My son, MJ holds to the belief that Darth Vader is a good guy. I always tell him that Anakin started off good, and ended good, but he was not a good guy most of the time. MJ of course argues with me. You see, Anakin gave into the allure of the Dark Side. Palpaltine seemed to have answers to the questions Anakin was asking, he seemed to have ways around the rule that Anakin didn’t like. To Anakin, the closer he got to the Dark Side, the more it became attractive, he was able to justify his moments of darkness and soon fell into the Dark Side completely. The Dark Side can be alluring, but in the end it is still Darkness and not Light.
The world around us is full of the allure of Darkness, it seems to answer our questions and have ways around certain things about God that we don’t like, but the Scripture reminds us of many things, one of those things is that the Enemy is named The Destroyer, because He Destroys. It is His nature. Revelation chapter 9 also teaches us much more about the Destroyer and his nature as well as more about God and his nature.
The first thing we notice about this Destroyer is he has no power on his own. He likes to make us think he does and would love for us to succumb to this lie, but he simply doesn’t have any power on his own.
The Destroyer Has No Power on His Own (vs. 1, 3-5 & 14)
In verse one, we see they keys were given to him and his minions in verses 3-5 and 14 we see are “told” to not do certain things and to do certain things and not by their King, but by God. The shows and displays that the Enemy (here named Apollyon- The Destroyer) has no real power! He has to beg for it. His goal has always been to be worshiped, but he still has no real power of his own, he has to get it from God.
Too often many Christians fear the enemy and stay clear of engaging in spiritual warfare and so many among us pretend it doesn’t even exist due to our fear. Yet here we see we needn’t fear the Destroyer, our King is stronger than the demonic forces and their king combined because they can do nothing without permission. The Destroyer is good at what he does in his craftiness though. He paints himself as anything but a force of destruction and lies, cheats, steals and destroys. God freely welcomes us to enjoy His power, but Satan hordes anything he gets and uses it to cause Destruction…but remember it’s all borrowed power.
We, as Children of God have immense power over the enemy, even though we don’t think so. (1 John 5:18) We are Warriors who act like kids instead. The greatest show of this is among my own gender, the men. We’ve not gone to War as we should, we’ve not fought the battles against the enemy the way we should. We’ve not protected our homes against the enemy’s destructive lies as we should and I’m tired of seeing Destruction when we can stand against it by the Power of God. The Destroyer lives to Destroy, we need to expose the fake allure and fight Him, because he has no power on his own.
Too often we are intimidated by the world and their accusations of us because the Destroyer stirs up fear. We needn’t fear him. We must be cautious and remain intimate with the Father in order to stand firm, but we need not fear the Destroyer.
The Destroyer Forces Worship and Cares for No One (vs. 4-19)
Here, God gives the Destroyer and his minions license to be upon the earth, and the lie in todays society is that God is all about judgment and wrath, we need to reject him and embrace loving one another and living by our own rules because people are safer that way. Here we see when God backs off and allows the Destroyer to rule and his crazy wacky locked up minions free reign they simply bring torture and death. The Destroyer is nothing but someone who destroys. He forces worship through pain, death, manipulation, lies, torture and he cares only for his own ruler ship, nothing else. His heart is bent to forcing you to bow, the allure of things he brings about sound great, lies like: “you can be like god if you_____” which he’s been touting since the beginning. This one lie has caused many to worship him. He doesn’t have humanities best interest at heart, he simply wants the heart of humanity. He despises God and anything from Him, and we as humans are from God and have His image upon us, Satan does nothing but hate us so he seeks to simply Destroy us in anyway he can. When given the go ahead to rule for a time he unleashes this hate upon the earth with such a force that we’ve never seen the like before ever in human history.
Many things in history are lending us to see that things are coming more and more against belief in Jesus Christ and there is a growing pressure to embrace the Destroyers ways. Much of history is repeating itself, even in the Western world as it pertains to the allowance of worshiping Jesus. In state College’s and State run institutions like the military it is slowly becoming illegal to share the Gospel, even if asked. We no longer have the luxury of sitting on our hands! We can no longer waste time squabbling over stupid issues! The time of “Christian Luxury” in the Western world is coming to a short close. We must be people of the Light, living before this Dark world, revealing its lies. We must seek a deeper intimacy with our Father and His Spirit to receive the power to do so. Jesus died so we can have the same power He had in order to spread the Gospel. The time is now.
God Protects His Children from Destruction (vs. 4)
Again, we are reminded here that the enemy doesn’t have his own power all to himself. We also see a loving Father protecting His children from the harm of these incredible demonic forces. Those sealed by God will be free from these tormentors, free from the death desiring painful demonic influence. He loves us and will safeguard us from this torturous time, as he does even now. We can’t fathom the depths of the tragedy these demons and the Destroyer will bring, because the world has never seem anything like it. We can be assured as people sealed with the Holy Spirit that we will be protected. This will give us the opportunity as unharmed witnesses to display the power of Christ and share the message of repentance to the world.
God’s Ultimate Goal is People Turn To Him (vs. 20-21)
“God invites us to worship, while Satan forces us to”
The end game of Revelation has not been nor will it ever be “judgment” it is repentance! Sadly though, even after all of the displays the Destroyer will bring and the safety brought to those who believe in Jesus the world will again refuse to repent. Living by their own rules and being their own “gods” as they think they are will always look better to some. God is as they say a perfect Gentleman. He will invite people to worship him, but never will he force himself upon anyone. He will display through His people the power and love and safety that He and only He can provide while Satan will force people to worship Him. Yet, with all of this love, compassion and patience many will not turn to Him. The allure of the Satanic lie will trump the grace and compassion of God. Yet we must see that God’s heart in all of this is to draw people to Himself. He was not the aggressor in this portion of Revelation, he allowed the wicked spirits, those bound in the furnace and bound by the river to go free. He allowed them to reign for a time and gave them permission to do as they pleased. He didn’t do it himself. Not did he influence them to be wicked or to destroy the way they did…The Destroyer chose that, He led them to reckless destruction of mankind. Satan’s goal is destruction, not life. God’s goal is life. He died in order that we may live. Satan lived in order that we may die. They are polar opposites. We must wake up to this and help wake our world up to this.
For too long, the church has sat on its hands, twitting its thumbs and luxuriously laying back and arguing about meaningless crap all while ignoring God, intimacy with Him as well as living Jesus to the world. Many pastors don’t pray. Many churches waste time talking about light bulbs and MISS the WHOLE POINT. We no longer have the luxury of luxuriating! The time is now. We must change ourselves, we must change the church and we must be the Real expression of Jesus to this world. Many people are falling for the lies of the Destroyer. He pretends he’s here to help but ultimately he’s defined and named for what he does: destroy. May we never forget the Destroyer Destroys!