Series Code: ICJ
Program Code: ICJ190009A
00:01 Christ and Satan have a war going on.
00:03 And we better know what it's about,
00:05 because we are in the middle of it.
00:30 In the book of Revelation chapter 12 we get a
00:32 fantastic picture, again in symbols for the most part,
00:37 of this great controversy, this great fight, if you please,
00:41 this great war between Christ and Satan.
00:45 And we really need to know what it's all about.
00:47 As the book opens up in chapter 12,
00:50 we get this marvelous scene.
00:53 And so we want to go to chapter 12
00:55 and just listen to what it has to say.
00:57 Revelation 12:1-2 says, "Now a great sign appeared in heaven."
01:04 A great symbol in heaven.
01:06 And then it says, "A woman clothed with the sun..."
01:10 Now that would be a pretty good dress, wouldn't it?
01:12 To be clothed with the sun?
01:14 "...and the moon under her feet,
01:17 and on her head a garland," or crown, "of twelve stars."
01:23 Then it gives another picture that's kind of interesting.
01:25 So you have that picture in your mind,
01:27 this marvelously dressed woman with the universe,
01:32 if you please, the lights of the universe.
01:35 And then it says, "Then she being with child..."
01:40 Well that's interesting.
01:41 "...and she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth."
01:45 So where does all of this come from?
01:49 Well let's flash back again to the Garden of Eden.
01:51 You know the story well of the fall of Adam and Eve.
01:55 And I think we referred to it before in our series here
01:59 that when Jesus confronted Adam and Eve
02:02 after the fall and He told them what the consequences were,
02:07 one thing that He said to Satan and to Eve,
02:11 and that was that Eve's seed, the seed of the woman,
02:15 would bruise the head of Satan
02:21 and his evil angels, if you please.
02:24 I'm paraphrasing a little bit.
02:26 But the seed of Satan would bruise the heel
02:31 of the seed of the woman.
02:32 So now we have the woman in symbolic form
02:36 giving birth to the Messiah.
02:39 That has been all the hope all the way down
02:41 through centuries of time till Jesus appeared the first time,
02:45 the Messiah would come.
02:48 The Messiah that would bring great hope to the world.
02:52 And so this woman represents God's church,
02:54 both in one sense in its Jewish form, and then of course
02:58 by now in its Christian form.
03:01 Because this has become, in a sense, the new Israel.
03:06 The church of God gives birth to this man Child.
03:10 She's in pain to give birth.
03:13 Now in the book of Revelation, there are many contrasts.
03:17 And you have to watch those contrasts
03:19 because they're very informative.
03:20 There are two women in the book of Revelation.
03:24 One is here, clothed with the lights of the universe,
03:28 if you please, and then there is the woman that shows up
03:32 in Revelation chapter 17.
03:36 And she practices adultery.
03:39 Now we're not going to get into the adulterous situation,
03:42 but in contrast they're both supposed to be
03:45 faithful to the Lord.
03:47 But as time goes through, that time that we're moving through,
03:52 one becomes faithful and stays faithful,
03:55 and the other becomes unfaithful.
03:59 So there's two women,
04:00 and we're seeing the faithful one right now.
04:04 The other one, of course, is dressed as an adulterous.
04:09 And you can see that.
04:10 This one is clothed with the pure light of the sun.
04:13 Now that sun I think represents the glory of God
04:16 and the beauty of Christ's character and His goodness.
04:19 She's also standing on the moon.
04:21 Now what does a moon do?
04:22 A moon reflects the light of the sun.
04:24 So the church on earth that this woman represents,
04:28 it should be reflecting the wonderful character of Jesus.
04:32 Some years ago there's a little story about some people
04:36 who became shipwrecked and they were marooned
04:38 on some unknown island,
04:40 and they were afraid for their lives.
04:43 And so as they crept ashore and they were kind of
04:46 carefully trying to see who was there,
04:50 wondering if they might be getting eaten by cannibals,
04:54 they looked and suddenly they saw the spire of a church.
04:59 And then they all relaxed and they said,
05:01 "We're safe, we're safe."
05:02 Why? Because Christ changes people.
05:07 He changes our character.
05:10 And so this woman reflects the marvelous, wonderful
05:15 character of Jesus.
05:17 That's why she's standing on the moon.
05:19 And she has a crown of twelve stars,
05:21 which the Bible says are like the apostles.
05:24 So she's faithful.
05:25 She's faithful to the teachings of the apostles.
05:28 It's amazing to me nowadays how people can take the clear
05:32 teachings of Scripture and just make them try to say
05:35 anything they want them to say to fit their own agenda.
05:38 I was reading about a minister the other day.
05:41 I won't get into the subject
05:43 because it's kind of a hot potato.
05:45 But I was amazed at how he just moved Scripture
05:48 around and twisted it to fit some awful behavior.
05:56 Because people want to do their own thing.
05:58 They want to go their own way.
06:01 And that, of course, is what this controversy is all about.
06:04 Now, she is pregnant with the Son of God, in symbolic form.
06:08 And now Satan shows up, the great red dragon.
06:12 Revelation 12:2-3.
06:16 "Another sign appeared in heaven:
06:18 behold, a great, fiery red dragon
06:21 having seven heads and ten horns,
06:24 and seven diadems on his heads.
06:28 Now this, of course, is the enemy of Christ.
06:31 And he hates this man Child because he knows who He is
06:35 that's getting ready to be born.
06:37 "His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven..."
06:40 We're going to see a little bit later in the book of Revelation
06:43 how Michael and His angels fought against the dragon
06:46 and his angels.
06:48 Stars are sometimes symbolic of angels in heaven.
06:52 This controversy in heaven was so intense
06:56 that a third, it appears, of angels sided
07:01 with the great deceiver, Lucifer.
07:04 And it says, "His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven
07:08 and threw them to the earth.
07:09 And the dragon stood before the woman who was
07:12 ready to give birth, to devour her Child
07:15 as soon as He was born."
07:17 And of course, we know how Jesus was persecuted.
07:19 We know what happened on Calvary's cross.
07:22 But we thank God that Satan was not able to keep Jesus here.
07:26 Jesus lived that perfect life.
07:29 The grave cannot hold an innocent man.
07:32 And He was resurrected, so He's caught up to heaven,
07:35 as the text goes on.
07:38 Well this great red dragon is that old serpent
07:43 that was in the Garden of Eden.
07:44 Only he's on steroids with seven heads and ten horns.
07:49 And I know this is going to sound a little odd,
07:51 but this great red dragon is actually threatened by the woman
07:57 and her child.
07:59 He's threatened by them.
08:00 Well, he should be.
08:02 If you'll remember, in the wilderness of temptation
08:05 when Jesus met the devil, and He met them with the
08:08 temptations, or the devil met Him with the temptations,
08:11 the last temptation shows how desperate the devil was.
08:16 And this was a mighty victory for Jesus;
08:19 overcoming these three temptations.
08:21 They're the same temptations, by the way, that we all face.
08:25 But the devil, in one last desperate attempt,
08:28 says to Jesus, "Look, I'll give you all of the world
08:32 and its kingdoms.
08:33 You don't have to go through the suffering of the cross.
08:36 I'll just give them to you.
08:37 Of course, there's a little condition.
08:39 If you just fall down and worship me."
08:42 Of course Jesus repulsed him.
08:44 He says, "Get away from Me, Satan.
08:47 Go away.
08:48 Get!" as He said.
08:50 "Get out of here."
08:52 Because He said, quoting from Deuteronomy,
08:55 He said that, "Man shall worship the Lord God only,
09:01 and shall only serve Him."
09:03 My paraphrase.
09:05 So worship and service go together.
09:08 What Jesus really said to Satan, He says,
09:11 "No, I'm not going to get the kingdoms of
09:13 this world by worshiping you."
09:14 It was a false gift anyway because the one you worship
09:16 is the one you serve.
09:19 Jesus said, "No, I'm not going to get the
09:20 kingdoms of this world.
09:21 I'm going to get them.
09:23 Yes, it's going to cost Me pain and suffering,
09:26 and a great, deep, dark journey,
09:29 but I'm going to get them, not by worshiping you,
09:32 but by your eviction."
09:36 So this battle has been locked.
09:39 And we're seeing it played out here.
09:42 So we come now to Revelation 12:7-9.
09:50 "And war broke out in heaven."
09:53 War in heaven?
09:54 Sounds odd, doesn't it?
09:57 Heaven should be a place of peace, and tranquility,
10:00 and joy, and happiness.
10:03 But let me tell you this.
10:04 As we get into this great controversy
10:06 and what it's really all about,
10:09 it's all about selfishness, covetousness.
10:13 Any time you get people who are coveting,
10:15 any time you get people who are selfish,
10:18 you're going to get conflict, you're going to get war.
10:22 The only way that peace can be in the universe
10:25 is for all of us to have a heart of unselfish love.
10:29 I'm looking forward to that new earth
10:31 when we are going to live in a society of unselfish love.
10:35 I've got a whole program, we're going to talk about
10:38 that new earth and heaven, and what it's going to be like.
10:41 As I used to tell people, I'd show them a wonderful
10:44 book called, The Great Controversy,
10:45 as I was going through school, I used to tell them,
10:48 "You know, if you miss heaven, you've missed everything."
10:52 Well back to this great red dragon.
10:55 Jesus, of course, is caught up to heaven,
10:57 and now he takes out his rage on this woman, the church.
11:01 But now there's a flashback in history
11:04 to this war in heaven.
11:06 So let's finish Revelation 12:7-9.
11:09 "Michael and his angels fought with the dragon;
11:12 and the dragon and his angels fought..."
11:15 Now I think Michael here, I don't have time to
11:17 show it to you from Scripture, Michael here is a picture
11:21 of Jesus who is the head of the angels.
11:23 Now I want to hasten to add this so that nobody misunderstands.
11:26 Jesus is not a created being.
11:28 He always has been. He is the Almighty.
11:31 He is from everlasting to everlasting.
11:34 But sometimes He takes on the roll of the head angel,
11:38 the chief angel, the one who is in charge of the angels.
11:42 And I think that's the picture that's here.
11:44 Michael, the face of God. That's what the name means.
11:48 "Michael and his angels fought with the dragon;
11:51 and his angels fought..."
11:52 In other words, this deception became so powerful.
11:55 Satan is cunning.
11:57 Listen, if he can deceive a third of the angels of heaven,
12:00 you and I need the help of the Lord Jesus.
12:03 We need His help.
12:04 We need His power.
12:07 "...but they did not prevail, nor was a place
12:10 found in heaven for them any longer.
12:16 So the great dragon, the red dragon, was cast out,
12:20 that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan,
12:24 who deceives the world; he was cast out to the earth..."
12:27 And that's why we're in the middle of it.
12:31 "...and his angels were cast out with him."
12:35 What about this war in heaven?
12:37 The Bible gives us some other glimpse of it.
12:39 And the book of Isaiah gives us a picture of what's going on
12:42 here under the symbol of Lucifer.
12:46 And it starts off with those sad words.
12:49 Lucifer, meaning, the light-bearer,
12:51 the covering cherub.
12:53 It starts off with those words, "How are you fallen from heaven,
12:58 O Lucifer, son of the morning."
13:00 It sounds like Jeremiah in his book of Lamentations
13:03 talking about the fall of Israel.
13:06 How could you fall? How could this happen?
13:09 How could war be introduced into heaven?
13:13 "How are you cut down to the ground,
13:16 that did weaken the nations!"
13:18 How could all of this happen?
13:20 Let me tell you, sin is a terrible thing.
13:23 Sin has consequences.
13:25 You know, in our world today,
13:26 we just take sin kind of lightly, you know.
13:28 "Oh, so what, you know.
13:29 I sinned, okay. Jesus, thank You, forgive me."
13:31 Sin is a terrible thing.
13:33 Thank God for the forgiveness of Jesus.
13:36 But it cost Jesus terribly to be able to forgive our sins.
13:41 No, sin has consequences.
13:43 And Jesus is in the business of getting it out of our life.
13:48 We'll be back to talk about the war in heaven.