Author: Ron Graham
Judgment of the Beasts (Revelation 12-20) >Seven Final Visions >2nd vision >Woe to Babylon >Satan’s ruin
We have come to the second of the seven final visions —seven songs of woe regarding “Babylon”. However, before we continue with our verse-by-verse studies, we will take some overviews. In this lesson we consider Satan’s failed agenda.
A very strong theme in the Book of Revelation is the frustrations and failures of Satan. There are seven of these in the visions of Revelation. The first four of the seven were in chapter 12. Now, in this lesson, we consider the other three failures described in chapters 18-20.
Satan, frustrated and doomed as he is, still uses one of his oldest ploys. He corrupts political powers and uses them to wreck society, establish false religions, and persecute the people of God. Babylon was such a power, and in the vision the cry is heard, “Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the great!” (Chapter 18)
The name "Babylon" represents all such political powers. At the time John received the visions of Revelation, Rome was a world superpower corrupted in this way by Satan. It was the Babylon of that time.
This method of Satan, however, is stupidly self defeating, because nations that rise to greatness and then become corrupted will fall. So while "the whole world lies under the wicked one" nations rise and fall. Through all this, however, Jesus Christ remains true and his kingdom of truth prevails (1John 5:19-21).
The dragon is seized, bound, and cast into a bottomless pit for 1000 years. After the 1000 years, he is released for a short time and makes an awful lot of trouble (Revelation 20:1-3,7).
This binding of Satan is another signification of Satan's frustration and defeat. However, alongside this is a warning that he is also "released for a little season".
Although Satan and his demons have been cast down to earth, Heaven has not given Satan a free hand on earth. He is very strongly restrained. On the other hand, Heaven has not yet confined Satan to eternal Hell, but has left him at present in this world. The time he has is little, and the power he has is chained, but Satan is still the Devil. He can still destroy and deceive. Nevertheless, with the power of Jesus, we can resist and expose Satan if we will.
This must be a great frustration to Satan. The 1000 years of confinement and the little season of release signify the strength of the restraint placed upon Satan. Satan's persecutions and the tribulations he causes are characterized as lasting a time, times, and half a time (1260 days or 42 months in the symbolic calendar). These are little seasons compared to 1000 years.
Satan's efforts are little compared to God's will. In plain language, "God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1Corinthians 10:13).
In the final vision of Satan, he is cast into a lake of fire to join the beast and the false prophet and to be continually tormented forever (Revelation 20:7-10).
That vision is of the future. Satan has not yet seen his eternal destruction and doom. But he already knows he has lost. He knows his time is short. He knows his doom is sealed. He is insane with rage.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil prowls like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. Yet, after you have suffered a little while, may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1Peter 5:6-11).