And He Was Cast Out: The Bottomless Pit & the Lake of Fire

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically today’s passage is found in the twentieth chapter of this New Testament book. “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).

 

            “And I saw thrones, and they say upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand y ears. But the reset of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4-6).

 

            “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city; and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:7-10).

 

            “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. ;And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

 

            When you come to the twentieth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ you will encounter a truly tremendous picture of a great victory that will be manifested within the earth. As you begin reading the words which are found within this passage you will find that it centers upon the binding of the great red dragon which is the Devil and Satan and his being cast into the bottomless pit where he would be sealed for one thousand years. Directly linked to and as a result of the binding of Satan and his subsequent being cast into the bottomless pit you will find a powerful period of peace, justice, righteousness and holiness being manifested in the midst of the earth. With the beast and the false prophet having already been cast into the lake of fire and brimstone and Satan being bound in the bottomless pit for one thousand years it ushers in what is and has been known as the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ. Immediately after Satan was bound and cast into the bottomless pit where he would remain for one thousand years we find the Lord Jesus Christ ruling and reigning upon the earth with the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, nor in their hands. These would rule and reign with Christ a thousand years while the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand. Years were finished. This particular truth is the first resurrection and it would be declared and proclaimed “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath. No power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

 

            As you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will notice that it begins with an angel coming down from heaven having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. THE CHAIN AND THE KEY! This angel would come down to the earth and would lay hold on the dragon which was that older serpent which is the Devil and Satan and bound him a thousand years. What’s more is that upon continuing to read the words within this passage you will find that the dragon which was that old serpent and is the Devil and Satan was cast into the bottomless pit and was shut up with a seal upon him that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled. Oh this is something incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to a mighty and powerful truth found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus—namely, the downward spiral of the great red dragon which is that ancient serpent known as the Devil and Satan. If you take the time reading this prophetic book you will find that beginning in the twelfth chapter of this book Satan would indeed begin in heaven. It is in the twelfth chapter where we find a great wonder appearing in the heavens as there would be a woman clothed with the sun with the moon at her feet and twelve stars about her head as a crown. Another great sign and wonder would appear in heaven as there would be a great read dragon with seven heads and ten crowns who would be manifested in the heavens. This dragon would indeed cast a third of the stars to the earth and would seek to devour the male child that was to be born of this woman. Much to the dismay, chagrin and horror of the great red dragon the male child would be caught up to the throne of God and would rule the nations with a rod of iron.

 

            The vision which the apostle John saw in the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ concerning the great red dragon is absolutely astonishing for it calls and brings us face to face with the awesome and incredible schemes and tactics of the dragon. It would be in this vision the apostle John would initially see the great red dragon seeking to devour the male child which would be born unto the woman who was clothed with the sun and had the moon at her feet and twelve stars upon her head. This male child would be caught up to the throne of God in heaven and would indeed rule the nations with a rod of iron according to the divine will, plan and purpose of the living God. Oh we must needs recognize and pay close attention to this for as you continue reading in the twelfth chapter you will find that after the dragon realized he would not be able to devour the male child which was caught up to the throne of God he would make war in heaven. It is in this passage of Scripture we find the great red dragon together with his angels waging war in heaven against Michael and his angels. Ultimately and somewhat inevitably the dragon could not prevail against Michael and his angels and their place would be found no longer in heaven. As a direct result of the dragon’s defeat at the hands of Michael and his angels both the dragon and his angels would be cast out of heaven and cast down to the earth. It is this being cast down to the earth we must needs recognize and understand for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous reality concerning the beginning of the dragon being cast out and cast down. In fact I would dare say that one of the themes found within this prophetic vision of the apostle John concerning the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the casting out and casting down of the great red dragon—first from heaven to the earth, then from the earth into the bottomless pit and ultimately into the lake of fire burning with sulfur and brimstone.

 

            Having said all of this I would like to invite you to consider the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book. The words which we find in this particular chapter brings us face to face with the activity of the dragon—not only in heaven but also upon the earth. You cannot read the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book and not see a powerful picture of the activity of the dragon in the midst of heaven as he attempted to wage war against Michael and his angels and yet could not prevail. Upon his being cast out of heaven and being cast down to the earth the great red dragon would seek to persecute the woman who had given birth to the male child. This great red dragon would seek to destroy the woman and would cast a flood of water out of his mouth to overtake and overwhelm the woman. Ultimately, however, the woman would be given the wings of a great eagle where she would fly into the desert where she would be nourished for forty and two months. Not only this but the earth would open her mouth and swallow the torrent which the dragon would spew forth out of his mouth which would further enrage and infuriate the dragon. As a direct result of this rage and wrath the dragon would go forth into the earth seeking to make war with the remnant of the seed of the woman who kept the commandments of God and had the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is with these words of war the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book would end and would set the stage for the events which would take place in the coming chapters and ultimately lead to that which we find in the final verses of the nineteenth chapter and the verses we find in the twentieth chapter.

 

            Consider now if you will the actual words which are found in the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book and revelation beginning with the first and opening verse concerning the activity of the great red dragon and the conflict, warfare and trouble he would seek to inflict  both in heaven and upon the earth:

 

            “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 red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 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).

 

            “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 heaven, 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 when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:13-17).

 

            It is absolutely necessary we recognjze and pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we find strong and powerful language concerning the great red dragon which is the ancient serpent also called the Devil and Satan. When the dragon and his angels could not prevail in their war against Michael and his angels in heaven both he and his angels with him would be cast out and cast out into the earth. In fact in the ninth verse we find the phrases “cast out” used three different times alone as the apostle John would write of the dragon being cast out, the dragon being cast out into the earth and the angels which were with the dragon being cast into the earth. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the beginning of the demise of the dragon and ultimately his punishment and judgment. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for even within this passage of Scripture we find tones of the final destruction and judgment of the great red dragon. In fact after the dragon together with his angels were cast out of heaven and cast out into the earth we find a loud voice proclaiming in and declaring from heaven concerning this dragon that the accuser of the brethren was cast down which accused the saints and brethren before God both day and night. Pause and please don’t miss and lose sight of what’s present here for while we have already read of the dragon being cast out we now read of the dragon being cast down.

 

            As you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find the dragon being cast out of heaven and cast out into the earth. Moreover you will find the dragon which was and is the accuser of the brethren being cast down never to accuse the saints and brethren before the throne of God again. In fact these saints and brethren overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony having not loved their lives unto the death. The loud voice which would speak from heaven would call the heavens and those which dwell in them to rejoice while pronouncing woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea for the devil is come down unto you having great wrath because he knows that he has but a short time. Here again is the language speaking of the dragon being cast out, cast down and come down. The words and language present within this passage of Scripture are incredibly unique and powerful—particularly when you think about and consider the truth surrounding the demise and destruction of the dragon which would not at this time be manifested. Although the dragon would indeed be cast out of heaven, cast out into the earth and be cast down he would not experience his demise and destruction as of yet. Oh I am convinced that the reason the dragon was filled with great wrath and rage was because he knew and understood that his being cast out of heaven and being cast down to the earth marked the beginning of the end for him. The dragon was and would be well aware of his judgment and punishment and ultimately his being cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. What’s more is that I can’t help but wonder if the dragon was even aware of the time that would come when he would be bound and cast into the bottomless pit with a seal being set over him that he should not deceive the nations any longer.

 

            The more I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I can’t help but be reminded of the words which are found in the fourteenth chapter of the prophetic book of Isaiah as well as the twenty-eighth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel. It is what we find within these passages of Scripture we are brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the demise and destruction of Lucifer who would attempt incite a rebellion and insurrection in heaven. These passages of Scripture paint a powerful picture of Lucifer being exalted and puffed up within himself through pride, arrogance and boasting, and as a direct result he would not only seek to incite a rebellion in heaven against the throne of the living God but would also seek to exalt his throne above the very throne of God. Eventually and ultimately, however, Lucifer would indeed be cast out of heaven together with all those angels who aligned themselves together with him. Oh I would dare say that in order for us to understand the language that is found in the twelfth and twentieth chapters of this prophetic book we must needs turn and direct our attention to the words which are found in these passages of Scripture in the Old Testament. It is the words we find here in these passages of Scripture we encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the original demise and downfall of the ancient serpent which was the Devil and Satan who was previously known as Lucifer. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in each of these Old Testament prophetic passages of Scripture:

 

            “And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou was made to serve, that thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! The golden city ceased! The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: It stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth: It hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee” (Isaiah 14:3-11).

 

            “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15).

 

            “Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more” (Ezekiel 28:11-19).

 

            The words which we find within these passages must be carefully considered and understood—particularly and especially when we seek to understand the language that is found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we read the words found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we encounter and come face to face with the ancient serpent which has grown to become a great red dragon making war in heaven against Michael and his angels. Unable to prevail, however, the great red dragon together with his angels would indeed be cast out of heaven and cast out into the earth. What’s more is there would be a loud voice speaking from heaven that would declare how the accuser of the brethren day and night was cast to the earth and was filled with wrath and rage knowing that he has but a short time. Oh we must needs understand and pay attention to this for it calls and draws our attention to the awesome truth surrounding the demise, the destruction, the judgment and the punishment of the dragon. The dragon would indeed seek to make war in heaven against Michael and his angels and would be altogether unable to prevail. As a direct result of the dragon being unable to prevail he and his angels would be cast down to the earth where he would no longer have access to heaven nor the throne of God. What’s more is that when the dragon was cast down to the earth the accuser of the brethren together with all his accusations would be cast down upon the earth never to accuse the saints of God and brethren before the throne of God again.

 

            I am sitting here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in the twelfth chapter and I am brought face to face with the incredibly awesome and powerful reality of the dragon’s being cast down into the earth and how his being cast out of heaven and being cast out into the earth would start the clock of his demise and destruction. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the wrath and rage of the dragon for he knows that his time is short and that he is indeed living and operating on borrowed time. The twelfth chapter would conclude with the dragon going forth into the earth and making war against the remnant of the seed of the woman—those who kept the commandments of God and those who had the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. What’s more is that in the thirteenth chapter of this prophetic book we find the dragon giving his great power, his great authority and his seat unto the beast which would emerge from the sea. It would be this beast who would take up the war and wrath of the dragon as he would seek to make war with the saints and brethren which were present in the midst of the earth. Although the great dragon could no longer accuse the saints of God and the brethren before the throne of God in heaven he would turn and direct his attention to making war with the saints. This war would indeed be taken up by the beast which came up out of the sea as the beast would not only make war with and against the saints but would also be given power over them to prevail. In fact it is this reality and concept that finds its place in the twentieth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

            In the twentieth chapter of this prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we not only find mention of the binding of the dragon and his being cast into the bottomless pit where he would be sealed for one thousand years but we also find the Lord Jesus Christ reigning upon the earth together with all those who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God. What’s more is that as you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will encounter additional information concerning those who will rule and reign with the Lord Jesus Christ upon the earth. In the sixth verse we find written and mentioned concerning these who ruled and reigned with the Lord Jesus Christ how they did not worship the beast, nor his image, nor had received his mark upon their foreheads, nor in their hands. Oh I am convinced that in order to understand just how significant these words truly are it is necessary to turn and direct our attention to the words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of this prophetic book. What’s more is I would also dare say that we must needs turn and direct our attention to the words which are found in the fifteenth chapter of this prophetic book for both of these chapters help set the stage—not only for the implementation of the mark of the beast and of the worship of the beast but also the resistance to both the mark and worship of the beast. Having said this I invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in the thirteenth and fifteenth chapters of this prophetic book beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse of the thirteenth chapter:

 

            “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 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 dwell 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 beast; 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).

 

            Consider if you will the words which are found in the fourteenth chapter of this prophetic book beginning to read with the sixth verse:

 

            “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without. Mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them(Revelation 14:6-13).

 

            And here are the words which are found in the fifteenth chapter of this same prophetic book beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse:

 

            “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest” (Revelation 15:1-4).

 

            If you want to truly understand the words which are found in the twentieth chapter of this prophetic book you must needs recognize the incredible importance of the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. There would indeed be a period of time where the Lord Jesus Christ would rule and reign upon the face of the earth and would reign for one thousand years. What we must needs acknowledge concerning this reign of the Lord Jesus Christ is that He would not rule and reign alone. There would be a specific group of people who would rule together and reign with the Lord Jesus Christ—namely those who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God. What’s more is that those who would rule and reign with the Lord Jesus Christ would indeed be those who did not worship the beast, nor worship his image, nor had received his mark upon their foreheads or on their hands. Oh this is something we have great need of recognizing and understand when reading these words for they call and draw our attention to the powerful concept of remnant which will be present in the midst of the earth during the last days. While it is indeed true the false prophet can and will make all men both small and great take the mark of the beast upon their foreheads or upon their right hands there would be those who would dare stand in defiance and resistance of that which would be mandated and forced upon men during those days.

 

            As I sit here today I can’t help but think about the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ and how those who would reign upon the earth together with him were not only those who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God but those who would choose not to worship the beast, nor his image, nor receive the mark upon their foreheads or in their hands. In all reality the remnant of those which were present upon the earth together with Jesus Christ were those who were part of a remnant that would resist the beast, the image of the beast and the mark of the beast. THE BEAST, THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST, THE MARK OF THE BEAST! Those who would reign upon the earth together with the Lord Jesus Christ would indeed be those who made the conscious and deliberate decision not to worship the beast nor to take upon themselves the mark of the beast upon their foreheads or upon their right hand. This is something which we must needs recognize for it brings us face to face with the powerful concept of remnant which was indeed found within Scripture. Oh there was a remnant of men and women who would not worship Baal nor kiss him during the days of the prophet Elijah—even when he felt that he was alone and the only righteous one left in the midst of the land. There was a remnant of three Hebrews during the days of the captivity in the land of Babylon who would not bow down and worship the image which Nebuchadnezzar had set up in the plain of Dura in the land of Shinar. Moreover there would be a remnant of men and women during the days of Jeroboam son of Nebat—including priests and Levites—who would leave their possessions and their land that they might journey unto the southern kingdom of Judah and unto the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of the living God that they might worship the one true and living God. Oh it is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the books of First Kings, Second Chronicles and Daniel:

 

            “And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts because  the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to p ass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that ecapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him(1 Kings 19:9-18).

 

            In this passage we read of the remnant in the northern kingdom of Israel which the living and eternal God had reserved unto Himself who had now bowed their knee unto Baal nor kissed him. Despite the fact that Elijah thought that he alone was the only one left and the only righteous one in the midst of the land the LORD proclaimed unto him how he had reserved and preserved unto Himself seven thousand who did not allow themselves to get caught up in the false and idolatrous worship of Baal during those days. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles. It is the words which we find in this passage of Scripture that once more brings us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth of remnant and those who would not give themselves into the idolatrous and false worship which would be present in the midst of the land in which they were living. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the eleventh chapter of this Old Testament book beginning to read with and from the fifth verse:

 

            “And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah. He built even Beth-lehem, and Etam, and Tekoa, and Beth-zur, and Shoco, and Adullam, and Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph, and Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah, and Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fence cities. And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual and of oil and wine. And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side. And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their coasts. For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: For Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest’s office unto the LORD: and he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made. And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers. So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon” (2 Chronicles 11:5-17).

 

            The words which we find here in this passage of Scripture call and draw our attention to the remnant of priests and Levites which were present in the northern kingdom of Israel during days of devils, calves and high places. It would be during the days of the divided kingdoms of the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah Jeroboam son of Nebat would not only set up two golden calves in the midst of the land proclaiming them to be the gods which delivered the people up out of the land of Egypt but would also install his own priests for his false and idolatrous religion. The author of the book of Second Chronicles wrote and spoke of the worship of devils he had set up in the midst of the land as he would subject the nation and land to an idolatry that really began with Solomon as a result of his wives turning his heart away from worshipping and following the living God. Jeroboam the son of Nebat would dispossess the priests and Levites and would install his own priests thus causing the priests and Levites whose hearts were faithful unto the living God to leave possessions and land that they might depart and come unto Jerusalem and unto the Temple of the living God. Not only this but after them would come out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel that they might sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers. Oh what an incredibly powerful reality and concept of remnant is found during these days of devils, calves and high places as Jeroboam son of Nebat would set up a false religious system that would saturate the land.

 

            The third and final concept of remnant I would like to call and draw your attention to is found in the third chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel. It is here in this passage of Scripture we find three Hebrews—just three out of however many Hebrews were captive and exile in the land as well as those from other nations, tribes and regions—who refused to bow down and worship the image of the beast which Nebuchadnezzar had set up in the plain of Dura. Oh it would have been one thing for Nebuchadnezzar to merely set up this image made of gold in the plain of Dura and allow those within the land of the Chaldeans to worship it of their own volition, however, the trouble set in when he mandated, commanded, ordered and required it. Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t content with merely setting up an image made of gold—perhaps an image of gold resembling the one he had seen in his dream or perhaps even resembling himself—and demanded that whenever men and women hear the music playing they would stop what they were doing and worship this image. Oh this is something we must needs recognize and understand for it calls and draws our attention to the three Hebrews who had the courage, the fortitude, the resolve and the commitment and devotion to their God to not bow down and worship this image made of gold. How absolutely incredible it is to think there was a remnant of three individuals out of however many were present in the land of the Chaldeans during this time who refused to bow down to this image and refused to comply with the mandate. NON-COMPLIANCE AND RESISTANCE! What’s more is that not only were they bound and cast alive into the furnace of fire but once in the furnace they were completely delivered from their bonds, walked around freely in the midst of the flames and were present with one who was like unto the Son of man. Not only this but Nebuchadnezzar called them forth out of the flames of fire and then made a decree that all should worship the one true and living God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. Oh with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the third chapter of this Old Testament prophetic book:

 

            “Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews. They speak and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever. Thou, O king, hast made a decree that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image: and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (Daniel 3:8-12).

 

            “Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are. Not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (Daniel 3:13-18).

 

            “Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego: therefore hs spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace” (Daniel 3:19-23).

 

            “Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellers, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach,  Meshach and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most High God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellers, being gathered together saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in the province of Babylon” (Daniel 3:24-30).

 

As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely incredible to not only call and draw your attention to the binding and casting of the great dragon which is the Devil and Satan into the bottomless where he would be sealed for a thousand years but also his ultimate being cast into the lake of fire burning with sulfur and brimstone. During those one thousand years the Devil could not deceive the nations any longer and the Lord Jesus Christ would rule together with those who were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God. Moreover the Lord Jesus Christ would indeed rule and reign together with those who neither worshipped the beast nor his image nor received upon their right hands or foreheads the mark of the beast. Oh that we would read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and purpose and determine that we are going to be those who are willing to stand up and be remnant in the midst of the land. I AM REMNANT! Oh that there would be a people in the midst of the earth during these days—and not only these days but also the days which are to come—who are willing to be a remnant of those who cannot and will not worship the false gods of this world and who are willing to stand for righteousness and holiness in the sight of the living God. Oh that there would be those who are willing to love not their lives unto the death and even if they are given over to death would willingly and voluntarily yield themselves to the flames, to the sword, to the gun, to prison, to the cross and to any other instruments of torture and death knowing that there is laid up before them a crown of righteousness reserved for them in the heavens.

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