Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Zechariah, and more specifically, is found in the fourteenth chapter of the book. Upon reading this final chapter found within the prophetic book of Zechariah, I can’t help but see how it directly corresponds to what the prophet Zechariah had already prophesied concerning the city of Jerusalem. If you journey back to the previous two chapters of this prophetic book, you will notice how the prophet saw a time coming when the nations of the earth would gather themselves against Jerusalem. The prophet Zechariah saw a time coming when the nations of the earth would come with their armies and hosts against Jerusalem in order to overtake and spoil it. We first begin to see the picture of Jerusalem being targeted by the nations of the earth in the twelfth chapter when the prophet speaks of the city of Jerusalem as being ” a cup of trembling unto all the people round about,” thus indicating that Jerusalem would be a sense of both contention and covetousness within the earth. Consider the language that is found within the twelfth chapter of the book of Zechariah beginning with the second verse: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of traveling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. IN that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourners for his only son; and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. IN that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimeena apart, and their wives apart; all the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart” (Zechariah 12;2-14).
It is quite clear from the words which we find in this passage of Scripture that the prophet Zechariah saw a great and terrible time for the city and inhabitants of Jerusalem. The prophet Zechariah saw a time that would come upon the earth when the nations of the earth would have it in their heart to come against the sacred and holy city where the Lord has not only placed His name, but also His presence. One of the most profound realities concerning the city of Jerusalem is that it was more than just the capital city of the nation and kingdom of Israel. If you study Scripture, you will find that at one point, Jerusalem was not only the home for the throne of David, but it was also home for the Temple of Solomon. If you examine the city of Jerusalem carefully, you will clearly see and discover that Jerusalem was not only the place of the authority, the dominion and government of the Lord, but it was also the place of the glory and the presence of the Lord. In all reality, any assault and/or attack against the city of Jerusalem was not merely an assault against the city in and of itself, nor was it an assault against the inhabitants therein. When the nations of the earth coming against the city of Jerusalem with their hordes and forces, that which they are actually doing is marching against the place of the government and glory of the Lord. I am thoroughly and utterly convinced that any attempt to march against the city of Jerusalem is not necessarily an advance against walls and gates, but it is an attempt to march against the very authority, the very dominion, and the very presence of the Lord of hosts. Until and unless we are willing to see and recognize this to be true, we cannot and will not truly understand that which the prophet Zechariah saw according to the word of the Lord. The prophet Zechariah saw the city of Jerusalem as being a cup of trembling for the nations of the earth–that which would not only allure and tempt, but would also intoxicate the nations of the earth with the madness of malice toward and against the ancient city. The Spirit of the Lord made it very clear that the city of Jerusalem would become a cup of trembling for the nations of the earth, thus indicating that the nations of the earth would not only come to drink from this cup, but this cup would also be poured out upon the nations of the earth. Jerusalem–as being a cup of trembling for the nations of the earth–would not only be that which would entice and allure the nations of the earth, but the city would also be a cup which the Lord would use to pour out His own wrath and indignation toward and against the nations of the earth. Pause for a moment and consider that reality–the reality that the Lord of hosts would use the city of Jerusalem as a cup whereby He might entice, allure and draw out the nations of the earth in order that from that place of threat and invasion, He might pour out His judgment upon the nations. The Lord of hosts would use the city of Jerusalem as a stumbling block for the nations of the earth which would not only cause them to stumble, but would also cause them to be broken apart and broken into pieces.
I feel it both necessary and imperative to continue along the lines of Jerusalem as being the source and symbol of the glory and government of the Lord, and how any attempt to threaten, advance against, and seize control and/or capture the city is a direct assault against the divine glory and the divine government of the Lord of hosts. Within the city of Jerusalem would stand the Temple of Solomon, which would be the place where the Ark of the Covenant would rest–that symbol of the glory and presence of the Lord of hosts. You will recall that upon the dedication of the Temple by Solomon before all the people that the glory so filled the house that the priests could not stand to minister before the Lord of hosts. At the dedication of the Temple–not only did the glory of the Lord fill the Temple, but the fire of the Lord would come down from heaven and consume the sacrifices and offerings which were upon the altar. The Temple of Solomon would be that symbol of the divine glory and presence of the Lord in the midst of His people, for the Lord delighted and desired to dwell in the midst of His people. It would be through the Temple of Solomon the Lord could dwell in the midst of His people, and His people could bring their offerings and gifts unto Him in worship. What’s more, is that the city of Jerusalem would be the home to the throne of David which would stand as the symbol of the divine government, the divine authority, the divine dominion of the Lord of hosts upon the earth. In all reality, the throne of David and the dominion and authority that was to flow forth from it was not merely to be experienced within the nation and kingdom of Israel, but was to extend beyond the borders and boundaries of the land of Israel. It would be during the reign of David when the nations, the peoples, the enemies and adversaries round about the nation of Israel would be conquered and subdued. It would be during the days of David king of israel that the nation of Israel would experience peace and rest from their enemies round about–a peace and rest the Lord would speak to David about concerning his son who would enjoy that peace and rest during his reign as king over Israel. It would be David king of Israel–along with the armies of Israel–that would make possible that peace and rest through the exercising of the dominion of the Lord upon the earth, while it would be Solomon king of Israel who would enhance that reign, as the fame of Solomon would reach the far recesses of the east, as the Queen of Sheba herself would come unto the city in order to see for herself if the rumors she heard were actually true. It was during the days of David that the city of Jerusalem would be captured and made to be the capital city of Israel, and it was also during the days of David when the throne would begin to be established within the earth, and when the Ark of the Covenant would be brought back into the midst of the people of God. Moreover, it would be during the days of David king of Israel that the enemies and adversaries round about Israel would be conquered and subdued.
How absolutely remarkable it is to consider that the days of David would not only be days of established government, but also of conflict, warfare and battle, as David and the armies of Israel would bring everything around them under the government and dominion of Israel. It would be during the days of Solomon king of Israel that the peace and rest would actually be enjoyed–a peace that would provide the environment and atmosphere for the very Temple of the Lord to be built in the midst of the people of God. How incredibly interesting it is to consider that the Temple could not be built during times of conflict, strife and tension, but could only be built during times of peace, rest, safety and security for the people of God. This reality would again be seen when the Jewish people returned from seventy years of captivity in a strange and foreign land under the reign of Cyrus king of Persia, for it was Cyrus who not only issued the decree that would make possible their return to the land of inheritance, but also the rebuilding of the Temple of the Lord in the city of Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem was to be for the people of Israel a place where they could experience the government, the authority and the dominion of the Lord of hosts as it was manifested through the throne of David. What’s more, is the city of Jerusalem was to be for the people of Israel a place where they could experience the divine glory and presence of the Lord as they brought unto the Lord their gifts and offerings which were to be offered unto Him upon the altar of burnt sacrifice as an offering of fire. Even more than all of this–and perhaps a reality we oftentimes forget–is that the city of Jerusalem was not merely to be enjoyed and experienced by the children of Israel alone. THE LORD NEVER INTENDED JERUSALEM TO BE A SOURCE OF BLESSING FOR ISRAEL ALONE! It would have been very easy for the inhabitants of Israel to think that the city of Jerusalem with the Temple of Solomon and the throne of David was for their enjoyment and experience alone, and to even close it off the people around them. The truth of the matter, however, is that the city of Jerusalem–especially with the Temple of Solomon found within the midst of it–was to be a source or blessing for the nations and peoples of the earth. This particular reality is one that is and can be clearly seen through the words of the prophet Isaiah when he spoke of a day coming when the Lord of hosts would exalt and elevate the mountain of the house of the Lord within the earth: And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be be stablished in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people” (Isaiah 2:2-4).
The more I consider the reality of the nations of the earth coming up against the city of Jerusalem–the place of the glory and government of the Lord of hosts–the more I can’t help but view any such actions as a direct attempt to assault both the throne of David and the Temple of Solomon. What I mean by making such a declaration is that there was more to Jerusalem than simply walls and gates, more than just prominent houses, and the like. The city of Jerusalem was the very footstool of the Lord of heaven, and it was the place where He chose to place both His name and His presence. Taking this a step further, I can’t help but see the nations of the earth–when marching against and besieging the city of Jerusalem–as being a direct assault on the Lord of whom the city belongs. When Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against the city of Jerusalem with all his host, he was doing more than simply coming against walls and gates, but was coming up against the very place of the throne of the Lord in heaven. When Sennacherib and his entire host marched against the city of Jerusalem, what he was actually doing was coming against the Lord and against His anointed–not even to mention coming against the very apple of the Lord’s eye. I am reminded of the words which are recorded in the second chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms–words which the apostle Peter directly ascribe as having been written of David. Consider the words which are recorded and found in this particular chapter within the book of the Psalms: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast aware their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure. Yet I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; This day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise not therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him” (Psalm 2:1-12).
When you begin reading this particular passage within the book of the Psalms, the first thing you are confronted with is the heathen raging and the people imagining a vain thing. What’s more, is that you also encounter the kings of the earth setting themselves, and the rulers taking counsel together against the Lord, and against His anointed. Please don’t miss the tremendous significance and importance of what is being said here, for it isn’t until we come to the end of the second verse that we truly discover and uncover the nature of the activity of the heathen and the people, the kings and the rulers of the earth. The latter part of the second verse reveals that the reason the heathen rage, and the reason the people imagine a vain thing is because they are conspiring together against the Lord, and against His anointed. The reason the kings of the earth set themselves, and the reason the rulers take counsel together is to rise up against the Lord, and against His anointed. In all reality, the second chapter of the book of the Psalms is really about rebellion and insurrection against the dominion, the government, the authority of the Lord of hosts within and upon the earth. What we find within this passage is the heathen and the people of the earth seeking to break the bands of the Lord, and of His anointed asunder, and to cast away their cords from them. The underlying theme of this particular passage is a people who had absolutely no interest or desire in remaining under the divine authority, government and dominion of the Lord of hosts any longer. Perhaps there were those who never brought themselves under the divine authority, the divine government, and the divine dominion of the Lord. Within this passage we find kings and rulers of the earth as setting themselves and taking counsel among themselves as to what they can do, and how they can remove themselves from under the government and authority of the earth. I firmly believe that what we read in this passage is a direct usurpation of the authority and government of the Lord of hosts in heaven, and both people and rulers alike who no longer want to be governed by the statutes, the commandments, the decrees, and the Law of the Lord. We play a very dangerous game when we seek to remove ourselves from underneath the divine authority and government of the Lord of hosts, and when we seek to conspire together against the Lord, and against His anointed. There are men and women who right now are living their lives and spending their days seeking to break the bands of the Lord, and of His anointed asunder, and the cast away their cords from their lives. IN other words, such individuals seek to live their lives completely independent of the authority, the dominion and the government of the Lord of heaven. One thing you will notice about this passage is the language of authority and government, for the psalmist speaks of “the Lord” and “His anointed,” as well as the Lord setting His king upon His holy hill of Zion. What we find in this passage are the heathen raging within the nations of the earth–raging against the authority, raging against the dominion, raging against the dominion of the Lord of hosts, for they wanted to live their lives independent and outside of such realities.
The more I read the language that is found within the prophetic writing of Zechariah, and the more I consider the language of the nations of the earth aligning themselves against Jerusalem to overtake and overthrow it, the more I am reminded of the words we read in the second chapter of the book of the Psalms. In fact, I am convinced that ever since the nation of Israel was reborn and established in the earth nearly seventy years ago, the nations of the earth, the heathen of the earth, the kings and rulers of the earth have been raging against the Lord, and against His anointed. Ever since the nation of Israel was reborn in a day as was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah, the nations round about Israel–Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Gaza, etc.–have sought to destroy and annihilate the Jewish people. For nearly seventy years the Jewish people have faced constant and continual threats and dangers on all sides, as Israel is and has been surrounded by enemies and adversaries. The ancient Hebrew prophets saw a day coming when the nations of the earth would align and array themselves against the city of Jerusalem, and would enter into and invade the beautiful land. In fact, perhaps one of the most detailed descriptions of an invasion of a vast army and horde against the land of Israel is found and recorded in the prophetic book of Ezekiel–specifically in the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth chapters. Any student of biblical prophecy, and any student of prophecy and its direct connection with modern events is aware of these passages as being the passages which describe and outline the battle of Gog and Magog, as Gog of the land of Magog marches against the beautiful land with a vast horde of enemies and adversaries to make a complete spoil of the land of Israel. The prophet Ezekiel saw a time coming when the people of Israel would dwell in the midst of a land without bars and walls and gates, and it would in and from that place their land would be entered into and invaded by what is and perhaps has been the single greatest threat and attack they have ever faced. I can’t help but wonder if we take all the conflicts and battles and wars Israel has faced and fought since becoming a nation nearly seventy years ago, and line themselves up against the invasion of Gog and Magog, we would find they pale in comparison. The prophet Ezekiel saw a vast army and horde as marching against the land of Israel, and against the city of Jerusalem. The prophet Ezekiel saw a vast army and horde that would one day march against the beautiful land in order to conquer and subdue it, and from that place of subjugation would spoil them and take a plunder unto themselves. There is a part of me that wonders if I won’t live to see this particular event take place within my own lifetime–and not only will I be able to see it, but what it will be like. Imagine such an event unfolding before our eyes in this generation and being broadcast across television screens and computers monitors and cell phone screens alike. Imagine waking up one morning and seeing images of a vast army and horde marching toward and against the land of Israel, and seeking to descend upon them from the mountains of Israel.
In the fourteenth chapter of the prophetic book of Zechariah we will find something absolutely astounding remarkable, for while there is within this particular chapter a powerful picture of Jerusalem being targeted by the nations of the earth, we also find this passage to transition from a place of warfare to worship, from a place of battle to blessing. FROM WARFARE TO WORSHIP, FROM BATTLE TO BLESSING! When the fourteenth chapter of the prophetic book of Zechariah begins, it does so with the prophet once more describing the nations of the earth marching against the city of Jerusalem to besiege, conquer, subdue and overtake it. “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light” (Zechariah 14:1-7). The words which we find recorded in this passage are strikingly similar to what we find in the final book of the New Testament–the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ–for within this final book we find the final two attempts to conquer and subdue the Lord of hosts, His anointed, the saints and people of God, and the very city of Jerusalem itself. If you journey to the nineteenth and twentieth chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ you will find two distinct battles that are going to take place at the end of time–battles which are led by the beast and false prophet, as well as Satan himself. The beast and the false prophet will and are going to attempt to march against the Rider on the white horse, and against all those with Him, while Satan Himself–with all the nations of the earth will march against the eternal Word and His saints within the city of Jerusalem.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:11-16). It is within these even verses we find the eternal Word of God riding forth from heaven upon a white horse accompanied by the armies of heaven who also rode upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. What’s so intriguing about this is what we read about the Rider on the white horse, for we read that out of His mouth would go a sharp sword, which would smite the nations of the earth. Within this passage, we not only find the Messiah riding forth from heaven with His holy saints and the armies which were in heaven, but we also finding Him smiting the nations, and ruling them with a rod of iron. Pay close attention to this, for when you come to the seventeenth verse of this passage, you will find an immediate insurrection and rebellion against the Rider on the white horse, as the beast and false prophet will attempt to overthrow the Rider on the white horse. “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the army of the beast, and them that worshipped His image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh” (Revelation 19:17-21). In verses eleven through sixteen we find the Messiah riding forth from heaven on a white horse accompanied by the armies of heaven also riding on white horses, and in verses seventeen through twenty-one we find the beast and the false prophet coming together with the kings of the earth to make war against the Messiah and against the armies of heaven. Their attempt would be short-lived, as both the beast and the false prophet were taken and cast alive into a like of fire burning with brimstone. The remnant that were with the beast and false prophet which remained were slain with the same sword which the apostle John had already seen. Thus within the nineteenth chapter we not only find the Messiah riding forth from heaven with the armies of heaven, but we also find the beast and false prophet being taken and cast alive into a lake burning with fire and brimstone, and the remnant that remained being slain with the sword that came from the mouth of He who sat upon the white horse.
When you come to the twentieth chapter of the same New Testament prophetic book you will first read of the binding of Satan, the reign of the saints, and ultimately of the final judgment of Satan. In verses one through three of this passage we read of the binding of Satan–a powerful prophetic picture of the reality that should be enjoyed by the saints of God. “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 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” (Revelation 20:1-3). THE BINDING AND LOOSING OF SATAN! The very first reality we find within this passage is the binding of Satan, as an angel comes down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. With the chain the angel lays hold of the dragon and bound him a thousand years, and with the key the angel casts Satan into the bottomless pit, and both shut him up and sealed him for one thousand years. THE KEY AND THE CHAIN! I have to pause right here and speak to this reality, for I am convinced that while this is a reality that will be manifested in the earth after the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and after the great feast of the fowls of the air upon kings, horses, and the like, it is also a reality that should be enjoyed and experienced by each and every child and saint of God. The angel descended from heaven with two distinct items–a chain to bind, and a key to seal. I can’t help but be reminded of Jesus’ words in both the sixteenth and eighteenth chapters of the New Testament book of Matthew. In the sixteenth chapter of the book of Matthew–right after Jesus blessed Simon Peter for receiving revelation from His Father in heaven concerning His identity–we find Jesus making an absolutely incredibly declaration to Peter. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. AND I WILL GIVE UNTO THEE THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: AND WHATSOEVER THOU SHALT BIND ON THE EARTH SHALL BE BOUND IN HEAVEN: AND WHATSOEVER THOU SHALT LOOSE ON EARTH SHALL BE LOOSED IN HEAVEN” (Matthew 16:18-19). Consider these words in light of the words which Jesus spoke in the eighteenth chapter of the same New Testament book in the midst of a discourse concerning offenses, concerning trespass and forgiveness, and concerning correction and rebuke: Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:18-20).
When I read the words of the apostle John in the twentieth chapter of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, I can’t help but see a direct connection between the key and the chain, and the reigning of the saints of God upon the earth. I do not believe it is any coincidence that the first thing we read about is the binding and sealing of Satan, which is then immediately followed by the reigning of the saints with Christ upon the earth. I believe with all my heart that this is a powerful prophetic statement and declaration to men and women in this generation concerning their mission and assignment to reign with Christ upon the earth. The apostle Paul wrote and spoke of our reigning with Christ upon the earth in heavenly places, yet I firmly believe that we cannot and will not reign with Christ without and apart from this binding and sealing. I would dare say there are men and women who are attempting to reign with Christ within and upon the earth, yet they have not experienced the manifestation and reality of binding and sealing. The angel descended from heaven with a chain and a key–two instruments that would be used to directly deal with the dragon, who was also called, the Devil, and Satan. This angel descended from heaven with a chain with which he was to bind the dragon, and with a key with which the angel would seal the dragon within the bottomless pit for one thousand years. It’s important for us to notice that the angel didn’t just descend with a chain only, for it wasn’t enough to merely bind the dragon and allow him to remain bound upon the earth. The angel descended from heaven with a chain with which he bound the dragon, but it was from that place of binding the angel cast the dragon into the bottomless pit where he not only shut him up, but also sealed him for a period of one-thousand years. It wasn’t until Satan was bound with the chain and sealed in the bottomless pit that we being reading of the saints reigning with Christ upon the earth. In the nineteenth chapter we read of the beast and the false prophet being taken and cast alive into the lake of fire burning with fire and brimstone, while in this passage we read of Satan being bound and cast into the bottomless pit where he would remain sealed for one thousand years. When the saints of God reigned upon the earth with Christ, they did so–not only with the beast and false prophet being tormented in the lake of fire burning with fire and brimstone, but also with Satan bound in the bottomless pit for one thousand years. The reign of the saints upon the earth with Christ could and would not come until after the binding and sealing took place–a powerful reality which we must pay careful and close attention to within this generation. In fact, I would dare say that you should not even expect to reign with Christ upon the earth in the here and now without and apart from the binding and sealing of Satan within your own life. I can’t help but wonder how many men and women are actually living in and with the reality of the key and the chain in this generation.
I believe with all my heart the Spirit of the Lord desires to raise up men and women in this generation who will live in the direct reality and manifestation of the key and the chain. Jesus spoke unto the apostle Peter concerning the keys of the kingdom, and then spoke of the act of binding and loosing, and I am utterly convinced that this is a reality that is sorely neglected and missed within the lives of countless men and women. Jesus declared that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church, and then proceeded to declare that He had given the keys of the kingdom with which men would bind and loose. Notice the direct connection between the gates of hell not prevailing, the establishing of the Church, and the act of binding and loosing. I believe there is a direct connection between the gates of hell not prevailing against the Church, nor against the saints of God, and the keys of the kingdom which were given unto men. We cannot, we should not, we dare not expect the reality of the gates of hell not prevailing against the Church, against our lives, against our homes, against our marriages, against our children, against our families, and the like if we are not living with the key and the chain. While it was an angel that descended from heaven with both the key and the chain, I believe that reality is one that must be experienced in the here and now. I do not believe we need to wait until this angel binds the dragon with the chain, nor seals him in the bottomless pit with the key to reign with Christ upon the earth. I am convinced that we can reign with Christ upon the earth in the here and the now, so long as we live in the direct manifestation and reality of the key and the chain. Oh that the Spirit of the Lord would empower us in prayer and in worship with the key and the chain in order that we might not only bind the dragon within our lives, but also shut him up and seal him within our lives. Oh that we would recognize and understand that it’s not enough simply to bind with the chain, for we must also seal with the key as well, as the two are intrinsically connected to each other. We cannot think that we can have one without the other, for within our prayers we must not only bind with the chain, but seal and shut up with the key, in order that we might completely destroy the influence and impact of the dragon within our hearts and lives. You and I were destined to reign with Christ in heavenly places, and reign with Christ upon the earth in the here and now– a reality which will reach its ultimate culmination and fulfillment during the Millennial Reign of Christ upon the earth. Notice in the apostle Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthian congregation that he directly connects the reigning of Christ with the putting of his enemies under His feet–“For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet” (1 Corinthians 15:25). Notice also what is written in the fifth chapter of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ–“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10). MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT–YOU AND I WERE DESTINED TO REIGN WITH CHRIST UPON THE EARTH, YET THAT REALITY CAN AND SHOULD BE EXPERIENCED IN THE HERE AND NOW! We should not wait until the Millennial Reign of Christ upon the earth to reign with Him, for we can reign with Christ in the here and now. What’s more, is that we cannot and should not wait until the angel descends from heaven with the key and the chain, and binds the dragon with the chain, and shuts him up and seals him in the bottomless pit for one thousand years. We need to live in the direct reality and manifestation of the key and the chain right now within our lives, and we need to ask the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord to empower us in and through prayer with the key and the chain in order that the gates of hell might not prevail against us, and in order that we might reign with Christ in the here and now.