Satan, a Defeated Enemy

Satan, a Defeated Enemy

Scripture: Revelation 12:11, Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 14:12-15
Date: 02/23/2019  Lesson: 8
"Revelation 12 is intended to provide God’s people with an assurance that Satan will not succeed."

Satan in Chains - Paper or Digital Download

Satan in Chains - Paper or Digital Download
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We just want to welcome you to Sabbath School Study Hour, whether you're around the world or here locally at the Granite Bay Church, we want to give you a hearty welcome with us today. We are going to be going through the Book of Revelation in our studies today, and you can get one of these if you go online, you can visit lesson.aftv.org if you want to download a lesson. But before we get into the lesson here, we want to offer you a free gift and the free gift is "Satan in Chains," offer number 197. And if you text "SH120" to 40544, you can also call 866-Study-More or you can dial direct and it's 866-788-3966. We're again so glad you could join us today and before we do, let's bow our heads before we go into the study.

Our kind Heavenly Father, as we are here today and we embark on this wonderful Book of Revelation that you've provided for us. We just ask that You bless us as we study through the pages today, we pray in Jesus' name, amen. I'd like to welcome Pastor Shawn Brummund as he is going to share this lesson today with us. Thanks, Shawn.

Well, we want to welcome everybody. It's a good morning to be able to come together and to be able to study here in the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church. I'd like to invite you to open your Bibles as we begin with our first passage in the Book of Isaiah in Chapter 14, and we're gonna begin with verse 12. We're going to start in Isaiah 14:12, as we start to introduce and start to unpack one of the most important chapters that we can find in all of the Book of Revelation which is Chapter 12. But before we turn to Chapter 12, I want to look at two key passages here first today. We have a lot to look at so we're just gonna move along as quickly as we possibly can. Isaiah 14:12, we read a very instrumental verse, it says, "How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! You are cut down to the ground, and you have weakened the nations."

Now very quickly we discover as not only a Bible students, but even if you've never been a Bible student, you've never opened the Bible, you know, immediately and accustomed to the name Lucifer. Lucifer is another name that is referring to the devil or Satan, the great enemy of God. And so very quickly, we discovered that God is now pulling back the veil, and he's revealing not only the plight of this ancient king in Babylon, but he's also very clearly revealing the plight and the original fall of Lucifer himself. And so we continue on in verse 13. In verse 13, it says, "For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds," and then we come to the very climax of his fall, he said, "I will be like the Most High." And, friends, the Bible makes it very clear throughout the scriptures that the Most High is God Himself.

And so here we find Lucifer at some point in heaven's history and the history of the universe, he decided that he was going to focus more on himself than he was gonna focus on God and the other angels in which he abided with in heaven. And as a result of that, it tells us that sin began to conceive in his heart. It tells us that he began to develop an "I" problem and he started to again focus upon himself. And so very clearly again, we find that, that God is revealing an intelligent being a powerful enemy of God that was behind the plight, behind the fall and the headspace of this ancient king in Babylon.

Now, friends, I want to make it very clear that there once was a time when every Baptist, every Pentecostal, every Seventh-day Adventist, every Presbyterian, every Lutheran, every Methodist member of every church across the different nations of Europe, and across this nation and many other nations of the world clearly understood that this passage was revealing the very plight and the fall of Lucifer himself in heaven. And yet today, friends, we find almost no one that knows about this particular passage, almost no one that is coming to it, or even if they do come to it, are accepting it as revealing the reality of this great enemy. And yet, Revelation 12 focuses on this more than any other passage that we can find in the Book of Revelation. I want to invite you to come to another passage, it's very similar to this one, it's in Ezekiel, and so if you goes to go two or... It's actually three pages or three books ahead because Jeremiah also wrote the little Book of Lamentations.

So we're going to the Book of Ezekiel, and we're gonna go to the 18th chapter and as we go to the 18th Chapter, again we find there is a prophecy that God has given to the Prophet Ezekiel concerning a contemporary king. In this case, it is the king of an ancient city called Tyre. And so, again Ezekiel Chapter 28, and we're gonna pick it up with verse 2. Now, Tyre is different than the tire that we're accustomed to, which is T-I-R-E, but it's T-Y-R-E, even though it's pronounced the same. Tyre was a very powerful, prosperous, very influential port city that was existing on the Mediterranean shoreline just north of the nation of Israel. And God had a message for him, regardless of the fact that he wasn't part of His nation. It reveals that God is an international God, it reveals that God's hand in concern, in guidance, in providence is concerning every nation upon the planet. And He had a message for the king of Tyre. And as we come to this message, we discover that not only is the king of Tyre in a very dangerous headspace, but again very clearly we discover that there is another intelligent being that is behind the king of Tyre, that God is revealing as well.

Let's see if we can pick it up in verse 2. It says, "Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, 'Thus says the Lord God: because your heart is lifted up, and you say, 'I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, in the midst of the seas,' yet you are a man, and not a god, though you set your heart as the heart of a god.'" What kind of headspace was the king in? He was in a same headspace that we read concerning that being that we read in the concerning the king of Babylon as well as Lucifer who was behind that particular king and that is that he began to believe that he was God Himself.

And then we pick it up again in verse 11 of very same chapter, Ezekiel 28:11, it says, "Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, 'Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord God: you were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God.'"

Now let's just hold the boat there for a minute. Now, friends, we are talking about Ezekiel talking to a contemporary king in a city called Tyre. Again this was taking place around the date 500 BC. Now the Garden of Eden had been destroyed at least by the flood, which was at least 2000 years before the king of Tyre's existence.

Was the Garden of Eden existing during Tyre's existence? No, not at all. So again, very clearly God here is revealing that He's beginning to pull back the veil, He's beginning to reveal that there is an intelligent influence that has been leading this king down a very dangerous path. God is now speaking not about the king, but He's talking about this great angelic being. "You were in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious stone was for your covering: The sardius, the topaz, the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and jasper, the sapphire, the turquoise, the emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day that you were created."

All right, now was the king of Tyre created? Well, essentially was in the fact that he received, then was procreated by Adam and Eve and they're great grandchildren, great, great, great, great, great, great, all the way down until finally king of Tyre's parents conceived and had him. And so yes, in a sense, he is very well to create it, but this is talking about somebody that was created without birth. This is talking about an angelic being that does not have a mother but does have a heavenly Father. In verse 14, it says, "You were the anointed cherub who covers…"

Now this is the golden revelation in concern to who God is speaking of. We cannot make no mistake about it. God is speaking about an angelic being at this point and not an earthly king, not a human being because He calls him the anointed cherub who covers.

Now what is a cherub? As it turns out, the Bible tells us in early chapters through the very first author of the Bible, the Prophet Moses, that indeed a cherub was one of the most exalted, positioned, angelic, created beings that you can find in all of heaven. In fact, for him not only to be called the cherub, but the anointed cherub who covers is reflecting a very important verse in passage in Exodus 25:22. In Exodus 25:22, we speak, we hear… Sorry, we read about the fact that Moses was instructed by God to develop and create a sanctuary, an earthly temple. And in that particular sanctuary, in the very most holy inner room, there was the ark of God, the golden covered box that God had laid the very law, have His government inside. He put on top of it a golden covered lid that He calls the mercy seat and then above that was the Shekinah glory of God Himself present within that inner room.

And, friends, in heaven, it tells us that that particular lid also what God had instructed God's people, the Israelites to take two carved and molded golden statues that were called the anointed cherubs who cover. And so, friends, we have here the mercy seat, we have the throne of God represented, the presence of God Himself, and then on the right hand and on the left hand of God, we also find these two great exalted cherubim, these great exalted angels. And so this particular verse that we're reading in Ezekiel Chapter 28 is revealing crystal clear for you and I, that God is telling us that Lucifer once used to be one of the most exalted angels that you could find in all of heaven. He was at the left hand or the right hand of the throne of God Himself.

And God continues on, He said, "I established you." God is the one that positioned him there. "You were on the holy mountain of God." Well, what does that mean, a mountain? Well, as you read through the different prophecies of the Bible, you discover that a mountain repeatedly is used to represent God's throne, His power, His kingdom. "You were on the mountain of God, and you walked back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways, from the day that you were created."

Was Lucifer originally perfect, and sinless, and pure? Yes, he was, and God is pointing that out for you and I, until we read that sad into verse 15, "Until iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading, you became filled with violence." Of course, referring back to the earthly king of Tyre, and it says, "And you sinned." And so both Lucifer as well as this earthly king were found with sin. "Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God and I'll just destroy you, O covering cherub from the midst of the fiery stones. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor."

And so we find here that the devil literally sold his soul. Now we can't say that he sold the soul to the devil in this case, but he sold his soul to sin, didn't he? He sold his soul to destruction until the point where it tells us very clearly, there came a point in the heavenly history in which God had told, not only Satan is, but we're gonna learn in Revelation Chapter 12 as well, that there was a third of the angels that also were deceived, and they sided with Lucifer and all of them, as they forced God's hand, God had to throw them out, cast them out of heaven, and as citizens of that great place.

And so again, very clearly, friends, you can walk into any Protestant church 100 years ago, and every single member would understand very clearly that this message in this passage is revealing a very real, a very literal enemy of God. And yet today, we don't hear it anymore. Today we don't hear it in our churches. Most of us don't understand. You can ask most pastors in Protestant churches today and they don't understand or know that these passages exist and how they are telling us that there is a real enemy.

Friends, there is an enemy that we need to know and understand how he operates, that we might be able to stay close to Christ, that we might protect our salvation, that we might know that we have eternal life for all of eternity. Amen. God is speaking to you and I today, as we look at this very important message in Revelation Chapter 12.

And so as we come into Revelation Chapter 12, we look at something that is paralleling the very passages that we're looking at in these two Old Testament passages. Revelation 12 lays bare the enemy of our souls. It lays bare what sort of headspace this particular angelic being is in. Chapter 12 is an instrumental one as we come, as we continue to make our way through in this quarter through the Book of Revelation, because it is a pivotal chapter, it is a transitional chapter in which God is speaking to you and I here today. Why? Because as we have been making our way through the first 11 chapters, we call that the historical half of Revelation.

In other words, God repeats Himself through different sevens. We have the seven churches, we have the seven seals, we have the seven trumpets. And as we have discovered in our study, those sevens are taking us in different details concerning the challenge of Christians and the Christian Church, from the days of the apostles and the beginning of the church until the second coming of Jesus Christ.

But then when we come to Chapter 12, God reveals the great warfare that's taking place behind the scenes. And He again takes us through a sweeping picture of history from the days of the apostles until the second coming of Christ. And He is using that as an introduction to the second half of the Book of Revelation. Because once we enter into the second half of Revelation, as we have begun today, indeed, we will discover that God now focus and specializes in the very last years of earth's history, the end time events, and how the devil is going to operate as well as how Christ and His people are going to operate in the very last years that usher in the second coming of Jesus.

And so Chapter 12 is no small chapter. It is one of the key chapters because of that. Chapter 12 answers questions like who, where, when, and why does evil exist? Why has the world always been so hard on the Christian Church and the Jesus it serves? So often, I've had the privilege of bringing different new converts, people that have come to accept Christ, to know Christ, to experience Jesus in their hearts. They come through the baptismal waters, they're shining, they're full of fire, the Holy Spirit of their life, and their life has changed and the world looks so much more brighter, their future looks so much more hopeful, and then they come to Sabbath school or I visit them in their home and they say, "Oh Pastor Shawn, I don't get it. I have this wonderful experience this great news, and when I go out to share with my friends and with my colleagues at work, and so on. Well, I just get shut down. I am so discouraged, I can't believe how much resistance I am experiencing." Why is that?

This is a big question, a very pressing question in concern to those who are in the Christian experience. Why is the world always been so hard on the Christian Church and the Jesus that it serves? And so we're gonna answer those questions here today as we turn to Revelation Chapter 12. And we're gonna start with verse 1, Revelation Chapter 12, and we're gonna start with verse 1. Now we have some very willing volunteers that have agreed to read some of the verses that we're looking at here today. And so we're gonna ask our first volunteer to read verses 1 and 2.

"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 12 stars. Then being with child, she cried out in the labor and in pain to give birth."

Okay, thank you. All right, so at the very beginning of this particular chapter, we find indeed that God is revealing a woman. Is this a literal woman? No, okay. It's very obvious it's not a literal woman. I know, I've seen some women with some pretty nice fancy clothes on, they can get pretty glittery sometimes, but I've never seen them clothed in the sun, and I certainly haven't seen them standing on a moon. And so very clearly God is here revealing what He does most of the time through the Book of Revelation and that is He's using deep symbols to reveal and reflect literal realities, and this is no exception. And so here we have a great sign that appeared in heaven.

Now this is not necessarily the heaven of heavens, but as the Bible speaks of three different heavens, the first heaven being our atmosphere, and the second one being the heavens of the galaxy around us. Indeed, John is looking up into the sky or into space, and he's seen this scrape, symbolic woman. And so we ask the question, well, what does this woman symbolize if it's not a literal woman. And indeed, the woman all the way through the Bible, God has used a woman to represent God's people. Before Israel, it was the faithful. When Israel came, of course, it was his nation of literal civil Israel. And then as Israel began to be transitioned into what Jesus calls spiritual Israel and the Bible prophets call spiritual Israel, you find the Christian Church is also symbolized here as well. In fact, the church is called Israel as well. In Matthew 21:43, Jesus had said these sad words to literal Israel and the representatives of Israel that He was speaking to, and He says, "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it."

And so Jesus very sadly says listen, the probation for physical Israel was coming, very quickly coming to a close. And the great 490 year prophecy of Daniel Chapter 9 was coming to its conclusion. Jesus knew it was coming, He gave the prophecies to Daniel. But now He knows He's only a few years away from its conclusion. And so He begins to reveal it to Israel through some of these statements, as we have just read. Now, the symbol of woman that was first used using the symbolism is found all the way back in the Garden of Eden, in Genesis 3:15, Jesus in the garden, He's there with Adam and Eve, but He's also there with the enemy of our souls. He's there with the serpent of old, the devil and Satan. And as He speaks to the serpent that day after the fall of Adam and Eve, He says to the serpent, He says, "And there will be enmity between you Satan and the woman, between your seed and her seed."

You see the feminine woman symbolism there, and so God immediately picked up on Eve, the mother of all the living as it says later in the same chapter of Genesis Chapter 3. And He says, and He begins to use Eve as a symbol, a woman as a symbol of God's people, because God here is revealing in Genesis 3:15, that from the time that sin came into this world, from the time that Adam and Eve had sinned, it open the floodgates of sin to all of humanity, to the rest of the world. He is telling us that there will be a warfare, there will be an enmity between the two camps of all humanity, those who are on God's side, and those who are not. Those who were with Christ, and those who are with the devil, whether they want to admit it, or acknowledge it, or understand it, or not.

Jesus says, "Either you're with Me or you are or against me." He says, "There is no fence, there is no third camp. There's only two camps that you can be in." And so God reveals that from the very beginning of the fall, and while He does that, He says, there is Satan and his seed, referring to the sentence that side with him. And the woman and her seed, referring to those who side with God. Do you see that symbolism? And so God uses that all the way through to Revelation Chapter 12 as He brings before is this great, heavenly womanly figure.

Now again, she's not clothed with normal clothes, she's clothed with the… She's clothed with the sun, isn't she? She's clothed with the sun. Now, what does the sun represent? Well, the sun is the greatest source of light in our part of the woods, in our neck of the woods, in regards to our galaxy. And, so if you're looking for the brightest lumens that you can possibly find on the planet, you know, I just bought a flashlight at Costco the other day, you know, I'm getting so tired of these little dinky flashlights. Well, as I pull out and I'm trying to look around the garage, I saw this great big flashlight for sale, you know, I thought, "Boy, that's not a bad price. Finally, I'm going to have something that really gives some lumens." So I got that thing and the only thing is that, you know, it shines great when you're trying to work but if you're working with a partner, you got to make sure not to shine it in their eyes because they'll be seeing dots for about two minutes afterwards.

But, friends, no matter how bright your flashlight is, nothing even comes close to the lumens that the sun gives, is there? And so God here is saying that the woman is clothed with tremendous light. Jesus, when He stood up in the world, He says, "I am the light of the world. He who walks with me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." And the very last words in the last chapter of the Old Testament, when God speaks to the Prophet Malachi, He refers to the Son of God as the sun, S-U-N, the sun of righteousness. You see, the woman is clothed, not with her own righteousness, not with her own power, not with her own goodness, but she's robed with the righteousness of Christ. She understands that there is no good thing in her. Their heart is wicked in desperately. But, friends, she also understands that when she has the Holy Spirit, when she's clothed with the righteousness of Christ, she's in good stead. Amen? And so here we have the sun and the woman clothed in righteousness.

And by the way, friends, when you look back in some of the Old Testament prophets, and this is just about a bit of a preview into the future. God not only uses a woman to represent the faithful, but He also uses a woman to represent in the religious world, and the Christian religious world in particular, He also uses a woman to represent sometimes the unfaithful, so these aren't the laws that are out in the world in sinning and want nothing to do with God, but these are those who are attending church, these are those who are religious in some manner of fashion. But as Jesus says, "Depart from Me, I never knew you, you who practice lawlessness." And so, the Bible reveals that there are a number of professed Christians, church going folks that aren't necessarily saved. And so God categorizes them as a woman as well. But in that case, He calls them not a beautiful, wonderful, lovely woman, but He refers to them as a prostitute or an adulterous. Why? Because they have chosen to commit adultery with the world, with other religions, they are adopting other facets of other false religions or just simple pleasures and philosophies in the world. You can find that in one of the first examples in Jeremiah 6:2, where He first refers again like Revelation Chapter 12, He refers to the woman as lovely, I've likened you as to a lovely and delicate woman. But then if you back up three chapters to Jeremiah 3:6, we find that Jeremiah is forced very sadly to refer to Israel, not as a lovely and delicate woman, but as a harlot. In verse 6, it says, "Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot." And so very clearly we find here that God reveals not only in Jeremiah, but also as we're gonna discover in future chapters in Revelation, God will refer to groups of professed Christians as a harlot, or as adulterous, adulterers.

In Jeremiah's day, of course, when it says under every green tree and every high mountain, this is where the idolatry was taking place. This is where they would set their idols and they would give their sacrifices to the goddess of fertility and all these other different gods that represented different blessings that were supposed to come into their life or protections. So God is saying to Israel, "You are like a harlot, you're not like a lovely and delicate woman." Friends, I don't know about you, but I want to be acquainted with the perfect and lovely woman that is clothed with the sun, don't you? This is where God wants us to be. This is what God wants us to understand. This is where He's inviting us today as we look at this important subject.

The moon, what does the moon represent? Well, the moon represents as most commentators would refer to as the Old Testament, the lesser light. For indeed the moon finds its light from the sun itself, we find that the woman is found standing. Now, the woman is the church, isn't it? It's God's people, it says faithful. And we're standing on a foundation called the moon which is reflecting the sun of righteousness himself because the moon was a foreshadow, it was pointing towards many different prophecies of the details of the birth, the life, the death, and resurrection, ascension of Jesus Christ. He was also revealing to us many different truths concerning Christ's future ministry after His death and resurrection.

That's why the Book of Hebrews has the main theme as, better, the word better repeats itself over and over again, why? Because it's trying to tell the early Christians that were also Jews that indeed that if you accept Christ, you are in a better priesthood. Because the priesthood of Aaron is now fulfilled in a better priesthood, which is Jesus Himself. When you come to the New Testament sanctuary, it says, "Listen, leave the Old Testament sanctuary because now God has offered a better sanctuary, not an earthly one, but one made without hands," as Hebrews Chapter 8 tells us. The better sanctuary which Christ is the better priesthood for you and I. Don't bring your lambs to the altar anymore. Why? Because Jesus now is the better sacrifice. He is the Lamb of God that takes away all the sin of the world. It is once and for all the complete on the cross. And so no longer do you need to bring the symbol of a lamb to the altar, there is a better sacrifice.

Well, what about the 12 stars on the head? What do they represent? Well, we have the 12 tribes of Israel, as we think of the different number 12 in the Bible. And then when we come to the New Testament, Jesus had very specifically chosen 12 apostles to represent, and to lead, and put a foundation for the original church. And so very clearly the 12 is representative of God's kingdom number and so here we have these 12 stars. In Revelation 1:20, it talks about the stars of heaven. And so we have the stars representing angels, I should say. And so in Revelation 1:20 we find that God is using stars to symbolize angels.

Who's the head of the church? Somebody said Jesus, okay, over and over, especially the Prophet Paul would talk about the church being represented as a body, as a human being. And then he said, "The body represents you and I." But then Paul says, "Listen, the head itself doesn't represent you and I, the head represents Jesus Christ." And so the head of the woman will represent none other than, than Jesus. And Jesus is the King of kings, is the Lord of lords, is He not? And so how fitting that we have the 12 stars representing 12 angels, but also representing His kingdom because he is the King of kings. He is the Lord of lords. And so we have some deep symbolism there. But let's move on in verses 4, verses 3-6. If we can have a volunteer go ahead and read that for us, please?

"And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery 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 1260 days."

Okay, thank you. So now God moves on, and He leaves the woman. Now He goes and moves to a different symbolic creature and this creature is called the fiery red dragon. And so we have to ask the question. Well, obviously, dragons aren't real. They're certainly prevalent in a lot of mythological art, and stories, and legends, and so on. But where does the original dragon come from? Well, as it turns out, the original dragon is represented right here in the Bible, in the ancient scriptures of the Holy Word.

And so very clearly in verse 9 of the same chapter and so let's go to verse 9. We're going to come back to verse 9 as well, but in verse 9, it says, "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." And so very clearly in the very same chapter, just a couple of three verses later, we find that God reveals crystal clear for us exactly who He's talking about when He uses a symbolic dragon. It's the very same creature that we saw revealed and laid bare in prophecy of Isaiah, the prophecy of Ezekiel.

Is it coincidence that much of the dragon are today by the way in history depicts this serpent like kind of creature that breathes fire. Isn't it interesting, especially when you look at Chinese art, you find that it's very prevalent to have their dragons always look like a serpent like creature. What is it reflecting? Well, it's reflecting the serpent of old that we just read here in the scriptures. You see much of this mythology, much of this art, and these legends that come through the different nations finds itself being distorted and changed, yes. But when we read the Bible, we find that we can find the very original origins of these particular creatures. In this case, we have a serpent in the Garden of Eden, do we not? In the very beginning of earth's history, in the history of mankind, we find indeed that there is a serpent. And sadly we find that he is also called the dragon, he was once Lucifer, Day Star, but now he is Satan, the adversary of God. He's called the devil, which means the accuser, and indeed he is the enemy of our souls. And so very clearly we find that the Bible reveals who this dragon is representing.

Now as far as the heads and horns, we find better insight into this as we look further into the prophecies of the chapters following Revelation Chapter 12, and so just hold tight on that. We are going to come back in future study. What about the tail? Because it tells us that the dragon was cast out, and in Revelation Chapter 12, we read that his tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.

What does God depict the dragon is using a tail? Well, as it turns out the tail is not the most flattering part of a creature's existence. In fact, God used it when He talked to Israel, He said "Listen, when it comes to you and the rest of the nation, I want you to be the head, and not the tail." Because God implying that the tail was lesser in importance in value than that of the head, Yes. He said the head is the most important when you come back to very end where you have the tail, well, that's not so important. It's not quite as valuable. And so here we find that in Isaiah Chapter 9 by the way. In verses 14 and 15, it reveals very clearly that God here is symbolizing a tail as that of deception of lies. Verses 14 and 15, it says, "Therefore the Lord will cut off the head and tail from Israel. And later on He goes and deciphers that for us and He says, "The elder and the honorable, He is the head." And then He goes on and says, "The Prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail."

And so as we look at scripture and put scripture upon scripture here, there, little there little, we find here that God is revealing to us that He is symbolizing the dragon's tail as being that which pulled down a third of the stars. And again in Revelation 1:20, it tells us clearly that the stars used to represent an angel. And so a third of the angels were lied to, well, more than a third but a third of them had bought into the lies and deceptions of Satan. And has successfully drawn them into his court, had successfully drawn them into his influence, and to side with him until the point where God was forced to both cast him as well as the third of the angels out of heaven. And then despite the effort, the dragon's best efforts to kill Jesus early on, he failed multiple times until the Lord allowed Himself to be arrested, until He allowed Himself to be crucified.

We find that King Herod as we read here there was a… an attempt by the dragon, by the devil himself to destroy the male Child, to destroy the Christ, as soon as He was born. And history as well as the gospel records tell us that it was the cruel King Herod. This Roman king that was associated and working for the Roman Empire was the agent that the dragon used to be able to try to destroy the Christ. But was that the only attempt that he made? No, when Jesus went and preached in his own hometown, while it tells us the whole church got so mad at Him that they drove Him out in the madding frenzy, and they try to push Him off a cliff and kill Him. Do you think the devil is behind that? Sure, he was behind that. He was hoping that this would be the end, he would snap Him out before He could sacrifice Himself for the sins of the world. And we have other examples of that in the gospels as well, but breaks up despite all those attempts it wasn't until Jesus says, "Okay, now is the time. Now is the time."

You know, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate that was kind of watching over the final decision and court scene that was taking place that early morning on Friday, when Jesus was arrested and about to be crucified. And Pilate was frustrated with Jesus, and he says, "Don't you know that I have the power both to release you, and the power to kill you, or crucify you?" And Jesus basically said, "No, you don't. You think you do, but you don't. I have the power to both give my life and I have the power to both to take it up again." And so it wasn't until Jesus had given permission, regardless of the dragon's best efforts, but then He was resurrected and 40 days later, He ascended back to His Father in heaven. And that's why we tell, that tells us at the end of verse 5, "That the male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron and child was caught up to God into His throne." This is post resurrection. This is Jesus' ascension to the right hand of His Father in heaven itself. And then the woman flees into the wilderness and she's fed there for 1260 days.

Now in Bible prophecy and only in symbolic Bible prophecy as Ezekiel 4:8, gives us strong, clear evidence to be able to apply a day to symbolize a literal year. And so we have 1260 literal years, in which the woman the Church of God, the Christian Church is fleeing to, and is fed for 1260 years. We're going to come back later if we have time for that as we continue on.

But let's go to verses 9 or 7-9 as we see how far we can get here today. Okay, Revelation 12:7-9, and we have another volunteer today.

"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."

But you'd be surprised at how many traditional Christians, church going Christians are surprised when they're first exposed to this particular passage. War broke out in heaven, you mean sin began not here on earth, it didn't begin with the serpent in the Garden of Eden, it actually began in the Most Holy central headquarters of all the universe, where the God of gods is existing, where the Lord of lords and the King of kings exists.

It's amazing how shocking it can be to so many of us. To me, it was mind blowing. I've been a Christian for a number of years, never heard of such a concept, and yet it very clearly tells us hear that sin didn't begin here on earth, It didn't begin in the Garden of Eden, it began in heaven itself. And, of course, as we looked at our original passages in Isaiah and Ezekiel, it very clearly revealed to us that there, it was there that sin conceived in the heart of Lucifer himself. It was there that the great rebellion began and so the war that's been described here is not AK-47, it's not M16, it's not talking about tanks, and heat seeking missiles. No, it's talking about the warfare of the heart. It's talking about the war for truth. It's talking about truth against error. It's the war of darkness against light, it's the war of love against hate, it's this great war between light and darkness that is being described here. And we have two sides and two armies.

The first general is Michael and his angels, his army of angels. And then we have the dragon and the third of heaven becomes his army in heaven as well. Now who is Michael? Well, friends, there is only two great figures in heaven that are at war, they're described throughout the rest of Revelation as well as through scriptures and that is the devil and Christ, God Himself. And so this can be none other than Christ Himself. Now some of us can get very uncomfortable with that as Christians, we say, "Well, wait a minute. Have you ever read Jude, the book just before Revelation and verse 6, it tells us that Michael is called Michael the archangel. Christ is not an angel, He's the Son of God, He's just as… He's equal with the Father. He is, He's eternally divine, and that's true. But has God contradicted Himself when He refers to Michael as an archangel to Christ, as an archangel. Well, not necessarily, not necessarily.

Now, the word angel is actually the Greek word for it is angelos. And angelos is a Greek word that also refers to John the Baptist. Now we were… Now, we translated to him as a messenger. And that's what the Greek word angelos actually, literally means, messenger. And so John the Baptist is also an angelos according to Scripture. And so angelos doesn't mean that you're talking always, most of the time it is, but not always as the scriptures and the prophets talking about a created heavenly being that we typically refer to as an angel. In 1 Thessalonians, one of my favorite passages, Chapter 4:16, we find here that it's clearly speaking of Christ coming in glory when He returns the second time as He had promised. And when He comes on that powerful day, it says that He shouts with the voice of an… With the voice of an archangel.

And so we hear, we find that Jesus is very clearly also referred to here as an archangel. Archangel means that He's the overarching power over all the angels. He is the king of the angels. He's the ultimate leader of the angels that are also created, even though He Himself is not. In Exodus 3:2-6, we find that Moses is talking to God and having this experience in conversation with God, as God is speaking through a burning bush. But as you read that particular scripture in verse 3 in particular describes more than just a burning bush, it says that the Lord, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a burning bush.

And if you read the New King James in particular, you'll see that the translators put capital A, why is that? All the other times they put angel, it's always small A. Why? Because they did the same thing for that angel, as they do for every reference to Christ, they put a capital in honor of the fact that this was Christ Himself. And so Christ here is referred to an Angel of the Lord appearing to Moses in a burning bush. That's why God said, "Take off your sandals for the place which you stand is holy ground." And then later on, He says to Moses in the same conversation, I am God. And then at the end it says, Moses hid his face, he was afraid to look upon God, this was the angel of God. This was God Himself.

In Judges Chapter 13, we find the same thing. We find here that Moses, his mom and dad both have an encounter with an Angel of the Lord, again capital A. Why? Because as they came to the final conclusion of that second epiphany, that second experience, and exposure to this Angel of the Lord, Manoah, the dad of Samson is on record of concluding that they were seeing God Himself. And so Christ had appeared both to the mom and dad. And so Michael and the… And his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought. And the war that began in heaven when Lucifer rebelled against God and his government was now fully completed, after heaven had witness Satan lead the way and killing the Son of God is described prophetically in the first verses of the same chapter.

It was through King Herod that he tried to kill Him, but he eventually succeeded in killing Him by having Him crucified on the cross. It was there that Satan's any pretense that was still remaining in heaven and the angels of heaven in concerned to Satan, who and who he was, was fully and completely removed at that point. And all of heaven saw him for who he truly had become. And so Satan and the fallen angels were now permanently imprisoned here on earth until the final judgment is delivered. They were cast out of heaven previous, but now they had no more access to heaven even as the Book of Job had revealed, that he had some limited access to the councils of God. But now they are permanently imprisoned here on this planet ever since the crucifixion and ascension of Jesus Christ.

And by the way, they're imprisoned here until when? Until the second coming of Christ, and then after that, a 1000 years takes place, and then the final judgment takes place upon both Lucifer, the Satan, the Devil and all of his angels, also called demons. Now, does this harmonize in any way with the traditional understanding of hell? Because the traditional understanding of hell tells me that hell is somewhere else, another boat somewhere else on the planet in which Satan is in charge of. He and his demons are stoking the fires there, as they are torturing for all of eternity, the lost that are found there that have already died and gone to hell.

Does this harmonize with that particular traditional understanding? It doesn't, does it? It doesn't harmonize at all. Why? Because there are many, many misunderstandings in concern to hell. Hell is not something that's burning right now. Satan is not in another place called hell. He is right here, and he's very busy. He's very busy deceiving the nations, as Revelation has just told us in the passage that we just read. By the way, if you'd like some more information on hell, and this is something that you'd like to study further. You go to one of my favorite websites Amazing Facts, it's called helltruth.com. That's hell truth all one word.com and you can find yourself doing a very extensive well done study on that particular biblical study.

Now notice in the same passage that we read here in verses 7-9 that it tells us that the dragon deceives the whole world, and he uses the same technique to bring us down as he did with a third of the angels in heaven. Just as the tail deceived and lied to a third of the angels, he also is lying to you and me. He's lying to the nations right now. And sadly, Revelation 13 onwards tells us that there was great global success and concern to this particular deception.

Well, as we continue on through the rest here, we're just going to look at some of the highlights because I can see that it's time to wrap up our study here today. And I knew as I went through this that we weren't going to get all the way through. But, friends, as we read verses 10, 11 and 12, we find here that there's a great party that's taking place in heaven. All of heaven is rejoicing because now Satan and his angels have no more access, they have no more to do with the great controversy that had first begun in heaven. And now they are permanently trapped on the earth. In verse 12, it says, "But woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea, for the devil is come down having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."

And then the woman goes into the wilderness for 1260 years representing that great power, and time in Europe where the established Roman Catholic Church of Europe had found itself persecuting those who are not with its program, those who wanted to follow the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And we find that they went for religious liberty, and they found this great land that we're studying here right now, the reason that we're sitting here.

One of the greatest and most motivating reasons that we're sitting here, and we discovered this particular land from Europe is because we are trying to find relief from the great religious persecutions that were taking place by the established church in the Middle Ages. And that's what the 1260 year period is referring to. She was fed by the two witnesses of Revelation Chapter 11, the two prophets that represent the Old and the New Testament, the scriptures that were clothed in sackcloth for 1260, while the established church was burying the scriptures deeper and deeper, and burying it in all kinds of manmade traditions that were taking its place. But she was fed, the faithful still had access to the Word of God. And that's the great news, that despite all the best efforts of the dragon to be able to usurp the Kingdom of God, to be able to destroy God's people in the Word of God, God continues to bring victory to His Word, does He not? He brings victory to you and I, when we read it.

Indeed we find that the serpent, it's… In verse 15, it says, "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." In Revelation 17:5, it clearly tells us that water represents peoples, populations. And so God gave us relief as we came over to North America, where there was almost no, in compared to Europe it was essentially unoccupied. There is tons of open land for us to be able to spread out and find some relief of the great persecutions that were taking place. And then finally verse 17, it says, "The dragon was enraged with a 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." God brings us all the way to the very last years of earth's history, and then verse 17, by the way, is unpacked from Chapter 13 onward right to the end of the book.

And so again, that's what makes Revelation such a transitional, pivotal, important chapter for you and I. And the devil is enraged with the rest of her offspring, the remnant of the original church, the church of the apostles that followed the pure teachings of the apostles, and rejected all tradition that contradicted the Word of God.

Friends, that's where we are today. The devil is making war with the rest of our offspring who keep the commandments of God, all 10 of the commandments. And by the way, the fourth commandment which is coming to light for more. Thousands of Christians around the world, hundreds across this nation just today alone have come to understand the truth of the fourth commandment. And they have decided to keep the fourth commandment. Right now there are hundreds across America that are making that decision today, and are going to begin to make the Sabbath their holy day, their part of their life, because they have come to see the truth as it is. The great commandment of worship, these are the people that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

The Spirit of Prophecy will once again be manifested, it tells us in Revelation 19:10 that the testimony of Jesus Christ is a Spirit of Prophecy, the same great Spirit of Prophecy that manifested itself through several individuals, some Bible writers, some not Bible writers. In the days of the Acts, of the days of Acts, in the days of the apostles, God said that would resurge again, and I believe that we have already started to experience that through one individual by the name of Ellen G. White. As I've applied the great test of the prophet as John tells us in 1 John, he tells us, "Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are true." And, friends, I have tested the claim to Ellen White's genuine Spirit of Prophecy gift and, friend, she passes every single test, and I've been tremendously blessed in these churches around the world and in many nations, because I believe God has manifested that gift even as He had prophesied, it would take place.

I apologize to those of you who are new to this particular study and I kind of opened up a can of worms and a number of things that perhaps you've never studied before, and so I pray that this will not only start to open your eyes, but that you'll be motivated to dig into it and to find yourself at amazingfacts.org. And you can find all kinds of extra information on this particular subject, and continue to understand these great and important prophecies. God bless you. We're so glad that you came to join us here today, and we look forward to seeing you next week.

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We're here on the beautiful coast of the island of Puerto Rico. And if you were to travel east about 2000 miles, of course, you would be out in the middle of the ocean. But you'd also be in the middle of a mystical sea called the Sargasso Sea. It gets its name because of this common brown seaweed that can be found floating in vast mass. The area of the Sargasso Sea is about 700 miles wide and 2000 miles long. Now the seaweed itself is fascinating stuff. It was first observed and called Gulfweed by Christopher Columbus. It gets the name Sargon from the Portuguese. Some people use it as herbal remedies.

But out in the middle of the Sargasso Sea, the water is some of the bluest in the world. It's there you can see 200 feet deep in places. It also has a great biodiversity and ecosystem that surrounds the Sargasso Sea. For years, scientists wondered where the American and the Atlantic eels were breeding. They knew the adult eel swam down the rivers out into the Atlantic, but they never could find a place where they reproduced. Finally, they discovered it was out in the middle of the Sargasso Sea. So it's a fascinating place.

But if you are an ancient sailor, you did not want to get stuck there. Being caught in the doldrums was extremely difficult for the ancient sailors. Of course, their boats were driven by wind and sail, and they'd be caught in the vast mass of the seaweed that would wrap around the rudder, barnacles would begin to grow, it's an area that is notorious for light and baffling winds, and so they'd make no progress. They get stuck. The men would become extremely dispirited. Sometimes violence and even insanity would break out as people were trapped in the doldrums.

But, friends, perhaps sometimes you felt that you're trapped in the doldrums. You've gone through episodes of depression. You feel like you're going in circles, life seems stifling. You know, the Bible offers good news. There is a way out. Bible talks about a famous character that was trapped in a cycle of depression. He was low as you could be. Matter of fact, he even had seaweed wrapped around his head. His name was Jonah. But God gave him a way of escape. In Jonah 2:3-7, we read, "For you cast me into the depths, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me, all of Your billows and Your waves passed over me. Then I said, 'I have been cast out of your sight, yet I will look again towards Your holy temple.' The waters surrounded me, even to my soul, the deep closed around me, weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the moorings of the mountains, the earth with its bars closed behind me forever, yet you brought my life up from the pit. O Lord, my God. 'When my soul fainted within me, I remember the Lord, and my prayer went up to You, into Your holy temple.'"

You know, friends, the way that Jonah got out of his discouraging circumstance, he turned to God and he prayed. And if God could hear Jonah's prayers, just think about it. He was as far away from God as anybody could be. He was in the belly of a sea monster in the bottom of the ocean in the dark. Yet he turned to God and God heard his prayer. You know, these ancient sailors, when they were trapped on the deck of a ship for weeks, stuck in the doldrums discouraged, sometimes they would have a prayer meeting, and pray that God would send a breeze that would set them free, and get their boats moving. They turn to God in prayer and often miracles would happen, and the wind would flutter in the sails, and bring them out of their seaweed prison. Friends, maybe you have been stuck in the doldrums. Maybe you've been caught in the cycle of depression. If God can do it for Jonah, if He can do it for the ancient sailors, He can do it for you. Turn to the Lord in prayer. Trust His Spirit to blow through your soul and to set you free.

"How many of you wish you could get a new start? I'd like to live my life over knowing what I know now. I don't want to start over and just make old same mistakes. I want to have my memories so I don't make the same mistakes. But you do get a new beginning, you become a new creature, that feeling of all your sins being washed away because God promised us it. Isn't that a wonderful concept, friends?"

"I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, in as much as you did it to one of the least of these, my brethren, you did it to me."

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