I am not a catholic.
From the catholic standpoint, Tribulation as discussed in the major part of the Revelation occured during the generation of those people who lived when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed. Am I understanding you? If this is the case, where is Satan now? Is he locked up in the bottomless pit still or has his time been and is he now free again for a short time? Are we now living a life here on earth without the influence of satan? If satan is now loose again, which period in history marked his imprisonment for that “1000” year period?
Walk in love
Please forgive my ineptness at explaining my interpretation (which mirrors that reflected by the Catholic Church) becuase I am not an professional apologist by any means.
No where in the Book of Revelation does it say that Satan will be abosolutely without power after the tribulation experienced by the Jews (meaning roughly from the point of AD70), while he is chained up and in the pit It only that he will be restrained by God while in the pit, hence the imagery of a chain and that he will not be able to lead all nations astray as a whole during this time period. I do not think that means that he is without influence, and there are definitely places where it is more dangerous to be Christian than others.
Chapter 20 and 22 of Revelation refer to the time period after AD 70. 1000 years is standardly used to refer to “a along time” and not to be taken literally. 1000 is one of the perfect numbers, that indicates it had God’s plan attached to it.
Chapter 20 says that Satan is free again to sway all nations, but does not say if this freedom occurs gradually over time, which might be likely, as he isn’t really a mortal form limited by time and place or if wham bam once day he makes some great escape and then summons Gog and Magaog to help he wreak havoc on the world. Throughout the Old Testament, Gog and Magog represented the heathen world that was opposed to Yahweh.
It appears that the battle of Satan with his cohorts is more spiritual than temportal as outlined in Ch 20. We don’t get the iamges of the wine press and lands flowing with blood, and plagues and famines. We merely hear that Satan worked in all nations, then God got rid of him, and then God preceeded to judge all and decide you go to heaven, or you go to hell here and now.
It appears too that this occurs in a relatively brief period of time, since this battle occurs in a few verses in only once chapter. But what is a brief period of time for God, who uses eternity as a measuring stick?
It is the Catholic church’s position and was the position of the early Fathers, that we can not know for sure where Satan is at this moment; is he still in the pit, or has he been released and started his work to lead to final judgement. Jesus himself says we will not know that hour, and I do not belive that an accurate reading of the Bible will ever tell you exactly when it begins, because God does not mean us to know.
All we know for sure is that it will be later than people think. The passages in the gospel in which Jesus speaks in parables, about servants fufilling obligations in the mater’s absence, or the wedding parties waiting for th groom, each demonstrate how the one waited for catches the waiters off guards; arrives later than planned.
We will be judged according to the marks on our head and hands, meaning according to how loyal we are to the gospel (head reference) and how well we implement the gospel teaching in our daily lives (hand reference), while we are challenged by all that free will encompasses. Catholics believe that we need to do our most to demonstrate our faith in God and promote his kingdom on earth freely, and if we knew the exact day on which it all would be summed up, then it would perhaps be be too easy for us.
The Bible tells us in many places that God tests his faithful and purifies them through their struggles. Faith to some extent is a leap into the unkown. If we know everything, then what is faith?