The “Villain” of the Drama of Revelation


In this study we are going to discuss the shocking facts of our bitterest enemy. Click here to download the PDF and follow along with the video.

The book of Revelation unveils the enemy’s strategy to ensnare and ruin the world. Since the beginning, His plan has been to steal the seat of Christ and usurp the honor and glory due to the Creator.

As we briefly review the book of Revelation we can gleam the following:

  1. There’s a terrifying conflict in the spiritual world taking place and we are the loot.
  2. Jesus, as the Son of God, and Co-Creator with the Father, has been leading the forces of good against evil, by revealing the love of the Father to us. His tactics are based on the fruits of the spirit which consist of love, courage, wisdom, kindness, patience, integrity, gentleness, serenity, sympathy, compassion, tact and geniality. This is why Jesus is worthy of our worship and praise, because He is our Redeemer and our Creator.
  3. Conversely, the enemy leading the forces of evil, uses relentless and devastating tactics when assaulting Jesus and His people.

According to the book of Revelation the devil is militant, venomous, and heartless. His hateful and unscrupulous, self-centered assaults are designed to obliterate the knowledge of God from our minds, and lead those who forfeit the protection of God into worshipping him, the creature, rather than the Creator.

The sobering fact is we are designed to worship. This is why idolatry is so rampant in the world, because in the beginning, the Creator designed us for His glory. Without the knowledge of God we’ll end up worshipping ourselves, a thing, or a false ideology, giving homage to Satan.

Just as Christ has many names and titles, the book of Revelation has applied the devil titles. Let’s review a few of these.

The devil

“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)


“I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” (Revelation 2:9)

The Greek word (G4567)  is defined as “the accuser, that is, the devil, Satan.” In Revelation 12:10 he is called “the accuser of our brethren.”

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” (Revelation 12:10)

In the book of Revelation the adversary is mentioned 55 times.

The word “Satan” means “adversary” or “enemy” and “Devil,” means “slanderer”.

The dragon

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. ” (Revelation 12:7-9)

Jesus said “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (Luke 10:18)

And along with him we see in Revelation 12:7-10 that his angels were also cast out of heaven. In 2 Peter 2:4 we see these fallen angels are reserved in chains or darkness until the time of the judgment.

“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” (2 Peter 2:4)

In the same way, sinners who will not heed to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and harden their minds against the warnings of God, will be doomed to destruction.

Matthew Henry said:

“…he shall die without seeing his danger beforehand, shall die because he would not receive instruction, but in the greatness of his folly would go astray; and so shall his doom be, he shall never find the way home again. Those that are so foolish as to choose the way of sin are justly left of God to themselves to go in it till they come to that destruction which it leads to, which is a good reason why we should guard with watchfulness and resolution against the allurements of the sensual appetite.”

Sensual appetite and uncontrolled, lustful passions are the enemy’s main tool in his arsenal against us.

This is why Ellen White called licentiousness a snare. Licentious individuals are those who regard the desires of the flesh and lack moral restraints. In the context of this quote, she is referring to the Sodomites’ corruption. Which is identified in Ezekiel 16:49 as pride, fullness of bread, prosperous ease, abundance of idleness, and lack of regard for the poor and needy.

“Licentiousness prevails in our world. Its inhabitants are becoming as corrupt as were the Sodomites. The sin of Sodom is widespread. Will you become ensnared? Will you become careless, and gratify sensual appetite and passion, which you know will ruin the soul?” (11LtMs, Lt 23, 1896, par. 12)

How many angels were cast out with the devil?

According to Revelation 12:3 the devil drew a third part of the stars of heaven, or angels out with him.

“And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” (Revelation 12:4)

In Job 38:7 it says that the morning stars sang together at Creation, this is referring to the angels. And we just learned that the third part of the angels of heaven fell with Satan. This is confirmed in 2 Peter 2:4 as we saw earlier. God didn’t spare the angels that sinned. Jude 6 tells us as well that these fallen angels are being reserved for destruction during the judgment of the great day.

“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 6)

What Is the origin of the angels?

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” (Colossians 1:16)

What was Satan’s name and work before the fall?

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12)

“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” (Ezekiel 28:14)

Ellen White’s commentary tells us that, “Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and who stood highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Before his fall, Lucifer was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. “Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering. . . .Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Eze 28:12-15.” –Ellen G. White The Great Controversy Pg. 493.3

The imagery we are being presented with in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 transcends a mere local application to these rulers, essentially reflecting the characteristics of their king, Satan.

Ellen White, when relating the story of the fall of Satan and his angels, described these characteristics.

“Leaving his place in the immediate presence of God, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. Working with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealing his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God, he endeavored to excite dissatisfaction concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that they imposed an unnecessary restraint. Since their natures were holy, he urged that the angels should obey the dictates of their own will. He sought to create sympathy for himself by representing that God had dealt unjustly with him in bestowing supreme honor upon Christ. He claimed that in aspiring to greater power and honor he was not aiming at self-exaltation, but was seeking to secure liberty for all the inhabitants of heaven, that by this means they might attain to a higher state of existence.” {GC 495.2}

Let’s see the gist of what caused Lucifer’s fall.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:12-14)

Lucifer coveted the position held by the King of the North, Jesus. In his pride he wanted to rule above God. In contrast we see Jesus, the Word of God, humbled Himself in manifesting as a man to serve humanity.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

Ezekiel 28:17, and Isaiah 14:12, 14 we learn that it was because of pride and self-exaltation that Lucifer fell. He began to covet the seat and honor due to Jesus.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12)

“I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:14)

“Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” (Ezekiel 28:17)

These character flaws are revealed in Revelation and other parts of the Bible to warn us about his strategies.

Revelation 12:13 shows us he persecutes God’s people.

And in Revelation 12:9 we learn that Satan deceives the whole world.

And Revelation 20:8,10 prophecies about how Satan will deceive all the nations of the world. But his end will be the lake of fire and brimstone.


What amazing twofold warning does God give us regarding the devil’s most effective deceptive strategy?

The Bible teaches that Satan will appear as an angel of light, and so will also his ministers. He will manipulate preachers of righteousness with or without their knowledge, people who will appear as Christian workers, to deceive and ensnare. This deception will cause the fall of many who aren’t watchful.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

2 Thessalonians 2:9 gives us an example of a minister of righteousness whose coming will be after the working of Satan.

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-9)

This is why we have to understand what we are up against. Satan is not someone we can take on ourselves, and without the protection of God we don’t stand a chance at his assaults.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Because Satan works miracles, many who aren’t well acquainted with the Scriptures will fall prey to his devices. In Revelation 16 we are given a warning against this.

“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” (Revelation 16:13-14)

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10)

His miracles are extremely effective in deceiving people. Without the protection of God, we don’t stand a chance.

In Matthew 24:24 Jesus Himself warns us of these false prophets performing miracles.

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

Concerning these satanic assaults, Ellen White said:

“The great controversy between Christ and Satan, that has been carried forward for nearly six thousand years, is soon to close; and the wicked one redoubles his efforts to defeat the work of Christ in man’s behalf and to fasten souls in his snares. To hold the people in darkness and impenitence till the Saviour’s mediation is ended, and there is no longer a sacrifice for sin, is the object which he seeks to accomplish.” –Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy Pg. 518.1

The time to seek the Lord is coming to an end. If you hear the convicting voice of God in your heart, seek Him before it’s too late. Satan’s assaults are so effective, that in the judgment Jesus tells these false prophets to depart from His side.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

This prophecy shows us that these individuals were casting out devils and performing works of righteousness, yet, we see Jesus telling them to depart from His sight because they are performing iniquity.

Sin is the snare.

We are also taught that Satan will quote Scripture in order to deceive us. Misuse of Scripture one of Satan’s most powerful weapons.

In Matthew 4:1,5,6 we see that when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness and brought him to a pinnacle of the temple, he said to Christ, “it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” He used this to tempt Christ to commit the sin of presumption.

This is why Jesus said,

“It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Matthew 4:7)

In the Desire of Ages, Ellen White said:

“When God’s written word was given, Satan studied the prophecies of the Saviour’s advent. From generation to generation he worked to blind the people to these prophecies, that they might reject Christ at His coming.” {DA 115.1}

As we skip down to page 121, she continues to describe the last great conflict of the controversy with Satan, saying.

“… those who are loyal to God will see every earthly support cut off. Because they refuse to break His law in obedience to earthly powers, they will be forbidden to buy or sell. It will finally be decreed that they shall be put to death. (See Rev 13:11-17). But to the obedient is given the promise, “He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.” Isa 33:16. By this promise the children of God will live. When the earth shall be wasted with famine, they shall be fed. “They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.” Psa 37:19. To that time of distress the prophet Habakkuk looked forward, and his words express the faith of the church: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Hab 3:17-18. {DA 121.3}

Who is Satan particularly enraged with in these last days?

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:17)

Those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

And according to the angel Gabriel, the testimony of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of Prophecy.

“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10)

“Therefore it is the prophets who have “the testimony of Jesus;” and the angel who appeared to John is evidently the special messenger who conveys instruction to all the prophets,—doubtless the angel Gabriel, who is mentioned as having appeared to Daniel. See Daniel 8:16; 9:21. The same angel further said to John, “the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10.” (Christian Experience and Teachings by Ellen G. White Pg. 243.5)

“Comparing the Bible expression, “the testimony of Jesus,” with the statement of Revelation 12:17 concerning the “remnant … which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ,” we conclude that prior to Christ’s second coming His true church will be keeping His commandments, and that they will have the Spirit of prophecy. (CET 243.6)

Now can I be certain that Satan will not deceive me?

Readings: Isaiah 8:20; Acts 17:11; John 7:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

This is exactly why we have to be careful of what we believe, because life and death are literally involved. Satan is a master deceiver who is an expert at misusing the Scriptures to destroy the masses with his lies.

Isaiah 8:20 teaches us a principle to apply when deciding who to listen to in matters of spirituality.

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20)

We are given an example of how we are to receive the Word of God and search for truth as for hid treasure. The students of the Bible in Thessalonica received the Word of God with an open mind. The Scriptures say they searched the Bible to ensure what they were receiving from their spiritual teachers was actually written there.

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

Jesus said that His doctrine was the Father’s and that anyone who performed His will, would know of the doctrine.

“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:16-17)

And according to 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, should we not receive the love of the truth, nor perform God’s will, we will be taken in the snare of Satan.

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)

Satan’s time is very short. 1 Peter 5:8 says that he’s like a praying lion, looking for whom he may devour.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…” (1 Peter 5:8)

If you notice, the verse begins by telling the reader to be sober. This is important, because this word literally means to be temperate and clear-headed. The antonym is “drunk”. When you study this word, you’ll note that those who refuse to accept the love of the truth suffer drunkenness.

This word has a dual application, meaning its being used throughout the Bible to describe the spiritual as well as the literal sense.

In Revelation 17:2 for example, we see that the kings of the earth are drunk with the wine of the fornication of the fallen church, termed Babylon.

“With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” (Revelation 17:2)

Essentially referring to this wine as the false teachings of the fallen Catholic church.

While in Ephesians 5:18 it is being used to teach the reader temperance and spirituality.

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Ephesians 5:18)

This is such an important matter that Christ, in Luke 21:34 teaches us not to allow our minds to become overcharged with surfeiting, meaning, drunkenness.

“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” (Luke 21:34)

And Peter, when speaking of the Gentiles who weren’t aware of the teachings of Christ, said these individuals walk in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, in other words, drunkenness. He then continued his statement by saying they were involved in ravellings, banquetings and abominable idolatries.

This is the character of Satan. It’s his most powerful weapon against us. There’s a lot that can be said about all of this, but the gist of the matter is, he uses intemperance and lasciviousness against us.


Where will Satan finally be placed?

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)

What will the fire do to him and with what result?

“Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.” (Ezekiel 28:18-19)

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Hebrews 2:14)

From what we read in these verses, Satan will be destroyed. Ezekiel tells us that he will be ashes upon the earth.

Let’s discuss how we can defeat the devil.

Revelation 12:11 tells us that God’s people overcame the devil by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. They stood steadfastly in the truth unto death.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11)

“These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” (Revelation 14:4)

We see the redeemed also in Revelation 14:4, where the text tells us the weren’t defiled with women, calling them virgins, to denote purity of character. Of this Ellen G. White said:

“This Scripture represents the character of the people of God for these last days. The everlasting gospel is to be preached, and it is to be practiced in true missionary work carried forward not after the wisdom that men may devise, but after the wisdom of God. All who walk in safe paths are to understand that the third angel’s message is of consequence to the whole world, and must be carried to the world in clear, straight lines, and in its distinctive features, as Christ revealed it to John.” (18MR 28.1)

Those who follow the Lamb wherever He goes, will understand the prophecies.

“One of the marked features in the representation of the one hundred and forty four thousand is that in their mouth there was found no guile. The Lord has said, “Blessed is the man … in whose spirit there is no guile.” [Psalm 32:2.] They profess to be children of God, and are represented following the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. They are prefigured before us as standing on Mount Zion, girt for holy service, clothed in white linen, which is the righteousness of the saints. But all who follow the Lamb in heaven, will first have followed Him on earth, in trustful, loving, willing obedience; followed Him not fretfully and capriciously, but confidently, truthfully, as the flock follows the shepherd.” (11LtMs, Ms 7a, 1896, par. 14)

Revelation 14:4 says:

“These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” (Revelation 14:4)

I will end our study with James 4:7-9, this is helpful counsel on how we can defeat Satan.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” (James 4:7-9)