Today’s selected. Reading continues in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. More specifically today’s passage is found in the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth chapters of this New Testament book. “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 this 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 a as if it had been mortal 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?” (Revelation 13:1-4).
“And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for 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 the 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” (Revelation 13:5-8).
“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 13:9-10).
“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 threat 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 swings which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those 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’ve 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 salve, 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” (Revelation 13:11-17).
“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 13:18).
“Then I looked, and behold, a lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:1-5).
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue and people—saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water. And another angel followed, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all the nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write: blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them (Revelation 14:6-13).
“Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, Thrust in your sickle and reap, for the time has come for you to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe. So he who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickles on the earth, and the earth was reaped” (Revelation 14:14-16).
“Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the cluster of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe. So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs” (Revelation 14:17-20).
“Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glasss, having harps of God. They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and they song of the Lamb, saying: Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O king of the saints! Who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before you, for your judgments have been manifested” (Revelation 15:1-4).
“After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed” (Revelation 15:5-8).
When you come to this particular portion of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ you will find the emergence of the beast. What’s more is that not only will you find the emergence of the beast but you will also find the emergence of a lamb who had two horns and spoke like the dragon. Within the thirteenth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the beginning of a tremendous assault of the dragon on the inhabitants of the earth—and not merely the inhabitants of the earth but more specifically the saints of the Most High God. If you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will quickly encounter the wrath of the dragon which was spoken of in the previous chapter. In fact, I am absolutely convinced that in order to truly understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture there is a great need to pay attention to the words presented in the twelfth chapter. The words we read in the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book are incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to truly ready and study them as they bring us face to face with the wrath and rage of the dragon. It is in the twelfth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ we find different targets or the rage and wrath of the dragon. Within this passage of Scripture you will find the dragon first seeking to devour the male child who was born to the woman who was clothed with the sun and having the moon at her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head. When the child was born, however, he was caught up to the throne of God and would infuriate and enrage the dragon. What makes this truly interesting when you consider it is that when the dragon realized he would and could not devour the male child who was born to the woman he would engage in war in heaven against Michael and his angels.
If you begin reading with and from the seventh verse of the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the apostle John continuing to watch and behold as war broke out in heaven. The war which broke out in heaven was between Michael and his angels as they fought with the dragon together with his angels. What we find within this passage is the dragon and his angels fighting against Michael and his angels but being unable to prevail against them. Moving further in this passage of Scripture you will find that not only did not and not only could not the dragon and his angels prevail against Michael and his angels but there was no longer found any place for them in heaven any longer. As a direct result of the dragon being unable to prevail and no longer having a place in heaven he was cast out—that serpent of old who was called the Devil and Satan who deceived the whole world. The serpent of old called the Devil and Satan was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him. We must needs pay close attention to the words which we read in these passages of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the defeat of the dragon and his angels in the midst of heaven. The dragon together with his angels would attempt to wage wars in heaven and against Michael and his angels and yet they could not prevail. As a direct result of their no longer being any place any longer for them in heaven they would be cast to the earth no longer having access or a place within heaven. This is something truly captivating when you take the time to think about it for within the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book is a progression of the rage, the wrath and the anger of the dragon. When the dragon realized he could not devour the male child who was born to the woman he would direct his rage and wrath against Michael and his angels.
What I so love about the words which are found in this particular chapter is how despite the dragon’s attempt to wage war in heaven against Michael and his angels he would be unable to prevail. Not only this but because he could not prevail against Michael and his angels there was no longer any place found for him and his angels. Pausing for a moment right here I am convinced there is something we must needs recognize about spiritual warfare within our own lives. As you read the words presented in this passage of Scripture you will find that first and foremost the dragon could not prevail against Michael and his angels sin heaven. The first step in this spiritual warfare would be the defeat and triumph over the dragon as he was unable to overcome, overpower and defeat Michael and his angels. Despite the fact that he sought to wage war in heaven he would and could not defeat or prevail against Michael and his angels. As a direct result of his being unable to prevail against Michael and his angels it was determined and decreed that there was no longer any place for him in heaven. There being no longer found any place in heaven for Michael and his angels is something we must needs acknowledge and understand for this principle would lead to his being banished and cast out of heaven.
I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize and understand that which took place within this passage of Scripture for within it we find a powerful knowledge and understanding of spiritual warfare. Although this spiritual warfare would take place in heaven as Michael and his angels would fight against the dragon and his angels it directly relates to spiritual warfare within our own hearts and lives. I firmly believe there is a great need for us to pay close attention to that which is found in this passage of Scripture for it enlightens us concerning spiritual warfare within our own hearts and lives. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which our Lord Himself spoke when speaking of the prince of this world and emphatically declaring that he had nothing nor any place in Him. Pause for a moment and consider how incredibly powerful it truly is to be able to speak of that ancient serpent of old called the Devil and Satan and being able to declare that he has no place within you. There is something truly powerful about Jesus being able to say this for He would make this declaration AFTER the ancient serpent called the Devil and Satan would come to Him in the wilderness after He had fasted forty days and forty nights and was hungry. The same serpent who tempted and beguiled Eve in the garden would come to Jesus in the wilderness and would seek to tempt Him on three different grounds—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. What makes this truly astonishing when we think about it is Jesus’ victory over Satan in the wilderness is grounds and makes possible our own victory over Satan within our lives. It is with this in mind I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the following words which are found within the New Testament gospel narratives and how they set the groundwork for spiritual warfare within our own hearts and lives:
“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 because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:18-20).
“And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here” (John 14:29-31).
“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 forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, If 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 by 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 aid 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 said 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).
“Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts, and the angels ministered to Him” (Mark 1:12-13).
“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).
In the fourth chapters of both the New Testament gospel narratives written by the apostle Matthew and the beloved physician Luke you will find Jesus being drive by the Spirit into the wilderness. It would be there in the wilderness we find Jesus fasting over a period of forty days and afterward becoming hungry. In the midst of the wilderness and in the midst of His hunger—perhaps even in the midst of fatigue, tiredness and weariness—the ancient serpent called the Devil and Satan would come to Him seeking to tempt Him on three different grounds. Those grounds which the serpent sought to tempt Jesus was the same three grounds which he deceived, tempted and beguiled Eve in the midst of the garden and the same three grounds which the apostle John wrote and spoke of in the first epistle written unto the saints which were at Ephesus. Before I delve even further into this and its implications for us in the spiritual warfare we face there is a great need to consider the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, the temptation of Eve in the garden and the words which the apostle John wrote in his first epistle. With this being said I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis, the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the second epistle written unto the Corinthian saints and the words which are found in the first New Testament epistle written by the apostle John:
“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 eat 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).
“Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it” (2 Corinthians 11:1-4).
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
“Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:7-9).
Pay close attention to the words which are found here in these passages of Scripture for it was the apostle John who would write of all that is in the world which consists of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world. These three grounds—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life—were the very grounds upon which Eve was tempted in the garden. There in the midst of the garden Eve saw that the fruit was pleasant to the eyes, saw that the fruit was good to eat and saw that it was desirable to make one wise and did eat. Not only this but after Eve ate she gave of the fruit to her husband Adam who himself did also eat. It was the apostle John who wrote of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, however, it was the apostle Paul who would write that it was the serpent who deceived Eve in the garden and caused her to sin and transgress against the commandment of the living God. We must needs pay close attention to this for the same grounds which Eve was tempted on within the garden were the same grounds which Jesus was tempted on in the midst of the wilderness. We dare not and must not miss nor lose sight of this for it brings us face to face with the absolutely wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the temptation(s) of the ancient serpent of old and how the serpent attempted to tempt Jesus there in the midst of the wilderness. The serpent would come against Jesus using the same temptations which he brought against Eve in the midst of the garden and yet there in the midst of the wilderness Jesus overcame each of the temptations. What’s more is that not only did Jesus overcome each of the devil’s temptations but we also read of Jesus commanding Satan to “Get behind him” and even commanded him, saying, “Away with you Satan.” How absolutely incredible it is to consider the fact that not only did Jesus overcome the temptations of the devil in the wilderness but He even commanded him to depart from Him. In the eleventh verse of the fourth chapter of the gospel written by the apostle Matthew we find it written that the devil left Jesus and behold angels came and ministered to Him.
What I so love about Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness is not only His command to the Devil to get behind him and to be gone from His presence but Scripture also reads and reveals how the Devil left Him. Of course we know that the beloved physician Luke wrote how the serpent would depart from Him for a season until a more opportune time, however, there in the midst of the wilderness Jesus demonstrated something very important for us within our own hearts and lives. It was Jesus who would declare that He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven and it was Jesus who would declare that the ruler of this world had nothing in Him. There in the midst of the wilderness—not only did Jesus overcome each of the temptations the serpent hurled against Him but He also commanded the serpent to depart from Him. What makes this all the more astonishing and captivating when you think about it is that Scripture reveals the command of Jesus to Satan to depart and flee from Him and the serpent left Him. Jesus gave the command to the serpent to flee and depart from Him. Adding even more weight to this we read Jesus Himself speaking of the ruler of this world and how the ruler of the world had no place in Him. The ruler of the world would have no place in Him for He was indwelt by the Spirit of God and He overcame the ancient serpent who was the devil in the wilderness. There in the midst of the wilderness we find it written how Jesus overcame the Devil and Satan who came to Him to tempt Him on the same three grounds he tempted, deceived and beguiled Eve with in the garden. What is most necessary for us to recognize and pay close attention to is not only Jesus’ overcoming the temptations of the Devil in the wilderness but also Jesus’ command to the Devil to flee from Him. Jesus would resist the devil and would command Him to flee from His presence and the devil would flee.
It is at this juncture I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to specific passages within both the Old and New Testaments concerning our heritage and inheritance as the saints of God in Christ Jesus. I am absolutely convinced we must needs consider the words which are found in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah, the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the words which are found in the tenth chapter of the second epistle written by the apostle Paul, the words written in the sixth chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Ephesian saints, as well as the words written by the apostle Peter as well as James the brother of Jude. Each of these passages describes our inheritance and heritage as the saints of the living and eternal God and what we have the privilege of doing when we face spiritual warfare within our own hearts and lives. Consider if you will the following words found in these passages of Scripture beginning with the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah:
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from me, says the LORD” (Isaiah 54:17).
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is He who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present not things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:28-39).
“Now I, Paul, myself, am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:1-6).
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:10-20).
“Where do wars and fightings come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. OR do you think that the Scripture says in vain, The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously? But He gives more grace, Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to bloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:1-10).
“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:5-11).
“Then I heard a loud voice in 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 12:10-12).
There is a great need to pay attention to the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for within them we find powerful language concerning the spiritual warfare we face within our lives on a daily, continual and consistent basis. Perhaps the main passages are those which are found in the epistle written by James and the first epistle written by the apostle Peter. In both of these epistles we find the authors first and foremost admonishing and instructing us to submit ourselves to God. Before either of them instructed and admonished us to resist the devil they first and foremost admonished us to submit ourselves to God and to humble ourselves in His sight. This is something which warrants strong consideration on our part for it brings us face to face with the absolutely wonderful truth that the basis and foundation of our resisting the devil lies not necessarily in any authority we think we might possess but in our submission to the living God and the humbling of ourselves before Him in His sight. I am absolutely convinced that which gives strength and power to our resisting the devil is not necessarily the authority we think we possess but our willingness to humble ourselves in the sight of the living God and to submit ourselves to Him. We know the adversary the devil walks about. Like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and that we are to resist him standing steadfast in our faith, however, at the very heart, center and core of that resistance is our humility, is our submission and even our faith. The apostle Peter knew that we have indeed been called to resist the devil and that our resistance to the devil would have its foundation in our humility in the sight of God, our submission to God and standing steadfast in the faith.
As the saints of God we must needs recognize that we have been called into a place where we stand steadfast in the faith as we resist the devil. It would be James who would not only admonish his readers to resist the devil but also gave them the promise that he would flee from them. Please pay close attention to this for if we submit ourselves to God, if we humble ourselves before Him in His sight then our resistance of the devil will ultimately cause the devil to flee from us. Please note and understand that the devil does not flee from anyone who is not submitted fully and completely to the living and eternal God. The devil had to flee and depart from Jesus because He was fully submitted to the Father and because He had already humbled Himself in His sight and presence by taking upon Himself the form of human flesh. The ancient serpent had to flee from the presence of Jesus in the wilderness when the command was given because he had no place in Jesus the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God. With this being said I find it incredible important to declare unto you who are reading this that if you are not fully and completely submitted to the living God and if you are not humbling yourself before Him in His sight and presence there is very little—if any—power and authority in your resistance of the devil. If you want to truly be one who is able to resist the devil and watch him flee from you then you must first humble yourself in the sight and presence of the living God and submit yourself to Him. The power and authority in your resistance is not nor has it ever been in your own ability to resist the devil but rather in your submission to the Father and your humility in His presence.
If you take the time to read the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ you will find that when war broke out in heaven it broke out between Michael and his angels as they would fight against the dragon and his angels. The dragon and his angels would incite war in heaven as they would attempt to overthrow and overpower Michael and his angels. What I so love about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture is that although the dragon and his angels fought against Michael and his angles they could not prevail. As a direct result of their being unable to prevail in heaven against Michael and his angels there was no longer any place found for them in heaven. First and foremost the dragon and his angels could not prevail against Michael and his angels in heaven—despite their war against them. Being unable to prevail against Michael and his angels there was no longer any place found for them in heaven and this would ultimately lead to them being cast out—and not only cast out but also cast down to the earth. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for it highlights and underscores the spiritual warfare within our own hearts and lives. The ancient serpent called the Devil and Satan can and will seek to devour and accuse us for even within this passage the ancient serpent is referred to as “the accuser of the brethren.” What I so love about this passage of Scripture is that not only is the adversary and accuser defeated and vanquished in heaven but he is also defeated on the earth. The apostle John would write how the accuser of the brethren would accuse the saints of God before God day and night but was cast down. Even though he has been cast down those whom he accused overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony—those who did not love their lives to the death.
When we read the words which are found in these passages of Scripture we find the dragon and his angels being overcome, defeated and triumphed over in heaven. Not only were they triumphed over in heaven but because they could not prevail there was no longer any place for them in heaven. Having no longer a place found for them in heaven they would be cast out and cast down to the earth. Oh it is absolutely necessary and imperative we pay close attention to the words presented here in this passage of Scripture for it highlights and underscores spiritual warfare within our own hearts and lives. We as the saints of God must needs be those who submit ourselves to the living God and humble ourselves in His sight and presence. When we submit ourselves to God and when we humble ourselves in His presence we are then positioned to stand steadfast and firm in our faith as we resist the devil. It is from this place we are able to resist the devil knowing that when we resist the devil he must flee from us. Please pay close attention to this for James writes that when we resist the devil he must flee from us. Jesus was fully submitted to the Father and humbled Himself in His sight and presence and it was from that place He was able to resist the devil and he had to flee from Him. What’s more is that not only would the devil flee from Him but the devil had no place in Him—something which we must recognize and understand concerning our own hearts and lives. Perhaps one of the greatest questions we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not the enemy and adversary had any place in us. Do we have any inroads and open doors to the enemy and adversary within our minds, within our hearts, within our lives? Are we leaving any room for the enemy and adversary to have a place in us? Oh perhaps one of the greatest examples of this and what it looks like is found in the narrative of Cain and Abel as it was written and recorded in the fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis:
“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, I have acquired a man from the LORD. Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of the sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, bHe did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the LORD said to Cain, Why are you angry/ And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be acceptedA? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the doors. And it desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Genesis 4:1-7).
Consider also the following words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke concerning the words which Jesus spoke unto Simon called Peter and the desire of the enemy and adversary within his life:
“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have Greg turned to me, strengthen your brethren. But he said to Him, Lord, I am ready to go with you, both to prison and to death. Then He said, I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know me” (Luke 22:31-34).
I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the incredible and tremendous truth surrounding the war which the enemy and adversary waged in heaven. Despite the fact the enemy and adversary sought to wage war in heaven he could not prevail against Michael and his angels. When the dragon could not prevail against Michael and his angels there was no longer found any place in heaven for him. NO PLACE FOR A DEFEATED FOE! NO PLACE FOR DEFEATED FOES! What we must needs recognize and understand is that when the enemy and adversary is defeated within our lives there is no longer any place for him in the midst of it. When the enemy and adversary is defeated in our hearts and minds and lives there is no longer any place for him—something that leads to only one option and one outcome which is his being cast out and his being cast down. I absolutely love the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for when there was no longer any place found for the enemy and adversary in heaven there was only one option left—casting the enemy out and casting the enemy out. In all reality this is what is so incredibly unique and powerful about the words which we find in the epistles written by James and Peter for they both admonished the saints of God to resist the devil. It would be James who would emphatically declare that when we resist the devil he must needs flee from us thus confirming the truth that a defeated foe no longer has any place within us and must be cast out and cast down. In the twelfth chapter of this prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ we find the enemy and adversary being cast out and cast down to the earth which leads to a loud voice in heaven speaking of the accuser of the brethren who accused the saints of God day and night before His throne. Even in spite of this we must needs recognize that they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony not having loved their lives unto death. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that not only was the enemy and adversary defeated in heaven but he is also defeated and triumphed over in the earth.
If you continue reading the words which are found in the twelfth chapter you will find that one with a loud voice pronouncing woe upon the inhabitants of the earth and the sea for the devil had come down to them having great wrath because he knows he has but a short time. In the final section of the twelfth chapter we find that when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth he would take his wrath, his rage and the war he incited in heaven and unleash it upon the earth. The first target of his envy, rage and wrath would be the woman who gave birth to the male child. The apostle John writes how the dragon persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child but how the woman was 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 (three and a half years) from the presence of the serpent. Recognizing what happened 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. The earth, however, would help the woman and would open its mouth and swallow up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. As a direct result of the earth helping the woman the dragon would become enraged with the woman and would go forth to make war with the rest of her offspring—those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
When you come to the end of the twelfth chapter you will find the rage and wrath of the enemy and adversary being manifested upon the earth as he would go forth to make war with the rest of her offspring who kept the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. What we find and read in the thirteenth chapter is a powerful picture of how the enemy and adversary can and will make war with the rest of the offspring of the woman in the earth—those who kept the commandments of God and had the testimony of Jesus Christ. The apostle John would write of a beast who came forth out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns and on his horns ten crowns and on his heads a blasphemous name. The apostle John would continue watching as the dragon would give the beast his power, his throne and his great authority. This is something which must needs be recognized and understood for the wrath and war which the dragon sought to unleash in heaven would be manifested and would come to the earth. This war and wrath of the dragon would indeed be manifested by and through the beast who would come forth from the midst of the sea. The apostle John would go on to write how one of the heads of the beast appeared to be mortally wounded and yet the deadly wound was healed. The whole world marveled and followed the beast—and not only followed the beast but also worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast. The inhabitants of the earth would worship the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” Oh please pay close attention to the words which we find here in these passages of Scripture for the wrath and war of the dragon which would begin in heaven would now transition to the earth and would lead to an all out assault against the saints of the Most High God. The apostle John would continue writing how unto the beast was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies and he was given authority to continue for forty and two months. He would open his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle and those who dwell in heaven. Not only this but the apostle John would write how it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. Unto the beast was given authority over every tribe, tongue and nation and all who dwelt on the earth will worship him—all those whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Having said all of this I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the following words which are found in the seventh and eighth chapters of the prophetic book of Daniel as well as the words which are found in the second chapter of the second epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Thessalonian saints:
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the reissued with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. 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 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. 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 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 7:7-27).
“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 horn 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 mighty, 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” (Daniel 8:18-25).
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not 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 not 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. AN for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the tremendous truth that the enemy and adversary was and is defeated in heaven. There is no place for the dragon and his angels in heaven and as a direct result of this they were cast out and cast to the earth. Being cast to the earth the dragon would unleash his war, his wrath, his rage and his anger against the saints of the most High God. The dragon would unleash his war upon the earth against those who keep the commandments of God and who have the testimony of Jesus and would do so through the beast which would emerge from the midst of the sea. What we must recognize is that not only can the saints of God overcome the accuser of the brethren by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony but there are and there will be those who overcome the beast and his number and name. We as the saints of God have indeed and have in fact been called to be completely and utterly victorious over the enemy and adversary in our lives. We have indeed and have in fact been called to submit ourselves to God and to humble ourselves in His presence and from that place we can stand firm in our faith and resist the devil knowing that he must flee from us. With this being said, however, we must understand that if we are not submitted to the living God and if we have not humbled ourselves and are walking in humility before Him in His sight and presence our ability to resist the devil and his fleeing from us might be sorely undermined. We as the saints of God must needs be those who recognize and understand the power and the authority that we have in the person of Jesus Christ and must needs be those who have patience and endurance in the days in which we are living as we can and will face increasing opposition, persecution, affliction and suffering.