SATAN’S KINGDOM IS COMING DOWN
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Satan is raging because his time is short. From the moment he conceived his rebellion against God, his end has been certain. He cannot win his fight and knows his time is almost up. The Lake of Fire was created just for him and his angels that joined his rebellion. “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25: 41) You must not forget that you will be an intruder if you continue in sin and go to Hell.
Satan has turned everything he touches into a dark place or a dark life. He and his angels go all about searching whom he can destroy. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8)
We are back at the time of the Rapture and the beginning of the Seven Years of the Great Tribulation. This next presentation of these same seven years deals almost exclusively with the devil, his designs, and his judgments. The Lamb of God and our Heavenly Father were center stage in the previous picture from chapter four verse one to chapter eleven verse nineteen. The Father’s throne was the backdrop and the Lamb of God was the source of all the action. The twenty-four Elders that John saw around the throne presented a picture that symbolizes the multitude of saints raptured up out of a sin-cursed earth that is ripe for judgment. We watched the Lamb open the seven-sealed book and saw its action of judgment. We can clearly say that the Son of God, seen as the Lamb slain, is the Father’s star character for all Seven Years of the Great Tribulation, as viewed in the first story.
Now, we must return to look again at the same seven years. This presentation will focus on the devil getting his hour in the spotlight and his final demise. God the Father always acts with judicial perfection. No man or created being will be judged unfairly. Satan walked into the garden disguised as a beautiful creature and lied and beguiled his way into possession of this created world. He must be judged but his judgment must be of the order and method that is so complete that there can be no appeal. When this hour is finished, Satan will be seen not by his imitation of beauty, but by his evil heart. He will never have a second chance to prove his godhead when this display of his real nature is finished.
This is Satan’s greatest effort to produce a masterpiece of a false godhead or trinity of beings. There have been many such trinities in the world of paganism. I have never viewed a pagan temple that did not have three altars. He originally said, “… 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.” Isaiah 14:13-14. He never reached that goal. He tried, but failed, and the Son of God saw him fall. Jesus said, “…. I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Luke 10:18. When the Son of God said, “like lightning”; He was expressing the intensity of this action. This historic act by the Father was meant to display to the heavenly angels His sovereignty and to make plain the extent of His judgment of Satan and those angels that fell with him. This had to have been one of Heaven’s saddest, but brightest days. Now, the time will have come to finish the fall of Satan from the proximity of the throne down to the midair, and then this next fall out of the midair down to earth. The next judgment will be from the earth to the bottomless pit and then out of the pit to the Lake of Fire for eternity. The present worldwide struggles in the spiritual realm are the prewar of this coming worldwide war on a scale seen only in the Book of Revelation. It really is a grand scene and will be life changing for this universe.
Satan’s hatred for Godly people is legendary. Nothing in his actions is more visible than his hatred for the coming Rapture of the saints. Their removal says several things that he will labor to delay. The saints will be forever beyond his reach. The seed of women has always presented the greatest challenge to Satan. He remembers too well the words of the Father in the garden after man’s fall. The great Creator spoke to Satan personally, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15. He has already suffered a deadly blow – Calvary and the empty tomb – but His final judgment is at the door. When he sees that raptured throng fly past him upwards through the midair, it will be reckoning day. The raptured saints will be the crowning multitude of the seed of women. As soon as they pass him in the sky, the angels will prepare for the battle that lands Satan earthbound and unable to ever approach God’s throne again. Satan will be limited to casting blasphemy from the earth to the shouting throng around the Father’s glory. Viewing Satan in this reduced position is one of the remarkable parts of this chapter. Everything he does for the rest of the seven years of the Great Tribulation will be from a limited capacity, and then he will be cast into the bottomless pit.
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” Revelation 12:1-2
This is the most remarkable picture of the church of Jesus Christ found in the Scripture. John is viewing this church in its two-fold existence, both the organized and compromising church and the remnant church of victory and quiet triumph. Everything in Revelation after chapter four verse one cannot be seen as historic or some event of the past, but as future prophecy, beginning with the day of the Rapture and right into the future fulfillment of all things. The promises to the seven churches were stated seven times, “to the overcomers.” What is about to happen cannot include anyone but overcomers and cannot exclude even one of these overcomers. A great woman clothed with the sun is the outwardly visible church. She is rich, powerful, dominating, and pregnant with “man child.” The twelve stars in her crown demand that she is either Israel or the church. But, she cannot be Israel because Israel is in total unbelief except for a remnant until the end of the Tribulation Period. There are other proofs in this chapter that this is the church.
15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
Israel’s past has no record or period of time when she was like the sun or had the moon or darkness under her feet. It seems completely out of context to try to turn this picture back to prove that it is the people of Israel. The church has been the one entity that has done so much to spread sunshine into the night. With all her failures, and they are many, the church still has had a multitude in her ranks that have shined for Christ like the midday sun. The moon or the darkness of sin, which this idea of “under her feet” represents, has been defeated and cast out millions of times by His saints. Israel has a glorious future but her past is filled with more defeat than victory. It was the leaders of Israel that consented, even demanded, that the Son of God be put to death or crucified. No. Israel is not the image of the sun with her feet on the moon. It represents His church, the greatest institution of human history. This is not a put down of Israel as a nation or as His chosen family. Israel is the apple of the Father’s eye and her future is bright with promise.
There have been many from within Israel that has been both Israel and the church. They could be included in this “sun-clothed woman.” There were many faithful saints amongst this nation that were called His church in the Old Testament. Remember the “church in the wilderness.” “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.” Acts 7:38. Godly men and women of Israel have carried the great burden of the kingdom and should not be treated lightly. Multitudes of them will be represented in the twelve of those twenty-four elders seen in Revelation chapter four. The prophet Malachi spoke of the saints of both Testaments that were called his jewels, “And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” Malachi 3:17. I believe these great saints should be included with this sun-clothed woman, not as just Israel but as Saints of God. It is certain that Israel’s prophetic place is on the horizon.
The greatest purpose of the church, this sun-clothed woman, is to produce a Rapture-ready bride to reign on this earth with Christ and to be His forever. Our mission is not just converts but saints set free from all worldly entanglement and ready at a moment’s notice to go meet the Lord. This second verse that speaks of a man-child must be the most beautiful statement identifying that remnant within the bosom of the whole, the real company of saints, found in this great Bible we love. These are not just church members, pew warmers, religious folks, but the company of the sanctified, “paining to be delivered” and ready to go at any minute. Apostle Paul said, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” 1 Thessalonians 2:19. “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” Colossians 1:28. Again, He said, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2. There is a bride within His church and the church universal is paining to be rid of us.
“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” Revelation 12:3-4
The devil could not be described in more graphic terms to fit the occasion. He is already gathering his worldwide government before the Rapture because he is seen wearing the absolute types of his governmental powers on his head before he is cast out. When someone tries to make this a historic event concerning Israel and the birth of Jesus Christ and His ascension, it really makes for a theological difficulty. This is future prophecy and not something that happened before John received this prophecy revelation. The devil is very close to having these government powers in place and, as seen in this chapter, he must have the world ready before the Rapture. The world is either ready or very close to ready for a master politician to put the One World governmental powers in place. Russia, Turkey, Libya, Iran, and Iraq, as well as the rest of the Middle East and the nations of Europe, all appear perfectly aligned. Everything is waiting for the Rapture of His chosen saints.
Fallen angels or demon spirits are presently organized for Satan’s control. There is an all out assault on the present church world and especially the idea of the Rapture. Never have evil spirits been more animated to destroy. The church universal is full of unbelief and unprepared for this Bride, called a “man child,” within to disappear. This company is called the “man child” to illustrate the masculine purity and the future role of “Elders.” Much of the religious world is already joining Satan’s One World church, and will be ready to serve him as he establishes the worship and mark of his Antichrist. These demons are presently active as the Rapture is preparing to occur because they are resisting every idea connected to the “man child’s” escape. Also, these spirits are busy preparing the religious world for the church of the Antichrist.
Along with the preparation for their new religious entity, is their assault on truth, all truth, but especially the truth of the Bride’s departure and the Rapture to accomplish their removal to Heavenly Jerusalem. Notice how this dragon Satan stands on guard before the entire church world to defeat the remnant within from their glorious victory. Satan has marshaled an army of Rapture haters and truth deceivers to fight the remnant within the organized church world. The church is full of all descriptions of doctrines contrary to the great hope of our removal to His presence. They will lose their chosen war because the Lord Himself will come down into the mid-air to assure the ultimate victory. I believe Satan will actually set up a guard of millions of fallen angels to try to fight against the ascending saints. The Lord of the hosts, a multitude of Cherubim, and angels will join the triumph as the saints ascend right through the hordes of evil spirits. Devils will be strewed everywhere in awesome defeat.
“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” Revelation 12:5-6
The term “man child” could not represent the overcoming saints better. These are not the wimpy believers cowering in defeat and hardly able to mutter a weak, “Hallelujah.” The saints that go up in the Rapture are soldiers of the cross, firebrands plucked out of worldliness and strong in the joy of full surrender. They will include the great missionaries that evaded foreign lands and fought back demons of hate, godly women that were prayer warriors in the House of God, and gospel preachers that refused the compromise of big time religion. They will be a victorious company that the devil cannot intimidate. We will win this coming battle.
1 Thessalonians 2
18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
20 For ye are our glory and joy.
This “man child” brought forth by His church will be destined to rule this world with a rod of iron during the Millennium. Israel will rule the land of promise, all the geographical area promised to Abraham. They were never destined or promised to rule the world. That promise is to His church, always has been and always will be. That is settled. This one truth guarantees that this women and her victorious son is His church. Christ will be King of Kings over the created universe, Israel will rule under Him in her promised kingdom, and the Bride will rule under Him over the whole world.
“And the women fled into the wilderness” is an appropriate picture of the darkness that will descend on the church world. Most church members are utterly unprepared for this Rapture or for what will happen because they missed the Rapture. They that become willing to be martyrs will be able to prepare in repentance and wash their garments in the blood of the Lamb. Most of the liberal world will descend into the One World church. They will serve with Him and then be destroyed with His Antichrist. A multitude of those that missed the Rapture will repent and have some degree of protection for a short time. The Antichrist and his One World church will persecute the saints unto death that refuse their new religion. Many will die as martyrs and become a part of the Tribulation saints as we have seen in chapter seven.
“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.” Revelation 12:5-6
A celestial battle will follow this great Rapture of the “man child.” Satan was cast into the midair long ago and has ruled from this advantaged spot. But now, Michael, that great archangel, will gather the army of assigned angels to his leadership and they will engage in a war of the spirit world. Satan and his fallen angels and Michael and the holy angels will meet in the midair. There have been many engagements in this realm but none to compare with this war. Michael has won many times, but Satan was always left to fight another day or hour. This time Satan will be cast out and down to the earth and there is no more room for Satan in God’s heavenly realm. He will never ascend again to accuse the chosen before the Father.
He and every angel that fell with him will at this moment of future fulfillment be removed from the spirit realm down to the limited focus of this earth. They are stripped of their right to appear before God and limited to be revealed only in their totally depraved nature or appearance. Today, they can act paranormally and take on angelic beauty and even appear as angels of light. Their light or angelic form will be stripped from them when they are cast down to this earth. All the beauty of their created presence will be lost and they will appear as their character of darkness and lostness now represents. They will have great power to deceive and even perform miracles, but distinctly satanic and ugly. Their God-given creative beauty is forever removed.
“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. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhibiters 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 12:10-12
The results of this great victory against Satan and his hosts are breathtaking. For at least six thousand years he has terrorized this world. His position in the midair gave him great advantage and he has used it to the maximum. “As the prince of the power of the air,” he has been able to move swiftly and cunningly against the saints. This victory against Satan is first announced from a “loud voice in heaven.” There is no question but that the host of angels have longed for this day. The universe cannot experience the ultimate kingdom of God until this day of victory has arrived. The casting out of Satan starts the process of his final judgment. His end is in the making once he loses his midair occupation. It’s his beachhead, and without it, he’s doomed.
The one source of victory over Satan, Christ’s blood, is once again remembered and it applies especially to those who defeat Satan after the Rapture. The traditions I was taught in my early years of church life said that no one could be saved after the Rapture. Of course, the Bible is literal and literal truth allows no such teaching. That certainly isn’t to say that missing the Rapture is anything less than a disaster. To be saved after the glorious Rapture is clearly described in verse ten, “…and they loved not their lives unto the death.” That proves that the only hope is for those who are ready to lay down their life and suffer the hell of Satan’s fury. Now, you can be saved unto life, but then it shall be “saved unto death.”
20 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 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.
All the heavens, the raptured saints, and the host of angels rejoice, but are perfectly aware of what this casting out of Satan means to the earth. The devil is cast out and comes down to the earth and “he knows he has but a short time.” This is the first moment in biblical history that Satan knows and accepts that his defeat is absolute. The vicious battle he fights from this point to the return of Christ to the earth is guaranteed to be the act of a desperate being. I have read of men that knew a battle was lost, so they would wade into the enemy camp with an abandonment that made them almost invincible. This is the picture we get of the devil, and the earth will pay a price during his parting anger.
“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:13-17
The Devil immediately acts to manifest the final expression of his wrath on the left behind of the church world that did not give their immediate allegiance to the New World religion. There has never been an attack against the Bible-believers, those who have repented, as there will be after the Rapture. It is all out war and utter destruction in the devil’s mind and he has nothing to lose that isn’t already lost. He will persecute the world because he hates everything that speaks of the Creator, but he will especially persecute the woman who was once called “a woman clothed with the sun.” The saints within her company are no longer visible but have been raptured. In this vision she is now nothing but a hated and persecuted crowd. She lost her glory when this “man child” was caught away.
Satan’s attack will be violent but the Lord will not forsake those that claim His name. It appears that a supernatural provision is made for those willing to suffer the great wrath of Satan. Believers will learn of a hiding place, a wilderness, a place of Spartan living, but a safe place from the Antichrist. Until the first three and one half years are complete, there will be a great victory provided by the Lord for many of the saints. The earth will provide supernatural action to defeat Satan as he attacks this remnant of the woman. During two thousands years of church history, many saints have defeated and frustrated the devil. Hatred for every expression of the true church has been the favorite mindset of this enemy of righteousness. This “Sun-clothed” woman has redeemed millions from his clutches; and he will hate the last expression of her very existence.
The picture of the saints of God on earth during the Tribulation Period should leave no doubt of redemption being available while the Bride is rejoicing in Heaven. The greatest reason that men should literally sacrifice all they are to be a part of the Rapture is not to escape the Tribulation, but to be part of His Bride for eternity. Going in the Rapture has been reduced to the fear of being lost rather than the glory and joy of being His Bride. We must change this mindset and return to the great challenge of a church getting ready to reign and share His eternal kingdom. The greatest burden of each saint should be the Kingdom of God on earth. The Lord taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come,” but all that most Christians can talk about is leaving this earth. We leave only for one reason and that is to get ready to return and reign with Him.
The reason Satan hates this woman is because he has determined to rule this earth and the Bride of Christ, the overcomers will accomplish what he has failed to accomplish. His effort to rule this world has always turned to despair and sorrow. He now knows that we will rule and this earth will become a garden. Satan’s attack on the remnant saints that have repented, kept the commandments, and have His testimony is proof that He knows our future. He will fight to the finish and the finish will be his finish. Satan will develop his false trinity and leave his ugly mark right down to the end. Let’s view the False Christ and the False Prophet that he will present to the world.