In one of the greatest, clearest, and most sweeping prophetic passages (Daniel 9:24-27) God explains that ALL of HUMAN HISTORY swirls around the Jewish people God has chosen, called Israel; and the city God has chosen called Jerusalem. Jerusalem, the Jews, and the Third Temple are the trigger that ignites the End of the World. ”Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.” — Daniel 9:24. God’s prophetic Word in Daniel 9 is directed at the future of Israel—not the church. In God’s Word, more than 75 percent of all prophecies (fulfilled and not yet fulfilled) are about the future of Israel. His Word always has and always will focus on Israel. In his epistle to the Romans, Paul reminded the church of this when he clearly warned them to not forget that they are grafted into the tree, which is Israel (Romans 11:11-36).
Welcome to our class, as we study today, Revelation 11, 12, and 13. This is probably one of the more timely of all the lessons. What we’re seeing, as we’re going to read from these chapters, is the cosmic battle most of us are unaware that is going on around us. The run-up, to what the Bible describes is World War II. Which involves as we’ll see today, Iran and Jerusalem. What it reflects is Satan’s endless hatred of Israel. That’s our 15th lesson, three parts today. I will not be able to take as long as I’d like on everyone.
- In chapter 11, we’re looking at the four temples, we’ll learn about them today. Solomon’s, Herod’s, the tribulation, the future millennial. The two witnesses, all of us have heard of the two witnesses. That’s chapter 11, just that is phenomenal.
- Chapter 12, connected to it is one of the more symbolic chapters in Revelation. The woman with the 12 stars, with the moon under her feet, clothed with the sun, having a child and the dragon seeking to kill the woman and the child, which of course has the entire history of redemption and Israel and God’s plan.
- Then chapter 13 is where we’ll end with the worst man who ever lived, the Mark of the beast versus those sealed by God’s spirit. Only those going to Heaven, we’ll see, have the signature of God signed across their lives.
So, as you see on the first slide there, we’re looking at War in Heaven and one of the greatest, clearest, and most sweeping prophetic passages. We see all of these things gathered into one special chapter of the Bible.
If you want to turn there with me, it’s chapter 11. We’re going to read the first verses of Revelation chapter 11. Then we’re going to pray and invite the Lord’s blessing on His word and on our hearts, as we yield to Him.
Revelation chapter 11, verse 1,
“Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod.” Now remember, I is always John and John’s talking. An angel hands him this measuring rod. “And the angel stood, saying, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God…”
Whoa, what temple? This temple was destroyed by the Babylonians. This temple was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70, this one in 586. There is no temple in Jerusalem today. So, this is a future event. This is the tribulation temple in chapter 11. Fascinating. God says it’s going to be there, and John is measuring it. So, John sees it. Wow.
“…the temple of God, the altar and those who worship there.” So, it’s a functioning temple, in the future, in Jerusalem.
Verse 2, “But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for 42 months.” Wow.
Father, I thank you for this very, very, very special part of your word. I thank you for the fact it’s inspired, so it is true and not only is it true, but you’ve told us, you told Jeremiah that you are watching over your word to perform it. You are actually orchestrating global events today to make it possible that at a future time, there’s going to be a third temple built in Jerusalem. Teach us the significance, but more than that I pray, that we would re-examine whether or not we are healthy believers. Whether or not the signature of you, oh God, by your Spirit is across our lives. That’s what we really want to focus on more than anything else today. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.
The end of days third temple in Jerusalem is promised by God. The apostle John in this portion, chapter 11, weaves together the longest Old Testament prophecies about Israel’s future. Israel’s future is all about this coming temple. About the fact that prompts all the nations of the world, and remember God doesn’t exaggerate, all the nations of the world led by Iran and joined by all the others march on Jerusalem. Led by the man, the beast, the one who gives the mark, the worst man who ever lived, this antichrist gets the entire world to want to live out the hatred of Satan and destroy Israel.
It’s amazing to think about. By the way, on that picture you can see on the left, that’s an artist’s representation of what Solomon’s temple looked like. Which he probably built from about 970 BC to about 950 BC. Then of course Herod’s temple, which was from about 20 BC until about 26 AD. Then of course these two have not yet been built, but are yet in the future, so this a prophetic description of a third temple. The tribulation temple that precipitates World War III, is what we’re going to look at in chapter 11.
There on the slide in front of you,
- The first temple, Solomon’s temple. Which David, remember, prepared all the materials for, left the biggest inheritance ever given to a son, and Solomon used that to build the temple.
- Herod’s temple. Do you remember during Jesus’ ministry, He said, “destroy this temple and I’ll raise it up in three days.” And the people said 40 and 6 years. See, 20 BC to 26 AD is 40 and 6 years, this temple has been built or been in the process of being built and you’re going to build it in three days. So, that’s how we know how long it took to build that temple.
- The third temple right here in Revelation 3,
- Then the final temple, is what we’re going to examine when we get to the millennium, when we get to Revelation chapter 20.
Here’s the significant part, the Bible says that there is a future Jewish temple during the tribulation in Jerusalem. So, during the tribulation in Jerusalem is this temple. This temple is what prompts the entire unleashing of the prophecies about the end of the world. So, verse 1 of chapter 11, “I was given a reed to measure.” John is just seeing and measuring what Jesus saw.
Now remember, four people see this temple. That’s how we know it’s going to be there. Now, do you see why we are, why am I spending so much time talking about this? Because half of all Christians do not believe that there are going to be either one of these temples. They say, this is all figurative, it’s talking about the Church.
Yet, Jesus said in Matthew 24, “when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ […] standing in the temple […] fleet to the mountains.”
So Jesus, when He’s talking about the birth pangs that we saw about five or six lessons ago, Matthew 24 and the signs of the end, when Jesus was giving that sermon He said; as the world is ending, when you see the abomination of that causes desolation standing in the temple flee to the mountains. Jesus saw a tribulation temple.
Paul saw the same thing in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. Paul said that, this one who makes himself God and calls himself God is going to raise up and put an image of himself; and cause false worship in a temple in Jerusalem at the end, after the rapture of the Church. So, Jesus saw this temple. Paul saw this temple.
Daniel saw this temple in Daniel chapter 9. He said in Daniel chapter 9 and starting in verse 24, let me get there with you.
Daniel 9:24. “70 weeks are determined for your people and”
Verse 25 “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and 62 weeks.”
So, from the rebuilding of the destroyed Solomon temple, there’s going to be 483 years. Now we know to the day that, that is truly what happened. This was destroyed and then Cyrus sends them back and lets them have the lumber. You remember Ezra, Nehemiah, Zerubbabel and all that, and they start rebuilding the temple. 483 years are clocked there.
Then it says, keep going to verse 26
“and after 62 weeks Messiah shall be cut off.” Now we’ve gotten to the crucifixion of Christ right here.
“Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;” That’s the substitutionary atonement.
“And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city.” Whoa, the people of the prince that is to come? This prince , this person, the antichrist. The antichrist has 33 different names in the Bible, prince to come is one of them.
Look what it says in this verse, “but the people of the prince who is to come” that’s the tribulation. The antichrist shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. AD 70 who destroyed Herod’s temple? The Romans. Now that’s where, if you’ve ever heard of the revived Roman empire and that the antichrist is going to be coming out of the revived Roman empire, it’s because Daniel 9:26 says the people of the prince that will come are the ones who destroyed the temple in AD 70. All that is from this amazing prophecy.
What happens is God launches in verse 3 of chapter 11. Go back from Daniel to Revelation 11. What we see starting in verse 3 is another one of these gospel beacons. These witnesses the Lord puts forth and it says,
“I will give power to my two witnesses…” Now, wait a minute. Stop. See the slide? The two witnesses of Revelation 11:3-14. You know what most people do, they’re trying to figure out who they are. They’re trying to identify them. That’s important and fun and interesting but before you go into the identity of the two, they are two what? Witnesses.
Remember what Jesus said? “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you;” Acts 1:8 “and you shall be my…” What? “Witnesses.” These are more of those gospel giving servants of the Lord. Now remember, we studied two days ago, the Church from Acts 1 through Revelation 5 is responsible for evangelizing the world.
When the Church is taken out, the 144,000 evangelists come. We saw that in chapter 7 and also, we’re going to see them again next time in chapter 14. While that group, the 144,000 are doing their evangelism, God sends yet another, the two witnesses. When those two witnesses are gone and we’re going to see that they’ll be killed, the gospel angel comes. Then, the next vehicle that the Lord uses is going to be after the Lord starts over again in the millennium. He’s going to have the gospel center; we’re going to see. So, there are always gospel witnesses.
Those two witnesses are very important. Look what it says about them.
“I will give power.” The two witnesses,
Verse 3 of Revelation 11 “who will prophesy 1,260 days.” How long is that? That’s the mathematics of the tribulation. Remember it’s called one week in Daniel 9. One week, actually the word is not week, it’s heptad; A group of seven that translates into why we say the seven-year tribulation.
- You’ve probably heard of the seven-year tribulation, or
- You’ve heard of the fact that it’s three and a half years, which it says in Revelation and three and a half years.
- It’s called 42 months and 42 months.
- It’s called 1,260 days and 1,260 days.
These three are all the same things. What it’s talking about is, the tribulation last for two measures of time. The seven years is three and a half and three and a half years. What marks this? The midpoint.
Look at what it says, and they will be “…clothed in sack cloth. These are the two olive trees.”
“And if anyone wants to…” verse 5, “if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies.”
What God does is, from this time that the antichrist cuts off the sacrifice in the temple – Daniel nine that we already read, says that they’re going to have a temple that’s functioning and they’re going to have sacrifices – he makes a covenant for seven years. That’s where we get the seven-year tribulation. At the midpoint, he the worst man that ever lived, cuts it off. God allows these two witnesses here to witness for 1,260 days. That’s what we’re reading about here. Basically, these two witnesses are ministering through some of the most horrific times. If he wants to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth.
Verse 6, “they have power to shut heaven so that no rain falls.”
“When they finished their testimony,” Verse 7, “the beast,” there’s another name for him. Let me write it down. He’s called the antichrist. He’s called the prince that will come. He’s called the beast. Remember I told you 33 different names for him are in the Old and New Testament.
“The beast that ascends from the bottomless pit,” we saw the pit yesterday, remember the Abyss where all those horrific creatures are, “overcame them, and killed them. Their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt […]. Those from the peoples, tribes, tongues and nations,” This is where we get global communications, the whole world’s going to watch this.
Verse 10, everyone “who dwells on the Earth will rejoice.”
Verse 11 “…after three and a half days,” There’s another three and a half. Just like the three and a half years. There’s three and a half days. All of these are units God uses over and over again.
Verse 12, “a loud voice from Heaven says, come up here.” That’s the same thing we hear in chapter 4, which is the rapture of the Church, come up here when John says, come up here. It’s the Church being called out of the world. John gets to come up and see them assembled around the throne.
These two are raised from the dead and translated up to Heaven. Wow.
“The same hour,” verse 13, “there’s a great earthquake.”
Verse 14 says it’s the second woe. What was the first woe? When those monsters came out of the pit.
Now, look at the slide in front of you. The temple measured is the outer court to the Gentiles. In other words, the temple is up on what we would call the temple mount platform in Jerusalem. Right now, right in the center of it is the Dome of the Rock. Most likely off to the side of it, is going to be this millennial temple and it’s going to be divided.
That’s what the antichrist most likely will do. He leaves for all of the 1,000, 200,000 Islamic people the Dome of the Rock and for the world, the rest of the world this tribulation temple right here. Which shows what a genius this guy is. That he can get them to be side-by-side, but it says don’t measure out there because it’s trampled, it’s unholy. This is this temple.
The two witnesses are empowered for 1,260 days. Now notice four things that the witnesses do:
- They can call down fire from Heaven.
- They shut heaven with no rain.
- They turn water to blood
- Smite the Earth with plagues.
The first two are what Elijah did. The Second two are what Moses did. That’s why many people think the two witnesses are Moses and Elijah. Remember Moses? The Lord killed him or made him die on top of Mount Pisgah and buried him. No one ever saw his body. You remember Elijah was translated to Heaven.
Others believe that it’s not right someone dies twice. Moses already died. He can’t die again because Hebrews 9 says it’s appointed unto man once to die. Who’s the other one that didn’t ever die besides Elijah? Yeah. Enoch. So, who are the two witnesses? Maybe Moses and Elijah. Maybe Enoch and Elijah. The Bible doesn’t tell us. So, that means it’s not something we speculate about.
Look at the third thing. The beast from the abyssos, that’s the abyss that we talked about yesterday, kills them and Earth dwellers celebrate. They’re resurrected after three and a half days.
So again, I remind you. This whole event we’re talking about, this whole temple and everything that’s going on here, in chapter 11, 12, and 13. See, on the slide in front of you, that’s Daniel 9:24-27, God’s prophetic word in Daniel is directed at the future of Israel. See, that’s where the confusion comes in. It’s not the Church. All of this has nothing to do with the Church. The Church is around the throne. This has to do with Israel. Do you see? The tribulation is for Israel.
Basically, you could summarize the tribulation this way. It keeps getting worse, and worse, and worse, and worse, and worse until the Jews are with nowhere to turn. They’ve all been pushed back into the promised land, back into the holy land, back into Jerusalem with the antichrist, this worst man that ever lives, hemming them in. He’s assembled the biggest army the world’s ever seen, what we would call the battle of Armageddon. They’re all gathering at Armageddon. They’re going to march together to annihilate, the Jewish people in Jerusalem.
It says in Zachariah, let me go to the next slide there. Zachariah 12 to 14. What happens is the Jewish people are surrounded. Two thirds of them have died. One third is left. They know there’s no hope. At that critical last moment, they see themselves surrounded by the armies of the world. The antichrist that they formerly, when he opened up the temple for the first three and a half years, they were following him. Now he turns on them, hunts them down and they realize all is lost.
You know what it says in Zachariah 12 through 14, the Lord pours out on them the spirit of grace and mercy. They go like this and they look up and they say only You can save us. At that moment, Jesus breaks through the clouds with all the armies of Heaven behind Him, including us.
By the way you’re going to go to the holy land. Everybody gets to go to the holy land, on horseback, riding behind Christ at the climactic crescendo. The second coming of Christ. That’s what the second coming is. Jesus comes back to rescue the Jewish people because Iran, all the coalition of nations are fighting with the antichrist, World War III, attacking Jerusalem because Satan wants to destroy Israel.
Wow. That’s Zechariah 12 through 14. That is God’s wrath. That is what Israel and Armageddon have to do with the future. So, all of that is tying together the scripture.
Now remember, the book of Revelation draws together over a hundred illusion quotations versus prophecies from all the rest of the Bible and combines them in what we would say is chronological order.
Look at the next side. Jerusalem in the tribulation period. The tribulation is when all the nations of the Earth turn against the Jews. Where’s that Zachariah 14:3-4. It says then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations. That’s the second coming of Christ. That’s what we’re going to see in Revelation 19, the Lord Jesus Christ clothed, riding at the front of the armies of Heaven with King of Kings and Lord of Lord written on Him. In this white garment comes, breaking through the atmosphere, piercing the clouds, and all of a sudden that army that’s surrounded and decimating Jerusalem, looks at what the Jewish people are looking at. The Jewish people all start looking up and they see their Messiah and it says they, believe on the one whom they pierced. They believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, the Lord fights against the nations. Zachariah 14:3 says, “as when He fights in a day of battle.” Look at this. “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives…” which is in front of Jerusalem. Of course, we know what happens, He comes down by the way, this is where the Mount of Olives is right here, this is the Kidron Valley. This is the Mount of Olives and Jesus comes down to stand on the Mount of Olives, right here. When He does, it says, an earthquake splits the Mount of Olives. Part of it moves to the North and part of it moves to the South. A river starts flowing out from the temple mount, it goes all the way from here to the dead sea. All of these things are part of those 800 prophecies.
Let me show you a map. This map was in Bloomberg, as in Bloomberg News Service, as in the largest financial news service in the world. This is what they call the Middle East Cold War. Now, this was about three months ago. I clipped that. That’s a screenshot. Notice that Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen are all green. Those are the Arabian sphere of influence. In red is Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE. Right now the red are the Sunnis, the green are the Shias. Those two branches of Islam are fighting each other. As you know, Iran’s sent drones to attack the Saudi oil fields a little before Christmas, it was before COVID-19, that was the disaster. It just rocked the world that, Iran attacked Saudi Arabia at Christmas of 2019.
That’s because God says, listen to this Ezekiel 38:3-6. See that on the screen? “Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you. Oh Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, […] lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company […] all of them handling swords.”
Now look at this, “Persia”. Now wait a minute, Persia? Yeah, up until 1947 Iran was called Persia. Then when they got their independence through the post-World War II, dividing up the countries, they were called Iran. So Iran, Ethiopia and Libya. So you say, what are all those? Well, look at the next map.
This is the Armageddon coalition. This is the group that is leading World War III, with Iran or Persia, going to attack Jerusalem. It’s driven by Satan. Look at that map.
- Magog, that’s the geographic region of South Russia.
- Gomer and Togarmah is basically Turkey and Syria.
- Persia is Iran.
- Libya is Libya.
- Ethiopia is Ethiopia.
That’s the coalition that comes from the North, from the South, from the East and from the West to attack.
Now that’s God’s plan but look what He puts into chapter 11, verse 15. Always, each of these chapters has a powerful application. Verse 15.
When “…the seventh angel sounded: there were loud voices in Heaven saying…” This is from the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah.
“The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever! When the 24 elders now…”
Stop and think about this. What’s going on? We’re switching back and forth in Revelation between Earth with all these judgments and destruction and wars, and Heaven, the throne of God. We talked about, remember extensively, with all those angels and the saints and concentric circles and the fire and the crystal sea that you can see the reflections in. It’s always cutting back and forth between Heaven, where there’s worship and calm and Earth where there’s destruction.
Look what happens up there. “The 24 elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces.” And what does it say? Verse 16. “Worshiped God.”
God expects worship. That’s the lesson of chapter 11. So, what is worship? If they’re falling down in verse 16 of chapter 11 on their faces and worshiping God, look at the slide in front of you. God expects worship. Why? Because this is what it does to us. God quickens our conscience by His holiness when we worship God and see how holy He is. It all of a sudden makes our conscience alive to realize that we should be holy, like He is holy. He nourishes our minds by His truth. When I read this book, it feeds my mind. This, the scriptures, are the best source of good mental health. To make your mind nourished on the word makes it healthy. He purifies our imaginations by His beauty. A little bit later, I’m going to talk about this fellow that was so addicted to gaming, that he was living in depression and discouragement and hopelessness. God wants to purify our imagination and open our hearts to His love. We get calloused and hardened without any feeling. We get desensitized, but worship opens our hearts to His love.
Look at chapter 19 of Revelation. Verse 10 talks about worship being submission to God. We submit to His will. So basically, chapter 11 gives us this prophesied temple, the two witnesses and the physical backdrop for what we would call Armageddon or World War III.
Now we’re going to chapter 12. Chapter 12 is fascinating because, all of a sudden, we get into this unusual symbolic world that ties together what we would call God’s plan of the agents. Let me start in chapter 12. This is Jesus revealing to John that the aliens, the real aliens that are attacking our world is something that’s been going on since the time of the fall and onward in creation. It says,
“…a great sign…” So, now we have that symbolic, this is chapter 12, verse 1, “…appeared in Heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of 12 stars.”
Now, what is that? That is God’s amazing plan of Satan versus Israel. That’s Revelation 12:1-3 (not 23, that’s a mistake on the slide, it’s just verses 1-3). So, look at the picture there. See the woman.
- Do you see the 12-star diadem she’s wearing?
- Notice that she’s sitting with the sun behind her and the moon under her feet.
- Then, there’s that dragon coming for her. Wow.
Look what it says, Verse 2 and “being pained with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in Heaven. A great, fiery red dragon…” See, that’s on the slide “…having seven heads and 10 horns, and seven diadems…”
Verse 4 with “his tail drew a third of the stars…”
So, what is going on? Basically this, the woman with the 12 stars and the sun and moon immediately takes us back to the book of what? Genesis. Who was the dreamer? Who was one of the 12 sons of Jacob that was always having dreams? Do you remember that? The dreamer, Joseph. Joseph said he dreamed that all of the sun and moon and stars bowed down to him. Of course, he made his brother’s mad and offended his dad and his mom. So, we have this woman, and we have the sun, moon, and stars. Then we have the child. Then we have the dragon. That’s basically the cast members of chapter 12.
- Well, the woman is Israel.
- The 12 stars and the sun and the moon, which basically is Jacob and his wife. I don’t know if it’s talking about [Rachel] or Leah and then the 12 sons. So, this woman portrays Israel, the nation, the 12 tribes.
- The child is the promise, one that would come through the tribe. One of the 12 stars of Judah, which is Messiah.
- What it says is, the dragon that waits for the birth and tries to devour the child is Satan.
That’s the great sign in Heaven. You know what that is? That’s a reminder that from the beginning, there’s been a cosmic battle going on. All the world events are just the visible playing out of the invisible cosmic battle going on between God and the adversary of God, which is Satan.
Revelation 12 contains two signs. The sign of the woman and the dragon. God continues to show His unfolding plan. The woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, in addition to Revelation 12:1, is just one of actually four women that are used as symbols or pictures in Revelation. I don’t know if you remember them.
- Back in chapter 2 and 3, we saw in 2:20 Jezebel was a picture of paganism entering the Church.
- Chapter 12:6 the woman is a picture of Israel.
- A little bit later when we get to chapter 17 in a couple of days, the woman riding the beast is of course a picture of the apostate church and global religion.
- Then finally, praise the Lord in chapter 19, the woman in Revelation 19 clothed in white raiment is a picture of the Church.
So, there are a lot of women used symbolically in the book of Revelation, but this one is all about Satan’s plan.
Now keep reading. When we get to verse 4. It says,
He “…drew a third of the stars of Heaven and threw them to the Earth.” That’s the dragon. This dragon is Satan. Now keep following along.
“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.”
What’s that? That’s Psalm 2, that the Messiah is going to be born, the promised one from Genesis and Psalm 2 is going to rule the world with a rod of iron. Wow. I see more and more of those 800 cross-references.
“And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.” What’s that? The ascension of Christ from the Mount of Olives.
“…the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there 1,260 days.”
Now do you remember, before I erased it, we had the two halves of the tribulation. It appears that when the antichrist breaks the covenant at the midpoint of the tribulation, that God protects the Jews. That’s why they’re still alive at the end. God’s protecting them. That’s what it means, that for 1,260 days.
Now, verse 7, because look at the slide, this section talks about the origin, fall, and power of Satan.
It says, “And war broke out in Heaven:” verse seven, “Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place was found for them in Heaven…”
So, look what happens, Satan is defeated. How do we know that this is Satan and not a dragon? Keep reading. So the dragon was cast out, verse 9.
Now, verse 9, Revelation 12:9 is one of the most important verses to understand this cosmic battle because it connects everything. So, the great dragon was cast out. That serpent of old, that’s Genesis 3, the serpent that tempted Eve and drew the whole, all humanity and the universe into the fall and into sin was called the Devil. That’s Matthew 4. That’s the one that tempted Christ in the wilderness.
“…and Satan… “ So, do you see how that verse is so important? That Satan, the dragon is Satan, who is the devil. Do you understand that this whole connection tells us that, starting in the garden of Eden, that serpent was none other than the devil, Satan. He’s the dragon of Revelation, who is the one whose sole desire is to destroy God’s plan.
In Genesis chapter 3, verse 15, God said that a virgin born child of a woman, so someone that descended through Eve, through all of women through humanity, one would be a virgin. We know who that is. Mary is going to bear a son and that son is the Messiah. Do you know what Satan has done? He knew as he listened to God, that son was going to come from Israel and from in fact, we’ll get to it just a minute. I have a slide that shows you all the ways he’s attempted to destroy God’s plan but keep going here.
Saints are facing Satan and look what it says in verse 10 of chapter 12.
“…I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ has come, for the accuser of our brethren….” That’s Satan. He’s called the accuser. Remember with Job? He’s accusing Job before the throne of God. By the way, that word accuser, slanderer that’s what Satan’s name means. That’s what devil means. He’s the accusing slanderer.
“…who accused them before God night and day, has been cast down.” And now look at this “And they overcame him.”
Look at the slide at the bottom, the four powerful weapons of the saints that overcome. See what it says in this verse, “they overcame him by the blood of the lamb, by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives onto death”
- Through the word,
- The name,
- The blood
- The cross, they overcame
Saints overcome by the word of their testimony, because they’ve embraced Christ and His salvation by faith. By the name of Jesus, God has given Him the name above every name. By the blood of the lamb. Trusting that the cross of Calvary took away their sins.
So, you know what that means? That the 144,000 evangelists are going to be effective because they are continuing to share the gospel. The two witnesses are continuing to share the gospel a little bit later. The gospel angel continues to share the gospel. So, there are, even though the antichrist is killing Christians as quick as he can, look what it says; they are overcoming him, verse 11. The Lord continues to have saints in the tribulation.
As we get to verse 13, we see the conflict of the ages. Satan is always seeking to ruin God’s plans. God’s written His plans down in His word. Now that’s why Jeremiah says God is watching over His word to perform it. Everything God wrote, He’s watching over it to make it happen. He’s going to fulfill His word. Satan can read, he’s seen what God’s written, so look what he does.
Verse 13. “When the dragon that he had been cast to the Earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.”
The woman who gave birth to the male child is what? Israel. So, Satan now is enraged, and he starts pursuing these descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Jews.
Verse 14 says, “but the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she’s nourished.”
So, the Lord rescues Israel, what Israel did when they went down to Entebbe and rescued those hostages, God rescues the nation of Israel. It says they’re there for a time, times and half a time. Oh, here there’s another one times, time, and half a time. What’s that? That’s the same three and a half years, 42 months, 1,260. See how many different ways God has divided this tribulation time into two pieces.
Keep going. “So the serpent,” Whoa, the serpent right there, who is the devil, who is Satan, who is the dragon, who is the accuser? The serpent verse 15. “Spews water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away with a flood.”
In other words, usually a sea of water or a flood like that, it’s talking about a great army of people.
But look at verse 16, “but the Earth helped the woman, and the Earth opened its mouth and swallowed the flood.”
What is that? Probably the same thing that happened with Dathan and Abiram, those two rebels in the Old Testament that when they came out, the Lord just opened the Earth and swallowed them, and it shut. It said they went alive down into the pit. So, this whole army is destroyed.
“And the dragon was enraged with the woman,” verse 17, “he went to make war with the rest of her offspring,”
By the way, who is that? That’s believers. Those are the saints. You say, how are there still saints left? Because the 144,000 never stopped. The two witnesses never stopped. The gospel angel never stops, and people keep getting saved, right to the end, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Let’s just look at a list of the attacks of Satan.
Remember Satan tried to corrupt Adam’s line in Genesis 6. That’s why there was a flood. He tried to destroy Abraham seed, the famine, the destruction of the aligned Pharaoh. Do you think Pharaoh thought up killing all the male children? No, that was Satan’s plan. Pharaoh pursuing Israel into the sea. That was Satan’s plan. Get rid of the whole nation. The whole intrigues that we see in the Old Testament.
Then it picks up in the New Testament. Joseph fearing to marry have Mary as his wife was part of Satan’s plan. Herod’s attempt to kill all the male children and on, and on it goes. Satan always is trying to destroy God’s plan.
So, the question, because chapter 13 if you turn there says, that this antichrist the worst man that ever lived. Notice what he does. He’s trying to get everybody to worship him. This beast, verse 1, rises out of the sea. It says in verse 6, he opens his mouth with great blasphemies. Verse 7, “it was granted to him to make war with the saints.” So this one, what is he doing? He is the one that’s trying to get the whole world to worship him.
As I said before, in the next slide, Satan’s Superman is coming. He is called the beast, the prince, the antichrist. He is called so many different titles, but just think of all the prophecies. He’s in Daniel, it says he’s a super communicator.
Daniel 7:8 says he, has superintelligence. He is a super politician because remember I told you he gets the Islam and Judaism to be side-by-side without fighting. He’s a super General, he can organize all these armies.
But look what verse 7 says,
“It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.” Revelation 13:7 says, “and authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”
Wow. What does he do? He makes everyone to take the mark. Remember that 666 mark. That’s why it says there on that slide, completely confusing times are coming because this Superman is going to come and is going to deceive, it says the whole world. So, the lesson from God is, if completely confusing times are coming, by the way, that’s the most repeated description of the tribulation. When Jesus talked about this time, He said deception, deception, deception. Deceiving times, that was how Jesus described it.
What’s the only protection from Satan signature? The only one protection, you see on the slide, I call it a signature of God. The signature of God, when His spirit seals us, means that:
- We’re forgiven, that means our debts are erased.
- We’re justified, that means we have a whole new standing. Were elevated with Christ.
- We have a new heart, that’s what regeneration is.
- We’re reconciled, God becomes our friend. See, that’s the choice of the tribulation. Do you want to befriend God or the worst man who ever lived, the false Christ?
- Were adopted, that means we have a new family.
- We’re redeemed, that means we’re owned by God that deals with our life. We’re not our own, we’re bought at a price.
- We’re sanctified, that changes our behavior.
Now, for some of you that aren’t in the Bible institutes, every Bible Institute student that’s enrolled in this course, the 300 them, have an electronic copy of this book. Bonnie and I have donated that to all the Bible Institutes, where we teach around the world. They’re the ones that are watching this course, but all of you that have joined us on YouTube, you can see on the slide it’s called, Living Hope for the End of Days. It’s studying for one solid year, it’s 365 daily devotionals. It’s taking this course for a whole year. Five minutes a day, so you can digest it.
In this book, as it says on the slide, is a course for believers who want to say, I want to tune up my view of world events. Do you ever get scared, depressed, or troubled by the news? God’s word gives us, and that’s the title, Living Hope for the End of Days.
Basically, the message of this book is there only healthy Christians and sick Christians. There isn’t middle ground. There aren’t kind of, so-so. Either you’re healthy or you’re sick.
Now, I want to tell you about David. He lived in New England. He was unemployed, a pot smoking, addicted gamer, living in his mom’s basement, totally afraid of people, wasting away in depression and despair. That’s when I met him. He hit bottom, started looking for the truth. His godly mom prayed and said he should seek God.
So, he went to his computer and turned the game off for a while and started searching online and found these videos of Revelation. An earlier class I’d done three years ago. He started watching these classes and God began working in his heart. He started going to church and there, he was responding to the message.
He came to Christ in that church. He got baptized in that church. And now he’s at work. He finally is employed, and his mom is amazed. You know what? That means he has become signed by God. He got saved. God forgave, justified, regenerated, reconciled, adopted, and redeemed him. He’s functioning like a healthy believer.
By the way, what’s a healthy believer? I called these seven vital signs and just before we go, let me walk you through them.
- Number one, a healthy believer is prompted by love. What does that mean? Jesus said this, “he that has my commandments and keeps them is the one that loves me.” The reason I obey the Lord is not because I’m afraid He’s going to hit me, but I’m prompted by love.
- A healthy believer is secondly, as you see on the next slide, trained by grace. Titus 2:11 says, the grace of God that saves us, teaches us to deny ungodliness.
- Number three, a healthy believer. Makes choices every day. Do you remember a few days ago, we studied this, that you put off the old man, be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new creation you are. Those are daily choices to Christian life. It isn’t, push the button for autopilot and boom. No, it’s a struggle. Paul called it a race of endurance. He said it’s like wrestling. He said, it’s like combat. We make daily choices.
- Number four, we start making a sacred vow. Have you ever made the sacred vow of Psalm 101:3? It’s a whole section on how to get that life of purity? You know what that verse says? I have made a covenant with my eyes. I will not look on evil. Have you decided that you’re not going to look on evil? On your digital device? It doesn’t mean evil won’t be on it. It means you don’t go looking for it. If it shows up, you turn away from evil, that’s a sacred vow.
- Number five, what do you do with all this stuff? Like our gamer David exposed himself to, in the basement all those years. God wants to purge the old files. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your minds. Let God purge the bad files, the pictures, the memories, the hurts, the things that defeat us. He can purge those away.
- Number six, reclaim boldness. Remember the righteous are as bold as a lion. Hebrews 10:22 says, “let us draw near [to God…] in full assurance of faith. Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed,” knowing that we’re His.
- Finally, what all of us have probably learned over the years, we need to renew our consecration. What is this? Romans 12, present yourselves a living sacrifice to God.
My question is, has God signed your life? Have you been born again? Are you forgiven and justified and regenerated and become God’s friend, adopted into His family? He redeemed you and now He wants to sanctify you. Do you know what that means? It means God wants us to be healthy believers, prompted by His love, taught by His grace, making daily choices with sacred vows, letting Him purge us from all those things that defeat us, reclaiming holy boldness, and every day renewing our consecration to God.
Let’s just do that right now as we pray.
Father in Heaven, I thank you that I can stand here doing, what I just have had a habit of doing every morning. When I wake up, as I did at 5:15 this morning and put my feet onto the floor, I said, Lord, you’re giving me another day. I want to renew that; this body is sacrificed to you as a living sacrifice. I want to live holy and acceptable to you and no longer be conformed to this world, but I want you to transform my mind. I pray that’s what every student would do, so that we can all be living in hope, awaiting your return till you come or call, in the name of Jesus we pray, and all God’s people said, Amen.