We now find ourselves in the Halloween season. It is a holiday that many Believers choose not to celebrate. As with many things, the Christian railing against Halloween is a bit misguided due to a lack of understanding about the history behind the holiday. With that said, it is undeniable that much of what has come to be associated with the holiday is not what most would consider to be of God. Still, God can use anything to make his will realized, even things that we may consider to be dark or scary. Anyone who has ever read the book of Revelation can attest to that. With a casual reading one might see this book to be the Bible’s version of a horror story, filled with monsters, death, and destruction. Even against such a dismal backdrop as is painted in Revelation, we are able to see the glory of God. This book is really about Jesus being fully revealed as the Savior and judge of the Earth. It is in this book that we get our best look at Jesus’ promised return.
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. – Revelation 19:11-16
All good horror stories have some malevolent entity or force that is pitted against the protagonist. The Bible, while not a horror story, has such an antagonist that is present from beginning to end. Lucifer, Satan, the Devil…he’s called many names, and we know him as the Enemy. He was there to help mankind stumble in the Garden of Eden, and when this world comes to its end, the Devil will play his part in bringing about its ruin. If there ever was a boogeyman to fear, Satan would appear to be the one. He’s powerful in his own right and has many other demons or evil spirits working towards his cause. It’s no wonder that popular culture has taken him and the rest of the demons and turned them into the fodder for scary stories and nightmares.
While such stories might be good for a fun fright, they don’t bear much resemblance to truth. And while Satan may seem to be an appealing villain, his story has already been written, and SPOILER: he loses.
And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. – Revelation 20:10
The fact is that the threat the Devil and his demons represent has been greatly exaggerated. If you believe some modern representations, you might think that Satan is God’s antithesis…an equal but opposing force. The Bible makes it clear that Satan plays no such role. God has no equal and nothing can oppose his will. Whether it be the story of Job or the temptation of Jesus, we see that Satan cannot even act without God’s permission. We also see that the other demons cower before the Lord. There are many examples of this, but perhaps the encounter between Jesus and Legion is the most telling (Mark 5:1-20). Legion was a faction of hundreds maybe thousands of demons that had possessed a man causing him to act in a crazed fashion that frightened those that encountered him. When this great horde of demons came into contact with Jesus, they did not taunt or attempt to stand against Him. They begged to be casted into a herd of pigs, and only did left the man after being given permission by Jesus. In this story, it was the monsters that ran away in fear.
That is the Lord we serve. Satan could not tempt him. Evil spirits could not resist his commands. As Believers, we know that Jesus is with us and His Spirit resides within us. With Him on our side, we have nothing to fear. Romans 8:31 is a common exhortation that affirms that fact.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against?