Prepare Yourself For the Greatest Conflict(s) of Your Life: When A Defeated Foe In Heaven Brings His War to the Earth

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ which was given unto the apostle John while on the isle of Patmos. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters eleven through sixteen of this New Testament book. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture found within the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ you will find the book beginning to shift and transition from the seals and the trumpets which were found in the throne and court of heaven to the earth. It is when you come to the eleventh chapter of this prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ you find the apostle John being given a reed with which to measure the Temple of heaven—and yet while and upon measuring the Temple of God which was in heaven the apostle was instructed to leave the court which was without, for it was given unto the Gentiles. Moreover, the one who spoke unto the apostle John would emphatically declare that the outer court and the holy city of Jerusalem would be given unto the Gentiles, and they would tread under foot the city for forty and two months—or three and a half years. It’s incredibly unique to read the words which are found in the opening verses of the eleventh chapter, for the words which are found in this particular passage of Scripture bring us face to face—not only with the Temple which would be rebuilt in the midst of the holy city, but also the two witnesses whom the Lord would raise up during that hour in those days as His faithful witnesses. It is in the first two verses of this prophetic book we find the presence of a rebuilt Temple of God in the midst of the earth, and how this seems to suggest the tremendous reality that although there isn’t currently a Jewish Temple standing upon the Temple Mount, and although there hasn’t been a Temple standing upon the Temple Mount in almost two thousand years—there is coming a day when the Jewish Temple will once more be built and found upon the Temple Mount. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider this, for there is something powerful and captivating about the thought of a Jewish Temple being rebuilt upon the Temple Mount.

            As I sit here this morning thinking about and considering the words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation I can’t help but think about what would be needed in the earth for the third Jewish Temple to be rebuild within and upon the Temple Mount. If you are at all aware of the current state of the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem you will undoubtedly notice that currently on the Temple Mount the Dome of the Rock—the al Asque mosque—is situated on the Temple Mount. This particular landmark and building has been present upon the Temple mount for centuries, and is considered one of the holiest places in all of Islam. What makes the concept of the third Jewish Temple being rebuilt upon the Temple Mount so absolutely intriguing is when you think about the fact that it almost seems to suggest the Dome of the Rock is completely and entirely removed from its place. In order for there to be a Jewish Temple standing once more upon the Temple Mount—either the Dome of the Rock would need to be completely removed from the equation, or there would need to be some type of weird sharing of the Temple Mount that would need to take place. We know for a fact that the apostle John was told to leave the outer court separate from his measurement of the Temple of the LORD, for the outer court and the holy city was given unto the Gentiles to tread underfoot for forty two months. Pause for a moment and think about the tremendous geopolitical ramifications that would surround the rebuilding of the third Jewish Temple, and everything that would need to go in to rebuilding the Temple. In all reality, I am absolutely and completely convinced that the third Jewish Temple does in fact need to be rebuilt—not merely for the sake of the people of Israel, but even for the sake of the words which the prophet Daniel spoke, the words which Jesus spoke when quoting the prophetic book of Daniel, and even the words which the apostle Paul would write in the second epistle which was written unto the saints which were in Thessalonica. Consider if you will the following words which are found in each of these books, for they help set the stage—not only for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, but also for the emergence of the beast and the false prophet which would be mentioned beginning with chapter thirteen of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ:

            “And while I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am not come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and fo the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:20-27).

            “…And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall be corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, and by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall be honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain. And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with  many ships; and he shall enter into countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Daniel 11:31-45).

            “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be puriried and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days” (Daniel 12:8-13).

            “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, splken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: let him which is on the hoestop not come down to take any thing out of this house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:15-22).

            “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition: who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).

            It is absolutely necessary that we read and pay close attention to these words which are found in the prophetic book of Daniel, the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew, as well as the words which are found in the second epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Thessalonica, for what the prophet Daniel spoke of, and what was revealed unto him concerning the abomination which causes desolation would not only be mentioned and spoken of by the Lord Jesus Christ, but it would also be referenced—albeit not using the same language as Daniel and Jesus—by the apostle Paul. There is not a doubt in my mind that we must needs pay close and careful attention to the words which are found in these passages of Scripture, as well as the words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, for in order to understand the reign of the Antichrist in the Last Days you must needs recognize and understand that there must needs be a rebuilt Jewish Temple standing in the midst of the city of Jerusalem and upon the Temple Mount. The “abomination which causes desolation” has virtually no meaning and no significance without and apart from the Temple being rebuilt in the midst of the city of Jerusalem, as well as the emergence and presence of the Antichrist within and upon the earth. That which we find in the eleventh chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ sets the stage for the emergence of the Antichrist, for in the first two verses of this chapter we find and read of the measurement of the Temple which would once more stand in the holy city of Jerusalem upon the Temple Mount, as well as the two witnesses which would stand as a testimony for and unto the living God before they would ultimately be killed by the beast, and then raised from death to life again and ascending unto heaven. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the eleventh chapter of this prophetic book beginning to read with and from the third verse:

            “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, f ire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophesy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet: and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly” (Revelation 11:3-14).

            There has been a lot of speculation concerning and regarding who these two witnesses are which are mentioned in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Some have argued and contended that because both Enoch and Elijah never tasted nor experienced death in this life but were instead translated unto heaven that it is they who shall return because—according to the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews—“it is appointed unto men once to die.” There are those who think that because these two men did not taste or experience death that they can and will come back as the witnesses mentioned in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. There are others who believe that the two witnesses mentioned in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ are Moses and Elijah—and this for two very specific reasons. The first reason is that Moses represents the Law, while Elijah represents the prophets, thus signifying that the two witnesses would essentially be the witness of the Law and the prophets. The second reason that Moses and Elijah are commonly referred to as the two witnesses is because they both appeared standing together with Jesus when HE was transfigured in the company and presence of Peter, James and John atop the holy mount. Here again it would be on this particular occasion when the Law and the prophets would not only be in the presence of Jesus the author of grace and truth, but would also hear the voice of the Father in heaven declare concerning the Son that He was the beloved Son in whom the Father was well pleased. The third reason why Moses and Elijah are indeed and are in fact believed to be the two witnesses which are found in the prophetic book of Revelation is because they were given the ability to shut the heavens that it might not rain upon the earth, and are given the ability to turn water into blood, and bring plagues upon the earth. If you read and study Scripture you will find that it was Moses who when standing before Pharaoh would turn the rivers of Egypt into blood, and would also bring the ten plagues upon the land of Egypt, together with all its inhabitants, livestock, crops, and the like. Concerning Elijah we find that Elijah shut up the heavens for three and a half years according to his word, and it would not rain again upon the earth until the prophet Elijah would pray unto and seek the face of the LORD concerning the rain.

            Perhaps what makes the eleventh chapter of the prophetic book of Revelation so incredibly unique and powerful is when you think about the fact that during the days of the great tribulation the LORD of hosts would have two faithful witnesses who would be a mighty and powerful testimony within and upon the earth. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we understand this, for even during the days of the great tribulation the LORD is still giving space and room for men and women to repent of their evil and iniquitous ways. Even through and even in the midst of the tribulation there would be extensions and manifestation of mercy as within and throughout the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ you will find the living and eternal God offering and extending mercy unto the inhabitants of the earth. You do not send two witnesses—the two olive trees and the two candlesticks which stand before the God of the earth—if and unless you aren’t during those days attempting to draw and call men back to the place of repentance. One of the most powerful and profound truths that surrounds the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ is that in the midst of all the judgment and in the midst of all the wrath there is still offers, extensions and invitations of mercy and grace which were being manifested in the earth. Later on in the prophetic book of the Revelation you will find an witness in the heavens proclaiming the gospel and good news of the kingdom. Oh how absolutely tremendous it is to think about and consider the fact that even in the midst of judgment and wrath the living and eternal God is not without an extension and offer of mercy unto the inhabitants of the earth. What’s more, is that I would dare say that even though the judgment and wrath would be poured out upon the earth as a demonstration and extension of the divine nature and character of the living God—those manifestations of His judgment and His wrath can very well be interpreted as signs of mercy and grace in the Last Days. Would it shock and surprise you that as surely and as much as the goodness of the living God can lead men to repentance, so also can there be mercy and grace found in the judgments of the living and eternal God? Oh we dare not miss and lose sight of just how absolutely incredible and powerful this is, for it is entirely and altogether possible that the judgments of God, and the wrath of God are indeed and are in fact redemptive in their nature.

            I sit here thinking about and considering the words which are found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am completely and utterly blown away by and with the fact that even in the midst of judgment, and even in the midst of wrath the LORD still has a testimony and a witness in the midst of the earth. You cannot read the words which are found within this prophetic book and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that there is within the Last Days upon the earth—days which are filled with great tribulation, wrath and judgment—powerful demonstrations and extensions of mercy. Despite the fact that there will be countless lying wonders and deceitful signs that will be performed by the beast and the false prophet, we must needs realize and recognize that during those days the LORD of hosts will indeed and will in fact have a powerful witness in the midst of the earth which can and will call and draw men and women into a place of repentance. If there is one thing we must needs realize and recognize when considering the words found in the eleventh chapter of this prophetic book it’s that the LORD would have a faithful witness in the earth for a period of three and a half years. For three and a half years there would be a faithful witness that would be present within and upon the earth—faithful witnesses that would have a testimony in the midst of the earth which would be raised up to convict and challenge the hearts of men within and upon the earth. We must needs recognize and understand just how absolutely wonderful and powerful this witness and testimony is, for the entire purpose of these two witnesses is to proclaim the testimony of Jesus Christ and to incite and call men unto repentance. There is not a doubt in my mind that these witnesses would be sent by the living God to invite men to repentance, to warn them of their sin(s), to warn them of coming judgment, and to proclaim the word of the Lord as the ancient Hebrew prophets did.

            With this being said I find it absolutely incredible to think about and consider the words which are found in the eleventh chapter, for within this particular passage of Scripture we find the stage being set for a wonderful and powerful witness that would take place over a three and a half year period of time in the last days when there would be a great and mighty witness and testimony raised up by the living God—one that would anger and infuriate countless men and women. Scripture points to and reveals concerning these men that there would indeed be those who would try to hurt them, and how those who attempted to hurt them would be consumed by fire which would proceed forth out of their mouths. Scripture makes it very clear that there would indeed and would in fact be men and women who would rise up against these two witnesses that they might hurt and do them harm, and yet the apostle John witnessed and beheld fire coming forth out of the mouths of these witnesses and consuming all those who tried hurting them. During these days these two witnesses would shut up the heavens that it might not rain—just as the prophet Elijah did during his day and generation when he would declare unto Ahab king of Israel that it would not rain or dew upon the earth but by his word. There would indeed be a period of three and a half years when it would not rain upon the face of the earth, and it would only be after the prophet Elijah would directly confront Baal worship atop Carmel and fire would come down from God upon the sacrifice and altar that Elijah would then pray for rain. If there is one thing that makes the testimony of these two witnesses so absolutely and incredibly unique and captivating is when you think about the fact that the blood being turned into water and the plagues which came upon the land of Egypt would not only be a direct confrontation to Pharaoh king of Egypt that he let the people of God go, but also a direct confrontation of the false gods which were present in the midst of Egypt. It would be during the days of Moses that Pharaoh the king of Egypt and the false gods of Egypt would be confronted through plagues and the waters being turned to blood, and it would be during the days of Elijah when Baal and the false priests and false worship of that generation would be confronted by the prophet Elijah. Oh I can’t help but find it absolutely and incredibly interesting and intriguing to read the narrative concerning Elijah found in the New Testament epistle written by James and how this half-brother of Jesus wrote concerning Elijah that he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it rained not on the earth “by the space of three years and six months”—the same amount of time the two witnesses would be present within and upon the earth during the time of the great tribulation.

            It is truly something worth reading the words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ, for what we find within this passage is a prelude and a precursor to events which would indeed be presented after the testimony of the two witnesses, after the death of the two witnesses, and after the resurrection and ascension of the two witnesses. We dare not miss and must not lose sight of that which is found within this passage of Scripture, for after the two witnesses were raised from death to life, and after they ascended unto heaven, the seventh angel would sound his trumpet, and there were great voices in heaven, saying and proclaiming the following words: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:15-18).

            After the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and after the voices were heard in heaven the Temple of God would be opened in heaven, and there was seen in the Temple of God the ark of his testament. After the ark of the covenant was seen in the Temple we find there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. This would in all reality be the precursor to the events which we find in the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth chapters, for in the twelfth chapter we find the great war in heaven which would take place between the dragon and his angels and Michael and his angels. In all reality, I have to say that the words which we find in the twelfth chapter of the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is actually quite astonishing and remarkable when you think about and consider it, for I am absolutely and completely convinced that it was the war in heaven—and not only the war in heaven, but also the outcome of the war in heaven—that ultimately sets the stage for the arrival and emergence of the beast and the false prophet. You cannot read chapters thirteen and fourteen and not encounter and come face to face with the absolutely incredible truth that surrounds the war in heaven and how not only could the dragon not prevail in heaven, but so also could the accusations the dragon brought against the saints and brethren of the living God not work against them. If there is one thing I can’t help but be captivated and gripped by it’s when I think about the fact that not only was the dragon defeated, overcome and triumphed over in heaven by Michael and his angels, but so also would the dragon be overcome within and upon the earth. It’s worth noting that after the dragon was cast down to the earth he immediately went to work against the woman who had brought forth the manchild—presumably and assuredly the Messiah and Christ—as well as against the seed of the woman which are the saints. Perhaps the most captivating truth that is found within the twelfth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is when you think about and consider the fact that not only was the dragon defeated in heaven, but the dragon was also defeated—and not only defeated, but also fought and warred against and upon the earth. With this in mind, I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the twelfth chapter—a chapter which begins with a great and wondrous sign in the heaven with a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

            “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. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great read 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. 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 12:1-6).

            As you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will find a glorious sight of a woman who was not only with child, but cried in great travail in birth, and pained to be delivered. It would be in addition to this sight that there would be a wonder in heaven—namely, a great red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. This dragon would draw a third part of the stars of heaven and did cast them to the earth. Moreover, this dragon would stand before the woman which was ready to be delivered in order that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. The woman would eventually and ultimately bring forth a man child which was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. The stage for the great war which would take place in heaven was not only set based on the man child being caught up unto heaven and unto the throne of God, but also the woman who had brought forth the man child fleeing into the wilderness where she would have a place prepared of God and would be fed a thousand two hundred and threescore days. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we pay close and careful attention to this, for it calls and draws our attention to the events which would take place—not only in heaven as the dragon and his angels would war against Michael and his angels. It would be the fleeing woman and the ascended child that would ultimately have a profound impact and effect on the war which would take place in heaven, and that which we would read in the twelfth chapter. I am absolutely and completely convinced we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of just how absolutely wonderful and incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about the source of the conflict which would be the catching up unto heaven and the throne of God the man child which would be born unto the woman, and the woman herself fleeing into the wilderness where she would be taken care of and nourished for a period of three and a half years. It is with this context and backdrop that we find and read the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, for it would ultimately lead to the war which would take place in heaven, the casting down of the dragon and his angels to the earth, and the great conflict that would ensue upon the earth. Consider the following words which are found in the eleventh chapter of this prophetic book beginning to read with and from the seventh verse of the chapter:

            “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. 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, and his angels were cast out with him. 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 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” (Revelation 12:7-12).

            AND THERE WAS WAR IN HEAVEN! MICHAEL AND HIS ANGELS FOUGHT! THE DRAGON FOUGHT AND HIS ANGELS! AND PREVAILED NOT! 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, AND HIS ANGELS WERE CAST OUT WITH HIM! THE ACCUSER OF OUR BRETHREN IS CAST DOWN, WHICH ACCUSED THEM BEFORE OUR GOD DAY AND NIGHT! 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! WOE TO THE INHABITERS OF THE EARTH AND OF THE SEA! THE DEVIL IS COME DOWN UNTO YOU, HAVING GREAT WRATH! HE KNOWETH THAT HE HATH BUT A SHORT TIME!

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, for while it is true we find the great dragon which is the ancient serpent of old—the Devil and Satan—waging war in heaven against Michael and his angels there would be a great triumph and defeat which would take place in heaven. As we read these words—not only do we find that the dragon and his angels could not prevail against Michael and his angels in heaven, but we also find that their place was no longer found in heaven. As a direct result of the dragon and his angels no longer having a place in heaven they would be cast out and cast into the earth. What I so absolutely love about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture is not only could the dragon not prevail in heaven, and not only would the dragon be cast down into the earth, but even within and upon the earth the dragon would be unable to prevail against the saints and brethren with his accusations. It’s interesting and worth noting that within this passage of Scripture you find two distinct functions of the dragon aside from being called and referred to as Satan and the Devil. Upon reading the words which are found in this passage you will find the activity of the dragon in the world, and you will find the activity of the dragon in the midst of and against the brethren. Within this passage of Scripture you will find the dragon as the one who deceives the whole world, and you will also find the dragon as the accuser of the brethren—and not only as the one who accuses the brethren, but as one who accuses the brethren both day and night before the throne of God. What is truly astonishing and remarkable within this passage is that in heaven the dragon was defeated and triumphed over by Michael and his angels, and in the earth the dragon was overcome by the saints. What’s more, is that not only was the dragon overcome and triumphed over within the earth, but he was overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of the testimony of the saints of God. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider that which is found in these passages of Scripture, for it brings us face to face—not only with the activity of the dragon in heaven, but also the activity of the dragon in the earth.

            THE DRAGON IS DEFEATED IN HEAVEN! THE DRAGON IS OVERCOME IN THE EARTH! Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—are you fully and completely aware of the powerful truth that the dragon, which is Satan and the Devil is not only defeated in heaven, but the dragon is also triumphed over and overcome in the earth. It is as you read this passage you find the dragon cast out of heaven, and overcome in the earth. What I so absolutely love about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture is when you think about and consider the fact that it almost seems that regardless of where the dragon turns his attention and his gaze he faces certain and imminent defeat in conflict, defeat in battle, and defeat in warfare. You cannot read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that in heaven the dragon was defeated and overcome by Michael and his angels, while in the earth the dragon as the accuser of the brethren was overcome by the saints of God and the brethren of Christ. This deceiver of the whole earth and of the whole world would indeed be defeated in heaven, and this accuser of the brethren which accused the saints of God night and day would be overcome by those same saints. Not only this, but we find the saints of God overcoming the accuser by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Moreover, the saints wouldn’t merely overcome the accuser of the brethren by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, but they also did not love their lives unto the death. Oh we must needs pay close and careful attention to that which is found in this passage of Scripture, for it calls and draws our attention to how completely and utterly defeated the dragon is. What’s more, is that this all is written and recorded before the dragon would be bound with a great chain and cast into the bottomless pit where he would remain for a period of one thousand years.

            I sit here today thinking about and considering just how absolutely wonderful and powerful the narrative truly is within the twelfth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ, for the words which we find here in this passage of Scripture point to and reveal a dragon who could not devour the man child that would be born of the woman, a dragon who could not prevail in warfare and conflict in heaven against Michael and his angels, and a dragon who could not overcome the saints with his accusations. The saints of God would overcome and triumph over the dragon and his accusations by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, and because they loved not their lives. These saints undoubtedly stood firm and stood fast in the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the eighth chapter of the epistle which was written unto the saints which were at Rome: ”There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword…Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 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 8:31-39). I am convinced these saints of God and the brethren stood firm and stood fast in the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were at Corinth in the fifth chapter of the second epistle: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). I would also argue and contend they stood fast and stood firm upon the words which the Old Testament Hebrew prophet Isaiah prophesied in the fifty-fourth chapter of the prophetic book which bore his name: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 54:17).

            In the first portion of the twelfth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we find the dragon seeking to devour the man child whom the woman would bring forth, and yet the man child would be caught up unto the throne of God, while the woman herself would flee into the wilderness where she would be cared for over a period of one thousand two hundred and sixty days. In the second portion of this same chapter we find a great breaking out and ensuing in the midst of heaven as the great dragon and his angels would make war with and fight against Michael and his angels. Ultimately—despite how hard the dragon sought to fight in the midst of heaven against Michael and his angels—their place would no longer be found in heaven, and the dragon and his angels would be cast down to the earth. The deceiver of the whole earth would be cast down to and upon it, and it would be upon the earth the serpent which is known as the Devil and Satan would not only seek to deceive the whole world, but would also seek to accuse the brethren night and day before the throne of God. What is truly powerful and incredible about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture is that in addition to the dragon being defeated and overcome in heaven—and ultimately cast down from heaven unto and upon the earth—the dragon would also be overcome by the saints of God who would overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Moreover, these saints of God and the brethren of Christ would love not their lives unto the death, and would willingly offer their bodies as living sacrifices which were holy and acceptable unto God which was their reasonable service. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of just how absolutely strong and powerful this language is, for throughout the twelfth chapter there is one theme that is both congruous and continuous—namely, the fact that the enemy and adversary is a defeated enemy and foe. What’s more, is that not only was Satan defeated in heaven, but he was defeated in the earth.

            The more you read the words which are found in this chapter the more you will find the continuous and constant bombardment, assault and attack of the enemy and adversary—a reality which would begin in the first portion of this chapter. Not only this, but as you read this chapter you will find that both the continuous and constant action of the adversary, as well as his continuous defeat and being overcome is a strong and powerful Segway into that which we find in the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters. I can’t help but read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and come face to face with the fact that the enemy and adversary was defeated in heaven, continued to be defeated in the earth, and despite the fact that he would continue to mount assaults and attacks against the woman, against the saints and brethren of Christ, and against the seed of the woman. In the first portion of the twelfth chapter you will find the dragon seeking to devour the man child which was born of the woman. In the second portion of the twelfth chapter you find the dragon deceiving the whole world, accusing the brethren night and day before the throne of God, and waging war in heaven against Michael and his angels—and all this only to be cast out of heaven unto the earth and overcome by the saints and brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ. As you come to the final portion of the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the dragon continuing his assault and reign of terror upon the earth—a reign of terror which would further be carried out by the beast and false prophet. In the final portion of the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the dragon continuing his assault and attack on the earth—not only against the woman which had fled into the wilderness, but also against her seed. What’s more, is that I am absolutely and completely convinced that the language found in the final portion of the twelfth chapter perfectly positions the reader to encounter the rise and emergence of the beast which would come up out of the sea—the beast whom the dragon would give his power, his seat and his authority. With this in mind, I invite you to consider the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book beginning to read with and from the thirteenth verse:

            “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecute 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 th 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 heave the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:13-17).

            WAR IN HEAVEN, WAR ON EARTH! If there is one thing that so captivates me when reading the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book it’s how the chapter would almost have at the very beginning of it the dragon waging war in heaven, and yet how the chapter would end with war on the earth. We must needs not lose sight of this tremendous reality, for it is this reality which brings us face to face with the progression of what took place in the opening verses of this chapter and would ultimately lead to and make way for that which would take place in the earth. We cannot read the words found in this chapter and not come face to face with the fact that the dragon would wage and make war in heaven against Michael and his angels, and yet the dragon could not overcome and prevail. As a direct result of the dragon being unable to prevail, and as a direct result of the dragon being cast down unto and upon the earth he would ultimately and eventually make war against the remnant of her seed, which kept the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is absolutely necessary that we focus our attention on the war in heaven which would eventually translate unto the war upon the earth, for it would be the defeat in heaven that would lead the dragon to seek to unleash deceit and accusation against the saints of God in the earth. We must not quickly move past this all important truth, for in the middle section of this chapter we find the dragon deceiving the whole earth and accusing the saints and brethren of Christ, while in the final portion of this chapter we find the dragon making war within and upon the earth. Not only this, but we also find the dragon making war with the remnant of the seed of the woman whom the earth helped when the dragon sought to overtake her in the wilderness with a flood of water which came out of her mouth. Furthermore, we find in this passage of Scripture on two separate occasions for the conflict, the warfare and the battle the dragon would wage within and upon the earth—namely, the rage and wrath of the dragon. After the dragon was cast down to the earth we find him immediately going to work knowing that his time was short, and after the dragon realized he could not overcome the woman in the wilderness he would become wroth and infuriated. It would be as a direct result of this we find the dragon seeking to make war with and war against the saints of the living God. It is with this in mind you must needs read and understand the words found in the thirteenth chapter of this prophetic book, for the words which we find in the thirteenth chapter point to and reveal just how the dragon wages and makes war against the saints and brethren of Christ within the earth.

            The final verse of the twelfth chapter must needs be clearly understood and recognized when seeking to understand that which is found in the thirteenth chapters—as well as the subsequent chapters that would take place thereafter—for it is in the final verse of the twelfth chapter we not only find the dragon wroth, but as a direct result of his wrath we find him seeking to make war with the saints, servants and brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ. The means and method whereby the dragon would indeed and would in fact wage war against the saints and brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ would be through the beast and the false prophet whom he would raise up within and upon the earth. In fact, it is this concept of waging and making war against the saints of God in the twelfth chapter that must be recognized and understood when seeking to come to the thirteenth chapter, for while in the twelfth chapter we find and read of the dragon seeking to make war with the remnant of the seed of the woman who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, it is in the thirteenth chapter we find what is perhaps the single greatest means of the dragon waging and making war in the earth—and not only making war in the earth, but making war against the saints of God. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and pay close attention to as we read these words it’s that the war which the dragon would make against the remnant of the seed of the woman—those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ—would ultimately be manifested in the war which the beast and the false prophet would wage against the saints. In fact, I would dare say that the war which the beast which is the antichrist makes and wages against the saints of God and the brethren of Christ is indeed the war of the dragon. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of this prophetic book beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse:

            “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. AND IT WAS GIVEN UNTO HIM TO MAKE WAR WITH THE SAINTS, AND TO OVERCOME THEM: AND POWER WAS GIVEN HIM OVER ALL KINDREDS, AND TONGUES, AND NATIONS. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Revelation 13:1-10).

            “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwel therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beasts; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom, Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (Revelation 13:11-18).

            These words bring us face to face with the tremendous reign of terror the beast and the false prophet would unleash upon the earth, for Scripture clearly points to and makes us aware of the fact that the beast would be given the ability to make war with the saints of God which were upon the earth. We cannot afford to miss and lose sight of this, for in the Old Testament prophetic book of Daniel we find the prophet Daniel coming to see the same figure emerging within and upon the earth—and not only coming upon the earth, but also making war with the saints that he might wear them out. It is worth noting that in the tenth verse of this passage we find and read how in this is the patience and the faith of the saints, and this is something we must needs recognize and acknowledge within our hearts and lives, for the apostle John when writing unto the saints and brethren emphatically declared that the spirit of Antichrist was already present within and upon the earth, and we must needs recognize and understand that the spirit of the Antichrist was in operation in the land of the Chaldeans when Nebuchadnezzar not only sought to incite all nations, all tribes, all tongues and all peoples to bow down and worship the image which he had made of gold, but we also find Darius king of Persia issuing a decree that anyone who prayed to anything or any god other than the king for thirty days would be cast into the den of lions. It would be in the third chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel we find the punishment for refusing to bow down and worship the image made of gold being cast into the fiery furnace, while in the sixth chapter of the same prophetic book we find the punishment of refusing to cease praying to anyone other than the king being cast into the den of lions. There is not a doubt in my mind that what we find within these two chapters is a powerful picture and image of the spirit of Antichrist which would be present upon the earth in the land of the Chaldeans, for it would be the spirit of Antichrist working in these two Gentile kings that would ultimately seek to destroy Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, as well as Daniel the beloved of the living and eternal God.

            What makes the third and sixth chapters of the prophetic book of Daniel so incredibly astonishing and remarkable when you think about it is when you consider how what is presented within them is essentially a backdrop and foundation for that which we find in chapters seven through twelve of this Old Testament prophetic book. The prophet Daniel had it revealed unto him how there would emerge one upon the earth who would make war with and against the saints of the most High God, and how this individual would engage themselves in a war of attrition against the saints. The prophet Daniel most certainly and most assuredly saw a day and time coming when there would be one who would rise upon the earth who would indeed and would in fact make war with and war against the saints, and would do so in a way that was perhaps not experienced from the time of creation until the time of the Last Days. Oh we must needs acknowledge and be willing to recognize and understand this reality within our hearts and lives—particularly and especially during and within the days in which we are living—for there is not a doubt in my mind that the spirit of the Antichrist is and has been at work within the earth and among us. What’s more, is that I would dare say that if the Antichrist is not already in the earth he most certainly is and will be arriving soon. Think about it—if Jesus was the divine Word which was made flesh and dwelt among us for thirty years before being publicly manifested in the earth as the Son of God, then is not also possible the Antichrist could indeed be present in the earth in a similar manner before being publicly revealed and manifested as the lawless one and as the man of iniquity? I am absolutely and completely convinced that while it is true the spirit of the Antichrist has been present within the earth since the times of Nimrod in the days after the flood, so also the spirit of the Antichrist is present within the days in which we are living. Not only this, but I am absolutely and completely convinced we must needs pay close and careful attention to this, for it is highly possible the Antichrist could very well be present within and upon the earth during the days in which we are living and is waiting in the wind and waiting in the wings until that moment in time comes when he might be publicly revealed and manifested in the midst of the earth.

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I can’t help but hear the voice of the Spirit speaking within my heart and spirit that we must needs get ready and make ourselves ready for war. I feel incredibly strongly within my heart and spirit that there is a great conflict, a great battle, and a great war that is about to come upon the face of the earth, and the saints and brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs make themselves ready and prepare themselves for this war that is coming. I firmly believe with all my heart that there is indeed a war and warfare that is coming upon the face of the earth, and the saints of God and the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs make themselves ready for this war and conflict. With this being said I am absolutely and completely convinced there are going to be countless men and women among us who are going to be entirely and altogether caught of guard when they experience and encounter the warfare and conflict that is going to come upon the face of the whole earth. There is not a doubt in my mind that we as the saints of God must needs prepare and make ourselves ready for the tremendous conflict and struggle that is going to come upon the whole earth, for there are going to be countless saints who cannot and will not be able to avoid this conflict. We must needs make ourselves ready and prepare now for this conflict and struggle, and we must needs understand that we are all in training right now, and that we are in training for that time when the great conflict, battle and warfare will emerge and arise within and upon the earth. There is not a doubt in my mind that we as the saints of God must needs make ready and prepare ourselves for the tremendous conflict and struggle that can and will take place within and upon the earth, and that we have great need for both patience and faith—and not only patience and faith, but also endurance, courage and strength. Oh that we would be those who would not only wash our robes and our garments in the blood of the Lamb, but also that we clothe ourselves with the armor of God that we might stand first and stand fast in the midst of the tremendous conflict, battle and warfare that is going to come upon and within the earth in the days which are to come.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s