GOD HAS A WONDERFUL PROMISE FOR HIS PEOPLE!

THE GREAT SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE BEHIND THE GREAT TRIBULATION

Revelation 12:6-17

NOTE THE WONDERFUL PROMISE:  God has a place for His people to hide when the going gets tough!  God is going to  save a remnant of believers.  He is going to use this persecution TO TURN EVEN MORE JEWS TO HIS SON, WHO IS THE TRUE MESSIAH, even the Lord Jesus Christ.

“God hath not cast way his people which he foreknew.  Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias?  How he maketh intercession to God against Israel” (Romans 11:2).

God ‘s foreknowledge guarantees a remnant.  Very simply stated, God Himself guarantees a remnant;  He saves those whom He foreknows.

“Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18).

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

“God hath not cast away his people [Israel] which he foreknew” (Romans 11:2).

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was FOREORDAINED [foreknown] before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,” (I Peter 1:18-20).

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His.  And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19).

“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied” (I Peter 1:2).

(Revelation 12:7-9) – Here we will consider Satan, The Great Tribulation and the end time.

We are again seeing the curtain rolled back between heaven and earth.  We are made aware of a great spiritual conflict going on behind all the ungodliness and evil of this world.

We have been made aware of the dragon, the devil, who is out to hurt and cut the heart of God.  He does this by turning people away from Christ and leading them to destroy their lives by following evil (the broad gate of (Matthew 7:13-14).

This is shown to us in Revelation: the rampage of the devil against God will intensify in the end time, especially during the great Tribulation.  This is the discussion of Revelation 12:6-17 the spiritual struggle behind the great tribulation – the Dragon’s [Satan’s] attacks against the woman (Israel).

A HELPFUL STUDY OUTLINE:

  1. The woman flees for her life (v. 6).
  2. The great war over Israel and God’s people is fought in heaven (v. 7-9).
  3. The great victory and salvation are won (v. 10-11).
  4. The warning to earth is given (v. 12).
  5. The dragon launches an attack upon the woman (v. 13-17).

Now let’s review Israel and the Great Tribulation (outline B)

  • Revelation 12:7-9
  • Satan
  • The Great Tribulation
  • End Time
  • As we have seen, the great war over Israel and God’s people is to be fought in heaven.  The great struggle for the believer’s soul occurs in the spiritual realm, the spiritual world or dimension of being.  This is the picture of verses 7-9.  The great struggle for the souls of Israel and the believers in the end time will be occurring in the spiritual world.  Remember: Israel and the believers are having to flee for their lives from the worst holocaust the world has ever seen.  It has been launched by the Antichrist.  The one man who embodies the very evil of the devil himself.  These verses show us what lies behind this terrible holocaust, what is causing the terrible attack against Israel and the believers.

1.The forces of the spiritual struggle (Revelation 12:7-8) are Michael and his angels, Satan and his fallen angels. Note several things.

a. Scripture also teaches that God has assigned good angels to look after and minister to believers.

“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”  (Hebrews 1:14).

b. Scripture teaches there are ranks and orders of angels, (Ephesians 6:12) that there are various levels of authority among the angels.  They rule as principalities and powers over the spiritual world.  This is true among both good and evil angels.

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

“[Christ is] far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21).                                                         

“To the intent [purpose] that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,”(Ephesians 3:10).

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” (Colossians 1:16).

“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” (Colossians 2:10).

“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15).

c. Michael is one of the archangels who serves God (Revelations 12:7).  In Scripture he is presented as being above all the other angels.  He seems to be the prime administrator for God (Daniel 10:21; 12:7-12; I Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 9).  He is also pictured as the guardian angel for God’s people.  He struggles against the fallen angels who seek control over the nations and people of the earth (Daniel chapters 10-12).

2. A spiritual war will be fought in the end time between the spiritual forces of good and evil. Satan and his angels will attempt to do what they have always tried to do: stamp out Israel and the followers of Christ.
But there will be one difference, verse twelve tells us what it is.  Satan “knows that he has but a short time.”  God will be ready to end human history.  Therefore, Satan will attack both Israel and all the believers as never before.  He will literally try to wipe out every Jew and believer that he can.  Why?  Because every one that is killed will never be able to accept Christ nor bear testimony of Christ and lead anyone else to Christ; therefore, God will be hurt, which is Satan’s goal.

But note what the glorious outcome of the battle will be.  Satan and his fallen angels will be DEFEATED and cast out of heaven once for all.  After this event — when this battle takes place in the GREAT TRIBULATION – Satan will never again have access into heaven.  He will never again accuse a believer before God.

Remember: Satan is said to have access to heavenly places and to God (Luke 10:18; Ephesians 6:12; Job 1:6; 2:1-7).  But this will BE the final battle between evil and good.  This is the picture (6) being painted by Revelation.  After this battle, Satan will be defeated forever.

“Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days” (Daniel 10:14).

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1).

Note:  In all the graphic description of the above we must remember what will be happening upon earth.  Israel and believers will be suffering the worst horror of evil ever launched upon the earth:  the holocaust of the Antichrist.  He will be doing all he can to eliminate every Jew and every believer from the face of the earth.  Why?  All because OF THE DRAGON, THAT OLD SERPENT, CALLED THE DEVIL AND Satan.

DEEPER STUDY OF Satan and his names.

(Revelation 12:9), Satan is called “the great dragon…that old serpent.”

His name is LUCIFER.   He was probably one of the highest angels ever created by God, but he fell because of selfishness and pride (Isaiah 14:12); I Timothy 3:6; Revelation 12:3-4; 2 Corinthians 4:4; I Peter 5:8).  He is “an angel of light” with such deceptive and seductive power that even some ministers [pastors, etc.] follow him, ministers who are: “transformed as the ministers of righteousness” [Satan’s ministers] (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). 

Throughout Scripture Satan is described as follows:

  1. He is “the god of this world” who BLINDS men’s mind (2 Corinthians 4:4).
  2. He is “the prince of this world (John 12:31; 16:11).
  3. He is Satan, which means adversary (I Chronicles 21:1; Job 1:6; 2:1-6; Zechariah 3:l; Matthew 4:10; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:8; John 13:27; Acts 5:3; 26:18).
  4. He is the devil, which means slanderer (Matthew 4:1, 5, 8, 11; Luke 4:2-6, 13; I Peter 5:8; Revelation 20:2).
  5. He is the deceiver of the whole world (2 Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 12:9).
  6. He is the tempter (Matthew 4:3; I Thessalonians 3:5).
  7. He is the evil one (Matthew 6:13; 13:19, 38).
  8. He is the father of lies (John 8:44).
  9. He is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10).
  10. He is a murderer (John 8:44).
  11. He is called Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15).
  12. He is called Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15).
  13. He is called Abaddon (Revelation 9:11).
  14. He is called the angel of the bottomless pit (Rev. 9:11).
  15. He is called Apollyon (Revelation 9:11).
  16. He is called the enemy (Matthew 13:39).
  17. He is called the gates of hell (Matthew 16:18).
  18. He is called the great red dragon (Revelation 12:3).
  19. He is called a lying spirit (I Kings 22:22).
  20. He is called that old serpent (Revelation 12:9; 20:2; Genesis 3:4, 14; 2 Corinthians 11:3).
  21. He is called the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13).
  22. He is called the prince of devils (Matthew 12:24).
  23. He is called the ruler of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12).
  24. He is called the spirit that works in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2).
  25. He is called the unclean spirit (Matthew 12:43).
  26. He is called the wicked one (Matthew 13:19, 38).

Satan’s purpose in making war against God is twofold.

1. Satan’s purpose is power and worship, to receive as much of the power and worship of the universe as possible (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-17). He goes about this in 3 ways.

a. He opposes and disturbs God’s work in the world (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-17; Job 1:6; 2:1-6; Matthew 4:10; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:8; Revelation 12:7-9).

b. He discourages believers through various strategies (Luke 22:31; Ephesians 6:10-12).

c. He arouses God’s justice against people by leading people to sin and to deny and rebel against God.  And when they do, God’s justice has to act and judge people to the fate of their choice–that of living with Satan eternally (Matthew 12:25-26; John 13:31-32).

2. Satan’s purpose is to hurt and cut the heart of God. Why?  Because God has judged and condemned him for rebelling against God.  Therefore, Satan does all he can to get back at God.  The best way he can do this is to turn the hearts of people away from God and lead them to sin and to follow the way of evil (Revelation 12:3-4; Revelation 12:7-9; Revelation 12:10-11).

However, Christ has broken Satan’s power by two acts (John 12:31-32; 16:11 8:44; Colossians 2:15).

1. By never giving in to the devil’s temptation (Matthew 4:11) and by never sinning (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Christ overcame sin.  He was righteous, He was perfect.

2. By destroying the devil’s power of death.  Christ was not held by physical or spiritual death (Hebrews 2:14-15).  He arose and ascended to God’s right hand.

It is for this reason that the Bible says, “greater is he that is in you, that he that is in the world” (I John 4:4); and again, “if God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

FACT:  No One!

Good Question:  Having read and studied part 123 [this study] do you not want to be with the winner, the Lord Jesus Christ and spend eternity in heaven with Him?

You can know for certain where you will spend eternity…..if you want to.  Where you will go upon death is up to you.  Look at John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13; ask God to help you and then ask Him to save you.  If you mean it, you are guaranteed by God to be in heaven with Him for all of eternity.  How wonderful is that?

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