And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.…
I. REDEEMED HUMANITY HAS A FEARFUL ANTAGONIST TO CONTEND WITH.
1. The actual existence of such an enemy.
(1) Universal belief of humanity.
(2) The opposite classes of moral phenomena. In the world we have error, selfishness, infidelity, misery, and truth, benevolence, religion, happiness. Can these be branches from the same root?
(3) The general teaching of the Bible.
2. The personality of such an enemy. An evil principle implies an evil person.
3. The characteristics of such an enemy.
II. HEAVEN HAS VOUCHSAFED AN AGENCY WHICH IS DESTINED TO MASTER THE ADVERSARY. Let the word "angel" here stand for every true religious teacher.
1. His authority. Every man who has the spirit and power of a teacher has the "key" or the authority to teach. He has a right to do battle with the enemy wherever he is found; whether in literature or commerce, churches or governments, theories or practices.
2. His instrumentality. "A chain." Iron, brass, adamant? No. These cannot fetter intellect or manacle soul. Nothing can curb or restrain the influence of Satan but Christian truth. What is meant by binding Satan? It does not mean the binding of his being or faculties, but the binding of his influence. He is to be bound, in the sense of limiting his sway, by closing up human hearts against him.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.