Revelation Lesson 30: The Fall of Satan :: By Sean Gooding

Chapter 12: 7-12

“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

I had some great questions come to me concerning the last post. One was about the wars between the angels, and the other was asking if the ‘child’ born to the woman could actually be the New Testament church. Thanks for the questions; they make me think and ask questions myself. I was sent some information that was a good read, and it made me think.

Let me say that I am still of the mind that the ‘child’ is Jesus. He was born, Satan was trying to kill Him from birth, and He did ascend into Heaven.

As far as the angels fighting, the dear brother asked what the point was basically since they don’t die and there is no bloodshed. But we do see that these battles do go on. Satan and Michael fought over Moses’ body we are told in Jude. In Daniel 10 we are told that the Messenger angel sent to interpret dreams to Daniel was ‘held up’ for 21 days by the ‘Prince of Persia’ (referring to the demon behind the king of Persia) until Michael came and rescued him.

There is a definite battle between the angels of God and of Satan. They do not kill each other as far as we can tell, but Satan’s minions are able to slow down things like the answers to prayers. This is why an essential quality of a mature and/or maturing Christian is forbearance – patience in our modern words. It is not that God has not sent an answer, but that the answer is slowed by the agents of Satan. But if you wait, just like Daniel, the answer will come and you will be emboldened.

War in Heaven, verse 7-9

When we think of Heaven, we do not get the idea of war. But we are clearly told that there is going to be a war in Heaven. Satan will try to usurp his power by attacking the Kingdom, a kingdom where he has been cordially entertained for the past 6,000 years. Just a take a quick read of Job 1-2: God addresses him and asks him of his endeavors. God even entertains him in an experiment that includes the faithful man, Job.

When he tempts Jesus in Matthew 4, Jesus talks to him in a very nice tone. Jesus is patient with him and obeys God while never losing His temper with the rebellious angel. Jesus was even gracious when encountering some 1,000 demons in a young man, and upon their request, allowed them to enter some pigs nearby. God, while knowing the final end of Satan, has allowed him a long leash with which to rule his dark kingdom. It is one thing to engage God on earth or in the air or in the bodies of sinful and unredeemed men, but to attack God in His Heaven, His place – this cannot be tolerated; and so Satan and his fallen angels are banished to earth for the remainder of the Tribulation.

I want to look at a phrase that to me makes me cringe and think. In verse 9 we see this phrase, “who deceives the whole world,” and it immediately makes me think. Now we know that in the Tribulation there will be strong delusions, and people will believe whatever lie is concocted to explain the Rapture and the apparent colossal loss of life. People will fall for the promise of peace now that the Christians are gone, and they will accept the antichrist as the saviour of the world. But even before we get to the Tribulation, we see that even now Satan is the one “who deceives the whole world.”

As we look around us and see the turmoil that is overtaking the world; and especially in North America, one of the last bastions of free speech in the world, we can see that the deception of the Devil is upon a lost and dying world. From the deception of climate change to the deception that a man can be a woman and vice-versa, there is deception at every level. From our political leaders down to the average person on the street, we see a complete rebellion against the boundaries set by the Lord God for our protection.

The deliberate and persistent persecution of Christians in North America, from a pastor being arrested for sharing the Gospel at a mall in Minneapolis, to comedians calling us ignorant, to men and women losing their jobs because they live out their faith in Jesus and accept that wrong and right are absolutes, to a recent and ongoing battle to force churches to hire homosexual and sexually deviant as staff, is a culmination of the lies of tolerance. The world system is tolerant of everyone except Christians.

They cannot and will not force a Muslim mosque to hire a homosexual nor force them to have female imams as a submission to women`s rights. This is an attack on Christianity and Jesus. This lie that we are not tolerant because we speak the truth in love, or that we are not inclusive because we believe in boundaries and limits as prescribed by God, is believed by many and will lend to the collective sigh of relief when we are raptured; those intolerant and divisive Christians are gone; good riddance.

The god of lies is working overtime in these, the last days, as he prepares for his very, very temporary assent to the throne of earth. This is the only throne he will ever sit on. He has wanted the throne of Heaven, but that seat is taken forever and cannot ever be vacated. But for a short, short time Satan will have a brief stay at the top as he is cast from Heaven to earth; and he, ever the optimist, will take what power he is allowed and begin to rule earth.

The Fallen Accuser, verse 10-11

Satan is a multitasker. He is lying to the whole world, and at the same time, he is constantly accusing you and me before the Lord in Heaven. He brings to mind every sin and failure on our part. He is non-stop. Look, he is described as accusing the brethren “day and night.” Sadly, too many of us give him fodder for his accusations as we sin and fail our Lord time and time again. But his end begins when his welcome mat is pulled out and he is cast out of heaven to earth. No more accusing and no more lying in heaven about us.

Thankfully, Jesus our defender is always making intercession for us according to Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25; and 1 John 2:1 calls Him our advocate. An intercessor is defined as one who intervenes on behalf of another. We know of intercessory prayer where we intervene to God on behalf of another. An advocate is defined as one who publicly supports another.

Wow! What an awesome picture we have here of Jesus. He not only intercedes for us with regard to our failures and the constant accusations made about us by Satan to God; He actually publicly stands with us. He never abandons us; HE is our advocate. The prince of darkness rails against us, and the King of Light stands for us, unwavering in His support for the redeemed for whom He paid a great price.

This is an awesome look at how God sees us even in our great failures. We look at the Hebrews 11 chapter and we read of men who were adulterers, murders, rebellious, some were not good fathers, some were weak in many areas, liars, tricksters and the like; and yet God called them His servants. He called David a “man after His own heart.” How is this possible? We all know what David did. What knits these men and women together is that they are Loyal to God no matter what. No matter the cost, no matter how they failed, no matter how they lost or prospered, God was their God.

God loves loyalty because He is a Loyal God. Satan can barely spell loyalty. He turned his back on His Lord and Master. In the end it is he who will fall and we who will be elevated in Jesus, by His blood and saving power.

Notice that these saints, in verse 11, did not even value their lives. I have never had my life threatened for the cause of Christ. I have not had my job threatened. I have not had one day of danger in my life because of the Gospel. I fear that the next few years will change that tune. But these men and women were and are heroes of the faith. They did not even think that their lives were precious. They were Loyal to the end to their Lord and Master.

What is it that we value more than Jesus? Money, kids, family, freedom, friends or fame? Make no mistake; this will be required of you. Nothing can stand between you and God. He expects total Loyalty.

His Days are Numbered, verse 12

It took 6,000 years, but finally Satan realizes that he is not going to win. He will never be God. He will never be like the Highest; and in fact, all his dreams and aspirations are dashed as he is kicked out of Heaven. You see, how can you ascend to the throne of Heaven when you can’t even get past the security at the front gate? All that is left is earth; and even then it is for a short time because Jesus will soon come to take that away, and then he gets to be the king of nothing. This is the plight of all who wish to defy God and challenge His rightful place as Ruler of the Universe.

We live in such a time. We live in a time where mere humans, emboldened by their sinful pride nature, willingly defy God. They act as if they will never have to answer to Him or be called to account for their deeds, and they simply do not fear God. What a shock it will be when they see Satan, their god, debased and bowing before Jesus. When they come to understand that they have fallen for the lie of the ages— that someone other than God can be God.

God has never cheated us, He has never short changed us, and He never will. He has given us all He has determined that we need and certainly more than we deserve. His goodness is endless.

Satan is mad; he is about to pour out his wrath on the people of earth. The very persons that hailed him as their god will now understand that he never has and never will love them. They will see that they were simply the means to an end – an end that, maybe for the first time, he understands cannot ever happen.

I find it amazing that, in the end, Satan truly believed his own lies. He has told the lie so often that he thought that he could oppose God and win. For 6,000 years, all the while in complete control, God had allowed Satan to have some leeway. In the meantime, God set about a plan to redeem man, to redeem the earth and to provide a sinless man to carry out the commands given to the first Adam, to have dominion over the earth. Jesus will fulfill that command.

Now that the time has come, Satan’s usefulness is up and his end is sure. He realizes that he has no options, no recourse, and there is no redemption for him; and for all his scheming, the pit of Hell is all he has to look forward to for eternity. God has outplayed him and outwitted him. Simply brilliant!

There is none so blind as they who refuse to see, and Satan certainly falls into this category.

Like the Heavens, we should begin to rejoice that Satan is defeated. We know more than he does right now. He is still fighting to win. We know that he has been and will be forever defeated. Rejoice, celebrate, be merry and bask in the glory of our mighty God. He has won, He is winning, and He will win the most decisive victory ever in the history of war. We get to enjoy the spoils of war because we have put our complete faith in Jesus and He alone for salvation. Rejoice in these beautiful words about Satan’s fate from the prophet Isaiah, in 14: 9-15,

“Hell, from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.

“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. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

Missionarybaptistchurch76@yahoo.ca

 

 

Revelation Lesson 29: A Woman, The Child and A Dragon :: By Sean Gooding

Chapter 12:1-6

“Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.

“She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.”

We got a glimpse into Heaven last week. We saw the Temple and the Holy of Holies. We saw the 24 elders worshipping the Lord once again. I hope that you are energetic when you worship. We can get so excited about earthly celebrities, people try to see them and get a picture with them. But somehow we come to worship the Lord and we have no energy, no zeal, we offer no enthusiasm. We should celebrate the Lord and His goodness.

I can testify that He is good to me all the time, and that even when I think that He is ‘hurting’ me, it always turns out for my blessings, and His glory is revealed to me even more. The Lord is faithful when we are not; He is trustworthy when we are not; He is stable and consistent when we are not; He simply IS!

Today we will begin to look at another of the ‘woman’ images used in the book of the Revelation.

In Revelation 2 we had a woman image in the name of Jezebel. She was causing the people to follow after paganism as the first Jezebel did in the account of the life of Ahab, the king of Israel (2 Kings; 2 Chronicles). She employed 900+ priests of Baal and other pagan gods, and promoted things like sacrificing children.

In the case that we have now in Revelation 12, we have a woman who is representing Israel. This sign that John sees is the first of seven (7) signs that John will see that pertains to the second half of the Tribulation. Israel is often depicted in the Old Testament as the wife of God. See Ezekiel 16:8 for example. And in Isaiah 54:5-6 we see these words:

“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,’ says your God.”

God uses the picture of a wife to speak of Israel. She is precious to Him. Those who hurt her are attacking the precious people of God. Things will not go well for those that hurt the nation of Israel.

This Woman is Israel, not the church, verse 1

There are ages in the scriptures. We had the Age of the Patriarchs, then the Age of the Law. Now we have the Age of the Church; and that age ends with the Rapture. Then we revert back to God dealing with Israel as a nation, and culminating with the Millennial Age.

In each age we had predominant characters. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob dominated the first age (of the Patriarchs), then the nation of Israel from its exodus of Egypt to the captivity and then the resettling of Palestine in which the Law is preeminent. At the birth of Jesus, we begin to hear about the Ekklesia – the called-out assembly from where we get the word church. This is the age of Gentile.

The nation of Israel, as an entity, is put on hold in 70 AD by the Roman invasion and the sacking of Jerusalem. The New Testament church – made up of Jews at first and then today predominantly of Gentiles – takes stage. When the Rapture occurs, the church age will fade into history, and a renewed focus on Israel will come. This renewed focus began on May 14th, 1948, and we simply await the Rapture to bring the whole course to fruition.

In Genesis 37:9-11, we have recorded for us a dream that God gave to young Joseph. It goes this way:

“Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, ‘Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.’ So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, ‘What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?’ And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.”

This dream was, of course, a prophecy, and it was fulfilled in Genesis 42-46 when his brothers and then his father come to see him and bow down to him as the ruler of Egypt. But for our interests today, notice that the nation of Israel, pictured in the family of Joseph, has the sun, moon and 11 stars bowing down to Joseph. In Rev. 12 we see the 12 stars in the garland of her headdress, and they remind us of the 12 tribes of Israel.

In verse 2 she, Israel, is about to give birth; she is often pictured as a woman about to give birth (Isaiah 26:17, 66:7; Micah 4:10), and, of course, the prophecy that brought Herod such agony (Matthew 2; Micah 5:2-3). Israel was about to have a child, a male child we are told in verse 5. This is none other than Jesus.

Verses 5-6 in Revelation 12 give us a clear understanding that this Child is Jesus. He is a male child to rule all the nations with a “rod of iron.” In Psalm 2:9 we find this promise. Then in Acts 1:9-11, we see the account of the ascension of Jesus back to God, spoken of here in Revelation 12:5. We can safely conclude that the woman is Israel and the Child is Jesus.

The Dragon, Satan himself, verses 3-4

I love the word dragon. As a kid, of course we hear many fairytales of dragons. The fact that the Holy Spirit is using the dragon as a symbol tells me that John knew what a dragon was. Maybe he had seen one himself. The Bible tells us of dragons, of course. In Job 41:19-21, we have a very good description of a dragon:

“Out of his mouth go burning torches; Sparks of fire leap forth. Out of his nostrils smoke goes forth as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. His breath kindles coals, and a flame goes forth from his mouth.”

Read the chapter in Job for yourself and you will see the context. But we have here a dragon complete with smoke and fire from his nostrils. These are not legends; they are real. Satan is depicted as a dragon often in the scriptures. He is intent on killing Jesus as we see in verse 4; he is ready to ‘devour’ the child as soon as he is born.

All too often we romanticize the life of Jesus. But what we see here is that, from the very moment that He was born, He was being attacked by Satan. He had hardly drawn His first breath as a human when the fight was on to kill him before Calvary. The pressure on Him and His parents must have been almost immeasurable. How often did Satan come to kill him? How often was he under pressure from the prince and power of the air? We will never know the darkness that surrounded the eternal source of Light from His birth right to the cross. This was an intense battle for the souls of men.

Now, let us be clear that Jesus could not be beaten. God’s plan could not be swayed, but it was challenged; and we are told that there was war in Heaven. War! Let that sink in. War! Actual combat, angel on angel, swords drawn and the rage of battle. Satan, we are told in Job 1, has some degree of access to God and comes to see God.

Satan has been the shadow ruler behind the 7 kingdoms of the world depicted in his seven heads; and he is the current shadow ruler of the ten temporary kingdoms on earth that the antichrist sets up, as pictured with his ten horns. To say it simply: if God is not behind your rulers, then Satan is; it is really that simple. Satan has made it his goal to destroy Israel. In Daniel 8:24 even in the last days, the focus of Satan will be to either rule from Jerusalem, or if he cannot, then destroy it.

Think down through history about the crusades, the constant wars for Jerusalem. The Arabs and Muslims right now want Jerusalem for themselves; they lay claim to the Temple mount, and this is all driven by Satan. Every vote in the UN against Israel is driven by Satan; every lie in the news about Israel is driven by Satan trying to destroy.

Satan is very good at getting people to follow him. He got one third of the angels to follow him when he rebelled against God. If he could get angels who had seen God create the world and all that is in it to turn their backs on Him, imagine what he can do with mere mortals who have never seen God face to face.

We have then, two opposing armies. From what we can figure out, there are hundreds of millions of angels on either side. In just one plague that we recently studied, God unleashed some 200 million angels that had been held in a prison. In one encounter here on earth, Jesus met with more than 1,000 demons, fallen angels, who were in one man. These are massive combative forces in the heavens, and the skirmishes have gone on for thousands of years. Remember that Jude accounts for us that Michael and Lucifer fought over the body of Moses in the wilderness.

There are battles all around us daily. There are little skirmishes over seemingly small things; and in verse 6 next week, we will hear about war in the heavens. We live in our little cocoons protected by God from the realities of the spiritual warfare that surrounds us. I was recently reading through the books of 1 & 2 Chronicles, and it amazes me how many wars there were where God simply beat the enemy for Israel. No arrows and swords needed; all they had to do was collect the spoils of war.

How many wars has God fought over you and me? We go unscathed but the angels assigned to watch us and our children are constantly engaged in war. Satan hates Jesus; and since you and I have Jesus in us via the Holy Spirit, he hates us. We are his enemies and he ours. Do not fear; Satan is on a short leash. He knows it, and the scriptures confirm it.

A safe Place for Israel, verse 6

According to Daniel 11, there will be a great war in the Middle East between the king of the North and the king of the South. The king of the North will prevail, enter Jerusalem and attempt to take it over. Many Bible scholars think that this is where the antichrist goes in to defile the newly built temple in Jerusalem. The people of Israel will come to understand that this man is NOT the Messiah that they were looking for, and fear will overtake them. They will need a safe place to run to, and God will provide for them a place in the wilderness. There they will be safe for 1,260 days, or 3.5 years.

God has been providing safe places for Israel for a long time; from Egypt, to Africa, to the US, God has found places over the life of Israel to hide His people until it was time to go home. This little hiccup with the antichrist is just another step in the redemption of Israel. Once again, they have missed the Messiah; and they have to be prepared to meet the real one in Revelation 19.

What a day that will be when my Jesus Israel shall see! They will look and see their Messiah. They will never need a safe place again.

Jesus is your safe place. If you know Him as Saviour, He is already your safe place. Read Psalm 23 and remind yourself that Jesus is the Shepherd that loves His sheep and keeps them safe.

Missionarybaptistchurch76@yahoo.ca