurrection. Therefore, we are reigning with Christ now, and the thousand-year reign symbolized the history of Christ's Church. This interpretation fits in with 2 Thessalonians 2 which speaks of "the secret force of lawlessness" being presently restrained (2 Thes 2:6-7). Therefore, almost all Christian Bible teachers over the centuries have followed St. Augustine's interpretation of Revelation 20.

More recently, a few Christian groups have set forth a new interpretation of "the millennium." They don't believe that Jesus defeated and restrained the devil by His death on the cross. They doubt "the millennium" is now because they don't see the devil restrained. However, the Lord promises us in the Bible that we can restrain the devil and do much more against him. We have authority over all demons (Mt 10:1), can attack and prevail over the gates of hell (see Mt 16:18), and can quickly crush Satan under our feet (Rm 16:20). Yet, our authority to defeat and restrain Satan is not always apparent. This is not because we are not in "the millennium," but because we aren't submitting ourselves to Jesus' authority. The Bible promises we will reign with the Lord (2 Tm 2:12), not without Him. Only when we are under Jesus' authority can we be in authority over the devil (2 Cor 10:4-6).

Prayer:  Father, let my life be an example of authority and victory over the evil one.

Promise:  "The heavens and the earth will pass away, but My words will not pass." —Lk 21:33

Praise:  In this third millennium, Jesus has set Steven free from his longtime addiction.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 1, 2008

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