July 22 2022
Today, Friday July 22
The Defeat of Satan
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
Today we begin a new chapter that reveals to us the defeat of Satan at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the setting up of the His thousand-year reign. First John sees an angel coming down out of heaven with a key and a great chain. The identity of the angel whom John saw coming down from heaven to bind Satan is not disclosed, but he may be Michael the archangel, the great adversary of Satan (12:7; cf. Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9). Whoever the angel is, he possesses great power. He is sent to earth with a specific agenda: to seize Satan for the thousand-year duration of the kingdom, bind him, cast him into the abyss and seal it, and then release him at the end of the thousand years.
The angel cast Satan into the “bottlemless pit”. The "bottomless pit" spoken of in Revelation 20:1 is not the same as hell; it is the "abyss" that we have met before in our studies. The “abyss” appears seven times in Revelation (cf. 9:1, 2, 11; 11:7; 17:8), always in reference to the temporary place of incarceration for certain demons (fallen angels). The abyss is not their final place of punishment; the lake of fire is (Matt. 25:41). Nevertheless, it is a place of torment to which the demons fear to be sent (Luke 8:31). The prisoners in the abyss are among the most vile and evil of all demons and include the "spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah" (1 Pet. 3:19-20). Many of the demons sentenced to the abyss will be released at the fifth trumpet judgment to torment sinners (9:1-12).
Satan is not cast into hell immediately, because God still has one more task for him to perform. Rather, Satan is confined in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years. First, Satan was cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:9), and now he is cast out of earth.
The key given to the angel by God signifies his delegated authority (cf. 9:1); he has the power to open the abyss, and then to shut it after casting Satan inside. The metaphor of binding demons with a chain also appears in Jude 6. This chain is a great one, because of Satan's greatness and power as the highest created being (cf. Ezek. 28:14).
The angel laid hold of Satan, who is unmistakably identified by the same four titles given him in 12:9. First, he is called the dragon, a title given him twelve times in Revelation (cf. 12:3, 4, 7, 9, 13, 16, 17; 13:1, 2, 4; 16:13). It emphasizes his bestial nature, ferociousness, and oppressive cruelty. The title serpent of old hearkens back to the Garden of Eden and Satan's temptation of Eve (Gen. 3:1-6; 2 Cor. 11:3). Diabolos (devil) means "slanderer," or "malicious gossip" (1 Tim. 3:11; 2 Tim. 3:3; Titus 2:3)—an appropriate title for the "accuser of our brethren" (12:10).
Satan is a malignant liar; in fact, he is "the father of lies" (John 8:44). Satanas (Satan) and its Hebrew root satan are used fifty-three times in Scripture. Both words mean "adversary," since Satan opposes God, Christ, and all believers.
Some Bible students feel that the "chaining" of Satan took place when Jesus died on the cross and arose from the dead to ascend to heaven. While it is true that Jesus won His decisive victory over Satan at the cross, the sentence against the devil has not yet been effected. He is a defeated foe, but he is still free to attack God's people and oppose God's work (1 Peter 5:8). Dr. James M. Gray who suggested that, if Satan is bound today, it must be with a terribly long chain! Paul was sure that Satan was loose (Eph. 6:10), and John agreed with him (Rev. 2:13; 3:9). And for the record, so do I!
Having taken care of His enemies, the Lord is now free to establish His righteous kingdom on the earth. Wow! What a day that will be when our enemy, our adversary is defeated and bound, and we will be totally free of his influence and power!