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FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE BINDING OF SATAN
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, 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” (Rev. 20:1-3).
the three chapters preceding chapter twenty of the Revelation we saw Mystery
Babylon destroyed by fire, and the beast and the false prophet captured and
cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.
But what about the dragon? Not a
word there about “that old serpent”!
Bear in mind that
we have Satan presented in all his various personalities — the ancient serpent,
the devil, Satan, and the dragon. In the
book of Genesis this one called Satan begins as a little serpent in a garden
and by the time we come to the book of Revelation he has grown into a great red
dragon that fills the whole earth!
Therefore it is a great and powerful and bloodthirsty monster that John
beholds in spirit! By his very appearance
we may say that he signifies some tremendous and evil power in the earth. In that long ago paradise
is described simply as “the dragon.” By
this title we are to think of him as the old adversary, the devil, but now in possession of great power. In the garden he was the crafty little
serpent, using deceit alone. Now he also uses coercion, force, and violence! As the subtle serpent came with stealth
now the network that he runs is huge and powerful and intimidating and
dominates the world, all religions, including the carnal church systems of man,
the educational institutions, governments, military establishments, drug
cartels, world finance and economy, the press, the citadels of immorality, and
we could go on and on. He is no longer
the inconspicuous little reptile of
brings us to the curse laid upon the serpent in the beginning. “…upon
your belly shall you go.” This
judgment speaks of infinitely more than a literal snake slithering along upon
his physical belly, just as the word “heel” speaks of infinitely more than a
location on the foot, and the word “head” speaks of something greater far than
a mere physical head in the words of the next verse: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed
and her seed; and it shall bruise thy head,
and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen.
3:15). Large sections of scripture are
couched in symbolic terms, hiding much of the “mysteries” of God in figurative language. This is done quite purposefully by the Lord
that the unspiritual while “seeing” actually see not and “hearing” actually hear
not (Mat. 13:10-17). The deep
spiritual truth of the scriptures can be understood only in the spirit and by the spirit!
So, “upon your belly shall you
go” paints for the eyes of our
understanding the picture of the serpent crawling in humiliation, prostration,
limitation, and subjection upon the ground.
The Psalmist uses a similar expression in Psalm 44:25, “For our
soul is bowed down to the dust: our
belly cleaveth unto the earth.” Such denotes a prolonged prostration
and a depth of subjection as could
The very fact that God states that the serpent was now to crawl upon his belly, which obviously he had not done before, reveals that there was a descending from one realm to another, from a greater to a lesser, from a higher and more mobile to a lower and more confined. Moving on his belly limits the sphere of the serpent’s activity, now he can only creep along the ground. Previously he had access to loftier realms, his sphere of activity extended to higher domains — exalted realms of pure spirit expression — but he is now lowered to the dust-realm, into the world of the natural man, confined to the earthly and sensual, and restricted to action upon and expression through THE MAN OF DUST, as the Lord pronounced to Adam in that same encounter, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for DUST THOU ART, AND UNTO DUST SHALT THOU RETURN” (Gen. 3:19). And to the serpent he said, “And dust (the fleshly, carnal nature of man) shalt thou eat all the days of thy life” (Gen. 3:14). Truly this accounts for the words of the apostle, “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, THE S-P-I-R-I-T THAT NOW WORKETH I-N THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE” (Eph. 2:2).
yes, this evil spirit is IN MAN! When the ancient serpent was lowered into the
dust realm, to crawl upon his belly and eat (find his satisfaction and
fulfillment in) dust, man became the base of operation for his activity. I do not hesitate to tell you, my beloved, that
you will find Satan operative in NO OTHER REALM in the whole universe! You do not meet the devil in rocks, trees,
mountains, rivers, clouds, fish, birds, animals, nor on far-away planets, in
distant galaxies, in flying saucers, nor in any other object or location
outside of man. Can we not see that
under the curse God limited Satan to the
dust of the earth, to the realm of the first
have seen the connection between Satan and the carnal mind and, not
understanding the origins of these
things, have assumed that the carnal mind is Satan. The truth, however, runs deeper than that —
it goes to the spirit of the
mind. In words fraught with eternal
significance the inspired apostle exhorts, “Be
renewed in the S-P-I-R-I-T OF YOUR
MIND” (Eph. 4:23). As one has so
aptly written, commenting on this verse, “Note that it reads: In the spirit
of your mind, for this is far more than just mental gymnastics of our
own self-efforts. There are beneficial
results in the power of positive thinking, even on natural realms. But true transformation comes when the change
is in the SPIRIT of your mind.” It is
more than merely the renewing of the mind, exchanging our carnal mind for His mind — it is the renewing of
SPIRIT — the spirit of the mind or
that which energizes and gives life to
the nature of the mind. That is the
mystery! When there is the exchange of spirit (energy force) — the spirit
motivating our natural mind replaced by the spirit of Christ — then our mind is
able to function on the divine plane. It
becomes the norm of our life to just be thinking HIS thoughts, and desiring HIS
ways and purposes, because of the establishment of His Spirit force within
us. It is an absolute must to receive
from a realm higher than
decision that you have ever made or ever will make has its origin, intent, and
power in the INVISIBLE REALM — the realm of spirit. Matters not whether it is a spiritual
decision or a fleshly decision. You will
the fall Satan became one with man, incarnate in the unconscious mind and unseen
heart, the energy force behind human nature, the spirit of the carnal mind,
slithering about in the lowest realms of man’s earthiness, in the crooked
thoughts, selfish desires, exalted ego, distorted emotions, religious deception
and perversion, unrighteous dispositions, in the illusions and delusions of the
sense-realm of the world of appearances, and in all the corrupt motions of the
flesh. May God graciously give us
enlightenment to see that included with Satan is the
are many commonly held theories about your adversary. Notice I said, “your adversary.” Satan is
not God’s adversary. There is not one
scripture in the whole Bible that speaks of Satan as an adversary of God! The preachers don’t know that. The churches don’t know that. Even the professors in the theological
we have seen, since the serpent was cursed he has no arms or legs. He has a mouth, but he has no arms or
legs. So he goes about seeking a people
who will give him arms and legs, a
people he can influence, control, walk in, manifest and speak through. By the time you get the serpent of Genesis 3
to Revelation 12 he has grown from a little serpent to a monstrous dragon. How did the serpent become a dragon?
Greek word for a “devil” is daimon and some authorities say that it means “the
knowing one.” As you can see in his
first conversation with Eve, he is certainly the one who presumes that he knows it all!
So the way to outsmart that rascal is to be invested with a higher intelligence. And
make two mistakes about Satan. Either
they make him all important, or not important at all. To some the adversary is such an imposing,
powerful, and formidable foe that they talk more about his exploits than they
do about Jesus. Others shoot off into
the other direction and deny that there even is an adversary to be concerned
about. Just as Jesus is both a lion and
a lamb, the devil is both a lion and a serpent.
We have said that there is no
devil outside of man — and that is true!
However, when the devil in man projects himself into an outward
manifestation so that events in the outer world are influenced, directed,
changed, and controlled by his power — there is a devil without! The devil
without is the emanation of the devil
within. Just as you are the
is an intense and
event in the life of David serves as a beautiful illustration of how Christ has
shared with us the spoils of His own victory.
It was in the days when David and his mighty men were fighting against
the enemies of
while David spent time with Achish, a disaster befell his adopted country of
Ziklag. As David and his men returned to
Ziklag they found the town smoldering in the ruins of a fire. They fell to weeping when they failed to find
their wives. Not a woman could be found
anywhere, dead or alive. The Amalekites
(a type of the flesh) had invaded the south of
message is just this — the enemy had stolen away the most precious possessions
of David and his men, just as our adversary has robbed from man his true
inheritance in the
totally inadequate do words become in the light of words of such wonder as
these! Jesus is the prototype of what God intends man to be, of what man was in the
beginning. He is God’s finished product;
what every man should be and ultimately will be. Man’s full inheritance, all the
says, “We’re going to take back what the devil stole.” No way!
Who are you? Whom do you think
you are? The firstborn Son of God took
it all back two thousand years ago and it is HE who is dividing the spoils. You may
now appropriate His victory, but you
are not taking anything back, because that implies the rascal still has
something. If you bind him in some way
it is with Christ’s chain, it is by His word, His faith, His authority,
and His power which He has given you
as part of the spoils of HIS VICTORY. So
far as Christ is concerned, the serpent has gone on his belly, he is chained
with the great chain of the truth as it is in Jesus, he is in the pit with no
bottom (no ground or rights to stand upon), the lid has been shut upon him, and
the seal that was once upon the rock of Christ’s tomb, which He stripped away
when He arose from hell and the grave, is now securely attached to the cover of
the pit. He has no arms and legs and he
can’t climb out. If you want to give him
some, that’s up to you. David recovered
all and then went back to the elders of
THE KEY TO THE BOTTOMLESS PIT
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit” (Rev. 20:1).
are used to lock and unlock things.
chapter nine Christ used the same key to unlock
the bottomless pit and many ungodly things came into manifestation out of
the smoke from the pit. With the key to
the bottomless pit the Lord opens the pit, the abyss of our own heart, and
brings forth a revelation of what is in the pit. We have all had God open up the depths of our
carnal life and reveal things out of the imaginations and wickedness of our
heart that even we
I have found that there is a tendency in each of us to try and place the carnal mind and human heart under law and make them submit. Any man who tries to discipline and control the flesh by laws, commandments, rules, regulations, or resolutions, whether imposed from without or within, has not yet learned the important truth that “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7). You cannot by any self-effort make the natural man submit. Therefore we must look elsewhere for the answer. The answer, of course, is the key! Let us UNDERSTAND! “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And HE laid hold on the dragon…and HE cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him…” Now let us consider some pertinent questions. In this symbolic scene, who is it that has the key to the abyss? An angel! Where is the angel from? From heaven! Therefore, where did the key to the abyss come from? From heaven! What did the angel do? He bound the devil, shut him up in the pit, and locked it with the key! How, then, as some assert, could Satan be the one who has the key? Impossible! Who is it that has bound, and does bind, the power of Satan? Our Lord Jesus Christ! Who is the symbolic “angel from heaven” all through the book of Revelation? Christ is! And who is it that throughout the book of Revelation is said to hold the keys of death, hell, and the pit? OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS THE KEYS! Can we not see by this that all our self-efforts to overcome are futile, all the external laws, commandments, rules, and regulations of religion are worthless, only a higher power can prevail — it is Christ in you the hope of glory who has the key, the answer, the solution, the means, the agency, the instrument, the ability, the power, the secret to your ultimate and eternal victory over your adversary!
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon…and bound him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:1-2).
There is a slight difference between the wording of the King James Bible and the Greek text. The angel carries the chain on his hand rather than in his hand. The key is in the angel’s hand; the chain, however, is on the hand, that is, rolled up around it. The chain is a “great” chain, that is, it is long and heavy: for it is to hold the great and strong dragon. His jailor is duly furnished for his office. This signifies a ministry, a spiritual ministry! The angel of course stands for the revelation, manifestation, expression, word, and ministration of Christ by the Spirit in and through a people who have “put on Christ.” This gives me great hope and expectation! A great chain — a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. There is a ministry, there is a word, there is an authority which is strong, powerful, complete, unbroken, having no weak links, fully able to bind the devil in this great day of the Lord! This ministry flows in some measure at this present time, and shall yet flow in mighty fullness through those who grow up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ!
A chain signifies anything that prevents free action. Error is sometimes called a chain. Love is a chain that holds its captives enslaved. Pride and tradition are also chains that make us slaves to custom. The law of our parents is said by scripture to be as a chain about our neck. In this case the chain could be none of these things, for it is held by a “messenger,” signifying a strong and powerful WORD OF THE LORD. It can only be the living word of God’s Christ! This is the word that shall cause the earth to be “full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9). The devil is strongly and securely bound by the chain of TRUTH. It should be obvious to any spiritual mind that Satan being a spirit, the only “chain” that can effectively bind him — restrain or defeat him — is a “spirit-chain,” the omnipotent word of God! The world’s greatest battle between man and Satan was fought in the life of the firstborn Son of God, who faced the adversary down, declaring, “It is written!” And He is the pattern, the forerunner, the prototype for all the manifest sons of God who shall rise up in His fullness!
Jesus bound the devil everywhere He went! When the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils, He told them, “If Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children (the Jewish exorcists) cast them out? But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom (authority) of God is come unto you. Or else 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” (Mat. 12:26-29). Ah, yes, Jesus had already bound the strong man, the devil himself, otherwise He would not have been able to go about plundering his house — casting out devils, healing those whom Satan had bound, and destroying the works of the devil! This firstborn Son carried on His hand the great chain of the living, energetic, and powerful word of the Lord, for He was within Himself THE WORD MADE FLESH!
“When even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick” (Mat. 8:16). “And the centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed” (Mat. 8:8). “And they were astonished at His doctrine: for His word was with power…and they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power He commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out” (Lk. 4:32,36). “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven” (Mat. 16:19).
THE BOTTOMLESS PIT
“And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, 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” (Rev. 20:2-3).
has there been more ignorance manifested than on this subject of the
“bottomless pit.” This message would be
very simple and quickly told if we were to take everything in chapter twenty literally.
Many people have the idea that the bottomless pit is “hell”
somewhere in the center of the earth.
Vast numbers of Christians will believe almost anything about such
literalistic and carnal-minded notions.
I’m certain some of my readers remember that story from back in the
early 1990’s about the geologists in
a man named Rich Buhler finally investigated it. TBN ran the story (about the Russian
geologists) after getting it from two sources.
The first was a Norwegian man named Age Rendalen. They translated it from a Finnish newspaper, Ammennusatia, given to them by R. W.
Schamback, supposedly a ‘respected scientific journal.’ It is not.
It is a
years ago there was a man in
Now, what do we mean by a bottomless pit? The Greek word for bottomless is abussos which is derived from a root word meaning “depthless.” In Greek it is called the “pit of the abussos” from which we derive our English word abyss! Perhaps it would be better translated as the “pit of the abyss” or the “pit of the unfathomable depth.” “Bottomless” is a good translation of this word, for the thought of the Greek is that it is that whose depths are unmeasurable. As soon as one attempts to suppose a physical or literal reality corresponding to this picture-image, he falls into endless difficulty. My impression is that we have here a spiritual picture of a character and nature. It is true that righteousness and truth are related not only with light, but also with height, and evil and error are associated not only with darkness, but also with depth. Tracing backward to the root word abussos, it is interesting to note that abussos is a variation of buthos which means “profundity.” It becomes, then, a profundity which in its spiritual meaning signifies a thought or a nature — so deep as to be beyond the comprehension of the natural mind!
with me as I repeat again the great truth that the book of Revelation is a spiritual book. The next thing we need to remember in
order to understand this great mystery is that like everything else in the book
the scenes that John beheld in chapter twenty are all symbols standing for spiritual realities, both positive and
negative. That the “bottomless pit” or
the “abyss” in the symbolisms of scripture portrays the human heart is beautifully expressed by the prophet David. David, in describing the wickedness within
man, says, “Hide me from the secret
counsel of the wicked, from the insurrection of the workers of
iniquity…they encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying
snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?
They search out iniquities;
they accomplish a diligent search (plumbing
the depths): both the inward thought of every one of them,
the great mystery and the great truth that the Holy Spirit is seeking to reveal
to those who can receive it and understand it is that there is a dimension of
man’s being which is not a result or a manifestation of anything else, but lies
so deep within us that it is indeed the secret and hidden root and cause of all the
evil that pertains to the world of natural men.
The bottomless pit or abyss is downward, lower, in those regions beneath
anything that can be observed or understood in our human lives. It is from this subterranean region of
darkness that the bestial nature of man and the lying spirits of the false
prophet arise. While it is a dark, evil
world within us, it is also a religious
world. The beastly false prophet
arises up out of the earth in chapter thirteen.
And Jesus lists “deceit” among the evils that arise out of the depths of
man’s heart. Oh, yes! Deceit was the very art the serpent employed
in the religious realm to seduce mother Eve to transgress! Sometimes the Lord’s elect fail to see that our natural heart is just like everyone
said that the very first commandment is this: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul…” (Mk. 12:30). Here we see two different parts of our being
— the heart and the soul.
prophet Jeremiah spoke of this when he penned these inspired words: “The HEART
above all things, and desperately wicked,” and then he
went on to ask the searching question, “who
can know it?” (Jer. 17:9).
motion picture some years ago portrayed the dual lives led by a judge who had
two families some distance apart. He had
“married” two different women, was actually living with each for a certain
number of days each week; would then disappear under the pretense of some
important responsibilities in a distant town, when in actuality he was going to
spend the remainder of that week with his second family.
future messages we will see just how
Satan is bound, restrained, rendered powerless in the heart of man. But let me close this message by saying that
those who have been quickened by the Lord no longer live in the sin and death
consciousness of the old
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
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