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Sermon #08

Series: “The Manifold Wisdom of God


      Title:         Christ’s Dominion over Satan


      Text:                                  Revelation 20:1-3

      Subject:               Satan’s Confusion and Conquest

      Date:                                Sunday Evening — October 5, 2014

      Readings:           Merle Hart and Cody Henson

                                                            Revelation 20:1-15



Who is really running the world? Who really controls the events of time? Whose influence really prevails everywhere? Most religious people will tell you that it is Satan. Observing all the evil that is in the world, looking upon the wickedness that floods and permeates society, reading the newspapers, you can certainly understand the reason. It appears that Satan’s influence is everywhere effectual.

·      Drunkenness

·      Drug Abuse

·      Crime

·      Murder

·      Turmoil

·      War

·      Immorality

·      Pornography

·      Adultery

·      Fornication

·      Bastardy

·      Abortion

·      Sodomy

·      Idolatry


One can hardly imagine a more wicked, more perverse, more decadent world! How our hearts are vexed by the things we see and the things our children see everyday! Without question, all this evil, arising from the heart of man, is instigated by the devil. But does that mean that he rules the world. — No sir! Satan is not the God of this world. He is “the prince of darkness.” But the God of this world is the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior. He, and he alone, possesses all power over all things! And this dominion over all of creation, given to the Son of God as our Surety before ever the earth was made, is declared to be the very wisdom of God in the 8th chapter of Proverbs. Christ our Surety is King everywhere! That is exactly what the Book of God declares. Yes, even the devil himself is under the absolute rule and dominion of King Jesus! — Open your Bible to the Book of Revelation, chapter 20, and I will show you.


The title of my message is Christ’s Dominion over Satan. My text is Revelation 20:1-3. —That is what the Book of Revelation is all about — Christ’s Dominion over Satan (Revelation 20:1-3).


Seven Visions


The Book of Revelation gives us seven visions of the Person and work of Christ in this gospel age. In these seven visions the Lord revealed to John what he had done, is doing, and shall hereafter do for his church, in his church, and with his church. The whole purpose of the book is to assure God’s children in this world of their ultimate conquest over the world, the flesh, and the devil.


This blessed book is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” By revealing to us who he is and what he does, our Lord calls for us to ever look unto him with confident faith, and assures us that we are “More than conquerors through him that loved us.” The seven visions John saw and recorded by Divine Inspiration are set before us in consecutive order in the twenty-two chapters of this book. He saw...

1.      Christ in the midst of his churches, the seven golden candlesticks, in this world (chpts. 1-3).

2.      Christ opening and fulfilling the seven sealed book of God’s sovereign, eternal purpose (chpts. 4-7).

3.      Christ answering the prayers of his people, protecting them from their enemies, and vindicating them by executing the seven trumpet judgments in his providential rule of the universe (chpts. 8-11).

4.      Christ and his church persecuted by Satan, world government, and false religion (chpts. 12-14).

5.      Christ sending his angels to pour out the seven vials of his wrath upon the earth (chpts. 15-16).

6.      Christ’s conquest over Babylon, the beast, and the false prophet (chpts. 17-19).

7.      Christ’s dominion over and destruction of Satan and the glory of the New Jerusalem (chpts. 20-22).


These seven visions each cover the whole gospel age from the incarnation of our blessed Savior to his glorious second coming. They do not represent different ages, dispensations, or prophetic events. They all tell the same story. They all tell us what our Lord has done, is doing, and shall do for the salvation of his people.


The use of the word “seven” is striking. There are “seven golden candlesticks,” “seven stars,” “seven seals,” “seven trumpets,” “seven angels,” “seven vials.” Seven is the number of perfection, completion, and satisfaction. And in each of these seven visions, God the Holy Ghost assures us of the perfect rule of Christ as the Monarch of the universe for the complete victory and eternal salvation of his church.


In Revelation 20, the final vision begins. Chapter 19 brought us to the very end of world history, to the final Day of Judgment. In chapter 20 John takes us back, once again, to the beginning of this gospel age. In this vision we see once more the accomplishments of Christ’s first advent; and we are carried through to the final conquests of his second advent.


Revelation 20:1-3 reveals the binding of Satan which was accomplished by the work of Christ in his first advent. — Read the text with me.


Revelation 20:1-3 (1) And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.


The sequence of events is clear…

1.    Our Lord’s first advent is followed by a long period of time, represented by a “thousand years,” in which Satan is bound. — This is the gospel age in which we now live.

2.    At the close of this gospel age Satan is loosed for “a little season.”

3.    And the loosing of Satan is followed by Christ’s glorious Second Advent to judge the world and make all things new.


Figurative Language


It should be clear to anyone who reads Revelation 20 that the language is figurative, as it is throughout the twenty-two chapters of the book. “The thousand years” is no more a literal period of time than “the great chain” is a literal chain. As “the chain” represents restraining power, “the thousand years” represents a long period of time — that whole span of time between Christ’s first and second coming. It is also obvious that “the thousand years” precede (They do not follow.) the second coming of Christ. In other words, we are now living in this “thousand years” period which began with the incarnation of Christ. This “thousand years” is this present gospel age. It does not begin at Christ’s second coming. It ends at his second coming (v. 11).


Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.


Proposition: Our Lord Jesus Christ has so thoroughly bound the prince of darkness that he has total dominion over him. — Let’s read our text again.


Revelation 20:1-3 (1) And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.


Divisions: I want, as God the Holy Spirit will enable me, to show you the great wisdom of our God in giving his dear Son, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, dominion over Satan. — Let me show you four things in our text.

1.    The Purpose of the Incarnation

2.    The Character of Our Adversary

3.    The Binding of Satan

4.    The Loosing Season


The Purpose of the Incarnation


First, we see the purpose of our Lord’s incarnation in verse 1.


Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.


This great and mighty Angel, which John saw come down from heaven, is the Lord Jesus Christ himself, the Angel of the covenant, the Angel of God’s presence (10:1-7).

·      He is that mighty Angel John saw coming down from heaven with great power, who lit up the earth with his glory (18:1).

·      He alone has the keys of death and hell (1:18).


Revelation 10:1-7 (1) And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: (2) And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, (3) And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. (4) And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. (5) And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, (6) And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: (7) But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.


No creature could ever bind the devil, or even hinder his influence. He was the greatest, most powerful creature of the Almighty. None but Christ, the Creator, could bind him. We know that the primary purpose of our Lord’s incarnation was the redemption and salvation of God’s elect by the merits of his blood and the power of his grace (Matthew 1:21; 1 Timothy 1:15).


But in order to accomplish our salvation Satan had to be bound. And here we see Christ coming with the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He is coming to shackle a treasonous rebel and lock him away! The Scriptures plainly tell us that one purpose of our Lord’s incarnation and birth was to make war with, conquer, and bind the prince of darkness (Genesis 3:15; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 12:5-11).


Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.


Revelation 12:5-11 (5) And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. (6) And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. (7) And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, (8) And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. (9) And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (10) And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (11) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.


The Character of Our Adversary


Second, the character of our great enemy, our great adversary is revealed in four names (v. 2).


Revelation 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,


Satan is too wise, too crafty, too strong, and too cunning for any of us to resist him, overcome him, or avoid his blinding delusions. And this great rebel against God is full of enmity, anger, wrath, and malice toward the souls of men. He knows that by the merits of Christ and in union with Christ, we shall have the place he desired. We shall sit with Christ upon the very throne of God and judge the world (Revelation 3:21; 1 Corinthians 6:1-3).


Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.


1 Corinthians 6:1-3 (1) Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? (2) Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? (3) Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?


Satan’s hatred for God’s elect is fueled by envy and jealousy. Let us ever beware of this great enemy.


He is called “The Dragon.” — He is a beast of ferocious power in the earth. He is the instigator of all rebellion and opposition to God, holding power over the minds of men, taking them captive at his will. The governors, kings, and rulers of the earth are his willing subjects, by whom he breathes out the fires of persecution upon God’s saints. Since the days of Nimrod, he has led the confederated kings of the earth against the Lord and his Christ. And he will continue to do so, as God permits, until the time of Armageddon, when he shall be forever cast into the bottomless pit.


This great enemy of our souls is “The Old Serpent.” — He is old, very old. He has been around since the beginning of history. And he is the serpent. He is best represented by the slithering, crooked, deceiving serpent, with his subtle, hidden poison and deadly malignity.

·      It was the serpent who deceived our first parents and seduced them into sin and death.

·      It is the serpent who today deceives the souls of men and women with presumptuous pride, false doctrine, perverted wisdom, and unbelief.

·      And it is the serpent who corrupts, divides, and seeks to destroy the church of God


This deceiver is also “The Devil.” — The word “devil” means “slanderer, liar.” This has been his character throughout history. “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth; when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).


·      He slanders God to man (Genesis 3:1-5).


Genesis 3:1-5 (1) Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (2) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: (3) But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.


·      He slanders man to God (Job 1:9-11; Zechariah 3:1-5).


Job 1:9-11 (9) Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? (10) Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. (11) But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.


Zechariah 3:1-5 (1) And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. (2) And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? (3) Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. (4) And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (5) And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.


·      And the devil twists and perverts all: God’s Word, his providence, his gospel, and his grace (Galatians 1:6-9; 3:1).


Next, the great enemy of our souls is called “Satan.” — The word “Satan” means “accuser.” He is one who waits to entrap, to oppose, to disable, to bring disaster, and to destroy. He is a ready, vicious, unrelenting adversary.

·      He opposed God in the beginning.

·      He opposed Christ upon the earth.

·      And he opposes God’s elect from the cradle to the grave.


Child of God, this is the character of your soul’s great enemy. He is a powerful dragon, a subtle serpent, a deceiving slanderer, and a bitter, relentless adversary. But our Savior is mightier than our adversary! Satan is too great for us. But he is not too great for our Christ!


The Binding of Satan


Third, the binding of Satan by Christ is described in verses 2-3.


Revelation 20:2-3 (2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.


John saw the Lord Jesus come down from heaven with a key to lock the bottomless pit and a chain to bind the devil (9:1, 11; 11:7).


Revelation 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.


Revelation 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.


Revelation 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

This bottomless pit has a lid upon it that can be locked and sealed. Remember, this is only a picture, a figurative symbol, nothing more. But it tells us of the work of Christ. He laid hold upon Satan, overpowered him, rendered him helpless, and bound him securely with the mighty chain of his sovereign power. He cast him into the bottomless pit, locked the lid, and sealed it for a thousand years, more literally, “for the thousands of years.”


What does this mean? how did this binding of Satan take place? You will remember that when our Lord Jesus began his public ministry, the Pharisees accused him of casting out demons by the power of Satan. His answer was, “How can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? And then he will spoil his house” (Matthew 12:29). That word, “bind” is exactly the same in Matthew 12:29 and in Revelation 20. And it is talking about the same thing.


The binding of Satan began when our Lord triumphed over him in the wilderness of temptation (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). When Satan met Christ Jesus in the wilderness, he was foiled by the Word of God. As a result of this triumph, our Lord, having bound the strong man, began to spoil his goods, casting out demons.


“The power and influence of Satan over the deluded masses was beginning to be curtailed.”

(William Hendriksen).


In the garden of Gethsemane our Lord Jesus again broke the power of Satan by faith and prayer (Matthew 26:36-46). In that dark, cold night, Satan came to oppose our dear Savior, taunting him with the hideous load of sin that must be put upon him and made his, tormenting him with the anticipation of being made sin, being made to suffer the wrath of God, and being forsaken by the Father. He was trying to keep the Lord from the cross. And our Savior’s tender, holy, human soul was crushed with sorrow. But he rose in triumph after he prayed (Hebrews 5:7-9). In confident faith, he rose up to lay down his life for his sheep (Hebrews 12:1-2).


Hebrews 5:7-9 (7) Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; (8) Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; (9) And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.


Then, our great Savior, crushed the serpent’s head, bound him as a wild beast, and cast him into the bottomless pit, by his glorious, triumphant death upon the cross (John 12:28-32).


John 12:28-32 (28) Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. (29) The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. (30) Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. (31) Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. (32) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.


By his death upon the cursed tree, our Lord Jesus broke the arms of Satan’s usurped dominion over the nations of the world, and began to draw all men unto himself, Gentiles as well as Jews. The light was taken from the Jews who despised it, and sent to the Gentiles who never had it, that God’s elect in every nation might see the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ and be saved (Romans 11:25-29; 33-36).


Romans 11:25-36 (25) For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (26) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (27) For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. (28) As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. (29) For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (30) For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: (31) Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. (32) For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. (33) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (34) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? (35) Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (36) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.


When our Savior ascended up to heaven and was exalted as King over all things, he brought Satan into captivity under his sovereign rule (Psalm 68:18-19; Colossians 2:13-15; Revelation 12:5-11). The Son of God has always ruled Satan, as he has ruled all things, by virtue of his total sovereignty as God. But now, he has, as the God-man, our Mediator, taken away Satan’s power to deceive the world so that he might gather his elect out of every nation in the world. Every text of Scripture which speaks of the binding and captivity of Satan refers to and is associated with our Lord’s first advent, his life, his death, and his exaltation.


This is a glorious, comforting gospel revelation which few people seem to apprehend. We are not awaiting the day when Satan shall be bound and Christ shall be King. Jesus Christ is the sovereign King over all things today! And Satan is bound already!


Our great adversary is under the total rule and control of our dear Savior. He cannot harm us!

·      His temptations are under the rule of our omnipotent Christ!

·      His assaults are under the rule of our omnipotent Christ!

·      Even his roars are under the rule of our omnipotent Christ!

This binding of Satan is not his destruction. That comes later, at the Day of Judgment.


Rather, the binding of Satan is specifically the destruction of his power, or the restraint of his power to deceive the nations. Satan’s influence in the world is not destroyed, but curtailed, so that he is unable to prevent the spread of the gospel, the salvation of God’s elect, and the progress of Christ’s kingdom in the nations of the world. Satan cannot prevent, or withstand, the increase and completion of Christ’s church in this world (Matthew 16:18).


Satan is also bound today by the power of Christ, through the preaching of the gospel (Luke 10:16-20).


Luke 10:16-20 (16) He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. (17) And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. (18) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. (19) Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (20) Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.


As we preach the gospel of the grace of God, when it is effectually applied to the hearts of poor, needy sinners by God the Holy Spirit, Satan is bound and his house is spoiled!


The Loosing Season


I do not say, by any means, that Satan is bound with reference to all men. But, in so far as God’s elect are concerned, Satan is bound everywhere. He cannot stop the progress of the gospel until the thousand years are finished, until the church of Christ is complete, and all God’s elect are saved. But then he must be loosed for “a little season.


There will be a little season of great deception at the close of this present gospel age (v. 3). John tells us that Satan “must be loosed a little season.” The Lord Jesus will once again allow Satan freedom to deceive the nations of the world, because they would not believe the gospel, nor receive the love of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).

·      In that little season, there will be a famine of the Word of God (Amos 8:11-13).

·      In that little season, the world will be zealously religious, but utterly ignorant of the true and living God, deceived with false religion (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 16:12-14).


Revelation 16:12-14 (12) And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. (13) And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. (14) For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.


It appears to me that this “little season” has begun! — But God’s elect shall not be deceived (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). His people are safe. They shall not be moved away from the hope of the gospel (1 John 2:20-29).


Children of God, rejoice! Satan is bound for you! He cannot harm you. He cannot accuse you before God. He cannot bring you into condemnation. He cannot prevent the success of Christ and his kingdom! Soon, God will bruise Satan under your feet (Romans 16:20; Revelation 12:11-12).


O poor sinner, come to Christ! — Satan is bound! He cannot stop you. He cannot cause the God of all grace to cast you out (Zechariah 3:1-5).


What can God’s people do in this little season, in this dark, dark day in which it appears that our God and Savior has again turned Satan loose upon the whole world?

  • Preach!
  • Pray!
  • Praise!


2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 (13) But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.





Don Fortner








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