Thanks for the bit of biography - always helps to connect a background with a screen name. I myself am married to a Historicist who regards my views as doctrinal “perversion”, so we simply agree to disagree. To keep the peace, I dropped my own membership at the church where we were married back in the 70’s so as not to make them uncomfortable with our obvious disunity on this and several other subjects.
The comment just above by lea is one I would agree with also about the New Heavens and New Earth that we are in now, ever since the elements of the Old Covenant passed away.
From my youth, I was taught that the NHNE was the equivalent of the final, eternal state for the righteous. Not so, according to Isaiah 65:17-25’s description of conditions for the NHNE. The righteous are still physically dying under this NHNE; there is still the birth of offspring going on (a definite clue that this is not the eternal state); there is planting and harvesting going on, the presence of sinners, building houses, profitable labor occurring, and prayers directed to God - which prayers would not be necessary if we were actually in the final eternal state of being face-to-face with our God in heaven above. So heaven and the NHNE are two things distinct from each other.
The “time of the dead, that they should be judged” back in AD 70 already ushered in this NHNE back then. What we have been waiting for since then is the next judgment of the dead at the close of the New Covenant age in our future at the final “harvest”.
In one of your last comments to me, you have posited that Satan could not have been loosed during the years following Christ’s ascension, because evangelism and conversions were so abundant. They were abundant because the believers were told that “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” (Speaking of Satan, who had been cast down from heaven into the world for a short time.) Evangelism and conversions were abundant because Christ promised that they would perform even greater works than He did Himself while on earth.
Here is a short list of verses that illustrate to me that Satan had been loosed from his chain after Christ’s ascension in AD 33, who used his last, brief opportunity to deceive as many as he could.
#1) John 12:31 - “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”
Christ said this just 5 days before His death, in anticipation of the soon-coming war in heaven between Michael and his angels and the Devil and his angels while Christ was in the grave. It was after this time when Satan and his angels were cast out, and forever lost any access to heaven as the accuser of the brethren.
#2) John 14:30 - “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.”
Spoken at the Last Supper, in anticipation of Satan soon coming down to earth for his short time after being cast out of heaven.
#3) Luke 22:53 - “When I was daily in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me:” (because Satan’s influence was still bound by a limit at that point), “but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Satan’s full power of darkness was going to be released into the earth after Christ’s death and resurrection.
#4) Matthew 12:43-45 - “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.”
Even though Christ had cast out many devils and unclean spirits while Satan was still bound during His ministry, that wicked generation ended up rejecting Christ. As a consequence, oppression by unclean spirits would be released in seven-fold more numbers of increased wickedness than before when Christ was among them. That generation’s last state as a nation before their AD 70 destruction was to have every unclean spirit of the demonic realm descend upon them (the 7-fold number representing a complete amount).
#5) I John 4:4 - “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”
Though Satan’s influence in the world (not in the “abyss”) was great at that time, God’s Holy Spirit operating in His saints was even greater still.
#6) I John 5:18-19 - “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” (or “in the wicked one”).
Here, a loosed Satan had no ability to touch the righteous, but the rest of the whole world was under his sway at that period.
#7) II Timothy 2:25-26 - “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
Here, a loosed Devil was able to lay deceptive snares and capture victims at his own whim.
#8) I Peter 5:8-9 - “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
Satan’s oppression of the brethren in the world at that time was to be resisted by remaining faithful, so that he could not devour them with his deception. He was unbound and freely walking about at that time, looking for victims.
#9) Ephesians 6:11-13 - “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
This whole armor of God was necessary in order to be protected from the “fiery darts of the wicked” coming from the foe, Satan, who was waging active, unrestrained battle in the world during that short time.
#10) Revelation 12:12 - “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the Devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
This was a present-tense case of Satan having already come down to earth before John was writing Revelation, with full knowledge that he only had a brief time to exercise his deception in the world before his destruction in Jerusalem’s Lake of Fire. Because of this knowledge, he began persecuting the infant church almost immediately after Christ’s ascension in AD 33, starting with the very day of Stephen’s martyrdom, by driving the believers out of Jerusalem under Saul’s /Paul’s “flood” of persecuting the new believers. With Saul’s /Paul’s conversion, that “flood” was “swallowed up”, and the enraged Devil who had lost one of his greatest tools against the early church went out to make open warfare with the righteous “remnant”. Definitely not a chain on the Devil at this point.
Sorry for the lengthy list here, DanielConway, (especially since it’s not your original topic), but they all seem to indicate a consistent theme of Satan’s release during those first-century years when Satan’s “little season” and “short time” after the millennium’s end was taking place.