AN ANGEL With an Assignment.
Rev. 20:1-6 NASB
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut {it} and sealed {it} over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I {saw} the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Introduction
Do you believe in the existence of a personal devil. Let me quote Billy Graham as he said "I believe in the devil because:"

1. The Bible plainly says he exists.

2. I see his work everywhere.

3. Great scholars have recognized his existence.

In the text an Angel receives an assignment to bind the devil and he does just that. Notice with me An Angel with an assignment.

An Assignment with A . .Chain and Key.

An Assignment with A . .Charge.

An Assignment with A. . Constraint.

An Assignment with A . .Celebration.



1 An Assignment with A . . Chain and Key. 20:1-2 a



(Rev 20:1 KJV) And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 KJV) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

A. The Key and the . . Bottomless Pit. v 1

RYRIE Rev 20:1: Vs. 20:1 the abyss. The place where all evil spirits will ultimately be consigned. See note on Luke 8:31

Rev 9:1
1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. (NAS)

B. The Chain and the . . Binding of Satan. v 1

Mark 3:24-27
24 "And if a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25 "And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
26 "And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished!
27 "But no one can enter the strong man's house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. (NAS)

Illustration Personal
On one occasion I talked with a person who had made a profession of faith but did not follow through with their commitment. As we visited they said preacher you don't know about the power of Satan and the control he can have in your life.

I said I know a little bit about the power of Satan and I know God is stronger. He said I don't believe God is stronger than Satan. I asked if he had a Bible and I began to read example after example where Christ had commanded the demons spirits of Satan to leave.

These examples gave Biblical proof that God is stronger. The man said in a tormented voice "don't read anymore don't read any more." In my opinion he was demon possessed and was not willing to face the fact of God's superior power. He had made a profession but he never really gave possession of his life to the Lordship of Christ.

Application

God is stronger than Satan. When He finally wants Satan Bound and cast into a bottomless pit He sends an Elect Angel to accomplish the task. The good angel performs the task with out any difficulty. We can learn from this about the power of God .



2. An Assignment with A . . Charge. v 3



(Rev 20:3 KJV) 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.

A. The . . Seal of the Charge.
1. Satan will be sealed in this Pit.
2. He will not be able to get lose, or have some one loose him.

B. The . . Season of the Charge.

RYRIE Rev 20:2: Vs. 20:2 a thousand years (mentioned six times in this chapter). Since the Latin equivalent for these words is "millennium," this period of time is called the Millennium. It is the time when Christ shall reign on this earth (Isa. 2:3; Dan. 7:14; Zech. 14:9). Satan will not be free to work (here in v. 2), righteousness will flourish (Isa. 11:3-5), peace will be universal (Isa. 2:4), and the productivity of the earth will be greatly increased (Isa. 35:1-2). At the conclusion of the time Satan will be loosed to make one final attempt to overthrow Christ, but without success (vv. 7-9).

Illustration An ancient story recalls how Satan once summoned his top three aides to plan how to stop a group of dedicated Christians from effective missionary work. One of the lieutenants, Rancor, said to Satan, "We should convince them that there is no God." Satan sneered at Rancor and replied, "That would never work. They know that there is a God."

Another of Satan's aides, Bitterness, spoke up. "We'll convince them that God does not really care about right or wrong." Satan toyed with the notion for a few moments, but rejected it because he knew that too many Christians know that God does care.

Malice, the third satanic helper, came up with his idea. "We'll let them go on thinking that there is a God and that He cares about right and wrong. But we will keep whispering that there is no hurry, there is no hurry."

Satan howled with glee. He advanced Malice higher in his malevolent organization. Satan knew that he would find this stratagem successful with many, many Christians.

Application

Satan's scheme today may be to cause one to think they have much time. God will one day give Satan a 1,000 years to think about his schemes. Then he will be given eternity to think about his rebellion.




3. An Assignment with . . A Constraint. v 4



(Rev 20:4 KJV) And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

A. Constrained for the . . Witness of Jesus. v 4 a

B. Constrained for the . . Word of God. v 4 b

RYRIE Rev 20:4: Vs. 20:4 The occupants of the thrones are not identified. Some think they are the 12 disciples (Luke 22:29-30), others that they are the church saints (1 Cor. 6:2; 2 Tim. 2:12). the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus. These are the martyrs of the tribulation days who will be resurrected to share the joys of the millennial kingdom.

Illustration
Adoniram Judson, the renowned missionary to Burma, endured untold hardships trying to reach the lost for Christ. For 7 heartbreaking years he suffered hunger and privation. During this time he was thrown into Ava Prison, and for 17 months was subjected to almost incredible mistreatment. As a result, for the rest of his life he carried the ugly marks made by the chains and iron shackles which had cruelly bound him. Upon his release he asked for permission to enter another province where he might resume preaching the Gospel. The godless ruler indignantly denied his request, saying "My people are not fools enough to listen to anything a missionary might SAY, but I fear they might be impressed by your SCARS and turn to your religion!"

Application

Why does God with hold His Angels? Why does He constrain them? Because some will only be won with scars they can see and we may very well have to bear some of those scars.

Many would say I regret I have but one life to give for the Savior.



4. An Assignment with . . Celebration.
v 4 b - 6



v 4 b ". . . and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
(Rev 20:5 KJV) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

RYRIE Rev 20:5: Vs. 20:5 The rest of the dead. The wicked dead will be raised and judged after the Millennium. the first resurrection. Refers back to the end of verse 4. This resurrection includes all the righteous (the resurrection of life, John 5:29, and the resurrection of the righteous, Luke 14:14), who will be raised before the Millennium begins.

Luke 15:10
10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (KJV)

A. The Celebration of . . Privileges.
1. Part of the First Resurrection.
2. Priest for a Thousand years.

B. The Celebration of . . Powerlessness.
1. The second death has no power over them.

Illustration HEAVEN
A nurse with whom I worked, Gracie Schaeffler, took care of this lad during the latter days of his life. He was dying of lung cancer, which is a terrifying disease in its final stages. The lungs fill with fluid, and the patient is unable to breathe. It is terribly, especially for a small child.

This little boy had a Christian mother who loved him and stayed by his side through the long ordeal. Gracie told me that she entered his room one day as death approached, and she heard this lad talking about bells. "The bells are ringing, Mommie," he said. "I can hear them."

Gracie thought he was hallucinating because he was already slipping away. She left and returned a few minutes later and again heard him talking about hearing bells ringing. The nurse said to his mother, 'I'm sure you know your baby is hearing things that aren't there. He is hallucinating because of the sickness."

The mother pulled her son closer to her chest, smiled and said, "No, Miss Schaeffler. He is not hallucinating. I told him when he was frightened -- when he couldn't breathe -- if he would listen carefully, he could hear the bells of heaven ringing for him. That is what he's been talking about all day."

That precious child died on his mother's lap later that evening, and he was still talking about the bells of heaven when the angels came to take him. What a brave little trooper he was!

God may have given an angel an assignment to ring bells for that little boy. I am sure they celebrated with the redeemed when the lad came to heaven.

Conclusion An Angel With An Assignment

An Assignment with A . . Chain and Key.

An Assignment with A . . Charge.

An Assignment with A. . Constraint.

An Assignment with A. . Celebration.

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