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May 6, 2022 12:00 am
Some would have us believe that behind the curtain of world history there is an ongoing battle between God and the devil, and the devil is giving God a pretty good fight! But one look at Revelation 19 and that misconception is silenced forever.
We think about Jesus Christ.
The thing that he seems to do most frequently is bring physical and spiritual life is an one word life. Never thought about the fact that Jesus interrupted every funeral. He attended disturbed every gravesite.
He visited he was life in our here he is in a one promises us little life with him. There's another side. Jesus brings judgment and death to his enemies, and that begins with his main enemy, Satan not only is Satan not a match for God. He's not even a match for one of God's angels. In Revelation 19 Satan is bound by an angel bound by an angel is the title of Stephen's message today here on wisdom for the heart. Yes, the average person on the street about angels and what they think of them and they'll tell you more than likely of some kind of experience. Maybe a story they've heard some citing even or some testimony of a spirit guide, according to one survey are at 69% of the people interviewed believed in the existence of angels and 49% believe they had some kind of personal connection with at least one angel Protestant leaders are on the bandwagon.
You can go the Christian bookstore and get a book on how to interpret your own sightings dreams the day give you their binding demons and their their praying around the neighborhoods for the binding of the devil's influence assures a lot easier. By the way that witnessing your neighbor is a lot more easy to sit in your living room and pray for Togo, West Africa then raise money and learn French and go to amazing how many Protestants are on this bandwagon, thinking it through. Catholics of longtime mysticism, angels, former monks like Borgia and Bernard of Clairvaux encouraging people to be devoted to and pray to angels. The new catechism of the Catholic Church includes this instruction and I quote from infancy to death. Human life is surrounded by angels.
That is there intercession beside each believers stands in Angel as protector and shepherd leading him in life. While that's true, then David got it wrong is Psalm 23 sugar written in Angel is my shepherd.
Yay though I walk to the valley of the shadow that I will fear no evil because my angel is with me. My purpose is not to offend some Catholics or to offend me.
My products of my purposes defend everybody. Actually, there are so many strange things out there whenever you get away from the word of God. You are now your open season all kinds of mythologies and and mysticism. It is true there are a lot of things about angels and demons that we do not understand. But if we let the Bible stand as our guide, and allow God to give us only what he wants to give us and leave the rest for those days when we'll see this world with our eyes were going to come up with a very different view of angels, then the classical world. Certainly the paintings of the London art gallery would paintings of angels you notice that very different in the Bible to what you see in that that that Masters painting.
One thing they are not.
That little mega babies with halos and little wings carrying bows and arrows very different like CS Lewis wrote a dissuasive fraud angelic goes angel paintings carried the face and gesture of the peace and authority of heaven, but later came these chubby infantile angels of Rafael. Finally we had the soft slim girlish angels of the 19th century art, but in Scripture. Lewis goes on to say the appearance of an angel was always alarming and the angel was so terrifying that he had to begin by saying, fear not. Lewis said the current angels of our day look as if they're about to say there. There all fluff and moraine. But as the Lord descends on his white stallion. We have studied and we the church with her own stage of his thundering majestic dissent turns the armies and the one united army against our Lord and discover the presence and activity of angels that out in Revelation chapter 19 where we left off with verse 17 you could underline that opening phrase.
Then I saw an angel and ending it over in chapter 20 will cover a few verses there. Then I saw an angel.
What are they like well as you get into the description to admit or not fluff and moraine are not little babies with halos. They are strong, determined warriors, with the voice of God's holy authority in his righteous purpose before we dive into verse 17. Let's keep in mind the battle of Armageddon is the primary setting Armageddon car Gidon Harr meeting Hill country Megiddo in the name of a Canaanite fortress in the plain of Jezreel. The tenant allows us to understand the location of this hill country of Megiddo. Robert Thomas is a good description of this in his commentary on Revelation, Moody press, 1995. This was the valley where Israel conquered their enemies in Joshua 12 in Judges chapter 5.
This is the scene of Josiah's defeat in second Chronicles 35 Zachariah mentioned this region in connection with the final battle of Armageddon. Zechariah chapter 12 armies interesting to learn coming from the east to get to this region would have to cross the Euphrates River River.
We've already learned was dried up by the miraculous movement of God. This was a rundown the Old Testament battleground region spanning or longer than some 200 mile Nebuchadnezzar fought in this region as did Ramsey in this region Titus of the Roman general thought here, as did Pompeii, Richard the lion hearted and Napoleon. In fact, Napoleon wrote that this this Valley region.
He said as I quote the world's greatest natural battle. None of these former warriors ever saw battle quite like this battle.
The battle of Armageddon. For you see, God is drawing the world into battle they had been itching for a fight with him ever since the Tower of Babel and now they have returned in the armies are our once united with great fervor as they take on the descending Lord and his beloved now before the very first shot is fired from the arsenal of the weapons of of Earth's forces before that first one is even fired at Christ and his brilliant company of the redeemed descending worth an angel appears negative, or 17 then I saw an angel standing in the sun that is in the proximity hi son and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, assembled for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great, every class, every descriptive class of of mankind is in deep trouble.
All of human history is marching toward that great battle and a high up in the sky. All of a sudden an angel appears with an invitation to birds come to the supper provided by God is the invitation.
Where's the food it's arriving from all around the world. This redefines international cuisine. The supper of God, and what irony with two contrasting suppers in this taxable contrast to banquets, yet the marriage supper of the Lamb and the great supper of God.
Those who attend the wedding feast of the Lamb. We as believers will be at the supper those who march against Christ and Armageddon will be the supper cruiser visitor's is nonmaterial for another episode of touch by an angel of fluffy and moraine Ezekiel informs us that even after the birds gorge themselves on the flesh of these united against Christ will take nearly a year to bury the remaining and I want you to notice though the timing of this angels invitation. He announces this invitation for the birds to gather before the battle really begins. In other words, the angel declares Jesus Christ victory before the battle is even fought. I love that before one missile was launched at the descending cavalry before anything is fired. It's announced that it's over.
Gather the birds for the defeated Army go ahead March 1 19 says I saw the beast that is the antichrist and the kings of earth and their armies, assembled to make war against him who sat on the horse against his army couldn't help but wonder as I study this text while they assembled that they notice or will they noticed the sky was growing dark as the sun is shaded by millions gathering, swarming, swooping, flapping, flying cacophony of millions of birds who come to the invitation of God through the angel to a great supper somewhere between verse 19 in verse 20 is the beginning and the end of the battle is really not much of a battle. Actually, of slaughter were told in verse 15 of the offensive weapon of the victorious army gets the word of Christ figuratively pictured as a sharp sword, that makes a lot of sense to us, simply because the Bible is used with that metaphor in Scripture. Hebrews 412 are told it is even sharper than two edge sword.
The believer is challenged to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.
Ephesians 617 so Jesus Christ rides from the skies and defeats. This massive army with his word went over in verse 21 Chapter 19 and the rest were killed. That is all the Army with the sword which came from the mouth of him who sat on the horse that is his word. One word of Christ and earth is defeated one word, the power in the spoken word by the living word is amazing but we've been given glimpses of this in the word of God. In Mark 439. He stood in that ship with a little but was being tossed to and fro with the wind and the waves and he stood and he said immediately. The sea was glass. The wind was gone quiet what you wish of the power in the van on the way to church quiet Jesus Christ bent over a paralyzed man who lived immobile at the mercy of his available friends. He walked over to the many said did not was all it took. Got up and ran how he stood outside the tomb of his friend Lazarus and and said Lazarus, you had a resurrection he went into the home where the little girl was laid out there on her deathbed all the friends it already been called the family already been gathered there is great weeping and wailing at such a young life taken and Jesus Christ walks into that little home. He leans over and he says rise and she opens her eyes and takes a breath and she looks up into the face of the one who is the resurrection and the life. One word he is in one word, life never thought about the fact that Jesus interrupted every funeral. He attended, he disturbed every gravesite.
He visited he was life in order here. He is half in a word now you'll notice all the invading armies were killed except two men look at verse 20 and the beast that is the antichrist was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who receive the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. Only two prisoners were taken alive. So speak all the others are dead which means that their spirits have already wing their way to Hades that temporary place of torment where they await their final judgment. Luke 1623. But for these two. These two leaders satanically empowered deceivers. God does something drastic. He publicly condemns the in the face of all the hosts of heaven and the church resurrected Old Testament saints and condemns them. Verse 20 says they were thrown alive into the lake of fire. That phrase a lake of fire is a reference to the final place of everlasting torment were told, leaders will studied in detail Hades will be emptied into the lake of fire. Hades is temporary. Were all the spirits of the unbelieving awaiting.
It is a place of torment awaiting the final judgment.
Well guess what he bypasses for these two Hades that he throws them into the lake of fire. They become horrifying prelude to the eternal wrath of God by being thrown alive in the lake of fire and there a lot of points to make a reserve. Many of them for when we study this lake of fire. Eliminate one point now unbelievers who influence others in their unbelief, will receive a greater penalty. Those who lead others into sin will bear a greater responsibility before God for their evil ways and be subjected to more severe punishment. Yes, if you're wondering, yes, there are levels of suffering and punishment in hell. This passage delivers a stern warning, a frightening warning to the world of unbelievers that university professor who cherishes who delights in condemning the Scripture and causing unbelievers to be further bolstered and unconfident and confirmed in their unbelief that one will one day receive a greater punishment for his influence that greedy man or greedy woman who flaunts their wealth and causes all the rest of the unbelievers around them to live even more, just lives will stand a greater judgment that a moral man who flaunts his immorality, maybe even publishes a magazine or to a philosophy that he espouses that that seems to the unbeliever to make immorality a good thing on our right thing. That man will one day serve a more terrifying justice in his sentence against them because of these one thing to be an unrepentant sinner. It's another thing to applaud and endorse and define and defend and introduce and encourage others to sin. You see, ladies and gentlemen over having ears were having that that movement toward those end time events where the scales of God's justice are now beginning to be seen at all other of fullest horror is every believer has wonder when will we will remove how long the Lord now it's happening now it's happening as he unwraps, as it were those scales and brings them out before the world to see.
You want to be there in the scene. If you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Your safe factor you're in this scene with the victorious beloved, watching it unfold. One more event that were to watch with their own eyes will read of it here since a wonderful event for those who belong to Jesus Christ. We have heard the angels invitation we seen the Antichrist and false prophets condemnation.
I want you to notice the adversaries incarceration.
Look at chapter 20 verse one then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and the great chain in his hand and he laid hold of the Dragon, the serpent of old who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that during his kingdom.
He would not deceive the nations any longer, what, what a thrill this is to read here. This is his day coming and we will one day watch this happen and were told that this angel right given his name, but this angel has two things in his hand. First he has the key to the abyss that we've spent an entire session, studying the abyss of the word that simply were refers to the inability of mankind to fathom its depth. The apostle John used words to describe the abyss as a deep cavern and the owner of the key is ultimately sovereign God now are told that the key has been given to an angel and angel yelled something else is look at the text were also told that he holds up a great chain in his hand, but were not talking about a galvanized steel to more time as some kind of God designed Shane for this old serpent to bind them and hold him for thousand years.
During the kingdom is this angel when the site the site becomes any bind Satan throws them into the abyss, shuts the lid seals it.
That's that for thousand years survey and is sees and I love the fact that God does this by this this angel not archangel Gabriel or Michael. Not one of the four angels that stand near his throne with every indication you believe this is just some ordinary angel is interesting to think about the fact that it is just one angel, but he is greater and more powerful than Satan as he accomplishes and carries out the will of God and so are you. Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world there still time left on the clock in your life and mine, but the games already decided scores already fixed. Jesus Christ loses none of his and the enemy loses everything Satan done. Just lose. He is crotch. We don't just win with Christ, we conquer my wife came in to my study in and said honey you read this and she loves to read Spurgeon's devotional works and if you know Charles Burger of him. He was a wonderful pastor in the 1800 just close by reading a couple paragraphs I love the way he describes the fact that we've already won.
Paul writes in Ephesians 16 you are accepted in the beloved. What a state of privilege. This includes our justification before God, but that term accepted acceptance in the Greek language means more than that, it signifies that we are the objects of divine delight. How marvelous that we mortals sinners were should be the objects of divine love and it is only in the beloved. Some Christians listen carefully. Some Christians feel accepted by their own experiences.
That is when their spirit is lively and her hopes right they think God accepts them, for they feel so happy, so heavenly minded so drawn above the earth. But when their souls collapse and failure in the dust where the victims of the fear that they are no longer accepted. They could, but see that all their high joys do not exalt them in all their despondency's do not diminish them in their father's site. They stand, accepted, and one who never alters and one was always perfect. How much happier Christians would be and how much more they will honor the Savior rejoiced unbeliever in this you are accepted now in the beloved. You look within, and you say there is nothing acceptable here, but look at Christ and see if there is not everything acceptable there. Since trouble you got is already cast her sins behind his back and you are accepted, and the righteous one, you have to fight with corruption and to wrestle with temptation, but you are already accepted in him who has overcome the powers of evil, the devil tempts you, but be of good cheer. He cannot destroy you, for you are already accepted in him a man. While that's great listen, my friend. Allow the this seen in Revelation 19 and chapter 20 and the truth of your position in Christ by faith in him alone to motivate you and and and for me to be motivated to live and to think and feel. In light of our position in it, in light of our forgiveness in him. In light of our acceptance in light of our RR victory.
It really is settled you one. According to the word of God. This is telling us her future. We already have in Christ. We are already sealed in Christ, we are already forgiven in Christ, we are already seated in Christ, we are already unchangeable.
He eternally accepted. We can take comfort in that truth from God's word today. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. You can learn more about us and access all of our resources. If you visit our website which is wisdom online.org. Once you go there, you'll find an extensive library of Bible-based resources to help you grow in your faith and in your understanding of God's word. If we can help you today. Please give us a call. You can reach us at 86 648 Bible once again that's 86648 Bible thanks for tuning in today. I hope you will be with us next time. As we continue through this series from revelation here on the wisdom