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Satan's Global Conflict

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
January 24, 2022 2:00 am

Satan's Global Conflict

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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January 24, 2022 2:00 am

Revelation 12 captures how the spiritual war we're in culminates in wrath on earth. In the message "Satan's Global Conflict" from the What's Next? series, Skip shares how this battle reaches a new level in the future.

This teaching is from the series Pastor Skip's Top 40.

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Would it shock you to know that Satan is not in hell? Would it further shock you to know that Satan has never been to hell? And that he won't go to hell until the end of the tribulation period? And when he gets there, and he will get there, he will not be the chief tormentor, he'll be the chief target. He'll be the one who's the greatest victim.

Many people have misconceptions about the devil, and many don't even believe that he exists. Today we continue our countdown of Skip's top 40 messages on the Connect with Skip Heitzig YouTube channel. In the number 25 spot is the message, Satan's Global Conflict, where Skip looks into the actions and motivations of the enemy of God's people and what you can do to stand strong against his attacks.

But before we begin, here's a resource that will help you go even closer to Jesus than ever before. Listen to this daring promise from the young American president, John Kennedy. Choose to go to the moon in this decay and do the other thing.

Not because they are easy, but because they are hard. NASA engaged 400,000 people to accomplish this challenge. But this was not the most audacious claim or accomplishment in history. That honor is reserved for one man, Jesus Christ, who promised to die for the sins of the world and resurrect to overcome death. Listen to Levi Lusko speaking about his new book, The Last Supper on the Moon.

Quest to Conquer Innerspace and how the cross, like the Saturn V launch vehicle, is the only thing that can bridge that gap. And as our secular society is realizing, there are downsides to turning from God, turning away from church. You know, you see people leaving the church in droves in and out.

What do you have in tandem with it? Higher anxiety, higher suicide rates. You have even a lowering of emotional intelligence. We're not in church. We're not in the Bible, but we are on screens.

And what is it doing to the insides of us? Well, there you go. The Last Supper on the Moon is an epic new hardcover book by Levi Lusko, a little guy from Massachusetts dies and he doesn't go to heaven. He goes to the other place. And there in hell, the devil wants to make things really miserable for him. So he gives him a horrible job of breaking rocks with a sledgehammer. And he turns the heat up and the humidity and checks on him a couple weeks later just to see if the punishment is adequate enough. And he goes and he finds this man from Massachusetts singing, seems happy with the song. And there's a smile on his face and the devil goes, hey, I've given you the worst possible job and the worst possible place. How can you be so happy? And he says, well, actually, this hot, humid weather reminds me of being home in Massachusetts. It's like an August day back in Massachusetts.

So I sort of feel like I'm back home. So the devil didn't like that. And he decided to change his course of action. And he brought rain and wind to that hellish place and checked up on this man a couple weeks later, slogging his way through the mud with rocks in his will burrow. And yet the man is happy, smiling, singing. The devil goes, how on earth can you be so happy? The man said, well, actually, this is very much like an April day in Massachusetts.

This is like the springtime out on the farm and it just is so reminiscent of me being back home. So the devil goes away, decides one last ditch effort to make this man miserable. And he brings the temperature so low, sub-zero, goes back to check on this man.

This time he's not only singing, he's dancing, he's swinging the sledgehammer around. He's just happier than ever before. The devil says, now wait a minute. It's 40 degrees below zero. There's snow and ice everywhere in hell. How can you be so happy? The man said with a big smile, the man from Massachusetts, hell has frozen over. That can only mean one thing.

The Patriots have won the Super Bowl. Now I share that crazy little story to make an illustration. People have many misconceptions when it comes to the devil. Number one, that he is not real at all. He is not a being at all. He is a fictional character to be used in silly little stories and jokes like the one I just mentioned. Or he is a symbol of evil when we deal with those shadier parts of our character. We sometimes say, I'm battling with my demons. That's all the devil really is.

He's not a real entity. That's misconception number one. Misconception number two is that if the devil is real, he's hanging out in hell waiting to torment people who go there.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Would it shock you to know that Satan is not in hell? Would it further shock you to know that Satan has never been to hell? And that he won't go to hell until the end of the tribulation period. And when he gets there, and he will get there, he will not be the chief tormentor. He'll be the chief target. He'll be the one who's the greatest victim.

In Revelation 20 verse 10, we read, 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. When I was growing up, I didn't give the devil much thought. I believed, I guess, that he existed, but I didn't really think of the devil or demons. I mean, I had parents to contend with. I had teachers to contend with. At that age, that was bad enough for me.

It wasn't easy for me. But as I grew older and I got into high school, some of you know my testimony, I got involved with some very dark practices and it was though I met the devil face to face. And as Bible believing Christians, we come to understand by reading our Bibles that this devil has a certain amount of freedom and access, not only to the earth, but to heaven itself. For when we read the book of Job, and it says, one day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord and Satan was with them. And the Lord said to Satan, where have you come from? And Satan said, from going to and fro on the earth and walking back and forth on it. So Satan has been on earth, but now he is standing before God in heaven to give some kind of an account for his action.

So he has enjoyed some kind of access, not only to earth, but to heaven. With that in mind, we're going to jump into Revelation 12, beginning in verse seven, where there are two major themes that confront us in this paragraph. The themes are war in heaven, wrath on earth, war in heaven, wrath on earth, and one is the consequence of the other. Because there is war in heaven, something happens that causes there to be wrath on earth. It's sort of like when you were in school and you learned Newton's third law that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

It's sort of like that here. Now as we go through our text today in chapter 12 of Revelation, we're going to learn some character traits about the devil, Satan, our archenemy. Believe me, this is my least favorite subject to talk about. And yet the Bible says we are not ignorant of his devices, so I want to add to your knowledge so that you are not ignorant of his devices. And here's the first notable character trait about Satan.

Satan is persistent. Watch this, verse seven. It says, And war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought. But they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

So the great dragon was cast out. That serpent of old called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world, he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, 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 God day and night has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them.

Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea for the devil has come down to you having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time. Verse seven is a shocker. War in heaven. Now when you think of heaven, do you think of heaven being a war zone?

Nobody does. You think of heaven as a worship zone of angels and music and joy and glory. But John, in symbolic form, looking at what's next in the future, sees war in heaven.

Something else that's a shocker. This is not referring to a past war. This is referring to a future war in heaven. You see, the past war in heaven has already been discussed back in verse four.

We saw that last week. Back in verse four, Satan has already fallen from heaven. He's already tried to eliminate the male child, which is Christ. That's verse four.

He failed to do so. Jesus grew up, died, resurrected, ascended into heaven. That's verse five. And now we're well into the Great Tribulation beginning in verse six. So the future war in heaven is what John sees sometime during the Great Tribulation period.

Which leads me to make an obvious point. Satan finds it really hard to give up. I mean, he's lost the battle in the past. Why on earth would he think that he would stage another coup in the future?

What brings this on? Before we get to that, just dwell on that thought. Satan is persistent. He finds it really hard to give up. He knows he's going down. He's fighting a losing battle. He knows that.

But he wants to create as much chaos and bring as many people down with him as he can. You know, it's sort of like, picture a summer day. And I'm standing by the swimming pool. Not that I have one, but let's say I'm at your house standing by your swimming pool. And I have a burger in my hand. I'm right on the edge of the pool.

I'm not going to go in, but it's just there. And then I turn around and I notice a group of guys with that look in their face coming at me. I know what's in their minds. They want to throw me into the pool. I know I can't escape it. They're too close. They're closing in. So you know what I'm going to do?

If I'm going down, I'm going to drag as many of them with me into the pool as I can. You say you would do that. So would you. Satan finds it really hard to give up. He is persistent. There was a woman who was having a conversation with a friend and this gal always paid people compliments. She never said a bad word about anybody. Almost to a fault. And her friend said, you know, I'm convinced if the devil were here, you'd pay him a compliment. And she smiled and said, well, you've got to admit he is persistent.

We all know that, don't we? We know he's persistent. Jesus knew he was persistent. We read in the New Testament that Satan came personally to Jesus to tempt him in the wilderness. But then he left him.

And let me ask you this. When Satan left him, did Satan give up? Was that the end of it?

It's not the end of it. Luke, Chapter four, verse 13. Now, when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Did you get that? He's looking for an opportune time to strike. Peter said Satan is like a roaring lion roaming around seeking whom he may devour.

What kind of a picture is that? Like a lion stalking its prey and studying it, trying to find the right time to attack. So he is persistent. I think back to that passage in Job.

I just mentioned it. When the devil appears before God to give an account, God says to Satan, have you considered my servant Job who is upright? There is none like him on all the earth. And actually in Hebrew, it's more of a rhetorical question. It's you have been considering or studying my servant Job, haven't you? You've been keeping an eye on him. You've been looking at him carefully, haven't you?

Or how about the time when Jesus told Peter, Peter, Satan has been asking for you. He wants to sift you like wheat. Boy, that'd be unnerving, would it not, to hear that. You know, I don't know if you've ever had the experience of being in a public place, only to discover that that person across the room has been staring at you for several minutes now. When you find that out, it's spooky.

It's like, I'm getting out of here. Satan is persistent and he studies our character and fashions his attacks based upon the information that he knows about each of us. So here is John. He sees war in heaven. It's yet future.

It's not referring to the one past. At some point in the future, then, Satan is going to attempt one final takeover of heaven. And I want you to notice this battle in specific. It's against Michael and his angels.

Do you read that? Michael and his angels against the dragon and his angels. I hope you take a little bit of comfort in the fact that the battle is between angels. It's not God and the devil. One of the biggest lies Satan tries to perpetrate is that he, the devil, is the opposite of God.

He is the evil opposite of righteous God. And so we have this concept floating in our heads that there's this cosmic battle of the universe going on. And in this corner, ladies and gentlemen, is God. And in this corner is the devil. And they're at it. And who's going to win this round?

No. First of all, God doesn't fight. He just wins. There's really no battle. I mean, it's as ludicrous as putting Justin Bieber up against the rock. I think you know who's going to win the battle.

Not really a contest here. So this is a battle against Michael and his angels and the dragon and his angels. By the way, it's not the first time they've squared off. They've fought in times past.

I hope you know your Bibles. In Jude, verse 9, we are told, Michael, the archangel, contended with the devil over the body of Moses. Question, why Michael? Who is Michael? Well, he's called an archangel. And whenever Michael appears in the scripture, it's interesting, we see him as a protector or the defender of the nation of Israel.

In Daniel chapter 12, we are told, at that time, Michael shall stand up, that great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people, the Jewish people, the nation of Israel. Now, here's the key question, or at least one of them. What's this war all about, this future battle? What's going to happen?

What causes the war? Well, I'm not certain, but here's a possibility. It could be triggered by the rapture of the church, something we've already talked about. It could be that rapture believers, as they pass through these demons realm, the air, that these demons try to hinder their passage. Remember, Satan is called the prince of the power of the air. That rapture could trigger this war that involves Satan and his angels and Michael and his angels.

Let me throw something else in there. In Jude verse 9, which I just read, Michael is called an archangel. There's only one other reference in all of the scripture to an archangel, and that's in the rapture passage. 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. It could be that this shout is the archangel Michael, and the shout is the confrontation that takes place with Satan and his angels.

Not certain, just piecing the things together, that's a possibility. War in heaven. Satan is persistent. Now let's look further. Look at verse 9 and 10, we discover something else about Satan.

He is perverse. So the great dragon, he's described as, was cast out. That serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. He was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him. And then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, now salvation, strength in the kingdom of our God and 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. Now there are several names and descriptions given to the devil in these two verses that are sort of stacked up.

Notice them. He's called a dragon. Do you know that the book of Revelation is the only book that calls Satan a dragon? It's called a number of other things, but 13 times in the book of Revelation he's referred to as a dragon.

Why? Because that will be his character revealed in the end times. A fierce tyrant.

A dragon. He's also referred to here as the serpent of old, now reaching back to Genesis 3, speaking of how cunning he was and crafty and subtle and treacherous. He's also given the most common name we know him by, the devil. The devil is a word that means slanderer. You might say gossiper or one who defames another.

Diabolos is the word. He's also called in this passage Satan, which means enemy or adversary. So just put those names together and here's what you have, the composite description of the devil.

He's a fierce tyrant who is very subtle, very crafty, who slanders and defames you and is your enemy. That should make you happy. And I'm serious about that.

That should make you happy. Because if you want any kind of relationship at all with the devil, you want to make sure he's your enemy, not your friend. Your enemy. Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote, there is something very comforting in the thought that the devil is an adversary. I would sooner have him for an adversary than for a friend. Notice also in that little passage that we just read that he deceives the whole world.

Now just let that sink in. Satan is the world's pastor. He shepherds the flock of the world and he sends them any possible type of deception it takes just to get people not to think about spiritual things, not to think about salvation or Christ.

Any distraction or deception possible. He deceives the world. Then finally in verse 10 he is called the accuser of our brethren.

Interesting. Satan who has access both to earth and to heaven to appear before God can accuse people before the throne of God and it says he does so day and night. He spews out his accusations. Just so you have another reference text, Zechariah chapter 3. You know that book in the Bible in the Old Testament where he sees all those visions? Well he sees one vision of Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord and Satan standing on his right side to accuse him. He's the accuser.

And I bet, I just bet that you have even heard the spillover of some of those accusations in your own mind. Thoughts have come to you in your own mind, in your own spirit, thoughts like who do you think you are? You're not a child of God. How can you say you're a Christian?

You don't belong here. How can you pray to God? Do you think he's going to answer you? You've heard all of those accusations. You know Satan really is a creep.

I mean think about it. He tempts us and before we sin he just tempts us to do it and says go ahead. You can get away with it. Then as soon as we do that and we seize and we sin then Satan comes on and goes you'll never get away with that. You creep. You horrible person. That's what he's a master of, the accuser of the brethren. He is persistent and he is perverse. That's Skip Heitzig's number 25 message on our top 40 messages countdown.

It's from the series What's Next. Find the full message and more of Skip's teachings that you can watch on your big screen TV from the comfort of your couch at YouTube.com slash Calvary ABQ. Right now we want to tell you about an opportunity you have to see the Bible come alive before your eyes. You're invited to join Skip on a tour of Israel in 2022. Visiting the places where the events of the Bible unfolded is a unique and significant experience. You'll be encouraged in your faith as God's word comes to life for you in a way it never has before.

Get all the info at InspirationCruises.com slash C-A-B-Q. Now we want to let you know how you can stay updated on the latest from this ministry and from Skip. Get encouragement from Skip and important announcements on social media.

Just follow Skip on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. That's at Skip Heitzig at Skip H-E-I-T-Z-I-G. Coming up tomorrow, Skip Heitzig shares another Top 40 message and gives you a startling glimpse into the spiritual warfare you're engaged in and shares how you can make a difference on the battlefield. We live in a real world. In fact, one of the sayings that people will often speak is, come on, man, get real. This is the real world. You're right. But there's another world.

Let's call it the really real world. As Paul the Apostle said, we do not look at the things which are seen, but the things which are unseen. For the things which are seen are temporary, while the things which are unseen are eternal. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-18 21:15:18 / 2023-06-18 21:24:52 / 10

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