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. (Revelation 20:1-3)
Satan Is Subservient
There is no doubt that Satan is a formidable foe. The apostle Peter describes the devil as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He is the adversary. Jesus calls Satan the Father of lies and a murderer from the beginning. The devil does not stand for truth because there is no truth in him. Paul describes the power of Satan as fighting against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Satan is a force to be reckoned with as powerful and destructive. But the devil is subservient to the will of God.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, penned by the apostle John, is a powerful testimony to the embattled saints of God’s kingdom that the Lord God reigns, rules, and controls all things under His will. Satan is no exception. To the human heart, the devil is a powerful enemy. In the eyes of God, Satan is under His will to do the bidding of the Godhead. The book of the Revelation could be summed up with the battle cry of victory, “We win.” So much attention is given to the minutia of the details of John’s final message that lost in the trivial pursuits of useless arguments is the reality that Satan has no choice in matters of divine judgment. God is in control, not Satan. The Lord God rules, the devil has no power before God.
As the Revelation begins to close, John reveals the fate of Satan and his minions. An angel took hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan and bound him for a thousand years. God tells us an angel has the power to bind Satan. There is nothing the devil can do or say about what the angel does. Satan is subservient to the will of God. The angel cast Satan into the bottomless pit. He shuts the devil up in the bottomless pit and sets a seal upon the pit. An angel binds Satan and limits his power. All of this was accomplished by an angel of the Lord.
Satan does not have free reign to do as he wishes. He operates within the sphere of authority allowed by God. Yes, he influences people to do evil, and most of the world is under the sway of his deception. But John tells us the truth about Satan, and that is the reality the devil is nothing more than a servant, a lowly slave, a nothing being who has limited power. He can be bound, thrown into a pit, and locked up. His power can be limited. Jesus taught the disciples to ask God to lead them not into temptation and to deliver them from the evil one. Satan complained that the Lord had put a hedge around Job, and he was correct. Every faithful child of God has a hedge surrounding him with the army of the Lord standing on the mountaintops, ready to do battle. Satan knows his power is limited.
The victory message of the Revelation becomes much clearer when John writes of the final demise of Satan. There is no guesswork of what will happen to the devil and his angels. It is not left to the wisdom of men to know what happens to the devil on the final day. An angel can bind and control Satan. The day is coming when the devil will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. He will be tormented day and night forever and ever. There is nothing he can do to change this reality. He is not powerful enough to overcome the will of God. When the Lord decrees Satan will be punished in Hell for eternity, that word will come to pass in complete fulfillment. Satan will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone when God tells him.
There is much to know and understand about the old serpent, the devil. John encourages the faith of the saints by reminding them that the faith residing within them is greater than he who is in the world. If a man thinks the devil can defeat him, he is correct. God tells us that the devil can be defeated. We must believe that and practice that faith. Through the power of God, Satan will be caused to flee from us. It is possible to bind the power of the devil. Humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
God reigns supreme. Amen