Deathisdefeated

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The "Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis was my earliest teenage introduction to the sinister world of Satan and his henchmen.  All that storytelling skill which C.S. Lewis possessed had me believing this as gospel at that time.  But, with all due respect to the beloved Narnia creator, C.S. Lewis had some screwed up theology with regard to the demonic world.  John Bunyan's "Holy War" was also a great favorite for me back then in the 70's.

Fast forward to the present.  The comments following are not intended to debate the issue of whether or not Satan and the demonic forces exist as actual evil spirit beings.  I hold the view that they did exist.  (Note the past tense.)  The intent of this post is to put forward the references I've looked into that lead me to believe that both Satan and demons have been eliminated from this current age and are no longer operating on this planet since the final fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  I do realize that this position pits me against every missionary that ever had a witch doctor shake a rattle in his face, but I weigh scripture against perceived experiences, and the Book wins with me every time.  There will be mistakes in this post, I can almost guarantee, because I'm human, and with a plethora of words there cannot fail to be error somewhere.   Just read this with your Bible open in your own hands, is all I ask.

(#1)  I'll start first of all with a question that appears unrelated at first glance.  Do you believe the miraculous sign-gifts that were functioning in the early church after Pentecost have disappeared?  If you do believe that the need for, and the practice of these sign-gifts has ceased since the 40-year transition period of "marvelous things" has passed away, (Micah 7:15), then that would also include exorcisms - top of the list in Mark 16:17 - "...in my name shall they cast out devils..."  If the "sign-gifts" have passed, along with tongues-speaking, drinking poison, etc., then the gift of true exorcism is gone as well.  Does anybody see the improbability of God getting rid of the antidote for dealing with demons, but leaving them free to wreak havoc in this world?  That sounds like regression to me - one step forward, two steps back.  It contradicts the I John 3:8 statement that the Son of God was going to undo the works of the devil.  Rather, I would say that the demonic forces were removed entirely in 70 AD, and thus, the need for exorcisms was taken away also, as an outdated remedy which was no longer necessary, just as tongues-speaking became no longer necessary once the completed canon of revelation from Christ was given.

(#2)  Next, try a reference from the OT.  Don Preston (I think) would agree that Zechariah 13:1-2 is a text for "demon disposal".  The surrounding context includes prophetic references to Christ's betrayal and crucifixion, with specific details of Jerusalem's siege at the end of the OC age.  Zechariah 13:1-2 reads, "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness."  (Sounds like the same river emerging from the house of God in Ezekiel 47:1-5.)  "And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered:"  (Anything post-crucifixion that attempts to rival Christ's ultimate sacrifice - temple rituals, etc. - is an idol, and will be removed.)  "...and also, (in conjunction with these events), "I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land."  This phrase pairs the elimination of the ministry of the prophets together with the passing away of any unclean spirit from out of the land.  (I Cor. 13:8 - "...but whether prophecies, they shall be done away...")  If we are willing to admit that all revelatory prophecy has ceased since the original canon was given (prior to 70 AD), then according to this reference we must also admit that unclean spirits have passed away as well, since these two are linked together in this Zech. 13:2 verse.

(#3)  Here's another OT passage that I believe points directly to a 70 AD timing of the demons' disposal.  It comes from Isaiah 24:21-23.  Again, the context is the desolation and destruction of both the city and the inhabitants of the land who have "broken the everlasting covenant" (Isaiah 24:5).  The triple judgment of "fear, and the pit, and the snare" (Isaiah 24:17) came to the inhabitants of the earth.  "The foundations of the earth shake" (Is. 24:18) states.  (This sounds like the shaking of the earth and the heavens predicted in Hebrews 12:26-27.)  "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high", (this is the evil angelic hosts, since righteous angels wouldn't require punishment), "and the kings of the earth upon the earth", (this is evil human leadership in the land being punished simultaneously with the evil angelic hosts), "And they", (both the human and spirit elements), "shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison", (Jerusalem functioned as a trap for much of the time between 66-70 AD, but especially at the end with Titus completely encircling Jerusalem with a wall by Pentecost's time), "and after many days shall they be found wanting."  This "found wanting" is the elimination of both these evil human leaders and evil spirit beings alike.   

(#4)  We know that Jude 6 and II Peter 2:4 both mention the destined purpose of God in reserving the demons unto the "judgment of the great day".  This can be interpreted to mean that God intended to use them as a judgment tool on that evil generation, or that they are to be judged themselves and cast in the lake of fire along with their leader at the close of the age.  I believe both happened.  Paul tells the Corinthians in I Cor. 6:3 that they will "judge angels" in the next life after their physical death.  Again, this must refer solely to evil angels since the righteous angels had done nothing to warrant a judgment.  A picture of the demons also being used a a judgment tool is found in the Rev. 9:1-11 passage where Satan (Apollyon), the king over the bottomless pit, is given the "key" to the abyss in order to release his "locusts" over the earth for a specified 5 months of tormenting activity.

(Short rabbit trail here:  This curiously exact time frame of 5 months in Rev. 9:5,10 has been identified by Dr. Gentry as the 5 months between Titus' arrival at Passover in 70 AD until the final fall of Jerusalem.  It does amount to a tidy 5 months.  But there is another 5-month time frame that fits the order of events much better in Rev. 9.  It extends from Gessius Florus becoming procurator in May 66 AD until the armies of Cestus Gallus arrive at Jerusalem at the end of Sept. 66 AD.  Josephus describes how Florus goaded the Jews into the war of rebellion by his overbearing, heavy-handed treatment of them.  Demonic instigation using human agencies to torment the Jews into the inevitable conflict.  Based on Rev. 9:12, it appears that this 5 month period comes to an end, but that there are still two more trumpet judgments that follow afterward. This couldn't be the case if the 5 month period is at the very end.  So I have changed my agreement with Dr. Gentry on where this puzzle piece fits.  Woman's privilege to change my mind:-)

Back to topic now.  Considering the torment these demons inflict on their victims, I John 4:18 equates torment with abject, paralyzing fear.  "Fear hath torment", John says.  This may explain the effect these demons had in these latter days over the inhabitants of the land who had no seal of God in their foreheads. "Men's hearts failing them for fear..." is how Luke 21:26 describes these times when the powers of heaven were shaken.  Remember the triple judgment just mentioned in Isaiah 24:17 - "fear, the pit, and the snare..."? This torment of fear is a punishment that can be shared by human and spirit beings alike, as when the legion of demons pleaded with Christ not to torment them before the time (Matt. 8:29)  As an aside, the lake of fire may be simply a substituted title for a place with varying levels of fear - on a scale anywhere from simple distress to overwhelming, petrifying dread, depending on the punishment deserved per individual being.  Just a thought - don't quote me on this!  At any rate, the difference between those with the seal of God in their foreheads and those without is demonstrated by the statement in Rev. 9:4.  Demonic forces were not allowed to hurt those sealed by God.  Just as II Tim. 1:7 says, "God hath not given us a spirit of fear..."  The saints were immune to this torment.

(#5)  Here is another, rather roundabout way of dating the disposal of Satan and his legions. We know that Satan had a sort of "kingdom" under him, based on Christ's words in Mark 3:24-26, Luke 11:18, and Matt. 12:25-26 where He says that if Satan's kingdom was divided against itself, it could not stand, but would have an end.  This is a flat-out statement, presupposing the existence (and the termination) of an earthly domain given to him.  Satan himself boasted of this in Luke 4:5-7 during the 40-day temptation of Christ in the wilderness.  This kingdom he would never have had if Adam and Eve had not handed it to him on a silver platter the moment they obeyed Satan's suggestion rather than God's command.  "His servants ye are to whom ye yield yourselves to obey..."(Rom. 6:16)  And we know that no man can serve two masters at once.  In effect, mankind took the crown of dominion over this world that God had given them and placed that very crown on Satan's head at that moment.  An abdication of position.  I believe this is how Satan came to be titled as the "prince of this world" in John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, and the "prince of the power of the air" in Ephesians 2:2, and so forth.  All these labels indicate a dominion of sorts.  When we come to Rev. 11:15, this verse tells us that the "kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our God and  of His Christ". This would necessarily include any earthly dominion that Satan had ever had a claim to.  This is the end of his kingdom.  The timing of this in context is immediately upon the 7th angel sounding his trumpet and of the judgment and rewards of the dead being given in Rev. 11:18.  A recapitulation of this event is presented in Rev. 20, with the added detail of Satan being cast into the lake of fire at that time.  This entire chapter 20 falls within Revelation's self-imposed brackets of a near-time fulfillment to that generation, (Rev. 22:6,7,10,12,20), so I must conclude that Satan's disposal in Rev. 20 is a fulfilled event.  And since the lake of fire is said to be prepared for the devil and his angels, (Matt. 25:41) it would seem that they share his fate at this point.  

(#6)  Another observation already brought up before on another post uses Hebrews 2:5 which reads this way in the Interlinear, "For not to angels did he subject the habitable world which is to come (Mello) of which we speak;" (the author had already been speaking of "these last days" and the changing of the heavens and the earth after they have grown old; likewise, the about-to-be-inherited salvation), "but fully testified somewhere one saying 'What is man that thou art mindful of him, or son of man that thou visitest him? Thou didst make lower him for a little than the angels; with glory and honor thou didst crown him, and didst set him over the works of thy hands; all things thou didst subject under his feet.'  For in subjecting to him all things, nothing He left to him unsubject.  But now, not yet do we see to him all things subjected..." (Not yet before 70 AD, that is, when the tables would be turned and the saints would judge angels.)  

All this "lower than the angels" part doesn't seem to connect with demon disposal at first, but the very first part of Hebrews 2:5 is easily identifiable with the topic.  There was a "habitable world" about to come in the experience of the Hebrews audience; namely, the "new earth" prophesied in Isaiah 65:17.  This new earth that was coming was not destined to be subject to angels in the same way that the world the apostles lived in had been harassed by the "prince of this world" and those under him.  At the time of the crucifixion and the resurrection, Satan had lost his range of movement between heaven and earth, and had been cast down to the earth - and his angels with him.  This was the warning Jesus gave His disciples just before His death. In John 12:31 and John 14:30, He speaks of the "coming" prince of the world that was going to be cast out of heaven into the earth once the sacrifice on the cross was accomplished in real-time.  (Rev. 12:10-11 pinpoints the timing.)  This is major cause for rejoicing for those in heaven, but at the same time, a terror for the inhabitants of the earth at that time.  Once Satan is cast out of heaven into the earth, he knows he has but a short time (Rev. 12:12), - also, a "little season" - which turns him into a "roaring lion walking about", perpetrating a war of persecution on the fledgling NT church - the remnant of the seed of the woman.  The word "short" means just that, I believe, with 70 AD on the near horizon.

Backtracking to the part of Hebrews 2:8 that says "all things thou didst subject under his feet..."  This describes the feet of mankind under discussion in a pre-fall condition - which Adam and Eve forfeited.  God promises through Paul in Romans 16:20 that He would crush Satan shortly (Tachei) under the feet of the believers.  This is a promise that would actually relieve all of mankind of the oppressive presence of angelic evil, and would be accomplished by the establishment of the new heavens and the new earth.     This is the reason for the phrase, "...but now, not yet do we see to him (mankind) all things subjected." The NC age after 70 AD is the time that "not yet" is anticipating.  What was forfeited would be regained through Christ.  What better way to define a new heaven and a new earth than to have Satan and his demons finally absent from both locations?  

Does this eliminate the presence of wickedness on this planet, though?  Unfortunately not.  If anyone thinks that the level of evil in this present world cannot be explained without including the presence of Satan and his hosts, they do not have a true evaluation of the depraved heart of man in it's natural state.  The position mankind is in now leaves him without the devil as a scapegoat onto which he can pass the blame for his own actions.  Actually, the devil never has "made us do it", from the garden and onward.  I believe in an ultimate purpose for God subjecting the human race through history to a variety of "spiritual" environments. First, with a sinless couple and the devil without any effect yet on mankind.  Next, with a fully operational demonic influence roaming earth and heaven.  Then, with a chained demonic force, limited in the scope of it's power to deceive.  After that, a blitzkrieg of infuriated spiritual foes just before their disposal.  We have now been given a new earth purged of any Satanic presence.  Apparently, the lesson God intends us to learn is that sinful man will still act in a corrupt manner, regardless of his spiritual environment, unless he is changed from the inside by the implanting of His Spirit.  This does nothing but magnify the grace and the glory of God in the long run, which is really the entire purpose of the universe, anyway.

We have been blessed.  "To whom much is given, much shall be required."

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Comment by Internet_Troll on July 19, 2014 at 6:21am

Patricia,

An interesting read indeed. Nevertheless, I there is need to think deeper about the issues here to make your presentation more tight.

 

Firstly, and you have noted this already in a separate post, there is need to keep true to the context. Not every reference is to the same "satan". There is thus a need to be sure that the verses you are linking together, are in fact talking about the same satan.

 

Secondly, there is need to show and separate which verses refer to a spiritual being (if any exist at all) and which verses do not i.e. those which simply refer to people. As an example, I am pretty sure that Rom 16:20 does NOT refer to a spiritual being.

 

Lastly, the link between the spiritual being satan, and the destruction of the apostate Jews must be shown (not assumed). Remember, the apostate Jews were also called satan and this was not just saying they were being influenced by satan but that they were satan themselves.

 

IF satan is the apostate Jews, I have no problems that him and his demons are gone. Since death, the curse and anything that harms have been removed from the covenant community; I have no problems with saying the unclean spirit has been removed from the land. But IF satan was a spirit terrorizing all humanity (not just the covenant people) the only way I can see him as being disposed of is universalism. Like you said, you will have a hard time against every missionary that ever had a witch doctor shake a rattle in his face, but I weigh scripture [aka virtual reality :) ] against perceived experiences.

S

Comment by Patricia Watkins on July 19, 2014 at 1:56pm

Hi JIR,

You get a gold star for being willing to wade through all of that post!  Oddly enough, you highlighted the exact reference in Rom 16:20 that I thought might raise some objections.  Is it possible that this could be one of those cases of a "both/and" interpretation, rather than an "either/or"?  I notice that you have brought this up yourself with regard to the resurrection theme (which I agree with, so don't stop bringing up the both/and emphasis).

Yes, I do see a crushing of the adversarial apostate Jews in Rom 16:20.  This would be a direct fulfillment of Malachi 4:3, where the prophet promises that in that great and dreadful day of the LORD "ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts".

But there is also a long-promised prophecy since Gen. 3:15 that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent, even though that serpent adversary would bruise His heel in the crucifixion.   The church as the seed of the woman shares in the victory of the Seed, which is Christ our representative, just as the adversarial apostate Jews shared the guilt of their representative Satan in the bruising of Christ at His crucifixion.   I see the beginning of this "crushing" of the serpent by the apostles in Luke 10:19 where Christ transfers His own subjugating power over the devils to his disciples.  This depicted in an earthly sphere what was going on in the heavenly realm with the "war in heaven" which Rev. 12:17 speaks of.  

We could adopt a worn-out adage here and say that God "killed two birds with one stone", couldn't we?  Both human and diabolical adversaries at once.  The devil and his hosts were allowed to torment the unbelievers - like two mongrel dogs at each other's throats - which is why it could be said that "Satan's kingdom was divided against itself", and would then have an end.

Comment by Joy Ackerman on July 20, 2014 at 8:00pm
Wow, Patricia, your command of scripture is impressive! I love reading your insights. I think I agree with the main jest of what your present here. It is a lot to digest though. It seems to me, if demons weren't real pre AD70 and they were simply representative of the adversarial spirit of human beings, then they can't have been destroyed in AD70 as fulfilled eschatology necessitates because mankind does still posses an adversarial spirit, at least according to actions, deed, and thoughts. Therefore it would seem any support of AD70 being the consummation requires that demons had a real spiritual being presence affecting this world prior to AD 70? If I am overlooking something, please correct me. Thanks for all the time you spent on that!
Comment by Internet_Troll on July 21, 2014 at 3:31am

Patricia,

You wrote:

Is it possible that this could be one of those cases of a "both/and" interpretation, rather than an "either/or"?  

 

I agree that there very well could be a both/and, but the challenge is the first part: proving there actually is a spiritual being called satan.

 

But let me provoke your thinking a bit further.

 

You wrote:

If you do believe that the need for, and the practice of these sign-gifts has ceased since the 40-year transition period of "marvelous things" has passed away, (Micah 7:15), then that would also include exorcisms - top of the list in

 

Wouldn't such reasoning also imply that there is no more sickness since the miraculous gift of healing is no more? But we KNOW sickness is still around, unless you will say Scripture triumphs over experience. Like you said: this position pits me against every missionary that ever had a witch doctor shake a rattle in his face

 

Im also not sure whether you are willing to accept universalism, but the casting out of unclean spirits had to do with the kingdom coming. If you say all unclean spirits everywhere (not just in the covenant community) were disposed in AD70 I think of necessity you must embrace universalism. IF you are unwilling to embrace universalism, then I think you need to adjust your position. But I could be wrong.

Comment by Doug on July 21, 2014 at 8:26am

Patricia,

I believe as you, that the evil spirits are "disposed of". I have believed this for some time, yet you brought it together in a methodical and logical way I have not seen presented before. Thank you for that.

If I may, let me make some observations...

First, what we all need to remember is to not mix our metaphors. For example, what has to be clearly explained theologically and logically is how demons can exist and exert influence in the physical world, but how God's kingdom now is "in the world but not of the world" That is, if God's kingdom is invisible, but existing alongside the physical world, then what was satan taken "out of"? Was he removed from the PHYSICAL world, or was he removed from the SPIRITUAL world (God's kingdom in which we live, now)? The answer to this is critical, because if we live in a spiritual kingdom but still live in physical bodies, as preterism asserts, then if satan has been removed, logically (and keeping with parallel logic) he has ONLY been removed spiritually, and can still have influence over our physical lives. 

Somehow this has to be explained. 

Second observation is that "new heaven and new earth" does not refer to spiritual heaven and physical earth. It refers to the abolition of the law and the bringing in of a new covenant. So when you said "What better way to define a new heaven and a new earth than to have Satan and his demons finally absent from both locations? you should not think of new heavens and earth as locations. They are metaphors for old and new covenants. Thinking of satan as being cast out of "the earth" or "heaven" is more about getting him away from tormenting the holy people. I am still wrestling with this one, but I do know that typologies have to be consistent and logical.

Finally, addressing JIR's comments...

I do not see why you are tying this subject to inevitably leading to universalism? Universalism is the salvation of all men, regardless of time or "brand" of religion. So then what is your point? Are you advocating for universalism? If so, please expand your thoughts and logic, because I don't see your point there.

Comment by Internet_Troll on July 21, 2014 at 10:00am

Doug,

The removal of evil spirits coincides with the coming of the kingdom into that individual life i.e. salvation.

IF the devil was oppressing people all over the world and in one instance in AD70 was disposed off including all his demons, then it seem logical to me to say that the kingdom of God at that instance came upon people all over the world. I cannot see the devil being cast out of all man everywhere without at the same time affirming that the kingdom of God i.e. salvation, came upon all men everywhere, which to me is universalism.

 

Comment by Patricia Watkins on July 21, 2014 at 11:03pm

Hi Doug and JIR,

Universalism?  I can understand why this post might be misconstrued as supporting that view, but I assure you, that was not my intent.  There are too many illustrations in scripture that make a distinction between the children of God and those who are not, and never do become such.

     children of light vs. children of darkness (I Thess. 5:5)

     sheep vs. goats

     wheat vs. tares

     children of God vs. children of the devil (I John 3:10)

     sons vs. bastards

     those written in the book of life, and those not written

Perhaps the universalism charge arises if one doesn't acknowledge a separate created order of spirit beings.  As far as I can tell, these came into existence along with the establishment of our universe (Psalm 33:6, Job 38:4-7, Gen 2:1).  I see Hebrews 2:16 laying out both human nature and the nature of the angelic world in comparison, with Christ deliberately choosing to take part in the human limitations of flesh and blood, instead of taking on the angelic essence of spirit alone.  

If this created world was granted relief in 70 AD from the influence of unclean, fallen angelic beings who served their leader, the Father of lies, that still leaves natural man's wicked impulses to be restrained and contended with. 

Here's a rather simplistic way of illustrating the  point.  The polio vaccine has supposedly eradicated this infirmity from the world at present, but humanity still wrestles with the plague of cancer in all it's forms.  "Polio" (unclean spirits, a.k.a., the devil and demons) was eradicated in 70 AD, but "cancer" (human depravity) still works it's ruinous effects on us.  It's two different sources of illness - one from an outside source, and one from within.  

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I never read the words "unclean spirit" used to describe a human.  These words always applied to an invisible, external evil influence, (not an integral part of the person), that could afflict, deceive, harass, possess, or be cast out of someone.  They were never described as omnipresent, (although as Job 1:6-7 says, Satan could go to and fro in the earth as well as show up to present himself before God), and they were never able to "read our minds" (omniscience) according to II Chron. 6:30.  The apostate Jews, although aptly classified as "adversaries", never entered into, or were cast out of anyone.

All these "unclean spirits" I see being shut up in the "hold" of Babylon (Jerusalem) near the close of that OC age in Rev. 18:2.  "And he cried mightily with a voice loud saying 'Is fallen, is fallen Babylon the great, and is become a habitation of demons, and a hold (phulake - a cage or prison) of every spirit unclean, and a hold of every bird unclean and hated."  This sounds like universally all the unclean spirits (not human evil) were gathered together in Jerusalem for their last flurry of activity in this world.  It's one of the major reasons you could call this period of tribulation greater than any that has ever been or ever will be.   Perhaps the explanation for Josephus and Tacitus telling the incredible tale of the priests hearing "Let us depart hence" coming from the temple in 66 AD was righteous angels clearing out before the unclean spirits arrived en masse.  Just thinking here.

 Even if these unclean spirit beings are not in evidence in a post-70 AD world, wicked humanity is still present apparently.  The river coming from the temple in Ezekiel 47:9-11 illustrates this, since there are still marshy areas "given to salt", and not healed in some places where the river has gone.  If this is the same river of life in Rev. 22:1-2, then this seems to tell us that the gospel will not convert all those that it is presented to in the NC age.  There are still dogs outside the walls of the New Jerusalem.  Unfortunately, dogs really do get bad PR in the Bible, don't they?

Comment by Stairway To Heaven on July 22, 2014 at 10:18am

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out: and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept and garnished. 'Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.'—Matt, xii, 43,44, 45.

1. Our Saviour in the above passage represents the then present generation of the house of Israel by a man who had an unclean spirit.
2. He shows that the unclean spirit which they were possessed of, at his coming would seem to be cast out; but that seven evil spirits would succeed and stand in the room of one.
3. He shows that that generation would not find the rest which remaineth for the people of God, on account of their unbelief.
4. He shows that they would enter into the old house of the law, or covenant of works, which they would find first empty.
5. ' Swept and garnished,' that is, made ready for their entrance; as they were not acquainted with the gospel, they would attempt safety in the covenant of works, in which situation they are seven times worse than before; which circumstances will be particularly described in notes on Luke xvi, last paragraph.
Comment by Internet_Troll on July 22, 2014 at 11:10am

STH,

Your type of explanation of what an unclean spirit is and it connection to the kingdom and Israel is what I am saying militates against a universal application of the driving out of the unclean spirit from the land to mean the whole of earth and humanity as opposed to Israel specifically.

 

I think applying this onto the whole world instead of Israel alone might be wrong.

Comment by Patricia Watkins on July 22, 2014 at 2:21pm

Hi STH,

This very reference of Matt 12: 43-45 fits exactly the order of events as I understand them and have tried to present in this  post.  There are so many cases of casting out demons in the gospel accounts that it sounds as if it was as prevalent as the common cold at that time.  This "emptying, sweeping, and garnishing" takes place during the ministry of Christ and the apostles as they all wage war against the unclean spirits.  The "strong man's house" that was being spoiled by Christ and his disciples in that Matt 12:29 generation is the same type of "house" under discussion in Matt 12:44.  The fact that Christ would sometimes additionally charge the cast-out demons to "enter no more" into their former victim is a signal that this re-entry could occur, as this mention of "seven other spirits" also indicates.   Their ramped-up activity in the close of the OC age at Jerusalem is when this was fulfilled. 

Rev. 18:2 does say every unclean spirit was confined in this prison.  I try to be really careful when the terms all, every, everyone, etc. are mentioned, but based on the other texts that I mentioned in the original post, it seems to mean all unclean spirits without exception here.   If just one person could have a "legion" of unclean spirits, and Mary we are told had seven before Christ relieved her condition, think how many could have been confined in Jerusalem in it's final days when a couple million persons could have been enclosed within the walls.  If God chose to have all unclean spirits from the created world gathered and confined at Jerusalem at that time, it would have been similar to a whirlpool bathtub swirling around until God pulled the drain plug.   The sight of armed forces in the clouds that both Josephus and Tacitus mentioned happening in 66 AD I believe connects with this topic with regard to it's timing and it's nature.

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Started by Internet_Troll in Eschatology. Last reply by Internet_Troll Jan 21, 2015. 60 Replies

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