Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ as it was given unto the apostle John while on the island of Patmos. More specifically today’s passage is found in the entire twelfth chapter as well as the first ten verses of the thirteenth chapter of this New Testament book. “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, traveling 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, 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 heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabited 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 mighty fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for 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 food 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).
“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 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 many have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killers with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Revelation 13:1-10).
When you come to the twelfth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ you will find one of the most talked about, debated and speculated upon passages in all of Scripture. It is in the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book we encounter the absolutely wonderful and incredible truth surrounding what has been called “The Revelation 12 sign.” What’s more is that in recent years there was talk and speculation about this sign appearing in the heavens as countless students of prophecy and even those who are interested in prophecy looked unto the sky to see this sign as it appeared in the heavens. I remember being down in South Carolina when this sign appeared—or at least what individuals perceived as being this sign—and looking up into the heavens to see it for myself. If you take the time to read the words which are found in the twelfth chapter you will find it containing a series of mysteries and visions which were given unto the apostle John in the midst of this revelation of Jesus Christ. The twelfth chapter would begin and open up with the apostle John writing of a great sign appearing in heaven—a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. This is something wroth paying attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the beginning and origin of this sign and how absolutely astonishing and remarkable it truly is when you take the time to think about it. The apostle John would see a sign appearing in heaven not sure what it meant or what the sign represented as he was looking at. The apostle John would indeed be shown a vision and revelation of a woman who was clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and upon her head a garland of twelve stars.
I have to admit that when I read the words which are found in this particular passage of Scripture I am reminded of the two dreams which Joseph saw while he was in his father’s home in the land of Canaan. If you remember in the Old Testament book of Genesis one of Jacob’s sons—Joseph who was second to youngest with only Benjamin being younger—having not one but two dreams. Joseph would not only have two distinct dreams while in the land of Canaan but he would also speak of those dreams with his brethren and with his father Jacob. What’s important to note about these dreams is that they might provide a clue and insight into the sign which the apostle John saw at this particular point within the revelation of Jesus Christ. There is something truly captivating about the dreams which Joseph saw in the Old Testament within the land of Canaan for those dreams might help shed some insight and light into that which we read in the twelfth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Please note that I am not saying definitively that the dreams which. Joseph had are the key to unlocking the Revelation 12 sign and the mystery that surrounds it, however, I must at least call and draw your attention to what he dreamed as his dreams contained similar imagery to that of the sign which the apostle John saw while he was on the isle of Patmos. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the Old Testament book of Genesis concerning Joseph and the dreams he had while in the land of Canaan:
“Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him. Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, Please hear this dream which I have dreamed. There we were binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf. And his brothers said to him, Shall you indeed reign over us? OR shall you indeed have dominion over us? So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon and the eleven stars bowed down to me. So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you? And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind” (Genesis 37:1-11).
If you take the time to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find that the second dream which Joseph dreamt was incredibly similar to the vision which the apostle John saw while on the island of Patmos. It would be while the apostle John was on the island of Patmos he would see a vision of a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. The dream which Joseph had was one in which he saw the sun, the moon and the eleven stars bowing down before him. Perhaps some of the most notable differences between the dream which Joseph dreamt and the vision which the apostle John saw was that Joseph saw the sun, the moon and eleven stars—and these bowed down to him. IN the vision and revelation which the apostle John saw he saw a woman who was clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head was a garland of twelve stars. The main differences between Joseph’s dream and the revelation of the apostle John was the presence of the woman and the addition of one more star. Joseph only saw eleven stars which would represent his eleven brothers while the sun would represent his father and the moon would represent his mother. When we come to the vision which the apostle John saw we find him seeing a vision of a woman who was clothed with the sun and having the moon under her feet. Not only this but on her head would be a garland of twelve stars. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for it calls and draws our attention to the progression of the vision as the apostle John would continue to see how this woman was with child and cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
As the vision and revelation continues the apostle John would see a second sign appearing in heaven—the sign of a great, fiery red dragon who had seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail would draw a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. The vision would continue and progress as the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth to devour her Child as soon as it was born. The woman whom the apostle John had seen bore a male Child who was to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. The apostle John would continue looking as the Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. This is something truly captivating when you take the time to think about it for the first sign which appeared in heaven was the sign of a woman clothed with the sun having the moon at her feet and a diadem of twelve stars upon her head. Not only this but this woman would be pregnant and preparing to give birth to a male child and would cry out in labor and in pain to give birth. What we must needs recognize and understand about this when reading this prophetic book is that immediately after the sign of the woman appeared in heaven there would be another sign in heaven appearing in heaven. This second sign appearing in heaven would be intrinsically linked to the first sign for the second sign in the heaven was a great, fiery read dragon who not only cast a third of the stars of heaven to the earth but also stood before the woman who was ready to give birth and to devour the Child as soon as it was born. Ultimately this woman would give birth to a male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron and this child would be caught up to God and His throne. Immediately the woman would flee into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days or three and a half years.
That which we find in the opening six verses of this twelfth chapter must needs be recognized and understood for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful and powerful setting which would take place in the upcoming verses. Within the first six verses of the twelfth chapter we would see two different and distinct signs appearing in the heavens—each which would have their own unique meaning and significance. The first two signs which appeared in heaven would indeed be incredibly significant for not only would they be intrinsically linked and connected to each other but they would also set the stage and tone for the rest of the events which took place in the remainder of the chapter. In the first six verses of this chapter we encounter and are brought face to face with the absolutely wonderful reality of the woman who was to give birth to a male child who would rule the nations of the earth with a rod of iron. This is something we must needs recognize for at the very heart of the desire of the dragon to devour the male Child which was born unto the woman was his attempt to target and go after the authority and dominion that Child was to exercise upon the face of the earth. Of course we know there was only one person in all of human history who was to rule and govern all the nations of the earth with a rod of iron and that person is Jesus the Christ. One of the greatest truths we must needs recognize concerning Jesus the Christ is that while it was indeed true He was born into the world and took upon Himself the form of flesh and blood for the purpose of suffering and death He is coming back again—not as a Lamb which needed to be sacrificed but as a Lion who would exercise the dominion, the government and the authority of the living God upon the earth. When Jesus Christ returns and comes again He is indeed coming to set up His kingdom upon the earth and will in fact rule and reign on the earth with His saints for a period of one thousand years. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in these selected passages of Scripture concerning the dominion and authority which the Messiah is to exercise upon the face of the whole earth:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justified from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
“For to which of the angels did He ever say: You are my Son, today I have begotten you? And again: I will be to Him a father, and He shall be to me a Son? But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: Let all the angels of God worship Him. And of the angels He says: Who makes his angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire. But to the Son He says: Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions. And: You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak you will fold them up, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will not fail. But to which of the angels has He ever said: Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:5-14).
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:11-16).
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4-6).
It is quite clear from the words which we find in these passages of Scripture that when Jesus Christ comes back and returns to the earth He will indeed set up an everlasting kingdom. What’s more is that not only will He set up an everlasting kingdom but He will reign upon the earth for one-thousand years. IN the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ you will find that when Jesus comes forth from heaven He will come forth riding on a white horse and being called Faithful and True. What’s more is the apostle John would write how Jesus would come forth from heaven in righteousness to judge and to make war. This One who would ride forth from heaven had eyes like a flame of fire and on His head were many crowns. What’s more is this rider on the white hose would have a name written that no one knew except Himself and with clothed with a robe dipped in blood. This rider on the white horse would have a name that is called The Word of God and would be followed by the armies of heaven clothed in fine linen white and clean and riding upon their own white horses. Furthermore the apostle John would see how out of His mouth would go a sharp sword that with it He should strike the nations. What the apostle John sees and writes next is absolutely astonishing when you take the time to read and consider it for the apostle John would write how He Himself would rule them with a rod of iron. In addition to this the apostle John would further write how He Himself would tread the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of the Almighty God and would have on His robe and on His thigh a name written which emphatically declares and proclaims, saying, “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Oh how absolutely wonderful and powerful this vision truly is when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the truly wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the dominion and authority the eternal and only begotten Son is indeed supposed to have upon the face of the earth.
Perhaps one of the greatest truths that is found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ is that He is indeed coming back to execute judgment, authority and dominion upon the face of the earth. It is absolutely unmistakable when reading this prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ that He is most certainly coming back again. When speaking unto His disciples He would emphatically declare unto them that He was indeed returning unto His Father who was in heaven. Jesus knew that His time was drawing near for Him to suffer in the flesh and ultimately die but that after He was put to death He would rise from death to life on the third day. Moreover Jesus knew that after His resurrection from the grave He would ascend unto the right hand of the Father where He would be seated in that place until His enemies were made His footstool. For nearly two thousand years Jesus has been seated at the right hand of the Father which was in heaven preparing for that time when He would ride forth out of heaven on a white horse and clothed with a garment to His feet. There is coming a time when the Lord Jesus is going to come forth from heaven riding on a white horse and is going to execute judgment and wrath against the enemies of the living God—beginning with the beast, the false prophet and his armies. It’s in the final verses of the nineteenth chapter where we find an angel standing in the sun and crying with a loud voice calling to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven to come and gather themselves together for the supper of the great God that they might eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit upon them. Moreover the apostle John would see the beast, the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Ultimately the beast was captured and with Him the false prophet who worked signs in His presence which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image.
The more I read the words which are found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ the more I am brought face to face with the tremendous attempt of the enemy and adversary to target and assault anything of God—both in heaven and on the earth. Perhaps one of the greatest truths that is found in the twelfth chapter of the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is that the war of the dragon would begin in heaven and would transition to the earth. This is very important for us to understand when seeking to discern the words and language found in this book for it brings us face to face with the activity of the dragon. Within the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book we first and foremost find the dragon standing before the woman who was ready to give birth to devour the Child as soon as it was born. The twelfth chapter of this prophetic book brings us face to face with the primary target of the dragon’s rage and fury which was the Child who was being brought forth by the woman. The apostle John saw the great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns with seven diadems on his heads drawing a third of the stars of heaven and throwing them to the earth. After throwing these stars to the earth the dragon would then stand before the woman who was ready to give birth to devour the child as soon as it was born. As the apostle John continued to watch he would see the woman bringing forth the male child and that this male child was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. After the child was born—despite the fact the apostle John does not reveal when this even would take place—he would be caught up to God and His throne. The woman who had given birth to the child would flee into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
If you continue reading the words which are found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ you will find the next vision which the apostle John would see was war breaking out in heaven. The war that would break out in heaven was between Michael and his angels and the dragon and his angels who would fight against each other. What makes this all the more intriguing when you take the time to think about it is when you read how despite the fact the dragon and his angels fighting against Michael and his angels they would not prevail against them. When the dragon could not prevail against Michael and his angels he would be cast out—that serpent of old called the Devil and Satan—who deceived the whole world. The apostle John would watch and witness as the dragon and his angels were cast out together unto the earth. It’s actually quite remarkable to read the words found in this passage of Scripture for not only could the dragon not prevail but the dragon was also cast out and cast down. CAST OUT & CAST DOWN! The words we find in this prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ are actually incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to think about them for they call and draw our attention to the undeniable truth surrounding the dragon and how the dragon could not stand before Michael and his angels. As a direct result of the dragon no longer being able to stand before Michael and his angels we find and discover the dragon being cast out of heaven and cast down to the earth where he would be completely enraged and infuriated.
What must be recognized and understood is that if you read the Scripture you will find a series of passages where we find the dragon being cast out and cast down. What’s more is that in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis we find the serpent being cursed to the ground and eating dust for the rest of his days. In fact I would like to call and draw your attention to the following passages in Scripture that describe the casting out and casting down of Satan—not only in heaven, not only in the garden, but also during the days of Jesus in the earth and ultimately being cast into the bottomless pit before being cast into the lake of fire. Consider if you will the following passages which are found in the Scripture beginning with the fourteenth chapter of the prophetic book of Isaiah:
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the3 clouds, I will be like the Most High. Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, all of them, sleep in glory, everyone in his own house; but you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch, like the garment of those who are slain, thrust through with a sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a corpse trodden underfoot. You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land and slain your people. The brood of evildoers shall never be named. Prepare slaughter for his children because of the iniquity of their fathers, lest they rise up and possess the land, and fill the face of the world with cities” (Isaiah 14:12-21).
“Thus says the LORD God: Because your heart is lifted up, and you say, I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, in the midst of the seas, Yet you are a men, and not a god, though you set your heart as the heart of a god (behold, you are wiser than Daniel! There is no secret that can be hidden from you! With your wisdom and your understanding you have gained riches for yourself, and gathered gold and silver into your treasuries; by your great wisdom in trade you have increased your riches, and your heart is lifted up because of your riches), Therefore thus says the LORD GOD: Because you have set your heart as the heart of a god, Behold, therefore, I will bring strangers against you, the most terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom, and defile your splendor. They shall throw you down into the pit, and you shall die the death of the slain in the midst of the seas. Will you say before him who slays you, I am a god? But you shall be as a man, and not a god, in the hand of him who slays you. You shall die the death of the uncircumcised by the hands of aliens; For I have spoken, says the LORD God” Ezekiel 28:1-10).
“Thus says the LORD God: You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointing cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you. You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever” (Ezekiel 28:11-19).
Each of these passages describes the casting out and casting down of Lucifer who thought that he could exalt his throne above the throne of God and exalt himself above God. Both Isaiah and Ezekiel—two ancient Hebrew prophets—saw Lucifer being cast out and cast down as profane from the mountain of the Lord and completely and utterly humiliated for his pride and insolence. Lucifer attempted to lead an insurrection and rebellion in heaven and as a direct result of this would indeed be cast out of heaven and cast to the earth. This is something we must needs acknowledge and understand for within and throughout Scripture that is this continued theme of our enemy and adversary being cast out and cast out. This is truly captivating and astonishing when you take the time to think about it for it brings us face to face with the tremendous authority and dominion of the living and eternal God. Despite Lucifer’s best and greatest efforts and attempt to exalt himself above the stars of God and to make himself like a God and even make himself God he would find himself unable to stand before the One who is seated upon the throne. What’s more is that Lucifer’s attempt to raise up one upon the earth to exalt himself as God and would even sit in the temple would ultimately fail. I previously wrote of the beast and the false prophet being captured and cast alive into the lake of fire at the coming of the Son of God with the host of heaven and yet we must needs recognize that it wasn’t and wouldn’t be Lucifer alone who would seek to set himself up and exalt himself as God. The antichrist whom the dragon would give his seat, his throne and his authority would set himself as God and would even sit in the midst of the Temple. Consider if you will the following passages before we continue on with the casting out and casting down of Lucifer who was the serpent in the garden and the dragon in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ:
“I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books opened. I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking: I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed. I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive a kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. Thus he said: The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:9-27).
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive; he shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. Through his cunning he shall cast deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human means. And the vision of the evenings and mornings which was told is true; therefore seal up the vision, for it refers to many days in the future” (Daniel 8:23-26).
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
With these three passages—both within the prophetic book of Daniel and the other in the second epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Thessalonica—we find a powerful description of that one whom Satan would raise up in the midst of the earth as his man—or I should say as his god-man within and upon the earth. This is something we must needs understand for it wasn’t merely Satan who attempted to exalt his throne above the throne of God and to make himself as God for the Antichrist would also do the very same thing within and upon the earth. What’s more is the Antichrist would even set himself up in the rebuilt Jewish temple and would proclaim himself as God thus bringing abomination to the Temple itself. This is important for us to recognize for within and throughout history—both within the realm of eternity and the realm of time—we find two who attempted to set themselves up in the place of God as God. What we must needs recognize and understand concerning this are the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the first and opening chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome as well as the words which are found in the Synoptic gospels concerning the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints of Rome and then the words which are found in the Synoptic gospels concerning the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness by Satan himself:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 1:18-25).
Consider now the words which are found in the Synoptic gospels concerning the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness as Satan would come to Him in a weakened and vulnerable position having fasted forty days and forty nights and afterward hungering:
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and fort nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, Ifd you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but b y every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, if you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: He shall give His angels charge over you, and, In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, it is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God. Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me. Then Jesus aid to him, Away with you, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve. Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him” (Matthew 4:1-11).
“Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days he ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, he was hungry. And the devil said to Him, If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread. But Jesus answered him, saying, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, All this authority I will give you, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if you will worship before me, all will be yours. And Jesus answered and said to him, Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve. Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here. For it is written: He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you, and, In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. And Jesus answered and said to him, It has been said, You shall not tempt the LORD your God. Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:1-13).
It is quite clear from the temptation of Jesus—specifically the temptation of Satan to give all the kingdoms of the world and the authority and dominion within them unto Jesus if he would but fall down and worship him—he desired to exalt himself. There in the midst of the wilderness Satan attempted to exalt himself above the true and living God and it was Jesus who would emphatically declare unto him commanding him to “Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” This is something we dare not and must not miss nor lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the desire of the enemy and adversary to exalt himself above the living God—even in seeking to tempt the very Son of God to fall down and worship him. This is something we dare not and must not miss nor lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the desire of the adversary to elevate himself above the throne of God and his ultimate desire which is to steal worship away from the living God and to have the world worship him. This is something we must needs understand and recognize when continuing to read the words which are found in Scripture for in the garden we find Satan tempting Eve concerning the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ we find Satan being cast out of heaven, cast down to the earth, cast into the bottomless pit and ultimately being cast into the lake of fire. Consider the following passages beginning with the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis:
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die. Then the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you earth of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you? So he said, I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself. And He said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat? Then the man said, The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate. And the LORD God said to the woman, What is this you have done? The woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I ate” (Genesis 3:1-13).
“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:7-12).
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while” (Revelation 20:1-3).
“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:7-10).
Please pay attention to these passages of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the casting out and casting down of the enemy and adversary. It is in the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book where we read of the casting out of Satan from heaven after there was found no place for him among Michael and his angels. What makes this truly spectacular is that after Satan was cast out he was cast down for the apostle John would see that he was indeed cast down to the earth. What adds even more weight to this is when you consider the fact that after Satan was cast down to the earth a loud voice from heaven would proclaim that salvation, strength and the kingdom of our God and the power of His Christ has come. What’s more is the apostle John would also hear the one who spoke from heaven with a loud voice referring to Satan as “the accuser of the brethren” who accused them before our God day and night. This voice which was proclaimed from heaven would be absolutely incredible when you consider it for this voice would emphatically proclaim that the accuser of the brethren had been cast down. What must be understood when reading these words is that although the accuser of the brethren was cast down to the earth those who were present in the earth overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Not only this but these who overcame by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony did not love their lives unto death. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it demonstrates the reality that not only was the accuser of the brethren overcome and defeated in heaven but he is also defeated and overcome in the earth. There is a great need for us to pay close attention to this for when we think about the enemy being overcome in heaven and being unable to prevail we must also recognize that he is overcome in the earth as well.
UNABLE TO PREVAIL IN HEAVEN & OVERCOME IN THE EARTH! Pause for a moment and think about how absolutely incredible this is for Satan attempted to wage war in heaven against Michael and his angels and yet was defeated, overcome and triumphed over. This is something we dare not and must not miss nor lose sight of for as a direct result of his being overcome in heaven he was cast out and cast down to the earth. I would imagine that when the dragon was cast down to the earth he thought that he would prevail in the earth against those who were inferior to Michael and his angels being created a little lower than them. What we must understand is that although we have been made a little lower than the angels we are more than conquerors through Christ who strengthens us. What’s more is that although we were created a little lower than the angels we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Not only this but although we were created a little lower than the angels we overcame the accuser of the brethren by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. With this being said we must recognize the great power, authority and dominion that is represented by, in and through our death. It is when we lose our life for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ and for His testimony and name we not only find it but also gain victory and triumph over the enemy and adversary. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for even when Jesus sent out the twelve apostles he sent them out with authority and dominion to heal the sick, to cast out unclean spirits, to cleanse the lepers, and to heal all manner of sickness and disease. How absolutely wonderful this truly is when you take the time to think about it for it brings us face to face with the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the victory we have in the power, presence and person of the Holy Spirit. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the New Testament gospels concerning the authority and dominion we have been given by, through and in the name of Jesus:
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20),
“Later he appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: IN my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:14-18).
“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, you have heard from me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? And He said to them, It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:4-8).
“And He said to them, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:18-20).
“And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease” (Matthew 10:1).
“These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying, Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:5-8).
As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the absolutely wonderful and powerful truth that our enemy—the accuser of the brethren—is and has been defeated. The accuser of the brethren has indeed been cast out and cast down to the earth and the saints of God have been given authority to overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. This is something we dare not and must not miss nor lose sight of for it brings us into the absolutely wonderful truth that we have been given power and authority over the enemy and adversary. Not only was and is the enemy defeated and triumphed over in heaven but he is also defeated and triumphed over in the earth. It’s important to recognize and understand that when the great red dragon was cast to the earth he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. The apostle John, however, saw that the woman was given two wings of a great eagle that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time from the presence of the serpent. The serpent—intent on destroying this women would spew water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood, however the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. What we see next is the dragon being enraged with the woman and going to make war with the rest of her offspring who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
What began in heaven with the great, fiery red dragon attempting to make war against Michael and his angels and ultimately being triumphed over would result in his being cast out of heaven and being cast down to the earth. In the earth, however, the dragon who is the accuser of the brethren would be overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Not only this but think about the fact that on two separate occasions by two different authors the believers in Christ were given the promise that if they resist the devil having submitted themselves to God he must flee from them. Consider also that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds and the casting down of imaginations as we take captive every thought and every high thing which exalts itself above the knowledge of God. Although we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places we are able to stand against the wiles of the devil. The thirteenth chapter of this prophetic book describes the emergence of the beast whom we know will persecute the saints and according to Daniel we know that he will be given power over the saints for a season of time. What we must needs recognize and understand is that whether we live or die we live unto the Lord and whether we live or die we can, will be and are victorious. Not only this but even if we are put to death, persecuted, struck down, spitefully used and the like we are more than conquerors through Him who strengthens us. Despite persecution, affliction, opposition and suffering we are given the promise that in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who strengthens us. Oh that we would indeed walk in the victory and triumph we have been given in the power, person and presence of the Holy Spirit according to the blood of Jesus in the might and power of His name.