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August 29, 2016
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August 29, 2016
Apostle Paul Wrote In Present Tense Regarding Satan's Reign And Wrath On The Earth, Unbelieving Jews Are The Children Of Disobedience, Jesus Returns And Administers God's Wrath On Unbelieving Jews In 70-73 AD, First Century Israel Judged By The Devil's Wrath, Parallel Of Physical And Spiritual Events In Heaven And In Israel, What Was At Stake: Salvation And The Divine Throne, Jesus Became Heir To All Things Through His Obedience To God The Father, Two Concurrent Wars, The Devil's Materialization And Power Of Flight, Satan Possessed Judas In Early Days Of Jesus' Ministry, Jesus' Baptism And The Devil's Jealousy, Jesus Fasts For Forty Days, The Wild And Dangerous Jordan River Valley, Jesus Versus Satan: Duel Of The Century, The Real Deal And Not Mythological Fantasy, Satan's Ultimate Fate, A Day For A Year Theory, More Reading Resources List
Continuing our discussion from part three, let me also call your attention to the fact that while Jesus and John spoke in the past tense regarding the war now being over, and the Devil having already been cast out, consider that in the two verses which I shared with you from the Apostle Paul, it is written in the present tense. In other words, Paul actually wrote "the god of this world hath" and "the spirit that now worketh". In other words, Satan's reign on Earth was current and ongoing when Paul wrote those two verses. This would have been the period between the time of Jesus' Return to Heaven, and the events of 70 AD. Let me share those two verses with you again:
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
2 Corinthians 4:4, KJV
"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:"
Ephesians 2:2, KJV
In other words, the minute that Satan lost access to Heaven following that war, as we saw earlier in this series, he got very busy persecuting Jesus and His followers. Exactly how did he do it? As we learned in part two, and exactly as the Apostle Paul tells us in the above verse, by working through the children of disobedience, his very own devilish seed; that is, the unbelieving Jews. That is why they felt God's Wrath in 70 AD, precisely as Jesus had clearly warned them would happen, and exactly as the Apostle Paul likewise warned them would soon happen, as we see by the following additional verses:
"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."
Ephesians 5:6, KJV
"For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:"
Colossians 3:6, KJV
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;"
Romans 1:18, KJV
"The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb . . . And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God."
Revelation 14:10, 19, KJV
"And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God . . . And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever."
Revelation 15:1, 7, KJV
"And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth . . . And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath."
Revelation 16:1, 19, KJV
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God . . . For our God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 10:31, 12:29, KJV
Do you understand exactly what happened there? Satan came down to the Earth full of wrath because of what God had done to him by permanently kicking him out of Heaven. So what did that vile serpent immediately do? As we have seen, he used his own demon-filled children -- Judas and the unbelieving Jewish religionists -- to begin persecuting Jesus and His band of followers. He poured out his fury and wrath on them. However, God turned the tables on that serpent when forty years later, He let Satan and his followers feel His own Wrath in 70 AD. What a fitting punishment.
Exactly how did God administer His Wrath on Satan and his human followers, that is, on those rebellious, unbelieving Jews? If you have read "Jesus Christ's Return: Have We Been Deceived?" and related articles, then you will know that I am convinced that in 70 AD, or possibly as late as 73 AD -- I haven't worked out the precise year -- Jesus returned, as He had promised to do, and He smote those unbelievers with the Sword of His mouth. That is what the following verses are all talking about:
"And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
Revelation 6:16-17, KJV
"And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God."
Revelation 19:15, KJV
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
John 3:36, KJV
Backtracking just a little, I find it very interesting that in John 12:31, Jesus specifically says "Now is the judgment of this world." Here again is the entire verse for your personal consideration:
"Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out."
John 12:31, KJV
I find that short verse so powerful, because it clearly tells us two things. First, it tells us that the world of the First Century belonged to Satan. God let him have it; at least for a short time. He was its god and prince. However, now Satan was about to be judged and cast out, and his world was about to be judged as well. In other words, it appears that what Jesus is saying is that the world -- and more specifically, Israel of the First Century -- got exactly what it deserved when Satan was cast down to them. They had become so wicked, and so spiritually corrupt, that God was sending that serpent down to torment them as a form of Divine Punishment. The end of the Archangel Michael's war was a victory for Heaven, but it also brought hell to Earth, in the form of Satan being cast out and full of wrath. This seems to be supported by the following verse that we read in part three:
"Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."
Revelation 12:12, KJV
What I also find rather amazing is the fact that if we take the time to read the Scriptures closely, we begin to realize that we are actually being given a parallel account or a dual picture regarding what is happening physically on the Earth during Jesus' public ministry -- and all the way up to the end of the seven-year First Jewish-Roman War in 73 AD -- as well as what is simultaneously happening in the Spirit Realm. This was a time of war and turmoil, not just in Heaven where Satan and his fellow renegade Angels were challenging and fighting against God's Supremacy and Divine Order, but also on the Earth itself -- and in Israel in particular -- where the Israelites were under Roman domination, the religious leaders were growing increasingly concerned about losing their power and their cozy relationship with Rome, and the Zealots, Sicarii and other rebels were growing restless and bolder by the year. Everything was quickly coming to a head.
As Jesus said, this great war in Heaven apparently started sometime after He was born, and perhaps not long after He had entered His adulthood. After all, the Lord said it had begun in the days of John the Baptist, and John was only six months older than Jesus. It is clear to see that this great war was all about Him, and what He was about to achieve for the sake of humankind. While the war was in large part about the Redemption and the Salvation of humanity, the Scriptures likewise inform us that as a result of His Sacrifice, Jesus would become heir to the Divine Throne, and would be given His rightful place next to the Father. Satan obviously did not want that happening. Neither did he want to be forced to worship Jesus, who he despised and hated. Consider this set of verses where Jesus clearly reveals the truth by way of one of His many Parables, as does the Apostle Paul:
"But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance."
Matthew 21:38, KJV
"But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours."
Mark 12:7, KJV
"But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours."
Luke 20:14, KJV
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath APPOINTED HEIR OF ALL THINGS, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath BY INHERITANCE obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom."
Hebrews 1:1-8, KJV
I believe that this may be why the battle grew so fierce at this particular time in Israel's history. It was in fact winner takes all. It was God versus Satan. It was Michael and his Angelic Host versus Satan and his Fallen Angels. It was Jesus versus Satan. It was the scribes and the Pharisees versus Jesus. It was the Zealots and the Sicarii versus the Romans. Are you getting the picture yet? It was hot in the Spirit, and it was hot in the physical. Two concurrent wars and two concurrent adversaries. It was a very nasty time.
As I mentioned at the conclusion of part three, I am not one hundred per cent certain at what precise point during Jesus' public ministry, Satan was permanently thrown out of Heaven by Michael and cast down to the Earth. As far as I can tell, there is not quite enough Scriptural information to pinpoint it. However, taking into consideration the statements from Jesus Himself which I shared with you in part three, it does seem to have occurred prior to that final week when He and the Apostles arrived in Jerusalem. Remember; Luke informs us that Jesus had just sent out the seventy Disciples to be a witness, and to prepare the way before Him in the towns and cities where He was yet to go, when He said that He beheld Satan fall from Heaven like lightning.
Now, being as He spoke in the past tense, this suggests that maybe Satan's fall occurred earlier than that. In fact, I am wondering if the Devil may have been cast out of Heaven close to the beginning of Jesus' public ministry. Allow me to share my reasoning with you for your consideration.
We have already seen that Satan is referred to in the Bible as the prince of the power of the air. What if we are meant to understand this phrase in a very literal sense? What if the Devil literally has power over the air? In other words, what if he really has the power of actual flight while he is on the Earth? Yes, my friends; just like you see in a number of movies about gargoyles and such. Now, before you are too quick to dismiss this possibility, let's revisit one of the Lord's temptations in the wilderness:
"And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season."
Luke 4:9-13, KJV
"Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him."
Matthew 4:5-11, KJV
Allow me to bring certain phrases to your attention in the previous set of verses. These phrases seem to indicate that the Devil had not only materialized in our physical world -- just as Jesus likewise did following His Resurrection -- but that he literally carried Jesus -- who at the time was in a physical human body -- to the pinnacle of the Temple in the city of Jerusalem, set Him down upon it, and then tempted Jesus to jump down. He next carried Jesus to a very high mountain. How would you get to such distant places quickly at that time in history, unless you were a being who could actually fly? Ah-huh!:
• he brought him
• and set him on
• the devil taketh him up
• and setteth him
• the devil taketh him up (used a second time)
So it seems to me that these verses may be a good indication that Satan had already been cast out of Heaven by this time, and had become the prince of the power of the air. I do not believe that Satan was just talking inside of Jesus' head in the previous group of verses. It all sounds too physical to me, like the Devil was actually there, materialized in some kind of physical body, which he used to transport Jesus to those two distant locations.
I have another piece of Scriptural evidence which may lend support to my view that the Devil may have already been cast out by Michael the Archangel, when Jesus met the Devil during His forty days of temptation in the wilderness area of the Jordan River Valley. It concerns some verses we looked at in part two regarding the selection of Judas Iscariot as one of the Twelve Apostles. Please take note of the time frame of the following verses. Jesus said these things while they were still in Capernaum in Galilee, which means that it must have still been during the early part of His public ministry:
"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him . . . Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and ONE OF YOU IS A DEVIL? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve."
John 6:63-64, 70-71, KJV
Let me call your attention to the fact that while in the previous verses it says "a devil", the actual article "a" is not included in the original Greek text. The original Greek text simply says "diabolos". As such, the translators could just as easily have put "the devil". Based on everything we have discovered thus far regarding how the Devil literally entered into Judas, I believe that translating that phrase as "one of you is the Devil" would have been much more accurate. As I said earlier in this series, destroying Jesus was one job that Satan wanted to handle himself.
But the main point is this: At that stage in Jesus' public ministry, possibly not long after Jesus had chosen the Twelve Apostles, Satan had already taken control of Judas' mind and body. In fact, based on everything we have already discussed regarding Judas in this series, my impression is that the Devil could freely move in and out of Judas' body during the whole of Jesus' ministry. Why would this even be possible? Well, because as Jesus said in the previous group of verses, "some of you that believe not." Judas Iscariot apparently never really believed anything that Jesus was saying; at least not until after he had betrayed the Lord.
Furthermore, the Apostle John tells us that Jesus knew from the beginning that it would be Judas who Satan would target. Let me remind you that in the verses we looked at a minute ago that are found in the Gospel of Luke, after the Devil had finished tempting Jesus, Luke writes "he [the Devil] departed from him [Jesus] for a season." Obviously then, it was just a temporary reprieve. Jesus knew that Satan would be back soon; and he was, via Judas Iscariot.
In fact, if we piece together the different parts of this amazing puzzle, it sounds quite possible that this war which raged in Heaven may have started the very day in which Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River. After all, what did God say regarding Jesus on that day? Consider the following:
"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Matthew 3:16-17, KJV
Just imagine how that must have sounded in jealous Satan's ears. He must have been filled with rage, because "Daddy" liked Jesus best. Not only that, but as we saw earlier, God the Father ordered that the Angels worship Jesus. The Devil must have wanted to tear Jesus apart. That serpent must have felt the same way towards the Lord that Cain felt towards Abel when he slew him in the field. So maybe it was at that point in time when the Devil finally said, "I've had enough of this! Who is with me?" And then Satan and a third of the Angels fought a futile war against Michael the Archangel and his host of warrior Angels.
We all know what happened after Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River. However, what I find interesting about it is the fact that three of the Gospels inform us why the Spirit led the Lord into the wilderness area of the Jordan River Valley. It was so that Jesus could purposely do battle with Satan, as we see here:
"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil."
Matthew 4:1, KJV
"And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him."
Mark 1:12-13, KJV
"And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered."
Luke 4:1-2, KJV
Jesus must have known what He was getting Himself into. I think He may have anticipated and expected it. I can almost imagine it happening. At that time, the Jordan River Valley was a wild place. Not only was it full of wild beasts, but I imagine that it was also full of wild and dangerous men, such as thugs and thieves, and Zealots and Sicarii who hated both the Roman soldiers, as well as the Jewish leadership. Except for natural starlight and moonlight, it must have been a very dark place. Is it possible that on one of those dark nights during those forty days, Jesus looked up in the sky, observed a brilliant flash of light, and realized that His adversary had finally arrived on planet Earth, full of wrath, and ready for the duel of the century?
You know, I have to tell you that just reading all of these things; discovering and learning about all of these truths; seeing all of the amazing connections which exist between these different verses; writing about all of this stuff; and sharing it with you, really blows my mind. Think about this. So many people today enjoy going to the movies and watching Thor battle it out with evil Loki -- who, incidentally are brothers in the Thor movie franchise, just as both Jesus and Satan are sons of God -- but this is the real deal. This is not just a piece of fantasy or a modern version of ancient Norse mythology. We are talking about two very real powerful spiritual beings -- Jesus and Satan -- who battled it out on the Earth about two thousand years ago during the First Century.
Some of you are probably wondering what happened to Satan after he was cast out of Heaven; after he tempted Jesus in the Jordan River Valley wilderness; after he incited the unbelieving Jews against Jesus and His followers; and after he possessed Judas and used him to destroy Jesus' physical body. Well, first of all, let me remind you of a verse that I shared with you in part one of this same series:
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
Genesis 3:15, KJV
As I explain in the article "Did the Devil Make You Do It?", in the previous verse, God is pronouncing judgment against both Adam and Eve, as well as against the serpent, or the Devil. Over four thousand years later, and only a few short years at best before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple compound in 70 AD, the Apostle Paul wrote this coded message to the Christian brethren regarding how the above prophecy would soon be fulfilled, when Satan's kingdom on Earth would be destroyed at the Return of Jesus Christ, who was the seed of the woman, because He was in fact born of a woman; that is Mary:
"And the God of peace SHALL BRUISE SATAN UNDER YOUR FEET SHORTLY. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen."
Romans 16:20, KJV
If you are familiar with the Book of Revelation, then you will already know that Satan's ultimate fate is revealed in very clear terms, in the following verses:
"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season . . . And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
Revelation 20:1-3, 10 KJV
But have you ever wondered about what happens to the Devil between the time that Judas went and hanged himself -- thus forcing Satan out of his body -- and the time that the vile serpent and dragon is cast into the Bottomless Pit? Well, I am going to give you a little hint here. However, first, we need to briefly discuss another peculiarity that is found in God's Word.
As I point out in "Jesus Christ's Return: Have We Been Deceived?", in the course of studying the Bible over the years, I discovered that the symbolism of a-day-for-a-year is used in various places in the Scriptures, such as in the following example where God tells the Children of Israel that, just as the spies spent forty days spying on the land of Canaan, they will likewise wander for forty years in the wilderness, due to their constant complaining and murmuring against Him:
"After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise."
Numbers 14:34, KJV
Another clear example of the day-for-a-year symbolism can be found in the writings of the Prophet Ezekiel where we read the following:
"And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year."
Ezekiel 4:6, KJV
Now please notice that in these two examples, the symbolism involves a forty-day period as well as a forty-year period.
As I have mentioned a few times now, in Revelation 12, we are told that Satan comes down to the Earth "having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Exactly what is meant by "a short time"? Allow me to offer a small theory for your consideration. Prior to His battle with Satan, Jesus fasted in the wilderness for a period of forty days. If we use the day-for-a-year symbolism from the year that Jesus is believed to have died on the Cross -- that being 30 AD -- then that would move us forward to 70 AD, or forty years later. If you read my six-part series called "Who Hindered the Antichrist?", as well as some of the other articles which I have mentioned in this series, you will discover that a lot of important events occurred in that year, and they have a lot to do with Satan's fate. Have I whet your curiosity? Great!
With these thoughts I will bring this series to a close. I trust that you have found it informative, and I pray that it has been an inspiration and a blessing in your life. If you happen to have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, etc, I would appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this series, or which are related to this series, and which are likewise located on the Bill's Bible Basics website:
Abomination of Desolation: Explained!
Birth of Jesus and the Star of Bethlehem
Did the Devil Make You Do It?
Famous Forties: One of God's Special Numbers?
Greater Works Than These Shall He Do . . . and Satan Too
In the Ages to Come
Jesus Christ's Return: Have We Been Deceived?
Job and the Land of Uz: A Biblical Mystery?
Leviathan: An Ancient Sea Dragon?
Nephilim: The Giants of Genesis
Revelation's Babylon the Great
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
Satan: His Origin, Purpose And Future
Satan: King of Tyrus, King of Empires
The Fruits of Disobedience
The Great Tribulation and the Rapture
The Seven Heads
Tradition or Truth? Old Wine or New Wine?
What is Wrong With Modern America?
Who Hindered the Antichrist?