The End of the Lies
Read Revelation 20:1-3 (ESV)
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.
When John refers to Satan as “that ancient serpent,” what Bible passage does that remind you of? Why?
He first came onto the scene in Genesis 3. Disguised as a slithering serpent, Satan crept into the garden, God’s perfect creation, speaking lies and introducing evil, sin, and death into the world. He’s been at work ever since, always lying, always deceiving, always twisting God’s Word to try to trip up God’s people and lead them astray.
But in today’s verses, we see that there will be an end to Satan. He will not be able to lie to us forever. In John’s vision, he saw an angel capture the dragon, who is identified as Satan. This angel throws him into a pit and locks him up for a thousand years following the Great Tribulation and Jesus’ return with His army of saints. After Satan serves his one thousand year sentence of torment in the abyss, he will be released one last time. But we’ll talk more about that in the future.
For today, let’s focus in on this key idea—Satan is real, he is dangerous, but he is limited. Throughout Scripture and throughout history, we have clearly seen his evil at work. He is responsible for so much suffering! But his strategy is always very simple—lies. He lies to people and twists God’s Word.
We saw this in the garden with Adam and Eve. We also see it when Satan tempted Jesus. In Matthew 4:5-6, Satan said to Jesus, “...If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” But He was blatantly misusing God’s Words from Psalm 91. Psalm 91:11-12 does describe God’s protection by His angels of His faithful people and those who seek refuge in Him, but it is not implying that God will protect us if we place ourselves in danger on purpose just to see if God will. That is why Jesus replied quoting Deuteronomy 6:16, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
In John 8:44, Jesus said this about Satan: “...He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
So what is the purpose of binding Satan for a thousand years? To prevent him from being able to continue deceiving the nations. Since the beginning of time, Satan has been at work deceiving us. 2 Corinthians 4:4 says, “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
But we can have hope because the angel will bind Satan so that Christ can set up His millennial kingdom with all of His opposition completely dealt with. The Antichrist and false prophets will have been thrown in the lake of fire and all humans who reject Christ will have also been destroyed by this point. When Satan is bound, it will be the end of His lies.
Friends, Satan is real. He is dangerous. But he is also limited. We shouldn’t underestimate him but we shouldn’t overestimate him either. He is not all-powerful. He is not all-knowing. He can’t be everywhere at once. He isn’t a god, he is a fallen angel whose time is almost up. He rebels against it, but he is still under God's authority. And God will deal with him. In the meantime, Satan’s strategy has always been to twist God’s Word, so our best defense against Him is to know the truth of God’s Word. And take heart, the lies will end!
Jesus, I am grateful that we know Satan will not roam free forever and he will not be able to deceive us forever. In the meantime, please protect me from the lies of Satan. I am storing up Your Word in my heart that I may not sin against You. Help me to recognize the lies and stand up under temptation. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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