Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 12
REVIEW – GENESIS TO REVELATION:
ESCAPING REMNANTS: SATAN CAST FROM HEAVEN
Now we need to turn again to Revelation Chapter 12, where we just left off, and we will pick up those verses that I skipped in the last lesson. I did that for a reason, so that it wouldn’t break the continuity of these events. I think you realize that we are looking at the things that are taking place at the mid-point of the Tribulation. Jerusalem becomes the very capstone of everything in these final events. And never lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with a God that is dealing with His Covenant people Israel. But all the world is going to fall under these events. It isn’t just a Middle East thing, this is going to be world wide, but predominately as he deals with the Nation of Israel. So now let’s pick up those verses we skipped. This, too, is at the mid-point.
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon(or Satan); and the dragon fought and his angels,”
Now this is hard for us to comprehend, isn’t it? That Satan and his angels are having access to heaven. And I know there is a lot of doubt about whether that is really so. But it will be clarified a little bit more if we go on, along with Satan and his angels.
“And prevailed not (after all he, is now coming to the end of his rule and reign); neither was their place found any more in heaven.
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth (his domain), and his angels were cast out with him.”
Back to the Book of Job for a moment. We use as much Scripture as we can to clarify these things. Most of you are acquainted with Job. He is one of the few righteous, believing men of his day. Amazingly, God has never had many. He’s always had the few – the remnant. Here in the Book of Job, come to verse 6 of Chapter 1:
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” Satan comes right into the portals of heaven.
“And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou (or where did you come from?)? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, `From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.'”
In other words, Satan said he had come from his domain. And of course it’s the earth. Now let’s come back to Revelation again. He has now had his final access into the Throne room, or heaven as we understand it since Genesis. Now in Revelation 12, as a result of the war between Satan and his angels and Michael and the Holy angels, Satan and his angels are defeated and they are cast out of heaven. Now let’s look at verse 10:
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, `Now is come salvation, and strength, and the (what?) kingdom of our God (oh, that has been in view ever since the human experience. This glorious Kingdom that God is going to rule and reign over upon the earth. And here it’s beginning to get close. So the angelic host is proclaiming it), and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.'”
Who is he accusing? You and I. Every time we sin, and we all do, who is first to run and tell God about it? Satan. Had you ever realized that? He is constantly letting the Lord know where we have failed. And this is a sobering thought. Not only is the world watching our every move, but Satan is also watching. Now let’s look at First John for a moment. We have this comforting fact, even though Satan is constantly accusing us before the Lord day and night. Every time he sees one of us fail he reports in and says, “Did you see what that person just did? I thought he was one of yours.”
I John 2:1
“My little children,…”
I have always told my classes that I love that address. Don’t you? Do you know what that makes me feel like? Just like that kid again, whose mom can’t watch close enough. About a two or three-year-old. And yet that mother if she is a mother, has such a love for that little child that she won’t let anything happen to it. And when John addresses me with that beginning, it’s just exactly how I feel with regard to God. He is watching us so closely and He knows that without His watchful eye we are going to stumble.
I John 2:1
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not (God first choice is that we don’t sin. But what does God know? That we will). And if any man sin, we have an advocate(do you know what that word really means? An Attorney. That’s your mouthpiece, the world today would say. And as soon as Satan comes into the Throne room, and accuses you and I of whatever sin we have committed, immediately the Lord comes to our defense. And in so many words, how does He reply? “He’s under the blood, he’s forgiven. He’s mine and you can’t touch him.”) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”
Now let’s go to the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 1 for a moment. These are basic doctrines that a lot of believers are not being taught. There is so little teaching that people can actually sink their teeth into. But we have to know what God’s Word says and believe it and trust in it.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” He’s the Creator.
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power (do you know what that means? This whole universe is held together by His word. Everything in our life, and the fabric of our existence is held together by His word), when he had by himself purged (or cleansed) our sins (what did He do?), sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” As our Advocate. And even though we have had the old accuser constantly accusing us, yet the Lord Jesus constantly comes to our defense. Now let’s go back to Revelation 12:
“And they (those who have been accused) overcame him by the blood of the Lamb (nowhere in Scripture is the blood overlooked. We have a lot preaching and teaching that leaves the blood out. But if you are going to be Scriptural you can’t. Because it is intrinsic to our faith, that we believe in the shed blood of the Cross of Calvary), and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” I think that refers to the martyrs of all ages, not just the Tribulation.
“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
Now think about that. At the mid-point, after Satan has been cast down from heaven, he will indwell the man Anti-christ, even as he did Judas. And as we saw in our last lesson, he’s going to turn his wrath particularly upon the 144,000 Jews, but all the people of the world are suddenly going to feel the wrath of Satan. But not only of Satan, we are also going to have the wrath of God. Now what does that tell you. No wonder Jesus said that it was going to be worse than anytime in human history. People will say, “Now wait a minute, God is a God of love.” Oh, He still is today. But once this day comes, His Grace ends, and He becomes a God of judgment, and a God of wrath. Let’s go back to the Book of Psalms, Chapter 2 for a moment. We must overcome this theology that God is just a God of love. You see, that’s another reason that people think that He couldn’t possible dream up something like an eternal Hell, or the lake of fire. Here, we have to qualify. He was a God of love when He sent Christ to the Cross, that’s for sure. And He has loved the human race ever since. He has poured out His Grace upon humanity. But what has humanity done with it? They have walked it under foot. And so now He finally gets to the place where His love and Grace is withdrawn and it’s His wrath that has come in. Psalms Chapter 2 verse 5. This is taking us into the Tribulation:
“Then shall he speak unto them (the people of the world) in his wrath (not His Love), and vex them in his sore displeasure.”
Now you know what vex means. He is literally going to torment them. And He is going to do it righteously with all fairness and justice because you see, He has so patiently poured out His love to toward the human race and they continue to react in unbelief. And that is the worse sin possible. Unbelief is the sin that sends all mankind to doom. It’s just the opposite of faith. And when you have faith, then you are pleasing unto God. That is, faith in His Word. And when you have faith in His Word you are obedient to it. And when we are obedient to the Word, then we become exactly what God want us to be. Now come back to the last part of Revelation 12:12 again. The Devil is literally kicked out of heaven. He comes down to his domain on the earth. He comes to Jerusalem to join the Anti-christ:
“…having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
And how long does he have? 3 1/2 years. And he will pull out all the stops. He will use things he has never used before. I know the average person will say, “Now why would Satan do that? They are in his pocket.” I’ve given the illustration before, but it’s worth repeating. If some underworld organization can’t get a business man to knuckle under their demands because he’s too strong in himself, who will they threaten? His family. His wife and children, because he knows that if that father sees them suffer, then he will react. Now Satan does the same thing to God. Satan feels that when he torments and brings all of these things upon the human race, who does he really get at? The heart of God. Now God’s wrath is going to be coupled with it, and that will make that final 3 1/2 years what it is. If you don’t think that last 3 1/2 years is going to be awesome come back with me to Revelation Chapter 8.
We have come through six seals during our study. The sixth seal was the great earthquake which triggers the mid-point of the Tribulation. Now when you come to Chapter 8 we come to the seventh seal. The seventh seal will open up the scroll and the paying off of that mortgage that’s within. The seventh seal in itself is not an event, but it triggers the seven trumpets. So out of the seventh seal comes the first of the trumpet judgments, and there will be seven of those. When we first started our study in Revelation, I put it on the board that the events of the Tribulation are like a mother approaching her day of delivery. First comes a light birth pang. Just enough to know that your time is at hand. And maybe an hour or two later comes a little harsher one. And it just keeps increasing in intensity as well as in closeness. And so it will be that way in the Tribulation. It will start out rather mild, but as it moves to the end it’s going to crescendo. Until finally the last day comes and Christ returns. As we start to read, remember we are still at the mid-point, and this is what follows.
“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was (what?) silence in heaven (there is not an angelic voice, an instrument, a note of music, a shout, or trumpet, but absolute silence in heaven. Now that is sobering! Why? Because of the awful things that are about to happen on the earth) about the space of half an hour.” I don’t think we can get the drama of it. Everyone in heaven is so aware of the awful things that are about to happen. Now verse 2:
“And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.” These trumpets will simply announce the next event:
“And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.”
Now what was the purpose of the incense in the tabernacle? What’s the purpose of incense anytime? To give a sweet aroma. That holiness of worship and righteousness. Now for God, the sweetest incense that could ever come up to His nostrils is the prayers of the saints. That’s how much emphasis God puts on prayer. He wants us to pray. We are commanded to pray. So now we have the beginnings of the trumpet judgments.
“And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.”
When you read of thunderings, and lightnings, and voices again, flash all the way back to Exodus. When God came down on Mount Sinai, what did you have? Thunderings, and lightnings, the voice of God; so it’s just a constant replay, except on a totally grander scale.
“And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth (and as a result): and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.”
We won’t take time now to go back to Exodus, but if we did, what was one of the plagues? This very same thing. Fire running along the ground, and hail. I imagine it was a very traumatic thing. I always think of it this way. Even though the events in themselves will probably bring a lot of death and destruction, there will also be a lot of psychological warfare, if you want to call it that. These things are just going to lambaste the very mental part of people. It’s going to be beyond our comprehension to see these things happening one right after the other. Now to the next one. Verse 8:
“And the second angel sounded (this won’t be a matter of hours, but it probably will be a matter of days and weeks), and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;”
Here again, if we had time we could go back into the Old Testament, and prophecy tells us there will be great disturbance in the cosmos. In other words, I think there is going to be great meteorites coming down and hitting the earth. A good example are the ones that hit the planet Jupiter not long ago. Our scientists are trying to dream up a nuclear device to explode on any meteorite that might be heading for the earth and try to deflect it. So we know that this particular one will land in the ocean, and the third part of the sea became blood.
“And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” It will be in an area where there are shipping lanes and lots of ships will be destroyed in this one event.
“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;”
In other words, it’s going to attack the fresh water. Again go back to Egypt, and remember when Moses caused the river Nile to turn to blood? And it was normally their source of drinking water. So what did the Egyptians quickly do? They dug wells for fresh water. And then God affected even the well water. So God will constantly be one step ahead of them. Now verse 11 is very interesting:
“And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter,”
Now this is just an interesting thought, and I don’t know if it has any impact on this verse at all. But what does the word Chernobyl (where they had the nuclear disaster in Russia) mean? Wormwood! So that might be just a little indication of things that may be used of God, to brings these things to pass. Well it looks like we have time for one more trumpet in this lesson. And that will be the fourth one in verse 12:
“And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, `Woe, Woe, Woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!'”
There has already been a tremendous loss of life, both man and creatures, and it’s all coming under the wrath of God. And yet the angel says, “It’s nothing compared to what is still future for the inhabitants of the earth.”