"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept...Christ the firstfruits, afterward, they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (I Cor. 15:20-
What a fine place to have said: "then cometh the thousand years reign"! But it says, "then cometh the end." When He shall, after His reign in heaven is completed in the destruction and abolition of death, deliver up the kingdom to God.
The Abolition of Death
Paul affirms in I Cor. 15 that Christ is reigning now and must reign until death is destroyed and abolished. Acts 2 says that Christ was raised "to sit at God's right hand until the end. " Hebrews 1 says that He ascended and "sat" at God's right hand, where He will stay until the end. I Cor. 15 says that He "must reign at God's right hand" until the last enemy, death, is destroyed. But death will not be destroyed until the last dead person is raised. As long as the tomb holds a single captive, death is not destroyed.
As long as there is one victim of death in the grave the last enemy has not been destroyed. But I Cor. 15 says that Christ must reign in heaven until death is abolished, therefore, Jesus Christ will sit at God's right hand in heaven until the last dead person is raised. There is no room in I Cor. 15 for a thousand years between the two resurrections. If such a theory could be established, Christ would be in heaven, not on earth, during the millennium, for these passages all say that He will stay in heaven as long as there is a victim of death in the grave. So Christ would be in heaven during the millennium! The reign of Christ is not a millennial reign. It began on the day of Pentecost and extends until the end of time. There is no future millennium kingdom.
The Destruction of Satan's Power
In Heb. 2:14 Paul declares that Satan "had" the power, but he has it no more. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil." To establish His authority and dominion it was necessary to destroy Satan's power and principality. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:8). Having triumphed over Satan, Jesus announced: "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." Nothing can be added to His authority. Matt. 17 records that in the presence of Moses and Elijah, the pioneers of law and prophecy, God said, "hear ye Him." That meant the authority of Moses had ended; the regime of prophecy was over. An old era had died, a new era was born. An old age closed, a new age opened. An old law was repealed, a new law was enacted. An old dispensation was abrogated, a new dispensation was inaugurated.
The authority of Christ is singular—it is inherent in Himself. "He taught as one having authority" in and of himself, derived from no predecessor, emanating only from God the Father. Vaulting the sky and clearing the heavens the voice of God proclaimed in confession of His Son: "This is My beloved Son... hear ye Him. " His authority is full and final. There is none for the pope in heaven or in earth—his authority would therefore of necessity come from the underworld of hell—neither earth nor heaven—and I shall not submit to authority from that source.
Let me again call your attention to Matthew 12, the parable of the strong man's house. Jesus said, the goods of the strong man could not be spoiled unless his house is entered and he is bound. First, enter the strong man's house; second, bind the strong man; third, spoil his goods. Jesus was forecasting His death and resurrection. He would enter the strong man's house; He would bind him; He would spoil his goods. I write it here—enter, bind, and spoil. In Colossians 2, Paul said when Jesus took the law out of the way, nailing it to the cross He "despoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." Paul said that when He died on the cross and arose from the dead, He despoiled the devil's principalities and powers. Not only did He spoil them, but He made a show of them openly. "Them" refers to principalities and powers. He spoiled them; He made a show of them. Then it says; "Triumphing over them in it." Triumphing over Satan's principalities and powers "in it"—in His resurrection from the grave. Jesus Christ said He could not spoil Satan's goods without entering Satan's house. Paul says that Jesus did spoil Satan's goods; therefore He entered his house. But He could not spoil Satan's goods without entering the house of Satan and binding him. He did spoil Satan's goods, therefore, He entered Satan's house and bound him. Then, what about that passage in I Pet. 5: 8 where it says, "your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour"? The same passage says, "whom resist, stedfast in the faith, "and another passage says, "resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). No man can be forced, coerced or bound in Satan's service. He who serves Satan is a willing servant.
Time was when man could not escape Satan's captivity, but Jesus Christ broke the fetters of sin and shattered the shackles of Satan. He released us and set us free. Any man who serves the devil is a willing servant. But it is replied that if one serves God he must be willing. True, but if one refuses to serve God, he has the power to do something about it. Jesus said in Matt. 10:28, "fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Tell me what the devil can do if subservience to him is refused. Not one thing can he do—his power is destroyed. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:8). That is final on the subject.
Foy E. Wallace, Jr. Adapted from God’s Prophetic Word