The Significance Of Deception In Revelation 20:3 -- By: Richard A. Ostella
WTJ 37:2 (Winter 1975) p. 236
The Significance Of Deception In Revelation 20:3
To evaluate an interpretation1 of the phrase ἵνα μὴ πλανήσῃ (Rev. 20:3), we must begin with a survey of the possible interpretations of this deception which follows the over all process of discontinuation then resumption.2 Our survey is especially concerned with the deception which is temporarily discontinued. In this connection there appears to be three viable options: 1) It refers to that deception which operated among the nations prior to the Christian era in their alienation from the universalism of the gospel proclamation characteristic of the new covenant. 2) It refers to that deception which will have operated among the nations prior to the parousia but not including the deceptive antecedents to Armageddon. 3) It refers to that deception which will have operated among the nations prior to the parousia and including the deceptive antecedents to Armageddon. James Hughes rules out the first option3 on the basis that the context (vss. 7–8) defines the nature of this deception as related to Armageddon, an eschatological not an historical triumph. In other words, he suggests that the deception of the nations in v. 3 is with reference to Satan’s gathering them together to battle in v. 8. And both of these passages refer to the same battle, to the battle of Armageddon because of the instrumentality of the evil triad (the dragon, the beast, and the
WTJ 37:2 (Winter 1975) p. 237
false prophet) in gathering the nations to the battle of the great day of God Almighty (cf. Rev. 16 and 19). Thus Hughes stresses the resumption side of the deception process as a whole. He exhaustively identifies v. 3 with v. 8. His interpretation therefore involves the understanding that that which is discontinued is a deceptive strategy that does not include the antecedents to Armageddon. It does not include these antecedents because he restricts them to the resumption of deception (vss. 7–8). He therefore holds to the second option of our survey outlined above.
Now we are in a position to evaluate this construction Hughes has given us concerning the idea...
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