The final book in the Bible, Revelation, written by John 6 years after 1 John, has much to say about spiritual warfare as might be expected. In it the battle between God and Satan, which started before the world was created and which included the human race when Adam sinned (Genesis 3:15), comes to a fitting conclusion.
John uses many terms for Satan. He calls him the “devil” (6 times), “evil one” (6 times), “liar and the father of lies” (3 times), “murderer” (1 time), “thief” (1 time), “wolf” (1 time), “deceiver” (1 time), “ruler of this world” (3 times), and “he who is in the world” (1 time).
In addition, John talks about territorial spirits, high ranking demons who oversee control of certain countries or geographical areas. In Revelation they are referred to as a “synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 2:9; 3:9) and “dwelling place of unclean spirits” (Revelation 18:2). They will be the power behind the rise of the nation called Babylon (Revelation 17-18).
LESSONS FOR TODAY: Demons influence and control the nations (Daniel 10:13,20; Ephesians 6:12) and mislead them so they can be destroyed (Isaiah 9:14). It must always be kept in mind, however, that God is in sovereign control. They can do nothing without God’s permission (Job 1:6-12).
Because they cannot get at God or Jesus directly, Satan and demons attack those closest to God today – His children. He focuses his power and leads those he influences to hate and harm believers (Revelation 2:10; 13:7, 14-15; Daniel 12:7).
LESSON FOR TODAY: Satan does all he can to attack God’s people. Sometimes the enemy is permitted to exercise authority over the physical possessions of the child of God (as in Job’s first trial), sometimes over his physical body (as in Job’s second trial and in Paul’s case), and sometimes this authority extends as far as the physical life of the individual is concerned. But usually it is the hand of God which is at work behind the scenes, working to accomplish His own ends, using whatever means He chooses.
Because Revelation records the final, ultimate defeat of Satan and his forces in their battle against God, it is only natural that the first skirmish in that long-standing battle be remembered and everyone reminded of the results. “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world – he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Revelation 12:7-9; see also Daniel 12:1).
This passage clearly details Satan’s defeat in heaven, sometime in the very beginning, probably before man was created. He was defeated in heaven and this earth became his domain (Ephesians 6:12; John 14:30; 16:11; 12:31). Now in Revelation his defeat on earth is chronicled. It is accomplished by Satan being defeated under the feet of the church (Romans 16:20) and by God’s holy angels (Revelation 20:1-3, 10).
This final defeat will be total and complete. Satan and his forces will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone and will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10). Their defeat will be swift and final. They won’t even be granted the dignity of standing before the throne of God to undergo a personal judgment. His judgment was made complete on the cross. He only awaits the carrying out of that sentence.
With that God’s great promise at the start of this battle in Genesis 3:15 to “crush Satan’s head” will be complete. He will be the victor, and us with Him!
LESSON FOR TODAY: Always remember who the ultimate victor in this battle will be. Our faith is based on that, so is our courage and confidence today. We have nothing to fear. There will be total victory someday. Then we will live in that victory forever. Forever!
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)