Revelation 20:1-6: ‘God’s devil!’

“And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient snake, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations any more until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They[a] had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” NIV

I believe it was Archbishop William Temple who was once asked, ‘Where is the soul in the body?’ He replied, brilliantly in my opinion, ‘Where the music is in the organ.’ Well, there is great encouragement in today’s reading for those who are faithful to Jesus to the point of death. John ‘’saw’’ their souls. Death was not the end of any of them, and they receive their reward.

There is also great encouragement for us all, that Satan is under God’s authority. Look again at the language used: ‘’…seized…bound…Threw him…locked and sealed…to keep him.’’ Even now the devil is on a chain. Admittedly, it’s a long chain, so he has considerable (although restricted) freedom. But, as Martin Luther famously said, he is always ‘God’s devil!’