Satan Is Bound And Defeated
Satan Is Bound and Defeated
Rev. 20: 1-15
Last week we studied the first 6 verses of this chapter…and here is what we found.
- In verse 1 John reminds us that this, like so much of the book, is a vision…something he “saw.”
- This is a vision that has a truth behind it.
- And that truth is a message of encouragement to all of us.
- And it was especially encouraging to the saints living at the time that this prophecy was written because it reassured them that their faith in Christ was not misplaced, that they would be victorious even if they suffered unto death, and what they needed to do was remain faithful no matter what was happening or what happened to them.
Many want to take the events of this chapter and say that they must literally be fulfilled.
- That would mean that an angel would literally have to come down from heaven (and we do not know where he would come down to), and he would have to bring the key to the abyss with him as well as a great chain, and he would have to literally take hold of the dragon, and bind him for a 1000 years, and throw him into the abyss.
- Here is what happens…most acknowledge that this is not going to literally take place…that it is a figure…a vision.
- But then they turn around and take other figures in this chapter and say it must be literally fulfilled.
- That is being inconsistent.
This is a vision…with an encouraging truth behind it…and it was never intended to be anything more than that.
- God, through this vision, is encouraging the saints at the time, as well as us, to remain faithful.
So this is something John “saw” and what John “saw” was “an angel”…not Christ.
- Christ is described a couple of times in this book, in chapter 6 and chapter 19, and not one time is He referred to as an “angel.”
- An angel does the coming down and the binding here.
And notice again, that the angel comes “down from heaven.”
- There is nothing here that says that he comes to the earth.
- Over in verse 8 Satan puts together an army on the “broad plain of the earth” and attacks the saints…and a “fire from heaven comes down and devours them.”
- But there is nothing here to indicate that Christ came to this earth as the Premillenialist teach when they say that Jesus must come and reign here on the earth for 1000 years.
So, John sees this vision of an “angel coming down with a key to the abyss and a great chain…and the angel lays hold of the serpent…or the devil…and he binds him for a 1000 years…and throws him into the abyss, and shuts it, and seals it, so that the serpent can no longer deceive the nations, until the 1000 years is completed; after which the serpent must be released for a short time.”
As I said last week, I do not believe that the 1000 years is speaking of a period of time.
- In scripture 1000 speaks of completeness…totality…perfection. (Psa. 50: 10; Deut. 7:9; Psa. 105:8)
- Combine that with “throws him into the abyss, shuts it, and seals it” and what you have here is a complete and total binding of Satan…a total defeat of Satan.
- And that is exactly what has happened to Satan through the Roman Empire.
- He has been totally and completely defeated in reference to the Roman Empire and his use of the Roman Empire to attack the Lord and his saints.
- He has been working through and in the Roman Empire but now he has been stopped dead and totally defeated.
The message to the saints…the devil is a loser.
But now, even though the devil is defeated in his use of the Roman Empire…and even though he is down and out…he will make a comeback for in verse 3 we are told that “when the thousand years end”…when the complete binding of Satan in reference to his use of the Roman Empire is completed…”he will be released for a short time. “
- Again, “for a short time” is not talking about a literal period of time.
- What God wants known is that Satan will find another place to work…and what God wants to make clear is, when he does, he will be defeated again just like he was in Rome.
- In fact, we will see that starting in verse 7.
- Satan is a loser in Rome…and he will always be a loser.
Now, after John sees the complete binding of Satan by the angel…in verse 4 he sees the “souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Christ and because of the word of God and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their head…”
- John sees these martyred saints “come to life and reign with Christ for a thousand years.”
- This is the scene of a battlefield with the dead scattered all over it.
- Some of the dead were faithful to Christ…others were faithful to the beast.
- Now, as you look out over this battlefield you start seeing those that were faithful to Christ come back to life again.
- And when they do they take their place on thrones along with the other saints.
But verse 5 says that the “rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed.”
- Then John says, “this is the first resurrection.”
Only the martyred saints…those who were faithful to Christ even unto death…are raised up in this first resurrection to life and reigning with Christ.
- And the thousand years of reigning here speaks once again of totality, and completeness.
- The saints are totally victorious and will reign with Christ forever. (Rev. 11: 15; 22: 5)
- The dead who followed the beast are seen as enduring a 1000 years of death…or total complete defeat and destruction.
Now, verse 6: Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
- The faithful saints as well as those who were faithful to the beast are both seen as having already died once in verses 4 and 5.
- But only the martyred saints participate in the first resurrection.
- They are raised to be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years…or totally, completely…or forever.
- The second death mentioned here will have no power over them.
However, those who served the beast….those who consist of the “rest of the dead” who were not a part of the first resurrection…the second death will have power over them.
- Those who served the beast are dead in verse 5 and will be raised up only to die again.
- They are utterly defeated.
Now verse 7: And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison,
- After the complete binding of Satan in reference to his working through and in Rome…”he will be released from his prison.”
- Just because he was defeated in the Roman Empire does not mean that he is finished in his efforts to deceive people and nations.
Satan will be released from his prison…
- This is something that he is permitted to do.
Rev 20:8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.
- When Satan was defeated in the Roman Empire he was seen for what he really is…a loser.
- The Roman Empire was a world-wide stage upon which all the world could see that the God of the Christians whipped the serpent.
And you would think that all the nations would then be devoted to God.
- But not so.
- Satan is released to deceive other nations and peoples…and they are quick to believe his lies…just like Pharaoh did in Egypt…and Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon.
And notice the term “God and Magog”? Who is this?
- Well, the only other place in the Bible where Gog and Magog are spoken of is in Ezekiel 38 and 39.
- And in those two chapters Ezekiel has presented the glory the Jews would experience under the Messiah.
- And to make it clear to them that under the Messiah their glory was secure he presented the defeat of any possible enemy under the terms of a “Gog of the land of Magog” battle.
- So the truth of the matter is there are no actual places of Gog or Magog.
- These names are symbolic in nature and speak of no one in particular, but anyone who is deceived by Satan, to go to war against God.
And notice again now in verse 8 that Satan comes out to deceive the nations, Gog and Magog…that is anyone who is deceived by Satan to go to war against God…
- And he will “…gather them together for the war; and the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.”
- The purpose of this statement is to stress “bigness.”
- And the reason he stresses this is because he is going to point out that no matter how large the enemy army may be…they will not over come the people of God.
- If ever God’s people would be beaten, surely such an army as Gog’s would do it.
- But instead Gog loses…he is utterly defeated.
Let me show you what I mean…look at verse 9: And they(Gog and Magog) came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
What is the point?
- Satan and his forces will never win no matter how many they are…how powerful they might seem to be.
- They are defeated at every turn.
- And the second point here…God’s people will be vindicated.
This whole thing is to tell all that Satan was totally defeated in reference to his use of Rome to attack God’s people…and he will always be defeated.
In fact, he is utterly and totally defeated…look at verse 10: And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Now, a lot of people want to take this verse and use it to show that Satan will some day be thrown into the lake of fire and destroyed forever.
- That is not what this passage is about…that doesn’t fit the context of the chapter.
The context of the chapter shows that Satan has been totally and utterly defeated when it comes to his working through Rome.
- He is a loser and will always be defeated no matter who or what peoples or nations he might work through.
- And this verse simply reinforces the utter and total defeat of Satan.
- He is altogether and forever defeated.
- No one comes out of the lake of fire to do anything.
- He is and always will be a loser.
Now, verses 11-15.
- Now, verses 4-10 have been dealing with the victory of the saints.
- Their present triumph and the assurance of their future stability.
But how did the other side come out? Well, that is what you have here in verses 11-15.
- Now, we must be consistent.
- In verse 4 the judgment scene there was not literal…so neither is this one.
- This is not talking about the “end of time” general judgment that is to take place.
- That was not what verse 4 was about…and neither is this one.
- This is a vision…it is a figure with a truth behind it.
- We must stay consistent.
So look what he says. Vs. 11: And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.
This is not talking about the end of time and the destruction of the heavens and earth.
- This language has been used several times in scripture (Isaiah 13: 6-22; Dan. 2: 37-38; 2 Peter 2:5; 2 Peter 3:6; Isaiah 34: 1-17) to speak of God’s dismantling of the world of the ungodly.
- And that is what this is here.
- Rome’s world has come to an end just as Babylon’s and Edom’s, and Judah’s did.
- This is language of judgment.
- The ungodly nation of Rome has been dismantled and there is no place for them to hide or run too.
- Judgment is on them!
Vs. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.
- This is the second resurrection.
- John spoke of the first resurrection back up in verses 5 and 6.
- Now, here is the second and it stands in quite a contrast with the first.
- Those who took part in the first resurrection were blessed and holy.
- They raised to live and reign…to share in the victory with Christ.
These here in verse 12 are the unholy.
- They died too, and are now they are raised (in figure), only to die a second time.
- What they receive they deserve for they are judged according to their deeds.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.
- Everything that God has shown Himself Lord over in the book gives up the dead.
- He has smitten everything…the land…the seas…He is even Lord over death and Hades.
- And because He is, those things deliver to Him when He demands.
Now notice, there are none righteous in this resurrection.
- The righteous were partakers of the first resurrection.
- We are dealing here with those who died in the service of the beast.
- ALL OF THEM….they are subject to the verdict that we are about to hear.
14 And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
- Death and Hades are enemies of God and both were long ago defeated by Christ.
- And what happens here speaks of their defeat as well.
- And when you combine this with verse 10 what you have is all the enemies of God are utterly defeated.
And notice, the lake of fire is only the “second death.”
- This is not talking about the end of time.
- This is talking about those who died on the side of Rome.
- They have died and been raised up only to die again.
- Satan, the beast, and those faithful to the beast are totally, and utterly defeated.
15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
This verse declares that there is an alternative to the “lake of fire” or total defeat.
- In this chapter, those who are thrown into the lake of fire are thrown because they don’t belong to Jesus.
- In this verse, the book of life is not opened in order to secure deliverance for those whose names are inscribed in it.
- It is opened only to justify the sentence passed on any who are cast into the lake of fire.
So, what is the message of this chapter.
- SATAN IS A LOSER…HE WAS IN AND THROUGH ROME…AND HE ALWAYS WILL BE NO MATTER WHO HE WORKS THROUGH.
- GOD AND CHRIST ARE VICTORIOUS AND THOSE WHO ARE FAITHFUL AND REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THEM WILL BE AS WELL.
- “HURT MY PEOPLE AND PAY THE CONSEQUENCES”
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2023