Why don’t we take our Bibles and open them to Revelation 12 and just a quick announcement. 11:00 a.m. this Friday morning at the Sweetwater Country Club there’s going to be 18 local candidates, filling all kinds of elective positions so this is kind of a chance to hear from them and ask them questions and those kind of things. There’s lots of contested races so this would be a good one to attend if you could. And early voting starts in about three weeks. So if you want to know who’s running for what office I would encourage you, if you’re interested, to go Friday morning, 11:00 a.m. Sweetwater Country Club.
Politics is sort of a way to extend common grace to the culture. Amen! I kind of look at politics like stewardship; you know God gives us a lot of things to be stewards over and one of the things we have is freedom to pick our rulers. I don’t think they have that in Saudi Arabia so we’ve got some privileges that other countries don’t have. So it’s always good to figure out who’s running for what and what folks stand for. Amen! Because the Bible says if the righteous are in authority the people rejoice; when the wicked rule the people groan. [Proverbs 22:9, “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan.”] And I think we do a lot of groaning sometimes because we don’t show up and make well informed decisions on the voting place. Enough of that.
Let’s take our Bibles and go to the Book of Revelation if we could, chapter 12. And if you’ve been tracking along with us in this study we are talking about what does the Bible say about the kingdom and we’ve sort of traced all the way through the Old Testament right up to the life of Christ, the concept of the kingdom and how it was offered to Israel on a silver platter and then the kingdom was turned down in Matthew 12, as you know. God, at that point, began an interim work that we’re part of but it’s not the kingdom. And one of these days this interim work, called the church, will be over. The earthly mission of the church will be over, the church will be raptured to heaven and the kingdom is going to be re-extended to Israel and it’s going to come to the earth.
So we’re sort of in that part of the study, number 13, 14, and really 15 of that list there, kind of explaining what God is going to do once the church is translated to heaven and how He’s going to bring His kingdom to the earth. So to help us understand that we started a lesson last week called The Coming of the Kingdom and The Coming of the Kingdom has four parts to it. Number 1, the re-offer of the kingdom to Israel. Number 2, the transfer of earthly authority from Satan’s domain to God’s domain. And then number 3, the establishment of the kingdom. And then finally the end of this is the duration of the kingdom, exactly how long is the kingdom going to last?
We began last time, I think we completed talking about the reoffer of the kingdom. So you’ll recall in the Gospels the kingdom was offered by John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, the Twelve and the Seventy to Israel through the expression, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” So it was right there within their grasp and they could have had it had they enthroned Christ on Christ’s terms. I don’t have it underlined there but you’ll notice verse 6 the instructions were, as this offer was extended, “go” only “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” [Matthew 6:10] So this was a unique opportunity for Israel to receive the offer of the kingdom.
And as we have studied that offer is rejected in Matthew 12:24, which is the hinge verse; it changes the whole direction of everything in Matthew’s Gospel when the religious leaders attributed Christ’s miracles to the devil. [Matthew 12:24, “But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, ‘This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.’”] The moment they went that far the offer is removed, as we have studied.
And God today is working in an interim program called the church, but it’s not to be confused with Israel or the kingdom, as we’ve studied. But one of these days the earthly mission of the church will be over, the bride will be made complete, the translation of the church will occur and the offer of the kingdom, sometimes called the gospel of the kingdom, will be re-extended to Israel at which time the nation of Israel will get it right and will receive the offer of the kingdom because one of the things you learn about the nation of Israel is Israel always gets it right, which time around? The second time.
And here’s a few examples I gave last week. I don’t want to redo the examples I gave last week; here’s a few more I thought of just to solidify this point. You take the first King of Israel, a guy named Saul. That’s who the nation of Israel wanted, and I think they enthroned the wrong guy because Saul was from which tribe? He was from Benjamin, and the kings, according to Genesis 49:10 are supposed to come from which tribe? Judah! [Genesis 49:10, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”]
So if they’d waited on the Lord instead of enthroning Saul they could have had David, who was the right man for the job. So they got it wrong the first time with Saul but they got it right the second time with David. So that’s just another example of how Israel typically gets it right the second time. And of course, as I was thinking about that I’m reminded of the prophet Jonah. Have you studied Jonah lately? Jonah 3:1, “Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying,” so the first two chapters of the book he is told to preach to Nineveh and he goes the opposite way, to Spain. So God sort of has a way of getting his attention, like He does all of us, and so “the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time,” so chapters 1 and 2 in a four chapter book he gets it wrong; chapters 3 and 4 he gets it right. So Jonah is sort of a type of the whole nation; they get it right the second time. And that’s how it was with the generation coming out of Egypt, they got to the border of Kadesh-Barnea and they became fearful because of the giants; they fell into fear. But the next generation under Joshua entered the land with great courage. So there’s another example where they got it right the second time.
And Stephen, in his speech that got him executed, brings this up and he uses Moses, the acceptance of Moses by the nation, as an example. And he also uses the brothers, the nation’s acceptance of Joseph as an example. So there it all is, you put all these Old Testament verses together whether it be Joseph, Saul, David, Moses, the Kadesh-barnea generation, Jonah, I mean, it’s the same pattern, they get it right the second time, never the first time. If that type is true it would work its way out prophetically, wouldn’t it? The nation in the first century had a golden opportunity to enthrone Christ and receive the kingdom. They rejected it but they’re going to get it right the second time, in the tribulation period. See that? So it’s interesting how God is kind of tying together all this typology in the end times.
So they are going to receive the offer of the kingdom this time and what will happen, taking us to number 2 here, is the transfer of earthly authority. The world, as we talked about last time, is under satanic bondage. It’s been under satanic bondage ever since Genesis 3. Satan, as we talked about, is the god of this age, the god of this world. And that’s the significance of Jesus taking, in Revelation 5, and opening the seven sealed scroll. And I think we walked through a little bit of that last time, didn’t we? The seven sealed scroll is the title deed to the earth and once that is opened essentially what’s happening is the title deed to the earth is being reclaimed. And this is all commensurate with God’s instrument that He’s using to accomplish all of these things, the nation of Israel who in the Tribulation itself is receiving the offer of the kingdom and getting it right a second time.
So one of the things that’s very interesting to study in the Book of Revelation is how the judgments in the Book of Revelation mirror the judgments in the Book of Exodus. Have you ever noticed that? For example, we have sores in the sixth plague in the Book of Exodus and sores break out on people in the first bowl judgment in the Book of Revelation. Rivers to blood, that’s in the first plague in the Book of Exodus and Rivers to blood occur in the third bowl judgment in the Book of Revelation. Darkness, that occurs in the ninth plague in the Book of Exodus and that is the fifth bowl judgment in the Book of Revelation. Hail, that’s the seventh plague in the Book of Exodus and it’s also the seventh bowl judgment in the Book of Revelation. So as you go through the Book of Revelation you should be kind of slapping your forehead and saying gosh, I’ve read all this before.
And if you go down to Revelation 16, verse 13, it says, “And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like” what? “frogs;” does that sound like the Book of Exodus at all, where God multiplied frogs all over Egypt?
So one of the interesting questions is why is it that the Book of Revelation looks so similar to the Book of Exodus. Why do the ten plagues in Exodus look so similar to the various judgments in the Book of Revelation? And I think the reason for these parallels is that in the Book of Exodus God is taking His people out of 400 years of bondage; they had been in captivity in Egypt for 400 years, which is a long time. That’s the length of the United States of America times two, roughly.
So in the Book of Revelation what is happening is God is taking the whole planet out of the bondage or the chains that it’s been in ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden and ever since Satan became the prince and power of the air and the god of this age. I think that’s why these parallels are here.
So Pharaoh, in the Book of Exodus, is a type, if you will, of Satan. Every time a plague came in the book of Exodus Pharaoh’s grip over God’s chosen people got weaker and weaker and weaker. Pharaoh kept hardening his heart against God. And his will got weaker and weaker and weaker because he was being defeated by these plagues and finally when the firstborn all over Egypt were killed, including his own firstborn, and by the way, the Egyptians worshipped the firstborn, that’s why that plague was so horrendous, because God was showing that He’s higher than whatever it is they’re worshipping. By the way, they also worshipped gnats and they also worshipped frogs and they also worshiped the Nile River.
So through each plague in the Book of Exodus God is showing His sovereignty over all the things that they worshipped in Egypt. So by the time you get to plague ten Pharaoh’s will is broken and he finally makes a decision to let Israel go. And so in essence as this scroll is being opened every time Christ pulls back a seal and unwraps this scroll that’s given in the Book of Revelation, Revelation 5, the title deed to the earth is being reclaimed and Satan’s grip over this world that he’s enjoyed for all these millennia is growing weaker and weaker and weaker. See that.
So Pharaoh, to a large extent, is a type of Satan, just as these Exodus judgments are types of the liberation that God is going to take the whole world through in the events of the Book of Revelation. So people say well do you take the judgments in the Book of Revelation literally? Let me ask you a question. Were the judgments in the Book of Exodus literal? Of course they were, so they’re actually geophysical judgments. These are real things that happened so why wouldn’t I take the Book of Revelation the exact same way given the parallels? See that.
And something else that’s sort of interesting is God, in the Book of Exodus, keeps turning up the thermostat; the judgments keep getting more and more intense, more and more severe. I think that’s Christ’s point in Matthew 24 where He analogizes these birth pangs, that I actually think are the seal judgments, to pregnancy as they grow in intensity and frequency you know that birth is near.
So as you go through the Book of Revelation as these judgments grow in intensity and frequency you know that birth is near. Birth of what? Birth of the kingdom where God’s rule is manifested over planet earth and Satan’s grip is released from planet earth. So the judgments in Revelation are literal just like they are in the Book of Exodus and the judgments in Revelation grow in intensity and frequency just like they did in the Book of Exodus. God just kept turning up the heat to the point where Pharaoh finally let Israel go. And that’s how it’s going to work in the Book of Revelation, where Satan is finally going to release His grip over this earth. That’s kind of an interesting parallel, isn’t it. And it’s interesting, you go through commentators on the Book of Revelation and a lot of them don’t really acknowledge that point. I’ve found very few commentators explaining the similarities with the Exodus judgments.
So one of the things to understand about this seven sealed scroll is the seventh seal will unleash the trumpet judgments. The seventh trumpet judgment will unleash the bowls. So the whole thing kind of pulls out like a telescope, if you will; every time you reach a seventh in the series a new set of judgments is taking place, a new set of judgments is beginning. So by the time Christ opens seal number seven on the seven sealed scroll we know exactly what’s going to happen. The world is going to be liberated because the seventh seal is going to launch the trumpets and then the seventh trumpet is going to launch the bowls.
And as we mentioned before every time one of these judgments hits the earth the grip of the devil over this world gets weaker. See that? So that’s why this seven sealed scroll in Revelation 5 is such a big deal. It, once opened, triggers everything else on the chain. And once the chain starts to be triggered we know exactly what’s going to happen, we know that victory is ultimate. And as long as that seven sealed scroll remains closed the earth is going to remain in a state of bondage it’s in to Satan’s grip. See that. That’s why John weeps in Revelation 5 verses 2-4, upon contemplating the fact that no one is worthy to open this seven sealed scroll. But then he stops weeping when he recognizes that Jesus is worthy. [Revelation 5:2-4, “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?”  And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it.  Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it;”]
So what is happening in the Book of Revelation is the kingdom is finally coming to the earth. That’s the point of the book. Revelation 5:10 says, “You have made them to be a kingdom of priests to our God, and they will reign upon the earth.” So if you want to know what the point is of the Book of Revelation that’s the point; the point is the kingdom is coming to the earth and Satan is being kicked off the earth.
And one of the things you want to do when you study a Book of the Bible is you want to try to settle on what you think is the key verse of the book. I think every book of the Bible has a key verse in it that tells you what that book is about better than any other verse. And for years and years and years I struggled really to find that summarizing verse that would summarize the Book of Revelation. For a long time I thought the key verse was Revelation 1:7. Why did I think that? Because everybody else told me it was so I believed them. Revelation 1:7 is very good, by the way, it says, “BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.”
So that talks about the Second Coming of Christ and most people would say well that verse really is the key verse of the book. But I really don’t think that’s the key verse; I think the key verse is in Revelation 11:15. It says, “Then the seventh angel sounded;” so this is trumpet seven, “and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.’” Personally I believe that’s the key verse of the book because it summarizes what the book is about, the transfer of earthly authority from the grip of Satan back to the grip of Jesus Christ.
And all of these people today that think we’re in the kingdom and we’re bringing in the kingdom, you can see how silly that is because what this book is telling us is the kingdom is not going to come to the earth until Jesus, in heaven, starts to open that seven sealed scroll. Until that happens there are chains about this earth under Satan’s dominion, as we’ve talked about.
So what, then, is the goal of history? You see a typical prophecy chart there, you see the tribulation period. First you see the church age, then the church age ends with the rapture, then you have the tribulation period seven years, then Jesus returns and then right after the second advent of Christ you see this square there that says “kingdom,” Revelation 20, specifically verses 1-10. That’s the goal of history right there.
[Revelation 20:1-10, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;  and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.  Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.  The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.  When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison,  and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.  And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”]
It’s the reclaiming of the title deed to this earth and the reassertion of that authority by God over the earth that was lost in Eden. And guess what folks—we’re part of it, because according to Revelation 5:10 what are we going to be doing when we return with Christ at the end of the tribulation period. We’re going to reign under His delegated authority. [Revelation 5:10, “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”]
So that’s our future in God and the degree of authority that we will wield under His delegation… you know, it’s not like He needs our help but He gives us the privilege of exercising authority in His kingdom and the degree of authority we wield depends on our faithfulness to what God has called us to do now. So we are destined for authority on this earth under Christ’s kingdom. And people aligned themselves with David when Saul was on the throne and when David finally ascended to the throne those that had aligned themselves with David when Saul was on the throne were given positions of authority in his kingdom. See that.
So we have this unique opportunity to align ourselves with Christ. David is a type of Christ while Saul, or Satan is on the throne. See that? But one of these days Satan is going to be deposed from the throne and those of us who have aligned ourselves with Christ by faith are given authority in the kingdom. So you align yourself with David by walking by faith and not sight, because David was anointed king, wasn’t he, 1 Samuel 16, long before he actually took the throne. David is anointed as king while Saul was still governing the nation. So what has happened is Jesus, thanks to His resurrection from the dead, has been anointed as king, but Satan is on the throne and that’s why there’s so much in the Bible about we should not walk by sight but we should walk by faith. If you walk by sight you just align yourself with Satan or Saul; if you walk by faith you align yourself with the anointed king that’s not there yet but will be there one day and to do that requires faith. See that?
It’s a marvelous thing what our future is in God and that’s why Paul is so frustrated with the Corinthians who are so petty with each other in 1 Corinthians 6 that they’re suing each other, if you can imagine that, and discrediting the gospel before unsaved people. And Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6 says don’t you know that we’re going to judge the angels one day? What is he talking about? He’s talking about the authority that we are destined to wield under Christ once He establishes His kingdom. [1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?”] What is he talking about? He’s talking about the authority that we are destined to wield under Christ once He establishes His kingdom. [blank spot for 3 minutes] … all of us that have aligned ourselves with Jesus Christ by faith in this age.
[Revelation 20:4] “Then I saw thrones and they sat on them and judgment was given to them and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God,” so we’re going to be on thrones and here it’s talking primarily about tribulation, martyrs will be on these thrones, “and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image, and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. And they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.  The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”
Now you see how we’re called priests, exercising authority? That’s why we are called at the beginning of this book Revelation 1:6, God has made us a kingdom of what? Priests! And then Revelation 5:10 says He has made us into “a kingdom of priests” and “they” or we “will reign upon the earth.” [Revelation 1:6, “and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father– to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 5:10, “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”]
So we’re this kingdom of priests but we’re not yet reigning because his kingdom is not here, because we’re living in the devil’s world. But it’s very clear that we will reign, not up in the clouds, you know, a lot of people have the view of the future that we’re just sort of floating on clouds wearing white sheets with halos singing the Hallelujah chorus ten billion times, bored to death. And we think these things because we don’t consult the Scripture. The Scripture is telling us that yes, we’re with the Lord for seven years in the Father’s house but we are actually going to have a role as reigning upon the earth under His delegated authority. So this is when our kingdom of priests status is fulfilled, during this thousand year kingdom.
“Then when the thousand years are completed Satan will be released from his prison.” [Revelation 20:7] Now notice that in the kingdom age Satan only gets out because God allows it. So Satan is under God’s thumb during this time. And that’s not what’s happening today, right? Satan is ruling this world. “Then when the thousand years are completed Satan will be released from his prison  and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.”
Now these would be the mortals, mortal descendants of those who survived the tribulation period and began to repopulate the earth. Everybody in the kingdom when it starts is a believer and there are some that are survivors of the tribulation period, they enter the kingdom in their mortal bodies and they begin to repopulate the earth and what just got passed down through the blood line? The sin nature. So they’re going to have children, their children are going to have children, their children are going to have children, and this goes on for about a thousand years so that the earth is repopulated and there’s going to arise a generation that’s been living in that perfect environment for a thousand years and yet they hate Jesus Christ’s guts. In fact, there’s a prophecy in the Book of Zechariah, chapter 14, verses 16-18 as to the fact that these people will not want to go to Jerusalem to worship Christ but they’re sort of coerced into it because He’s ruling with a rod of what? A rod of iron.
[Zechariah 14:16-18, “Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance.  So also like this plague will be the plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey and all the cattle that will be in those camps.  Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.  And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them.  If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the LORD smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.”]
So eventually Jesus lets Satan out of his prison, called the abyssou or the abyss, and he stimulates a worldwide rebellion very quickly. And then the rebellion is immediately judged because this is the kingdom age, this is a time period when anybody that steps out of line is immediately dealt with by God.
So “the number of them is like the sand of the seashore” I mean, how much sand is on the seashore? That’s an awful lot, isn’t it? And so I think God is allowing this to demonstrate that changing someone’s environment does not correct the sin nature problem. We live in this society where we’re told if we could just fix the environment of people, raise their standard of living, give everybody job security, give everybody a great education, that crime would decrease, because we don’t have a biblical view of man. We don’t understand that our depravity starts from our heart. So we think education is going to fix things. Well guess what happens when you educate a blue collar thief? He becomes a white collar thief. And if you want to look at a society that has the highest literacy standards and rapes, and had more PhD’s per capita than any other society that’s ever existed, do you know which society I’m talking about? I’m talking about Nazi Germany because education doesn’t fix people on the inside. The gospel fixes people on the inside. So God allows these thousand years to go forward to finally resolve once and for all, at least to us, where evil comes from. It comes from the heart.
So Satan is released from his abyss, he stimulates this worldwide rebellion, and look how fast it’s crushed because Jesus is reigning from David’s throne. “And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city,” now what do you think “the beloved city” is? Jerusalem, that’s the capital, so Satan attacks the headquarters of the whole millennial kingdom, “and fire came down from heaven [and devoured them].  And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where” his buddies, “the beast and the false prophet” now they’re thrown there a thousand years earlier, Revelation 19, but look at what it says here, “where the beast and the false prophet” what? “are also;” in other words, they’ve been in there a thousand years, and that’s important because a lot of people are out there teaching that if you’re an unbeliever and you die you just get annihilated. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, not if, but when they come to your house, believe this. And there are some people, even in the evangelical theological society like Clark Penick, and others that teach this. And very clearly here the souls of the beast and the false prophet didn’t just get annihilated, they continued on a thousand years later. And if that wasn’t clear enough, look at what it says here, once Satan is reunited with his buddies in the Lake of Fire, “… and they will be tormented day and night” for how long? Not just forever but “forever and ever.” That’s the Greek word aiōnios two times; aiōnios, eternal, is a word used to describe God Himself. He’s called the eternal God, Romans 16:26. So if God is eternal, if aioniōs in Greek means eternal in reference to God then hell itself has to be forever also. See that? And to get the point across it doesn’t use aioniōs once, it uses it twice, translated “forever and ever.”
So this is the kingdom, this is the apex of where history is headed. So Satan, do you think He wants the kingdom to come? I don’t think so! This chart gives the sevenfold defeat of Satan. He’s not defeated all at once; he’s defeated progressively as history unfolds. He’s kicked out of heaven, there’s all the verses there, you can look them up. [Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-17)
[Isaiah 14:12-15, “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!  But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north.  ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’  ‘Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.” Ezekiel 28:12-17, “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.  You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared.  You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.  You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.”
Ezekiel 28:12, “ Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.  “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared.  You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire.  “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.”]
He is defeated in Eden when a prophecy is given that there’s coming one from the seed of the woman who’s going to crush his head. [Genesis 3:15] His tampering of the pre-flood gene pool to prevent the birth of the Messiah in Genesis 6. He was defeated in that realm. The angels involved in that sin are incarceration and that’s why Jesus, in between His crucifixion and resurrection descended to where those fallen angels are involved in that sin and peached victory over them. And you’ll see that described in 1 Peter 3:19-20. [1 Peter 3:19-20, “in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison,  who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.”]
The word there for “preached” is not the word for evangelism, that’s euaggelízō,, evangelism, this is a totally different verb, it’s kērussō, He descended to where they were and proclaimed to them victory. Their attempt to thwart the birth of the Messiah by trying to tamper with the genetics of the human race in Genesis 6, sons of God, daughters of men, Nephilim on the earth, all that stuff, it failed. The Messiah has been born.
Number 4, Satan is defeated at the cross. Now did you know Satan still has access to heaven? He can go into heaven, not to worship and serve as he once did as a high ranking angel but to communicate and to accuse. That’s what is happening with Job. Right, the early chapters of the Book of Job. But halfway through the tribulation period that privilege is taken away and he descends to the earth knowing he has but a short time, and he tries to devour Israel. I’ll explain that in a second. Why is he going after Israel? Because she’s the covenanted nation; she’s the instrument through which the kingdom will come. See that? Satan believes in preemptive attacks. A preemptive attack is I’m going to take you out before you take me out. He knows the significance of Israel and his goal has always been to destroy Israel because he knows that the kingdom is going to come through Israel by the covenantal design of God.
And then once the kingdom starts, as we just saw, he’s going to be bound in the abyssou, the abyss, for a thousand years. And then at the end of that kingdom age he’s allowed to kind of go forth and manufacture one more rebellion against God which is short lived and he’s judged. Fire comes down from heaven, destroys his rebellion and he’s thrown into the Lake of Fire.
So what is Satan trying to prevent? He’s trying to prevent this kingdom from coming to the earth because once the kingdom comes he will be bound for a thousand years and at the end of the kingdom he will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. So that’s why he is portrayed in the Book of Revelation as going after Israel. He knows what God has promised, going back to the time of Abraham, concerning Israel “in you” that’s Israel, “all the families of the earth will be blessed.
Isaiah 42:6 says the same thing, Israel is a light to the nations. [Isaiah 42:6, “I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations,:]
Isaiah 49:6 says the same thing, “You are a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” [Isaiah 49:6, “He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’”]
So it always has been the plan and program of God to bless the world through Israel. Israel is chosen to be a blessing to the world. And there are three great blessings God purposes to bring to the earth through Israel. The first of the three is the Bible; we understand that, right? If God had not strategically worked through the Jewish people we wouldn’t have this book. Every writer of the this book, the only one they debate any more is Luke, who wrote Luke and Acts, every single writer of this book was Jewish. There’s not even a Southern Baptist writer in there.
And then the second blessing is the Savior. Jesus was Jewish, right. John 4:22 says salvation is of the Jews. [John 4:22, “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.”] Matthew 1 traces the genealogy of Christ back to David and back to Abraham. Had God not worked through the Jewish people we wouldn’t have a Savior. And most people think that’s all God is going to do through Israel. But all I can say is Israel is the gift that keeps on giving because there’s a third blessing yet to come through the Jewish people—the kingdom, because the kingdom is going to be located where, in terms of headquarters? In Jerusalem! That’s why when Satan is released from the abyssou or the abyss at the end of the kingdom age he immediately attacks the beloved city because that’s the headquarters of the kingdom.
So you can see why Satan has great hatred for the nation of Israel and he continues to be at war with the nation of Israel because he thinks he can stop blessing three from coming to the earth. If he can stop blessing three from coming to the earth who remains in authority over the earth? The devil does. See that? So this gives us a perspective, if you will, on the great hatred for the Jewish people throughout the earth today, and really throughout the centuries and throughout history. There’s an irrational hatred towards the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and it is largely satanic because Satan knows the Scripture, he knows that the kingdom is going to come through Israel and so he seeks to eradicate Israel so the kingdom can never come.
Look at all these blessings we have because of the Jewish people: the Patriarchs, the Law, the Prophets, the Messiah, the apostles, the biblical writers, the early church, the early Christian martyrs, Paul the apostle, the future kingdom, all of this is a reality because of God’s work through Israel. Genesis 12:3, Romans 9:4-5. [Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Romans 9:4-5, “who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,  whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”]
So real quickly let’s go over to Revelation 12. Take a look at Revelation 12:1-5, Satan, as the kingdom authority is being transferred he’s not just going to sit there and let it happen. See that. So John writes this: “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;  and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.  Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.  And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and he cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.  And she gave birth to a son, a man child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.”
So we have three characters here, the son, s-o-n, the dragon and the woman. Who do you think the son is? Jesus, He says He’s going to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; that comes right out of Psalm 2:9. He was caught up to God in His throne, that’s the ascension, Acts 1:9. [Psalm 2:9, “‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’” Acts 1:9, “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” ]
So who do you think the dragon is? The devil, because verse 9, we didn’t read it but verse 9 tells you the dragon is the devil. [Revelation 12:9, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”]
Who is the “woman clothed with the sun, and the moon and the stars”? You’ve got to go back to the Old Testament to get that answer and this is related to Joseph’s dream when he was 17 years old. Genesis 37:9 says, “Now he had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun” s-u-n, “and the moon and eleven stars” Joseph being the twelfth star, “were bowing down to me.” Does that imagery sound familiar? It’s right there out of Revelation 12:1, “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”
“He related it to his father;” that would be Jacob, right? “and his father rebuked him” and in the process of the rebuke Jacob, his father, interprets the imagery in Joseph’s dream, which John is using in the Book of Revelation. See that? “He related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, ‘What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother” that’s the sun and the moon, “and your brothers” that’s the eleven stars, Joseph being the twelfth star, “actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?’” [Genesis 37:10]
It’s a prophecy about how Joseph would become second in command at age 30 and how Jacob and his sons would come to Egypt from Canaan about Genesis 46, about the year chronologically 1876 B.C. roughly, looking at Bible chronologies, and come to Joseph, who God’s providence was elevated to second in command in Egypt after his brothers sold him into Egypt as a slave, left him for dead. That’s why Joseph, at the end of the book to his brothers said “you meant it for evil, God meant it for good.” [Genesis 15:20, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”] So God used this evil set of events to rescue Israel in the midst of a famine.
“…Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?’” The Book of Revelation is not going to give you all this background imagery in terms of the explanation; it assumes we know all this stuff before we approach the Book of Revelation. So if you’re a good student of the Bible and you see that image in the Book of Revelation you know where it’s coming from? See that? So the son is Jacob, the moon is Leah, because Rachel is dead by this time, Genesis 35, and Jacob had two wives, not that that’s a good thing, not that God is promoting having two wives but that’s how it worked in Jacob’s case. The eleven stars would be Joseph’s brother. Who’s the twelfth star? Joseph, and so who are these twelve stars? The twelve tribes of Israel, Jacob’s sons, Jacob’s dozen, so the sun, the moon and the twelve stars of Israel.
So what’s happening in Revelation 12 is Satan is standing in front of Israel trying to prevent the birth of Jesus Christ. And that’s what we read about on Christmas, Matthew 2, where Herod is in insecurity over his own throne, he’s basically trying to kill all of the Bethlehem innocent males. Remember that? The infants I should say. And then you get to Revelation 12:6 through the end of the chapter and this is what Satan is doing after he is cast out of heaven. See, verses 1-5 is a past strategy that failed; he tried to prevent the birth of Christ and he failed. So what he is doing after he is cast out of heaven midway through the tribulation period is he’s trying to gobble up the woman clothed with the sun and the moon and the twelve stars. And who’s the woman? Israel. Why is he trying to do that? Because she is the tool that God is using to transfer the authority of this earth from Satan’s grip back to God’s grip. See that? She’s receiving the offer of the kingdom. So Satan says I’m going to shut this down right now, this transfer of authority that’s happening, I’m going to gobble up Israel, the instrument that God is using. See that? To transfer the authority.
So that’s why Revelation 12 is a description of the satanic hatred for Israel; wrath, persecution, he wants to sweep her away, he’s enraged by her he declares war against her. And you remember what Jesus said to Israel in Matthew 23:37-39? It’s very clear He’s speaking to Israel here because He says what? “Jerusalem, Jerusalem.” He says in verse 39, “For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” In other words, I’m not coming back to rescue you from the antichrist until you acknowledge Me as the Messiah. See that?
So if that’s true, if the whole return of Christ and the setting up of the kingdom is contingent upon Israel’s response to her Messiah, and that’s what the prophecies and the covenants dictate that we’ve consistently studied all the way through this course, what would you do if you were Satan. You’d blot out every single Jew on planet earth because if there’s no Jews left on planet earth there’s no one left to call Messiah back to the earth. See that? See how Satan’s mind is thinking in its darkened way?
And that explains the utter hatred that Satan has towards the woman (or Israel) and this whole thing kicks into high gear in the second half of the tribulation period. So what is happening in Revelation 12:13-16 is God, two times, supernaturally steps in and protects Israel, just as He wouldn’t allow the Messianic line to be blotted out leading to Christ. Every attempt by Satan to stop that line God protected that line and Jesus was born. That’s why Jesus proclaimed kērussō, victory to the fallen angels that were trying to tamper with the genetics leading to Christ. So just as God had supernaturally protected the line leading to Christ He’s protecting His first coming. God, in these verses, is supernaturally protecting the woman, or Israel, so that the kingdom can come to the earth. Do you see that? Do you understand why this transfer of authority that’s happening here is invoking spiritual warfare?
And through this whole process what is God doing? He is allowing two-thirds of the Hebrew people to be cut off. The two-thirds unbelievers are being cut off. That’s who Satan is killing (I would say) through this spiritual warfare that’s going on that reaches its zenith in the second half of the tribulation period. And God is actually using Satan’s wrath against Israel to purge off the two-thirds unbelievers to retain a one-third of the remnant who are believers. Why is God doing that? Because He’s got to fulfill His covenants through Israel which is the manifestation of the earthly what? Kingdom.
I mean, if you’re the devil you like running the world and you don’t like the idea of being deposed. We’ve seen earlier how he’s going to be deposed so what he is doing is attacking, attacking, attacking to keep his grip over this earth. This whole thing is the outworking of Genesis 3:15, which is the first Messianic prophecy given in the whole Bible, where God says, “I will put enmity” now He’s talking to the serpent when He says this, “I will put enmity between you and the woman,” the woman here is Eve, “between your seed and her seed.” See that? “He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel.” Now if you had your choice would you rather have your heel bruised or your head crushed? I’d take the heel bruise because if your head’s crushed you’re defeated.
So what is predicted here is there’s coming this Messiah, Satan along the way is going to be able to inflict a lot of temporary damage; that’s the imagery of the bruising of the heel, but ultimately the Messiah is going to sin, Satan’s head is going to be crushed because what will come to the earth? The kingdom, which will result in the binding of Satan for a thousand years and at the end of the thousand years he’ll be thrown into the Lake of Fire. Do you see that? You see how this verse here unpacks the whole Bible? If you miss what’s going on here in Genesis 3:15 you can’t understand the Bible because the whole Bible is an unpacking or an explanation of this verse.
If you don’t understand the import of this verse it’s like going to a movie and getting there ten minutes late and missing a key fact in the movie that’s introduced early. And you’re confused for the whole movie because you missed this key fact at the beginning. See that. That, in essence, is what happens to a lot of Christians because we have our one-year Bible reading programs, right, where we’ve got to rush through everything to keep up our schedule and so your average Christian, their eyes just glaze right over Genesis 3:15 and consequently they’re lost as to the rest of the Bible.
I mean, why does Cain kill Abel in the next chapter? It’s an outworking of Genesis 3:15. Why does Herod kill all the babies in Bethlehem? It’s an outworking of Genesis 3:15. Why is Satan midway through the tribulation period going after Israel to gobble her up? It’s an outworking of Genesis 3:15. He’s working in history to stop God’s plan. And yet the prophecy predicts you can bruise that heal all you want Satan, but your head is going to be crushed. And God, through tiny Israel, the third that’s left, is going to fulfill His covenants in the thousand year kingdom, resulting in the banishment of Satan from this earth.
This is how the kingdom comes. So we’ve seen the reoffer of the kingdom; how all of this represents the transfer of earthly authority, and then next week I’ll show you exactly what this world is going to be like once the kingdom is established. And then we’ll make a few comments about the duration of the kingdom because John, in Revelation 20 is pretty clear, he says a thousand years six times and I can’t tell you how many evangelicals, so called, I run into that would say that’s not a literal number. And so I’ll show you exactly that it is a literal number and God wants us to understand that it’s going to be a thousand year kingdom. Okay, I’m finished talking so if you want to go pick up your kids or whatever else, feel free to go.