Feeding the Beast: Part 1

By John J. Blanchard

November 2, 2013

Good morning, everyone.  If you want to title the sermon today, you can write down “Feeding the Beast.”

One of the hottest topics in the Christian world today is the identity of the beast and the false prophet.  There are many, many books on the subjects.  There is a lot of theological argument going back and forth.  Who are they?  There are fingers pointing in many directions.  People argue about it and accuse each other.  There is a lot of anxiety as to who these two people are or who these two beings are—the beast and the false prophet.

The next question is, from where do they get their power and what kind of power do they have?  People wonder, does it come from a ten-nation European confederacy?  I have had people postulate that the beast power comes from the United States.  I have even had one gentleman tell me the beast power was the television sets and the Internet.  Other people say it originates in Vatican City.  Other people say it is a miraculous power that two people are given.  They are mysterious, and they are somewhere on the earth right now—soon to be revealed.

Obviously it is in Satan’s best interest to keep us all confused on the subject and to conceal the identity of the beast and the false prophet.  He has gone to great lengths for the last several thousand years to confuse the issue, conceal their identity, and obfuscate the subject, so people don’t know what to think about it.  He gets them all accusing each other and worrying about, in most cases, needless things to occur.  It is needless worry and anxiety.

The Bible has the answers obviously because it is from the Bible that we know that there is such a thing as a beast and a false prophet.  But as with all things in the Bible, we need ears to hear, we need to be able to discern the truth, and then we have to believe God.  When we do see the truth and the Scriptures explained, we have to accept it.  We must say, God, you must know what you’re talking about.

OUR REAL ENEMIES ARE SPIRITUAL

First I want to start with a Scriptural overview of this subject.  We understand that our real enemies are spiritual.  Let’s turn to Ephesians 6.  We turn there often.  It clearly says that we are dealing with spiritual warfare, and we are fighting spiritual beings.  If you would, please turn to Ephesians 6, starting in verse 10:  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

It’s very clear that our real ultimate enemies are of a spiritual nature.  They are wicked spirits in heavenly or high places, like the King James Version says.  This means they are over the earth.  They have the earth divided into principalities, and Satan has put various demons over certain principalities to do harm to the human race.  We have to fight these beings spiritually.  We can see that just by continuing right here in this very same chapter, Ephesians 6.

We are looking at verse 13 of Ephesians 6:  “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…”

Here we see the tools or the weaponry, you might say, that we need to fight evil.  We need the word of God.  We need faith.  We need the gospel.  We need truth about us.  We need to be girded about with truth. We are fighting spiritual war, obviously.  We are not taking physical weapons.  That’s why guns, bombs, and bullets don’t do us any good against spirit beings.  Likewise, we are also told here that we need the armor of God.  We need protection from these beings.  Of course, it would be of a spiritual nature as well.

It seems simple enough, doesn’t it?  It’s simple enough.  We’re involved in spiritual warfare.  I don’t know if there is a Christian church or group on the face of the earth that would not agree with that statement.  Where it gets to be tricky and where we have one huge problem is that human beings are physical.

We are physical, so we are involved in a type of warfare that without God’s help—without these things we just read about—it’s hopeless because we are fighting an enemy that can’t be seen.  It’s an enemy who has tools and weaponry at his disposal that we cannot fend off.  It’s beyond physical abilities to do these things.  We fight the resultant effects of evil around the world.  Often nations, governments, and police departments fight it with weapons because the only way you can stop evil, is to destroy it.  But there is always another dictator.  There’s always another criminal.  There is always another individual with evil intent out there, and usually there are plenty of them.

We are limited in our abilities to deal with this, but it’s a spiritual problem that we have being physical people.  Our enemies always appear to be human.  We are told here in Ephesians 6 our enemies are spiritual, but when we go to war against Adolph Hitler or when we are fighting criminals who are trying to take hostages or whatever, it is people that we are dealing with.  It is hard for us to get in this frame of mind that this is really spiritual warfare, when it seems everything we are facing is physical.

It is the same in our personal lives.  In our personal lives we face illness, we face financial problems, and we face problems with the job in the world.  There is a lack of jobs and a bad economy.  They all seem to be physical problems, yet Ephesians 6 is not wrong.  It’s spiritual warfare that we are involved with.

Go to I Corinthians chapter 15.  We call this the Resurrection Chapter.  It tells us what our ultimate or worst enemy is.  We will start in I Corinthians 15, verse 20:  “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  But each one in his own order:  Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.  Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.”

Here it is meaning these hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.

Continuing in verse 25 of I Corinthians 15:  “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”

Isn’t it death that we are trying to stave off when we fight evil?  Evil wants to destroy.  It wants to kill.  It wants to maim.  Various armies of liberation and police departments and investigative authorities all try to help ward off evil to preserve life.  When they find someone who is incorrigible, they lock them up, so that they cannot take the lives of other people or make people miserable.

Drop down to verse 54 of the same chapter.  We are told here in I Corinthians 15, verse 54:  “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption [meaning our mortal bodies], and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written:  ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.  O Death, where is your sting?  O Hades, where is your victory?’”

It is the sting of death that has haunted mankind ever since the Garden of Eden.  Loved ones die.  Cherished national heroes die.  Every generation fades away and returns to the dust from which they came.  It is the sad state of mankind.  We are looking forward to the time when because of Christ’s perfect life and death, there can be these resurrections we saw earlier in the chapter.  People will be brought back to life and restored to a decent life when there is peace on earth.

Being physical at this time is still very difficult.  We can understand these truths just like we can understand we are involved in spiritual warfare, but that doesn’t necessarily make our daily existence and our daily battles any easier.  It seems as if they are just there, haunting us all the time.  We need to grasp all that is involved here in order to get the upper hand and in order to understand not just the stakes that are involved, but how to be winners in this situation.  It’s indeed spiritual warfare but God said, I have armor to protect you and I have weaponry to help you.  I am here to guide you.  It’s imperative that we understand, first of all, our enemies, our enemy’s objectives, our enemy’s strengths, and our enemy’s weaknesses.

FIGHT BACK

What makes it hard for us being physical is that our spiritual enemies know all about us.  They know our weaknesses.  They know our strengths.  They have their objectives in taking down each and every one of us.  They know exactly how to go about it.  We need to turn this about—and it’s high time we do—to understand our enemies, their objectives, their strengths, and their weaknesses, so that we can use these tools that God has given us in order to fight back.

This sermon today and the next one or two are going to help us understand just that.  I hope to shed some light on this subject.  I am praying that God will help me understand it, so I can explain it well enough to people so they can grasp spiritual warfare and what we need to do to fight it.  That’s why I asked Mr. Ricker to speak on death and hell and this eternal torment that so many people think is a result of not living the right life or not being saved.

It was important to establish that physical lives end, and there is really no eternal burning hell where we suffer forever if we don’t measure up to God’s standards or don’t accept Jesus Christ. There is a merciful second death, and the Bible explains that.  If they are incorrigible, physical beings literally end up in that second death.  Their suffering ends.  It is Satan who is in the torturing business.  He is the tormenter and not God.  God is the liberator.  He is the merciful one.  He is the kind one.  But Satan has foisted this belief upon us, and the world by and large has swallowed the idea that if you don’t measure up, you are going to suffer forever.

The second death we do know from Scripture (and we won’t go into it today in great length) is limited.  There aren’t going to be billions and billions of people there.  God has determined a beautiful way to save almost all of mankind.  One has to be truly incorrigible and reject Jesus Christ to end up in that second death.

We want to start at a point now with this subject that will help us grasp who the beast and the false prophet are.  We will understand what they are made of, so to speak.  Let’s turn to Revelation 20 where we are taking off from what Mr. Ricker talked about in his Bible study.

THE BEAST AND THE FALSE PROPHET ARE SPIRIT BEINGS

Revelation chapter 20, verse 7:  “Now when the thousand years have expired [that’s the end of the Millennium], Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.  They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city.  And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.  The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are.  And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Obviously there is a second death for human beings, and it ends our suffering.  For these three beings we know certain that Satan is a spirit being, but we see that he has joined the company of the beast and the false prophet who are put into the lake of fire before the Millennium begins.  We see three beings here that are spirit beings, so that answers the question who are the beast and the false prophet?  It should stop all this finger pointing at physical people.  These are spirit beings we are dealing with.  We are dealing with spirit beings.

SATAN’S CURSE

There is a lot more we need to understand about them in order to fight them and to use the armor of God and the weaponry that God has provided for us to fend off the beast and the false prophet.  The first order of business I think in grasping this is to understand Satan’s curse, which is the same curse that the beast and the false prophet operate under and all demons operate under.  It is a curse on Satan’s kingdom. That’s right at the beginning of your Bible, so we will turn from the very end of your Bible to the very beginning to Genesis chapter 3.

I want to start reading in Genesis 3:14, since we aren’t going to go through all the Scriptures about the fall of man and eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Let’s pick up the story after mankind has sinned.  Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, and Adam joined her in that.  We will start down in Genesis 3, verse 14:  “So the Lord God said to the serpent:  ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed…’”

We know the Seed that fought for mankind is Jesus Christ, and ultimately He is our Savior.  That is the one who was powerful enough and who lived a perfect life, so that death could be destroyed.  This whole curse of mankind could then be reversed.  But there is a curse on Satan that he has to go on his belly and eat dust.

We need to understand some terms to grasp what God was getting at.  The term “belly” is gachown in the Hebrew (#1512, Strong’s Concordance, 1995) which means the external abdomen, the belly as the source of the fetus.  We can picture a woman when she is carrying a baby.  The belly grows and grows, and you have this distended belly.  That’s what Satan is basically dragging around.  It sounds very strange.  Why would God say such a thing?  It will become clearer as we go along.

This word gachown is compared to Giychown or Gichown (#1521, Strong’s, 1995) which means a stream, a river of paradise.  What’s going on here?  Also it means a valley or a pool near Jerusalem.  The Geshon pool and spring just outside the city walls of Jerusalem has the same name.  It means to gush forth as water, to issue, labor to bring forth.  In other words when the water breaks and a woman is going to give birth to a baby, the baby is preceded by this water and out comes the child.  Satan is struggling to produce offspring, so to speak.  We are not getting strange with spirit beings.  He cannot reproduce himself or spirit beings, but he has to eat dust, which clears this up.

Let’s look at what eating dust is.  First of all, let’s go back to Genesis 2:13 because this river is mentioned here.  The name of the second river being near the Garden of Eden is the Gihon.  The name of the second river is the Gihon.  It is one which goes around the whole land of Cush, so it’s one of these four rivers.  There is this river that comes into the garden and breaks into four separate rivers.  One of them is this particular river.

Now we can put this understanding with what I just told you to gush or to bring forth.  We see that Satan has at his disposal a river.  It helps him eat the dust.  He has to go on his belly and lower himself to do this in order to go forward with his kingdom and to continue in his power.  Let’s explain this a bit.

Satan needs to eat dust in order to have strength and power.  If you go back a little earlier in Genesis 2, it tells you what he is dealing with here.  Obviously if it is enmity between the woman—ancient Israel, the Old Testament Church and eventually the New Testament Church—and himself, it is talking about a war between Satan and God’s people.  Ultimately we know it is spiritual warfare.

If you back up to Genesis 2:14, we continue with the description of the Garden of Eden.  Verse 14:  “The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria.  The fourth river is the Euphrates.”

There are four rivers named here.  One of them is the Gihon or Gichown, and the other one that we are talking about here is the Euphrates.  Euphrates is interesting because there is something that makes the Garden of Eden wonderful.  You have the tree of life there.  You have the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  You have these rivers there.  Eden itself means pleasure, so it was the garden of pleasure.  It was peaceful.  It was joyful.  It was fed by one of these rivers called the Euphrates.

Euphrates is an interesting word in itself.  Our word for euphoric, or happy, comes from euphrates.  It’s the same root word.  When you look at the curse that Satan has, he has to eat dust and he seems to have at his disposal a river.  Obviously if one is the Euphrates and it’s joy and peace as we will see in a minute, and the other is Satan going about on his belly, we see this idea of opposing ways of life.

SATAN CONSUMES HUMANITY

Let’s go back to the curse in Genesis chapter 3, verse 14:  “So the Lord God said to the serpent:  ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.’”

I have a question I want to pose:  why does any living thing eat?  It eats to live and to sustain itself.  We eat to nourish ourselves.  We eat to gain strength.  We eat to grow.  Ultimately we eat to extend life to another generation.  When a woman gives birth to a child, it is because they have had nourishment all their lives.  They have had good water and good food.  They were healthy, and then they produced offspring.

In Satan’s case, he is not giving life.  He is taking it.  His river is the opposite.  He brought death into the world.  He has to destroy, and that’s one of the names that he has.  It is destroyer.  He has to eat dust, and he has to destroy dust with an opposing river.  We know that Jesus Christ is a river of life, and we will get to that in a moment.  Satan obviously tries to bring death and suffering to the human race through his river.  He is told in order to do this, he must eat the dust.  He must consume human beings.

Let’s take a look at Genesis 2:7 to confirm what I just said that we are from the dust of the ground.  Genesis 2, verse 7:  “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

The dust that Satan must eat is humanity.  For him it is crawling around on his belly because he has been forced out of his high place at God’s throne.  He now dwells on the earth with the dust of the earth—human beings.  He is cursed with this curse that he must consume and destroy humanity.  That’s his job.  That’s the curse.  He has to consume mankind in order to gain strength and vitality and extend the life of his kingdom.  That’s why it was so frightening for him for Jesus Christ to live a perfect life because that was the one human being he did not corrupt.  He needs to do this.

Satan’s curse was for every generation.  He had to corrupt and cause every human being of every generation to sin because the wages of sin is death.  In order for him to extend the reign of his kingdom and to have power over the human race, he had to destroy everyone.  He failed in the case of Jesus Christ.  That’s why he tried so hard.  In Matthew 4 we read about the temptation.  That’s why he tormented Jesus Christ at the end of His life, and he was always after Christ.  He knew he could not let this one Being make it through life without sin, or else he was in deep trouble.  He failed.  That’s what I Corinthians was saying for us.  By man death entered when Satan influenced Adam and Eve.  By man, Jesus Christ, death will ultimately lose its power and be destroyed.

In the Garden of Eden we knew there were two opposing trees representing two opposing ways of life as well.  We were reading in Genesis 2, verse 8:  “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.  And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.  The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

We see this idea that there were two trees.  One was a mixture of good and evil that brought death when Satan got Adam and Eve to imbibe of it.  The other was the tree of life, which we have proven over and over again (we won’t go into that today) that it represents Jesus Christ and His way of life.  The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is Satan and his way of life.  Along with it we have these two rivers:  the Euphrates and the Gihon.

LIVING WATER AND ETERNAL LIFE

Let’s take a look at the Euphrates.  I want to turn to the gospel of John.  This is the Samaritan woman meeting Jesus Christ at the well.  We are breaking into the story here.  John 4, verse 10:  “Jesus answered and said to her [to the Samaritan woman], ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, “Give Me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’  The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep.  Where then do You get that living water?  Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?’  Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’”

This describes the Euphrates.

We are talking about the Holy Spirit coming in here and feeding the individual the fruits of the Holy Spirit.  We don’t have to turn to Galatians, but listed there are love, joy, peace, and longsuffering.

Go to the gospel of John chapter 7, verse 37:  “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

Clearly Jesus Christ portrays Himself as a river of living water.  If we imbibe of it, it becomes a spring of living water within us leading to eternal life.  It is tied to the reception of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of God. We could go through the Bible as God’s water that is coming down from heaven.  There is the early rain and the latter rain.  Suffice it to be said, this is the River Euphrates leading to the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Satan has at his disposal a river that leads to death, just like the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  He wants to use this as the opposite of God’s Holy Spirit which leads into truth, understanding, and growth.  Satan wants his to lead to death.

Now let’s turn to Psalm chapter 65 because the Euphrates is mentioned there again.  The fruit of the Spirit is mentioned.  In Psalm 65 I am going to start in verse 9.  It is speaking of God here.  “You visit the earth and water it, You greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; You provide their grain, for so You have prepared it.  You water its ridges abundantly, You settle its furrows; You make it soft with showers, You bless its growth.”

God’s river leads to bounteous crops for God.  It is spiritual fruit in great abundance:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and mercy.  We get the idea that Satan’s water would be bitter.  It would lead to death, anger, hatred, envy, jealousy, murder, and deceit.  We are seeing the opposing influences upon the earth.

Satan’s kingdom is doomed to failure because of Jesus Christ’s success, but in the meantime we are still dealing with this.  Satan is still powerful, and he has a whole demon army at his disposal.  He has tremendous motivation to continue to harass mankind, particularly Christians to try to get us to reverse our calling and give up or to turn on Jesus Christ.

Satan’s motivation is to extend his reign.  If possible he wants to beat mankind if he can keep the Church from ever getting up and ever becoming a force again.  He has Jesus Christ held in check mate, you could say.  I don’t want to go there today, but we have talked in the past about how at the end of the age Satan does get the upper hand over God’s people temporarily.  It is for a very short time, and then Jesus Christ works things out.  We will probably talk about this in the next sermon or two.

In the meantime we are talking about the beast and the false prophet.  These are two of his chief beings, if not “the” chief beings, who are under him and who assist him like generals in an army to fight mankind.  The beast and the false prophet help to fight God’s people.  Satan has given each of them great authority over the earth.  One, the beast, is in charge of manipulating nations.  The false prophet is in charge of spreading false doctrine and the lies that deceive mankind.

These two underlings with these two tasks have affected mankind negatively now for 6,000 years.  Here in the last 2,000 years they have gotten Christians pointing at each other and other nations to try to identify them as two beings, not realizing they are spirit beings working in people.

People can take on characteristics of a beast.  No one would argue that Adolph Hitler was like a wild animal on the earth.  We could go back (we won’t today) where Daniel describes wild animals as kingdoms. We understand they are vicious.  They are not sheep and kind little doves of peace.  God uses His examples of kind and gentle animals, and Satan has his as well.  We know he walks about as a roaring lion for instance. We have this idea and this understanding, but we have never really connected it to the beast and the false prophet. That has kept us confused on the subject and has kept us pointing at other people or other nations, which is by Satan’s design.  This puts up a straw man and keeps us all confused, so we can’t properly fight with the beast and the false prophet because we are too busy fighting each other.  Once we clear up this misunderstanding, it will help us see who the real enemy is and how to deal with the right enemy.

Let’s go to Revelation chapter 16.  Revelation 16 is often used by people who talk about the “war to end all wars” Armageddon.  With the understanding that we have just gathered from God’s word, let’s read Revelation chapter 16, and you’ll see something else jump right out at you.

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE EUPHRATES RIVER

Revelation 16, beginning in verse 12:  “Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up…”

If we see the fruits of the Spirit drying up in people, that’s a serious problem.

Continuing in verse 12:  “…so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.”

Jesus Christ is the King who comes from the east, so when you see this happen, it’s going to lead to something that results in good.  God flips this whole thing around on Satan.  We have talked about that in the past, but we’re not going to get into it to any extent today.

I want to focus on Revelation 16, verse 13:  “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.  ‘Behold, I am coming as a thief.  Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.’  And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.”

People have thought for years these are huge armies gathered together to fight Jesus Christ at His return in a place called Armageddon.  Obviously a little hill and a little valley there could not hold all the armies of the world.  It would be impossible.  There has to be another explanation.  It is as if people skip over and don’t see these three spirit beings that come out of Satan’s mouth, the beast, and the false prophet.  We are fighting spirit beings.  These spirit beings are underlings underneath Satan, the beast, and the false prophet.  These other spirits come out to deceive mankind to get them to fight Christ, if it were even possible.  They are doing this through mankind right now.  They are the ones ultimately fighting Christ because they are trying to keep Christendom down, keep the world confused, and keep the world sinning, so they can continue to have power.  They need to consume the dust in order to stay powerful.  They need to eat the dust.

Satan’s system stays strong as long as he has mankind confused and doing his will—fighting wars, murdering each other, stealing from each other, and slandering.  His job is much easier if he has the Christian world fighting themselves, accusing each other, and of course swallowing false doctrine.  That would be another subject on a different sermon.

The beast wants to keep us at each other’s throats in any way he can by working through people.  Our enemies aren’t the people.  Our enemies are Satan and these beings under him, but we are seeing the evidence in people.  We need to realize Hitler, Genghis Khan, Stalin, and Saddam Hussein, down to the lowest murderers or thieves, were simply letting the beast have its way in their lives to whatever extent—some more so than others.

We all have felt the effects of the beast in our lives.  This is crucial knowledge to understand.  We have all been tainted.  We all have had our lives touched, and when we do, that means we essentially took on the mark of the beast.  People are afraid of this, not realizing it’s not a computer chip.  It is not a credit card.  It is a way of life.  If we have taken of the apple, or whatever the forbidden fruit was, or imbibed of the river that Satan spews out—called a flood in Revelation 12—we have taken on the mark of the beast.

DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD

What Satan doesn’t want us to know is that we can have that mark removed by the blood of Jesus Christ and us overcoming.  That is also in Revelation 12.  Let’s go to Revelation 12 for a minute.  I had not planned on this, but let’s go to Revelation chapter 12, beginning in verse 9:  “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.”

What part of “whole” don’t we get?  We all have fallen for this lie from Satan thinking that we are okay.  It’s everybody else.  This group thinks they are okay, and it’s everybody else.  That group thinks they are okay, and it’s everybody else.  No, no.  We have all been deceived.  But once we are converted and receive the Holy Spirit, we now take on the seal and the mark of God.  We are pushing out Satan’s influence.  We stop imbibing of his evil water.  We stop letting him have access to our mind, but when we do, we use the blood of Christ.  We will read about that in just a second.  This way, we get it expunged and get the sins wiped out.

Continuing in verse 10 of Revelation 12:  “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.’”

We overcome.  We get rid of these marks.  We get rid of the influence by a life time of using God’s armor and by using His weaponry to fight Satan and his system.  The fiery darts are the thoughts he sends into our minds.  We’re fighting this, pushing it further and further into the recesses of our minds and hearts, until finally we get to the point where we have become a master at using the armor and the weapons.  Then Satan doesn’t have any power over us.

Now I want you to imagine something else.  Imagine Satan’s power going down and down and getting weaker and weaker.  Turn to the gospel of John chapter 8.  There is an interesting occurrence here where Christ had to take the Pharisees to task.  I am starting in John chapter 8, verse 37 where Christ says this:  “‘I know that you are Abraham’s descendants [speaking to the Pharisees and the Sadducees], but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.  I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.’  They answered and said to Him, ‘Abraham is our father.’  Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.  But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God.  Abraham did not do this.  You do the deeds of your father.’  Then they said to Him, ‘We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.’  Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.  Why do you not understand My speech?  Because you are not able to listen to My word.  You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.’”

What are his resources?  Those would be the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and this evil water that he spews across the earth.

Satan’s form of giving birth, going on his belly, is to cause death.  It is the opposite of Christ’s river.  When you imbibe of his water, if you were a Christian and totally rejected God’s way of life, you are aborted.  That’s a very rare occurrence for a Christian to totally turn on Jesus Christ.  Judas did this.  In the world you have everyone getting the wages of sin which is death until Christ has the resurrections that we read about in I Corinthians 15.  Therefore, their father has had the effect of destroying the human race with death.  It’s the opposite of birth and life.

WEAKENING SATAN

We have these two opposing forces.  One is bent on destroying humanity, and God is bent on saving us.  Of course, Satan does not want us to understand how to fight him.  Once we grasp these things, we know how to fight.  We use the armor of God and the weaponry God provides.  We drive Satan from our minds and our hearts.  We do it without fear of him.  There is no need for us to be afraid, for He who is with us is much stronger than Satan.  We have the river of life working in us.  If we have been baptized and received the Holy Spirit, all we have to do is keep imbibing of it.  We need to keep growing in strength and don’t fall for any of these tricks.  If we do slip up, use the blood of Christ to get the sin expunged.  Then Satan loses his power over us.

Ezekiel 35 talks about the time when humanity en masse turns against Satan by turning against his way of life.  When that happens, we can picture Satan’s kingdom and Satan’s power getting weaker and weaker by every converted human being.   Every human being—the dust of the earth—who takes on the image of Christ weakens Satan’s power.

Can you imagine if Satan looked across the earth and there was no one who wanted to organize an army to take another nation, there was no tribe who would go to war with another tribe, or there was no fighter wanting to destroy another person in the ring?  He couldn’t find anybody.  Let’s say these demons are walking around the earth and can’t find anybody who will let the influence in.  They would be weak and tiny because there would be no food for them.  There would be no dust of the earth to consume.  The curse of God really was a curse.  It’s a terrible situation that Satan found himself in and by extension the demons who follow him—the beast and false prophet included.

We are looking forward to a time, brethren, when more and more people on the earth will understand this and reject that way of life.  Satan will shrink and shrink because his power will shrink and shrink.

Let’s go to Ezekiel chapter 35 because there is a prophecy about that time.  I believe we’re getting closer all the time.  We also know that mountains represent kingdoms.  Daniel 2 tells us God’s kingdom will start from one stone and grow to be a great mountain.  Satan’s kingdom is talked about here.  It is Mount Seir

We are starting in Ezekiel 35, verse 1:  “Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir and prophecy against it…’”

If you were to look up Mount Seir, it means a mountain that causes the world to shiver and shake in fear, which is Satan and his kingdom.

Continuing in verse 3 of Ezekiel 35:  “…and say to it, ‘Thus says the Lord God:  “Behold, O Mount Seir, I am against you; I will stretch out My hand against you, and make you most desolate; I shall lay your cities waste, and you shall be desolate.  Then you shall know that I am the Lord.  Because you have had an ancient hatred [this has gone on since the Garden of Eden], and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end, therefore, as I live,” says the Lord God, “I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you.”’”

Satan used human beings by his influence to destroy other human beings.  He turned nation against nation and kindred against kindred.  God says, I am going to reverse this situation.

Verse 7 of Ezekiel 35:  “Thus I will make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns.”

The demons used to go up and back and forth.  Satan’s influence was shrunk lower and lower until it was just around this earth.

CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST

Verse 8:  “And I will fill its mountains with the slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those who are slain by the sword shall fall.  I will make you perpetually desolate, and your cities shall be uninhabited; then you shall know that I am the Lord.”

We have to pause here because people think this huge war Armageddon is going to physically kill humanity.  When we are baptized, we are crucified with Christ.  We are slain with Him.  We do not love our lives unto the death, so when we take on the blood of Christ, we die.  We put on the new man.  Every person who is slain with the blood of Christ diminishes Satan’s kingdom.  This is not a bad death.  This is good!  This is where mankind becomes converted.  This is blood chasing blood—human beings putting to flight Satan and his demons.

Verse 10:  “Because you have said, ‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess them,’ although the Lord was there, ‘therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you.  Then you shall know that I am the Lord.  I have heard all your blasphemies which you have spoken against the mountain of Israel, saying, “They are desolate; they are given to us to consume.”’”

Satan was after the Jewish people, and Israel in general.  After Christendom after Christ’s coming, he wanted to consume them all by eating the dust of the earth.  God saw that and his evil intentions.

Ezekiel 35, verse 13:  “‘Thus with your mouth you have boasted against Me and multiplied your words against Me; I have heard them.’  Thus says the Lord God:  ‘The whole earth will rejoice when I make you desolate.’”

You can’t rejoice when you’re dead physically, so this is talking about people getting converted.

Verse 15:  “As you rejoiced because the inheritance of the house of Israel was desolate, so I will do to you; you shall be desolate, O Mount Seir, as well as all of Edom—all of it!  Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”

THE INNUMERABLE MULTITUDE

We get the picture of Satan’s kingdom going down and getting weaker and weaker.  God’s mountain and kingdom will be rising higher and higher and getting stronger.  The Book of Revelation calls this the innumerable multitude.

Let’s turn to Revelation chapter 7 and read what John says here in verse 9:  “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’  All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:  ‘Amen!  Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever.  Amen.’”

These are the converted masses of the earth!  They have taken on the white robes.  They have been washed in the blood of Christ.

Continue in verse 13 of Revelation 7:  “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’  And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’  So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’”

They have survived Satan’s pushes to reject Christ.  That’s what the tribulation means.  It is to get pushed off the straight and narrow way.  Their robes have been washed in the blood of Christ.

Verse 15:  “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple.  And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.”

Christ will dwell among all these people of the earth.

Verse 16:  “They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore…”

This is just as Christ had promised the Samaritan woman at the well.

Verse 16:  “…the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat…”

There will be no need to punish the earth.

Verse 17:   “…for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.”

These are the firstfruits and have taken on the life of Christ.  They have become springs of living water, and Christ will lead the people to them.

Verse 17:  “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

It is a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ totally defeating Satan, the beast, the false prophet, and the demon world.  This will free mankind, starting with Jesus Christ who lived a perfect life and then the twelve disciples down to the Christians who have fought the good fight with the Holy Spirit.  They pushed Satan out of their lives, so they no longer have the mark of the beast.  We will talk more about this in subsequent sermons.  God says, you have overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and He blesses His servants.  We could go through the blessings in the churches.

WE FIGHT THE BEAST AND FALSE PROPHET NOW

The point is we can now understand who the beast and the false prophet are and the proper ways to fight them.  We realize that anything we do in our lives as Christians we must push them further and further out of our minds and out of our hearts.  Whenever we slip up, we quickly go to the blood of Christ and get them washed out of our lives.  This weakens Satan’s system.  We gain strength.  As we gain strength, we will be able to share the power of the Holy Spirit and the water of the truth with this innumerable multitude.  When we do this, we help them get washed clean, too.  Thereby we are reducing Satan’s power every time someone is converted.     It is a beautiful picture of how God intends to defeat Satan with the fruits of the Holy Spirit which are love, joy, peace, and longsuffering.

We need more people who say, I am not going to go to war with those people in that country, and I don’t care what you say.  We need more people to say, I am not going to rob from my fellow man.  I am not going to slander.  I am not going to steal.  The more people who say, I want to live God’s way and when they slip up, go to the blood of Christ, the weaker Satan’s kingdom becomes as well as the beast and the false prophet.  When no one listens to the beast, the beast has no power.  The curse says, you must consume the dust of the earth and get them to imbibe in your way of life—the bitter water that produces the opposite of God’s fruit.  And when people say, I want nothing to do with that, God’s kingdom grows.  The power of Christianity grows, and Satan’s power goes the other way.

If you want more information on that subject, you can always ask for our booklet, Mountains Shall Rise and Mountains Shall Fall.  It is one of our Digests that clearly explains that aspect of this.

It’s a beautiful future that mankind has in store for them because God never fails.  We can see in God’s work where we have a place to help defeat the beast and the false prophet starting by telling the truth of who they are.

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