The War & Wrath of the Dragon: Preparing For His Ultimate Destruction

Today’s selected reading continues in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ as it was given unto the apostle John while exiled on the island of Patmos. More specifically today’s passage is found in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters of this New Testament book. “After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her. Again they said, Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever! And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God who sat on the throne, saying, Amen! Alleluia! Then a voice came from the throne, saying, Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great” (Revelation 19:1-5).

 

            “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia! For the LORD God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints” (Revelation 19:6-8).

 

            “Then He said to me, Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb! And he said to me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:9-10).

 

            “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 haven, 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).

 

            “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great. And I saw 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. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in His presence, by which He deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Revelation 19:17-21).

 

            “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 found 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 no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while” (Revelation 20;1-3).

 

            “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).

 

            “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).

 

            “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who 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, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

 

            When you come to the nineteenth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ you will find the beginning of the end of the powers which were present within the world. In the eighteenth chapter of this prophetic book we find the finality of the fall of Babylon and its utter destruction. As you approach the nineteenth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the apostle John hearing in heaven a loud voice of a great multitude pronouncing praise and worship before the living and eternal God. IN the opening verse of the nineteenth chapter we find the apostle John hearing a mighty and wonderful voice in the midst of heaven exclaiming praise and honor unto the living and eternal God. What makes this truly astonishing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that the worship which is at the forefront of the multitude in heaven was centered upon the judgment of the living God against Babylon. In the seventeenth and eighteenth chapters of this prophetic book we find the description of what the apostle John wrote and saw as MYSTERY BABYLON. What’s more is that not only do we read powerful language concerning MYSTERY BABYLON but we also read of its judgment and destruction in the midst of the earth. This is something we dare not and must not miss nor lose sight of when reading the words found in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters of this prophetic book for within these chapters we begin to see the triumph, the victory and the overcoming of the Lamb who would ride forth out of heaven on a white horse. I am absolutely convinced there is a great need for us recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in these two chapters as they form the foundation for what we read in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters of this prophetic book. Not only this but I am also convinced that we must needs begin even further than the seventeenth and eighteenth chapters and must begin with the twelfth chapter and the events which unfolded in heaven and on the earth with the great, fiery red dragon:

 

            “Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: Behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days” (Revelation 12:1-6).

 

            “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 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).

 

            “Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. But 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. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:13-17).

 

            There is a great need to pay attention to the words which are found in this particular chapter for within it we begin to see the wrath and war of the great, fiery red dragon whom the apostle John referred to as the ancient serpent called the Devil and Satan. We dare not and must not miss nor lose sight of the words and language found in this passage for there is a core progression of the wrath, the rage and the war of the great red dragon. The twelfth chapter can indeed be broken up into three distinct parts which each reference the target of the wrath and war of the dragon. In the first of the three sections we find the dragon’s wrath and rage against the child which was to be born unto the woman. The apostle John saw a sign in heaven—a woman who was clothed with the sun having the moon at her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head. Within this vision the apostle John saw we find his seeing the woman with child and preparing to give birth—and not only giving birth but giving birth to a male child who would rule the nations with a rod of iron. In all reality I would dare say this very reality is perhaps one of—if not the greatest reasons why the dragon sought to devour the child as soon as it was born. Undoubtedly the dragon knew and understood the destiny and appointment of this child to rule the nations with a rod of iron and this infuriated and enraged the dragon. As such the dragon deliberately and intentionally sought to destroy and devour this child to prevent it from fulfilling that for which it had been ordained and appointed by the living God. What makes this all the more intriguing when you take the time to think about it is how the woman would in fact give birth to the male child and this child was caught up to God and to His throne. Not only this but 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.

 

            If you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find within the second section of this prophetic book the wrath and war of the great, fiery red dragon. Immediately after we read of the male child who was born to the woman being caught up to God and to His throne we find the apostle John witnessing war breaking out in heaven. The apostle John would describe how Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and the dragon and his angels fought. Despite the fact the dragon and his angels fought against Michael and his angels in heaven the apostle John witnessed them being unable to prevail nor a place being found for them any longer in heaven. The apostle John would witness and behold war breaking out in heaven between Michael and his angels and the dragon and his angels and yet the dragon could not prevail against Michael and his angels. Pause for a moment and consider how absolutely incredible this truly is for it highlights and underscores the beautiful truth of the dragon being defeated and overcome in heaven. The apostle John wrote how not only could the dragon not prevail against Michael and his angels and not only was there no longer a place found for them in heaven but the great dragon was cast out and cast to the earth together with his angels. What adds even more to this is another mighty and powerful declaration that would be made in heaven after the dragon and his angels were cast out of heaven and cast to the earth. The apostle John would hear a loud voice in heaven exclaiming how salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come. Not only this but the apostle John would also witness how the accuser of the brethren who accused them before God day and night had been cast down. Moreover the apostle John would witness as those whom the accuser of the brethren accused overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony not having loved their life unto the death.

 

            What we must needs understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture is that not only was the dragon defeated, overcome and triumphed in the midst of heaven but even when he was cast to the earth we read of his accusing the saints of God day and night before His throne. If there is one thing I absolutely love when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s how the dragon was defeated in heaven by Michael and his angels which would ultimately lead to his being cast out and being cast down to the earth. Not only this but while it is true we read of the dragon accusing the saints of God day and night before the throne of God we read of the saints of God overcoming this accuser of the brethren. I absolutely love this for within the second section of this particular chapter we not only find the dragon being defeated and overcome in heaven by Michael and his angels but we also find his being overcome by the saints who would overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Despite the fact the dragon accused the saints of God day and night before the throne of God they were able to overcome him—and not only overcome him but overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. It’s important to recognize this defeat of the dragon in heaven by Michael and his angels as well as his being overcome by those whom he sought to accuse for if you keep reading within this second section you will find the same loud voice that proclaimed salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of Christ having come would also pronounce woe upon the inhabitants of the earth and the sea. The reason for this woe being pronounced was because the devil had come down to them having and filled with great wrath because he knows that he has a short time.

            I absolutely love the words and language which is found in these passages of Scripture for thus far we have witnessed the dragon being unable to devour the male child who was born to the woman, we have found the dragon being unable to prevail in heaven against Michael and his angels, we find the dragon being cast out of heaven and cast down to the earth and we find the dragon being overcome by the saints of God whom he accused day and night before the throne of God. As a direct result of all of this we find the dragon being filled with wrath and rage—and not only being filled with wrath and rage but also bringing that wrath and rage to the earth. Couple the wrath and rage of the dragon together with the knowledge that he has but a short time left before first being cast into the bottomless pit and ultimately being cast into the lake of fire and you can naturally understand his attempt to unleash havoc, mayhem and chaos upon the earth. If you continue reading in this passage of Scripture you will find the dragon beholding his being cast to the earth and his seeking to persecute the woman who gave birth to the male child. What began in heaven with the dragon making war against Michael and his angels would now find its way to the earth as the dragon would persecute the woman who gave birth to the male child. Despite the dragon’s persecution of the woman we find the woman being given two wings of a great eagle that she might fly into the wilderness to her place where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time from the presence of the serpent. The apostle John writes how the serpent 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. What we find, however, is the earth helping the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. This is important to understand for when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth we find him being filled with great wrath and seeking to persecute the woman. When the dragon saw that he could not prevail against the woman and that the earth helped the woman he was enraged with the woman and went to make war with the rest of her offspring—those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

            It is important for us to understand what took place and what was recorded by the apostle John in the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book for it sets the groundwork and foundation for the wrath and rage of the dragon upon the earth. We know that the dragon would seek to make war in heaven together with angels against Michael and his angels and could not prevail. We know that not only could the dragon not prevail against Michael and his angels but there was no longer found any place for him in the midst of heaven. This would ultimately lead to the dragon being cast out of heaven and being cast down to the earth. What we must needs understand within this passage is the war and wrath of the dragon as what would begin with making war in heaven against Michael and his angels would ultimately transition to his making war in the earth with the offspring of the woman who kept the commandments of God and had the testimony of Jesus Christ. What directly and intrinsically links both of these together is the wrath of the dragon who could not only devour the male child after it was born but also could not prevail against Michael and his angels in heaven and was cast to the earth. What’s interesting to think about when reading this passage of Scripture is that before the chapter is completed we find the dragon making war in heaven and making war in the earth. With this being said it is important for us to understand that not only was the dragon defeated and overcome in heaven by Michael and his angels but he was also overcome by the saints of God by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Despite the fact the dragon accused them day and night before the throne of God they were able to overcome him in the earth by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony and having not loved their lives unto the death. Oh how absolutely wonderful and incredible it is to think about the fact that not only was and is the dragon defeated and overcome in heaven but the dragon is also defeated and overcome within the earth.

 

            This concept of the war and wrath of the dragon within and upon the earth is something we must needs understand for when we come to the thirteenth chapter of this prophetic book we begin to see this wrath and war played out in the earth. It is indeed true the dragon would make war against the saints of God in the earth—those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ—however it would [initially] not be carried out by himself. When you come to the thirteenth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the emergence of two distinct figures who will be manifested and will come forth during the Last Days. The thirteenth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ must needs be carefully considered for the dragon would execute and exercise his wrath and war against the saints of God in the earth through two distinct beings. The apostle John would stand on the sand of the sea and witness a beast rising up out of the sea who would have seven heads and ten horns and on his horns ten crowns and on his heads a blasphemous name. Not only this but the apostle John would also see another beast coming up out of the earth—one who would have two horns like a lamb and yet who spoke like the dragon. It is absolutely necessary for us to recognize and understand these two figures for these two figures have come to represent the Antichrist and the false prophet who will emerge on to the world scene during the Last Days. If you want to truly understand the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ you must not only understand the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven bowls which will result in the wrath and judgment of God upon the earth but you must also understand the war and wrath of the dragon upon the earth which will be executed through the two beasts who will emerge upon the earth. Having said this I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the thirteenth chapter for this chapter can be divided into two sections—the beast rising up from the sea and the beast rising up from the earth:

 

            “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, his tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with t he saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Revelation 13:1-10).

 

            “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth—by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling throw who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Revelation 13:11-18).

 

            It is absolutely imperative we recognize the word and language which is found in this passage of Scripture for within it we find two different beasts which would emerge during the Last Days. Within the first section of this passage of Scripture we find the apostle John witnessing and beholding the first beast which would rise up out of the sea. The apostle John would behold as this beast would have seven heads and ten horns and on his horns ten crowns and on his heads a blasphemous name. Moreover the apostle John would witness as this beast was like a leopard, with feet like the feet of a bear and the mouth like the mouth of a lion. As we continue to read the words found in this passage of Scripture we find that the dragon gave this beast his power, his throne and great authority that he might execute the will of the dragon upon the earth. The apostle John would watch and witness as there would emerge a beast coming up out of the sea who would exercise tremendous authority and control upon the earth for the apostle John would go on to write how this beast was given a mouth to speak great things and blasphemies. Not only this but the beast was given authority to continue forty-two months and would open his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle and those who dwell in heaven. As if this weren’t enough the apostle John would also see how it was granted unto this beast to make war with the saints and to overcome them. This is something worth thinking about and considering for in the twelfth chapter we read of the dragon making war in heaven against Michael and his angels and then making war with the offspring of the woman who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. Now here we find the beast being given the ability and power to make war with the saints and to overcome them. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that the apostle John didn’t merely see the beast being given power to make war with the saints and to not prevail against them but the dragon saw the beast given power to overcome the saints.

 

            This reality and concept of the beast which came up out of the sea making war with the saints and overcoming them must be understood for if you wish to speak of the Last Days you must needs understand the Great War that can and will take place against the saints of the Most High God. The prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ holds nothing back when speaking of the last days for it reveals the absolutely astonishing reality concerning the beast who will be given power to make war with and war against the saints of the Most High God. What’s more and what we must needs understand is that this war which the beast will make with and against the saints of God is not necessarily his war but the war and wrath of the dragon. The twelfth chapter of this prophetic book concludes with the dragon making war with the offspring of the woman—those who kept the commandments of God and who had the testimony of Jesus Christ—and this is something which warrants strong consideration on our part for the beast will rise up and execute the will, the wrath and the war of the dragon. There must be absolutely no mistaking this particular truth and reality for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful and powerful truth concerning the war and wrath of the dragon upon the earth. The dragon can and will execute war upon the earth against the saints of the most High God and the means by which he can and will do this is through the beast who will emerge from the sea. What adds even more weight to this is when you consider the fact that the prophet Daniel saw the same beast which the apostle John would see in the revelation of Jesus Christ. Moreover the apostle Paul—when writing unto the Thessalonian saints in his second epistle—would write concerning this beast who would emerge from the sea and would execute the war and wrath of the dragon upon the earth. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the seventh and eighth chapters of the prophetic book of Daniel as well as the second chapter of the second epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Thessalonian saints:

 

            “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 like 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 were 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” (Daniel 7:9-14).

 

            “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 the 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 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. This is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me, and my countenance changed; but I kept the matter in my heart” (Daniel 7:15-28).

 

            Consider the following words which are found in the eighth chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel beginning with the fifth verse:

 

            “And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand. Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered. Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot? And he said to me, For two thousand three hundred days; and the sanctuary shall be cleansed” (Daniel 8:5-14).

 

            “Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, Gabriel, make this man understand the vision. So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, Understand, sone of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end. Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me, and stood me upright. And he said, Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be. The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large barn that is between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power. 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 might, and also the holy people. Through. His cunning he shall cause 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. And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick for days; afterward I arose and went about the king’s business. I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it” (Daniel 8:15-27).

 

            Both of these passages of Scripture describe the emergence of the beast which the apostle John saw coming up out of the sea—and not only the beast which the apostle John saw coming up out of the sea but the war he would make with the saints of the Most High God. There is something truly astonishing about this when you take the time to think about it for both the prophet Daniel as well as the apostle John would see one emerge on to the world scene who would make war with and against the saints. What we learn from the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is that this war against the saints upon the earth is actually the war and wrath of the dragon which began in heaven. The dragon attempted to fight against Michael and his angels together with his own angelic host and yet he could not prevail against them. As a direct result of the dragon’s defeat in heaven at the hands of Michael and his angels he would be cast out of heaven and cast down to the earth. Upon the earth the dragon would unleash his wrath, his rage and his fury against the offspring of the woman who were those who kept the commandments of God and held the testimony of Jesus Christ. The means whereby the dragon would execute his wrath and war gains the saints would be through the first beast whom the apostle John would see emerge from the midst of the sea. Not only this but this war would also be executed and implemented by the second beast which the apostle john would see come up out of the earth. The apostle John witnessed as the beast which came up out of the sea was given power to make war with the saints and to overcome them and authority over every tribe, tongue and nation. Not only this but the apostle John would watch and witness as all who dwelt on the earth would worship the beast—all those whose names were not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

            IN order to understand the concept of all who dwelt on the earth worshipping the beast—those whose names were not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb—as well as the second beast causing all those who dwelt on the earth to worship the first beast there is a great need to consider the words which are found in the third chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel. It is in third chapter of this prophetic book we find the account and narrative of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon operating under the spirit of the Antichrist. In operating under the spirit of the Antichrist Nebuchadnezzar would have an image made of gold set up in the plain of Dura in the land of Shinar and would demand that when anyone heard the sound of music playing in the midst of the land they would fall down and worship the image. What the prophetic book of Daniel describes, however, is three Hebrews who refused to bow down and worship this image of gold—despite the fact that doing so could mean their being cast alive into the fiery furnace. Even when these three Hebrews were brought before the king of Babylon they would remain firm in their conviction and would declare that the LORD was able to deliver them out of his hand and from the fiery furnace. They would go on to declare that even if the LORD did not deliver them out of the fiery furnace they wanted the king to know that they would not bow down nor worship the image made of gold. It is important for us to recognize and understand this imagery for when we think about the Last Days there is a great need to recognize and pay attention to the fact that there will be another image that will be set up as worship of it is demanded and required. Not only this but worship of the beast and the image of the beast will be demanded by the false prophet and anyone who refuses to worship the beast or his image will be put to death—similar to what we read and find in the prophetic book of Daniel when those who refused to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image would be cast alive into the fiery furnace. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the third chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel:

 

            “Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the decimation of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then a herald cried aloud: To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshipped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up” (Daniel 3:1-7).

 

            “Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews. They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up. Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands? Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up” (Daniel 3:8-18).

 

            “Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was unusually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-negotiate and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took 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. The King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, Did we not cast three men bound into the mist of fire? They answered and said to the king, True, O king. Look! He answered, I see four men loose, walking in the mist of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:19-25).

 

            “Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not signed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them” (Daniel 3:26-27).

 

            As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call your attention to the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Thessalonians in the second epistle sent to them. Here in this passage of Scripture we find the apostle Paul writing unto them concerning the Last Days and how in the Last Days there will arise one of great power, dominion and authority who will blaspheme against the living and eternal God. Not only this but this one will exalt himself above the throne of God and even above God Himself. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the words which are found in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. It is within the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ we find that when the Lord rides forth from heaven on a white horse accompanied by the host of heaven this beast will attempt to make war with and against Him. What the apostle John saw, however, was a sword coming forth out of the mouth of the rider on the white horse and the armies of the beast being slain upon the earth. Not only this but the beast and the false prophet were captured and taken alive as they were cast into the lake of fire burning with sulfur and brimstone. What we find in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters are the ultimate defeat over the beast and the false prophet as their armies were destroyed by the rider on the white horse and as they would be cast alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur and brimstone. What’s more is we also read of the ultimate defeat of the great, fiery red dragon as he would first be bound and cast into the bottomless pit where he would remain for one thousand years while Christ and His saints ruled and reigned upon the earth. Despite the fact that after the thousand years Satan must be loosed for a short while and would deceive the nations to rally to his cause to make war against the Lamb and surround the holy city fire would come down from heaven and devour the armies of the dragon. Not only this but for the last time the dragon would be cast out and cast down as he would be cast into the lake of fire. This is something which warrants strong consideration on our part for it brings us face to face with the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the triumph of the Lamb and the defeat of the Antichrist, the false prophet and the dragon itself. It is with this in mind I leave you with the following words which are found in the second chapter of the second epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Thessalonian saints:

 

            “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 byt 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 thingsA? 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, a nd lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because thy did not receiv 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).

 

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