The role of Satan and his demons is very prominent in the book of Revelation. In today’s post I look the theme of satanology in the book of Revelation.
I. TORTURE OF BELIEVERS AND UNBELIEVERS
In the book of Revelation Satan and his demons torture believers and unbelievers.
A. The Church at Smyrna
Jesus tells the church at Smyrna not to be afraid of what they are about to suffer because the devil will throw them in prison to test them (2:10).
B. The Fifth Trumpet
Demons are seen causing havoc on the earth during the fifth trumpet. When the fifth angel blows his trumpet a star falls from the sky that has the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit (9:1). When he opens the shaft smoke pours out like a furnace would do and the sunlight and air turn dark from all the smoke (9:2). From that smoke comes locusts that sting like scorpions (9:3), they harm the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads (9:4) and they torture these people for five months (9:5). John describes these locust as looking like horses prepared for battle with gold crowns on their heads, faces that look like human faces (9:7), hair like women’s hair, and teeth like teeth of a lion (9:8). Their armor was made of iron, their wings roared like an army of chariots (9:9). Most important is that their king is the angel from the bottomless pit: “Abaddon” in Hebrew and “Apollyon” which mean “The Destroyer” (9:11).
C. The Two Witnesses
During the ministry of the two witnesses Satan or demons declare war against the two witnesses (11:17).
Later in the book the accuser—Satan—has been defeated by the Blood of the Lamb (12:11), but terror will come on the earth and the sea because the devil has come down to show his great anger (12:12). Then, when Satan realizes he has been thrown down to the earth he pursues the woman who had been given the male child (12:13). The woman gets away (12:14) but Satan tries to drown her with water (12:15). Yet, he is unsuccessful (12:16). He becomes angry with the woman and declares war against the rest of her children (12:17). After this the dragon takes his stand on the shore beside the sea (12:18).
Furthermore, the torture of believers and unbelievers is seen when evil spirits that look like frogs leap from the mouth of the dragon (16:13), the beast, and the false prophet. These are demonic spirits that work miracles and gather rulers of the world for battle against the Lord on the great day of judgement (16:14). These demonic spirits gather all the rulers of the world to a place called Armageddon (Hebrew name) (16:16).
II. SATAN RULES ON EARTH
Evidence that Satan rules on earth is seen in several of Jesus’s letters to the churches in Asia Minor.
Jesus tells the people in Smyrna that the people who were opposing the believers in Smyrna had a synagogue that belongs to Satan (2:9).
Jesus tells the angel of the church of Pergamum that the people live in a city where Satan has his thrown (2:13).
Jesus describes the people in Philadelphia as liars who say they are Jews but really are not Jews, yet they actually belong to Satan’s synagogue (3:9).
D. Earth and Babylon
Further evidence that Satan rules the earth is seen when the “accuser” is said to have been thrown down to earth (12:10) and Babylon is described as a home for demons (18:2).
III. SATAN AND DEMONS DECEIVE PEOPLE
Revelation 12:9 says that Satan deceives the whole world. Satan deceives Gog and Magog in 20:8 during his short time after he is let out of prison for the final battle.
IV. SATAN AND DEMONS WAGE WAR AGAINST JESUS AND HIS ANGELS
Revelation 12 describes a war in heaven between Satan and his angels versus the arch-angel Michael and his angels. Michael and his angels fight against the dragon (Satan) and his angels (demons) (12:7). The dragon (Satan) lose the battle and he and his angels are forced out of heaven (12:8). The great dragon is the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who was deceiving the whole world (12:9).
V. SATAN AND HIS MINIONS ARE DEFEATED
A. The Thousand Years
The angel that comes down from heaven with keys to the bottomless pit (20:1) seizes the dragon—the old serpent, who is the devil—Satan, and the angel puts Satan in chains for a thousand years (20:2). The angel throws Satan into the bottomless pit and locks him there for a thousand years (20:3).
B. After the Thousand Years
At the end of the thousand years Satan is let out of prison (20:7). He will deceive the nations of Gog and Magog and gather them from every corner of the earth for battle (20:8).
C. Fire from Heaven
After fire comes from heaven and consumes Satan’s army (20:9), the devil is thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. In the fiery lake of burning sulfur he joins the beast and the false prophet (20:10). Then, there is no mention of Satan or his demons in Rev 21 or 22 because he has been utterly defeated.