The anger of Satan against the Rapture of the saints is because this event will be his final defeat. Calvary, the Resurrection, and all the victory of Jesus’ death and life were certainly Satan’s greatest defeat. It has been downhill for him since he was cast out of Heaven. The Rapture will seal his doom forever. From the time that he deceived Adam and Eve in the garden, he has attacked the family of God. When Jesus descended into upper Sheol, Satan lost his hold on the First Testament saints. He could not damn them nor could they escape the prison house of the righteous dead. Jesus took the keys of death and hell and led this victorious company out of their prison into His resurrected presence. Their spirit and soul is with Him in Heaven, but the majority of them are still awaiting the Rapture and the Resurrection to receive their glorified bodies. Matthew records that a firstfruits number were resurrected and caught up when He arose from the dead.There are complexities to the Rapture and the Resurrection that must not divide us. I personally believe that not one blood-washed soul (Old or New Testament) will be left in the grave when the Pre-Tribulation Rapture occurs. The earth must be free of the saved dead before the traumas of the seven years of judgment can begin. The judgments of Jesus Christ will shake this earth to its very core so that nothing of sin will be left to defile or destroy in all of creation. The wicked dead will be in death and hell until the Seven Years of Tribulation and the Millennium are finished. Then they will be resurrected unto damnation to be judged.
Satan has waged war against the saints for six thousand years. His very thought of the dead in Christ being resurrected with glorified bodies forever out of his reach is terrifying to him. Add to that the Rapture and Resurrection of the living saints that he has pursued since the moment they were born again being removed totally beyond his reach. But the Rapture and Resurrection of the righteous is only the beginning of his future troubles. The saints that he has terrorized will become the Lord’s elders during the seven years, and we will be used of the Lord to direct the judgments against him and his false trinity. We will be glorified saints; and the Bible says that we will judge the angels, and Satan is one of them.
Let’s begin by contemplating the defeat for Satan that will occur in the first heaven as the saints are removed to the presence of the Lord. Satan is called the prince of the power of the air. “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2) This is the area of his stronghold, where his kingdom of fallen angels is organized and operates. From this realm, he rules as the god of this world. He is called the god of this world and the prince of this world. He affects everything that constitutes the world system, nature, and especially the weather patterns. God created a perfect world. There was no destruction until the destroyer deceived Adam and Eve. Satan usurped his way into control of the world system. Nature is berserk today because it is greatly affected by the devil and his princes of destruction.
The Bible warns us of the struggle that this horde of evil personalities will create for us we serve the Lord. Apostle Paul stated, “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) Notice those terms the Holy Ghost inspired Apostle Paul to use, “rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” This is an epic struggle, and natural men and women are absolutely no match for these great and strong spirits of evil. Every spiritual victory we win must be by the Blood, the Word, and the Spirit
Understanding these strong, experienced, and wicked angels operating under the leadership of Satan; we can see the battle that is developing to hinder God’s Prophetic program. When the Rapture occurs, we must travel right straight up through the middle of Satan’s stronghold. Hearing many strange stories about unidentified flying objects is not so strange when you know what is about to occur. The devil will stop at nothing to accomplish his goals and to defeat the saints of God.
Victory is already assured because “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Ps 119:89). Apostle Paul said, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17)
We will not need to fight our path through Lucifer’s stronghold. The Lord comes down to meet us in the midair, and with His Heavenly Host (multitude) He leads us back right through Satan’s horde. The event of the saints being Raptured up out of their graves, joined together with the Raptured living, following the Lord of Hosts back to the Banquet Hall in New Jerusalem is too grand to consider. There has never been an army marching from some great victory back to the fatherland to match this picture. Satan has got to know that this is soon to happen, and he certainly has a counterattack planned.
His great defeat at our victory right through his stronghold will leave him vulnerable to the heavenly host of angels. He will never recover from seeing “ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands.” (Revelation 5:11) pass untouched through his hands into the presence of the Heavenly Father. A multitude of angels led by Michael will then engage Satan to finish his reign as the “prince of the power of the air.” Weakened by his losses, the angels of Jesus Christ will cast him down to the earth never to appear in heaven again.
John recorded the future scene of Satan’s great heavenly defeat. “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. 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 12:7-10)
His territory will now be restricted to the earth and he will know that he has but a short time. This loss for Satan is incredible. He has accused us to God throughout human history. The defeat of Adam and Eve gave him legal right to act as an accuser to every saint of God. He has been the world’s prosecutor for six thousand years. The reason for many great defeats in the church has been man’s failure to stand solely on truth in their battles with evil powers and dark spiritual authorities. Our only rights against evil are those legal truths of Scripture contained in our blood covenant.
Now, ultimate truth prevails and Satan’s reign as prosecutor is over forever. “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12:12)
Satan finally understands that he is losing and his last efforts will be efforts of desperation. By the end of the seven years, no creature on earth will doubt that he is a serpent, unquestionably corrupted, and a loser.
The victorious saints will be elevated to elders during the coming Great Tribulation. We are never called the church again after Revelation chapter four. We will be to the Father and the Lamb, elders participating in all the events of righteousness and righteous judgment. Too often we think only of judgment during these dark seven years but more than judgment is redemption. The elders will share the glory of cleansing this earth from every curse of sin until righteousness will be ready to spring forth when we come back with Him to reign on this earth.
In Revelation chapter nineteen when the harlot religious systems led by Satan have been gloriously destroyed, worship by the saints will explode. The saints are heard to say, “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.” (Revelation 19:1-2) The Scripture states that this was the voice of much people in heaven, not angels but “much people.” A voice came from the throne of God to this multitude saying, “Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.” (Revelation 19:5b) Then a voice proclaimed that the Marriage of the Lamb and His Bride had come and the glorious event of the Marriage Supper was in progress.
Now, John is so awed by this great vision that he falls on his face to worship at the feet of the messenger that stood before him. Listen to this messenger, “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) Careful attention to the Book of Revelation will reveal the wonderful presence of His saints acting as elders in all the processes of the seven-sealed book. Redemption is the business of the Lord and His saints; and we will surely judge the Antichrist, the False Prophet, Satan, and his kingdom of fallen angels.
Saints Will be as Angels
What a defeat for the devil to be judged by the very saints he persecuted so relentlessly. The Scripture stated, “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” (I Corinthians 6:3) All through the great events of judgment in this Book of Revelation are angels or messengers proclaiming, participating, or directing the course of events. Often we cannot know whether they are heavenly angels or glorified saints now as “angels” with the same glorious powers that angels of God already possess.
The Word of God clearly states that when we are resurrected from the dead, we will be “as the angels.” “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.” (Mark 12:25) As we read the Book of Revelation after chapter four we forget we are viewing the scene after the Resurrection. The saints will then be “as the angels” or in the “likeness of angels” from that moment on.
The Armies from Heaven
When the Marriage Supper is finished, we will return with Jesus Christ to the earth that we left at the Rapture. It certainly will be a redeemed earth, but the battle will not be finished. There is no record of where Satan is hiding during the Battle of Armageddon. His Antichrist and False Prophet are leading this great army of angry, godless followers. What a defeat for the Antichrist and False Prophet. The spirit of Antichrist is already at work as they wait somewhere in preparation for the last days of evil. At this time they will be finished and the mopping up operation is the duty of His saints. “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Revelation 19:14)
We descend with the Son of God riding on white horses and fully prepared for battle. There is no need for us to draw our swords because of the “Faithful and True One” that leads this great procession. It will be our joy to arrest the Antichrist and the False Prophet and to cast them alive into the Lake of Fire. “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” (Revelation 19:20)
How long the Lake of Fire will be visible on the earth is not recorded in Scripture, but it will be visible to all the earth’s inhabitants at this time. I think it will probably be visible during the entire thousand years of the reign of Jesus Christ and His saints. Israel, as the most glorious nation on earth, will also reign and be the capitol of the earth during this thousand years of glory. The Old Testament prophets spoke often of Israel’s triumph during this great kingdom of the Messiah. The judgment of the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be evident to the entire earth’s population. The world must see the contrast between wickedness and righteousness. In the First Covenant, Isaiah described the Lake of Fire into which the saints of God cast into these two champions of darkness. He spoke these words, “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” (Isaiah 66:23-24) What a defeat to Satan that he is required to watch. The devil will witness the saints, that he has hated, cast his champions alive into the Lake of Fire. The Father created this Lake of Fire for the devil and his angels, not for earth’s population.
The Rapture and the Seven Years of Tribulation have been one defeat after the other for Satan. He will know it is over as he watches his last kingdom, the long anticipated “One World Order,” go up in smoke. His great army, gathered by his last world conquerors will also be judged and utterly defeated. Then, its leaders will be cast alive in an open Lake of Fire for the entire world to see. Six thousand years of Satan being the prince of the power of the air and the god of this world will have ended.
The Glorious Moment of Satan’s Arrest
The very Raptured saints that he fought to defeat, the glorious hope of the church that he hated and labored to destroy, and the very Tribulation Period that Satan thought to stop by his influence against Bible truth will now be completed and finished by his arrest. I believe this messenger, called “an angel” in Revelation chapter twenty, is a “great saint” of God. The honor for Satan’s arrest could not possibly be given to a heavenly angel. It has already been settled that the saints will judge the angels, and Satan is nothing but a fallen one.
Let’s read as a redeemed saint is sent to cast Satan into a bottomless pit. “And I saw an angel (messenger) come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” (Revelation 20:1-3) This bottomless pit is the depth of hell in the heart of the earth. The torments in this location could not be worse, and he will fester in this dark place for one thousand years. He will then be given one reprieve before he will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity.
It is not hard to understand Satan’s hatred for the prophetic truth of Holy Scripture. The hope of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is especially an object of his attacks. It is no wonder that the Catholic Church hated the original text of Scripture. Once the Catholic Church came to power, it destroyed many of the early copies of the original text and enlisted its own supporters to produce what we now call the Alexandrian Manuscripts. These corrupt copies have a bent towards post-millennialism and are a part of the reason for the present bias against the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
Bible-loving and truth-obeying saints are still dedicated to the great hope of the saints. The Rapture of the believing church is certainly at hand. The road map to the end is visible. The coming of the Lord will soon occur, maybe today, maybe tomorrow. Our duty is to be “Waiting on Ready.”
Joseph R. Chambers