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The crushing of Satan Revelation 16-20
The crushing of Satan
Revelation 16-20

Last week we took a look at Revelation 13 together.

-In that passage we were introduced to two satanically empowered people who will appear in the last days before the return of Christ (the man of lawlessness/the anti-christ of 2 Thessalonians 2 and Daniel 7).
-Revelation 13 calls them beasts (for they will be rulers and evil ones at that)
-These two will subject the world and have authority over all peoples and make war against the saints. Many Christians will die and be sent into captivity.
-Interestingly enough, when the second beast rises up, he will appear to be like a Christ figure (even being able to perform miraculous signs). Many will be deceived. People will worship him. Yet as Revelation 13:11 says, though he appears as a lamb, he will speak like a dragon (reminding us that Satan masquerades as an angel of light)
-Revelation 13 tells that things will get so bad in the days before Christ returns that all will be forced to receive a mark of allegiance to the beast-- and that without it, one will not be able to buy or sell. Revelation 13 strictly warns us that when such days come we must not waver or give in to this mans demands.

Today, from the perspective of Revelation 16-20 I want to to tell you the good news of the defeat and crushing of Satan

Before proceeding I would like to draw to your attention that such is a fulfillment of a scripture from the very first book of the Bible. In Genesis 3:14-15 it says; "So the LORD God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this, 'Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

Part 1: 7 BOWLS OF GOD'S WRATH Revelation 15-16

While Satan has in mind to harass, lead astray, and destroy those who follow Christ (and that applies to today as well), the Book of Revelation cheers our hearts by laying out for us the doom and crushing of Satan and those in league with him-- for Satan is a defeated foe.

-In Revelation 14:11 we are told that there will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name."
-In Revelation 15 we are introduced to a heavenly scene depicting the saints who have been victorious over the beast (such will be the ones who refuse to worship him and receive his mark of allegiance). These saints are pictured as worshipping Christ. As these saints worship, from God's heavenly temple proceed 7 angels with 7 golden bowls representing 7 plagues and bowls of God's wrath. These 7 bowls of God's wrath have been reserved as punishment upon the beast and those who will follow and worship him.
-In Revelation 16 these 7 bowls of God's wrath are poured out. Note the specifics. For those who capitulate to the beast, they will be afflicted with 1. painful sores 2. Everything in the seas will die 3. The rivers are depicted as becoming like blood-- this means all creatures in fresh water will die to. 4. The sun will scorch people with fire 5. The kingdom of the beast will be plunged into darkness 6. The Euphrates river will dry up to serve as a path for the gathering together of the armies of the earth to come for war. 7. An earthquake like no other will occur. The capital city where the beast will reside will split into 3, giant hailstones will fall to earth.

Some interesting things to note from Revelation 16.

-The bowls of God's wrath, while intended to lead people to repentance, will have the opposite effect (people will curse God all the more)
-The saints in Heaven will rejoice when they see these days come (for their blood cries out for justice for all the evil done against them for the name and cause of Christ.) Satan and those who follow him will get there due. Revelation 16:5-7 says; "Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: "You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve." And I heard the altar respond: "Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments."

BABYLON THE GREAT: THE WOMAN ON THE BEAST Revelation 17-18

As part of the judgment of God upon Satan and those who are in league with him, we are introduced in Revelation 17 to an interesting scene.

In Revelation 17, John has a vision of a woman sitting on a scarlet beast covered with blasphemous names and having 7 heads and 10 horns. This woman is pictured as having written on her forehead "Mystery. Babylon the Great. The mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth"

Of note is this: She/this city is an oppressor of the saints and guilty of shedding the blood of those who are the followers of Christ.

As for the identity of this woman, who represents a great city that serves as the worlds capital, there is much speculation.

-some think John is alluding to Rome (which sat on 7 hills)
-some even think it is a reference to Jerusalem (which is also amidst 7 hills)
-others see it as a city to come or yet, as a reference to a future government of a world order

Note: we must not give ourselves to speculation as it regards the city in mind.

FYI: Babylon of old stands as a type for this city.

This city once ruled the known world. It was a centre of idolatry and wickedness and for 70 years held Israel captive. In the end, according the Words of God, it fell in 1 night (see Daniel 5)


The crushing of Satan part 2: THE BEAST TURNS ON THE WOMAN. Revelation 17-18

In John's vision a fascinating thing happens, the beast (the anti christ and man of lawlessness to come) is pictured as turning on the woman and bringing her to ruin. Revelation 17:16.

This reminds me of Jesus' words in Matthew 12:25; wherein he responds to the charge that his miracles were by the power of Satan "Jesus knew there thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand."

That Satan will turn on his own subjects is no surprise (for he hates everybody)

ASIDE: One movie that depicts this theme well is J.R Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

The crushing of Satan part 3: The Fall of Babylon the Great is announced and details are given Revelation 18

-***These details are mirrored in God's words of judgement against the Babylon of old and the Tyre of old. See Ezekiel 26-28, Isaiah 13-14, Jeremiah 51, Isaiah 21:1-9
-This fall of Babylon the Great (this city that will be the ruling city of the world) will be in accord for the judgment of God for her sins against the followers of Christ. Revelation 18:20

The crushing of Satan part 4: THE REJOICING OF THE SAINTS AND THE RETURN OF CHRIST Revelation 19

The culminating act of Judgment against Satan and the people of this world who will swear allegiance to the rulers he will have is the return of Christ in glory and power to Judge. Such is the triumphant scene of Revelation 19:11-21- which pictures Jesus as coming in anger and power- to defeat and crush those lined up against him (READ)

The end result of the outpouring of God's judgment on Satan is the praise of the saints of God who rejoice that justice is done.

Following this, Revelation 20 tells us that Jesus will reign on earth for a period of 1000 years and then there will be a final rebellion and then their will be a new heaven and new earth.


THE BIG POINT OF TODAY

Satan is a defeated foe. He is going to get what's coming to him. While he is filled with fury and hate, his time is short.

We have been told the future that we might be encouraged. We belong to Christ's triumphant kingdom. We have the privilege of knowing the end of the story. Jesus wins!


CONCLUSION

The Book of Revelation tells us the events leading up and surrounding the return of Christ.
-Just before Jesus returns, things will be at their worst for Christians-- for The anti-Christ/The man of lawlessness will be on earth and he - by Satan's power- will do all he can to wipe Christians out.
-We are not to be afraid, for as God's Word teaches us, Satan and those in league with him are doomed- for Jesus is coming back.
-Our call is to remain faithful and not to compromise or be wishy washy. We must stay true to Christ (in the here in now and in the days to come)

IS YOUR NAME WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE?

Before finishing today's lesson I want to draw your attention to one more thing. Repeatedly in the Book of Revelation the Book of Life is spoken of.

Revelation 20:15 "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."

Revelation 13:8 "All the inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast- all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world."

Revelation 3:5 "He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels."

Revelation 17:8 "The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come."

Psalm 69:28 "May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous"

Luke 10:20, Jesus says to his disciples; "do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

Philippians 4:3 "Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life."

Exodus 32:32-33 "But now, please forgive their sin-- but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written. The LORD replied to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book."

To get into Heaven, your name must be written in the Book of Life!

Ones surety that their name is written in the book of life rests in saving relationship with Jesus. Jesus is the way to heaven. In Christ alone is the forgiveness of sins.
Judgment is the eternal consequence of ones name not being found in the book of life. Such comes from rejecting Christ as Savior and living as a rebel against God-- though according to his grace and love the offer of forgiveness and peace with Him has been extended.

Put your faith in Jesus.